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Thursday, Apr 28, 2011

  

Need For Speed: The Run Revealed

This trailer reveals plans for Need For Speed: The Run, a new installment in EA's Need for Speed series of racing games. The trailer was released after the game was unexpectedly revealed by an online listing (since removed) by U.K. e-tailer Shopto. Here's the description attached to the clip: "It's called The Run. An illicit, high-stakes race across the country. The only way to get your life back is to be the first from San Francisco to New York. No speed limits. No rules. No allies. All you have are your driving skills and sheer determination as you battle hundreds of the world's most notorious drivers on the country's most dangerous roads." Thanks VG247.

Brink Server FAQ, Trailer

The Bethesda Blog now offers the third installment in their Get SMART series of clips introducing Brink, Splash Damage's upcoming first-person shooter. Word is: "Check out the General Gameplay tutorial above and you’ll feel like an expert on day one — or at least day two. Day one, you’ll at least feel extremely competent. Better than your friends, surely." They have also posted a Brink Dedicated Server FAQ answering all your burning questions about hosting a server for the game. Word is: "The Brink Standalone Dedicated Server will be available for download via Steam prior to release. Once the server is available, you can simply browse to the Tools tab in your Steam client and grab it from there."

Mythos European Launch

HanbitSoft announces that Mythos is now live in Europe, offering this hack-and-slash MMORPG originally developed by Flagship Studios before the studio closed. Here's word on the game's free-to-play business model: "There are no monthly fees, and regular updates and enhancements will be available free of charge. Mythos also has an item shop where players can purchase in-game items for small sums of money. For those who like their exclusives, the box version of Mythos is available at local retailers and provides players with an item voucher worth £10 for a variety of exclusive in-game items." Here's a feature list:

  • Hack’n’Slash meets Online-Role-Playing
  • Randomly generated dungeons and items
  • Extensive crafting and item upgrade systems
  • Rewarding achievement system
  • Fully-customizable range of three character classes and four races
  • Challenging single player and multiplayer PVP battles
  • Free regular and extensive updates with new game content
  • No monthly fees, free to download

Civilization V Patched

A new patch is now available through Steam to automatically update Sid Meier's Civilization V. The patch notes outline an extraordinary number of changes, balance tweaks, and bug fixes.

Age of Empires Online Booster Pack Video

A new video blog on the Age of Empires Online Website features Chris Taylor introducing the Defense of Crete booster pack for the upcoming MMORTS. Word is: "In the Defense of Crete Booster Pack previewed on the vlog, King Minos needs your help to defend his island from invaders, and he is paying well. Players will challenge waves of relentless invaders to protect the sacred Minoan Wonders from being destroyed. And for more fun, they can invite a friend to team up with them and trounce the intruders. Plus, they’ll earn new gear and awesome rewards for defending Crete!" For those interested in checking out the game's beta test, we still have beta keys to give away. Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted.

MMO Anniversaries

Guild Wars celebrates its sixth anniversary: "This year marks the sixth anniversary of Guild Wars! We couldn't have made it this far without you, so we're hosting a big party — and you're the guests of honor! Come celebrate with us from April 28th to May 6. It's going to be a weekend of games, sugary treats, and anniversary surprises!" Likewise, City of Heroes celebrates its seventh with: "a humble yet powerful plan of festivities and you are all invited so don't miss any of the fun!"

FINAL FANTASY XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition Announced

Square Enix announces FINAL FANTASY XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition for Windows, a bundle of all the content for FINAL FANTASY XI, the first FINAL FANTASY MMORPG. Here's word:

Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition will include all four expansion packs for FINAL FANTASY XI, from the premiere expansion, Rise of the Zilart®, to the recently concluded Wings of the Goddess®. It will also contain all add–on scenarios to date; namely, A Crystalline Prophecy® — Ode of Life Bestowing™, A Moogle Kupo d’Etat® — Evil in Small Doses™, and A Shantotto Ascension® — The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born™. Also included are the add–on battle areas introduced in 2010: Vision of Abyssea®, Scars of Abyssea® and Heroes of Abyssea®.

As an added benefit for new players and as well as those returning to Vana’diel®, all purchases of Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition will include the Destrier Beret, an in–game item loaded with bonuses to help new players get started, while also giving their characters an enviable article of clothing.

Windows Avadon: The Black Fortress Next Week

Spiderweb Software announces plans to release the Windows edition of Avadon: The Black Fortress on May 2nd, offering Windows gamers access to this "epic 40 hour RPG" that's already available for OS X. Here's word:

As a Hand of Avadon, ruthless and efficient enforcers of peace, your missions will take you to the 5 lands of The Pact and beyond. Battle those who seek to disrupt peace in the land while dealing with spies and assassins who wish to use the power of Avadon for their own gain. As your comrades are picked off one by one it will be up to one stalwart Hand to steady the scales of justice.

Avadon: The Black Fortress features a full 40 hour RPG experience with four unique classes and dozens of skills and spells to develop. Learn the unique history of the five lands of The Pact and make important decisions on your journey that will reveal one of many endings. Discover new quests, secrets dungeons, magical items, and epic battles, everything you would expect from a Spiderweb Software RPG!

Scarlet Legacy Announced

Scarlet Legacy is a newly announced upcoming fantasy-themed free-to-play MMORPG from GamesCampus. The game is currently accepting applications for its closed beta test, which will pave the way for its launch this summer. Here's a bit on the game:

Scarlet Legacy is a massively dynamic and addicting MMORPG that takes players through a journey of thousands of quests to save Princess Scarlet while utilizing the most effortless in-game mechanic on the market today! No more having to spend hours deciphering complex control combinations, players can just jump straight into the fray alongside their friends and enjoy.

Duke Nukem Forever Interview

The Randy Pitchford interview on GameShark talks with the president of Gearbox Software about Duke Nukem Forever, the long-in-development first-person shooter. They kick things off with an interesting question about the game's references to its delays, and defining the line between self-reference and self-deprecation, to which Randy offers the following response: "Great question. I’m not sure that the English language is sufficient to describe where that line is or how to find the sweet spot between those two but I think Duke Nukem Forever will be, among other things, looked at as a great example of how to do that successfully. That’s one of the things that struck me most about it when I finally got to pour over everything myself when we got involved. The guys at 3D Realms were very intelligent and aware of the spot they were in and you can feel that in their game. That point alone proves the relationship between video games and art as this one clearly exposes the audience to the mind-set of the creators."

On Sale

Save 50% on a large list of games on the THQ Online Store. All preorders on Direct2Drive are 10% off.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Wii Won’t Take “No” 4 an Ansur. Thanks Ant.

Volition Founder Departing

Volition founder and president Mike Kulas is departing the developer of the Red Faction, Saints Row and FreeSpace franchises, reports the News-Gazette, which says his last day there is Monday, when he will be succeeded by Dan Cermak, Volition's vice president of product development since 2003. They say the move was not triggered by any specific event, and that Kulas first considered leaving last year, and with "the completion" of Red Faction: Armageddon and Saints Row: The Third being in "the home stretch," this is a good time to leave. Volition was acquired by publisher THQ in September 2000. Thanks nin via Joystiq.

DRIVER San Francisco Trailer, FPS-Style Multiplayer Details

This new trailer from DRIVER San Francisco showcases the story of the return of Tanner in Ubisoft's upcoming resumption of the action/driving series. Word is: "DRIVER San Francisco extends the cinematic, open world car chase experience with a groundbreaking new gameplay feature called 'shift.' Gamers will play as Detective John Tanner on a relentless manhunt for crime lord Charles Jericho through the hills of the City by the Bay. With over 130+ licensed vehicles, ranging from iconic muscle cars to modern supercars, its timeless setting, unique car handling and renewed playability, DRIVER San Francisco will revitalize the over-the-top car chase experience for the current generation of gaming platforms." There is also an interview about the game on Strategy Informer conducted with producer Marie-Jo Leroux and senior designer Jean-Sebastien Decant. In a separate post they highlight what they learned about a couple of the game's first-person shooter-inspired multiplayer modes: "Capture the Flag, Protect the Base. Because suddenly all the cars in the world are like tools - What tool are you going to use to solve a certain situation? And also you can just Shift back into the action. All this creates a real new dynamic in terms of online driving, and it's pretty exciting." The embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Mount & Blade Soundtrack

Paradox Interactive now offers their "developers' choice soundtrack," offering 30 music tracks from Mount & Blade Warband and the upcoming Mount & Blade: Fire & Sword follow-up to the hack-and-slash game. Word is: "From the exciting to the soulful, the soundtracks feature the energizing compositions of Jesse Hopkins on Mount & Blade: Warband and his relaxing, peaceful sounds of the East on With Fire & Sword. The With Fire & Sword soundtrack was the combined effort of Hopkins and Pyotr Salnikov, with Salnikov composing many of the game's more upbeat and soulful tracks such as 'Eastern Soul' and 'Fighting Bandits'. The Moscow State Historical & Ethnographic Theater is responsible for adding authentic village music to the score." The big soundtrack can be downloaded from Big Download.

The First Templar Website

The official The First Templar Website is now online, which serves as a home base for the action/adventure game in development at Haemimont Games. The site offers trailers, wallpapers, forums, and a timer counting down to the release of the game next month.

Still More Age of Empires Online Beta Keys

Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted. The previous couple of giveaways have put a dent in our supply of keys to the Age of Empires Online beta test, but we still have a big pile of them, so, as before, we will send one off to everyone who replies to this post asking for one. The beta is being conducted through Games for Windows LIVE, so one of their accounts will be required. Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted.

Diablo III in the "Home Stretch"

The Diablo III preview on NYTimes.com has indications from Blizzard that their action/RPG sequel nears, as Jay Wilson tells the old gray lady the game is nearing completion: "We’re definitely in the home stretch. We’re crunching. This is when the magic happens." Thanks PC Gamer.

World of Warcraft 4.1 Hotfixes, 4.2 Trailers

This thread on Battle.net outlines further hotfixes now live in World of Warcraft following the recent version 4.1 patch. Also, Through the Fire and Flames on Battle.net offers a couple of trailers with a look at the upcoming version 4.2 update for World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG. This trailer offers a raid preview, and this one looks at daily quests.

Driver: San Francisco Dates

The U.S. release date for Driver: San Francisco is August 30, reports Joystiq, while MCV has word the European release for the driving action sequel is expected on September 2. These dates nail down the recently reported September release window for the game. MCV also offers word that Ubisoft is picturing this becoming a tent pole franchise along the lines of the Assassin's Creed series. "Of course Driver and Assassin’s Creed are two very different types of game, but they both have mainstream appeal and the ability to capture the imagination of a wide spectrum of core and casual gamers. The ambition for all our studios is to make games that have the scope, depth, lasting appeal, enjoyment factor and sales potential of games like Assassin’s Creed," says Ubisoft U.K. marketing chief Murray Pannell. "From an investment point of view we are treating both franchises like true blockbuster titles, so the ambition is there."

Maegica Alpha Testing

Maegica is a web-based MMOG that's getting set to begin a couple of weeks of alpha testing, so head over and sign up if you're interested. Here's word on the game: "Maegica is a next-generation browser game which combines elements of both the strategy and role-playing genres. In Maegica, players must work to develop their cities while progressing through increasingly tough battles against NPC enemies. Players take control of heroes who command troop forces with unique special abilities. By upgrading structures, researching new technologies, acquiring and enhancing equipment, and leveling up heroes, players will need to constantly work on improving themselves and their forces."

Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation TV Spot

A new television commercial for Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation offers a "Taste of Escalation" with a look at the upcoming DLC for Treyarch's military shooter sequel. The soundtrack of the clip is provided by some obscure British rockers called The Rolling Stones. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Free Dungeon Siege III Online Comic

Dark Horse Digital Publishing now offers the first issue of a free digital comic (registration required) for Dungeon Siege III, Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming action/RPG sequel. "The Tenth Legion has fallen, but heroism is not dead in the nation of Ehb. In the first of three exciting vignettes by writer Jeremy Barlow (Star Wars: Rebellion) and artists Iban Coello (Iron Man: Iron Protocols) and Sergio Abad (The Transformers: Prime), a village already in the grip of the Azunite faction must also contend with a series of fires in the surrounding forest. But when a ragtag group of villagers encounter a lone man in the woods, have they found the perpetrator, or does the forest hide something else?" Word is a print version of the comic is available to those who preorder the game from Walmart. Thanks Big Download.

Morning Previews

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC Gamer.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today marks the highlight of the offseason for tackle football fans like myself, as the NFL draft kicks off tonight with a first round in prime time. The occasion is somewhat dampened by the current labor dispute, however a recent ruling upholding the injunction to lift the league's lockout seems to be a step towards resolving this, though it's difficult to clearly understand the legal machinations involved. I'm an optimist, so I remain hopeful the season will start as planned, and of course that the Giants will pick up a handful of future hall-of-famers in the draft. We shall see.

Drafted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Brave Kings. Thanks Daniel.
Inflate Us.
Links: The 13 Craziest Deaths Caused by Social Media.
6 Characters Who Got Super-Powerful for No Reason.
Stories: Calif. gangster's tattoo of crime scene helps solve murder. Thanks Neutonbeam.
Butlins bans bumping on the bumper cars. Thanks Neatorama.
Are China’s high-speed trains heading off the rails? Thanks Slashdot.
Images: Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: Mario Meets Portal 2.
Half Life Snacks.
Cookie the Little Penguin at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Funnies: Penny Arcade! - It Only Doesn't. Thanks j.c.f.
Narcissist Comics Cartoon - Savage Chickens.
Dilbert.



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