GameInformer.com now has some of the details from their new print issue on Dishonored, a stealthy first-person action/adventure game in development at Arkane Studio. They offer a screenshot and describe the pedigrees of the game's designers. Here's a bit from their summary on the game:
How are they going to do that?
Dishonored has several major elements that combine to create its unique gameplay: mobility, powers & gadgets, environment, and AI. The trick is that a single power doesn’t just do damage or heal you. You can combine them organically to create interesting effects. Stop time and knock a bunch of stuff off a table in one direction then book it in another, so the guards search for you in the wrong place. Summon a swarm of rats to attack one guard, but possess one of the rats and escape in the chaos. Every problem has as many solutions as you want it to.
What’s the catch?
It’s an assassination game that reacts to how violent you are. An unusual “chaos” system tracks how much collateral damage you cause, and the game world changes as a result of your actions. Unlike a light/dark side meter, though, it’s a behind-the-scenes element that affects story decisions without punishing the player or pushing them to play one way or another.
Battle.net announces plans to introduce region linking in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, their real-time strategy sequel. They have lots of details on the plan along with a FAQ, and here's an overview:
We're pleased to announce StarCraft II region linking, an exciting upcoming change that will connect a number of StarCraft II communities around the world for multiplayer matchmaking and communication purposes. In conjunction with the start of Season 3, we’ll be linking the European and Russian StarCraft II communities together; North America and Latin America will also be linked together, as will Korea and Taiwan.
Region linking will benefit players in the connected regions in a number of ways. First and foremost, a linked community means a larger pool of players to improve our automated matchmaker. Whether you're an elite Grandmaster or a Bronze-league all-star, more players in the mix means that we'll be able to find you a matchup more quickly and more accurately. Players will also get access to a broader range of custom map games, which in turn means wider audiences for mapmakers. Those of you who have friends in the linked region will also be able to add them to your Battle.net friends lists once the region linking is complete.
For the vast majority of players, the process will be seamless. Just log in, play, and say hello to all of your new friends (with a sneaky drop in their mineral line). For more information about region linking, check out the FAQ.
The Left 4 Dead Blog has a recent post about the release of the upcoming DLC for Left 4 Dead 2, saying that since well over 20,000 players earned the Stream Crosser achievement in the specified time-frame, they will be releasing the Dead Air DLC early, though exactly when is still up in the dead air: "We are going to try and release it as early as possible but will release it on July 22nd the latest. It isn’t currently ready for release as we have been working on The Terminal and Finale maps and need to test them more internally." Thanks VG247.
For a while, the Battlefield 3 Website offered a list of digital distributors carrying Battlefield 3, though this has since been removed, reports Joystiq. While DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel was listed as coming to Direct2Drive, GamersGate, and of course, EA's new Origin service, notably absent was Steam, leading to further speculation of problems working out the relationship between the competing services, as Crysis 2 was recently removed from Steam, apparently as part of an issue with Steam's terms of service.
The DC Universe Online Website announces the first DLC for DC Universe Online, saying the "Fight for Light" pack will be released for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of the MMORPG this summer. The new DLC will introduce Hal Jordon, aka the Green Lantern, who will attempt to use his superpowers to remove some green from players' wallets, as the pack will cost $9.99 USD. In addition to the Green Lantern and the light power set, Fight for the Light will also introduce characters, locations, and scenarios from the Green Lantern series.
Free-to-play MMO space shooter Black Prophecy will launch in North America on Thursday, reports IGN. This is not reflected on the game's official website, but it does offer all sorts of information about the game.
Capcom Unity has the latest on the patch for the Windows edition of Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, reflecting a change in plans. Word is: "We were originally going to have a small patch available for users today to manually replace as an interim fix until a proper title update could be rolled and internally tested. We apologize for the delay while a new plan is being rolled out. We have created a full title update that's already with Microsoft being on track for expedited approval. Consequently, users won't have to manually do anything when the update goes live Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. It'll update automatically when you launch the game."
The Team Fortress Blog has a lengthy update on the Team Fortress 2 Meet the Medic video, offering a good deal of insight into the process behind such creative undertakings. This includes the confession that sometimes their efforts miss their marks, and they provide a number of trailers showing "outtakes" of segments that did not actually turn out as hoped.
There's a new trailer from the upcoming Old World Blues DLC for Fallout: New Vegas on IGN. The clip starts with a wonderful Ed Wood flavor in presenting the new content for Obsidian's action/RPG. On a related note, we also have some new Old World Blues screenshots.
Another new trap spotlight trailer from Orcs Must Die show off more of the diabolical deterrents available to players of Robot Entertainment's upcoming action strategy game. Today's trap in the spotlight is the Pounder, so named because it will kill you four times faster than a quarter-pounder. Here's word: "What’s the best cure for an orc’s migraine? Keeping hitting him on the head until he’s dead! The pounder gets the job done at a highly reasonable price. Throw a few tar traps or a decoy underneath; by the time the orcs think to look up, it’ll be too late."
A new Batman: Arkham City trailer on IGN shows off The Riddler from the upcoming Batman stealth/action sequel. The clip shows a few of The Riddler's traps, as well as snippets of riddles, though it's unclear if it actually contains any riddles.
GfK Chart-Track has the list of the 20 bestselling full price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending July 9. This week Football Manager 2011 is number one, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood returns at number eight, and F.E.A.R. 3 drops to #20. Computer and Video Games has the all-platform charts, where Zumba Fitness continues to exercise its dominance.
Gamasutra reports the NPD's estimates for video game spending in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2011, saying this totals about $5.9 billion, an increase of 1.5% over the same period last year. Word is: "That total amount includes $1.85 billion generated from used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital download, social networking, DLC and mobile games. The total also included $2.03 billion of consumer spend on physical retail console and PC games."
Matrix Games announces the availability of Panzer Corps, a World War II strategy game from The Lordz Games Studio. The game offers 26 scenarios on 21 maps, "covering most major battles of the European Theatre of World War II and including a few hypothetical 'what if' scenarios based on your actions." This trailer shows off a bit of gameplay.
BioWare's Casey Hudson tweets about plans for a demo for Mass Effect 3, the upcoming action/RPG sequel (thanks Videogamer). There are no details, as all he says is: "Stay tuned for news on demo plans in a few months."
Comic Book Resources outlines plans for a 304-page hardcover compilation of Valve's game-related comics in the works at Dark Horse for release November 16 (thanks Kotaku). Here's word on what to expect:
For fifteen years, Valve has defined the cutting edge of video games. Now, Valve joins with Dark Horse to bring three critically acclaimed, fan-favorite series to print, with a hardcover collection of comics from the worlds of Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Portal. With over three hundred pages of story, Valve Presents: The sacrifice and other Steam-Powered Stories is a must-read for fans looking to further explore the games they love or comics readers interested in dipping their toes into new mythos!
Picsoft Studio now offers online sales of Mini Robot Wars, calling this "a fresh new side-view tower defense game with cartoon graphics and fast paced action." A playable demo is available, offering a sample of what to expect, and here's a bit of the description: "Mini Robot Wars has a unique gameplay mechanic; instead of the typical 'path system' adopted by most tower defense games, it uses a platform-like approach common in side-scrolling shooter games. The enemy’s movement is thus not defined by a path but rather by its type."
Cardboard Box Entertainment announces that J.U.L.I.A. is now in closed beta testing, so the release of this puzzle game is growing nearer. "This is a really exciting moment for us at CBE. We worked hard for three years to bring players J.U.L.I.A. and we have never been closer to that point. Right now the game is under an extensive scrutiny of our testers as the closed beta test has just started and we are striving to bring you J.U.L.I.A. as polished as possible," said Jan Kavan, director at CBE. Here's a thumbnail of the game: "J.U.L.I.A. is a puzzle video game for PC built upon the story of Rachel Manners, a 35 year old astrobiologist, who was among a close group of scientists chosen to embark upon one of the most critical mission ever conceived on Earth - to encounter alien sentient life forms."
Battle.net has another list of hotfixes in World of Warcraft, showing the content in a July 8 update to Blizzard's MMORPG (thanks Ant). The list of balance tweaks follows. Continue here to read the full story.
The Word of Notch has news that a new version 1.7.3 beta is now live in Minecraft, the open-world sandbox game. Notch also made another recent update with more on the promised upcoming "adventure update" for the game, saying he will reveal the release date for the new version as soon as he can, and adding: "Oh, and the modding support is happening, honest."
Happy 7/11! As always, those with access to a participating 7-Eleven location can help them celebrate the occasion by picking up a free Slurpee. The forecast calls for it to hit 93 °F today in these parts, so I have a feeling a lot of locals will be availing themselves of this offer.