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Archived News:

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011

  

DRIVER San Francisco PC Delayed, No Demo, Mac Version TBD

After yesterday's release of playable console demos for DRIVER San Francisco, we sent an inquiry to Ubisoft to see if a Windows and/or Mac demo is planned, and learned the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are the only platforms getting an advance sample of this driving action game. Along the way we did receive a concrete release date for the game, which was previously revealed to be in September and later reported to be August 30 for North America. We're told the Windows version's release date in North America (which is listed as September 6 on every retail listing we can find) is being pushed back a few weeks to September 27th, and that while an OS X edition is still planned, its release date is now TBD.

No Assassin's Creed Revelations PC Demo

Similar to the DRIVER San Francisco story above, after receiving today's announcement of the playable demo for Assassin's Creed Revelations being a timed PlayStation 3 exclusive for PlayStation Plus and Uplay members, we inquired whether a Windows demo will be released after this exclusivity ends, and were told that the demo is PS3-only.

The Witcher 2 Hotfix Patch

A new hotfix patch for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is now available on this page to update CD Projekt RED's action/RPG sequel to version 1.35. Users with freshly installed versions of the game or who have already patched to version 1.3 can use the in-game auto-updater or the patches posted there, and there are manual patches for those running versions 1.1 or 1.2. The 1.0-1.35 and 1.3-1.35 patches are mirrored on Gamer's Hell and Worthplaying, and the patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Runic on Diablo III vs. Torchlight 2 RMTs and DRM

There's an interview on IncGamers with Runic Games' Max Schaefer focusing on the recent revelation that Diablo III will have an auction house with real-money transactions and will require a persistent internet connection to play. These topics are relevant since Schaefer has previously worked on the Diablo series, and Runic's Torchlight 2 is widely regarded as the main competition for Diablo III. He explains how Torchlight 2 will feature neither RMTs nor always-on DRM, but that he understands what Blizzard is trying to accomplish: "Whatever you do, you have to make sacrifices. We sacrifice a cheat-free environment to give players the most options, they are sacrificing options and flexibility for security of the economy like you would in an MMO. I understand their approach and sympathize with the technical difficulties of what they are trying to do." He also says he does think that there are circumstances where always-on DRM can be considered ethical in a non-MMOG, but also notes that he's actually always considered Diablo II and III to be MMORPGs of a sort anyway: "I think that there really is no meaningful distinction between Diablo 3 (or Diablo 2) and an MMORPG. By my reckoning, it is one, but that's been my position for a long, long time."

OnLive U.K. Launch Next Month, Giving Away "Thousands" of Boxes

Eurogamer has word that the U.K. launch of cloud-based gaming service OnLive is scheduled (pronounced sheduled in this case) for September 22, coinciding with the Eurogamer Expo 2011, where the service will be demonstrated, and word is: "OnLive will hand out thousands of free game systems that work on any HDTV." The OnLive U.K. website offers signups for the service. They quote OnLive CEO Steve Perlman: "OnLive will utterly transform gaming in the U.K."

More on Euclideon's "Unlimited Detail" Engine

After MineCraft creator Notch called shenanigans (the actual word he used was "scam") on Euclideon's recently released Unlimited Detail Real-Time Rendering Technology Preview Video, many suspected that would be the last word on this for a while. Contrary to that, there's now a video interview on HARDOCP where Euclideon founder and lead engineer Bruce Dell offers a lengthy defense of his claims, attempting to address some of the questions that have been raised about all this, such as why we don't see any animation, whether what they're creating is a voxel engine, and more.

Metro: Last Light E3 Trailers

The Metro: Last Light E3 Gameplay Demo - Part III is now online, following on part one and part two. each clip from the upcoming first-person shooter sequel runs a bit over two minutes, and word is to expect the full 15 minute E3 demo to be posted online on August 23rd.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • The Clockwork Man on Steam.
  • Pride of Nations: American Civil War 1862 DLC on Steam.

Patches

  • Counter-Strike: Source Beta on Steam.
  • LIMBO on Steam.
  • The Witcher 2 on Steam.

On Sale

  • Beat Hazard on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Brothers in Arms: Double Time (Mac) on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • The Clockwork Man on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Eschalon: Book I on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Eschalon: Book II on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Pride of Nations on Steam. Save 50%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Criminal FAIL Compilation. Thanks Ant. Worth it just for Solid Snake at the 90 second mark.

TrackMania 2 Beta Next Week, Preorders Get Access

ManiaPlanet now features a countdown timer ticking off the seconds until the launch of the multiplayer beta for TrackMania 2 Canyon, which will take place one week from today on August 17th at 6:00 pm EDT (thanks Frans). Preordering the Nadeo's racing sequel grants automatic access to the beta; here's word:

We’ve never been that close to the launch and it is time for us to go even faster : may the red booster be with us!

That’s the reason why we’re offering from August 17 onwards, until the launch of the game, the multiplayer beta to each one of you buying TrackMania² Canyon.

It is a turning checkpoint for Ubisoft Nadeo as we will be opening doors to all of the players willing to jump into the 1st ManiaPlanet online title right away.

For $24,99 / £19,99, you will be able to buy the game before the launch and install the multiplayer beta, which includes the map editor and the mediatracker (for videos editing). Upon release day, the beta version will be automatically updated to the finale and complete version of the game.

It will be available on www.trackmania.com.

Should you fear to forget about it, here is a little widget to install on your PC : it will recall you the time left before D-Day and zero hour

Might & Magic Heroes VI Gamescom Teaser Trailer

This trailer from Might & Magic Heroes VI offers a brief snippet from a cinematic trailer that will be released on August 17 during Gamescom to promote the upcoming turn-based strategy sequel. The clip concludes saying: "True heroes never die. True dynasties last forever." The clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Scott Brothers Creating Call of Duty Elite Content

Hollywood director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien) is involved in creating "exclusive episodic entertainment" for Call of Duty Elite, the premium service that will be part of the multiplayer support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the upcoming military shooter sequel. USATODAY.com's Game Hunters reports that Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg discussed this today during a presentation at the 13th Annual Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum in Vail, Colorado. Hirshberg also discussed the involvement of Ridley director brother Tony Scott (True Romance, Crimson Tide) and Arrested Development alums Will Arnett and Jason Bateman. Says Hirshberg: "Just like any other passion that people spend a lot of their free time doing, Call of Duty players share a common language and a common experience, and we think we can create some entertainment content that they will love and talk about and share." Thanks Kotaku.

F.E.A.R. 3 Motion Capture Trailer

A new F.E.A.R. 3 behind-the-scenes trailer offers an inside look at the motion capture technology being used in Day 1 Studios' first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "Lead Animator Andy Konieczny explains how movement data are captured with multiple cameras and a sensor-filled suit and how the data translates to animations of different characters in F.E.A.R. 3. Mo-cap actors Scott Sumerak and Lawrence Kern also give insight to how they prepare to take on the role of various characters in video games." The clip is embedded below, as they require young eyes to be shielded from this material. Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout: New Vegas Lonesome Road DLC Delayed

A post to the Bethesda Softworks Forums by senior producer (and Blue's News alumnus) Jason Bergman updates us on the delay to the Lonesome Road DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. When three new DLC packs for Obsidian's action/RPG sequel were announced in May, Lonesome Road was scheduled for a July release, and while it has obviously already missed that window, word is the DLC will not be released this month either. On the bright side, he says we can expect "other interesting FNV-related items in the near future." Here's the announcement:

We just wanted to drop in here and let you know that due to circumstances beyond our control, Lonesome Road won’t be out this month. This isn’t due to any major issue with the code or content, but there are lots of factors involved in releasing these things, and one of those is causing us to slip past our intended release date.

We don’t have an exact date yet, but we’re working to get it out as quickly as possible. We’ll be announcing the final date, along with a couple of other interesting FNV-related items in the near future.

Free Söldner (Marine Corps) Community Edition Released

The Söldner Secret Wars Website now offers the Söldner (Marine Corps) Community Edition, a completely free revised version of Söldner (Marine Corps), Wings Simulations' military first-person shooter. It's not clear what business model this uses, if any, as they say: "In contrast to most Free2play-systems, there won't be any charged services or items which provide players advantages for payment." The game features destructible environments, more than 100 weapons, vehicles, customizable multiplayer, an online commander mode, a gesture system, and unit customization. The download is mirrored on Gamer's Hell.

PlanetWar Closed Beta

Closed beta testing of PlanetWar is now underway, offering the chance to check out this MMO space combat game. If you are interested in playing, you can sign up on this page (though it has a so-so Web of Trust rating). They say the beta will include multiple events including a special gift event where players will receive VIP codes. Here's a bit on the game: "Planet War draws inspiration from famous sci-fi novels and their heroes, creating a futuristic strategy game to appeal to the many sci-fi fans of the known galaxy."

Perfect World's Cryptic Acquisition Complete

Chinese MMOG specialist Perfect World's acquisition of developer Cryptic Studios from Atari is now complete, reports GamesInsdustry.biz (registration required). The sale was announced in May for a reported $50 million USD in cash. Word is: "Atari will use €21.6 million from the sale to pay a portion of its debt to BlueBay, with the balance funding projects in the social and mobile markets."

Quoteworthy - id's Tim Willits on Always-on Gaming

"Diablo 3 will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected. If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I'm all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome," id Software Creative Director Tim Willits tells Eurogamer. "In the end, it's better for everybody. Imagine picking up a game and it's automatically updated. Or there's something new you didn't know about, and you didn't have to click away. It's all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo 3] to make change. I'm a big proponent of always connected. I'm always connected. Our fans are always connected. There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it'll change."

PureSim Baseball 4 Patch

Wolverine Studios now offers a new version 1.12 of PureSim Baseball 4, their baseball simulation sequel. There are more than 50 changes listed in the patch notes, including word that the game will now use team's actual starting lineups based on data going back to 1920. The patch is mirrored on Gamer's Hell.

Op Ed

GameFront - Is PC Gaming Making a Comeback.
For indie developers especially, there’s no place like PC. Recently, Zeboyd Games, the developer of retro-RPGs Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World announced that it made more money in their first week on their games when they became available on Valve’s digital distribution platform, Steam, than it did in about a year and a half on Xbox Live. The developer made $100,000 and moved 30,000 copies of both games in a bundle in just its first six days; meanwhile, the games had occupied the Xbox Live Indie Games portal since December 2009 and moved more copies, but for less money.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I've invented a new metric for quantifying humidity. It's called the Chip Scale, expressed as the time it will take for a potato chip to become completely inedible from soaking up too much moisture from the air. I'd say yesterday was about 1 hour on the CS, which is about as bad as it gets around here.

Humid Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Slow and Blow Kings.
Oh My Bot.
Links: Flying Creature Diverts Plane.
Stories: "Eureka," "Desperate Housewives" Cancelled.
My blue men group. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Lying is part of child's development, study confirms. I've said this for years. Thanks WalterEgo.
Images: GLaDOS outfit.
Media: Francis takes exception to Diablo 3. NSFW. Lighten up, Francis.
Evidence of water on Mars.
Escort Reveals Affair With That Actor From That Thing.



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