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Monday, Aug 15, 2011

  

Space Pirates and Zombies and Demo Released

Following an extended beta period, two-man indie studio MinMax Games now offers the release of version 1.0 Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) though Digital Distribution. The Space Pirates And Zombies Demo Page now offers a version 1.0 demo, and the game is now being sold through BMT Micro, Desura, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Green Man Gaming, Impulse, and Steam. Here's word on the game:

Space Pirates and Zombies takes place far enough in the future that Earth has become a toxic backwater planet, so potentially not that far in the future. The galaxy has been colonized by humans, and the only means to travel to new star systems is through highly restricted and well defended warp gates. It is well known that systems closer to the galactic core become richer and richer as well as more scientifically advanced. This has led to theories of a secret system with a cache of treasure or knowledge at the galactic core feeding this growth. As a pirate, you must assemble a fleet and discover what treasure awaits you there.

Last Call for Free Brink DLC; Splash Damage: Brink Has "Done Alright"

The Bethesda Blog warns the Agents of Change DLC for Brink won't be free much longer, saying those interested should download it now. On a related note, Joystiq has comments from Splash Damage about Brink following a GDC Europe presentation about the first-person shooter. Lead designer Neil Alphonso admits: "A lot of the game's complaints were entirely valid," presumably referring to player complaints, but that: "It was rough, but in the end the game's done alright." He says the recent temporarily free Brink DLC helped boost player populations, but :"We still have a lot of work to do, honestly," he told them, "We have to support those people." Thanks nin.

Arkham City PC Enhancements

Arkhamcity.co.uk has details from the October issue of PC Gamer on the Windows edition of Batman: Arkham City, Rocksteady's upcoming stealth/action sequel. They talk of 3D and PhysX support, and quote the article comparing the PC version to its console counterparts: "Even ignoring the absence of [these PC exclusives] (such as tessellation, fog, and more loose trash in the streets) -- holy crap, do the console textures look poor by comparison." Thanks VG247.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Q&A

A GameSpy Reader Q&A talks with Deus Ex: Human Revolution designer Antoine Thisdale about the upcoming action/RPG prequel and includes a recent IGN trailer where Thisdale answers other questions and shows off some gameplay footage. Here's his explanation of why they did away with weapon skills:

That's a very good question, and I have a very good answer. We wanted combat to rely on player skill, and not the fictional character's skill. We wanted to avoid the possibility of just buying the skill for sniper rifles, then you never use a sniper rifle, and later in the game you pick it up because, hey, that's going to be good for this situation -- and you take everyone down because you [bought the skill]. Also, one of the reasons for the skill system not being used is because it really portrays nanotechnology as mechanical. It's more about learning to physically use your body and use the mechanics that go with it, more than a skill-based system. It's kind of the same idea; we just spin it in a different way. But we didn't want it to directly affect combat with weapons. That was a very early choice, specifically because we wanted players to actually train with the weapons.

Prototype 2 Teaser Trailer

A new teaser offers a brief snippet from the Gamescom trailer for Prototype 2, Radical Entertainment's upcoming open world action game sequel. The clip is titled "Evolution of Awesome," but being a teaser, they are holding back on some of the awesome. The full trailer is expected Wednesday, and for now the teaser can be viewed below, provided you satisfy our virtual bouncer's curiosity. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Best Twitter account ever. Thanks nin.

"New and Improved" The Witcher 2 Version 2.0 Plans

A recent Forgotten Land - Riverside, Witcher 2 Music Video on thewitcher.com offers a stylish look at The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, CD Projekt RED's RPG sequel. The video concludes mentioning the upcoming Xbox 360 edition, followed by this: "Soon new and improved PC Version 2.0," so it seems that much like the Enhanced Edition Director's Cut of the original The Witcher, the sequel will be receiving some sort of major post-release update. We may hear more about this from Gamescom this week, as word on the website is: "Last, but not least, don’t forget to watch for our announcements during the show; we’ve prepared something really special for our fans!" Thanks VG247 via AE Portal.

DOTA 2 Cinematic Trailer

The Dota 2 Blog now offers the Gamescom Trailer for Dota 2 (or is it DOTA 2?), Valve's upcoming Defense of the Ancients sequel. This does not include gameplay, but offers cinematics showing some of the strategy sequel's special abilities, as explained by the game's "shopkeeper." This comes as they prepare to launch "The International," the million dollar DOTA 2 tournament that kicks off Wednesday at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. The tournament will be broadcast live over the internet, and word is the schedule and more detailed information about this will be released tomorrow.

Free Shooter Bonus for BF3 Preorders on Origin

Though the Origin Website lists a number of perks for preordering Battlefield 3 through Electronic Arts' online service, an unannounced bonus is also available for this advance commandment to the military shooter sequel, according to Ars Technica. They report "a friend" who preordered the game tells them he received a code from EA for a free copy of either Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2 or Medal of Honor, and that this offer is only valid through the end of August. Update: Several of our readers have confirmed receiving this offer as well.

Atari & Hasbro Settle D&D Flap, Neverwinter Delayed

This announcement states that Atari and Hasbro have settled their legal dispute from 2009, when Hasbro sued Atari alleging fraud and "five different breaches of their licensing agreement for the Dungeons & Dragons brand" and Atari claimed these allegations were "meritless" and "an apparent attempt to unfairly take back rights granted to Atari" (thanks hplovescats from RPGnet). Fair or not, word is: "Digital licensing rights for Dungeons & Dragons have been returned to Hasbro. Atari will continue to develop and market several games under license from Hasbro and Wizards, including the #1 Xbox LIVE® hit Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale and the upcoming Heroes of Neverwinter for Facebook. Additional settlement details remain private." The announcement also includes word that the completion of Perfect World's purchase of Cryptic Studios from Atari will result in a delay to Neverwinter, the co-op D&D RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The game was announced last August for release this year, but here's word that the game is now due late next year:

In addition, the acquisition of Cryptic Studios by Perfect World Entertainment Inc. from Atari in July 2011 has delayed the Neverwinter PC Game scheduled for release later this year. Perfect World will be investing in a more immersive experience for release in late 2012.

More on the Wargaming.net and Revell Deal

We have a clarification of this weekend's announcement about a "strategic cross-marketing cooperation" between World of Tanks creator Wargaming.net and model kit maker Revell. Wargaming.net explains that Revell will begin selling model kits that include promo CDs for World of Tanks which will give the purchaser an exclusive premium tank for the MMO tank game. They also indicate that in the future there will also be models sold with promo CDs for World of Warplanes with exclusive aircraft for their upcoming MMO air combat game.

Worms Crazy Golf Announced

Team 17 announces Worms Crazy Golf, a sporting installment in the Worms series of strategy games due for release later this year for Windows (on Steam, PlayStation Network, and iOS. Here are some Worms Crazy Golf screenshots, and here's word:

With many fan-favourite features from the Worms™ universe such as the sheep, old woman, mole, magnets, mines and crazy chain reactions making an appearance, it is anything but a straight simulation. Set across three surreal 18-hole golf courses plus a diverse range of skill-based challenge modes, expect to be challenged by increasingly puzzling hole design and an array of obstacles; from castles that teleport your ball, cannons that shoot it across the landscape and even obstructive comedy bats! Only skilful shot execution and clever use of special powers such as the parachute ball, or the ability to slow time down will see you hit par and progress to the next hole.

Red Orchestra 2 Trailer and Multiplayer Q&A

This interview on GameSpy talks with some unnamed person or persons from Tripwire Interactive about Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, the upcoming World War II shooter sequel. The conversation focuses on multiplayer play, covering the morale system, the Suppression system, how to find and join servers, when the dedicated server software will be available, VOIP support, whether it will be playable with higher pings, when to expect mod tools, unlocks, and more. We also have a new trailer that combines live action and gameplay footage to show the recollections of a Russian veteran of the eastern front, in a manner of speaking. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Space Marine Demo Next Week, Early Access Opportunities

The Space Marine Facebook Page announces a playable demo for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine will be released next week for this upcoming third-person action/RPG, with the Windows and Xbox 360 demo expected on August 23 and the PlayStation 3 edition to follow the next day. They also explain how those who preorder the game will get early access this week: "Players who have pre-ordered the digital PC version of Space Marine through Steam will receive an exclusive early access period starting on the 18th of August, running through the weekend. Steam will also be running a Warhammer 40,000 bundle sale at a very special rate during the same period. Check out STEAM for more details." There's also this opportunity to get the demo 24 hours early: "Space Marine ‘Honour Guard’ community members will also get the chance to play the demo early on August 22nd, 24 hours prior to the public launch. For more information on how to sign up to get the demo visit http://www.spacemarine.com/user/register and make sure you have registered with the Honour Guard." Here's the outline what this sample of the game will offer:

The Space Marine demo features two very different areas of the game. The first pits the player against an Ork horde outside the gates of a munitions factory. Armed with six devastating weapons, including the iconic bolter and lethal chainsword, the player will get to experience Space Marine’s seamless mix of melee and ranged combat first hand as they take on the rampaging invaders. The second area gives players a taste of the exhilarating Jump Pack sequences where the game’s hero—Captain Titus—takes to the skies to rain death from above.

id Software: Fans of our IPs "Patience Will Be Rewarded"

A video on GameSpot from the other day offers a 30-minute retrospective on id Software as the developer celebrates its 20th anniversary this year (the Wikipedia states they formed on February 1, 1991). The clip is captioned as a chat with the company's founders, but the only actual founder they hear from is John Carmack, though the piece also features comments on id's games and history from long-time standbys Tim Willits and Todd Hollenshead (thanks Auger). Along with the nostalgia, the clip concludes with an interesting comment about the future from Todd Hollenshead, who says with a smile that fans of id's various IPs will be rewarded down the road:

For the future, of course, our big focus is on RAGE, and that's coming out this fall, and so that's what we're all focused on here. But you know looking in the, sort of the crystal ball, down the road, DOOM [4] is in development obviously, and so that's something we're going to look forward to a future release. We continue to grow the studio to look to explore the other IPs as well, so for, you know, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, RAGE, DOOM, you know, those are four brands that we're very fond of here that we anticipate working on and having an affiliation with as we go forward in the future, and I think the fans of those properties are going to be… their patience will be rewarded, let me say that.

Naval War: Arctic Circle Delay, Trailer

This teaser trailer from Naval War: Arctic Circle shows off this seafaring real-time strategy game from Turbo Tape Games. The note we received about this says to expect the game by Q2 of next year, which is a delay from the Q1 2012 released date offered when the game was announced earlier this year. The new trailer uses cinematics to show the news coverage in the game on the run-up to its titular naval war between various factions over a dwindling oil supply.

Batman: Arkham City Mr. Freeze Trailer

This new trailer from Batman: Arkham City introduces Dr. Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze, offering a chilling look at one of the Batman's arch enemies who will be part of Rocksteady's upcoming action/stealth sequel. The clip shows Bats and Freeze facing off and dialoging, and we hear Freeze sounding more like Christopher Walken than previous central European Dr. Freeze portrayers like Otto Preminger and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Gas Guzzlers Alpha Trailer

This new trailer shows off Gas Guzzlers with gameplay footage from an alpha version of this racing/combat game in development at Gamepires Studio. The clip features a road race between several makes and models of cars that are quite familiar, except for the mounted weapons, which are put to use in some aggressive passing techniques. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

LEGO Universe Free-to-Play Begins

The LEGO Group announces that today marks the beginning of the recently announced free-to-play era in LEGO Universe, the online virtual world based on the virtual world of LEGO blocks. Here's word on what you get for your no money:

The LEGO Universe free-to-play experience offers a selection of game content, including two adventure zones and one player property area for building your own virtual LEGO models as well as access to thousands of other players' Properties. Paying members will have access to all areas in the full game, along with membership benefits such as competitions and community events. In addition to the 15+ robust adventure zones and instances as well as 5+ property worlds currently in-game, access to new expansions, like major Ninjago content coming later this year, will require players to register for full membership.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The weirdest thing from my visit to Verizon yesterday for a new cell modem was that the seemingly knowledgeable sales associate there was talking about the official iPhone 5 announcement that I missed. No need to run to Google this, as you are correct that there has still been no such announcement, but he certainly was convinced. I thought it was odd that he would make such an error that might discourage people from buying a current iPhone, but then I realized from my own experience that I would never expect the word of a game store employee on future game release plans to be accurate, so I'm not sure why I was surprised that this would also be the reality at a cell phone kiosk.

R.I.P.: Paul Meier, father of the randomized trial. Thanks Ant.

Anticipatory Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Experimental Shooter.
Heavily Armed.
Links: Movie Actors and Their Real Life Characters.
Stories: Police Chief Confirms Detaining Photographers Within Departmental Policy. Thanks Boing Boing.
South Korea's Haeundae Beach is not for sun worshipers. Thanks Neatorama.
Suicide by nail gun more common, less successful, than you might guess.
Media: 25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Films NSFW. Thanks reddit.
The Adventures of a Cardboard Box.
35 yrs. constructing San Francisco replica out of toothpicks.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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