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Thursday, Aug 18, 2011

  

From Dust DRM Dust Up - Refunds Offered? [Updated]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has word that From Dust does indeed require a constant internet connection to play, in spite of assurances from Ubisoft directly to us and VG247 that the god game would not use this form of DRM (we were told "You will not need to be connected online when playing From Dust's single player campaign and challenge modes"). requires connecting to the internet every time the game is launched, and there are comments on RPS from readers who claim they've been able to get refunds for the game through Steam based on the misrepresentation of the game's DRM. Updated: Apologies for the initial misinterpretation of this, as the game does not require a constant internet connection. The uproar is actually over the game needing to validate over the internet to launch each time it plays. This is apparently a contradiction to some previous forum posts, but is not necessarily inconsistent with what we were told about the game's DRM. Our sincere apologies for the error, and its unnecessary contribution to the uproar over this.

DOTA 2 in 2012?

Though beta testing of DOTA 2 should commence soon, the release of Valve's Defense of the Ancients sequel is probably not going to happen until next year, reports GameSpot. They promise a full interview with Gabe Newell soon, but for now say: "As for the not-so-good news, Valve has said that it is looking increasingly unlikely that DOTA 2 will see wide release in 2011, as was originally planned. Speaking to GameSpot, company cofounder and managing director Gabe Newell said DOTA 2 is now expected to be available in early 2012."

Call of Duty: Black Ops Patched

Steam News announces a new automatic patch is now available for Call of Duty: Black Ops, updating the military shooter sequel to version 1.13. The update includes bug fixes for the game, as well as enhancements to its mod tools. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Atlantis 3 on GOG.com.
  • Duke Nukem Forever (OS X) on Steam.
  • FINAL FANTASY XI Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition on Impulse.
  • From Dust on Steam.
  • From Dust on Impulse.
  • Kona's Crate on Impulse.
  • Scourge of War - Gettysburg on Impulse.

Patches

  • ARMA: Cold War Assault on Steam.
  • Bastion on Steam.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam.
  • The Polynomial on Steam.
  • Space Pirates and Zombies on Steam.
  • Terraria on Steam.

On Sale

  • The Baconing on Steam. Save 20% on prepurchases.
  • Battle Isle Platinum on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • Hearts Of Iron III on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Jagged Alliance on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • Master of Orion 1+2 on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • Realms of Arkania 1+2 on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • Realms of Arkania 3 on GOG.com. Save 40%.
  • RoboBlitz on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Southpeak Games on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Complete Pack on Steam. Save 40%.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings on GOG.com. Save 40%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

More on MW3 Dedicated Servers

A tweet from the Call of Duty Twitter account has more details on the just-announced dedicated server support in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (thanks Joao). Word is:

Announced at Gamescom, #MW3/PC will support dedicated servers. Host them where you want, control settings & standard matchmaking like MW1.

Trine 2 Co-op Trailer

The Trine 2 Website now offers a new trailer from Trine 2 showing off co-op play in Frozenbyte's upcoming platformer sequel. Word is: "With never before seen levels, monsters, powers, and special effects, this video isn't just a preview of the amazing cooperative 3-player challenges and puzzles that await you; it's also the best look yet at the vastly improved Trine 2." Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Scarlet Legacy Open Beta

Open beta testing is now underway for Scarlet Legacy, the latest in a long line of online games claiming the title "Best Free to Play Fantasy MMORPG!" Actually, this game has a chance to cost negative money, as they beta includes a competition with cash prizes, as word is: "Players now have the opportunity to try out their fighting skills with ten new levels, a couples system, a pet system and much more, including a massive Guild Ranking Competition offering over $40,000 USD in cash prizes in the most valuable guild challenge to date!"

Tank Ace Beta Opens on September 1

GamesCampus announces a September 1st launch date for open beta testing of Tank Ace, their upcoming MMO armored combat game. Here's word:

After a successful closed beta, Tank Ace is now headed into Open Beta. Using tactical-warfare style combat, Tank Ace is an action-packed tactical-shooter featuring realistic World War II battlefields and vehicles based on actual historical facts. Players will choose historically accurate WWII tanks and then customize them by adding additional armor, different styles of camouflage, body art, kill marks, and clan insignias.

Driver: San Francisco DRM Relaxed

The Ubisoft Forums have word that Ubisoft has reconsidered the plan to use their unpopular always-on DRM in Driver: San Francisco, and players will not be required to be connected to the internet to play the upcoming open-world driving action game (thanks Shacknews). Here's the announcement:

We've heard your feedback regarding the permanent internet connection requirement for Driver and have made the decision to no longer include it. So this means that Driver PC gamers will only need to sign in at game launch but can subsequently choose to play the game offline.

EA Revival Possibilities

Speaking with Computer and Video Games at Gamescom, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau talked about plans to revive some of EA's older franchises. "We do have a couple of old franchises that we're looking at right now... reimagining them and bringing them back," he told them. "We've got 25 years of good IPs and I've worked on a few of them in my career like Road Rash and the Strike series. So I have a strong affinity for a lot of the things we've done in the past." He also talks of the challenges this presents. "But when we look at Road Rash, the Strike series or some of these other franchises we really challenge ourselves. We can't just put them on new tech with the same gameplay from ten years ago, we've got to have something new. That's the typical challenge that we have." They reference ongoing rumors about a Syndicate remake/revival, but Gibeau does not address these.

Assassin's Creed Revelations Trailer

The Gamescom 2011 trailer for Assassin's Creed Revelations is now available, offering a stylized look at the next installment in this stealth/action series. The clip features cinematic and gameplay footage, and concludes reinforcing the game's previously announced November 15 release date. The trailer is embedded below, provided your papers are in order. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Trailers

We have two new Gamescom trailers from Wargaming.net, this one offering a cinematic look at World of Tanks, their MMO armored combat action/simulation, and this one based on their just-announced World of Battleships, which takes the same concept to the high seas. Both trailers are embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Jagged Alliance: Back In Action Interview

An interview on Gaming Nexus talks with Elmar Grunenberg of bitComposer about Jagged Alliance: Back In Action, the upcoming revival of the tactical role-playing series. They ask why this is being revisited, and his answer asks "why not?":

The better question might be Why not? Fans (and were definitely fans), have been clamoring for a good remake of Jagged Alliance for nearly a decade. The game holds a special place in the dev teams hearts, and is the kind of thing where you mention the name, and PC gamers immediately stand up and take notice. It just seems a shame to leave such a great franchise to wither and die, when we can bring it into a modern era, tweak it a bit, and make it a great title for both fans, and newcomers.

Obviously, wed like everyone to enjoy the game, but if it came down to numbers, Id say the intended audience is probably 70% fans, and 30% newcomers. But, anyone should be able to pick up and enjoy the game.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The internet service here in the BlueTower tends to be quite reliable, but in honor of Murphy's Law, was pretty flaky yesterday, amid the tons of game media released at Gamescom. It wasn't bad enough to required stepping down to my backup DSL connection, but enough to be a headache. I'm not sure if it was related, but it seemed YouTube was being difficult at times too, which compounded things. Thankfully it seems like this has cleared up today, so I'm anticipating smoother sailing today.

Smooth Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Princess Saver.
Science: NASA shoots down comet Elenin doom and gloom predictions.
Improved dating process upsets timeline of Moon formation.
Super Scrabble players push brain ability beyond what was thought possible. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: The World Is Saved. Quite awesome.
Spencer's World Record 468mph Kinetic100DP flight video. Thanks Merdoc.
LEGO Millennium Falcon Time Lapse of the Day.
The Funnies: Virtual Shackles: Green Eggs and DRM.
Gaming Bros Before Hos.
Follow-up: SpaceX plans November test flight to space station. Thanks Slashdot.



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