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Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011

  

Red Orchestra 2 Deluxe Edition Beta Underway

Tripwire Interactive announces that the beta test for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is now open to those who have preordered the deluxe edition of the World War II shooter sequel. Here's the deal:

Anyone that pre-purchases the deluxe edition before the game launches will get instant access to the beta, so head on over to http://store.steampowered.com/app/35450/ to get your copy and join the fight!

The first phase of the pre-purchase beta will include 3 levels from the game running the 3 gametypes - Firefight, Countdown, and Territory. From the open destroyed cityscape of Fallen Fighters, to the close quarters combat of Apartments, and the wide open tank battles of Gumrak - the beta gives players a sample of the diverse action Red Orchestra 2 has to offer. Apart from the opportunity for people to play the game early, this is our volume and final balance testing, so we are looking for feedback. Head for the Tripwire forums to give us that feedback.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Code Broken

Thanks to ^Drag0n^ for sending along a summary of the current state of the coded message from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and apologies to those who helped suss this out if they have not received due credit (I'm guessing gaming.reddit had a hand in it). From the look and sound of things, we won't really know what this is all about until Sunday:

The background image on http://www.13311tower.com has GPS coordinates in its header. If you use Google maps to locate the coordinates, they lead to Ayers Rock.

Ayers Rock is also known as "Uluru".

The Morse code is "11m13clinic".

Using "uluru" / "11m13clinic" as the L/P when clicking on the illuminati all seeing eye in at 13311tower.com yields this image:

http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/1378/3crsbcjcie.jpg

Ships Ahoy - Serious Sam Double D

Devolver Digital and Mommy's Best Games announce that Serious Sam Double D is now available via digital distribution through Direct2Drive, Get Games, Impulse, and Steam, offering a side-scrolling platformer based on the Serious Sam series. "Serious Sam Double D contains all the wild action and the bizarre humor of the Serious Sam franchise in a classic 2D shooter," said Nathan Fouts, founder and lead designer at developer Mommy’s Best Games. "At the same time we’ve definitely added our own touches to the Serious Sam series with the Gunstacker, jump pad, and a host of brand new enemies for Sam to battle."

Ultima 1-3 on GOG.com

GOG.com now offers Ultima 1+2+3, a bargain bundle of Richard "Lord British" Garriott first three installments in the Ultima series of role-playing games. Here's part of the description for the uninitiated, or the forgetful: "Three epic adventures set in a vast, open world full of mysterious places, evil creatures, and deadly secrets. Find out for yourself how these retro graphics have caused so many sleepless nights."

Stephen Merchant Not Eager to Reprise Portal 2 Experience

Stephen Merchant says his voice work for Portal 2 is one of the most tiring things he's ever done, in talking to FMV Magazine about his role as Wheatley in Valve' platformer sequel. "It seemed like a fun thing to do, but in actual fact it was one of the most tiring things I’ve ever done,” the comedian, who has obviously never worked in construction, told the magazine. "I was standing in a recording booth shouting down imaginary corridors and falling out of make-believe ceilings. For hours at a time. And I really wanted to do a good job so I was shouting and screaming and leaping about. The thought of doing it again seems so daunting I’m not sure I can face it." Thanks CVG.

Mass Effect 3 Interview

An interview on Ten Ton Hammer chats with Michael Gamble about Mass Effect 3, the coming installment in BioWare's action/RPG series. Topics include carryovers from Mass Effect 2, changes in gameplay mechanics, weapons and upgrades, renegade and paragon choices, abilities, the increased emphasis on action, and this answer about DLC plans:

We are starting to do DLC. Mass Effect 2 DLC was amazing. Overlord, Shadowbroker, Rival, all those patches were really hard hitting packs, and people appreciated it. Because of that, because people appreciated it and will come back to Mass Effect 3, we think it’s a good idea to do it. But at the same time, we haven’t shipped the game yet. Obviously, all our attention is going into shipping the game and making as much content as we can and stuffing it all on the disc before we ship. Once we ship, then we’ll talk about DLC.

Hard Reset Interview

This GameFront interview talks with Michal Szustak about Hard Reset, the upcoming throwback first-person shooter from Polish developer Wild Hog Studios. They discuss the game's cyberpunk setting, the reasons it won't include multiplayer, the old school design sensibilities behind things like hordes of enemies and secret areas, their unusual weapon upgrade system, the story, their proprietary engine, hints that the game will include mod support, and more.

World of Warcraft Patched

As noted on the World of Warcraft Website, a new version 4.2.2 patch is now live on all realms for Blizzard's MMORPG. Here are the fairly brief patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Island Comic Book

As noted on the Dead Island Website, the Dead Island comic book is now online in digital form, after previously only being available as a printed limited edition distributed at the San Diego ComiCon (thanks Gamer's Hell). Here's word:

Deep Silver today released a six-page digital comic revealing events that lead to the highly anticipated Dead Island™, which places players amidst the terrifying zombie outbreak in the tropical holiday island of Banoi.

The comic introduces journalist Roger Howard, who has traveled to Banoi to investigate the illegal exploitation of the island’s resources. During his investigations in the Royal Palms Resort hotel he discovers a terrible surprise that no one could ever expect…

The story was created by Marvel Custom Solutions by the creative team of writer William Dailey, along with artists Jorge Lucas, Juan Santacruz, Diego Olmos, Carlos Rodriguez and Sergio Arino. The comic also features an eye-catching cover by Christian Nauck.

RAGE Novel

More game literature is now available, as the Bethesda Blog has word that the official RAGE novel by author and game writer Matt Costello is now available in stores, and a sample is available online. The book can be purchased on the Random House Website, where you can also peruse a sample, while they say U.K. customers can purchase it through Amazon.co.uk.

Unofficial Deep Shadows Patches

Wesp5, creator of the unofficial Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines patches, now offers new beta versions of his equally unofficial Deep Shadows patches. There is a beta version 1.5 patch for White Gold: War in Paradise, aka Xenus II on The Patches Scrolls and a version 1.5 beta patch for Precursors on The Patches Scrolls.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Gatling Gears on Impulse.
  • Gatling Gears on Steam.
  • Homefront: The Rock Map Pack on Steam.
  • The Kings' Crusade: Teutonic Knights on Steam.

Patches

On Sale

  • Far Cry on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Far Cry 2: Fortune's Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Far Cry Complete on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Need For Speed Bundle on Impulse. Save 75%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Fifth Deus Ex: Human Revolution Clue [Updated]

The image from this tweet seems to offer the missing fifth clue for the coded message from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as it contains the following: "c m / n 7 / p g / g w / + j / # s / 2 a / 8 z / 0 !" (thanks ^Drag0n^). That leave us with:

Original message from the game:

    okM8-+Ds4Dui?lMh$Mzvm14SBqe7;G.l6=u74b?mkh-45Ki60d+98XBpCku7

Also from the game:

    5 - / ! f / f q / x c / q y / d 3 / ? x / t $ / j #

Via this tweet:

    a d / u k / w 0

Via this tweet:

    r 5 / i e / y p

Via this tweet:

    7 2 / m 1 / . 4

Via this tweet:

    c m / n 7 / p g / g w / + j / # s / 2 a / 8 z / 0 !

Update: This all apparently leads to this page, where clicking on the illuminati pyramid offers a login prompt (thanks Panickd) and this audio file (thanks Lazeroth), which sounds like Morse Code. Meanwhile, the Eidos Montreal Community Website offers this: "We got a lot of cosplaying fans asking where they can get Adam's coat. Here's a little something to help you along... o . / l l / e ; / 6 u / ; 6 / h + / v ? / k r / 1 i" (thanks ^Drag0n^).

Ships Ahoy - The Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles

Electronic Arts' EA Play Label announces the release of the new Pirates and Nobles adventure pack for The Sims Medieval. Word is: "The adventure pack includes a new storyline, additional quests and one new Kingdom Ambition for players to embark on in their medieval kingdoms." Here's more:

Players can unleash their inner swash-buckling pirate or regal noble by creating a new Hero Sim or customizing their existing medieval Sim with new clothing and accessories. They begin the epic adventure by choosing a side – pirate or noble – and then the adventure is up to them for how it plays out. They can battle an enemy in a sword fight or explore the exciting new gameplay feature of treasure hunting. Players will have to find hidden objects and search for desirable rewards that will benefit their Sim’s quests. Additionally, players embark on exhilarating quests such as finding the fountain of youth, protecting the kingdom from an evil sorcerer, or engaging in a forbidden love affair. Once the story is finished, they can replay the story choosing different quests and see what ending they’ll get the next time around.

The Haunted: Hells Reach In October

THQ subsidiary ValuSoft announces The Haunted: Hells Reach, will be released on October 25 for Windows, and early next year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Revealed last year, this Unreal 3-engine third-person survival/horror shooter is based on The Haunted, grand prize winner in the last Make Something Unreal competition. Word is: "In The Haunted: Hells Reach, the forces of evil plan to invade earth and only a small group of humans stand in their way. Use a huge arsenal of deadly weapons and melee combat moves to battle the minions of hell in several different game modes." There's an interview about the game on GameSpot, and there's media and more details on the game's website.

TrackMania 2: Canyon "Educational" Trailer

A new "educational" trailer from TrackMania 2: Canyon shows off more of Nadeo's upcoming racing sequel. Here's the accompanying description: "The newest TrackMania2 Canyon trailer highlights more of the features that are coming back to the most popular PC racing game, including stunning visuals, insane track building, community-generated content and video creation. All the video footage of the game that was captured in this trailer was created with the video tools that will be available to all players in the full version of the game." Update: This is actually the same clip as the trailer released last week during PAX, though in a larger format with no watermarks. Apologies for the duplication. Continue here to read the full story.

Warspire Alpha Tomorrow

Silverlode Interactive announces public alpha testing of Warspire will begin tomorrow, offering invitees the chance to experience this fantasy-themed "collectible" real-time strategy game that is also known as Heroes of Warspire (we're told the title is not yet finalized). The Windows/OS X Linux alpha testing will accept a limited number of players "for server stress testing and game balancing." Here's word on the game:

Warspire is a persistent real-time-strategy title set in the rich fantasy world of the popular MMORTS, SAGA. Players battle online with armies amassed through collectible gameplay. The game is free to play, thanks to this unique collectible dynamic. In lieu of subscription fees, users can enhance their armies by purchasing additional troops. This allows players to customize their forces for endless strategic possibilities. The game also features special faction-specific hero units which have special abilities, level up, and maintain their progress between matches.

More Deus Ex: Human Revolution Code Clues

Eidos Montreal's Stephane D'Astous tweets another clue for the coded message from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, following this hint from earlier. The new message says: "DXHR's treasure hunt ... i have been told to tweet this important message 'a d / u k / w 0' ... good luck to all." Meanwhile Jean-François Dugas tweets: "7 2 / m 1 / . 4," and Sebastien Bisch offers a hint: "think about WHO and you'll find WHERE, eventually." Here's the sequence we have so far in as close as we can figure to the original order:

Original message from the game:

    okM8-+Ds4Dui?lMh$Mzvm14SBqe7;G.l6=u74b?mkh-45Ki60d+98XBpCku7

Also from the game:

    5 - / ! f / f q / x c / q y / d 3 / ? x / t $ / j #

Via this tweet:

    a d / u k / w 0

Via this tweet:

    r 5 / i e / y p

Via this tweet:

    7 2 / m 1 / . 4

Mari0: Mario/Portal Mash-up No Joke

It turns out the Mario Meets Portal 2 video released in April has inspired a real project, as Stabyourself.net offers a proof-of-concept trailer showing Mari0, a LÖVE-engine mash-up where Nintendo's 2D side-scrolling platformer uses the portal device from Valve's 3D first-person platformer series. Word is: "Yes, this is an actual game being developed - it is not a mod of any existing one. It’s coded with Löve (info at the bottom of the left menu) and will be released for free (so we don’t get stabbed by lawyers)." They say the game is coming "whenever" to Windows, OS X, and various Linux based systems. Thanks Ant via Slashdot via GameSetWatch. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website lists the latest version 4.2 hotfixes now live in World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG (thanks Ant). The change list for this server-only patch follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Tropico 4

Kalypso Media announces that Tropico 4 is now available in North America, offering the latest installment of this city-building/simulation game that places players in the role of El Presidente of an island republic. The game is already available in Europe, and playable demo is available for those who want a sample. Here's word on the game:

Tropico 4 sees you return as El Presidente, the tyrannical (or benevolent) dictator of the island paradise of Tropico. The world is changing and Tropico is moving with the times – geographical powers rise and fall and the world market is dominated by new players with new demands and offers – and you, as El Presidente, face a whole new set of challenges. If you are to triumph over your naysayers you will need to gain as much support from your people as possible. Your decisions will shape the future of your nation, and more importantly, the size of your Swiss bank account.

Tropico 4 features all new missions across new maps and includes exciting and fun new features to keep the action fresh and challenging. You can even elect ministers into power to help get your more controversial decisions passed through the government. But remember to keep your friends close and your enemies closer as everyone has an agenda!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Code Clue

The coded Deus Ex: Human Revolution message released yesterday is proving tough, as while many such puzzles are solved right away, we haven't seen a solution to this one yet. Showing a little mercy, this tweet from Eidos Montreal's David Anfossi offers a clue to this message from the action/RPG prequel (thanks ^Drag0n^). Let's see if this helps:

Well here's a hint to help you to crack the #DXHR #deusex code: r 5 / i e / y p

Here's a reminder of the original codes:

okM8-+Ds4Dui?lMh$Mzvm14SBqe7;G.l6=u74b?mkh-45Ki60d+98XBpCku7

5 - / ! f / f q / x c / q y / d 3 / ? x / t $ / j #

Batman: Arkham City Still Using GFWL

Apparently Batman: Arkham City is still planned as a Games for Windows LIVE title liike its predecessor, Batman: Arkham Asylum, reports VG247, saying a representative of publisher Warner tells them: "Arkham City is indeed a G4WL title." This contradicts a recent indication to the contrary, as a tweet from GreenManGaming last week said Warner told them Rocksteady's stealth/action sequel would not be using Microsoft's service. Box art for the game released in June prominently shows the Games for Windows LIVE logo.

The Witcher 2 Sales Approach One Million

The Warsaw Business Journal reports that CD Projekt RED has sold almost one million copies of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (thanks Gamasutra). Also, VG247 has word a playable demo will be coming to the Gaikai cloud service. The Warsaw Business Journal report has the company's financial results, and word that they will become exclusive distributor of Activision Blizzard games in Poland. Here's a bit:

CD Projekt Red (previously Optimus), producer of the record-breaking “The Witcher” and “The Witcher 2” computer games, reported a net profit of zł.20.4 million and generated zł.80.3 million in revenue for the first half of 2011, Parkiet reported.

Of the group’s many areas of operation, the gaming division provided the largest contribution to the result. In particular, The Witcher 2 game, released on May 17, proved a great success, with sales of 940,000 copies, out of which 200,000 were downloaded online by gamers.

The result was what the company had expected, Piotr Nielubowicz, CD Projekt Red board member, told Parkiet.

Portal 2 PC Outsells Consoles

The Gabe Newell And Erik Johnson interview on Gamasutra has a note we missed last night, as Computer and Video Games points out an answer revealing that Portal 2 sold better on PCs than on console, and that the Xbox 360 edition of Left 4 Dead actually outsold the PC version. Here's word from Valve's Gabe Newell:

We can never predict; I mean we just try to build good games and then we tend to be surprised. Portal 2 did better on the PC than it did on the consoles; Left 4 Dead did better on the consoles than it did on the PC. So you know we don't try to guess, because we're not sure what value there is to guessing. We've never had a situation where we said, "We really, really want to build something that is more popular for the console guys." Because usually we have a bunch of other higher priority problems we want to solve. So we're glad that people want to play our games wherever they want to play.

EA Not Planning Origin Exclusives

Eurogamer has quotes from Electronic Arts European Senior Vice President Jens Uwe Intat about EA's Origin service that seek to allay fears that upcoming EA titles may end up being Origin exclusives. "When we were talking about it's best for the consumer that competition is a good thing, for the consumer also choice is a good thing," Intat told them. "Competition and choice go hand in hand. So the fact we will only distribute our own games on our own platform, I don't see that."

U.K. Charts

GfK Chart-Track's list of the top 20 full price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending August 27 is now online. Number one on the chart is a new entry, as Deus Ex: Human Revolution breaks the stranglehold of The Sims 3: Generations, which drops to number two. The other new entry is Tropico 4, which is #14. MCV has the all-platforms chart, where Deus Ex: Human Revolution is also number one, displacing Zumba Fitness. Rugby World Cup 2011 enters this chart at number three.

On Rise of Immortals Economics

Petroglyph announces that Live Gamer will drive the virtual economy in Rise of Immortals, their MOBA game with virtual goods management, "earned and bought currency" support, item storefronts and merchandising, and international payment gateways. "Live Gamer's Elements technology allowed us to quickly develop micro-transaction inventory, catalog and price management systems for Rise of Immortals,” said Steve Wetherill, Producer at Petroglyph Games. “Elements proved to be a great match for our requirements, enabling us to focus our development efforts on our game and at the same time shortening our time to market."

No More Shepard After Mass Effect 3

The Mass Effect series will continue on after Mass Effect 3, but the third installment in the series will conclude the saga of Commander Shepard, Dr. Ray Mazuka told PC Gamer at Gamescom. "We have ambitious plans to continue this franchise going forward. Mass Effect 3 is simultaneously a couple of different things; a thrilling and epic conclusion to the trilogy as we promised our fans we’d provide for Commander Shepard, but it’s also a brand new beginning – it’s an entry point for new fans and it’s also a brand new beginning," the BioWare CEO told them. "After this, Commander Shepard's story is complete," producer Michael Gamble said, going on to confirm that Shepard will not appear in further Mass Effect games. Thanks Joystiq.

Fallout Fan Series

Fallout: Nuka Break the series - Episode One (NSFW) follows up on Fallout: Nuka Break released earlier this year. This is so well written, acted, and directed it's startling. They say the next episode is due in two weeks, and here's hoping they can keep with that, because this was great. Thanks Mr Freecats.

Op Ed

Latimes.com - Should Google censor a dogfighting game?
I agree. The focus of the protest against KG Dogfighting -- or any other game that crosses some activists' line -- should be on the game developer. There's a real difference between illegal speech (the proverbial shout of "Fire!" in a crowded theater) and cruel or inhumane fantasies. Service providers such as Google can certainly help matters by enabling parental controls that let mom and dad block content they don't want junior to see. Google does just that; Kage Games tagged the dogfighting game "High Maturity," the most restrictive rating, making it unavailable under all but the most permissive of set-ups. (Granted, the default setting for Android smartphones is the most permissive, but that's another issue.)

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Eurogamer.

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



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