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Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011

  

BF3 Norwegian Review Shenanigans Alleged [Updated]

BF3Blog has a report by way of Norwegian news outlet NRK on what would appear to be attempts to manipulate review scores for Battlefield 3 by determining who receives review copies of the upcoming shooter sequel based on their preconceptions about the game, its beta test, and the competing Call of Duty franchise. They reproduce a questionnaire asking questions about potential reviewers including their review scores of previous Battlefield games, whether they are a Call of Duty fan, and even their present view of the game. They also note that: "A number of Norwegian gaming outlets, including popular ones like Gamer.no and GameReactor*, have been refused review copies of Battlefield 3 due to their review scores of past Battlefield games." They also quote a portion of an apology from EA Norway marketing manager Oliver Sveen saying: "this should not have been sent out. We have made ​​a mistake and we apologize. This is not something that neither should have happened earlier or what we intend to continue."

*Update: We received a note from one of the publications mentioned in this story, as Gamereactor writes to explain: "We would like to have our name removed from the article, we have received a preview code and have not had any problems with EA. We have had nothing to do with the 'shenanigans'. it seems to be a matter between EA Norway and a major newspaper, why dedicated gaming media are mentioned also must be a misunderstanding." The contact was from their Danish arm, but they operate as one entity, and say none of their Norwegian colleagues can understand why they were mentioned in this article.

Ships Ahoy - Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link

Square Enix announces the North American release of The Missing Link, the new DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal's action/RPG prequel. Here are some new screenshots and a new launch trailer, and here's word on the new content this offers:

Tortured by Belltower agents and with his augmentations disabled, Adam Jensen must escape from a freighter destined for an unknown location. Jensen uncovers a new layer of conspiracy, befriends new allies, and fights ruthless enemies to discover what was happening in the shadows during the events of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION!

“We are thrilled to bring DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION - The Missing Link to fans,” said David Anfossi, producer of DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION at Eidos-Montreal. “This unique DLC provides an enhanced DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION experience with deeper insight into the conspiracy, visual improvements, new characters and enemies, and a twist on gameplay elements.”

DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION - The Missing Link is available at a cost of 1200 Microsoft Points via the Xbox LIVE® Marketplace (XBLM) for Xbox 360, and $14.99 on the PlayStation®Network and Windows PC platforms. Providing an average of four to six hours of compelling gameplay, players will be able to earn ten new achievements/trophies and 250 Xbox Gamerscore points. Players must own DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION in order to download and play DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION – The Missing Link.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Patched

Possibly related to the story above, Steam News has word that a new patch is now automatically available for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the action/RPG prequel from Eidos Montreal. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

TrackMania 2: Canyon Patched

The Maniaplanet Forum has word on a new patch now automatically available for TrackMania 2: Canyon (thanks Frans). Here's word on what it changes in Nadeo's racing game sequel:

  • added back the damper change that was accendentaly dropped in the 2011-10-11 update.
  • made sure that maps generated by the map generator can be loaded by everybody.
  • Fixed spectator mode follow camera
  • fixed the personel best replay autosave.
  • Fixed a pair of hoseat bugs
  • Made sure Stereoscopic 3D was kept when changing maps
  • fixed the stats display in the profile.

Might and Magic Heroes VI Patch

A new patch is now available for Might and Magic Heroes VI to update the turn-based strategy sequel to version 1.1.1. The patch is available from the in-game updater, as well as from AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. This page outlines what the patch does:

  • Hot fix on default setting video option detection at start-up causing possible dead locks on laptops
  • Blinking cursor fix
  • Fixing a version number issue

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Alien Zombie Megadeath on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Broken Sword Trilogy on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Delta Force Platinum Pack on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Direct2Drive. Save 25%.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Might & Magic Heroes VI on Get Games. Save 20%.
  • Red Orchestra 2 Heroes of Stalingrad on Get Games. Save 20%.
  • Smash Cars on Steam. Save 15%.
  • Stronghold 3 on Get Games. Save 20% on preorders with the code "TheWolf" on checkout.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 100-year-old man finishes a marathon in Canada. I could do that. As in, if I started now, I'd be 100 by the time I finished. Thanks Ant.

The Sims 3 Patches

The Sims 3 Website now offers new patches for The Sims 3, updating the Windows edition of the lifestyle simulation to version 1.26 and the OS X edition to version 1.27 (just to keep us on our toes). The now-simplified patch process no longer requires separate patches for each of the game's countless add-ons, though they still offer a checklist to make sure all your game content survives the patching process. The patches are mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Sledgehammer's CoD "Probably" Cancelled

An interview on Computer and Video Games about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 talks with Glen Schofield of Sledgehammer Games about his studio's contribution to the next installment in the military shooter series. He more or less confirms previous indications that the third-person Call of Duty action/adventure they were working on is cancelled, and says Sledgehammer's next project will probably be separate from Infinity Ward though it may be another CoD game:

Is as the original Sledgehammer project cancelled or just put on the backburner?

We'll probably cancel it. They gave us the choice of: do you want to work on Modern Warfare 3, or do you want to continue working on this? And we really liked that. We liked what we were doing. It third person, probably set at a time that might have niched it too much. I bet that if we had kept going, within a month or two I probably would have switched the time period, but kept the gameplay. It had some really cool stuff.

Are you going to go on to work on your own project after Modern Warfare 3?

I think that we will work alone on our next project. This game has allowed both Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games to hire, and we hired really strong teams, both of us. We needed to come together on this one, but since then we've both grown, we're both over 100 people now. Initially we weren't fully functional because we had to learn a new engine. Now we have, I think the best thing that could happen for Activision would be for us to both go off and make our own game. Whether that's a Call of Duty game or not is up in the air. I plan to continue working on Call of Duty.

MechWarrior 5 This Decade

The InnerSphereNews Twitter Feed has a weekly composite of image snippets they've been releasing to promote Piranha Games' upcoming MechWarrior reboot. The shot is reminiscent of trying to watch scrambled porn on a cable channel to which you don't subscribe, with all the action blurred out. Specifically, the release date is obscured, which comes out as XXXXXXX201X, apparently meaning we should get our hopes up that the mech combat series will resume sometime before 2020. Thanks Hump.

LOTRO Security Alert

A Forum Status Update from Turbine alerts users to a possible security issue with The Lord of the Rings Online they've been checking into (thanks El Pit). They say they will directly contact those they feel have been directly compromised, but also suggest that all of their users change their passwords:

Even though this issue appears to be limited in scope, if we believe that your account has been impacted we will contact you directly. As an additional precaution we recommend that all players change their passwords by visiting https://myaccount.turbine.com. Please remember to use unique, hard-to guess passwords that are not associated with other online services or sites, and always look for and report unusual activity in your account to Turbine customer support.

Revealed: LEGO Batman Sequel; DC Superhero Game; Hobbit Tie-in

An article on the L.A. Times marks the console launch of Batman: Arkham City by talking with WBIE president Martin Tremblay (thanks supererogatory), who reveals some previously undisclosed game plans, including a seeming confirmation of indications of a Hobbit movie tie-in, word on a LEGO Batman sequel, as well as a DC superhero game that remains shrouded in mystery for the time being:

Warner will launch a new Lord of the Rings game in November and a Hobbit title in 2012 before Peter Jackson's movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" comes out that December. The game is one of the studio's top releases for next year, along with a Lego Batman sequel and a game featuring a superhero from Warner's DC Comics unit that Tremblay wouldn't name. The company also is targeting younger players with a second Lego Harry Potter in November and casual online games based on Warner characters being made at a new development studio in Montreal.

FIFA Manager 12 Demo

A playable demo for FIFA Manager 12 is now available, offering the chance to kick around a sample of the new installment in this association football/soccer simulation series. The demo is available on the FIFA Manager Facebook Page by way of the FIFA Manager Website, where word is: "As of now, the demo for FIFA MANAGER 12 which will hit stores on October 21 is available for download on our Facebook fanpage. Start the game as a manager and choose between 98 clubs of the six European football leagues and play for a whole season. Discover the over 700 new features of the newest part of the series." The demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Subversion on Hold, New Introversion Project Revealed

The Introversion Forums have word that the indie developer has made its submission to the 2012 Independent Games Festival, but that this is unrelated to any of their previous games, and that it's specifically not Subversion (thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun). Chris Delay goes on to explain the fate of the "spiritual sequel" to Uplink they unveiled last year while expressing the now somewhat ironic "fear that we'll end up promising things that we can't deliver." Here's the explanation of the game's current state: "Subversion has not been cancelled, but I would certainly forget about it for now. We will be going back to that project eventually, but the first thing I plan to do is gut the thing from top to bottom of all the tech fluff that we forced in over the years. Without a core game it’s all a worthless distraction, and I will NEVER again spend so long making tech for a game without having a solid core game in place first. Subversion needs a total rethink from top to bottom, and some long standing sacred cows need slaughtering." Here's word on what led to this:

Around June last year, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could and made a playable slice of the game, and demonstrated it publicly at the World Of Love conference in London. The demo went well, but was heavily scripted. Internally we had come to realise that somewhere along the 6 years of part-time development, we had lost our way. We couldn’t even remember what sort of game it was supposed to be anymore. We’d ended up with a game that looked and sounded brilliant, classic Introversion with its blue wireframe and sinister faceless characters. But there was a massive gaping hole where you would normally see a “core game”. We’d tried and tried to fill that hole with ambitious tech and experimental systems, but you couldn’t escape it.

In the end, after all that development and years of work, you still completed the bank heist by walking up to the first door, cracking it with a pin cracker tool, then walking into the vault and stealing the money. There was no other way to complete that level. And this would be the essential method by which you would complete every level after that. Technology 1, Gameplay 0 - we’ve made the fatal mistake of having more fun making the game than gamers would ever have playing it.

Mojang Wins Scrolls Injunction

Markus 'notch' Persson tweets that Mojang has won the first round of its legal battle with Bethesda Softworks over the Scrolls name that Bethesda claims infringes on their trademark for The Elder Scrolls:

We won the interim injunction! We can keep using the name "Scrolls". ZeniMax/Bethesda can still appeal the ruling, but I'm very happy. :D

Ships Ahoy - The Sims 3 Pets

EA announces that The Sims 3 Pets is now available, as either an expansion for the Windows/OS X version of the lifestyle simulation or as a standalone release for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and 3DS. There are features unique to each platform, and here's word on the Windows/OS X edition:

In The Sims 3 Pets PC/Mac Expansion Pack, players are able to create and adopt dogs, cats and, another first for the franchise, horses. Fans are able to take their Sims and their pets on wild adventures while exploring the new world with animal-specific venues and environments such as the dog park, cat jungle or horse stables. Another exclusive to the PC/Mac version, players will be able to search through their world for the elusive unicorn. The magical unicorn can be added to a player’s household after they’ve built up the relationship enough. Unicorns offer fun opportunities to play with life by being able to bless other Sims, teleport around the world and even spark fires. Other minor pets that Sims can own and interact with, but are not fully controllable, include birds, rodents, lizards, turtles and snakes.

Heroes of Warspire Open Beta

Silverlode Interactive announces the launch of open beta testing of Heroes of Warspire, their browser-based collectible RTS game. Here's word:

Orem, UT, October 18, 2011 – Silverlode Interactive announced today that the open Beta for its new Collectible RTS title, Warspire has officially launched. This comes after a 1-week delay from its previously projected release date.

The Beta launch comes after the successful Alpha testing of the previous month. The servers have been wiped to create a clean slate for Beta testing. New and old players can sign up for the Beta for immediate approval and play. The Beta will focus on PvP battles with 1v1 and 2v2 options. A tutorial is also available to help players get started.

Warspire is the most advanced RTS running on the Unity 3D engine to date. Unlike other browser-based games, Warspire features a full 3D environment and real-time control. Buildings and units are built and deployed in real time and controlled with a fully-featured graphical user interface comparable to those seen in the most popular contemporary RTS games. The game runs on both Mac and PC.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Peripherals

Logitech announces the imminent launch of new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3-branded peripherals. Beginning soon they will be offering the Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 and the Logitech Laser Mouse G9X, each carrying the label "made for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, though besides the game logo it's not exactly clear what the game connection is. "The Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105 and the Logitech Laser Mouse G9X are perfect for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 enthusiasts who want the best in precision and customization for their gaming experience," said Chris Pate, senior product marketing manager for gaming at Logitech. "Both devices let you jump right into the action with the power to perform complex maneuvers with confidence."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A couple of weeks ago we did some advance preparation for the autumn by picking up a huge supply of lawn bags for collection of leaves and other debris. This forethought was just repaid, as we got a notification from the village that they are no longer collecting such bags, and that from now on leaves are to be piled by the curb so they can collect them with a vacuum truck. Sometimes you just can't win.

Bagged Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: A Game About Game Literacy.
The Interactive Crappy Piano.
Asteroid Mining Empire.
Links: Doctor Who TARDIS 4 Port USB Hub. Thanks zombie69.
Stories: Taj Mahal could collapse within 5 years. Thanks Neatorama.
All-Electric DeLorean to Debut in 2013.
Images: Vintage Photos Reveal City Crime Used To Be More Fun.
Media: TV Host loses it when a name in a quiz question is revealed.
Jedi Turtles.
Quantum Levitation. Thanks notch.
The Funnies: Virtual Shackles: The Dark Side.
Mass of War.
Follow-up: Can Eating Too Many Hot Peppers Kill You? Thanks Slashdot.
Hasbro Plans "Transformers 4" & More.



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