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Thursday, Nov 03, 2011

  

Battlefield 3 Improvements

Seven Ways Battlefield 3 is Improving on the Battlefield Blog outlines post-launch improvements for Battlefield 3, DICE's military shooter sequel. Some have already been implemented, whole some are coming in the near future. Already complete are improved QuickMatch functionality, Hardcore server availability, game stability, and lag and rubber-banding fixes. In the works are fixes for joining and remaining in squads, a default region setting in the server browser, and Origin installation and authentication issues.

PAX East Registration

PAX East registration is now underway (thanks Destructoid). Here's the deal:

Registration for PAX East 2012 has officially opened! As a heads up, this falls on Easter weekend. It wasn't our first choice by any means, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we're working with the city to hopefully prevent it from happening again. If you can make it, you'll probably want to check out our hotels page for discounted rates.

Also be warned, at Prime we had some issues with counterfeit badges being sold to unsuspecting attendees. Since we sell out of badges each year, when counterfeit badges get out there we run into over-capacity issues. Sure, this results in a more crowded show with longer lines etc, but our big concern is that it ends up creating a very real safety hazard. So be warned: If you buy a badge from someone that ISN'T us, you run the risk of getting stuck with a counterfeit badge which will not get you into the show. We need to take a hard line stance on this this year and are ramping up anti-counterfeiting measures, so as much as it pains us, if you buy a fake badge, we won't be able to help you. So use your head, be careful, and know the risks before buying from third parties!

Sanctum DLC Plans; Sale; Free Weekend

Swedish developer Coffee Stain Studio announces plans for a patch for Santum which will add new DLC to their tower defense/first-person shooter hybrid. The update will be called "The Old City," and among other things, it will add two new maps, a new tower, and a new weapon to the game. In the meantime, a free weekend is underway for Sanctum which will conclude Sunday afternoon. Those who enjoy that experience have the opportunity to get the game at a discount, as Steam is offering it at a 50% discount between now and November 7th.

Krater Announced

Swedish developer Fatshark announces Krater, a new action/RPG planned for release next year. The Krater Website is online, offering some details as well as the chance to apply as a beta tester. "One of our main goals in the development of Krater is to involve gamers at a very early stage," says Victor Magnuson, Game Designer Fatshark. "We're really looking forward to seeing the fans response to what we are showing, and are ready to act on any feedback given to us throughout the lifespan of this project. We invite everyone to visit Kratergame.com and be part of the creation of Krater." Here are a pair of screenshots, a trailer, and here's a bit on the game:

Krater is Swedish for Crater, and the name gives a hint of the setting of the game. Krater is a lush post-apocalyptic top down RPG and the base pillars are crafting, exploration and consequence. Consequence brings not only the ability for the characters to level up and improve themselves, but also permanent injuries and death.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Sonic Generations

SEGA announces that Sonic Generations has rolled into North American stores for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, offering the latest adventures of the hyperactive hedgehog. The game can also be acquired without running to the store, as it has now unlocked on Steam. Here's word:

Sonic Generations features Sonic the Hedgehog playable as both the much loved classic 1991 character and the modern day video game hero he has become. In this new fast-paced adventure set across three defining eras from 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, consumers can now speed through some of the most iconic environments, playing as Classic Sonic and as Modern Sonic in all new, stunning re-imagined levels. In Sonic Generations, Sonic the Hedgehog is back in a time-bending adventure where he must defeat a mysterious new enemy that has sent him and his friends through a time hole. There, Sonic meets his classic self, and they must battle back through his history to rescue his friends and find out who is behind it all.

Ridge Racer Unbounded in March 2012

Namco Bandai Games announces a March 6, 2012 release date for Ridge Racer Unbounded, the upcoming installment in Bugbear's arcade racing series that marks its debut on PCs. The news is accompanied by a new gameplay trailer. Here's a bit from the accompanying description of the game:

This latest entry in the celebrated RIDGE RACER series turbo-charges the racing genre with full environmental and vehicular destruction. The signature arcade handling and drifting elements that fans have come to know and love combined with explosive action takes RIDGE RACER UNBOUNDED to the next level of competitive racing. With a new car selection including powerful vintage muscle cars, take over every alley and street corner in Shatter Bay in the most visceral and destructive racing game of 2012.

Leading Helsinki-based development studio Bugbear Entertainment Ltd. is bringing its considerable expertise to bear on RIDGE RACER UNBOUNDED to deliver a game worthy of the legendary series.

Continue here to read the full story.

New Supreme Ruler: Cold War Scenario

BattleGoat Studios and Paradox Interactive announce the release of a new patch for Supreme Ruler: Cold War that adds new scenario to the grand strategy game along with other improvements and bug-fixes. The new scenario is called "Shadow of the Bear," which offers a chilling hypothetical situation: "As the Cold War heats up in the late 1950's, what would have been the fallout if a nuclear exchange had occurred between the United States and the USSR? Perhaps it would have given China a chance to emerge from the Shadow of the Bear. Start the game as China just before a nuclear exchange between the US and USSR. Use the opportunity of the Super Powers weakening each other to move against one of them and claim China’s place as a new Supreme Ruler." The patch is available via an auto-update in the game launcher and through Steam for that version. There's also a manual patch available on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Brawl Busters Open Beta

Open beta testing of Brawl Busters is now underway, offering the chance to sample this free-to-play online multiplayer action game from Rock Hippo Productions. You can sign up on the Brawl Busters Website. Word is: "Starting today, everyone will be able to brawl their way through two new modes, battle with new weapons and outfits and join the Brawl Busters community online at the Busters Centre. In addition, all Closed Beta players will receive an exclusive item as a special thank you gift for their participation!"

AMD Cuts 1,400 Jobs

Advanced Micro Devices cut 1,400 jobs worldwide, today, which represents over 10% of the workforce of the chip company, reports the Statesman Business Blog. Word is: "The job cuts and an ongoing company efficiency program are expected to save the company $200 million from its operating expenses next year. The cutbacks affected the company’s worldwide operations and included slightly more than 300 jobs in Austin." Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Assassin's Creed Revelations on Direct2Drive. Save 15% on preorders.
  • Conflict: Denied Ops on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Men of War on Get Games. Save 75%.
  • Men of War: Assault Squad on Get Games. Save 75%.
  • Men of War Gold Edition on Get Games. Save 75%.
  • Men of War: Red Tide on Get Games. Save 75%.
  • Men of War Vietnam on Get Games. Save 25%.
  • Men of War Vietnam: Special Edition on Get Games. Save 25%.
  • RIFT Ashes of History Digital Collector's Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Tropico Games on Steam. Save up to 66%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Modern Warfare 3 Social Experience Trailer; Midnight Madness Plans

A new Social Experience trailer from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 highlights the social integration in the upcoming military shooter sequel. The game's developers outline how its Facebook and ELITE integration will help players to connect with friends and supports their "three big pillars, connect compete and improve."

Also, with the game's release coming next Tuesday in many territories, GameStop announces they are holding special launch events on both coasts starting Monday, leading to some midnight madness for those who want to get the game the moment it's available. Starting at 8:00 pm November 7th, gamers who show up at the GameStop at 7100 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, CA or the Union Square GameStop at 32 E. 14th Street in Manhattan will have the opportunity to try the game before it goes on sale, meet its developers, check out an edition of the game-themed Jeep, and win t-shirts and other giveaways. Continue here to read the full story.

Rainbow 6 Patriots Announced

Ubisoft officially announces Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Patriots, the next installment in the tactical shooter series that's three times as impressive as a double-rainbow, confirming the title recently revealed by some domain registrations. The game is expected for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in 2013. We have the (admittedly not final) box art from the game, and this from the announcement:

In Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots, Team Rainbow faces a new and very real threat called the “True Patriots,” a highly-trained, well-organized revolutionary group that claim the American government is irrevocably corrupted by greedy politicians and corporate special interests. The True Patriots will do whatever it takes to reclaim their country. Playing as Rainbow, players will face critical scenarios that will require them to make tough ethical decisions in order to stop this new breed of terrorists.

In addition to the immersive single-player storyline, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots will introduce a huge variety of new innovative co-op and multi-player experiences. Players will be rewarded for working as a team and mastering the game’s new features that enhance communication and tactical execution between teammates. Success will come from a mix of split-second decision making and working to coordinate attacks against the enemy.

Additional details on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots can be found in an exclusive cover story in the Christmas issue of Official Xbox Magazine, available 30th November.

For more information about Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots, please visit www.rainbow6.com and “like” the game on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Rainbow6

On The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Audio

The Bethesda Blog points to Making a Dragon Sandwich: The Sound of Skyrim, a new feature on the audio in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda's imminent RPG sequel. This includes a podcast and a trailer on recording the Jeremy Soule-composed soundtrack (which is is now available for preorder) and the game's voice acting. The trailer includes anecdotes about composing and recording a song in dragon language and how they are responding to the complaints about how many NPCs in Oblivion shared the same voices by employing 70+ actors for over 110 roles, which Todd Howard notes is "a lot more than we've ever had." We also hear from a couple of those voice actors, Joan Allen and Christopher Plummer. Continue here to read the full story.

Tropico 4 Junta DLC Next Week

Kalypso Media announces Junta, a new DLC pack for Tropico 4 that will arrive for the Windows PC and Xbox 360 editions of the tropical dictator simulation on November 11 for $4.99 USD. Here are some screenshots, and here's what the military themed DLC will add to the game:

  • New Building: “Bunker” - functions like a larger and more expensive Guard Station, does not require generals, houses five soldiers.
  • Character Trait: Veteran (Avatar performs better in battle, improved militarist respect)
  • Character Outfit / Vanity Item: Dress Uniform (female)
  • Decoration Items: Guard booth, Small observation tower, Camouflaged ammo depot, Concrete barricades, APC
  • Mission theme: “New Sparta” - build a militaristic society while being constantly pressured by the rebels

Warhammer 40K MMOG's "Flexible" Business Model

GamesIndustry.biz (registration required) has more from last night's THQ post-earnings conference call, where the "flexible" business model for Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online, their upcoming MMORPG. Here's what THQ CEO Brian Farrell says about this:

"So what we've done is make the business model within Dark Millennium Online flexible so we can use different business models in different territories and exploit the game on a worldwide basis."

"We will have not just one business model, like subscriptions. There will be other monetisation mechanisms in the game... The team there is being very thoughtful about how we maximise monetisation in this game."

Gameforge Layoffs - Star Trek: Infinite Space in Jeopardy

German browser-based game developer Gameforge has laid off 100 employees, reports GamesIndustry.biz (registration required). They say that Frogster founder and CEO Christoph Gerlinger is leaving the company after nearly seven years (Gameforge acquired Frogster last year), and outline the gaming implications of the move:

The company has cancelled games Mythos and Hellbreed, and said it may struggle to release Star Trek: Infinite Space unless it can sign a co-publishing deal.

Hitman: Absolution Commentary Trailer

A new version of the recently released 17-minute gameplay trailer from Hitman: Absolution, is now available (thanks VG247). This features commentary from the developers at IO Interactive about the upcoming installment in their stealth/action series. Word is: "Join Game Director Tore Blystad and Gameplay Director Christian Elverdam as they take you behind-the-scenes of the award-winning Hitman: Absolution, with a 17 minute commentary version of "Run For Your Life" playthrough. Learn first-hand what it takes to create a living and breathing world, gain new insight into the creation and ambition for the game and get a taste of what players can expect when they enter the mindset of the original assassin: Agent 47." Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition in February

The Bethesda Blog announces the Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition, a bundle of Obsidian's action/RPG sequel along with all four of its DLC packs. Here's word on the package, which is due for all platforms on February 7, 2012 in north America and three days later in Europe:

We’re pleased to announce the Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition will be available in retail stores across North America on February 7th 2012 and throughout Europe on February 10th. The Ultimate Edition comes complete with all of the game add-on content for Fallout: New Vegas – Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier’s Stash, and Gun Runners’ Arsenal.

For players who are seasoned explorers of New Vegas or just getting into the game for the first time, the Ultimate Edition expands beyond the Wasteland like never before with the Sierra Madre Casino, Zion National Park, Big MT research crater and the treacherous Divide now open for exploring. Along with new areas to explore, each of the four main add-on packs increases the maximum level cap by five levels, ultimately raising the cap to level 50.

New Vegas Ultimate Edition will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Grand Theft Auto V Announcement

Following yesterday's trailer release, Rockstar Games officially announces Grand Theft Auto V. They offer an assortment of GTAV logo desktops, backgrounds, avatars, and icons, and the following word on the open-world action sequel:

We are very proud to officially announce that Grand Theft Auto V is in full development.

Developed by series creator Rockstar North, Grand Theft Auto V heads to the city of Los Santos and surrounding hills, countryside and beaches in the largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created.

A bold new direction in open-world freedom, storytelling, mission-based gameplay and online multiplayer, Grand Theft Auto V focuses on the pursuit of the almighty dollar in a re-imagined, present day Southern California.

Tribes Ascend Closed Beta Tomorrow

Hi-Rez Studios confirms the closed beta testing will commence tomorrow for Tribes Ascend, as promised. The Tribes Ascend Website is where to sign up to express interest in vetting the upcoming free-to-play continuation of the multiplayer shooter series, and those interested in guaranteed beta access can purchase the Tribes: Ascend VIP Starter Bundle. In an unusual move, they also announce that no beta wipes are planned, and that player progression will continue from the closed beta, through the open beta, and on into the launch of the full game. Here's word:

The Closed Beta build of Tribes: Ascend includes two initial class options - the Soldier and the Ranger, 10 additional classes available to be permanently unlocked, 3 drivable vehicles, 2 game-modes, and servers located across North America, Europe and Australia. Prior to release Hi-Rez will also support Ranked Servers and Private Servers.

"Compared to Alpha, Tribes: Ascend enters Beta with even more unlockable classes, a skill & perk system, and additional projectile-based weapons" said Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios Chief Operating Officer. "And we plan to deliver new playable maps and classes after Beta and even after Release. Our dev team is excited to reintroduce such a fast-paced, team-based shooter and we are looking forward to playing alongside the Beta community."

Yesterday Announced

Focus Home Interactive unveils Yesterday, a new adventure game from Spanish developer Pendulo Studios based on that time when all your troubles seemed so far away. The game is due in Q2 2012 for Windows PCs. Here are some Yesterday screenshots, and here's word on the game:

After having left its mark in adventure gaming with its million-selling trilogy Runaway and more recently with The Next BIG Thing, Pendulo Studios will deliver in Q2 2012 its newest adventure: Yesterday. Today, they invite you to discover the first images of the game. Though the unique graphic style, trademark of the Spanish developer, has not been left behind, Pendulo has now given up comedy for once and is offering an original and dark thriller.

In New York City, beggars are disappearing one after another, only to be found burnt alive. Meanwhile, a Y-shaped scar forms in the palm of the hands of seemingly unrelated people. With the police and the media giving little attention to these events, Henry White, a young and rich heir dedicated to a charitable organization, and his friend Cooper, are the first to investigate these disappearances. They are two of the three playable characters in Yesterday, the third being none other than the enigmatic John Yesterday, who is dragged into this incredible story after his memory is completely wiped.

This is the starting point of the brand new adventure from Pendulo Studios. More will be unveiled in the coming months, without spoiling the deep scenario and its numerous turning points which are sure to surprise many players when the game releases in Q2 2012!

Star Supremacy Trailer; Open Beta nears

Barbily Games offers a new trailer for Star Supremacy, their upcoming browser-based, science-fiction MMORTS. The game is rolling forward towards its open beta, though their quote on the topic references key giveaways, so this may not be as open as all that. "We encourage players to rate and review the game and send in any feedback they have. We anticipate a huge increase in user activity once the game launches into open beta," says Thomas Liu, Senior Business Director. "The game has already witnessed positive reviews from a few gaming sites including MMOHut.com and GameOgre.com and is getting ready for open beta launch soon. Open beta key giveaways will be coming soon for those who want access to the game."

Skyrim Wallpaper; Soundtrack Preorders

The Bethesda Blog offers a new wallpaper from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, their upcoming RPG sequel. They are also now offering preorders of the game's soundtrack. Here's the deal: "Available through DirectSong, the four-disc set is a fantastic collector’s item for fans of The Elder Scrolls. The compilation will begin shipping the week after the game’s release. As a bonus to anyone that orders by December 23rd, copies of the soundtrack will be personally autographed by the game’s composer, Jeremy Soule!"

The Repopulation Progress Report

There's an End of October Update on the official website for The Repopulation, Above and Beyond Technologies' upcoming indie MMORPG. This details the progress made on the game over the past month, as well as an overview of where things stand. Thanks J.C.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Ooops! I was so busy noting postponed occasions over the past couple of days that I caused another, as I failed to recall that yesterday was the Gunnar-man's birthday. Our utterly awesome poodle turned seven years old, though anyone watching him in action would guess he's more like seven months old, as he is still the most buoyant bundle of energy you ever did see. Luckily, missing a dog's birthday doesn't have the same ramifications as forgetting a person's, so this transgression won't land me in the doghouse.

Belated Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Melee Man.
Rocketville.
Links: The 7 Most Frivolous Lawsuits Against Celebrities.
Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the Best Show on Television.
Science: Legendary Viking Sunstone Navigation: Solved. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: Link.
He must be playing the Nutcracker. Thanks Mike.
At Least The TSA Is Starting To Relax.
Media: The Siri Auto Tune Song - I Found Escorts (Close to You).
Cousin Sal Tricks Trick or Treaters 2011.
Policia Federal Carro na Asa Do Avião Pata Impedir Fuga De Suspeitos. Thanks Robert.
The Funnies: M Thru F: Laugh Until You Realize It’s True.
Training.
Cat Dreams Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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