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Thursday, Jan 05, 2012

  

Gotham City Impostors Delayed to February

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announce that Gotham City Impostors will miss its previously scheduled January release date. Instead they say the first-person shooter that pits bogus batmen versus mock jokers. No reason for the setback is offered, though they seem especially eager to explain how they got those scars.

Indie Royale New Year's Bundle

Indie Royale has launched The New Year's Bundle, their new collection of indie games. The Royale bundle starts with a low minimum price that goes up when customers pay the minimum and down when customers beat the minimum, which earns them a bonus as well as the respect of their peers. The new bundle consists of Nuclear Dawn, Max & The Magic Marker, Fractal, and Super Crossfire, and those who beat the minimum also get George & Jonathan's chiptune album Beautiful Lifestyle.

X3: Albion Prelude Interview

An interview on VP Blog talks with EGOSOFT CEO Bernd Lehahn about X3: Albion Prelude, their recently released X3: Terran Conflict expansion. They discuss how the new add-on enhances the X3 game mechanics, while also paving the way for the upcoming X Rebirth.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Age of Empires III: Complete Collection on Steam. Save 50%.
  • X-COM series on Steam. Save 66%.

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Gravity Gun for Child's Play 2011. Thanks Ant via TDW Geeks.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Official Announcement

We now have the official press release for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which offers a few more details on what to expect from the just-revealed game:

New York, NY – January 5, 2012–2K Games announced today that Firaxis Games, the creative team behind the iconic Sid Meier’s Civilization® franchise, is developing XCOM: Enemy Unknown, an action strategy title that is planned for release in fall 2012. XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be instantly recognizable to fans of the original X-COM, while breaking new ground in strategy games for today’s console and Windows PC gamers. With equal emphasis on deep strategy and intense tactical combat, XCOM: Enemy Unknown will place players in control of a secret paramilitary organization called XCOM. As the XCOM commander, players will defend against a terrifying global alien invasion by managing resources, advancing technologies, and overseeing combat strategies and individual unit tactics.

“We’re looking forward to building upon the core gameplay experiences that fans of the original X-COM love, while introducing the franchise to a new generation,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K. “With Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown and 2K Marin’s upcoming XCOM, 2K Games will be offering two different gameplay experiences drawing from the classic X-COM universe. Each game offers a unique XCOM experience in different genres, as envisioned by two different studios with unique creative visions.”

Released in 1993, the original X-COM is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made and has now been re-imagined by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown will expand on that legacy with an entirely new invasion story, enemies and technologies to fight aliens and defend Earth. Players will control the fate of the human race through researching alien technologies, creating and managing a fully operational base, planning combat missions and controlling soldier movement in battle.

“It’s been a dream of ours to recreate X-COM with our unique creative vision. We’re huge fans of the original game and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-envision a game that is as beloved as X-COM,” said Steve Martin, president of Firaxis Games. “We were careful to keep XCOM: Enemy Unknown true to the elements that made X-COM such a revered game while delivering an entirely new story and gameplay experience for both die-hard X-COM fans and newcomers to the franchise.”

Half-Life 3 Clue?

GamingBolt points the way to a reddit thread about a texture allegedly found within Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that's being interpreted as a Half-Life 3 clue, though Valve has been steadfastly denying that any sort of viral marketing or ARG is underway for a continuation of their shooter series. Thanks Ant via Digg.

AMD Catalyst Preview Driver

A new AMD Catalyst 12.1a preview driver is now available for ATI/AMD GPUs running Windows 7 32-bit, Windows 7 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit editions. Word is this contains everything from the previous preview build as well as support for an upcoming RAGE patch. This is not one of those WHQL-certified releases for those of you looking to live forever within the safety of your cocoon. No, these are as-is experimental drivers for you daring test pilots. So download at your own risk if you have the right stuff, and I'll meet you later for drinks at Pancho's Happy Bottom Riding Club. If you survive... otherwise we'll put your picture on the wall.

True X-COM Sequel: XCOM: Enemy Unknown Revealed

GameInformer unveils XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the cover story of the next issue of their print magazine, revealing Firaxis is at work on a true continuation of the beloved strategy series, as opposed to the X-COM-based first-person shooter that's also now in the works (thanks briktal). They say the game is due for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, this fall, and while they are withholding "gory details of XCOM's destructible tactical environments, the interaction between the real-time strategic view and the turn-based combat, how the XCOM organization improves its capabilities as the war rages on, and much more," from the magazine, they do offer a bit on the game:

Unlike 2K Marin's previously announced XCOM shooter, which sparked tempers among longtime fans for turning its back on the series' cerebral roots, this title is a full-on strategy game that puts players in command of a global anti-alien defense force. XCOM's leader needs a worldwide perspective where threats are identified, populations reassured, and national leaders mollified – but a tactical mind is just as critical considering every shot XCOM's soldiers fire on the battlefield is under the player's turn-based control.

"It’s been a dream of ours to recreate X-COM with our unique creative vision. We’re huge fans of the original game and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-envision a game that is as beloved as X-COM," said Steve Martin, president of Firaxis Games. "We were careful to keep XCOM: Enemy Unknown true to the elements that made X-COM such a revered game while delivering an entirely new story and gameplay experience for both die-hard X-COM fans and newcomers to the franchise."

World of Tanks Updated

A new update is now live in World of Tanks, bringing both the North American and European editions of Wargaming.net's MMOTPS to version 7.1. This offers the promised first batch of French units, and they say the second set of units from France will come in an update later this year. Word is:

Wargaming.net, the award-winning videogame publisher and developer, is proud to present the long-anticipated line of the French tanks available in the all-new Update 7.1 for its free-to-play action MMO World of Tanks.

French vehicles will invade World of Tanks in two steps, and their first line available as of today features light, medium, and heavy tanks. Just as their historical prototypes, the in-game machines will have unique features and modules, including automatic loading system and oscillating turrets that will enrich gameplay diversity and require different tactical approach from players.

"Our players already know how to play with the "big three" tank nations, but the French are all-different," says Mike Zhivets, Lead Game Designer for World of Tanks. "You'll have to reconsider the way you think tanks behave before they let you tame them. And that's what we love them for!"

The second part of the French vehicles will appear later in 2012 and will include tank destroyers and SPGs.

More Headone Beta Keys

This forum post reveals plans to wrap up beta testing of Headone, the upcoming first-person shooter, though this is one of those posts that perplexingly requires registration to view. Word is testing will run until January 9th, and they are making more beta keys available for those interested in participating. This page offers North American signups, while those in Europe can seek a key on this page. Thanks Ant.

Bethesda v. Interplay Dismissal?

Duck and Cover follows up on the recent indication that a settlement is at hand for the ongoing legal dispute over the rights to a Fallout MMORPG. They have the description of a sealed motion suggesting that Bethesda is seeking to dismiss their case "with prejudice," which would mean this issue could no longer be dragged through the courts. The motion is sealed, so this is still speculation at this point.

Diablo 15 Year Anniversary Website - Diablo III "Almost Done"

A Diablo 15 Year Anniversary Website is now online, marking this recent milestone for Blizzard's action/RPG. This offers an overview of the game, a Diablo timeline, an extended retrospective, developer interviews, and more. As noted on Blizzplanet, the interview with Jay Wilson offers an optimistic outlook on the state of Diablo III development: "We are almost done with Diablo III, and that’s a fitting celebration of the 15th year anniversary for Diablo. So, we are getting it to you as soon as we can."

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Announced

WBIE officially announces LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, a sequel to LEGO Batman: The Videogame planned for release this summer on a multitude of platforms, including Windows PC. The game's existence was first revealed late last year by a drop card in some LEGO toy sets, and as the name implies, will involve a full line of DC characters in addition to the dark knight. Here's a piece of artwork from the game, and here's some of the announcement:

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes complements the brand new, recently released LEGO Super Heroes: DC Universe toy collection. The line includes five construction sets, such as The Batcave and three buildable, detailed action figures.

In LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin join other famous super heroes from the DC Universe including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to save Gotham City from destruction at the hands of the notorious villains Lex Luthor and the Joker. Batman fans of all ages will enjoy a new and original story filled with classic LEGO videogame action and humor as players fight to put the villains back behind bars.

Castle Story Unveiled

This trailer offers the first trailer from Castle Story, a third-person Minecraft-style construction and strategy game they describe as "a mix between a real time strategy game and a voxel based game," though crossing a genre with a technology doesn't parse very well. The narrated clip shows construction on a floating island, with a voiceover explaining how things work. Thanks Ant via reddit.

Cities in Motion Moves to U.S.

Paradox Interactive announces that New York and San Francisco are the next cities to be depicted in Cities in Motion in an upcoming expansion for the mass transportation simulator that heretofore focused on European cities. The add-on is due on January 17th, and this trailer highlights the addition of these U.S. cities to the game, and here's the announcement:

Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order are taking its innovative transportation-sim game, Cities in Motion, on a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. In Cities in Motion: U.S. Cities, an expansion pack coming out the 17th of January, two iconic American locations will join the mix, allowing players to challenge their civic planning skills in both San Francisco and New York. Both cities will be available to play in campaign and sandbox mode, and will include new vehicles, new transportation types, and plenty of new American buildings, landmarks, and commuters.

In Cities in Motion: U.S. Cities, players will have a chance to try and serve the City by the Bay, as the city’s colorful citizens and tourists alike cross the Golden Gate and ride SF’s famous cable cars, a new addition to players’ transport options. Or, they can try to tackle the traffic in the Big Apple, making use of trolley buses as they move harried New Yorkers, and the just as harried cab drivers, from borough to borough.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 in Q2

Forbes reports (in Polish) that City Interactive will release Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 in the second quarter of this year, which is confirmed on the product page for the sharpshooting sequel. A translation of the story seems to indicate this is a delay, saying this is to allow for further fine-tuning and the coordination of a global marketing campaign, though as far as we know, the game has been tentatively planned for release some time this year since it was announced (though its Wikipedia page does list March 2012 release dates with no citation). Thanks VG247.

RIFT Mobile App

The iTunes App Store now offers RIFT Mobile, a new free app for RIFT, Trion's MMORPG. Word is: "Keep your finger on the pulse of the living, breathing world of Telara with the new RIFT Mobile App. Coordinate with allies and guildmates, keep up with Zone Events, and even earn in-game loot on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The RIFT Mobile App comes packed with the following features, and it's absolutely free!"

Op Ed

IndustryGamers - Free-to-Play Is The 'New Frontier of Western Game Development,' says Former Activision VP.
I believe free-to-play is the new frontier of western game development. Free-to-play’s biggest difference is that success is based on creating an intense emotional response and ensuring real human interaction across huge hours of play. People are interesting, complex and challenging. In free-to-play games, people ARE the game, not the graphics, not the game mechanic, not the AI or scripting, but real, living, breathing people. The games must be designed to drive the consumer to engage with the game and ideally with one another. This is the key to success for Words with Friends. Real people get to interact virtually. The more engagement, the better the results.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

PC & Tech Authority has an article looking back at the Commodore 64, noting this is the 30th anniversary of this seminal gaming system (thanks Ant via Slashdot). I have a C128 in a box stashed away that was bestowed upon me years ago, and one of these days I'm going to set it up, though I have a strong fear that many of the games I have may not load, as I don't think 5.25" floppy discs were made to stand the test of a fraction of the time that has passed since they were made.

16-Bit Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Joe Destructo.
Links: Competitive Eater Takeru Kobayashi Answers Your Questions.
Stories: Peter Frampton reunited with guitar 31 years after plane crash. Thanks WalterEgo.
Air Swimmer shark toy startles airline pilot in New Zealand. Thanks Neatorama.
A single fish sells for $736,000 in Japan. Thanks brother19.
Science: GM silk worms make Spider-Man web closer to reality.
British Heart Foundation says 'no kissing, just hard CPR'.
Old, million-dollar violins don't play better than the new models.
Images: The Only Thing Old TVs Are Good For.
Pictures of Man Boobs on Famous Men.
Media: Inception miniature explosion behind the scenes construction on Vimeo. Thanks reddit.
Transformers trilogy: Abridged!
Harry Potter's "Willy" - (The PORN Version!!!).
The Funnies: Buttersafe – Biology 101.
Virtual Shackles: Skyrim's Most Wanted.
How to make your shopping cart suck less. Thanks Boing Boing.



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