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Tuesday, Feb 07, 2012

  

Star Wars Battlefront III Outed?

Spark Unlimited has a job posting for a "Senior Combat Designer" position that PlayStation LifeStyle thinks may be for Star Wars Battlefront III (thanks Gamer's Hell). They piece together other tidbits suggesting a new Battlefront game is in the works using the Unreal engine, and here's the description that helped them draw this conclusion:

Spark is looking for a senior combat designer for a 3rd Person Action/Adventure sequel in a high-profile science fiction franchise currently greenlit for full production development for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC markets. The Senior Combat Designer will be responsible for collaborating on developing game design systems, AI behaviors, player mechanics, and game balancing, tuning and timing for a third-person action shooter on current-gen consoles.

Indie Royale Valentine's Bundle Preorders

The Indie Royale Website now offers preorders of the Indie Royale Valentine's Bundle. This requires a leap of faith, as its contents have not been unveiled yet, but will lock in the lowest possible price in the game's upwardly mobile, flexible pricing structure. Here's word:

You can now blind pre-order Indie Royale's Valentine's Bundle at a recommended €/£/$10 or €/£/$5 USD contribution, and a minimum of $3.99 USD.

The games offered this time include a fantastical first-person action-adventure game (Steam for PC), an IGF-nominated puzzle adventure title (Steam for PC and Mac, Desura for PC and Linux, DRM-free PC, Mac and Linux download), a 'scorching' single and multiplayer arcade-strategy game (Steam for PC and Mac), and a world premiere on PC for a pair of retro RPG-defense games (Desura for PC, DRM-free PC download).

Those who optionally pre-order now will get game access as soon as the bundle launches, lock in the lowest price, and receive as a bonus One Life Left's eclectic 'Music To Play Games By Too' compilation, available for the first time ever digitally (this bonus is also available to those who pay more than the minimum price during the bundle.)

The Valentine's Bundle will launch fully later this week at $3.99 USD and up - watch our Twitter feed or Facebook page for immediate notice at launch time.

Thief 2 on GOG.com

GOG.com now offers Thief 2: The Metal Age, a DRM-free version of the stealth/action sequel from Looking Glass Studios. Here's part of their write up on what makes this game special: "Now with even more loot to steal, more clever gadgets, and more ways to play through each mission, levels range from 30 minute hits to lengthy heists with multiple objectives and solutions. Showcasing the incredible dynamic lighting and fantastic audio that made the first game a hit, but with better graphics and AI, Thief 2 is definitely an example of a sequel done correctly, with more of all the best elements of its predecessor."

Ships Ahoy - Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition

The Bethesda Blog has news that Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition is now available in North America, offering Obsidian's action/RPG and all its DLC in one package:

Get more bang for your bottle cap with Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition — available now available in North America on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC..

Ultimate Edition presents the definitive edition of Fallout: New Vegas — featuring the main game and all six pieces of game add-on content: Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier’s Stash, and Gun Runners’ Arsenal.

New Vegas Ultimate Edition will be available in Germany, Australia, and Nordic territories this coming Friday (February 10th), and will be released in the UK, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands on February 24th.

And to further celebrates the game’s release, by popular demand, we’re releasing the sheet music for “Begin Again” — the Dead Money song from Just Bell, Mikey Dowling, and Chris Avellone.

MechWarrior Online Dev Blog

The MechWarrior Online Website now offers Dev Blog 4 from Piranha Games' upcoming multiplayer BattleTech game, continuing their discussion of Role Warfare. Topics include experience points, BattleMech efficiencies, pilot skills, and more. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Louisiana Announced

SilverPlay announces Louisiana, a detective-themed adventure game set around the turn of the twentieth century. The game will feature full 3D graphics and RPG-style dialog branching, though it does not have a set release date at this point. Here's a thumbnail:

The lazy summer sun is slowly penetrating the gloom of the local marshes, and yet the city is being overcast by a heavy creeping cloud of doubt and anxiety. There have always been a lot of murders in this neighborhood. Now, however, the situation is different. These killings are somewhat strange, lacking any apparent motive and too complicated to have been committed by a raging insane maniac. Before long, they catch the attention of the government authorities.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Skyrim Hi-Rez Pack & Creation Kit

The Bethesda Blog announces the release of the promised Creation Kit for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, providing modification support for their RPG sequel. They also announce Steam now features a Skyrim High Resolution Texture Pack as free DLC, confirming indications that such a graphics upgrade was the "surprise" recently hinted at by Bethesda. Here's a tutorial video introducing the creation kit, and here's word:

Modders rejoice! We’re pleased to announce that the Skyrim Creation Kit is now available!

With the Creation Kit’s release, fans can now upload, download, and install custom content through the Skyrim Workshop on Steam. Get a crash course by reading level designer Joel Burgess’ blog post, and be sure to read up on our list of best practices for modding. Need more help? Don’t forget to to check out the official Wiki at www.CreationKit.com. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be sharing tutorial videos for beginners and experts alike. Check out the first tutorial above, and visit the Bethesda Game Studios YouTube Channel for more.

In addition to releasing the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop, today we’re allowing players to experience Skyrim as you’ve never seen it before with the Skyrim High-Resolution Texture Pack. Before downloading it from Steam, make sure your system requirements exceed Skyrim’s recommended specs before attempting to install, including Windows Vista/7, a minimum of 4GB of system RAM, and a DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with at least 1 GB of RAM and the latest drivers.

Ships Ahoy - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Electronic Arts and 3D Studios announce the release of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the new role-playing game from 3D Studios' Big Huge Games. The announcement has word on a "House of Valor" digital download pack that's available with code included with the console versions of the game, but there's no word on plans to bring it to the Windows edition. A previously released playable demo is still available, and here's a bit:

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Choose your destiny in the massive and mysterious world of Amalur! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), 38 Studios, LLC and Big Huge Games today released the much anticipated open-world action role-playing game, Kingdoms of Amalur™: Reckoning™. The game’s vision was brought to life by 24-time New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and internationally-celebrated game designer Ken Rolston – an all-star team assembled by three-time World Series Champion pitcher and founder of 38 Studios, Curt Schilling. This original intellectual property breaks new ground by melding a deep open-world RPG experience with visceral action combat that offers players millions of combinations of moves, weapons and armor in a completely unique experience for every individual. IGN.com, who awarded the game with a 9 out of 10 review score, anticipates "Reckoning will be discussed when Game of the Year 2012 rolls around," adding that it "certainly isn't a game you should sleep on. Quite the contrary: Amalur demands your attention." The UK's The Guardian added "Reckoning sounds like just the kind of start to 2012 RPG fans were hoping for."

Ships Ahoy - The Darkness II

2K Games announces that The Darkness II is now available in North America for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, offering another first-person shooter based on the Top Cow comic book series. A playable demo is available on Steam after its release a couple of weeks ago, and a demo can also be steamed from the game's website using Gaikai. Here's word:

New York, NY – February 7, 2012 – 2K Games announced today that The Darkness™ II, the sequel to the hit 2007 title, The Darkness™, is now available in North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC*. The title will be available internationally on February 10, 2012. Inspired by the comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, Inc., and developed by Digital Extremes, The Darkness II continues the story of Jackie Estacado, head of a New York crime family and wielder of an ancient and brutal force of chaos and destruction known as the Darkness. Introducing unique Quad-Wielding™ combat and four-person cooperative gameplay distinct from the first-person campaign, The Darkness II breaks the mold of traditional first-person shooter titles.

“The Darkness II combines a powerful driving narrative with imaginative violence, creating a unique gameplay experience,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “We are able to stay true to the origins of The Darkness comics while introducing significant new features to the game, which is a great accomplishment for the franchise.”

The Darkness II introduces a new combat mechanic through Quad-Wielding, allowing players to slash, grab, and throw objects and enemies with two Demon Arms while simultaneously firing two weapons. The game is layered with thematic elements of dark versus light, steeped in deep and twisted storytelling, and maintains the stylistic violence visualized through a hand-painted graphic noir technique, true to its comic book origins.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Gotham City Impostors

As noted on the Gotham City Impostors Website, today is the worldwide release date for the Windows PC edition of this offbeat Batman-based, multiplayer first-person shooter. The game is also available today on the PlayStation Network in the Americas, and it will be released tomorrow for PSN in other territories and for Xbox 360 worldwide. Digital distributors offering the download-only Windows edition include: Best Buy, GameFly, Green Man Gaming, Impulse Driven, and Steam, and there is DLC on Xbox.com. Here's a bit on the game:

Gotham City has gone insane! Batman is up to his pointy ears in unwanted "helpers" determined to dish out their own bloodthirsty brand of vigilante justice in his name (and image). Meanwhile, a small army of self-appointed junior Jokerz has turned the streets of Gotham into a barmy battlefield of bullets, bodies, and bear traps.

Notch Offers to Fund Psychonauts 2

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has offered to fund development of Psychonauts 2. In response to an interview on Digital Spy where Double Fine's Tim Schafer explains that though he receives daily requests from gamers for a sequel, such a project has been turned down after repeated pitches for publishers, Notch tweeted a question about funding and followed with: "@TimOfLegend Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen." He also tweets to RPS that he saw this through their tweet, and that he's "serious," though his most recent comment notes this ball is still in Tim's court: "Let's wait for Tim to respond. ;) It's his baby." As of this writing, Minecraft has sold nearly 4.9 million copies, putting Notch in the position to make such an overture. Thanks Morris.

Battle.net Balance Live

Battle.net announces the Battle.net Balance feature is now live, hoping to strike a balance between convenience and value in paying for Blizzard products and services. Here's the deal:

Battle.net Balance is now live! As we announced previously, Battle.net Balance is a new feature that gives players an alternate way to purchase Blizzard digital products and services directly through their Battle.net accounts. Players are now able add to their Battle.net Balance using a variety of payment methods, and then use that balance toward Blizzard Entertainment products and services such as World of Warcraft game time; paid services, such as realm transfers and character name changes; digital versions of select Blizzard games, including Diablo II and StarCraft II; and in-game pets and mounts. In the near future, players will be also able to use Battle.net Balance for the digital World of Warcraft Battle Chest and WoW digital upgrades. In addition, with the upcoming launch of Diablo III, players will have the option to use Battle.net Balance to buy and sell items in the game’s currency-based auction house.

For more information, check out the Battle.net Balance FAQ, or head to the Battle.net Balance page in Account Management to manage your balance.

Jaffe & More Out at Eat Sleep Play

The Salt Lake Tribune reports eight layoffs have struck at Eat Sleep Play, saying the Salt Lake City-based developer is shifting focus to mobile games. The report also states that "the company’s other co-founder, David Jaffe, is expected to leave to also pursue casual games." The Twisted Metal creator tweets about this seemingly confirming the departure, but decrying the use of the C-word: "The rumors of me making casual games post TM- as many of you define them- are highly exaggerated." Thanks VG247.

SEGA Australia Cuts

SEGA announces cuts at SEGA Australia, saying the studio formerly known as The Creative Assembly has laid off 37 staff, according to Player Attack, where they say this is about half the staff of the studio. Here's the official announcement:

As SEGA Studios Australia nears completion of London 2012™ – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games, it is essential to look to the future and take steps to ensure long-term growth and success. The rise of digital gaming provides an opportunity to align the studio with a rapidly growing market at a time when the games industry is undergoing a significant transition. To this end, we can confirm that SSA has signed a multi-product deal focussing across the digital marketplace. We have commenced development on these titles and will announce more details in the near future.

As part of this focus on digital avenues, there is a requirement to re-structure the studio resources accordingly and regrettably, we are announcing the loss of 37 staff. The decision to downsize was not taken lightly but this strategic re-structure will ensure we have a more effective and agile team that will enable us to quickly adapt to consumer needs and deliver strong content across multiple digital platforms. We thank those team members affected for their contributions and wish them well in their future endeavours. We are very confident that their efforts on London 2012™ will help us deliver the highest quality official Olympic video game to date.

IndieGala Bundle 2

The IndieGala offers the latest of those pay-what-you-want indie bundles that are so trendy these days one wonders if any indie games actually have price tags anymore. This offers three levels of participation, a standard tier, and two higher tiers that reward different price thresholds. Here's word:

Included in the IndieGala 2 bundle are the following awesome indie games and Music:

  • Critical Mass by Manic Games Studios
  • Bunch of Heroes by NGD Studios
  • Fortix 2 by Nemesys games
  • Music: Jack Butler - Fit The Paradigm
  • Music: The Numbers - Beautiful EP
  • Music: Giraffage- Comfort

Beating the level 1 average ( starting at 3.99$ ) you will get also:

  • Greed Corp, by Vanguard Games.
  • Roboblitz by Naked Sky Entertainment
  • Music: Robot Science - Square
  • Music: Casey Lalonde - The 2010 album of the film and videogame composer Casey Lalonde
  • Music: Casey Lalonde - The 2011 EP of Casey Lalonde.

Beating the level 2 average ( starting at 6.99$ ) you will get also:

  • inMomentum, by Digital Arrow.
  • Zombie Shooter 2, by Sigma Team.
  • Hacker Evolution: Duality, by exosyphen studios.
  • Hacker Evolution: Untold, by exosyphen studios.
  • Your Doodles Are Bugged!, by Spyn Doctor Games.
  • Zombie Shooter 1, by Sigma Team.
  • Music: Robot Science - Doodads: Robot Science 2010 complete album.

Advanced Tactics: Gold Patch; Guide

Matrix Games announces the release of a new patch for Advanced Tactics: Gold, updating the strategy game to version 2.10. The patch can be found on this page, and word is it: "contains mainly bug fixes as well as a new unit type (the Jeep), but also includes the many improvements, tweaks and fixes from previous updates." There's also a new free strategy guide for the game, which can be found here.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well with the football season over, the sports fan in me once again turns his attention towards the coming of baseball. As usual, I will try and follow the Mets until they are eliminated from contention, ignoring the concept that this elimination actually occurred in March 2009 when Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was exposed.

Exposed Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Arzea.
Go Home Ball 2.
Stories: Alcon Denies Ford In "Blade Runner".
Star Trek TV Series Rumors. Thanks TDW Geeks.
Science: Russian Drill Penetrates 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake.
Images: IRL Combustible Lemons.
BioShock 8bits.
The 16 Best Science Visualizations of 2011.
Media: Super Bowl commercials 2012: Viagra Doritos.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3D - Official Trailer. Thanks nin.
Gisele Bundchen, Curses After Patriots Fall To Giants In Super Bowl.
The Funnies: Thankfully, Skyrim Wasn’t An Arcade Game.
Buni Comic Strip, December 02, 2011.
Buni Comic Strip, November 09, 2011.
Follow-up: Navy wants electromagnetic railgun to pump out 100s of rounds per minute.
How NASA Makes Those Incredible High-Res Images of Earth.
The Avengers Extended Trailer From Super Bowl XLVI.



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