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Monday, Feb 27, 2012

  

Unreal Engine 4 at GDC

Epic Games has already indicated it will unveil the Unreal Engine 4 to the public later this year, and now we have word that they will be showing it off behind closed doors at the Game Developers Conference next week in San Francisco, CA. Don't expect to hear much about this at the time, however, as word is non-disclosure agreements must be signed to view this presentation.

Mark of the Ninja Revealed

The Mark of the Ninja Website is online to tease the next project from indie developer Klei Entertainment. The site takes the form of an old-school text adventure, and successfully completing it leads to a trailer showing a stealth/action platformer. The trailer concludes saying the game us due this summer, and the only platform mentioned is Xbox LIVE arcade, but both of Klei's Shank games also came to Windows and PlayStation 3.

Nexus Conflict Beta Next Month

The Nexus Conflict Website is now accepting signups for beta testing of this MMO tactical real-time strategy game set in the past of the Black Prophecy universe. Beta testing begins next month, and in the meantime, here's a trailer, and here's word on the game:

The battles for control of strategic regions are waged in the Nexus - a place where universes are colliding - and fought between the cybernetically optimized Tyi and the genetically perfected Genides. By completing PvP and PvE missions, players can earn improved weapons, stronger shields and other enhancements. Over the course of the game, captains will have access to ships ranging in size from an 80-meter cruiser to a massive battle titan measuring in at 1.5 kilometers in length.

The spectacle of space battle is presented by the powerful Unity 3D graphics engine, thanks to which Nexus Conflict bedazzles with astounding 3D visuals. The game, available as a client game to start with, will also be playable as a browser game in the future. Nexus Conflict is being developed by the German developer studio Limbic Entertainment.

SC WW2 Global Conflict GOLD Patch

Battlefront.com now offers a new patch for Strategic Command WW2 Global Conflict GOLD to update the strategy bundle to version 1.01. Word is: "The first patch for Furysoftware's Strategic Command WW2 Global Theater GOLD, v1.01 GOLD is here! It includes dozens of improvements, fixes and tweaks to both the GOLD game engine as well as the GOLD editor - many based on feedback from the fan community forums and email - and even a completely new bonus campaign, 1942 Brute Force, which is a alternative map Europe and Pacific 1942-1945 campaign."

Annotated Max Payne 3 Trailer

Rockstar Games now offers Max Payne 3 Official Trailer #2: Annotated Edition, which explains what we see in the most recent media from the upcoming third-person shooter sequel. Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

J.U.L.I.A. D.e.m.o.

A playable demo is now available for J.U.L.I.A., offering a chance to sample a portion of this sci-fi adventure game. This can be found on the J.U.L.I.A. Website, and here's word on what it includes: "The free demo allows players to dip right into the start of the adventure, experience the introduction to the game, solve the first few puzzles and travel to the first planet in the solar system the game is taking place in."

Dungeons & Dragons Online Expansion in June

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast announce a June 25th release date for the Menace of the Underdark expansion for Dungeons & Dragons Online, their free-to-play MMORPG. Word is: "Players across North America and Europe can pre-purchase Menace of the Underdark to receive exclusive benefits starting today at http://www.ddo.com/underdark." Bonuses include some creature companions to use right now, and more.

Diablo III Skill Calculator Updated

The Diablo III Skill Calculator is now updated to reflect the recent revelation of new skills being added to Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG sequel. This offers the ability to play with character builds to experiment with how to develop characters within the game. Thanks PC Gamer.

U.K. Charts

GfK Chart-Track now offers their tally of the top 20 full-priced PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending February 25th. The top five remain the same, though numbers two through four are reshuffled, and the top new entry is Syndicate at #6. The all platforms full-price chart is more active, as Uncharted Golden Abyss enters at number one and FIFA Football debuts at number two, marking the beginning of the PlayStation Vita era. Syndicate debuts on that chart at number six as well.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Details

Computer and Video Games summarizes the promised details on Medal of Honor: Warfighter from the preview in the new print edition of Official XBOX Magazine. These turn out to be fairly minimal, repeating things already revealed like its focus on real-life elite Tier 1 Operator, the use of the Frostbite 2.0 engine, and how Danger Close will handle multiplayer instead of DICE this time around. New details include how they are parsing the term "authenticity," saying: ""Danger Close says it's going for 'authenticity' rather than 'simulation' (your health will still recharge)," though they also say: "Fans should also expect a one-shot-kill 'hardcore' mode and some kind of co-op support (although a full campaign seems unlikey [sic], says OXM)." The other new detail they offer involves freedom of choice: "This time around it sounds like there will be slightly more player choice offered during missions, with one example described by OXM having players choose how to breach a building (kick down the door, C4, flashbang etc)."

Mass Effect 3 = 40 Hours

BioWare Social Network has a summary of the first magazine review of Mass Effect 3, which offers impressions of BioWare's action/RPG sequel. It also offers perspective on how long the game should last, saying the main quest runs for about 15-20 hours, which amounts to about 40 hours of total playtime, saying "side missions are vital to amass enough opposition to the Reaper threat." They also note the game includes about 90 minutes of cutscenes, while also offering impressions of the game that do not involve clock-watching. Thanks Computer and Video Games. On an interesting side note, while noting the game's preorders are well ahead of its predecessor's, MCV also points out that Destructoid recently put on a green visor to do some accounting to tally up what it would cost to get all the DLC planned for Mass Effect 3. This results in an eye-popping $869.91 price tag. Part of the reason this ends up so inflated is because some of it is bundled with Razor hardware, though this illustrates the problem the plan presents to a completionist. Finally, if you are in need of some marketing, Game Informer has a commercial for the game.

BioWare on MMO Mass Effect Possibilities

An interview on The PA Report continues their mission to fix games journalism by talking with Doctors Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka about what's going on at BioWare. Topics include the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic and the upcoming third installment in the Mass Effect series of action/RPGs. Along the way, Dr. Zeschuk discusses the "big possibility space" the Mass Effect IP represents when contemplating the possibility of an MMOG based on the series:

It became clear they had given the idea at least some thought. “It’s daunting, but the neat thing is it would lend itself to a different type of game play. It’s fun to think about. I imagine people think it would be just like Mass Effect as it is… but there’s lots of people there. It’s really interesting, I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”

“The possibility space, that’s a term that I heard Will Wright say about ten years ago, and it really struck me,” Muzyka continued, pointing out that most Bioware properties could work as MMOs. “When you deliver a game, and you deliver it for a player, you have to capture what they think is the possibility space. You need to let them do everything they think they should do, and you can’t block them from doing anything they think they should be able to do. You have to nail all the features and content that should be in that possibility space.“ He paused for a moment.

“Mass Effect is a big possibility space.”

Guild Wars 2 Info Extravaganza

IAmA Guild Wars 2 Game Designer on reddit features Mike Ferguson from ArenaNet answering questions about Guild Wars 2. This includes queries from their readership as well as some found on the forums for the upcoming MMORPG sequel. The result is a very detailed rundown on what to expect. Thanks Ant via wusel.

Hawken Gets $10M in Funding

Indie developer Meteor Entertainment has raised 10 million dollars to fund development of Hawken, the mech combat game in development at their subsidiary Adhesive Games, reports VentureBeat. They say the benefactors in this case is FirstMark Capital, the same group that funded Riot Games' development of League of Legends. “We are seeing the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, where all is downloadable and free-to-play,” Rick Heitzmann, founder and managing director of FirstMark Capital, told VentureBeat. “You can disrupt the business with a free-to-play title. Gamers are willing to pay via virtual goods to do that. League of Legends is a fantastic title, but it is just one game and one genre that has blown up. We think it’s possible to produce very high quality games that have huge audiences that are willing to pay.”

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
  • Corsair Carbide 300R Case on Guru3D.
  • Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Mouse on pcGameware.
  • ECS A990FXM-A Black Extreme Motherboard on PureOC.
  • GTX580 vs HD7970 Graphics Cards Head to Head on Vortez.
  • HTC TITAN Desk Dock on Test Freaks.
  • NewerTech NuGuard GripStand 2 and GripBase Bundle for iPad on TweakTown.
  • NZXT HAVIK 140 CPU Cooler on Bigbruin.com.
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Tech-Reviews UK.
  • SATA 3 SSD Roundup on Overclock3D.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming Headset on t-break.
  • SteelSeries Desmo Snow by GUNNAR Optiks on Hardware Heaven.

Out of the Blue

Okay, the trend has now been established. In years when Blue sees a film nominated for best picture, it has a 67% chance of winning the Oscar. This is a trend covering three movies spanning six years, so I think it's pretty safe to consider this completely reliable.

Reliable Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Mardi Gras Mayhem.
Building Demolisher.
Links: Gabe Newell Dancing. You're freakin' me out, man! Thanks Hump.
Stories: Oscar winners list (2012) - Inside Movies - EW.com
Science: Nature Editorial: If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source.
Light-switched local anesthetic lets scientists turn pain nerves on and off.
Media: 2012 Oscars: Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Ryan Seacrest. Thanks reddit.
Dog Takes Stolen Baguette Back To Her Kennel.
Ridiculous Scarf Project.
Follow-up: NMA: Oscars 2012: Academy Awards wrap-up.
Star Wars: Clone Wars - Darth Maul Returns Trailer. Thanks nin.



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