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Thursday, Mar 01, 2012

  

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Beta

The Sins of a Solar Empire Website announces that the first beta testing phase is underway for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, the upcoming stand-alone Sins of a Solar Empire expansion. The beta is open to those who preorder Ironclad's space strategy game, and outline what's included in the first beta:

  • Updated graphics engine with self-shadowing ships, up to 16X anisotropic filtering and more.
  • Updated weapon effects.
  • All the new technologies and balance of the TEC factions.
  • Construct the mighty TEC Loyalist Ankylon and TEC Rebel Ragnarov titans.
  • The new TEC Corsev battlecruiser capital ship and Stilat/Shriken corvettes.
  • Steam support for achievements, friends, game invites, automatic updates and more.
  • New ship movement system and performance optimizations.
    and lots more!

Ships Ahoy - Deep Black: Reloaded

Biart Company announces the release of Deep Black: Reloaded, their science-fiction, third-person shooter set underwater, where no one can hear you go glub blug glub. The game can be purchased through the Biart Website, and here's a bit from the release announcement:

March 1st, 2012 – Delaware, North America - Biart Company, an independent development studio today announced that its science-fiction, third-person PC shooter Deep Black: Reloaded is locked and loaded and now available through digital download platforms. Featuring 40 single player missions across land and water, Deep Black: Reloaded is set in a desolate near future of global terrorism and espionage as players become involved in a desperate fight for world supremacy and the capture of a sophisticated biological weapon.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Painkiller: Recurring Evil

Steam now offers Painkiller: Recurring Evil, the latest expansion for Painkiller: Resurrection. The first-person shooter add-on is on sale for 20% off, as is the Painkiller Complete Pack. Here's word:

Battle never ceases in the realm known as Hell. This time around it's a battle for the freedom of your very soul. Experience the magnificent dark atmosphere of the good (or evil?) Painkiller, the only true oldschool First Person Shooter, tough as nails, without a trace of remorse, without a glimpse of motion blur or other technological makeup. Just Painkiller and nothing else matters!

Dragon Age II Patch

A new patch is online for Dragon Age II to update BioWare's RPG sequel to version 1.04.The manual versions of the patch can be found on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell, and Stream has word that their version is automatically updated, offering the complete change list, which includes spoiler warnings.

Hawken Website and Trailer

A new Hawken Website is live as home to this upcoming mech combat game. The site continues to accept signups for the games beta test, and offers a new March 2012 Gameplay Teaser trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Mount & Blade Collection Announced

Paradox Interactive announces the Mount & Blade Collection, a compilation of the various releases in the series also known as Mount&Blade to save space(s). The collection is due this month, and here's what it will include:

Included within the Mount & Blade Collection are:

  • Mount & Blade is soaked with the blood of sellswords. Survive, and turn a profit!
  • Mount & Blade: Warband: Command your own faction and engage in 64 player multiplayer.
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword: Firearms have come to Europe! Learn to tame their unholy roar. Continue here to read the full story.

Max Payne 3 Preorder Bonus; Contest

The GameStop Facebook Page offers links to preorder Max Payne 3, saying this will get customers early access to the Cemetery multiplayer map for the upcoming third-person shooter sequel. They also offer a little social media contest that can get your name immortalized on a tombstone in the Cemetery map if you retweet a marketing message that sets off an endless loop by encouraging others to do the same.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Luxor Evolved on Steam. Save 10%.
  • RIFT on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Saints Row 2 on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Saints Row: The Third on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Spiral Knights: Operation Crimson Hammer DLC on Steam. Save 33%.
  • Vessel on Steam. Save 10%.

Evening Preview

Evening Screenshots

  • MechWarrior Tactics on Blue's News. First in-game screenshots.

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Weird Owl. Thanks Ant.

Assassin's Creed III Setting Confirmed, Details Next Week

Following yesteray's tease, there are some Assassin's Creed III Packshots on the Facebook Page for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 editions of a next installment in the stealth/action series. These confirm rumors of a setting in colonial America, as it shows an American Revolution battle and our hooded protagonist about to do in a British soldier. There's an Official Statement concerning Assassin's Creed III on the Ubisoft Forums (thanks Gamer's Hell) with word to expect more next week: "We confirm that Ubisoft will announce all the details of Assassin's Creed III on Monday March 5th at 5pm."

Rayman Origins Demo

Steam's Rayman Origins Page now offers a playable demo of the upcoming Windows edition of Rayman Origins, the platformer sequel (the full version is due at the end of this month). There are no details at this point on what's included in the demo. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

BioShock Infinite in October

2K Games announces an October 16, 2012 North American release date for BioShock Infinite, saying the first-person shooter sequel from Irrational Games will arrive in international stores on October 19th for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. "After BioShock, we had a vision for a follow up that dwarfed the original in scope and ambition," says Ken Levine (@iglevine), Creative Director of Irrational Games (@irrationalgames). "BioShock Infinite has been our sole focus for the last four years, and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on it." Here's word on the game:

BioShock Infinite puts players in the role of Booker DeWitt, a hard-bitten former Pinkerton agent, together with the revolutionary AI companion, Elizabeth. The two struggle to escape the sky-city of Columbia, in a 1912 America that might have been. Armed with an arsenal of new weapons and abilities, they face menacing enemies, in unique expansive environments. Classic BioShock gameplay joins innovations such as aerial combat on high-speed Sky-Lines in the service of an immersive storyline – an Irrational Games signature.

Ships Ahoy - Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

The Da New Guys Website now offers the release of Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass, a point-and-click adventure with ambitions of living up to past classics like Full Throttle. A playable demo was released last month. Here's word on the game:

Brain - the worst brawler in the history of the Wrestle Zone - has won the title belt! Not even his team-mates Simon and Defender can believe it. But when Brain gets kidnapped (along with the belt), it's up to them to get him back.

Street-fights, car chases, and obssessed fans all stand in the way of Brain's rescue. But as the reluctant heroes find themselves descending ever deeper into the city's darkest corner, they learn that their problems are only just beginning...

New Minecraft

Mojang announces the release of version 1.2 of Minecraft, the open-world building and hiding game. This is accompanied by an updated version of the Minecraft launcher that should properly select 64-bit Java installations for Mac OS X users. Here's the list of new features: Continue here to read the full story.

Sony Server Closures

Sony announces the end of life for online servers for some online games. An EverQuest Online Adventures Farewell letter announces this PS2 MMOG is closing on March 29th, and the closure FAQ explains how billing will end, and promises three month Gold Memberships in both EverQuest and EverQuest II to current subscribers (thanks Massively). Gamasutra follows this up with word on additional closures, saying the following multiplayer servers will also go offline on the 29th: Cosmic Rift, Infantry, and Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga.

A Valley Without Wind Final Beta Begins

Arcen Games announces the launch of a third and final beta testing phase for A Valley Without Wind, their upcoming side-scrolling open-world action game. They say the game is nearing its full release for Windows and OS X, and outline the latest changes in the new beta: "The mechanics have been streamlined, a fully fleshed-out player experience is now in place, and tons of new content has been packed in -- including a variety of new missions, spells, armor enchants, guardian powers, and more. Multiplayer has also come a long way, and players are having a blast running their own beta servers. There are a few multiplayer remaining bugs to iron out prior to 1.0, plus the need for a server browser, but it's already a satisfying experience."

World of Warplanes Alpha Soars

Wargaming.net announces having signed up 100,000 volunteer pilots for the Global Alpha Testing of World of Warplanes, their upcoming MMO aerial combat game. "The player demand to participate in the alpha testing is impressive; it's a lot greater than we had anticipated," says World of Warplanes producer Anton Sitnikau. "I'd like to congratulate and welcome our first five thousand alpha test pilots and hope they enjoy the incredible flight experience. And, of course, we encourage others to apply - we have many more invitations to give away." The game's website also has a warning to alpha testers not to violate their NDAs, listing a few testers who have been permanently banned from World of Warplanes and World of Tanks dues to loose lips.

Break Blocks for Charity

Greater Good Games now offers Break Blocks, a new entry in the surprisingly sparse break dancing puzzle game genre. You can pick your own price for this, and a minimum of 20% of the proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders, with the percentage going charity to increase as sales rise. A Windows version is available now, and purchasers are entitled to all future updates, including the upcoming OS X edition.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA S511 240 GByte SSD on Technic3D. In German.
  • Alienware M14x Laptop on PC Perspective.
  • ASUS Radeon HD 7750 1 GB Graphics Card on techPowerUp.
  • Corsair Carbide 300R Case on Overclock3D.
  • EVGA X79 FTW X79 Motherboard on eTeknix.
  • GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD3 Socket 2011 Motherboard on ProClockers.
  • Intel Sandy Bridge-E i7-3820 CPU on Mad Shrimps.
  • Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 RAID 0 on PureOC.
  • MSI GT780R Motherboard on t-break.
  • MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB OC Edition Graphics Card on TweakTown.
  • Panasonic SC-HC37 Stereo System on t-break.
  • Patriot Memory 120GB Wildfire Solid State Drive on ModSynergy.com.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3-Inch Android Superphone on MEGATech.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Smartphone on HotHardware.
  • Samsung PM830 SATA 3 256GB mSATA SSD on The SSD Review.
  • Wicked Lasers Spyder III Krypton 1 Watt Green Laser on TweakTown.
  • XFX 1000W Pro Series 80 Plus Platinum PSU on AnandTech.
  • XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition Graphics Card on HARDOCP.

etc.

Out of the Blue

After a leap day delay, March is upon us. As the old saying I always invoke says, this month is supposed to come "in like a lion" in this area, but if that's the case, it's a declawed, damp lion as it's been warm and wet around here the past couple of days.

Marching Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Nelly.
Stories: Wyoming narrowly defeats measure to prepare for apocalypse.
Science: The Red-Dress Effect. Thanks Neatorama.
Study crowns T-rex the greatest chomper. Thanks Acleacius.
Total recall: Japanese robot finds lost things.
Images: Diablo III Demon Hunter Cosplay. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: Robot quadcopters perform James Bond theme.
Competitive Grocery Bagging - A Documentary.
Monument Valley [TBS@USA 6-13]. Thanks Jim.
Speed Bump.
Follow-up: David Cross: 'Arrested Development's Blue Man Group paint was a pain'.



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