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Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012

  

Ships Ahoy - Legend of Grimrock

The Legend of Grimrock Website announces the release of Almost Human's dungeon crawler, which is available at a 10% discount from their site, GOG.com and Steam. Here's a release trailer, and here's a bit on the game:

Legend of Grimrock is a dungeon crawling role playing game with an oldschool heart but a modern execution. A group of prisoners are sentenced to certain death by exiling them to the secluded Mount Grimrock for vile crimes they may or may not have committed. Unbeknownst to their captors, the mountain is riddled with ancient tunnels, dungeons and tombs built by crumbled civilizations long perished now. If they ever wish to see daylight again and reclaim their freedom the ragtag group of prisoners must form a team and descend through the mountain, level by level.

The game brings back the oldschool challenge with highly tactical real-time combat and grid-based movement, devious hidden switches and secrets as well as deadly traps and horrible monsters. Legend of Grimrock puts an emphasis on puzzles and exploration and the wits and perception of the player are more important tools than even the sharpest of swords could be. And if you are a hardened dungeon crawling veteran and you crave an extra challenge, you can arm yourself with a stack of grid paper and turn on the Oldschool Mode which disables the luxury of the automap! Are you ready to venture forth and unravel the mysteries of Mount Grimrock?

Ships Ahoy - Avernum: Escape from the Pit

Spiderweb Software announces the release of the Windows PC edition of Avernum: Escape from the Pit, the latest installment in their throwback RPG series which is a reworking of Exile: Escape From the Pit. The game is available via digital distribution from Spiderweb Software and on Steam. Here's the outline of what the game offers:

  • Epic fantasy adventure in an enormous underworld.
  • Huge outdoors and eighty towns and dungeons.
  • Three separate game-winning quests. Seek safety, escape or revenge. Do just one of them or all three!
  • Unique races and settings make Avernum different from any adventure out there.
  • Dozens of side quests and hundreds of magical artifacts.
  • Rich game system with over 50 spells and battle disciplines and a multitude of beneficial character traits to choose from.

Ships Ahoy - Panzer Corps Grand Campaign '44 East

Panzer Corps Grand Campaign '44 East is now available from Matrix Games, offering the sixth DLC for Panzer Corps, the World War II strategy game. Here's the pitch: "This DLC features 13 all-new scenarios, featuring an elaborate campaign structure containing an unprecedented amount of unique objectives including escorting supply drops, breaking out of enemy encirclements, safeguarding evacuations, launching raids behind enemy lines, and more. In addition, this DLC has the capacity to save your core force for use in future campaigns!"

Mass Effect 3 Weekend Event

The BioWare Blog outlines details on this weekend's Operation RESURGENCE for Mass Effect 3, as they are gearing up for another special event in the action/RPG sequel:

Operation BEACHHEAD eased the pressure on allied planets and freed up conventional forces that were being hammered by the Reapers. With these reinforcements, the allies can use RESURGENCE to target more critical infrastructure.

Anyone who has the Resurgence Pack multiplayer DLC operational during this weekend will be granted a Reserves Pack. A Reserves Pack unlocks one of the new random alien classes guaranteed.

All participating squads will earn +10% additional experience when playing on the Resurgence expansion’s new maps, Firebase: Condor and Firebase: Hydra.

Dark Souls GFWL Petition

Following today's announcement of the Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition for Windows, which was supported by a petition, a new petition is now online to protest the plan to use Games for Windows LIVE (thanks Reddit). Here's word:

GFWL is unpopular, difficult to use, inconvenient, has terrible online support (a key feature in Dark Souls), and is downright unpleasant. After anxiously awaiting a PC release for this fantastic game it feels like a real slap in the face hearing Dark Souls will use Games for Windows Live. We recommend Valve's Steamworks in place, as this DRM is much easier to use, less intrusive, more reliable, and more accepted among PC gamers. Please reconsider the use of GFWL, or offer the game on both services. Thank you for taking the effort to port this game, but for a lot of customers it's Steam or no sale.

Tribes: Ascend Diary

A new video developer diary for Tribes: Ascend discusses how servers will operate in the free-to-play multiplayer shooter, which is expected to launch tomorrow. There's also an interview on Neogamr talking about the game, and their efforts of living up to the expectations of hardcore Tribes players.

Blood Bowl - Legendary Edition Patched

The Blood Bowl Forums have details on a new patch to update Blood Bowl - Legendary Edition to version 2.0.1.4. The download is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls, and here are the patch notes for the new version of this fantasy-themed tackle football game: Continue here to read the full story.

Gaikai's Facebook Launch

Gaikai announces the launch of its Facebook App in beta, allowing users the chance to play "console-quality" games streamed for free. Word is: "The Gaikai Facebook app is currently available in North America & Europe. To play you will need to be in a Gaikai coverage area with a broadband internet connection and Java installed. Gaikai works on any PC or Mac using Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Gaikai works in all major browsers including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari." Here's the list of games they are offering at this point:

  • Saints Row - The Third (USA)
  • Dead Rising 2 - Off the Record (USA)
  • Magicka (USA & Europe)
  • Sniper - Ghost Warrior (USA & Europe)
  • The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings (USA & Europe)
  • Orcs Must Die! (USA & Europe)
  • Farming Simulator 2011 (USA & Europe)

Gatherings & Competitions

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Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: A DRAMATIC SURPRISE ON A QUIET SQUARE. Thanks dakslf.

PC Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition in August

NAMCO BANDAI Games officially announces the Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, the recently hinted PC edition of the action/RPG which adds some content not in the console version. This is expected via digital distribution on August 24th, and here's word:

SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 11, 2012) – Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., today announced that, by popular demand, Dark Souls™: Prepare to Die™ Edition will be releasing for the PC platform in North America on August 24th. This special, content-enhanced edition of the critically acclaimed Action-RPG developed by FromSoftware will be finely-tuned to cater to the PC gaming audience while retaining all of the deep challenge, rich atmosphere, and compelling gameplay that made the game a worldwide phenomenon. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition on the PC platform will also include an enhanced PVP mode allowing players to more closely assemble battles against one another online in an all-out fight to the death that fans have demanded.

In addition, the development team at FromSoftware has revealed an untold chapter in the world of Lordran created specifically to help further expand upon the lore of the game. ‘Artorias of the Abyss’ will include all-new areas to explore, enemies to encounter, and bosses to take down one by one as players are treated to an unseen side of Lordan where players must stop the spread of darkness at all costs by facing and defeating the Dark Knight Artorias.

Continue here to read the full story.

Crysis 3 Clues

NeoGAF has a cover image from Game Reactor magazine suggesting a Crysis 3 announcement is imminent. Eurogamer follows up noting some further detective work that builds the case for the unsurprising news that Crytek is working on the next installment in their first-person shooter series. They note Eurogamer.de has found German-specific search results for Crysis 3 for Xbox 360 on Origin, EA's digital platform, and offer a couple of images that have been dug up showing a new bow weapon. A post on inCrysis notes a tweet by Crytek's Cevat Yerli with this intriguing clue: "Ah I am very excited, a few more days to go...stay tuned."

Game of Thrones: The Game Nears

Eurogamer reports an "early June" release date for Game of Thrones: The Game, Cyanide's upcoming role-playing game based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels and related TV series. A check of the Game of Thrones: The Game Website (the website) offers a different release date in the upper-left hand corner, where it says: "Coming May 15, 2012," so early June may be a European date, or perhaps the date on the site needs to be updated.

Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition

Square Enix announces the Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition, saying this special edition of the next installment in IO Interactive's stealth/action series is now available for preorder. Here's word:

Square Enix is pleased to reveal the Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition. Featuring a premium hardcover Art Book with a foreword from Game Director Tore Blystad, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes “making of” video, all packaged up in a clamshell box that looks as sharp as Agent 47 does in his suit, the Professional Edition is the ultimate way to experience the living, breathing world of Hitman: Absolution.

Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition also includes advanced access to a range of in-game Agency Weapons, giving the Original Assassin a deadly edge over his enemies from the outset. The Agency Jagd P22G pistol will suit the silent assassins, whilst the Agency HX UMP SMG and the Agency SPS 12 semi-automatic shotgun will give Agent 47 the power to fight his foes head on.

HITMAN: ABSOLUTION follows The Original Assassin undertaking his most personal contract to date. Betrayed by the Agency and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself pursuing redemption in a corrupt and twisted world.

Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition is available to preorder now. Please visit www.Hitman.com for updates.

2012 World of Warcraft Arena Pass Registration

The World of Warcraft Website announces Blizzard has opened registration for the 2012 World of Warcraft Arena Pass for the MMORPG. You can register here for USD $20.00 per account. The Frequently Asked Questions has more details on this, and here's word:

Participants will be fighting their way through the ladder ranks, testing their mettle against the best Arena players in World of Warcraft. Players that register for the Arena Pass will also be eligible to earn Murkimus, the Armored Murloc in-game pet, as a reward for participating. The top 1000 teams will also earn the exclusive "Vanquisher”" title for their live characters, proclaiming their puissant skill in battle for all the realm to see.

Don't forget, players that participate in this year's World of Warcraft Arena Pass will also gain exclusive access to a level-90 Arena Pass realm after the account is upgraded to the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

Serious Sam Double D Enhancements Planned

A "Blackberry Pie Chart" on the Mommy's Best Games' Dev log offers a graphical (and delicious) look at what they are up to. This indicates a majority of their current efforts are focused on a "sorta" secret project related to Serious Sam Double D, their recently released Serious Sam platformer.

Victory: The Age of Racing Patched

Victory: The Age of Racing is a free-to-play online open-wheel racing game currently in open beta testing. The latest news is of a new patch to update the game to version 8.6, offering brand-new network code, a new website dashboard, and more. This trailer offers a look at the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I'm suffering a little this morning with what seems to be a bit of hay fever (I almost wrote spring fever, but that's different), as my head is all clogged up. I generally don't have allergies, but I had a bout like this a few years ago, and even though tree pollen counts in the area have gone from high to moderate over the past week, I'm assuming that this is what's going on here, as this isn't a head cold, and I don't really have any other explanation. Achoo!

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: That's my Dungeon.
Super Villainy.
Links: Matt Groening Lets Three-Eyed Fish Out Of The Lake On Location Of Springfield.
Garbage Pail Kids Book. Thanks Fly.
Stories: 'Game of Thrones' renewed for third season.
Headed to New York? Watch out for sleazy restaurant Nello.
Should hospitals ban obese employees? Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Dental X-Rays Linked To Common Brain Tumor. Thanks Slashdot.
Tennessee governor allows bill targeting science education to become law.
Media: Jedi Grandma.
Hero 'Lifeguard' Dog Saves Puppy From Drowning In Pool.
Jaws Film Restoration. Thanks nin.
In this Georgia Tech Class, your phone rings, you dance.
Auction: Space Shuttle telescope for sale.

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Resurgence DLC Released

The Mass Effect Twitter Feed has word that the free Resurgence Pack DLC is now available for Mass Effect 3, with the PC edition available through Origin. The official website for the action/RPG sequel has details on the pack and the previously released launch trailer.

Nexuiz Beta

THQ and Machinima today announce the launch of public beta testing of the Windows edition of Nexuiz, Illfonic's upcoming CryENGINE 3 first-person shooter. Keys are being distributed through the Alienware Website, and the PC edition is expected to launch on May 3rd for USD $9.99. "PC is the home of the arena shooter," said Kedhrin Gonzalez, creative director at Illfonic. "We've been working hard to make the PC version of Nexuiz the best we can, and add the features and support that the discerning PC audience expects. This beta will help us fine tune our online service, and we hope players will have a blast with it." The news includes an outline of enhancements in the PC version compared with the previously released console version:

  • Dedicated server support and game browser
  • Enhanced, CryENGINE 3 powered graphics with DX11 support
  • Advanced custom controls, new HUD and a 15 percent increase to player speed for ultimate twitch-shooter experience -- and immersive feedback utilizing Alien FX by Alienware!

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes Beta

BioWare announces the launch of beta testing for Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, offering free-to-play online PvP teamplay set in the Warhammer universe:

Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is advancing online PvP games by delivering instant, fast-paced and competitive three-sided 6v6v6 PvP arena gameplay – for free! As the latest entry in EA’s Play4Free portfolio, the game throws three teams into battle against each other, where players can choose from a wide range of unique heroes from the Warhammer universe on the fly. This cutthroat setup creates highly dynamic matches where teams constantly live on the edge of victory or defeat and alliances are quickly formed and just as quickly forgotten. With the instant playability of battles that last an intense 15 minutes, a small download size, and no cost to enter, Wrath of Heroes can scratch the competitive PvP itch for gamers of any type.

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Unveiled

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters is an upcoming action/RPG in development at American McGee's Spicy Horse described on American McGee's Website as "a Japanese retelling of the Red Riding Hood story, turned on its ear." A Akaneiro: Demon Hunters placeholder website and a Facebook Page are online, but the most details on the game at this point can be found in an article on Kotaku, where they say the game will be free-to-play on "PC, the web, and tablets," but Spicy Horse promises it won't be "naggy" or "spammy." They offer a look at the game's lore and setting, describing "a hand-painted world inspired by ancient demons and late Edo era Japan."

Ships Ahoy - Naval War: Arctic Circle

Paradox Interactive announces the release of Naval War: Arctic Circle, the naval RTS game from Turbo Tape Games. They celebrate the news with this release trailer, and here's the announcement:

Paradox Interactive and Turbo Tape Games give you the opportunity to decide the fate of the world in two scenario-driven campaigns – play as either the NATO forces pulled together to combat a rising threat or as the Russian Navy, hungrily pushing out of her Northern bases to secure badly needed resources. Meticulously researched ships, planes and submarines are at your disposal, along with their powerful weapons systems. Realistically modeled weather and radar systems further enhance your experience. Naval War: Arctic Circle challenges veteran wargamers to a fatal game of hide-and-seek, where the first one to be spotted could be the first one to go down.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mechromancer DLC is Borderlands 2 Preorder Bonus

Gearboxity has a follow-up to the news from PAX East about plans to add a fifth playable class to Borderlands 2 via post-release DLC. This clarifies that this Mechromancer content will be a preorder bonus for the role-playing shooter sequel, and paid content for everyone else:

As a special thank you to our early supporters, the Mechromancer will be available as a free download to members of the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club, which you can gain access to by pre-ordering Borderlands 2 from a participating retailer. The Mechromancer will also be available as premium downloadable content for those who aren't Premiere Club members at the same time. For more details on the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club, please visit this thread and borderlands2.com/preorder.

Diablo III Barbarian Video

The Diablo III Website shows the way to a preview on the Barbarian class in Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG sequel. The preview has some details and includes a trailer showing off some barbarism. Continue here to read the full story.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Video Diary

A new video developer diary from Elemental: Fallen Enchantress takes a look at the magic in Stardock's upcoming turn-based strategy follow-up. The clip focuses on the game's magic, showing how mastery of the arcane arts is essential to success. Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Scotty Can Be a Real Prick Sometimes. Thanks Ant.

Dungeonbowl Announced

Cyanide Studio announces Dungeonbowl, an online game expected to launch for Windows PCs before the middle of this year using characters from Blood Bowl, as it transports this fantasy game based on Warhammer and American football to the inside of a dungeon. A preliminary Dungeonbowl Website offers forums, and the game also has pages on Facebook and Google+. We have some screenshots, and the following announcement:

Dungeonbowl is the next exciting Blood Bowl experience, set in the fantasy American Football inspired game world already adapted as a video game by Cyanide. The key difference between Dungeonbowl and Blood Bowl as is rather obvious from the name, is that Dungeonbowl is played in a dangerous dungeon!

The wizards created the Dungeonbowl as they wanted to know which Magic College was the most powerful. The game introduces some subtle modifications to the standard Blood Bowl rules. A match is still played between two teams, but each side is composed of three races. For example, the roster of a Rainbow Wizards team contains Wood Elves, Halflings and Humans. The second difference is that the first team to score a touchdown wins the match. This task is made significantly more difficult by the fact that the ball is hidden in one of six treasure chests, five of which are booby-trapped with an explosive spell. Last, but by no means least, movement within the dungeon is both facilitated and complicated by teleporter pads. These allow players to magically zap from one position to another; a mishap, however, can lead to a player being zapped out of the match. As with Blood Bowl, the game is driven by dice and each player plays in turn.

Dungeonbowl continues Cyanide's successful collaboration with Games Workshop and their rich and varied Blood Bowl world. The gameplay should therefore delight existing Blood Bowl fans as well as offer a gateway to this zany parody of Warhammer®and American Football for fans of tactical sports gaming.

Bulletstorm Sequel Cancelled; PC Piracy Mentioned

In spite of EA saying the original "under-performed," a sequel to Bulletstorm was in the works at People Can Fly before being cancelled by parent company Epic Games reports GameSpot, who hear from Epic president Mike Capps on the topic. Mike indicates they have put the Polish developer on a different project they will "be announcing pretty soon," though there is no clue if this is the recently revealed PC game Epic is planning. "We thought a lot about a sequel, and had done some initial development on it, but we found a project that we thought was a better fit for People Can Fly," he said. "We haven't announced that yet, but we will be announcing it pretty soon." He goes on to praise Bulletstorm and says he'd love to go back to the property, "but right now we don't have anything to talk about." Just to stir the pot a little, the story concludes with Capps' comment that sales of the PC version may have been harmed by piracy: "We made a PC version of Bulletstorm, and it didn't do very well on PC and I think a lot of that was due to piracy. It wasn't the best PC port ever, sure, but also piracy was a pretty big problem."

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Animations

A S.T.A.L.K.E.R. tweet points the way to a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 animation video that shows some character animations from the upcoming shooter sequel. Subsequent tweets indicate this was created by a former employee and that the game, which has faced rumors of cancellation amid the possibility that developer GSC Game World may close, still does not have a release date. Thanks Eurogamer.

Resident Evil 6 October/November Release

A Resident Evil 6 Captivate Trailer 2012 has found its way online, offering cinematics from the upcoming continuation of the survival/horror series. The clip concludes displaying 20-11-2012 which morphs into 02-10-2012, suggesting we're looking at an October/November release (thanks VG247). For more, it looks like there's a little viral marketing for the game happening on NoHopeLeft.com.

Guild Wars 2 Pre-Purchases Grant Beta & Early Access

NCsoft is now accepting pre-purchases of Guild Wars 2, saying these will entitle customers to participate in weekend beta events and to get a three day head start in the MMORPG sequel when it launches. Pre-purchases are being accepted through the Guild Wars 2 Website and the retailers listed on this page. The occasion is also being promoted with this trailer.

Lost Planet 3 In 2013 From Spark Unlimited

Lost Planet 3 is in development at Spark Unlimited for release next year, reports Siliconera, where they have a leaked cinematic trailer from the third-person shooter sequel. The trailer does conclude with a 2013 date and the Spark logo, along with badges for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network, though no hints about a PC edition.

Game of Thrones: The Game Details

The Game of Thrones: The Game Website (the website) now has a new section with new details on how King's Landing is displayed in the upcoming role-playing game based on the fantasy property. This offers some details on this area, and we have some new King's Landing screenshots as well.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Legend of Grimrock on IGN.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, just as I start using my new extra-hot man-stove, the county where we reside has issued a "red flag" warning based on the possibility of wildfires due to the dry windy conditions in the area, where the drought condition has been upgraded to "severe." This does not actually prohibit grilling, but it does give pause. I wonder if I could actually spin this as a reason to move the grill on the deck to *prevent* a fire hazard? Probably not. Well, at least the forecast calls for the possibility of showers this week, so maybe that will help.

Dry Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Clear Vision 5.
Links: Your Nickname Guide. NSFW. Thanks Devicer.
Student, 13, Drives Bus to Safety When Driver Faints.
Stories: Bryan Cranston: 'Breaking Bad' will split final season.
Science: It wasn't your imagination- US experienced warmest March ever.
6 Ingredients You May Not Want In Your Food. The last is the payoff.
Images: RPGs.
Coffee is good. Sleep is better.
Media: Largest Rube Goldberg Machine. Thanks dakslf.
Laziest Invention Ever.
Mario Goes Berserk.



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