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Thursday, Apr 12, 2012

  

Tribes Ascend: Launches

The Tribes: Ascend website is now accepting signups for Hi-Rez Studios' revival of this beloved multiplayer shooter series. They offer client downloads and account registration for the free-to-play game, and here's word on what to expect:

Hi-Rez Studios, independent developer of AAA free-to-play online games, today announced the official release of Tribes: Ascend. The fast-paced, sci-fi multiplayer shooter has completed Beta testing and is now a live PC game available for digital download.

Tribes: Ascend is the world's fastest shooter. The game features jetpacks, skiing, vehicles, team-based gameplay, and cutting-edge graphics using Unreal 3 technology. With this official release, the game is available for download directly from the developer at www.tribesascend.com.

The Tribes: Ascend release build includes 9 playable classes, 5 game-modes, and 16 unique maps.

Recent additions include the CTF map Raindance, as well as a new game-mode called Capture and Hold. The Release build also includes a preview of the Custom Server functionality that will soon be available to players.

"For the past 15 months, we've had a very passionate dev team working hard toward this goal," said Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios COO. "Along the way some publishers told us modern gamers couldn't handle an FPS that was fast-paced and skill-based. We believe otherwise. Players seem to agree since we've had well over 500,000 join our Beta. We're excited to now grow the community further with the official release."

Hi-Rez Studios also released a summary of Beta statistics including:

        • 575,000+ beta participants
        • 150 million player kills
        • Over 3 million Blue Plate Specials
        • Over 3 million flag captures

Ships Ahoy - Men of War: Condemned Heroes

IC Company announces the release of Men of War: Condemned Heroes, the latest installment in their ongoing series of World War II action/strategy games. Their store section has a list of digital distributors who are carrying the game. Here's a bit on the game:

Men of War: Condemned Heroes is the newest installment in the best-selling Men of War series which fuses tactical thinking with the action-packed direct control mode.

Men of War: Condemned Heroes tells the story of one of the infamous Soviet penal battalions during the WWII. These battalions are famous for being formed under Stalin’s “No step back!” order #227. They consisted of court-martialed officers that were given a chance to redeem their crimes, or incompetence, in blood by serving as the lowest enlisted rank in a battalion that was assigned the most dangerous tasks. These battalions’ images are surrounded by many myths, and this game tells the truth about these regiments based on real evidence from their former members.

Take command of one of these notorious companies and lead it to victory against all odds through most of the war on the Eastern front. Fight from desperate battles in 1942 in the area of Volyn in the Ukraine, to the massive operation “Bagration” in the Brest area, Magnush bridgehead and Warsaw area in Poland and finally to attacks on the German Altdam and Stettin near the end of the war.

EA: Tanks for the Warhammer 40K Inspiration?

This image from Reddit builds the case that a tank design for Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances appears quite similar to a Games Workshop-designed tank from the Warhammer 40K series. Games Workshop is known for fiercely defending its intellectual property rights, so there is rampant speculation that if this claim turns out to be valid, legal action is likely to follow. Thanks Strategy Informer.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Gameplay Trailer; Unit Reveal

The Medal of Honor: Warfighter Website now features a new trailer offering the first look at gameplay from the upcoming military shooter sequel as well as a new unit reveal. Here's word: "This week is a huge week for Medal of Honor Warfighter. With the release of our full gameplay trailer we have decided to forego the reveal of our next product partner and instead go back to London Bridge Trading and reveal the second of our four featured units in the game." Continue here to read the full story.

0x10cͨ Screenshots

Markus" notch" Persson tweets the release of some prototype screenshots from 0x10cͨ, Mojang's upcoming space game. He's also added a note to the section mentioning "hard science fiction" to back off that a bit: "Update: GAH, NO! I'm focusing on fun gameplay instead. I still want to get corrected on glaring scientific errors, though."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well the explanation of why I would have a mysterious bout of allergies when I don't usually suffer them is pretty straightforward: I seem to actually have a cold. I didn't think it was that at first due to its odd sudden onset combined with the fact that I just suffered my first cold in several years just a few months ago. I was pretty miserable last night, but am feeling better this morning, so hopefully this is a quickie.

Quickie Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Cabbage Maniac.
Links: 8 of the Most Awful Paid DLC in Videogame History.
Stories: Probably Bad News: Sonic Died Years Ago, Anyway.
As weather gets biblical, insurers go missing.
Serbia says finds Cezanne missing masterpiece worth $109m.
Images: Mad X-Men. Thanks TDW Geeks.
Media: Joe Goes SOCCER.
Frasier's Celebrity Callers Compilation.
I Know That Voice - Trailer v1.
The Funnies: Oregon Trail Hunting Accident.
Virtual Shackles: It's a Hell of a Drug.

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

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

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.



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