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Friday, Apr 20, 2012

  

Spec Ops: The Line Multiplayer Trailer

A new trailer from Spec Ops: The Line shows off multiplayer action from the upcoming military shooter. Word is: "This trailer highlights the online multiplayer in Spec Ops: The Line, featuring a look at the intimate and intense 4-on-4 class based combat set in the sandstorm ravaged city of Dubai. The online multiplayer in Spec Ops: The Line also features a deep ranking system, allowing players to unlock perks and other unique customizations as their character progresses." Here's the clip. Continue here to read the full story.

Bang Bang Racing Trailer

A new vantage-point trailer from Bang Bang Racing shows off the top-down arcade in this upcoming multi-platform racing game. Word is: "Pick your line, be aware of shortcuts and be ever mindful of obstacles and course slicks as you make your way through the twists and turns of each track." Continue here to read the full story.

Torchlight II Cinematic

This trailer is the opening cinematic for Torchlight II, setting the story for Runic Game's upcoming action/RPG sequel. The 2D animation helps explain the events that bridge the game and its predecessor. Continue here to read the full story.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Beta Patched

A new beta 3 is now live for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, Stardock's upcoming fantasy strategy game. This post has a full change log for the new beta for those who are participating in the beta or just keeping up with progress on the game.

On Sale

  • All Games on the StormPowered Store. Save 10% with code "STORMPOWEREDFB" at checkout.
  • Anno 2070 on GameFly. Save 50%.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on GameFly. Save 33%.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on GameFly. Save 40%.
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition Bundle on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Nordic Games Collection on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Sims 3 Games on GameFly. Save up to 50%.
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition: Director's Cut on GOG.com.

Evening Previews

  • Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition on The PA Report. Thanks nin.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Crysis 3 Teaser Trailer

GameTrailers.com now offers a teaser trailer for Crysis 3, Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. This teaser is shorter than the commercial it follows, but it concludes saying to expect a gameplay trailer on April 24th. In the meantime we get glimpses of the game's depiction of a partially overgrown NYC, that new bow weapon, and, of course, plenty of hexagons.

Diablo III Open Beta Weekend

Following indications yesterday that more accounts were being granted access to the Diablo III beta test, the Diablo III Website announces the beta will indeed be opened this weekend to anyone with a Battle.net account for stress testing. The open portion of the beta will begin at 3:00 pm EDT today and will run through Monday at 1:00 pm EDT. The accompanying FAQ explains how this will operate, and notes that while Korean players cannot participate, they will be holding a separate invitation-only event in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The invitation only closed beta will continue as planned until May 1st. To get a head start, you can download the client now from Battle.net.

Botanicula Debuts in Humble Bundle; GOG.com Preorder Makeup

Humble Mumble announces the debut of the Humble Botanicula Debut, a bundle celebrating the launch of Botanicula, Amanita Design's brand new game, bundled with Machinarium, Samorost 2, Kooky, and Windosill. This is offered as a pick-your-price deal, and it's interesting to note the announcement of the game's release on GOG.com at its regular price indicates the publisher was not expecting the game's debut to compete with a bargain bundle, and a subsequent post attempts to make this all right by announcing they have secured "a number of goodies from the bundle" for customers who preordered Botanicula through them. Here's word on the new game:

In Botanicula, you must guide a motley band of tree creatures in a journey to save their home from brooding, spider-like invaders. With a huge cast of charming characters and an original soundtrack by the Czech alternative band DVA, Botanicula is the latest and greatest example of Amanita Design’s unique storybook vision brought to vivid fruition in an point-and-click adventure/puzzle game.

Because Botanicula has important environmental themes, we’re hoping you’ll allocate some of your purchase to support the World Land Trust, an international conservation charity focused on protecting threatened habitats.

Legend of Grimrock Patched

The Legend of Grimrock Website announces the release of a new patch to update Almost Human's dungeon crawler to version 1.1.4. The patch is save-game compatible with previous versions, and here's how it is being distributed: "We have pushed the patch to Steam, GOG and our own store and it should be available once the distributors have done their magic, hopefully within 24 hours. Steam users will get the patch automatically, and if you bought the game from GOG or from us you can download the patched version of the game using the same way you obtained the original copy. But hold on a bit, it will take some time before the build gets updated on the servers." Here's the change list: Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

For some reason I thought all the recent Titanic hype was leading to the 100th anniversary of the ocean liner's sinking today, but I wasn't paying enough attention, as this was actually on the 15th. This shows how much less obsessed with this I am than about anyone else in the world, because I didn't really need to hear any more about this in the first place. Maybe the centennial will finally put the story to watery rest. Today is still a commemoration of course, as 4/20 is like stoner Christmas, but if there's anything that gets more than its share of exposure all year round, it's the use of 420 in gamertags etc, so maybe we can just sink that reference while we're at it?

Hyped Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Talesworth Adventure: The Lost Artifacts.
Links: Via lemonade stand, 6yo boy raises $10K for dad's chemo.
Andrew's review of Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Creme. Thanks nin.
The Real-life Inspirations for 17 Simpsons Characters.
Stories: 16 Amish plead not guilty in Ohio hair attacks.
Everything You Want to Know About Flossing But Were Afraid to Ask.
World’s oldest living man celebrates 115th birthday.
Images: The Meow Mix Is a Lie!
Media: Newscaster Slips Collection. NSFW.
Dramatic look from soccer player.
Spider-Cat.
Follow-up: Gulf seafood "horribly deformed".

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012

Human Head Off Prey 2?

Human Head has not worked on Prey 2 since November, reports Shacknews citing a "source who asked not to be identified." According to their story, the developer on the first-person shooter sequel stopped working on the game as a negotiating ploy to get a better deal with ZeniMax, and that today's announcement that Prey 2 is delayed suggests a new developer may be announced for the project as a result. That would also explain why Human Head recently raised the possibility of developing Rune 2, and the Shack story indicates Human Head's negotiations to work on a high profile project are going well. They also have the following noncommittal response from ZeniMax to questions about all this: "we aren't commenting on the game's development beyond what was said in the statement that was released this morning."

Sniper Elite V2 Demo

The Sniper Elite V2 page on Steam now offers a playable demo for Rebellion's upcoming sharpshooting sequel. There's no word on what this sample of the game includes.

Ships Ahoy - Mount & Blade Warband: Napoleonic Wars

Paradox Interactive announces the release of Mount & Blade Warband: Napoleonic Wars, the latest DLC for Mount & Blade Warband, which brings the real-time combat of the series into 19th Century Europe. On a related note, there's also a new patch for Mount & Blade Warband to update it to version 1.151. The patch should be available automatically, and there are manual downloads on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls, and this forum post has the patch notes. Back to Flying Squirrel Entertainment's new DLC, here's what Napoleonic Wars adds to the game: Continue here to read the full story.

0x10c Teaser Trailer

A 0x10c teaser trailer sets the stage for Mojang's upcoming space adventure game, describing a far-flung future in a manner that's best described as awesome, in the most completely Sagan-esque sense of the word. Thanks VG247.Update: Apparently this is a fan-made trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

New Arma 3 Territory Revealed

The Arma 3 Website now has a reveal for Stratis Island, one of the territories in Bohemia Interactive's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "Situated in the North Aegean and stretching over 19 square kilometres, Stratis adds geographical variety and expands the game’s massive military sandbox. The reveal is supported by a brand new trailer, screenshots and info on the Community Alpha!"

New X-Motor Racing & Demo

The X-Motor Racing Website now offers a new version 1.36 of X-Motor Racing, the indie racing simulation. As usual, this is accompanied by an updated version 1.36 demo, which includes the following changes:

  •  Improved RPM control code
  • Added "No Steering Wheel" feature
  • Added global FFB adjustment
  • Added FFB adjustment for the each car
  • Added TireLoad data to SDK

Shadowrun Returns Exclusive Level Follow-up

The Kickstarter Page for Shadowrun Returns follows up on the previous update about making a special level in the game exclusively for backers if they reach the $1.5 million level. As we noted at the time, not all the responses to the idea of exclusive content, and the new update says they've heard this, and changed the plan accordingly:

Your generosity of spirit and your support for people who aren’t (yet, we hope) involved in this Kickstarter really says something important about the Shadowrun Community and we’re proud to be a part of it. But we still want to say “thank you” to everyone supporting the project and putting their faith in us.

So here’s what we’re going to do: If we’re lucky enough to get to $1.5m, we’ll create that story and make it available only to backers but for an exclusive period of time. Then, we’ll open it up so that everyone can see how the dots between Jake and Harlequin are connected.

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Prey 2 Lives; Delayed

The Bethesda Blog has an update on Prey 2, Human Head's upcoming first-person shooter sequel that was rumored last month as having been cancelled. Word is the game is not cancelled, just delayed beyond the end of this year:

Development of Prey 2 has not been cancelled but the game will not be released in 2012 as planned. The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans. We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule.

DiRT Showdown and Demo Next Month Bringing New Label & Hub

Codemasters announces a May 29th release date for DiRT Showdown, the continuation of their rally racing series that has been driving towards a May release since it was announced late last year. The game will be the first release under a new Codemasters Racing label, and the release will be supported by a playable demo on May 1st and RaceNet, a new online hub for Codemasters Racing games. Word is: "The demo will feature a solo and multiplayer event and will be available from Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Network and Steam on PC." They also announce a special "Hoonigan" edition of DiRT Showdown is now available for pre-order from Walmart, featuring in-game bonuses items, and they offer a new Ultimate Hoonigan trailer to celebrate the news.

Starbreeze Acquiring Overkill

Syndicate developer Starbreeze plans to acquire Overkill Software, the fellow Swedish studio behind Payday: The Heist, reports GamesIndustry International, saying Starbreeze will be floating some new stock to fund this: "The acquisition is contingent on the sale of 200 million new shares in Starbreeze, which will be released on or about June 15 2012. Starbreeze will also implement an incentive program of 42.8 million stock options for employees of Overkill." They connect this back to their recent Starbreeze interview where CEO Mikael Nermark spoke of the company's goal of owning its own IP.

Splash Damage's Free-to-Play Plans

Splash Damage announces plans to develop free-to-play games under the label WarChest, saying the first such release will be an iOS RTS game called Rad Soldiers. Gamasutra reports on visiting the developer to learn about this project, and when they asked about the switch from PC shooters to mobile strategy game, Splash Damage's Paul Westwood explains that they plan free-to-play PC games under this label as well:

"It just happens that, as WarChest's first release, this game happens to be on iOS," he answers. In fact, the studio has a free-to-play PC title on the way later this year, and a free-to-play console game coming next year.

"The reason we chose iOS first for WarChest, and the reason we chose this genre first is that it's the most straightforward way for us to build multiplayer that is asynchronous," he continues.

"So in a first-person shooter, for example, it would be very difficult to create an asynchronous first-person shooter that was compelling, because part of what makes FPS compelling is that they have this very visceral feedback loop that happens - I shoot, I hit or I don't, if I hit you I get immediately rewarded. That's quite important."

Pro Cycling Manager 2012 Announced

Focus Home Interactive announces Pro Cycling Manager 2012 and Tour de France 2012, as Cyanide's bicycle racing simulation returns in June with Pro Cycling Manager 2012 for PCs and Tour de France 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Here are some screenshots, and here's word:

Strengthened by the feedback and lofty expectations of last years’ players, the 2012 Tour de France console game is packed with improvements and new features. Improved graphics, new controls, realistic AI and, for the first time ever, a multiplayer mode awaits racing fans the world over. New models for riders, brand new teams and more beautiful scenery will grace both the PC and console games, which share top-notch graphics and production. To get a first look at the excitement, check out the very first screenshots of the games!

Saints Row: The Third Lifts THQ

THQ Investor Relations offers the company's preliminary fiscal fourth quarter financial results, saying they will conclude the year with a $76 million cash balance they say "significantly exceeds prior guidance." They have also raised their net sales expectations to reflect stronger than expected sales of UFC Undisputed, "continued strong net sales" of Saints Row: The Third (which they say has shipped in more than four million units to date), and "higher-than-expected digital sales, largely driven by the robust digital content of Saints Row: The Third."

Guild Wars 2 Beta Event Next Weekend

ArenaNet announces April 27-29 will be the first of their beta testing weekend events for Guild Wars 2, their upcoming MMORPG sequel. Here's word on the event, which is open to those who have preordered the game:

NCsoft and ArenaNet, the developers of Guild Wars 2, are excited to announce the first public Beta Weekend Event for Guild Wars 2. From 27th-29th April, hundreds of thousands of fans who have pre-purchased Guild Wars 2 will get their first chance to explore the world of Tyria.

The only way players can guarantee access to Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Events is to pre-purchase the Guild Wars 2 Collector’s, Digital Deluxe, or Standard/Digital Editions. In addition to access to our Beta Weekend Events, players will receive three-day Headstart Access prior to launch and the exclusive Hero’s Band in-game item. Pre-Purchase is available at buy.guildwars2.com or from selected retailers.

Sledgehammer COO: CoD "Transcends Entertainment"

An interview on GamesIndustry International talks with Sledgehammer COO Michael Condrey about working on the Call of Duty franchise. He knocks a few softballs out of the park and offers reflections on working on such a huge franchise, his lack of concern that working on one series will pigeonhole them, and his belief that fans have an endless appetite for new CoD content, saying the game "sort of transcends entertainment in such a massive way."

Gary Grigsby's War in the East Patch

Matrix Games offers a new patch for Gary Grigsby's War in the East, updating the World War II strategy game to version 1.06.06. Here's the deal on the new version: "The update brings with it a small batch of fixes to the AI and some data and scenario changes to continue to make War in the East one of the most engaging strategy games out there on the market. An updated English manual in the patch also includes all the rule changes since release. The patch also includes 1.06.05 changes to the Don to the Danube expansion scenarios. This latest patch will have to be run again if Don to the Danube is added at a later time."

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We recently found some ground Moroccan lamb at a local grocer, which put a bug in my ear to try this as part of a hamburger mix, as I usually use 100% ground beef. The result was mixed, but very interesting. The interesting part is the grilled spiced lamb created exactly the flavor I was expecting. The mixed part is how it was not mixed, as starting with ground beef and ground lamb made it hard to blend the two adequately without over handling the meat, and it seems clear that using different varieties in a ground meat situation would benefit from being ground together. In the end it turned out pretty much as I expected: I'll likely just stick to beef for the burgers, but I really want to find a use for that lamb... perhaps just as lamburgers.

R.I.P.: Men at Work musician Greg Ham found dead.

Lamby Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Dash'n Knights.
Links: Coachella announces all-hologram festival featuring only dead people. Thanks nin.
Stories: Man protests airport security - naked.
Science: LEGO's Used to Aid in Synthetic Bone Generation. Thanks Netta.
Media: Epic Rap Battles Of History. NSFW.
The Art of Film & TV Title Design.
Remote Controlled Rat In Brazilian Clothing Store. Cammed dressing rooms?
Auction: Tough Times: GSA Auctions Top-Secret US Navy Stealth Ship. Thanks Cog.
The Funnies: Dilbert. Thanks dakslf.



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