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Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012

  

Ships Ahoy - PC Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Ubisoft announces the Windows edition of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is now available in North America, offering a PC enhanced edition of the latest installment in the military shooter series. The game is available via digital distribution on the UBIShop, and here's a list of PC features:

  • Support DX11 (adding stunning amount of visual details on characters through displacement mapping, as well as some global illumination effects)
  • More complex materials (like parallax occlusion mapping or gloss and specular maps)
  • Improved dynamic lighting
  • Volumetric lighting effects
  • Soft shadows
  • Improved post-processing with better HDR and motion blur
  • Playable with keyboard and mouse, or with wired and wireless X360 pads
  • Windows XP patch coming shortly after release

Deponia Demo

A playable demo is now available for Deponia, offering a sample of Daedalic Entertainment's Windows point-and-click adventure game. Word is: "The approximately 700 MB sized demo features scenes of the first chapter of the game and offers between 30 and 45 minutes of gameplay time. Take a look and see how much anti-hero Rufus needs your help, before the full game hits the retail shelves throughout the UK and Ireland this Friday, June 29th, 2012." The download is available from AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

Avernum: Escape From the Pit Patched

Spiderweb Software announces the release of a new patch for the Windows edition of Avernum: Escape From the Pit. They offer a manual patch, and say the update is also available automatically through Steam. Word is: "This upgrade contains a few very helpful bug fixes and balance improvements, and upgrading is highly recommended. You can get the newest version here. Just download and install it. Your saved games and registration won't be affected."

World of Warplanes Video Diary

This trailer offers a third video developer's diary for World of Warplanes, Wargaming.net's upcoming MMO aerial combat game. The clip offers info on the game, as well as a language lesson, as the developers from Persha Studia offer all their insights in their native tongue, leaving most of us to rely on the subtitles to understand.

It Came from E3 2012, Part 28

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Our Honest Diablo 3 Trailer.

Diablo III Patch Reduces Item Wear

Blizzard announces a new patch is now live for Diablo III in the Americas, updating their action/RPG sequel to version 1.0.3a. The new version addresses several bugs and also reduces the amount of "wear-and-tear" damage to items by 50% (not to be confused with the 10% item endurance death penalty).

PlanetSide 2 External Beta Details

A new PlanetSide 2 Producer's Letter has the latest from Josh Hackney, executive producer on SOE's upcoming MMOFPS sequel. Among other things, he reveals plans for external beta testing of the game:

External Beta will include primary rounds of entry for existing PlanetSide 1 players and additional External Beta registrants, including those who obtained Beta codes from the PC Gamer magazine cover feature. Playtests will be scheduled during this time to ensure the maximum testing of specific aspects of the game with ever increasing numbers of players. Your participation is extremely valuable to us and we’ll be balancing and revising base layouts based on your feedback. Again, we will be inviting as many of our existing PlanetSide 1 players as we can into the early phases of Beta determined by a number of different factors, including machine type. Rest assured PlanetSide 1 players... you’re top of the list in each phase.

As Beta progresses I will continue to send out more specifics on dates of each of the phases. If you don’t have a Beta code, you don’t have to go to eBay to get one. Prove your empire allegiance and tweet (@planetside2) for a chance to receive a Beta code. Be sure to check out our Facebook APP as well! And, if you haven’t done so yet, sign up for Beta access at www.PlanetSide2.com and ensure your contact information and computer specs are up to date. Please also remember that Beta testers will be under an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) which requires acceptance prior to admission into Beta.

Thanks again for all the support and help in making PlanetSide 2 a truly epic experience!

Star Wars: The Old Republic 1.3 Live

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has word that the new version 1.3 "Allies" update is now live in BioWare's MMORPG. This page outlines all the new features this brings, including Group Finder, ranked PvP Warzones, adaptive gear, new enhancements to the Legacy system, and more.

Ships Ahoy - Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam

Paradox Interactive has released Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam, the first expansion for the Windows and OS X editions of Crusader Kings II, their strategy/RPG sequel. The expansion is available through digital distribution for $9.99/€9.99, and this page lists where it can be found. The add-on is accompanied by a new version of the game, offering "improved combat mechanics, numerous new events, traits and decisions." You can find the full patch notes on Steam. Here's word on the expansion:

Thought keeping an eye on one wife was bad? With the release of the Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam expansion, this scheming strategy RPG will allow players to command Muslim nations, opening up a world of polygamous problems, new laws, traits, titles and over 100 new events, as well as a flavorful Islam-inspired interface. Experience the Crusades from the other side. Combat decadence within your own dynasty. And solve problems arising in your very own harem. Or just start panicking and invade France. Your call.

Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam enables players to play as any Muslim ruler across the great dynasties including the Ottoman and Mamluk empires. These brand new gameplay mechanics reflect the distinctive traits of the great rulers and empires of the time, creating an entirely new experience for players and introducing another layer of richness to one of the finest strategy games of recent years.

2nd Skyrim DLC Not In Production Yet

An interview on I.Eat.Games talks with Bethesda's Matt Carofano, Lead Artist on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim about the Dawnguard DLC that's out for the Xbox 360 edition of their RPG sequel today. He discusses various aspects of the new content and how it was created, and says that at this time it is still their sole focus, with no production underway on further DLC at the moment: "Right now we’re completely focused on Dawnguard. Everyone is working on this. Once it’s out we’ll see how it goes and see what could happen in the future." Thanks nin via Shacknews.

Endless Space Begins Next Month

Iceberg Interactive announces Endless Space will be released via digital distribution on July 4th, celebrating Independence Day by liberating this 4X strategy game from Amplitude Studios. "With the success of the game’s beta program and tremendous feedback from the community, we couldn’t be more excited to be able to get the final game in front of fans," says Mathieu Girard, CEO at AMPLITUDE Studios. "We look forward to even more players getting their hands on Endless Space as we deliver an intuitive, yet immersive experience for all types of players." Here's more:

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Amplitude Studios invite players to celebrate the holiday this year with the launch of Endless Space, for Windows PC. Coming to digital distribution platforms on July 4, 2012, Endless Space is a 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) sci-fi strategy game that pits eight civilizations together in galactic conflict.
[...]
Set to launch after a highly successful beta campaign via Steam that saw over 20,000 fans registered on the community website, Endless Space is a deep 4X strategy game covering the space colonization age, where gamers can control every aspect of their empire: Economy, Diplomacy, Science and War. As one of eight unique civilizations, players must strive to control the entire galaxy through trade and diplomacy or technological advancements and strategic warfare. Begging the question, will they conquer the galaxy with an open hand or a closed fist?

Additionally, Endless Space marks the first Amplitude Studios title to take advantage of GAMES2GETHER, a new platform that lets the community track the development team’s objectives, progress, and achievements, while gaining access to early builds, providing feedback, and discussing the game’s future with the developers themselves, giving them an active role in the future of Endless Space.

Gearbox TMs "Shift" - Has Steamy Plans?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office shows a trademark registration for the term "Shift" that was recently filed by Gearbox Software (thanks Kristian). From the looks of it, this is not for a game title, but rather a distribution network, with the implication that the developer is planning its own service in the style of Valve's Steam. Here's the description:

IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software for the management, transmission, storage and sharing of computer game programs and electronically stored information across computer networks

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Software as a service (SAAS) services featuring software for the management, transmission, storage and sharing of computer game programs and electronically stored information across computer networks

F1 Online: The Game Beta Opens

Open beta testing is now live for F1 Online: The Game, the web-based Formula One racing game. The official website is mum about this, but the game's Facebook page spills the beans:

F1 Online: The Game Open Beta starts today 26th June

We’re pleased to announce the start of Open Beta for F1 Online: The Game today. Invitations are longer required to play, so if you’re signed up you can sign in!

Please note that with the end of the Closed Beta we have wiped all team and race data from the game’s servers for the start of Open Beta.

Now that we have entered Open Beta, there will be no further wipes of team or race data from the game meaning that when we transition from Open Beta to full release you will be able to keep playing with the same team from Open Beta, all your progress will remain intact.

Codemasters Points are also be available for purchase in Open Beta should you wish to invest in additional customisation options or convenience items.

If you haven’t yet signed up to play, sign up now at http://www.f1onlinethegame.com/

Ships Ahoy - Spec Ops: The Line

2K Games announces Spec Ops: The Line is now available in North America for Windows and consoles, offering a single-player third-person shooter set in a near-future Dubai cut off from the world by sandstorms. The game is due internationally on Friday, and they also remind us of their plans to release free DLC adding co-op to the game down the road, saying this is currently planned for this August. They celebrate the news with a part two of their Behind the Line developer diary, and here's word:

2K Games announced today that Spec Ops®: The Line is now available in North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. The game will be available internationally on June 29, 2012.

Developed by YAGER, Spec Ops: The Line features an intense single-player narrative that unfolds within Dubai after a series of cataclysmic sandstorms cut the city off from the rest of the world. Playing as Captain Martin Walker, gamers fight through Dubai in this gripping third-person shooter in their search for Colonel John Konrad and his missing battalion, The Damned 33rd. Players will blast their way through sandstorms with a variety of weapons and explosives, even using sand as a weapon to strategically bury enemies in their path. Combining brutal action and combat with a riveting narrative and the unique setting of a sandstorm ravaged Dubai, Spec Ops: The Line is unlike any other military shooter.

Continue here to read the full story.

A Game of Dwarves Beta Signups

Paradox Interactive announces they are accepting signups for closed beta testing of A Game of Dwarves between now and July 2nd to help prepare for the release of the management game by the end of this year. Here's the deal:

Like to get your hands dirty? While digging for treasure? As a dwarf? Have we got the job for you! Paradox Interactive has opened the gates to a limited tech beta for upcoming classic management game A Game of Dwarves. Anyone wishing to boss around the bearded race of beer-guzzling builders can sign up for a chance to participate in the limited beta at this here link: http://beta.paradoxplaza.com/signup/37/

Selected applicants will receive further instructions on how to obtain the beta build and, thereafter, shall be thrust into the bustling world of dwarves as they set out to dig their way to fame and fortune. Oh, and there’s some monsters running about underground, too, did we forget to mention that? Could be the reason why the last bunch of beta testers disappeared so abruptly. Just wear a hardhat, that should be more than enough protection; it’s worked for us for a — WHAT IS THAT THING TRYING TO BITE MY ARM OFF?!

A Game of Dwarves is scheduled to release in Q4, 2012. Sign up now for a chance to join the Beta http://beta.paradoxplaza.com/signup/37/ . Deadline to apply is July 2nd.

PlanetSide 2 E3 Presentation

This trailer offers the full E3 theater presentation for PlanetSide 2, SOE's upcoming MMOFPS sequel (thanks Cutter). The clip is narrated by Brian Bosch, a well-caffeinated level designer on the game, who outlines the game's competing factions, massive infantry combat, unit customization, "huge-ass" vehicle combat, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

War of the Human Tanks Trailer

The official website for War of the Human Tanks offers the first trailer from the upcoming westernized version of this Japanese strategy game. "This first teaser trailer illustrates the tactical side of War of the Human Tanks while also giving a sneak peek into the storyline and art style," says Ozhan Sen, Localization Manager for Fruitbat Factory. "To progress through the campaign, players will have to understand their units and utilize them to their full capacity. The game will challenge players by encouraging their successes, while mistakes can also open new paths for the player." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

My estimate is about 50% of hardware reviews don't actually state what the product is in the title.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, since our progresss on getting the Gunnar man to stop marking his territory in the kitchen has been sporadic (at best), I've come up with a temporary workaround to try and stem the flood, so to speak, for the time being. As I mentioned, crating him as a puppy proved nearly impossible, as his will-power to resist this proved inexhaustible, however, he is perfectly content to hang out with me up in my office with the door shut so I can keep tabs on him. He's been on his best behavior, and seems to enjoy the extra attention, not caring that he and I are now both basically crated together. I guess it's a variation on misery loving company.

Crated Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: New Land.
Tokyo Guinea Pop.
Stories: Self-sufficient, environmentally friendly artificial floating island up for sale.
Science: Popeye is right: spinach makes you stronger, study shows.
This man can read the minds of vegetative patients. Thanks nin via Digg.
Images: Ms. Pac-Man Cosplay.
The Strangest Fan Art, Part 4.
Media: Diablo III: Defeat Shatterbone Tutorial Goes Horribly Wrong. NSFW.
Subwoofer Needs More Energy Drink.
The Funnies: How movie theaters SHOULD be laid out. Thanks nin.
Follow-up: Bush's Head Digitally Altered In "Thrones".



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