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Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 Happy German Unity Day.

  

Painkiller Hell & Damnation Not Rated for Germany

Nordic Games somewhat proudly announces that Painkiller Hell & Damnation will not receive an age-rating in Germany, meaning the shooter remake will not be allowed to be openly sold in that country. Here's word on these new screenshots and the ban:

The newest installment of the legendary “Painkiller” series, “Painkiller Hell & Damnation”, will not receive an age rating in Germany, as been confirmed by Nordic Game Inc.'s parent company, Nordic Games in Vienna, Austria. In an effort to remind everyone that it is, in fact, just a game and not a monster hell-bent on ruining the minds of the masses, Nordic Games and The Farm 51 have released brand new screenshots and cover art for both the Standard Edition and Collector’s Edition. You can download those here.

In “Painkiller Hell & Damnation”, use an array of righteous weaponry to blast the crap out of hordes of demons and other creatures who want nothing more than to send you straight to the grave – again. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling, modern remake of an all-action shooter Classic!

“Painkiller Hell & Damnation” is scheduled for release on Halloween (October 31) for $19.99 in the Standard Edition or $29.99 in a packed Collector's Edition. Head to http://painkillergame.com to find out more and to pre-order the game.

DICE Warns of Bans for BF3 Color Mod

PC Gamer notes that DICE's Gustav Halling tweets his disapproval of a modification for Battlefield 3 that adds a little more color to the arguably drab environments in DICE's military shooter sequel. In addition to expressing the opinion that it is "to [sic] colorful," the Battlefield 3 gameplay designer also warns that this could get players permanently banned, adding "The hack is not only a 'brightness modifier', its a proper cheat." Thanks Joao.

Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an "Endangered Species"

GamesIndustry International has an excerpt from their in-depth interview with Blizzard's Rob Pardo where the World of Warcraft lead designer expresses skepticism about the "endangered species" of AAA single-player games. "I don't see there being a great business model for it these days. It's really sad, there's just a lot of elements out there that conspire to make those games difficult to make now," he says. "Between pirating or the ability for people to rent games, it's hard for publishers to pour millions and millions of dollars into a game and not necessarily see the return they need to make those budgets realistic."

The War of the Roses Gets "Permanent"

Paradox Interactive has apparently decided that The War of the Roses is already a thing, because they announce they have created a "permanent franchise team" to support the just-launched multiplayer melee combat game. Here's word:

With thousands of players duking it out on the server battlefields of War of the Roses, Paradox has officially confirmed plans to form a permanent franchise team for War of the Roses which will be led by Executive Producer Gordon Van Dyke. The game has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception by reviewers and gamers alike.

“There is no doubt that War of the Roses has been an ambitious project for us,” noted Gordon Van Dyke. “The game’s reception from players has exceeded expectations and we are truly grateful for the continued support from the community. We’ll continue to improve the game and add substantial content for all players.”

In War of the Roses, players don the role of a knight and are pitted against one another in an uphill squad battle to control the coveted crown of England. With steel on steel clashing and arrows and blots grazing past players, War of the Roses unleashes fury on a variety of battlefields in painful, real-time combat.

To celebrate the successful launch, Paradox has also announced a contest seeking the most action-packed screenshot of a battlefield image. The top two winners will each reach a private 32-player server for three months along with five copies of the game. Additional prizes will also be awarded. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/AWarofRoses

War of the Roses officially launched on October 2nd, 2012 and is currently available now PC for $29.99. Buy the game here: http://www.waroftherosesthegame.com/buy

Assassin's Creed III Season Pass Details

Turns out the Assassin's Creed III season pass mentioned in passing earlier turns out to apply to the Windows edition of Ubisoft's upcoming stealth/action sequel, as reflected in these details they've announced about the deal, which also unveil some tidbits on the DLC itself:

As the revolution comes to a close, a new and most unexpected enemy emerges. Driven by the desire to secure the fate of the colonies, the greatest hero of the revolution, George Washington, succumbs to the temptation of infinite power. The new King is born and his reign leaves no one untouched. To return freedom to the land our new hero must dethrone a tyrant he once called friend. Today, Ubisoft announces the Assassin's Creed III Season Pass offer, granting access to all five upcoming downloadable content packs to gamers owning the original game on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Microsoft's Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and Windows PC.

Assassin's Creed III downloadable content will feature "The Tyranny of King Washington," an all-new single-player campaign told through three episodic content packs that lets gamers experience an alternate history of the events following the American Revolution.

"History is our playground - and AC teams have always loved playing with historical facts and their consequences as a way to better understand a time period," said Sebastien Puel, Executive Producer at Ubisoft. "While Assassin's Creed III concentrates on history as it happens, we wanted to take some liberties with this DLC and tell you how things 'could have happened.'"

In addition to this all-new single player experience, Assassin's Creed III downloadable content will feature new maps and characters for an even more expansive multiplayer experience.

Assassin's Creed III Season Pass will be available for purchase for 2400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE or $29.99 on the PlayStationNetwork. It can be pre-ordered at GameStop and Best Buy.

The Assassin's Creed III Season Pass releases within six months after the game launch at a 25% savings over the individual pack prices. Also, Season Pass owners will have access to the first downloadable content pack one week before other gamers.

All Assassin's Creed III Downloadable Content will also be available for the Wii UTM.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: You Can Win A Walk-On Role On Arrested Development. Thanks Batman.

Cliff Bleszinski Leaves Epic

The Epic Games Website has news of the departure of Cliff Bleszinski, the design director that's long been one of the most public faces of the Unreal and Gears of War developer. The post includes kind words from his colleagues and no real indication of why this is happening besides CliffyB's comment that "it’s time for a much needed break." Here's the excerpt they share from Cliff’s personal note to his colleagues:

I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, and outside of my sabbatical last year, I have been going non-stop. I literally grew up in this business, as Mike likes to say. And now that I’m grown up, it’s time for a much needed break.

I will miss the projects, the playtests, the debates, and most importantly, the people. Epic only hires the best of the best, and it has been a joy working with each and every one of you on a daily basis, whether you were hired weeks ago or decades ago. I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with a variety of disciplines, from code to art to marketing and PR – it’s been one big, rewarding learning experience. I’m confident that each project that is being built, whether at Epic, Chair, PCF, or Impossible will be top notch and will please gamers and critics alike.

Aarklash: Legacy and Dogs of War Online Announced

Cyanide Studio announces development of two different games based on the Confrontation miniatures wargame, saying both Aarklash: Legacy and Dogs of War Online are in the works for release for Windows PCs during the second quarter of next year. They have launched a Confrontation Games Website as home to the games based on this license, which they acquired in 2010, saying it will offer more details soon. In the meantime, here's what they are revealing for the moment:

Aarklash: Legacy is a tactical adventure game in which the player controls the destiny of a group of fighters. The most important facet of the game is combat strategy which is based on an active pause system. However, a heavy accent will also be placed on the storyline and the evolution of its heroes.

With Dogs of War Online, Cyanide offers a management and strategy orientated free-to-play game. Players will be able to control their own mercenary companies, which they build themselves, and will compete in turn-based tactical battles inside online arenas.

Loot Drop's Tom Hall/Brenda Brathwaite Kickstarter

This Kickstarter Campaign from Loot Drop seeks funding for an old-school RPG from this studio founded by John Romero and Tom Hall (thanks Rob). They are looking for a million dollars to develop "a classic RPG from the days when RPGs were king" designed by Hall (Anachronox) and Brenda Brathwaite (Wizardry), though if they hit the $1.9 million plateau, this will actually become two separate games, one designed by each. Like so many Kickstarter campaigns, there is no concise summary of the game, but here is their outline of the game world:

  • Exploration: Explore a richly detailed world, home to unique, dangerous and sometimes crafty creatures who may be friend or foe.
  • Treasure: Loot castles, caverns and dungeons and defeat hordes of creatures in a world where your skill and cunning are key.
  • NPCs: At least five known NPC races call this world home. Forge alliances with them and do their bidding - or be their undoing.
  • Quests: Solve hundreds of quests on your way to discovering and uncovering the secrets of the world.
    Multiple Endings: The smallest of intentions sometimes matters far more than you know. It is a world alive with memories.
  • Multiple Beginnings (Stretch Goal): The endings in one game affect the beginnings in another. Import your characters from one world to another.
  • Combat: Turn-based combat harkens back to the days when spells and swords hit hard and last-second healing spells saved the day.
  • NPC Enemies (Stretch Goal): What once was a relatively peaceful world becomes much more dangerous not only for you, but for those who live there. New NPCs come complete with an expanded game area and quests.

Mass Effect 3 Patch This Week; ME Trilogy Details

The BioWare Social Network has extensive notes for a new patch for Mass Effect 3 that will be released this week (currently planned for tomorrow) for the PC and console editions of the action/RPG sequel. Also, the Mass Effect Website has more details on the recently announced Mass Effect Trilogy, specifying this will be released on November 6th in North America (thanks Eurogamer), and clarifies its contents will differ by platform. Here's word on the PC edition: "On PC, Mass Effect will include Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station on disk. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included which features Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, The Firewalker Pack, Cerberus Assault Gear, Arc Projector heavy weapon, and Normandy Crash site mission. For Mass Effect 3, Online Pass will be included granting players access to co-op multiplayer."

Legend of Grimrock Beta Tomorrow

The Legend of Grimrock Website announces the Dungeon Editor for this dungeon crawler has concluded beta testing, and note that: "The 150+ mods already published on Steam Workshop and Grimrock Nexus indicate that modding Grimrock will be very popular and we’re very happy about it."

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website now outlines more hotfixes implemented on the server side of Blizzard's MMORPG since the release of the recent version 5.0.5 update. This includes adjustments to honor point and justice point economics as well as classes, enemies, items, pet battles, and more.

Make Something Unreal Live 2013 Details

The Make Something Unreal Live Facebook Page is online to promote the 2013 installment in this game development competition. This time around this comes with a theme and is open to full-time students in Europe. Here's word:

Epic Games, Inc., creators of award-winning games and game technology, announces the launch of Make Something Unreal Live (MSUL) 2013, the international game development competition open to all students enrolled full-time at any European higher education establishment.

Epic is accepting game pitches until 2nd November that cleverly play on the theme of Mendelian inheritance, which spans concepts such as variation, mutation and other behaviours of the human genome. Teams making it through to shortlist rounds will use Epic’s Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 (UE3), to create new PC games based on their pitches, with the ultimate goal of winning a commercial Unreal Engine 4 licence for PC digital distribution.

Port Royale 3 Preorder Incentives

Kalypso Media announces North American retail preorder incentives for Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants, their upcoming swashbuckling adventure sequel. These take the form of two different DLC packs that will be free to those willing to commit in advance. This page lists merchants selling the game, and here are the details:

Both are DLC packs available to consumers who pre-order a boxed PC copy of the game before its North American retail release on October 9, 2012.

The first DLC pack is available to customers who pre-order a boxed PC copy of the game through Amazon.com. This pack contains three new pirate-themed building -- the pirate palace, temple and warehouse.

The second DLC, the adventure pack, is available to anyone who pre-orders the boxed version of the PC version of Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants, and sends a scanned/photographed copy of their final purchase receipt to bonuscontent@kalypsomedia.com by October 9, 2012. The adventure pack contains three additional buildings.

By purchasing through Amazon.com, gamers can earn a total of six buildings, three from the pirate pack, and the additional three from the adventure pack.

Kalypso will release Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants to North American retail on October 9. For more information about the game, please visit http://www.port-royale3.com/us/

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

OPINION: Games reviewers don't exist in isolation on MCV.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I'm replacing the router here in the BlueTower today, as we've been getting very spotty wi-fi coverage in the living room downstairs. It may turn out we need a repeater somewhere in the middle, but the new unit should have better coverage, so maybe not. Since it seemed like time to get a dual-band router because there are so many devices on the network, and a couple of them can take full advantage of both bands, so this seemed like the logical first step.

Wireless Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Penguins Attack TD 4.
Links: 5 Famous Video Game Villains (Who Are Actually the Victim).
10 Films Surprisingly Created Without CGI.
The Best of Tim Burton. Thanks Batman.
Images: Let the Freeman Talk.
Cosplay of the Day.
Badass Teacher of the Day.
Media: Dad Makes Ice Cream Truck Costume For Son Who Uses A Wheelchair.
Construction Fail. No way to see that coming.
Tank Loading Fail.



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