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Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012

  

MechWarrior Online Open Beta Next Week

Infinite Game Publishing and Piranha Games announce that MechWarrior Online will enter open beta testing on October 16th:

Infinite Game Publishing (IGP) and Piranha Games announced today that MechWarrior Online will go Open Beta on October 16. MechWarrior Online, one of 2012’s most anticipated titles, has been lauded by fans and the games media as the return of true Mech combat. Its successful Founder’s Program will officially end at midnight on October 14. Founder’s members are able to choose tiers of membership and get a head start here: http://mwomercs.com/founders.

“We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of the fans over the course of our closed beta period,” said Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games. “The amazing fans and the high quality feedback given to our team have helped us craft MechWarrior Online into a true MechWarrior gameplay experience. We’re more than excited to open up the game and look forward to continuing to expand the InnerSphere with our loyal fans.”

Set in the year 3049 during the early stages of a massive interstellar war, MechWarrior Online puts you in command of the most powerful war machine to ever walk the field of battle, the mighty BattleMech™. Command your Mech and customize it to suit your battlefield role; upgrade systems, replace weapons, and tweak armor with endless options.

Get your pilot name and more information at www.mwomercs.com.

Ships Ahoy - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 4: Final Assault

Steam News announces that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 4: Final Assault DLC is now available for the Windows edition of the military shooter sequel:

Saluting Modern Warfare® 3's Season of Content, the fourth and final DLC collection deploys with five all-new Multiplayer Maps. Surrounded by mountains, "Gulch" sends combatants into a forgotten mining town with only mine shafts and equipment sheds for cover. The Jersey coast awaits in "Boardwalk," where fun in the sun means facing enemies on the beach. Players must earn their sea legs in "Off Shore" and "Decommission," where deadly oceanic oil rigs and a maze of rotting ocean liners provide the perfect setting for shoreline-based combat. Rounding out the collection is a trip to New Orleans’ war-torn French Quarter, where "Parish" pits players against one another amid the city's rubble.

Ships Ahoy - Worms Revolution

Team17 announces Worms Revolution is now available for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, with the Windows version being sold through Steam. Here's the deal on the squirmy sequel:

Worms™ Revolution sticks an exploding sheep under worm-on-worm conflict and blasts it squarely into the 21st century. With 32 single player missions, 20 single player puzzles, online or local multiplayer for up to 4 players, 3 multiplayer modes, customisation, worm classes and dynamic water!

  • 32 single-player campaign missions and 20 puzzle missions to exercise your brain.
  • Fight to the death across 4 unique environments.
  • Experience local or online battles with up to 4 players. Choose from 3 different game modes: Deathmatch, Forts or Classic mode.
  • Includes a Level Editor. Create new environments for your worms to battle in and destroy. (PC Steam exclusive feature)
  • 4 different classes of worm: Soldier, Scout, Scientist and Heavy.
  • Customise your worms using a variety of hats, glasses, moustaches, gravestones, victory dances, soundbanks and trinkets!
  • New dynamic water and physics objects
  • New weapons
  • Award winning writer Dean Wilkinson provides the script, which is hilariously brought to life by the accomplished Matt Berry as unseen narrator, Don Keystone, a wildlife documentary maker.

Drox Operative Beta Patches

Soldak Entertainment now offers another pair of patches right here to update the Windows and OS X editions of Drox Operative to beta version 0.924. Here is the full change list, and here's a summary of what's new in the upcoming action/RPG: "This patch adds bonus skills for high base crew points, adds damage bonuses/penalties for different damage/defense type combinations, and as usual fixes a bunch of small things."

New NVIDIA Drivers

The GeForce Drivers Pagenow offers new WHQL-certified version 306.97 reference drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. There are the recommended drivers for the Windows 8 launch and add support for the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti accelerators. They add: "This driver is also recommended for the best experience in the latest top PC games like Borderlands 2 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria." Thanks HARDOCP.

Evening Previews

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Divinity Anthology Collector's Edition & Pick Your Price Promo

Larian Studios announces Divinity Anthology Collector's Edition, a collection celebrating a decade of the Divinity franchise by bundling the three RPGs in the series along with other goodies, including two soundtracks, a book, stickers, and codes for in-game items for their upcoming Divinity: Dragon Commander and Divinity: Original Sin. They are only producing 25,000 boxed copies of this limited edition, and they will be available as of October 26th at retail in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Those in other territories can try to get in on the small supply of the game sold online in the Larian Vault. Oddly, there is also a new promotion running right now on GOG.com where they offer the Divinity Anthology as the service's first pay what you want bundle. Word is this "allows GOG.com gamers to pay as little (or as much!) as they want for the epic RPG adventures Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity, and Divinity II - Developer’s Cut. The bundle can be purchased at www.gog.com/divinity until 01:00 AM GMT, 18 October 2012."

Chris Roberts' Star Citizen Announced

The countdown on the Roberts Space Industries Website has concluded, and we have word that Star Citizen as the new game from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, which will indeed be a new PC-only space combat simulation. The game will be crowd funded through a link on the website, though at the moment this is still asking for a login from their whole viral countdown dealie (enter "42"). Word is that the game has been in development at Robert's LA-based Cloud Imperium Games for the past year, and while it will not be complete for another couple of years, they intend to have a playable version in the hands of their backers in about a year. Here's the Announcement Trailer and here's word:

Chris Roberts, who helped define the space sim genre in computer games during the 1990s with his Wing Commander® and Privateer® franchises, is back in the cockpit again with a new title he says will change the way people perceive games for the PC and will breathe new life into space combat games. The new game, Star Citizen™, was officially announced today at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Online taking place at the Austin Convention Center. The game is being developed by Roberts’ Cloud Imperium™ Games studio, located in Los Angeles.

Roberts’ re-entry into gaming comes after he spent more than a decade as a director and producer in the Hollywood film industry. In 1990, he introduced Wing Commander to the world of PC gaming and the franchise went on to sell millions of units and spawned multiple sequels, a feature film and another highly successful game franchise, Privateer.

Star Citizen, already 12 months into production, will be launched on the PC and will include all the Chris Roberts hallmarks that fans of his games have come to expect over the years: high quality cutting-edge visuals and technology, a virtual world that is immersive and detailed, a sophisticated storyline that is wide in scope and visceral, heart-pounding space combat.

“In recent years, game designers have stopped innovating and pushing the boundaries of what you can do in this genre,” says Roberts. “I plan on bringing that kind of development mentality back into PC gaming and space sims in particular.

“There is a lot of noise out there regarding social and mobile games right now, and I think PC gamers are feeling a little left out of the mix. But the PC is still incredibly capable of presenting an experience that doesn’t take a back seat to any other platform out there, including consoles. With my game, I want PC gamers to stand up, be counted and get excited again about all the great experiences their computer can deliver.”

Continue here to read the full story.

A Game of Dwarves Preorders Include DLC

Paradox Interactive announces they are now accepting preorders of A Game of Dwarves, Zeal Game Studios' upcoming vertically challenged management game. This page has links to the various merchants offering preorders, and word is this advance commitment will include some free DLC: "Every pre-ordered copy of A Game of Dwarves will include access to the Ale Pack DLC, a delectable and delicious add-on that introduces dwarvenkind’s favorite drink to the game and is a must for maintaining happiness in any well-to-do underground fortress." The game does not have a set release date, though in September Paradox announced it will be released this month. Finally, for those interested in a look at the game, there will be a broadcast on TwitchTV later today where Fred Wester and Sebastian Thorwaldson will offer a stream live from the Paradox offices.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website has a list of hotfixes for version 5.0.5 of Blizzard's MMORPG updated through Monday, showing the latest things that have been changed on the server side. Various bug fixes and class-specific tweaks are present, and word is in general: "Vengeance should now ramp up more quickly."

AAIMIE Kickstarter

This Kickstarter seeks a modest $7,000 for AAIMIE, a first-person dungeon crawler in a modern environment. The game follows the exploits of A.A.I.M.I.E., an Autonomous Artificially Intelligent Maintenance Industrial Engineer, (not to be confused with Red Planet's AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Exploration and Evasion) robot. Word is: "You play as AAIMIE, a repair bot in a power facility on a distant planet. One day after a brief power outage, her memory banks were filled with new found knowledge of power facility, its secrets, its inhabitants and most importantly an uncontrollable urge to destroy the very facility she has spent her life repairing. AAIMIE focuses on exploration, story-telling, scripted events and a story-driven gameplay. It has been described as Tron Meets Grimrock. It will be released for PC, Mac, iOS and Android late 2013."

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASRock Z77 OC Formula Intel LGA 1155 on techPowerUp.
  • ASUS F2A55-M (A55) Motherboard on eTeknix.
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II Top on Motherboards.org.
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II Top on pcGameware.
  • BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z77X LGA 1155 Motherboard on HARDOCP.
  • GeIL EVO VELOCE 16GB Dual Channel 2133MHz C10 Memory Kit on Mad Shrimps.
  • Kingston 128gb Class 10 SDHC-SDXC Card on Test Freaks.
  • Lepa G1000-MA 1000-Watt 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply on TweakTown.
  • Lian Li PC-Q12 Chassis on Rage3D.com.
  • MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition 1GB Video Card on Bjorn3D.
  • Nofan CR-95C IcePipe Copper CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Video Card on Bjorn3D and Rage3D.
  • SMART Storage Systems Optimus 400GB SAS SSD on The SSD Review.
  • Verbatim 2.5- SATA-II SSD 128GB on RBMODS.

etc.

Out of the Blue

In the couple of weeks since I suffered my brief cold, MrsBlue suffered a cold of her own, a much longer-lasting, albeit far milder one. With that just cleared up, I find I've had a sore throat since yesterday afternoon, so it seems like we may be passing something back and forth. This has never happened before, and is hopefully a coincidence rather than some sort of vicious cycle.

Link Cycle: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Physics Symmetry 2.
Links: The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue. Thanks Ant via LinuxSecurity.
Stories: FX Pushes Back -Louie- To May 2014.
Satellite images appear to reveal CIA's secret bin Laden training ground. Thanks brother19.
Jimmy Page says 'no' to Led Zeppelin reunion. It's been a long time since I rock-and-rolled.
Science: Ancient Spider Attack Fossil Found. Thanks Ant Farm.
Media: A Bad Lip Reading of the First 2012 Presidential Debate.
Airline launches disco inspired safety video.
Downward by Dentyne Ice.
Follow-up: Mike Vick apparently owns a dog again.

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2012

Valve Play Testing

Valve announces they are looking to get some gamers up to their Bellevue, Washington offices to play test games and hardware prototypes. They offer a Valve Playtester Survey, and say they may be looking for testers from outside their immediate area, as well (thanks Develop). Here's word:

We're looking for folks to come to Valve and playtest both released and unreleased versions of our games as well as play around with some of our hardware prototypes. If you have interest in stopping by (most sessions last around an hour), please fill out the survey below. We're looking for people local to the Seattle/Bellevue area, but you're welcome to fill out the survey no matter where you live as we may have plans for remote playtests in the future.

Thanks for your interest in helping us make better products!

Click here to take the Playtester survey

UPDATE:

We are looking to add international support in the future. For now though, playtesting will be US only.

Ships Ahoy - Dishonored

The Bethesda Blog celebrates the release of Dishonored, the new stealth/action game from Arkane Studios. They offer links to reviews and Yogscast videos, as well as some Protips for Dishonored, which come from actual pros in this case. If you still need help after reading those, they also note the Dishonored with the Official Strategy Guide from Brady Games is now available. Here's the description of the game:

You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the Empress. Framed for her murder and driven by revenge, you must become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card.

As you navigate a world torn apart by plague and oppressed by a government armed with strange new technologies, the truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city.

The choices you make will determine the fate of the world, but no matter what happens your old life is gone forever.

Ships Ahoy - Retro City Rampage

As noted on the Retro City Rampage Website, this throwback action game is now available for Windows, PlayStation 3, and Vita. The game can be found on GOG.com and Steam, and here's word: "This 8-bit nostalgic throwback warps open-world carjacking BACK TO THE... '80s. Play 60+ story missions and 40+ arcade challenges. "Borrow" vehicles and outrun the law while mowing down your fellow citizens! Jump on pedestrians for coins, or use them for target practice with over 25 weapons and POWER-UPS! WHOA!"

Ships Ahoy - Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants

Kalypso Media USA announces Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants is now available in North American stores for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, offering the latest installment in this swashbuckling series. Here are the pertinent details:

Port Royale 3 takes players to an authentic recreation of the 17th century Caribbean, where they'll choose either the life an adventurer, or that of a merchant, following quests specific to their choices. Adventurers will find their path filled with exciting naval battles and quests, from saving young damsels from kidnappers, to invading pirate hideouts, hunting down elusive pirates or even raising the skull and crossbones flag over the player's own fleet to become a privateer. As a merchant, players will craft massive shipping and trading empires, build fleets balanced for cargo hauls and survival in the treacherous waters, aiming for power, wealth and influence rivaling those of the great nations of the era. More information about Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants is available at www.port-royale3.com.

Hotline Miami This Month

Hotline Miami will be released for Windows PCs on October 23rd, and the Devolver Digital's retro action game is now available for preorder on GamersGate, Get Games, GOG.com, and Steam (thanks Shacknews). The game's Twitter feed has word on other platforms: "Hotline Miami will come to Mac too - not this month but as soon as we can. Also, looking at consoles."

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress This Month

Stardock announces they are about to complete development on Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and the release of the strategy follow-up is set for Tuesday, October 23rd. Here's word:

Stardock’s much anticipated PC fantasy strategy game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is about to go “gold” and its official release date has been set as Tuesday, October 23rd. The development team at Stardock, led by Derek Paxton (Fall from Heaven) with a campaign designed by Jon Shafer (Civ V), unveil Fallen Enchantress, a strategy game that brings the kind of detail and richness normally only seen in RPGs.

The world of Elemental was once filled with magic. All peoples made use of this sorcery; with it they built great kingdoms – Malaya in the south, Hallas in the west, fabled Al-Ashteroth in the East – all magnificent, and vastly different, civilizations. Then came the Titans, immortal beings who sought control of Elemental, and the magic contained within it. They waged war amongst the people, the land, and themselves – and in the process turned men into their vassals. Seeking control of the world’s enchantment, in the end they destroyed it. At the last great battle, the land itself was broken. Civilization perished, and the Titans vanished from the world entirely. There were survivors. This is their story…

Fallen Enchantress brings the story to players in this rich, story driven strategy game. Create a sovereign with unique talents and abilities along with a faction to align yourself with in an effort to bring the world under your control. Experience a challenging start as you attempt to conquer the land you intend to claim: monsters, bandits and other beings of dread await you as you set out to explore your territory. Other factions are pursuing similar objectives, raising the stakes and deciding the ultimate outcome: who wins, and who dies.

Fantasy strategy gaming on a massive scale, Fallen Enchantress hosts unique factions, unlockable unit designs, unforgettable quests and with randomly generated worlds and multiple paths to victory, you will never play the same game twice.

To learn more about Fallen Enchantress, please visit www.elementalgame.com.

Silent Hunter Online Trailer

A new video is online with a look at gameplay from Silent Hunter Online, the upcoming multiplayer installment in the submarine combat series (thanks VG247). Here's word on the clip: "In our first gameplay video for Silent Hunter Online, watch as we engage an enemy convoy and learn more about some of the basic gameplay features that will be present on board your U-boats. Do not forget to register for the upcoming Closed Beta at www.silenthunteronline.com, Captains!"

Borderlands 2 Expansion Revealed?

The PS3 Trophies Forums have tidbits from the newly released Mechromancer DLC for Borderlands 2. It seems the new content for Gearbox's role-playing shooter sequel adds some references to other upcoming content, and they seem comfortable concluding this is an expansion called Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, which apparently has nothing to do with Gerry Anderson's marionette Captain Scarlet. They have more details, which are not confirmed, but if they are accurate, could probably be considered spoilers. Thanks Shacknews.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Ships Ahoy - XCOM: Enemy Unknown

2K Games announces that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is now available in North America via retail and Steam, and Firaxis' action/strategy will be available internationally on October 12th. Some screenshots and a launch trailer support the release, and a playable demo of the Windows edition was released a couple of weeks ago on Steam (an Xbox 360 demo is likewise available, while a PS3 demo is still in the works). Here's word:

2K Games and Firaxis Games announced today that XCOM®: Enemy Unknown is now available in North America and will be available internationally on October 12, 2012 for Windows PC, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. The game already has critics raving, with Game Informer stating that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is “a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience” and rating the game 9.5 out of 10, earning “Game of the Month” honors in the November 2012 issue.

“XCOM: Enemy Unknown revives the XCOM franchise, staying true to what fans loved in the original game while evolving and growing the experience to appeal to all gamers,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K. “Combining intense action and strategy, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an experience unlike any other on the market, and one that no gamer will want to miss.”

Gamers who pre-ordered XCOM: Enemy Unknown and those who purchase the game for a limited time at launch will receive the launch bonus which includes the Elite Soldier Pack. The Elite Soldier Pack will provide the ultimate tools for soldier customization in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, including:

  • Classic X-COM soldier: Players will instantly receive a new recruit in their barracks inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense. The iconic soldier with the blonde, flattop hairstyle will return fully modernized.
  • Soldier Deco packs: Players can customize their soldier with several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits, including the new Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
  • Complete color customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets in the game allow players complete control to customize their squad’s look.

A special edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Windows PC (MSRP $59.99) will be available at participating retail locations. This special edition will contain a copy of the game for Windows PC and a number of unique XCOM items, including an art book; fold-out poster of the XCOM headquarters; XCOM insignia patch; and a collection of digital bonus assets such as desktop wallpaper, soundtrack and more. A digital version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown can be purchased from participating digital retailers for MSRP $49.99.

Continue here to read the full story.

DCS: UH-1H Huey Announced

The Fighter Collection and Belsimtek announce DCS: UH-1H Huey is the next installment in the Digital Combat Simulator series of combat flight simulators, hot on the heels of the release of DCS: P-51D Mustang. Word is: "The UH-1H will be the first helicopter of conventional design featured in the DCS series and further demonstrates the broad scope of the DCS simulation environment and its ability to introduce a wide variety of aircraft from all eras into a common simulation platform. The UH-1H will also be the first DCS aircraft to offer multiple player positions, including pilot, co-pilot, and door gunner. Like previous DCS products, the UH-1H will include a variety of difficulty options to cater to users with different levels of flight simulation experience, including 'Simulation' and 'Game' playing modes." Here's a feature list:

  • Unmatched flight physics providing the most realistic and dynamic helicopter experience on the PC.
  • Multiple player positions, including pilot, co-pilot, and door gunner.
  • Accurate and highly detailed 3D cockpit featuring six-degrees-of-freedom technology.
  • Interactive cockpit controls that allow players to operate systems using the mouse.
  • Accurate UH-1H external 3D model, liveries, and weapons.
  • Detailed modelling of the UH-1H instruments, weapons, engine, radios, fuel, electrical, and hydraulic systems.
  • Developed in close cooperation with real UH-1 operators.
  • Missions that include transport and combat support operations.
  • Training that includes interactive and video lessons.
  • Multiplayer coop mode for crew members of the same helicopter under development for a later update.

East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game Announced

Paradox Interactive announces East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game, a new installment that brings the strategy series into the Cold War, expected for release in Q2 of next year. This trailer accompanies the announcement, combining historical footage with gameplay to set the stage for the game. Here's word written by someone young enough to think the Cold War was cool:

Little known fact, the Cold War was so named because it was very, very cool, and East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game is shaping up to be the coolest Cold War game ever made. Players will be able to take control of ANY nation in those nerve-wracking decades in a strategy game with a host of tense features, from taking issues in front of the UN Security Council to nervously watching the game's Doomsday clock.

So prepare to rise to a new historical challenge in “East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron Game”, the new game from BL-Logic and Paradox Development Studios set to release in Q2 2013. This grand strategy game takes you from the opening stalemate of the Cold War in 1946 to the end of over four decades of fear and apprehension in 1991.

Borderlands 2 Mechromancer DLC Today

Gearbox's Randy Pitchford tweets that the Mechromancer DLC for Borderlands 2 will be released today, a week earlier than planned. Here's word, which does not explain why: "So - here's the surprise, Mechromancer for Borderlands 2 is ready about a week earlier than I promised. Oct 9, all platforms. Woo!" Thanks GameSpot.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Looks like a GTX 650 embargo ended at 9:00 am EDT today.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Time, as they say, marches on, so I shouldn't be so surprised that today marks another year since the launch of this domain, as it was on this day in 1996 that this site moved to bluesnews.com. That's right, 16 years, which I think is probably like 100 in internet years. Thanks to all of you for your support all this time.

Timely Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Truck Loader 4.
Stories: Teen’s stomach removed after drinking nitrogen cocktail.
Disney Plans "Toy Story of Terror".
Halliburton’s missing nuclear waste found alongside Texas highway.
Science: Organism without a brain creates external memories for navigation.
What number is halfway between 1 and 9? Thanks OS News.
Why Einstein never received a Nobel prize for relativity.
Media: Honest Trailers - Prometheus. Thanks nin.
16 year old athlete breaks world record.
Dancing Fails Compilation.
Shortest Attention Span EVER.
Follow-up: TNG, DS9 & Enterprise Blu-ray News.



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