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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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