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Thursday, Oct 25, 2012

  

Revised Windows Store Policy Allows PEGI-18 Games

Microsoft has revised the policy of the Windows Store, reports Gizmodo, backtracking on plans to exclude games rated PEGI-18 from being listed there. There will be a delay, however, as while the Windows 8 store launches today, the PEGI 18 games most likely won't be showing up there until December. Thanks Gamasutra.

Future Soldier Season Pass and Arctic Strike Map Pack

Ubisoft announces the availability of a Season Pass for all the DLC for the Windows edition of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, along with the Arctic Strike Map Pack, the first add-on covered by the pass. Here's the deal:

Today Ubisoft announced the availability of the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT Season Pass* which allows access to the entire range of downloadable content for the Windows PC version of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. This includes all-new playable maps and game modes, extra weapons for Ghosts and Bodark units, additional Uplay achievements, and more!

Starting today with the release of the Arctic Strike Map Pack on PC, Season Pass owners will automatically receive access to all new downloadable content. The Arctic Strike Map Pack extends your Ghost Recon: Future Soldier PC experience with new multiplayer maps, a new multiplayer mode, new Guerrilla mode co-op map, and six additional weapons to give you the edge over your enemies.

Order the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT Season Pass now and get $10 off the total price of all upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier downloadable content.

*Available for PC Only. Requires Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT base game to play.

Ships Ahoy - PC Deadlight

Steam now offers Deadlight, offering Windows gamers the chance to play this action/adventure that was first released on XBLA. For the first week the game is available at a 15% discount, as is the special edition that includes a separate copy of the game's soundtrack. On a related note, today also marks the release of Escape Deadlight, a fan-created, live-action film based on the game. Here's a description:

The world has ended. There is no hope. No new beginning. Only the survivors. DEADLIGHT follows the journey of Randall Wayne, a man searching for his family across Seattle during the aftermath of a 1980s event that has decimated life on earth. This visually stunning Cinematic Survival Platformer will challenge you to run, jump, climb, and struggle for your life as you look for answers and the ones you love.

Turbine Layoffs

The Boston Globe has news of layoffs at Turbine, developer of Dungeons and Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online, among other games. An unspecified number of jobs were lost as a result, said to be part of a larger round of cuts at parent company Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Thanks VG247.

Op Ed

DSOGaming - Eurogamer amends Robert Florence’s article about Geoff Keighley after threat of legal action. Thanks Joao.

Eurogamer.net - Lost Humanity 18- A Table of Doritos.
Standards are important. They are hard to live up to, sure, but that's the point of them. The trouble with games journalism is that there are no standards. We expect to see Geoff Keighley sitting beside a table of s***. We expect to see the flurry of excitement when the GMAs get announced, instead of a chuckle and a roll of the eyes. We expect to see our games journos failing to get what journalistic integrity means. The brilliant writers, like John Walker for example, don't get the credit they deserve simply because they don't play the game. Indeed, John Walker gets told to get off his pedestal because he has high standards and is pointing out a worrying problem.

Forbes - Video Game Journalist Robert Florence Leaves Eurogamer After Libel Complaints.
Where does journalism end and unwitting advertising begin? I actually ask myself this question a lot, because a lot of the time I write very positive and hopeful things about gaming – because I love video games, and deep down I obviously want as many of them to succeed as possible.

These are hard questions and they don’t have simple answers, but they’re important questions to ask.

John Walker's Electronic House - An Utter Disgrace.
And what the above proves is not only just how moronic UK libel laws are, where someone can’t directly quote a person and then point out possible misinterpretations that could arise from it, but also how deftly our broken system can be used to silence not only discussion, but also criticism.

When a journalist feels they have been misrepresented, even if this so-called misrepresentation has arisen from their having been directly quoted, the response should not be to demand it be removed. The response is to offer to write a response column, or to publish a response in any of the public outlets to which they have access. To do anything else is to be an enemy of journalism, deliberately stifling discussion, and going out of one’s way to ensure further discussion is feared.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Into the Black

Three Dishonored Add-ons Announced

The Bethesda Blog outlines plans for new content for Dishonored, announcing an add-on called Dunwall City Trials coming in December, while also stating we can expect two more add-ons for Arkane's stealth/action game next year:

Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials, being released in December for $4.99 (or 400 Microsoft Points), will include 10 challenge maps that will test and track your combat, stealth and mobility skills. Ten distinct trials await challengers – including an arena battle against waves of enemy AI, a gravity-defying run of drop assassinations, and a race against the clock. Dunwall City Trials also features a whole new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard that will establish the greatest assassins for each challenge.

The second and third add-ons for Dishonored will be coming in 2013 and will each feature story-driven campaigns. Pricing on these two packs will be revealed closer to launch.

Daud, the leader of a group of supernatural assassins known as ‘The Whalers’, will be the focus of the second add-on pack, scheduled for release in early Spring 2013. Make your way through new Dunwall locales and discover Daud’s own set of weapons, powers and gadgets in this story-driven campaign. How you play and the choices you make will impact the final outcome…

Additional story details on the third add-on pack will be revealed closer to its launch next year.

0x10c Multiplayer Footage

Markus 'Notch' Persson conducted some multiplayer testing of 0x10c live on TwitchTV, offering a look at Mojang's upcoming space game in action. The live stream is over, but the recording of the session is available for your perusal, showing first-person shooter combat in an indoor environment. Thanks VG247.

Trains vs. Zombies 2 Today

RailSimulator.com announces Trains vs. Zombies 2, a standalone game that follows up on their Trains Vs Zombies DLC for Train Simulator 2013. The RailSimulator.com Website now features a countdown indicating this will be released later today. You don't usually see the word "navigate" associated with train travel, but it's featured in the description of what this is all about:

Railsimulator.com Ltd., the market-leading innovator of rail simulation and modeling tools, announced Trains vs. Zombies 2, a standalone game in which intrepid train operators must navigate the zombie-ridden city and carry a load of passengers to safety. Featuring five scenarios of frightful fun, this chilling challenge does not require Train Simulator 2013 in order to play.

New York City has been overrun by toxic slime, turning normal humans into mindless zombie-like creatures, and it's your job to rescue passengers from the Halloween nightmare that is taking over the Big Apple. With everything not quite as it seems, be careful who you let on your train as anyone caught in the zombie's slime is instantly turned into a ghastly ghoul. Abandoned trains block your escape route and the zombies are causing havoc ahead of you, but a few broken rails shouldn't stop you ridding the City of the green monsters-or will they? As night falls, the zombies become more devilish and help is needed to restore calm to the City. As you find ways to rid the city of the evil zombies, there are still plenty of surprises in store before reaching the safety of Penn Station. Are you ready to save the world one platform at time?

Features of Trains vs. Zombies 2 include:

  • A standalone product that does not require Train Simulator 2013 in order to play
  • Realistic Northeast Corridor route, complete with zombie characters
  • AEM-7 electric locomotive with passenger cars
  • Five ghoulish scenarios-complete each scenario to win the game!

Trains vs. Zombies is available as a Stream download for the following prices: $8.99, £4.99, €5.99, 124Rub and $3.99 CIS. For more information, visit railsimulator.com

SimCity in March

The SimCity twitter feed offers a March 5th North American release date for SimCity, the revival of the urban planning series, suggesting you allocate your free time accordingly: "Mayors! Mark your calendars, #SimCity will be in stores March 5th in NA. RT If you're planning to take vacation that week to play." Thanks PC Gamer.

Max Payne 3 Patched

Rockstar Games outlines a patch that's now automatically available for all versions of Max Payne 3, preparing the way for next week's release of the Hostage Negotiation Pack while also addressing some issues with the third-person shooter sequel. Here's word on what it does:

  • General improvements to multiplayer, improving overall stability and matchmaking efficiency
  • Added the option to copy one of your Loadouts into an empty custom slot
  • Fixed an issue where wins and losses were reported incorrectly on leaderboards
  • Fixed an issue where explosive kills were not working as intended in Arcade Mode
  • Fixed an issue where newly created Crews and Emblems would not always appear in-game
  • Fixed an issue where dual wielding the PT92 and .38 revolver and firing until the ammunition runs out could cause the weapons to jam

Distance Kickstarter

This Kickstarter seeks user support for Distance, an arcade racing game in the works for Windows and OS X from Refract Studios. This is a new developer formed by the team behind DigiPen student project Nitronic Rush, and they say Distance is a spiritual successor to that game. Here's the summary of the goals for this project: "In short, it's Trials Evolution + Rush 2049 + Halo + Tron. The game takes the intense action of arcade racing and fuses it with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly to survive in a chaotic and twisted city." The page offers details on the game, an announcement trailer, what they will do if they hit their $125K goal, and an endorsement from former Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

The PA Report - Without iOS and Android support at launch, Microsoft’s Smartglass is as good as dead. Thanks nin.
On Friday, when the feature goes live, only Surface owners will be sure to have access to SmartGlass in the way it was intended, limiting the feature to a tiny amount of possible users. It’s not interesting enough to be a selling point for the new tablets, and by trying to keep the initiative locked into its own devices Microsoft is ensuring a lack of developer support. There may be gamers who own a 360, Kinect, Dance Central 3, and a Surface tablet, but not many of them.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Last week's football outcomes were more as expected, and all of us were over .500. Jivaro takes the day with an impressive 12-1, while Sprawl editorialized by picking all the teams with a bye. Here are my picks for this week: Vikings, Bears, Chargers, Seahawks, Packers, Dolphins, Falcons, Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Broncos, 49ers. Here are the full results from last week: Jivaro 12-1, Creston 11-2, Verno 11-2, Blue 10-3, Mag 9-4, Cutter 8-5, Batman 1-0, and Sprawl 0-0.

Picky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Flippin' Dead.
Stories: Brazilian man appears very much alive at his own funeral.
Science: Brain Region 'Solely Devoted' To Faces, Study Suggests.
Embryo from 2 women and 1 man made in lab.
Stars hiding in dark matter halos made early galaxies look big.
Media: Saw 7 teaser trailer. Spoof. Thanks Ryan.
Unbelievable Tennis Shot.
Louis C.K. - Farts.



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