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Monday, Nov 05, 2012 Guy Fawkes Day

  

CoH2, Metro Last Light, and South Park Game Delayed

THQ's Fiscal 2013 Second Quarter Results are online, offering the company's latest balance sheet, and the results are not pretty, showing nearly $21 million in losses, though this not as bad as previously projected. This also reveals some game delays: "THQ announced today that South Park™: The Stick of Truth™ is now planned for launch worldwide in early fiscal 2014. South Park: The Stick of Truth had previously been slated for release on March 5, 2013. Additional changes to fiscal 2013 release dates include those for Company of Heroes® 2 and Metro: Last Light, both of which are expected to ship in March, later than initially planned." This is accompanied by quotes from company president Jason Rubin, who says the delays are part of the company's commitment to quality. There's an article with analysis of these results on Gamasutra, where they ask if this is the beginning of the end for THQ?

LEGO The Lord of the Rings Demo

LEGO.com now offers downloads of a playable demo for LEGO: The Lord of the Rings, the upcoming Windows edition of this toy/media mashup that tasks players in fitting a square ring into a square hole. Just make sure there's a grownup around, as they suggest "It might be a good idea to get your parents to help with this." Further word is: "This demo is available for PC and needs to be installed for you to play this awesome level. The demo works for Windows (7, XP, Vista) but not for MAC." The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer.

MechWarrior Online Trailer

This new trailer from MechWarrior Online celebrates the recently launched open beta of Piranha Games' upcoming mech combat game by showing off new maps and other content added for the test. Those interested in the beta can register on this page, and while this is called a beta, as noted in the MWO forums, no more stat wipes are planned, so this free-to-play game is essentially now live.

Claptrap Web Series Season 2 Begins

Claptrap Web Series Season 2, Ep. 1 is now online, offering a return of the popular machinima series starring Claptrap, the snarky unicycling robot from the Borderlands series of role-playing shooters. Word is: "An all-new season of Claptrap episodes kicks off with a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the production of Borderlands 2 -- now available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC." More SHiFT codes are revealed at the end of the clip, and someone has helpfully posted them in the comments. For those who may have missed this series before now, this playlist offers all four episodes from season one. Continue here to read the full story.

Rise of the Triad Video Diary

This extended cut trailer for Rise of the Triad offers a developer diary where the developers at Interceptor Entertainment discuss rebooting this old-school shooter, one of them taking the Apogee connection seriously enough to sport an old school broney tail, Broussard-style. The clip includes footage of the new game and the original to show their take on ROTT. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

The Astronauts - Reboot your AAA brain with indie games. Thanks Joao.
The catch is that you will understand the benefits of rebooting your AAA brain only after you do it. You cannot explain it to someone who’s not a father what it feels like to be one. You can throw “unconditional love” and “life forever changed” at them, and they will say they get it. But they don’t. And they will only see that after they become fathers themselves.

Kotaku - The Contemptible Games Journalist- Why So Many People Don’t Trust The Gaming Press (And Why They’re Sometimes Wrong). Thanks nin.
Welcome to the world of games journalism, where, at any moment, someone is certain that you suck at your job. It's not the only job of this type, but it's the one we've got here. It's the one under a more intense microscope than ever these past couple of weeks.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 FOV Capped at 80

Treyarch tweets that the field of view in the PC edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (expected next week) is capped at 80, saying: "And don't ask me to raise the FOV cap. Max is 80. Thankyouverymuch. <3, -pcdev-." Another tweet confirms the presence of the lean command, and the absence of console access: "Console = no. Lean = yes." Thanks Joao.

Free Battlefield 1942

The Battlefield Blog announces DICE is handing out free copies of Battlefield 1942 on Origin as part of their celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Battlefield series of military first-person shooters (thanks Charles). This is accompanied by an electronic art booklet for this Electronic Arts game, saying this "contains a number of concepts showing visual and gameplay targets that the DICE team had more than ten years ago when they set out to create the game of their dreams," though they also warn the 1920x1080 presentation weighs in at over 150 MB. There is an accompanying FAQ confirming this is a free release of the original game, that it does not include either of its expansions, that players of the free version cannot play in the same games as owners of the original on-disc version (though owners of the disc version can obviously get the free version), and that they are running public servers in addition to anyone's ability to run a dedicated server. Here's word:

We are very happy and proud to be able to give you Battlefield 1942, the game that started it all. Now available for free* on Origin as a digital download for the first time, everyone will be able to download and play this original PC game that helped define DICE and the multiplayer shooter genre.

Karl Magnus Troedsson, Vice President and General Manager of DICE, has a message to all of our fans:

“Since the beginning, the reception to the Battlefield series has been incredible thanks to our amazing fans. Every day, we strive to provide our community with great games and new ways to play as evident with Battlefield 3 Premium. We wanted to thank our fans who have supported us throughout the years with a chance to go back and play the game that started it all.”

Chaos Remake Features

X-COM creator Julian Gollop details his recently revealed intention to remake Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, a turn-based tactics released on the ZX Spectrum in 1985. Gollop also posted a high level feature list, saying: "So the big idea with the Kingdoms of Chaos mode is that it is randomly, algorithmically generated. It will need enough elements and variety to keep it interesting, but should have plenty of replay value. There should be an element of strategy and deduction in figuring out which battles to fight and where to go on the campaign map." Here are the listed features: Continue here to read the full story.

AirMech Open Beta This Week

Carbon Games will launch open beta testing of AirMech this week, saying this should kick off on Steam on Thursday. They also announce perks players earn in the alpha and beta tests for the upcoming free-to-play action/RTS game will retained when the game goes live: "I hate playing Betas myself because they always wipe your accounts when they leave Beta," says James Green, project Director. "So since I get to make the rules now, I say no wipes--no resets. You found a bug and exploited it for personal gain? Awesome, letting you keep your stuff is the least we can do for everyone helping us test."

FIFA 13 PC Patch

The EA Forums offer details on a new patch that's now live for FIFA 13, saying this will come to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the association football/soccer sequel, though they don't have a set date for the console patches (thanks Computer and Video Games). Here are the listed changes: Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Charts

There's a shakeup on GfK Chart-Track's list of the 20 bestselling full-price PC entertainment titles for the week ending November 3rd. There are three new entries in the top 10 this week, as Need for Speed: Most Wanted races onto the charts at number eight, Farming Simulator 2013 sprouts at number two, and Football Manager 2013 kicked Medal of Honor: Warfighter out of the top spot. On the all-platforms chart 80% of the top five are new, as Need for Speed: Most Wanted enters at number five, Football Manager 2013 at number four, WWE 13 at number three, with Assassin's Creed III taking over the number one position.

Hawken's 10M Player Target

Developers Hawken are hoping to attract 10 million players when the free-to-play mech shooter launches next month, reports MCV. This hope is backed up by some cold, hard cash, as they add that the company has secured $18 million in funding to help make this happen. This presumably will involve a marketing campaign, though they could consider just sending everyone who plays $1.80.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Sunday, Nov 04, 2012

F2P Command & Conquer Beta Early Next Year

A recent post to the Command & Conquer Blog updates us on progress on the upcoming free-to-play Command & Conquer game (thanks Ant). This includes an explanation of why they are not actually hyping this more, saying: "We’ve decided to actually let the game speak for itself, instead of starting the typical marketing noise you normally would expect. That being said, it might be a few more months before we reveal more information – we don’t just want to tell you about the game, we want to show you." It also outlines plans for an extended beta test beginning next year:

So looking at where we are right now with our game and the ongoing service that comes with Free 2 Play games actually makes me believe that this game can become a great Command & Conquer. And we will be working together with you – The Fans - to make it better and better. As planned right now, the Beta will start in the first half of 2013, and will be the longest running beta phase in franchise history.

Battlefield 4 Rumors

NeoGAF translates rumors from a Chinese website called ChipHell that claims to have details on Battlefield 4 leaked from EA China, as unlikely as that sounds. The details they list seem plausible, which proves nothing, so feel free to take this with a grain of MSG. This goes so far as to include a precise release date, saying the next installment in the military shooter series is due on October 23, 2013 (though the game's beta test is only slated to commence a month before, at the earliest). Thanks Joao.

Homefront Postmortem

There's a postmortem for Homefront on Polygon taking a look back at the development of Homefront. This is more true to the term postmortem than most such articles, as it outlines how this lead to the demise of KAOS Studio, the game's developer that started off as the team behind the Desert Combat modification for Battlefield 1942. This holds no bars, as shown by the title: "How mismanagement, incompetence and pride killed THQ's Kaos Studios." This covers the difficulties the team faced after the departure of founder Frank DeLise, the economic pressure of running a studio in New York City, the Chaotic way Homefront was planned and pitched, the "endless pre-production" the project endured, an eleventh hour attempt to dial the game up to eleven, the almost miraculous way that some imported THQ talent completed the game, the difficulties of their final crunch, and more, all leading up to how the studio was eventually closed in spite of the game selling over two million copies. Thanks Joao.

Steam Top 10

Here are the 10 bestselling games on Steam for the past week according to Valve:

  1. Football Manager 2013
  2. Left 4 Dead 2
  3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  4. Natural Selection 2
  5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  6. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
  7. Borderlands 2
  8. The Walking Dead
  9. Dishonored
  10. Dead Island Game of the Year Edition

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

Well now that things are getting back to normal here, it's clearer to us just how badly the superstorm impacted other nearby areas as this has left a lot of families without homes, much less electricity, with wintery temperatures on the way to exacerbate things. As is often the case, seeing the power of the forces of nature can be a humbling reminder of how much of the idea that mankind has mastered our environment is an illusion.

Illusory Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Portals
Stories: Boeing Dreamliner makes U.S. debut Sunday morning. Thanks Slashdot.
Images: New York Magazine Cover Featuring Incredible Photo of Blackout in Lower Manhattan.
Media: Jimmy Kimmel - YouTube Challenge - Halloween Candy.
Most Hilarious Chili Challenge I've Ever Seen. NSFW.
Is It Possible Pop A Wheelie On A Moped With 4 Passengers?
The Funnies: FoxTrot.
Follow-up: New York Neighborhood Celebrates as Power Comes Back On.



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