The official website for Sword of the Stars - The Pit now offers downloads of a playable alpha demo for Kerberos Productions' roguelike set in their sci-fi Sword of the Stars universe. If the demo appeals, there is an Indiegogo campaign to support the production which concludes in five days. Here's word on the demo:
The Alpha Demo includes the Engineer, one of the game’s three playable Characters, a brief Tutorial, and five playable levels to explore, which include a good cross section of monsters, traps, and items. The full game, which will release with 30 playable levels, is considerably larger in scope.
“This Alpha Demo offers only about 10% of the game’s total content,” says Lead Designer Martin Cirulis. “But it should give players a good feel for the Roguelike gameplay, with the retro art style and the skill-based RPG aspects. While The Pit keeps getting bigger as you go deeper, and you will encounter more and more threats, weapons, and devices from the SotSverse, the first 5 floors - even at this alpha stage - will be an excellent way for gamers to tell if The Pit is for them. And it's just plain fun!”
Activision announces the release of free Skyfall DLC for the PlayStation 3 edition of 007 Legends is now available, and this content based on the new movie will be added to the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of the James Bond game on November 20th. This trailer shows off gameplay from the Skyfall mission, and here's an outline of what to expect:
Capping off the first-of-its-kind James Bond video game experience, the SKYFALL mission sends players into the heart of Istanbul to hunt down a brutal assassin. It quickly turns into an epic chase, taking fans on a treacherous pursuit that ends atop a speeding train as a mysterious sniper nearly ends Bond's life. After overcoming death itself, 007 must track down his target across the world to Shanghai for a final showdown to uncover the truth...
Following the launch of the mobile versions of Curiosity, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has allowed their curiosity to get the best of them, and have inquired about the status of the PC edition of the first-person chiseler, since this was announced as a PC/Mac "experiment." Designer Peter Molyneux explains that the game is just too darned successful, so this may have been another of those cases where his enthusiasm has outstripped reality, as he tells them:
“We would love to do a PC version,” Molyneux told RPS, “but we are currently snowed under by the number of people using the Curiosity experiment (coming up to one million ) in a few days. This is pushing our servers to the limit. We are currently all surviving on less than three hours sleep a night. I guess if we could find a publisher who could take on the work of a PC version we could consider it.”
The StarCraft II Website announces plans to bring the ability to play against players around the world in StarCraft II, Blizzard's RTS (it's like a global Internet or something!). This will take a while, though, as they say the patch to add this feature is due "in the coming months." Here's what this will provide:
Global Play will give you access to StarCraft II game servers in regions outside your own, expanding the possibilities for eSports, exposing you to maps and games that aren’t yet published everywhere, and making it easy to play with your friends in other parts of the world. Each region will have separate profile data, meaning that characters, profiles, ladder rankings, progress, and friends lists will not carry over from region to region. With Global Play, you’ll have other regions to choose from as you create new characters, take on different ladder opponents, and perhaps try maps that you’ve never seen before.
More about Global Play:
Players will be able to freely switch between regions via the StarCraft II login screen.
When your region’s game servers are undergoing maintenance, you may be able to play in a different region that is not down for maintenance.
Your game language and user interface will not change when you change regions.
Players using Global Play will be subject to the in-game policies of their selected play region.
We’ll have more details soon, including answers to your most frequently asked questions about Global Play.
The Diablo III Website announces Blizzard has recently handed out a bunch of bans to Diablo III players for violating the terms of service for Blizzard's action/RPG sequel. They don't specify how many accounts are barred due to this, but they do offer more details on why: "In each of these cases players used a hack program for exploitive purposes, for example to zoom out their game view and kill monsters that were beyond the normal range at which AI is triggered. As we do with all Blizzard games, we will continue to monitor Diablo III for cheating and take action as needed." They outline various actions that could trigger such discipline so players can make sure they are keeping their noses clean. On a related note, Blend Games continues their criticism of the game by rounding up reports of Linux users who claim they have been banned after playing the game through WINE, unmoved by Blizzard's comments that they cannot guarantee that users of an unsupported operating system may be incorrectly tagged as hackers.
TopWare Interactive announces that Transcripted is now available for Windows and OS X, along with playable demos for the puzzle shooter on each platform. The game can be acquired through digital distribution, or at retail, and physical copies boast an "elaborately designed packaging and reversible cover" as well as an optional Steam key for those who want to tale advantage of Steam achievements and the like. The demos are available through the Transcripted Website and Steam, and here's word on the game:
Transcripted is a mixture of two incredibly addictive and vastly popular casual gaming styles: the dual-stick shooter and the match three puzzle game. In Transcripted players take control of the Nano Probe, a microscopic apparatus used to combat disease. With the aid of a skill tree that improves ship equipment, health, shields and the Nano Probe’s arsenal of upgradeable weapons, players must successfully navigate through hordes of deadly pathogens to destroy the disease’s pseudo-DNA as it twines perilously on its endless path to infection. Along the way players must defeat gigantic boss colonies the pathogen has evolved with the sole purpose of stopping the Nano Probe from completing its mission. Difficulty levels of both puzzle and shooting segments can be adjusted independently to suit every play style, making “Transcripted” an amazingly re-playable experience.
So many military shooters tout the credentials of their advisors there's a tendency to assume this is hype, but NBC News has word that the SEALs who participated in the development of Medal of Honor have received letters of reprimand from the U.S. Navy, and have been docked half their pay for two months (thanks David). The latest installment in EA's shooter series takes pride in the contribution of "actual U.S. Tier 1 Operators," and the truth of this is borne out by this reprimand: "We do not tolerate deviations from the policies that govern who we are and what we do as Sailors in the United States Navy," says a written statement from Deputy Commander of Naval Special Warfare, Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli. "The non-judicial punishment decisions made today send a clear message throughout our Force that we are and will be held to a high standard of accountability."
A free weekend for Death Rally is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to test drive Remedy Entertainments game of road rage, which is on sale for half-off for the duration of the event. Here's the pitch to see if this game catches your interest:
Load your guns, start your engines...THE CLASSIC IS BACK! Brought to you from Remedy, renowned developers of Max Payne and Alan Wake, Remedy's Death Rally classic top down racer is back, stronger and more vicious than ever.
This is no Sunday Drive. This is Death Rally, so be prepared to be blown away, literally. Make a run for the finish line with a trail of burnt rubber and spent brass behind you..along with the flaming wreckage of any fool dumb enough to get in your way.
The gameplay is addictive, intense, explosive fun! Win races, upgrade your cars and weapons to defeat incredible boss drivers to beat the story mode. Join the multiplayer! lock and load and enter the Death Rally, humiliate and destroy your opponents or sabotage their race. You choose how you win, NO TRICK IS TOO DIRTY!
The Kickstarter Page for Elite: Dangerous has a non-gameplay trailer from the upcoming Elite sequel. This features Frontier Developments' David Braben discussing the history of the franchise, and expresses great enthusiasm for the opportinities for a modern game using procedurally generated content like its forebears. The accompanying update also includes some concept art and renderings to give the first sense of the visual direction they envision.
Kalypso Media announces the release of the Windows edition of Sine Mora, Digital Reality's horizontal shoot'em up that's already available for consoles. Here's the deal: "Kalypso Media Digital and Digital Reality are pleased to announce that Sine Mora, the stunning "shoot 'em up" that won rave reviews when released on console, is now available via digital download for Windows PC! To celebrate the digital release of Sine Mora, Kalypso Digital is making available an exciting trailer for the game, which shows off Sine Mora's amazing HD visuals - including gigantic bosses, stunning weapons and unique enemies. Grab the new trailer and prepare to be impressed by the game that's re-defining the "Shmup" genre with incredible visuals, 3D environments and time-bending elements."
Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Critical Studio announce they are accepting signups for an upcoming limited beta test for Dungeonland, a co-op action game set in a medieval fantasy theme park. The test will begin later this month, and this also heralds a delay, as the game was announced for release this year, but now word is that Dungeonland will open its virtual doors in the first quarter next year (Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front shoulda told ya). You can register for testing on the brand-new Dungeonland Beta Website, and they say you should get this done by December 1st for the best chance at acceptance, also revealing an incentive for participating: "Every miserable hero who signs up for the limited beta will receive a little something extra at launch, regardless of whether or not they are picked by the illustrious and extremely good looking Dungeonmaster, so start entering in your contact info at the game site already!"
Apologies for a couple of glitches here last night. The first one was pretty benign, as some sort of error when I posted the news clipped the last character off each headline (so if this story is titled "Out of the Blu," know I am looking into it). More seriously, it seems we had a but of a crash overnight, so apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced by the outage.