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Thursday, Nov 15, 2012

  

Ships Ahoy - Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion

Paradox Interactive announces the Sunset Invasion DLC has invaded Crusader Kings II, adding a "what if" scenario to the strategy sequel:

A dark cloud looms over Western Europe and peculiar ships appear on the horizon as Paradox Interactive have today released Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion, the latest DLC for critically-acclaimed strategy RPG Crusader Kings II and first fantasy scenario ever introduced to a Paradox Interactive strategy game.

Featuring a treasure trove of new features that would make Montezuma himself jealous, Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion pits the European dynasties against the brutal conquering force of the ferocious Aztec civilization and they aren’t here to trade chocolate!

Descending on the shores of Europe like a plague, the bloodthirsty foes bring with them exotic and deadly disease as well as a craving to massacre everyone in their path. Endurance will be stretched to the limit in order to evade being captured and having your innards dished up as a sacrifice to their greedy and vindictive gods.

Are you ready for the biggest threat Europe could have known?

Spud's Quest Demo

The Spud's Quest Website has a playable demo for this retro-styled puzzle game, hoping to inspire support for its Kickstarter. The demo consists of the game's first temple/dungeon, which "consists of 40+ screens, and it's a contained area with it's own puzzles and items."

Deus Ex Film Director & Writer

The CBS Films Website has details on plans for a film based on the Deus Ex series of action/RPGs, specifically Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the latest installment (thanks nin). Here's word on the writer and director now associated with the production:

CBS Films announced today that Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will direct the screen adaptation of the iconic Square Enix video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Derrickson will also write the screenplay for the film with C. Robert Cargill (Sinister). Roy Lee and Adrian Askarieh are attached to produce the film with John P. Middleton serving as Executive Producer.

Set in the near future, when dramatic advances in science, specifically human augmentation, have triggered a technological renaissance, Deus Ex: Human Revolution follows Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT security specialist who must embrace mechanical augments in order to unravel a global conspiracy.

Newell Next AIAS Hall of Fame Inductee

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announces (Adobe Acrobat format) that Valve boss Gabe Newell is the next inductee into the AIAS hall of fame:

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce that Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve Corporation, will be the 17th inductee into the AIAS Hall of Fame, and will be taking the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit stage as its Thursday conference keynote. Gabe’s leadership in founding and managing Valve, creator of Source TM game engine, Steam, and award winning game franchises like Half-Life ® , Counter Strike TM , Left 4 Dead TM , Portal TM , and Team Fortress TM have done much to push the interactive entertainment industry forward.

The AIAS Hall of Fame honor is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry. The 2013 Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Gabe by Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps, who serves on the AIAS board of directors and the AIAS awards committee, at the 16th D.I.C.E. Awards on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. Past AIAS Hall of Fame recipients include: Tim Sweeney (2012), Dr. Greg Zeschuk (2011), Dr. Ray Muzyka (2011), Mark Cerny (2010), and Bruce Shelley (2009).

HISTORY Legends of War Announced

Slitherine announces development of HISTORY Legends of War, saying this collaboration with the History Channel is due in stores for Windows and consoles in February 2013. The game will follow General Patton's campaign from the D-Day landings to Berlin. Here's more:

This is a turn-based strategy game at heart. A squad-based tactics experience integrating RPG elements with unprecedented depth in an amazing historical setting. Players command a limited number of units in a sequence of thrilling and engaging missions starting in the days following the Normandy landing and leading through to the conquest of Berlin.

As troops fight through four different campaigns against the Wehrmacht, they’ll gain experience and skills which make them deadlier in combat. With the combination of turn-based tactics and strategic management through the RPG elements, players must use every bit of their tactical wit and genius against a challenging AI. With missions types such as attack, defence, infiltration, and sabotage, every mission will put players to the test.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Expands

Sony Online Entertainment announces the City of Brass has opened its virtual gates as part of the first content update for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes since the MMORPG went free-to-play. The Vanguard Website has details on the expansion, and here's a bit:

In this update, the Efreeti have returned and are imprisoning mortals beneath the fiery skies of Jhor Razkur, otherwise known as The City of Brass. Players are invited to join the fight against the Efreeti and their allies inside the City of Brass in this all-new adventure area.

The new City of Brass area can be accessed beyond the eastern walls of Khal. Users will face off against more than a dozen challenging named and boss mobs, earning valuable new loot. Daring souls who best these foes may summon forth The Keeper of Lesser Wishes, a 12-person encounter that is sure to test their strength.

Torchlight 2 Patch Adds New Pets

The Runic Games Forums have details on a new patch that's now available for Torchlight 2 that updates the action/RPG sequel to version 1.17.x.14. The new version has various balance changes and bug fixes and also adds two new pets: an owl and a badger. Thanks IncGamers.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Patched

A new patch is now available for Elemental: Fallen Enchantress to update Stardock's strategy sequel to version 1.02. These patch notes outline the new content, bug fixes, and balance changes in the new version.

Spike VGA Nominees

Spike's Video Game Awards 2012 Nominees are online, and this announcement summarizes the honorees to be saluted on December 7th by game-lover and noted BAMF Samuel L. Jackson. This includes an Xbox LIVE simulcast with an Xbox Smartglass component as they look to enhance the interactive aspects of the broadcast. Here's an outline of the nominations, which have a good deal more credibility than in the past, as they have put away the dartboard and have turned to a panel of game journalists for assistance:

Leading "VGA TEN," with seven nominations each are "Borderlands 2" (2K Games/Gearbox Software), "Halo 4" (Microsoft Studios/343 Industries) and "Journey" (Sony Computer Entertainment/thatgamecompany). Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed III," is not far behind with six nominations while Bethesda Softworks' "Dishonored," EA's "Mass Effect 3," and Telltale Games' "The Walking Dead: The Game" all have five nominations each.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Borderlands 2 Torgue DLC Confirmed

Gearbox's ECHOcasts Twitter account is now ostensibly in control of Mister Torgue, who has wrested control from the Mecromancer to confirm indications from last month that Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage will be the next DLC for Borderlands 2. Other than confirm the title of the new content for the role-playing shooter, Torgue is generally just throwing around all caps #BADASSITUDE for now. Thanks IGN.

Primal Carnage Free DLC Today

Reverb Publishing announces plans for free DLC for Primal Carnage, calling the recently released multiplayer action game "the highest reviewed dinosaur game of all-time" (which is not saying much, and not completely accurate). They outline plans to support the game with a new game mode and character skins with a free release later this month:

While tens of thousands of gamers around the world are already enjoying the Human vs. Dinosaur frag-fest known as Primal Carnage, the cry for more content has not gone unnoticed. Answering the call, Reverb Publishing and Lukewarm Media are pleased to announce that Primal Carnage will be getting a slew of new content, the first of which is an all-new objective-based mode code named “Get to the Chopper” and a brand-new mode specific map. The first of many planned game updates, this 100 percent FREE content will introduce new modes and maps when it rears its head later this month.

In addition to all planned free game updates, Primal Carnage will periodically be releasing alternative character skin packs. The first will also arrive later this month in the form of five new skins, one for each of the playable Dinosaur classes.

Wargame: European Escalation Free DLC Today

Focus Home Interactive announces they will release a DLC pack called Fatal Error later today via Steam as a free add-on for owners of Wargame: European Escalation, the recent real-time strategy game from Eugen Systems. Here are some screenshots from the pack, and here's word:

This new DLC, to the contrary of previous free DLCs of Wargame that were adding content to the multiplayer mode, focuses much more on solo play. It first adds new content in the form of a brand new fifth operation to Wargame's existing four, as well as a multi-touch gameplay conceived and tuned for owners of Ultrabook™ with touch¹ display. Inspired by Intel®!

The new solo campaign, Fatal Error, is a 5-mission long operation completely independent to Wargame's original campaign, and will provide you new, bigger challenges to face. Based on an original alternate history, the operation brings us back in 1979, a time when hopes for a peaceful settlement of the East/West tensions seemed close, until the Euromissiles crisis and the discovery of a Soviet combat brigade being deployed in Cuba. Within the depths of Mount Cheyenne, home to North America's most vital command center, a tragic mistake made by a mere maintenance technician will set the world on fire once again…

The DLC Fatal Error does not only bring new missions; it also makes your game compatible with your Ultrabook™ with touch¹ display Inspired by Intel®! Finely tuned with simplicity of use in mind, the multi-touch gameplay specifically crafted for Wargame will let you play comfortably installed in your couch, without the need for a mouse or a keyboard! Commanding your army has never been so accessible and intuitive.

¹ The press release included a number that did not have a corresponding footnote, so we added this.

Tropico 4 DLC Released

Kalypso Media now offers a new Megalopolis DLC pack for Tropico 4, adding a new campaign, new avatar clothing, and more to the island dictator sequel. This is not mentioned on the World of Tropico, but they say the DLC is now available for the Windows edition though the Kalypso Launcher and various digital distributors, and is expected for the Xbox 360 edition later this year. Here's word on the pack:

Build the largest city in the Caribbean! It’s up to you to decide how to deal with the problems that come with a massive influx of immigrants looking to join your society. Manage issues like unemployment, over-population and food shortages. Make use of the Conventillo, a cheap new residential building that maximizes living space at a minimal cost. As El Presidente, try on a decidedly more old-fashioned suit and spice it up with a classic monocle and mayoral necklace. The new bureaucrat trait helps you build cheaper residential buildings and earn bigger profits with the “building permit” edict.

  • New building: Conventillo : Cheap housing with plenty of room to spare, but degrades over time and has to be frequently repaired
  • New trait: Bureaucrat: Build cheaper residential buildings while earning more profits from the new “building permit” edict
  • New outfit: Mayor (male avatar), includes monocle, dress suit and special necklace
  • New mission: Megalopolis

Linux Diablo III Bans Follow-up

Blend Games has a follow-up to recent reports of Linux users being banned from playing Diablo III on Battle.net. They cite an unlinked post on the WINE forums from a user who claims to have been refunded the cost of a second copy of the game after being apologetically informed by Blizzard that his initial ban for playing the game through WINE was erroneous. Unmoved by the retraction, the site's hash criticism of Blizzard over this continues unabated.

Hero-U Kickstarter Homestretch

An update on the Kickstarter for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption has word on what it will take to fund this RPG from the Quest for Glory designers as it hits the homestretch (thanks nin and Dylan). There's also an interview on Just Adventure talk with Corey and Lori Cole about the project. Here's the deal on getting this project over the top:

Wow, what a day! With close to 300 new backers and almost $23,000 added to the till, this was our best day since Day 2 of the campaign. We now have 4,100 backers and need about $127,000 to reach our goal. Keep the energy going for just five more days, we'll be funded!

By my math, we have 5-1/2 days to go, so all we have to do is keep doubling the number of players and amount of pledges each day... $46K, $92K, $184K, $368K, $736K, and another $736K on the half-day... I guess I'd better post the $1 million and $2 million stretch goals! Check it out at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_and_chessboard_problem

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Metacritic refuse to remove factually inaccurate review even after GameSpot admits mistake.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

It's football Thursday, and the Giants are on a timely bye after back-to-back losses. I want to call out the sports media for doing a terrible job of pinpointing what's gone wrong for big blue lately, as I've seen reasons given like Eli having a "dead arm," the fact that Hakeem Nicks is hobbled, that Victor Cruz has been off-track, and similar things. These theories all ignore the old rule about football games being won and lost in the trenches, and it shouldn't take Vince Lombardi to see that the team has suffered breakdowns in pass protection on offense and has not generated sufficient pass rush on defense. Those are things the team has shown it can do, so there's reason to hope they get back on track.

As for last week's results, I am proud to have picked the Saints, though over a third of our experts picked that upset. On the other hand, I'm kicking myself for changing my pick from the Vikings after listening to pundits talking about how poorly Ponder was playing. Batman repeated his one-and-done picking, and Cutter can almost take credit for predicting the season's only tie by failing to choose a team in the 49ers/Rams game (weird, right?). Here are the results for last week, where many of us took different roads to arrive at the same destination: Darks 11-2-1; Blue, Creston, Jivaro, and mag 10-3-1; Verno 8-5-1; Cutter 7-6; and Batman 0-1.

This week I guarantee the Giants will not lose. Here are my other picks: Miami, Packers, Falcons, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Redskins, Rams, Bengals, Texans, Saints, Broncos, Patriots, Steelers, and 49ers.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Nightflies.
Stories: See an NBA game for $0.10 … seriously 10 cents.
James Wan To Helm "MacGyver" Reboot.
Dickey caps unforgettable year with Cy Young. My favorite current Met honored.
Media: Belgian Player Misses 4 Shots at His Own Basket. Are their rules different?
James Bond Theme A Cappella.
Best Cosplay of All Time.
Epic Halloween Costume- The Rollercoaster.
Follow-up: 'Star Wars,' the once and future franchise. Thanks nin via Kotaku.
Exposure to light at night lowers cognitive function: study.
John McAfee says he didn't kill neighbor. Thanks WalterEgo.
Still on the Lam, John McAfee Says He's Now In Disguise. Thanks j.c.f.

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012

Star Citizen Passes $3.5M

The Roberts Space Industries Website announces Star Citizen has surpassed $3.5 million in funding, saying this makes the upcoming space simulation the second most successful crowd-funded game to date. They offer details on the three major unlocks this threshold triggers, while ambitiously setting their sites on the remaining $700K they need to raise to take the crown for highest crowd-funding total for a game ever.

Two for One FORGE Next Month

Dark Vale Games announces that FORGE will be released on December 4th via digital distribution, and that all customers will receive two copies of the third-person shooter with their purchases, a sure way to help boost the population of a multiplayer-only game. "Several months ago, we promised the PC gaming world a unique proposition: an incredible AAA-quality multiplayer fantasy game at an amazing indie price, and that’s just what we’ve delivered," said Tim Alvis, COO/CTO of Dark Vale Games. "As players of some of the best multiplayer PC games ourselves, we understand that these titles are all about the community. That’s why we’re offering the best of both worlds – a great price point and a free copy that purchasers can give to their guild- or clan-mate or anyone else they would like to have fighting by their side. The more people we have playing FORGE, the more fun it will be. We truly believe that and we’re putting our money where our mouth is to prove it." They celebrate the news with a new trailer showing gameplay from the beta. Continue here to read the full story.

Next Call of Duty Tidbits?

Siliconera has purported details on the next installment in the Call of Duty series, saying their source for this information is the same one who provided reliable advance information on Sleeping Dogs back when it was True Crime: Hong Kong. There's nothing that spoilery or earth-shattering revealed, just plot points based on dialog recording for Ben Burke, a character in the game who is "a battle hardened veteran in his mid-thirties with a nihilistic point of view."

Crysis 3 Trailer

This trailer offers a preview of single-player play in Crysis 3, Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "The unnatural power of the Nanodome has transformed the train yards of New York City into a grassland teeming with wild vegetation & opposing CELL artillery. Prophet and Psycho must venture through the heavily guarded Field to meet up with the rebel insurgency. Prophet's use of the Nanosuit and alien weapons will be critical to to [sic] get through the sandbox of the Fields level -- but how will you choose to play Crysis 3?" Thanks VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website has an updated list of server-side hotfixes applied to Blizzard's MMORPG since the release of the new version 5.0.5 patch (thanks Ant). A majority of the changes center around dungeons and raids.

Hardy to Star in Splinter Cell Movie

Splinter Cell movie has a star, as Variety reports that Tom Hardy has signed on to play Sam Fisher, the stealthy bane of many terrorists' existence. The project also has a writer, Eric Warren Singer ("The International"), but neither a studio nor director yet.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Grand Theft Auto V Trailer

Rockstar Games now offers the promised second trailer from Grand Theft Auto V, an NSFW look at the game's take on urban renewal, friendly strangers offering directions, borrowing a buddy's car, domestic bliss, youthful hijinks, modern slang, puppies, skydiving, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

Origin Accounts Hijacked?

Eurogamer reports that account holders on EA's Origin service are receiving emails confirming they have successfully changed passwords and/or email accounts, in spite have not making any such request. They say this has affected one of their own, Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter, and point to a thread on NeoGAF with similar stories. They also show an indication this may be originating from somewhere in Russia, and say they have contacted EA for a response.

Ships Ahoy - Port Royale 3: Dawn of Pirates

Kalypso Media now offers new Dawn of Pirates DLC for the Windows edition of Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants, the seafaring simulation. Here's word on the new campaign and game mode this introduces:

Dawn of Pirates offers you a whole new single-player campaign in which you get to stir up trouble in the Caribbean -- as a pirate. Your aim in this DLC is to become the most notorious pirate in the Caribbean by raiding and plundering unsuspecting cities and poorly guarded convoys on the high seas. A new pirate-themed campaign offer players the chance to enjoy Port Royale 3 from the view of one of their most challenging foes! Arrr matey, what are you waiting for? Set sail!

Features of the Dawn of Pirates DLC:

  • A new pirate-themed campaign with adjusted interface and gameplay
  • Ironman-mode challenges you to play through the campaign without save-points
  • An online ranking-system with a global high-score-list for Normal as well as Ironman modes

Miner Wars 2081 This Month, MMO Testing Nears

An official release date for Miner Wars 2081 is now posted on the Miner Wars Website, where they say the six degrees of freedom shooter is expected on November 28th through Steam, GameStop, Gamersgate, Desura, and www.minerwars.com. The story, taking the form of a note to journalists, also offers new logos, videos, and art from the game. Those interested in the game but not interested in waiting can prepurchase the game and start playing the beta right now. Looking to the future, on their FAQ they say the MMO version of the game to follow will begin public beta testing sometime this quarter.

Grand Theft Auto V Hype Gearing Up

With a new Grand Theft Auto V trailer due momentarily, Rockstar Games points way to coverage of the game from various outlets that have been able to play it (don't tell Robert Florence). They point to a Guardian preview as well as GTA V Week on IGN where they gush: "One thing’s for sure, the most exciting aspect of GTA V is not just the way it promises to shake up the open-world genre, but also the freedom and flexibility it promises… Grand Theft Auto V could be the benchmark by which all other games – not just open-world games – will be judged against." Also, GamesIndustry International has word from writer Dan Houser on how the best games come at the end of a console's lifecycle.

Ubisoft Pitching CliffyB?

Cliff Bleszinski tweets about a gift from Ubisoft that implies they are interested in ending Epic's former design director unemployment: "Hotel called my room. A package for me? Inside? A fully charged phone with one # programmed and the Ubisoft logo on the backdrop. Now what?" Seems the answer would be to call the number, but maybe this is a trick question. It's nice to hear that Ubisoft is doing well enough that they've replaced business cards with working cell phones. Thanks VG247.

The Secret World Issue #4 Details

This trailer unveils some of the secrets in an upcoming update #4 for The Secret World, which developer Funcom says is the "biggest update yet" for their conspiracy-themed MMOG. The trailer is narrated by Game Director Joel Bylos who introduces new content and gameplay mechanics in the update, which is titled Big Trouble in the Big Apple. Word is: "He will reveal many of the features you can enjoy in Issue #4: such as the Raid in New York, a big boost to PvP, the Albion Theatre, a new Auxiliary Weapon – the Chainsaw, a new set of Missions, Reticule Combat and much much more." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA XPG Xtreme Series 2x8GB DDR3-2133MHz CL10 Memory on ocaholic.
  • Corsair Neutron GTX 480GB SSD on HARDOCP.
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H-WiFi on Overclockers Club.
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition on PCMag.com.
  • MSI GEFORCE GTX 660 HAWK 2GB Video Card on TweakTown.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Patriot Gauntlet 320 on APH Networks.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II Android Superphone on MEGATech.
  • Sapphire HD 7770 FleX Video Card on TechwareLabs.
  • Sharkoon X-Tatic Pro Gaming Headset on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

Following the power cutting on and off with the recent storms, I decided it was finally time to replace my UPS, as its battery had reached the point where my machine would go to sleep after even slight power dips. I found a big 1500VA unit at Best Buy for $139, and while it turned out it was mismarked, they agreed to charge me that instead of the proper $209 since it was their mistake. Nice, right? We then stopped on our way home at Marshalls to see what sort of bargains they had there and I found a Le Creuset crock for holding spoons and such for all of $12.99, but the blue one I wanted had no price tag. I told them the price up front, but they insisted on a price check, and ended up charging me the $7.99 listed on a cheaper crock. So it seems yesterday I was surrounded by some sort of magic forty-something percent discount field... Too bad I wasn't in a position to buy some resalable commodity and profit wildly from this.

Discount Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Evilgeddon: Spooky Max.
Links: I am Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and How to destroy angels. AMA. Thanks nin.
Stories: Janeane Garofalo Unwittingly Married for 20 Years.
Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots. Thanks Slashdot.
Don't Even Think of Eating at Guy Fieri's New Times Square Restaurant.
Science: Rare complete solar eclipse captured on film in Australia.
Man in coma uses his thoughts to tell doctors, 'I'm not in pain'.
Images: Ollie the Gamer. Thanks Morris.
The eyeball in this guy's sink is one of the best optical illusions we've seen in ages.
Media: Disney Princess Leia - Star Wars Disney Princesses.
World War Z with Pee-wee Voices and PEE WEEs Big Inception.
All Time 10s: Common Science Myths. Incorrect corrections? I know #3 is false.



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