2K Games offers more on Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC, the upcoming DLC for Borderlands 2, Gearbox's RPG/shooter sequel. The update includes a new Torgue Weapons Trailer with lots of attitude and some NSFW language, and there are new previews of the pack on Eurogamer, GameSpot, GameSpy, and Kotaku. Here's word on the add-on:
2K and Gearbox Software are excited to announce “Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage,” the second add-on campaign content pack for Borderlands 2. Available on November 20th, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is available on all platforms, is included with Season Pass purchase and is also available a la carte for 800 Microsoft Points/$9.99. This brand new content challenges players to conquer all that Mr. Torgue has waiting for players within his Badass Crater of Badassitude.
Packed with unforgettable battles and an engaging storyline, this must-play content includes new loot drops along with a new currency specific to Torgue weapons. Also included with this content are new heads and skins to further customize your vault hunter’s appearance. An assortment of new bosses, including Pyro Pete, Motor Momma and Badassaurus Rex make this the most challenging Borderlands add-on content campaign yet.
If you’re craving more of your favorite Borderlands 2 NPCs (as well as new characters), you’re in luck! Along with returning favorites Tiny Tina and Mad Moxxi, all-new characters like Piston and expanded roles for Mr. Torgue are a huge part of Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage.
Eurogamer has word from a Czech news report that the pair of Bohemia Interactive developers arrested in September in Myrina, Greece for Espionage have been refused bail. They are now awaiting trial, and word is this process is being delayed considerably by strikes in Greece, though apparently "strike season" is over. The pair's families are now apparently attempting to get the Czech president and prime minister to step in, claiming their foreign ministry has let them down. "Our boys no longer tell us on the phone that it's alright, that they're handling it," one of the mothers said. "After the court's decision we only hear from them something that no parent ever wants to hear: Mom, dad, please save us."
AMD Support now offers an updated Catalyst reference drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards running under Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Linux. The new drivers, offered "as-is," are up to version 12.11 beta 8, which offers the following improvements:
Improves performance up to 5% in Max Payne 3
Includes single GPU performance updates for Far Cry 3
Improves CrossFire scaling for Planetside 2 (Crossfire scaling is still limited to ~30% at 2560x1600)
Resolves the Skyrim lighting issue (missing a lighting pass) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
Resolves the hang encountered playing Dishonored on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 for Linux includes significant performance improvements for Left for Dead 2
There are some details on IGN about the Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC for Borderlands 2 that was officially revealed yesterday after being outed last month. They offer some concept art from the pack along with a trailer where artist Scott Kester shows off some gameplay and discusses Gearbox's goals for the DLC. Word is this will launch next week, and they have details on what to expect:
Borderlands 2’s second expansion -- Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage -- will launch on November 20th. Like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty before it, Campaign of Carnage offers new areas for players to explore, three new achievements, a new currency and plenty of new missions for players level 15 or higher, with enemies scaled to your level.
The basic story of Campaign of Carnage revolves around a new vault discovered in Pandora, buried in the center of a large crater that will only open “once the champion of Pandora feeds it the blood of the ultimate coward.” Your introduction to Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage comes via Mr. Torgue himself, screaming at you like a terrifying mix of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage with a deep love for explosions.
As Mr. Torgue describes the new vault, “we at the Torgue Corporation sincerely believe this is f**king awesome -- so awesome that we're going to set up a tournament to find this number one badass.” That tournament takes place in an arena that will serve as the centerpiece of the expansion, built around the Badass Crater of Badassitude where the vault is buried. You’ll need a sponsor to participate, and one of the first new characters you’ll meet is Piston, a scarily-large brawler with engine pistons for hands.
The latimes.com has word from trade group NPD on third quarter game sales in the U.S. While spending on physical games dropped 16% during the third quarter, the industry is faring better than that statistic would suggest, as spending on games on digital platforms jumped 22%. They offer the following overview, which shows when normalized for digital and used sales, this year's results seem to be within the margin for error when compared with last years: "During the third quarter (from July through September), total spending on video games -- new and old, purchases and rentals, physical and digital -- totaled $1.07 billion in the U.S., according to research firm NPD Group. That's down only 1% from a year ago."
Paradox Interactive announces a new End of Flesh add-on is coming at the end of this month to expand Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter, Kerberos Studios' space strategy sequel. To compensate for what Paradox admits was a game that "didn't quite meet expectations," owners of Sword of the Stars II will receive the expansion for free, while going forward, the add-on will be incorporated into a new Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition. Here's a trailer, and here are the details:
The “End of Flesh” expansion to “Sword of the Stars II” introduces players to the Loa, a shape shifting artificial intelligence that can settle some of the most foreboding of landscapes. A former slave race, they now have freedom and an incentive to use their powerful and unique vessels to teach their old masters a lesson.
Features of the Sword of the Stars II Enhanced Edition include:
The new Loa race with a new drive for their ships – the Neutrino Pulse Gate
Over 25 new technologies including a new tech tree for cybernetics
10 new weapons and attack systems
Expanded ship building options for all six original factions, including new Leviathan class ships
2 new independent races to seduce or bludgeon into your imperial orbit
New random encounters and mission types
All previously released faction based DLC – the voices, the badges, the avatars, the skins...all of it.
The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website announces BioWare's sci-fi MMORPG is now officially free-to-play, though subscriptions are still supported by the game's new hybrid business model. The F2P era comes with a new patch to update the game to version 1.5, so here's word on both changes:
BioWare™, a studio of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and LucasArts announced today that the new, Free-to-Play option for the critically-acclaimed, massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic is now live. Now players can experience the complete storylines of all eight iconic Star Wars classes, all the way to level 50 for free. This new option complements the existing subscription offering, providing players with maximum flexibility in how they choose to experience Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” said Matthew Bromberg, General Manager of BioWare Austin. “There has never been a better time to start playing with us.”
Also today, BioWare released Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated, which adds new areas to explore, a new Companion character and more, including:
Get ready for an action-packed adventure to earn control of one of the galaxy’s most deadly Assassins, HK-51. Submerged beneath the icy surface of Belsavis lies a derelict ship and if you are brave enough to venture through the wreckage, you will embark on a mission that ultimately rewards you with a powerful new, yet familiar, ally the ruthless Assassin Droid, HK-51.
Explore Section X, a previously untouched area of the prison world of Belsavis. The Dread Masters’ servants are searching for a powerful and ancient weapon. Fly to Section X and secure the target of their search to be richly rewarded.
Travel to Denova to take on Operation: Explosive Conflict – now with a Nightmare Mode! Teams who complete in this new mode can earn the final pieces of the Dread Guard gear set and a brand new mount that will be sure to cause tank envy!
Activision Publishing proudly announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops II raked in about a half-billion dollars in its first 24 hours of availability, saying they believe this is the fourth consecutive year their annual shooter franchise has achieved the biggest entertainment launch of the year.
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the Call of Duty® franchise has delivered the biggest entertainment launch of the year. The highly-anticipated Call of Duty®: Black Ops II has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.
"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, Inc. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars," the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013."
Focus Home Interactive announces Magrunner, an "action/reflection" physics game from 3AM Games for Windows and consoles they say "technology meets Cthulhu," as it seems to answer the question of what a Lovecraft character would do if armed with Half-Life 2's gravity gun. Here are some screenshots, and here's the announcement:
Magrunner will put your brain and your reflexes to the test! Magrunner is an original Action/Reflection game developed by 3AM Games (Frogwares) for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and PC, based on the use of physics and magnetism.
Developed on Unreal Engine 3, Magrunner transports players into the near future, where technology will confront the Cthulhu Mythos as it was imagined by the author of fantasy novels, H.P. Lovecraft. The game unveils today 4 exclusive screenshots, taking us in 2050, at the heart of the Magtech competition, a grand tournament for which you and 6 other brilliant competitors have been selected. This tournament, organized to promote a new technology based on magnetism, puts your reflexes and brain to the test, with simple yet exciting mechanics: with the Magtech glove, you can load objects with a positive or negative charge. Two items loaded with the same charge will attract each other, while two items loaded with different charges will repel!
With these simple mechanics opens a broad range of possibilities. Upon mastering them you will be able to progress along the game, solving puzzles by studying your surroundings, testing possibilities and analyzing their effects. However, you will soon understand that the sporting event you have entered is hiding a darker secret…. Quickly, the high-tech installations that host the competition will plunge into a foreign, perilous parallel universe: the world of Cthulhu, a strange land filled with strange creatures imagined by H.P. Lovecraft.
In this dangerous world, your skills will be tested more than ever. Do not falter, for that your very life is at stake… and the fate of mankind is in your hands.
The Mac App Store now offers online sales of an OS X edition of CARGASM HD. Here's word: "Cargasm HD heralds the return of the classic arcade racer. All the race tracks are set in meticulously recreated photorealistic real-world locations such as London, Egypt and Paris."
Following up on reports on Sixth Axis and the Steam forums, Blend Games has word that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is no longer available on Steam due to an RIAA copyright claim over music licensing. They have word from Rockstar that the open-world action game would return "as soon as possible." They also have an unconfirmed report that this is over licensing of Wanna be Startin' Something, a Michael Jackson song featured on the game's Fever 105. Seems like they should be able to charge extra for a version of the game without that song. #notafan.
I was starting to suffer from some performance issues on my desktop PC that were starting to grow irritating. Noting a lot of disc thrashing, it occurred to me that I may have been a little behind in my hard drive maintenance. Sure enough, the drive was pretty darned full, and just as surely, clearing some space made all the difference in the world. On the one hand, it's always fun to contemplate the upgrades that would come with deciding to get a new machine, but on the other hand, it's nice when problems can be solved so simply.
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?
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."
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.