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Tuesday, Dec 04, 2012

  

NCsoft Seattle "Realignment"

PC Gamer has word on a shakeup at NCsoft's Seattle offices after contacting the Guild Wars 2 publisher to follow up on anonymous rumors that the Seattle studio had closed. The company denied the closure, but does admit that jobs have been lost there as the result of a "realignment," though the extent of this is not known at this point, nor is it clear how, if at all, this will impact Guild Wars 2. "NCsoft is realigning internal publishing resources to better suit the needs of our game development studios," PR Director Lincoln Davis told them. "As a result of the realignment, several employees and contract positions were affected. This was a very tough decision to make and wish the best for all NCsoft employees in their next ventures."

Mike Capps Caps Epic Career

The Epic Games Website has the announcement that Mike Capps is retiring as president of Epic Games after 10 years, and is transitioning to an advisory role as well as a baby barf-filled future, as he has a son on the way. Congrats to Mike on his impending bundle of joy and his retirement.

Far Cry 3 Released; Patched

Ubisoft announces the release of Far Cry 3, saying the open world sequel is the "highest rated shooter of the year" (though this applies to the Xbox 360 edition). A patch is already available to support the release by updating the game to version 1.02, and this can be found on AtomicGamer, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying. As it dances into stores, here's word on the game:

Today, Ubisoft® announced that Far Cry®3, the open world first person shooter from Ubisoft Montreal and Massive, is now available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Sony PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC.

Far Cry 3 has received critical acclaim by reviewers and is currently the highest rated shooter of the year*. In Far Cry 3, players step into the shoes of Jason Brody, a man alone at the edge of the world, stranded on a mysterious tropical island. In this savage paradise where lawlessness and violence are the only sure thing, players dictate how the story unfolds, from the battles they choose to fight to the allies or enemies they make along the way. As Jason Brody, players will slash, sneak, detonate and shoot their way across the island in a world that has lost all sense of right and wrong.

All editions of Far Cry 3 are now available for purchase on the Uplay Shop, at retail outlets throughout North America, and is also available digitally on the Sony PlayStation®Network.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - FORGE

Dark Vale Games announces the release of FORGE, a multiplayer PC shooter set in a fantasy world. The game is available through the FORGE Website, GamersGate, and (thanks to a Greenlight Steam, and for a limited time, a second copy of the game is included free with every purchase. Here's word on the game:

Choosing one of five unique warrior classes, the player must battle head-to-head against others in a bid to free their god from the clutches of The Devourer. Each class is designed with traditional RPG tropes in mind, such as stealth and tank, but all have been reimagined and updated to further balance their abilities and create more complementary skills between classes. To be most effective, each class must use their skills and abilities together to create a unified fighting force capable of overlapping offensive and defensive abilities.

Elemental - Fallen Enchantress Map Pack

The Elemental - Fallen Enchantress Website now offers a new map pack as DLC for Stardock's strategy game. Word is: "In addition to a new hand crafted map for every map size along with new stamps to spice up random map generation, it also includes the full Anthys map. A gigantic map that contains the entire known world of Elemental (at least, as of ~150 AC)." Here are details on the maps: Continue here to read the full story.

The Hidden Secrets Released For AC3 Season Pass

Ubisoft announces that The Hidden Secrets is now available for Assassin's Creed III Season Pass holders, saying this will go on sale for everyone else one week from today. Here's word:

The Hidden Secrets Pack for Assassin's Creed III adds three extra missions - the Lost Mayan Ruins, the Ghost of War, and a Dangerous Secret - for an additional hour of gameplay, taking gamers from lost Mayan ruins to the high seas. Every successful mission is rewarded with in-game weapons. Gamers will also receive:

  • Two single-player costumes including the fabled Captain of the Aquila uniform and the traditional Colonial Assassin outfit
  • Two multiplayer characters including the fearsome Redcoat and the deadly Sharpshooter

The Assassin's Creed III Season Pass grants access to all five upcoming downloadable content packs including The Hidden Secrets to gamers owning the original game. The Season Pass provides more than 25% savings versus purchasing the DLC separately.

Assassin's Creed III Season Pass will be available for purchase for 2400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE or $29.99 on the PlayStation Network. It can be pre-ordered at GameStop and Best Buy.

EVE Online Retribution Launched

The EVE Online Website announces that the new Retribution expansion has is now live in CCP's sci-fi MMORPG. This page has the full set of build 457011 patch notes, and the Retribution features page has all the details on the new content this brings. Here's the short form:

This latest expansion brings a refactoring of the bounty system and better handling of kill rights, the new Crimewatch, rebalancing and ship roles of all T1 Destroyers and Cruisers, 4 new Destroyers, a new mining frigate, a big update to the tactical combat UI, upgraded NPC AI, an improvement of the sound system, and a lot of small changes that will make life in New Eden that much more easy and interesting.

Dishonored Patched

The Bethesda Blog announces the first patch is available for Dishonored, updating the stealthy assassination game to version 1.2 on all platforms. Here are the patch notes:

  • Support for playing the game on multiple screens.
  • Game Settings are now saved and restored properly even when using Steam offline.
  • Fixes for some interactions with Granny Rags that invalidated nonlethal playthroughs under certain circumstances. (Note: These fixes work even for savegames AFTER the final Granny Rags encounter.)
  • Fix for a crash that could happen during loading/transition between areas – notably near Dr. Galvani’s house.
  • Reworked “Choke” interaction to make it more reliable in valid contexts.
  • Fixed minor localization issues (PS3/360).
  • Fixed global post-process that sometimes worked improperly during some missions.
  • Fix for a rare crash that could happen when killing a NPC with a possessed rat and spring razor (PS3/360)

MechWarrior Online Patched

The MechWarrior Online Forums have patch notes for a new open beta 5 that's now live in the MMO mech game. Here's word on how this adds ECM, a new mech, and eight-player matchmaking:

ECM is here and personally I can’t wait to ruin some streak cats day with this excellent piece of equipment. I am going to be honest with you ECM is a game changer so let us know how you feel about ECM on the forums because lately I think you guys have been holding back and not telling us how you really feel.

The Cataphract Hero Mech “Ilya Muromets” is in this patch with an excellent skin by our man Hayden. What can I say about this Mech? “Ilya?.. More Like Kill ya!” is how our tools programmer Kyle L put it and I have to agree.

I can’t remember but I think you guys wanted 8-player groups too right? Well those are in there too. You choose “8-Player Required” when creating a group. You will require 8-players to launch and your groups will only be matched against other 8-player groups.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New NVIDIA Reference Drivers

NVIDIA now offers new version 310.70 GeForce reference drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. These include previously realized performance enhancements for Far Cry 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Assassin's Creed III. Thanks MajorD.

Paradox Interactive's New New York Office

Stockholm-based publisher Paradox Interactive announces plans to open a new office in New York City's historic flatiron district, expanding their U.S. presence. They are conducting a grand opening next week, explaining: "Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester, along with the rest of the executive team, will be present at the inauguration to speak with attendees about the upcoming changes for the company. Plans for the new office include strengthening global distribution and sales, as well as looking into emerging markets and business segments."

Indie Royale - Winter Bundle

The Indie Royale Website now offers sales of the Winter Bundle, their latest collection of indie games offered at a flexible bargain price that has a charitable component. The bundle is comprised of Greed Corp, Hamlet, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Conquest of Elysium 3, Leave Home, and They Breathe. Those who choose to pay more than $8.00 will receive a bonus chiptune album, and the top purchaser will receive a modest set of Conquest of Elysium 3 SWAG.

Ships Ahoy - XCOM: Enemy Unknown Slingshot

2K Games announces the release of the Slingshot DLC for the Windows and console editions of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis' strategy remake. They offer a new trailer to introduce the pack, saying this "introduces Zhang, the new enigmatic Triad operative who can be recruited to the XCOM cause, as well as the new Council missions, which will require players to rescue Zhang, divert the course of an alien battleship, and then do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. In addition to the maps and missions, this add-on content also includes new cosmetic customization options for your squad." Here's more on the release:

With the Slingshot Content Pack, players will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China in a new set of linked Council missions. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice, and new character customization options.

Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen FAQ; System Requirements

The Kickstarter for Star Citizen has some updated answers to frequently asked questions about Cloud Imperium's upcoming space simulation (thanks nin). The Star Citizen FAQ on the Roberts Space Industries Website has also been updated with these new FAQs, which cover things like their gameplay, their business model, and more. Here's word on system requirements:

There will be a lot of optimization in the next 24-months, plus the usual fast pace of technology, so it is hard to say absolutely. At the moment you will be able to play it on a dual core PC with a GTX 460 or greater and 4GB of system memory. If you’re running an i7 2500, 2600, 2700 or better with a GTX 670 or greater then the stars are the limit! Since the game is built on CryEngine, their system requirements will stay roughly the same as ours.

New AMD Beta Drivers

The AMD Website now offers a new beta 11 version 12.11 Catalyst reference driver for AMD and ATI graphics cards, accompanied by a new Catalyst 12.11 CAP2. These offer various fixes and improvements, including several specific to Far Cry 3.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website announces more hotfixes recently added to Blizzard's MMORPG since the version 5.1 patch. This includes a few class-specific tweaks, as well as a couple of changes to dungeons and raids.

Amen-Inspired CONSORTIUM Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter from Interdimensional Games seeks $200,000 to support development of CONSORTIUM, an upcoming first-person RPG inspired by Amen: The Awakening, an ambitious first-person shooter that was cancelled more than 12 years ago preceding the closure of developer Cavedog. This announcement solves the mystery of the ARG conducted by Interdimensional Games a couple of years ago. The post is lengthy and detailed (and what Kickstarter post isn't?), describing an open world game with a strong emphasis on character interactions. Here's a bit on the Amen connection:

In 1997, just before the world's first 3D video-card (VOODOO 1) was released, a 3D PC video game project was envisioned to be the world's first truly cinematic, meaningfully story driven action blockbuster: AMEN: THE AWAKENING. Far ahead of its time, AMEN was laying the groundwork for where games were going. However, the project was simply reaching too far, and Cavedog Entertainment collapsed around us before we could finish it.

CONSORTIUM represents a game that takes place in the same universe as AMEN, but has largely been re-envisioned from the ground up. In addition, some of the CONSORTIUM game mechanics are based on AMEN mechanics, which are still wholly innovative and original.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Apple iMac 27-inch (Late 2012) on TechReviewSource.
  • ASRock Z77 OC Formula on ocaholic.
  • ASUS F1A85-V PRO Motherboard on t-break.
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 MHz on Bjorn3D.
  • Intel's Next Unit of Computing on HotHardware.
  • ioSafe Solo G3 Fireproof and Waterproof External Hard Drive on TweakTown.
  • Logitech UE 900 In-ears on techPowerUp.
  • NVIDIA GTX 680 vs. AMD Radeon HD 7970 on HARDOCP.
  • Plextor PlexEasy PX-650US Versatile DVD-CD Burner on Nikk Tech.
  • Silicon Power Diamond Series D03 USB 3.0 Portable HDD on Mad Shrimps.
  • Silverstone FP37 SDXC USB 3.0 Front Bay Card Reader on Benchmark Reviews.
  • SilverStone Heligon HE01 - Aircooling on ocaholic.
  • Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 750W PSU on Legit Reviews.
  • Thermaltake Level 10 GT Battle Edition Case on TechwareLabs.
  • Western Digital Black 4TB Hard Drive on Hardware Canucks.

etc.

Out of the Blue

One positive aspect of the expansion of Thursday Night Football is that when your team suffers a tough loss on Monday night like mine did last night, it provides more of an opportunity to try and put it behind you, as by this morning we are only two days away from turning the page and moving on to week 14. In the meantime: Ouch. I shudder to think what a terror RG3 will be after he's no longer a rookie, as he already has the game of a seasoned veteran.

Seasoned Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: CP6.
Links: Alone in a Cave...
Stories: Government promises world won’t end on Dec. 21. Now I'm worried. Thanks Cutter.
Images: The Star Trek Into Darkness movie poster is here, and it's Cumberbatch-tastic. Thanks nin.
Media: 2600: A Musical Holiday Tribute to the Atari.
Key & Peele: Power Falcons.
Arduino Project Has Sega Rally Cabinets Steer RC Cars.



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