The Diablo III Website has a preview of the upcoming version 1.07 patch for Diablo III, saying the update will be on the PTR for Blizzard's action/RPG sequel "soon," though there's no word on when it will go live. The new version will have the promised PvP dueling, though the details they provide indicate this will be at least as barebones as suggested, as it will not include any form of scoring or rewards. They outline changes being made to the Wizard and Monk classes, each of which will get damage buffs, saying they are not done tweaking the other classes yet, but that they had all been the subject of more changes previously. Version 1.07 will also introduce new account-bound items players will be able to craft using new account-bound reagents, a new level of gems, a bump to the damage socketing rubies adds, the ability to use Monster power in public games, bumped Monster Power experience bonuses, changes to the Reflects Damage, Molten, and Plagued affixes, a removal of the incrementing resurrection timer on consecutive deaths, and a slight increase to base pickup radius.
The festivities begin today, January 11, with Vault Hunters reporting an influx of powerful shotguns throughout Pandora. To join in the fun, simply boot up Borderlands 2 while connected to the internet and start looting before the supply runs dry -- based on current conditions, expect the excess to be exhausted on Saturday, January 12 at 10:55AM CST / 4:55PM GMT (What time is that for me?).
Play Ravaged for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. Plus, save 66% until Monday at 10AM Pacific Time during the Weekend Deal!
The Scavengers are an overpowering band of murderous savages hell-bent on taking every last inch of land and every critical resource for themselves. They will stop at nothing. Their success seems certain unless someone can rise up against them. The Resistance is the world’s last best hope and humankind’s only chance to restore civilization. Days before the Apocalypse, these freedom fighters were able to seek shelter deep below the Earth, gathering just enough to survive. Finally, they are ready to emerge and rebuild the planet. But it’s a new world, overrun by the miscreants and madmen, warlords and hapless refugees. Only the most savage can survive.
Distressed Debt Investing tweets that Double Fine is one of the companies vying for one or more of the IPs being sold off as part of THQ's bankruptcy proceedings: "THQ: Both Warner Brothers and Double Fine productions have asked for bankruptcy filings in the THQ case." Thanks VG247, who also note that THQ declined the opportunity to appeal its delisting from the NASDAQ stock market.
EA Gear now offers sales of the Dead Space 3 Dev-Team Edition, a limited edition version of the game they say "is squarely grounded in-fiction" (thanks VG247). This includes a region 1 version of the game, but they also have an add-on version which does not include the game, just the goodies. Here's word on what the version with the game includes:
13" SCAF Tin Crate
8" Ployresin Black Marker Statue
Aluminum Data Pad
Med Pack Water Bottle
Bound SCAF Jotter
3 SCAF Posters
6 Peng Postcards
96 Page Mini Art Book
A copy of Dead Space 3 on the platform of your choice (PC copies are disc only; we are unable to provide a downloadable version)
DLC: First Contact bundle (includes the First Contact Suit and Negotiator weapon for precise dismemberment)
DLC: Witness the Truth bundle (includes the Witness the Truth suit and tactical Evangelizer weapon)
Kalypso Media USA announces the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of Omerta – City of Gangsters are gold for North America, and due in stores February 12th. "We are thrilled to be able to release yet another great strategy IP with Tropico 4 developer Haemimont," says Mario Kroll, Vice President, Kalypso Media USA. "Omerta – City of Gangsters will let players choose brass knuckles and tommy guns, intimidation or bribes, or a combination of all of these, to carve out their own criminal empires on the Atlantic City Boardwalk." Kalypso recently also announced an OS X edition of the game, which will support cross-platform multiplayer with the Windows edition when it follows sometime this quarter. Here's word on this opportunity to start your own boardwalk empire:
Omerta – City of Gangsters is a simulation game with tactical turn-based combat. Taking the role of a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant, with dreams of the big life, the player will work his way up the criminal hierarchy of 1920’s Atlantic City, New Jersey. Starting with small jobs, his character recruits a gang and expands his empire by taking territory from other gangsters. Eventually he establishes his own crime syndicate and becomes the de facto ruler of Atlantic City.
The player strategically manages his business and his minions in a real-time format, slowly but steadily increasing his influence over the city. The player sends his henchmen out on missions ranging from assassinating an informant, to raiding a warehouse, springing a friend from prison, robbing a bank or attacking a rival gang’s hideout. Nobody is above the law in Atlantic City, so it always helps to have a little cash handy to bribe a policeman or pay off a politician.
The turn-based combat in Omerta – City of Gangsters focuses on the tactical command of “The Boss” and his henchmen. Cover and stealth are essential parts of any shootout in the game. Finding the best vantage point to gun down an enemy, while taking cover from a hailstorm of bullets, can be just as satisfying as sneaking quietly behind a foe and taking him down.
Activision and Terminal Reality respond to last week's release of a trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct that turned out to be unofficial with the release of some new details about the upcoming first-person survival game, along with a brief official trailer. The video does not contain any gameplay footage, but does feature actors Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker revealing a March 29th release date for this game featuring their characters of Darryl and Merle Dixon (the 28th is a Friday and the trailer has a European PEGI rating, so its altogether possible the North American release date will one of the surrounding Tuesdays). We also have some new details on gameplay to share:
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct brings the authentic, heart-stopping horrors of The Walking Dead to life in a way that’s unlike anything the series has ever seen. Terminal Reality’s upcoming video game is an all-new, first-person, do-whatever-you-need-to-survive game based on AMC’s Emmy award-winning series. In the game, players assume the role of the mysterious, crossbow-wielding survivor Daryl Dixon, alongside his overbearing brother Merle, on a haunting, unforgiving quest to make their way to the supposed safety of Atlanta.
The latimes.com has some year-end reporting from the NPD Group with sales figures for the game industry in North America in 2012. Word is sales of physical discs and consoles declined 22%, compared with a 9% drop the previous year, as the transition to digital distribution accelerates and the current console generation hits the geriatric stage. Here's more:
Total spending in the U.S. on physical game products was $13.26 billion, according to NPD Group. The research firm did not estimate the annual total including other avenues for game spending, but did say that used games, rentals and digital formats accounted for about half of total spending in December.
The bestselling game of the year was "Call of Duty: Black Ops II." Annual sequels in Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard's military shooter franchises have been the top-selling video games for four years straight.
The Atlantic - How the Video-Game Industry Already Lost Out in the Gun-Control Debate. As it happens, that's just what happened to games (and popular media more generally) in the NRA's good guy with a gun response to the Newtown shooting. Guns aren't a factor in gun violence for the NRA—rather, games, media, and law enforcement failures must take the blame. Once the terms of the debate are set like this (and set they very much were thanks to the over-the-top bravado in this press conference) then it's very hard to extract oneself from the debate without shifting the frame, without changing the terms of the debate.
I certainly believe that the White House would like nothing more than to see an end to mass gun murders in America's elementary schools. But the fact remains that gun violence takes place every day, all across this country, at a rate of dozens of deaths a day, and as the leading cause of death among African-American youth. But when the vice president establishes a task force on gun control and violence that includes the media industries that the NRA has once again chosen as their patsies after a particularly heinous and public example of gun violence, all it can do is shift attention away from guns.
IGN - Let's Talk About Violent Video Games. Distinctions between games for adults and those for kids are fairly clear these days, thanks to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Formed in 1994, the ESRB rates all video games as a guide for parents similar to the way movies are rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Games are rated ranging from E for Everyone and T for Teen to M for Mature, 17+.
There is a fundamental misunderstanding that games are only for children. This needs to change for the 'violence in games' dialogue to advance.
Well, my daring picks last week were as almost disastrous as could be imagined once the word "daring" entered the conversation. My only winner was the Seahawks, but that's good enough for me, since I've heard enough of RG3's perspective just how great everybody thinks he is to last a long time. We still have Ray Lewis doing that, but at least he's done more to earn the enormous self-respect that's his favorite topic of conversation.
Here's what I was able to piece together of last week's results: Verno 4-0; LiTh, Sepharo, Creston, Rigs, and Mag 2-2; and Blue, Jivaro, and Cutter 1-3.
Here goes for the divisional round: Broncos, Seahawks, Patriots, and Packers.