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Thursday, Jan 17, 2013

  

Ships Ahoy - Ghost Recon Future Soldier Raven Strike DLC

The Raven Strike DLC is now available for Ghost Recon Future Soldier, offering some throwback gameplay in the shooter sequel. The pack is available on the Ubisoft Online Store and other digital distributors. Here's word on what it offers:

The second downloadable content: Raven Strike DLC Pack is a throwback to traditional Ghost Recon gameplay. It features larger maps, complex missions and an increased level of difficulty. There are three campaign missions and a new Guerilla Mode map, each playable with up to four players.

Magicka Free Weekend, DLC, Sale

Steam News announces a free weekend is now underway for Magicka, coinciding with a sale on the game and the release of a new free DLC pack. Also, Paradox sends word that the game has now sold over 1.8 million units since its launch a year ago. Here' word on the free weekend and DLC:

Play Magicka for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Magicka at 75% off the regular price!

There's even more free action with the new DLC Free Jólnir's Workshop, A “chilling” new challenge with 20 waves of blizzards and beasts. Help Jólnir reclaim his workshop from all new creatures while battling the harsh weather at the same time.

More on CD Projekt RED's Upcoming Announcement

This trailer from CD Projekt RED features pen-and-paper RPG creator Mike Poundsmith explaining the underpinnings of the RPG system in Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming computer RPG. There's also an extensive feature here on the making of the recent teaser trailer for the game. Speaking of which, we have more from CD Projekt RED studio head Adam Badowski on the hidden tease for a February 5th announcement, which many think will be related to The Witcher series:

Many gaming fans noticed the hidden message in one frame of the teaser trailer. “As you may know, Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t the only title we are working on. Those of you who watched the teaser trailer carefully know that something big is coming on the 5th of February. Everything will be clearer on that day. Right now I can only say that, for the first time in the history of our studio, it will be a fully open-world game (just like Cyberpunk will be). We also remember our games’ trademark engrossing and non-linear storytelling. In the studio, the strong bond of these two elements - an open world and a captivating tale - is what everyone is trying to achieve. Both Cyberpunk 2077 and the second game draw upon these two pillars to bring our vision of a perfect RPG to life,” comments Badowski

Legend of Grimrock Hints

The Legend of Grimrock Website has a recap from Almost Human on 2012 and a look ahead to what this year holds for them and their dungeon crawler (thanks Joao). This includes a hint about what's next, offering a couple of screenshots that look like DLC or an expansion. Word is: "We thought we could share with you a glimpse of some new exiting things we’ve been working on. But beware, this is only the tip of the iceberg."

TF2 Characters Get Racy

SEGA announces the upcoming release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will include Team Fortress 2 among its collection of all stars:

SEGA® of America Inc. and SEGA® Europe are excited to confirm Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed™ will indeed feature characters from acclaimed developer Valve allowing players to race for first place as the Pyro, Heavy and Spy from Team Fortress 2. Available for PC digital download on January 31, 2013 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed™ will also feature two other new and exclusive characters all of whom are available to play as from the start of the game.

Joining Team Fortress in the PC version of the game is the legendary Shogun of the Total War™ series from Creative Assembly™ and the enigmatic Manager Man from Sports Interactive™’s successful Football Manager™ series.

The Showdown Effect Trailer, Tagline Generator

Paradox has launched a new official website for The Showdown Effect, featuring a Tagline Randomizer that will make your day. Following that theme, they also offer a new movie trailer trailer from the upcoming action platformer from Arrowhead Game Studios. Those interested in participating in their open beta testing can sign up here.

Evening Q&As

On Sale

  • Anno 2070 on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Governor of Poker 2 - Premium Edition on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: My dog can Skype! (Original). Thanks nin. Terriers are so awesome.

Jay Wilson Leaving Diablo III

The Diablo III Forums have an announcement from Jay Wilson that he is transitioning away from Diablo III to a different project within Blizzard (thanks IncGamers). He expresses pride in the project he's spent seven years on, though he has often served as a lightning rod for fan reactions to the game and how its design departed from previous installments in the action/RPG series. Here's a bit on what this means for the future:

The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. The game was not made by one person, far from it, and the team that poured their passion and considerable talent into it isn't going anywhere. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won't be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director.

To that point, you shouldn't be surprised if you see a job posting for a game director on Diablo III, as we want to make sure we explore every opportunity to find the best possible leadership for the project. We're looking forward to finding this person and hearing what kind of fresh ideas they can bring to the table.

I'm proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it. I feel I have made many mistakes in managing that relationship, but my intent was always to provide a great gaming experience, and be as open and receptive as possible, while still sticking true to the vision the Diablo team has for the game.

I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game "when it's ready." While we're not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. That doesn't mean we always make the right decisions, but if we made a mistake then I feel we've made an exceptional effort to correct it.

Steam Strategy Guides Launch

Valve announces the launch of Steam Guides, offering player created strategy aides:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the launch of Steam Guides, a new capability of the platform that allows players to create and/or find guides for their favorite games or Software titles on Steam.

Steam Guides lets players create and share guides, walkthroughs, and tips for their favorite games or software to help others who might be stuck or who simply want to learn more about the game. Players may easily create guides through Steam, where they may upload images, add screenshots, and embed YouTube videos. Guides are then quickly accessible through Steam, via the Steam Community and in-game via the Steam Overlay.

Warface Closed Beta Underway

Trion Worlds announces closed beta testing of Warface is underway, preparing the way for the release of Crytek's free-to-play shooter this spring. Thos interested in participating are urged to sign up on the Warface Website. Here are some details:

Trion Worlds, the leading publisher and developer of premium games for the connected era, today kicks off the closed beta for Warface, the upcoming free-to-play shooter, in cooperation with renowned developer and co-publisher Crytek GmbH (Crytek). Warface will be accessed through GFACE®, Crytek’s social entertainment platform that is designed to enable its users to play games together live and to discover and share entertainment content with friends. The Warface beta servers are scheduled to be open from January 17 at 9:00am PST / 5pm GMT until the official Warface launch in Spring 2013.

“Trion Worlds and Crytek have been working closely to bring Warface to Western players looking for a first-person shooter with striking graphical detail and unsurpassed gameplay – for free,” said Dirk Metzger, General Manager Publishing at Crytek. “We look forward to making the experience even more engaging as waves of pre-registered players are invited to join the Closed Beta and play their part in shaping Warface ahead of its final launch.” Players looking for fast-paced, exhilarating multiplayer and co-op gameplay, from one of the world’s most renowned first-person shooter studios, who have not yet registered can still do so at: www.warface.com.

The game casts players as part of Warface, a select unit of elite warriors that have banded together to fight Blackwood – the ruling brute-force government. Featuring intense first-person shooter co-op and competitive multiplayer gameplay, with regularly added new content, Warface gives players plenty of level-up opportunities and various upgrades, keeping you on your toes and forcing you to switch up your combat strategies in the heat of battle.

Learn more about Warface at www.warface.com

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition in March

Ubisoft announces a March 21st release date for Trials Evolution: Gold Edition, the upcoming Windows edition of RedLynx's signature racing franchise. This comes with word that the franchise has sold more than four million copies on consoles to date. Here's word on what to expect from the PC version:

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition will include the complete, critically acclaimed game Trials Evolution, specially enhanced for PC, plus all of the Trials HD tracks, recreated using Trials Evolution's graphics and physics engine. All the features that are the foundation of the unique Trials experience will be included in the game:

  • Global Leader Boards
  • Local and Online 4-Player Multiplayer
  • Robust and Powerful Track Editor
  • Indoor and Outdoor environments
  • Bike and Rider customizations
  • More than 129 Tracks

Democracy 3 Announced

Positech Games announces Democracy 3, a new upcoming installment in their political strategy series. The game is to ship sometime this year, so we can expect more details soon. In the meantime, there's an accompanying post on Cliffski's Blog discussing the series, and here is what we know about this for now:

Positech Games is today announcing that their next game will be a sequel to their popular and unique political strategy game Democracy 2. In a sudden flash of revolutionary inspiration, the new game will be called... Democracy 3.

A lot has changed in the world of politics since Positech first suffered the mental anguish of programming Democracy 2. We have had a global credit crunch and financial crisis, the occupy movement, the Arab spring, and mobile phones have got slightly smaller, then larger again.

Democracy 3 will be a massively improved and updated version of the game that will reflect changes in both gaming tastes and the world of politics. Despite sharing the basic GUI design of earlier games in the series, Democracy 3 is being built on a complete ground-up re-engineering of the custom-built neural network engine used to power the complex simulation beneath the hood of the game. Improvements will be equal parts graphical and simulation based, with greater freedom to use both private/free market solutions to problems as well as more accurate simulation of financial markets, voter cynicism and much more.

The ship date for the game is currently set as '2013'. (We would make a more precise prediction but it would be about as reliable as a government budget forecast).

You will be pleased to know that developer cliff harris finally decided not to change his name to 'fiscal cliff' as a PR stunt. More details to come over the next few months and also at www.cliffski.com. In the meantime, political animals can feast upon the political goodness of Democracy 2 at www.positech.co.uk/democracy2 or grab the existing game from steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/218040/

No Tomb Raider Prelaunch Demo

Karl Stewart tweets the announcement that the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot will not include a prerelease demo, because they "don't want to spoil the story" (or maybe they don't want to take any more flack over it). Word is: "For all those @tombraider fans asking. There are no plans to release a demo of the game pre-launch. We don't want to spoil the story........" Thanks GamesRadar.

Halo 2 PC Server Shutdown Next Month

The Halo Bulletin has a lengthy post on the author's gaffe in not recognizing a YouTube star, details on season 2 of Spartan Ops, and word on next week's matchmaking playlist update (thanks Eurogamer). Buried way at the bottom is the announcement that February 15th will see the closure of multiplayer servers for the PC edition of Halo 2 (forever to be known as the game that failed to force you to upgrade to Vista). If you are impacted by this, then you and 19 other players are not at fault here:

To switch gears ever so slightly, we’re sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013. We’ve been monitoring the population for months, and it’s been peaking consistently at approximately 20 players or less. Those that own this game can continue to enjoy Multiplayer over LAN after that date; however our network services will be turned off at that time. We love you, Halo 2 PC, and you will live forever in our hearts.

Disney Infinity Details, Including Pricing

There's more on Disney's newly unveiled Disney Infinity platform on Joystiq, including an apparent confirmation that Windows PCs are one of the project's target platforms. They have further details on how this will work, including first word on the physical toys which are part of all of this, as well as word on pricing, which is not modest: "After the starter pack with three figures, priced at $74.99, Play Sets will be available for $34.99, with Power Discs available in a pack starting at $4.99. It's not hard to imagine Disney leveraging Infinity on its other ventures as well: Go see Monsters University, get a special exclusive Power Disc. Go visit Disneyland, pick yourself up an exclusive figure. Disney's reps wouldn't confirm any plans like that, but they did smile and nod when asked." Thanks nin.

Free DLC with Dishonored Purchase

The Bethesda Blog announces that those who purchase Dishonored at a GameStop retail location will be rewarded for their retro shopping habits with a free copy of the Dunwall City Trials DLC for Arkane's stealth/assassination game: "Haven’t picked up Dishonored yet? Between now and January 27th, GameStop is giving away Dishonored’s first DLC, Dunwall City Trials, as well as the official game guide from Brady Games, to anyone that purchases Dishonored on PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360."

Morning Q&As

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Everyone was getting into the car this morning to take MrsBlue to the train when our neighbor from across the street emerged to head off to work. This is irresistible to Hudson the wonder dog, so our friendly pooch ran over to greet her, leading to an extended conversation/disengagement amid all sorts of neighborly pleasantries. It was only after I got back home that I realized that I was wearing pajama pants, which are decorated with flames and red chili peppers. I guess I can hope it was dark enough that she didn't notice, but I guess it's hard to imagine that she doesn't think I'm a little eccentric already.

Eccentric Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: King's Game 2.
Links: Doomsday Clock Holds at 5 'Til Midnight. Thanks Cutter and Alan Moore.
Science: First Known 'Social Chromosome' Found. Thanks Slashdot.
Possible New Species of Spider Builds Decoys of Itself.
Images: Random BMG photos.
Media: Parrot Singing In The Shower.
Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig presenting a Golden Globe.
Rally Driver Stops to Say Sorry.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Scientists Cartoon - Savage Chickens.
Twaggies Comic Strip.



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