Paradox Interactive announces Impire is now available, and those interested in purchasing Cyanide Studios Montreal's new strategy game can head over to any of the links provided on this page to pick it up. Here's a new trailer celebrating the release, and here's word:
NEW YORK — February 14, 2013 — Paradox Interactive, a publisher of games and summoner of malodorous fiends, today announced the release of Impire, a new action-strategy title developed by Cyanide Studios Montreal. Impire, which challenges players to build and maintain a sprawling underground lair while managing and commanding an army of demonic minions, is available today on digital distribution channels for $19.99. The game can be purchased at the following link: http://www.impiregame.com/buy
Impire tells the Impudent tale of Baal-Abaddon, an Impatient and Impulsive demon Imprisoned in an Impractical Imp body by the Impotent and Impaired sorcerer, Oscar van Fairweather. The situation is Imperfect, but not Impossible; Baal will have to Improvise to Impress allies, Impede and Impale raiding parties of Impolite heroes, and Improve his Impish body to reclaim his Imperial throne. Okay, we’re done.
Carve out your Impire with crafting and lair construction, assemble your minions into strategic squads, and venture into nearby lands to commit acts of unspeakable evil.
Hi-Rez Studios announces a new Tribes Ascend Game of the Year Edition is now available, which unlocks all the perks in the free-to-play first-person shooter with a single purchase. This is accompanied by an updated version of the game for all players, which adds new maps and more. This page offers the patch notes.
Indie Royale now offers the Valentines Bundle 2.0, a new collection of indie games to celebrate the romance of this day. The bundle includes new platformer Oozi: Earth Adventure, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Shad'O, Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time, Lunnye Devitsy 2013, and Wake. Here's the scoop: "You know the deal with Indie Royale: pay what you want over the minimum (currently just $5.94) and get all of the games. Pay over $8 and get the Slipstream Volume 2 album as a bonus." Also, a new Oozi: Earth Adventure - Challenge Mode Trailer is online offering a look at the game.
The St Valentine’s Day Massacre pack takes you back to 1920’s Chicago, with new characters, maps, weapons and game modes. The new battlegrounds include the iconic locations of San Francisco’s legendary prison, Alacatraz and the mob-run streets of Prohibition era Chicago. There are six new characters for the new mobster class – two bosses and four henchmen. Each mobster carries a trusty Crowbar, sneaky sidearm - the Snub Nosed Pistol, an iconic (but extremely deadly) Tommy Gun and an eminently volatile Molotov Cocktail.
A new trailer shows off gameplay from GRiD 2, the racing sequel in development at Codemasters. The accompanying description offers pedigrees of all the cars it depicts: "GRID 2’s Road Racing locations are represented as cars including the BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution, Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS SS 1970 race head-to-head on the California Coast. Track Racing is shown at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, where the Ariel Atom 3, BAC Mono and KTM X-Bow R go flat out around this historic circuit. Street Racing, meanwhile, is shown in Paris, as marques including the McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG and Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition tear around the Arc de Triumph. Hot hatches including the Alfa Romeo Giuletta and Ford Focus ST race into the night in Barcelona and stunning cars including the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Nismo Z Tune, Pagani Huayra, Koenigsegg Agera R and more charge through Chicago." Continue here to read the full story.
The Steam client is now available to download for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. Ubuntu is the most popular distribution of Linux used by millions of people globally and known for its well-designed, easy-to-use customer experience.
“The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers,” said David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Canonical. “We expect a growing number of game developers to include Ubuntu among their target platforms. We’re looking forward to seeing AAA games developed with Ubuntu in mind as part of a multi-platform day and date release on Steam.”
Wargaming announces it has stepped in to rescue troubled developer Gas Powered Games from the brink of closure following the cancellation of the Kickstarter for Wildman, GPG's Hail Mary action/RPG/RTS:
14th February, 2013 - Wargaming, the leading free-to-play MMO developer and publisher, today announced its agreement to acquire Seattle-based developer Gas Powered Games, the maker of memorable and critically acclaimed franchises such as Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander and Demigod.
Wargaming will take full ownership of Gas Powered Games, bringing into its fold a contingent of veteran developers, including CEO and company founder Chris Taylor. The acquisition will further bolster Wargaming's push into multiplatform expansion, including the recent acquisition announcement of Chicago-based Day 1 Studios and MMO middleware provider Big World Pty Ltd.
"Gas Powered Games' heritage and development pedigree shows us just how valuable an addition Chris and his company will make to the Wargaming family," said Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming. "Gas Powered Games has a long track record of providing incredibly engaging AAA gaming experiences and we can't wait to start working with them."
"Wargaming growth in recent years has been tremendous, and we're looking forward to joining one of the fastest growing gaming companies in the world," added Chris Taylor, CEO of Gas Powered Games. "I'm sure our experience and expertise will help us contribute even more to Wargaming's global success."
GOG.com now offers digital distribution of System Shock 2, following the revelation that the classic action/RPG was being tweaked for re-release for current computers on the DRM-free marketplace. For the uninitiated (which is unlikely around here), here's what Jason "loonyboi" Bergman wrote here about the game, going on 13 years ago:
Boy am I ever hooked. I haven't enjoyed a single player game this much since Half-Life, and I can't recommend the game any more highly. Of course, it should be pointed out that the game is certainly not for everyone. It's definitely more RPG than action...there's quite a bit of action in it, but if you aren't willing to put up with the skills and inventory system you ain't going to get far. If you can make it past that, you'll find yourself totally addicted, much like I am right now. Oh, and one other thing - make sure you've got a great sound setup for this one. The positional audio is some of the best I've ever heard. Really creepy stuff.
CI Games announces Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is gold, and the sharpshooting sequel will be released for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on March 12th in North America and March 15th in other territories. Here's word:
WARSAW, POLAND, February 14th, 2013 — CI Games, a fast-growing international publisher and developer of interactive entertainment, today announced that its upcoming game, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, has completed development and has officially gone “gold.” Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 system and Windows PC in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and part of Asia, starting March 12 in USA and in Europe beginning March 15.
Marek Tyminski, CEO of CI Games, said: “Since release, the first Sniper: Ghost Warrior has sold over three million copies on multiple platforms. Ghost Warrior 2 will deliver an even greater experience for all those fans of the first game, expanding on this dramatic, exciting world of elite military service.”
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is the only multi-platform first person shooter exclusively designed around the modern military sniper experience. Using the advanced capabilities of CryENGINE3, the game delivers graphically stunning environments, more diverse challenges, a rebuilt AI system and the exacting precision and accuracy that made the original a worldwide hit. With unprecedented levels of realism in weaponry, ballistics and environmental factors, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 offers the ultimate balance of skill, tension and action.
A new video from bitComposer Entertainment teases us about an upcoming game announcement. The clip is all of 30 seconds, showing planes taking off from an aircraft carrier, accompanied by the following voiceover: "You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds you will lose and I will win. The storm is coming. Take off in 2013." The plane silhouettes look like F-4 Phantom IIs, suggesting the Vietnam war, but this remains to be seen. We're told more details on this should be revealed "shortly," though it is suggested one can also "solve" the clues in the teaser trailer. Continue here to read the full story.
This trailer takes the buying a pig-in-a-poke principle to a whole new level, as it teases an unannounced game, and concludes offering discounted pre-purchases on the 11 bit studios website. The clip shows a frozen, perhaps future environment, along with the following hype: "The most refined. The most stunning. The most challenging game experience from 11 bit studios." Preorders are 50% off the game's USD $14.99 regular price until February 28th, when more details on what this is about will be revealed. Word is those who pre-purchase will get a Steam key when the game is officially available (release date TBD, estimated to be Q2 of this year), access to the game's multiplayer beta next month, as well as a "secret gift." This page includes a FAQ, explaining how to deal with this if you don't appreciate the mystery: "If you're not sure whether you're willing to pay for the game, we ask that you please just wait until we actually announce it. Sure, you'll pay full price, but this deal is for those brave souls who are willing to jump into the abyss with us and take a chance on a mystery." Continue here to read the full story.
Digital Extremes announces this weekend will be an open beta stress test for Warframe, their upcoming free-to-play co-op third-person shooter. No key is required to participate, and the event will commence tomorrow at noon eastern time, and will run all the way until Tuesday morning. As an incentive, this will include the opportunity to acquire a weapon exclusive to the stress test:
In celebration of this Open Beta weekend, we have designed an exclusive weapon -- available this weekend only in the market for just 1 credit! The BRATON VANDAL is a Limited Edition rifle that has been tuned and customized by the Tenno. Its colorful design makes it easily distinguishable from the standard Corpus BRATON and has lower fire rate than the standard model, but higher damage per shot. The VANDAL is the first choice among many Tenno for its reliability and mobility-an more refined version of an already popular model.
Nexon offers some details on Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX, which is the tentative title for the upcoming online Ghost in the Shell game mentioned the other day. Word is this will be a PC MMOFPS, and they confirm plans for a release in the first half of next year in Asia, though plans to bring the game west are not mentioned:
Online game publisher NEXON Co., Ltd. (Headquarter: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & President: Seungwoo Choi; TSE: 3659; “NEXON”) has announced the launch of its PC online game service of Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX in the first half of 2014 through NEOPLE INC. (Headquarter: Seoul, South Korea; Representative Director & President: Shinchul Kang; “NEOPLE”), a subsidiary of NEXON Korea Corporation (Headquarter: Seoul, South Korea; Representative Director & President: Min Seo; “Nexon Korea”).
The online game Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX (tentative), which is built upon a world view based on the original animation, was developed as a first person shooter (FPS) game featuring fierce hacking battles between cyborgs fighting over strategic resources. In addition to the dynamic gunfight action between cyborgs, the game also incorporates cyberization and various other concepts that are present in the original work. It also provides diverse contents such as cooperative battle mode, a new concept that integrates artificial intelligence with the player.
This trailer offers a video developer diary for Europa Universalis IV, featuring thoughts on the upcoming strategy sequel in comparison to previous installments in the series: "In the new 'Europa Universalis IV' video developer diary, project lead Thomas Johansson introduces you to how this sequel will transform the way you’ve previously researched technology in previous "Europa Universalis" games." Continue here to read the full story.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you interested in such things, and for equal time, for everyone else, happy ignoring that commercial holiday probably invented by the flower and candy sellers to exploit our emotions while trampling on the sensitivities of those not currently involved in romantic relationships. MrsBlue and I have gone back-and-forth over whether we want to go out this evening to commemorate the occasion, or take the more practical approach of going out over the weekend to celebrate. Obviously with the reservation situation, the longer we wait to decide on this, the more likely the decision will be made for us.
Steam is now accepting discounted pre-purchases of Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army, a new standalone Sniper Elite expansion that's presumably what developer Rebellion started teasing last month. That's right, there's now more than one game series featuring Nazi zombies. The game is due for release on February 28th, and here's how it's described:
Featuring a co-op campaign for 1 to 4 players, Nazi Zombie Army is a horrifying new stand-alone expansion of the award-winning Sniper Elite series. In the dying flames of World War II, a despairing Hitler unleashes one final, unholy gamble – a legion of undead super soldiers that threatens to overwhelm the whole of Europe. You are Karl Fairburne – the sniper who shaped world history. You are one of the last living souls in Germany. You must team up or die. American, German, Russian – previous military allegiances no longer matter. Now it's just the living versus the dead. Only a Sniper Elite with nerves of steel and a steady aim stands a chance against Hitler’s Nazi Zombie Army!
Gamasutra expands upon the story of Valve's firing of engineer Jeri Ellsworth with the report that as many as 25 staff were fired by the developer yesterday. Details are scarce, though after contact with some of those involved, they say: "the impression we get is that these cuts were driven more by company challenges than by individual performance issues." They also have a speculative list of those who may have been let go by comparing the company's employee directory to a cached version from last month. Following up, Engadget has a statement about this from Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell:
"We don't usually talk about personnel matters for a number of reasons. There seems to be an unusual amount of speculation about some recent changes here, so I thought I'd take the unusual step of addressing them. No, we aren't canceling any projects. No, we aren't changing any priorities or projects we've been discussing. No, this isn't about Steam or Linux or hardware or [insert game name here]. We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."
Eurogamer has word that Markus "Notch" Persson is the reason that Age of Wonders 3 is in development, saying the Minecraft creator and Mojang founder stepped up because he's a big fan of the role-playing strategy series. "We noticed Minecraft's random title-screen blurb mentioned Age of Wonders, so I thought what the heck and I sent Notch an email," explains Triumph Studios' Lennart Sas. "We had a demo for Age of Wonders 3 and talked to various parties including traditional publishers. There was certainly interest but the prospect of having Notch help fund was a dream come true, as he's a fan of the game and didn't insist on owning it like many of the publishers do these days when they fund development."
The Battlezone II patch page now offers a new public beta version 22.214.171.124 for Battlezone II, continuing the unofficial support by a couple of the original programmers on the action/strategy sequel. This patch replaces GameSpy matchmaking with RakNet matchmaking, since Battlezone 2 was one of the first games dropped by GameSpy/GLU Mobile.
The Double Fine Action Microblog reveals that Brütal Legend is being prepared for release for PCs, confirming suspicions fuelled by recent discovery of a Steam database entry for the musical action/strategy game (thanks nin). Pre-purchases of the regular version of the game and a "Soundtrack Edition" are now being accepted on Steam for 25% off the normal prices, and word is the PC edition is a "shinier, bad-asser, heavy metal-er Brütal Legend." Steam reflects the following modest system requirements: Continue here to read the full story.
The Path of Exile Website has patch notes for a new version 0.10.1 update that's now live in the beta of Grinding Gears' action/RPG (thanks Wowbagger_TIP). The new version adds new features and content along with bug fixes and balance changes. Here are the patch notes:
All skill gems and support gems have received new art.
The 3d artwork for many shields has been substantially updated and improved.
Overhauled most of the sound effects so that they use pitch and volume variations to avoid being repetitive.
Added new music for the Act Three boss fight.
Improved all of the Duelist's animations.
The Unique bow Death's Harp now has a particle effect for its custom art.
Updated and shrunk the visual size of Frenzy, Endurance and Power charges.
Added magic-only skeletons for the Map necro boss that can raise magic monsters.
Pressing the alt (or highlight) key in trade while hovering an item now says "item level" rather than "level" to make it clearer.
On-hit effects can now apply even if they deal no damage.
Renamed "Angel Kite Shield" to "Angelic Kite Shield".
Overhauled the zombie audio.
Improved blood effects.
Continued to incrementally improve the art, effects, environments and sound.
GOG.com now features a countdown that will hit zero around 6:00 am EST tomorrow, saying "System found." This is a confirmation of recent rumors that the online store for DRM-free games will soon offer System Shock 2, the highly regarded action/RPG sequel. This is covered by a Q&A on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talking with Guillaume Rambourg of GOG.com about the news, and with Stephen Kick of Night Dive, who explains how this small developer was able to secure the rights to work on re-releasing the game in this manner. There has also been speculation that development would also commence on a new installment in the series, but according to Kick, Night Dive's next project after preparing SS2 for GOG.com will be an original intellectual property.
Gearbox Software Support offers details on a patch for the PC edition of Aliens: Colonial Marines that's now automatically available through Steam. This offers a number of single-player and multiplayer bug-fixes, as outlined in this change list:
General user interface improvements.
Various performance improvements.
Fixed issue where a door may not function properly if a Xeno was killed while opening it.
Addressed issue where players could become stuck in a close encounter after killing a Lurker that had pounced them.
Fixed collision issue where bullets would not pass through certain open doorways.
Apparently enough Diablo III players are experiencing "unexpected errors" following the new version 1.07 patch for the action/RPG sequel that they have become expected. This Blizzard post for users encountering this problem outlines how to access the agent log and DB files to pass along to them to help them resolve this situation.
343 Industries' David Ellis tweets that Halo 2 PC multiplayer support is being extended through this June, in spite of the previous announcement that the PC multiplayer servers for the shooter sequel would be shut down this month. This includes hope for even further continued support for the game, as he says: "Halo 2 PC support extended through June 2013 while we investigate further support options. Now go get those achievements." Thanks Computer and Video Games.
Valve has fired Jeri Ellsworth, an engineer working on their hardware ambitions, reports Ellsworth, tweeting: "Yup. Got fired today. Time for new exciting projects." In September she told Engadget her team was working on Steam's assault on the living room, and spoke of their hopes of getting prototype Steam hardware into gamer's hands this year. This seems noteworthy as we don't recall hearing of any previous firings at Valve, where the management structure is famously unstructured. Thanks GamesIndustry International.
Free-to-play publishing specialist Nexon reports financial results for Q4 and fiscal year 2012, reporting better-than-expected results. Word is: "Fourth quarter revenues grew by 39% and operating income increased 5% year-over-year, both exceeding the Company’s outlook. Full year revenues grew 24% year-over-year, and full year operating income grew 25%." Looking forward they describe plans to offer further convergence between desktop and mobile gaming: "Longer term, we expect to see continued convergence between the PC and mobile devices. As a content creator, this trend presents significant opportunities for Nexon and increases the number of ways consumers can enjoy our games."
Did you know that skunks can be active in the winter? I sure didn't, until today at least. The dogs were out as I made the coffee this morning when they began barking, something they don't usually do at the crack of dawn. I called them back in, but they were clearly agitated, and Hudson the wonder dog was in full-on war mode, barking at the back fence (apologies to sleeping neighbors) and resisting my recall. Then I caught a whiff of the skunk spray, and knew just what happened, but thankfully, it seems the skunk was safely in the other yard when my guys encountered him, because nobody actually got spray on them, a lucky outcome to be sure. After I got the dogs inside I spotted Mr. Smelly in front of the house, by far the biggest looking skunk I had ever seen (though much of that was likely winter coat), waddling down the street, clearly put off by his encounter with unbridled canine aggression. Hopefully he found he way back home without getting hit by a car.
Today is Ash Wednesday. I don't think it's supposed to be "happy" Ash Wednesday, so good luck to those fasting or doing other forms of penance.