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Monday, Feb 18, 2013

  

Far Cry 3 New Feature Plans

The Ubisoft Forums announce details about new features to be added to Far Cry 3 through upcoming patches, based on feedback they've collected since the release of the shooter sequel, though no specific timeframe is offered. These include the ability to reset outposts so they can be taken again; a new Master difficulty level for those who have already completed the game on Adventurer, Survivor, or Warrior settings; a more intuitive feedback system for user-created maps; and more.

CISPA Re-Proposed

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announces the return of CISPA, as the U.S. is once again looking to enact the "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (thanks Ant via Boing Boing). Here's a bit on this and what we can do about it:

Last year, Representatives Rogers and Ruppersberger introduced CISPA, which would create a gaping new exemption to existing privacy law. CISPA would grant companies more power to obtain “threat” information (such as from private communications of users) and to disclose that data to the government without a warrant -- including sending data to the National Security Agency.

This week, CISPA was reintroduced in the House of Representatives. EFF is joining groups like ACLU and Fight for the Future in combating this legislation.

Last year, tens of thousands of concerned individuals used the EFF action center to speak out against overbroad and ineffective cybersecurity proposals. Together, we substantially changed the debate around cybersecurity in the U.S., moving forward a range of privacy-protective amendments and ultimately helping to defeat the Senate bill.

Now we need your help again. Can you send a message to your Representatives asking them to oppose this bill?

New WHQL-certified GeForce Drivers

The GeForce Website now offers new version 314.07 WHQL-certified drivers for NVIDIA GeForce accelerators. They call this an "essential update for gamers jumping into Crysis 3 this week," as single-GPU and multi-GPU performance in Crytek’s shooter sequel is improved by up to 65% in the new version. They add: "Other highlights include sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains of up to 27% in Assassin’s Creed III, 19% in Civilization V, 14% in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, 14% in DiRT 3, 11% in Just Cause 2, 10% in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, 10% in F1 2012, and 10% in Far Cry 3."

Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Funded

The Kickstarter Page for Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey announces the game is now officially funded, and that Red Thread Games' continuation of the RPG series has also surpassed its first stretch goal of $900K, ensuring that Linux and OS X versions will also be made. They also offer a new video update as well as details on The Loremaster, their next stretch goal. Thanks Ryota.

Ships Ahoy - A Valley Without Wind 2

Arcen Games announces A Valley Without Wind 2 is now available on Steam for Windows and OS X, and the platformer follow-up is on sale for 25% off for the first week. Because this is part remake/part sequel, they are offering it for free for those who already own the first A Valley Without Wind, and are likewise including the first game along with purchases of the new one. The game's launch trailer features music and gameplay, and here's word:

Arcen Games is pleased to announce the launch of A Valley Without Wind 2, now available on Steam for PC and Mac. To celebrate the release, the game will be offered at 25% off until Monday, February 25th.

Valley 2 combines an old school platform adventure with a robust turn-based strategy portion. Though the game is a sequel to our 2012 release A Valley Without Wind, it's more of a spiritual successor. We took everything that we learned while making the first game (plus many new ideas) and focused it all into a new, tightened experience -- giving the graphics an update to boot.

For a variety of reasons, we've also chosen to give Valley 2 to all those who purchased the first game for free, and those purchasing Valley 2 will also get a copy of the original. The titles are, and will remain, bundled together on Steam and elsewhere.

The official Valley 2 launch trailer, featuring the game's standout track "Stand and Fight" by composer Pablo Vega, is out now as well. For more info and discussion on the A Valley Without Wind 2, we encourage new players and other interested parties to stop by the game's bustling forums.

Bungie on PC Destiny Possibilities and How Nobody Wants to Play with Mouse/KB

A couple of general indications from Bungie suggest the possibility that their just-announced Destiny may make to PCs after only being announced for consoles. "We would absolutely love to be on the PC. If you talk to the people upstairs, we play it on all platforms," Bungie COO Pete Parsons told Eurogamer. So, stay tuned." The PA Report has a similar vague hint from Parsons, who explains the game should be easy to port: "The interesting part is we, from the ground up, from the very beginning, we have made sure that [Destiny] can be on multiple platforms," he told them. "It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to design and actually architect for it, which we’ve absolutely done." On the other hand, Destructoid has a quote from Bungie cofounder Jason Jones suggesting playing first-person shooters with mice and keyboards is obsolete, as their "ambitious" moves with Halo of limiting players to two weapons and recharging health have changed the FPS. "We did a bunch of ambitious things on Halo deliberately to reach out to people," Jones told them. "We limited players to two weapons, we gave them recharging health, we automatically saved and restored the game -- almost heretical things to first-person shooters at the time. We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard. And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo 'cause nobody wants to."

On Sale

GOG.com announces a new pricing experiment where a bunch of formerly $9.99 games are now being sold for $6.99 and some games have been reduced from $5.99 to $3.99.

  • Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Might & Magic Heroes VI Gold Edition on GameStop PC Downloads. Save 40%.
  • Restaurant Empire II on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Scratches - Director's Cut on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Super House of Dead Ninjas on Steam. Save 30%.
  • To the Moon on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Wanderlust: Rebirth on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Eidos Montreal's "Unannounced Really Cool Project"

Only Single Player notes that the Linked n profiles of Alexandre Richer and Louis Auger of Eidos Montreal mention the unannounced project in the works at the developer of the highly regarded Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the upcoming Thief 4. This meshes with plans for another development team they announced when expanding the studio last year. The profile of Auger, a senior artist, refers to this as "Unannounced really cool project," and the listing for this on the résumé of UI/gameplay developer Richer says: "More details to come within the upcoming months." Thanks OXM via supererogatory.

Cancelled Aliens RPG Animations

This trailer offers footage of animations created for Aliens Crucible, Obsidian's cancelled Aliens RPG that was un development for a while under the working title of, yes, Aliens RPG. The clip was posted about a month ago by Danny Garnett to show off his work on the project, and discovered by DSOGaming (thanks OXM). The clip shows walk and attack animations for several Xenomorphs, including a queen alien and a dog alien, as well as a scene showing some environmental physics and some motion capture for human soldiers.

U.K. Sales Charts

The new GfK Chart-Track Listing of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. is now updated for the week ending February 16th. In space no one can hear you scream "we're number one," but as shown on the chart, Aliens Colonial Marines takes top honors this week, pushing Football Manager 2013 to number two. This is similar to the all platforms chart, where Gearbox's new first-person shooter is likewise number one. That's the only truly new entry on either chart, where some Sims 3 SKUs also reappear.

Morning Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Avexir MPower Series DDR3 2400MHz 8GB Memory Kit on eTeknix.
  • Das Keyboard Model S Professional  on Benchmark Reviews.
  • HIS Radeon HD 7850 4GB iPower IceQ Turbo on Guru3D.
  • NZXT Cryo X60 Laptop Cooler on RBMODS.
  • Razer Star Wars- The Old Republic Gaming Headset on Mad Shrimps.
  • NZXT Kraken X60 Liquid CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
  • Seagate Constellation ES.3 4TB Enterprise Hard Drive on Techgage.
  • Samsung ATIV Odyssey on Ars Technica.
  • Seagate Wireless Plus on Gaming Nexus.
  • Thermalright Archon SB-E X2 CPU Cooler on Pure Overclock.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is Presidents' Day here in the U.S., where we celebrate our nation's leadership with low, low prices on mattresses. Actually, technically today is still the celebration of George Washington's birthday, as the federal holiday has never been officially changed. The idea of using the occasion to honor the legacy of all the country's previous leaders came from Richard M. Nixon, which probably qualifies as ironic, since Nixon typically ranks very high on polls ranking the worst presidents. Following that theme, and avoiding any living presidents to forestall needless political controversy, I will use my presidents' day to remember the dubious accomplishments of some consensus worst presidents: Nixon, Frankin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, and of course, Warren G. Harding.

R.I.P.: Embattled country star Mindy McCready dead at 37 of apparent suicide.

Presidential Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Ode to Pixel Days.
Science: Scientists unveil new detectors in race to save Earth from next asteroid.
Media: Show us your war (dog) face! Thanks reddit.
Gangnam~Style Cockatoo.
Baby boy laughs like dolphin!.
Follow-up: Showtime, Punxsutawney Phil.

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013

Destiny Announced for Consoles

The Destiny Website now offers the promised first details about Bungie's upcoming mystery game. This will be a first-person shooter, but our hopes that Bungie's emancipation from Microsoft might lead them towards the light of the PC (the proper platform for FPS games) are dashed for the moment by word that this is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, promising: "Unprecedented variety of FPS gameplay, including story, cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes combined with public and social activities." This will be an online game, and there are previews on Wired.com (thanks Neutronbeam) and Kotaku outlining Bungie's ambitions for this project. Here's a trailer.

Half-Life Update Causing Mod Issues?

Steam forums and Mod DB have indications that a recent Half-Life update may have broken mod support in Valve's first-person shooter. This originates from the creators of the Cry of Fear mod, and there are a couple of threads about support for that mod, and according to their post, the problem seems to impact other mods, and a fix may be out of their hands: "We're not sure if we can release a hotfix for these problems, since it's a lot of changes made to the engine that causes it." Thanks Ant.

Steam Top 10

Here's the list of the 10 bestselling games on Steam this week:

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
  2. Aliens: Colonial Marines
  3. Borderlands 2
  4. Torchlight II
  5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  6. Arma II: Combined Operations
  7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  8. Impire
  9. Far Cry 3
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Sunday Q&As

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We went off to Brooklyn to get together with family this Sunday and had a lovely time. We were in the vicinity of our favorite deli, but decided to forego the opportunity to pick up some pastrami to bring home. That restraint seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm already suffering with regrets. Better than suffering indigestion, I suppose, but now I would have liked to have risked it. Lesson learned for next time, I guess.

Learning Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Ricochet Kills 3: Level Pack.
Links: Computer Game Catalogs.
Stories: Modine Joins Bakshi’s Crowdsourced ‘Last Days Of Coney Island’. Thanks nin.
Science: Why do radiologists miss dancing gorillas? Thanks brother19.
Media: Doom - Pinky Demon Blocks the Exit - Photoshop Speed Art.
Can of Axe in Fireplace.
Changing Tires While Driving on Two Wheels.
Follow-up: EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson.



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