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Thursday, Feb 28, 2013

  

The Witcher 3 Details, Including Save Imports

OXM has collected and translated details from German-language previews of The Witcher 3 from PC Games and Gamestar, offering a look at what's to come in the next installment in CD Projekt RED's RPG series. The list they offer includes word on the 50 hour story, a Fallout VATS-style combat system, the elimination of QTEs, a day/night cycle and weather system, an interactive economy, and the ability to import a Witcher 2 save game, which they say will "determine which characters appear and how they act towards Geralt, but the backstory won't be affected." Thanks nin via Shacknews.

Star Wars: 1313 on Hold?

Star Wars: 1313 may be on hold, as Kotaku reports having heard from three "unrelated sources familiar with game development at LucasArts" who say development of the Star Wars action/adventure ceased right around the time of Disney's acquisition of LucasArts last October. They seem pretty convinced their sources are correct, even after reaching out to LucasArts for comment, and receiving a flat denial: "LucasArts has been working diligently to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that the new Star Wars movies present," a company spokesperson told them. "Star Wars 1313 continues production."

Omerta - City of Gangsters Free DLC Released; Patch Plans

The Kalypso Forums announce The Bulgarian Colossus DLC on Steam is now freely available for owners of Omerta - City of Gangsters, offering everyone content that was previously a preorder bonus for the 1920s gangster game. The same post also has details on a patch in the works for the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of the game in response to user feedback. They say the new version should come between four and eight weeks from now, and in the meantime offer a preliminary list of planned changes: Continue here to read the full story.

New SMITE God and Single Purchase Option

Hi-Rez Studios announces the release of a new "Poseidon" update for SMITE, their action/MOBA, adding a new god to the game. They also announce a significant reworking of their Ultimate God Pack, which was introduced as a way of unlocking the game's first 30 gods, but now offers access to all the game's gods, both present and future. "Obviously, nothing changes for players who enjoy SMITE with the free-to-play model," says Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Chief Operating Officer. "But some players are sensitive to a perceived time grind with free-to-play titles and we want to give those players a simple alternative." This trailer introduces Poseidon, while these patch notes have complete details on the new version. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bubble Freezes in Seconds HD.

Ships Ahoy - Call of Duty: Black Ops II - Revolution

Activision announces the Revolution DLC is now available for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Treyarch's military shooter sequel. This trailer offers a look at the pack, and here's word on what it offers:

Revolution delivers an unparalleled amount of variety and content for all types of Call of Duty: Black Ops II players, featuring four all-new multiplayer maps set around the globe:

  • Hydro: Located in Pakistan, this hydro-electric plant comes complete with a lethal spillway that floods with very little warning.
  • Grind: Set in a skate park in Venice Beach (the birthplace of skateboarding!), quarter-pipes and curved surfaces drive players away from easy cover and into intense firefights.
  • Downhill: A ski resort in the French Alps, this snowy map is complete with a moving gondola system that can both offer cover and crush you to death.
  • Mirage: Located in China's Gobi Desert, a luxury resort has been ravaged by a sandstorm.

Zombies fans get a terrifying double-dose of undead action in Revolution. First, the new map, "Die Rise," drops players inside a maze of crumbling skyscrapers amidst a ravaged Chinese city, where all-new Wonder Weaponry will play a crucial role as they make a valiant stand against the impending zombie hoard. Additionally, Revolution's new Zombies mode, "Turned," flips this new fan-favorite mode around, allowing players to become the undead and play as a zombie, offering an entirely new style of bragging rights.

Fans can either purchase Revolution as a standalone Map Pack for a suggested retail price of $14.99, or they can purchase the Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Season Pass. Season Pass holders not only get all four epic DLC Map Packs for the discounted suggested retail price of $49.99, but they also get the Nuketown Zombies bonus map, plus an exclusive in-game calling card.

DARK Gameplay Trailer

A post on the DARK website we missed when it went up a couple of weeks ago announces the release of the first gameplay trailer from DARK, the stealthy vampire-themed action/adventure in the works at Realmforge for Windows and Xbox 360 (thanks Jason). The clip shows off the game's cel-shaded graphics and futuristic environments as well as gameplay, including stealth and combat. Continue here to read the full story.

Indie Mash Bundle

Indie Royale now offers The Mash Bundle, their latest flexibly priced indie bundle. This starts at around $6.00 for what's described as a $70.00 value, comprising Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Guns of Icarus Online, Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior's Rise, KRUNCH, and Delve Deeper along with some Delve Deeper DLC and the KRUNCH soundtrack. Those who pay the minimum price drive the price up, those who pay more than the minimum drive it down, and those who pay $8.00 or more will get a bonus chiptune album.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Headshots Trailer

A new "headshot" trailer from Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 shows some perfect kills in the upcoming sharpshooting sequel. Word is: "Showcasing the power of a well-executed long-range takedown, the Headshots trailer gives players a glimpse into the unique and tactical gameplay they¹ll experience while stalking their targets across in-game sites based on real world locations" (for the record, it looks like the second shot at :25 looks like it's low). The game went gold a couple of weeks ago, and is expected for Windows and consoles in North America on March 12th. Continue here to read the full story.

Anomaly 2 Announced

11 bit studios follows up on their recent tease by announcing Anomaly 2, a "tower offense" RTS game that's a sequel to their Anomaly Warzone Earth, released in 2011. The game is due for Windows, OS X, and Linux in Q2 of this year for USD $14.99, and they are promising this will provide a "hardcore real-time strategy experience with exceptional tactical variety, intense multiplayer and remarkable visuals." The game's website is live to help keep up with the project, and here's a bit on the game:

Anomaly 2 is a real-time strategy game that takes the tower offense concept from Anomaly Warzone Earth to a new level. Maintaining the core concepts of the original – tactical planning and the on-field Commander to support troops in combat – Anomaly 2 introduces a number of important new features:

  • Morph your troops into war mechs to discover the new face of strategy: each unit has a different mech form with various abilities to help you overcome specific combat situations.
  • Engage in a multiplayer experience unique to Anomaly 2: tower defense vs. tower offense. Play as the towers and destroy the humans or lead the humans to annihilate the alien towers.
  • Fight across a post-apocalyptic world in a new single-player campaign that offers a more intense strategy experience than the acclaimed original.
  • Carve your own path to victory and create your ultimate battle squad. With more than a million tactical combinations to build your squad, your options in combat are nearly endless.
  • Dive into a beautifully rendered world, thanks to the team’s new and improved visual engine.
  • Experience alternative endings dependent upon your approach to enemy machines in the campaign.

Deadfall Adventures Announced

Publisher Nordic Games announces Deadfall Adventures, a first-person shooter in development at The Farm 51 (NecroVisioN, Painkiller Hell & Damnation) for release for Windows and Xbox 360 on July 30th of this year. The game's website has screenshots showing off the game's Unreal Engine 3 graphics along with an announcement trailer culminating in some footage of in-game combat. The game is set just prior to World War II, and will feature puzzle-solving, exotic locales, Nazis, all being tackled by protagonist James Lee Quatermain (no relation?). Here's word:

Vienna, Austria (February 28 2013) - The traditional summer blockbuster is making the leap from movie house to home cinema this July, as Nordic Games and The Farm 51 announce Deadfall Adventures – a thrilling and immersive action adventure which seamlessly combines the first person shooter experience with puzzle-solving and exploration, taking players across the globe in Nordic Games’ most ambitious game to date.

The year is 1938. James Lee Quatermain is a man of many talents, yet holding on to money isn't one of them. Quatermain isn't all too keen on escorting Jennifer Goodwin, a US agent and former colleague of his, to an Egyptian temple complex in order to retrieve an ancient artifact - The Heart of Atlantis. Neither does he believe in the reputed invigorating qualities of this artifact, nor does he care that a division of the Ahnenerbe, the Nazi department specialized in the occult, is after The Heart as well.

But life has its ways of changing one's perspective. Quatermain soon finds himself part of a hunt across the globe - from the stormy deserts of Egypt to the icy depths of the Arctic and all the way to the steaming jungles of Guatemala.

In the long-forgotten temple complex, the thrill of the chase awakens the true adventurer in Quatermain, as he and Agent Goodwin strive to be one step ahead of the Nazis and the Russians, one step closer to obtaining the Heart of Atlantis. And deep in these temples, where age-old guardians awake from their eternal slumber, James soon learns that his great-grandfather's stories are not as crazy as he had always believed. For all things live forever, though at times they sleep and are forgotten.

Continue here to read the full story.

Salem Enters Open Beta

Paradox Interactive announces the commencement of open beta testing of Salem, their MMORPG where crafting is emphasized, and character "death" is "permanent." They also offer this new trailer, saying: "To give new players an idea what they're in for, Paradox Interactive has released a new video featuring 'Tarp Marpton' who continues his documentation of the new world. In Salem players may assume the role of Pilgrims, bandits, natives or whatever they please. Welcome to the community driven MMO." Here's word on the game and the beta:

In Salem, players can step into the well-worn boots of brave pilgrims, arriving in a fledgling settlement and attempting to carve out their new homes in the untamed wilderness. To survive, pilgrims will need to learn from the land to boost their skills, scavenge for food, and harvest natural resources in a wide-open sandbox environment to craft tools and homes, and even establish their own in-game settlements. Danger lurks around every corner, however, and between wild animals, unseen perils, and their fellow players, surviving Salem is no lean feat: there are few restrictions on Player-versus-Player (PvP) attacks, no law except what the community makes, and in Salem, death is permanent.

By designing Salem with less of a traditional MMO structure, and instead presenting players with a persistent community sandbox with high-stakes consequences for conflict, Paradox and Seatribe are allowing the Salem community to shape their own experiences. The in-game society that has sprung up during closed beta – including a bustling barter-based economy, vigilantes and mob justice, and rival settlements, have all happened as a result of players’ choices and actions. With the new addition of more players during open beta, it will be fascinating to discover what the community ultimately makes of the world of Salem.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Confirmed, Details Next Week

Ubisoft officially confirms the recent strong indications that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is the title of the next installment in the stealth/action series. They have released package images for the game on various platforms, including a PC SKU, and say we can expect details on the game on Monday. Meanwhile, the box art confirms the game's seafaring setting, showing our hooded protagonist buckling a few swashes on a sailing ship sporting what looks like an AC-style pirate flag. The shot of the Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 box shows a banner saying this edition will include "60 minutes of exclusive gameplay."

Bound by Flame Announced

Focus Home Interactive announces Bound by Flame, an upcoming action/role-playing game that's currently in development at Spiders Studio, even as the developer wraps up work on the imminent Mars War Log. They say Bound By Flame is a larger game than Mars War Log, and it has been in development for a couple of months now, and they plan a on release for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 by the end of the year. They offer a single screenshot from the game, and here's a bit:

We present Bound by Flame to you with the very first screenshot of the game. This action/role-playing game lets you play a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in an ambitious Dark Fantasy universe. As a victim of this demonic influence, players will have to choose between the powers offered by this evil or to reject the demonic influence, developing heroic talents instead. Dangers, and enemies becoming more terrifying and fearsome in battle, will be temptations to acquire more power by giving up part of the hero's soul to the demon. Progression of the demonic influence will be reflected by the transformation of the hero's body.

Wrath of Heroes Closing

The Wrath of Heroes Website offers a "heartbroken farewell," as Mythic Entertainment announces this microtransaction-driven free-to-play MOBA based on Warhammer Online is shutting down in one month on March 29th after nearly a year of beta testing (thanks Massively). They offer a FAQ with details on what happens to previous purchases, how the shutdown will be handled, and the probably obvious answer to the question of why this his happening: "Unfortunately, the project could not meet its financial goals to be sustained." The announcement also offers thoughts from producer James Casey on the game's closure, expressing pride in what they created, and promising the chance to check out some new elements of the game before it goes away: "I hope that those who have played it at any time in the past will stick through to the end, enjoy the special pricing so you can try out everything before it goes, and try out a few of the special things that were still in our pipeline."

EVE Online Boasts 500K Subscribers

CCP Games announces that EVE Online has passed a new subscriber milestone, saying their sci-fi MMORPG now has over a half-million paid players. "Ten years after release, it is incredibly inspiring that, through a lot of hard work from our EVE Online team, we are crossing the half-million subscriber mark," said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP. "For me, this is a true testament that EVE can live on forever, as long as we do right by her. We have not come to this point alone; millions of players have helped push us to this milestone. I now know in my mind what I previously only believed in my heart: that EVE will outlive us all."

Crysis 3 Patch

A new patch is now automatically available in the Windows edition of Crysis 3, updating the first-person shooter sequel to version 1.1. MP1st (via VG247) offers notes on this patch, which is coming soon to the console editions, as well as word on a smaller "Data Patch B" that's already live for all platforms. Here's word on what these patches do: Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I was watching television when the audio was interrupted by what sounded like old-school modem screeching, which turned out to be the beginning of one of those tests of the U.S. Emergency Broadcast System. This actually seemed kind of cool, because we have DirecTV, so they need to find a way to steer these alerts to different localities from satellites that serve the whole country. It turns out that they still need to do that, as my being impressed quickly turned into being disappointed, as a voice came on telling me that were this an actual emergency, I would be told to tune into local news sources in Los Angeles for further information. Of course L.A. is 3000 miles from here as the crow flies, so this is not as cool as I first thought. Here's hoping they fix that, but more importantly, here's hoping there's no reason to ever have to deal with an actual emergency.

Emergency Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Bunny Cannon.
Links: 50 Most Memorable Moments in Video Gaming History.
Alice Finch builds massive LEGO Hogwarts.
Stories: Sophomore catches teacher stealing students’ money. Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: Old Spice? No Spy Spice!
Media: Jimmy Kimmel - Everything Was "Amazing" at the Oscars. Amazing.
Desperate Attempt to Protect Car from Hail.
This Salmon Tastes Like ASS. Maybe he's protecting it from hail.
Follow-up: MacFarlane Won't Host The Oscars Again.



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