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Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013

  

Assassin's Creed III The Betrayal DLC

Ubisoft announces the release of The Betrayal, part two of The Tyranny of King Washington, the three part DLC series for Assassin's Creed III. Here' show this continues the hypothetical story:

SAN FRANCISCO - March 19, 2013 -Today, Ubisoft® announces the launch of The Betrayal, the second episode in the three-part Assassin's Creed III - The Tyranny of King Washington downloadable content series, on Microsoft's Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and Windows PCs. This episode will be available for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system starting tomorrow, March 20.

The Betrayal continues the next chapter in hero Ratonhnhaké:ton's war against the mad King George Washington, taking gamers to Boston to find an unlikely ally. Ratonhnhaké:ton will discover a new ability - the power of the eagle - which empowers him to quickly fly across short distances and hone in on enemies for precise and brutal assassinations.

The final episode of Assassin's Creed III - The Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption will release on April 23 for the Microsoft's Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and Windows PCs, and April 24 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.

Supergiant Reveals Transistor

Bastion developer Supergiant games offers a first look at Transistor, a science fiction-themed action/RPG they plan to show at PAX East, where they'll have an early playable build. In the meantime they offer a Reveal Trailer showing off some gameplay, and here's what they are revealing for now:

In Transistor, players assume the role of a young woman who gains control of a powerful weapon after a mysterious group of assailants nearly kills her with it. Now she must fight from street to street against forces that will stop at nothing to recover the weapon. During the course of the adventure, players will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as they pursue its former owners.

We expect Transistor to be released in early 2014. We have not yet decided on which platform or platforms the game will be available for.

On a related note, Humble Mumble announces The Humble Weekly Sale, offering Bastion as a pay-what-you-want offering.

Battle Worlds: Kronos Kickstarter

Independent developer KING Art Games (Book of Unwritten Tales) announces a Kickstarter for Battle Worlds: Kronos, a turn-based strategy game they say "fans have been clamoring" for since they conducted some preliminary community testing in 2007. The Battle Worlds: Kronos Website is online with art and info, saying: "Battle Worlds: Kronos is a game we’ve wanted to make for years. A turn-based strategy game for fans of Battle Isle, Advance Wars or the old SSI classics. Now the time has finally come!" Here's a bit:

Already at an impressive stage in its development, with enormous community support and needing just $120,000 to be completed, Battle Worlds: Kronos is a turn-based strategy game with maps based on the classic hexagonal style. The multiplatform title features rich 3D graphics and boasts two distinct single player campaigns, challenge maps and both live and asynchronous multiplayer modes. Backers can expect to be taking part in an exclusive beta, on the receiving end of a copy of the game and, depending on the size of the pledge, have access to an easy to use map editor.

Hotline Miami for OS X

Steam now offers an OS X edition of Hotline Miami along with the Windows version of the throwback action game. Here's a refresher on the game:

Developed by Dennaton Games and published by Devolver Digital, Hotline Miami is a high-octane action game overflowing with raw brutality, hard-boiled gunplay and skull crushing close combat. Set in an alternative 1989 Miami, you will assume the role of a mysterious antihero on a murderous rampage against the shady underworld at the behest of voices on your answering machine. Soon you'll find yourself struggling to get a grip of what is going on and why you are prone to these acts of violence.

SimCity Patch Addresses Traffic Snags

The EA Forums have word on a new version 1.7 patch for SimCity to address traffic issues in the urban planning sequel, among other things. Here are the patch notes:

  • Traffic Improvements: Tuned traffic congestion and fixed some intersection traffic issues.
  • Traffic improvements: Emergency Vehicles will drive in empty lanes to get around traffic at intersections.
  • Traffic improvements: Emergency and Delivery vehicles get priority over regular traffic when leaving garage.
  • All units and buildings can now be demolished using the bulldoze tool.
  • Performance improvements for low spec systems.
  • New Server: Asia 2 will be released Tuesday afternoon (PDT)!

Evening Q&As

Evening Patches

On Sale

Thanks Dealzon.

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines on Gamefly.com. Save 33%.
  • Anno 2070 on Gamefly.com. Save 60%.
  • Crysis 3 on Origin. Save 40%.
  • Dead Space 3 on Origin. Save 50%.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Gamefly.com. Save 75%.
  • Hitman: Absolution on Gamefly.com. Save 75%.
  • Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Mass Effect Trilogy on Gamefly.com.
  • Max Payne 3 on Gamefly.com. Save 60%.
  • Port Royale 3 on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City on Gamefly.com. Save 75%.
  • Saints Row: The Third on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space on Steam. Save 25%. Making its Steam debut.

Op Ed

604Republic - The Descent of DLC.
Downloadable Content is the Anakin Skywalker of video gaming. A small addition which was meant to make things even better, but instead destroyed the good we already had.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: BioShock Under the Sea Parody. Thanks Ant via Dorkly.

New Strider Game for PCs and Consoles?

NeoGAF has images with logos discovered on XBLA said to be from a new Strider game, a follow-up to Capcom's platformer that was released during the Bush administration (yes, the first one). They also point to data extracted from the Steam database saying a Strider achievement there indicates this unannounced game is coming to PCs as well, but that entry no longer contains any reference to the game, and the accompanying timestamp indicates it was edited overnight. Thanks Eurogamer.

Battlefield 4 Trailer Tease

A Battlefield tweet points to a post on Vine with a teaser for an upcoming Battlefield 4 video reveal. Word is: "Straight from the video editing suite: Prepare 4 Battle - 03.27! This sneak peek now, more soon." EA has announced plans to officially unveil the next installment in the military shooter series on March 26th, which seems the likely date to expect the full trailer to debut, but maybe it will be the 27th instead. Thanks TweakTown.

Ashes Cricket 2013 in June

505 games announces a June 21st release date for Ashes Cricket 2013, after previously only committing to a summer release for the next installment in the sports simulation series for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U. They have launched an official Ashes Cricket 2013 website where they will offer more details over the coming months, and in the meantime they are accepting signups for a mailing list and are hosting forums to foster discussion of the game. Here's word:

This summer, 505 games puts you in control of the ultimate rivalry in Test cricket with ASHES CRICKET 2013. To be released for the start of the 2013 Investec Ashes Series, ASHES CRICKET 2013 offers unique and realistic features for cricket fans and gamers alike.

Whether playing on X360, PS3, Wii U or PC, dynamic game play adds variety to each match. Players will have to adapt to varying and altering pitches; whether it’s a green seaming wicket or deteriorating fifth day pitch susceptible to spin and bounce. Weather forecasts will also change, altering the course of the match; overcast conditions will be more conducive to swing, while sunny days are a batsman’s paradise.

ASHES CRICKET 2013 includes a brand new game engine creating a truly authentic gaming experience. Batsmen have 360 degree control over shot placement, requiring impeccable placement and timing to build an innings. A new line and length bowling system gives bowlers the tools to set plans for batsmen throughout a day’s play and players have complete freedom to set a field of their choice. For those who prefer to be led however, there are options for intelligent automatic field placement.

Continue here to read the full story.

TF2 Oculus Rift Details

We have the official announcement of the Oculus Rift VR headset support for Team Fortress 2 revealed yesterday. Word is the patch to add Oculus Rift support will roll out in the "coming days," as reluctant as Valve is to update the teamplay shooter (they note it has only received 350 updates since debuting in 2007). Not only will this bring enhanced virtual reality to the game, but it will also earn supporters a new hat:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead), today announced the addition of an experimental Virtual Reality mode to Team Fortress 2. The new mode will be released in the coming days as part of an update to the popular Free to Play game.

Anyone with an Oculus Rift Developer Kit will be able to use their device to play all of Team Fortress 2 on the PC. All game modes and classes are supported with the new Virtual Reality mode.

"When we first played an early version of Virtual Reality mode in Team Fortress we were blown away by the immersion we experienced.", said Joe Ludwig at Valve. "VR is just getting started, but it is going to have a big impact on gaming. This update will let us share that experience with more of the Team Fortress community."

"Valve's done an incredible job bringing Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality! TF2 is the most-played game in my Steam library, so you can imagine how excited I am to play it in the Rift with all of our backers," said Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus VR, Inc.

In addition to gaining access to the new Virtual Reality mode, owners of the Oculus Rift will also be granted a unique Oculus Rift in-game hat. Steam codes to redeem for this item will be sent out by Oculus.

Team Fortress 2 is Valve's Free to Play team-based online game. The game has had more than 350 updates since its release with The Orange Box in 2007.

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues Funded: Adds Stretch Goals

The Kickstarter campaign for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has surpassed its funding goal of one million dollars with almost three weeks remaining in the fundraiser for Richard "Lord British" Garriott's new RPG project. As a result, some new stretch goals are now revealed, showing the game's design will incorporate a pet system when they hit the $1.1 million mark, and that $1.2 million in pledges will add seasonal weather to the game.

Borderlands Animated Short Plans

2K Games, Gearbox Software, and the Academy of Art University announce Borderlands Cooperative, an animated short film using the setting from Borderlands, Gearbox Software's role-playing shooter series. The movie is due by the end of this year, and word is the students creating it will be provided the opportunity to provide additional free labor to the studio to advance their educations:

“Academy of Art's mission is to prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century and this project with industry leaders at 2K and Gearbox is exactly the kind of real-world experience we strive to provide,” said Chris Armstrong, Director of School of Animation & VFX at Academy of Art University. “These students are aspiring game designers, programmers, writers and animators who will now graduate with hands-on experience and a product of work they can share with prospective employers, making them well-positioned to compete for and win the jobs of today's global economy."

In addition to valuable experience and networking opportunities, students involved in Borderlands Cooperative have a chance to jump-start their careers with an internship at 2K. During the spring semester, teams of students will create original short stories that take place inside the Borderlands universe. Any student, regardless of their discipline, can form a team and submit an original storyboard for consideration. A panel of Academy of Art University, 2K and Gearbox judges will select one story to become part of the Borderlands mythos, and the team behind that story will have the opportunity to interview for the internship.

Animation students will work together throughout the summer and fall to produce an animated short film based on the story selected by the judges. The real-world scenario will challenge students to work together, to overcome obstacles, and to produce finished products on deadlines, just like professionals in their chosen fields.

Op Ed

Wired.com - Forget the Cellphone Fight — We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own. Thanks Ant.
It hasn’t always been that way. Copyright laws were originally designed to protect creativity and promote innovation. But now, they are doing exactly the opposite: They’re being used to keep independent shops from fixing new cars. They’re making it almost impossible for farmers to maintain their equipment. And, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, they’re preventing regular people from unlocking their own cellphones.

This isn’t an issue that only affects the digerati; farmers are bearing the brunt as well. Kerry Adams, a family farmer in Santa Maria, California, recently bought two transplanter machines for north of $100,000 apiece. They broke down soon afterward, and he had to fly a factory technician out to fix them.

Because manufacturers have copyrighted the service manuals, local mechanics can’t fix modern equipment. And today’s equipment — packed with sensors and electronics — is too complex to repair without them. That’s a problem for farmers, who can’t afford to pay the dealer’s high maintenance fees for fickle equipment.

Morning Q&As

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

Today is the last day of winter in these parts, and to celebrate, we have snow, and more than a little of it. I mentioned recently that I was ready for this to stop happening, but obviously I did not direct this to the proper authorities. Speaking of which, this also requires I call out those groundhogs, as I'm pretty sure a half-foot of snow on March 19th does not qualify as an "early spring."

Early Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Heli Support.
Links: Google60 – Search Mad Men Style. Thanks jimnms.
Science: Pew Pew! Scientists Build Lasers Out of Sound, Call Them Phasers. Thanks HARDOCP.
Images: The hot art in the CIA’s cool art collection.
Media: Behold The Majesty of Simcity GlassBox Simulation.
Marble Falls Bridge Demolition - Quite Awesome.
The Ultimate Stairway Fails Compilation.
Flaming Birthday Shots. Always a good idea.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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