Blizzard Entertainment announces their promised PAX East reveal is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play virtual card-based game with cross-platform support for Windows, OS X, and iPad. The game is being shown off this weekend to PAX East attendees, and they say that beta testing will begin "soon." Here's word:
Boston, Mass.—March 22, 2013—Pull up a chair across from an old friend at the tavern table and prepare for a few rounds of lively card-vs.-card warfare. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. laid its virtual cards on the table today with the unveiling of Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, a new cross-platform free-to-play game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®.
In Hearthstone, players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft® character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards. PAX East attendees are able to go hands-on with Hearthstone this weekend, and Blizzard will begin beta testing for the game very soon—no, seriously.
“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.
The Defiance Beta Page has details on the third beta event for Defiance, Trion's MMO tie-in with the Syfy network's new TV series. Word is the NDA is being lifted at this time, so this will lead to videos and impressions of the game showing up online.
gamigo AG announces they have decided "not to proceed with the development" of Grimlands, the MMORPG though they keep hope alive for the MMORPG they announced almost two years ago. They hold out the possibility they will pick this up again when funding appears, but it doesn't sound hopeful:
Development halt for Grimlands
The intensified focus on publishing and distribution and reduction of high-risk development projects has been pushed further forward. With this in mind the decision has been made not to proceed with the development of the MMORPG, Grimlands. The game still requires substantial additional funds to be brought to completion. Even other games in the "development pipeline" are to be critically assessed anew according to opportunities and risks.
EA Support has details on a new patch that's now automatically available for SimCity to update the urban planning reboot to version 1.8 (thanks Quboid). The following patch notes outline general gameplay changes as well as specific fixes for road behavior and some messaging fixes. Continue here to read the full story.
This new trailer from Splinter Cell Blacklist, offers a developer walkthrough from the next installment in Ubisoft's stealth/action videogame series. Word is: "In this latest asset, game director Patrick Redding showcases three different approaches to tackling the Abandoned Mill level via the Ghost, Panther and Assault play styles." Continue here to read the full story.
Stardock announces closed beta testing of Legendary Heroes, their upcoming "more than a traditional expansion pack" for Fallen Enchantress, their fantasy-themed strategy game. Word is that in addition to new content, this provides "more of a top to bottom improvement to the core game play" for Fallen Enchantress, which was designed to do the same for Elemental: War of Magic (aka game-who-must-not-be-named). Speaking of which, those who did purchase Elemental before November 2010 will be receiving this as part of their original purchase as Stardock continues to make amends for it rocky launch. Fallen Enchantress owners are entitled to a discount, while a standalone version is also planned for those just jumping in. And speaking of jumping in (the segues are rolling like Segways today), those who preorder Legendary Heroes will get immediate access to that closed beta. This forum post offers more complete details about what this entails, offering a recent changelog comparing Legendary Heroes to Fallen Enchantress.
CI Games announces the Siberian Strike DLC is due on March 27th, offering the promised additional content for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, the just-released sharpshooting sequel for Windows and consoles. Here are some screenshots and here's word on what this will add to the CryENGINE 3 shooter:
WARSAW, POLAND — March 22, 2013 — CI Games, a fast-growing international publisher and developer of interactive entertainment, today announced Siberian Strike the upcoming DLC for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be available on Wednesday, March 27 for Xbox LIVE® Arcade for 800MP, PlayStation®Network for 9,99 €/9,99 $/ 8,99 £ and Steam for 9,99 €/9,99 $/8,99 £.
The Siberian Strike DLC expands upon the single player storyline, taking players to an isolated Siberian location where new open world maps invite players multiple paths for solving the new tactical missions. Shut off from guidance by spotters, players must find their own path through the new location using the map and their elite sniper skills.
The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera announces a new stretch goal for inXile entertainment's upcoming RPG, saying that Planescape Torment designer Chris Avellone will join the development team if they surpass the $3.5 million threshold, which is under $700K away with a fortnight remaining in the campaign. Word is: "At $3.5M, Chris will be joining our design team. He’ll have two primary roles. First, he will be reviewing and providing feedback on all creative elements of the game, including the story, characters, and areas. His input will be invaluable as a resource to Colin in further detailing the creative vision for the game. Second, he’ll be designing and writing an eighth companion for the game, working with Colin and Monte to craft a companion ideal for both Torment and the Ninth World of Numenera."
Square Enix has filed a U.S. Trademark registration for Lara Croft: Reflections, reports Siliconera. Noting the recent indication that there are no plans for single-player DLC for the new Tomb Raider game, they proceed to speculate about what this implies. Thanks OXM.
Steam News announces the release of a new patch to automatically update Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve's teamplay shooter. Though a rumor emerged yesterday that this would include some sort of season pass to financially compensate community map authors, the patch contains no such feature. VG247 points to a follow-up on PCGamesN saying they've discovered strings mocking their scoop: "CSGO_Ticket_CommunitySeasonOneSpring2013_Leak" and "lol."
Indie developer KillHouse Games announces Door Kickers, a top-down real-time tactics game in the works for Windows later this year (mobiles to follow) that will allow players to plan and execute SWAT missions. A trailer from the game is online, showing this is somewhat reminiscent in appearance to Frozen Synapse, and here's word: "You're in command of a SWAT team: Analyze the situation, plan team routes, choose equipment and breach points and coordinate multiple troopers to reach the hostage room before the bad guys get to press that trigger. Its all about timing, coordination, breaching charges, flashbangs, hostages with a gun to their head, and precision shots that save the day - but this time in a top down perspective, and you’re the mastermind." The game is currently offered at a 25% prerelease discount, which grants immediate access to the latest build. Continue here to read the full story.
Spanish indie developer Numantian Games announces Lords of Xulima, a role-playing game of the throwback 2D isometric, turn-based, single-player variety planned for release this year for Windows, OS X, and Linux. They say this is "inspired by old school classics like Ultima, Might and Magic and Wizardy but with modern graphics, design and interface." Further: "The game is set on a mythical lost continent called Xulima where the world makers lived in ancient times. The game features a vast challenging world where you will have to create and command a six character party in an epic story of gods and men." They offer a trailer and point the way to their Steam Greenlight campaign. Continue here to read the full story.
Capcom Unity has word that those who pre-purchase Resident Evil 6 on Steam (which are only underway for a few more hours) are now entitled to a free copy of the Onslaught DLC: "Onslaught DLC mode will also be available for those who pre-ordered the game on Steam. It can also be purchased separately for $3.99 or €3.99. as you can see from the video it plays like a single player mercs match except your opponent is playing on their own map and you can send your combo kills (shown as sort of moss covered baddies) over to the other players game to overwhelm them."
There's a new PAX East trailer from The Repopulationon the official website for the upcoming MMORPG, showing off the sandbox game's crafting system. Here's word: "We are happy to have a new crafting preview video now available. Clocking in over 20 minutes this is our longest video yet and really drills down into the fundamentals of the crafting system. The video focuses on the recipes involved in creating a fitting. The resource attribute system is shown and explained as it is used in the refining process for the metal used with the fitting." They invite attendees of PAX East to drop by booth #581 today or tomorrow to see the game. Continue here to read the full story.
Irrational Games' Ken Levine has taken to Twitter to deny a report from the New York Times on the budget for BioShock Infinite, Irrational's upcoming first-person shooter prequel. The Times quotes an unnamed analyst saying the game will end up costing $200 million, divided equally between development and marketing. As hard as it is to imagine a paper nicknamed "The Old Gray Lady" could be off-base about video games, Levine indicates this story is inaccurate, saying: "200 million for Infinite? Did someone send some checks to the wrong address? #unnamedanalyst." He follows sarcastically: "Analyst: @IGLevine 's American girl doll collection cost 200 million." Also, VG247 notes that IGN's review exclusivity has scored them a Waking Up in Columbia trailer and a Columbia Raffle and Fair trailer, each with gameplay walkthroughs narrated by Ken. Continue here to read the full story.
Original-Gamer.com - Exclusive Reviews: Crowding One Voice and Shunning Others. In other media mediums like music or movies, exclusive reviews aren’t used anymore as they appear to be naive with major outlets being shunned, which goes for all those independent bloggers too. Apparently though, this doesn’t affect the decision making made over at Take-Two Interactive. In fact, looking at the layout of the ‘review-in-progress’ that has been posted as of the publication of this editorial, there are several locations that IGN and Take-Two use with different retail partners to take advantage by posting advertisements in strategic places where readers can’t ignore an Amazon link telling where gamers can purchase the game.
Today is World Water Day in what has already been declared the "International Year of Water Cooperation" by the United Nations. Dealing with the world's supply of fresh water is serious business, so here's to making progress in managing our supply and demand of H2O. There's also a World Water Week planned for September, so on some level we can consider today a dry run.