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Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 Anzac Day

  

Defense Grid 2 Announced

Hidden Path Entertainment announces they are developing Defense Grid 2, a full sequel to their tower defense game. The game was the subject of a Kickstarter in July of last year which reached the funding goal to trigger development of Containment, an eight-level expansion for the original game, but failed to reach the target to fund a sequel. Now word is this all inspired an investor to come in and make it rain: "The support and enthusiasm of the DG community got the attention of an investor who made up the funding gap. Now we’ve got enough money to make DG2." They say the game is being developed for Windows, OS X, and Linux for release through Steam next year. Here's what they are revealing for now of their plans for the game: "So much stuff. A new campaign, multiple planets, freakin’ MULTIPLAYER modes, user-created content support, new aliens, new towers and new characters, and the ability to create—wait for it—custom levels."

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Uprising for PCs Next Month

Activision and Treyarch announce a May 16th release date for the Windows PC and PlayStation 3 editions of the Uprising DLC pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, their military shooter sequel. Uprising is currently an exclusive on the Xbox 360, and as such is spending most of its time hobnobbing with celebrities on red carpets and other exclusive activities. Here's word on the pack:

Beginning May 16, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC players will have the opportunity to play Uprising, Activision and Treyarch's second epic DLC Map Pack for the record-breaking Call of Duty®: Black Ops II. Uprising includes four new multiplayer maps, plus "Mob of the Dead," a bone-chilling new Zombies experience that takes players to the notorious prison island of Alcatraz. Several of Hollywood's most iconic actors round out the cast of Prohibition-era mobsters, including Ray Liotta, Michael Madsen, Chazz Palminteri, and Joe Pantoliano to bring this horrifying adventure to life.

Death Inc. Developer Ambient Studios Closes

The Ambient Studios website announces the studio behind Death, Inc. is closing its doors due to financial pressures (thanks Eurogamer). The game was being funded by alpha sales and just was greenlit by Steam, but they apparently continued to struggle with solvency. Word is those who supported the alpha sales program will be getting refunds:

Hi all,

It’s time for a sad announcement: Ambient is shutting its doors. It’s been an amazing ride and we’ve produced some amazing products like Monster Meltdown and Death Inc. We’re super proud of what we achieved, but ultimately we didn’t manage to make enough money to keep the wolves from the door. And so we had to make the difficult decision that it is no longer feasible for Ambient to continue operating.

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement along the way, we’ve got no regrets and have loved every minute of it.

- The Ambient team

A Note On The Death Inc. Alpha

Obviously we cannot deliver on the commitments we made in the various Death Inc. alpha tiers. If you’re one of the alpha backers, don’t worry – we will be issuing full refunds so you will not be in any way out of pocket.

Dino D-Day Free Weekend; Sale

Steam News announces this is a free weekend for Dino D-Day that accompanies a sale on this historically accurate game that depicts the role of dinosaurs in World War II. Here's the deal:

Play Dino D-Day free until Sunday, April 28th at 1:00PM PDT. During the free weekend Dino D-Day is 75% off the regular price through Monday, April 29th at 8:00AM PDT.

Dino D-Day is a frantic, action-packed multiplayer game that transports you to a World War II that should have been. You and your friends can battle online choosing to serve the cause of the Allied nations or the Nazis.

Wargame AirLand Battle Next Month; Preorders Get Beta Access

Focus Home Interactive announces that preorders are now underway for Wargame AirLand Battle, adding that Eugen Systems upcoming sequel to Wargame European Escalation is to be released next month (Steam specifies May 22nd). These are being accepted on the game's website and on Steam, and this advance commitment will grant immediate access to the closed beta test, and there is a 25% discount for those who own the first installment in this real-time strategy series. Here's the deal, which references the visuals in this batch of new screenshots:

Wargame AirLand Battle, the sequel to the explosive real-time strategy game Wargame European Escalation, presents through 6 new screenshots some of its new battlefields, playable right now in early access Beta for all players who pre-order the game on Steam and the official website.

These screenshots show the huge gap separating the former battlefields from European Escalation to those of AirLand Battle. The new maps have evolved a lot since European Escalation: they are more varied, but also richer and more detailed, displaying impressive reliefs and huge urban areas, which all increase the strategic depth of Eugen Systems’ latest game.

The early access Beta gives an exclusive and immediate access to the ‘Destruction’ multiplayer mode, with the first 4 playable maps and pre-made army decks for all 12 nations of the game. Enough to plunge happily into the battle before everyone else, and participate in the last online tweaks before the official start of the conflict next month!

Good news never come alone: a special offer has been specially prepared for Wargame European Escalation players. For their pre-order, all owners of European Escalation get, ontop the Beta access, an exclusive 25% discount on Wargame AirLand Battle pre-order (on Steam and the official website)!

Wargame AirLand Battle will be available on PC in May 2013.

PES 2013 Patch & Data Pack

A news story from last week on the PES2013 website has details on a new version 1.04 patch and data pack 5.0 to be released today for Pro Evolution Soccer 2013. There's no corresponding news post about its release, but several Pro Evolution Soccer tweets indicate these are now available. Updates should work automatically, but a manual edition of the patch is also available through The Patches Scrolls.

Worlds of Magic Kickstarted

The Kickstarter page for Worlds of Magic shows that this 4X fantasy game from Wastelands Interactive has achieved its funding goal of £30,000 with a little under a week remaining in the campaign. Now their stretch goals are in play, as a seventh faction will be added at £35,000 and 20 roaming creatures (famed from the expanded version of the 12 Days of Christmas) will be added at the £40,000 mark. They have goals every £5K beyond that up to £60,00, but these are not revealed at this time.

Europa Universalis IV "Call to Arms"

Paradox Interactive announces a "call to arms" for strategy gamers looking forward to Europa Universalis IV asking them to help spread the word about the game "in an epic community-building campaign." This video explains the campaign (and also includes gameplay footage), and this page is where to sign up so you can collect the bonuses they are handing out to participants. Here's the deal, though they note that for some reason the trips to Stockholm have already been claimed:

The Call to Arms Rewards for loyal fans include bonus in-game DLC, a Developers Strategy Guide, Compendium Universalis, the e-books The Art of War and The Prince, and a copy of Europa Universalis III Chronicles. The “World Conqueror” rewards for the most loyal fans include exclusive beta access to Europa Universalis IV, a mention in the game credits, and a trip to Stockholm to play multiplayer with the developers.

GRID 2 Multiplayer Trailer

Here's a new trailer from GRID 2 called "Multiplayer Redefined Extended Cut" with an expanded look at multiplayer support in the racing sequel, showing how the game will allow players to develop rivalries with other racers around the world, participate in global tournaments and rise up the leaderboards. Here's word: "The multiplayer video gives gamers the first view of the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway Circuit in-game, the iconic venue which is the world’s largest sporting spectator facility and has been the spiritual home of American motorsport for over a century. The trailer also reveals the game’s powerful yet simple to use livery editor in action, which features up to six billion different design combinations so players can stamp their own identity online. Game modes including Checkpoint racing in Paris and street racing in Chicago are shown alongside RaceNet’s extensive suite of social features in the video." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Brutal Legend on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Rockstar Publisher Weekend on Steam. Save up to 75%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Michael Shannon Reads the Insane Delta Gamma Sorority Letter. NSFW. I missed this previously. Positively Oscarworthy.

EA Cuts Staff

Following shortly after a rumor that EA Partners is closing, comes an EA Organizational Update on the Electronic Arts website announcing recent realignments "behind priorities in new technologies and mobile" (ruh-roh) have caused them to cut staff. They are not specific, but there's an unconfirmed report on Kotaku saying they've "heard from a couple of sources" that this may affect as much as 10% of EA's workforce. Here's the statement:

In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees – those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends.

These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.

Darkfall Unholy Wars Launches Using New Steam Subscription Service

Steam News announces that Valve is rolling out the ability to pay for subscription-based games through Steam via a system they have chosen to call "Subscription Plans" for some reason. Darkfall Unholy Wars is the first game to use this feature and they say additional subscription-based games will follow. Word is: "Steam customers may now sign-up for, manage, cancel or renew game Subscription Plans at any time, online directly through Steam." Here's hoping they're including an orderly rollback function to ease that awkward point when so many of these games go free-to-play. More details on Subscription Plans are posted on Steam Support. On a related note, Steam News also announces the official launch of the aforementioned Darkfall Unholy Wars, a sandbox MMORPG with a $14.95 monthly fee that can be paid through the new service. Word is:

Darkfall Unholy Wars is an innovative, Real-Time, fast-paced, PvP, Sandbox MMORPG. Players are called to form clans and battle for dominance across the seamless, zoneless, uninstanced open fantasy world of Agon. Recruit and train new warriors, conquer fortresses and clan cities, engage in epic land and naval battles with thousands of concurrent players to build and defend powerful empires.

Ships Ahoy - Monaco

The Monaco Facebook page has news that Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is now available on Steam (the post is from 20 hours ago, so forgive our flexible use of the term "now"). Here's the official rundown on the game:

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is a single player or co-op heist game. Assemble a crack team of thieves, case the joint, and pull off the perfect heist.

  • The Locksmith: Blue-collar infiltration expert
  • The Lookout: She can see and hear everything... a natural leader
  • The Pickpocket: A hobo with a monkey and a penchant for crime
  • The Cleaner: A silent psychopath... Jack The Ripper in pink
  • The Mole: Big and dumb... likes to tunnel
  • The Gentleman: He doesn't always wear a disguise, but when he does, he looks fantastic
  • The Hacker: Armies of viruses shut down security... a modern day warlock
  • The Redhead: Manipulative and murderous... a lady always gets what she wants

Play with up to four people online or on the same screen. Compete with others via daily leaderboards. Find out why it won the 2010 IGF and has been described by Rev3Games's Anthony Carboni as "quite possibly the best co-op ever."

Spicy Horse Announces Hell Invaders

Spicy Horse Games announces Hell Invaders (working title) is the next game from this Chinese developer founded by expatriate American developer American McGee, saying this will be a collectible card game/RTS set in the Underworld coming to Windows, OS X, Linux, and tablets this fall. Besides the obvious element of the setting, here's how this will differ from similar games: "Hell Invaders features actual card battles--rather than two cards 'fighting' on a table, the creatures within the cards actually have 3D representations that fight it out--as well as cards that sport upgrades and swappable skills, so even cards for the same creature can be completely different." Here are some screenshots, and here's word:

April 25, 2012. Shanghai. Spicy Horse Games, developer of games including Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, BigHead BASH, and Crazy Fairies, revealed its next project is a collectible card game/RTS set in the Underworld with the working title Hell Invaders.

Hell Invaders features actual card battles--rather than two cards "fighting" on a table, the creatures within the cards actually have 3D representations that fight it out--as well as cards that sport upgrades and swappable skills, so even cards for the same creature can be completely different.

Players can battle it out in a single player campaign or take up cards and fight in PVP arenas. For more peacefully inclined souls, trading, card management and other social features provide ways to enjoy eternal damnation.

Hell Invaders is currently scheduled for a Fall release and will be playable on PC, Mac, Linux, and tablets.

Spicy Horse will reveal more on Hell Invaders, including the final title and publisher, in the upcoming months.

Zeno Clash 2 Punchthrough Trailer

A new trailer from Zeno Clash 2 offers gameplay from ACE Team's upcoming fighting game sequel in a clip described as a punchthrough due to the amount of punching the walkthrough involves. Publisher ATLUS notes there's under a week remaining to preorder Zeno Clash 2 on Steam and provides the following description of the clip: "The ACE Team shows off the first few minutes of Zeno Clash II in this gameplay punchthrough. Protagonist Ghat finds himself wasting time in a bar, when some of the local color decides to express their dismay at the new jail Golem has brought to Halstrom. After some fancy fisticuffs, Ghat's quest to free Father-Mother is on!" Continue here to read the full story.

Gone Gold - Metro: Last Light

The Metro Facebook page has news that Metro: Last Light is gold, and with development complete, 4A Games' upcoming shooter is on track for its planned release. Here's the short and sweet update on this: "Metro: Last Light is finally GOLD! Enter the Metro on May 14 (North America) and May 17 (Rest of the world)!" For a look at the game, a third Metro: Last Light Ranger survival guide video was released earlier this week.

GTA5 Trailers Next Week

The Grand Theft Auto Facebook page tip us to Rockstar's plans to release multiple trailers for Grand Theft Auto V next week on the Rockstar website. It sounds like there will be three of them, as they say "MICHAEL. FRANKLIN. TREVOR. TRAILERS 4.30." Thanks nin.

EA Partners to Close?

The EA Partners label is being shut down soon according to a rumor on GameInformer they say comes to them by way of "multiple anonymous sources close to the matter." This contract publishing service for indie developers was involved in the release of many successful titles, including the Crysis series, Syndicate, Brütal Legend, Rock Band, The Orange Box, and Bulletstorm. They also note that 38 Studios' Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning was part of this program, adding: "Whether EA was owed money by Curt Schilling's studio, and if so, how much, remains unknown." They say the two high-profile games still in the works at EA Partners are Respawn Entertainments' project (Titan?) and Insomiac's Fuse, and their sources tell them this move will not affect the release of either game. They also raise the salient question of how what they describe as a "lean operation of 50 employees" that "thrived on low overhead" which "capitalizes on EA's core publishing competencies and relationships" could have been a drain on company resources.

First BlizzCon 2013 Tickets Sell Out

The BlizzCon website has word that the batch of BlizzCon 2013 tickets that went on sale last night has sold out. Your next opportunity to get a ducat for the show will be Saturday:

The first batch of BlizzCon 2013 tickets are sold out!

If you weren't able to get tickets this time, you'll have another chance on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT, when a second batch goes on sale. In addition, tickets to a special pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County will go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT. In-depth coverage of BlizzCon will also be available through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket. Keep an eye on BlizzCon site for more details in the near future.

Lost Planet 3 Multiplayer Details

Capcom Unity has a post about Lost Planet 3 multiplayer support corresponding to the trailer released yesterday showing off the multiplayer support in the upcoming shooter sequel (they offer a new version of the trailer with the PC logo that was missing from the Japanese edition of the clip from yesterday). Here's the accompanying explanation:

The game will feature four different multiplayer modes spanning six diverse maps. We'll have even more info leading up to the game's release on August 27th (NA) and August 30th (EU), but for now we're showing off the Scenario Mode and Akrid Survival Mode.

First things first: check out the new multiplayer trailer and a heap of new screenshots and info after the jump. You can also look forward to lots more press coverage for the game over the coming days, including a special Unity video interview with the game's producer, Andrew Szymanski.

Scenario Mode sets each team with a series of either offensive or defensive challenges and mixes them up with the extreme and unpredictable conditions of E.D.N. III. Players can compete in both third-person on-foot action and in first-person combat using Vital Suits, a futuristic staple of the LP series.

Akrid Survival sees two teams of three players compete independently of each other in a series of encounters against waves of hostile Akrid before the teams go head to head in a final PvP elimination round.

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.

Out of the Blue

I make no secret, or some would say not nearly enough of a secret, of my affection for professional tackle football, so today is a very exciting day for me with the annual NFL draft kicking off tonight. It's hard to argue that geeking out over the draft isn't even dorkier than following the sport during the season, so to avoid further embarrassment I will refrain from trying to put into words exactly how amped I am for this.

Geeked Out Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Max Damage 3.
Stories: Walmart Sneaks "Man of Steel" Early.
Original 'Star Trek' Galileo Shuttlecraft Restored by Loving Fans. Thanks Jeffrey.
Obama warns daughters on 'family tattoo'. Sounds like a dare to me.
Science: H7N9 bird flu still spreading in China, worrying WHO.
Consciousness After Death: Strange Tales From the Frontiers of Resuscitation Medicine. Thanks nin.
14-Year-Old Burger Doesn't Rot- Food is 'Fairly Dry' When Made, Says McDonald's. Thanks j.c.f.
Images: Gotham's villains reimagined as 1920s mugshots. Thanks slipmat via Laughing Squid.
Unintentionally Funny Picture of the Day.
Media: The Steven Seagal Show.
How common are your physical traits? Only rare one I have is the dimples.
DOG GOES CRAZY when Soldier comes HOME. Thanks reddit.
The Funnies: Twaggies.



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