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Thursday, May 09, 2013

  

Shadow Warrior "Reimagining" Announced

The Flying Hog Studios Facebook page reveals that the Hard Reset developer is the studio working on the Shadow Warrior project reported earlier today (thanks Polygon). Their logo is now on the Shadow Warrior website, and here's the sparse announcement: "Our next project is finally revealed, we're working on a total reimagining of Shadow Warrior with Devolver Digital."

Sanctum Free Weekend; Sanctum 2 Preorders

Steam News announces that Sanctum 2 is now available for pre-purchase in advance of next week's release of the Tower Defense/FPS sequel. On a semi-related note, Steam News also announces a free weekend is underway for the original Sanctum, which can be played for free, and purchased on sale for 75% off.

Black Ops II Double XP Weekend

One Of Swords notes a tweet from Treyarch saying a double experience points weekend kicks off tomorrow for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, their military shooter sequel:

Double XP kicks off tomorrow at 10am/PDT (360,PS3/PC/WiiU) and runs through Monday 10am/PDT. What's that? You feel a sick day coming on?

Resident Evil Revelations Demo Next Week

Capcom announces the demo for Resident Evil Revelations is coming to Windows PCs via Steam and to consoles next week: "Good news! That RER demo we mentioned a week or so ago now has a release date - May 14 for Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop (Wii U), Steam and US PSN, with EU PSN getting the demp [sic] on May 15."

Diablo III Auction House Downtime Continues

An update to the Diablo III thread covering the aftermath of the recent gold-duping fiasco says the auction house downtime will stretch on for at least 24 hours more than originally anticipated. It seems the painstaking hand audit that that they have chosen has proven more complicated than originally anticipated. They remain resolute that this is the way to go over the database rollback the userbase is demanding:

> 5/9/13 12:10 p.m. PDT: As we mentioned earlier, we're currently auditing transactions that were performed on the both the gold and real-money Auction House following the discovery of a gold exploit after patch 1.0.8 released. For those just tuning in, we decided to perform a complete audit and focus on the few players that exploited this bug rather than performing a full rollback and taking everyone offline for a day (or more) – losing all the progress they made.

This audit is a time-intensive process, and to make sure that we can do a thorough job, we’re going to keep the Auction Houses in maintenance until that work is complete. Unfortunately, our previous estimate was incorrect, and for that I personally apologize. We don’t have a new ETA, but we anticipate that the service will be unavailable for at least another 24 hours. We’ll continue to provide updates in this thread regarding the status of our Auction House maintenance as they become available.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion DLC Next Month

Stardock announces that Forbidden Worlds, the first DLC for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is coming to Stardock's space strategy game on June 5th by way of digital distribution. The USD $4.99 pack will add new planet types, planet specialization, technologies, planetary bonuses and additional Steam achievements. Here's a feature list:

  • Four new planet types to colonize and exploit (Barren, Ferrus, Greenhouse, Oceanic), each created with beautiful high-res textures.
  • New Planet Specialization System: Dedicate your worlds to either social or industrial output. Devoting your planet to social improvements will increase its population and culture, at the cost of trade income and ship production. Choosing an industrial path will limit your growth and culture, but make your planet a trading and ship building powerhouse.
  • 15 new research subjects allow the races to conquer and expand onto the forbidden worlds.
  • Discover 40 new planet bonuses during your exploration of the galaxy, unlocking the dark past of the Sins’ universe.
  • Unlock five new Steam Achievements and display your mastery of forbidden space!

Ships Ahoy - Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 3

The Digital Combat Simulator shop now features online sales of Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 3, offering Windows PC gamers a continuation of the Flaming Cliffs combat flight simulator series. Here's a launch trailer, and here's the deal:

DUXFORD, UK, May 9th, 2013 – The Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics have released Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 3 for Windows PC. Lock On: Flaming Cliffs 3 (FC3) is the next evolution of the Flaming Cliffs series. FC3 features the F-15C, A-10A, Su-27, Su-33, MiG-29A, MiG-29S, Su-25T, and Su-25. FC3 aircraft provide an easy learning curve for new players and focuses on a broad range of aircraft including air-to-air fighters and ground pounding attack aircraft. FC3 adds a wealth of new features and improvements to previous versions of the Flaming Cliffs series. FC3 is a module of DCS: World, which makes it compatible with all other DCS: World titles like A-10C, Black Shark 2, P-51D, and Combined Arms.

Continue here to read the full story.

Defiance DLC Plans

Trion Worlds announces plans to release "as many as five" DLC packs this year for Defiance, their television tie-in MMORPG. Details are incomplete for the moment, but they say this will take several forms, "including a free component, a paid component and a store update." They offer what specifics they are willing to share for now in this blog update, and sum things up like this: "Set to provide fans with a flow of meaningful, exciting new content for the game, Defiance has its first major update coming soon. It has numerous performance enhancements, as well as new TV Tie-ins, one of which will utilize a new open world game mode called Sieges. It’s a crossover event that you don’t want to miss!"

Command & Conquer Trailer

This trailer is called Beyond the Battle: Part 1, offering a look at alpha footage of Command & Conquer, the upcoming free-to-play revival of the classic real-time strategy series. Word is: "In Part 1 of Beyond the Battle, we go back to our roots as we explore the formula that made Command & Conquer so popular and its design influences on the next installment. Join us behind the scenes for new reveals, never before seen footage, and exclusive interviews from the lead developers of Victory Games and Co-Founder of Westwood Studios, Louis Castle." Thanks Ant. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • Bethesda Weekend on GamersGate. Save 50%. Thanks MoreLuckThanSkill.
  • Fallen Enchantress on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Go Home Dinosaurs! on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Trials Evolution: Gold Edition on Steam. Save 25%.

Evening Patches

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: First Person vs Third Person (Splinter Cell: Blacklist). Crazy cool. Here's the behind-the-scenes. Thanks Ant.

Rumor: TimeGate Staff Laid Off

The entire staff at TimeGate Studios was laid off today, according to an unconfirmed report on Kotaku attributed to two sources. They say the troubled developer of Section 8 and co-developer of Aliens: Colonial Marines sent everyone home early, and their call to inquire about this was answered by receptionist who transferred them to voicemail. TimeGate recently lost over $7 million in a court case with SouthPeak Interactive over Section 8 and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and according to one of Kotaku's sources, SouthPeak won a court decision to convert this from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. Thanks nin.

Total War: ROME II in September; Preorder DLC & CE Revealed

SEGA announces a September 3rd global release date for Total War: ROME II, also revealing a preorder bonus and a collector's edition for the upcoming real-time strategy sequel. The game can be preordered from the SEGA store or one of the retailers listed on this page, and those who preorder any edition from a participating retailer will receive a free copy of the release day DLC. The DLC is called the Greek States Culture Pack, which adds three additional playable factions: Epirus, Athens and Sparta. Word is: "These factions have their own unique units, buildings, missions and win conditions alongside a distinct tech tree and, in the case of Sparta, will present a considerable challenge to the advanced player wishing to restore the famous city state to its former glory." The Collector's Edition is a limited run of 22,000 individually numbered copies in a pleather case. Complete details on the CE are on this page. Returning to the preorders, Dealzon has a coupon code for Green Man Gaming to save 25% off the retail price, and their Steam fulfillment includes the preorder DLC.

Saints Row IV Gameplay Video

IGN Video has a new NSFW video presentation for Saints Row IV, showing more of the insane administration of the game's President of the United States following the character's revent unveiling. The clip is narrated by Volition and offers seven minutes of footage from the open-world action sequel, showing off the dubstep gun, the presidential limo (a monster truck), weapon customization, the game's alien enemies, a playable mech, new activities, superpowers, gameplay freedom of choice, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

Thunder Wolves Preorders

Thunder Wolves is now available for preorder on Steam, where a 20% discount is to be had for buying the Windows edition of the helicopter action game in advance of its release next week. Word is: "Gratuitous explosions, overzealous rookies, endless ammunition - Thunder Wolves is a love letter to the macho, over-the-top action flicks of a bygone era. Plus, when was the last time you played a helicopter-shooter that wasn't a retro-remake? Even better, this one has local co-op." Here's a new gameplay trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Shadow Warrior Revival Planned?

A new website is now live at Shadowwarrior.com, a domain owned by 3D Realms since before the release of Shadow Warrior, their 1997 Build-engine first-person shooter. This is entirely one gigantic screenshot and no details, but the site is a mirror of this subdomain at Devolver Digital which also has this screenshot showing a dead yakuza. This suggests a more realistic follow-up to the first game, which was anything but, as the original Shadow Warrior was filled with tongue-in-cheek humor and goofiness which drew fire from some critics for being racially insensitive and promoting stereotypes, but 3D Realms defended at the time by saying the game was a send-up of bad kung fu movies. The site re-launch coincides with a Devolver announcing a Steam Greenlight campaign for Blade Analyzer Pro which seems to be a marketing spoof. Tying these together is that Blade Analyzer Pro is offered by Zilla Enterprises, which is the fictional evil corporation from the original Shadow Warrior. Thanks Kristian.

Diablo III Auction Houses Return Today

The Diablo III Forums have the latest on the auction house disaster in Diablo III. The reaction to the situation from the playerbase of Blizzard's action/RPG sequel seems resolute, as every one of the threads in their Popular Topics list relates to the situation. There's the post from Blizzard about the auction house being offline, a thread about how the increased monster density in version 1.0.8 is a positive development, and after that the discontent shows, as 40% of those threads request a rollback to a point before the exploit occurred (which Blizzard has said they won't do), 30% of them are petitions demanding said rollback, and the remaining thread suggests a class action suit. The auction houses are still offline following the inadvertent free money Tuesday, and word is they are taking a laissez-faire to bringing them back:

In order to allow auctions posted yesterday to expire naturally, we've decided to keep the gold and real-money Auction House in maintenance mode until tomorrow morning. We're currently targeting 10:00 a.m. PDT, but will provide an update for everyone at 9:00 a.m. PDT. At that point, we'll be able to give a much more solid ETA as to when the service will be up and running (or, conversely, if additional downtime is needed).

Gold trades are still disabled for the time being. Once we have an ETA for those being re-activated, we'll provide another update in this thread, as well.

Battlefield 3 DoS Attack

Battlelog has details on a denial of service attack EA is currently battling in Battlefield 3, their military shooter:

Despite our security measures, we have been working around the clock to mitigate the impact of an ongoing denial-of-service attack on our Battlefield 3 game infrastructure over the last several days. While the motives are unclear, the focus of the attack has been interference with network communications preventing access to multiplayer gameplay. At this point, no user data is involved. We share your frustration about the impact this has had to our service and the ability for many of you to play Battlefield 3. We are working tirelessly to mitigate the problem.

As a part of our efforts to resolve these issues, we’ve conducted rolling restarts of Battlefield infrastructure servers to apply some updates. Thank you for your patience and support while we work to get everyone back and playing Battlefield 3 as soon as possible. More updates to come.

Origin Update Adds Achievement Tracking

Origin News announces a new beta version of the Windows Origin client should now be available, with the OS X beta expected today (thanks VG247). They say this will roll out to the rest of the Origin "community" in the weeks to come, but those who want it now can still opt-in to the beta. Word is this adds streaming support, 64-bit enhancements, and achievement tracking:

After downloading this update, you'll notice that we've revamped the look and feel of the Application Settings menu. For PC users, if you've been broadcasting your gameplay, you'll appreciate the new ability to auto-archive your broadcasts. For you power gamers with muscular 64-bit systems on either PC or Mac, the new multilauncher will give you additional options for taking advantage of your hardware when starting up supported games. Finally, you can now keep track of all the achievements you've completed in Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, and Dead Space 3 on your Origin profile page. Start playing those games after updating Origin, and watch your Origin Point total (displayed underneath your name) increase by completing their achievements.

Chasm Funded; Preorders Begin

Discord Games announces their Kickstarter for Chasm is now funded with under three days remaining in the campaign for the 2D action/RPG platformer. To help maintain momentum, they have opened up preorders for the game through the Humble Store, and say they will be applying these orders to continue to fund stretch rewards past the end of the Kickstarter: "This pre-order system has no time limit other than the completion of the game, so we'll be able to keep striving for these Stretch Goals long after the Kickstarter ends."

Morning Interviews

Op Ed

The Indie Mine - On the Topic of Indie Games and Game Categorization.
Perhaps we’re just looking at this in the wrong way. Another way people tend to describe indie games is by calling them the innovators of the games industry, which can be true. Indie games do sometimes innovate, and the top-rated and best-selling ones typically do. However, this isn’t always true. While I’d love to say that indie gaming is all about innovation, often it really isn’t. Indie developers and studios also need to feed themselves, so they are often just as worried about turning a profit as big publishers and studios are. This isn’t necessarily a problem, although it does mean that even indie gaming tends to follow trends, meaning that many of the same type of game are sometimes released within a short period.

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

We've had a changing of the Char-Griller guard in Manstovia, as I have finally replaced my smoker. For a few years my grill was a Char-Griller outlaw with a side smoking box. This served admirably amid my abuse, as between 600+ degree fires for charring steaks and a stubborn unwillingness to cover it or take it in for the winter, it ended up more rust than steel and iron, and became a storage place for brushes and other accessories when I got a new grill. The new grill has no smoking capabilities, however, so it was perfect when the Char-Griller version of a kamado grill showed up at our big box store for about a third the cost of one of those more-famous large chartreuse ovoids. I haven't tried smoking with it yet, but am looking forward to that, and it will also serve nicely as a traditional grill which will allow some flexibility when using the rotisserie on the big grill. I was also happy to see that the old grill was adopted from the curb before the garbage men got it, so hopefully someone with a welder and more repair wherewithal than myself is rehabilitating it for further use.

Smoked Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Red Ball 4: Volume 2.
Links: First Screamingly Funny Trailer for Simon Pegg's World's End.
Stories: Man uses spoon to break out of Russian maximum-security prison.
Oscar Mayer rewards 105 year-old bacon lover with more bacon.
Man who was voice of Charlie Brown sent to drug facility for stalking.
Science: Acrotholus - New Dinosaur Species from Canada. Hosersaurus.
Keeping a Wolf at Home to Save the Species. Thanks nin.
Media: BioShocked. No spoilers.
MythBusters 10th Anniversary Fan Video.
Riker sits down. Thanks George.



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