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Thursday, May 16, 2013

  

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Free Weekend

Steam News announces that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently on sale, and the teamplay shooter is also free to play this weekend:

Play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 50% off the regular price*

CS: GO features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.

Lords of the Fallen Announced

CI Games announces Lords of the Fallen for Windows PCs and next-generation consoles (drink up!), calling this "a challenging and strategic" fantasy-themed action/role-playing game. The game is due next year, and they boast that development is being led by Tomasz Gop, former senior producer on CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings. The game is coming next year, and will be shown off in live demonstrations at E3, and in the meantime there's an image on its Facebook page, and here's the announcement:

WARSAW, POLAND – May 16, 2013 — CI Games, a fast-growing international publisher and developer of interactive entertainment, today officially announced Lords of the Fallen, a challenging fantasy action/role-playing game (RPG). Development of the game is being led by Tomasz Gop, former senior producer of the award-winning The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings. Lords of the Fallen is a demanding and strategic third-person action-RPG experience being created for next generation consoles and PC, coming in 2014.

“Our team is building Lords of the Fallen specifically for players who enjoy taking on huge challenges, where the odds are stacked against them,” said Tomasz Gop, executive producer, CI Games. “From the very beginning, Lords of the Fallen will intrigue and satisfy players’ hunger to explore each corner of a brand new world, freely customize and build their own character and take down some of the most epic enemies ever seen.”

Lords of the Fallen is a hardcore action-RPG featuring an advanced combat systems and robust class skill trees. Set in a richly created fantasy world where the Gods have failed mankind, players will take on the role of a human named Harkyn who sets out on a quest to stand against an apparently unstoppable supernatural force. Players travel across a world that is deeply dived by those that follow and others that resist, the Fallen God. Along their journey they will be faced with a series of decisions that will alter both the world and their character thus dramatically impacting the storyline.

Lords of the Fallen will be presented live at the Electronic Entertainment (E3) Expo in Los Angeles, California at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11-13, 2013.

For more information on Lords of the Fallen please visit: www.cigames.com or www.facebook.com/LORDSoftheFALLEN

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

Activision announces that the Windows PC and PlayStation 3 editions of the Uprising map pack are now available for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Treyarch's military shooter sequel. This offers the chance to fight undead movie mobsters on the rock, among other things, here's word:

Today, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC players have access to Call of Duty®: Black Ops II Uprising, Activision and Treyarch's latest 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, where four of Hollywood's most iconic mobster actors, including Ray Liotta, Michael Madsen, Chazz Palminteri, and Joe Pantoliano, lend their talents to the game to bring this horrifying adventure to life.

Following the tradition of the original Call of Duty®: Black Ops fan-favorite Zombies mode "Call of the Dead," Call of Duty: Black Ops II Uprising's wildly creative new "Mob of the Dead" Zombies experience puts players in the shoes of four Prohibition-era mobsters: Billy Handsome (Liotta), Al "The Weasel" Arlington (Pantoliano), Salvatore "Sal" DeLuca (Palminteri), and Michael "Finn" O'Leary (Madsen). All four are serving time in Alcatraz Prison, only to discover that being behind bars is the least of their problems. In order to survive, players must work their way through the steel cells and aging concrete buildings while fighting off a multitude of zombified prisoners and guards trapped on the island with them.

Uprising also debuts four new diverse multiplayer maps, each set around the globe:

  • Magma - Set within a modern Japanese village, volcanic eruptions carve multiple paths throughout the town.
  • Encore - Taking place in the aftermath of a deserted London music festival, Encore leaves numerous opportunities for run-and-gun, close quarters combat.
  • Vertigo - A futuristic high-rise mega-structure located in India featuring dizzying vistas and multi-tiered pathways.
  • Studio - A contemporary re-imagining of "Firing Range," the fan-favorite multiplayer map from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. "Studio" is a Hollywood movie back lot with a variety of cinematic themes that range from Sci-Fi to the Old West.

Fans can purchase Uprising as a standalone Map Pack for a suggested retail price of $14.99. Call of Duty: Black Ops II game sold separately, and is required to play this Map Pack.

David Jaffe Joins Autoduel Project

Indie developer Pixelbionic announces Twisted Metal creator has joined their advisory board to help create Autoduel, an online PC car combat game that is boasting of a "dream team" of developers (which includes Scot Kramarich, suggesting this may be a dream come true for Interstate '76 fans like myself). They plan on launching a Kickstarter for the game and promise details "shortly," and in the meantime they present their Facebook page and offer this announcement:

Santa Ana, CA – May 16, 2013 – Pixelbionic, an independent game developer committed to creating immersive action games, today announced that David Jaffe, legendary creator of gaming milestones Twisted Metal and God of War, has joined the company’s advisory board as a Creative Advisor for its inaugural project, vehicular combat game Autoduel™. Jaffe is the latest addition to Pixelbionic’s development ‘Dream Team’, assembled for the game by co-founders Maxx Kaufman - a founding member of InXile Entertainment and Art Director of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Kingpin: Life of Crime and The Bard’s Tale, and Mike Arkin - a Studio Head and Producer with over 150 published titles, including Die Hard Trilogy, Battlezone and the Tokyo Xtreme Racer series.

Other key members of the Autoduel team include designer Scot Kramarich - Lead Designer of Interstate ‘82 and Designer on Interstate ’76 - and coder Rafael Paiz - Senior Programmer on The Matrix: Path of Neo and Programmer on Redneck Rampage and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Joining David Jaffe on Pixelbionic’s advisory board are Zack Norman - creator of Interstate ’76, and Chanel Summers - a recognized leader in the field of interactive audio who while at Microsoft was instrumental in the design of the Xbox hardware’s audio capabilities.

Autoduel is a PC online multiplayer game which pays homage to epic car combat games of the past such as Interstate ’76 and Twisted Metal—while offering gamers the chance to see what can be accomplished when a talented team of experienced developers is unleashed on modern hardware with cutting-edge graphics and online multiplayer capabilities. The game combines the high-octane thrills and spills of team-based car combat with RPG-influenced persistence and progression gameplay.

In a post-apocalyptic future, warriors drive to survive in their tricked-out, heavily armed vehicles scavenged from the blistered landscape, armed with a deadly array of lethal weaponry. Autoduel features team-based combat in a variety of open arenas from abandoned cities to dried-up riverbeds. Players choose from over twenty unique cars which are divided into three warring factions - the Ratters, the Scavengers and the Techies. The cars can all receive a wide variety of upgrades, from mechanical modifications to the drivetrain and suspension, to a broad array of powerful weapons and protective armor which can be bolted onto the vehicles. Additionally, players can extensively customize the paintwork and add decals in order to show their allegiance and express their unique style.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - War in the East: Lost Battles

Matrix Games announces the release of War in the East: Lost Battles, the latest expansion for Gary Grigsby's War in the East, their World War II strategy game. Here's word:

Lost Battles adds more than 10 new scenarios covering some of the most interesting battles on the Eastern Front to the critically-acclaimed wargame.

Choose from short scenarios like Operation Konrad (Germany’s desperate defense of Budapest) and Operation Mars (Soviet offensives Operation Mars and Jupiter) or the longer ones like the Battle for Moscow (Operation Typhoon and the subsequent Soviet winter counter-offensive) and Vistula to Berlin (the final offensives through Poland and the fall of Berlin).

Adding to these are three full Campaigns: Winter 42-43 (the Soviet 42-43 winter counter-offensives including the recapture of Stalingrad), Stalingrad to Berlin Campaign ( the Soviet 42-43 winter counter-offensives which continues until the end of the war) and the 1941-45 Campaign (the standard full campaign with added sudden death victory conditions for both sides).

Batman Arkham Origins Teaser Trailer

This trailer offers a very brief tease for Batman Arkham Origins, the next installment in the superhero action series. The clip concludes saying we should expect the full trailer on May 20th. Continue here to read the full story.

The Elder Scrolls Online Trailer

The Bethesda Blog offers a new video showing off gathering and exploration in The Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming MMORPG. Word is: "ESO creative director Paul Sage describes how you’ll find useful, interesting items in every corner of Tamriel." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Dawngate, EA's MOBA Game Revealed

A new website is online for Dawngate, an unannounced free-to-play MOBA game in development at Waystone Games, an unknown developer, to be published by EA, a known publisher. They are already accepting beta signups on this page, offering the following explanation of what they are planning: "Dawngate is a new MOBA, built from the ground up to look and feel familiar while offering a whole new way to experience MOBA gameplay. Dawngate empowers you to forge the champions you love for the roles you want in a competitive arena, shaped by ever-evolving, community-driven content and story." Thanks Polygon via Superannuation.

Avalanche Steampunk Game on Hold

An interview with Christofer Sundberg on Edge Online talks about Avalanche Studios' upcoming plans, which are mostly vague, though they are positively forthcoming about most topics in comparison to the silent response to questions about a possible Mad Max game. The most detailed tidbit is the follow-up to the teaser image they posted at the end of February, which was not Just Cause 3, as speculated, but instead was for an unannounced steampunk game. And showing how fast-paced the world of game development can be, he explains that this game has gone from being teased to being on hold in just 10 weeks: "They were from a steampunk-style game we had in development that we put on ice. I really love that art style, and to combine it with sandbox gameplay is a dream of mine. Fortunately, being an independent developer I can control my own destiny and we’ll make something in that world sooner or later." Thanks Destructoid.

Metro: Last Light FOV Workaround

The Steam Community Forums have a follow-up post from 4A Game's Professor Pew announcing the promised FOV workaround is live for Metro: Last Light (thanks VG247) as they continue to work towards a less kludgy way to allow players to adjust the field of view:

A patch has been released on Steam to fix issues with AMD hardware, and improve performance for these cards. It's live now, but might take a few minutes to reach everyone. Restart your client or verify local files if it doesn't download automatically.

It also fixes a shadow visual corruption bug on AMD 7xxx cards, and fixes an issue with the game starting only in 3:1 resolution on some TVs.

In addition, you can now customize the FOV this way:

After starting the game up, the user.cfg will be updated with the r_base_fox attribute. You can find this in %LOCALAPPDATA%\4A Games\Metro LL\. Tweak it at your leisure!

Steamships Ahoy - Thunder Wolves

bitComposer Entertainment announces Thunder Wolves is now available via Steam, and that the console editions of this helicopter combat game should "be out shortly." Here's the pitch for the game: "In the two-fisted arcade shooter Thunder Wolves, the player becomes part of this formidable group of pilots who carry out every order, no matter how dangerous, with unequalled precision and speed, no matter whether it requires protecting an oil platform, destroying a chemical factory, or stopping advancing enemies in their tracks. Their goal is nothing less than saving the world, and this requires staying a step ahead of the terrorists by finding out just what they are planning." Here's a feature list:

  • Get ready for some old-school helicopter action in this relentless, adrenaline-pumping arcade shoot ‘em up.
  • Let the earth tremble! A fully destroyable environment allows you to unleash unprecedented devastation.
  • Choose the right equipment for every job! 9 different helicopters and a wide arsenal of weapons are available.
  • See the world! 13 action-packed missions in four different regions.
  • Carry out a wide variety of missions, from stealth and escort operations to seek and destroy missions.
  • Enemies galore: from terrorist foot soldiers and land vehicles to enemy helicopters.
  • Spectacular boss battles will stretch your gaming skills to the limit.
  • Local multiplayer mode tag team! Create a unit with a friend and fly into battle in co-op mode as pilot and gunner.

Frozen Synapse for iPad

Mode 7 Games announces that the iPad edition of Frozen Synapse is now available on the iTunes App Store. "I could not be more excited that Frozen Synapse has finally hit the App Store,” honked Joint Managing Director Paul Taylor, as he dangled bizarrely in his harness (that's straight from a press release). "We have dreamed of the day when all of humanity could scream ‘DO YOUR TURN!’ at strangers on the internet from anywhere that has wifi. Today is that day." The iPad version is interoperable with the PC edition, providing some flexibility. Here's a levity-filled feature list with the restraint not to mention playing on the toilet:

  • Experience the unmitigated joy of a full iPad conversion, not some miserably impoverished spin-off dross
  • Play the full single player campaign and every multiplayer mode from the original game with your hands
  • Enjoy full cross-play on the same account: start a game on your hulking great desktop and finish it on your sleek little posh tablet, perhaps during a boring family occasion
  • Luxuriate in the portability of tablet gameplay with a brand new interface crafted explicitly for your horrendous wiggling digits
  • Hotseat your way to both popularity and fortune (fortune sold separately) with local multiplayer! Passing your device around in a public place has never been more socially acceptable
  • And a whole lot more! (I have always wanted to write that)

RuneScape 3 Trailer

Here's a behind-the-scenes trailer from RuneScape 3, offering a look at Jagex's upcoming free-to-play browser MMORPG update along with a listen, as the clip is titled "The Future Sound of RuneScape." This provides background on the creation of the game's music, showing the recording of game music using both modern and historical instruments as well a chance to watch the game's voice actors bring life to its characters. They also outline the new dedicated audio servers that will stream "CD quality" audio in the game. Continue here to read the full story.

New Pro Cycling Manager Website

A new Pro Cycling Manager / Le Tour de France 2013 website is online, offering a new mobile friendly home to Cyanide's pair of bicycle racing series. They say they plan on posting the first gameplay videos there for each game soon, and in the meantime offer details and screenshots for Pro Cycling Manager 2013 for PC and Tour de France 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Morning Interviews

Op Ed

Nuclear Unicorn - At the Edge of Night- Who Owns a Woman’s Truth?
By now word has spread like a nauseating shockwave through the various channels and tributaries of the Internet: independent game developer Chloe Sagal “defrauded” online contributors to her IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign for what she’d called a “lifesaving surgery;” in the wake of the internet-mob-justice bacchanal that followed, Chloe made an apparent suicide attempt on a Twitch.tv stream. She is, as of this writing and to the best of my knowledge, recovering in a hospital. The outpouring of internet vigilantism that followed was an indistinctly undulating sea of noise, hate, and entitled egoistic rage. But there was one Tweet that bubbled to the surface and got everyone’s attention.

GamesBeat - When burn victims become arsonists: On public shaming in the videogames industry.
What instantly draws my gaze toward these oh-so-common floggings is the most common factor: those carrying the whips. Like clockwork, they labeled Allistair “transphobic,” demanded that he be punished, and seemingly dusted their hands off for what they perceived was a good deed. This is not the first time they’ve done so. Ironically, they are the biggest proponents for positive change, yet they seem so consistent with their own negative behavior. Their usual approach is far from persuasive, and is even potentially damaging.

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 know the NBA and NHL are not exactly collaborators, but knowing there is some degree of flexibility in game scheduling, I am sorely disappointed that their schedules call for the Knicks and Rangers to each play their next playoff games tonight, basically at the exact same time. That's just not right.

Playoff Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Disaster Will Strike 2.
Stories: Bacon Dogs Are Here! Thanks, Oscar Mayer. Thanks Cutter.
Science: Regular Marijuana Users May Be Skinnier, Have Better Blood Sugar Control: Study.
Star Trek's FTL Drive May Actually Work. Thanks Glom Central.
FDA halts U.S. poop transplants pending further review.
Canadian mine may host 2.6-billion-year-old ecosystem.
Media: The Ultimate Shopping Cart Fails Compilation.
A Russian father gives driving advice to his daughter. Thanks nin.
Office Golfer Is Full Of WIN!.
Auction: Huge colorless diamond goes for record $27 million at auction.
Follow-Up: Climate research nearly unanimous on human causes, survey finds.



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