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Friday, May 17, 2013 Happy National Day (Norway) Hurra, hurra, hurra!

  

Trion Layoffs

IGN has word on layoffs at Defiance and RIFT developer Trion Worlds, having confirmed the cuts after initially reporting this as a rumor. Their original report stated as much as 80% of the company's staff was let go, but Trion says this is "exaggerated" (though no numbers are provided as a correction), and also says reports that employees were being escorted from buildings and that some executives would not be receiving severance are "100% false." Here's Trion's official statement:

To best position Trion in a rapidly changing industry, we have reorganized our teams and are expanding our free to play offering. With Defiance, we delivered a great game that more than one million gamers registered to play and continue to enjoy. As we progress from launch to ongoing development of the game, we are adjusting our staffing levels to deliver new content and improved features. RIFT, and our other titles in development, were unaffected by these changes. We are very much looking forward to the free to play release of RIFT and are excited by the other new titles currently in development.

Alien Fear Renamed Alien Rage; Coming to PCs

CI Games now offers this trailer from Alien Rage, revealing this is the new title for the game originally announced as Alien Fear for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The clip concludes with a PC-DVD logo and the game's new product section also now lists the PC as a target platform for the game's release, planned for later this year. Here's word from the accompanying announcement: "Alien Rage (previously known as Alien Fear) is a hardcore sci-fi shooter. It has the DNA of the best classical FPS games together with stunning graphics that will provide long hours of satisfactory gameplay. It also includes a rich arsenal of weapons, various firing modes, 21 types of enemies including 8 bad-ass bosses – Alien Rage is true arcade FPS in a big way!" Continue here to read the full story.

Narco Terror Announced

Deep Silver announces Narco Terror, an upcoming co-op dual stick shooter in development at Rubicon Organization for release via digital distribution this summer for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Here's a teaser trailer showing off the game, and here's word:

Larkspur, Calif., - May 17, 2013 - Deep Silver and Rubicon Organization present Rick Quinn in Narco Terror, a sophisticated, action-packed twin-stick shooter that thematically harkens back to classic action movies from the 80’s and offers great diversity with several arcade gameplay sequences.

Ex-special ops Rick Quinn is a one-man-army and faces impossible odds. His beloved daughter was kidnapped by drug cartel leader Delgado, to prevent the use of a new tool that could expose the secret narcotics smuggling ring. Quinn is the deadliest weapon around, and will stop at nothing to get his daughter back.

An arsenal of customizable weapons, different ammo types from explosive rounds to tesla coils, grenades, power-ups, upgrades and character progression allow a rich variety in Quinn's crusade through hostile territory. Quinn also has a love for heavy machinery, and will be piloting helicopters and aircraft, battling through enemy lines consisting of massive tanks, armed helicopters and fast planes. Add different play modes from 2D side-scrolling to top down vertical sequences, all presented in blazing visuals, Narco Terror offers game play diversification never seen before.

Up to two players can lay a path of destruction in Narco Terror in both local and online co-op, with seamless drop in and drop out at any time.

Dishing out Justice, one grenade at a time!

Continue here to read the full story.

Team Fortress 2 Community Patch

The Team Fortress 2 Website announces the release of the Robotic Boogaloo Update for Team Fortress 2, a completely community-created update adding 57 new items to the teamplay first-person shooter. Here's word:

This update is 100% created by the TF2 community. And when we say everything, we mean everything—the in-game content, the update hub website, the animated short, the comic, even the splash images in the Steam store. Even better, everything you created avoided the classic trap of using other companies’ intellectual property. (Those of you working on a Darth Vader Pyro mask, we've got some bad news for you.) Plus, in a first for the Team Fortress economy, all the creators of the Robotic Boogaloo Update have decided to share the revenue earned from the sale of RoboCrate Keys. That means that everyone involved will be profiting from this update, not just the people making hats.

This doesn't mark the end of Valve-produced TF2 updates, by the way. As far as we’re concerned, there's plenty of room for both to happily co-exist. We're in uncharted territory here, and it's exciting to be exploring it with you. Amazing work, everyone!

Remember Me Trailer

VG247 has a new trailer from Remember Me, Dontnod's upcoming amnesiac action/adventure. The clip uses gameplay and cinematic footage to set the game's story, which is Memento meets Total Recall meets Billy Jack. They also have a bunch of new concept at from the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Infinite Crisis Gaslight Joker Trailer

The Infinite Crisis website offers a profile of Gaslight Joker, the version of the Batman villain that's one of the champions in Infinite Crisis, Turbine's MOBA game currently in closed beta testing. The Gaslight Joker looks like he's been hitting the Häagen-Dazs pretty hard, but still is fairly effective in the combat shown in this trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for PCs

Platinum Games creative producer Jean Pierre Kellams tweets a confirmation that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is coming to the PC platform. There are no details yet, here is what he says: "I am excited to see Rising hit the PC. BTW - direct all please direct PC MGR questions to @konami. :)" Thanks Joystiq.

April NPD Estimates

Bloomberg has details from the latest analysis of videogame sales in North America from the NPD Group. As is to be expected, all this talk of next generation consoles is not helping sales of those long-in-the-tooth last generation units, and as usual the guesswork about digital sales adds uncertainty to the results. Word is:

Hardware sales fell the most, declining 42 percent to $109.5 million, compared with a year ago, Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc. said in an e-mailed statement today. Software sales for the current generation consoles fell 17 percent to $254.3 million.

Sales of packaged game products are sinking as more consumers download games on smartphones and tablet. Gamers also are delaying purchases before Sony Corp. (6758) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) introduce their new consoles expected at the end of this year. Physical sales accounted for about 50 percent of total U.S. consumer spending on games, NPD said.

GameStop Stops Rainbow 6 Patriots Preorders

IGN notes that GameStop has stopped taking preorders for Rainbow 6 Patriots, prompting speculation that the planned next installment in the tactical shooter series may have been cancelled. Other retailers continue to offer advance sales of the game, so this could just be a glitch, though they consult with "a source with intimate knowledge of the retailer" who tells them someone must have "actively flipped a switch" to eliminate Rainbow 6 Patriots from its system, and that GameStop tends not to do this without official confirmation that a title is dead, adding that this was even more unlikely to a project that's appeared on the cover of Game Informer magazine, which is owned by GameStop. Ubisoft's response to their inquiry about this does not provide any reassurance, as the publisher tells them: "We have nothing further to share about Rainbow 6: Patriots at this time."

Rising Storm Preorders

Steam News announces that preorders are now underway for Rising Storm, the next installment in Tripwire Interactive's Red Orchestra series of military first-person shooters. Preorders come at a 15% discount and entitles purchasers to join the game's beta. There's an even bigger discount for owners of Red Orchestra 2, who will get an additional 25% off. Here's word on the game:

Rising Storm is the next game in the award-winning Red Orchestra franchise. Rising Storm goes to the Pacific Theater, adding more features, new levels, new weapons and new factions. The game will allow the player to fight across iconic locations from the famous island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, as the US Army and Marine Corps fight it out with the Imperial Japanese army and Special Naval Landing Forces. Players will experience beach assaults, jungle fighting, close quarters night fighting and more across Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Saipan, among other iconic battles. The player is able to take the part of either side – American or Japanese – battling it out online in multiplayer on up to 64-player servers.

7 Days to Die Announced

Dallas-based indie developer The Fun Pimps Entertainment announce 7 Days to Die, a voxel-based sandbox game set in a post-apocalyptic environment with FPS, survival/horror, RPG and tower defense elements they say will offer a "unique combination of combat, crafting, exploration, and character growth." The 7 Days to Die website is online with more details and a gameplay trailer. Here's a feature list:

  • Explore a modern, beautiful, fully destroyable, fully buildable, fully dynamic, hand crafted, huge voxel world with cities, forests, wastelands, deserts, plains and mountains. Explore hundreds of points of interest and every building inside and out!
  • Our advanced “Dynamic Block Stability Physics System,” simulates real-time structural integrity. Build it right or watch it come crumbling down.
  • Relentless enemies will stop at nothing as they claw, jump and break their way through the world in order to get to you. And watch out for the unique severely mutated.
  • Mine and loot a multitude of items and ingredients to survive creating hundreds of weapons, items and traps with the intuitive and deep “Crafting System” inspired by classic adventure games but modernized. No wiki required!
  • Uncover the truth as you find survivor notes that lead to better loot from the “Dynamic Story Generation System” which puts the player in charge of the story solving the “now what problem” that plague most voxel games.
  • Play solo, Co-op online with friends or in our unique “Zombie Nomad Mode” for a no rules experience!
  • Enjoy a fully destroyable voxel-based world blowing up everything in the entire game or build it up bolstering the defenses of an existing structure or building your own fort to try and keep the zombies out.
  • Gain experience and upgrade your skills in melee, guns, crafting, and stealth!
  • Rummage and mine your way through the world finding food, water, loot and the resources you’ll need to survive and discover a purpose for everything in the world.
  • Build your own worlds and play them with your friends using the ‘Creative Mode Tools” featuring hundreds of block shapes and prefabs.

Orc Attack Gets Flatulent

Casual Brothers announces a name change for Orc Attack, saying this is now known as Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion, reflecting the biological warfare featured in the upcoming action game for Windows, PlayStation Network, and Xbox LIVE. They are all-in on this, as seen in the outline of the game's four playable characters: Sir Sniff, Doc Turd, Lord Poop, and Friar Krap, "each equipped with special fart-blasting abilities to out-stink their opponents," which are shown off in this new trailer. Here's more on the cheese-cutting road they are taking with this: "Casual Brothers announced today three pieces of news for Orc Attack, its fartastic action game for XBLA, PSN, and PC. First, the gas-blasting title has a new name: Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion. Second, a brand new gameplay trailer showcases the Orcs as they battle, belch, and fart their way to victory against the Humans. Third, Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion offers a four-player co-op campaign enabling gamers to inflict solo flatulent attacks or to team up to combine farts and belches for crowd-clearing combos." Continue here to read the full story.

Ride to Hell: Route 666 Trailer

Here's a new trailer from Ride to Hell: Route 666 Deep Silver's upcoming motorcycle action/strategy game. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but no one in this clip seems to demonstrate any such positivity, though it does tell us that using other riders for traction can help with your journey. The clip shows off cel-shaded graphics, and how strategy plays into the game, as well as reflexes. Word is: "In this new trailer, different classes of gang members and enemies are explained as well as how to arrange formations and how to finish off opposing bikers in close combat. Set up your team, choose your weapons and hit the road! Ride to Hell: Route 666 is scheduled for release on the PlayStation® Store and on Xbox Live® as an arcade game for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this summer." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

  • Grand Theft Auto V on Kotaku. Thanks nin.
  • Final Fantasy VIII on Kotaku. Hi-res PC version coming to Japan.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I went to the eye doctor yesterday, as the lenses in my glasses are so scratched they are becoming a problem. I also had a worrisome medical question about my vision that I thought I'd put to him as a precursor to asking my M.D. about it, and he was able to provide an answer. I've had a couple of incidents where I suffered brief periods of impaired vision, sort of like you'd get from looking at a bright light and then looking away. This was worrisome, to say the least, but his diagnosis was about as benign as I could have hoped, as he explained I've been suffering what are known as Ocular Migraines. These are apparently actual migraines, but the good news, and the reason I consider this somewhat benign, is because these are not accompanied by any pain, and they have been brief in duration as well as infrequent, so this is not really a problem that needs much solving. This is in contrast to the kind of scenarios that ran through my mind when encountering this, as I suffered some Woody Allen-style concerns about things like blindness and brain tumors, so this is obviously a relief.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Back2Back Commander.
Snail Bob 4: Space.
Stories: Palestinians can now order Kentucky Fried Chicken via tunnel to Egypt.
Science: Electric shocks to brain help students solve maths problems, scientists say.
Nasa's Kepler telescope failure is not the end of searching for another Earth. NASA!
Fossil named after Johnny Depp.
Images: Police Called To Set Free Grown Man From McDonalds High Chair.
Media: The Inbox - HAPSTANCE. Thanks nin.
16-Bit Queen Cover: Don't Stop Me Now by Young Beautiful in a Hurry.
Rodeo clown backflips over bull.
The Funnies: On the Road Again Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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