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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

  

MS's PC Gaming Disregard to Continue

Shacknews has a list of 15 exclusives coming to Xbox One over the first year of Microsoft's upcoming new console. They also have word from Matt Booty, general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, that as far as those platforms go, the PC will not be receiving any more attention from them than it's been getting lately, which isn't much. He tried to explain to them they would offer Windows 8 gamers a range of experiences "from very, very casual games, like our very much improved and reimagined Solitaire, all the way to graphically complicated games like The Harvest." They called him on this, noting that as a port of a Windows Phone game, The Harvest was not exactly AAA material, and when they asked if Microsoft's first-party games for Windows 8 were lower-end, he didn't deny it: "We're talking about console games, but there could be some franchises that also end up with a PC game," Booty told them. "When I think about more connected experiences across those platforms, it's things that show up within that family of devices where we've got Xbox Live, like Windows Phone and Windows 8," and "not what you might consider a more traditional desktop PC game."

Ships Ahoy - Call of Juarez Gunslinger

Call of Juarez Gunslinger is now available, offering the new installment in Techland's series of western-themed first-person shooters. Here's word on the game's availability via digital distribution:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — May 20th, 2013 - Ubisoft announces that Call of Juarez® Gunslinger will be available on Wednesday, May 22nd, for $14.99 as a downloadable console title and on PC through digital distribution channels. There are just two days left before Silas Greaves starts dispensing his own justice in the old Wild West.

Call of Juarez® Gunslinger is a real homage to the Wild West tales and era. Players will live the epic journey of Silas Greaves, a ruthless bounty hunter who spent his life on the trail of the West’s most notorious outlaws. Now it is Silas’ time to tell his story, which is linked to the history of the Wild West era: a mix of myths and historical facts.

Made of memorable encounters with some of the West’s most notorious names such as Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Jesse James and Butch Cassidy, the game blurs the lines between man and myth. Call of Juarez® Gunslinger lets players live the greatest legends of the Old West.

Ships Ahoy - The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing

Neocore Games announces that The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is now available via digital distribution. Here's what to expect from the action/RPG loosely based on Bram Stoker's Dracula:

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an isometric Action Role-playing hack and slash video game. You can move and interact with point and click controls or hotkeys. You have a beautiful follower, the ghost of Lady Katarina, who is a great help for our hero and also his biggest critic at the same time. You can customize your character through a level-up system with improving different skills and combine them in several ways. You can tailor your skills on the spot with the game's unique PowerUp System: all active skills have 3 modifiers, called PowerUps. They are activated (charged) from Rage points that you gain as you kill your enemies, then you can boost your active skills in many different ways by combining these PowerUps. You can equip your character and also your follower with several items you picked up from the ground or bought from NPCs. The game also offers a co-op multiplayer campaign for up to 4 players, where you can hunt down the scientific nightmares with other members of the Hunters' Guild. In single-player mode you don’t need to stay online to play The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PCs This Summer

WBIE announces that Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition is coming to Windows PCs this summer, offering the fighting game kollection that was released for consoles over a year ago. The bundle combines the most recent installment in the fighting series along with all its post release content, "including intrepid warriors Skarlet, Kenshi and Rain, as well as the notorious dream stalker Freddy Krueger. Additionally, the game offers 15 Klassic Mortal Kombat Skins and three Klassic Fatalities (Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile)." The port is being handled by High Voltage Software, and the plan is to have this out via digital distribution on July 3rd, followed by a release in retail stores on August 6th. Here's more:

Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for PC features dynamic gameplay including Tag Team, Challenge Tower and a full feature length story mode. Players choose from an extensive lineup of the game’s iconic warriors and challenge their friends in traditional 1 vs. 1 matches, or gamers can spectate battles and interact directly with Kombatants online during the King of the Hill mode. The game supports the Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition Fight Stick and delivers full controller capability. Players will also be able to access achievements and leaderboard stats.

Metro: Last Light DLC & Season Pass Plans

Deep Silver announces plans for DLC for Metro: Last Light while also revealing a Season Pass program for such additional content 4A Game's just-released first-person shooter sequel. Here's word:

Larkspur, Calif., May 22, 2013 -- Deep Silver today announced that 4A Games will support the critically acclaimed Metro: Last Light with a series of original single player content packs throughout the summer.

  • The ‘Faction Pack’ and the ‘Chronicles Pack’ will include new, original single player gameplay that expands on the Metro: Last Light universe and story
  • The ‘Tower Pack’ will present a unique solo challenge to Metro veterans
  • Meanwhile, the ‘Developer Pack’ will give creative players some interesting tools with which to explore the world of Metro...

“Artyom’s story may have been concluded in Metro: Last Light, but there are other characters with stories to tell, some familiar locations that fans of the Metro series wanted to revisit, and some new challenges that 4A wanted to explore,” said Andrew Prokhorov, Creative Director at 4A Games. “Since completing the game we have been working on these new stories and hope to release them throughout the summer.”

The Metro: Last Light Season pass is available to download now from Xbox Live, PlayStation®Network and Steam for $14.99 / £11.99 / €14.99 or 1200 MSP now.

The first chapter will be the ‘Faction Pack’, set for release in June 2013.

Metro fans can pre-purchase all future DLC at a discount with the Season Pass, now available on Steam, Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and the PlayStation®Network. The Season Pass also grants an additional weapon, the deadly Abzats, a semi-automatic shotgun rifle with a devastating secondary fire mode that unleashes six shells in one blast.

15 Unreal Years

The Epic Games website reminds us today is the 15th anniversary of the release of Unreal, celebrating the occasion with a sale on Steam, though they seem to have overlooked the link to that (here it is, they offer 75% off on a five game bundle). Here's word on the anniversary:

It was 15 years ago today that Unreal started appearing on store shelves. Who could forget walking out of Vortex Rikers and seeing Na Pali, and the dreaded Skaarj for the first time.

How many hours did you spend exploring that amazing world? If you’d like to go back to experience it all again, we’re having a Steam sale to help you on your journey!

The Unreal Deal pack is on sale this week for an amazing 75% off. The Deal Pack includes, Unreal Gold, Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition, Unreal 2: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament 2004: Editor’s Choice Edition and Unreal Tournament 3 Black. That’s five games for $10.oo!

Tell us your favorite moments from the original Unreal below in the comments. We’ll chose two random winners this Friday to receive a Steam code for an Unreal Engine game and a vintage Unreal poster!

Don’t forget, you can get the original Unreal Main Theme on the Epic Games 20th Anniversary Original Soundtrack, HERE.

Ships Ahoy - Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes

Stardock announces the release of Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes, saying the standalone expansion for Fallen Enchantress is now available via digital distribution for $39.99 for newcomers to the series or $19.99 for those who already own Fallen Enchantress. This release video offers a developer overview of how this adds onto the fantasy-themed strategy game, showing why they state that "nearly every aspect of Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes has been improved, reworked and enhanced."This page offers an outline of the new content and features in the new release. Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Tech Trailer

Deep Silver announces DLC plans for Metro: Last Light and also confirms plans for a Season Pass to allow new video from Call of Duty: Ghosts offers a tech comparison between the new installment in the Call of Duty series and Modern Warfare 3. Here's word: "Call of Duty: Ghosts brings lifelike characters and immersive worlds together on a new, next-generation engine. Side-by-side graphical comparisons show the advances made from Infinity Ward's last release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." Continue here to read the full story.

GRID 2 Indy Trailer

Here's a video from GRID 2 celebrating this weekend's Indy 500 with a look at extra downloadable content players can get by preordering the upcoming racing sequel from Best Buy. This bonus content is The IndyCar Pack, which contains "two extra routes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Circuit plus the Dallara IndyCar and Indy 500 Pace Car liveries for the Chevrolet Camaro SS and Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Guns of Icarus Online Adventure Mode Funded

The Kickstarter for an Adventure Mode for Guns of Icarus Online, has concluded after raking in almost twice the $100,000 Muse Games sought to create this new persistent gameplay mode for their game of airship combat. This means they will be able to create the planned PvE/Co-Op AI Director, but have fallen short of the $350K to create a proposed Econo-Political System, the $500K to offer World-Building Tools, much less the ambitious goals they laid out beyond that. That said, it sounds like they are looking to fulfill that second goal anyway. "First I would like to thank all of our supporters, including those that purchased our current game as well as those that are helping fund the next phase. We're absolutely certain we can deliver a PvE experience that will live up to everyone's expectations and be a blast to play and explore. Says Muse Games CEO Howard Tsao. "On top of that we're going to strive to deliver the Econo-Political structure discussed in the Kickstarter event, adding dynamic quest and political relations to the PvE framework. While we fell a little short of the funding goal for that addition, we believe it is still within our grasp."

Age of Conan Turning Five

Funcom sends word that tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the release of Age of Conan, surprising us with a reminder of how long their barbaric MMORPG has been running. They are celebrating the occasion with special in-game events as well as changes to how member accounts progress going forward. All the details can be found on this page, and here's an overview:

Come join the celebration of Age of Conan’s 5th year anniversary, starting Thursday the 23rd of May 4pm CET/10am EST! The world of Hyboria is being invaded by huge boss monsters for five days in a row. Everyone can join in the fight against the creatures and have a chance of earning great rewards if the massive monsters are defeated.

But the in-game event is just one part of the anniversary celebration. Membership in Age of Conan: Unchained is getting greatly improved. All characters on Member accounts will now receive the Blessing of Asura item, which doubles experience points from killing monsters for one hour per day. They also earn one Alternate Advancement point, which can be spent at level 80 to learn handy abilities, for each level they gain. In addition Members more than triple the amount of Bonus Points they receive each month, which can be spent in the Item Shop, and still of course retain all previous benefits Membership entailed.

Everyone will also be receiving several gifts during the celebration, which among other things include Access Passes to Khitai – the great lands to the east, introduced through the Rise of the Godslayer expansion.

FIFA 14 PC Using FIFA 13 Engine

A tweet from Rob Hodson has word from the EA Sports community manager that as of FIFA 14, the PC edition of the association football/soccer simulation will once again be using an older game engine than the console installments in the series after finally using the same engine for the past two games. Even though the next generation consoles are closer than ever to high-end PC specs, word is the PC version will be hamstrung with the last generation engine rather than the EA SPORTS IGNITE engine they've announced. Here's word: "Clarification for the PC related questions earlier - EA SPORTS IGNITE will power FIFA 14 on Xbox One and PS4, not PC http://bit.ly/192nrNz." Thanks Strategy Informer.

Game Servers Vulnerable?

Computerworld notes a recent presentation (Adobe Acrobat format) from ReVuln, a security firm based in Malta, outlining vulnerabilities in several game engines. According to ReVuln, they have identified client and/or server vulnerabilities in CryENGINE 3, Unreal Engine 3, id Tech 4, and more, which can be used to launch remote code execution or denial-of-service attacks. The CW article notes that the developers of these engines, which power a significant number of games, were not informed of these issues in advance of this release, saying: "ReVuln doesn't report vulnerabilities to affected vendors. The company sells information about newly discovered vulnerabilities to third-party companies and government agencies as part of a subscription-based service." Thanks Ant.

Morning Patches

Morning Interviews

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 missed a call yesterday from the optician saying my new glasses are ready, so I didn't learn this was the case until after they closed. This has me a little crazy that I could be rid of my scratched-up old pair already, so I can't wait to head over today and pick up the new pair. They've been a problem for quite some time now with no such sense of urgency, but now that I'm this close (*holds fingers really close together*) to a solution, I no longer have any patience for this situation.

Glassy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Rocket Pets.
Astral Alliance.
Story: Anthony Weiner launches bid to become NYC mayor.
Science: Trust your memory? Maybe you shouldn't. Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: Photos of Tornado Damage in Moore, Oklahoma. Thanks nin.
Media: YouTube Through History.
Crazy Drunk Guy Charges an Elephant. Darwin thwarted. Thanks Mark.
"Surgeon Simulator" Opening A Beer On His Day Off.
Auction: "Rare" Harry Potter Book Scores at Auction. Still well preserved from 1997!
Follow-Up: The Wolverine - Official Trailer #2. Thanks reddit.



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