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Thursday, Jul 25, 2013

  

Neil Gaiman's Wayward Manor This Fall

Whohauntsneil.com is online as home to Wayward Manor, an upcoming Windows/OS X video game from the imagination of famed author Neil Gaiman. The site includes a video of Neil introducing the project and explaining why this story seemed best suited to an interactive format. He also explains that "the first part" of the game will be released this fall, and introduces the game's setting in 1920s New England, and the role of the player protagonist as a ghost looking to frighten residents of Wayward Manor. The website offers the chance to support the game's development with various pre-purchase tiers, ranging up to the opportunity to meet Neil for the spookiest dinner ever (for Los Angeles). There's more on the game's story in the announcement:

Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, WAYWARD MANOR players unravel the mystery of a ghost (player) seeking a peaceful after-life. After a remarkable cast of characters moves into Wayward Manor and wakes him from his post-mortem slumbers, the ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing. WAYWARD MANOR will be available just in time for the holidays on PC, Mac, and tablets.

WBIE Bringing The Witcher 3 to North America

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces they will distribute The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in North America when CD Projekt RED's RPG is finished next year:

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be responsible for the distribution and promotion of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in North America. The third installment of the Witcher saga will be released in 2014, developed by CD Projekt RED for PC, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft.

“The premiere of The Witcher 3 is the most important event in CD Projekt’s history. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is an extremely valuable partner for us because of their experience and established position on the American market, which is crucial to CD Projekt’s further rapid development. We’re very happy that our partners share our faith in The Witcher 3’s success and are ready to become fully engaged in providing promotion and sales support for the franchise in North America,” said Adam Kiciński, President, CD Projekt.

Tropico 4 Voodoo DLC Released

New Voodoo DLC is now available for Tropico 4, adding a new mission and related items to the island dictator sequel. The DLC is available from the Kalypso launcher, GameStop PC Downloads, and Steam for USD $4.99. Here's word on how this will allow you to do that voodoo that you do:

July 25, 2013, Ridgewood, NJ – Tropico fans have a new reason to rejoice, as Kalypso Media is pleased to announce a new DLC pack for Tropico 4, the city-building game loved by fans and critics alike. Aptly titled "Voodoo", the new DLC pack adds a Voodoo Curse mission, along with fun extras like the Voodoo Priest avatar costume, a new character trait and a new building, all designed to help El Presidente alleviate an evil curse placed on him by a Soviet sorceress. Can you, as El Prez, put together everything you need to save the day, while attracting tourists to the new Voodoo Manor building?

Lost Planet 3 Preorder Bonuses

Steam News announces they are now accepting pre-purchases of Lost Planet 3, which includes one of their escalating reward programs that will add bonuses as more copies are purchased. Here's the deal:

Pre-Purchase LOST PLANET® 3 now on Steam and help unlock special rewards. Possible rewards include weapons and character rigs from The Freedom Fighter Pack, The Punisher Pack, and The Assault Pack, plus free copies of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and Bionic Commando ReArmed.

The extreme and unpredictable conditions that characterised the Lost Planet series return, harsher than ever before. Lost Planet 3 reveals new truths about the foreboding planet and the colonial history of E.D.N. III.


Lost Planet 3 will deliver a diverse range of gameplay including on-foot battles and intense first person action. With a number of multiplayer modes and a compelling single player experience, Lost Planet 3 will delve deeper into the Lost Planet universe, uncovering hidden truths within the unique and dynamic environment of E.D.N. III.

Total War: ROME II Trailer

This new trailer offers a decidedly unscripted look at the campaign in Total War: ROME II. Word is: "Trish Ryniak and Campaign Designer Dom Starr from Creative Assembly are discussing factions, diplomacy and the campaign map in this episode of Let’s Play – Total War: ROME II – Campaign. Dom talks us through some of the factions, houses and traits and how your starting choice could influence your entire game. Get a glimpse of some of the inner workings of the cities as he has a look around his latest in-progress campaign as Carthage, and take a peek at diplomatic relations and some of the sworn enemies he seems to have unfortunately made…"

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Into the Black

Shadows of the Eternals Kickstarter Returns

Precursor Games has a new Kickstarter campaign underway for Shadow of the Eternals, offering the planned renewed effort at crowdsourcing the funding of their spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (Precursor includes many former employees of defunct Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights). Here's word on the new campaign, and how it differs from the fundraising effort they cancelled last month:

The new Shadow of the Eternals Kickstarter campaign boasts a refined set of financial tiers and concrete goals that are easy and accessible. Precursor Games’ financial goal of $750,000 provides a fully complete, 8-10 hour action-adventure game steeped in psychological horror for PC and Wii U. And now, as Precursor Games is an officially licensed PlayStation®4 developer, the team has added the next-gen console as a stretch goal.

Kickstarter backers are all invited into the “Order of the Unseen,” an elite group of fans whose goal is to participate in designing the game through a unique community-driven model, by working directly with the developers.

Shadow of the Eternals is a single-player, story-driven action-adventure steeped in psychological horror that is the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube, 2002). The game weaves historical fact with disturbing fiction, centered around a Louisiana detective whose fate is somehow linked to the true story of the infamous Blood Countess Erzsébet Báthory in 17th century Hungary.

Developed by Precursor Games, Shadow of the Eternals is expected to launch in fall 2014 on PC and Wii U. For more information about Shadow of the Eternals, please visit www.ShadowOfTheEternals.com, follow the game on Twitter ShadowEternals or ‘Like’ the game on Facebook.

Steamships Ahoy - Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns has unlocked on Steam, marking the official release of this tactical RPG reboot from Harebrained Studios. The game is available as a standard edition and there is also a deluxe edition, which includes a soundtrack and a digital anthology chronicling the series and the creation of the new installment. Here's the elevator pitch on the game:

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.

In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.

The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

Rayman Legends PC Announced

Ubisoft announces a Windows edition of Rayman Legends, saying this will be released alongside the already announced console and mobile versions of the platformer sequel on August 30th in Europe and September 3rd in North America. Here are some screenshots from the PC edition, and here's word on the game, and how preorders include a free copy of Rayman Origins:

SAN FRANCISCO — July 25th, 2013 — Today, Ubisoft announced that its forthcoming title Rayman Legends, already announced for the Nintendo Wii U, Microsoft Xbox 360 Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation VITA, will now be available on PC. All versions will hit shelves in North America on September 3rd, 2013.

Rayman Legends has been praised for its stunning visuals and innovative gameplay and is herald as one of the most anticipated platformers of 2013. The game retains the fantasy appeal of its predecessor Rayman Origins while adding a multitude of clever and entertaining gaming modes, new characters, new environments and a new soundtrack. The award-winning team of artists, designers and composers have also returned with an advanced UbiArt engine to include multi-dimension gameplay elements, an improved lighting system and updated game rendering that elevate Rayman’s previous graphics to the next level.

As an added bonus, players who pre-order the digital version of Rayman Legends on PC from the UbiShop will get the original full version of Rayman Origins on PC for free!

Rayman Legends PC version is developed by Ubisoft Chengdu in collaboration with Ubisoft Montpellier.

For more information on Rayman Legends, please visit: www.raymanlegends.com

And for the latest on all of Ubisoft's games, visit the UbiBlog: http://www.ubiblog.com

Battlefield 4 Battlelog Details

EA sends along details on the updated version of their Battlelog service that will accompany Battlefield 4 when DICE's military shooter sequel launches this October. They illustrate this with some screenshots of the new interface, including the mobile version, and also offer a video where the developers show off what to expect (is it just me, or is Oskar Gabrielson practically a dead ringer for Cliff Bleszinski?). Here's a list of Battlelog advanced features:

  • Anytime, Anywhere – No matter where players go, Battlefield is always at their fingertips. Whether they’re heading home on the bus, taking a lunch break at work or lounging on the couch, players can log into Battlelog and check out their stats, interact with friends and much more from their smartphone, tablet, browser or directly through their console.
  • Battlescreen – Battlelog is now more seamless, offering a coherent second-screen experience to give players the chance to better enhance their game. Whether it’s highlighting attack points on the mini map, keeping track of squad members or playing as the team’s Commander, every move made in Battlelog reflects directly back to the game in real-time.
  • Real-Time Load Outs – Gamers can now switch their weapons, change their load outs and check their progression at any time, all with real-time results in-game. Players can also select servers or even launch a match from their devices, making the transition between game sessions easier.
  • Missions – Want to find out who is the best tank destroyer is or who can capture the most bases? A brand-new feature called Missions will allow players to custom create challenges for their friends to compete. Battlelog will also notify players when they have been kicked out of the number one spot so they won’t miss a beat to boot back up and fight for the title.
  • Geo Leaderboards – Battlelog is introducing targeted, geo-localized leaderboards that will allow players to not only compete with everyone in the Battlefield community, but with people in their city, in their country or on their continent. This is a great way for gamers to rank up while making new friends, or even adversaries, on the battlefield.

Continue here to read the full story.

F.E.A.R. Online Announced

Aeria Games announces F.E.A.R. Online, an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer game based on the F.E.A.R. series of supernatural first-person shooters. Though the name is quite familiar, other names previously connected with this series are not involved, as it's being developed by Korean company Inplay Interactive and does not involve series originators Monolith Productions, F.E.A.R. 3 developer Day 1 Studios, or expansion pack developers TimeGate Studios. Here's word:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – July 25, 2013 – Face your fear together with friends in F.E.A.R. Online! Aeria Games, a leading global publisher of free-to-play online games, announced today the upcoming brand-new installment in the popular horror FPS series. Developed by Korean company Inplay Interactive and being brought to the United States by Aeria Games, the new chapter in the F.E.A.R. saga will deliver hardcore multiplayer shooting action while furthering the dark and ominous story surrounding Alma Wade.

“We are thrilled to present the next entry in one of the most popular horror franchises of the last decade,” said Tom Nichols, Vice President of PC Games, Aeria Games. “F.E.A.R. Online will bring back the tense, heart-pounding action that the series is known for and make it accessible to a huge online community of competitive players.”

F.E.A.R. Online will focus on several team combat modes spanning over ten ominous maps packed with grotesque details such as still-twitching bodies hanging from meat hooks and messages smeared in blood. The battle rages between Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC) and the elite F.E.A.R. team. F.E.A.R. 3’s unique Soul King mode also makes a return, challenging players to possess enemies for new abilities and collect more fallen souls than their opponents.

Continue here to read the full story.

WRC4 Announced

Publisher Bigben Interactive and developer Milestone announce WRC FIA World Rally Championship 4 (WRCFIAWRC4?), a new installment in the WRC rally racing series coming to Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation VITA in October. Here's word:

25th July 2013, Milan (Italy) – Bigben Interactive in collaboration with the development studio Milestone, recognized racing videogame developer, announces WRC FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 4, the fourth chapter of one of the most loved series that will be on shelves in October 2013 for PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, Xbox 360® and Windows PC®.

Emotion, Authenticity, Simulation. Following the path taken with the previous chapter of the series, WRC 4 will feature a new amazing mix of elements with high graphical detail and real in-game sound. All these improvements are possible thanks to the community’s feedback. The main characteristics that will be included into this new game are: loyalty to the license, an exciting game experience, accessibility for first-time players and a dynamic and competitive online game mode. Among new features of this 2013 edition, players will have the chance to experience new lighting conditions, new weather effects depending on the stage, and a brand new Career Mode to put the player into real driver’s shoes . Realism and immersion are two of the most important pillars of the development, with impressive 3D environments and an HDR system that will grant the best in-game performance.

MotorGun Kickstarter Cancelled

The Kickstarter for MotorGun - Return of the Auto Duel is now cancelled as Pixelbionic reconsiders the plan for their car combat game. The campaign was launched under two weeks ago with the promising news that the project would include contributions from Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe and Interstate '76 designer Zack Norman, but after colleting under 10% of their $650K goal, they are going back to the drawing board. "In this case, what we were pitching wasn’t exactly what you guys wanted, their latest update reads. "So, as a result we’re making the tough decision to not drag it out, and we’re going to cancel the campaign and start working to reformulate it." They will be working on refining their pitch over the next few weeks and encourage those interested in this project to participate in discussions of their plans on the Pixelbionic website. Thanks Strategy Informer.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist Steam Preorders

Steam News announces that Steam is now accepting preorders for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, saying it's due "this summer" (last we saw the stealth/action sequel is expected for release on August 20th in North America). As incentives, they will include the Upper Echelon Pack DLC for free with all pre-purchases, and those who pre-purchase the Deluxe Edition will get a copy of Splinter Cell Conviction Deluxe Edition to play in the meantime. Here's word on the game:

The United States has a military presence in two-thirds of countries around the world, and some of them have had enough. A group of terrorists calling themselves The Engineers have had enough and initiate a terror ultimatum called the Blacklist - a deadly countdown of escalating attacks on U.S. interests. Sam is back in his tactical suit and goggles, and he’s more lethal and agile than ever. Granted the freedom to do whatever it takes to stop the Blacklist, Sam flies from exotic locales to U.S. cities as he races against the clock to find out who’s behind this devastating threat.

More Steam Greenlights

The Steam Greenlight page announces 16 new titles have been greenlit by the Steam community (simply posting this to the main Steam News could be one of the improvements to the Greenlight system Valve says they hope to make). Here's word on the 14 games (two of them are apps) this adds to the service:

Torchlight II Sells 2 Million

Runic Games announces that Torchlight II has sold more than two million copies, saying the action/RPG sequel has achieved "record sales" (presumably a record for a Torchlight sequel). They note that the original Torchlight sold over one million units in two years, and Torchlight II effectively doubled that accomplishment in ten months. "I'd just like to say a big thank you to all the players who offered their suggestions on what we could improve, and who stuck with us and supported us during development," says Runic Games President Travis Baldree. "It wouldn't have been possible without you, and we're humbled and grateful at your response."

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Out of the Blue

When I earmarked today for a good window of opportunity to put a pork shoulder in the smoker, there was one aspect of this I hadn't really considered, which is what to do with the pounds of pulled pork this would hopefully produce. Thus I have put this plan on hold until it will more properly coincide with having enough company on hand to help consume it all. I guess the trick there will be to keep the number of a pizzeria handy in case it turns out disastrously.

Shouldered Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Light Quest.
Jewels Hero.
Science: Clean, green high performance biofuels from carbon dioxide.
Citizen scientist detects Britain's first 'lightning into space'.
Playing LEGO on an atomic scale.
Media: Weightless Cats. Thanks brother19.
Cat Sees Owner After 6 Month Leave.
Everything Wrong With X2: X-Men United In 4 Minutes Or Less.



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