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Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013

  

Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders Announced

Kerberos Productions officially announces Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders, the new turn-based wargame that was first revealed last week. Though the game is newly announced, a playable alpha demo is already available for download from Gamer's Hell. Here are a bunch of screenshots and here's word, which says this will show up on Kickstarter at some point:

August 13th, 2013 – Following on the heels of their first highly successful crowd-sourced game, The Pit, Kerberos Productions is pleased to officially announce our next title, Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders! Inspired by classic wargames such as Panzer General, and steeped in the lore of the Sword of the Stars universe, Ground Pounders offers a new generation of gamers an updated taste of turn-based warfare!

Ground Pounders lets players control an army from one of three factions, comprised of several dozen of types of units, lead them across a variety of worlds, increase their experience levels and abilities over three campaigns, and use them to unlock special action cards that can be used to add unique effects to their single-player or cross platform multi-player battles!

Continue here to read the full story.

Defiance Add-on Next Week

The Defiance website has details on a DLC pack called Castithan Charge coming to Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on August 20th to the TV tie-in MMO shooter. This brief trailer teases the release, and they offer a feature list for the pack:

  • Play as a Castithan (you can even convert your current character if you’d like!)
  • Battle against the Volge in massive Siege battles
  • Access new Battle Arenas and earn a Castithan Blade reward
  • Duel other players in best-of-three matches
  • Drive the Raptor Truck, Defiance’s first 4-player vehicle
  • Fight with the new charge weapons, including pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles
  • Plus: new pursuits, new story lines, and more

Continue here to read the full story.

MechWarrior Online Adds 12-on-12 Combat

Piranha Games and Infinite Game Publishing announce that 12 vs. 12 match combat is now live in MechWarrior Online, their free-to-play mech game, stating they are "forever changing the way the game is played."This video shows the new 24-player support in action, and here's word: "VANCOUVER – August 13 , 2013 – Piranha Games and Infinite Game Publishing announced today that the popular free-to-play ‘Mech combat simulator, MechWarrior Online, now features long-awaited 12 vs. 12 match combat, forever changing the way the game is played. The update provides fans the ability to engage in true-to-MechWarrior combat, a crucial element of the official 1.0 launch later this summer. The latest enhancements to the game also sees the introduction of double XP for the first win of the day, allowing pilots to jump in and leap ahead in mastering their Battlemech’s abilities." Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches

The Bethesda Blog has word that The Brigmore Witches DLC is now available for Dishonored, saying this pack for the first-person stealth/action game is out on Steam, Sony Entertainment Network, and Xbox.com. They also have a Review Roundup showing the favorable notices this is receiving. Here's word:

We’re pleased to announce that Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches, the final add-on pack for Arkane Studios’ critically-acclaimed first-person action game, is now available worldwide via Xbox LIVE (800 Microsoft Points). The content will be available worldwide on Steam and the North America PlayStation Store later today and on the European PlayStation Store tomorrow.

In The Brigmore Witches, you continue your journey as the legendary assassin, Daud, and bring his twisted narrative that began with The Knife of Dunwall to a close. After discovering the identity and intentions of Delilah, the leader of the Brigmore Witch coven, you set out to disrupt her from completing a powerful ritual that will spell your doom. Having already been betrayed by your lieutenant, Billie Lurk, you must rely on feuding gang factions—the Dead Eels and the Hatters—to negotiate your way through previously unseen districts of Dunwall en route to Delilah’s stronghold. Regardless of the way you reach your destination, one thing is for certain – you will finally answer for your treacherous actions and fall before the mercy, or punishment, of the Royal Bodyguard and Assassin, Corvo Attano. Additionally, your power, weapon and item upgrades, Chaos level, and player actions from The Knife of Dunwall will carry over via a compatible save file option.

Legend of Dungeon Preorders Get Beta Access

Steam now offers pre-purchases of Legend of Dungeon, the indie RPG that was greenlit back in April. Those who buy the roguelike-like action/RPG/brawler in advance of its newly announced September 13th release date will get immediate access to the closed beta. Developer Robot Loves Kitty also says they will be showing off the game at PAX Prime at the end of this month. Here's the quickie profile of the game: "As you journey deep into the dungeon, you will find weapons, items, and long forgotten magic.. ..if you’re lucky, it might help you to fight off the droves of mysterious creatures you will encounter. There will be complete darkness to contend with, potions to quaff, secrets to discover, traps to avoid, hats to wear, and treasure that (if you make it out alive) will make you a legend."

StarCraft Universe Kickstarter

StarCraft Universe has now landed on Kickstarter, where the team behind this modification once known as World of StarCraft is looking to raise $80K (thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun and nin). This seems to now have the full support of Blizzard, as they describe this as a "free to play science fiction Multi-Player Online RPG played through Battle.net on StarCraft II. (No StarCraft purchase required)." Here's further word: "StarCraft Universe tells a story set in an alternate reality, where the ending of StarCraft II:Wings of Liberty has a grim conclusion for Kerrigan. Without the Queen of Blades to stop the hybrid’s assault, the protoss are overwhelmed and defeated. In this reality, what would the survivors of these shattered worlds do? StarCraft Universe tells this story." Here's word on why they are seeking funding for a mod:

Upheaval has been developing StarCraft Universe for over two years with no funding whatsoever, donating their time and effort to its development with no monetary reward. All developers on the project have had to return to work their normal day jobs, dramatically hindering the progression of the project due to its time intensive requirements.

After releasing the StarCraft Universe Beta Prologue: Chronicles of Fate to the public, we're hoping to receive backing from the awesome StarCraft community to push our project forward and expand the team with sufficient funds to expedite the development process. With your help, we'll have the time, motivation, and resources we need to put that fresh looking AAA polish on SCU and get it out to you faster, better, and sexier.

Saints Row IV Diary Video

A new video diary from Saints Row IV takes some more of the franchise's signature crazy pills to explain that "The Wheels of the Spaceship Go Round and Round." Here's word: "In this exclusive look behind the scenes Jim Boone, Senior Producer, Steve Jaros, Creative Director, and Steve Quirk, Art Director, from Volition explain how adding superpowers opened a whole new dimension for the gameplay in Saints Row IV while John Brunkhart, Weapons Designer and David Payne, Lead Weapons Artist, analyze what influence @EmperorZinyak's alien invasion had on the arsenal." The game is due in North America one week from today. Continue here to read the full story.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Stealth Video

A new video on IGN offers a walkthrough of the stealth experience in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, showing some skulking around in the assassination sequel underwater, in the shadows, behind cover, and across rooftops. The clip includes lots of gameplay, along with narration from Ashraf "Call Me" Ismail.

Watch Dogs Hacking Trailer

A new trailer from Watch Dogs (Watch_Dogs) teaches us that "hacking is your weapon" in the upcoming third-person phoner. Here's the background on what this shows us: "A software bug led to a breakdown of services during the Northeast blackout of 2003, including communication, transportation and power. Now, 10 years later, how much more secure are we? See the hacking features in Part 1 of the Watch Dogs gameplay series and discover how vulnerable we are." Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

IncGamers - Credit denied: The failure of videogame news sourcing. We are occasional perpetrators and frequent victims of this here.
Eurogamer did some actual journalism and (like Videogamer, who ended up with much the same quote) contacted publishers SEGA for their take on the affair. What they neglected to mention, however, is Videogamer’s original report that got this story into the wider press in the first place. Eurogamer’s piece links only to the 1csc.ru page, making it appear as if they just happened to be independently reading Russian-language distribution sites a day after the original story had spread, and then decided to ask SEGA about it. Possible. But unlikely.

If it seems like I’m trying to single out specific sites here, that’s not really the intent. Every gaming site in existence has been guilty of mis-crediting sources (by accident or malicious design) at some point in the past. IncGamers certainly isn’t immune. We’d made our share of mistakes.

But this stuff matters. It matters to readers, because if a site is regularly failing to provide correct credit to sources it probably isn’t an outlet you should be paying too much attention to. It suggests the writers there are either overworked, sloppy or just don’t care. Every time it happens, it validates the lack of trust readers place in games writing.

On Sale

  • All TrackMania and ShootMania Games on Maniaplanet. Save 50%.
  • Chaos on Deponia on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Deponia on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Survivor Squad on IndieGameStand. Pay what you want. Receive a bonus game for beating the average.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Val Kilmer: No one helps Batman. Thanks nin.

Blizzard TMs "The Dark Below"?

MMO-Champion reports that Blizzard has filed a new Trademark for "The Dark Below," speculating this might be an expansion for World of Warcraft or Diablo III, with one of their comments noting this seems to mesh with a comment they made about Gamescom suggesting this is clearly Diablo-related, while another notes that in World of Warcraft the boss Ozumat is the "Fiend of the Dark Below," suggesting this is clearly Warcraft related. The two oddities we will note is that our efforts to find this listing on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website were futile, as this is not one of the 89 Trademarks listed for Blizzard in that system (our search on a different system offered to let us buy the TM for $159.00). Also, what would seem to be an innocuous thread on this topic was deleted on the WoW forums, though a long thread remains. Thanks nin via Massively.

Ships Ahoy - Europa Universalis IV

Paradox announces the release of Europa Universalis IV, saying the empire-building strategy sequel is now available worldwide for Windows, OS X, and Linux via the digital distributors listed on this page. A new launch trailer celebrates the release with a look at the Empire of Sweden, stating in the description: "understand along with Sweden's enemies, that Moose is a dish best served cold." A demo was released on Steam just last week, offering the choice of four nations in a limited sample of the game. Here's word on the release:

NEW YORK — August 13, 2013 — Today, your dreams of leading a global empire shall lay dormant no longer. Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio have announced the official worldwide launch of the empire-building game Europa Universalis IV for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Paradox Development Studio is ready to take you to worlds both old and new in Europa Universalis IV, and give you the chance to conquer them – if you can withstand the double-dealing and aggression of your rivals. Europa Universalis IV gives you control of a nation to guide it through the years and create a dominant global empire in the Age of Discovery. The game offers unprecedented freedom through the use of exploration, trade, warfare and diplomacy to let you rule however you see fit. Strategists will face ruthless AI in an extensive single-player campaign, or be able to backstab friends and foes in 32-player online matches.

Continue here to read the full story.

GTA5 PC Confirmed?

Videgamer.com has word from an NVIDIA investor's call that seems to inadvertently confirm plans for a PC edition of Grand Theft Auto V. Here's their quote from NVIDIA senior director of investor relations Chris Evenden: "But much of this can be better served by a tablet. In contrast, gamers are preparing their systems for a strong roster of games coming this fall, including blockbuster franchises, such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Assassin's Creed 4."

The Witcher 3 Countdown

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt website now offers a countdown with no word on what it's counting. The timer has just under 28 hours remaining before it hits zero, so you can return there around 2:00 pm EDT tomorrow and see what's up, or watch the seconds tick away, like sands through an hourglass. In the meantime, they offer downloads of some "goodies." Thanks GameSpot. Update: Edited because "math am hard."

Volume Announced

MCV has the reveal of Volume, a new project from Mike Bithell, creator of Thomas Was Alone. The game will be playable at Eurogamer Expo next month and further details will be revealed at GameCity. In the meantime they have a teaser trailer showing off some stealthy gameplay and thievery as well as some content creation. They also say the announcement describes this as "Minecraft meets Metal Gear Solid" and includes following stylized tease:

[REDACTED] Does not kill. That would be far too easy,” the first details read. “Instead, he commits his crimes through stealth. He sneaks, he distracts, he avoids. He is never seen, and seldom heard. As he grows in popularity and notoriety, so will his inventory. Blackjacks, bugles, thunderclaps and veils are just some of the tools at [REDACTED]'s disposal.

The game will be released with hundreds of challenging and exciting environments, but that is only the beginning. Every area of the game can be remixed, added to and expanded upon. The community are free to take the game in any direction they want, even releasing their own takes on the core levels. This is a game which will evolve, warp and grow as players make their mark on [REDACTED]'s legend./quote}

Ships Ahoy - PAYDAY 2

505 Games announces that PAYDAY 2 is now available in North America, saying Starbreeze's heist game sequel is available in stores for consoles and via Steam for Windows PCs. Here is a batch of new screenshots and a launch trailer, and word on the release:

The award-winning PAYDAY 2 casts gamers as a member of the infamous Payday crew as they work their way through the biggest, most elaborate heists of their careers using the all new Crime.net system, overseen by the mysterious Bain.

Designed from the ground up to be the ultimate four player, co-operative experience, PAYDAY 2 features four new skill trees – the charismatic Mastermind, the heavy Enforcer, the gadget-crazy Technician and the super stealthy Ghost – which, alongside a versatile weapon modification system and all new mask creator, gives players the chance to live out their fantasy of being a career criminal.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

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

Was just raving yesterday with friends about the awesomeness that was Badger's Star Trek script in the new Breaking Bad. Then Ant sent in a reddit link to an animated version of the script done by one Matt Czap. Like Skinny Pete, I found the whole thing delightful.

Skinny Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Human Chop.
Zombie TD.
Media: StarTalk Radio: Viral Lightning Round with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Breaking Bad - The Musical (How to Make Meth).
Open Letter to Students.
How To Test a AA battery. Thanks The Flying Penguin.



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