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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013

  

Endless Legend Announced

Iceberg Interactive announces Endless Legend, a 4X strategy game planned for release next year in the works at Endless Space developer Amplitude Studios. "Creating a fantasy 4X game was a dream for all of us at Amplitude. The success of Endless Space and the support of our community have allowed to make this dream come true," says Mathieu Girard, CEO of Amplitude Studios. "With respect towards great games released before us, we intend to set a new benchmark in creating a rich, immersive, thrilling, and accessible 4X strategy game in a new fantasy setting." More details should be forthcoming, and in the meantime, here are the first screenshots.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 in February 2014

Konami announces a February 28th release date for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 in the U.K. The headline on the press release mentions dates for U.S. and Europe as well, but does not provide them (presumably around the same time). Dispensing with what it doesn't say, here's a bit of what it does:

Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has used the annual gamescom event to announce that its heralded Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will be released for PlayStation®3, Xbox 360® and Windows PC in the UK on February 28th.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is the sequel to 2010’s hugely acclaimed resurrection of the vampiric series, and builds on its critically acclaimed predecessor in every way. Following extensive consultation with Castlevania’s enviable fan base, the sequel expands upon the acclaimed epic with a new storyline, villains and visuals. It also boasts a wealth of key additions that will provide a more open world and immersive experience, as players assume the role of Dracula, who has been resurrected in the present day and charged with defeating a powerful threat as old as time itself…

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 picks up where the first game shockingly concluded, with Dracula in modern times weakend and yearning for release from his immortal bonds. Zobek his old ally makes him an offer in return for his help against Satan who is returning to the world to bring about the apocalypse and settle an old score for his defeat all those years ago.

The world of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 breaks new ground for the series, offering for the first time a truly open play area, which can be freely explored. Despite its modern setting, the game’s city shows a Gothic legacy that harks back to Dracula’s past, and is inhabited by a varied menagerie of Satan’s hordes. Players can freely wander the city, returning to previously explored areas as they accrue new abilities, while an all-new fully moveable camera allows users to pan around as they explore, highlighting the wonderful art direction the series is famous for.

Wargame AirLand Battle OS X/Linux Early Access

Eugen Systems announces the OS X and Linux editions of Wargame AirLand Battle are now available for early access for preorder customers and for owners of the Windows edition of their real-time strategy game. They celebrate this by offering a 50% discount on Steam. Here's word: "Steam players may now download the Linux and Mac early access beta versions of Wargame AirLand Battle on Steam, giving them immediate access to both solo and multiplayer. The multiplayer mode being PC/Mac/Linux cross-platform compatible, they will even be able to face or team with the numerous players already playing the PC version. Moreover, the Early Access Beta will automatically transform into the full version when the game officially releases on Mac and Linux next week."

Timelines: Assault on America in Next Month; New Trailer

Strategy First offers a new trailer from Timelines: Assault on America, 4 Flash Interactive's upcoming real-time strategy game based on an alternate reality where Adolph Hitler is assassinated in 1942 leading to Germany and Japan attempting a two-front invasion of the United States. The clip runs over five minutes and is mostly gameplay footage. Word is: "Using mine layers, destroying transport trains, and protecting the transports. Localization text not final." The clip concludes saying the game is due in September. Continue here to read the full story.

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Into the Black

Link of the Day: How not to load a truck on a trailer. Thanks nin.

XCOM: Enemy Within Announced

Firaxis announces XCOM: Enemy Within, an expansion for XCOM: Enemy Unknown coming to the strategy remake for Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 12 (11/12/13) in North America and November 15 in Europe (15/11/13 doesn't have the same ring). This will require the original game to play, but will also be accompanied by the simultaneous release of the XCOM: Enemy Within – Commander Edition, a standalone version that includes XCOM: Enemy Unknown along with all its DLC for the full experience. The news comes with this announcement trailer, a brief cinematic of a disrupted transmission from Mr. Smoketoomuch. Here's word on what to expect:

NEW YORK - Aug. 21, 2013: 2K and Firaxis Games announced today that XCOM®: Enemy Within, the expanded experience of the Game of the Year* award-winning strategy title XCOM: Enemy Unknown, will be available in North America on November 12, 2013 and internationally on November 15, 2013 for Windows PC, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Mac® (distributed by Feral Interactive).

XCOM: Enemy Within, the expanded experience of the award-winning strategy title XCOM: Enemy Unknown, will be available in North America on November 12, 2013 and internationally on November 15, 2013 for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and Mac.

XCOM: Enemy Within takes the incredible experience from XCOM: Enemy Unknown and adds an array of new abilities, upgrades, and weapons to combat new enemy threats. The expansion also provides players with all-new maps, tactical and strategic gameplay, and multiplayer content. There is no better way to experience XCOM than with the massive amount of new content added in XCOM: Enemy Within. Fans will experience an additional three to four playthroughs on average before encountering all of the new material included in XCOM: Enemy Within, providing nearly limitless replayability.

Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Expansion Announced

Blizzard announces Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, saying the first expansion for Diablo III will raise the game's level cap to 70, add new randomized and end-game content, and more, though there's no word that it will remove the Auction House that admittedly harmed the game. This trailer is the opening cinematic, with a link in the description back to the Reaper of Souls teaser page discovered last week, showing the action/RPG expansion will focus on destroying the soul stone that keeps causing so much trouble in a conflict against Death (and not the sexy Thanos' girlfriend version). There's also this gameplay teaser clip which introduces the new Crusader class, new environments, new monsters, and more. Here's part of the announcement: :

In addition to taking the story of Diablo III from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress in Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players continuing on with their existing Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Monk characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.

The expansion also accentuates the key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments to explore; epic new quests; horrific new monsters to defeat; and substantial updates to the loot experience, enabling players to further customize their characters with new and improved multilevel Legendary items, new Blacksmith and Jeweler item-crafting options, and more.

Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes—Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials—are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, returns as the Angel of Death in Diablo III's first expansion set: Reaper of Souls. Having seized the Black Soulstone and slain most of the guards protecting it, it now falls to players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world. Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader, a fierce melee warrior whose command of the battlefield is matched only by his unwavering conviction and uncompromising dedication to the Light.

Continue here to read the full story.

EVE: Valkyrie Announced

CCP Games announces Operation Valkyrie is in effect, announcing EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer spaceship dogfighting shooter using the EVE Universe, the setting of EVE Online, their hardcore MMORPG. This is to launch next year, and in the meantime, the EVE: Valkyrie website is online, offering a a trailer introducing the project. Here's the announcement:

Cologne, Germany – August 21, 2013 – CCP Games, the leading independent developer of massively multiplayer online games, today announced it has begun development of EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer spaceship dogfighting shooter set in the EVE Universe. The game uses virtual reality to give players the sense of being a real pilot in an EVE Online spaceship and will be released in 2014.

EVE: Valkyrie is the evolution of “EVE-VR,” the amazing virtual reality tech demo that debuted at EVE Fanfest 2013 and went on to win numerous awards at E3 2013 — including “Game of E3 2013” by PC Gamer and “Most Innovative” by IGN. The game will be developed at the company’s Newcastle studio.

“From the moment this year’s Fanfest attendees first got their hands on EVE-VR, the question has been, ‘When can I have this?’,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP. “What started as a passion project by a small, incredibly talented group of CCP developers became one of the most highly anticipated games of the year — before we even announced it. We have big plans for EVE: Valkyrie and I can’t wait to share more details later this year.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Rayman Legends Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for Rayman Legends, the upcoming continuation of this platformer series. This is unmentioned on the Steam demos page, and there's no word on what content the demo provides. Thanks DSoGaming.

The Elder Scrolls Online to Use Subscriptions

The Elder Scrolls Online tweets about a an interview with Matt Firor saying The Elder Scrolls Online will be using the subscription model that's almost completely out of style for current MMORPGs. Here's word:

Choosing the right business model is part of that. We are going with the subscription model for ESO.

We're building a game with the freedom to play - alone or with your friends - as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content - one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support. Charging a flat monthly (or subscription) fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play. Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren't willing to make.

The Elder Scrolls Online offers unlimited play for the first 30 days with the purchase of the game. The choice is yours to play as much as you want; hundreds of hours of content, PvP, etc - is all there for you to experience with the base purchase of the game. If you want to continue playing for hundreds of hours more after that first month you'll pay a flat fee for continued, unlimited access to the game.

We'll talk about further discounts, etc. later, but for now, we are very happy to finally announce our model. It's very simple - you pay once per month after the first 30 days and the entire game is available to you.

Terminator Games Planned

Though it's unmentioned on the Reef Entertainment website, there's a report on Dark Horizons saying Reef has picked up the license to make video games based on the first two Terminator movies, specifying that they have the exclusive console game rights for The Terminator, and the rights to make console and PC games based on Terminator 2: Judgment Day. They have a quote from a Reef spokesperson: "Here at Reef we are huge fans of 1984 & 1991 Sci-Fi action master-pieces. It’s an incredible opportunity and an equally huge responsibility to create a game that does great justice to the motion-pictures. We are studying all aspects and influences of the Terminator universe defined in Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. We have started on our journey and are drawing on all the diverse materials available to produce a high quality, authentic and exciting Terminator video game." Reef Entertainment is also still working on making a Rambo game, which is expected later this year.

Assassin's Creed IV Simultaneous PC Release

Back in June Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag director Ashraf Ismail gave indications that the next installment in the Assassin's Creed series would be released for Windows some time after the release of the console editions of the stealth/action series. Now games.on.net has a follow-up from Ubisoft saying they are still working on making this the first game where the PC edition is released simultaneously with the console editions. "The PC version hasn’t been delayed," says Ubisoft's statement. "We’re all still working towards an October 31 release date for all formats."

Shadow Warrior Trailer

A new trailer for Shadow Warrior offers gameplay and cinematics from the upcoming Shadow Warrior remake, recalling the tongue-in-cheek nature of the original, titling the clip "You've got Wang." Continue here to read the full story.

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Out of the Blue

Well, the second third of the summer is concluded, and was far milder in these parts than the first third of the season. I was just contemplating that yesterday, realizing had the summer started mild and then gotten hot, we probably would have suffered through once again without tumbling for an air conditioner. Purism aside, I think I am happier it worked out the way it did.

Summery Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Wreck Road.
Little Wars.
Science: What might have been? Visiting Mars and Venus with Apollo-era hardware.
Neil deGrasse Tyson on Magnetic Pole Reversal and Extinction. Video.
Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study.
Media: Draw My Life - Master Chief.
Animal Misadventures
Follow-up: August Blue Moon: Lunar Oddity of Night Sky Explained.
10 Elmore Leonard Movies You Can Watch Online Right Now. 8 is the new 10. Thanks JDreyer.



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