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Tuesday, Oct 01, 2013

  

Half-Life 3 TMed

Ars Technica has the hopefully hopeful news that Valve has registered a European trademark for Half-Life 3 to cover "Computer game software; Electronic game software; Downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices; Video game software." This could just be routine record-keeping, but it seems like Half-Life 3 might be the kind of thing that would give a nice boost to the launch of SteamOS. Just sayin'.

Battlefield 4 AMD Driver Issue?

The AMD enthusiasts at AMD Zone note some issues they've found in the Battlefield 4 beta using the just-released AMD Catalyst 13.10 beta 2, which are specifically for the military shooter sequel. They outline the problem and their testing, and have contacted AMD about their findings. In the meantime, they recommend those with AMD/ATI graphics cards roll back to the 13.10 beta 1 driver or the 13.8 driver.

Ships Ahoy - Flashback

Ubisoft announces Flashback is now available, a remake offering a flashback to the classic original back in the day. The Flashback website has details on the game and where it can be purchased, here's a launch trailer, and here's the announcement:

London, UK – October 1st, 2013 – Ubisoft® announced that Flashback, remake of the iconic 1992 title, is now available on Digital PC, and will be available tomorrow on Playstation Network for £7.99. On Playstation Network, PS plus members will benefit from a 20% discount. Flashback is also available on Xbox Live Arcade.

The original Core-Team revamped their own creation, leveraging the best of today’s technology while remaining true to the classic side-scroller that set the standards of the genre in the 90’s. A new generation of players can now experience a game that helped define sci-fi Action/Adventure games.

In addition to the updated version of the game, the original Flashback will be included so players can play the original game that started it all. Everyone can now discover the re-imaged cult classic hit as well as the original game you may have missed.

Conrad is back to save humanity from an invasion of alien Morphs set on absorbing our minds and incorporating our species! Rolling and shooting, always ready for another fight, help Conrad save the world and his girlfriend.

Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper Elite 3 Trailer

The Sniper Elite 3 website now offer the first trailer from the next installment in Rebellion's stealthy marksmanship series that's coming to Windows and consoles next year. Here's how this is described: "Check out the first footage of American OSS Agent, Karl Fairburne, in action in Sniper Elite 3 and back behind enemy lines deep within the exotic and deadly terrain of North Africa during World War Two; providing crucial sharpshooter support as the Allies battle Germany’s fearsome Tiger Tanks. But this dangerous intelligence mission quickly turns into a hunt for a new threat – a German technology that could crush Allied resistance for good." Continue here to read the full story.

Need for Speed Rivals Trailer

Here's a new "tech feature" trailer from Need for Speed Rivals showing off Progression & Pursuit in the upcoming continuation of the driving game series, showing the two different paths players will be offered in the game. Here's the explanation: "In Need for Speed Rivals, you can take on unique careers as both a Cop and Racer where your story, gameplay, cars, and tech differ for each side of the law. As a mysterious Racer named Zephyr, draw the attention of the masses in Redview County. In this trailer, you’ll get a look at some of the adrenaline filled moments that you’ll see on your Speedlist as a Racer, or the enforcement objectives you’ll be given in your Assignments as a Cop. Progress through your career, get access to faster, better cars and purchase more advanced tech to take out your ultimate rivals." Continue here to read the full story.

Guild Wars 2 Twilight Assault Launches

The Guild Wars 2 website announces the new Twilight Assault update is now live in ArenaNet's MMORPG, which is still in the midst of a free trial week. The patch notes are quite extensive, but we have a handy-dandy summary: "In Twilight Assault, trouble is stirring in Twilight Arbor and rumours abound that Scarlet Briar, the devious leader of the Aetherblades, is behind the suspicious activity. Players will join the sylvari hero Caithe in attempting to stop Scarlet’s scheming, but it will take daring, wits and weaponry to put an end to the mischief."

Total War: ROME II Patched

The Total War Wiki has the detailed patch notes on a third patch that's now live in Total War: ROME II with over 140 technical, gameplay, balancing and usability improvements. Creative Assembly also states that Patch 4 will enter public beta "soon," and will offer "further technical optimizations and improvements to gameplay, balance and usability." Here's the short version of what's new: "Technical optimizations include Campaign performance improvements on some hardware configurations, fixes for UI flickering in SLI setups, and a significant multiplayer campaign-speed boost. There are many new gameplay improvements, such as alterations to the victory point system, and chiefly a reduction in the circumstances in which victory points appear in battles. For example, when the player is attacked while occupying a minor settlement (though not a provincial capital), a new Sally Forth button is available on the pre-battle panel, which enables the player’s army to fight the attackers in an open field battle without victory points."

Evening Patches

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New Frictional Game Trailer

Frictional Games unveils a SOMA Systems website in connection with the recent tease of a new project from the developer of Penumbra and some other game series we can't seem to recall. The site continues to follow the system failure motif of the first reveal, but offers a partial system reconstruction with a live-action video titled "Vivarium" showing an encounter with an alien device and this garbled transmission:

The machine has the appearance of a heavily modified monitor fixed to a massive nest of cables and controls. Machinist Peter Strasky found the contraption during a salvage mission CORRUPT DATA the screen rolled and flickered, but it shut down as it was pulled out from the container.
None of the crew stepped forward to take credit, but the construction suggests CORRUPT DATA since Thabo is unavailable for questioning, the machine's origin remains a mystery.

Considering the lack of information and the general unease it has started to cause, the machine will be disassembled.

CORRUPT DATA screen lit up and showed distorted schematics. After trying different switches and keys, the oblique levers were found to be torsion attenuation controls which could stabilize the pict CORRUPT DATA revealing a complex set of instructions. The machine is now under quarantine.

AM Engineer Imogen Reed has asked for an exception CORRUPT DATA Special permission granted.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - NBA 2K14

2K Sports announces the release of NBA 2K14, the latest installment of this professional basketball simulation for Windows and last-generation consoles. Here's the news:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--2K Sports today announced that NBA® 2K14, this year’s installment of the top-rated and top-selling NBA video game simulation series*, is now available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC.

“Our goal with NBA 2K14 was to develop our finest basketball game yet by delivering more of our signature realism, incorporating innovative new controls, and adding unique game modes,” said Greg Thomas, president of product development for 2K Sports. “From our partnership with LeBron James to the meticulous refinements in gameplay, this year’s title cements NBA 2K’s legacy as the premier sports simulation experience.”

This year’s current gen NBA 2K14 package offers exciting new features, including today’s top Euroleague teams and Dynamic Living Rosters powered by Stats, Inc. Additionally, 2K worked to incorporate gameplay upgrades, such as Pro Stick TM; new Signature Skills; and offensive and defensive improvements to further balance player interactions.

War of the Vikings Early Access

War of the Vikings is now available for early access on Steam, offering the opportunity to get a discount price on Fatshark's multiplayer melee game and influence the final development of the project with brilliantly insightful feedback. Here's word from Steam News:

War of the Vikings delivers the next generation of Paradox’s close quarter combat focused brands that moves the setting to the Viking Age. All of these factors enabled us to create a game experience that has an increased intensity, improved accessibility, and more intuitive combat experiences ensuring you're always presented with interesting choices.

Additionally, check out the Blood Eagle and Valhalla editions to get bonus items including the Digital Artbook, Soundtrack, and special loot!

SimCity Modding Discussion

A post to the EA Forums looks to lay the groundwork for Maxis' support for modifications in SimCity. They are soliciting suggestions from players of their urban planning simulation for a first draft of their User Generated Content Guidelines, so that mods "do not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others" (sounds like that leaves the door open for an offline mode mod, but that would probably harm the experience of EA). Word is: "We want to have an open discussion with our community about what you want out of UGC SimCity and hear your thoughts about the first draft of UGC guidelines. The discussion will result in a clear set of final guidelines about the do’s and don’ts to UGC in SimCity." Thanks IncGamers.

Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter Ends Today

The Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9 will conclude this evening, wrapping up comcept USA's crowd-sourced fundraiser for this Mega Man-inspired side-scroller. There is no mad clamor to beat the deadline here, the project has already more than tripled its $900K goal, and has reached the stretch goal for next-gen console versions. There are a couple of additional stretch goals in sight though, the next one being for Vita and 3DS versions if they raise a little under 200K more before the campaign concludes. On a related note, here's a new trailer with a brief look at some placeholders and gameplay in what's described as an Unreal Engine Initial Evaluation Test. Thanks nin. Continue here to read the full story.

Space Engineers Trailer; Early Access This Month

Here's a new "Crash Test" trailer with some alpha gameplay footage from Space Engineers, the upcoming space sandbox game from indie Czech developer Keen Software House (Miner Wars 2081). They also announce the game will go up on Steam for Early Access on October 23rd. Here's word on the new clip: "New 'crash test' alpha video has been released. This footage demonstrates all sorts of damage and destruction possible in Space Engineers – small and large ships crash on an asteroid or station, two large ships crash together and more." Continue here to read the full story.

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse This Year?

Strategy Informer has a quote from Revolution Software about their release aspirations for Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, saying they hope to release the next installment in the Broken Sword series before the end of this year. If that sounds vague, that's because they are not "absolutely confident" in this yet. "At this moment we aim to finish the game before the end of the year. We really don’t want to give a date and then miss it. Once we are absolutely confident of the date then we will let you know," said a spokesperson. "More than anything we don't want to release the game before it's finished and polished... even if that means releasing it a bit later than we originally planned."

Terraria Patched

A new patch for Terraria is now available through Steam, updating the action/adventure game to version 1.2. There are details on the new version on IncGamers, where they describe this as a "huge" update with a load of bug fixes and a lengthy list of changes. They offer this summary: "There are also over 1000 new items, 10 new ores, four new wood types, 31 new brick types, new arrow and bullet types, new wing types, new vanity sets, hardmode items letting you change biome or increase your max health, and paintings, and trophies, and… look, lots of stuff. And also eight new friendly NPCs. And four new bosses. And over 100 new enemies. And 15 new pets. And friendly NPCs sell different items depending on the time of day and the biome."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I mentioned the other day we were expecting a new DVR, which arrived yesterday. The DVR in my office had started making grinding noises and throwing overheating warnings (yes, I've had bad technology luck lately) and the folks at DirecTV decided we finally rated one of their newish (and just redesigned) Genie units. The two wins here are its increased recording capacity and the ability to record up to five shows simultaneously, something that is very helpful nowadays. That capacity would have seemed like extreme overkill to me growing up in Brooklyn, where we had no cable and seven OTA channels and you were lucky (or seriously impaired) if you could find five good shows to watch in one week, much less at the same time.

Recorded Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Twizzed Firefarta.
Be Ready.
Link: J.J. Abrams apologizes for all those Star Trek lens flares. Thanks nin.
Story: IKEA selling solar panels. Imagine the assembly instructions!
Science: Physicists use blind quantum computing to verify results of quantum computer.
Fique fibers from Andes Mountains part of miracle solution for dye pollution, find scientists.
Media: Cute Russian Mario Animation.
A Short Story About Coffee.
Gravity is Much Better w/ Music.



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