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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013

  

The Crew Delayed

A financial statement from Ubisoft covers the revelation from earlier that Watch Dogs is delayed and adds that they will be delaying The Crew as well (thanks nin via Polygon). An online action/driving game, The Crew was announced for release early next year, but now they say it will be released in their fiscal 2014-2015. Here's word on both setbacks:

"Our long term goal is to win the next generation. The tough decisions we are taking today to fully realize the major potential of our new creations have an impact on our short-term performance. We are convinced that, longer term, they will prove to be the right decisions both in terms of satisfaction for our fans and in terms of value creation for our shareholders. We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft’s financial performance. In a context of growing successes for mega-blockbusters, the additional time given to the development of our titles will allow them to fulfill their huge ambitions and thus offer players even more exceptional experiences” stated Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot. He concluded “Fueled by strong momentum for PlayStation 4 and XboxOne, calendar 2014 will see the return of growth to the console market. Combined with the quality of our line-up and our strong financial situation, this growth will allow us to achieve record operating income in fiscal 2014-15 and 2015-16."

Steam Demo Catch-up: Flashback and Alien Rage

A couple of demos came out on Steam earlier this month we failed to note at the time. There's a demo for Flashback and another for Alien Rage (thanks Frans for the reminder). There are no particulars on the demos, so here's word on each game:

Flashback
20 years after the original game’s launch, Conrad is enlisted back to active service for the triumphant return of one of the most acclaimed franchises in gaming history. It’s not a reboot. It’s Flashback re-imagined. 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.

Alien Rage
Unleash a fury of powerful weapons as you blast your way through armies of Alien forces hell-bent on taking you down! Battle through 14 intense levels and prepare to face a barrage of beastly-sized bosses that will test your every skill. Each of your 10 weapons comes with two firing modes and you’ll need all of them! Battle hardened Alien forces will attack you from every direction using various flanking and attack moves. Built with powerful up-to-date graphics technology, awesome physics, destructible environments… experience a truly intense, oldschool styled shooter game!

Extraction Closed Beta

Nexon America has launched closed beta testing of Extraction, Splash Damage's upcoming multiplayer online first-person shooter. The official website is where to sign up if you are interested in participating, and here is their pitch to entice you: "Extraction’s closed beta will give players the opportunity to experience the game’s Objective, Stopwatch and Execution modes across several different areas of London. Players will be able to unlock a variety of Mercs, allowing them to approach Extraction’s closed beta battles in different ways. In addition to testing, closed beta participants will also be able to provide feedback to the development team. ECHO, a powerful analytics and telemetry system utilized during the game’s alpha period, will also be employed during the closed beta to help ensure a fair and balanced playing field."

Panzer General Online Closed Beta

Ubisoft officially launches Closed Beta for Panzer General Online, Blue Byte's upcoming online version of the WWII military franchise. Here's word on this free-to-play turn-based strategy/card-collecting game played in a web browser:

SAN FRANCISCO – October 15, 2013 – Ubisoft has launched the Closed Beta for Panzer General® Online, the upcoming free-to-play iteration of the long-running PC game franchise, Panzer General®. Developed by Ubisoft Blue Byte in close collaboration with Funatics Software, Panzer General Online represents a new direction for the series, delivering WWII tank combat via intense tactical battles and an all-new card collecting system, all playable for free inside of a browser.

Aspiring tank commanders can learn more and register for the Closed Beta at the following link: http://cf.panzergeneral.com/en-US/homepage

In Panzer General Online, users will take control of legendary armored units like the Tiger Tank or the Nebelwerfer rocket launcher in either single or one of several multiplayer modes. The skirmishes are set in historically-inspired battles such as Monte Casino and the Battle of the Bulge.

Steamships Ahoy - Solstice Arena

Zynga announces Solstice Arena is now available on Steam, offering the Windows version of their "speed MOBA" that supports cross-platform play with OS X and iOS. Here's a trailer and here's word on how they are trying to appeal to PC gamers: "From the beginning, we built Solstice Arena to be a great PC gaming experience -- one that was developed in parallel to the iOS and Mac game that players have come to love. Now, you can play Solstice Arena as a connected experience across PC, iOS and Mac. It’s the same game, played on the same server and most importantly, it’s balanced no matter what platform your team is playing on. Check out the new trailer, join the conversation on our forums, and prepare to fight." Continue here to read the full story.

How to Survive Trailer

505 Games and EKO Software offer the first trailer from How to Survive, offering a look at gameplay that places players on a zombie filled island, presumably off-season while airfares are cheaper. The clip explores some of "Kovac's Rules" for survival, as word is: "How would you adapt to survive on a Zombie infested island? Players must fulfil [sic] their most basic of needs - food, water and shelter - and make use of anything & everything they can get their hands on to craft & combine weapons and tools, from handmade shotguns to fishing rods or Molotov cocktail; just to make it through the night. Along the way players will encounter an ensemble of characters – some friendly, some less so – including the mysterious Kovac; author of the How to Survive guide. Will his work lead you to safety?" Continue here to read the full story.

Goodbye Deponia Trailer

A new official trailer says hello to Goodbye Deponia, the coming culmination of Daedalic's comedic adventure trilogy. The game debuts for Windows and OS X on October 17th/18th, and more details can be found on the Deponia website. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • Dust: An Elysian Tail on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Terraria on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Watch Dogs Delayed to Spring 2014

Ubisoft offers a statement "directly from the Watch_Dogs development teams" announcing a delay of the third-person phoner also known as Watch Dogs to Spring 2014 on all platforms. Here's word:

“Our ambition from the start with Watch_Dogs has been to deliver something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming. It is with this in mind that we’ve made the tough decision to delay the release until Spring 2014.

We know a lot of you are probably wondering ‘why now?’ We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune every detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the way you respond on the web, at events, press conferences and during other opportunities we have to interact. Your passion is what drives us.

We can’t wait to see you in Chicago next Spring. We are confident you’ll love this game as much as we love working on it.”

Galactic Civilizations III Announced for 64-bit PCs

Stardock announces Galactic Civilizations III, saying the next installment in the highly regarded space strategy series will be coming exclusively to 64-bit PCs. No release date is specified, but the Galactic Civilizations III website is offering a Founder's Edition that includes beta access and a $10.00 discount or a Founder's Elite Edition that includes alpha access, though the lack of features and additional bugs carry a hefty premium, as at US$99.99 it is twice the game's eventual retail price. This trailer celebrates the news, and speaking of celebrations, Stardock notes this announcement comes as they celebrate their 20th anniversary, which is also being commemorated by a Steam sale. Here's word on the game and how it will leverage 64-bit PCs:

Stardock announced the third installment of its award-winning PC strategy game series today as the company celebrates its 20th anniversary: Galactic Civilizations III, the long-awaited next chapter in one of the highest-rated strategy franchises of all time. Coming exclusively to 64-bit PCs, Galactic Civilizations III stays true to its core gameplay while adding new features including multiplayer, political intrigue, vastly improved visuals and much more.

"The move to 64-bit architecture heralds a new era of game development at Stardock," said Derek Paxton, vice president of Stardock Entertainment. "The technology allows players to experience a level of graphical detail and on-screen activity unprecedented in large-scale strategy PC games. It dramatically increases the size and scope of the maps, and opens the door for modders to add a virtually unlimited amount of new content to the game."

Galactic Civilizations casts the player as the all-powerful leader of a spacefaring civilization that must explore, expand and colonize new worlds across the galaxy. Dominating rival alien species through technological, economic, political and military prowess tests players’ cultural, ideological, and diplomatic skills as they pursue victory via peaceful or belligerent means.

Galactic Civilizations III gives players far more detail in the textures, models, and overall look of everything from the planets they colonize to the fleets they command. New interstellar terrain elements on the hex-based map like black holes and mysterious Precursor relics change the way players explore the galaxy. A completely overhauled ship builder puts nearly every element of starship design in players’ hands, while the new resource system creates fresh opportunities to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate.

WARFACE Goes Live Next Week

Though the WARFACE website says Crytek's upcoming free-to-play shooter is in pre-open beta testing (not to be confused with closed beta testing), word is the game will be officially declared live next week on October 21st. There are no other details accompanying the news, they simply say: "Sign up at warface.com for instant access to the game at launch."

Magicka: Wizard Wars Early Access

Paradox Interactive announces early access to Magicka: Wizard Wars is now available for early access on Steam, offering the first crack at this free-to-play strategy offering. Here's a trailer and here's word:

In Magicka: Wizard Wars, two teams of four wizards each will do their best to incinerate, refrigerate, and defenestrate one another in chaotic combat, utilizing the versatile, element-combining spell system of Magicka. With friendly fire in full effect, wizards will have to think on their toes and mind their aim as they contend with imps, enemy players, and each other. With short battles, skill-based spellcasting, and flammable friends, Magicka: Wizard Wars explores all the ways that teamwork can go horribly wrong.

The developers of Magicka: Wizard Wars will conduct a Q&A during a live streaming event on October 17, where players can ask which elements hurt the most and/or taste the best as tart filling. Join the stream at twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive at 9 p.m. CET (12 p.m. PDT).

Metro: Last Light Chronicles Pack Released

Deep Silver and 4A Games have released the Chronicles Pack for Metro: Last Light, saying the final DLC for the first-person shooter is now available on Steam for Windows and OS X, and the console versions are available on Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. "We hope fans of Metro: Last Light have enjoyed the additional content," says Andrew Prokhorov, Creative Director at 4A Games. "It has allowed us to experiment with some new gameplay ideas such as the ‘Ranger’ mission from the Faction Pack and the Tower Pack, and we have paid close attention to all the feedback. But we think the Chronicles Pack will be the fans’ favourite as it contains three unique story-based missions featuring some of the game’s best-loved characters." Here's a bit on the pack:

Featuring three original solo missions, the Chronicles Pack invites players to step into the shoes of some of Metro: Last Light’s enduring characters in gripping plotlines that run parallel to the story of the main game’s protagonist Artyom.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Trailer

A new Edward Kenway story trailer from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag introduces more of the saga of the main character in Ubisoft's upcoming stealth/action sequel. The clip concludes touting special edition preorders, and giving an October 29th release date for the last-gen console editions, which we are seeing reported as news, though this was announced last month. What seems to be new is word that the next-gen console editions will be released in November alongside the Windows edition. Continue here to read the full story.

Avadon 2: The Corruption This Month

Spiderweb Software announces Avadon 2: The Corruption, will be released on Oct 30th for Windows and OS X, with an iOS edition of their epic-length RPG sequel expected early next year, saying it "will be available on Steam as well as other sources and directly from the Spiderweb Software website." This trailer from a couple of months ago shows off the game, and here's a bit on what to expect:

As a Hand of Avadon, the Black Fortress, you once held unlimited power. Your word was law. Your homeland was united and prospered under the protection of the Black Fortress. Now that fragile alliance has collapsed. Rebellion rages, outside enemies gather, and Avadon lies in ruins. Will you fight to restore your power and bring peace to your realm, or will you join the rebels and forge a new nation? The decision will be yours in Avadon 2: The Corruption.

Avadon 2: The Corruption is an epic fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous world. Choose from five different types of characters, including the new Tinkermage class, each with dozens of unique spells or skills. Explore a gigantic world filled with secrets, artifacts, and a rich story. Experience multiple different endings and ultimately choose between saving your homeland or allowing it to fall and make way for something greater.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

My freefall picking NFL games continues, nailing the Chargers in an upset last night allowed me to squeak out a winning record for the week at 8-7, but I currently rank below their guest slot, which is, well, not impressive. The mediocrity is especially problematic: If I was a little below .500 I could justify making my picks out of a hat, and if I was losing most of my picks, I could just start picking the teams I think will win to lose, but as it is I guess I just need to keep relying on my judgment, as much as it has let me down so far.

Let Down Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Clicking Bad.
I'm Sticky.
Links: 10 Thinking Mistakes You're Probably Making. Thanks j.c.f.
Anthony Hopkins Wrote Bryan Cranston an Amazing Fan Letter. Thanks nin.
Story: Macy's To Stay Open On Thanksgiving For First Time. Black Thursday.
Science: Drug restores cells that are missing in MS patients.
Popcorn Makes Movie Advertising Useless?
Images: Hildy saw an interesting animal in the yard early this morning...
Tetris.
Media: Your gym teacher would be proud: A bear plays tetherball. Hey Summer!
Troy Baker Reads "The Killing Joke".
The Funnies: A Dangerous Game Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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