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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

  

Steam Demos: GRID 2, PAYDAY 2, and Arma Tactics

Here's word on three recent demos on Steam. Frans pointed out the Arma Tactics and PAYDAY 2 demos were released last week, and today the GRID 2 demo raced onto Steam as well. Going back a little further, there is also a recent demo for The Stanley Parable. As usual, no details on the contents of any of these demos are provided.

Devolver's Blood Hint

Devolver Digital's Fork Parker tweets about the IP for Blood, the old-school shooter that Jace Hall proposed reviving in a project that eventually fizzled. Fork states even if you don't want the Shadow Warrior remake, buying it could inspire a Blood remake (thanks Wookiestick). Here's the quote: "Here's the deal, you all buy the hell out of Shadow Warrior and I'll go after that Blood IP real hard. #realtalk http://www.shadowwarrior.com/."

The Sims 4 Next Fall

EA announces The Sims 4 will be released in fall 2014:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) today announced that The Simsô 4 will be shipping in fall 2014 worldwide. In development at Maxisí The Sims Studio, The Sims 4 brings all new ways to play with life; powerful new creative tools, all-new Sims with enhanced emotion and intelligence, and a gaming experience where players control the mind, body and heart of their Sims to bring their stories to life like never before.

ďThose millions of voices will fuel our development process, helping The Sims 4 to be the most ambitious and the best game our studio has ever made. We canít wait to see our fans reaction when The Sims 4 comes out in fall 2014.Ē

ďThe Sims franchise has the best fans in the world and their passion and enthusiasm is at an all-time high,Ē said Rachel Franklin, VP and General Manager of The Sims Studio. ďThose millions of voices will fuel our development process, helping The Sims 4 to be the most ambitious and the best game our studio has ever made. We canít wait to see our fans reaction when The Sims 4 comes out in fall 2014.Ē

The Sims is one of the best-selling and most beloved franchises in the history of gaming. More than four years after its launch, The Sims 3 continues to be played every day as players exchange their creativity, stories and lifeís moments across an array of social networks to an audience in the multi-millions.

Pre-orders are available at www.TheSims.com/TheSims4. Those who pre-order now will receive the Limited Edition which comes with The Sims 4 Life of the Party Digital Content. The Sims 4 is coming to PC and is not yet rated by the ESRB. For the latest on The Sims 4 please visit the all-new franchise website at www.TheSims.com/.

Borderlands 2: TK Baha's Bloody Harvest Begins

The Borderlands 2 website has word on the release of the TK Baha's Bloody Harvest DLC for Borderlands 2, adding some spooky Halloween goodness to the role-playing shooter. Here's the announcement:

The first in the Headhunter add-on series for Borderlands 2, TK Bahaís Bloody Harvest, will be available beginning today via digital download* across PC / Mac via Steam, Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network worldwide** for only USD $2.99 / GBP £2.39 / EUR 2,99 Ä. Join the zombified corpse of TK Baha in a spooky, Halloween-themed adventure that can be played in a single sitting, alone or cooperatively (we recommend bringing friends!).

In TK Bahaís Bloody Harvest, the beloved, undead TK Baha tasks players with stopping the giant Pumpkin Kingpin from terrorizing everyone in the town of Hallowed Hollow. Once you take him down, his pumpkin head will become your trophy to wear. And donít forget about the candies! Each variety bestows temporary buffs to help take down your enemies.

Happy trick-or-treating and shoot-and-looting!

*The Borderlands 2 base game is not included in this digital download, but is required to play the content.
** Coming Wednesday, October 23rd on PS3 in Europe and Oceania.

Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham, a fifth expansion for Crusader Kings II that imbues the strategy game with the bane of the cocktail party, religious conflict. This is coming via digital distribution on November 18th, and to help catch us up on the project in a hurry, the first developer's diary is online. Here's word on the game:

Religion is the hot topic of the day and the faithfulís prayers have been answered; the divine powers at Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio today announce Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham. Introducing a Holy Grail of new features, the blessed fifth expansion of the globally acclaimed strategy/RPG Crusader Kings II honors the big three in Medieval Europe: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Deceit, politics and power are fine as long as they are in the name of one true god!

Become enlightened on Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abrahamís features and mechanics with the Paradox Development Studio team in a brand new developer diary: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/

Plunge into the powerful and profitable world of Papal politics, appointing your bishops, gaining influence with the College of Cardinals and reap the rewards of the Popeís money and favours. Show your devotion with the Holy Orders; their clout will come in handy when you want to expel troublesome relatives to a monastery! Pick sides of the Islamic debate, choosing to follow the rationalist Mutazili or opposing Ashari or play as a Jewish lord and restore the Kingdom of Israel. Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham features hundreds of new religious events no matter what doctrine you follow!

Get ready to get spiritual as you crusade your way to greatness in the name of YOUR one true god!

QVADRIGA Announced

Matrix Games announces QVADRIGA, a chariot racing strategy game. The game's product page is online with details, and since the game is heading into the beta phase, this page is where to sign up as a tester. Here's word:

During the Roman Ludi, not only gladiatorial fights or theatrical plays entertained the public, but also the thrilling, fast and dangerous races of the aurigas driving their four-horse chariots: the quadrigas! Symbol of Victory and Triumph, and seen as a Godly chariot (Apollo was often represented riding one) on the earthly world, it was the most important chariot adopted in ancient Roman circus racing. Rushing fast inside the Circus Maximus each auriga could not rely only on his horses speed, but also had to use strategy and wit.

Now, with QVADRIGA, players will be able to revive the historical races of Ancient Rome and became the greatest driver of the ancient world!

The game features historically modeled circuses with all their styles and particularities. Variable circuit sizes, lengths and shapes, from the classic Greek oval hippodrome to the standard Roman circuses for a total of 43 unique arenas. Thanks to the dual game system you can play the way you like: paused turn-based gameplay (static) or continuous real time action (dynamic). Events, trade, upgrades and bonuses; four factions, a huge campaign system with seven regions to travel and an expert AI. QVADRIGA is all this and much more!

Total War: ROME II DLC Free for a Week

Steam now features the Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack for Total War: ROME II, and while this will carry a full US$7.99 price tag, it is being offered for free to owners of the game between now and October 29th. "Weíve had more gamers playing ROME II, and for longer, in its first month than any other Total War to date. We are going to continue to work on gameplay feature balancing with our community who have been hugely helpful in feeding back on the game," says Mike Simpson of Creative Assembly. "Offering this DLC for free for the first week itís on sale is a celebration and a small thank you to them for helping us make this the biggest TW yet." Here's a trailer, and here's word on the contents of the pack:

The Nomadic Tribes favor cavalry, exclusively in some cases, providing for swift hit and run and massed shattering charge tactics on the battlefield. The three playable factions come with new buildings and building chains, technology tree, campaign objectives and new units both unique and for general mercenary use.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Кот улетел cat flew. Thanks nin.

Red Baron Remake Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter is underway from Mad Otter Games to raise a quarter-million dollars to develop an updated version of Red Baron, Dynamix's classic World War I combat flight simulator, designed by Damon Slye, creator of the original. They propose an easy-to-learn dogfighting game with a single-player campaign, a persistent multiplayer world with no subscription fees or pay-to-win, as well as a MOBA setting. They have put $250K into the project so far, and say alpha testing is near. Here's a bit more:

Red Baron will hit the sweet spot between simulation and game dead-on. We will emulate the controls of flight authentically but with a focus on fun and intuitive gameplay. Our design goal is to make it easy to play but hard to master.

You will be able to hop into your airplane and begin playing in minutes. The controls will be intuitive and easy to grasp. You wonít have to have a degree in advanced aerodynamics to understand how to fly and fight. Under the hood, the game will be running a complex and realistic simulation, but we will hide the complexities from new players and let them discover them over time at their own pace.

We want to focus on an immersive and gallant flying experience. It is not just about documental realism: placing every gauge, dial, and knob in the right place, but about confronting the player with the same challenges and psychological reality that WWI Aces faced.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag 101 Trailer

A new trailer from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag offers "Assassin's Creed 4 101," a nine-minute primer on the upcoming stealth sequel. Here's word: "In this preview of Assassinís Creed IV Black Flag, learn everything there is to know about the largest and most immersive Assassinís game ever created. See how Edward Kenway takes on the Golden Age of Pirates, and meet the outlaw characters that defined this unforgettable era. Experience the breadth of this open-world, including enhanced naval gameplay, expansive new environments, exotic animals and the vibrant underwater world. And learn more about new combat features and weapons, including dual-sword attacks, multi-gun abilities and the free-aim system." Continue here to read the full story.

Titanfall in March; $250 CE Preorders

Publisher EA and Developer Respawn announce a March 11, 2014 North American release date for Titanfall, which will be followed by the release of the mech shooter in Europe on March 13th. They add that a Collector's Edition of the game can now be preordered, warning this is in "extremely limited quantities," befitting its whopping US$249.99 pricetag. Details on that can be found on this page. The news is accompanied by two new videos, an Official First to Fall World Tour video showing gameplay and the reaction of those who got to see it, in case you decide you hold their opinions over your own. There's also an official Angel City gameplay trailer, but this just seems to be a rerelease of the previously released Gamescom trailer. Either way, there's no audience reaction on that one, so you're on your own. Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 4 Solo Trailer

DICE has released the official single-player story trailer for Battlefield 4, showing off a bunch of cinematics from the next installment in their military shooter series. The clip includes several snippets, and goes beyond the call of duty by punching out a pooch reminiscent of a competitor's feature. Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

Steam now offers the Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, the updated version of Eidos Montreal's action/RPG which adds The Missing Link DLC and Tong's Rescue pack (previous) preorder bonus as well as a new Game+ mode. Those who own that nasty old non-director's cut of the game on Steam are being offered a 50% discount, and an additional 25% off for those who also own The Missing Link DLC. Thanks nin.

Unreal Engine 4 VFX Trailer

A new "Inside Unreal" trailer from Epic games is part one of a look at some visual effects in the Unreal Engine 4. Here's word: "VFX in the Infiltrator Demo (part 1) takes a look at UE4's new visual effects pipeline, illustrating how GPU particle simulation and collision, dynamic particle lights and other VFX are used to ground the world and add richness to the environment in Epic's Infiltrator real-time demonstration." Continue here to read the full story.

Titanfall Announcement Today

A tweet from the Titanfall team from last night teases an announcement today that will reveal how to be the first (non press, at least) to play Titanfall, the upcoming mech game (thanks NowGamer). Here's word:

Be the First to Fall into Titanfall! Check back tomorrow for a special announcement. #Titanfall pic.twitter.com/h0AmjBRRie

Lords of Discord on Kickstarter, Greenlight

A Kickstarter from Herocraft seeks to raise £60,000 for development of Lords of Discord, a planned turn-based strategy game where battles are fought with creatures from the world of mythology. The game is planned for release next year on Windows, Linux, OS X, and mobiles, and they have just kicked off a Greenlight campaign to try and get the game listed on Steam. Here's a trailer showing off artwork and gameplay, and here's a description of their goals: "Lords of Discord is a turn-based strategy game set in a fictional fantasy world, inhabited by two opposing races: Humans and Demons, as well as the odd goblin, orc, giant spider and other nefarious creatures. Lords of Discord has breathtaking gameplay, incredible graphics, hand drawn characters and a carefully detailed plot and in-game reality. Drawing inspiration from games like the Disciples and the Heroes of Might and Magic series." Continue here to read the full story.

Monaco Adds Free Content

Steam news has a note saying Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is currently 60% off as a daily deal. As reported on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the heist game has also received a huge free content update as well (no room for that amid pages of DOTA 2 patch notes?). The update includes a new mini-campaign and Halloween-themed zombies while adding support for Linux and the Steam workshop. Here's word on this gratis patch:

FREE HALLOWEEN UPDATE!

Monaco Origins
New Mini-Campaign featuring the back stories of the 8 original characters.

Zombie Mode!
Zonaco - Your Flesh is Mine featuring new enemies, new strategies, new gameplay.

Linux
Yes, this means Steam OS!

Now with Steam Workshop!

GOG.Com offers Dark Matter Refunds

A forum post by the GOG.com team announces the etailer is stepping up and offering refunds for Dark Matter for those who feel deceived by the game's description, which they have changed (thanks PC Gamer). Here's word:

It's come to our attention that the gamecard for Dark Matter was not quite specific enough about the nature of the game and, as a result, it may be that some people bought the title with some misapprehensions as to how the game's story would end. Since we don't ever want to sell a game to someone because they believe it is something that it is not, we wanted to let you know about this and let you know what we're doing to make it right.

If you bought Dark Matter before 21 October 2013 at 15:00 GMT (when we updated the description to where we feel it adequately reflects the game) and you feel that the game wasn't as promised to you, please contact Support and they'll be happy to offer you full refund to your card or, if you''d prefer, games of equal or lesser value to the sale price of Dark Matter (which is $13.49).

We're sorry if anyone who bought the game isn't happy with the way it was represented, and we hope this makes it right for you guys.

If you've got any questions, hit me up and I'll try to answer 'em for you.

Ships Ahoy - The Sims 3: Into the Future

EA Maxis announces the release of The Sims 3: Into the Future, the eight-hundredth expansion for the wee people series. Here's word on how this will allow you to wet yourself and set accidental housefires in THE FUTURE!:

Set against the backdrop of the new world of Oasis Landing, The Sims 3 Into the Future gives Sims an opportunity to discover new adventures when they travel back and forth between the future and present worlds. Leap far into the future to experience new technologies such as wind carvers, dream pods, food synthesizers and more. Along with the advanced future living, players will be able to customize and create Plumbots to help them raise kids, cook meals and more. In a first for the franchise, decisions made in the present world can alter the future of Oasis Landing and change a Simís legacy. Blaze a trail towards Utopia and find a future filled with happy self-hugging Sims, or chart a Dystopian course and lead Oasis Landing into a state of desolation. Players will uncover new stories when they leap forward in time with The Sims 3 Into the Future.

Gatherings & Competitions

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

As I mentioned last night, Hudson the wonder dog is home, and doing much better. Her breathing has cleared up after about a liter(!) of fluid was removed from her chest cavity, her appetite is back, and she is very happy to be home. The EKG was pretty grim however, confirming what we knew, she is beginning to suffer from congestive heart failure. So her long-term prospects are poor, but at her age, that was the case before she fell ill anyway. I'll be able do discuss the results with her doctor today to determine the best way to make sure she doesn't suffer any further as this final chapter of her life plays out. Thanks you all so, so much for your kindness and indulgence during this very difficult time. Hudson has two kinds of people in her life: the friends she knows, and the friends she hasn't met yet, so you are all her buddies.

Wonder Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Age of Warriors.
Build Balance.
Links: Digital Attack Map.
Stories: PetChatz dispenses video, treats, scents on command.
Starbucks Is Criticized by Chinese State Media for Higher Prices.
World's worst airports to sleep in.
Science: To wake a sleeping herpes virus. Thanks nin.
Finnish team makes diabetes vaccine breakthrough. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag - THE MUSICAL (feat. Jack Sparrow).
NWA: NFL's most disliked players: Vick and Te'o top honors. Te'o's just naive. Vick's a dick.
Follow-up: An insecticide-infection connection in bee colony collapses.
Scalded by Coffee, Then News Media. Thanks Boing Boing.



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