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Thursday, Jan 09, 2014

  

Torchlight 2 Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway on Steam for Torchlight 2, Runic's action/RPG sequel. According to Steam news this will run from now until Sunday at 4:00 pm EST. Those who enjoy the experience may find themselves tempted by the current sale price on the game, as it is being offered for 75% off.

Outrise Revealed

An Outrise website is online to keep us informed about Outrise, an upcoming indie action game which will feature 15 on one asymmetrical multiplayer. Developers include vets of Hawken, Assassin's Creed 2, and Call of Duty series developers, and while this is currently self-funded, their may be a Kickstarter campaign in its future. Word is: "Outrise is very early in development and we are taking this opportunity to share our vision for the game with the community. Outrise is a game about multiplayer boss fights and asymmetrical gameplay. Remember reaching the giant boss at the end of a level? Now imagine that boss was controlled by your friend or someone online. We think of it as a multiplayer Shadow Of The Colossus meets Left 4 Dead and with old school sci fi look and feel." There are more details on this on Eurogamer after an exchange with Team Outrise creative lead James Wearing, who explains how this will differ from other recently announced asymmetrical MP games and fills in some further details on gameplay.

Mercury Steam Teases Next Game

Producer Dave Cox says Mercury Steam's still-unannounced next game project is in the works for PC and next-gen consoles that don't rhyme with p.u., reports GameSpot after participating in a roundtable interview with the developer. Details are scant, though they do say it will be "completely different" from the Castlevania series. They do recall a comment Cox made in 2012 that may be a hint, as he said "it's no secret that I'm a big fan of Contra and I'd like to do something in that universe."

DiRT 4 Tease?

A tweet from the DiRT feed warns that the picture included is a "spoiler," a play on the physical Subaru spoiler it depicts, though also a suggestion that this is a hint that something akin to DiRT 4 is in the works (though nothing of the sort came of the last time this happened). According to CVG the hint was previously a bit stronger, as when someone said "Let's hope you announce Dirt 4 in 2014," the Dirt Twitter feed replied "Fingers crossed" with a 'winky' emoticon. However, this exchange seems to have been deleted.

Steamships Ahoy - METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE

Steam News announces the release of the Windows edition of METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE, allowing players to take out bad guys without hiding under a box in the action installement in the stealth series. Here's word:

Developed by Kojima Productions and PlatinumGames, METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE takes the renowned METAL GEAR franchise into exciting new territory with an all-new action experience. The game seamlessly melds pure action and epic story-telling that surrounds Raiden – a child soldier transformed into a half-human, half-cyborg ninja who uses his High Frequency katana blade to cut through any thing that stands in his vengeful path!

This new PC version includes all three DLC missions: Blade Wolf, Jetstream, and VR Missions, in addition to all customized body upgrades for Raiden, including: White Armor, Inferno Armor, Commando Armor, Raiden’s MGS4 body, and the ever-popular Cyborg Ninja.

The Sims 3 Roaring Heights Roaring in Next Month

EA Maxis announces The Sims 3 Roaring Heights will be released on Origin on February 6th and to U.K. retailers the following day, as the next of their planned infinite series of expansions for The Sims 3, their lifestyle simulation. Here's the deal:

Today, EA and Maxis announced The Sims™ 3 Roaring Heights, a newly released world currently available for digital download on The Sims 3 Store, will be coming to Origin.com and retailers in the UK on PC/Mac on February 7. In this new world, players will be welcomed to a sparkling city nestled by the sea where their Sims will experience a bustling lifestyle reminiscent of the golden era.

The Sims 3 Roaring Heights is a vibrant city full of iconic Art Deco skyscrapers. Here, players will find new locations to take their Sims, dozens of clothing and décor objects to customize their game and will also get the Fixer-Upper Car. The Fixer-Upper Car is a classic vehicle that Sims will be able to work on to get into pristine shape. Once complete, Sims can take it out for a spin on the town, relishing in the breathtaking architecture and beachside bliss of Roaring Heights.

The Sims 3 Roaring Heights requires The Sims 3 base game to play, is rated PEGI 12 and will be available on Origin.com worldwide starting February 6, 2014 and at retailers in the UKon February 7, 2014. For more information on this world, visit http://store.thesims3.com/roaringheights.

Steamships Ahoy - Deadly 30

Deadly 30 is now available on Steam, offering a throwback side-scrolling shooter/tower defense hybrid from a two-person development team. Here's the release trailer and here's word on the game, which is 33% off for the next week: "Can you survive the horror? … a retro-style survival horror game developed by the two-man indie team of Gonzossm and Iggy Zuk. Survive 30 days and nights in a zombie-infested world by recruiting companions, upgrading weaponry and fortifying your position." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

I know, right?

Link of the Day: An Acoustic Videogame Medley - In One Minute. Thanks Ant.

NASCAR '14 for PC Next Month

Deep Silver announces a February 18th release date for NASCAR '14, saying this covers a previously unmentioned Windows PC edition as well as the announced Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. A new Tony Stewart trailer shows the driver squeeze into his fire suit before showing his avatar taking a few virtual laps in the game, and here is a batch of screenshots. Here's word, which includes details on preordering:

Deep Silver announced today that the racing game NASCAR '14, developed by Eutechnyx, will launch in North America on February 18, 2014 on the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC for the suggested retail price of $49.99. Pre-order offers at Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, Target and Amazon may include diecast cars, exclusive paint schemes and more.
Fueled by high-octane intensity and the opportunity to relive the best NASCAR moments from both the 2013 season packed into the game plus regular downloadable content updates as the upcoming season progresses, NASCAR '14 offers fans the most complete NASCAR® experience yet.

Recently NASCAR revealed that more than 700,000 votes were cast worldwide in the "Drive for the Cover" contest as fans voted Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to appear onto the cover of NASCAR '14. The injury that kept Stewart off the track didn't stop fans of the driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing from beating another fan favorite, four-time champion Jeff Gordon. Stewart plans to return to the track for the Daytona 500 race in February, the same month NASCAR '14 hits store shelves.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cities in Motion 2 Marvellous Monorails and Linux Support Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release of the Marvellous Monorails expansion for Cities in Motion 2, which is accompanied by the promised update to add Linux support to the transport sim sequel. Here's word on how the new expansion can help keep your city on track:

In Marvellous Monorails, Cities in Motion 2 players can add five all-new monorail vehicles to their fleets, and spruce up their layouts with elevated rails to carry them. Monorails, which work best on circular layouts, are ideal for inner-city connections, and offer a more affordable alternative to metro lines, with a choice of cars from big-and-slow to speedy-but-expensive.

"Stunning" Nitrous Engine Impressions

GameInformer has impressions of the Oxide's upcoming Nitrous game engine Stardock is showing off at CES as the technology behind their upcoming revival of Star Control, the seminal space strategy game, calling what they saw "stunning." The 64-bit cross-platform engine was announced in October by Oxide, a startup which includes developers formerly from Firaxis, and they note that Firaxis vet Soren Johnson is making his own game with the engine at his startup Mohawk Studios (a third Nitrous-engine game is in development internally at Oxide). Here's word on how Stardock demoed the engine:

The demo we saw featured two massive battalions of starships as they engaged each other in a massive space battle. The demo was entirely real-time and from a distance it looked like the the fleets were schools of fish quickly zipping in and out of cannon fire, but as we zoomed in on the action we could see that each ship was detailed enough that even the muzzle flashes from their cannons would illuminate their deck.

"The simulation is all an example of real gameplay," said Stardock's mysteriously familiar brand manager Adam Biessener. "Each one of these ships is its own entity with its own AI, its own firing solutions, and is tracking its own hostiles. Each shot is individually modeled. Basically we wanted to build an engine that opened new doors for strategy developers. There are a lot of great engines out there, but a lot of them are built for FPSs. We wanted to build an engine that could display thousands of units at once."

And Stardock has achieved just that. The demo we saw featured nearly ten thousand units and hovered around 30 frames per second the whole time.

BBC: Valve VR SDK Next Week

There's an article on BBC News with a look at the virtual reality headset technology being shown off at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. They look at Oculus Rift's new "crystal cove" units and go on to discuss Valve's interest in this area, saying Valve is releasing an SDK to standardize VR development at their Steam Dev Days conference on January 14-15 (thanks CVG). "Steam is in a unique position to be this intermediary between hardware and software and users," Valve designer Brian Coomer explains. "Without that its going to be hard for any device to get any serious traction." Here's more on the SDK, which will cover other ways developers can control games through Steam, including the Steam controller. He also says Valve is still working on VR hardware, as well: "There's also technology in development at Valve based around head-tracking and headset manufacture and design," he says. "We are working with other companies right now but we have not made any specific announcements."

New Hitman Absolution Mission

The Hitman Facebook page informs us that a brand-new contracts are available for Hitman Absolution, as one new mission is to be had for IO Interactive's stealth/assassination game on each platform. Here's word:

Brand new Featured Contracts for Hitman Absolution are now playable on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360!

Check out a donut shop massacre (360), a pyromaniac ice cream seller (PS3) and a haunted house (PC), if you dare...

Big Robot's Free Endless Racer

The Big Robot website offers Permutation Racer, a free game for Windows and OS X from the developer of Sir, You Are Being Hunted. This was developed as a procedural generation prototype, and here is what it includes: "In Permutation Racer you race against the clock to reach checkpoints, collecting stars (you can jump, don’t forget) and avoiding barriers or red spikes. Because it’s all mathematically generated, every track is different. This is just a prototype, so it’s very simple, but we think you’ll enjoy it. You might even recognise some of the procedural geometries from other images we’ve posted from our Lodestone project." Thanks PCGamesN. Continue here to read the full story.

Double Dragon Neon for Steam Nears

Majesco Entertainment is bringing Double Dragon Neon to Windows PCs via Steam during the first quarter of this year, offering a new co-op mode not offered in the console editions of the fighting game sequel. Here's a bit from a press release on Joystiq:

Billy and Jimmy Lee are back in Double Dragon: Neon, a reboot of the classic side-scrolling beat-em-up that is coming to Windows PC via Steam. To mark the occasion, developer Abstraction has gone back to the dojo and returned with an all-new online co-op mode for the true Double Dragon experience players have been waiting for. While taking down the Shadow Warriors and facing off with Skullmageddeon, co-op players can 'high-five' to share health, 'psych' up their comrades for special moves and revive their fallen partner. Keep an eye on your surroundings to discover life-restoring sodas, peruse the shop for items and find special mix tapes. The tapes can be stacked to pump up their effects, while playing two tapes at once creates a fusion of powers for devastating results!

PlanetSide 2 Weekly Update Plans

The PlanetSide 2 Forums announce that SOE's MMOFPS sequel will begin receiving weekly updates beginning next Wednesday (thanks VG247). Here's word:

What does this mean for you?

Well for starters, it means we'll be more rapidly respond to bugs & balance issues in the game without having to rely on hotfixes as much. We'll also be able to release new content more frequently and consistently. Each individual update will be smaller and more focused, with fewer moving parts that can break, which we hope will greatly decrease the number of bugs being introduced when we update. This doesn't mean that we're not still working on bigger features and larger content pieces, we definitely are and they'll be slotted into the weekly schedule as they're ready to be released. As part of this change we are also going to be updating and playtesting on Test server a lot more often in the future, as always, your playtesting assistance and feedback on the test server will be greatly appreciated.

One final note, the first couple of these weekly updates are going to be a bit smaller than what you can expect to see later on, as we're still shaking off the holiday cobwebs and getting used to the new development processes.

We've got a really terrific slate of new features and content lined up for 2014 that we can't wait to get out to you guys, it's going to be an amazing year for Planetside 2.

Dreamfall Chapters Trailer and Walkthrough

A new Red Thread Games YouTube channel is live, offering three videos from Dreamfall Chapters, the upcoming adventure sequel to Funcom's The Longest Journey. There is an official teaser trailer as well as two versions of an almost 30-minute gameplay walkthrough, one with developer commentary from design director Martin Bruusgaard and creative director Ragnar Tørnquist, and the other without. Word is the gameplay footage offers is "pre-alpha." Thanks Polygon. Continue here to read the full story.

First-Person Puzzle Game Concept Trailer

This trailer is a tech demo for a first-person puzzle game with unusual gameplay based on visual perspective. This is a "proof of concept" from Pillow Castle, a team of students from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center. Word is that everything seen is unedited gameplay, and it sounds like they plan on expanding this into a full game, saying: "We'll be posting more videos as development moves to full production." Thanks VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

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

In retrospect, the evening update last night at around 5:00 pm makes more sense than I thought at first. I think I am going to shoot for something closer to that for a while and see how it goes. Of course I am so set in my ways that I find such adjustments difficult to actually accomplish, but it seems something worth trying.

Scheduled Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Chicken Chaser.
Hitstick Rebirth.
Story: Oklahoma man charged with 'atomic wedgie' murder of stepfather. Thanks James.
Science: Why Underslept People Cheat You.
Scientists make volcanic lightning in a laboratory.
Search for exomoons turns up fluffy, Earth-sized planet.
Media: Google Secrets You Need To See.
Hubbard's Great-Grandson Spills The Family Secrets On How Scientology Started.
Follow-up: Woman who hit head and developed Scottish accent finds therapy. Thanks David.



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