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Monday, Jan 27, 2014

  

Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations Announced

Wealth of Nations will be the second expansion for Europa Universalis IV, announces Paradox Interactive, saying this will come to the Windows, OS X, and Linux editions of the strategy sequel in Q2 of this year. This will bring several new trade-focused features to the game, "including the ability to secretly provoke trade conflicts, hire pirates to steal goods from your competitors, establish the East India Company and create a bustling trade capital for your nation." A new product section is live for the add-on with details and images. Here's the full description:

Europa Universalis IV: Weath of Nations allows you to create trade conflicts in secret, steal from your competitors with the use of privateers, use peace treaties to gain trade power and create a new trade capital to strengthen your grasp over trade.

The age of exploration is brought to life in this epic game of trade, diplomacy, warfare and exploration by Paradox Development Studio, the Masters of Strategy. Europa Universalis IV gives you control of a nation to rule an empire that lasts through the ages.

Legend of Grimrock II Details and Screenshots

A new update on the Legend of Grimrock website offers some new screenshots from Legend of Grimrock II along with some new details about the dungeon-crawler sequel. Developer Almost Human lays out the setting for the game, and discusses how things will work, including plans to address the most common criticism of the original game:

One of the few things some reviewers criticized about Grimrock 1 was monster behavior in combat. We have attacked this problem directly and rewritten the monster AI entirely. As a result monsters are now smarter and they know how to use their larger numbers to their advantage. The repertoire of tricks they know has been expanded greatly. For example, some monsters can call other monsters for help and can use group tactics against you. Of course the behavior of monsters depends on their intelligence so the most stupid and most fierce monsters are still, well, fierce and stupid as they should be. And talking of monsters, there will be lots of new monsters with some of the old, familiar faces making an occasional appearance for old times sake.

Leaked Source 2 Screenshot?

A post on NeoGAF shows a presentation slide alleged to be a screenshot of Left 4 Dead 2's Plantation Level rebuilt in Source engine 2.0. This is unconfirmed, and there is no explanation of why this would be in "crazy buttocks on a train"'s possession. Thanks All Games Beta.

GeForce Beta Drivers

The GeForce website now offers new version 334.67 beta drivers for GeForce accelerators, offering new 3D vision profiles, new SLI profiles, as well as tweaks and improvements for more mainstream applications. Word is: "Headline features include a dozen new and improved 3D Vision profiles, reinforcing our commitment to stereoscopic 3D gaming, as well as the latest SLI profiles for games like HearthStone and Assassin's Creed Liberation HD. And as always, numerous tweaks and changes are introduced to ensure maximum performance and system stability across all titles."

Evening Patches

On Sale

GOG.com is launching a DRM-free "Time Machine Sale" tomorrow.

  • The 7th Guest + The 11th Hour on GOG.com. Save 80%.
  • Duke Nukem Forever on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Original War on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Redshirt on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Starlite: Astronaut Rescue on Steam. Save 40%.
  • Survivor Squad on GamersGate. Save 75%.
  • Total War Series on GamersGate. Save up to 85%.

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

MS Buys Gears of War, Hires Rod Fergusson

Microsoft Studios announces the acquisition of the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, including "rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise" from the third-person shooter series. The game is being handed over to Black Tusk for development, and the announcement grants this is an "as-yet-unproven studio" but Microsoft's Phil Spencer says this is "a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the 'Gears of War' franchise." This experience extends to the hiring of Rod Fergusson, the Gears of War producer who went to Irrational as producer on BioShock Infinite last summer. Says Microsoft's Hanno Lemke: "We hope to be able to share more news about 'Gears of War' later this year."

Titanfall Beta Next Month?

An image of a poster on French site Xboxygen shows plans for Titanfall beta testing starting February 14th accompanied by another image that indicates this will run from February 14th-February 19th for the Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 editions of the mech shooter. The posters indicate this is a preorder perk, saying preorders will also receive a metallic poster and a t-shirt. The site says they've confirmed this with a source at French retailer Zappos, and say the U.S. version of this program will be run through GameStop. Thanks NeoGAF via Polygon.

The Repopulation Funded

The Kickstarter for The Repopulation has concluded, with this post-apocalyptic sandbox MMORPG beating its $50,000 goal by a cool 350%, finishing up with $175,000 in crowd-sourced funding, with yesterday's surge hitting two stretch goals, the final one allowing the creation of arenas for PvP gladiatorial combat in player-created cities. In other news related to the game, they have just published a new article on Rogue and Scout Skills and at 4:00 pm EST today there will be a live interview with Joshua Hall today on DeadpoolyPlays' Twitch stream to discuss the game.

Starbound Patch "Hopefully" Wipes Out Wipes

There's a Changelog for v. Furious Koala on the Starbound website showing that the promised new patch is now available, and confirming previous indications that they don't intend on having any more character wipes going forward. Here's the first line of the change list: "Absolutely massive changes to disk serialization (sorry reversers), which will allow us to never need to wipe players or ships again, and hopefully never need to wipe worlds again." Thanks Jeff.

Valve Beta Streaming Impressions

Ars Technica has firsthand impressions of Valve's upcoming game streaming service, after checking out the invitation-only beta on Steam. This streams from another PC across your home network, so depending on your setup, this involves less latency than cloud-based services. Since this involves playing a game that resides on another machine in your same location, they do a little explaining of why someone would want to do this:

Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS has one big limitation compared with the full Steam experience: it can only run games compatible with Linux. That limitation may be mostly put to rest when a Steam Box is now paired with a Windows PC, allowing users to run any game in the Steam library either natively in the Steam Box or streamed. The other key benefit to the new streaming option is convenience. Graphically rich games often suffer when run on thermally limited notebooks. Decoding a video stream requires drastically less computing power than rendering a 3D environment, so gaming on a modestly specced laptop could become much more satisfying.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK-Chart Track is once again ready to elucidate us with last week's game sales figures in the U.K. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes re-enters at #20 on the full-priced PC games chart, which otherwise just shuffles last week's top 19, though the top three remain intact (Football Manager 2014, The Sims 3, and Battlefield 4). On the all-platforms top 40 also has the same top three as last week, with the first new entry at number 10 where Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z debuts. Here's the write-up:

‘FIFA 14’ (-14%) makes it 4 straight weeks in 2014 at No1 and 9 in total since launch.

In yet another quiet week for new releases the Top 3 are unchanged with Call of Duty: Ghosts’ (-2%) still at No2 and ‘Battlefield 4’ (-13%) at No3. ‘Lego Marvel Superheroes’ (-2%) is at No4 swapping places with Ubisoft’s ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ (-35%) at No5. Format exclusives ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ (+2%) and PS4’s ‘Killzone: Shadow Fall’ (-12%) are at No6 and No7 while ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (-4%) climbs a spot to No8. EA’s third Top 10 title ‘Need for Speed: Rivals’ (-17%) slips two places to No 9. There’s a debut at No10 this week for Namco Bandai’s ‘Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z’. The title for Xbox 360, PS3 and Vita becomes the best selling Week 1 for any multi format Dragon Ball title as far back as 2009.

Further down the chart last week’s debutant ‘Mario Party: Island tour’ (-10%) for 3DS climbs a spot to No17.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

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

I didn't realize the GRAMMYs were last night, as that's not something I keep up with. I'm happy to hear it though, as I managed to skip the awards along with the Pro Bowl, and there's nothing that helps make one feel more productive than doing two things at once. Or in this case, not doing. Multitasking for the win!

Multitasked Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Idle Farmer.
Sheriff Lombardoo.
Link: Word games with the "make your own Coke label" promo.
Science: The Era Of Genetically-Altered Humans Could Begin This Year. Thanks HARDOCP.
Dogs Carry the Oldest Known Living Cancer.
Researchers detect cancer cells using olfactory senses of fruit flies.
Images: The Girlfriend Test. Thanks reddit.
That's one way to solve the overheating problem. Thanks reddit.
Media: Doug Stanhope On Lame Celebrities. NSFW.
It's So Damn Cute.
Follow-up: Rare NES cart auction ends at $100k, but winning bidder retracts offer.



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