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Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014

  

Star Citizen Passes $38M

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website announces another milestone for Star Citizen, which has now passed $38 million in crowd-sourced funding. The $38 million unlock is the Cano System, which is home to a fully aquatic planet. Looking ahead, Chairman Roberts lays out the dual $39 million goals, and dangles this tidbit about an announcement that will come at that time: "At $39 million, we’ll announce a new goal that will help chart the course for the future of Star Citizen in a different way… and it’s one I’m personally very excited about, so be sure to check back then and learn more!" Thanks Aaron.

EVE: Valkyrie an Oculus Rift Exclusive Launch Title

Oculus VR announces CCP's upcoming multiplayer space combat game EVE: Valkyrie will be an exclusive Oculus Rift launch title. They note this was initially called "EVE-VR" by its team of Oculus supporters at CCP, making this "one of the first AAA games designed exclusively for the Rift." Word is: "We couldn’t be more excited for the future of Valkyrie, and we’re thrilled to help CCP bring the best possible made-for-VR experience to the Rift." Thanks Gamasutra.

Hawken Relaunching on Steam

The HAWKEN website has details on the mech game's relaunch on Steam, saying a free Steam account will be required to play the game from this point forward. They have a Steam Transition Guide and a Steam Transition FAQ, to help with what seems to be a complicated process, as they will spend the next week giving current pilots access to the game on Steam, saying new account creation is disabled during the transition period. Thanks Eurogamer.

Standalone Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry this Month

Ubisoft announces plans for a standalone version of Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry, which is already available as an expansion for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The version of Freedom Cry that's been granted its freedom from AC4 will come to Windows on February 25th. "We decided to release Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry as a stand-alone game for both fans and newcomers to the Assassin’s Creed universe," said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. "Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry delivers key elements of an Assassin’s Creed game, including a new hero, new environments and new weapons." There's more on this on the official website and here's an overview:

Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry tells the story of Adewale, a man born into slavery. Once a pirate and now a trained Assassin, Adewale is shipwrecked in 18th-century Haiti, home to the most brutal slavery in the West Indies. In an effort to get back to the sea, Adewale assists the locals in exchange for a crew and a ship. The more he fights for freedom from slavery, however, the more he is drawn into the Maroon slave community, forcing him to face his vicious past. In the game, Adewale will take his new crew and set of weapons, including a machete and a blunderbuss, to assassinate enemies and free slaves, delivering merciless justice in plantations and cities alike. No stranger to the sea, Adewale will command a fearsome brig to take down slave owners in the Caribbean.

Strider Next Week; New Game Modes Detailed

Strider will come out next week, announces CapCom Unity, saying the reimagined platformer will hit Windows PCs along with the Xbox editions on February 19th, which is one day after the game's debut on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The game will be $14.99 on all platforms, and prepurchases are now underway on Steam, offering the soundtrack as a bonus. They also announce two new gameplay modes as well as the chance to wear dead people's clothes, offering new screenshots to illustrate the news. Here's the deal:

We're also happy to reveal today that the game will feature some fun extras to elevate replayability. First, there are two new Challenge Modes:

Beacon Run
This is a speed run-style racing mode that challenges players to get from checkpoint to checkpoint in record time, slashing their way through enemies all the while.

Survival Mode
Test your combat skills and earn that Special-A Class ranking Hiryu's known for by taking on progressively difficult waves of enemies while equipped with different ability loadouts.

Additionally, the game will support global leaderboards in both the Challenge Modes and the main Story Mode. That means you can compete with your friends, or random dudes in France. It also means Unity events!

Finally, we've got Costumes. Throughout the Story Mode, you'll come across the costumes of fallen Striders. Once discovered, Hiryu will be able to wear them during the game. Find all the costumes to unlock a full array of cosmetic customization options, letting you choose your own style.

New Elite: Dangerous Backer MP Alpha

Frontier Developments has released version 2.0 of the Elite: Dangerous multiplayer alpha to backers of the space combat sequel, providing the opportunity to check out four distinct multiplayer scenarios. "This is an incredibly exciting and important phase in the development of Elite: Dangerous," says David Braben. "Player stat tracking, the multiplayer networking code and associated management are all big new systems that are being tested with Phase 2.0 plus it’s the first time we’ll be able to test how the game mechanics perform with significant numbers of players all playing simultaneously." Word is there will be two more major alpha updates before the game hits the premium beta stage, and those interested in becoming an alpha backer can do so on this page.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught for PC this Month

Activision announces February 27th is when the Xbox exclusivity for Call of Duty: Ghosts Onslaught will end, saying owners of Call of Duty: Ghosts for Windows and PlayStation 3 and 4 will be able to get the latest DLC for the military shooter sequel. Word is: "Onslaught delivers four unique and classically designed Call of Duty multiplayer maps, the all-new 'Maverick' dual-purpose Assault Rifle/Sniper Rifle, and the first installment in Extinction's four-part episodic narrative, 'Episode 1: Nightfall'." The DLC will be sold individually, and it is also part of the game's season pass.

Dogs of War Online Open Beta

Cyanide has opened beta testing of Dogs of War to all on Steam in what is essentially a soft launch for the tactical multiplayer strategy game, since it uses a free-to-play business model. Here's a new game trailer, and here's word on the game:

After a closed beta, which attracted tens of thousands of players, Dogs of War Online today opens its arenas to the whole world! Based on the Free-to-Play model, this multiplayer game, set in the world of the Confrontation miniatures, offers an intense combat experience to all strategy game enthusiasts. By making the game available in Open Beta on Steam, the development team hopes that the community will help to fine-tune the game before its official release.

Become the leader of a squad of Wolfen, an army of the Living-dead of Acheron or even a troop of Knights of the Lion and sow terror on the battlefield! Dogs of War Online, played through a turn-based game system on a terrain that is broken down into hexagons, allows you to clash with your opponents in different game modes, ranging from the simple "Versus" to "Kill the Captain or "King of the Hill. You can augment your mercenary purse and progress your team as you advance from battle to battle or as you complete the various missions that are on offer.

Continue here to read the full story.

50 More Steam Greenlights

A Steam Community Announcement tells us that 50 more titles were greenlit today for distribution on Steam upon release. This page offers an interactive listing off all the new approvals.

On Sale

  • Battle Worlds: Kronos on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Jets'n'Guns Gold on Steam. Save 50%.
  • The Mixer Bundle on Indie Royale.
  • Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Paradox Mid-Week Mega Sale on The Humble Store.
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Dark Age of Camelot Changes Hands

The Dark Age of Camelot website announces Dark Age of Camelot has entered a new age, as the MMORPG is now being managed by Broadsword Online Games, a new company comprised of former Mythic developers. There's a FAQ about this on the Broadsword website saying that while nothing should change as of today's transition, some things will be different in the future: "Going forward, we hope to bring about some exciting new changes, improved Customer Support, and increased correspondence with the DAoC community." They also talk about other improvements going forward: "DaoC’s transition to Broadsword will certainly have a positive effect on our future plans. With increased bandwidth and resources we will work toward modernizing some of the game’s features and developing a tangible marketing plan to attract more players, both new and returning. The mission of the Dark Age of Camelot team will remain the same: to improve the game, listen and respond to feedback, and to provide the best possible content to ensure a great game experience for our players." Thanks Sean.

EVE Monument Planned

CCP reveals plans to build a monument to EVE Online players in Reykjavik, Iceland. This will be a structure that stands over five meters, which may not exactly be the Eifel Tower, but we're talking about a country where the 10th tallest building is 26 meters, according to Wikipedia. Here's word:

The monument is an a outdoor sculpture by the artist Sigurður Guðmundsson with help and input from EVE Online‘s own art directors Börkur Eiríksson and Ásgeir Jón Ásgeirsson. “Worlds Within a World” will stand over five meters tall and consist of two main elements facing each other through a highly polished stainless steel surface that reflects and mirrors the elements and the landscape. On the left side of the model stands a dark aluminum structure with a quote from the EVE Universe and on the right a dark granite facial figure representing the game’s players.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Trailer

A new trailer from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 shows off the Toy Maker, one of the adversaries in the upcoming action/adventure sequel. Here's word: "The Toymaker is a mischievous adversary of mysterious origin first introduced in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, and returns in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, when his macabre lair plays host to one of the game’s key confrontations. The new assets showcase the evolution of the character, from initial sketches to full implementation." Continue here to read the full story.

Stick of Truth Sticks it to Uplay; Preorders Underway

South Park: The Stick of Truth is now available for pre-purchase on Steam, offering the Ultimate Fellowship content pack as a bonus for this advance commitment. Speaking of the cartoon-inspired action/RPG's release on Steam, Obsidian tweets that that the game will not use Ubisoft's Uplay service, saying "Nope, Uplay is not featured in Stick of Truth," going on to clarify: "Yep, it's a Steam game, with Steam achievements, etc." Responding to a question about whether there was any way to use Uplay from the fan of the service, they explain this will not be an option: "Unfortunately, no. Uplay was not integrated at all into SP:SOT." Thanks MCV.

Borderlands 2: Headhunter Pack Next Week; April Pack Will be the Last

Gearbox Software announces Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre will be the next Headhunter pack for Borderlands 2, saying this will be released on February 11th and 12th, depending on your territory. This comes just in time for Valentine's Day, which they say is the inspiration for the pack, though the first thing we thought of when seeing the title was Kill Bill. Here's a trailer and here's word from the post on how the Headhunter pack that follows will be the last content release for the role-playing shooter sequel:

Up to now, it is safe to say that Borderlands 2 has seen a lot of extra content added in the 17 months since it released – to the point where we’re pushing some technical limitations making it near impossible to add more missions, items and such. With that said, we still have one more Headhunter add-on planned. So, make sure to look out for the fifth and final Headhunter add-on for Borderlands 2, Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of Crawmerax, coming in April and featuring the offspring of a fan-favorite enemy from the first Borderlands!

Continue here to read the full story.

Civ5: The Complete Edition/Free Brave New World Scenario Released

2K Games announces Sid Meier's Civilization V: The Complete Edition is now available in North America and that this "definitive Civilization V collection" will be released for Europe on Friday (thanks Bill). This bundles the turn-based strategy sequel with its Gods & Kings and Brave New World expansions, along with a new Conquest of a New World Deluxe Scenario for Brave New World. In a separate post 2K also clarifies that this scenario will be given for free to those who already own Brave New World, and will be included with future purchases of that expansion, saying: "In addition to the Conquest of the New World Deluxe scenario being part of Civ V Complete anyone that owned the Brave New World expansion will be getting it for free via Steam. Also, if you purchase Brave New World in the future, the Conquest of the New World Deluxe scenario for free as a bonus." This trailer shows off the new scenario. Continue here to read the full story.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode Two Next Month

Irrational Games announces a March 25th release date for BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode Two, saying the next DLC for the first-person shooter prequel will be come out that day for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Here's the deal:

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode Two is built almost entirely from scratch by Irrational Games, the studio behind the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite. The narrative of this add-on content pack concludes the storyline of BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea, as seen through the eyes of a new player character, Elizabeth, and features all-new stealth-oriented gameplay, as well as new weapons and modes.

“In Burial at Sea – Episode Two, we are delivering a story that involves nearly every major character from the original BioShock and BioShock Infinite,” said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. “It is a story that will give gamers a new perspective on the BioShock universe and conclude the story of BioShock Infinite and Burial at Sea.”

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

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 just got Monday's snow all shoveled yesterday and we got socked with another big snowstorm overnight. And even though yesterday's chore came hours after the snow ended, it already looks like it will be a worse today even though it's still coming down, as the snow is wet and heavy, and there's lots of it. Maybe instead of shoveling and making a cup of hot cocoa, I'll make gallons of hot cocoa and pour it over the sidewalks.

R.I.P.: Gloria Leonard, ex-porn actress and publisher of High Society, dead at 73. Thanks Devicer.

Heavy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Glean 2.
Knotty.
Stories: CVS Caremark, No. 2 drugstore chain, will end all tobacco sales.
Castaway Fisherman: Could He Really Have Survived at Sea?
Science: How A Simple New Invention Seals A Gunshot Wound In 15 Seconds.
Images: IT on ICE.
Wasted.
Media: Captain America: Winter Soldier - Trailer 2.
Space Battleship "Yamato" TOKUHOU - Trailer. Thanks Pierre.
Dr. McCoy - doctor or not?
Follow-up: Four suspected heroin dealers arrested after Philip Seymour Hoffman's overdose.
Seahawks' Richard Sherman says they 'cracked Peyton Manning's hand signal code in Super Bowl'.
A Message From Flea about the Super Bowl halftime show.



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