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Thursday, Feb 20, 2014

  

Call of Duty: Ghosts Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway on Steam for Call of Duty: Ghosts for those interested in sampling the first-person shooter sequel. The game is also carrying a 50% discount through the event, allowing those who enjoy playing to get it on the cheap. Here's the pitch:

Call of Duty®: Ghosts is an extraordinary step forward for one of the largest entertainment franchises of all-time. This new chapter in the Call of Duty® franchise features a new dynamic where players are on the side of a crippled nation fighting not for freedom, or liberty, but simply to survive.

Fueling this all new Call of Duty experience, the franchise's new next-gen engine delivers stunning levels of immersion and performance, all while maintaining the speed and fluidity of 60 frames-per-second across all platforms.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 Early Access

1C Company is now offering Early Access to Men of War: Assault Squad 2 on Steam, offering the chance to influence development of the action/strategy sequel by buying into the beta test. The game is currently on sale for 20% off, and here is why they thing you should be interested:

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 features new single player style skirmish modes that take players from extreme tank combat to deadly sniper stealth missions. Commanders can now faceoff against opponents on various new multiplayer 1v1 – 4v4 maps. To truly bring the battles to life though there is the new 8v8 game mode designed for huge battles on spectacular maps.

This new Assault Squad game brings significant game engine and visual improvements as well, with special attention paid to ones that were highly requested by the players. These included items such as advanced multi-core support, advanced shader technology, interface and AI improvements, as well as added camouflage depending on season/map, fully updated inventory items with new graphics and updated vehicles, sound improvements, Steam multiplayer and much more.

Daylight Dawns in April

ATLUS announces plans to release Daylight on April 8th for Windows PCs and PlayStation 4, offering the chance to scare yourself with their upcoming survival/horror game, also revealing pricing details, saying the game will run you $14.99/€14.99/£11.99, depending on your currency of choice. They also take the opportunity to reveal details about the game's 3D support on each platform:

The PlayStation 4 and PC version of Daylight will be fully 3D compatible out of the box! 3D-enabled TVs and monitors will bring the scares, jumps and all other things that haunt the Mid Island area to life in a very tangible way. RealD is the same technology they use in movie theaters for 3D movies and excels at giving the game terrific depth-of-field. Catching an overhead light flicker down an incredibly long corridor is one of the more chilling 3D applications...until you come across a spirit, that is. If you have the means, we highly recommend giving this mode a try. Oh, and here's a casual reminder that Daylight is also compatible with the Oculus VR, for those brave enough...

Free Thief Gold With Thief Mod Contest Entries

SQUARE ENIX offers word on their THIEF Ultimate Mod Contest in celebration of the upcoming THIEF reboot. They have details on how to enter, as well as an outline of all the prizes being offered to participants. The prizes include a free digital copy of Thief Gold, and the grand prize includes a high-end AMD gaming rig. Entries must be submitted by April 14th.

Evening Interviews

Op Ed

Wired.com - Indie Studios, Not Corporate Giants, Are the Future of Videogames.
The question used to be, could independently produced games compete with the big studios? Now I think the question should be, can the big-studio model continue to exist? Right now, indie games are serving niche audiences that were left behind by big studios. What happens when small teams start to make shooters that can pull audiences away from Titanfall? Football games that are more fun than Madden?

IGN - A Closer Look at Irrational Games' Change of Focus. Thanks JDreyer.
What we can be sure of, is that a lot of people are going through a really tough time right now; wondering what they’re going to do next, wondering if they have to uproot their lives. As Brendan Keogh righteously notes in his piece ‘Games for Humans’ (which you must read, and then question why there aren't more unions in the industry), it’s all too easy to become distracted by the cult of Levine, by this idea that Irrational’s creative output belongs to Levine and Levine alone. BioShock Infinite was not made by one person. In fact, it was also made by Rod Fergusson, Leonie Manshanden, Adrian Murphy, Scott Sinclair, Shawn Robertson, Grant Chang, Matt Boehm, Jim Christopher, Jon Mangagil, Pete Paquette, Shamil Rasizade, Jeremy Carson, Ian Davis, Gwen Frey, Calen Brait, Chad King, Paul Presley, Laura Zimmermann, Jorge Lacera, Mauricio Tejerina, Robb Waters, Gavin Goulden, Adam Bolton, Stephen Alexander, Jeremy Griffith, Kyle Williams, Jamie McNulty, Steve Allen, Charles Bradbury, Frank DaPonte, Scott Duquette, John Fuhrer, Dan Keating, Murray Kraft, Chad LaClair, Brian McNett, Mike Snight, Spencer Luebbert, Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • Arma 3 on Steam. Save 40%.
  • The Adventure Company and Friends on Humble Weekly Sale.
  • Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Humanity Asset on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Reboot Bundle 1 on Bundle Stars.
  • Ubisoft Publisher Weekend on Steam. Save up to 75%.
  • Worms Clan Wars on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Screenshots

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault Maps vs. Battlefield 3 Maps - 116 Glorious Comparison Screenshots on TweakTown.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Brian Williams Raps "Rapper's Delight". Thanks nin. Bonus: Chainsaw Dog. Go ahead, keep a straight face.

THIEF Launch Trailer

A new THIEF Launch Trailer is now available to celebrate next week's return of the kleptomaniacal stealth series. Word is: "take a sneaky peek at the launch trailer containing new sections of gameplay and glimpses at some key encounters that lie in wait for Garrett." Continue here to read the full story.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate PC Plans

WBIE announces plans for a Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition, a spiffy version of their mobile fighting game that's coming to Windows as well as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on April 2nd, confirming last month's indications that a Steam edition was in the works. This trailer shows off the Deluxe Edition, and here's the deal:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman™: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition for the PlayStation®3 system, Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii U™ system and PC. Developed by Armature Studio, the same team behind Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate for handheld, the game delivers the same dynamic story and gameplay, now in high-definition. Fans will be able to purchase the game from 2nd April on the PlayStation®Network, Xbox LIVE® Marketplace, Nintendo eShop and Steam for £15.99.

Previously available only for PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system and Nintendo 3DS™ handheld system, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition brings the content of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate to console and PC with enhanced high-definition 2.5-D graphics, a new map & hint system for improved navigation and objective tracking, 5.1 surround sound, a fully voiced narrative and a captivating storyline. In addition to all previous released suits, players will be able to unlock the exclusive Zero Year Batsuit skin by registering for or signing into a Warner Bros. ID (WBID) account.

After gang-fueled uprisings occur within the walls of Blackgate Prison, Batman is called in to restore order and put an end to the rebellion before the chaos implodes. As the story progresses, players will explore deep inside the bowels of this remote island penitentiary and discover what happened after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins and learn more details of the Dark Knight’s past.

Continue here to read the full story.

Moebius: Empire Rising in April

Moebius: Empire Rising is expected for release on April 15th, which is when Windows and OS X gamers can get to play this adventure game from designer Jane Jensen, with Linux and mobile editions expected later this year. Jensen's absence from the genre is touted as one of the game's selling points: "Moebius: Empire Rising is the veteran designer’s first adventure game since 2010’s Gray Matter, and the first she has completely overseen since Gabriel Knight® 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned in 1999. This publishing deal marks the culmination of a successful collaboration between Jensen—the game’s writer, designer, and creative director—and Phoenix Online, who developed the game under her supervision." Here's word on the game:

In Moebius: Empire Rising, players will step into the shoes of Malachi Rector, a high-end antiquities dealer with a photographic memory, a genius for history, and an uncanny talent for discerning genuine artifacts from cheap knock-offs. At the request of a secretive government agency, Malachi flies to Venice to determine whether a recently-murdered woman resembles any particular figure in history. Why would the U.S. government offer him $50,000 to perform this odd job? Why does a stranger he meets randomly in the desert seem like someone he’s known all his life? And how come every time Malachi lets down his guard, someone tries to kill him?

In the layered mystery of Moebius: Empire Rising, players will travel the globe with Malachi and his bodyguard, former special forces operative David Walker, to analyze suspects, make historical connections, and piece together clues to uncover a conspiracy the U.S. government and other covert agencies will defend at any cost. A modern adventure game styled in the vein of recent Sherlock Holmes and James Bond thrillers, it merges classic point-and-click puzzle solving with Malachi’s unique deductive powers and the sophisticated storytelling Jensen’s games are known for.

Monaco Sells > 500K

PocketwatchGames tweets sales figures for Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, saying the stealth/heist game has sold more than a half-million units: "Sales update: We're well over half a million units of Monaco sold! (~520K), only includes about half the HIB sales since we are BTA." TLA check: HIB is Humble Indie Bundle, but BTA was a mystery (the definitions on Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary shed no light on this), but Joystiq fills in the blank that this is "Beat the Average."

Respawn Attacks Titanfall Bribery Claims

A post on NeoGAF from Respawn Entertainment's Drew McCoy reacts to conspiracy theories suggesting that Titanfall's positive reception is the result of them bribing corrupt game journalists to favor the mech shooter (thanks OXM via VG247). Here's what he had to say:

Anyone who thinks we weren't living in the shadow of decade+ old established franchises at our reveal at E3 are as crazy as their conspiracy theories of anyone getting paid off. We've had to fight tooth and nail to have a game that anyone would even know existed, let alone be excited for and want to create coverage of. I get it that its not for everyone, but to say we're paying anyone off is downright insanity. Not to mention the height of insulting.

The Elder Scrolls Online Crafting Video

The Elder Scrolls Online website now features a developer play session video showing off blacksmithing in Tamriel, showing one of the crafting options in Bethesda Softworks' upcoming MMORPG. Word is: "Crafting in The Elder Scrolls Online enhances your adventures. We follow the journey of a blacksmith, from exploring and gathering materials to creating a special piece of armor. Blacksmithing is just one of the many crafting skills available in ESO." Here's more:

There are tons of opportunities for crafters to flourish in ESO. You can learn to create helpful food and drink items with provisioning, fashion enchantments for gear, brew potions using alchemy, and forge and improve weapons and armor of all sorts with smithing, our most involved skill. There's so much to crafting that one video won't contain it all, so we want to show you how being a blacksmith (who can create metal armor and weapons, just one of the three smithing skills) will augment your journeys, from exploration and gathering materials all the way to producing a special piece of armor.

Continue here to read the full story.

Square Enix on More PC FINAL FANTASY

Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase tells Eurogamer that Square Enix is interested in bringing more FINAL FANTASY games to the PC, in spite of starting off explaining they developed FF13 on PCs but only released it for consoles. "Let's not forget, when we developed the Final Fantasy 13 series, all three titles, at the early stages of development we were working on PC," Kitase circuitously explains. "Then we had to port it to the consoles. As far as the technology is concerned, it would have been possible for us to make a PC version, but we decided against it for two reasons: we looked at the market situation and we didn't think it would be a good idea, and also it would have involved lots of complex issues like security. So we decided not to do it this time around. But we see potential in it and there are lots of regions and countries where PC is very strong. So in terms of our hope of being able to deliver our games to every single country in the world and to as many gamers as possible, yes, we would definitely be interested in pursuing that route in the future."

Another Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Gameplay Clip

Battle.net offers a twitch video of another live play session for the upcoming Diablo III: Reaper of Souls where some fans got to play the action/RPG expansion with one of the Blizzard developers, in this case Travis Day. Word is: "As with Wyatt's playtest, the goals of this particular session were pretty simple: jump into the beta with three different members of the Diablo III community, play around with some of the expansion's new features, and enjoy a bit of casual conversation with fellow heroes of Sanctuary. The topic of that conversation exactly? Itemization, itemization, itemization!*"

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

  • Titanfall on PC Gamer. Max settings at 7680x1440.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • AMD Radeon Dual Graphics Performance with Kaveri and R7 250 on HCW.
  • AMD Radeon HD 6870 vs. AMD R9 270X on ocaholic.
  • Chillblast Defiant 13in Laptop on Hardware Heaven.
  • Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX Computer Case on Benchmark Reviews.
  • Genius ECO-u821 8000mAh Power Bank Portable Charger on TweakTown.
  • GIGABYTE GA-F2A88X-UP4 AMD FM2+ Motherboard on OCIA.net.
  • GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 750 Ti WindForce on Guru3D.
  • ICY DOCK ICYBento MB559U3S External HDD Enclosure on TweakTown.
  • Microlab B-73 Stereo-Soundsystem on Technic3D.
  • MSI Twin Frozr Gaming GeForce GTX 780 Ti OC Edition on OverClocked inside. German.
  • MyDigitalSSD OTG (On The Go) 256GB USB 3.0 External SSD on TweakTown.
  • Nokia Lumia 525 on TechSpot.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 'Maxwell' graphics processor on The Tech Report.
  • SilverStone Tundra Series TD02 All-in-One Liquid Cooler on PC Perspective.
  • XFX Type 01 Bravo Case on Hardware Canucks.
  • Xigmatek Vector P Series 700 W on techPowerUp.

etc.

Out of the Blue

We have the first positive weather forecast in recent memory around here, and you know things are weird when you say that about the prediction of rain. But it's rain that will come amidst some slightly warmer temperatures, which should help with the backlogged snow around here. The storms have come so close to each other lately that we have piles of the stuff that are over five feet high, and it's hard to get optimistic that spring is on its way with that kind of scenery.

Rainy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Summon the Hero.
Be Fighter.
The Last Door Chapter 3.
Stories: Patrick Stewart Has An Awesome Response To Being 'Outed' As Gay By The Guardian.
Finns give reindeer fluorescent antlers to reduce roadkill.
Science: Neutron star spotted moving 5 million mph, trailing particle jet.
Bumblebees getting stung by sickness killing honeybees.
Images: First Winter Olympics: What skaters, ski jumpers, and curlers looked like in 1924. Thanks reddit.
Media: Dad In A Box.
8 Mind-Blowing Connections Between the Works of Joss Whedon.
Olympian Films Wolf Stalking Her Hotel Hallway.



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