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Monday, May 19, 2014

  

Offworld Trading Company Announced

Stardock announces Offworld Trading Company, an economics-based real-time strategy game set on Mars, where "the marketplace is the battlefield," and "the free market reigns, money is everything, and even the air you breathe is for sale" (Cohaagen!!). Loosely based on M.U.L.E. and its offspring (mule jokes!), this will be the flagship release from Mohawk Games, the new studio from Civilization IV & III designer Soren Johnson. The Offworld Trading Company website is online, and already accepting preorders of a Founder's Edition and a Founder's Elite Edition, with the latter offering the chance to play a prototype this fall even before it's released for Early Access. The Mohawk Games blog also has an update from Johnson introducing the game. Here's part of the announcement:

Offworld Trading Company’s quick and intensely competitive matches pit up to 8 players against each other on randomly generated maps. Players must quickly determine the best path toward building a self-sufficient colony that can extract the abundant Martian resources while maintaining profitability – and surviving the “talents” of shady black-market characters who are all too happy to raid any player’s shipments or smuggle a paralyzing EMP device into any colony for the right price.

Mohawk Games’ studio boss Soren Johnson, best known as the lead designer of Civilization IV, is committed to an early and transparent community-driven design process, “We want to get people in as early as possible. Offworld Trading Company is unlike any other RTS out there, and we’re working to make sure our community feels that it’s fun, memorable and something special. This is the game I’ve always wanted to make.”

Unlike traditional RTS games, there are no military units and what you need to win can change at a moment’s notice because on Mars, there are no rules in the free market. None of the 13 resources is more powerful than any other, and everything is for sale. Players gain cash by selling excess resources like carbon, fuel, and silicon on the open market, and spend it buying the resources they’re short on. Prices fluctuate in real time forcing players to adapt their strategy; dump a bunch of iron on the market and its price will crater, making other players’ stockpiles worth much less in the near term.

Combat Mission Red Thunder Demo

A playable demo is now available for Combat Mission Red Thunder, offering a sample of the recently released new installment in the close combat series of World War II strategy games. The demo is available on this page for either Windows or OS X, and word is: "the game, which can be purchased at www.battlefront.com." Here's more on what the demo offers:

  • two playable scenarios: Tankovyi Desant and Monster Mash
  • QuickBattles are disabled (but the QB setup screen is visible)
  • multiplayer modes (PBEM/TCP) are fully enabled
  • the Scenario Editor is enabled and fully functional, but it will not allow you to purchase units, load, or save any maps
  • contains nag screens during launch end exit of the demo.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Preloads

Steam News announces they are now offering preloads of Wolfenstein: The New Order to pave the way for tomorrow's release of the alternate history shooter. Here's word:

Wolfenstein®: The New Order reignites the series that created the first-person shooter genre. Under development at Machine Games, a studio comprised of a seasoned group of developers recognized for their work creating story-driven games, Wolfenstein offers a deep game narrative packed with action, adventure and first-person combat.

Intense, cinematic and rendered in stunning detail with id® Software’s id Tech® 5 engine, Wolfenstein sends players across Europe on a personal mission to bring down the Nazi war machine. With the help of a small group of resistance fighters, infiltrate their most heavily guarded facilities, battle high-tech Nazi legions, and take control of super-weapons that have conquered the earth – and beyond.

Dark Souls Exploring GFWL Alternatives

The BANDAI NAMCO blog discusses their efforts at finding an alternative way to support multiplayer in Dark Souls besides Games for Windows LIVE, though they stress GFWL functionality will continue "for the foreseeable future." Here's word:

Dark Souls, Games for Windows Live, and the Future

With the release of Dark Souls II, many players have been asking questions about the continued support of Dark Souls I. We thoroughly appreciate the dedicated fans who are adventuring through Lordran (maybe for the first time!) and we’d like to clarify a few points:

  1. Dark Souls will remain fully functional on GFWL for the foreseeable future.
  2. BANDAI NAMCO Games is currently seeking avenues to continue support and ensure the functionality of Dark Souls on other services. We will have more news and updates to share on this in the coming months.

Stay tuned for future updates: Facebook | Twitter

Minecraft Realms Global Launch

Following the North American launch of Minecraft Realms, Mojang announces the service is now live in all territories:

We’re proud to announce that Minecraft Realms for PC and Mac is now available worldwide!

Realms is the easiest way for you to host a Minecraft world online. You and your friends can work on an awesome creation, adventure into the depths, or play one of our featured mini-games with just a few clicks.

The servers are always available, and can be restored to an earlier point if something goes wrong. Realms is run by Mojang and simple to set up.

Realms is currently only available for the PC/Mac version of Minecraft, though we’re planning on releasing it on other formats in the future. For more information, check minecraft.net/realms

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Trailer

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions offer a look at weapons and runes in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor in a new gameplay trailer from the upcoming action/adventure based on Tolkien's fantasy universe. Here's how the clip is described: "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor delivers a dynamic game environment where the player orchestrates their personal plan of vengeance as they bend Mordor to their will. The game begins on the night of Sauron's return to Mordor, as his Black Captains brutally execute the Rangers of the Black Gate. Players become Talion, a ranger who loses his family and everything he holds dear, only to be returned from death by a mysterious Spirit of vengeance. As Talion's personal vendetta unfolds, players uncover the mystery of the Spirit that compels him, discover the origin of the Rings of Power and confront the ultimate nemesis." Continue here to read the full story.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme - Full Metal Frenzy Trailer

Gameplay from Gas Guzzlers Extreme - Full Metal Frenzy is on display in a new trailer from the newly released DLC for the car combat game. Grab your dashcam, as this clip shows off a demolition derby on the streets of Zagreb, capital of Croatia and home of developer Gamepires Studios. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

F.E.A.R. Online Beta Next Week

Aeria Games announces plans for further testing of F.E.A.R. Online, saying the closed beta test will commence one week from today on May 26th. Signups are being accepted on this page, and here's word:

F.E.A.R never dies! Aeria Games, a leading global publisher of free-to-play online games is excited to announce the launch of the beta of F.E.A.R Online, a new-look free-to-play version of the celebrated horror series.

Player feedback from the alpha was taken into account to ensure an even better and more terrifying experience for all players when they hurtle into the beta. Extensive redesign and adjustments to the gameplay make for a truly unique FPS, with new maps, a new scenario and a redesigned crafting system which allows for making one-of-a-kind weapons.

Tensions will reach a boiling point as the F.E.A.R. task force investigates Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC)’s unsettling experiments. F.E.A.R. Online will remain focused on several team combat modes spanning over ten ominous maps packed with grotesque details such as still-twitching bodies hanging from meat hooks and messages smeared in blood.

The story also continues in cooperative scenarios that detail the terrifying occurrences surrounding the F.E.A.R. team parallel to the events of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Up to four players can team up and fight for their lives against both hostile Armacham personnel and hideous monsters lurking around every corner. All will be revealed soon.

The beta will commence on May 26th and beta keys will be available soon. Players can sign up for the beta at fearonline.aeriagames.com and keep up to date with news from the official Facebook page.

King's Bounty: Dark Side Early Access

IC Company is now offering Early Access to King's Bounty: Dark Side on Steam and other digital distributors, carrying a 20% discount off the full price the game will cay when it's release in July. Here's word:

King’s Bounty: Dark Side is the next chapter in the award-winning King’s Bounty saga. Time has come to join the Dark Journey to the other side of Teana and visit a mysterious part of the world never before seen by royal bounty hunters.

For the first time in King’s Bounty series, players will be able to choose their hero’s race as well as class. Become a fearless Orcs warrior, lead and heal your troops as a Demoness, or use dark magic as a fearsome Vampire.

U.K. Sales Charts

Here's GFK Chart-Track's list of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending May 17th, showing Football Manager 2014 maintaining its toe-hold on the number one position. There are no new entries, just a pair of re-entries, with all the same titles in the top 10, thought there's been a bit of shuffling. Meanwhile, on the all platforms chart, FIFA 14 kicks Titanfall out of the top spot. Here's the write-up of this week's results:

It’s FIFA’s turn to edge out ‘Titanfall’ this week as ‘FIFA 14’ (-8%) returns to No1 for a 12th week.

It’s a record number of weeks at No1 for a FIFA title, beating the 11 weeks set by ‘FIFA: Road to the World Cup 98’. ‘Titanfall’ (-15%) slips one place to No2, only a few hundred sales behind. Sony’s ‘Minecraft: Playstation 3 Edition’ debuts at No3, one place ahead of Microsoft’s longer-serving ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ which holds on to No4, having been in the Top 10 all year. There are also non-movers at No’s 5 and 6 with ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil’ (-14%) and ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ (-19%), while ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (-39%) falls from No3 to No7 despite the Xbox One version new out this week.

‘The Lego Movie Videogame’ (-29%) remains the biggest selling Lego game this week at No8 ahead of familiar faces ‘Battlefield 4’ (-17%) at No9 and ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (+20%) at No10. ‘Kirby: Triple Deluxe’ enters the Top 40 at No16, while a retailer promotion helps ‘Terraria’ (+132%) re-enter at No24. Another retailer promotion pushes ‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’ (+299%) back into the Top 40 at No35.

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

The release of a new Godzilla movie has resulted in lots of the older films in the series being shown all over the TV dial lately. I have to admit that my familiarity with these is pretty sketchy, because when I was young enough to be the proper audience for these I was too bothered by the bad lip-syncing to enjoy redubbed films. I've actually enjoyed much of what I've caught in this revival, and they obviously were a strong influence on the Gerry Anderson "Supermarionation" shows I loved as a kid.

R.I.P.: 'Godfather' Cinematographer Gordon Willis Dead At 82.

Monstrous Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Dragon Princess.
Dangerous Adventure.
Stories: Future may be bitter for chocolate lovers, leading processor warns.
Devastating coffee rust raises prices on high-end blends.
Science: Matter will be created from light within a year, claim scientists.
New battery tech may lead to inexpensive, safer electric cars.
Media: If 'Game of Thrones' Was Made in the '90s.
Diablo 3 in 3 Minutes (Spoilers).
If 'Star Fox' Had An Honest Trailer.
Follow-up: California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say.
Eight Pseudoscientific Climate Claims Debunked by Real Scientists.
About All These Original Star Wars Blu-ray Rumors…. Thanks nin.



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