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Thursday, May 22, 2014

  

Gooseman Outs Half-Life 3 and L4D3 Development?

A recent Twitch interview with Minh "Gooseman" Le includes some quotes from the Counter-Strike co-creator and Tactical Intervention creator about Half-Life 3, saying he has seen concept art from the shooter sequel, and that Valve is "working on it" (thanks NowGamer). The ex-Valve employee starts by saying "I don't know if I can talk about that," before doing so, ending by saying he thinks that it's "old news" and that "everyone kind of knows it's being worked on." He then goes on to express his excitement over another unannounced project, the "new Left for Dead." He jokes about being in trouble for the Half-Life revelation, but also clearly thinks that both games have already been announced in some form. Here we have transcribed the parts pertinent to the two games:

"I think it's kind of public knowledge that people know that it is being worked on, and so if I say 'yeah, I've seen some images, like some concept art of it,' you know, that wouldn't be big news. I guess I could say that I did see something that looked like kind of in the Half-Life universe. It wouldn't surprise anyone if I said 'yeah, they're working on it,' so I guess to go on a limb, I would say yeah, I did see some concept art for Half-Life 3."
...
"The one thing I am really excited about is Left 4 Dead, the new Left 4 Dead... It wouldn't be any news if I said I saw it and it looks great. So, I was really excited when I saw that, I was like 'wow, this looks great'. Because I really loved Left 4 Dead, it's just one of those games that changed the industry."

The Witcher 2 for Linux/SteamOS

Steam now offers a Linux and SteamOS version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, CD Projekt RED's RPG, which is currently on sale for 80% off (thanks Xil). This currently only supports NVIDIA cards, as is explained by this developer post from jaycee1980:

The current AMD Catalyst driver contains a problem which stops the game from running. AMD have already fixed the problem, and the fix will be in the next driver release.

Intel is not supported simply because the driver performance is currently insufficient to run the game well enough. It will run, but the framerate is not good.

The open source Nouveau and Radeon drivers are simply not feature complete enough to run the game. Witcher 2's RED Engine is making full use of OpenGL 3.2 features.

Extraction is Dirty Bomb Again

Nexon and Splash Damage reveal they have reverted the name of Extraction back to Dirty Bomb, which was the original title of their upcoming first-person shooter before they changed it last summer. They are accepting beta signups on the Dirty Bomb website, where they say: "London is a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no law and no order, it's time to call in the mercenaries. Suit up and go toe-to-toe with other soldiers of fortune as you battle it out for riches and bragging rights." Splash Damage explains to Eurogamer.net that this is "to better fit the game's unique personality" and will "almost definitely" be the last name change prior to the game's launch. Word is the open beta should launch later this year.

Watch Dogs Launch Trailer

Here's the launch trailer for Watch Dogs, celebrating next week's release of Ubisoft's open-world hacker action game. Here's the clip's description:

You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker who saw something no one was meant to see. His enemies came for him, but killed a family member instead. Now on the hunt for those responsible, you'll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you by manipulating everything connected to the city's network.

Use the city of Chicago as your ultimate weapon and exact your own style of revenge. Watch_Dogs is out on 5.27.2014.

Continue here to read the full story.

Metro Redux Announced

4A Games and Deep Silver announce Metro Redux, an upcoming bundle of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light coming to Windows, PS4, and Xbox One, as shown in this announcement trailer. This will apparently come later this year, as they also say to expect Linux and SteamOS editions in that time frame. In addition to remastered versions of both first-person shooters, Redux will also include some brand new content, as described here:

With new, never-seen-before content and new gameplay features, as well as outstanding updated graphical fidelity and silky smooth 60FPS gameplay, Metro Redux is much more than a simple HD upgrade. For the Redux edition, Metro 2033 has been completely overhauled:

  • The original game has been rebuilt in the latest and greatest iteration of the 4A Engine, bringing all the graphical and gameplay improvements from Metro: Last Light to Metro 2033 Redux
  • Experience radically improved gameplay: advanced enemy AI, improved combat and stealth mechanics, superior weapon handling and more responsive, intuitive controls plus signature features from Last Light such as the atmospheric ‘mask wipe’ mechanic, weapon customization, and silent kills and takedowns
  • Enjoy completely re-mastered visuals: advanced lighting, dynamic weather, more detailed characters with improved animation, more dynamic destruction and improved smoke, fire and particle effects

Metro: Last Light Redux has also received a graphical facelift and gameplay improvements that carry across both titles, including new melee animations, and the fan-requested ‘Check Watch’ and ‘Check Inventory’ features. It also includes all previously released Season Pass add-on content – a further 10 hours of single-player gameplay.

With Metro Redux, players now have the choice to experience both Metro games the way they want with the introduction of two unique ‘Play Styles.’

Those who favored the more survival horror oriented gameplay of Metro 2033 can play both campaigns in the ‘Survival’ Play Style, a fraught slow-burn fight for survival with limited resources, deadlier enemy AI, and slower reload speeds. Those who enjoyed the more action oriented gameplay of Metro: Last Light can try the ‘Spartan’ Play Style, providing Artyom with a powerful set of combat skills and more plentiful resources.

In addition, the legendary Ranger Mode returns to both games, providing the most immersive and challenging experience as the HUD is stripped away and hardcore rules apply.

Dedicated Linux and SteamOS versions will also release later this year.

Metro Redux is based on the internationally bestselling novel Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

Continue here to read the full story.

Concursion Next Month

Indie developer Puuba announces a June 6th release date for Concursion, their recently Greenlit multi-genre game. They celebrate the news with a new gameplay trailer. Here's what to expect from the game: "Concursion is a multi-genre game played on the boundaries between worlds, in which you steer your hero through a dangerous interdimensional universe. Switching between different genres on the fly, pulling off high-speed puzzle-solving and feats of tight aerial acrobatics otherwise unattainable in one genre alone." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations Next Week; Preorders Underway

Paradox Interactive announces a May 29th release date for Wealth of Nations, the second expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy sequel for Windows, Linux, and OS X. They are currently accepting preorders on their newly revamped digital store, humorously noting this will help "keep pre-orders free of the trade conflicts and questionable market practices featured in the game." They also announce a new weekly Twitch show about the game: "To demonstrate the value that trade allies can have on a growing empire, Paradox today also announced a new weekly live-streaming show that will debut on their Twitch.TV channel, which will focus on the wide variety of games in Paradox's library. “Paradox Live” will debut today at 3:15PM CEST and air every week in the same timeslot at http://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive."

Crytek Announces Arena of Fate

German developer Crytek announces Arena of Fate, an online free-to-play multiplayer action/strategy game (they don't actually use the term MOBA) coming to PCs and consoles "soon," with PC Early Access planned for this summer. Word is this offers the chance to play with some classic public domain fictional characters, including Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper, Baron Münchhausen, and of course, Little Red Riding Hood. The news is accompanied by a very brief announcement trailer showing sophisticated cartoon graphics and offering beta signups at the Arena of Fate website. Here's what they are revealing for now, which should be supplemented soon with info from E3 showings:

Step into the shoes of legendary heroes from history and fantasy and lock horns in "Arena of Fate"; an action-packed online multiplayer game coming to PC and consoles soon from Crytek.

Featuring fast-paced 5 vs. 5 battles, Arena of Fate expands Crytek's range of Games-as-a-Service, and will be playable for the first time at this year's E3 expo in Los Angeles. Players will be free to choose from a huge roster of famous characters before engaging in star-studded skirmishes with fresh gameplay twists.

Among the iconic figures in Arena of Fate are the likes of Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper and Baron Münchhausen. Tap into their famed traits in battle as you bring Frankenstein back from the dead, use Jack's cleavers to gruesome effect, and launch across the map on Baron Münchhausen's cannonball!

Managing Director of Crytek Black Sea and Game Director of Arena of Fate, Vesselin Handjiev, said: “Imagine Joan of Arc and Robin Hood cooperating to hunt down Little Red Riding Hood – Wouldn’t that be terrific? But besides the game's iconic heroes, which everyone in the team really loves, we are also challenging ourselves to carefully craft a streamlined player experience that allows for both greater accessibility, and rich, deep, action-packed gameplay. We are very excited to meet the first wave of players in the arena this summer, and will be listening carefully to the feedback we receive and making the community's contribution a key part of our efforts to perfect the fun.”

The game is being developed by Crytek's Sofia studio, which was established in 2008 following Crytek's acquisition of Black Sea Studios. Originally founded in 2001, Black Sea Studios made their name with critically acclaimed real-time strategy game "Knights of Honor" and sci-fi online RTS/RPG hybrid, "WorldShift".

Arena of Fate is scheduled to enter Early Access Beta testing on PC this Summer, and players can sign up for a chance to get in on the action at http://www.arenaoffate.com. E3 attendees are invited to go hands-on with the PC version of the game from June 10-12 by visiting Crytek at booth 4500 in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evolve in October

Take-Two Interactive announces an October 21st global release date for Evolve, the upcoming first-person shooter from Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios. In the meantime the game is available for preorder, and they will be showing it off next month at this year's E3. Here's word:

2K and Turtle Rock Studios, creators of the cooperative shooter classic Left 4 Dead, today announced that their upcoming multiplayer shooter experience Evolve™ will be released globally on October 21, 2014 for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and PC. Everyone who pre-orders Evolve from participating retailers will receive the Monster Expansion Pack, which includes the Savage Goliath skin at launch, and a new monster character when available after Evolve is released.

Evolve expertly blends cooperative and competitive multiplayer experiences as a team of four hunters face off against a single, player-controlled monster. Set on an alien planet in the distant future, players hunt their prey in adrenaline-pumping 4v1 matches. Evolve includes multiple monsters, hunters, game modes, and more than a dozen maps, providing gamers with incredible gameplay variety and nearly limitless replayability.

Evolve will be playable at E3 from June 10-12, 2014, at 2K’s booth (#1301) located in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Evolve is available now for pre-order at participating retailers.

Diablo III Legendary Anniversary Buff Becomes Permanent

A Forum post by Blizzard designer Travis Day announces that they have heard the clamor, and have decided to make the anniversary buff to the legendary drop rate in Diablo III permanent going forward, instead of reverting to the previous drop rate today as was planned. The double drop-rate for Rift Fragments, however, has just ended as planned. Here's word:

I come bearing exciting news. Due to the overwhelming popularity of our Anniversary buff we have decided to keep the increased Legendary drop rate once the Anniversary celebration ends. Once the buff is disabled tomorrow morning, you will find that the new base line drop rates for Legendary items will be the same as those you have all enjoyed for the last week.

Free World of Warcraft Faction Changes

Blizzard announces they are offering free World of Warcraft faction changes for select realms:

We consistently watch queue times for all areas of the game to try to identify problem areas where we can step in and make an improvement. Battleground queue times specifically tend to be a direct result of how many people are entering the queue at any given time from both the Horde and Alliance, within an entire region. While a number of factors can lead to longer queue times, faction interest in queuing for PvP tends to be the primary influence. For that reason we're going to be trying something new. For a limited time, and only for select realms (for this first test just a single realm), we'll be opening faction changes for Horde characters to change to Alliance for free.

These changes will be provided on a limited basis to realms where we see the greatest potential for changes to occur. Guild leaders who want to Faction Change their guild for free will first need to pay for the initial transaction, but will be granted a refund* if they change to the eligible faction within the free change time frame.

Interstellar Marines Content Patch

The Early Access version of Interstellar Marines on Steam has just received an update 11, adding a new game mode to the sci-fi FPS/RPG along with a new weapon and a new map. Here's word:

Deadlock is an intense new game mode designed from the ground up for tactical gameplay. To succeed, you and your team will need intelligence, skill and situational awareness to decide when to push your enemy, when to hold back, and when to strike for the kill. Players win in Deadlock by capturing all 7 control points or by eliminating the enemy team. When a player dies they can be respawned by team mates capturing a control point, or by waiting 120 seconds, or by the last team mate alive fragging an enemy, whichever occurs first!

To enhance and expand the new gameplay opportunities Deadlock brings, the update introduces the first of several new weapons: the AR 03 Assault Rifle with 4x ACOG scope. The AR 03 is a highly effective mid-long range weapon which excels at engagements at those ranges. The original weapon in Interstellar Marines, the CE-6 SMG, has been re-balanced to make it more effective at CQB ranges, cementing its role as the designated close-in weapon.

The new update also introduces Stronghold, a second map using the Astrodome framework. Stronghold is the first map to include two very distinct play styles and areas. One half of Stronghold is a dense, lush forest, which gradually blends into a tight, claustrophobic urban area which conceals a few surprises for the unwary.

Morning Patches

Op Ed

Ars Technica - It’s time for Nintendo to move beyond white characters. Japanese company too Caucasian-centric?
By the time fan-service fighting series Super Smash Bros. expanded to a 34-character roster, it too reflected Nintendo’s narrow palette: 20 “human” characters populate Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s roster, and they’re all white. In fact, that game operates as a sort of Nintendo museum, thanks to its giant “trophy” selection, and its diversity offerings are just as scant.

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

Made a batch of ribs yesterday on the smoker that were delicious, but, for my tastes were a little overdone, as they hit that "fall off the bone" stage that is a little too tender. At least that's the case from a purists point of view: This is the second time this has happened this year (I'm experimenting with some variations on my technique), and the problem is that most people really react favorably to the tenderness, even though it would lose significant points at a barbeque competition. I guess that's the good news... most meats get tough when you overcook them, and no one ever praises a hockey puck hamburger the way they will gush about mushy ribs, so I'll just go with it.

Tender Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Disaster Will Strike 3.
Control Craft 3.
Battle Cry Ages of Myths.
Link: "Star Wars" Set Visit Fan Competition.
Stories: Donetsk's People Republic: One Building, Endless Bureaucracy. Thanks Digg.
Mel Brooks Remembers the Funniest Movie He Ever Made. Thanks nin.
Science: This Hellish Desert Pit Has Been On Fire for More Than 40 Years. Thanks Digg.
Minnesota Is the First State to Ban Antibacterial Soap.
Images: Prints that peer into 8-bit game characters' lurking anxieties.
TNT didn't think this one through. Today we're all colorblind.
Media: Solar FREAKIN' Roadways.
Mama Bear Pulls Cub Off Highway To Safety.
This Is What Things Sound Like Through A Cochlear Implant. Thanks nin.



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