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Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014

  

Dark Souls II DLC Trilogy Starts Next Month

BANDAI NAMCO Games announces plans for a trilogy of DLC for Dark Souls II starting next month. Here's word on the plan, which includes a season pass deal:

Leading video game publisher and developer BANDAI NAMCO Games America Inc. and FromSoftware today announced the impending arrival of three new DLC chapters to the critically acclaimed Dark Souls™ II for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PC via Steam. These three new DLC chapters known as The Lost Crowns trilogy will take Dark Souls II fans through entirely original areas to face a slew of unknown enemies, overcome diabolic challenges, and take-on fearsome bosses. Crown of the Sunken King, the first chapter in this DLC trilogy, will be available in the Americas on July, 22, 2014 followed by the DLC launches of Crown of the Old Iron King on August 26, 2014 and Crown of the Ivory King on September 24, 2014. A Season Pass program will also be offered for the entire The Lost Crowns trilogy via Steam for PC players in the Americas.

Crown of the Sunken King, the first chapter in the trilogy, sends players on a journey to reclaim the crowns that Drangleic’s King Vendrick once owned. Crown of the Sunken King features an entirely different world within the Dark Souls II universe, where stepped pyramids span a vast underground cavern. It is said that one of the ancient crowns lay buried deep within these dark caverns; but surely such a valued item cannot sit unguarded. Players that seek adversity and glory will be rewarded with a crown that holds the strength of lords from times long past.

Stardock Working on Eight Games

Stardock now offers the Stardock Customer Report 2014 (Adobe Acrobat format), featuring Brad Wardell's annual unusually transparent look at their company's operations, saying they "currently have eight games and a similar number of software projects in development," and that there "will be a lot of announcements in the next several months." Brad also discusses their shifted outlook on mobile after learning that their poorest selling DLC for a PC game generates more income than nearly every mobile app they've been able to get numbers for (not just their own mobile offerings), saying they will continue to support mobile as an investment in the future, as they don't consider this a long-term problem. They also have an interest in (rather than a plan for) console development, and Brad says they have turned around the Elemental franchise after a rough launch, as sales of the series have increased over time, which is unusual.

Dead Rising 3 Steam Plans?

The Steam Database currently has no listing for Dead Rising 3, but an image on All Games Beta shows a listing that was purportedly previously found there. This lists a Steam edition of Dead Rising 3, though Capcom has not made any announcements about a PC edition of the zombie sequel.

Defiance Now Free-to-Play

Trion announces the Windows edition of Defiance has made its promised transition to a free-to-play game, just in time for the premiere of season two of the MMO shooter's tie-in television series on SyFy on June 19th (the console editions of the game are expected to go F2P on June 15th). Word is: "New players and returning vets alike will be able to battle through the entire Bay Area storyline, as well as the all-new new Stahma’s Interests story missions," and a new free-to-play launch trailer shows off some of this upcoming content. Here's word on how they will compensate those who paid for the game before this point:

Players who purchase a new box or digital copy of Defiance are granted the following bonuses:

  • A grant of 1,000 Arkforge, in-game currency redeemable for resetting weapon mastery, upgrading a weapon’s power rating or even bumping an uncommon weapon to epic rarity.
  • 4 Character Slots, 5 Loadouts, up to 75 Ark Keycodes and a minimum 70 Inventory Slots.
  • 30 days of Paradise Patron status

Paradise Patrons are granted:

  • Boosts to skill, XP, scrip, salvage and reputation gain rates that stack with the matching boosts available in the store.
  • 10% store-wide discount – boosts, costumes, lock boxes, all of it!
  • A grab bag of one-hour boosts or Arkforge from Daily and Weekly Ark Hunter Bonus Lock Boxes.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam FAQ Adds Early Access Caveat

The Steam Early Access FAQ has added a warning to customers that the nature of the program means that their purchases involve some risk. Word is: "You should be aware that some teams will be unable to 'finish' their game. So you should only buy an Early Access game if you are excited about playing it in its current state." Thanks Kotaku.

Tropico 5 Sales Bask in the Sun

Kalypso Media celebrates the launch of Tropico 5, saying this has been their most successful launch in their history with the island dictator series. Here's word on how the sequel has soared up the charts:

Kalypso Media is proud to announce that the recent release of Tropico 5, the latest title in the popular series of political simulation and city building games, has been the most successful launch in the history of the series for the Kalypso Media Group. The game has achieved international chart success with worldwide sales reaching over six figures. Tropico 5 went straight to #2 in the German full-price charts, while it also reached #4 in the UK and hit the #1 top spot on Steam.

Motorsport VR Trailer

Ghost Machine Studios offers a new video showing off Motorsport VR, an upcoming racing game built around Oclulus Rift VR support. Here's word on the game, which is currently available via Early Access. Here's the deal:

Ghost Machine VR Releases First Gameplay Videos of Virtual-Reality Racing

The newly formed Ghost Machine VR released today a series of live gameplay videos of Motorsport VR, a racing simulation game designed for the Oculus Rift platform. Based on racing simulators that are popular on other core platforms, Motorsport VR is the first completely virtual-reality-designed game of its kind.

Motorsport VR is currently available for Windows users (a Mac OS version of the beta will be released soon) and is being billed as a complete immersion-racing experience built with other games and the popular Le Mans Series, a European sports-car endurance race, in mind. The single-player, physics-based game delivers at least a dozen three-dimensional tracks from which players may choose. An official release of the game is slated for fall of 2014; the beta version of Motorsport VR, as well as 2D and 3D versions (viewable with the Oculus VR Headset) of the new gameplay videos can be found on the Ghost Machine website.

Continue here to read the full story.

Jagged Alliance Flashback Linux Version

The Early Access version of Jagged Alliance Flashback on Steam now includes a Linux edition of the turn-based tactics remake. This is accompanied by a new Jagged Alliance: Flashback Modding Guide with utilities and tutorials to show how to create custom content for the game. "We have strived to make Jagged Alliance: Flashback mod-friendly and even now in Early Access, players can design new missions with the editor running in the free version of Unity, which is the engine we use to power the game," said Thomas Hentschel Lund, CEO of Full Control. "Linux users usually know a thing or two about programming, so we are excited to announce the game for Linux at the same time that we are working to really beef up the modding system. We can’t wait to see what our players will create." Here's the announcement:

Full Control announced today that the next installment in the classic turn-based strategy franchise, Jagged Alliance: Flashback, is now available for Linux users on Steam Early Access. Additionally, Full Control has added a Modding Guide to Jagged Alliance: Flashback on Early Access to help guide players through the editor to make mods and new sectors for the game. The game is fully integrated with Steam Workshop, allowing users to share and discuss their creations.

On Sale

  • Arma series on GOG.com. Save up to 80%.
  • Crusader Kings II on Steam. Save 67%.
  • Delirium Bundle on Bundle Stars. 12 Steam games for $3.49.
  • Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM 3 Full Burst on Steam. Save 50%.
  • SPORE on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Sniper Elite V2 Free Today

Steam News has the explanation of why Rebellion warned gamers not to run out and buy Sniper Elite V2 on Steam this week. It turns out the game is being offered for free for one day only:

Sniper Elite V2 is FREE today only on Steam!*

Sniper Elite V2 is an award-winning and authentic World War II sniping experience. You are elite US sniper Karl Fairburne. Parachuted into Berlin amidst the Germans’ final stand, your mission is to prevent Nazi V2 rocket program technology from falling into the hands of the besieging Red Army. You must aid key scientists keen to defect to the US, and terminate those who would help the Russians.

To claim your free copy of Sniper Elite V2, just visit the store page and click the install button*! If you don’t install it, it goes back to regular price tomorrow and you miss out!

*Offer ends June 5th at 10AM Pacific Time.

Tetris Ultimate Announced

Ubisoft announces Tetris Ultimate, an upcoming uber-tastic installment in the venerable puzzle series. Word is this will be coming to Windows this fall after debuting on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 over the summer, intended to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the release of the original (which, according to Wikipedia is not this summer, but rather two days from today). Here's how they describe the new edition: "With exciting modes, fun features and unique visuals, Tetris Ultimate allows 1–4 players to face off in six different game modes: Marathon, Endless, Ultra, Sprint, Battle and Power-Up Battle." We should know more soon enough, as Ubisoft will be showing off the game at E3 next week, where Tetris originator Alexey Pajitnov will be on hand to sign autographs. Here are some screenshots and here's a gameplay trailer showing how Battle Mode will work. Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light E3 Trailer

Techland offers this E3 2014 trailer for Dying Light, confirming the Polish developer will be showing off the upcoming first-person survival/horror game at next week's trade show. Here's word on the clip: "Among other exciting features, the newest trailer of Dying Light demonstrates the system of Natural Movement. This feature, designed internally by Techland, not only lets players move around the whole environment of the game easily and intuitively but also combine parkour-style movement with brutal combat. It will be further explained and showcased during the prestigious E3 2014 expo, which takes place on June 10-12 in Los Angeles. " Continue here to read the full story.

NVIDIA Enhancing Ubisoft PC Games

Ubisoft and NVIDIA announce an expansion of their strategic partnership to bring NVIDIA GameWorks enhancements to upcoming Windows games from Ubisoft, including Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew, and Tom Clancy's The Division. "Working with NVIDIA has enabled us to bring an enhanced gameplay experience to our PC players," said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with NVIDIA on our biggest upcoming titles." Here's more:

NVIDIA’s GameWorks Team is working closely with Ubisoft’s development studios to incorporate cutting edge graphics technology and gaming innovations to create game worlds that deliver unprecedented realism and immersion. NVIDIA’s GameWorks technology includes TXAA antialiasing, which provides Hollywood-levels of smooth animation, soft shadows, HBAO+ (horizon-based ambient occlusion), advanced DX11 tessellation, and NVIDIA PhysX technology.

Star Citizen Arena Commander Released

The Roberts Space Industries website announces that the Arena Commander module for Star Citizen is now available, offering backers of the space combat game the chance to explore the game's dogfighting after a delay or two. They also provide a pilot's guide, outline plans for an upcoming version 0.9, and offer the following description of the version 0.8 that's now available:

We are very happy to finally share with you the first public build of Arena Commander!

The build we are releasing today is what we’re calling Version 0.8. You can download it by either updating your existing Hangar through the launcher or by accessing the Star Citizen Download page. V0.8 will give every qualified backer access to the Vanduul Swarm and Freeflight modes and includes the ability to fly the Aurora, 300i and Hornet. If you haven’t pledged for one of these ships, we’ll give you a loaner that is the closest in class to what you fly; we want everyone with Alpha access (or an Arena Commander pass) to get their first taste of spaceflight!

WARNING: the updated version of the Star Citizen launcher will replace the USER folder when it patches. If you have any saved screenshots or other content, please move them before downloading Arena Commander.

Arena Commander V0.8 also includes multiplayer functionality for the Battle Royale and Team modes. These modes will be available for a small number of players today. As we hunt down lag and synch issues and spin up servers, we will open these modes up to more and more players in the coming weeks.

Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It’s the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete’ with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX. By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!

Ships Ahoy - Legends of Persia

Sourena Game Studio announces the release of Legends Of Persia through most digital distribution portals, celebrating the news with a new launch trailer for the crowd-funded action/RPG. Here's the deal:

What began as a highly successful crowdfunding campaign has finally come to fruition. Legends Of Persia is an ambitious Action RPG in style of diablo™, incorporating bloody battles, item usage, character building, and storyline incorporation. The storyline revolves around Keykhosro, the son of the Persian prince Siavosh, who in the name of his father’s blood seeks to take revenge upon Afrasiab, the king of Tooran. Throughout the game, the character will face difficult challenges to overcome such as defeating massive waves of enemies, encountering difficult bosses, and finally dealing with Afriasiab, his father’s killer. Featuring more than 5 hours of single-player action in addition to 5 attractive locations and more than 200 weapons and items to use, the game is packed full of features! With more than 18 unique types of magic, 3 different hero characters (fully customizable), and more than 30 unique challenging enemies, prepare to get blown away with the addictive gameplay and fantastic graphics!

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Anti-Cheat Improvements

A new patch for the Windows edition of Call of Duty: Ghosts improves anti-cheat technology in the military shooter sequel, adds a golden knife, and more. Here are the patch notes:

Anti-Cheat

  • Overall anti-cheat improvements.

New Features

  • Golden Knife: Faster melee weapon available at prestige 5.
  • Golden PDW: Automatic firing secondary available at prestige 10.
  • New Multiplayer lobby music.

Extinction

  • Reverted changes associated with the Grenade Turret
  • 5 new Relics
  • 5 new Prestige Ranks

Morning Patches

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 experienced something odd last night for the first time ever. I woke up from a dream, only to later wake up again, as I was dreaming I was having a dream. There's nothing to make this impossible, but I previously had assumed this was something that only happens in the movies. I should do a quick check to see if I can fly... maybe it'll turn out that I'm Neo.

Neo Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Last Legacy: Null Space.
Super Mario Racing 3.
Upgradaroids.
Link: Gift Guide: Life-Sized Vigo the Carpathian Poster.
Stories: George RR Martin's editor hints at eighth Game of Thrones book.
Video: Car fleeing from police goes through park, nearly hits children.
Maureen Dowd Tries Edible Marijuana And Has A Really, Really Bad Trip.
Science: Autistic boys exposed to higher levels of hormones in womb, study finds.
Introvert or extrovert? Most of us are ambiverts.
Images: The Communist Party of Serbia uses TF2 for their propaganda posters. Not kidding at all.
Media: Reactions to The Viper vs. The Mountain at The Burlington Bar.
Double amputee cat does flying handstand down stairs.
Follow-up: 'Mountain' from 'Game of Thrones' just as strong in real life as he is on the show. Thanks Batman.



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