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Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014

  

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection Free for All

A week after announcing they were ending support for The Sims 2 and upgrading all those who registered the game on Origin to the Ultimate Collection edition of the lifestyle simulation, EA announces they have opened this process up further, and are offering a free copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection to all Origin users. Here's how this works:

Because you’re a passionate The Sims 2 player, we’re making The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection available free of charge to download to your Origin library. To add the game, just follow these steps:

  1. Start by downloading and installing Origin. If you already have Origin you can skip to step 3.
  2. Not an Origin member? Create a free Origin Account to get in the game.
  3. Launch Origin and log into your Origin Account.
  4. From the ‘Games’ tab in the Origin menu, select ‘Redeem Product Code’ and enter the code
    I-LOVE-THE-SIMS

If you’re already an Origin member, you can also redeem your code online. Just visit the Origin code redemption page and log in to your Origin Account. Then enter I-LOVE-THE-SIMS in the ‘Product Code’ field.

Log into Origin and download and play the game any time you want .

Thanks for being a passionate The Sims fan, and enjoy your copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection.

This code will available for redemption until July 31st, 2014 at 10AM PDT.

Boss Key Staffs Up

Boss Key Productions, the startup developer founded by Cliff Bleszinski, announces several new hires as they staff up to develop Blue Streak, the company's upcoming debut game. Veterans from Epic Games, Red Storm, Neversoft Entertainment, and Irrational Games comprise the new staff. CVG has all the details, and here's the part outlining the new additions:

Chris Mielke (Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Far Cry 4, The Division) will fill the role of senior producer. Chris Wells (the Gears of War trilogy, Fortnite) is the new senior character artist, while fellow former Epic Games man Joshua Parker is Boss Key's new senior gameplay programmer.

Shane Smith (Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinite) is the IT director, David Rose (Guitar Hero 5 and 6, and Call of Duty: Ghosts) is the so-called 'UI Ninja', Ryan Palser (Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Ghosts) is the senior animator, James Hawkins (Gears of War Trilogy, Unreal Tournament 3) is senior concept artist, and Sarah Asby (Gears of War Trilogy, Unreal Tournament 3) is the exec assistant.

More ArcheAge Beta Testing Next Week

Trion Worlds announces the first beta weekend for ArcheAge was a "great success" as they unveil plans for the next round of testing for XLGames' MMORPG. The next event is called "Setting Sail," which sets sail on Wednesday July 30th and will run until August 4th, and they say this will be around three times bigger than the first beta. This blog post offers details on the concluded beta and the upcoming event. They say invites are going out to some of those who have signed up on their website and members of their founder's program and they are also holding a Beta Raise Your Sails Contest to offer access to three winners.

Risen 3 Goes Back to Piranha Bytes' Roots

German developer Piranha Bytes says they are going back to their roots with Risen 3: Titan Lords, their RPG sequel that's due on August 15th, saying this includes many elements they are known for from previous Risen and Gothic games. They offer a new Back to The Roots trailer to support this, which they describe like so: "The diverse landscapes are handcrafted and full of life, providing the player with the same authentic, classic experience that epitomized the Gothic series as well as the original Risen. In their "Back to the Roots" video feature, Piranha Bytes and Deep Silver take the player to the various locations of Risen 3: Titan Lords and show how favorite elements of the previous Piranha Bytes games are coming back." Continue here to read the full story.

Retail Omerta - City of Gangsters Gold Edition Next Month

Kalypso Media announces plans for Omerta - City of Gangsters Gold Edition, a boxed retail edition of the Windows crime game. This should appear in stores on August 12th for $19.99, and those especially eager to be made can preorder through Amazon.com. Word is this will include the Japanese Incentive as an incentive: "This edition includes the main game Omerta - City of Gangsters, as well as all previously released DLC and the major expansion ‘The Japanese Incentive’. With over 100 hours of content and a whole city to subject to your latest law-breaking initiative, Omerta – City of Gangsters Gold Edition is the ultimate way to experience being a shady overlord of a criminal empire."

Interloper Announced

Independent Dutch developer Monogon Games announces Interloper, an upcoming real-time strategy game featuring a number of tribes vying for control over a "lush, newly discovered world." The Interloper website is live with an announcement trailer which may or may not help understand this better. The plan is to release this for Windows, OS X, and Linux, though a release date is not specified at this point. Here's a rundown on the game:

In the Interloper universe a peaceful, densely vegetated land turns into a volatile battlefield of territorial tug-of-war. Claiming domain provides strategic advantages for the power hungry tribes. Challenge other players in competitive online multiplayer matches to spread your tribe’s influence.

Features:

  • Gameplay focused on spatial tactics.
  • Competitive online multiplayer matches.
  • Extensive single-player campaign.
  • AI with various difficulty and behavior settings.
  • Unique visual style and dynamic soundtrack based on your tribe.

Assassin's Creed Toy Includes Unity Unlock

The UbiBlog has details on a new Assassin's Creed Phantom Blade toy in the works at McFarlane Toys as a working (though hopefully non-lethal) recreation of the iconic weapon from the stealth/action series. They are already available for preorder for $59.99 and it looks like the release is expected on October 28th, simultaneous with the release of Assassin's Creed Unity. The purchase includes a code to also unlock an exclusive French cavalry pistol in Unity. They offer a new Assassin's Creed Unity Meets Parkour in Real Life video in 4K resolution which includes a look at the blade toy in action as well as footage of soldiers and assassins doing some wheel-free skitching on busses just like they did during the French Revolution. Continue here to read the full story.

New Company of Heroes 2 Commanders

Steam News announces the release of six new commanders for Company of Heroes 2, the World War II RTS sequel. There are three new US commanders and three new German commanders, and for the next week they are all being offered for 25% off.

Steam Controller Redesigned?

SteamDB tweets an image of a redesigned Steam Controller that now sports what looks like an analog thumbstick, another step away from the less conventional designs Valve began with. According to PC Gamer, the image is included in the latest beta Steam client for some reason.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Op Ed

VG247 - 8 things PC gamers are always wrong about.
They are so off on the first two it makes you think number three has to be true too.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 'Galaxy Quest'- The Oral History. By Grabthar’s Hammer, I do so love that movie.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris in December

Square Enix has revealed a December 9th release date for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the upcoming sequel to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, the co-op spin-off of the Tomb Raider series. This date applies to the Windows and consoles editions, as noted on IGN, where they also point to a new feature based on hands-on time playing the game with Crystal Dynamics executive producer Scott Amos that they show off in three new videos.

The Walking Dead Season Two: Amid the Ruins Released

Telltale Games announces the release of Amid the Ruins, the fourth episode in Season Two of The Walking Dead, their episodic zombie game. This trailer sets the stage for the new chapter, saying: "Free of their brutal captor, the group resumes their journey north. But hunger, violence and death have taken their toll. Simmering conflicts and inevitable changes within the group remind Clementine that danger can come from within, as well as without; she must choose her allies carefully in this penultimate episode of The Walking Dead Season 2." Continue here to read the full story.

Areal Fundraising Resumes In-House

The Facebook page for Areal explains that the Areal website has resumed fundraising for West Games' proposed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-inspired first-person shooter after their Kickstarter was suspended. In discussing the suspension, they say they got no warning, and continue to make their case that much of the criticism of their project is disinformation from a "lot of companies that make their livelihood on STALKER." They also follow their odd claim of support from Russian President Vladimir Putin by saying some of the problems they've met with stem from hostility from Russian Kickstarter campaigns as part of the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Here's word:

Our Kickstarter was suspended without any warning. As per Kickstarter's policy, we cannot contact them to find out why. Areal is the spiritual successor to STALKER, in terms of our vision for it and in terms of the team that we have (which includes Alexey Sytyanov, the lead game designer and screenwriter for STALKER). You can find out more about us and our team on our website: http://areal.west-games.com/

From the very beginning, we showed what we have accomplished, and showed the atmosphere for what we want to accomplish (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTMtpViPhhc&list=UU7j5-kx3Mk4rtG6q_SfsOYQ).

The fact is that there are a lot of companies that make their livelihood on STALKER, so when we showed up on the scene, they saw us as a threat and did everything that they could to stop us.

People also need to take into account that Ukrainians and Russians are in an information war right now, and as a Ukrainian developer, we were subject to constant hostility from Russian Kickstarter accounts (we even got death threats). There are over 16,000 comments on our Kickstarter, which is unprecedented for the amount of supporters that we have, and a lot of our comments are hate filled. Some sites, in light of this, chose to report based on sources from direct competitors or from the myriad of comments based on lies. Others chose a neutral ground, because of the confusing situation around us, and still others wrote positively about us. All in all, more than a 1,000 news results come up when you type in "Areal Kickstarter" on Google.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Halfway

The Robotality website announces the release of Halfway, a strategic turn-based RPG set aboard an invaded spaceship where a crew of survivors look to regain control. The game is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux on the Humble Store and Steam for 10% off, and they say the release of the game will be followed by the tools used to create the game to allow players to create their own missions. Also, the first patch for the game is already available, updating it to version 1.0.1 to address issues that could cause the game to crash. Details are in this change log. Here's a feature list for the game:

  • Tactical turn-based battles are at the core of Halfway. Use cover, position, equipment and skills to your advantage in your battles.
  • Unique characters: Your team is formed of unique characters you pick up along the way. Each one of them brings their own story, skills and experiences to the journey.
  • Find yourself in the middle of an engrossing story-line. Step by step you’ll uncover the mysterious events that took place and what it means for you and all of humanity.
  • Mod support coming soon! Map and campaign editor soon to be released.

Morning Patches

Op Ed

Polygon - No skin thick enough- The daily harassment of women in the game industry.
The problem with sharing these stories in broad terms is that people think men and women receive the same harassment online. They do not. I’m not writing this piece to evoke your sympathy. I’m writing to share with you what prominent, successful women in the industry experience, in their own words.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Game Names Are Almost Universally Terrible.
Seriously it’s not that hard why are you all so bad at this aauuugh.

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

I had to deal with a few different support issues yesterday, and in one day got bombarded with more music on hold than any man should be subjected to. I also then got bombarded with follow-ups from Verizon, who robo-called six times in a row, once to confirm each detail I had changed about my account. I'm actually not complaining, I'd much rather err on the side of caution with account security, but it sure got comical after a while.

R.I.P.: Former Dallas Cowboys FB Robert Newhouse dies at 64, son says.

Supported Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Escape to Hell.
Royal Ruckus.
Special Strike- Dust 2.
Story: The Pickpocket’s Tale. Thanks Boing Boing.
Science: What Happens When an Amoeba “Eats” Your Brain? Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: This kid is playing a bowling game at a bowling alley.
Media: The Avengers - 8-Bit Cinema.
If Pokemon Had an Honest Trailer.
Dog Football Gameplay and Commentary. NSFW.



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