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Friday, Aug 15, 2014

  

Gwent: Witcher 3's Embedded Card Game

CD Projekt RED announces plans to include a virtual card-based game titled Gwent within The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, the next installment in their RPG series (we were surprised that "Gwent" didn't trigger our spell-checker, but it turns out to be an ancient county preserved within Wales, and no, there won't be a test). They also announce that the Xbox One Collector's Edition of the game will also include a physical version of Gwent. Here's a description of the game, though the history it outlines may not actually be 100% true:

Gwent is a fast-paced card game that can be played within The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on every platform. Invented by dwarves and perfected over centuries of tavern table play, Gwent is a game of initial simplicity and ultimate depth, something beloved by both road-weary travelers during long nights around the campfire and elegant nobles looking to liven up dragging dinner parties. The game is about the clash of two armies locked in mortal struggle on a battlefield where the players are the leaders and the cards their forces. With four different factions offering unique combat styles and endless paths to victory, Gwent is every adventurer’s first choice when it comes to one-on-one card-based dueling. Take risks and think on your feet, strategize and deliver cunning combos, use potent magic and mighty hero cards and be the last one standing on the field of honor!

Key Features:

  • Over 150 unique playing cards
  • 4 distinct factions: the mighty and cunning Nilfgaardian Empire, the brave Northern Realms and their siege weapons, the agile and devious Scoia’tael, and the brutal monsters of No Man’s Land.
  • Powerful spells allow players to control the weather and affect units on the battlefield.
  • An array of combat styles caters to individual playstyles: close range with heavy knights, long range with skilled archers or artillery with powerful siege weapons.
  • Powerful hero cards, unique to each faction.

Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV Expansions Announced

Paradox reveals plans for new expansions for both Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV, maximizing efficiency by announcing both add-ons simultaneously. Crusader Kings II will expand with the release of Charlemagne, while Europa Universalis IV will be updated with Art of War, and the expansions will come to Windows, Linux, and OS X, though no release dates are specified at this time other than "the near future." Here's a Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne announcement trailer and here's a Europa Universalis IV: Art of War announcement trailer with looks at each, and here's word:

Paradox Interactive today revealed two new game expansions for their award-winning grand strategy titles Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II. The expansions, entitled “Art of War” and “Charlemagne,” coming respectively to Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II, will add new events, new mechanics, new in-game abilities, and plenty of new ways to change the course of history for strategy fans everywhere. Both expansions will be available for their respective games on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs in the near future.

Charlemagne will introduce Crusader Kings II players to the man who became the “Father of Europe,” uniting much of the continent for the first time since the since the fall of Rome and founding the Holy Roman Empire. Now starting in 769 AD – another century to play! – the expansion will include a series of story events that follows his rise to power, and will come with new game options to allow players to chart their own places in history – such as a new in-game “Chronicle” that highlights a dynasty’s conquests, marriages, and labors for the faith. Kingdoms are also more customizable in Charlemagne with the option to create your own with custom names and banners.

Continue here to read the full story.

Risen 3 Rises in EU

Deep Silver announces that Risen 3: Titan Lords is now available for Windows and consoles in Europe, as planned. A new EU launch trailer for the action/RPG sequel celebrates the news, and they offer the following refresher on the game:

The world of Risen 3 is abandoned by all gods and suffers from the Titan Wars when a new threat rises from the soil. A young warrior is attacked from the shadows and deprived of his soul. He sets off to reclaim what is lost amidst the darkness that is spreading throughout the world. The banned Mages could be powerful allies on his quest. To get their help, he needs to find the Mage sanctuary on Taranis, also known as the Island of Thunder. Protected by the Guardians, the Mages search the mines of Taranis for crystals loaded with magic energy. Will the player join the Guardians to get in contact with the Mages? Or will he choose one of the other guilds in Risen 3 to reach his goals?

Continue here to read the full story.

Citizens of Earth Delayed

ATLUS announces a slight delay for Citizens of Earth, saying the retro-styled role-playing game is now due in November, rather than October, even though the game's official website still reflects the old date as of now. Here's the explanation, which includes pricing details:

The good news is that we'll be releasing Citizens of Earth for $14.99 on each of the five platforms it's available for. That's PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and PC if you haven't been keeping count!

In effort to have more champagne time - whoops, I mean CAMPAIGN time! - we are pushing back the release of Citizens of Earth from October, 2014, to the coincidentally-more-suitable election month: November!

No one likes delaying games, but hopefully the $14.99 price point for 30+ hours of classic JRPG-inspired entertainment will assuage those pains.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

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Into the Black

Play Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare for Free

EA announces that Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is the latest game getting the free access treatment through their Origin Game Time program. This will allow anyone with an Origin account to download the game and play for free for 72 hours. The clock on the free play period does not start until you first launch the game, but it does not pause when you quit, so this allows as much game time as you care to fit into a single three-day stretch. This offer apparently includes special perks, as they explain:

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare pits teams of plants against squads of zombies to see who can dominate suburban arenas in 24-player multiplayer action. The better you do, the more you unlock. The more you unlock, the crazier it gets.

Download PvZGW with Origin Game Time and your experience will include tons of great new content: a new map (Crash Course), a new game mode (Suburbination, a zany take on the Domination-like “capture the waypoints” challenge), a brand new character (a community-choice custom take on the Pea Shooter) and much more.

IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad Steam Early Access

Early access to IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad is now available through Steam, allowing the chance to get behind the yoke in the latest installment in 1C's World War II aerial combat game. In addition to a standard version, they also offer a Premium edition, though one of the perks for that had been even earlier access, which is no longer a factor. Those who prefer to hold off until the game is completed don't have long to wait, as it is set for official release next month. Here's a refresher: "IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad is a combat flight simulation dedicated to the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the most decisive and fierce battles on the Eastern Front in WWII. This new project from 1С Game Studios represents the next generation of combat flight simulations with the latest development technologies – from a new higher level of physics modeling, damage modeling and aerodynamics to modern modes of gameplay with detailed, immersive environments."

Sniper Elite 3 Free & Paid DLC Today

Rebellion announces the launch of two new DLC packs for Sniper Elite 3 today, adding content to the sharpshooting sequel. One is a free update, and the other is a paid pack, and word is these will each come to the console editions of the game "in the near future." The free map is the third of four planned freebies, and the premium weapons pack add a rifle and a machine gun. Here's word:

FREE Plantation multiplayer map

The third of four FREE multiplayer maps for Sniper Elite 3 players on all platforms, Plantation sees Rebellion’s Runcorn studio play with the typical conventions of the series’ multiplayer design.

Once again highlighting the lush variety offered by the game’s North African setting, Plantation is flanked by a traversable swamp while a water wheel irrigates the surrounding areas via a network of shallow trenches, offering opportunities for stealthy movement and quick escapes.

Eschewing the traditional battles for a handful of commanding views, Plantation offers an open and rewardingly complex environment encouraging snipers to think creatively about their location and movement.

Eastern Front weapons pack

Imported from the bitter climes of Eastern Europe, some of World War Two’s most iconic weapons are now available to play in Sniper Elite 3 via the Eastern Front weapons pack.

Available for use across all game modes the pack includes the Blyskawica submachine gun, the Tokarev TT-33 pistol and the Mosin-Nagant rifle.

Total War: Rome 2 Free & Paid DLC Today

SEGA announces that owners of Total War: Rome 2 will receive a free content update for Creative Assembly's real-time strategy sequel today through Steam adding new units. This will come along with a related premium pack for purchase. Here's word:

ROME II players will find their game updated via Steam today with a new, free content pack. The August Warriors Update adds unique units such as the Hex-Bearers, Amazonian Riders and Scythian Noblewomen to several playable factions, and includes a significant upgrade to the Suebi roster.

Also available for purchase today, the Daughters of Mars Unit Pack brings fearsome new warriors to ROME II. Whether in defence of their homelands or called upon to fulfil their part in glorious conquest, female combatants featured throughout the ancient world. Adding a swift and deadly mix of fighting styles and abilities to the fray, generals will wisely place value on those who aspire to be the avatars of the war gods themselves!

Daughters of Mars expands the faction rosters of Rome, the Lusitani, the Suebi and Sparta. These new units can also be hired as mercenaries from specific provinces, whichever faction you play as.

Design TF2 Merchandise, Profit

The Team Fortress 2 website has word that Valve is soliciting designs for actual hats and such to sell to fans of Team Fortress 2, the teamplay shooter and virtual hat simulator. Here's the deal:

For decades, humanity looked at the common baseball hat and just saw a thing you put on your head. It took a special kind of person to look at it and think, "I could attach beer cans to the sides of that thing so I'll have my hands free to hold two additional beers." It took a special kind of person to look at a t-shirt and realize, "I could draw a tuxedo on that t-shirt and trick people into thinking I'm wearing a tuxedo."

Who were these people? Drunk idiots, mostly. But also visionaries. And now we're giving the Team Fortress 2 community the chance to join that pantheon. How? By submitting your t-shirt and poster designs to be voted on by the Team Fortress 2 community. Simply navigate to the ‘Merchandise” tab in the Team Fortress 2 Workshop.

Once the votes are in, we’ll curate the top-rated entries, and the best of the best designs will be made available as official merchandise at the Valve Store and various online retailers. You won't just be ensuring your place in history: You'll also get paid a handsome royalty for every unit sold. (For more info on submitting your designs, visit the FAQ.)

Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition Details

Battle.net announces plans for a Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition, after yesterday's announceent of a November 13th release date for the World of Warcraft expansion. Besides the expansion, this will include a behind-the-scenes feature, the soundtrack, an art book, a mouse pad, and the following "epic" in game loot, 75% of which relates to other games:

  • World of Warcraft Dread Raven Mount and Dread Hatchling Pet — Descend from the skies on the back of a black-winged Dread Raven mount, a mortal progeny of Anzu. Then devour your prey in your next pet battle with the adorably ferocious Dread Hatchling.
  • StarCraft II Portraits — Summon the strength of two deadly Iron Horde war chiefs—Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand—as you take on the Dominion with these two StarCraft II portraits.
  • Diablo III Warsong Pennant — Don this battle-worn pennant and channel the rage of the Warsong Clan against the demonic forces of Sanctuary.
  • Hearthstone Card Back — Your adventures in Draenor will be the talk of the tavern after outfitting your champion’s deck with this custom card back forged in the fires of Blackrock.

Arena of Fate Trailer

There's a new Gamescom trailer on GamesTrailers showing off Arena of Fate, Crytek's upcoming MOBA. The clip runs a bit over two and a half minutes, offering a look at the familiar characters that will populate the game. The video is narrated by Little Red Riding Hood, whose cockney accent alone may be enough to drive you into battle ready to kill something. Continue here to read the full story.

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Out of the Blue

It was 45 years ago today that the Woodstock Music Festival opened up in Bethel, NY, which for those familiar with the area, is actually nowhere near Woodstock (which has not prevented Woodstock from remaining a hippie Mecca ever since). There are apparently anniversary events this weekend to commemorate the occasion, but no word on whether anyone is bringing the brown acid.

Commemorative Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Steam Rogue.
Dino Meat Hunt 2.
Robo Trobo.
Links: Meet the Beer Bottle Dictator. Thanks Boing Boing.
Where We Came From, State by State. Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: Only 3 Men In History Have Walked on water... Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Media: Discovery channel Shark Week debunked.
This Is What You Look Like In Ultraviolet.
Follow-up: Robin Williams had early stages of Parkinson's disease.



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