Archived News:

Thursday, Oct 04, 2007

The Chosen Trial

Meridian 4 Games now offers a trial version of The Chosen: Well of Souls allowing the chance to sample Rebelmind's just-released action/RPG. The trial offers one hour of play with the full game, which can be unlocked to a full retail release with a key that can be purchased online. The 426 MB download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.Ro, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Internode Games Network.

No Assassin's Creed Demo

An Assassins Creed video interview on Gametrailers includes word that there will be no playable demo for Assassin's Creed. The statement, by Jade Raymond included the explanation that a sandbox-style game that includes three "huge" cities will be difficult to cut down into a sample. Thanks FiringSquad.

Carbine Studios Unveiled

Carbine Studios reveals themselves to the world, an Orange County, California-based MMORPG developer partnered with NCsoft for an unannounced project "that promises to break new ground in massively multiplayer gaming." Carbine includes 17 former Blizzard employees "including lead and senior developers from the World of Warcraft team," headed up by Kevin Beardslee (a lead developer on WoW), Tim Cain (Fallout programmer and co-founder of Troika), and Jeremy Gaffney (City of Heroes and Asheron’s Call). OCRegister.com has a story up introducing the developer (thanks Veng3ance), saying Carbine admits their debut project is a cross-genre MMOG with some fantasy elements (and dancing).

Fury Changes

Big Changes in Store for MMO Fury on GameSpy has word that Auran is overhauling certain aspects of gameplay in Fury, under two weeks from the launch of the PvP MMORPG, though some of the planned changes may not be implemented by their launch date of October 16. Changes include the elimination of Incarnation Rank so all players begin on the same level, Avatar Rank based on skill, the ability to purchase an all ability unlock, the addition of an introductory training ground, and more.

Gold (Again) - Culpa Innata

Strategy First Announces Culpa Innata has Gone Gold is the press release announcing this strategy game from Momentum AS is gold, nearly a year after it was declared gold the first time in late October, 2006 (story). No explanation has ever been offered for that abortive announcement, but presumably the new notice carries a bit more weight, as it offers an October 23 release date:
Canada, MONTREAL October 4th, 2007. Publisher Strategy First Inc., a subsidiary of Silverstar Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSTR), is pleased to announce that the adventure game of the year “Culpa Innata” developed by Momentum AS, has officially gone gold today. Culpa Innata is due to hit stores across North America October 23rd, 2007. Attached are some fantastic new screenshots for Culpa Innata.

About Culpa Innata
A World Union citizen is murdered in Russia, one of the few remaining Rogue States. This murder oddly coincides with the accidental death of a prominent professor in Adrianopolis, an important border town between the World Union and Russia. Peace Officer Phoenix Wallis is assigned to lead the investigation of the murder. Still young and inexperienced, she will soon make discoveries beyond her wildest imagination, as skilled hackers and subversive characters begin taking an inexplicable interest in Phoenix. Her investigation reveals enigmatic clues that lead her deeper and deeper into a mystery that challenges not only her case, but her very beliefs in the worldview she has sworn to protect.

Features
Original, complex story with a detailed history in a fully realized game world Environments and characters rendered in 3D with dynamic camera implementation Cinematics rendered with in-game engine for seamless graphics integration Click and go character control; user friendly mouse-driven interface Over 50 interactive characters, each created with Momentum-patented 3D facial animation technology Intuitive dialogue system with player choice and branching conversation paths Non-linearity and optional player activities offer rewarding replay-ability Character journal capturing all key game moments More than 40 unique locations Diverse range of integrated challenges, from standalone logic puzzles to hi-tech gadgetry to inventory and dialogue obstacles Original soundtrack Culpa Innata will be in stores across North America October 23rd, at the retail price of $29.99. Culpa Innata is rated M for Mature by ESRB.

For more information and to pre-order your copy today visit: http://www.strategyfirst.com/en/games/culpainnata/

Loki Patch & Patch Plans

The Loki Forums offer a new version 1.0.7.0 patch for the European DVD version of Cyanide Studios' action/RPG (thanks The Patches Scrolls). There is also a subsequent forum post with word on plans for an upcoming version 1.0.8.0 patch that will close off an aspect of the game that can be exploited, and that the Loki Battle Round #1 will be postponed until the release of this patch, which is "at least" three weeks off.

Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Patch

Firaxis Games now offers a new patch for Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword, updating the turn-based strategy expansion to version 3.13. The patch is a robust 121 MB download. The patch is also automatically available for the Steam edition.

UFO: Extraterrestrials Patch

The UFO: Extraterrestrials Downloads Page now offers downloads of Patch #2 for all English versions of the science fiction strategy game. There's no word on what the 2.4 MB patch addresses. Thanks The Patches Scrolls.

NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer Text Hotfix

The Neverwinter Nights 2 Forums offer hotfixes for the various language editions of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer addressing a problem with missing text in the D&D RPG expansion. Thanks The Patches Scrolls.

BioShock History Lesson

The BioShock IGDA-Montreal Presentation - Saying Yes to the Player is a lengthy video of a recent presentation where the evolution of BioShock is shown off, including footage of three prototypes that did not make the cut.

Evening Q&As

  • Hellgate: London
    The Hellgate: London Q&A on IncGamers talks with Dave Brevik about Flagship's upcoming action/RPG. They discuss a couple of features not in the game, balance issues, tile sets, leveling up, and more.
  • Empire Earth III
    Empire Earth III Q&A on GameSpot discusses the warring factions in the coming strategy sequel with Downtown Jeff Brown. They go into detail about the game's three factions, stressing that keeping the number of factions so low allows them to make each of them unique.
  • Depths of Peril
    The Depths of Peril Q&A on Generation: Gamerz kicks off a three-part interview with Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment discussing their action/RPG. Topics include his departure from Ritual, what a Soldak is, how deep the Depths of Peril are, and more.
  • Horizons
    RPG Vault's Horizons: Empire of Istaria Acquisition Q&A talks with Virtrium's Rick Simmons and Jason Murdick about the Horizons purchase, and what the future holds for the well-travelled MMORPG.
  • CCP
    Rock, Paper, Shotgun's EVE Online Q&A chats with Nathan Richardsson of CCP about their science fiction MMORPG. They talk about his continued passion for the game, and go into detail about various aspects of gameplay.
  • Into The Pixel
    Into The Pixel: The Artists Speak on Gamasutra talks with some of the luminaries involved in this art competition.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

Into the Black

The powerful scent of skunk is coming through my window, and it is so strong I am afraid when I go downstairs MrsBlue will tell me Hudson the wonder dog is outside, which may be where she's going to spend the night if she's been skunked again.

Stinky Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Stories: Orang-utan prefers blondes. Human blondes. With tattoos. Thanks loonybomber.
Charges dismissed in sherry enema death.
Science!: Sun 1, Comet Tail 0. Thanks Jim.
Media: Dad Dance! Now you can dance like Dad!
Follow-up: U.S. recalls over 1/2 million toys for lead levels. Store shelves now officially empty.

Gears of War PC on November 6

Shacknews has word that the PC edition of Gears of War is expected in stores on November 6. Accompanying this tidbit they offer a bunch of screenshots including looks at new multiplayer maps and the game editor as well as their hands-on preview. On a semi-related note, GameDaily BIZ has a Q&A with CliffyB where he discusses plans for the Gears of War movie.

Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties Demo

The Age of Empires III Website offers downloads of a trial version of Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, the now-gold RTS expansion. The demo allows the chance to play as the Japanese or British for a 612 MB download, which is mirrored on 3D Downloads, ComputerGames.ro, FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, and PixelRage.

Savage 2 Beta Begins

Eurogamer reports that beta testing has commenced for Savage 2: A Tortured Soul for those who have preordered S2 Games' upcoming RTS/FPS hybrid.

Turbine Shakeup

The Company background page on the Turbine Website now lists Jim Crowley as President & CEO of this Massachusetts-based MMOG developer, indicating that Jeff Anderson is no longer filling that role. This is reported on WarCry, where they note that they interviewed Anderson just last week and got no indications from him that any changes were in the offing. The website changes occurred overnight, and no explanation is presented at this point.

Ships Ahoy - Crusader Kings: Deus Vult

Paradox Interactive announces that Crusader Kings: Deus Vult is now available for purchase online via GamersGate. Here's word on the strategy expansion:
New York, USA (October 4, 2007) – Paradox Interactive announced today the release of their new - download only - expansion: Crusader Kings: Deus Vult. The expansision is now available for download on GamersGate and is retailing for $14.99. Strategy gamers missing the original Crusader Kings will be able to find it on GamersGate as well.

Critics have called Crusader Kings an impressive addition to the Europe Universalis family. Aim to create the most powerful dynasty of medieval Europe in the period of 1066 to 1453 A.D. Amass prestige; increase the greatness of your lands and your treasure coffins, build Cathedrals and Castles, appoint vassals and battle traitors, introduce laws and set taxes while interacting with hundreds of courtiers and nobles.

The much awaited expansion Deus Vult brings:

·A graphical overhaul to increase player experience

·Various added inter-character relations, representing loyalty inside courts, relations between countries, as well as friends and rivals for all characters. No longer will realms just fall apart, a beleaguered King will always have friends who will support him. Also beware as your smoothly running realm could run into trouble when your nice loyal vassal becomes your rival.

·Introductions of new gameplay aspects like the stability affecting realms, numerous traits for characters and options for diplomacy, such as the possibility to send fosterlings to other courts. In addition an all-new system for children has been added. No longer will a 3 year old be able to run a realm effectively. Children are all now born with 0 stats and then develop over childhood. You'll never know how good your heir will be until he matures.

·A revised interface to streamline gameplay, with several completely redesigned windows. Immediate alert icons highlight immediate problems with your realm and a full ledger with more than a dozen detailed pages.

·A variety of new events as well as a substantial amount of changes and improvements to the tools used by modders.

Read the brief gamer overview here.

In Hell for DOOM 3 Director's Cut

The In-Hell Page offers a new version of the In Hell modification for DOOM 3 (thanks Ant), though the page is entirely in German. There is a summary of this in English on Planet Doom, where we learn this is called a Director's Cut, though Jean-Claude Van Damme fans will still have to wait for a director's cut of the In Hell movie.

Morning Q&As

  • Valve
    Valve 'Will Not Charge' for Community Features on 1UP hears from Valve Project Manager/Engineer Erik Johnson (thanks Voodoo Extreme) in a snip from a coming GFW magazine article, saying: "We will not charge for The Steam Community and its features. Never even entered our mind. Part of it is to address the fact that when folks first bought Half-Life 2, Steam didn't offer many reasons to stick around. It didn't do enough for customers, and it didn't justify itself. So I suppose we're paying off a debt now."
  • Bounty Bay Online
    Bounty Bay Online Q&A on games xtreme talks with Konstantin Drewitz, producer and product manager on this seafaring MMORPG, discussing competing in the crowded MMOG marketplace, pricing, favorite and least favorite features, MMO development, and more.

Morning Previews

  • The Chronicles of Spellborn on the Official Website. [Art Journal] "About that High House Torque."
  • Empire Earth III on IGN AU. Graphics Showdown Empire Earth II versus III.
  • Team Fortress 2 on bit-tech.net.

Morning Consolidation

Thursday Game Review

Thursday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

It was 10 years ago today that version 1.0 of GameSpy was released. It was a 971 KB download. Man do I feel old.

Version 1.0 Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Axe Gamekillers. Loseroids!
Link: Full-back gamer tattoo.
Stories: Pilgrims Follow Adventurer's Deadly Trail.
Hulkamania hits Gladiators.
Kraft recalls white chocolate on salmonella concerns.
Science!: Potent new 'nanofabrics' repel germs.
Scientist invents computer pillow to stop snoring.
Russia warns of arms war in space: report.
Image: Signs of Halo Addiction. Thanks Digg.
Media: Robot Chicken - Soundwave.
Bonaduce -vs- FairPlay.
Teh Funny: UserFriendly.
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