Archived News:

Friday, Oct 05, 2007

The Orange Box Midnight Madness

This week's Steam marketing message reassures those purchasing The Orange Box over Steam will have access to the shooter bundle at the stroke of Midnight Pacific time on Wednesday:
We'll be unlocking The Orange Box products just after midnight Pacific time next week on the 10th of October. Lots of people have been having a lot of fun with the Team Fortress 2 beta, so we're looking forward to seeing what people think of Portal and Episode Two. The Orange Box will also be available at North American game retailers later on the 10th, for both PC and XBOX 360.

Pirates of the Burning Sea in January

This press release announces SOE will be launching Pirates of the Burning Sea on January 22, 2008, and that preorders of Flying Lab Software's seafaring MMORPG begin on October 23, which will allow access to the full game 15 days before that launch:
Gamers Experience Action and Adventure on the High Seas Circa 1720 in New Online PC game

SAN DIEGO, CA & SEATTLE, WA – October 5, 2007 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC’s (SOE) Platform Publishing label and Flying Lab Software LLC (FLS) announced today Pirates of the Burning Sea™, is scheduled to launch worldwide on January 22, 2008. The hotly anticipated MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, featuring high seas action and swashbuckling adventure in a bold world of pirates and plunder, is being developed by Seattle-based FLS and published by Platform Publishing.

“We are eagerly anticipating the day we can raise the anchor and set sail with Pirates of the Burning Sea. Our team’s hard work and dedication, and that of our partners at SOE’s Platform Publishing group, is going to result in a fantastic gameplay experience for PC gamers,” said Russell Williams, CEO, Flying Lab Software. “We are looking forward to bringing this game to fruition, and appreciate the support from our dedicated community in helping us to develop a top-notch game.”

As a captain in Pirates of the Burning Sea, you can choose among the French, Spanish, English, or Pirate nations, playing a naval officer, a freetrader, a privateer, or a pirate as you like. Action–filled ship battles take place at sea, where players can destroy or board and seize their competitors’ ship. On land, a world of swashbuckling adventure awaits full of sword-swinging action. The unique player-driven economy means players can be a captain of industry too, running mines, lumber mills, shipyards and other large-scale operations to produce the tons of goods needed to supply every player in the game with what they need. Through the player-generated content system, players can create their own sail and flag designs to display in game and even model their own ships.
“The vast amount of player-created content and the intense strategy required in Pirates of the Burning Sea sets it apart from any other MMO on the market,” said D Tim Granich, Sr. Global Brand Manager, Sony Online Entertainment. “Gamers will be donning their captain’s gear and eagerly awaiting their next battle on land or sea.”
The game takes place in the New World circa 1720, a dramatic time of conflict and riches that features action for every play style, from epic ship combat, to piracy, to building economic empires or sword-swinging adventure. With more than one thousand missions per nation, dozens of ports to explore, and the entire Caribbean as their domain, players will find an online experience like no other.

Pre-orders are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 23rd. Players that pre-order will receive an invitation to the “Pre-Boarding Party” giving them access to the live game 15 days prior to launch. During this time, players can level up to 20 and keep their characters after launch, with a purchase of the game and paid monthly subscription. Players who pre-order and purchase the game will also receive a “captain’s best friend” – known to any good pirate as a blue and yellow parrot – as well as a powerful weapon suited to their fighting style and an original game soundtrack CD complete with 60 minutes of pirate-themed music.
Pirates of the Burning Sea game features:

    • Join one of four nations (Pirate, English, French, or Spanish)
    • Every player is the captain of their very own ship in massive naval battles
    • Duel other players to control more than 80 conquerable ports in the Caribbean
    • Explore the world and make a name for yourself in more than 1,000 missions
    • Economy driven by players, who manufacture and sell all ships and equipment found in the game
    • Build, capture, and customize more than 50 historical ships
    • Design your own flags and sails
    • Choose from 3 different styles of swashbuckling combat – deadly and formal Fencing, flashy, dual-wielding Florentine or rowdy and treacherous Dirty Fighting
    • Participate in epic sea battles with up to 25 players on a side

For more information on Pirates of the Burning Sea, log onto or the community site at

Medal of Honor: Airborne Patch, Server

The first patch is now available for Medal of Honor: Airborne, updating the latest installment in the World War II shooter series to version 1.1 (thanks Planet Medal of Honor). Word is: "This patch for Medal of Honor Airborne enables the Dedicated Server, fixes several bugs, and makes some balance changes on the Anti-Tank Weapon. " The patch is available on the Medal of Honor: Airborne Website along with the dedicated server.

Supreme Commander Patch

GPGnet Forums offer patch notes for a new version 3269 patch that's now available for Gas Powered Games' RTS game. Word is the patch includes three new units (one per faction) along with balance changes, including "an adjustment to the Aeon Mercy." Manual downloads of the patch are mirrored on 3D Downloads, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Empire Earth III Movie

A new behind-the-scenes video for Empire Earth III features gameplay and interviews with Mad Doc about their upcoming RTS sequel. The clip is available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Evening Q&As

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Metaverse

Bungie Emancipated

Microsoft announces their relationship with Bungie has "evolved," giving provenance to rumors that such changes were in the works (story), so kudos to 8Bit Joystick for their scoop. Word is Bungie will regain their independence, Microsoft Game Studios will continue to hold equity in both Bungie and the Halo series, and that Bungie will get to work on new projects, though it sounds like they will continue to contribute to the Halo series and will continue to emphasize Microsoft's platforms:
REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 5, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a plan for Bungie Studios, the developers of the Halo franchise, to embark on a path to become an independent company. Microsoft will retain an equity interest in Bungie at the same time continuing its long standing publishing agreement between Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie for the Microsoft owned “Halo” intellectual property as well as other future properties developed by Bungie.

The critically acclaimed Xbox 360® exclusive “Halo 3” achieved $300 million in global sales in its first week. Released on Tuesday, Sept. 25, “Halo 3” is the fastest-selling video game ever and already one of the most successful entertainment properties in history.

“Our collaboration with Bungie has resulted in ‘Halo’ becoming an enduring mainstream hit,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “While we are supporting Bungie’s desire to return to its independent roots, we will continue to invest in our ‘Halo’ entertainment property with Bungie and other partners, such as Peter Jackson, on a new interactive series set in the ‘Halo’ universe. We look forward to great success with Bungie as our long-term relationship continues to evolve through ‘Halo’-related titles and new IP created by Bungie.”

“This exciting evolution of our relationship with Microsoft will enable us to expand both creatively and organizationally in our mission to create world-class games,” said Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie. “We will continue to develop with our primary focus on Microsoft’s platforms; we greatly value our mutually prosperous relationship with our publisher, Microsoft Game Studios, and we look forward to continuing that affiliation through ‘Halo’ and beyond.”

Bungie Studios will remain in its current location in Kirkland, Wash.'s Inside Bungie News has more from Bungie on all this.

Escape from Paradise City Demo

A playable demo is now available for Escape from Paradise City, offering the chance to check out this RTS/RPG hybrid. Word is: "This generous demo offers 2 missions of the game for you to play. The first one will allow you to become accustomed to the gameplay while the second will put you right at the centre of the action. In this mission, you will have to develop your character, gain enough experience to take control of the numerous neighbourhoods of the city and their resources. Do not hesitate to recruit gangsters and henchmen to protect the key spots of the conquered territories before launching the final assault on the heavily defended neighbourhood controlled by a dreadful boss know as « The Rat », one of many bosses that rule over the districts of Paradise City, the world’s most dangerous city. Welcome to hell!" The 502 MB download can be found on the Escape from Paradise City Website, with mirrors on 3D Downloads,, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and PixelRage.

TUSK Interactive Formed

A Phoenix from the Ashes: TUSK Interactive offers news of a new developer formed by former DICE Canada lead designer Armando “Aj” Marini:
London, Ontario, Canada. October 4, 2007

A year after the demise of DICE Canada through the purchase of DICE by Electronic Arts, comes news of a new development studio headed up by former DICE Canada lead designer Armando “Aj” Marini.

Other than the name, TUSK Interactive, little is known of the studio at this time. It’s a safe bet that given Marini’s track record in multiplayer online shooters, the new studio may have something on the go in that genre. A recent job posting on Gamasutra revealed that the studio is searching for a technical director.

If you’ll recall, DICE New York, formerly known as Trauma Studio was closed down several years ago. The creators of Desert Combat resurfaced as Kaos Studios with their game Frontlines: Fuel of War. Could the emergence of TUSK Interactive signal the appearance of another contender to the crown of best online multiplayer shooter? Having been so involved with the Battlefield franchise for so long, could TUSK hold the magic formula to create the ultimate OMFPS? Time will tell.

Gold - Alpha Prime

Meridian4 announces the North American edition of Alpha Prime is gold, just 10 months after the Czech and Polish editions of Black Element Software's first-person shooter were declared complete (story). Word is:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada – October 4, 2007 – Meridian4 today announced that the updated and improved North American version of IDEA Games’ upcoming first-person shooter, Alpha Prime, has gone gold and has been sent to manufacturers. Alpha Prime will be available at retailers across North America and at leading digital distribution outlets like, Steam and Direct2Drive on November 6 for a suggested price of $19.99.

“Working with IDEA Games and Black Element has been great and all of the modifications for the North American audience went smoothly. Making Alpha Prime Vista compatible and adding full screen anti-aliasing has opened the game’s market and makes the game look fantastic,” said Jeff Giasson, Production Director at Meridian4. “Together with the visuals and the improved gameplay tweaks such as auto-aiming when leaning, adding damage when throwing objects and general combat balancing adjustments, Alpha Prime looks and plays fantastic.”

Somewhere deep in space, on the lifeless asteroid Alpha Prime, something has gone terribly wrong… The miners were warned that the mysterious element known as hubbardium was too dangerous to excavate, but the lure of unimaginable wealth was too strong. Now, something has happened to them and it’s up to the player to save them and face an unknown threat. Armed with an assortment of hi-tech weapons and the ability to hack into the station’s own automated defenses, their mission is simple; get in, get the survivors and get out!

Features of Alpha Prime include:

        • Make your way through 10 levels of fast-paced, unrelenting action including mining station, spaceship hangar, magnetic railway and asteroid surface.
        • Non-playable characters aid you in your mission to save the miners and get off the asteroid.
        • Battle countless enemies including Special Forces soldiers, robots and deranged miners.
        • Unleash your arsenal of 8 futuristic weapons including pistols, shotguns, machine guns, grenades.
        • Use vehicles to move to different locations quickly.
        • Hack into devices including robots, surveillance cameras, security systems, doors, etc.
        • Bullet time allows players to temporarily slow down the action and get the upper hand.
        • Connect three screens with Matrox TripleHead2Go™.

For more information about Alpha Prime, visit
For more information about Meridian4 and its products, visit
For more information about IDEA Games, visit

Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII Patch

Ubisoft offers the first patch for Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII, updating the World War II aerial combat expansion to version 1.01. 26 changes are listed in the patch notes, all of them addressing bugs and other issues. Thanks The Patches Scrolls.

XIII Century: Death or Glory Website

The official XIII Century: Death or Glory Website is online as a home to 1C Company's upcoming medieval strategy game. The site offers information, screenshots, and a gameplay trailer.

RIP GoW Movie? (thanks Voodoo Extreme) reports that the status of the planned Gears of War movie is in doubt:
I clarified with my source, the status of Gears of War. Yes, Chud, Len Wiseman is still on the project currently, but it doesn't look good, due to the budget concerns the studio has, New Line will most likely not be moving forward on this film.
In other cancelled movies based on games news, Neill Blomkamp talks Halo promos, film's demise on Joystiq confirms that recent Halo promo videos have nothing to do with the dead Halo film project, which, like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, is still dead.

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

  • PT Boats: Knights Of The Sea on Games32.

Morning Metaverse

Friday Game Reviews

Friday Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Thankfully it turned out Hudson the wonder dog did not suffer a skunking last night, nor was it the Gunnar-man, which is quite a relief. MrsBlue admitted she'd actually lost track herself of whether the doggies were inside or outside, and went on a quick hunt herself when she caught wind of the skunking. Anyway, someone got it pretty badly last night… that vaguely sweet skunk smell you sometimes encounter while driving is the result of an unfortunate skunk also encountering someone who was driving and ended up as road-kill. The smell of something or someone that's been sprayed is so much nastier and more powerful that MrsBlue and I were both fairly nauseated just from what was wafting in the window, reinforcing our happiness that the dogs were not the victims this time (amid our gagging).

Unstinky Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Stories: Mr. Potato Head in ecstasy bust.
Science!: Science stumbles on with Ig Nobel awards.
Image: Half-Life 2 Files - Picture of The Day. Thanks Advocate.
Pee-Wee's Chairy abandoned on street. Thanks Boing Boing.
O RLY Halloween costume.
Media: How NOT to do the soap-in-a-microwave trick.
Follow-up: Cops go out on a limb for amputee. Thanks Neutronbeam.
About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!