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Tuesday, Nov 27, 2007

  

Call of Duty 4 Linux Server

Icculus.org now offers the Linux server for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, though running a CoD4 server on a penguin-powered server will also require some of the files from a Windows install of the game. The download is mirrored on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Strategic Command 2 Patch, Updated Demo

A patch for Strategic Command 2: Weapons and Warfare is now available, updating the strategy expansion to version 1.01. The patch is accompanied by an updated version 1.01 demo to allow a sample of the latest edition of the add-on. Word is: "This v1.01 Patch includes a number of user requested changes, bug fixes and editor enhancements. We have also added a great deal of material to the game manual itself since many players have asked for more details on all the new changes in the expansion." The patch is available on FanGaming, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; while the updated demo can be found on FanGaming, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Eschalon: Book I Patch

Basilisk Games now offers a new patch for Eschalon: Book I, updating the old-school RPG to version 1.02. This forum post has the details on what's changed. The download is mirrored on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Gold - Mac Guitar Hero III

Aspyr announces the Mac edition of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is now gold, and set to ship on December 10 as a PC/Mac hybrid bundle:

AUSTIN, Texas (November 27, 2007) - Aspyr Media, Inc. today announced the Mac version of Guitar Hero® III: Legends of Rock has been declared Gold Master and is scheduled to begin shipping to retail stores December 10, 2007. Released in partnership with Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), the renowned Guitar Hero® franchise makes its debut on Macintosh computers and gives even more gamers the opportunity to unleash their inner-rock star.

Developed and published exclusively by Aspyr, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Mac matches its console counterparts with a killer set list that includes many of the most popular rock songs ever recorded. Explosive content and features include a multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, grueling boss battles, a host of unlockable content and visually stunning rock venues. Expansive online multiplayer game modes also allow aspiring axe-shredders worldwide to compete head-to-head for true legendary rock status with PC and Mac gamers, alike.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock will be available as a hybrid PC/Mac bundle.

Evening Q&As

  • Dead Island
    The Dead Island Q&A on Primotech chats up Adrian Ciszewski from Polish developer Techland to learn more about Dead Island, their upcoming zombie-themed action game.
  • Fantasy Wars
    RPG Vault's Fantasy Wars Q&A is a talk with Alexey Kozyrev of 1C Company about their recently released turn-based strategy game.

Evening Previews

Evening Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific Patch

A new patch is now available for Silent Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific, updating the submarine combat sequel to version 1.4. The 220 MB download is available on FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, and PixelRage.

Ramayan 3392 A.D. & More Virgin Comics Games

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Comics announces plans to team up with Perspective Studios to create new intellectual properties for multiple media, including games. There are few details, but one of the projects will be an MMOG for SOE based on the Ramayan 3392 A.D. comics:

NEW YORK & GLEN COVE, New York - November 27, 2007 - Virgin Comics today announced a partnership with Perspective Studios, an industry-leading computer animation production house, to co-create and develop a diverse slate of original intellectual properties. The goal of the collaboration is to create a compelling portfolio of new characters and franchises for exploitation in multiple formats, including comic books, mobile content, video games and feature films. Virgin and Perspective will initially launch each new franchise as graphic novels and short-form episodic animation for online and mobile distribution, taking advantage of Virgin's substantial relationships in these markets.

The partners expect to focus on content properties that are likely to resonate with online and console gamers. Virgin announced last August that their popular Ramayan 3392 A.D. comic book series has been licensed by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) as the basis for a new massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Perspective has provided animation for many noteworthy and highly-anticipated game titles, including Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series and Ghost Recon for Ubisoft.

"Perspective is bringing a great deal of experience and versatility to the table," said Sharad Devarajan, Virgin Comics' CEO. "With Perspective's growing animation capabilities and particular expertise with video game animation, we have full confidence that they'll go above and beyond when it comes to fully realizing a unique creative vision."

"Our past experience with many memorable properties has long inspired us to see what we could accomplish with original content," said Steven Lehrhoff, CEO of Perspective Studios. "The Virgin Comics team, with such a unique creative vision, will make the ideal partner for this undertaking."

Virgin Comics and Perspective Studios will be making additional announcements regarding the specific franchises resulting from this collaboration, as well as the talent involved with the properties, in the near future.

Ships Ahoy - DARKNESS WITHIN

Lighthouse Interactive announces that DARKNESS WITHIN: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder is now available in the US and Canada, as the Lovecraft-inspired horror/adventure game began shipping on Halloween. Here's a bit on the game:

As police detective Howard E. Loreid, players are tasked to solve the murder of Clark Field, a wealthy man involved in the occult. At the top of your list of suspects is Loath Nolder; a highly respected private investigator who mysteriously abandoned his last case for reasons unknown. Rumor had it that he ventured to several exotic places around the world learning from tribe shamans and sorcerers. It remains a great mystery as to why Loath Nolder disappeared so suddenly, resurfacing five years later and resuming his investigations just as abruptly as he had left them. Why does this venerated P.I. now sit on the other side of the law?

Your seemingly routine investigation takes a dramatic twist as strange and terrifying happenings begin to plague your psyche. You experience lucid horrifying dreams and are tormented by paranormal happenings. Why do days pass instead of hours when you sleep? What's real and what's not? As you pursue fugitive murder suspect Loath Nolder, you must face dire truths hidden deep within a haunting darkness and the recesses of your mind.

FEATURES:

        • Built-in Hint System with 3 Difficulty Levels - Players can choose to play in Standard, Detective or Senior Detective modes.
        • Unique Inventory System - Utilizing the 'thinking screen' allows players to collect and examine items, and thoughts. Clues can also be researched, combined or used.
        • Dynamic Puzzles and Features - Traditional adventure game puzzles are complimented by deciphering dreams and underlining excerpts in documents to garner critical clues.
        • Enhanced Gameplay Experience - The proprietary game engine enables compelling special effects, stunning visuals, and dynamic lighting and shading, in a panoramic first person game environment.
        • Eerie Gameplay Atmosphere - An immersive experience is created by a fascinating story, chilling real-time cut scenes, and haunting music.

Payback Coming Down Under

Kotaku Australia reports that the Australian OFLC has reevaluated Soldier of Fortune: Payback after the removal of some of the gore that caused them to originally refuse the game classification for sale down under (story). Word is: "According to the publisher, the tweaked version has reduced ragdoll physics and blood effects, and no dismemberment." The game is now rated MA 15+ (Strong violence, Coarse language and sexual references) for its 2008 Australian release.

Fury Update Plans

The Fury Website has word on plans for a free content update for Auran's PvP MMOG dubbed Age of the Chosen, planned for release December 14. Highlights of the change list include a new 'Carnage' game type with three maps, a one-vs-one Elimination game type with four maps, and improved tutorial, a streamlined interface, and more. The update includes screenshots of the new content.

Guns of August Patch

The Matrix Games Website has news of a new patch for Guns of August is now available on this page to update the World War I strategy game to version 1.20. Word is: "This latest update brings over 60 changes and improvements. Most notably, the AI has been improved, new higher game resolutions have been added to increase support for widescreen displays, and a variety of interface improvements and rule or data improvements have been incorporated based on player feedback."

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The temperatures in this area are back up in the 50s again. I'm not that eager for it to get too wintery, but we really need a good freezing to wipe out whatever it is that's provoking such allergies in Hudson the wonder dog.

Scratchy Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Stories: Announcer sacked over spoof messages.
Gates grant seen helping wipe out polio.
Not even Santa's elves can count on job security.
Media: Drive a car balanced on 2 wheels & pop balloons.
Auction: Star Wars Ultimate Huge Giant Collection Lot! Marvel. Thanks Devicer.

Monday, Nov 26, 2007

Star Trek Online Going Casual?

Shacknews reports that Perpetual Entertainment has been acquired by newly formed Perpetual LLC. This is said to likely be a way of dealing with the company's credit situation, as the report was spurred by information in an SEC filing by Ragnarok Online creator Gravity Co., Ltd where the Korean firm says it thinks its $9 million investment in Perpetual is lost. In an interesting twist, a later update to this story with information from an anonymous source suggests that the new owner of Perpetual envisions a more casual business model for Star Trek Online, which suggests the MMOG may follow the free-to-play route that includes optional cash transactions.

On Crysis 2

inCrysis has some translated skinny from the German-language GameStar Website where they have some scant details from Crytek's Steven Bender about plans for a Crysis sequel. Believe it or not, the main focus for Crysis 2 will be to beef up the game's graphics:

According to him, the developer's attention will be even more focused on graphics. There will be numerous improvements regarding textures (especially facial textures) and 3D-animations. Their ambitious aim is to push the game's visuals to an advanced level, that could be considered near photorealistic movie quality.

Deus Ex 3 Q&A

Eidos Announces Deus Ex 3, Talks New Montreal Studio on Gamasutra offers a Q&A with Eidos Montreal general manager Stéphane D’Astous about the new studio and their just-revealed plans to create a new installment in the Deus Ex series. The Q&A discusses the smaller development teams the studio will use to concentrate on AAA titles with development cycles of 18-24 months.

Hellgate: London Patch Plans

The Hellgate: London Website has word on plans for patch 0.6 for Flagship's action/RPG, saying they expect the update to go live some time this week. They list a number of changes and fixes, with this highlight: "Patch 0.6 has one very notable fix – the invisible group member bug has been slain. This was a crafty, fierce thing with rows of nasty sharp teeth, but we believe it has now fallen into the mists of legend. We’ll stay vigilant in case it raises its ugly invisible head again."

Building & Co Demo

The Building & Co Website offers a playable English demo for this game from French studio Creative Patterns that simulates the process of creating a building from a ground up, allowing you to get in touch with everything from your inner Costanza as an architect to your inner village person as a construction foreman.

Source Patch

Steam News has word that a new update for the Source engine is now automatically available, addressing a Half-Life 2: Episode Two issue that could crash the game: "Fixed a crash in Half-Life 2: Episode Two when exiting This Vortal Coil."

ForceWare Beta Drivers

This ForceWare Release 169 Beta Page offers new version 169.12 beta drivers for NVIDIA GeForce accelerators (thanks FiringSquad). The update offers the same fixes as the Crysis beta driver, and also "fixes a resume from Sleep/Hibernate issue with GeForce 8800 GT."

Evening Q&As

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Deus Ex 3 Confirmed

Eidos Montreal Website now offers a teaser trailer for Deus Ex 3 (thanks nin), an upcoming installment in the action/RPG series that was hinted at earlier this year (story) but never actually confirmed, though its existence was supported by a report about an earlier DX3 prototype which got cancelled (story). The teaser is true to its teasing nature by being a bit vague, with no hints at platforms or release dates. It does offer some sci-fi footage with an existential voice-over: "For centuries, man has struggled to understand his true nature. What is it that makes us who we are? Soon one answer will override all others." This is culminates a caption reading: "Who we are is but a stepping stone to what we can become."

Morning Q&As

Morning Screenshots

Morning Gatherings & Competition

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Legal Brief

Monday Game Reviews

Monday Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, another Thanksgiving weekend is in the books, which makes today "Cyber Monday," at least in the minds of online retailers. We had a fine old time, and hope you did as well if this is a holiday for you, or even if it isn't for that matter. My one regret is failing to stock up on pumpkin pies for the occasion; MrsBlue quite rightly finds the boxed supermarket pies distasteful, so when I didn't get them, they didn't get got. Oh well, the life I saved may have been my own.

Cyber Monday Links! Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Bollix. Thanks User Friendly.
Story: Mission for James Bond's Q seek venture capital.
Science!: Football field-sized kite powers latest heavy freight ship. The age of sail returns.
China waxes lyrical over moon mission pictures.
Toyota simulator aims to eliminate traffic deaths.
Images: Awesome Pixel Art Brings Classic Video Game Characters To Life. Thanks Digg.
The fight over grandma's money.
Media: Speed bumps in Germany are a bitch.
RV towing a boat jumps five cars. Actually more like three. NSFW.
Cartman Introduces Colorado's Starting Defense.



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