Archived News:

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 Abraham Lincoln's & Charles Darwin's Birthdays

Red Alert 3 Revealed

Red Alert 3 Announced in April 2008 issue of PC Gamer, No Hungarian Required shows the cover story on an upcoming issue of PC Gamer magazine is on Red Alert 3. Word is the issue with offer a first look "at glorious strategic Soviet victory in Red Alert universe."

Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, AMD, and More in Gaming Alliance

Gaming Alliance stumps for PC on the San Jose Mercury News has word that a number of major players on the PC gaming scene, including Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and AMD, are preparing to announce a PC Gaming Alliance at next week's Game Developer's Conference. Word is the consortium is to promote the PC as a gaming platform in the face of the console onslaught.

NA Ships Ahoy - Conflict: Denied Ops

Eidos announces that Conflict: Denied Ops is shipping today in North America, bringing Pivotal Games' co-op first-person shooter once known as Crossfire to Windows PCs, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3:
Destroying store shelves near you, Conflict: Denied Ops ships to stores across North America today for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows®.

Featuring accessible co-op FPS action gameplay across 10 levels, Conflict: Denied Ops puts you in control of two specialized operatives in an explosive battle for freedom, streamlined with single button teammate commands allowing focus on action instead of complex controls.

Centered around co-op gameplay, utilize two-man tactics and on-the-fly switching between teammates to take full advantage of the battle terrain, creating perfect two-man war machines.

Find some cover because Conflict: Denied Ops, shipping to a store near you today, will blow you away!

Evening Q&As

Evening Previews

  • Lord of the Rings Online Book 12 on WarCry Network.
  • Monster Madness: Grave Danger on 1Up.

Evening Screenshots

Game & Mod Development

Twofish Elements is described as a turnkey in-game economy solution. Word is: "A true Economic Engine, Twofish Elements integrates seamlessly into games, provides a flexible and secure banking and retail infrastructure, and puts complex economic analytics at a game operator’s fingertips."

Evening Mobilization

Sam & Max Season Two: Episode 3 on GameTap

Telltale Games announces Sam & Max Season Two: Episode 3: Night of the Raving Dead is now available from GameTap, to be released worldwide tomorrow along with a playable demo. Screenshots and a trailer from the new episode can be found on this page and there's a walkthrough of the episode here. Word is:
Night of the Raving Dead puts a new spin on the classic horror genre. Droves of undead are converging in the streets. Now Sam & Max must confront their leader – a Eurotrash vampire with a style all his own. Are the Freelance Police cool enough to outsmart this emo before his flesh-eating army usurps the western world?

Fate of Hellas Revealed

Fate of Hellas Product section (thanks Gamer's Hell) reveals development of this upcoming real-time strategy game set in the days of ancient Greece ("Did I forget to mention, to mention Memphis? Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks!"). According to the page, the game is due next month in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some screenshots are included, and here's word:
Thrilling realtime battles in ancient Greece "Fate of Hellas" is an RTS game, which takes the player to ancient Greece: 2500 Years ago, before the rise of Rome, fierce battles between the Greeks and their enemies took place.

Be part of great battles, fought with honor!

 > Thrilling realtime battles in ancient Greece
    "Fate of Hellas" is an RTS game, which takes the player to ancient Greece: 2500 Years ago, before the rise of Rome, fierce battles between the Greeks and their enemies took place.
 > Build formations with your troops
    3 different formations for strategic fights!
 > Equip your troops with weapons from your defeated enemies
    Pick up the weapons left behind by your enemies after you have killed them in combat
 > Besiege the citys of historic Greece!
    The more cities you conquer, the greater your power on the battlefield
 > More than 60 different characters! Different fighters, buildings, vehicles and many more.

Battle of Britain II – Wings of Victory Ships

Matrix Games announces the release of Battle of Britain II: Wings of Victory, a sequel to one of the many games based on the Battle of Britain, the R.A.F.'s "finest hour." Or perhaps it's not a sequel, as this quote sort of explains: "Battle of Britain – Wings of Victory is a strategy/action classic which has received acclaim from reviewers and gamers since its original release. GameSpot gave it an 8.4 rating and called it “… the ultimate combination of a strategy game and a hard-core simulation." Available now as a fully updated v2.06 release from Matrix Games, Battle of Britain – Wings of Victory is not an experience to be missed!"

Darkeden Live

The Darkeden Website now offers the full release of Darkeden, as this free-to-play vampire-themed MMORPG has emerged from beta testing. Word is:
SAN JOSE, CA - February 12, 2008 - Joymax, an independent developer of interactive entertainment for the global market, has launched their vampire-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Darkeden. Previously only available in an open beta test, Darkeden is now available for everyone to play for free. Players can log in today and slay vampires, fight humans, or crush ousters! Players can also retreat to the new Daden Market where they can purchase Coins and spend them on Premium Service for access to new areas, rare items, weapons, armor, pets, armor and more.

More (and Moore) on NFL Exclusivity

Peter Moore Q&A on GameDaily talking with the EA exec about the just-announced extension of EA's NFL license (story). Moore argues the benefits of exclusivity, pointing out the latest version of Madden had better reviews than the couple that preceded it, though this ignores the fact that the game's best reviews come from the 2003, 2002, and 2004 editions, all of which were back before EA's exclusive NFL deal (story). He also points out that the exclusivity was at the NFL's behest: "Let us not forget that this deal was at the NFL's directive. They wanted to have an exclusive arrangement. This was not EA coming in and demanding exclusive rights. The NFL put their license out for tender and we bid, as well as many other companies did at the time...I wasn't here at the time but I remember it very well. I think if the product we put out this year was slipping in quality and innovation, we might have a tougher platform to defend, but that's not the case."

Spore Dated

EA announces the weekend of September 7, 2008 as the worldwide release date for the PC, Mac, and mobile editions of Spore, the highly anticipated evolution simulation (no release dates for the console editions are offered). This confirms the delay predicted by analyst Mike Hickey a couple of weeks ago (story), which is the latest in a series of setbacks for the game, which was even dubbed "vaporware" (story) by Wired (though one could argue that list is "tired," rather than Wired"). On related notes, Level Up follows this up with some Spore-mania, which includes Will Wright Gives Level Up the Scoop On Why Spore Is Taking So Long to Get Right--And Why It Will Be Worth the Wait, Part I and Part II, a two-part Q&A talking with the game's lead designer, and this Q&A with executive producer Lucy Bradshaw on how the Nintendo DS, Mac, and Mobile Phone editions of Spore evolved. Here's the announcement:
Redwood City, CA - February 12, 2008 – Get ready for the next Big Bang this fall! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and Maxis today announced that Spore™, the highly anticipated game from the creators of The Sims™, will be available at retailers worldwide the weekend of September 7. Spore will be available for the PC, Macintosh, Nintendo DS™, and mobile phones.

“The wait is almost over,” said Maxis Chief Designer Will Wright. “We’re in our final stages of testing and polish with Spore, and the team at Maxis can’t wait to see the cosmos of content created by the community later this year.”

Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box. Create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. Spore gives players a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe: creatures, vehicles, buildings, and even UFOs. Players can then seamlessly share their creations with the world or explore infinite new galaxies created by other gamers.

Consumers can visit www.spore.com to sign up for the Spore newsletter or check out all-new screenshots and video of the game.

New Shadowgrounds Survivor Demo - Updated

Update: The demo was apparently corrupted, and has been pulled until this can be straightened out.

Original Story: Meridian 4 Games now offers a new North American playable demo for Shadowgrounds Survivor, Frozenbyte's shooter follow-up (thanks Gamer's Hell). A German version of this demo was released last week along with a 30-minute English trial version (story), but this is the game's "official" English single-player demo. The 587 MB download offers two campaign levels, Wake Up Call and Road to Atlantis, and a Survival mode demo called Spider Trouble.

PC Mass Effect in May

This press release announces plans for a PC edition of Mass Effect, saying a "re-designed for the PC" edition of BioWare's science-fiction RPG will be released in May:
Chertsey, UK – February 12, 2008 – Leading video game developer BioWare™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) company, has announced that the award-winning space epic Mass Effect™ will be released for the PC in May 2008. Published by EA and re-designed for the PC, Mass Effect invites players to take the role of Commander Shepard as they set out on an adventure to save the galaxy from imminent destruction. Wrought with treachery, heroism, difficult decisions and a universe filled with unique and colorful species, Mass Effect delivers a truly compelling storyline.

Optimized for the PC, Mass Effect for the PC incorporates the following features:

• Optimized controls designed specifically for the PC.

• High resolution visuals – Mass Effect for the PC features highly detailed textures, characters and environments.

• Fully customizable controls – PC gamers can re-map the control scheme any way they like.

• Run & Gun Control – Players can assign biotic powers or skills to ‘hot keys’ allowing them to play Mass Effect with a heavier focus on action.

• New decryption mini-game.

• New inventory screen GUI and functionality – The enhanced inventory system makes it easier for players to equip and modify their weapons and armor.

“Mass Effect serves as a powerful example of video games as an art form, delivering new levels of emotional intensity, realistic characters and a gripping storyline – all set in a compelling new universe,” said Ray Muzyka, General Manager, BioWare and Vice President, Electronic Arts. Frank Gibeau, President of EA’s Games Label added, “EA has struck an agreement with Microsoft to handle future publishing for Mass Effect. We are looking forward to releasing Mass Effect on the PC this Spring and brand new titles in the future.”

Originally released for the Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system, Mass Effect has received critical acclaim throughout the world with more than 70 awards including Game of the Year, Console Game of the Year and Role-Playing Game of the Year. Mass Effect combines a deep story with intense combat and challenges the player to make difficult decisions that can significantly impact the course of events. An innovative conversation system allows for lifelike interaction with some of the most realistic digital actors, voiced by Hollywood actors such as Seth Green, Marina Sirtis, Lance Henriksen and Keith David. Mass Effect for the PC has not yet been rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Imperium Romanum Demo

A playable demo is now available for Imperium Romanum, offering the chance to do as the Romans do in this imminent city building game. The demo is a 461 MB download that features a pair of missions and a couple of training missions, available on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FileFront, FileShack, Gamer's Hell, PixelRage, and Strategy Informer.

Need for Speed: ProStreet Porsche Demo

A new demo for Need for Speed: ProStreet Porsche allows another test drive of the latest installment in the long-running motorsport series. The updated demo features the Porsche GT2 and GT3RS and Porsche's Leipzig test track. There are two editions of the demo, one for the US and the other for Europe, each available on this EA FTP directory. The 571 MB US demo is mirrored on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FanGaming, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and PixelRage. The 570 MB European demo is available on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FanGaming, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Ships Ahoy - Penumbra Black Plague

Paradox Interactive announces the North American release of Penumbra Black Plague, a second installment in this horror series from Frictional Games. A recently released playable demo (story) offers a sample of the game, and here's a feature list:
Cutting-edge game engine featuring modern 3D and physics technologies
Adapted motion blur effects and a new unified lighting system with real-time lightning create great depth with a realistic atmosphere of psychological horror.

Compelling and detailed story
Find the answers to questions of the mystery of Philip's lost father throughout the game, with new explanations and a complete storyline wrap up.

Highly interactive environments
Interact with any object not nailed to the ground! Focus on, pick up and move around objects through a simple drag and drop interface.

Environmental sounds system
The sounds of the different environments are contributing to the atmosphere and give the player scaring hints of dangers.

Puzzle solving challenges
Horror adventure game in puzzle-like style with bonuses and incentives to challenge the player throughout the game.

Overclocked Dated, Subtitled

Lighthouse Interactive and dtp Entertainment announce March 31, 2008 as the release date for Overclocked calling this a "solid" date, not to be confused with the game's previous (apparently ethereal) release dates like April 2007 (story) and October 2007 (story). They've also given the game a new subtitle, "A History of Violence," presumably to create an association with the film of the same name, even though the two projects are unconnected.

More NFL for EA

EA Extends NFL Contract To 2012 Season has word that the competitive world of NFL football will remain uncompetitive from a gaming standpoint for another couple of years, as EA's exclusive NFL license has been extended through 2012. Word is the license covers "all aspects of the interactive experience," from console and handheld games to "console-based online features."

Morning Q&As

  • PROTOTYPE
    The PROTOTYPE Q&A on Rock, Paper, Shotgun is an article based on a conversation with Tim Bennison of Radical Entertainment about PROTOTYPE, their upcoming project they hope will be a prototypical open-world action game.
  • Just Cause 2
    The Just Cause 2 Q&A on Play.TM chats with Peter Johansson of Avalanche Games, discussing the game's new location, new gear like an updated grappling hook, action, visuals, and more.

Morning Preview

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Tuesday Game Reviews

Tuesday Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • As announced here, Switchblade Gaming offers a new version of their software that allows the use of an Xbox 360 controller in PC games, adding support for Guild Wars, Half-Life 2, and Hellgate: London…
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