Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 Armistice/Veterans/Remembrance Day

SotSE: Entrenchment Delayed, Beta Plans

The Sins of a Solar Empire Website has word that the 4X space strategy expansion is delayed to allow for public beta testing:
Stardock and Ironclad Games have decided to delay the final release of Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment, the first micro-expansion for the hit stratey game. Originally slated for release on November 18th, Entrenchment will first be put through a public beta test for pre-order customers. This will allow us to finely hone Entrenchment ahead of its final public debut, the date of which has not yet been set (it will largely depend on beta feedback).

While we know this will disappoint some in the Sins community, we feel this will help make Entrenchment a far stronger product overall.

Richard Garriott Leaves NCsoft

An Open Letter From General British on Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa Website has word that the General's game will have to soldier on without him, as he is parting ways with NCsoft. It's not completely clear what his intentions are, but it sounds like the man who invented the Ultima series (back when he was a Lord) may be leaving gaming altogether: "Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests." Thanks Joystiq.

Galatron Gold; Demo

The Galatron Website has word this arcade space shooter is gold, and the full version should be available soon. Word is: "As a commander build and upgrade your own spaceship and compete with others for total universe domination. Humiliate either insidious computer players or you can invite your friends to serve this purpose. All races must face their destiny but only the bravest one can challenge still undefeated emperor. Are you prepared for this quest?" A playable demo is available, which is mirrored AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

The Old Man Game Demo

The Old Man Game Website offers the release of The Old Man Game, a 2D platform game where you get to butt heads with evil Dr. Butthead. A playable demo is available, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

The Swarm Russian Demo

A Russian-language demo for The Swarm is now available, offering a sample of Targem's action/adventure for those who understand Russian or are willing to suffer a little confusion. The game was expected to be released already (The Swarm product section now predicts the game will go gold before the end of this year). The demo is available from AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch

Another patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines continues the long-running unofficial support for the source-engine RPG from defunct developer Troika. The patch notes outline what's new and different in the patch, which is available on its official exclusive home of The Patches Scrolls.

Strong Bad Movies

Three new movies are now available to promote "Dangeresque 3," the upcoming episode four of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. There's a new gameplay video and two more cartoon clips. The gameplay movie is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; Cartoon clip one is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; and the second cartoon clip is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Guild Wars Interview

The Guild Wars Interview on Ten Ton Hammer talks with Bobby Stein of ArenaNet about what the Guild Wars developer is up to, which is apparently a lot, in spite of the deafening silence: "We’ve been running silent and deep since we shipped the Eye of the North expansion making steady progress in several key areas. We’re continually refining our development tools to streamline content creation for writers and designers. Our engine team is busy as ever implementing new graphical features and optimizing code. The combat, dialogue, and gameplay systems are coming along nicely. So even though you haven’t heard much from us, we’ve been cruising along. Our weekend and holiday events are as popular as ever, so if you haven’t fired up Guild Wars lately, you should log in and check out what’s new."

Evening Screenshots

Ships Ahoy - Sacred 2: Fallen Angel

Ascaron Entertainment and cdv Software announce that Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is shipping to North American stores, and the action/RPG should also soon be available for digital distribution via various online outlets. Want to know more? Here goes: "Sacred 2: Fallen Angel provides hundreds of unique items that can be gathered in this mystical world. A deep reward system further enables advancements in character, individual attributes and character-specific fighting styles, each designed to keep players returning to the world of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel to discover what is around the next bend. Drop-in styled cooperative multiplayer gameplay ensures players will enjoy the game alone or seamlessly with friends at any time. Five unique multiplayer modes for up to 16 gamers round out the rich features, and offer a refreshing, first-class gaming experience in Sacred 2: Fallen Angel."

Battlestations: Pacific Movie

A new Battlestations: Pacific movie is now available, an "American trailer" that offers a counterpoint to the Japanese trailer released in June. This cinematic movie depicting aerial and naval combat in the World War II action/strategy sequel is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Sacred 2 Intro Movie

The full cinematic introductory movie for Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is now available. Word is: "This full length video blends together the three previously released "Introduction to Arcania" videos, which showcase massive battles between many of the game's featured characters and a fearsome undead army." The clip is available from FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Movies

Two new fly-through trailers from Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria show off two of the new areas being added by the upcoming first expansion for Turbine's Middle-earth MMORPG. There is a clip showing off Nud-Melek on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. The other clip is a fly-through of Silvertine Lodes, available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria is set to launch one week from today on November 18.

Left 4 Dead Public Demo

Steam is now offering the Left 4 Dead Demo to the general public, as the early access period for preorder customers has concluded. The demo for Valve's zombie-themed teamplay shooter offers multiplayer support and procedurally generated content, so it is time limited, and will end on November 18 when the retail edition of the game becomes available.

PC Mirror's Edge in January

When Mirror's Edge went gold for consoles, EA responded to our inquiries about the status of the Windows edition of the first-person platform game saying they would eventually make an announcement about this, but were concentrating on shipping the console editions. This did not turn out to be a very long wait, as their announcement that the console versions are now in stores has word to expect the release of the Windows edition of Mirror's Edge in January 2009. They also promise new downloadable content for the game at the beginning of next year, saying more details on this will be revealed soon.

Prince of Persia Slips

Eurogamer announces that the release date for the Windows edition of Prince of Persia has slipped a week to December 12, saying the console editions are due on December 5. This seems to apply to Europe, as the North American release of the new installment in the platformer series was previously announced with a December 2 release date. Amazon still lists a December 2 release date for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the game, and a December 9 release date for the Windows edition, so the week delay to the Windows SKU seems to be in effect in North America as well (this fits with how new game releases in North America are usually on a Tuesday). To summarize, in case this is as confusing as it seems: PoP for consoles looks like it's coming on December 2 in North America and December 5 in Europe, while PoP for Windows seems to be due on December 9 in North America and December 12 in Europe. Thank you, please return your seatbacks and tray tables to their original, upright positions.

APB Update

APB October Community Newsletter outlines some of what's planned for Realtime Worlds' upcoming open-world action game. They discuss results from their early testing, word that some of the inventory items suggested by fans will be included in the game, a bit on ideas for mini-games they are considering, news that they've ruled out including a "bullet time" feature for combat, and a quick summary of recent activities of their community team. Thanks Massively.

Ships Ahoy - Call of Duty: World at War

Activision officially announces the North American release of Call of Duty: World at War, Treyarch's new installment in the Call of Duty series of military first-person shooters. A version 1.1 patch was released earlier today for the Windows edition, addressing a couple of bugs and other issues. This latest installment returns the series to World War II, and for the first time will include a campaign set in the Pacific theater as well as coop support. Here's a bit on how co-op will work: "For the first time in the franchise, Call of Duty: World at War introduces co-op, bringing fresh meaning to the "No One Fights Alone" mantra. Call of Duty: World at War co-op features up to four-players online, or two-player local split-screen, allowing gamers to experience harrowing single-player missions together for greater camaraderie and tactical execution. The title also incorporates traditional multiplayer components such as challenges, rankings and online stats into the co-op campaign for deeper re-playability and advanced gameplay."

PCGA: "Guardians of PC Gaming"

PC Gaming Alliance- -We are the guardians of PC gaming on Ars Technica is an article based on a conversation with Randy Stude, top stud at the PCGA trade organization. The conversation touches on some of the hot topics facing PC gaming today, including piracy, saying, "I don't think it's getting worse, as much as it's getting easier," and rising concerns about problems caused by digital rights management. The title of the article comes from Randy's description of their mandate: "We are the guardians of the PC as a platform for gaming. We need to make sure there is an environment where publishers are not afraid to invest tens of millions of dollars in developing great gaming experiences."

King's Bounty: Armored Princess Announced

1C Company and Katauri Interactive announce King's Bounty: Armored Princess, an add-on for King's Bounty: The Legend, their adventure/RPG. The announcement doesn't carry a release date, but an official product section for the add-on is live, offering info, screenshots, and a 2009 release date. Word is: "This new world of King's Bounty: Armored Princess is full of mysteries and dangers. The new character, the Princess, will encounter horrible creatures, huge monstrous bosses and a new race, the bloodthirsty Pangolins. As in the multi-award winning game on which this expansion is based, the player has many options to resist these new enemies. Various new skills and characteristics of Amelie as well as her chance to fly will help her overcome the hordes attacking the kingdom. The Princess is also accompanied by a tamed dragon, at the very beginning small and amusing, but its abilities develop steadily until it becomes an incredible ally. He will do his best to protect the Princess during the battles, starting with easy blows and treasure hunting and finishing with battle rage and volcano summoning."

Call of Duty: World at War Patch

Call of Duty: World at War should be invading store shelves today, and the first patch for Treyarch's World War II shooter sequel is already lying in wait like an enemy machine gun nest. The patch apparently enables mods in all game modes, removes the need to enter a license key to run a dedicated server, and more. The patch also adds a notification feature to inform players when new patches are available. The download is available from ActionTrip, AtomicGamer,, Fileplay, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls.

Left 4 Dead Demo Split Screen Splits

The Left 4 Dead demo update released last night on Steam includes demo fixes, including the removal of the hacked-in split screen support. A forum post by Valve's Yahn Bernier explains why it went away, and that they plan on returning it for the full game: "So splitscreen was always something we only wanted to officially support on the x360 due to the controller issues. However, we are planning on making some of the functionality work on the PC as an "unsupported" bonus feature. We turned it off for the demo because we didn't want to have to deal with any additional bug reports etc. about it interfering with the demo experience, but the current plan is to re-enable it after we launch the full product."

NFLPA Loses Madden Suit

San Francisco Chrronicle has a follow-up to legal objections to the depiction of old-time players in the Madden series, saying a group of over 2,000 former players have been awarded $28 million in a verdict against the NFLPA. GamePolitics reports the case was influenced by some "smoking gun" emails indicating the NFLPA deliberately undervalued the payment to these former players for rights to their images in an effort to undercut Take-Two Interactive's efforts at creating a game featuring older players after EA scored its NFL exclusive. The Chronicle says defense lawyer Jeffrey Kessler "pleaded for minimal damages, saying the union's ability to represent active and retired players was at stake," and he calls the judgement "unjust as a matter of law," predicting it will be overturned.

Japanese Fallout 3 Change

Kotaku reports that Fallout 3 is going to be altered for release in Japan. They have a translation from Behesda's Japanese Website indicating the side-mission "Power of the Atom" has been altered due to sensitivities about nuclear weapons there (read the short article for specifics, we're trying to avoid a small spoiler here). Apparently gamers are more sensitive there about the alteration, as they say Japanese gamers have expressed disappointment over the changes.

Tennis Elbow 2009 Served; Demo

Mana Games now offers Tennis Elbow 2009, a simulation of the outdoor version of ping pong. Word is: "Tennis Elbow is the only game that will give you such an impression to be on the court, and will make you feel the emotions of the match with such realism : you will be conquered by the ultra-realistic ball trajectories, the artificial intelligence replicating the players' behaviour with precision, and the complete range of shots and game situations." The game operates as a 14-day trial, and the download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Battlefield 2 Shenanigans

Battlefield Franchise Website has word that EA has become aware of leaderboard hijinks resulting from illicitly modified ranked servers:
We have become aware of modified Battlefield 2 ranked servers once again that have had an adverse affect on the leaderboards and player accounts. We are working with our partners to prevent this from happening and to return the leaderboards to normal. If you believe your account has been adversely affected by this contact EA Support at

Mirror's Edge Music Q&A

The Mirror's Edge Q&A on Music 4 Games talks with Magnus Birgersson about his work on the soundtrack for Mirror's Edge, DICE's parkour platformer that's out for consoles and eventually coming to Windows PCs.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

You know I should have seen the cracks about my teeth coming when I wrote about the Halloween candy yesterday. I'd defend myself, but I'm too busy preparing for my dentist trip later today. I wish I was kidding, but today I should get my temporary crown replaced with the permanent one. Wee! Anyway, today is Veteran's Day/Armistice Day, and in that vein, hats off to you vets!

Temporary Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Rack-A-Node. Thanks NetworkWorld.
Contrast Cannon.
Storm the House 3.
Links: Cool Computer Case Mods.
Three more years in Springfield. At this point they're eating the shark.
Story: New York Tin Pan Alley 'at risk'.
Science: 'Assassin' cells home in on HIV.
Images: Homestar Runner Costumes.
Media: The Matrix Runs on Windows.
The Black Hole.
The Kevin Bacon Movie Club from Kevin Bacon.
Follow-up: Phoenix R.I.P.- Mars probe declared dead. Thanks Neutronbeam.
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