Archived News:

Friday, Jan 30, 2009

Mount & Blade MP Expansion

Paradox Interactive held a media event in Stockholm yesterday for European journalists, and revealed plans for a multiplayer expansion for Mount & Blade, which they say will include a number of new features requested by players, including improved strategic AI, extended diplomatic options, new rendering technologies including the addition of High Dynamic Range lighting, and a new multiplayer feature including the ability for at least 32 players team deathmatch battles.


The Dejobaan Games Website announces AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, the imaginative title for this game centered around the extreme sport of base jumping. This game from the folks who brought us The Wonderful End of the World, called Aaaaa! for short, is planned for release in the third quarter of this year for Windows. The site offers a press release announcing the game, some screenshots, and three videos showing off the action from an alpha version. Here's the concept: "You dive off a skyscraper, relying on quick reflexes to negotiate the intricate tangle of girders that make up the City. You perform aerial stunts at terminal velocity before parachuting into the arms of your cheering fans. While other skydivers have it easy, you have to earn the adoration of the crowds by gliding within an eyelash of that glass super skyscraper at 70 miles per hour."

Star Wars: The Old Republic Movie

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website offers a new developer dispatch movie called "The Making of Tython" that includes gameplay footage from BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. Word is: "Join us for our first Developer Dispatch: The Making of Tython, with developer interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and breathtaking, never-before-seen concept art. Journey through Tython, the planet where the first Force users assembled and the Jedi Order was established. Discover how writers, artists, designers, and other developers came together to create one of the most essential planets in Star Wars: The Old Republic."

ARMA 2 Marines Movie

The ARMA 2 Website now offers new details on this military shooter sequel in the works Bohemia Interactive Studios, saying this kicks off a series of weekly such updates. They're serving up a profile of the USMC, providing images and details on the Marine Force Recon units in the game along with a news report-style video.

BloodBowl Movie

The last of the promised four new movies promoting BloodBowl is now available, showing more tackle football as it would be played by Warhammer characters. Here's the deal: "Watch the video and experience the game’s real-time and turn-based modes, and see how you can customize your teams – from choosing specific characters, to designing individual players before sending them out to do battle on the field. Along with actual in-game video, we’ve included some cinematics that showcase some of the famous gameplay concepts of “Blood Bowl” – including dirty plays, underhand tactics and all-out cheating." The clip is on the BloodBowl Website and mirrored on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Brighter Minds in Chapter 11

GameDaily reports that World of Goo publisher Brighter Minds Media has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 11 could be considered the "good" kind of bankruptcy (apologies to Larry David), in that it involves reorganization of debt, as opposed to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves liquidation, so there's hope that the company can ultimately return to good financial health.

Marv Wolfman on DC Universe Online

Big Download has news that Marv Wolfman is the third comic book veteran joining the team developing DC Universe Online. There was an attempt to keep this under wraps, but comic enthusiast magazine Wizard spilled there beans in their latest issue, on newsstands now. The one-time editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics will expand storylines created by writer Geoff Jones.

TF2 Scout-Takes

The Team Fortress 2 Blog has an update with some history on the design of the scout class in Valve's first-person shooter, showing some failed concept art for the class and outlining how the design evolved. You know how it is, sometimes things just don't work out as planned.

Rockstar Steam Sale

Steam News has details on this weekend's sale, where you can party like a Rockstar and kick a little ass: "This weekend only, save 30% on anything and everything in Rockstar Games' catalog. This includes recent releases such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Bully: Scholarship Edition, as well as past hits such as Max Payne 2 and the highly-rated Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Visit the Rockstar Games publisher catalog for a complete listing of all Rockstar Games available on Steam."

Evening Previews

  • Aion: The Tower of Eternity on GameZone. The races of Aion.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Crysis Warhead Patch

MyCrysis has news that the new Crysis Warhead patch is now available, updating Crytek's first-person shooter to version 1.1.1710. The new version addresses a few bugs and adds promised support for 64-bit CPUs, accompanied by a warning that 32-bit saved games won't work properly under the 64-bit version and vice-versa. Thanks KaBoNG.

NFS SHIFT & NFS World Online

After much speculation about the future of the Need for Speed series, EA announces ambitious plans for the racing franchise that include Need for Speed SHIFT for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP and Need for Speed NITRO for Wii and DS this fall, and Need for Speed World Online, a subscription-free MMOG for PC that will launch in Asia in the summer and in North America next winter. Here's word on the two PC games:
Need for Speed SHIFT – Fall 2009
Shift into high gear! Designed to deliver a true driver’s experience that reflects contemporary motorsports, Need for Speed SHIFT is built by racers for racers. Need for Speed SHIFT delivers an authentic and immersive driving experience developed by Slightly Mad Studios in collaboration with executive producer Michael Mann at Black Box and senior vice president Patrick Soderlund at EA Games Europe. Slightly Mad Studios includes developers and designers that worked on the critically acclaimed games GT Legends and GTR 2. Need for Speed SHIFT replicates the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars like never before. Players are thrust into the heart of the action with immersive and exciting features including a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit view camera and an all-new crash mechanic, providing an unrivaled sensation of the speed and feeling of racing a car on the extreme edge of control.

Soderlund is also part of a racing team that recently competed in the 4th edition of the TOYO TIRES 24H Dubai 2009, the first major race event of the year. His team ranked #5 in the high-profile race. Soderlund and the SHIFT development team are committed to bringing the on-the-track experience to players across the world.

Need for Speed World Online – Winter 2009 in North America, (Summer 2009 in Asia)
Co-developed by Black Box and EA Singapore, Need for Speed World Online takes the race into the largest open world in the history of Need for Speed - designed exclusively for the PC. Beginning in Asia, this Play 4 Free action racing game will give Need for Speed fans access to licensed cars, parts and multiple game modes. Players will prove their racing supremacy through the sophisticated online matchmaking features and fully customize their profile and their ride.

Deus Ex 3 Details

The Eidos Forums offer an extensive discussion of Deus Ex 3 based on a preview of the upcoming action/RPG sequel from Czech gaming magazine Hratelně, which also offers a handful of screenshots (thanks Neoseeker). The forums offer translations of the article from those able to check out the Czech text, outlining some of the revelations offered. This post takes on translating the entire article, while this post offers a more succinct list of what's revealed:
-the world is ruled by megacorporations, more powerful than national governments. The conspiracy groups are setting these corporations against each other.

-the black ops slaughter the research division of the corporation Adam works at. The questions who and why is behind the attack are answered relatively soon into the game, however more serious questions arise with the answers.

-You will be regularly visiting Adam's apartment with many reminiscences of his past like photos and a diary

-The game takes place in five well-known metropoleis, mentioned were Shanghai, Detroit and Montreal

-Women play a large role in the game, some of them you've known for a long time, others will try to seduce or betray you, depending on your previous actions

-Bosses are included, their difficulty also depending on your previous actions

-The secret societies are just puppets for a shadowy figure who wants to take control over all of the market, society, and the human evolution.

-The events of the game will lead to the establishment of UNATCO

-The main villain is to be 'similar' to Jensen

-a rescue mission across the globe later in the game

-squad based combat AI with a visually identifiable squad leader

Global Game Jam

The Global Game Jam Website has word the jam is underway, offering a 48 hour competitive game development marathon. If you are unaware, here is how this works: "From now, until 5:00 p.m. Sunday, February 1st, college students, faculty and members of the game industry will join together for a game building marathon. Participants will be given the details of the game design theme, constraints, and mechanics allowed, when the clock reaches 5:00 p.m. local time in each region, with the first time zone being New Zealand, and the last being Hawaii. As the start time comes in each time zone, the constraints will also be changed; mitigating any advantage that location might give one team over another."

GDC Canada 2009

Registration is now underway for Game Developers Conference Canada 2009, which will take place in Vancouver on May 12-13. The mission of this event is simply: "to serve this fast-growing region by providing a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality within their globally distributed games."

Bill Cowher & Quick Hit Football 2009

Play Hard Sports Changes Name to Quick Hit and Announces Bill Cowher as 'The Coach' of Quick Hit Football 2009 announces just that, a rebranding of this tackle football game to reflect the endorsement of iron-jawed coach Cowher. The game is slated to launch at the same time the 2009 NFL season kicks off, offering a subscription-free strategic simulation of American football.

Op Ed

PWNING 9-5 - Microsoft's Blunder of the Decade : What X-Box Should Have Been.
"The Microsoft Gaming business unit lost a piece of the company's spirit when they made the decision to make an X-Box at all. The fact is this: Gaming PC's are some of the most advanced pieces of computing technology in the world, and they come in every range of price, shape, and ridiculousness -- but there is one, and only one, constant in all of them: Microsoft software. And Microsoft decided that instead of fostering that huge, massive customer base in the proven way that they've been successful for 30 years, they'd instead be a competitor... to themselves."

Trembling Hand- Ten Ways to Fix MMOs
"I shouldn't even have to say this. But an unfinished game should not be launched. If that means developers have to pare back the features to a managable level, do so. But don't release if it's not done. Period." - Plea for Space Sub-Genre Recognition.
"The crux is that these sub-genres cannot be compared directly. It’s like apples and oranges. The antidote to ignorant statements and comparisons by people and the media is understanding and recognition for these space sub-genres."

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well those concerns I expressed about iciness yesterday were just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, as the weather pattern combined our new sidewalk and the shaded areas in front of our house to make a sheet of ice worthy of a hockey rink. I'm not wild about salting, since it's bad for dogs and plants and the sidewalk itself, but I'm going to have to overcome that in this case, since as it stands this situation is a disaster waiting to happen.

Slippery Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Van Halen Asteroids.
Chain of Fire.
Farm Frenzy 2.
Links: The worst games that made it to number one.
Stories: Blowfish testicles prepared by unlicensed chef send 7 to Japanese hospital with poisoning. Fugu me!
Zombies! Run! (TxDOT is Not Amused). Thanks nin. I could swear this was posted here already.
Science: Odd first names linked to criminality. The Plaxico Burress incident explained.
Media: Wrath of Khan- The Opera - Robot Chicken.
Gamer Preparedness Test #9- Black Ops.
Oldest rocker in town - Grandpa loves heavy metal.
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