Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 05, 2009

Saw Game Lives

Variety.com reports the video game based on the Saw series of gore movies lives, after it seems the project had died following the demise of Brash Entertainment. Word is Konami has picked up the rights to make the game, and it will be released for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this fall coinciding with the release of the sixth film in the series. The nature of the presumably "M" rated game is vaguely described as relating to rigging the movie's signature traps, and apparently the game features the voice talent of Tobin Bell, the actor who plays the anti-hero Jigsaw in the series.

Bionic Commando Console Date

The Capcom Blog offers a Bionic Commando release date, though the May 2009 date they offer does not cover the Windows edition of the swinging action game, saying" "Capcom is also confirming Bionic Commando, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, will be releasing this May with the PC version available in the following months." The post goes on to outline the history of the original 8-bit game. Thanks 1UP.

Ghostbusters Movie

A new movie from Ghostbusters: The Video Game reminds us of rule two: "Don't look directly into the trap!" The short clip shows the Ghostbusters putting those traps to good use as they protect the city from a disaster of biblical proportions. You can find the movie on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Aion Movie

A new movie from Aion: The Tower of Eternity shows off NCsoft's upcoming fantasy-themed MMORPG. The clip offers a tour of the Verteron zone in the game, showing off the environments they're creating with the CryENGINE. The clip is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Wanted Interview Movies

Two new video interview are online for Wanted: Weapons of Fate, GRIN's upcoming game based on the comic-inspired action movie. There's an interview with musician/actor Common about his voice role on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; and there's an interview* with producer Pete Wanat discussing the game's cast of Hollywood talent on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. *You should be warned the Pete Wanat interview contains spoilers for both the game and the movie.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Cramps founder, singer Lux Interior dies. The punk pantheon loses another. Thanks WalterEgo.

DoW2: Steam & Preorder Bonus

THQ announces European pre-purchases and preloads of the digitally distributed edition of Dawn of War II can be done through this page, which outlines preorder bonuses beyond those we've seen already, including an extra multiplayer map. Word is the game will be activated at the stroke of midnight on February 20. They also announce Relic's RTS sequel will use Steamworks for game authentication, following up on this story and this one indicating they were hoping to avoid objectionable DRM. The announcement quotes lead designer Jonny Ebbert saying: "We love Steamworks because it offers so many advantages for the player," and: "Gamers who purchase the game and register with Steam can install the game on as many PCs as they want, can play online or offline and no CD is required to play. Best of all, if the player ever loses the CD, the game can be downloaded for free from Steam."

Evochron Legends & Demo

StarWraith 3D Games announces the release of Evochron Legends, the next installment in their series of freeform space combat, trading, racing, exploration, and mercenary simulations. As is the StarWraith 3D way, the game is also available as a playable demo, which can be unlocked for the full game through the online purchase of a game activation key, and the game can also be purchased through GamersGate. Downloads of the demo are also available through the Evochron Legends Website, AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. Here's the deal on the game:
You control your destiny in true freeform gameplay with a variety of activities and objectives to complete.

Customize the look, functionality, and performance of your ship with the component-based shipyard. Design your ship for the role you want to play.

Explore a 'seamless' universe without required jump gates or trade lanes to limit your movement, use optional gates to save time and fuel. Master devastating new weapons and technology. Pilot Alliance military ships into battle to defend Evochron.

Keep the ship, upgrades, equipment, money, weapons, crew, and commodities you acquire in the game for use in both single player and multiplayer.

Join forces with other players in multiplayer to complete more challenging cooperative objectives that can offer much better pay.

Burnout Paradise Patch & Demo

Criterion Games announces the PC edition of Burnout Paradise is now available, as it has been for a couple of days now, and they offer a link to buy Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box from the EA store. For those interested in a sample of the racing game, there's now a playable demo on nZone, which is a pretty staggering 2.9 GB download, as this is apparently a time-limited version of the full game. There are also references to a version 1.60 patch (thanks Marty), a significant jump from the recent version 1.0.0.1 patch, as there's a report of network page issues with Burnout Paradise patch 1.60, but no downloads of such a patch are offered at this time. Update: The playable demo is now mirrored on ComputerGames.ro, FanGaming, and Gamer's Hell.

Left 4 Dead DLC & SDK Plans

Valve announces the L4D Survival Pack, downloadable content to be released this spring for the PC and Xbox 360 editions of Left 4 Dead. They also announce a "Critic's Choice Edition" of the game that will be available at retail around that time that will include the new DLC, and also say they will release the SDK for PC owners around that time as well. Here's word on the plan, which outlines the new game mode called Survival and two new campaigns for Versus mode:
February 5, 2008 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced a series of content and development releases for its latest title, 2008's best-selling new game property for the PC and Xbox 360, Left 4 Dead (L4D).

The first L4D DLC - dubbed the L4D Survival Pack -- is due for release this spring and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode . A Critic's Choice Edition of the game is also heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.

In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D's matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC.

"Since Half-Life launched in 1998, Valve has made continuous efforts to expand the offering of its products beyond what's included on the day of launch," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "With Half-Life and Counter-Strike, and more recently Team Fortress 2, we've learned that we're no longer making stand-alone games but creating entertainment services. With Left 4 Dead we're extending that tradition by creating additional gameplay and releasing our internal tools to aspiring developers so they may also create and distribute new Left 4 Dead experiences."

Left 4 Dead is a survival action game from Valve that blends the social entertainment experience of multiplayer games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress with the dramatic, narrative experience made popular in single player action game classics such as the Half-Life series of games. Released in November of 2008, L4D has earned over 25 industry awards from outlets around the world.

For more information, please visit www.l4d.com

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

The Battlefield Website has the announcement of Battlefield Bad Company 2, revealing a PC release is in the works for the sequel to the console-only installment in the Battlefield series of military shooters. The site offers a screenshot for the game, which is due next winter, and here's word:
Stockholm, Sweden - February 5, 2009 - DICE, and Electronic Arts Inc. studio (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced Battlefield: Bad Company 2™, the sequel to last year's blockbuster title.

In this installment, the Bad Company crew again find themselves in the heart of the action, where they must use every weapon and vehicle at their disposal to survive. The action unfolds with unprecedented intensity, introducing a level of fervor to vehicular warfare never before experience in a modern warfare game.

To get ready for the assault this winter, players can prepare for action in Battlefield 1943™, and all-new multiplayer game available this summer via PlayStation®Store, Xbox LIVE™ Marketplace and on the PC.

In Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the 'B' company fight their way through snowy mountaintops, dense jungles and dusty villages. With a heavy arsenal of deadly weapons and a slew of vehicles to aid them, the crew set off on their mission and they are ready to blow up, shoot down, blast through, wipe out and utterly destroy anything that gets in their way. Total destruction is the name of the game, delivered as only the DICE next generation Frostbite™ engine can. Either online or offline, enemies will soon learn there is nowhere to hide. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the PC.

"Bad Company 2 takes everything that players liked in the original and ups the ante - more vehicles, more destruction and more team play," said Karl Magnus Troedsson, Executive Producer Battlefield Franchise, DICE. "Battlefield 1943 is a new take on a blast from the past classic coming to life with brand new technology that we're eager to get into players hands."

Battlefield 1943

The Battlefield Website announces Battlefield 1943, revealing the next installment in the Battlefield series of multiplayer military shooters is returning to World War II, the focus of the original Battlefield 1942. The game is in the works for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, and it seems like all three editions will be a digitally distributed, with the release planned for this summer. The site offers a trailer showing off the land, sea, and air combat in the game, and here's word:
Soldiers, it's time to do your part in the action packed battles of the World War II Pacific campaign! Pick your path - be it as a rifleman crawling the trenches, a steel fisted tank commander, or ace fighter pilot dog fighting to protect the skies. Play as a lone wolf or with your friends, coordinating to turn the tide of battle, whatever you choose, you get to enjoy the thrill of a fully featured online shooter with the unique Battlefield sandbox experience.

Battlefield 1943 will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network and on PC for download. This give players access to the famous action packed Battlefield gameplay quicker and easier than it's ever been. Play as the US Marines or the Imperial Japanese Navy on match-made servers for optimal challenge, as you gain ranks and awards. Battlefield 1943 is your own version of one of the most famous campaigns in the history of the world!

By Land, Sea & Air!
Unleash wide destruction with Bombing Raids, Tanks, or Fighter Planes launched from Aircraft Carriers and enjoy one of the best experiences in any multiplayer game to-date.

Varied Locations & Up to 24 Players
Play with 24 players online in three beautiful and destructible locations from the Pacific theatre. Whether you choose Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima or the classic Wake Island, you'll experience the best balance of infantry combat complemented by land, sea and air vehicles.

Frostbite-Enabled Destruction
Watch the beautiful Pacific Islands quickly turn into scarred battlefields as destruction rains upon you and your fellow soldiers as you fight to win the battle!

Through the Gun Experience
Use classic and iconic World War II infantry weapons with excellent feel to defeat your foes. Hit 'em hard from afar through your sniper scope or use explosives or melee weapons like bayonets to make it really up close and personal.

WoW Class Change Plans

WorldofWar.Net identifies a number of forum posts from the developers at Blizzard outlining changes planned for World of Warcraft, outlining class-specific changes for the Priest, the Rogue, and the Shaman in the MMORPG. An overview is in this post:
As many of you know the next major content patch will include some very exciting things, such as Ulduar, a new epic raid dungeon, a wealth of new items, and much more. We thought players would especially enjoy reading just a few of the class changes we're currently planning.

This is the first in a series of three upcoming class change highlight announcements: Priests, Rogues, and Shaman. Please keep in mind, that these lists are not at all comprehensive, and subject to change.

On TF2 Balance Changes

The Team Fortress 2 Blog has an update from Valve designer Greg Cherlin following up on the patch released earlier this week that included balance changes for Team Fortress 2 (thanks JaZeeL). The update includes a primer on how the new critical hit system operates under the hood and their reasons for changing how critical hits work. He offers statistics on the system and the changes, and a chart illustrating the old system versus the new one. He summarizes the situation by outlining the strategic implications of the system:
In thinking about the change we wanted to make to critical hits, we decided that there was a point on the graph of particular interest to us, and that was the point at which your critical hit chance was as much a result of your performance as it was the base chance. If you look at at (A) on the old line, you'll see that point isn't reached until you've done 550 recent damage, a feat that occurs about as often as our backstab code works correctly. That point is reached at (B) on the new line, around the point where you've done 175 recent damage. This means that if you've just singlehandedly killed an enemy Demoman/Soldier/Pyro/Heavy, your next 20 seconds worth of crit chances are already more a result of that kill than the base chance. As a result, if you're a highly skilled player, you're going to fire significantly more critical hits than those around you. And remember, if you've just killed 2 or 3 enemies, now's the time to push!

Watchmen Screenshots

Some new screenshots from the Watchmen: The End is Nigh offer glimpses of Night Owl and Rorschach in action in the episodic movie tie-in. The shots are accompanied by some environment art from the game. The shots are posted on Primotech. My favorite quote from the Watchmen series just popped to mind: "I'm not trapped in here with you. You're trapped in here with me!"

A-Train 8 Announced

This press release announces A-Train 8, a railroad simulation to be released on February 27. There are some screenshots on Gamer's Hell, and here's a small portion of the lengthy announcement:
The A-Train brand has become one of the most respected and sought after titles and with A-Train 8, as manager of a railroad company, elected as mayor of your city, you will have your time engaged with many motivating tasks. The aim is to create the best public transport systems possible, manage them and adapt fares to successfully improve your city though the year, taking into account the different seasons and the effect they could have on the system you create!

Create cities as realistic as you wish and the choice of options and parameters are as impressive as the structures offered. You can choose from any of the main monuments which include Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower or even the Empire State Building. See the setting you have created spring into life and watch the city vibrantly take on a persona you have personally adapted. A-Train is a simulation with its graphical interface that is unsurpassed in terms of details and virtual authenticity; all orchestrated with simple and intuitive mouse and keyboard key strokes and movements

WAR Night of Murder Tomorrow

A Blood-Red Moon Rises Over the Armies of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning as the Night of Murder Approaches announces that tomorrow will see the launch of this in-game event for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning that will last until February 15. Full details are on this page.

Godfather II Interview

The Godfather II Interview on The Game Reviews talks with Dave Woldman about the upcoming game sequel based on this thing of ours. They discuss living up to the movies, the absence of Al Pacino, outdoing the original game, whether ports to other consoles will follow the release, stiff competition from other games, development progress, and DLC.

Paradox Steam Sale

Steam News has word that Valve's digital distribution service now offers three strategy games from Paradox Interactive, offering a 10% discount on each between now and February 11. The three titles are Europa Universalis III Complete, Knights of Honor, and Take Command - Second Manassas.

Op Ed

Ten Ton Hammer - The Lone Superhero and the MMO Game.
"All forms of fiction are character centric, but comic books in particular have a very specific focus around their heroes. Unless Jimmy Olsen requires saving, how much do we really learn about him? Secondary characters always play their roles but specifics are always revealed in bits and pieces as filler. My point is, that while you’re in the world of Batman there is only him and that is our focus. In a Batman MMO game no one would want to play Alfred the Butler or random Gotham City police officer number 224. There must be an entire world of interesting character types that players could take the role of and many comic IP's don't provide that."

Gameplayer - Rockstar Discovers Blizzard’s Secret to $$$$.
"Enter Rockstar. The developer has pulled the plumb from the pie and is set to gorge on its sweet juices with The Lost and Damned. The developer has found the sweet spot with their episodic DLC for GTA IV, blending the winning business model of World of Warcraft with a system that is supported and functional for console owners. We’ve played it, and it is set to change the face of console gaming forever. Let us explain…"

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

My monitor up and died on me yesterday, which was the first time I realized this was the only monitor in the BlueTower, which is a problem. I then learned Acer has taken over support for my Gateway monitor, and while it is covered under warranty, they need me to ship it to them to see if they can "repair" it (no really) before authorizing a replacement. Old Gateway support would have had a new monitor here within a couple of days by holding my credit card number in case I didn't send the broken one back in return, but this thing is going to be gone for three weeks at the very least, which is frustrating. In the meantime I picked up a HANNspree monitor with an insane refresh rate, which I'll try to use in a dual-monitor setup when my "repaired" monitor comes back, and at least I'll have some redundancy there going forward.

Monitored Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: BubbleQuod.
Sproing reloaded.
Links: What if Videogame Characters Used Twitter?
Top 10 Videogame Resolutions.
The Top 7... games that should've had co-op.
Stories: 10 Surefire Ways to Score Oscar Recognition. Thanks Digg.
Denny's slammed by breakfast giveaway.
Largest snake 'as long as a bus'. Thanks brother19.
Science: Babies Know - A Little Dirt Is Good for You.
Shaking on space station rattles NASA.
Auction: Blizzard mocks Diablo purists with unicorns that poo rainbows.
Media: Football Coach Retires From Family For More Time With Team.
The Boob Locator Feature.
Christian Bale Vs. Bill O'Reilly. Amazingly NSFW.
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