Archived News:

Monday, May 18, 2009

TF2 Sniper Update Thursday

The "Meet the Spy" Team Fortress 2 trailer leaked over the weekend is no longer leaked, as it is now available on the Steam Website as a streaming clip with a high-resolution version for download. This and a list of Spy Achievements are today's installment in the run-up to the launch of the Sniper (and Spy) update, which Valve now says to expect on Thursday. There are also a couple of cute references to the video leak, the "act surprised" caption to open the movie, and their Valve Corporate achievement: "UNLOCKED - Welcome to the internets: Fail to understand what 'Private' means on YouTube."

Project Aftermath & Steam Patched

Steam News reports a new version of Project Aftermath is automatically available, listing some changes and bug-fixes in the update. Word on Gamesfaction is that version 1.20 is now automatically available, and they are now offering a version 1.20 demo, though there are no release notes, so we can't say whether the new version on Steam is actually 1.20 as well. There is also a new automatic update for Steam itself.

Age of Conan Turns One

Age of Conan is turning one year old, and according to Funcom, they are "seeing a significant increase in players and new customers per month. Activity levels have risen significantly, and the communities are thriving with more and more players finding their way into the game." The new Age of Conan Newsletter focuses on this week's celebrations of the first anniversary of the launch of the barbaric MMORPG: Included is a letter looking back at a year of operations from Game Director Craig Morrison, word on free fireworks with which to celebrate, a screenshot contest and other competitions, an outline of plans to add an additional character slot in update 5, and more.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

3D Realms "Not Closing"

3D Realms asserts that "Despite rumors and statements to the contrary," (such as the Goodbye on their own website), the company "has not closed and is not closing," according to a press release issued to Shacknews. They do confirm they "are saddened to confirm that we let the Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) development team go on May 6th, while we regroup as a company," and as for the future, they say: "While 3DR is a much smaller studio now, we will continue to operate as a company and continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise." Apparently not one of those companies that avoids commenting on pending litigation, the remainder of the press release offers their side of the story in their legal conflict with Take-Two over Duke Nukem Forever, giving details on exactly which payments they did not receive for the project, and exactly when they did not receive them.

P.U.R.E. & Demo Released

The P.U.R.E. Website now announces the release of the full version of this independently developed real-time strategy game, along with a playable P.U.R.E. demo. The game can be purchased from Impulse, and the demo is available on Mod DB, and mirrored on Gamer's Hell. P.U.R.E. was developed as a multiplatform game, but it's not clear if this release offers Linux or MacOS support.

Game Trade-ins at Wal-Mart

Gamasutra has details on a pilot program at Wal-Mart where they are experimenting with trade-in kiosks for video games operated by e-Play, whose movie rental kiosks may be familiar. The process requires an ID and a credit card, which makes this less accessible than some other trade-in schemes, but if adopted chain-wide, Wal-Mart's ubiquity may help this succeed nonetheless, though for now this is only offered in 77 of Wal-Mart's 3,656 retail stores.

ARMA II Next Month

505 Games and Bohemia Interactive Studios announce that ARMA II will be one of the rare early games, as the military shooter sequel is now expected on June 19:
505 Games and Bohemia Interactive are thrilled to announce that the release date for the upcoming tactical military simulator ArmA II forward by precisely one week, to 19th June 2009. Fans eagerly awaiting their next foray into the world beating tactical action the ArmA series has become renowned for now have just over one month to wait.

Featuring the most realistic warfare gameplay ever, ArmA II promises to build on the excellent features that have made Bohemia Interactive a respected name among both gamers and the US army, who use a modified version to train recruits for combat situations. Team-based combat, a comprehensive playbook of military tactics and an enormous battlefield to explore are just some of the features that will make this THE military simulation of choice this year.

ArmA II will be released on 19th June exclusively for PC. For all the latest information please visit

ARMA II Details and Screenshots

IDEA Games and Bohemia Interactive Studios offer new details on ARMA II, the upcoming modern military shooter sequel. Accompanied by three new screenshots, the update outlines the game's "player-driven story," the "stunning detail" of their 225 square km battlefield, the authenticity of their military simulation, multiplayer features, and the power of the game's included level editor.

Another Fallout 3 DLC Hint?

No Mutants Allowed has some fuel for the fires of speculation over the possibility that a fourth batch of DLC for Fallout 3 is in the works, which has been hinted at by an online listing, and has not been ruled out by Bethesda Softworks. Using the Fallout 3 G.E.C.K. scripting tool, they have uncovered a reference in the Broken Steel DLC specifically referencing a fourth DLC, as it is called: "DLC04RelayStatBackdoorUnlockSCRIPT."

Champions Online Delayed

The Champions Online Website announces September 1 is the new release date for the super-powered MMORPG Cryptic was planning for release in July, saying this will offer "more beta play time right now and a better, more polished game at launch." Here's more from Cryptic's Bill Roper:
“It is critically important for an MMO to be as good as it possibly can be at launch. Through our constant dialogue with our vocal and supportive community of beta testers, we quickly realized that in order to implement certain features that we all considered important the development of Champions Online would require more time. So that's what we're going to give it. Cryptic has a proven track record of releasing solid games and we want to maintain that with Champions Online.”

Men at War Patches

New patches are now available for Men of War to update either the boxed or the digitally distributed edition of Best Way's real-time strategy sequel to version 1.1.3. The new version includes some improvements, map fixes, as well as a few new maps. The patch for the boxed edition is on this Aspyr Support Page, while this Aspyr Support Page is where to find the patch for the digitally distributed edition.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

After a minor grease fire in the grill over the weekend (ever try grilling bacon? wow!), MrsBlue asked what we would have done if it had been a major fire, and my reply was that we have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. This inspired a quick inspection of the extinguisher, which turns out to have been way overdue, as it was in desperate need of a recharging. We picked up a pair of new extinguishers (we decided the one in my office was a bit small) in the meantime before figuring out where to recharge the old one, so we should be safe for now. I've made a vow to try and remember to check on these things regularly going forward, and thought sharing this story might help in case anyone else had lapsed in this area.

Extinguished Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Box Clever.
Nooboo Mary - Witch Queen.
Link: Home built massage chair strikes inexpugnable fear into aching joints. Brazil?
Stories: Sheriff's office: Man tries to rob store using a banana. Thanks Neatorama.
"Chuck" Renewed But Trimmed.
Science: How Neanderthals met a grisly fate- devoured by humans. Thanks MrKawfy.
Images: How to pick a video game system,. Thanks Digg.
The World's First Web Server. Thanks MrKawfy.
Media: Cowbell Hero - Level 57!
I kissed a girl. Thanks Devicer.
Paper Towels. NSFW.
The Funnies: ActionTrip Comic Strip: Duke Nukem RIP.
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