Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009

Max Payne 3 Details?

Deeko News has details purportedly from the cover story of the new issue of Game Informer Magazine, which has a cover story on Max Payne 3 (thanks GamesBrasil). The cover shows a slightly pot-bellied Max, now bald and bearded, and according to the article on the magazine story he is also addicted to painkillers. They say the game is set in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will feature a new cover system, day/night cycles, and online multiplayer support. None of this is confirmed yet, but it does fit with the concepts in the game's announcement, which says: "Since leaving the NYPD and New York itself behind, Max has drifted from bad to worse. Double-crossed and a long way from home, Max is now trapped in a city full of violence and bloodshed, using his weapons and instincts in a desperate search for the truth and a way out."

Sword of the Stars: Argos Naval Yard Preorders

Impulse now offers preorders of Sword of the Stars: Argos Naval Yard, the expansion for Sword of the Stars slated for release one week from today. Word is: "Sword of the Stars: Argos Naval Yard adds 3 new scenarios, 10 new weapons, over 75 new technologies and more. This expansion requires either Sword of the Stars: A Murder of Crows, or Sword of the Stars Ultimate Collection installed to play."

X3: Terran Conflict Patch

New patches are now available for X3: Terran Conflict to update EGOSOFT's space combat sequel to version 2.01. There is a patch for version 2.0a that's found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. There's also a patch to update version 1.0.1 that's available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. Finally, the Steam edition of the game will update to the new version the next time you login to Steam.

Steam Patches

In addition to the X3: Terran Conflict patch mentioned above, Steam also now offers automatic updates with the Company of Heroes patch from earlier today, as well as a new version of the Steam client.

Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Patch

A new patch is now available for Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword, updating the turn-based strategy expansion to version 3.19. A large number of tweaks and fixes are in the patch, which can be found on this page along with the release notes. A mirror is available on AtomicGamer. Update: The automatic Steam edition of the patch is now available.

Dungeons & Dragons Online Interviews

Why Dungeons & Dragons Online Went Free-To-Play on Gamasutra interviews Turbine director of communications Adam Mersky about the just-announced plan to offer Dungeons & Dragons Online with no subscription fees in North America. Adam offers reassurances that while they will sell items via microtransactions, no one will be able to "buy their way to the level cap," saying, "All the best loot is still in the game, and the hardcore can play their way from level one to 20 totally free." He also explains that this is not to be taken as an indication the game was failing with a subscription model, but that with DDO "definitely a niche game," it offered them an opportunity to experiment with new business models. Adam is also one of the folks participating in a DDO Unlimited Interview with Turbine Developers on Ten Ton Hammer that also rounds up Fernando Paiz and Kate Paiz to discuss the new business model.

Crystal Dynamics Layoffs

Crystal Dynamics studio has laid off an additional 25 positions, Eidos Interactive has confirmed to, following about 30 layoffs at the Tomb Raider developer earlier this year. According to Eidos: "This decision is a reflection of the continued drive to focus resources at the studio. We would like to thank all of the employees affected by this difficult decision for their hard work during their time at Crystal and we wish them all the best in the future." Strategy Games Sale is offering a 25% off sale on the catalog of strategy games on this DRM-free digital marketplace. This makes their $9.99 titles just $7.49 and their $5.99 titles just $4.49 for the duration of the sale, which ends next Monday.

Legio Movie

A new video on the YouTube shows off gameplay from Legio, an upcoming turn-based strategy game from Mezmer Games. Word is: "The new gameplay movie showcases one of the main characters of Legio, the King, lurking around at night until he runs into an opponent slightly out of his own league, the Giant. The movie also displays the prominent gameplay elements of Legio. Each game starts with players setting up the game board and placing their battle units in position. In the actual battle, you can see how the different units move around, attack, and eventually die - all of it being performed differently by different characters. The movie clip also shows the timing element when attacking an enemy."

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Patches

The Company of Heroes Patch Page now offers the promised new version 2.600 patch for Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor. The patch notes were previously released outlining what's new and different, including a new map. The English patch is mirrored on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, and The Patches Scrolls, and some or all of the patches for various other languages are mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Battlefield 3 Confirmed reports that development of Battlefield 3 was confirmed today during a presentation at the William Blair Growth Stock Conference by Electronic Arts chief operating office John Pleasants. "I've had the luxury of looking at Battlefield 3 over at DICE in Sweden and was highly impressed by the way the team is working on that product," they quote him as saying. "Of course, that's not [coming out] in the fiscal year, but that is a product that is looking very good."

All Aspect Warfare Demo

A playable demo for All Aspect Warfare is now available, offering a sample of 3000AD's science-fiction combat game, and as noted in this All Aspect Warfare developer blog update, both All Aspect Warfare and Angle Of Attack (which turns out to be the A.A.W. aerial combat spin off mentioned a couple of months ago) will likely go gold this week. The update goes on to describe the complications involved in releasing both games following the collapse of their Xbox 360 publishing deal that leaves the retail release of A.A.W. in jeopardy and may delay the games, even via digital distribution, depending on preorders and other factors. There is also the possibility of an XBLA deal for Angle Of Attack that means there will be no demo for this aerial combat game . The 291 MB All Aspect Warfare demo is available on AtomicGamer,, and Gamer's Hell.

Fireburst Announced

This press release from Black Inc. announces Fireburst, an action-oriented off-road racing game planned for release by the end of this year for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Here's a bit:
Fireburst sends players into a fiery, four-wheeled adrenalin frenzy. Behind the wheel of numerous different racers, drivers get to speed along paved race courses or wicked off-road tracks, showing no respect for their rivals. Thanks to a novel boost system, opponents are kept at a distance in spectacular ways in various single and multiplayer modes. The element of fire prominently features in all special maneuvers. It is possible, for example, to coat your own vehicle in protective flames, or make a rival's car explode with a burst of fire.

Fireburst also offers brilliant graphics: In order to bring glorious effects and breathtaking landscapes to the screen, exDream's developers base their graphics on Unreal Engine 3. Many dynamic objects and impressive light effects on vehicles and tracks make for fantastic top-level, high-speed racing action.

Company of Heroes Patch Today

The Company of Heroes Website has word that the version 2.600 patch for Relic's World War II real-time strategy game should be released today. They say they will update the servers around 9:00 PST, which we're presuming is 9:00 am PDT, or noon eastern time. On a semi-related note, they also warn against falling for attempts they've seen to steal CD keys from CoH players.

No Free DDO in EU follows up on yesterday's news of plans to offer Dungeons & Dragons Online as a subscription-free game, saying this plan does not apply to players in European territories, at least for the time being: "To clarify, for the time being, DDO Europe will not be assuming this new business model and the European DDO game service will remain a monthly subscription-based game with all new content created available to all subscribers, as has been the model up until now," is their quote from Codemasters, who hedge a bit more: "As the beta progresses we will release more information regarding the future plans for EU players."

Dante's Inferno Details

The Dante's Inferno Website kicks off a series of updates slated for the ninth of each month in a reference to the nine circles in Dante's vision of hell. There's a video interview with Jonathan Knight conducted at the end of E3 where the executive producer on the game offers his perspective on the show and how demonstrating the game to the masses turned out. They also have a new Official Blog where Visceral Games lead designer has an entry called "hell is a real place," which isn't a joke about E3. Finally, there's a new developer diary movie about that describes the Limbo area in the game. The diary pops up a password request, but this error can be bypassed by using your elite hax0r skills to click on the "x" a few times to close it.

1C Games Sale

GamersGate announces 1C Week, offering a 25% to 75% discount on 1C-Company titles through Sunday, June 14. Deals include 4x4 Hummer and 7.62- High Calibre for 75% off, Fantasy Wars and King’s Bounty: The Legend for 50% off, Men of War and Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason for 60% off.

Democracy 2 in German

A new German-language Democracy 2 Page has details on the release of a German-language edition of Positech's politics simulation. The turn-based strategy game is available via digital distribution, and there's also a corresponding German demo to try before you buy.

Op Ed

Gamasutra - What Are The Rewards Of 'Free-To-Play' MMOs?
"Free-to-play is all about upping your ROI," he explains. "All the costs of boxes and distribution that are associated with a subscription model go away. The cost of development is significantly lower. Even your marketing budget changes radically; our product's reputation will spread primarily via word of mouth. And because it lowers the barrier to entry for people to come in and try things, it gives you a huge shot at acquiring large numbers of customers."

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I dragged a few items out of the garage (actually a storage building, as it is not actually accessible by car) over the weekend to deal with some clutter. Included was a broken outdoor light to discard and a bird feeder that needed hanging. Since we couldn't figure out a good place to hang the feeder, I decided to turn the broken lamp into a feeder hanger. It turned out very well, and we've already seen some activity there, the cardinals in particular seem to like it. I've always wondered why bird-feeder owners like my dad engage in wars on squirrels, so now I'll find out if I was right about not minding feeding our four-legged friends as well as the birds.

Well-fed Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Last Hope TD.
Little Wheel.
Links: The 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2010. Thanks Digg.
Top 10 Ways to Provoke a Geek Argument.
Stories: 'My Name Is Earl' might see new life on TBS.
US fisherman hooks live missile.
Science: Opening Doors on the Way to a Personal Robot (registration required).
Secret of Snake Slithering Found in Weights and Scales. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Media: Obama Drastically Scales Back Goals For America After Visiting Denny's. NSFW.
Soap Bubbles Science with Keith Johnson of
Life Lessons with Mr. T.
Follow-ups: Captain Leads Off at Hearing on Flight That Landed in Hudson (registration required). Thanks j.c.f.
"Futurama" Gets 26 New Episodes. Thanks nin.
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