Archived News:

Monday, Aug 24, 2009 Independence Day of Ukraine

On Sale

Direct2Drive's deal of the week is Defense Grid: The Awakening. Between now and Sunday this tower defense strategy game is $9.95 USD, which is 50% off the regular price.

EA VP: Germany Should Drop USK "Censorship" quotes EA executive VP and GM of international publishing Gerhard Florin, who does not conceal his frustration in a conversation with German website SPIEGEL ONLINE over the German rating system that is exceptionally strict about video game violence. Florin calls the system "censorship" and demands Germany drop its USK system in favor of the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) system used elsewhere. They also offer a counter-point from USK head Marek Brunner, who points out other regulations influence this situation, including German criminal law, and that the there are "no plans" to adopt the PEGI system.

Empire Total War Still Being Fixed

Voodoo Extreme has a multi-point document from Creative Assembly responding to several complaints, including that the just-announced Napoleon: Total War will take resources way from Empire: Total War, as issues remain in CA's previous installment in the RTS series. Here's the response to that part in particular:
We have not given up on supporting Empire. The major AI upgrade patch is still very much being worked on and is coming shortly. It will be with you a good while before Napoleon's release. Napoleons development is ongoing, just as our support of Emprie is ongoing. We recognise Empire had problems on release and we've dealt with the vast majority of stability and performance issues people are having. We now need to balance and address gameplay issues. The AI particularly. We have listened to everything you have said and are looking to address as much as possible. Empire has not been forgotten and a major gameplay upgrade is coming, and coming soon.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Trailer

A new trailer from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is now available to show off more of this coming installment in GSC Game World's shooter series set in the inhospitable Chernobyl region. The clip demonstrates the game's environments and graphics more than gameplay, though there is a little combat mixed in as well. The trailer concludes with a reassuring Fall 2009 release date. You can find the movie on ActionTrip.

Twin Sector Trailer

The first Twin Sector Teaser Trailer on GameVideos shows this upcoming "physics based action-adventure" from Head Up Games that uses Havok physics. We've missed the ball on this project up until now, and since it's due next month already, we've dig up the announcement we missed in May for a quick catch up:
Twin Sector is a thrilling physics-based action-adventure which allows players free interaction with their environment. Using the advantages of the powerful HAVOC®-Engine, innumerable puzzles, challenges and enemies await the players in a hostile and threatening futuristic environment. Featuring more than 15 missions alongside a thrilling story line unfolding over the course of action, Twin Sector appeals to all core gamers worldwide.

Blizzard Q&A

Blizzard Answers Your Questions and More on Slashdot features the answers to questions submitted by the Slashdot readership for answer by Blizzard at BlizzCon. The lengthy article touches on all Blizzard's upcoming projects, addressing questions towards the parties most connected with each project.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Taking an MRI in Japan might surprise you. I think we need to import more Japanese TV. Thanks Ant.

Mass Effect 2 Simultaneous PC/360 Release

The Mass Effect 2 interview on VG247 discusses the upcoming RPG sequel with BioWare associate producer Jesse Houston. Topics include their efforts at producing the same amount of gameplay as is in the original Mass Effect with twice the assets, changes to combat, control schemes, and more. He also talks about how the PC edition will ship simultaneously with the Xbox 360 version: "We learned a lot from building the PC version before, and having built it six months later there was a big difference. So we actually took what we learned from PC and put it back into 360. Fundamentally, we want you to have the same gameplay experience, but just with the difference in controls. This time round, doing it at the same time for a sim-ship, we can control the differences much more smoothly because it’s the same team building it now."

Individual Monkey Island Chapters

Amazon's Game Download Store now offers sales of the first two chapters of Tales of Monkey Island. This is the first time individual episodes are being offered from the Windows edition of Telltale's adventure revival, which is planned for five chapters in total. This press release has the full details.

SEGA: Colonial Marines and 3rd Aliens Game Wait on AvP

An article on hashes through release scenarios for Aliens: Colonial Marines after a phone conversation with SEGA about the occassionally sketchy future of Gearbox's Aliens first-person shooter. SEGA president Mike Hayes tells them the release date for Colonial Marines will be based on the release date of Aliens versus Predator, Rebellion's upcoming multi-franchise sequel, saying: "it's unlikely that we'd launch anything within six months [after Aliens vs. Predator], but probably nine months, eight to 12 months possibly." Hayes also indicates the success of AvP at retail could end up pushing this date forwards or backwards, and will influence the third game in the series: "do we then determine when we want to bring the next one out and then, of course, determine what the third one in the series is likely to be." As for that third game, he says it "absolutely" will still happen, in spite of the cancellation of Obsidian's planned Aliens RPG.

New NVIDIA Drivers

New version 190.62 WHQL-certified drivers are now available for NVIDIA GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200-series desktop GPUs, and ION GPUs. The new drivers have an updated version of PhysX for Batman: Arkham Asylum and Darkest of Days and fixes some bugs. The new drivers are available for Windows XP, Windows VISTA/Windows 7, Windows XP 64-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 64-bit. Thanks Mike Martinez and FiringSquad.

Arkham Asylum Launch Trailer, Console Deal

The launch trailer for Batman: Arkham Asylum is now available to drive us batty for the console release of the new Batman game, though the Windows edition is not due for aother few weeks. The clip shows off a bit of the game and some review blurbs, concluding with an August 28 release date, though this is for Europe, as the console versions are due in North American stores tomorrow. On that topic, Gamestop lists stores in the US with midnight madness events starting this evening, and Shacknews outlines how to get a $30.00 gift card from Toys Я Us (thanks [THA] Hamst3r for the typography tip) with a purchase of the game from one of their stores tomorrow. The new trailer is available on AtomicGamer and

Gatheryn Open Beta Gathers

MindFuse Games announces the promised beta testing of their subscription-free MMOG Gatheryn is now underway. Here's the pitch: "Gatheryn is a 3D virtual world filled with casual games that will challenge your timing, skill, and wit. Featuring more than 30 of the most renown casual games integrated into the game’s unique steam powered aesthetic, Gatheryn also lets players personalize an avatar, purchase virtual items with in-game silver or cash, and participate in a variety of community events and activities. Gatheryn is scheduled to be released in late 2009."

Reboot of the Triad

Gamasutra highlights an interesting bit from their in-depth interview with Scott Miller we mentioned on Friday where the 3D Realms cofounder described the future of his company "fine." At one point he speaks of another company using the Apogee name, and we missed how this mentions plans to "reboot" the Rise of the Triad franchise, though we'd enjoy seeing a follow up to a 1994/1995 game that didn't involve a reboot, as we think a 2D game would run pretty smoothly on current systems. That may be moot, as from Scott's quote this all sounds like it may be all about mobiles:
There's actually another company now going by the name of Apogee. About a year ago, we licensed the Apogee name to some other business people -- one of them had actually worked here several years before. They're reviving the Apogee label, the Apogee name, and they're doing a Duke Nukem Trilogy of games on the DS and PSP. They're also going to reboot the Rise of the Triad franchise, plus they have some other original titles that they're going to be doing.

Manhunt 2 PC Planned: Rated AO (For Now)

The Entertainment Software Rating Board now lists a PC edition of Manhunt 2 among the games it has rated. As interesting as Windows plans for Rockstar Games' action/adventure sequel is the AO/Adults-Only rating it has earned, since games are very rarely released with that rating (there are currently all of 24 AO titles in the ESRB database). The console versions of the game were originally also given an AO rating before some of the content in the game was tamed down, and even then the BBFC rejected the new version for sale in the UK before this ruling was changed by a lawsuit. Currently it is not clear if the Windows version of the game includes the content removed from the console editions, if it is destined for digital distribution, or if this rating will be appealed. Thanks Joystiq.

Free Demigod Preview

A Demigod Preview of the Oculus on Brad Wardell's Blog outlines one of the two free demigods that will be released for Demigod, the action/strategy hybrid from Gas Powered Games. He says they were hoping to show off Oculus at PAX, but he doesn't think the art will be ready in time. In the meanwhile, he offers some preliminary details on how this "Ranged General fighting for the Forces of Light." Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Commandos to Return has word (in Dutch) from Pyro Studios that they are reviving their Commandos series of World War II real-time tactics games (thanks Kotaku). We once again put ourselves in the confusing hands of Babel Fish for an automated translation that seems to indicate they regret the switch to the 3D engine used in Commandos 3, and we may see a return to 2D when development on a new Commandos game follows the release of their Planet 51 game:
Developer Pyro studios gets to work with a new commando commandos-game. That has confirmed the studio compared with "

We go certainly busy with new commandos, the time are there ripe voor" , said a spokesman of Pyro studios against the new title returns to the basis and will do think of the style of commandos 2. The game then real-time strategiegame will be, and no first-person shooter such as the last commando commandos-game, commandos: Strike Force from 2006. According to Pyro studios the overstap to 3D a bad choice was.

The studio works at this moment for Planet 51. That game, to the gelijknamige cartoon, is for November 2009. As soon as that project is finished, be ready projects there two new. The new commandos are of it one according to Pyro studio.

FIFA 10 Demo Next Month

EA's Romily Broad tweets a playable demo for FIFA 10 will launch on September 10 to give fans of academy football aka (soccer) the chance to kick around a sample of the next installment in the series. A post on Computer and Video Games has details:
Play as Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Marseille, and Chicago Fire (MLS) and discover a football experience that will deliver a new standard for authenticity with gameplay refinements and innovations that will make it the most complete and intelligent simulation of football. In addition to playing an exhibition match, for the first time in a FIFA demo users will be able to upload created in-game videos to EA Football World

Telltale Tells Tales

Telltale Games GCom 09 Interview on is a video with Dan Connors that may set some sort of record for worst-ever camerawork. Topics include the reception for their Tales of Monkey Island series, an attempt to pin him down about a possible Day of the Tentacle revival, future Sam & Max plans, why Strong Bad sales were not as strong as some of their other series, why individual episodes were not initially offered for sale for Tales of Monkey Island, their relationship with LucasArts, and more. Dan admits Day of the Tentacle is his favorite older LucasArts title, but denies that any set plans for a remake are currently in place.

RAGE Beta Doubtful, Demo Possible

The Todd Hollenshead interview on VG247 is their talk with the id Software CEO from the recent QuakeCon extravaganza. Along the way he says Microsoft is in the “best position” to launch next-gen hardware, DOOM 4 was not shown because they weren't ready to show it, and that while he doubts RAGE will have an open beta, it will may have a demo. Here's one of his comments on the possibility of a sample of their driving/shooting game: "There could be something that’s more along the lines of a PC demo or maybe a Mac demo that comes out from a test perspective. But really, at this point, that’s speculation."

More on Mass Effect Pinnacle Station DLC

The Swiss.German edition of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace has a premature listing for the Pinnacle Station DLC for Mass Effect first revealed last week (thanks VG247). Here's an always wacky Babel Fish translation of the accompanying German language description:
Effect measured you is COMM other Shepard of the SS Normandy, an elite agent of the alliance military. Investigate with your handread out team from combat, technique and Biotik specialists strange planet, while you must hold a size-mad to destroy the entire galaxy. Download new systems and worlds and visit you them! Become acquainted with new characters never before and to meet you seen extraterrestial species! Find new weapons, articles of equipment and other objects, while you experience a completely new adventure!"

BioShock Movie Director Named

Universal picks 'BioShock' helmer has word that 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has been signed to direct the BioShock movie that was once to be helmed by Gore Verbinski before the project went on hold. Word is:
Gore Verbinski has stepped out of the directing slot, but remains the film's producer through his U-based Blind Wink shingle. John Logan wrote the script.

Verbinski opted out of directing because the studio's budget plan for the film has been revamped to lense abroad in order to take advantage of tax credits and favorable exchange rates. Verbinski couldn't commit to an overseas shoot because he is locked into directing the Paramount animated film "Rango," with the title character voiced by his "Pirates of the Caribbean" cohort Johnny Depp.

Supreme Commander 2 Interview

The Supreme Commander 2 interview on talks with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games about Supreme Commander 2, their coming RTS sequel. Near the start of the short Q&A they ask Chris if he's satisfied with how the first game came out and seems to sort of duck the question: "Most people measure a game’s success based on the units it sold, but for a company it's how much the revenue was. And yes we make good money… But we believe the success in this industry comes from continuing to evolve your games and to make them better and to build a momentum with your customer. Keep delivering more and more, building on things that they love. So, I think looking ahead to the future is where the excitement is right now for Supreme Commander."

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues on GameInfoWire.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Had a rough start to the morning after some late-night snacking gave me some nasty heartburn. This is not the first time this has happened, and I need to learn my lesson once and for all. I guess having said that means that either I'll learn to stop doing that, or at least stop admitting it.

Burning Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Play Pirate Golf Adventure.
Medieval Rampage 2.
Story: 'Punctuation hero' branded a vandal. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Bacon: the Other White Heat.
The Perfect Airplane. Thanks j.c.f..
Images: The best part of waking up.
Media: Remix: Operation Bomb.
Robot Chicken: two Dark Knight scenes.
Baseball Superstar Accused of Performance-Enhancing Genie.
The Funnies: ActionTrip Comic Strip- Return to Zombie Wolfenstein.
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