Archived News:

Friday, Oct 16, 2009

Steam Patches

Steam News announces the second patch in as many days for Dreamkiller is available automatically to update this horror-themed first-person shooter. The new update corrects saving issues. Steam also has a new automatic update for Madballs in... Babo:Invasion, adding new weapons, new achievements, a new attract mode, a Windows dedicated server, and some bug fixes.

RailWorks DLC

More new DLC is now available on Steam for RailWorks, offering the GWR B Set Coach RailWorks Add-on, which is the 13th bit of content released for the transport simulator. The add-on includes three new scenarios along with the additional liveries.

Hearts of Iron 3 Patch Plans

The Paradox Interactive Forums has some details on what's in the works for the next patch for Hearts of Iron 3, the World War II RTS sequel. They say the version 1.3 patch is expected during the first week in November, and here are the notes:
- Production view serial/parallel now can now be incremented/decremented by holding down left mouse button.
- Added an alert when mobilized and not in war.
- Added an alert for when you have a decision possible.

- Invasion AI now allowed to attack non-port provinces
- Unit AI: Will prioritize attacking neighboring port provinces if the controlled area lacks a port

- A country automatically mobilizes when going into war.
- Countries get a reinforcement bonus first month after mobilizing.

PC Dragon Age Has Top-Down Camera

Kotaku has some impressions of the PS3 edition of Dragon Age: Origins, revealing that only the PC edition has the ability to zoom out for a strategic top-down view, as this is not present in the console versions. The top-down view fits with BioWare's statements about this being the "spiritual successor" to the Baldur's Gate series, but there's no explanation of why it will not be part of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions. Update: As noted in our forums, this was explained by BioWare a while ago as being due to memory constraints on console systems.

Aliens vs. Predator Trailer

A new trailer from Aliens vs. Predator is called "Instinct is Everything," offering some gameplay footage from SEGA's upcoming first-person shooter with glimpses of all three factions though it focuses on the Aliens. The clip is posted on ActionTrip, Filefront, GameVideos, Gamer's Hell, and IncGamers.

Assassin's Creed 2 Trailer

A video developer diary from Assassin's Creed 2 called "All's Fair In Love and War," offers developer narrated gameplay footage from the upcoming assassination sequel. Topics include the brutal nature of killing in the game, your need to choose your battles, the game's guard archetypes, new weapon types, and how you are more of a badass this time around. The trailer is available on GameVideos and GameTrailers.

R.U.S.E. Trailer

A new R.U.S.E. gameplay trailer shows off the "Pump Fake" strategy from Eugen Systems' upcoming RTS game. Word is: "The pump fake is a trick that American Football quarterbacks can pull where they pretend to throw forward, then pitch the ball somewhere else. In RUSE, you can do something similar, but with entire armies…" The clip can be found on Gamer's Hell, GameVideos, and GameTrailers.

Aion Gifts

Massively has details on how Aion players have been rewarded for their patience following the MMORPG's launch, when long server queues were the norm. Each player has been gifted with five Lodas Amulets, which provide a 20% bonus experience for monster kills for one hour.

On Sale

Steam's THQ Week will offer a sale on one THQ title each day this week. Also Dealzon reports an Amazon Console sale: Buy two, get one free.

  • Alganon on Direct2Drive. Preorder and get beta access and in-game items.
  • Drakensang: The Dark Eye on Direct2Drive. Save $5.00 with the code 5OFFDRAKENSANG.
  • Eufloria on Direct2Drive. Save 25% on preorders.
  • Ground Control Pack on Save 30%.
  • Half-Life series on Steam. Save 58.5% on all games.
  • Red Faction on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Red Faction II on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Red Faction Guerrilla on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Sam & Max Season Two on the Telltale Games Store. Save 42%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
  • Beyond the Spirit's Eye on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Borderlands on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on preorders.
  • Borderlands on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchase of the game or the four-pack.
  • Circus Empire on Impulse. Save 30%.
  • Company of Heroes Tales of Valor on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Crazy Machines series on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Cricket Revolution on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Dawn of War Complete Pack on Steam. Save 50%. Sale also applies to individual titles.
  • East India Company on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Eufloria on Steam. Save 25% on pre-purchases until October 20.
  • Gratuitous Space Battles on Impulse. Save 13% on preorders.
  • Hollywood Pictures II on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • Light of Altair on Impulse. Save 20%.
  • Metal Drift on Steam. Save 20% on pre-purchase and get beta access.
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Painkiller: Resurrection on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases and get PK: Black and PK: Overdose free.
  • Saints Row 2 on Steam. Save 75%.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Street Fighter IV on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Spiderweb Software Store. All games 10% off through October.
  • Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection on GamersGate. Save 67%.
  • Team Fortress 2 on Best Buy and Only $9.99. Thanks Johnny.
  • THQ Classic FPS Bundle on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Tropico 3 Pre-purchase on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Tropico 3 on Direct2Drive. Preorders save 10%.
  • Warlords Battlecry III on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Wolfenstein on Amazon. Save 41%.
  • X-Com Complete Pack on GamersGate. Save 50%.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Championship Manager 2010 Patch

The Championship Manager Website now offers the October update for Championship Manager 2010, the latest installment in this association football/soccer series. This page has details on the update and instructions on how to get it, and there is also a manual patch available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

The Old Republic Date Follow-up

We have a very brief follow-up from LucasArts refuting the speculative Star Wars: The Old Republic release date in the story below. They say:
Guys – we haven’t announced a release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The source of your story has his or her wires crossed.

The Old Republic in January?

"The Star Wars: The Old Republic videogame is due out from BioWare in January" is included in a post on ICv2 that quotes Dark Horse's Jeremy Atkins at the Baltimore Comic-Con talking about publishing the Star Wars: The Old Republic webcomic. The link to that article was posted to the Star Wars: The Old Republic Forums by BioWare's Sean Dahlberg in a discussion about the webcomic, but later edited out of his post. Presumably the information about the January date is based on insider info to which Dark Horse is privy, but it is unattributed, and may just be made up. We shall see. Thanks DV via the Forums.

Warhammer Online Patched

Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Herald has news that version 1.3.2, "Path of Conquest," is live for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. This page offers the full patch notes, and there's a new Producer's Letter discussing the new version, and what lies beyond, including version 1.3.3 and new systems they are bringing online, offering details on one they call the underdog system (much to the delight of Sweet Polly Purebread).

Mass Effect 2 in January; Pre-order Bonus Details

BioWare announces Mass Effect 2 will be released in North America on January 26 and in Europe on January 29, once again referring to the RPG sequel as part of a trilogy, though Dr. Greg Zeschuk has indicated it could go beyond that. The announcement also mentions pre-order incentives for North America and Europe, outlining specifics about North American bonuses, and offers a screenshot of the Terminus Armor:
In North America, pre-order bonuses* include special-ops armor and weaponry that are designed to boost Commander Shepard’s skills and abilities. At GameStop, Terminus Gear is available with pre-orders, which includes the powerful Terminus Assault Armor and the M-490 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon:

    • The Terminus Armor is designed for use in extreme planetary conditions, increasing run speed and personal shields, and augmenting weapons with an additional magazine of reserve ammo.

    • The M-90 Blackstorm Heavy Weapon generates a high-powered localized gravity well, accelerating particles to near-infinite mass, and ultimately expanding the selection of heavy weapons available to players when they gear up for combat missions in Mass Effect 2.

Players that pre-order Mass Effect 2 at other retail outlets in North America will receive the potent Inferno Armor, which is used by officers to monitor battlefield conditions by recognizing elevated heart rates, and regulates sub-systems with extreme efficiency to allow for greater response times – together these abilities translate in-game into a negotiation bonus for Commander Shepard and an increase in run speed and augmented damage from combat powers.

Ships Ahoy - PureSim Baseball 2

Play ball! To go along with the rainy, snowy playoffs, Wolverine Studios announces the release of PureSim Baseball 2, the second installment in this sports simulation series. A playable demo is also available, and here's word:
Nothing says October like a good old pennant chase and here’s your chance to get in on the action with PureSim Baseball 2. PureSim 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed baseball simulation developed by Shaun Sullivan. With the licensed use of the Lahman Database, PureSim Baseball 2 gives you the opportunity to go back to any season since 1900 and begin your baseball dynasty. Can you accomplish the feats of your favorite team or perhaps rewrite history by going back in time to when you felt things went wrong for your favorite club and leading them down a different path. With its myriad of stats and reports ranging from in-game media stories to the depths of Sabermetric statistics, PureSim Baseball 2 gives you the ability to get lost in your own baseball universe. Coupled with its unmatched levels of customization and accurate simulation engine, PureSim Baseball 2 will keep you in the pennant chase all year long!

Dragon Age Pre-Purchase [Updated]

Steam News announces they are now accepting pre-purchases for Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare's upcoming RPG. Just like getting married, this commitment includes a couple of rings: "Get the standard edition Standard Edition or upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition and get special bonus content. Both come with 2 special rings when you pre-purchase: 'The Memory Band' and the Steam exclusive 'The Wicked Oath'." Update: Impulse also offers the memory ring preorder bonus.

Diablo II Patch Delay Saga Continues

The Patch 1.13 thread on the Forums has been updated with word of yet another setback for the Diablo II version 1.13 patch first mentioned in March (thanks Rhialto). Now it sounds like Blizzard is just stuck for the moment for how to deal with the overdue update for their action/RPG:
The decision on whether or not to include the enlarged stash size has been slightly delayed. As mentioned previously it would require some additional weeks of development and would remove one of the most requested features were we unable to include it. If it were to be included the concern is that it could render Diablo II unplayable, and repairing the issue after the fact would draw heavily on development resources. Which is also something we obviously want to avoid.

We hope to be able to reach a conclusion and decision soon on the future of the 1.13 patch, and we’ll keep you updated as it develops.

Warhammer Online Halloween Event

Mythic Entertainment announces "Daemon Moon Rising," a special event for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning to celebrate Halloween. The event runs from October 23 to November 2, and word is it: "will feature the Daemon Mask event quest, a new Daemonball Rally Public Quest, a special Realm vs. Realm™ scenario, and treats both fair and foul." They trademarked "Realm vs. Realm"? Who knew?

Nexon America Financials

Nexon America Reports Massive 36 Percent Revenue Growth for 3rd Quarter has the latest financial reporting from the North American publishing arm of Nexon Group. Word is: "Underlining the success of the third quarter were revenue numbers for September, which jumped 44 percent, compared to September 2008. This goes along with the company’s growth trend during this past summer when Nexon America’s revenues grew 35 percent in July and 32 percent in August compared to the same time frame last year."

Avatar Interview

There's a short interview with Kevin Short on the official website for James Cameron's Avatar: The Game, chatting with the lead scriptwriter on the movie tie-in. He discusses the project, with one of his answers explaining why we hear so little about it: "The most unusual thing about working on Avatar is the intense level of security. Within the Ubisoft studio, the Avatar team has been cordoned off from the rest of the building. Access is highly restricted and we’re tucked in a corner of the studio affectionately called the bunker. It’s unusual for a project to be so removed from the rest of the studio in this way."

Op Ed

The Slowdown - Avataritis.
Therefore, the current rat race for the best, most customizable avatar shall thus be perceived an abhorrent one, damaging to the maturing and growth of the narratives in video games. (Obviously, there are occasions wherein the “tabula rasa” scenario is a fully motivated one, either by its ludic or narrative function, but assuming this to be a default state to be aspired to seems ultimately misguided beyond the MMO.)

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


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