Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009

OFP: Dragon Rising DLC & Patch Soon

There's an Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Interview on Eurogamer chatting with Sion Lenton about Codemasters' military shooter. As they point out separately, along the way they learn that the first DLC for the game is due by the end of this month, along with a patch that will include network optimizations. "Our intention is to align [the patch] with the first DLC pack that's coming out as well, which is due around the end of October. Hopefully we'll do the whole thing in one," Lenton tells them. He also says that they have plans for more DLC after that, but they want to see what players want first. "It's quite open-ended, it's not a lot of fuss for us to make new content - it's actually quite easy for us to get it out there, with regards to things like levels, game modes, etc," Lenton explains. "The other thing we actually like to look at is getting some new equipment in there as well."

Aliens vs. Predator to Use DirectX 11

Rebellion announces DirectX 11 support for Aliens vs. Predator, their upcoming sci-fi first-person shooter "DirectX 11 provides opportunities never exploited before in 3D graphical terms, with features such as the Shader Model 5.0 providing better shadow and depth of field aspects to the game, and also multi-threaded rendering enabling the Aliens Vs. Predator futuristic characters and environments to be realised in exacting detail but with absolutely no frame rate issues," says Rebellion CTO Chris Kingsley. "We are confident we will deliver a game the fans have been waiting for and one of which we will be very proud."

Civilization Network for Facebook

The Sid Meier's Civilization Network Facebook Page announces plans to launch Civilization Network in 2010 on Facebook, offering a social network enabled installment the turn-based strategy series (thanks Gamasutra). Word is:
Hello Civ Fans!

I wanted to let you know we’ll soon be looking for beta testers to help us develop a unique new way to play Civilization. Ever since we finished Civilization® Revolution™ last year, I’ve been looking at ways of expanding the Civ gameplay experience to include solo, competitive and cooperative play to take advantage of the uniqueness of social networks. We’re calling this project Civilization® Network™ and the full game will be available next year on Facebook. Civilization Network will allow you to join together with your friends to create the world’s most powerful, richest, smartest, or just plain coolest civilization. You can coordinate your strategy to win great battles, share your technology to jump ahead of your rivals, lobby your family and friends to form your own government and win vital elections, manage and grow your cities to maximize production and happiness, spy on your enemies, and work with your friends to create the great Wonders of the World. The game will offer everything you enjoy in Civ in a fully persistent environment - you can play as much as you like, whenever you like, and it’ll be free to play.

We’ll offer a closed beta of the game soon, so stay tuned for details on how you can sign-up to participate. The full game will launch in 2010. For more information about Civilization Network, including development updates and behind-the-scenes posts from me and the Firaxis team, join our Facebook fanpage here.

Thanks and Stay Civilized!

Sid Meier
Director of Creative Development
Firaxis Games

Earn Dragon Age: Origins Loot in Journeys

Listening with Both Ears on the BioWare Blog has an in-house Q&A about Dragon Age: Journeys, the flash tie-in with Dragon Age: Origins BioWare's upcoming RPG. One answer explains how Journey will allow you to earn in-game items for Origins:
This is one of the things I am most excited about, and I’m pretty sure that you will be too. By completing certain accomplishments in Journeys, you can unlock 3 items for use when you purchase a copy of Dragon Age: Origins for the PC, Xbox 360 or PS3. By playing DAJ while signed in with your EA account, these items will automatically be added to your inventory in DA:O when you sign in with that same account. These entitlements work across all three platforms.

The9 Lawsuit

Law firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins announces a class action lawsuit against The9 filed in the Southern District of New York over their operation of World of Warcraft in China. Word is:
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made numerous positive statements regarding the Company’s financial condition, business and prospects. The complaint further alleges that these statements were inaccurate statements of material fact when made because defendants failed to disclose that: (i) it was becoming increasingly less likely that the Company would be renewing the WoW contract with Blizzard; (ii) The9 had not even begun formal negotiations with Blizzard regarding the contract renewal; (iii) The9 and Blizzard had been at odds regarding The9’s operation of WoW in China; and (iv) the equity investment by EA in The9 had made it less likely that Blizzard would renew the WoW contract because Blizzard would essentially be doing business with one of its greatest competitors.

GameStop's Digital Dreams

GameStop May Make Strategic Investment or Acquisition to Accelerate Digital Aggregation Plans on IndustryGamers outlines the game retailer's aspirations to remain relevant as the industry shifts toward digital distribution. They report on a GameStop-hosted analyst meeting where the retailer discussed three points of its digital aggregation plans: "1) increase in-store sales of online point cards; 2) expand the company’s digital distribution platform for PC and casual games (digital revenues doubled Y/Y); and 3) make a strategic investment or acquire an aggregator of online games."

Global Agenda Pricing Q&A

Global Agenda: Conquest and Pricing Options Q&A on Ten Ton Hammer chats with Todd Harris of Hi-Rez Studios about the recently unveiled pricing details for Global Agenda. Here's a bit that clarifies what non-subscribers will get out of the MMOTPS: "That's definitely true, and in general we tried to make the non-Conquest game much more than just a gimped version of a full MMO. It wasn't like we said, 'Here's a full MMO, let's take away some stuff and make it a teaser.' We wanted it to allow people to pay their $49.99 and they get a very full experience that compares favorably. For one, subscribers and non-subscribers are all in the same world. The non-subscribers can't participate in AvA territories but as far as seeing each other in pick-up groups, teaming up for pick-up matches - PvE or PvP, seeing each other on agent search functionality, all that sort of stuff, they're in the same virtual universe."

Cliffski Interview

There's an Interview with Cliff Harris on The Examiner talking with the owner of Positech Studios about the game business, life as an independent developer, and Positch's upcoming Gratuitous Space Battles, as the developer also known as Cliffski explains what makes it different: "It different because it is a strategy game, whereas all space RTS games are tactical games. In all those games you play this weird fictional role which can never exist, because you are effectively multi-tasking as space captain of a dozen different ships. That makes no sense. GSB makes you the admiral, and accepts right away that in the heat of battle, you have pretty much no control over how things work out. It's a game where you design the fleet and setup the orders, but you then have to trust the real-time decisions to the AI. That gives it a totally different emphasis to other strategy war games."

The Saboteur Movie

The Saboteur Website now features a new trailer from The Saboteur, showing off some stealthy and not-so-stealthy gameplay from the upcoming World War II action game. The clip concludes without a PC-DVD logo, and the page only contains box art for the console versions, but we contacted EA and were reassured that the game is still heading for the PC as well, something that has also been confirmed in a Pandemic Tweet. Pandemic has also released a new batch of The Saboteur screenshots.

DDO Unlimited Movie

A new Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited trailer on GameTrailers.com introduces the Gianthold in Dungeons & Dragons Online, Turbine's now subscription-optional MMORPG.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky, The Addams Family. Their house is a museum, when people come to see 'em. They really are a scree-um, The Addams Family. Neat. Sweet. Petite. So get a witch's shawl on, a broomstick you can crawl on. We're gonna pay a call on The Addams Family.

R.I.P.: Vic Mizzy, composer of Addams Family theme song, has died. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Eufloria and Eufloria Demo Released

Eufloria, the strategy game formerly known as Dyson, is now available via digital distribution on Direct2Drive and Steam. Steam offers the following concise description of the game: "Eufloria is an ambient game of space exploration and conquest that employs surprising themes of plant growth and bio mechanical evolution." A playable Eufloria demo is also available, this can be found on AtomicGamer and FileFront.

Steam Patches

A Steam update now offers the Steam edition of the version 1.3 Race Driver GRID patch released last week. We also see the Direct2Drive Patches Page added their edition of this patch last week. Also on Steam is their version of the Championship Manager 2010 October updated that came out last week.

WoW Mouse Levels Up

IncGamers describes some new functionality added to the World of Warcraft mice offered by SteelSeries in the recent version 3.2.2 patch for Blizzard's MMORPG. The game now recognizes each of the 15 buttons on the mouse, and allows different key-bindings for each of your toons. They also say the mouse no longer needs added software or drivers, and that responsiveness has improved.

100 Million Need for Speed Sales

EA announces that their Need for Speed franchise has now sold more than 100 million copies over the years. The series has included 15 titles released in 22 languages in over 60 countries. "Few videogame franchises ever reach the 100M units mark, so this is a huge honor. We have millions of fans to thank for driving us to this milestone," says Frank Gibeau, president, EA Games Label. "With the launch of Need for Speed SHIFT and the upcoming release of Need for Speed NITRO, we hope to continue to deliver the most entertaining, action-packed racing experiences."

Fort Zombie Trailer

A new Fort Zombie trailer sets the stage for Kerberos Productions' upcoming "lite" action/RPG. The clip, available on the YouTube, does not actually feature any gameplay, or moving images for that matter, it is camera pans and pushes on still shots (Ken Burns style), with a voiceover covering the game's back-story. Thanks Bob.

Ghost Recon: Predator Title Revealed

The Australian Classification Board offers a rating for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Predator, revealing the title of the next installment in the Ghost Recon series of tactical shooters. There's no other information about the game, except we see it is rated MA15+ in Australia for "strong violence." Thanks Destructoid.

Painkiller: Resurrection Demo [Updated]

A playable demo for Painkiller: Resurrection is now available, offering the chance to sample the latest installment in this supernatural shooter series. Here's a bit on the game: "This new installment introduces a new Coop-Multiplayer campaign mode, new levels, new monsters and a whole new story. The demo offers a mere taste of the raw Painkiller action, check out improved shadows and texture resolution, moveable light sources, post processing, motion blur, ambient occlusion and all the carnage you can handle!" The download is available on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, eXp Download, FanGaming, FileFornt, and Gamer's Hell. Update: The demo is an .iso that needs to be mounted or burned to a CD, in case that effects your decision to try this. Update II: The JoWooD Forum has word that they accidentally released the wrong demo, an error they will redress next week: "We are very happy about the feedback concerning the demo but we are also sorry because we accidently released an old demo version. We really feel sorry for that. Next week we will release a demo version in the actual quality of the final game. So stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience." Thanks Ant and Eggtooth.

Free Killing Floor Weekend Preloads

Tripwire Interactive announces that preloads of Killing Floor are underway through Steam in advance of the free-play weekend for Tripwire Interactive's zombie shooter that gets underway tomorrow. They describe the new content being added to the game, which is previewed on IGN, and say the game will be on sale for 25% off over the weekend: "The Free Weekend will run from Thursday 22nd through Sunday 25th October and will allow anyone to play the full game, including all the additional free content, all weekend. This includes the latest “Level Up” content pack and the Defence Alliance mod, both being released on Thursday. It also includes a 25% discount on buying Killing Floor over Steam for the duration of the weekend."

I'm Not Alone Announced

The Games Company announces I'm not Alone, a PC survival/horror game planned for release in the first quarter of next year. Here are some screenshots, and here's the announcement:
Berlin, October 10th, 2009. With their brand new survival horror action adventure I’m not Alone, TGC – The Games Company guarantee to send cold shivers down the spines of players all around the world. The gloomy genre highlight, developed by the Italian studio Pix Rev, impresses with innovative gameplay elements, locations full of atmosphere and perfectly staged shock moments. TGC releases I’m not Alone for PC worldwide in the first quarter of 2010.

In the role of a bold exorcist the player travels to the Austrian mountains to free an old mansion house from the grips of a supernatural power. On location he has to face sheer horror. Disfigured demons have risen from the underworld and spread fear and terror. Now it is the task of the player to put an end to the sinister occurrences. His special skills as a psychic medium enable him to change between reality and demon world in order to take up the challenge and fight the creatures of hell. With a quick trigger finger and a sharp mind the player explores the eerie mansion and reveals a dreadful secret …

„I am very glad that we have been able to secure the worldwide marketing rights for I’m not Alone and expand our portfolio with a high-quality action adventure for the first time”, comments Christian Sauerteig, director marketing & sales at TGC. “With I’m not Alone we would like to offer a tense horror experience in one of the world´s most popular genres.“

Spaceships Ahoy - Smugglers IV - Doomsday

Matrix Games announces the release of Smugglers IV - Doomsday, a sci-fi turn-based strategy sequel from Niels Bauer Games. Here's a quick rundown on the game: "Smugglers IV - Doomsday is a fun and challenging turn-based space-trading game where you take command of an advanced space ship amidst a galaxy torn by war and crime! With your ship and skilled crew you can choose to be a greedy trader, ambitious bounty hunter, ruthless pirate, or one of the other professions in your quest for riches, fame, and power!"

RuneScape Updated

Subscription-free MMORPG RuneScape announces the latest update to the game, describing the Duel Tournaments Rework that changes some of the mechanics of this mode, and adds a consolation prize for those who place second in tourneys.

Transmission Closed?

Kotaku Australia reports that Transmission Games has closed down, following recent reports of layoffs at the developer of Heroes of the Pacific, Heroes Over Europe, and Ashes Cricket 2009. They say they've received reports that an administrator has been appointed and the company is now in liquidation, but this has not been officially confirmed.

PlayClaw DX10 Support

The PlayClaw Website announces their screen grab utility now supports making videos in DirectX 10 games. Here's the deal: "The video recorder has been designed in close collaboration with real gamers whose practical feedback manifests itself in its ease of use and gamer-oriented feature set. After installation, the player only needs to set hotkeys to start, pause, stop video recording and choose the output folder. Video recording can be started with a single touch of a button at any moment during the game play, paused and then resumed, letting the gamer record only the most exciting scenes. The captured video can then be played in any media player, or uploaded to a website like YouTube to show interesting exploits to other gamers, or just to share the excitement of the game."

The Cost of Buying Gold

Gold Buying on the WoW Support Website has Blizzard's take on gold buying, explaining how it impacts all players (thanks Ant). Here's a bit:
We regularly track the source of the gold these companies sell, and find that an alarmingly high amount comes from hacked accounts. These are the friends, relatives, and guildmates you may know who have gone through the experience of having characters, gold, and items stripped from them after visiting a website or opening a file containing a trojan virus. Our teams work to educate players and assist them in avoiding account compromise, but the fact remains that the players themselves are often these companies' largest target as a source for gold, which the companies then turn around and sell to other players.

Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy

HIVE DIVISION offers the impressive first installment in Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy, a fan-created live action movie (thanks Dr. D. and PC Games). The clip runs 70 minutes and is the first in a series of three planned clips.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Thanks Rhialto for all the Machinarium links:

Hardware Reviews

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