Archived News:

Thursday, Nov 05, 2009 Guy Fawkes Night

No RAGE Dedicated Server?

Variety has some disappointing news for PC gamers, revealing that that id Software's upcoming RAGE will likely not include dedicated server support. After we learned Modern Warfare 2 would not include a dedicated server they posed the question to id technical Director John Carmack, who answered: "It’s not cast in stone yet, but at this point no, we don’t think we will have dedicated servers." Mr. Carmack also seems to appreciate Infinity Ward being the first ones out of the foxhole on this issue, saying: "The great thing is we won’t have to be a pioneer on that," he says. "We’ll see how it works out for everyone else." Speaking of which, Activision says they are "not overly concerned" by MW2 PC complaints.

Star Trek Online in February

Star Trek Online is due for release in February 2010, reports Eurogamer, saying the Trekkie MMORPG is due in North America on February 2 and in Europe on February 5. They say they've confirmed these dates with Cryptic and Atari after they appeared in GameStop and Amazon listings.

StarCraft II On Track

Geoff Keighley tweets: "Blizzard is targeting 'first half of 2010' for Starcraft II according to Activision earnings call." This confirms the release window announced in August when Blizzard's RTS sequel was delayed.

Crash Time 3 Goes Gold, Demo Released

The Syntec Website has news that Crash Time 3 is gold, and this action/racing game should be in stores for Windows and Xbox 360 on November 19. The news is accompanied by a playable demo for the game, and word on that is: "The demo includes a complete scenery at day and night with 7 different missions and 10 vehicles for Semir & Ben." The demo is 302 MB and it supports English, German, and French.

18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker Trial Version

18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker website now offers digital distribution of this truck simulation game and informs us the game has been in North American stores for a month now. The game is available as a trial version that includes the full game, though it will only work for one hour. Those interested in the game can unlock the trial for $19.99. Here's word: "Extreme Trucker uses a different perspective than the previous games in the series - putting the player straight into the action, letting him face challenging tasks with growing difficulty. Extreme Locations: Travel across three hair-raising terrains including deadly ice in Alaska, boiling desert in Australian Outback, and towering mountains of Bolivia. Extreme Loads: Transport cargoes that would scare even the most fearless drivers - overweight loads, oversize loads, road trains, and high risk cargo."

New X-Motor Racing and New Demo

A new version 1.21 update is now available for X-Motor Racing, the indie motorsport simulation. Owners of the full version can update through the in-game menu, while an updated version 1.21 demo can be found on their downloads page. Here's the list of what's changed since version 1.20:
- Improved precision of the original tire model
- Added combined-slip Pacejka tire model
- Changes in FF code
- Improved physics
- Changes in VehiclePhysics Utility
- Changes in track format

Overheid Demo

Mod DB announces the release of a demo for the Overheid modification for Half-Life 2, which they say requires Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Here's the announcement, which is actually from a few weeks ago: "Overheid is a mod that follows a lesser-known member of the resistance as he makes his way through City 17, and up the ranks of the resistance movement. The demo is an early portion of the game, and includes the first major gameplay climax. It's heavy on combat and action, but the mod as a whole will feature a good mix of exploration, story, puzzles, and combat--similar to Half-Life 2." Thanks Ant.

World Racing 2 StarForce Removal Patch

The Syntec Website features a new patch for World Racing 2 to update this motorsports simulation to version 1.4.3. Word is: "Due to compatibility problems with StarForce protection under Windows 7 we deceided [sic] to release a new update with removed copy protection." The download is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls. This additional warning accompanied the patch: "Please note that this update was not tested and installation will be at your own risk."

Splinter Cell Conviction Video

A new trailer for Splinter Cell Conviction is online with a look at some of the real-world inspirations for the upcoming stealth/action sequel. Word is: "In 'Behind Closed Doors Part 2' the developers of Splinter Cell Conviction give you an inside look at how the Israeli martial art Krav Maga and real-life firearm techniques inspired Conviction's new gameplay. You'll also learn about Sam's newest toys such as EMP grenades and improvised gadgets and get a look at how the storyline will be taken in surprising new directions following the tragic events of Double Agent." The clip is available on ActionTrip, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and gameSlave.

Split Second Trailer

A new Split Second trailer is now available, offering a look at this racing game that's "set within the world of a hyper-competitive reality television show in a made-for-TV city rigged for destruction." You can find this clip on FileFront.

Mass Effect 2 Trailer

There's a new Mass Effect 2 trailer on the YouTube, profiling some of the enemies in BioWare's upcoming sci-fi RPG sequel. The clip features gameplay footage and developer narration; here's the pitch: "Learn more about the enemies Commander Shepard will face through Mass Effect 2 in this new video. View new creatures like the Collectors, praetorians, abominations and the ever-present geth. Also in this video, look AND listen to Legion, a geth who is stalking Commander Shepard."

Alpha Protocol Interview

Obsidian Entertainment interview on Grupo97 chats with Chris Avellone about Alpha Protocol, their upcoming espionage-themed RPG. Topics include how a creative director differs from a lead designer, the current state of the RPG genre, moral decisions, telling complex stories within games, difficulty levels, the game's delay, sex, and the importance of story.

Din's Curse Interview

Chatting with Steven Peeler on Iron Tower talks with the boss at Soldak Entertainment about Din's Curse, Soldak's upcoming action/RPG. Topics include the attraction of this genre, how the genre has not evolved since Diablo II, and other similar stuff.

New on GameTap

GameTap announces Still Life 2 is the newest game for subscribers of this online game service. Here's a reminder of what this is about: "A serial killer known as The East Coast Killer has murdered several women, and is still on the loose, but FBI agent Victoria McPherson is on his trail. When reporter Paloma Hernandez contacts McPherson to give new information, the killer steps in to make sure that Paloma stays silent. As McPherson, you must investigate the crime scenes to track the killer down before Paloma meets her fate, and you will also play as Paloma, trying desperately to escape the killer's clutches before it's too late."

New on announces the addition of games from Majesco to their online marketplace for DRM-free good old games. They start things off by selling Advent Rising for $5.99 and Psychonauts for $9.99, and say they will soon be adding BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2. Word is:
Created by legendary game designer Tim Schafer, Psychonauts is a classic action-adventure game that was highly acclaimed by critics and received numerous awards. Players step into the shoes of Raz, a ten-year-old circus acrobat with psychic powers, as he takes up training at the Whispering Rock Summer Camp, a breeding ground for Psychonauts. Raz sets off on an incredible trip through the psyches of many of the camp’s inhabitants, and the ensuing adventure is full of hilarious dialogue and time-tested gameplay.

Advent Rising is a science-fiction action-adventure game that features a script written by famed sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, the author of “Ender's Game” and “Speaker for Dead,” both awarded the Hugo and Nebula awards. The game introduces Gideon Wyeth, a rookie space pilot who lives a happy life until a terrifying message about an alien invasion appears. Gideon has to face the vicious race of the “Seekers” and save his homeland with futuristic weapons and psychic powers.

Ad-Aware for Gamers

Lavasoft announces a new version of Ad-Aware specifically geared towards gamers and entertainment fans is available from Shieldpowerup. Here's what they say makes this different: "Ad-Aware Game Edition addresses the age-old struggle in online gaming and virtual worlds of how to stay protected, without the interruptions or breaks in protection that other security software programs cause. While competitor products claim to ‘suspend’ protection while in full-screen mode, Ad-Aware Game Edition provides continuous protection, without interrupting the user with threat alerts; Ad-Aware automatically handles the blocking and removal of malware, allowing the user to focus on their virtual world – without worrying about their security."

On Sale

  • Manhunt 2 on Direct2Drive. Get the original Manhunt for free if you buy before tomorrow.
  • Mass Effect on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising on Direct2Drive. Save $5.00 with the code 5OFFOPFLASH.
  • Time Gentlemen, Please! on Zombie Cow Studios. Save 50% until the release of Modern Warfare 2.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
  • Agatha Christie: Double Murder Mystery Pack on GoGamer. Save 80%.
  • Agatha Christie: Peril at End House on GoGamer. Save 75%.
  • All In-Stock Games on the EA Online Store. Save 20%.
  • Alganon on Direct2Drive. Preorder and get beta access and in-game items.
  • Battlestations: Midway on GoGamer. Save 87%.
  • Borderlands on GoGamer. Save 26%.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Amazon and Walmart. Includes a $20.00 credit.
  • Chain of Command: Eastern Front on GoGamer. Save 74%.
  • Commander In Chief on GoGamer. Save 74%.
  • Death to Spies: Moment of Truth on GoGamer. Save 67%.
  • Europa Universalis: Rome on GoGamer. Save 50%.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin on GoGamer. Save 63%.
  • Football Manager 2010 on GoGamer. Save 42%.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Second Edition on GoGamer. Save 60%.
  • Grappling Hook on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • LEGO Batman on GoGamer. Save 50%.
  • Nation Red on Steam. Save 30%.
  • Neopets Puzzle Adventure on GoGamer. Save 67%.
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising on GoGamer. Save 25%.
  • Outcry on GoGamer. Save 75%.
  • Overlord 2 on GoGamer. Save 75%.
  • Painkiller Black Limited on GoGamer. Save 88%.
  • Perimeter 2: New Earth on GoGamer. Save 67%.
  • Plants vs. Zombies on PCGameStore. Only $6.99.
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 on GoGamer. Save 30%.
  • Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger on GoGamer. Save 68%.
  • Rise of the Argonauts on GoGamer. Save 80%.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Street Fighter IV on the Capcom Store. Save 50%.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars- Republic Heroes on GoGamer. Save 17%.
  • SuperPower on GoGamer. Save 67%.
  • Team Fortress 2 on Best Buy and Only $9.99. Thanks Johnny.
  • THQ Classic FPS Bundle on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Titans of Steel: Warring Suns on GoGamer. Save 80%.
  • Tom Clancy's End War on GoGamer. Save 88%.
  • Warlords Battlecry III on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • X Blades on GoGamer. Save 80%.
  • X-Com Complete Pack on GamersGate. Save 40%.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition on GoGamer. Save 68%.
  • X3: Gold Edition on GoGamer. Save 25%.
  • XIII Century - Blood of Europe on GoGamer. Save 15%.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Beta Plans

The Battlefield Blog announces beta testing plans for Battlefield Bad Company 2, following indications earlier this week that such an announcement is near for the military shooter sequel. Testing on the PS3 will commence in two weeks, and PC testing is slated for December, but Xbox 360 owners will not be getting a beta, and will have to wait for the demo, which is planned for early next year for all three platforms. The PC testing is described as an open beta, so presumably the info on how to qualify applies to the PS3, where they say this for North America: "Beta Keys are limited in quantity and will be available through these select partners: Best Buy and Gamestop. Reserve your copy now in stores!" And they say this for Europe and Asia: "Keep your eyes open for local opportunities!" Here's word on the test:
The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 multiplayer beta will feature the Arica Harbour map, where up to 24 players can compete in one of the game’s four intense multiplayer modes called Rush. This new map displays a superb balance of vehicle and infantry combat, as the American assault unit attacks the Russian army base with full force, advancing further through a beautiful desert town and towards the industrial area in a desperate attempt to overtake the Arica Harbour. Heavy vehicle warfare on the first bases gradually turns into an intense infantry fight as the level progresses, showcasing this best-in-class online war experience.

Gamers can get a taste of this incredibly intense action by a numbers of ways including reserving the game with participating retailers. While supplies last.

Activision Blizzard Financial Reporting

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected Third Quarter CY 2009 Financial Results offers the latest financial reporting from Activision Blizzard, where the third quarter turned out to be better than anticipated:
For the quarter ended September 30, 2009, Activision Blizzard’s GAAP net revenues were $703 million, as compared to the company’s prior GAAP net revenue outlook of $680 million. On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s net revenues were $755 million, as compared with its prior non-GAAP net revenues outlook of $700 million.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2009, Activision Blizzard’s GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.01, as compared to its prior GAAP loss per diluted share outlook of $0.03. On a non-GAAP basis, the company’s earnings per diluted share were $0.04, as compared to its prior non-GAAP earnings per diluted share outlook of $0.03.

Wings of Prey Announced

Gaijin Entertainment announces Wings of Prey, a new PC combat flight simulator set in World War II. The game does not carry a release date, but the Wings of Prey Website features a countdown that will end in about six days and the yuPlay preorder page for the game says it's due in December. The game will feature six theatres of operation, joystick support, and flexible difficulty levels that range from arcade to realistic simulation. They also say it will include DLC support, and that more planes and missions are coming next year. Word is:
"Wings of Prey" is based around the large-scale aerial combat and ground military operations of World War II. Players can participate in some of the war’s most famous battles piloting fighters, battle planes and bombers across a range of thrilling missions. There are six theatres of war to engage in – The Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Ardennes, Berlin, Sicily and Korsun' representing the main airborne battles of World War II in Europe.

“Wings of Prey” also boasts an all new damage effects engine as well as advanced environmental visuals enriching the game play. “Wings of Prey” features hundreds of airplanes taking part in air battles. The unique environmental engine also produces highly detailed, realistic landscapes that allow players to see breathtaking ground support actions.

Modern Warfare 2 Midnight Madness

Best Buy announces plans to hold midnight madness at several Best Buy stores for the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, offering the chance to get Infinity Ward's military shooter sequel at 12:01 am on November 10. This page stresses: "And just so there's no confusion, you'll want to show up on Monday night, November 9, and wait for the clock to strike 12 midnight — Tuesday, November 10." It also points the way to this page that lists all the locations where midnight madness is taking place.

Axed Shadowrun Video

Unseen 64 has a video and screenshots they say are from Shadowrun: The Awakening, a single player Shadowrun shooter they report was in the works at FASA Studio before being cancelled in favor of the cross-platform multiplayer Shadowrun game released in 2007. They say the game featured a full single-player campaign built on a new 3D engine created by FASA, but they do not know why this was scrapped. Thanks Strategy Informer.

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising DLC and Patch

The Codemasters Forums herald the release of the promised patch for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising as well as the free Skirmish DLC for the military shooter (thanks Charles). They emphasize that the patch is only for the retail boxed editions of the game. The Patch list outlines changes including lag reduction, support for video recording through FRAPS, along with bug fixes and other improvements. This page describes the content in the Skirmish DLC, and here's a bit from that:
The ‘Skirmish’ DLC features four new multiplayer maps and two new Fire Team Engagement (FTE) missions featuring both solo and four player co-operative play. Hunt down SAM launchers hidden in the sprawling complex of ‘Lumberyard’ and assault dug in PLA forces and fight room to room in ‘White Fang’, two tense new ‘Infiltration’ multiplayer maps. ‘Annihilation’ multiplayer maps pitch armour and infantry against each other in rolling battles across a valley in ‘Stomping Grounds’ and in ‘Force Dispersal’ military bases separated by a strategic hill become a close-quarters killing ground.

Mass Effect 2 Collectors' Edition

BioWare announces a Mass Effect 2 Collectors' Edition that will be released along with the standard edition of the upcoming RPG sequel. Word is:
Available on January 26 in North America (Jan 29 in EU) alongside the standard edition, the Collectors’ Edition of Mass Effect 2 comes in a premium, tin case and includes the full version of the game, a 48-page hardcover “Art of Mass Effect 2” book, Issue 1 of the Mass Effect Redemption comic book, and a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes and making-of videos. In addition, the Mass Effect 2 Collectors’ Edition will include unique in-game weapons and armor that can only be obtained by purchasing this version. With its larger-than-life hero Commander Shepard, intense shooter action, nuanced characters and a rich storyline, Mass Effect 2 is one of the most anticipated titles of 2010.

Dark Salvation Demo

A playable demo is now available for Dark Salvation, Mangled Eye Studios' horror-themed first-person shooter built on id's Tech 3 engine. Word is: "This 480MB demo contains 3 main levels (2 normal levels and 1 secret level) with additional gate portal levels. Experience hordes of monsters, explosive weaponry, magic spells and explore dark, eerie environments. Download now for some old school FPS action. If you like it, buy it. Have fun!" The demo can be downloaded from the Mangled Eye Studios Website.

Torchlight at Retail In January

Big Download has word from Runic Games that a boxed version of Torchlight will be released in stores in early January. The retail edition of the action/RPG will be published by Encore Games.

Unreal Development Kit

Epic's UDK Website announces the release of the Unreal Development Kit, a set of Unreal Engine 3 development tools that are free to download. They say there is no charge for noncommercial or educational use of the UDK, and their Licensing page outlines terms for commercial use. They state: "Commercial terms have been structured to make it easy for independent developers, start-up firms and seasoned professionals to use UDK with minimal financial barrier from concept to deployment." This is for PC use only, but they say console support is under consideration. The download is available from the Unreal Development Kit Website and it is mirrored on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Video Game Survey Results

Video Games Climbing the Ladder of American Pastimes reports the results of a survey conducted online by TNS,, and SPIL GAMES that attempts to gauge "demographics, time and money spent, and gaming trends across Europe and the United States involving all game platforms." They offer various bit of info like this: "Of all money spent on games in the U.S., 57% is spent on games for the console platform. 36% of U.S. console game players spend more than $25 USD per month on this platform, versus 14% of U.K. console game players. Conversely, French and British players spend the most money per capita on MMOs, the total adding up to 10% and 11% of the nation-wide gaming budgets respectively. Germans are most likely to spend money on stand-alone PC titles, taking in 36% of the total German gamers’ wallet." Here's a picture that's worth approximately 1000 words, according to legend.

Modern Warfare 2 Launch Trailer

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launch trailer is now online, offering loads of action-packed footage from Infinity Ward's upcoming modern military shooter sequel. The clip is posted on the YouTube.

Close Combat: The Longest Day Patch

Matrix Games announces a new patch is online for Close Combat: The Longest Day, updating this installment in the Close Combat series of World War II tactical games to version 5.50.07. They say: "This major update comes with dozens of bug fixes, map line of sight tweaks, data file changes for increased historical accuracy of equipment performance, and much more." The patch is posted on the Matrix Games Website.

UT3 Community Bonus Pack 3 Volume 4 Updated

The CBP Website now offers an updated version 2 of the Community Bonus Pack 3 Volume 4 for Unreal Tournament 3. The update fixes a couple of bugs, and word is: "ALL server admins should install this version - there were a number of exploits and bugs fixed on all maps."

Star Trek Online Interview

The Star Trek Online interview on Techulous talks with Cryptic's Andy Velasquez about their upcoming MMORPG set in space… the final frontier. Topics include progress on the game's beta testing, obstacles posed by the license, player progression, the game engine, quests, and more.

PT Boats: Knights of the Sea Trailer

A new trailer from PT Boats: Knights of the Sea shows off surface combat from this naval warfare game, though almost none of it features PT Boats. You can view the clip on the YouTube.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

As was noted yesterday, our new advertising is now showing up here. Your feedback on the new ads is welcome, and hopefully the elimination of pop-ups and takeovers addresses the understandable complaints about the ads here in the past. I want to thank the many of you who have already stopped blocking ads here, and hope that anyone who is still doing so will consider whitelisting us to help support the site.

Oh yeah, congrats to the Yankees.

Supportive Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: The Last Village.
Attracting Twist. Thanks Jay is Games.
Links: 10 Video Game Public Service Announcements. Thanks Digg.
Stories: 6-Year-Old Girl with Brain Cancer Hid Love Notes for Her Parents to Find After Her Death.
State Investigation Confirms "Lap Dance Therapy" Allegations.
Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin Host Oscars.
Science: Feeling grumpy 'is good for you'. Thanks Neatorama.
BBC NEWS - Health -
Russia Leads Nuclear Space Race After U.S. Drops Out.
Images: Social Hierarchy Org Charts Through The Years. Thanks Digg.
The 25 Best Costumes At The 2009 NYC Marathon. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: William Shatner Reads Levi Johnston's Tweets. Thanks Acleacius.
Zero Punctuation Reviews Washington DC. NSFW.
51 Best Kid Fails- Barely Compilation.
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