Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009

C&C4 Layoff Rumor

Kotaku follows up on yesterday's announcement of layoffs at EA saying they've heard from "sources" that the team working on Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight was warned today that they will be laid off when the RTS sequel ships sometime next year. They also add a few other teams to the list of employees in danger of job loss, saying their source tells them the Spore team and Pandemic Studios LA (Mercenaries and The Saboteur) are also part of the massive cuts.

On Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC

IncGamers spoke with DICE's Gordon Van Dyke about Battlefield: Bad Company 2, learning that the military shooter sequel is being "tweaked and adjusted" to each of its three target platforms. He tells them: "On the PC, it's a PC version, which is getting that same treatment, and then also a little bit more as PC users are generally used to a different type of experience than console users are, and we recognise that and we want to make sure that we give that to the PC market and give the console market more." He also says they haven't ruled out releasing modding tools for the PC edition, but that this is "really, really complicated." He also tells them that PC beta testing is in the works, but that was publicly announced just five days ago.

Child's Play 2009 Begins

Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity has started this year's drive, and is already a quarter of the way to its $1 million goal. Here's word:
Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over 5 million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With almost 70 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

Global Agenda Voice Communication Plans

Hi-Rez Studios announces their upcoming spy-themed MMORPG Global Agenda will include support for voice communication powered by Vivox software, including premium content for subscribers:
ATLANTA, GA, November 10, 2009 — Hi-Rez Studios, currently developing the action MMO Global Agenda, announced today that the game includes built-in voice chat and a number of other voice features powered by Vivox. The feature set upon release will include:

     • In-Game Player Voice Chat - push to talk voice chat enables team communication within co-op player-vs-environment missions as well as competitive player-vs-player missions.

     • In-Game News Broadcasts - delivery of voice broadcasts within the game that describe key victories and events associated with Global Agenda's persistent territory control gameplay.

     • Out Of Game Player Voice Chat (Subscriber Only): Subscribers gain the ability to talk with Agency members and other Global Agenda players while playing other games or simply browsing the web. Players can use a variety of access methods including the Vivox Web Voice within the toolbar controls, Vivox Voice on Facebook, or calling into a specified chat channel from their phone.

"Global Agenda's combat is very team oriented, requiring close and real-time coordination between teammates in a mission," said Todd Harris, Executive Producer at Hi-Rez Studios. "Voice provided by Vivox allows our players to easily communicate with each another without requiring a separate, non-integrated solution. Our beta community has rated the voice quality to be superb and we are excited to work with Vivox to bring this capability to our player base."

More X Comic and ARG now has more of the "X" graphic novel by author Douglas Rushkoff and artists Cheoljoo Lee and Younger Yang with background on the upcoming unannounced IP from Smoking Gun Interactive. They also point the way to their alternate reality game with the following explanation:
Last week, the community found something hidden within page thirteen of the online graphic novel - a portal to a Resistance “Darknet”” that itself serves as a window into the gaming universe that Smoking Gun Interactive is currently developing. To join this “underground” network, visitors take a few steps through an old-school text adventure, then ”patch” their genetic records in order to disable surveillance systems tracking them. It is only once they are inside the Darknet that the “X” universe really begins to reveal itself. As NASA scientists are being rounded up, the online community has responded by hacking into government computers and surveillance networks. In doing so, they have begun unraveling a story in which obelisks, ancient temples and the Knights of Malta all play a role in a “one step from reality” web of conspiracies.

With this new release, a military test creates chaos and confusion in LA as the community finds itself confronted with a greater challenge – to build the Darknet into a global powerhouse, a home for their newly resurgent “Resistance”. Using a stolen military network-warfare technology called “FORAGER”, their ultimate goal is to seize control of government satellites, and learn what a missing NASA scientist was trying to reveal to them.

All of this plays out through a unique and simple strategy game where each individual’s victories contribute to the global effort to build the Darknet. With the world divided into twelve regions, each player contributes to bringing their own “home” region online. After this, they can help out in other regions, until the entire planet has been “liberated”, at which point the Resistance is expected to seize control of the satellites.

Just Cause 2 Video Diary

GameTrailers offers a new video developer's diary for Just Cause 2 discussing the grappling hook in the upcoming action sequel, and the issues they had to grapple with to make it more useful than in the first game. They show off all the creative uses of the hook, some of which are quite sadistic.

Secret of Monkey Island Extras

The Lucasarts Workshop hears from Adam Bormann, one of the designers on the Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, who spills some beans on things he learned when exploring the old SCUMM source code, including comments from Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and all on bug fixes as well as dialog that was not used in the game, but remained in the code. They have posted this missing dialog for your amusement, while Adam explains why it was not used: "Now I know some of you are wondering why we didn’t add this content back into the game for the Special Edition. But we felt like Ron Gilbert and the team had good reasons for removing them in the first place, and a lot of it doesn’t really fit with the game that shipped or puzzles the game had. We did want to share the deleted and extended scenes with you though, because we were excited to discover them, and we think they’re pretty cool." Thanks Kotaku.

On Sale

  • Battlestations: Midway on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Battlestations Pacific on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Hearts of Iron III on Steam. Save 50%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
  • 48 Hour Madness on GoGamer.
  • All Aspect Warfare on Steam. Save 50%.
  • All Aspect War Pack on Steam. Save 50%.
  • All In-Stock Games on the EA Online Store. Save 20%.
  • Alganon on Direct2Drive. Preorder and get beta access and in-game items.
  • Angle of Attack on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Best of Indie Bundle Vol. 2 on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Amazon and Walmart. Includes a $20.00 credit.
  • Capitalism II on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Dreamkiller on Steam. Save 33%.
  • Plants vs. Zombies on PCGameStore. Only $6.99.
  • Sacraboar on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Team Fortress 2 on Best Buy and Only $9.99. Thanks Johnny.
  • THQ Classic FPS Bundle on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Time Gentlemen, Please! on Zombie Cow Studios Website. Save 50% until the release of Modern Warfare 2.
  • X-Com Complete Pack on GamersGate. Save 40%.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Pigeon Impossible. Thanks Ant.

Archon Remake Preorders and Pre-Beta

The Archon Classic Website now offers preorders of React Games' remake of the old school strategy/action game. They are offering those who order in advance a $5.00 discount off the regular price and immediate access to the pre-beta version of the game. They also offer new screenshots, and there's a new teaser trailer for the game on the YouTube. Word on the game is: "Our game is ARCHON and is a refreshing blast from the past, which features the perfect mix of Action and Strategy. In fact, it actually started the whole Strategy/Action genre of current games. You try and out-maneuver your opponents on a checkered (Strategy) board, then crush them in a Combat Arena, once your pieces meet."

For the Glory & Demo Released

Paradox Interactive announces that For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game is now available through digital distribution from GamersGate and Impulse, offering this Europa-engine strategy game where: "Players take the reins of a country, guide domestic and foreign policy, navigate thousands of historical events, engage in various struggles and lead their country to prosperity – all in the name of glory." There's a release trailer on the YouTube, and a playable demo for the game can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Worthplaying.

Viacom Acquires Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise now belongs to Conglom, a Viacom division, where they shelled out $60 million to acquire the property from the Mirage Group. This is reported on Variety, where they describe plans for a movie, a new animated series on Nickelodeon, and more TMNT toys. No new game plans are specified. Thanks Kxmode.

Tropico 3 Patched

Kalypso Media announces the version 1.09 patch for Tropico 3 released on Impulse and Steam yesterday is now automatically available through the game's automatic update feature. The new version fixes support for legacy ATI cards, tweaks a couple of gameplay elements, and fixes a music volume reset issue.

Grand Theft Auto IV Patch

The Rockstar Website now offers downloads of a new patch for the Windows edition of Grand Theft Auto IV, though it seems they've forgotten the version patch they released over the summer, as the new patch is also said to be version The new version rolls all the localized updates into a single patch, offers a few Windows control enhancements, and some multiplayer fixes. The update, also automatically available through Games for Windows LIVE, is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying.

Torchlight Editor Gold, Almost

The Runic Games Forums announce that the Torchlight editor is gold (in the virtual sense, since no gold master disc is involved), though a subsequent post backtracks, saying: "I just found a bug. We need to fix this one. So we are back to making a new build and then testing again." The release still sounds pretty imminent, and that post has an 11 item top 10 list of things that can be accomplished with the editor. Thanks Shul.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed Patches

Aspyr Support now offers two patches to update Star Wars The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition to version 1.1, one patch for the North American English and French edition, and the other for the European English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish editions of the Star Wars action game. Both patches are mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying.

Hearts of Iron III Patch

The promised new patch for Hearts of Iron III is now available to update Paradox Interactive's World War II real-time strategy sequel to version 1.3. The incredibly long changelog lists AI improvements, balance changes, interface improvements, bug fixes, and more. The patch is available for download from AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying.


Indications that The Lost and the Damned DLC is headed to the Windows version of Grand Theft Auto IV have surfaced, reports Computer and Video Games. They have a screenshot of new Windows Achievements for a PC edition of The Lost and the Damned.

IO Interactive's Mystery Game

Computer and Video Games has word from IO Interactive on an unannounced title they have been developing for three years. It's pretty vague, but word on the game is a multiplatform title IO says is "unlike anything else." The game is described as a departure for studio (how else could it be "unlike anything else"?) of which they say: "Imagine all the violence of Hitman and Kayne [sic] & Lynch but not scripted."

Guild Wars 2: Testing in 2010, Launch in 2011

The NCsoft Quarterly Earnings Page has the company's latest financial report announced on Friday, as well as recordings of the post-earnings conference call with investors. The company admits there will be no major game launches in 2010, and gives a general outline of plans for Guild Wars 2. At about the 21:00 minute mark in the call NCsoft discusses the future of Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2. "I believe that there will be a certain public event in the year 2010 at this point it could be at least a closed beta test for those titles," says the company. "The commercialization will be expected at this point probably at some time in the year 2011." Thanks Guild Wars 2 Slovenija.

Ships Ahoy - Modern Warfare 2 (Except for Steam)

Activision announces Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now available in stores. Interestingly, the version purchased through Steam will not unlock until Thursday night, presumably some sort of concession to retail. Also, there's a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 video interview on GameVideos talking about the game with Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling and there are a bunch of videos on GameTrailers: Hornet's Nest Gameplay Part I, Hornet's Nest Gameplay Part II, Favela Gameplay Part I, Favela Gameplay Part II, Wolverines Gameplay, No Russian Gameplay HD, Third-Person Multiplayer Gameplay, Multiplayer Killstreak, Spec Ops AC-130 Gameplay, and Spec Ops Defend Gameplay. Here's word on the game's release:
Picking up following the historic events of Call of Duty® 4: Modern Warfare®, Modern Warfare 2 completely immerses players in one of the most intense storylines, filled with unexpected plot twists and death-defying battles set in exotic locales across the globe. As gamers fight to save the world from annihilation, the soundtrack of Academy Award®, Golden Globe® Award and Grammy® Award winning composer Hans Zimmer sets the dark and ominous tone for a truly cinematic gaming experience. Modern Warfare 2 marks the first time that the legendary artist has scored a video game.

Delivering the complete package, in addition to the heart-racing intensity of the single player campaign, Modern Warfare 2 also offers an entirely new gameplay mode, "Special Ops," which supports 2-player co-operative play via online or split screen dropping gamers into a surplus of time-trial and objective-based missions. As players rank-up, ever challenging missions are unlocked, including highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and all new, exclusive missions. While, the all-new Multiplayer mode raises the bar even higher from the world-record setting online play from its predecessor delivering new capabilities, customization, gamestates and modes, including customizable killstreaks, accolades and new create-a-class features.

C&C4 Footage

A new episode of BattleCast Primetime is now available, offering what they call a Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight jam packed episode. Word is: "In this episode of BattleCast Primetime, new C&C 4 gameplay footage and host Raj Joshi brings you a first in-game look at the Nod Salamander from the C&C 4 Support Class; APOC sits down with the Executive Producer of C&C Red Alert iPhone for an exclusive interview, and Jeremy Feasel is joined by legendary community commentators EyeAmZero and TheGunRun in the Main Event where LDS3 champ Technique defends his honor against AeoNiaN in the return of Kane's Challenge! The 10, Ask a Dev, APOC's Corner, and much more jam pack this episode."

Op Ed

Destructoid - How to respond to a videogame review.
If a videogame review that you disagree with is posted online, you are duty-bound to respond and shame the writer into committing suicide, because it's just that crucial. Of course, you need to be armed with the proper responses, and fortunately, we're here to help. Come with me as I show you exactly how to respond to a videogame review. That no-good writer who trashed Uncharted 2 by giving it an 8.5 will be crying into his oatmeal by sundown!

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

To respond to questions about my dental woes, a lot of the more recent work I've had is to fix things done by my previous dentist (who was supposed to be fixing my childhood dentistry). Case in point, yesterday the doc was looking at two crowns that had problems, and it turns out in one of them, the drilling left a small hole in the base of the tooth, completely messing things up. As a result I need to go back today and have the base of that tooth surgically removed (look forward to narcotic-fuelled stories this afternoon). Needless to say I am pretty incensed, and MrsBlue has resumed saying she wants to go back and sue our old dentist.

R.I.P.: Veteran developer Armin Gessert dies.

Extracted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Red Fluxion.
Beer Barf Blast Off.
Small Worlds.
Links: VGC Top 20 Original Soundtracks in Gaming.
This dog could use a hero. Thanks Digg.
Media: Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Video Game Offers Engine Repair, Awaiting Orders.
What if Matrix was shot in the silent films' era.
How To Get The Best Parking Spot At A Mall.
Follow-ups: Twitter fave S**t My Dad Says heads to TV.
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