Archived News:

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009

Mythic Holiday Events

Mythic Entertainment announces holiday events for Warhammer Online, Ultima Online, and Dark Age of Camelot, where special items, decorations, and characters will abound. They repeat the details of the previously announced "Keg End" event in Warhammer Online that's now underway, Ultima Online's "Festival of the White Hart," which is also underway now and concludes January 4, 2010, and Dark Age of Camelot's "Midwinter Festival," which begins tomorrow and will run through January 14.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Patch Status

Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling tweets about progress on patches for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Here it is, short and sweet, Twitter style: "Update in Test now: 1887s Balanced. Public 'private' Match fix. Infinite Ammo fix. Prestige Hack on PS3 fix. Texture Hack on PC fix."

R.U.S.E. Trailer

A new trailer from R.U.S.E. shows of some armored World War II combat from Ubisoft's upcoming RTS game. This is presumably an alternate history scenario, as we don't think the Germans had any nuclear equipped V2 rockets in the actual war. The clip is posted on FileFront and Shacknews.

On Sale

  • Section 8 on Direct 2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Borderlands on Direct2Drive UK. Save 33%.
  • James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Special Edition on Steam. Same price as the standard edition.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
      Continue here to read the full story.

The Saboteur Trailers & Petition

The Saboteur Hotel D'Amour Live Action Trailer and The Saboteur Telephone Bomb Live Action Trailer are a pair of live-action shorts promoting The Saboteur, the recently released World War II stealth/action game from EA's Pandemic Studios. The promised fix for ATI issues with the game is still not in evidence, and there is now an Apology and Explanation from Electronic Arts Petition asking for a "formal apology or explanation as to why this game was released in such a condition."

Musorqua Revealed

The Dejobaan Games Website has word on Musorqua, the next title "that's now officially in the pipe" from the developers of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!: A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. They include an "ugly prototype" trailer showing a cross between the vertical descent gameplay of AaaaaA and a music game. Word is: "Right now, it looks suspiciously like Aaaaa!, and plays really rough, but that's okay, because it's just a prototype. You heard it here first!"

Blood Bowl Patched

The Blood Bowl Forums offer another new patch for Blood Bowl, updating the fantasy-themed sports game to version 1.1.3.2 (since a couple of new versions have already appeared since Monday's version 1.1.2.2 patch). The update is available automatically from within the game, and there's a manual patch in case this is a problem. This forum thread offers discussion of the new version.

Guild Wars 2 Voice Acting Trailer

"Giving Tyria a Voice" is a new clip on the YouTube with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the voice-recording sessions for Guild Wars 2. The clip shows some of the voice sessions from ArenaNet's RPG sequel, and offers thoughts on the game and its characters from the talent, including internet heartthrob Felicia Day and Steve Blum, who could give worthy competition to Keith David as lord of the pipes.

New Unreal Development Kit Beta

The Epic UDK Downloads Page offers an updated edition of the Unreal Development Kit, the SDK to create standalone unreal-engine games. This page has the build notes on the new version, and the Unreal Engine Content Creation Blog offers guidance on its use, and this page has over 170 video tutorials on the UDK.

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

Football Manager 2010 Patches

New patches for Football Manager 2010 are now available, so you won't have the old version of this association football/soccer simulation to kick around anymore. The Football Manager Website has details on the patches and downloads, including a patch for digital distribution, though there's a warning those who purchased the game through Steam to wait for the auto update through that service. The patch for the retail Windows edition of the game is mirrored on AtomicGamer, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying. The patch for the digitally distributed Windows edition is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. The Mac retail patch is available from AtomicGamer, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying. Finally, the Mac digitally distributed edition can be updated with a patch on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Venetica Trailer

"Pigeons and Roofs," a fourth "Behind the Scenes" trailer from Venetica is now available, looking upward to the rooftops of the virtual city of Venice in Deck 13's upcoming RPG Venetica, taking a particular interest in the depiction of pigeons in the game. The clip is narrated (in English) by concept artist Felix Haas, and concludes with some outtakes in case you are interested in learning how to curse in German. The clip can be downloaded from Filefront, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying, and viewed on the YouTube or below. Continue here to read the full story.

Command & Conquer 4 Trailer

A new trailer on the Command & Conquer Website is called "Transport Down," offering highlights of a GDI mission in Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, EA's upcoming real-time strategy sequel, all narrated by designer Sam Bass, who explains key aspects of the clip. Combat, unit creation, upgrades and more are depicted along the way.

Split/Second Trailer

A new trailer from Split/Second is now available with some hard-driving action from this racing game in development at Disney Interactive Studios. The clip is called "The Shipyard," as it is set in the docks, and word is: "Competitors must race through the shipyard, avoiding epic, Hollywood-style destruction with the goal of being the first to the finish line. Remember, when speed is not enough, the city is your weapon." Split/Second is due for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in 2010. The trailer is on the YouTube, it can be downloaded from FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying, and it is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

The Sims 3 Patch, World Creator Beta

The Sims 3 Website now offers a new patch for The Sims 3 to update the lifestyle simulation to version 1.8 and The Sims 3: World Adventures expansion to version 2.3. The new versions add the ability to access new content through the in-game store browser and address a number of bugs. Also now available is a beta version of the Sims 3 "Create a World" tool, which makes the gamer a designer sim, as it allows the creation of custom content for the game, as outlined in this announcement, which says these are "the same robust world-building tools the team uses to create worlds and towns for The Sims 3." The beta Create a World tool can be found on this page.

Dungeons & Dragons Online Patched

A new version of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited is online, offering the second major update for Turbine's MMORPG since it went subscription free. The announcement has details on the update, which includes a new adventure pack called Dreaming Dark and new "Festivult" content for the holidays involving the hunt for "festival coins" that can be redeemed for special holiday items.

Warhammer Online Reenlistment Campaign

Mythic Entertainment announces a new Warhammer Online "Reenlistment Campaign" hoping to attract former players back to the fantasy-themed MMORPG with 10 days of free play and in-game item rewards. Returning players will get some perks and all players will get a 20% XP bonus while playing WAR between now and December 23. "So much has changed on the battlefields of WAR over the past several months, and we are giving all returning players 10 free days to come back and experience these improvements for themselves," says Mythic's Jeff Hickman. "The game runs faster and is more stable than ever before. We’ve really improved the RvR experience – we’ve removed fortresses as a barrier to sacking the cities, we’ve implemented the new Underdog System, and you can always find a battle in Open RvR. There has never been a better time to step back into the Age of Reckoning and re-join the WAR!"

BF Heroes Boasts 3M Soldiers, New Map

Battlefield Heroes now boasts three million registered players EA announces, while also revealing the launch of a new map called "Sunset Showdown" for the subscription-free online shooter. Regarding their subscriber numbers, they say more that 50,000 new recruits join the game every week, and that: "Our players have already logged in over 1,300 years worth of game time and nearly 300 million kills over 150 million five-minute game rounds." As for the new map, word is: "The new map, named 'Sunset Showdown', features one central control point. Set on a sunset island, players can use a variety of vehicles to capture and control the hilltop church. Tanks will roam free on the sunny side of the island while the shady eastern side offers more protection for jeeps and infantry. All class types will be needed to both attack and defend on this teamwork focused map."

Transformers: War for Cybertron Announcement

Activision Publishing announces Transformers: War for Cybertron, offering official details on the upcoming game based on Hasbro's Transformers, saying it is due for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and DS next year. True to the clues in the trailer released last week, this game will be a prequel: "Transformers: War for Cybertron is an origins story, taking players on a gripping, adrenaline-fueled journey that precedes the TRANSFORMERS characters’ arrival on Earth," said Rob Kostich of Activision Publishing. "The game transports players to a living, metallic planet where they will battle as giant converting robots in single player, online co-op or head-to-head multiplayer matches that are fully immersive from start to finish." Word is this will be part of the canon for the series:
“For the first time, Hasbro is working with Activision to drive the TRANSFORMERS fiction forward into new story arcs, demonstrating pivotal moments in Transformers history that defined who they are,” said Aaron Archer, Senior Design Director, Hasbro. “This remarkable video game helps us to tell a critical event in TRANSFORMERS lore that will be used as canon for future storylines in a way we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. It is a testament to the success of the TRANSFORMERS brand and a key element to the story we look forward to telling in 2010 and beyond.”

Transformers: War for Cybertron features two distinct storylines: the AUTOBOT campaign tells a story of heroism to save their home planet against overwhelming odds, and the DECEPTICON campaign tells a story of an unquenchable thirst for power to control the universe. For the first time in a TRANSFORMERS title, fans will be able to play the game with their friends through team-based online co-op, or go head to head in a variety of intense, online multiplayer game modes. The game features a sci-fi art style that introduces to fans the entire living, metallic world of CYBERTRON, as well as all-new visualizations of the iconic TRANSFORMERS characters in their original Cybertronian forms.

Dead Space 2 Details

A video on Facebook features answers from Steve Papoutsis to questions and comments about Dead Space 2 from Facebook friends of EA's upcoming horror-themed shooter sequel. One question touches on co-op support, but the game's executive producer plays it coy: "as far as co-op play, it's interesting, there seems to be a big split on that concept as we read message boards and Facebook and stuff. At this point [we're] not going to say a lot about that, thanks for the comment on it, and that's something we could think about."

Modern Warfare 2 Color Blindness Petition

A Colour-Blind option in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Petition implores Infinity Ward to tweak Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to be more friendly to color blind gamers during online play. Word is: "At present, people that are red / green colour blind cannot tell friend from foe in the online matches, as their names appear in these colours, and the radar uses the colours too. This is causing frustration and putting them at a distinct disadvantage unless playing in Free-For-All matches." As a color-blind gamer this is the type of issue I've had to deal with since the days of DOOM, so here's hoping a little attention to such issues can make a difference in future games, since it doesn't seem that hard to address. Thanks GamePolitics.

New Need for Speed SHIFT Demo

The Need for Speed Website has the release of an updated "Falken Tire" PC demo for Need for Speed SHIFT. The new demo differs from the previous demo for the racing sequel by including a new ride, the Falken Porsche GT3 RSR (which they describe as "a very cool car"). They also offer three new high resolution desktop wallpapers, two featuring the Falken Tire Porsche GT3 RSR and the other featuring "the lovely ladies of Falken Tire." Finally, they also say coupons for $10.00 off on the game are available at all Discount and Americas Tire outlets now through February 15. The demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Trailer

The Battlefield Blog has a new episode 3 of "Battlefield Moments" from Battlefield Bad Company 2, showing off gameplay on the Panama Canal map in DICE's upcoming shooter sequel. The clip features gunplay, tank combat, repairs and more, though the canal itself is not in evidence.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Trailer

A new cinematic trailer from Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days takes a dark look at IO Interactive's upcoming crime shooter sequel. The gritty clip flashes back to a brutal gun battle and offers the first clip we can recall of a player urinating. The clip can be found on the YouTube, downloaded from ActionTrip, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying, and viewed below. Continue here to read the full story.

Dark Void Trailer

A new trailer shows off combat from Dark Void, the upcoming airborne action game from Airtight Games and Capcom. The movie depicts dog fighting, aerial battles, hand-to-hand combat, vertical combat, epic boss battles, along with your character's freedom to "fly anywhere" with his jetpack. The game is due in January, 2010 for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The clip is for download on Filefront, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying, and you can view the clip on the YouTube. The inline version is below. Continue here to read the full story.

The Ultima 6 Project Beta

A Milestone 8 beta of The Ultima 6 Project is now available, offering a remake of Ultima VI: The False Prophet using the Dungeon Siege engine. Word is this is now feature-complete, and the release of version 1.0 will follow soon. The beta is available for Windows and Mac, but playing will require a fully-patched copy of Dungeon Siege or Legends of Aranna. Thanks Legume.

Eagle Day to Bombing of the Reich Patch

Matrix Games announces the release of a new patch for Gary Grigsby's Eagle Day to Bombing of the Reich to update the World War II strategy game to version 1.02. Word is: "The update includes some dual/quad global core performance options which can greatly improve performance on many machines, a new drawing method for target and aircraft highlights that also increases system performance, and a host of other fixes and tweaks." The download is on this page.

Op Ed

IncGamers - The Humans-Only Mistake.
Ok, enough pedantry. I'm sure you're seeing the trend here and, if you've read my prior articles, you know what I'm talking about: the “humans only” error. Basically, if you're publishing an MMO in which players can only play as humans, you are alienating a significant portion of your potential customers. There is simply a large number of players that want to play gnomes, trolls, or other equally exotic characters. If you, as a developer, don't extend that option to them, they simply won't play your game.

Morning Previews

Metaverse

Thanks Ant.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I was referring to the free space on a hard drive yesterday when it struck me that this turns the old optimist/pessimist thing of the glass being half-full/empty on its head. I usually fall into the half-full camp, so it struck me when I spoke of the drive being half-empty that this was optimistic in hard drive terms. I think I'm going to start saying hard drive instead of glass when I use that phrase.

R.I.P.: Oral Roberts Dead at 91. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Optimistic Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Toxie Radd 2.
Sandcastle.
Robin the Mercenary.
Links: Comical Case Names. Thanks Boing Boing.
A Theatrical Reenactment of "Green Lantern" #13.
Stories: Energy-efficient traffic lights can't melt snow. Thanks DrEnter.
Taiwan farmers potty-train pigs to curb pollution.
Science: The perfect way to slice a pizza. Thanks Kxmode.
New report offers grim assessment of plug-in hybrids.
Dying star mimics our Sun's death.
Images: Quite A Resemblance! Thanks Digg.
Bizarre Greeting Cards for Any Occasion. Thanks Digg.
Batmobile Limousine.
Media: Julia Stiles Cares About The Environment More Than You.
The mic is just a prop anyway.
Auction: Dragon Age: Origins Ebay auction for Child’s Play Charity.
The Funnies: xkcd.
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