Archived News:

Friday, Dec 18, 2009

Saboteur Beta Patch

The Saboteur Website now offers the promised patch to address problems playing the World War II stealth/action game under ATI accelerators. This version 1.03 patch is still a beta, and has the longest EULA we've ever seen for a patch. This forum thread features discussion of the beta, and it indicates there are issues to work through, as they still have a recommendation to shut down half the cores on quad-core systems, saying: "Users with Quad core CPU's will possibly have significant streaming issues without the following work around. The team is aware of this issue and is working on a fix for it in the next patch update. If you are running a Quad Core CPU please follow the steps below to set Game Only affinity on your CPU. While this will decrease the amount of streaming glitches, it is not a full proof fix." The patch is mirrored on WorthPlaying.

Team Fortress 2 Patched

Steam now offers a new automatic patch for Team Fortress 2, Valve's class-based teamplay shooter. A whole bunch of bug fixes are the order of the day, including fixes for several bugs that could result in server crashes.

Left 4 Dead 2 Patched

A new patch for Left 4 Dead 2 is now automatically available though Steam. The new version of the co-op zombie shooter sequel includes dedicated server and multiplayer fixes similar to the patch for the original Left 4 Dead released earlier.

No Splinter Cell: Conviction Dedicated Servers

A publisher distributed interview on IncGamers discusses multiplayer play in Splinter Cell: Conviction, Ubisoft's upcoming stealth/action sequel. They highlight one question and answer that says the game will not have dedicated server support. The short and simple word is: "No, there is no dedicated server mode."

King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame Demo

A playable demo is now available for King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame, offering a sample of this, well role-playing wargame. The demo can be downloaded from AtomicGamer and Worthplaying. It is also available on Steam, where word is: "Welcome to the lost age of chivalry, where magic and myth is alive, and you are destined to be one of the living legends: Arthur, the son of Uther Pendragon, the Once and Future King of the prophecies."

Alganon Trial Server

The Alganon Website is now online, offering the chance for interested parties to sample this MMORPG from Quest Online. Word is: "The trial server system will allow any MyAlganon user the chance to get into Alganon and experience exploring a vast new world, questing, crafting the Studies system and more." Characters will be deleted from the Trial Server after 30 days, but players will still have access to the server, and can create new characters.

Solium Infernum Patch

A new patch for Solium Infernum updates Cryptic Comet's turn-based strategy game to version 1.04a. The download can be found on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Squad DM Trailer

A new Battlefield: Bad Company 2 trailer shows off squad deathmatch in DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel. The clip includes developer commentary explaining the action and briefly outlining squad tactics. The clip can be found on the YouTube.

On Sale

  • Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Any Two or More Titles on the EA Store. Save 40%. Plus 30% off with the code "EAPARTNERS2009." Thanks Jim and AnandTech.
  • Crysis Warhead on Direct2Drive UK. Save 50%.
  • Devil May Cry 4 on Impulse. Save 10% on preorders.
  • EVE Online: Dominion on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Fallen Earth on Direct2Drive. Save 10% and get an exclusive Survival Kit.
  • Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords on Impulse. Save 90%.
  • Red Friday Madness on GoGamer.
  • Torchlight on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Trine on Direct 2Drive. Save 50%.

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

Evening Previews

  • Splinter Cell: Conviction on

Evening Screenshots

etc., etc.

Steam Torchlight Patched

Steam News announces a patch for the Steam edition of Torchlight is now automatically available that adds Steam Cloud functionality and over 60 Steam achievements to Runic's action/RPG. In celebration, they've put the game on sale for half-off until Monday.

Warrior Epic Battlegrounds Live

True Games announces the launch of Warrior Epic Battlegrounds, the first expansion for Warrior Epic, their subscription-free MMORPG. The expansion includes new PVP gameplay, a new HUB City, a New Region called Trogken Swamps, new items, and more. "It's an exciting time for Warrior Epic with the recent launch of the new iPhone application, Warrior Epic Sagas and now with the launch of Warrior Epic: Battlegrounds; we are elated give our community all of these new experiences," said TrueGames' Peter Cesario. "Warrior Epic: Battlegrounds contains so much new content, and brand-new Co-Op PVP gameplay, we are practically giving our players a brand new game!"

MS Seeks Fat Avatar Patent

A new United States Patent Application filed by Microsoft noted on Slashdot seeks a patent on "avatar individualized by physical characteristic." This covers a number of aspects as outlined in the lengthy application, but as noted in the abstract, a lot of it focuses on health issues, weight in particular. This includes the possibility that gaming time would be budgeted for those deemed overweight, outlining what seem like intrusive methods for making this determination:
An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.)

ATI Catalyst Hotfix

ATI Support now offers a new hotfix for the recenty released version 9.12 reference drivers for ATI accelerators. The hotfix is available for Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP, and Linux, and word is it "resolves the mouse being enlarged under Windows 7, improves performance of OpenGL games, Provides CrossFireX support for Eyefinity & Provides support for OpenCL." Thanks FiringSquad.

Left 4 Dead Patched

Steam News announces a new update that's automatically available for Left 4 Dead. The update address a crashing bug and an exploit while making some changes to how matchmaking and dedicated servers are handled in the zombie shooter.

Dark Void Trailers

A new Dark Void video developer diary is online, in case you were jonesing for more in the hours since the last trailer was posted for Airtight Games' upcoming jetpack-powered action game. The clip features gameplay footage and commentary from the developers on its "Tesla-punk" visual style, the two factions, storyline details, weapons, and more. You can view this clip on the YouTube. There's also a new third installment in their five-part series called "360 Degrees of Tactical Freedom." The trailer is narrated by Morgan Grace and Shana Bryant from publisher Capcom, and it shows the game's aerial dogfights using the jetpack as well as various borrowed aircraft. This clip can also be viewed on the YouTube.

City of Heroes Server Transfers

NCsoft announces they are offering City of Heroes subscribers 45 days of free server transfers, saying transfers between servers are now free to all players of the superhero MMORPG through the end of January 2010. There are certain restrictions, as transfers are not available between North American and European servers, only six transfers are allowed per account each seven-day period, not all possessions will transfer over, character names may be lost when transferring, and Super-group affiliation; Prestige; and access to Supergroup base items will be lost. The City of Heroes Free Character Transfer FAQ has all the details.

Champions Online Pencils for a Cause

The Champions Online Website has news of a charity drive being conducted by one of the players of NCsoft's MMORPG, using some of the useless items that populate their game for some reason. Word is: "Community member Mighty_Pencil has offered to donate a Build-A-Bear teddy to needy children during the holidays for every 1,000 sets of "Matching Pen and Pencil Sets" he receives in-game." This forum thread has all the details.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Tatooine Details, Comic

The Sands of Tatooine is a new feature on the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website profiling the sandy planet where we first met Luke Skywalker a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A Tatooine HoloNet entry offers info, screenshots, and concept art, while The Old Republic Media Section has more screenshots. Also, issue #22 of the Threat of Peace web comic is online, with more back-story from the game, featuring a visit to the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, not to be confused with Tatooine.

Mafia II by July 31, 2010

Mafia II is due in Take-Two's fiscal Q3 2010, which concludes on July 31, 2010, Joystiq reports after sitting in on the conference call following Take-Two's latest financial reporting. They say CEO Strauss Zelnick stated the open-world crime game sequel is "scheduled to fall in our third quarter."

SEGA Wins Aus AvP Appeal

SEGA has won their appeal of the Australian Classification Board's refusal to rate Aliens vs. Predator, Rebellion's upcoming shooter, reports Kotaku. The game is now rated MA15+ in Australia, making the game legal to sell and own down under. "It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal. We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever," says Sega Australia general manager Darren Macbeth. "This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."

On Star Trek Online's Klingons

MMORPG.COM hears from Cryptic's Jack Emmert about the Klingons in Star Trek Online, following the recent revelation that this faction will be a PvP-only component of the MMORPG. The Cryptic boss explains why things are being handled they way they are, and that that the Kingons actually do have a bit of PvE play: "It’s not just limited to PvP, but it’s just not the same depth of PvE content as the Federation," he explained. "There will still be encounters in the Sector Space. These are visible on the map, and analogous to the random encounters people find in older RPGs like Baldur’s Gate as they travel to place to place (although being a real time game, you can also avoid them by simply flying around). They provide an outlet for some PvE, which includes a nice way to get some interesting loot." They also offer new details on how PvP play will work.

More Aion Bans

The Aion Website has word that over 28,000 players have been banned over the past couple of weeks in NCsoft's MMORPG. They describe the various shenanigans that have cause the bans, and outline the process for appealing your case if you feel you have been booted from the game unfairly. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Cross Fire Patched, Adds Holiday Content

Subscription-free online shooter Cross Fire now offers a new patch that adds new content to the game, including some holiday themed outfits and a Christmas map as well as new weapons, a new mercenary, and a sniper-only map. They also are launching a Christmas-themed event offering all sorts of in-game prizes. Full details can be found in this announcement.

Two Worlds II Details, Giveaways

The Two Worlds II Website is now online, offering details on Reality Pump's upcoming RPG sequel. The site also includes an Advent Calendar, offering prizes every day through the holiday season. Included in the giveaways are a gaming PC, an Xbox 360, and a PlayStation 3.

Dead Space 2 Interview, Enemies Feature

There's a Dead Space 2 video interview on that hears from Executive Producer Steve Papoutsis, Senior Development Director Paul Mathis, Creative Director Wright Bagwell, and Art Director Ian Milham about the upcoming sci-fi/horror shooter sequel. They also have a feature called The Evolution Of A Necromorph where Ian Milham outlines the process of creating some of the game's enemies.

New WAR Producer

A new Producer's Letter on the Warhammer Herald reveals a new Warhammer Online producer, saying: "We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Bruce Maclean as the new producer for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Bruce has a long history with Mythic Entertainment, having previously worked on Dark Age of Camelot in multiple capacities. Please join us in welcoming Bruce." They add: "If you’re wondering about Jeff Skalski, not to fret as he is still here in the studio working hard on Warhammer." The letter itself touches on previously covered topics like the "Keg End" event, the game's increased stability, and their free endless trial.

Op Ed

Ars Technica - Spike VGAs highlight problems with industry awards.
That's the problem: there doesn't seem to be a universal standard for excellence in this industry, and it doesn't seem like one is likely to come along any time soon. The Game Developer's Choice Awards aren't followed enough by the public, the VGAs may be too much of a popularity contest to be taken seriously—not to mention the feeling that the show is little more than an advertisement—and who's to determine if Gamespot's award of excellence means more than that of IGN or Gamespy?

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I may have figured out how the squirrels have been getting into the bird feed in spite of the five pound hunk of cinder block on the lid of the garbage can holding the seed. It struck me that even the strongest of squirrels was not going to be able to push that off without some leverage, so I moved the can away from the fence it was standing next to, and in the couple of days since we have not had a repeat break in. The ball is now in their court, and I imagine their next step will involve tools from our garage or maybe a motor vehicle.

R.I.P.: Actress Jennifer Jones dead at 90. Thanks Mike Martinez.
R.I.P.: Dan O'Bannon - screenwriter of Alien and Dark Star passes at 63. Thanks loonyboi.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Blosics.
Slide Racing.
Links: Then/Now: The Cast of 'A Christmas Story'. Scut Farkus was the Postal Dude?
Dept. of Covert Athletics -- Pong Prom. Thanks Neatorama.
Mistle-TIE Fighter Holiday Craft. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Disney Cancels "Wild Hogs" Sequel.
'Soul Food' star joins Abrams' 'Undercovers'.
Science: At a Mine’s Bottom, Tantalizing Hints of Dark Matter (registration required).
Alice's adventures in algebra: Wonderland solved. Thanks Boing Boing.
Dreaming of a white Christmas- What are the odds?
Images: How Fanboys See Operating Systems. Thanks Donovon.
More like Teacher Fail.
Game of Life 2009 Edition. Thanks Digg.
Media: The Dark Knight is Confused. Brilliant!
Let's Enhance. Thanks Boing Boing.
Touchdown Celebration Fail.
Auctions: Matt Hazard Memorabilia, and here, and here, and here for charity.
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