Archived News:

Monday, Feb 01, 2010

The Sims 10th Anniversary Freebies

The Sims 3 Website announces the countdown to the tenth anniversary of The Sims has begun (according to the Wikipedia The Sims was released in North America on January 31, 2000, so that anniversary was yesterday). They promise special promotions and freebies over the next couple of days, and kick things off with pair of In the Dawn of Sims Paintings which are free for The Sims 3.

Aliens vs. Predator Multiplayer Details

The SEGA Europe Blog has a rundown on all seven multiplayer modes in Aliens vs. Predator, Rebellion's upcoming three-faction shooter. The modes are deathmatch, infestation, mixed species deathmatch, survivor, predator hunt, species deathmatch, and domination, and details are provided on each.

Red Faction Guerrilla Free with Metro 2033 Preorders

Preordering Metro 2033 through the THQ Online Store will not only reserve a copy of this upcoming first-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic vision of the Moscow subway, but a free copy of Red Faction Guerrilla as well. Thanks Big Download and GamePro. On a semi-related note, Destructoid points to a Metro 2033 tweet indicating the game will offer an option to play with the original Russian dialog and English subtitles if you are looking for a more authentic experience.

Happy Birthday id Software

As noted on the Bethesda Blog and Planet Doom, today is the nineteenth birthday of id Software, as the Wikipedia confirms the Mesquite, Texas developer was founded 19 years ago today by former Softdisk developers John Carmack, John Romero, Tom Hall, and Adrian "no relation" Carmack.

Days of Thunder Game

Paramount Digital Entertainment announces plans for a new Days of Thunder video game, a full 20 years after the Tom Cruise vehicular vehicle raced into theaters. The (apparently Cruise-free) NASCAR game is being developed by Piranha Games for release this summer for Windows, Mac, XBLA, and PSN, offering four single-player modes and 12-player multiplayer support. Here are some screenshots and a gameplay trailer. Word is: "Inspired by the film “Days of Thunder”, Paramount Digital Entertainment is getting ready to wave the green flag for the octane-induced thrills in the Days of Thunder videogame for PlayStation®Network, Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PC and Mac. Days of Thunder invites gamers to enter the high-pressure world of stock car racing in this adrenaline-packed multiplayer arcade title, putting gamers up against the film’s lead characters, including Cole Trickle, Rowdy Burns and Russ Wheeler. With both single and multiplayer challenges, players race to reach the top of the leader boards and prove that “there is nothing you can’t do in a race car!”" The embedded clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Phantom YouTube Critic Reams Avatar. Thanks nin.

Duke Nukem Forever Footage?

There's a new clip on the YouTube purportedly from Duke Nukem Forever, the first person shooter which may or may not still be in development at 3D Realms. The clip seems to be first-hand footage, though oddly low resolution, showing off some indoor and outdoor combat, as well as some destructible environments. The audio has been replaced with something that sounds like it's from a foreign version of Barney and Friends. Thanks Kotaku.

Command & Conquer 4 Beta Details

An EA press release about the multiplayer beta for Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight urges players to join up through their beta page, and offers further details on the test that went live last week. Word is:
The Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight open multiplayer beta features four maps including the new Afflicted Arena. This new map features a once lush, Polynesian landscape transformed into a military dock by the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and currently besieged by Brotherhood of Nod forces aiming to claim the tactically important location and take control of the Pacific Rim. Players in the roles of the Offense, Defense and Support classes will engage in strategic battles to win key vantage points across the map and secure a majority of the TCN Hubs to take control of this vital location. Experience earned through the new Persistent Player Progression system during the multiplayer beta period will be transitioned to the full game upon its release.

Wal-Mart & Best Buy End Trade-in Experiments

The e-Play, LLC Website has word that this kiosk operator "has suspended operations," thus ending Wal-Mart's pilot program to have video game trade-ins at select locations that began last year in conjunction with e-Play. According to IndustryGamers Best Buy was also experimenting with e-Play, but quotes Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia saying sales were "underwhelming" and kiosks at Best Buy and Wal-Mart have been turned off and will be removed "over the next few weeks."

Star Trek Online Midnight Madness

The Star Trek Online Tumblelog has details on a small number of US GameStop locations where Star Trek Online can be purchased as of the stroke of midnight for those eager to play Cryptic's Trekkie MMORPG, which launches tomorrow. Only ten stores are listed, so consider this a mild form of midnight madness, perhaps midnight disorientation is more appropriate. These locations will be open before midnight to hand out prizes, and even though a couple of these stores are on the west coast, they seem to indicate the game will be available at midnight Eastern Time, which is only 9:00 pm Pacific. Word is: "Fans can arrive just before midnight (EST) on Monday, February 1, 2010 to pick up their pre-ordered copy of STAR TREK ONLINE and be eligible for awesome prizes, including the complete digital STAR TREK comic book collection, Del Taco collectible cups, and more! Remember, you have to be there for a chance to win! (Prizing is only available at the select Gamestop locations, listed below. No purchase is necessary.)" Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Global Agenda Launched

Global Agenda has officially launched, and players can now purchase this online third- and first-person shooter from Hi-Rez Studios and explore its espionage-filled science-fiction environments. New players will also be able to freely test the game's Conquest mode until March 3 without a subscription that this persistent game mode will require after that point. As for players who do not opt to subscribe, here is a description of what you will get with the game along with a description of the premium Conquest mode:
As a special agent playing only the non-subscription features, players can fully level eight different agent characters, participating in both player-vs-player and cooperative missions, as they infiltrate locations belonging to a totalitarian faction, The Commonwealth, and establish themselves inside the game world.

Players in Global Agenda: Conquest form their own groups, called Agencies. These Agencies conquer territory, construct facilities, manufacture vehicles, raid bases, and engage in formal and informal alliances and betrayals on their way toward world domination. The Conquest meta-game revolves around player-driven politics and strategy with each battle being resolved via squad-based combat.

BioShock 2 Character Details

There are some new BioShock 2 details on Computer and Video Games from this month's print issue of PC Zone magazine, where they speak with 2K Marin creative director Jordan Thomas about the shooter sequel. The article touches on Augustus Sinclair and the expanded role he has in the sequel compared to the original game. There are spoilers within, following the growing trend of revealing almost every detail of a game before its release.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 in May

"This May...the chamber will open," declares a new trailer from LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, which features year two cinematics from the upcoming LEGO game about Harry Potter's time at Blockwarts. Accompanied by some new screenshots, the clip can be viewed on the YouTube or below. Continue here to read the full story.

Victoria 2 Video Interview

A new video interview from Victoria 2 features designer Johan Andersson interviewing himself about the kind of detail to expect from Victoria 2, the grand strategy sequel in development at Paradox Interactive. The clip is available on the YouTube, and it is accompanied by a batch of four screenshots. An embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

UFO Aftershock Win7 Patch

A new patch is now available for UFO Aftershock, updating ALTAR Interactive's UFO strategy sequel to version 1.2.1. Word is: "This patch allows you to play the game in Windows 7. Make sure you have updated your game to version 1.2 before applying this patch." The download can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying.

EVE Online Magazine DVD Issues

The EVE Online Website has word on a problem with the EVE Online game client DVD included with the latest issue of PC Gamer magazine. Word is: "The latest issue of PC Gamer is landing in the mailboxes of their subscribers and includes a special disc that features the EVE Online game client. It's come to our attention that there is an issue with the disc that prevents a successful installation. The game client is available, along with a free 14-day trial, through our website at" Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Aus Gamers 4 Croydon Interview

Gamers 4 Croydon Candidates Answer Your Questions on Kotaku Australia talks with Kat Nicholson and Chris Prior, the candidates running for office in Australia under the Gamers 4 Croydon banner in an attempt to unseat South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson to help get an R18+ rating for games in Australia. In spite of Atkinson's slanderous comments ("I assume the Gamers4Croydon campaign will involve criminal activities and dirty tricks"), they make their case very reasonably. Thanks GamePolitics.

Stop Asking for BFBC2 Prone

A tweet by Battlefield Bad Company 2 lead designer David Goldfarb that's retweeted by the BFBC2 feed says that even if you stand on your head, they are not adding the ability to go prone in the military shooter sequel: "Fyi we will not add prone based on anything. You can stop asking now. :)"

On Mafia II's Open World

IncGamers has a quote from an interview with 2K Games they will publish soon where they reflect on the open world being created for Mafia II, their upcoming criminal life sequel. They spoke with senior producer Denby Grace, who says to expect this to be the pinnacle of such games: "As well as the story, the level of detail and realization of the world really is an amazing technical achievement for the team here at 2K Czech," he tells them. "No other open world city comes close with the texture quality, attention to detail and destructibility of our environments."

Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 Not Dated

A post has been corrected on German site that originally said to expect an October, 2010 release date for Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, the recently announced superhero sequel. After posting this they followed up with Namco Bandai and learned the October date they saw in a release calendar was in error, and has since been corrected.

Snow Rescue Released, Office Ninja Patch

TEARDOWN, developers of the free Space Hulk remake Alien Assault, now offer Snow Rescue, where: "You are the driver of a yellow tractor equipped with a plow against a city covered in snow. Clear the roads, do not hit cars or lightposts and do all this before time runs out." They have also posted a new page for Office Ninjas which offers a new version 1.1 patch for this offbeat ninja game released in 1994. Thanks Morris.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Thanks to WarPig, James, and Strich for thinking of me when they saw this squirrel resistant/proof bird feeder project. Our squirrel-proof feeder has been doing pretty well at keeping out thieves, so I'll just file this new one for future reference in case they break the code on the current feeder.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Joker961.
Play: Worm Land.
Links: How many villains does it take to ruin a franchise?
Leonardo da Vinci's Resume.
The Nerdiest Sweater Vest in the World.
Story: Westboro Baptist Church Protests, Gets Protested Outside Twitter. And more. Thanks nin.
Science: High-energy physics has a case of the Higgs.
India plans manned space mission in 2016.
Media: Celebrity Twitter Overkill.
Re-enact your favorite Star Trek Moment.
Doggy Sing-Along to Mozart.
The Funnies: xkcd.
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