Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010

TERA Announcement

En Masse announces TERA, the upcoming PC MMORPG first revealed last month, calling the game the "first true action MMORPG." They will be showing off the game at this week's Game Developers Conference, and describe three areas of innovation they feel will be key to the game's success: Action-adventure style combat, a rich, lushly rendered fantasy world, and all action, no faction. An excerpt elaborating on those points follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior Announced

Budget game developer CITY interactive announces Sniper: Ghost Warrior, and action sniping game set in the fictional nation of Isla Trueno, that will apparently involve real sniping considerations like windage and gravity. The game is due for release in the second quarter of this year, and there are more details and some screenshots on Big Download.

Ships Ahoy - Rise of Prussia

Paradox Interactive announces Rise of Prussia is now available for purchase via digital distributors offering AGEOD’s 18th-Century strategy game. A playable demo is available for the Seven Years' War strategy game, and this page has a version 1.01a hotfix for the demo. As is a bonus, as they say: "Until March 15, anyone who purchases Rise of Prussia via participating digital distributors will receive a 75% off AGEOD’s title Birth of America 2." The feature list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Interview

The Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Interview on GameBanshee chats with Ferret Baudoin about the upcoming Awakening expansion for Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare's role-playing game. Topics include how that add-on content fits with the original game, playing the new Orlesian Grey Warden, Vigil's Keep, new specialization, advancement under the new level cap, new companions, UI tweaks, and what the future holds.

Valve Hires DigiPen Team

Valve has hired the student development team from DigiPen behind Tag: The Power of Paint, described as: "a first-person platformer created by seven RTIS and BFA students at DigiPen, was chosen from ten IGF Student Showcase Finalists as winner of the Best Student Game Award." This is noted on Shacknews where they make the case that this team will contribute to Portal 2 based on how Tag allows "the player to manipulate the physical attributes of the game's environment using different colors of paint," which sounds quite similar to word from a Game Informer Portal 2 preview that says the game will feature "special paint that gives unique physical properties to surfaces." It would be appropriate to hire a student team from DigiPen for Portal 2, considering how the original Portal was a DigiPen student project known as Narbacular Drop before Valve hired the team behind that.

Future Soldier Trailer Hints

The Ghost Recon Website offers links to the announcement video for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, and asks: "Did you know that there are some hints hidden in the announcement video?" They have some links to sites that have already done research on this, and says those who are stumped can expect hints about this starting tomorrow on Twitter @UbiKimi.

Tales of Fantasy Alpha

Closed alpha testing of Tales of Fantasy gets underway at 8:00 pm EST today. The test should run a bit over a week, and word is one participant will win an Apple iPad.

Mac Team Fortress 2 Answers

The Team Fortress 2 Website has answers to potential questions about plans for a Mac edition of Team Fortress 2. They explain how owners of the PC edition of Valve's teamplay shooter will not have to pay again for a Mac edition, that this will not be "some crappy emulated version of TF2," and that Mac and PC users will be playing together on the same servers. The Q&A is accompanied by a new Saxton Hale comic cover.

Stargate Resistance Patched

A new patch is now automatically available for Stargate Resistance the next time owners of the third-person shooter launch Steam. The new version includes newness and bug fixes, as outlined in this post and below. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Steam News will put different titles from SQUARE ENIX and Eidos Interactive on sale every day this week.

  • Battlestations Collection on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Battlestations: Midway on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Battlestations: Pacific on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Battlestations and Order of War Bundle on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Order of War on Steam. Save 50%.

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

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

Thanks Joker961.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: New Tron Legacy Trailer. Thanks ^Drag0n^ and Neutronbeam. That's also on Dark Horizons where nin points out they also have the badass new Iron Man 2 trailer.

Impulse Top 10

Impulse announces their weekly top 10, revealing the bestselling titles on their online marketplace for the week of February 28 to March 6:

  1. Elemental: War of Magic Limited Edition
  2. Sins of a Solar Empire - Trinity
  3. Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy
  4. Total Annihilation
  5. Sins of a Solar Empire Expansion Bundle
  6. Battlefield Bad Company 2 Limited Edition
  7. Star Wolves 3: Civil War
  8. GalCiv II - Ultimate Edition
  9. Silent Hunter: Battle of the Atlantic
  10. Dawn of Discovery Gold

New Mass Effect 2 Weapon on the Cerberus Network

The Mass Effect 2 Website announces the release of the Arc Projector, saying this heavy weapon is available through the Cerberus Network, which provides free DLC to those who bought BioWare's RPG sequel first-hand or those who have purchased the Cerberus Network separately. They also announce ME2 Xbox 360 gamerpics are now for sale. Here's word:
Attention all Cerberus Network members: The Arc Projector heavy weapon has been deployed for field use.

The Arc Projector is capable of discharging a massive electrical blast that can jump to multiple targets. For more information, check out the Arsenal on the website.

Additionally new Mass Effect 2 Gamerpics have been uploaded to Xbox LIVE for 80 MS points. This Squad Picture Pack contains Shepard, Tali, Thane, Grunt and Samara.

Battlestar Galactica Online Announcement

NBC Universal and Bigpoint announce Battlestar Galactica Online, the web-based Battlestar Galactica MMOG revealed earlier. A teaser Battlestar Galactica Online Website is online, and word is the game will launch worldwide this fall, exclusive to Syfy.com for 30 days. Here's word on what to expect:
Players will be able to choose to play as cylons or humans in a constant struggle to control the universe or just survive its perils. A blend of tactical space combat, exploration, and mission-based gameplay will provide a diverse experience. The dramatic missions will define the game's overall storyline, enabling the player to delve into mysteries of the Battlestar universe. Battlestar Galactica Online will create a new standard for web games, with beautiful 3d graphics and innovative game mechanics bringing a new level of game play to browser based MMOG. Assets from the television production will be integrated into the game to deliver an even more authentic experience.

GameSpy Open Announced

GameSpy announces GameSpy Open, described as "an initiative to open APIs for data and development services, making it easier for its partners on all platforms to add compelling online features to games, measure game performance and audience engagement, and collaborate with their communities." They say: "By opening up data and services, GameSpy hopes to tear down the walls around online game development, enable new business models and make it much easier for publishers and developers to harness the power of online and social innovations." It's not clear how supporting open standards fits with their business model, but presumably they have this worked out. The most concrete aspect of the announcement is the plan to support OpenID, an open, decentralized user-centric digital identity that eliminates multiple usernames on more than 100 million websites, including Google, Yahoo!, MySpace, and WordPress.

R.U.S.E. Open Beta Begins

Steam News announces the promised public beta test for R.U.S.E. is now underway, offering the chance to test a prerelease version of this real-time strategy game from Ubisoft and Eugen Systems. Here's word on the test:
In the public beta, players will have the opportunity to choose one of the 6 unique factions available in the game (US, UK, GER, USSR, FRANCE, IT) and train themselves against the artificial intelligence on the "Blitz" map before entering the multiplayer challenge.

With 7 multiplayer maps (from 1 vs. 1 to 4 vs. 4...or free for all) players will be able to test their strategist skills against enemies combining up to 10 different ruses to lure their opponents in one of the 3 multiplayer game modes (1939, 1942, 1945).
Also, this page has a workaround for a screen resolution issue for participants in the VIP beta, saying a patch to fix this is on the way.

Battlestar Galactica Web-game Plans

A free web-based multiplayer Battlestar Galactica game is in the works, reports latimes.com, saying the game will be published by Bigpoint, which is co-owned by Syfy parent company NBC Universal. "We're picking a point in the chronology of the series that fans are very familiar with to tell new stories," explained Bill Kispert, vice president of digital platforms for the partnerships and licensing department of IP owner Universal Pictures. "There will be space combat as well as missions and exploration."

EA Servers Back Up, Downtime Tonight

The Battlefield Blog follows up on the EA server outage reported earlier, saying this was due to a problem outside of their control, but things are up and running again. They also warn servers will go offline overnight for maintenance, adding that after today's fix for PunkBuster issues, they are still investigating other reported Battlefield: Bad Company 2 connectivity and stability problems:
As you probably noticed, we have experienced an outage across EA servers today, this was caused by a routing issue outside of EA's control but it has been solved and things are back up and running again. Tomorrow at 8:00 GMT/9:00 CET and 12:00 (midnight) PST the EA servers will be brought down for maintenance. There is no current time for when the servers will return so keep an eye on our Twitter for more up to date information as we get it: http://twitter.com/OfficialBFBC2

On a more positive note, we have released the R6 server to server providers today which should stop the PB INIT FAILURE messages that have been causing problems recently, as well as releasing new server versions, we are still investigating and fixing connectivity and stability problems that are being reported in the forums http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-bad-company-2-pc/.

StarCraft II Day One Patch Plans

There's a StarCraft II interview on VG247 talking with Dustin Browder, lead designer on Blizzard's upcoming real-time strategy sequel, discussing progress on the StarCraft II beta test, indicating things are progressing nicely. Along the way he reveals plans for a day one patch, which will be required for Battle.net: "We will have a day one patch, a required day one patch," he tells them, saying this will allow the Battle.net team "a little bit more time to sort of get their ducks in a row."

EA Servers Down

EA's Battlefield Bad Company 2 account tweets that they are currently investigating an outage that's keeping players from being able to play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and other games: "EA servers are currently down stopping login to a number of EA games. EA is investigating and will be back online as soon as possible."

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PunkBuster Server Fix

An official Battlefield Bad Company 2 tweet says new PC server code is going out for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to address the PunkBuster errors some have been encountering in the military shooter sequel. Word is: "BFBC2 PC server R6 is going to server providers now. This server version should stop all the PB INIT errors that have been happening."

Ubisoft DRM Servers Resume

Ubisoft tweets that their latest server outage was cleared up in the wee hours: "Login servers were partially reestablished at 10pm CET and fully restored at 1am CET. The attack affected only those trying to login."

EA Publishing Project Mercury

Electronic Arts and 38 Studios announce EA will be publishing the game codenamed Project Mercury, a single-player role-playing game in development at Big Huge Games (a subsidiary of 38 Studios). Here's word on Project Mercury: "The game marks the first entry into the company’s vast universe created by New York Times best-selling fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, with artistic direction by Todd McFarlane, renowned artist and creator of Spawn."

Tomorrow Corporation Formed

Tomorrow Corporation is a new "authentic indie labor" developer formed by 2D Boy co-founder Kyle Gabler (World Of Goo) and Experimental Gameplay Project contributor Kyle Gray (Henry Hatsworth). The Tomorrow Corporation Website is live, and here's word: "For years, giant corporations have been hurt by scrappy indie studios hogging the limelight with titles like Crayon Physics Deluxe, Braid, World of Goo, and Super Meat Boy. To those tiny, un-American, indie developers, Tomorrow Corporation would like to deliver a message: Your reign of terror ends… Tomorrow!" Thanks Gamasutra.

Jagged Alliance Series Acquired, Jagged Alliance 3 Announced

"Preliminary" development of Jagged Alliance 3 is underway, announces bitComposer along with word that they have secured the full rights from Strategy First to this strategy/role-playing series. This is a tacit confirmation of reports late last year that Akella's development of Jagged Alliance 3 had been cancelled. Word is: "The aim is to preserve the popular basic concept of the previous versions and place it in a contemporary setting. A specific release date for Jagged Alliance 3 has not yet been confirmed, but a 2011 release is anticipated." They also say this should clear up conflicting reports about the future of this series, with bitComposer saying the only project using this IP that is outside of their control is a social network-based game in development at Strategy First.

Updated Order of War: Challenge Demo

The demo for Order of War: Challenge released last week turns out to have been corrupted, a situation for which Wargaming.net extends apologies. A proper demo for the World War II real-time strategy follow-up is available on Wargaming.net, and it is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and WorthPlaying.

Mac Battlefield: Bad Company 2?

DICE's Karl Magnus Troedsson says: "We're currently investigating the possibility of making BFBC2 available on Mac," responding to a question on the topic from UGDB. They asked after Troedsson tweeted "Steam for Mac - Gabe, we like it!" in response to Valve's annnouncement of Mac support in Steam and the Source engine.

E3 Registration Begins

Registration for this year's E3 Expo is now underway for this year's show, which will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 15-17. Word is: "Please note that E3 Expo is a trade-only event and is not open to the general public. Individuals who are not able to document their direct, and current professional affiliation to the interactive entertainment industry are not qualified to attend. If you are from the retail sector, you must be selected by your parent company to attend."

Ships Ahoy - Theatre of War 2 - Kursk 1943

Battlefront.com announces the release of Theatre of War 2 - Kursk 1943, a new standalone installment in the Theatre of War series of tactical battle simulations. Here's an outline of how the game works: "Assuming the role of either the Russian or German battle group commander, acting under direct orders of division commanders Ivan Chistyakov or Walter Hoernlein, players will control their troops in historical scenarios on precisely reconstructed authentic battlefields." A list of key features follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Globex Studios LA Launches

This announcement unveils Globex Studios LA, a new western development studio for Globex Studios, "a rapidly emerging player in the worldwide online games market, with development, publishing, marketing and production operations in China and Taiwan." The studio will create "high-quality, direct-to-consumer game titles that leverage U.S.-based project expertise together with the efficiencies of international production execution. The company will initially target the largest online gaming audience in Greater China and the U.S." The developer boasts former members of Pandemic: "Globex Studios LA collectively boasts prior work on more than 100 console/PC games, including notable Pandemic Studios successes Star Wars Battlefront and the original Mercenaries and Destroy All Humans! games. Key members of the L.A. team include former Executive Art Director of Pandemic Studios Carey Chico as President and Chief Creative Officer; award-winning video game designer, director and producer Troy Dunniway as Vice President of Game Development; and game product development and publishing veteran Jesse Taylor as Chief Technology Officer/Chief Operating Officer." The Globe X Studios Website is online.

VOIP App Roundup

There's a VOIP application Roundup on Games On Net that compares TeamSpeak 3.0, Mumble, and Ventrilo to see which one is best suited for in-game voice over IP communication.

Lowe's Leisure Suit Larry Lowdown

Al Lowe's Humor Site has an outline from the Leisure Suit Larry creator on his unrealized ideas for Leisure Suit Larry 8, which would have been the next installment in the lurid adventure series had he not parted ways with Sierra after the developer was acquired by CUC International. The game would have followed Larry into space following the conclusion of Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!, and Lowe gives a little detail on how this would have played out, concluding with: "Would it have worked? I think so. But now — we'll never know." Thanks Morris.

NFS: SHIFT Console DLC

Electronic Arts announces plans to release an all-new Exotic Racing Series DLC pack for Need for Speed: SHIFT on March 18. This is apparently not destined for the PC edition of the racing sequel, as word is: "The Exotic Racing Series pack will be available worldwide on the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system for $10.00 or the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system for $10.00 or 800 Microsoft Points."

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We had a server outage here for a couple of hours, the bad news is that this was our fault, which means the good news is we know how to avoid a repeat going forward. Sorry about that.

Repeatable Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Season of War.
Finwick.
Links: 5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted. Thanks DrEnter.
The Sex Vs. Video Games Infographic. Thanks Acleacius.
Stories: Convicted serial killer won on 'Dating Game'.
Real 'Hurt Locker' in Afghanistan. Thanks brother19.
France Télécom Needs 'Radical Change' After Suicides, Report Says. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Three Reasons Why Your Weight May Not Be All Your Fault.
Sports Enhancement and Life Enhancement- Different Rules Apply.
Media: Granny DJ tearing up the turn tables.
Breaking News: Some Bullsh*t Happening Somewhere.
Formula 1 Simulator. Think that's a motorcycle sim, actually.
Follow-ups: How To Handle Unintended Acceleration.
US soft drinks firms say sugary sodas cut in schools.
William Shatner Reads @Sh*tMyDadSays Tweets. Thanks Acleacius.
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