Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010

Swordsman Online Announced

Perfect World Entertainment announces Swordsman Online, which is the working title of an upcoming MMORPG based on the popular martial arts novels by Louis Cha (Jin Yong). "We are extremely excited to be announcing Swordsman Online as a working title and setting our precedence for unveiling cutting edge games at E3," said Dr. Alan Chen, CEO of Perfect World Entertainment Inc. "Swordsman Online highlights our commitment to constantly push the industry envelope and what it means to be a free-to-play game. Players should never have to settle or compromise on game quality regardless of business model and we want players to expect more from their MMOs." No release date is projected at this point.

Storm over the Pacific Released, Patched

Matrix Games announces that Storm over the Pacific is now available, offering a "new and accessible" strategy game set in the Pacific theater of World War II. Developed by Wastelands Interactive WW2: Time of Wrath), word is the game "is aimed at strategy and wargamers who want to play smaller Pacific scenarios or the whole Pacific campaign in a weekend." The digitally distributed version of the game comes as version 1.01, and there is a patch to update the boxed copy of the game on AtomicGamer and FileFront.

Fallout: New Vegas Interview

Fallout: New Vegas Fan Interview part two on the Bethesda Softworks Forums concludes the conversation with Josh Sawyer, project director on the upcoming Fallout RPG. Topics include new perks, the new version of GECK, that the renderer still uses DirectX 9, character traits, companions, collectibles, adjusting the "skill point economy," poker chips versus bottle caps, the lack of post-endgame content, and that you should be able to complete the game without killing anyone (as well as by killing everyone).

NVIDIA Reference Drivers

The NVIDIA Drivers Page now offers new WHQL-certified version 257.21 ForceWare reference drivers for GeForce accelerators, offering bug fixes and performance improvements. Thanks [H]ard-OCP.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Jet Ski Loading Fail.

Portal 2 E3 Trailer

The Portal 2 trailer from E3 is now available, teasing the upcoming return to Aperture Laboratories for Valve's puzzling platformer sequel. The clip features some cinematics, and a voice-over from the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS), who seems to be, well, you know. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Nadeo Reveals ShootMania and QuestMania

Nadeo has opened ManiaPlanet as a hub for their upcoming projects, the already announced TrackMania 2 and the newly revealed ShootMania and QuestMania, an upcoming first-person shooter and role-playing game, respectively. There is a ManiaPlanet teaser trailer on TM-Tube (not sure why they eschewed TubeMania for that one) talking about how they plan to empower users to create PC game content, and how ManiaPlanet will provide a unified hub for all three games, which will share a social network and content creation tools. They also outline a beta schedule, saying their racing sequel TrackMania 2 will enter beta testing in Q4 of this year, ShootMania will go beta in Q1 2011, with the QuestMania beta "coming soon." A post to the ManiaPlanet Forum by Hylis (Nadeo director Florent Castelnerac) explains their measured approach to rolling out this ambitious scheme. There are also one, two, three forum posts reflecting Nadeo's quandary over how to handle DRM for this endeavor, this post explaining that coppers are being renamed "planets" and more how they plan on handling game environments, with more on environments here. Finally. there's also a post about scheduling, this post pointing out confusing aspects of that schedule, and this post confessing to the confusion and trying to set things straight. Thanks Frans.

PS3 Portal 2

Valve announces that Portal 2 will be released for PlayStation 3 simultaneously with the previously announced Windows, Mac, and Xbox 360 editions of the platformer sequel, saying the PS3 edition will be the online console version to include Steamworks. "When the PlayStation 3 was introduced, I was the one of the platform's biggest critics," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "However, Sony Computer Entertainment has proved that the PlayStation 3 is the most open platform of all the current generation consoles and has worked extremely hard to make the platform the most desirable for consumers and developers. As such, we are delighted to announce Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 and believe the Steamworks support included will make it the best console version of the game." Portal 2 is expected in 2011, subject to the vagaries of Valve Time.

LEGO Universe in October

The LEGO Group announces the release dates for LEGO Universe, saying NetDevil's MMOG based on the popular interlocking blocks will open for early access for "Founders" on October 12 with an official launch for the rest of the public two weeks later, on October 26. If you are interested in being one of those Founders, word is: "The Founders release makes LEGO Universe available to LEGO fans before the official launch, with the game sold exclusively through LEGO channels including LEGO Stores, LEGO Online Shop and LEGOLAND."

Mass Effect 2 Overlord DLC Released

The Mass Effect Website announces the availability of the new Overlord downloadable content for the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of Mass Effect 2, BioWare's role-playing sequel (thanks Neutronbeam). The DLC is 560 MS/BioWare points ($7.00 USD), and here's word on what it offers. Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect 2 Patch

The BioWare Social Network now offers a new patch for Mass Effect 2 to update BioWare's science-fiction RPG sequel to version 1.2. The new version reduces the amount of mining time required to acquire all upgrades and fixes a bunch of bugs. The patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, and the patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 2 Sale

Steam News announces the day two sale for their EA week. On sale today is the Battlefield 2 Complete Edition for 50% off and Battlefield Bad Company 2 for 33% off. They also announce their preorders of Medal of Honor are underway, which will grant access to the beta for the upcoming military shooter sequel.

Greed: Black Border Patched

Steam News announces a new automatic update is now available to Greed: Black Border to version 1.2. The new version adds GameRanger support and new key bindings for skills, all outlined in the change list, which follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Team Fortress 2 Patched

There's a new patch for Team Fortress 2 that's available automatically through Steam. The new version includes four bug fixes, listed here. Continue here to read the full story.

Global Agenda Patched

A new patch for Global Agenda is now automatically available via Steam, updating the MMO spy shooter with a couple of changes, which follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Portal & Half-Life 2 Patched

Steam News announces a new patch is automatically available to update Portal, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two. The update fixes a crash caused by corrupted local sound cache files and hides the cursor when playing in-game movies.

BC2 Fixes: VIP DLC Sync Coming

A post to the Electronic Arts Forums by Barrie "Bazajaytee" Tingle mentions some additions to the Client R8 / Server R12 change list for the upcoming PC patch for Battlefield Bad Company 2 (thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield). One of the new items is the following: "Support for Map Packs so PC gets future VIP maps at the same time as consoles."

Battlefield 2142 Patch Testing

The Battlefield 2142 Twitter Feed has word that the version 1.51 patch is recklessly hurtling into beta testing just 18 months after it was first announced. Word is: "Battlefield 2142 v1.51 Closed Beta is starting today with Combat Testing www.combattesting.com if you are a member look out for news there." Thanks Ant via Planet Battlefield.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Trailer

The E3 Trailer from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is now available, showing off the next installment in Ubisoft's stealth/action series. The cinematic clip demonstrates what must be the least stealthy assassination ever. This is the clip mentioned yesterday that concludes with a November 16, 2010 release date. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Black Prophecy Trailer

The Black Prophecy "E3" Trailer is now available, showing some cinematics and gameplay from Reakktor Media's upcoming space combat game. The embedded clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Kings and Castles E3 Trailer

The E3 trailer is now available for Kings and Castles, the real-time strategy game in the works at Gas Powered Games. The clip starts with a look at some realistic combat between ground troops, followed by a less realistic cannon attack from a pair of dirigibles, followed by a flight of fantasy in the form of a dragon attack. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Driver: San Francisco Announced

Ubisoft announces Driver: San Francisco, the not unexpected next installment in the Driver series of action/racing games, slated for release by the end of this year for Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Word is: "Developed by Ubisoft Reflections under the direction of the creators of the original title, DRIVER San Francisco marks the return of the established video game series that has sold 14 million copies worldwide. Gamers will play as Detective John Tanner on a relentless manhunt for crime lord Charles Jericho through the hills of the City by the Bay. Thanks to a groundbreaking gameplay feature, players can now seamlessly “shift” between well over a hundred licensed vehicles, keeping them constantly in the heart of the action. With its timeless setting, unique car handling and renewed playability, DRIVER San Francisco will revitalize the classic free-roaming, cinematic car chase experience for the current generation of gaming platforms." The announcement is accompanied by a cinematic trailer from the game highlighting the return of Tanner as the game's protagonist that concludes with game of chicken on the Golden Gate bridge between a truck and a vintage Challenger that can't end well. The embedded version of the trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

OnLive Launches Thursday, New Details

OnLive announces further details on their cloud-based gaming service, which is to launch just two days from now, with CEO Steve Perlman saying: "This launch is just the beginning for the OnLive platform. We'll be rolling out new features, capabilities and performance improvements, continually adding new content along with the latest releases, and extending the service to more people." They say this page will begin accepting signups beginning at 3:01 pm EDT today, though it seems to be ready right now. Those accepted will receive their first year of the service for free, with subscription fees for the optional second year being $4.95 USD/month. Word on those signups is: "To commemorate the launch, AT&T has teamed with OnLive to become the official partner of the company's Founding Member Program. This limited-time and limited-availability program for qualified users will include a 1-year free membership to the OnLive Game Service, with an optional second year at $4.95/mo. The Founding Member Program presented by AT&T will be accepting signups beginning at 12:01 PM PDT on June 15, 2010 and continuing through 11:59 PM PDT on July 15, 2010. To sign up or learn more about program details and ongoing membership terms, visit www.onlive.com/att." They also offer a list of games they will carry at launch and beyond, which follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Virgin Goes Game Gambling

NYTimes.com explains that Virgin's planned return to gaming is to allow wagering on the outcome of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games, which the Times explains "is legal in all but 11 states because the video games are considered games of skill, not chance." For the record, the U.S. states where this is not legal are Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Tennessee, and Vermont. There are other sites offering similar services, but one difference here is that the Virgin site will determine the winners, rather than relying on users' reports on the outcomes of matches. The service will be open to those 18 years of age or older, and as financial safeguards, maximum wagers are limited to $1,000.00 USD and players can only deposit $500.00 a week into their accounts. Virgin's skim will be 12% of each bet. The countdown on the new Virgin website has reached zero, but the new site is not yet live.

Medal of Honor MP Trailer, Interview

This Greg Goodrich video interview features the executive producer of the upcoming Medal of Honor game discussing multiplayer support in the upcoming military shooter. Topics include how dedicated servers will be housed at game server providers like in Bas Company 2, spectator modes, hit detection, Destruction 2.0, and more. Thanks Joker961 via BASHandSlash. There's also a Multiplayer Trailer on the Medal of Honor Website promoting the game's upcoming beta test.

Bobby Kotick Interview

This interview on Kotaku is a conversation with Activision's Bobby Kotick on a variety of topics in part one of a no-holds-barred chat. It offers interesting insights into the thinking of the man the article's title calls "the Most Hated Man in Video Games," and Kotick is quite aware of the venom that's been directed towards him over the years, offering his perspective on things like his oft-repeated "taking the fun out of making video games" comment. Thanks nin.

Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 Trailer

YouTube has the E3 trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic called "Hope of Alderaan" showing a boatload of Fetts taking on a group of Sith, with more or less the results you expect, until the cavalry arrives. This is the second recent Star Wars game trailer that is more compelling than anything in episodes 1-3.

Op Ed

Ars Technica - Fear, loathing- embargoes control game reveals, exclusivity. Thanks Mike Martinez.
We spoke to Chris Grant, the Editor in Chief of Joystiq, and he confirmed it's a common practice to give some outlets videos, images or even stories ahead of everyone else—he named IGN as an example—but giving someone an exclusive on an event is less common, but more annoying. "Less common, and less acceptable, is the event exclusive where dozens of outlets attend the same event, often on their own dime, agree upon the same embargo, but one outlet is granted that exclusive, usually in exchange for the promise of special placement," he told Ars.

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