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Archived News:

Monday, Jul 12, 2010

Mytheon Delay

Though UTV True Games and Petroglyph announced tomorrow as the official launch date for Mytheon, an update to the Mytheon Forums announces a setback, and does not yet offer an updated launch date for the online action/RPG. Word is: "As we complete our final phases of testing we are continuing to work on new enhancements to improve game play and Mytheon as a whole. In order to ensure that these improvements are included at the time of the Mytheon’s official launch, the originally announced date of July 13th will be pushed back a bit, though we anticipate the new date will be soon after." Thanks Big Download.

APB Plans

The APB Website has a post titled "the road ahead," discussing plans to patch Realtime Worlds' online open-world action game. They outline plans to deal with cheaters, vehicle handling, combat, matchmaking, camping, missions, and rulesets. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Crysis 2 Limited Edition?

GamingBolt images and details on a Crysis 2: Nano Edition, saying they spotted them on a since-removed online listing from a European e-tailer. They say this will include a statue and other goodies, and carries a whopping €158.00 price tag. Thanks Digg.

New NVIDIA Drivers

NVIDIA Driver Downloads now offers new version 258.96 WHQL candidate drivers for NVIDIA accelerators, adding GTX 460 support, and performance improvements for several games. There are drivers for Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows XP, and Windows XP 64-bit. Thanks [H]ard-OCP.

Eschalon: Book II on Steam, Sale, New Demo

Eschalon: Book II is now available on Steam, offering another way for Windows and Mac owners to get the role-playing sequel. To celebrate, the game is being offered at a 10% discount for the next week. On a related note, a new version 1.04 Eschalon: Book II demo is now available, though this is not yet on the Basilisk Games downloads page. The Windows demo is available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell, the Mac demo is available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell, and the Linux demo is available on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Mac Day of Defeat: Source

Steam News announces the Macintosh edition of Day of Defeat: Source is now available, offering Mac users the chance to play this World War II first-person shooter alongside players of the Windows version.

Natural Selection 2 Announcement Tomorrow

The Natural Selection 2 Twitter Feed teases an announcement tomorrow, from the folks behind this action/strategy sequel. They simply say: "Look for a big news announcement from us tomorrow!" Thanks Joao.

Death to Spies 3 Website

A new Death to Spies 3 product section is online as an official home to the cold war action sequel in development at Haggard Games. The site offers info on the game, accompanied by a bunch of new screenshots. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Impulse Weekly Top 10

Here's the Impulse Weekly Top 10 for the week of July 4 to July 10:

  1. Elemental: War of Magic (Pre-Order)
  2. Sins of a Solar Empire - Trinity
  3. Sins of a Solar Empire Expansion Bundle
  4. Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy
  5. Elemental - Limited Edition (Pre-Order)
  6. Galactic Civilizations II - Ultimate Edition
  7. Assassin's Creed 2
  8. Sins of a Solar Empire - Entrenchment
  9. Demigod
  10. THQ Ultimate Bundle

New UDK Beta

A new July beta of the Unreal Development Kit is now available, offering an update to this SDK that allows the development of Unreal engine games. The new version adds a new Reference Tree tool, a new Package Revert tool, additional FBX import/export support, improvements to Gamecaster virtual camera support Motion blur and depth of field (DOF) enhancements, and more.

Garry's Mod Patched

A new version of Garry's Mod is now available, announces Steam News. The change list for this Source-engine sandbox follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

Evening Tech Bits

Thanks Ant.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: I kissed a nerd and I liked it. Thanks Ant.

Happy Birthday: Legendary Sound Designer Ben Burtt. Thanks Neutronbeam.
R.I.P.: American Splendor’s Accidental Superstar Harvey Pekar Dies at 70. Thanks DrEnter.

Ubisoft Results, Driver Delayed

Ubisoft announces preliminary fiscal first quarter 2011 results covering the period ending June 30, 2010. They cite "solid performance" of Splinter Cell Conviction in reporting: "Estimated sales for the first quarter totaled €160 million, up 93% compared with the €83 million recorded for the first quarter 2009-10. Estimated sales for the first-quarter of 2010-11 exceeded the guidance (of approximately €145 million) announced at the time of the 2009-10 full-year sales figures communication." They also report that Driver is delayed from their fiscal Q3 into Q4, which runs from January through March of 2011.

Deus Ex Novel Next Year

Del Ray Books announces Deus Ex: The Icarus Effect, a novel based on the Deus Ex series of action/role-playing games being written by James Swallow for release sometime next year. Here's word:
DEUS EX: THE ICARUS EFFECT is set in the complex and enthralling world of Deus Ex, a cyberpunk-style technological dystopia where all is not what it seems. In the not-so-distant future, the world is a place of great innovation and technological advancement... but also a place of chaos and conspiracy. New technologies push the limits of human potential, even while they threaten the very future of the world. And from the shadows, dark and secret powers are coming together to take control, intent on designs so large, so intricate, they will take decades to come to fruition. But when two unlikely heroes—Anna Kelso, a Secret Service agent, and Ben Saxon, a special-ops soldier—draw uncomfortably close to the truth, the choices they make here and now will alter the course of history... or usher in an age of darkness.

WRC You In October

Black Bean Games announces the official release date for WRC, saying the official FIA World Rally Championship videogame is due for release on October 8, 2010. Here's the deal: "Petrol-heads, motorsport enthusiasts and WRC fans alike will experience a unique game that delivers a realistic and accessible driving model. The game features 78 different rally stages and over 550km of varied road conditions from the 13 countries which host a round of the WRC. Also available for the first time is the new 'Road to the WRC' career mode presenting the opportunity to compete for 50 different trophies. In addition many online multiplayer game modes combine to make the WRC game an epic motorsport adventure and the ultimate rally gaming experience." They promise more details shortly on the WRC Website and the Milestone Blog, and offer four new WRC screenshots.

Kings & Castles Video Blog

Chris Taylor's Kings and Castles Video Blog Episode #22 is now online, offering reflections from Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games on getting back to the grind of creating Kings & Castles, after the big push to show their upcoming real-time strategy game at E3. Chris engages in more abuse of his staff, discusses the game's economy and resources in addressing their cracked-out mailbag, and explores the potential to offer an in-game formation editing tool.

Dutch Violent Gaming Legislation Looms?

GamePolitics has coverage of debate over the future of violent videogames in the Netherlands, based on a Dutch article on gaming site Bashers that speaks of comments by Dutch Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin about seeking criminal prohibition of extremely violent imagery, including videogames. They reference an article on Control suggesting this is based on 2007 book called Media Violence and Children by Peter Nikken, and another Control article in Dutch indicating MP Tofik Dibi seems to oppose this move. There is also a Dutch Stop the Burning Book 2.0 petition to register opposition to such legislation.

A Tale in the Desert Election Plans

The fourth "telling" of A Tale in the Desert is drawing to a conclusion, announces eGenesis, who reveal plans to bring democracy to the monarchy, as players of this combat-free MMORPG are being asked to vote in a server-wide election to determine the game's new pharaoh. They will choose between the two sons of the old pharaoh, who passed away at the conclusion of the game's third telling (and is presumably now the main character in a mummy game somewhere). This decision is not without consequences, as the outcome will decide whether to have new tests or new technologies coded in A Tale in the Desert 5.

StarCraft II Upgrades Preview

The StarCraft II Website has a new preview of the various upgrades available to players of the single-player game in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Blizzard's upcoming real-time strategy sequel. They describe the various areas in the starship Hyperion where upgrades can be acquired, introducing the Armory, the Cantina (where we know who shoots first), and the laboratory, while also outlining how you can accumulate and make use of credits within the game. Thanks Big Download.

First Sale Doctrine Weakened?

The end of used books, music, games? Court guts "First Sale" on Ars Technica outlines a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, described on Public Knowledge, saying "the first sale doctrine doesn’t apply to copyrighted works made outside the United States—or to goods that aren’t copyrighted, but have copyrighted logos that were made and stuck on the goods outside the U.S." The original case in question involved Omega, manufacturer of Swiss watches, and Costco, purveyor of large boxes. This all has the potential to impact the sale of used video games, books, and movies, as Ars outlines, saying: "The implications of this decision are huge, creating potential liabilities for anyone who distributes anything en masse: libraries, booksellers, or your local DVD or video game rental store." The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) has chimed in on this, and have joined the Public Knowledge advocacy group in an amicus brief as this case heads toward the Supreme Court.

Bloodline Champions Trailer

A new Bloodline Champions trailer offers a motion picture of this skill-based online arena combat game in the works at Swedish developer Stunlock Studios. Publisher Funcom also sends along a batch of new screenshots and urges everyone to head over to the Bloodline Champions Website and sign up for the beta test. Here's the embedded trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

IGN - Ken Levine and the End of the Auteur. Thanks Ant.
On those grounds, Levine is less an auteur and more of a reader, trying to anticipate what his player will be thinking next. "I threw out huge drafts of scripts and things like that; artists threw out whole sequences. And that's because we all, at the end of the day, said, 'What is the audience going to think of this? How is the audience going to react to it?'"

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Congrats to Spain for winning the World Cup, and congrats to the World Cup for finally helping me understand and appreciate association football/soccer, as I never really got the sport before (though the last game was not a great spectacle). We watched the final, the third place game, and a few other matches along the way, and will miss the spectacle and the excitement of the whole event now that it's over. We even got used to the vuvuzelas eventually, though we will not miss them at all.

R.I.P.: New York Yankees fans mourn loss of Bob Sheppard, an 'irreplaceable' public address announcer.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: GoldRunner.
CellCraft.
Pulsate. Thanks Neatorama.
Links: Instant Oil Spill. Thanks Huffington Post.
10 Things You Need to Know about Indian Reservation Gambling. Thanks Neatorama.
Lego Stop Motion Animated Videos of Movie Scenes and Video Games.
Stories: "Zombies" crash on I-84 near Lloyd exit.
Historians locate King Arthur's Round Table. Search for footstool continues.
Dog Left In Hot Car Honks For Help. Thanks Digg.
Science: Running 'can slow ageing process'.
Algae: The World's New Alternative Energy Source?
Global population study launched by Royal Society.
Images: By the Numbers- Vuvuzela! Thanks Digg.
I Think You Misunderstood ‘Central Air’.
Media: Awesome baseball commentary after girl gets gloved in face.
Super Mario Bros. Leftovers. Thanks Digg.
Amazing mask video. Thanks Joker961.
The Funnies: Hunt.
Follow-up: Scientists expected Obama administration to be friendlier.
IKEA Turns Out the Lights On Incandescent Bulb Sales.