Archived News:

Friday, Sep 03, 2010

Free Altitude Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend for Altitude, the indie arcade flying game. Those who enjoy the free sample will be pleased to know the game is on sale until Monday for 50% off.

The Dark Descent Demos

Frictional Games announces playable demos for Amnesia: The Dark Descent are now available on the Amnesia Website, offering samples of this upcoming first-person survival horror game. They also have a new trailer from the game that's a developer walkthrough showing physics interaction. The Windows demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying, the Linux demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell, and the Mac demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell. The game itself is now available for pre-purchase on Steam at a 20% discount.

Swarm Announced

Hothead Goes Hands On with Two New Games at PAX announces DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue for consoles, as well as Swarm, which they say is due for all platforms. Word is: "Swarm is an action platformer like no other. Players control a herd of fifty daft, pudgy and utterly fearless Swarmites, driving them through an intense and often suicidal gauntlet of death and destruction. The game features innovative mass character control, fast-paced action and comic mayhem, offering players a unique experience that will keep them playing again and again." The Swarm Website has a "coming soon" message, but the PAX trailer for the game offers a look at its Pixar-style sensibilities. The embedded clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter Patched

A new automatic patch for Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter is now available through Steam. Here's the change list. Continue here to read the full story.

Numen: Content of Heroes Patched

Steam now offers a new automatic patch for Numen: Content of Heroes, the Greek mythology action/RPG. The new version adds an inverted mouse option, support for higher resolutions, and more, all outlined in the following patch notes. Continue here to read the full story.

DNF ShakyCam Footage

Joystiq captured some of the ShakyCam footage of Duke Nukem Forever streamed from PAX today. The clip is shaky and occasionally out of focus, allowing a brief look at some of what attendees of the show got to play. Extra credit to the camera operator for the off-kilter TV Batman shot framing.

Dungeon Siege III Trailer

A new Dungeon Siege III trailer offers our first look at gameplay from Obsidian's upcoming continuation of this action/RPG series. The clip features combat of both the magical and the hack-and-slash variety. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

H.A.W.X. 2 Launch Trailer

The H.A.W.X. 2 launch trailer is a cinematic look at the upcoming Tom Clancy-inspired aerial combat game. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Trailer

A new trailer from Need for Speed Hot Pursuit uses in-game footage to show some Autolog competition from the upcoming racing sequel. The clip begins with an enticing warning: "People in relationships are advised against the playing of this game. Connecting to Need for Speed Autolog enables extreme competition through precise documentation of friend's records and stats. Hard feelings, creative profanity and grudge matches likely."

New Left 4 Dead 2 Mutation

The Left 4 Dead Blog announces this week's new Left 4 Dead 2 mutation is called Hard Eight, a crapshoot with "Double the specials, quadruple the fun!" Word is: "Face eight Special Infected at one time, this is double the standard number! And if that wasn’t trouble enough, we also increase the spawning frequency so it is raining Specials."

Evening Screenshots

Duke Nukem Forever Press Release

The official Duke Nukem Forever press release offers more details about the resumption of development of Duke Nukem Forever, which they say is due next year for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. They have fun with the protracted development cycle of the shooter sequel, saying "Hail to the King! 2K Games Announces Duke Nukem Forever - Seriously Flying Pigs Spotted Heading Towards Penny Arcade Expo," and mention that it "was originally announced during the tail end of the Clinton Administration." The Duke Nukem Forever Website is live with forums and pointing the way to this page with info on how you might get to test the game at Gearbox's offices. Here's the DNF image that came with the announcement, and here's a bit:
Put on your sunglasses and prepare to step into the boots of Duke Nukem, whose legend has reached epic proportions in the years since his last adventure. The alien hordes are back and only Duke can save the world, again. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses won’t stop our hero from accomplishing his one and only goal: to save the world, save the babes and to be a bad-ass while doing it. The King of All Shooters is back with over-the-top weapons, massive aliens and unprecedented levels of interactivity. This game puts pedal to the metal and tongue firmly in cheek, among other places. Shoot hoops, lift weights, read adult magazines, draw crude messages on whiteboards or ogle one of the many beautiful women that populate Duke’s life; that is if you can pull yourself away long enough from kicking ass and taking names. Duke Nukem was and will forever be immortalized in gaming history, and this is his legend.
Also, another tidbit we noticed during the streaming coverage of the show is that the game will use a regenerating health system, or regenerating ego, as that is what the health in the game is called. Update: StingingVelvet notes the Duke website has the following footer: "Duke Nukem, the Duke Nukem nuclear symbol, Duke Nukem Forever, Gearbox Software and the Gearbox logo are registered trademarks of Gearbox Software, LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries and used here under license. All rights reserved."

DNF Next Year

During Randy Pitchford's introduction of Duke Nukem Forever at PAX the Gearbox boss spoke effusively about their enthusiasm over participating in the game's development and fulfilling all the goals for it. He says DNF is currently in the polishing phase, but a glitch in the streaming audio made it difficult to make out if he said it was due this year or next year. There is an interview with Randy on that repeats the polishing comment, and does nothing to clarify the release date, saying both "Gearbox hopes to release the game next year" and "The game is currently expected to ship in 2010." A later interview with Steve Gibson seems to clarify this, as he says they are very excited to ship the game next year. The WSJ also quotes Pitchford saying an announcement regarding the future of the Duke IP will be made on Sunday at Gearbox's PAX panel.

The Return of Duke Nukem Forever

Break out the flying pigs, as Gearbox tweets they are indeed working on Duke Nukem Forever as rumored. They say: "ALL HAIL THE KING!! Duke is back! Come check us out at the 2K booth at PAX!" Piki at Pax (thanks Rhialto) has photos of some of the Duke materials on display at PAX, and here's a twitpic of Gearbox's Randy Pitchford in a Duke shirt. No doubt there's more to come on this, in the meantime, always bet on Duke. Ustream.TV has live coverage from PAX which is sort of working, and they say fans at the show are getting to play the game firsthand.

Telltale Crossover Game Revealed

Steam has a pre-purchase listing for Poker Night at the Inventory, which is the crossover game teased by Telltale last week. The game is due this fall, and here's word on what we're dealing with here: "Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. In Poker Night at the Inventory, you'll deal with Penny Arcade's clever, cunning Tycho, Team Fortress 2's hulking Heavy, Homestar Runner's self-proclaimed "awesome icon" Strong Bad and the hyperkinetic 'rabbity-thing' from Sam & Max. These characters come together in ways some never thought possible, in a setting few would have predicted." Thanks nin.

On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail

A forum post by Brad Wardell offers the Stardock CEO's perspective on what he calls "the completeness of Stardock's fail" on the launch of Elemental, commenting on their "sheer blindness," and saying: "There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio. I'll be talking more about this when I get back. But the game wasn't released early. The game was released poorly." Here's more:
Head in the sand syndrome imo. I've read the reviews as much as possible given my hideous internet access up here and I agree with them. We just didn't see what they were talking about. We thought any complaints would be about polish points or something.

The point is, the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is. I wish it was an issue of the game being released too early. That's an easy thing for a company to "fix". Elemental's launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.
Thanks nin via Dubious Quality.

Panzer Command: Ostfront Trailer

Matrix Games offers a new trailer from Panzer Command: Ostfront, the World War II strategy game currently in development at Black Hand Studios. The clip kicks off a series of videos introducing the game's Map Maker utility. Word is: "Using real world satellite terrain and height maps, gamers can recreate almost any map of the Eastern front with fantastic accuracy and detail!" The clip is available for download, and they have also posted it to the YouTube.

New Sven Co-op

The Sven Co-op Website now offers a new version 4.5 of the Sven Co-op modification for Half-Life. The update adds a couple of weapons, improves some maps, and addresses a number of bugs. The mod's wiki has the complete change list.

EA Interview

The Changing Face of EA on Edge is an interview with Andrew Wilson, senior vice president of EA's global online group. A lot of the conversation is about console games, though this converges when asked about the long delay in getting the PC graphics on FIFA up to speed with the console editions: "The thing that makes the PS3 and 360 FIFA engine so great is the detail. Serious processing power is needed; we have been pushing to get that engine to run on single processor PCs but 360 has three dual cores and the PS3 has seven cores, so we use those things completely in FIFA - it’s more processor intensive than any other project. It’s not a desire to alienate, it’s been a tech problem. We think we’ve got a really strong next-gen product on PC - now we’re working with chip makers to get them to accelerate plans to run a PC on a broad scale that will run it."

Morning Previews

  • Black Ops on Games On Net. Multiplayer hands-on.
  • Path of Exile on PC Gamer. Thanks Mike Martinez. Includes videos.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

This weekend is the Labor Day weekend here in the US, which is considered the unofficial end of summer. At least the calendar thinks so, but somebody should tell the weatherman, as we're in another heat wave, which I believe is the sixth of the summer. Yeesh!

Hot Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Penguin War.
Links:'s Fall 2010 Programming Guide
The US of Star Wars. Thanks Neatorama.
Stories: World's 'oldest beer' found in shipwreck.
Science: NASA preps ultimate Sun mission.
Images: Sexy Photos of The Daily Show's Olivia Munn.
Media: Portal Was A Text Adventure, Left 4 Dead, A NES Shooter.
7 Year Old Girl Talks Trash in Call of Duty. NSFW.
The Funnies: Software Costs.
xkcd- The Carriage.
Follow-up: Court Rules Ladies' Nights Aren't Sexist, Don't Violate Constitution.
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