Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 02, 2010

Team Fortress 2 Patched, Re-enters Beta

The Team Fortress 2 Blog announces plans to resume public beta testing of Team Fortress 2, even though the teamplay shooter sequel has been out for more than three years now. They explain this will allow them to update the frequently patched game even more often, while preventing mistakes with the non-beta version of the game. Speaking of the game's frequent updates, Steam News announces another new patch now automatically available. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Midnight Events

GameStop has information about their World of Warcraft: Cataclysm launch events, as approximately 3,500 stores will open at 10:00 pm local time on Monday, December 6 so they can start selling Blizzard's MMORPG expansion at the stroke of Midnight on December 7. Word is there will be: "costumed revelers, along with trivia and dance contests in anticipation of the 12:01 a.m. release. Customers who pick up their copy at midnight will receive the Cataclysm Perk Pack loaded with special partner offers including 20-percent off EVGA/NVIDIA video cards, 20-percent off Linksys/Cisco valet wireless routers and much more. PowerUp Rewards™ members score 50-percent more points when they pre-order then pickup at GameStop on Dec. 7 or Dec. 8."

OnLive Unlimited Play Launches, Gaikai Closed Beta Begins

Cloud gaming service OnLive announces a new unlimited play subscription scheme that seems more appealing than the original PlayPack system that required paying a relatively substantial sum to play games using the service. Under the new plan, players have unlimited access to a "growing library of great games" for $9.99 per month. That fee will kick in starting January 15, 2011, and between now and then, it is in beta for free. Also, Engadget has word that competing cloud gaming service Gaikai is now in closed beta testing, and they offer their first impressions, saying: "Over an up-to-18 megabit AT&T U-Verse internet connection aimed at Gaikai beta servers roughly fifteen miles away, we generally got 10-15 megabits of download bandwidth, and a latency of between 25 and 35 milliseconds. That got us performance just about equal to the 720p video above, both in terms of visual quality and speed, and yet a noticeable amount of input lag -- not too much to make the game unplayable, but not nearly as enjoyable as on a dedicated console or gaming PC."

New Natural Selection 2 Beta

The Natural Selection 2 Website has news of a new beta build 157 that's now available to those who have preordered Natural Selection 2, the action/strategy sequel in the works at Unknown Worlds. They have altered the behavior of grenades and flamethrowers, and offer this explanation of other changes: "The biggest changes you'll see in this patch are gameplay focused. In particular, we listened to what you had to say about impenetrable Crag/Whip/Hydra builds (making it hard for marines to expand early game) - the resource model has changed enough that you won't see tons of those alien structures and there was a bug where Crags were healing twice as fast as they should have been." Thanks Joao.

Global Agenda Patch Tomorrow

Hi-Rez Studios reveals plans to release a new patch tomorrow for Global Agenda to update the teamplay shooter to version 1.39. As a result, there will be downtime they estimate will run from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm EST. They say: "This patch introduces new maps, new PvP rewards, enhancements to the /challenge function, updates to Dome City and new seasonal flair that you can earn during our Holiday event coming later this month!" This page has the full patch notes.

HL2: Wars Multiplayer Beta

Mod DB now offers multiplayer beta version 1.0 of HL2: Wars, the first public release in more than two years of this modification that turns Half-Life 2 into a real-time strategy game. Word is: "The multiplayer beta has vastly improved performance and entirely reworked code from 0.5 (which is why it has taken more than two years to deliver!) and features three multiplayer game modes: Overrun, Antlion Skirmish and Antlion Capture the Point."

PT Boats: Knights of the Sea Patch and Editor now offers a new patch for PT Boats: Knights of the Sea to update the World War II naval combat game to version 1.31. The new version addresses a few bugs and adds the mission editor that is included with the new South Gambit standalone expansion. The editor cannot be used on the stock missions in the game, but it can be used to create an unlimited number of new missions. The download is mirrored on WorthPlaying.

Darkspore Trailer

A new Darkspore trailer shows off multiplayer play from the action/RPG currently in development at EA's Maxis studio. Word is: "Multiplayer in Darkspore lets up to four gamers fight as a team, combining abilities and coordinating attacks to create awesome battle effects and overwhelm enemies. By working as a team and complementing each other’s abilities, players will find co-op gameplay in Darkspore to be an action packed blast, and this trailer shows off those goods in greater detail than ever shown before!" The embedded clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

On Direct2Drive 1-in-5 orders is free. Also, there are a bunch of strategy games on sale on Matrix Games.

  • AC-130 on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition on Games For Windows. Save 90%.
  • Fortis on Impulse. Save 75%.
  • Gish on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Guardians of Graxia on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Kingdom Elemental: Tactics on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Labyrinthica- The Quest of Lima on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Sylvenia - Fantasy Poker on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Victoria II on Impulse. Save 30%.
  • World of Goo on Games For Windows. Save 75%.
  • World War 2 - Time of Wrath on Impulse. Save 83%.
  • X2 - The Threat on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • X3 - Gold on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • X3 - Reunion on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • X3 - Terran Conflict on Impulse. Save 50%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Not-A-Kludge: Pianotop Workstation. Now that's awesome. Thanks Ant.

Emergency 2012 Demo

A playable demo is now available for Emergency 2012, offering a sample of this rescue-themed real-time strategy game. The demo includes a tutorial and a pair of missions, one involving a hurricane destroying the Cologne Cathedral and the other based on a landslide on the Matterhorn. Downloads are being served by AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying.

Ghostbusters Sequel Plans

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is in the works at Wanako, reports USATODAY, saying the sequel to Ghostbusters: The Video Game is headed to Windows, Xbox LIVE, and Playstation Network in spring 2011. They have a couple of screenshots, and the following general description: "The four-player adventure game -- playable locally or online -- lets players again don a proton pack and fend off a new supernatural threat. Promised are gigantic bosses that require teamwork and the entirety of the ghostbusting arsenal: the proton stream, plasma inductor and the fermion shock."

Doctor Who Ep. 4 on Christmas

The fourth and final installment in the BBC's episodic Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will be released on Christmas Day, reports MCV. Word is: "Called Shadows of the Vashta Nerada, it will become available to download on the BBC website right after the show’s Christmas TV special on BBC One. The game sees Matt Smith and Karen Gillan reprise their roles as the Doctor and assistant Amy Pond. They find themselves is the sea-bed colony called Poseidon." The game will be free in the U.K., and Big Download points out for those in the U.S. the game is now available for preorder through Direct2Drive.

Pride of Nations Beta Signups

Paradox Interactive and AGEOD are now accepting signups for the closed beta test of Pride of Nations, a strategy game (like all the * of Nations that have preceded it) that's due to go live next year. This turn-based strategy game is set in the colonial era of the 19th century, and "allows the player to take control of a country and guide it through industrialization, military conquest, and colonization." Applications are being conducted through this page between now and December 13. A preliminary feature list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

If Chanukah was really supposed to start at sundown yesterday, then I guess it's not yet underway, since the sun never came out all day due to the rain. The real problem with the weather was the wind, though, which reached 60 MPH at times, to the extent that flights were delayed by hours, but even more dramatically, causing the closure of the Statue of Liberty, which is the first time I've ever heard of a statue being closed due to weather.

Windy Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Storm Ops.
Crusade 2.
Last Flower Defense.
Links: The 11 Most Racist Video Games.
Spacelog: space exploration stories from the original transcripts. Thanks Neatorama.
Quiz- Are You a Tron Wizard?
Story: Ailene Brown & Shmeco Thomas Try To Steal $2,600 Of Clothes In Their Body Fat.
Science: Miscarriage 'raises heart risk'.
Has NASA Made Breakthrough In Search For Extraterrestrial Life?
Ball lightning 'may explain UFOs'.
Images: Super Dead Space Bros.
Star Wars Set Photo of Greedo... in high heels. Thanks dakslf.
Crosswalk signal flips bird.
Media: Aperture Science in Typography.
Cool Milk Trick.
The Funnies: UserFriendly.
Follow-ups: Experts call for routine HIV testing in high risk areas.
Band Members Face Charges After Blocking Freeway For Publicity Stunt. Thanks Boing Boing.
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