Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2011

Picaroon Launches

Blitz 1UP announces that Picaroon is now live, offering a free-to-play persistent RTS game "set in a watery world of the future where empires hold on to the little land remaining by fighting vast sea battles." Word is: "One game, three great ways to play: Skirmish games last hours, Classics weeks and Persistent games never end. Experience the finale of the End Game where the warlords provide super weapons for one final wave of intense battle."

Civilization V Patched

Steam News announces the availability of the promised new automatic patch for Civilization V, bringing Firaxis' turn-based strategy sequel to version The very lengthy change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Unreal Engine 3 Adding DirectX 11 Support

NVIDIA and Epic Games announce the addition of DirectX 11 support to Unreal Engine 3, and that they are showcasing the updated graphical capabilities of the engine at the GDC (thanks Big Download). Here's word:
The new Unreal Engine 3 real-time demo, being shown during GDC exclusively in Epic's booth (Business Suite #400, South Hall), was developed using NVIDIA's GeForce® GTX 500 Series GPUs. It represents Epic's proposal for what the next generation of gaming will look like and sets a new bar for what can be accomplished with Epic's Unreal Engine 3 technology. It also showcases the myriad benefits that DX11 brings to gaming, including complex environments and detailed character models with lifelike movement and animations. The demo is further enhanced by the Epic's collaboration with NVIDIA and use of NVIDIA's PhysX and APEX technologies, including destruction and clothing modules, which enable realistic character interactions with the environment.

Impulse::Reactor SDK Adding F2P Features

Impulse announces they are adding new features to their Impulse::Reactor SDK to allow game developers to easily add free-to-play functionality like feature unlocking and premium DLC support. They say this will be present in the next Impulse::Reactor beta, which is expected this month. You can sign up for the beta on this page.

Metal Assault Characters

Aeria Games offers new details on the playable characters in Metal Assault, their upcoming free-to-play, side-scrolling multiplayer shooter. This is accompanied by some character screenshots as well as a trailer showing off some of these characters in action. The trailer is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Dungeon Siege III Interview

There's another Dungeon Siege III interview on GameBanshee, this time discussing the upcoming action/RPG sequel with Obsidian's Rich Taylor. Topics include his time with Black Isle Studios, the cancellation of Baldur's Gate III, why they chose a Dungeon Siege sequel over a reboot, the Onyx engine, their toolset, his doubts that the tools will be released, and the scope of the game.

Sengoku Interview

The Sengoku Q&A on GameShark hears from Paradox Interactive's Johan Andersson about Sengoku, the just-announced real-time strategy game set in feudal Japan. They discuss the similarities to Shogun 2, how the game could be considered "Crusader Kings in Japan," playable clans, diplomacy, foreign powers, accessibility, AI, and even a possible release window, as he says: "We aim to release the game in Q3 2011, if all goes well."

On Sale

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent on Steam. Save 50%.
  • BIT.TRIP BEAT on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Braid on Steam. Save 70%.
  • Flotilla on Steam. Save 50%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

The Hunted previews all seem to be from the Xbox 360 edition.

Homefront PC Features

The Homefront Community Blog outlines some PC-exclusive features in Homefront, Kaos Studios upcoming first-person shooter. They have screenshots of cockpit interiors and word that the game includes "different sound assets/sound processing in order to make sounds heard while inside vehicles more realistic," clan support, demo recording, statistic tracking, and more. Thanks SpectralMeat.

Magicka: Vietnam Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Magicka: Vietnam (really!), the first expansion from Arrowhead Game Studios for Magicka, the recently released action/adventure game. Here's word on the add-on, which they say will be available "soon" via digital distribution: "Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if wizards were allowed to roam the jungles of war-torn Vietnam, attempting to bring peace and stability to the region by casting spells on all opponents? Wait, you haven’t ever wondered that? Ever? Okay, so we’re probably the only ones who have but in our defense: here’s your chance to stop being so closed-minded. Magicka: Vietnam delivers over-the-top action as players take on the role of four meek and physically inept wizards as they try to do what so many 80’s action stars have done in the past: blow stuff up." This trailer is online showing combat in the jungles of Vietnam, along with familiar tropes like a Huey run to the strains of a Surfin' Bird parody and a napalm strike (which we assume will be survived by Charlie Sheen).

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Announced

Stardock Entertainment and Ironclad Games announce Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, the promised news about the science fiction real-time strategy series. Rebellion is a standalone expansion for Sins of a Solar Empire that does not yet carry a release date. Here's a description: "The exciting next chapter in the awesome Sins of a Solar Empire universe has arrived. A full-fledged expansion to the original, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion draws you even deeper into the galactic struggle for supremacy with appealing new factions, terrifyingly cool new ships of all sizes, enhanced lighting and particle effects for increased visual pleasure and all-new victory conditions." There's a Brad Wardell interview on Big Download discussing the news, including word that those who own Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity will get a discount on Rebellion. Here are a logo and a spaceship image, and here's a feature list:

  • New Factions: Players decide whether to become Loyalists or Rebels, which unlocks a unique new tech tree granting them new technologies and ship variants.
  • New Titan-class ships: Massive warships for each race that dwarf capital ships, these deadly new monsters are capable of wiping out entire enemy fleets single-handedly.
  • New Capital Ships: A new capital ship class arrives, giving players new strategic options.
  • New Corvette-class ships: Small, highly maneuverable light ships that are adept at a variety of tasks.
  • Loyalist and Rebel versions of some of the existing Sins’ frigates and cruisers, each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses.
  • Updated lighting and particle effects for enhanced visuals.
  • New Victory Conditions to allow for more variety, differing strategies and shorter game sessions.
  • Additional capital ship ability levels, for greater strategic choice.
  • Impulse::Reactor support for chat, friends, achievements and more.

RIFT Launches

Trion Worlds announces the launch of RIFT in North America and Australia (since it's Wednesday there already), saying the fantasy-themed MMORPG will launch in pan-European countries on Thursday and in the U.K. on Friday. Word is: "In Rift, the world of Telara is under siege from eight primal forces after the magical ward protecting the planet shatters. Joining either the technomagical Defiant or divinely-appointed Guardians, players assume the role of an Ascended hero brought back from the dead to fight the planar invaders and save Telara. Featuring an innovative class-building system, massive dynamic battles in an ever-changing world, and incredible social gameplay, Rift enters the online gaming arena as the new gold-standard in MMORPGs." The announcement is accompanied by a "This is RIFT" video developer diary where Trion's Scott Hartsman, William Cook, Bill Fisher, Simon Ffinch, Gavin Irby, Aaron Hooten, and Andrew Krausnick team up to explain zone-wide events, the player rewards for participating in these epic battles, and other gameplay elements. The embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Fireburst Lives

Zoo Entertainment announces plans to launch Fireburst on PC, PSN, and XBLA this summer, the first we've heard of this off-road racing game since it was announced in 2009 for release later that year. Here's word on what to expect: "Features include more than 15 different racing and destruction maps, consisting of airfields, docks, oil rigs, sewers, refineries, warehouses and waterfalls. Players can choose from 16 cars in four different categories - Buggys, Muscle Cars, Trucks, Offroader/4x4 - while every car of its class has one of four Fireboost capabilities: Fireball, Firewheels, Firewall and Fireblast." Here are some new Fireburst screenshots.

Gettysburg: Armored Warfare Trailer, Screenshots

Paradox officially announces Gettysburg: Armored Warfare, which was revealed last month as they continue to catch up on the games they revealed at their convention. Gettysburg: Armored Warfare is a free-to-play online first-person shooter/real-time strategy game set in an alternate history where the American Civil War is fought with modern weapons (not to be confused with a game set in the modern day where the combatants wear Civil War uniforms). It is planned for release later this year, and will offer 32 versus 32 battles "with multiple game modes as Union and Confederate troops fight to change the course of history." Here are a couple of screenshots showing the Union and Confederate heavy classes, and here's a video interview featuring some gameplay footage and lead programmer Danny Green explaining how the modern weapons arrived in the past, the RTS/FPS mix, weapons and units, commander mode, avatar customization, gameplay modes, how they plan on following the initial Gettysburg map with other battlefields, and more. The trailer is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo

The promised multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 is now available, offering the chance to check out Crytek's first-person shooter sequel, along with an opportunity to evaluate the game's CryENGINE 3 and see how it runs on your system. According to Gamer's Hell: "The demo also features two modes: Team Instant Action pits two teams against each other as they kill as many opponents as possible to win the round and Crash Site, where players will battle for control of alien drop pods, earning points by guarding their pods and keeping enemies at bay." The demo is available on ActionTrip, Atomic Gamer,, GamePron, Gamer's Hell,, Strategy Informer, and WorthPlaying.

Civilization V Patch Today

The 2K forums have a February Patch Update for Civilization V saying to expect the new patch today, as 2K Greg asks us to suspend disbelief that this is a leap year. The previously released February Patch Notes outline what to expect. Thanks Bill.

Vivendi Profits Up

Fueled by the success of Activision Blizzard and its Brazilian operations, Vivendi SA posted a 4.4% increase in profit for 2010, reports Bloomberg. Word is: "The owner of the world’s biggest music and video-game companies said in an e-mailed statement today that adjusted net income, which excludes one-time items, climbed to 2.7 billion euros ($3.72 billion) from 2.59 billion euros a year earlier, in line with analysts’ estimates. Vivendi said it sees a slight increase in profit this year."

World of Tanks Patch and Tutorial

World of Tanks Tutorial Part 4 is another trailer to explain the inner workings of World of Tanks,'s MMOTPS. Today's installment discusses game modes as well as upcoming high-level content. Also, the World of Tanks Blog announces the release of a new patch to bring the beta to version adding a new map, an interface for clan battles, premium tanks, and more.

Theatre of War 3 - Korea Preorders is now accepting preorders of Theatre of War 3 - Korea, the upcoming military strategy sequel. Word is: "You can pre-order Theatre of War 3 - Korea right now for only $35. You save $10 compared to what the "download & mail" delivery option will cost later, and not only that: you will be among the first to download this new game in the acclaimed Theatre of War series later this month, and will also receive a printed manual, DVD and case by mail after the release!" They offer some new screenshots to celebrate the news.

Dungeon Siege III Interview

The Dungeon Siege III interview on GameBanshee talks with David Hoffman of publisher Square Enix about Obsidian's upcoming action/RPG sequel. They discuss David's background as a gamer, the reason they approached Obsidian for the project, the prospects of a Dungeon Siege IV, collaborating with Gas Powered Games, the possibilities of pursuing other RPG franchises, competing with Diablo III, and more.

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is National Pancake Day, celebrated by IHOP, where they are giving away a complimentary short stack of pancakes to all comers and urging folks to give to charity. Of course if they were really The International House of Pancakes you'd be able to do this all over the world, but in spite of the name, their only locations not in U.S. territories are in Canada and Mexico (perhaps The House of International Pancakes would be more accurate, though HOIP is not as cool as IHOP). This is something I can get behind, as pancakes are always welcome, but I think I'll celebrate by making some over the weekend.

R.I.P.: Hollywood star Jane Russell dies at 89.
R.I.P.: Bob Dylan's muse Suze Rotolo dies. Thanks Acleacius.

International House of Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Swift Turn.
Retro Ninja.
Links: MineCraft papercraft. Thanks Boing Boing.
Extreme Couponing.
Bar Has Toilet That Looks Like a TARDIS. Doctor Poo.
Stories: Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers (registration required).
Fish pedicure safety in question.
Savannah bans Girl Scouts’ cookie sales at founder’s historic home.
Science: Thoughtcrime? The ethics of neuroscience and criminality.
Meteorites 'could have carried nitrogen to Earth'.
Robovie PC robot wins marathon in Osaka, Japan.
Images: AT-AT meets Mystery Machine. "...if it wasn't for those darned ewoks."
Space Shuttle Docking with Space Station as Seen from Earth.
Media: Star Wars' Battle of Hoth, LEGO Style.
Mike Tyson in "The Presidents Speech".
Simon's Cat in 'Sticky Tape'.
The Funnies: Brevity.
Follow-up: LHC 'has two years to find Higgs'.
NZ quake unearths 'time capsules'.
About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!