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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011


Anomaly: Warzone Earth Demo

A playable demo for Anomaly: Warzone Earth is now available, offering the chance to sample this recently released reverse tower defense game. The demo includes four missions from the game's story-driven campaign, and downloads of the Windows demo can be found on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying. There's also a version of the demo on Steam, which is compatible with OS X as well as Windows.

Baseball Mogul 2012 and Demo

The Sports Mogul Website notes that Baseball Mogul 2012 is now available, offering the latest version of this sports simulation. They also provide a link to download a playable demo of the new version, which looks like it was released a few weeks ago. Downloads of the semi-new demo are mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Homefront Dedicated Server Tool

The Homefront Website has word that a Dedicated Server Tool for Homefront is now available through Steam, allowing users to run their own servers for Kaos Studios' first-person shooter (from the Steam client taskbar, click on "View" then "Tools"). Word is: "With its easy to use graphical interface, players can now manage and maintain their very own server. The complete list of features can be found below. We are happy to help experienced tool developers who are looking to create their own remote control (RCON) tools. If interested, please email:" Thanks Big Download.

Mac Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor

Steam News announces that OS X editions of Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds Survivor are now available. The top-down shooters are now SteamPlay titles, so those who purchase the games for Windows or OS X are entitled to play them on either platform.

Bulletstorm Soundtrack

The Epic Games Community Website now offers free downloads of the soundtrack to Bulletstorm, the just-released first-person shooter. Here's the deal: "They call it a blood symphony for a reason. If you love Bulletstorm like we do, youíll have noticed the awesome soundtrack. And since our fans are pretty much the best in the whole universe ó space pirates included ó we thought weíd provide a free download of the Bulletstorm soundtrack in all its glory. Thatís right. Free. No skillshots required. Youíre welcome." Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Darkspore Open Beta Resumes

The forum index on the Darkspore Website says open beta testing of EA Maxis' action/RPG has resumed, and will continue through April 22. The Beta 7 (Open Beta) Patch Notes has a very detailed outline of what the latest version entails.

APB-Reloaded European Beta Server

The APB-Reloaded Website announces a local European server for the beta testing of the multiplayer shooter revival is online: "That was a slog - but as of about an hour ago, the EU servers are now live! Right now we have two EU servers running in Frankfurt - and I am very curious to see the performance of those that used to play across the pond before. More news to come shortly about the upcoming patch."

Star Ruler Patch

The Star Ruler Patches Page now offers a new patch to update the space strategy game to version, and Impulse and Steam now offer automatic patches for their versions. These patch notes outline what's new, and they are reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Strategy First is now donating 30% (up from 20%) of online sales between now and April 18th to Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief.

Evening Previews

  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City on Kotaku.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: This trailer shows three arguably insane Australians each eating one of those 1.4M SHU Trinidad Scorpion Butch T peppers mentioned here this morning. This trailer posted to our forums by peteham shows another guy eating one, which actually seems to raise his voice about an octave. Man! All in the name of science, I suppose. Or masochism. Thanks Goateenator.

Anno 2070 Trailer

The first gameplay trailer from Anno 2070 offers the first look at the upcoming installment in the Anno/A.D. series of real-time strategy games/simulations, and the choices the player faces in shaping the future. And as Criswell once wisely said: "We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." Here's the embedded clip. Continue here to read the full story.

Section 8: Prejudice Launch Trailer

Here's the launch trailer for Section 8: Prejudice, TimeGate Studios' first-person shooter follow-up that's due for release on Xbox 360 next week and Windows next month. The clip includes cinematics, gameplay, and hyperbole from various previews. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

PS3 Steam Details

Valve announces details on how Steam for PlayStation 3 will operate, as it's due for release next week along with Portal 2, offering cross-platform matchmaking, gameplay, friends, chat, and achievements. A Portal 2 and Steam on PlayStation 3 Knowledge Base has all the details, and here's a bit from the announcement:

Steam on the PS3 provides access to all of these features once the player has linked their PlayStationģ Network account with a Steam account, which is done right within the game. A Steam user can login to an existing account, and anyone new to Steam can create an account with the click of a button.

In the spirit of Steam Play, linked players of the PS3 version of Portal 2 can also access and play their copy of Portal 2 on any PC or Mac by redeeming an in-box access code on their computer. The Steam client verifies the linked customer and then lists Portal 2 among their library of Steam games for PC and Mac.

Garry's Mod vs Pirates

A tweet by Garry Newman, creator of Garry's Mod, asks a simple question: "Anyone unable to shade polygon normals?" In this post he explains this is him having a chuckle at the expense of pirates, as he has programmed a deliberate bug into his sandbox mod for the Source engine that causes this error. Word is: "Yesterday I made pirate versions of Garryís Mod pop up an error. This error only happens when people pirate the game. 48 hours ago there were no results for this phrase on Google. As I type this thereís 717 results (and climbing by the minutes). This is partly as a result of me stupidly mentioning it on Twitter and lots, and lots, and lots of news sites posting about it. I donít get why itís getting so much attention." He also makes an interesting note that: "The overwhelming response has been supportive. Which to be quite honest I donít really understand. If EA or someone does something like this people go crazy. Maybe itís the motive.." He proceeds to explain that motive and various other elements of this interesting situation. Thanks GamePron.

Dragon Age DRM Servers Fixed

The BioWare Social Network has word that the authentication server problem that was keeping players from accessing Dragon Age: Origins for several days is now cleared up. A new update simply says: "This should now be fixed - please login and retry."

Ships Ahoy - Advanced Tactics: Gold

Matrix Games announces that Advanced Tactics: Gold is now available, offering an enhanced version of the World War II strategy experience of Advanced Tactics: World War II. They are offering a discount to owners of the original game, and here's word on what the new edition offers:

Building off of the enormous success of Advanced Tactics: World War II, the Gold edition gives players a more powerful game editor, much improved random game engine, many new features and abilities, and more. Advanced Tactics: Gold also comes with an updated manual and ever-changing and expanding wiki, a freshly revamped scenario bank, new graphics throughout the game, more troop types, as well as some new scenarios. VR Designs has also been hard at working listening to player feedback, so Advanced Tactics: Gold also comes with many incremental changes and improvements based on community feedback!

Ships Ahoy - Elements of War

Kalypso Media announces that Elements of War is now available in North American retail stores, and the real-time strategy game will be released through digital distribution on Friday. On a related note, there's an interview with Lesta Studio on Big Download, discussing the project with its developers. Here's word:

Kalypso Media, a global publisher of award-winning PC and console games, today released Elements of War to North American retail stores. In Elements of War, players command both contemporary and futuristic weapons as they battle for the destiny of a near-future United States. The game features 12 extensive missions spread across 12 maps, each mission challenging the playerís tactical skills as they battle the enemy faction for control of the battlefield. For more information about Elements of War, please visit or

John Carmack RAGE Interview

The RAGE Interview on AtomicGamer talks with id Software technical director John Carmack about RAGE, id's upcoming first-person shooter. Topics include how the game differs from previous id games, increased story elements, reducing the reliance on darkness, technical capabilities of the new Tech 5 engine, non FPS elements, technical challenges they are facing, the game's more open-world setting, their cancelled Darkness game, how the design has changed, the meaning of the title, their hopes this spawns a franchise, and more. Here's a bit on coming out of the dark:

Yes, we do have the brighter, vibrant areas in the outdoors. Honestly, Iím still fighting the battle to get some of the interior areas brightened up even more. I firmly believe that, for the majority of our players here, being able to actually see and appreciate this stuff is going to make it a better experience because some of the levels that are a dark, muddy messÖyou brighten those up and youíre amazed at all the details thatís there, and all the personality and crafting thatís gone into it. If itís all lost in the mud, people canít see that. So that is an ongoing battle still.

War Inc. Battlezone Closed Beta

The War Inc. Battlezone Website offers closed beta testing of what they call the "world's first premium free to play shooter." Word is: "War Inc. Battle Zone is a free to play, online multiplayer, session-based combat action game, where players will compete with each other as individuals or in teams in ground combat action within large realistic environments. The game allows players to build MMO like persistent characters that can be augmented, customized, and upgraded. As players climb in rank, unlocking achievements, awards, and new features, they will also be able to join PMC/Clans, compete in tournaments and climb the leaderboards." There are a bunch of closed beta screenshots on the game's FaceBook Page, and a gameplay trailer on the YouTube. You can signup for the beta on this page.

Three Kingdoms Brawler Closed Beta

Closed beta testing is now underway for Three Kingdoms Brawler, a region-free MMO brawler. Here's word on the game: "Three Kingdoms Brawler takes the classic side-scrolling arcade beat-em-up and updates it for a new generation of online gamers. Inspired by the events and battles of the Three Kingdoms era in China, players take control of legendary warriors fighting to determine the future of the world."

Arsenal of Democracy Patch

A new patch is now available for Arsenal of Democracy to update this Hearts of Iron-based World War II strategy game to version 1.07. Word is this patch addresses "a few minor issues," and anyone uncomfortable with the patching process should: "please wait for the official installers from your game store." The patch is available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Op Ed

Ars Technica - How publishers punish us for buying new games.
Anything that puts time between my putting the game into the system and actually playing it is a bad thing. I actively remove splash screens from by PC games by deleting the movie files. I don't want to watch trailers before I play. I don't want to download anything, and I'm annoyed that I'm expected to. I don't want to have to do something to unlock a feature that should be standard. I'm getting sick and tired of games that I play requiring this much time to get primed and ready to go before I can actually play.

It's a sad state of affairs, filled with redemption codes, mandatory patches and updates for both the hardware and the software, and multiple accounts needed to play a racing game. The games themselves are better than they have ever been, but everything else is becoming worse and worse.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Blurring Genres. Thanks Ant via Slashdot.
Thereís huge risk to blurring. It makes the game more difficult to market, it defies customersí expectations, and it requires educating the public. Itís safe to make yet another COD clone, because we all know them and what they do. And theyíre what we want! But like the child whoís never tried a new food, refusing to eat it because itís different leads to a very limited and dull palate.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

  • The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Testament of Sherlock on Blue's News.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Aussies grow world's hottest chilli (thanks Ant via Slashdot) has word that the ante in the capsicum wars has been raised again. It's hard to see the practical value of this (outside of weaponry, I suppose), as using the figures in the article as a guide, I calculate to make my super-hot chili with just one of those, I would have to use 35 pounds of meat.

Scorching Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Mario Adventures.
Clowning Around.
Barbarian Bob.
Links: Retro Games, Classic Achievements.
The Geek Zodiac [Infographic].
Are You a Nerd, Goth or Jock According To This Venn Diagram?
Stories: Restaurant to retrain staff after mixed-drink mixup. Thanks Boing Boing.
Iceland's Phallological Museum finally gets human specimen. Thanks Darkline.
Science: Yellowstone Supervolcano Bigger Than Thought. Thanks Slashdot.
Not Star Trek but scientists find better way to see warped space, time.
Frequent shopping prolongs life, study suggests. Thanks Neatorama.
Images: Peeps Show 2011. Thanks Neatorama.
Family Fun FAIL.
Grow Your Own Zombie Of The Day.
Media: If You Canít Beat Em, Wreck Em. Thanks nin.
Kids react to Rebecca Black - Friday.
The Funnies: Crap Cartoon - Savage Chickens.
Follow-up: Fukushima gets Chernobyl-level rating without Chernobyl-level badness.

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