Archived News:

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011 Happy King's Day (Netherlands)

Portal 2 DLC This Summer

An interview on Fast Company discusses Portal 2 with Valve's Doug Lombardi, with a warning there are spoilers within. At the conclusion of the conversation, Doug reveals they expect to release DLC for the puzzle/platformer sequel this summer: "We will be announcing some DLC for it, so folks can keep a look out for more content coming this summer. We'll be putting more details out about that in a week or so. We'll support that with more videos or more comics." Thanks Joystiq via Piki Geek.

F.E.A.R. 3 Delayed

We're afraid to announce that F.E.A.R. 3 is delayed again, as Giant Bomb has confirmed with WBIE that the horror-themed shooter in development at Day 1 Studios is now expected on June 21, after previously being expected next month. The game is a repeat offender in this area, as it was announced with a fall 2010 date, which was pushed back to this year, which was eventually specified as March 22 before it suffered another setback to May. No word on the reasons for the delay is provided.

Firaxis RTS Plans, and Civilization Revolution II Cancelled

Chris Doyle's LinkedIn profile and Will Miller's Resume offer word that Firaxis is creating an Unreal Engine 3 RTS game for PC and consoles. On a related note, a since removed or blocked resume of David M. Jones apparently revealed the cancellation of Civilization Revolution II. These tidbits were spotted and tweeted by superannuation. Thanks VG247.

Men of War: Assault Squad DLC

Steam News announces the worldwide release of the MP Supply Pack Alpha DLC for Men of War: Assault Squad, the World War II real-time tactics game. Word is:
MP Supply Pack Alpha is the first DLC available for Men of War: Assault Squad and includes 5 new competitive multiplayer maps for various numbers of players. Each map has its own unique setting and battle landscape and are available for gamemodes Assault Zones and Combat.

Smash tanks through obstacles and control your soldiers as they clash on the battlefield. Play as any of the five different nations - Russia, Germany, USA, Commonwealth and, for the first time ever in the Men of War series, Japan!

Dungeons & Dragons Online Patched

Turbine announces that Update 9, "Harbinger of Madness," is now live for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. Word is: "The new Harbinger of Madness adventure pack introduces updates to Crafting, improvements made to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate, and many additional new features including new attack animations, boosted spells, and more prestige Enhancement lines." This page offers complete details on what the update brings to the free-to-play MMORPG.

TrackMania 2 Website now redirects to a new TrackMania 2 Homepage, a more full-featured website for Nadeo's upcoming racing sequel. The site offers news, info, and forums for the game, and the promise of more soon. Thanks Frans.

Loot Drop Game Plans

Social gaming start-up Loot Drop, which was recently founded John Romero and Tom Hall, has signed a deal for a second game with RockYou, reports They also offer a bit of detail on Loot Drop's first game, also to be published by RockYou, saying this is "a story-driven adventure game" called Cloudforest Expedition, which will allow participants to play as explorers when it is launched this summer. They say: "Such games are big bets for RockYou, which is trying to compete more effectively with market leader Zynga by making high-quality social games." Thanks Neutronbeam.

Kivi's Underworld Postmortem and Price Drop

There's a postmortem of Kivi's Underworld on the Soldak Entertainment Website, looking at the pros and cons of their action/RPG. Anyone thinking this is one of those where the negatives are soft-sold will be quickly corrected by the title "Kivi was a mistake." The piece does discuss the game's strengths, but also defends the premise that this may not have been an ideal choice for Soldak. This all concludes with word that they are reducing the price of the game: "Anyway, to bring this back to a more cheerful thought. As of right now we are lowering the price of Kivi's Underworld to $9.99! Like I said Kivi might not match the style of our other games, but it is still a fun game and $9.99 is pretty cheap."

Work at Splash Damage

The Splash Damage Jobs Page lists vacant positions at the London-based developer. They list eight openings, half artists and half programmers, and offer sections on the company's perks and studio culture as well as articles about living in London and how to apply from abroad.

On Minecraft Maps

The Word of Notch has an update on the upcoming version 1.6 of Minecraft. He describes how Maps will work, which are the one new feature in the new version, which is mostly for bug fixes. here's word:
Currently, the map will only update if you’re holding it in your hands, but the map will kind of hide away when you’re looking straight forward. To see the map properly, you have to look down, thisly:

Any changes you make to the terrain will show up on the maps, but only once someone carrying the map gets near that area. In other words, you won’t magically get to see changes far away on the map.

At the moment the map doesn’t work at all in multiplayer, but that’s my next task. The code I write to support that will also be possible to reuse in the future for things like books and notes written by players, and possibly even custom paintings/hand drawn signs.

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Full X-Men: First Class trailer. Thanks nin.

The First Templar Trailer

This new trailer from The First Templar introduces Marie, one of the playable characters in Haemimont Games' upcoming action/adventure game. Word is: "In this video, Marie, a noblewoman wrongly imprisoned by the Inquisition as a heretic, shows off her acrobatic combat style and devastating ranged dagger attacks -- providing an alternative solution to dispatching large groups of marauding enemies." The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

New Civilization V DLC Tuesday

2K Games and Firaxis Games announce two new packs of downloadable content for Sid Meier's Civilization V to be released next Tuesday, adding new maps, units and scenarios to the turn-based strategy sequel. The first of these is The Denmark Civilization and Scenario Pack, which "brings you both the Denmark Civilization and the new Scenario, 1066: Year of Viking Destiny, to further enhance your Civilization V experience. Rule the world as Harald Bluetooth, with your powerful Berserker warriors and Ski Infantry!" They will also offer an Explorers Map Pack, described like so: "Ten fantastic single-player maps make up this Civilization V DLC pack designed by Firaxis Games. Five of the maps are based on real-world locations, chosen for their historical interest and gameplay possibilities. The remaining five are scripted map environments. These maps will change from game to game, but will focus on an exciting gameplay theme. From the arid Sandstorm to the lush Amazon, and from the Caribbean to the Bering Strait, these maps will give skillful Civilization V players new lands to conquer!" These screenshots show a bit of the new content.

New AMD Catalyst Drivers

The AMD Graphics Drivers & Software Page now offers new version 11.4 Catalyst reference drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards. There are new drivers for 64 bit Windows Vista/Windows 7, 32 bit Windows Vista/Windows 7, and 32 bit Windows XP. The AMD Catalyst 11.4 Release Notes outline all that's new and different.

Brink "Get SMART" Trailer #2

The Bethesda Blog now offers a second trailer in the new Get SMART series for Brink, Splash Damage's upcoming first-person shooter. Word is: "We continue our SMART Series with a video showcasing the variety of objectives you’ll tackle while playing Brink. Learn more about the Objective Wheel, Command Posts, class-specific requirements for objectives, and much more."

Gold - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

CD Projekt announces the completion of development on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and the role-playing sequel is on track for its scheduled release on May 17. Here's word on the game:
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is the eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning, million-selling RPG that captured the imaginations of discerning players everywhere. It introduced a truly unique protagonist, the professional slayer of monsters, Geralt of Rivia, and defined a new standard for thought-provoking, non-linear game narration, with mature themes, significant choices that weren’t automatically good or bad, and true decisions that led to meaningfully different consequences.

The Witcher 2 builds upon these distinctive strengths within an all-new storyline filled with complex characters, captivating political machinations and intriguing challenges. It also features a new, brutal combat system that uniquely combines tactical elements with dynamic action. The proprietary REDengine, designed and built in-house to support the specific demands imposed by the games’ complex, branching style of open-ended storytelling, also takes full advantage of the latest advances in graphical technology.

Crysis 2 Patch

MyCrysis announces the release of a new patch for Crysis 2, which is now automatically available to update Crytek's first-person shooter sequel to version 1.4. There are also manual versions of the patch for download on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Manual Patches and Hotfixes

Manual versions of some or all of the brand new version 4.1 patch for World of Warcraft are now available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. Also, outlines new hotfixes deployed on the server end since the launch of the new patch for Blizzard's MMORPG (thanks Ant). The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect Interview

The Casey Hudson interview on GameInformer is a video conversation with BioWare's director of Mass Effect about the origins of the sci-fi RPG series. Word is: "Check out the video below to learn how the project began and why Mass Effect's director doubts a trilogy of this size and scope will ever happen again." Thanks Darth Guybrush.

Age of Empires Online Beta Key Giveaway Continues

Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted. Our Age of Empires Online beta key giveaway from yesterday continues, as we still have a lot of keys to the online real-time strategy game to offer. Once again, if you want a key, simply reply to this tread expressing your interest. Again, participation in this operates through Games for Windows LIVE. Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is a special day here in the BlueTower, as MrsBlue and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. This occasion corresponds pretty closely with this website, which was in a fledgling state around the time we got married, and moved to its own domain 15 years ago this October. This points out how awesome my better half is, as she's been putting up with all of you almost as long as she's been putting up with me.

Anniversary Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Mobil 1 Track Challenge.
Jelly Cannon.
Fully Armored.
Links: The Cheese is a Liederkranz.
Hacker Typer. Thanks Boing Boing.
Stories: ‘Terminator’ Back With Arnold To Star. Thanks nin.
Ravitch Billed for Taxes Despite Refusing Pay. Thanks Neatorama.
Driver say(s) he survived crash into Grand Canyon.
Science: Purdue's Celeritas car scores 2,200MPG from the sun, wins Shell Eco-marathon.
NASA looking to build "gas" stations in space.
Capturing Energy on the Freeway. Thanks [H]ard-OCP.
Images: Imperial Desktop. Thanks Neatorama.
Carbonite Steve Jobs of the Day.
Your GPS Is Wrong.
Media: The Oregon Trail Meets The NFL.
Things you CAN'T do when you're not a dog.
Chameleon Frightened by iPhone.
Follow-up: Chernobyl disaster 25th anniversary. Thanks Neatorama.
"Green Lantern" Gets A Budget Upgrade.
"The Avengers" First Photo, Press Release.
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