Archived News:

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 World Press Freedom Day

Windows MX vs. ATV Alive and Metro 2033 Sequel Plans

The THQ Fiscal 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year End Results mentioned earlier include word to expect a Windows edition of MX vs. ATV Alive when the off-road game is released in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. No other details are mentioned. Also, Joystiq has word from THQ's post-earnings conference call that the upcoming Metro 2033 sequel will be titled Metro: Last Light.

Avadon: The Black Fortress and Demo Released

Spiderweb Software now offers the promised Windows edition of Avadon: The Black Fortress, kicking off their new fantasy series. A playable demo is available on this page, and here's word on the game: "This is the first chapter in our new, epic fantasy saga. You will serve the keep of Avadon, working as a spy and warrior to fight the enemies of your homeland. Your word is law, and you must battle a conspiracy to destroy your people."

Dungeon Siege III Interview

This new interview on AtomicGamer chats with Obsidian's George Ziets and Rich Taylor about Dungeon Siege III, the upcoming action/RPG sequel. The subjects they discuss include the Dungeon Siege movie, the obscure story of the first game, creating and conveying lore, story elements, the console version bringing in players unfamiliar with the series, items, their development cycle, gamepad controllers, tactical views, adult content, and more.

Rulers of Nations Patch

A new patch is now available for Geo-Political Simulator 2: Rulers of Nations, updating the strategy sequel to version 4.24. The download is available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls, and the change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Red Faction: Armageddon Trailer

This new trailer for Red Faction: Armageddon promotes the upcoming third-person shooter with a look back at the history of the Red Faction series, offering a retrospective on Red Faction 1, 2, and Guerilla, touching on some elements from those games that will appear in the new one. The game's developers also discuss new enemies, the latest take on the franchise's signature destructible environments, new weapons, and more. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

DiRT 3 Superteams Pack Trailer

This Superteams Pack trailer from DiRT 3 promotes a bonus that will be available from some retailers as a preorder incentive for the upcoming rally racing sequel. Word is: "The Superteams pack unlocks the Texaco Racing Team, Brembo Racing Team, Team Yokohama and Mobil 1 Performance Team, allowing players to drive for those teams, boosting their driver rep and giving them exclusive team liveries. It will also give gamers immediate access to a wide range of cars including the Ford RS200 Rallycross, Fiat 131 Abarth, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Jun and the iconic Lancia Delta HF Integrale." Here's the embedded clip. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Incredible Star Wars Propaganda Posters. Thanks dakslf.

Even More Age of Empires Online Keys

Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted. Okay, at least we've put a dent in our supply of beta keys for Age of Empires Online, but there are still more where those came from, so if you are interested in checking out the upcoming online variation on the real-time strategy series, reply to this thread, and we'll send a key to the address connected to your account. Games for Windows LIVE is required. Update: Thanks for all the interest in the giveaway, but our supply of beta keys is finally exhausted.

THQ Reports $136M Loss

THQ's losses for fiscal 2011 total $136 million USD, reports Gamasutra, a huge leap from the company's $9 million loss in 2010. This does not quell the optimism from the THQ boss: "THQ posted strong fourth quarter results primarily driven by the success of Homefront," said THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell. "We have already shipped 2.6 million units, a solid start for this new franchise, which kicks off the strongest pipeline of AAA core games in our history." The report says THQ anticipates "significant growth, profitability and cash" in fiscal 2012, driven by releases from a bunch of their franchises: Saints Row, Red Faction, Warhammer 40,000, MX vs. ATV, UFC, WWE, and uDraw. "We are creating a digital ecosystem for each of these games that will continue to keep consumers engaged and generate additional revenue opportunities beyond the initial retail sale," said Farrell. "We also continue to aggressively invest in our digital initiatives, including online social and mobile offerings as well as our Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online MMO." Thanks Joao.

Elemental - War of Magic Patched

The Elemental - War of Magic has word that the new version 1.2 patch for Stardock's fantasy-themed strategy game is now available automatically through Impulse. This forum thread has the full changelist, while this one has the short version, which is reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

Duke Nukem Forever Specs

Gearboxity offers the minimum and recommended system requirements for Duke Nukem Forever, Gearbox's upcoming first-person shooter:

Minimum Specifications

  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 1 Gb
  • Hard Drive: 10 Gb free
  • Video Memory: 256 MB
  • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon HD 2600
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Recommended Specifications

  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 Ghz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.6 Ghz
  • Memory: 2 Gb
  • Hard Drive: 10 Gb free
  • Video Memory: 512 MB
  • Video Card: nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS / ATI Radeon HD 3850
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Continue here to read the full story.

Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword and Demo Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release of Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, the next installment in the Mount & Blade (or Mount&Blade depending on mood) series of action/adventure/RPGs. The release is accompanied by a launch trailer showing off the game, and a playable demo offering a chance to check it out firsthand. The demo is available on AtomicGamer, FilePlanet, Gamer's Hell, PC Games Forever, Strategy Informer, and WorthPlaying, and here's a bit on the game:
With Fire and Sword, the third stand-alone title in the acclaimed Mount & Blade series, gives players the freedom to decide who both their allies and enemies are as they create their own world inspired by Henryk Sienkiewicz’s 1884 cult classic novel "With Fire and Sword." Players will plan tactical takeovers, scheme which castles to siege, and battle rival armies with traditional weapons found in previous Mount & Blade titles, as well as newly introduced firearms such as muskets and pistols. With plenty of new quests for players to partake in and a deep, immersive campaign mode, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword continues the tradition of giving players an open-world experience like no other.

Ships Ahoy - Dead Meets Lead

Keldyn Interactive announces the release of Dead Meets Lead via digital distribution, as the single-player zombie-slaying game is now available on Desura, Direct2Drive, and GamersGate (and eventually on Impulse, though it's not listed there yet). The Challenge is the recently launched demo for the game, and there's a launch trailer on the game's official website. Here's word on the game from Keldyn Interactive CEO Fredrik Norén:
We wanted to create something new, challenging and entertaining. This is it. Dead Meets Lead is all about being challenged, being empowered to overcome that challenge and then, after a hard battle, beating the challenge. All wrapped in a casing of good old zombie slaughter to the max and set in an intriguing 18th century environment on the mystic Caribbean island of El Mirando. We are very proud and excited with this game, and we hope players will feel the same.

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Interview

The Derek Paxton interview on Gaming Nexus talks with the lead producer and lead designer of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, the upcoming standalone expansion for Stardock's Elemental - War of Magic. Topics include his role with the company, changes that have been implemented since he joined on, the impact of selling off Impulse, expectations for Fallen Enchantress based on the rocky Elemental launch, the plot of Fallen Enchantress, changes to the combat system, and more. He also addresses the original game, saying a version 1.2 patch will be released soon for Elemental - War of Magic, and they are already looking ahead towards a version 1.3 patch, saying "Stardock is still committed to supporting and improving War of Magic."

Three Fallout: New Vegas DLC Packs Detailed

The Bethesda Blog has details on three upcoming DLC packs for Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian's action/RPG sequel, saying all three will receive simultaneous releases for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 for $9.99 USD (or 800 space bux) each. The three packs are the previously revealed Honest Hearts, which will be released on May 17, and two packs revealed via a trademark filing earlier this year, Old World Blues, which is due next month, and Lonesome Road, which is expected in July. Here are details on all three:
Available on May 17, Honest Hearts takes you on an expedition to the unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National Park. Things go horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave, you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

In Old World Blues, releasing in June, you will discover how some of the Mojave’s mutated monsters came to be when you unwittingly become a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry. You’ll need to scour the Pre-War research centers of the Big Empty in search of technology to turn the tables on your kidnappers or join forces with them against an even greater threat.

Lonesome Road, available in July, brings the courier’s story full circle when you are contacted by the original Courier Six, a man by the name of Ulysses who refused to deliver the Platinum Chip at the start of New Vegas. In his transmission, Ulysses promises the answer as to why, but only if you take one last job –a job that leads you into the depths of the hurricane-swept canyons of the Divide, a landscape torn apart by earthquakes and violent storms. The road to the Divide is a long and treacherous one, and of the few to ever walk the road, none have ever returned.

Brink HUD Trailer

On the brink of the release of Brink, the Bethesda Blog offers the latest in their "Get SMART" series of trailers. This installment shows off the game's heads up display, and its application on the battlefield in Splash Damage's upcoming first-person shooter.

APB-Reloaded Open Beta This Month

The APB-Reloaded Website announces May 18 as the launch date for formal open beta testing of the upcoming resurrection of the APB: All Points Bulletin, the online sandbox shooter. That said, they also announce that most everyone interested in being a tester will probably be offered access to the beta before then:
However, between now and the Open Beta date (ie for the next two weeks), we will progressively permit access to MOST PEOPLE (17 or older in the US and 18 or older in the rest of the world) who do two things (1) creates (or already has) a GamersFirst Account with the appropriate info (see the link to the right of the blog) and then (2) submits his/her email (matching the G1 account) at the front of the APB page ( in the "Newsletter Signup Email form." This will let us slowly turn up "the heat" on our servers before going fully "open."

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track offers the top 20 bestselling full price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending April 30, 2011. Things are fairly stable on the chart this week, with Portal 2 retaining the top spot for a second week and only one new entry, Darkspore entering the chart at #13 (though Fallout: New Vegas reenters at #20). The biggest positive mover is RIFT, which jumps six spots to number seven, and the largest drop is Call of Duty: Black Ops, which drops seven spots to #14, followed by Crysis 2, which drops five spots to #13. MCV has details on the all formats chart, where Portal 2 also holds the number one position for a second week. Oddly, Homefront stands at number nine on the all formats chart, but is completely absent from the PC chart.

Rotastic Announced

Focus Home Interactive announces Rotastic, an "addictive" 2D arcade/puzzle game in the works at Dancing Dots for release "soon" on Windows, Xbox LIVE Arcade, and PlayStation Network. The Rotastic website is online, these screenshots show off the game, and here's a bit on what to expect:
At its core, Rotastic innovates with a one-button gameplay mechanic that’s both fun and accessible for all types of players. Navigating each course is quite simple – press any button to hook your rope to the nearest anchor point, spin around, gather momentum and release the button to fly from point to point. While the controls are dead-simple, Rotastic features a wide range of levels and gameplay to challenge your skills! Various goals include collecting gems, escaping deadly traps, battling other players, smashing bricks, perfecting acrobatics, smashing chickens and flying through speed-runs! The solo campaign features nearly 70 levels, offering hours of swing ‘n’ fling fun. Replayability is another big feature; do you have what it takes to earn a gold helmet on each course? Pit your skills against your friends around the world by competing in the leaderboard challenges!

New Black Prophecy Content

The first monthly update is now live for Black Prophecy, adding new content to the space-based action MMOG. Word is: "The highlights of this patch are the ten new missions in open sectors, available to players on different levels. A number of other smaller improvements have also been made." This change log has a complete outline of all the changes.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes lists more hotfixes applied to the servers for World of Warcraft to follow up on the recent version 4.1 patch for Blizzard's MMORPG. They outline all the new changes, and also offer an updated version 4.1 change list.

Grand Chase Chaos Launches

The Grand Chase Website announces the launch of Chaos, described as a major update to this side-scrolling brawler. Word is: "The update, which officially re-brands the game, constitutes a comprehensive revamp with new featured additions such as a dual weapon system, artificial intelligence tweaks for more challenging tactics by computer-controlled opponents, new animations, and a real-time rewards system that improves the awarding of items and experience."

A Valley Without Wind Trailer

Games By Design has a tenth development update for A Valley Without Wind, Arcen Games' upcoming side-scrolling survival game. The update describes new soft focus graphics, changes to overworld maps, NPC changes, and more. This is all illustrated by this new pre-alpha gameplay trailer.

Morning Previews

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

New CPU day:

Out of the Blue

Hudson the wonder dog spent the night in the backyard again last night. This one is much more MrsBlue's fault, but Hudson is obviously complicit herself, which means she really did want to be out there, so I guess assigning blame is not really an issue here. If she really wants to do that more often I suppose I should start looking into a doghouse.

Doghouse Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Portal Tetris. LOL. Thanks TDW Geeks.
Quick Switch 2.
Castaway 2.
Link: Games with Honest Names! (Part 1 of 2).
Stories: Deaf friends stabbed after sign language mistaken for gang gestures. Thanks Slashdot.
Dog Submerges Herself In Bathtub To Survive Fire. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Better brain wiring linked to family genes. Thanks Slashdot.
Images: Nerd art: Video-game collages.
Media: Full Metal Fortress. NSFW.
Louis Theroux: Celebrity Theme Restaurants.
kindergartener Loves It When Daddy Drives The Porsche Fast. Don't show mom.
Auction: Bidding for Dark Knight Returns Art Hits $100,000. Thanks nin. Wish I could afford that.
Follow-up: James Bond Ain't A Slut, He's A Whore.
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