Archived News:

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 World Tetris Day

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Open Beta

Heatwave Interactive announces that open beta testing is now underway for Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, the upcoming MMORPG based on Roman mythology. Players can join the beta between now and June 12 by signing up on The Gods and Heroes Website. This trailer celebrates the beta launch, and here's a bit on what to expect from testing:
The Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising open beta lets players experience the game’s massive world filled with ancient lands, dramatic combat and mythological creatures two weeks before the game ships. Open Beta testers will be able to play four character classes, a revised new player experience, personal estates, a minion system, an updated combat system and 14 levels of gameplay. Players who pre-order the game during the Open Beta, can then join the Head Start program and start playing the full game a week before the box hits the shelves.

World of Planes Closed Beta

Gaijin Entertainment is now accepting signups for the closed beta for World of Planes, their upcoming Windows and OS X MMO World War aerial combat game. You can signup for the beta on this page, and word is that registered owners of Wings of Prey will get access automatically. The exact launch date for the beta is not yet set.

Tintin: The Game Details

Ubisoft offers new details for The Adventures of Tintin: The Game, a game tie-in with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed movie based on the Belgian comic book series. The game is expected in the U.S. this holiday season for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and DS. The announcement has word that is online, but for now this just redirects to Ubisoft's YouTube Channel. Here are a couple of excerpts:
The Adventures of Tintin: The Game is an action-packed adventure that takes gamers on a nonstop journey through the world of Tintin; the hero and intrepid reporter from Hergé’s original comic books. Players will rediscover the movie’s enchanting environs including Captain Archibald Haddock’s ship “the Karaboudjan,” Omar Ben Salaad’s Palace and the exotic city of Bagghar and experience many of Tintin’s exciting adventures.

In addition to the solo adventure, The Adventures of Tintin: The Game offers cooperative challenges that introduce classic characters from Tintin’s adventures. Players can work together in special multiplayer maps straight from the moody dreams of Captain Haddock, or for those looking for extra competition; Challenge mode features many opportunities for players to compete with each other for high scores.

Magicka PvP This Month

The promised free PvP update for Magicka will go live on June 21, announces Paradox Interactive. Here's a PvP trailer from the action/adventure game, and here's word:
At PvP launch, players will be able to wreak havoc in the Havindir Arena and Training Ground maps, and a new Reservoir wizard robe will be available (if you’re stuck being Pink, just remember that you know where the diamonds are).

Available for sale at PvP launch will be the all-new Final Frontier Map Pack, which will include the Vulcanus Arena for both Challenge and PvP modes (nerve pinch not included). As if that wasn’t enough, a chilling Frozen Lake map and a “stop staring at me, you’re freaking me out” Watch Tower map will also be available. Players will also be able to don new robes suited for the new PvP game modes- a tank robe, a support robe and rogue robe.

U.S. Forces Joining World War II Online

The WWII Online: Battleground Europe Website has the announcement that to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this MMOG set during World War II (a war that ended after six years in real life), U.S. forces are being added to the mix (thanks Eldon). The upcoming version 1.34 update will also add new Rapid Action (R.A.) gameplay. They offer lots of details about what this all involves, and conclude saying: "1.34 has been in extensive testing for several months and we will be providing a lot more information and updates on availability of this upgrade in the coming days."

Close Combat 2.0

Matrix Games announces that they will soon relaunch the Close Combat series of real-time tactics games. Here's word on these new 2.0 versions of the games, which will be free to those who already own them: "These new versions mark a fantastic overall improvement to the gameplay of the Close Combat games and show the astonishing distance the series has come since its original form many years ago. If you played Close Combat but haven’t tried the re-releases yet, this is the best time to get in on the action!"

Assassin's Creed: Revelations Trailer

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is on display in this E3 trailer from the upcoming installment in the action/stealth series. The clip is one long cinematic, showing off combat and consequences. The embedded clip is below. Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Trailer

The E3 trailer for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning offers several scenes from this role-playing game in development at 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. The clip features a bunch of gameplay, most of it combat. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Need for Speed: The Run Trailer

This is the E3 trailer (NSFW) for Need for Speed: The Run, the upcoming Cannonball Run/Gumball Rally-inspired installment in the Need for Speed series of racing games. The clip includes in-game footage and French captions, but it's easy enough to follow what's going on, and the voices in the gameplay footage are English, though this only comes into play in an odd out-of-car parkour sequence (maybe that's "the run" to which they refer?) that seems to consist of quicktime events. The clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Defiance Teaser Trailer

This E3 teaser trailer shows off Defiance, the upcoming MMO shooter from Trion Worlds that ties in with an upcoming television series on the Syfy channel. Most of the clip appears to be a serene view of nature, though this takes an unsettling turn by the end. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

The Sims Social Announced

EA Announces The Sims Social, a new installment in the lifestyle simulation that's played through Facebook. Here's word: "The Sims Social invites people to play with life in a whole new way with all of the uniquely playful and creative elements of The Sims and delivers an intuitive entertainment experience to the more than 500 million people on Facebook. Launching globally on Facebook this summer in five languages, The Sims Social allows players anytime, anywhere to create their Sim (characters unique to The Sims), build a bachelor pad or dream house, spark friendships and romances, and have exciting adventures – all with their Facebook friends."

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

There's supposed to be some sort of trade show this week, isn't there?

Brothers in Arms Furious 4 Announced

Ubisoft announces Brothers in Arms Furious 4, calling this a "new direction" for Gearbox Software's long-running series of World War II first-person shooters, and saying it is expected for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in the first half of next year. The new direction is how the game will follow the exploits of four soldiers, who are Inglorious Basterds of a sort, as they say: "The story follows four fierce and fearless warriors chasing the Führer himself." This will extend to a full co-op campaign, though the game will support competitive deathmatch as well. The Brothers in Arms Website has game information and a cinematic trailer, and here's a bit from the announcement:
Set in World War II, Brothers in Arms Furious 4 is a brutal first person shooter that offers an exciting campaign mode playable with up to four players in co-op, as well as an extensive competitive multiplayer mode. The story follows four fierce and fearless warriors chasing the Führer himself. As one of the Furious 4, players will use special weaponry and unexpected combat abilities to fight the greatest threat the world has ever faced: an experimental Nazi army conceived in secret by the Third Reich.

“The Brothers in Arms franchise has been renowned for its gritty direction that has dropped players into the middle of World War II,” said Adam Novickas, U.S. director of marketing at Ubisoft. “With Brothers in Arms Furious 4, Gearbox brings the action to a whole new level filled with unexpected twists and over-the-top battles that are sure to please new players and fans alike.”

Far Cry 3 Announced

Ubisoft officially announces Far Cry 3, saying the first-person shooter sequel first confirmed in November 2009 is coming to Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 next year. This game has many parents, as word is it is in development at Ubisoft Montréal with the support of Ubisoft Shanghai and Massive Entertainment. There are some images from the game on the Far Cry 3 Website, and here's a bit on what to expect:
With Far Cry 3, players step into the shoes of Jason Brody, a man alone at the edge of the world, stranded on a mysterious tropical island. In this savage paradise where lawlessness and violence are the only sure thing, players dictate how the story unfolds, from the battles they choose to fight to the allies or enemies they make along the way. As Jason Brody, players will slash, sneak, detonate and shoot their way across the island in a world that has lost all sense of right and wrong.

FIFA Soccer Football Club Announced

EA SPORTS officially announces Football Club, the new online service for the FIFA Soccer franchise. The service, which will allow players "to support their favorite club in new ways connected to real-world events, and connect and compete with friends, rivals and millions of other players around the world," will be free with the purchase of FIFA Soccer 12. Here's word:
EA SPORTS Football Club creates a new social experience where fans can connect and compete with their friends and millions of other fans playing FIFA Soccer 12, where status, bragging rights and progression are all measured and ever-changing. For the first time ever, everything that happens within EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer 12—and against friends—is measured in a meaningful way. Every match matters, all season long. Earn experience points and level up to build your status. Track friends, challenges and status through the web at Share and compare accomplishments and spread the news on social channels like Facebook.

Battlefield 3 Open Beta in September, Game in October

During the E3 presentation for Battlefield 3, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson revealed plans for testing of the upcoming military shooter sequel, saying to expect a multi-platform platform open beta in September, prior to the game's release. Word is to expect the game's release on October 25, 2011. Also, EA's Origin Website now offers the new E3 multiplayer trailer from Battlefield 3. Update: This press release covers both the beta testing and release date announcements.

Mass Effect 3 in March 2012

During EA's E3 Press conference, BioWare's Casey Hudson revealed a release date for Mass Effect 3, saying the next installment in BioWare's sci-fi action/RPG series is due on March 6, 2012. This confirms previous indications that the game should be expected early next year.

The Old Republic Origin Exclusive, Intro Trailer Released [Updated]

EA announces that the only place to purchase Star Wars: The Old Republic via digital distribution will be through Origin, hoping to provide a head start to their newly announced online service using BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. On a related note, the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website now offers a new cinematic introductory trailer from the game titled "The Return," as it centers around the revival of the Sith. Word is: "For over a thousand years, the Sith were thought to be extinct after a grave defeat in an ancient war. But a select few survived, fleeing to unknown regions to escape Republic forces. In the centuries since, the Sith have prepared; rebuilding their Empire for the day they would make their return to reclaim what was once theirs and take their revenge on the Republic. That day has arrived." Update: Edited to clarify that the Origin exclusivity refers to digital distribution.

MS E3 Presser Includes Fable, Minecraft, and Halo Announcements

The Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference Video is now on, offering Microsoft's full E3 press presentation, featuring more middle-aged men on stage in headsets than the next Backstreet Boys reunion. The conference includes the revelation of Minecraft for Kinect, a remake of the original Halo with Halo Reach graphics along with plans for Halo 4, 5, and 6, and the unveiling of Fable: the Journey, which in typical fashion is described by Peter Molyneux as making the player "feel 100 times more involved" than its forebears, in spite of being a rail shooter to all appearances (no platforms besides the Xbox were mentioned). There are also Kinect demos for Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3, and more, as well as the announcement of the rumored Xbox TV. The most dangerous drinking game to play while watching would be to do a shot every time Kinect is mentioned, which would render you dead long before the end of the clip. On the other hand, taking a drink every time the PC or Windows is mentioned will leave you as sober as a judge.

Dead Island in September

Deep Silver offers the E3 trailer from Dead Island, and announces a September 6, 2011 North American release date for Techland's upcoming zombie action game, which will be followed by an international release on September 9th. Here's a bit from the announcement accompanying the trailer: "Terrible zombie appearances strike the unsuspecting guests in the idyllic holiday resort on the tropical island of Banoi. Four individuals with distinctive backgrounds and abilities seem to be unaffected by the mysterious zombie outbreak. Will they be strong enough to stand against the zombie hordes, to protect the remaining survivors from a horrible fate and to flee the island?" The embedded version of the trailer, which is titled Part 2: Dead Island Begins, follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Spider-Man: Edge of Time Trailer

Here's the E3 trailer for Spider-Man: Edge of Time, the upcoming superhero action/adventure, starring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Here's a quick overview of the game: "Developed by Activision-owned studio Beenox, Spider-Man: Edge of Time challenges the player to take on the roles of both classic Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 to correct a timestream gone awry and prevent a catastrophic future brought on by the early and untimely death of Peter Parker." This is accompanied by a batch of new screenshots, and the embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track now offers the list of the 20 top selling full-price PC games in the U.K. for the week ending June 4th. There's a new number one this week, as The Sims 3: Generations enters at the top spot, and last week's number one, The Witcher 2, drops to number five. The chart's other big mover is Fable III, which drops eight places to number 19. MCV also has the U.K. all-formats chart, where L.A. Noire is number one, just like the Duke of New York.

Raven's Cry Revealed

TopWare Interactive unveils Raven's Cry, a pirate game in development at Octane Games for release in Q2 of 2012. The initial announcement is pretty sparse, but they are showing off the game at E3 this week, so we should expect more details shortly. In the meantime, here is the entire press release, which is oddly titled "Raven’s Cry: A pirate world without censorship":
TopWare Interactive and Octane Games will be releasing a game that finally doesn’t paint pirates as the funny and playful ones we have to come to accept in pop-culture, but rather the ruthless and blood thirsty portrayal of historical relevance. With the announcement of the release of TopWare’s next big title, Raven’s Cry, even real pirate fans will be shaking in their buckled boots.
The 17th century Caribbean unfortunately will not be starring a quirky, yet devilishly handsome and incredibly famous actor portraying the pirate life, but a man who fights with his own demons and morals, with only the memory of his butchered family to propel him into his destiny among the seas.

Raven’s Cry will offer players three different styles of gameplay, from 3rd person hack n’ slash, to helming a full-fledged pirate ship into battle, or navigating your way through the harsh waters on the world map.

Leisure Suit Larry Revival This Summer

Replay Games announces plans to revive Leisure Suit Larry, and bring the adventures of lovelorn Larry Laffer "to a whole new generation of netbooks, tablets and mobile devices," beginning with a release this summer on Intel's marketplace. This remake will include contributions from Al Lowe, who originated the series, though he was not involved in either of the previous two installments, the most recent of which was Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust, released in March 2009. There are some screenshots on Flickr, and here is Al Lowe's take on the plan:
From his palatial penthouse apartment, high above the teeming streets of Lost Wages, Al Lowe offered these insights into Larry's success and return to the big leagues: "It's no fun telling people who want to play your games that their only recourse is to pirate them. Finally, Larry leaves his digital dungeon to delight those too young (or too smart) to play it way back when." Al expects a whole new generation of gamers to relate to a guy who's so out of touch he thinks a leisure suit is hip. "Men love the games because no matter how much of a loser they are, they're not as big a loser as Larry. And women love the games because, well, they've all dated a jerk like Larry."

PAYDAY: The Heist Announced

Sony Online Entertainment announces PAYDAY: The Heist, a first-person shooter for Windows and PlayStation 3 in development at Overkill Software for release later this year via digital distribution. This should not be confused with Hei$t, a crime game that was in development at inXile Entertainment before its cancellation earlier this year. Here are some screenshots, and here's a bit on the game's heists, which will be supported by additional missions via DLC:
Players will embark on a spectacular crime spree of six heart stopping heists, including blasting their way through a downtown bank vault robbery, managing hostages in an armored car hijacking and even a midnight infiltration of a top-secret, high-security facility. Additionally, PAYDAY: The Heist challenges players with dynamic environments and adaptive enemy tactics — meaning no scenario will ever play out the same way twice. Teamwork is essential to ensure crew members provide cover under fire, guard key access points, break through various security measures and keep civilians in check. Survive wave after wave of the best that law enforcement can deploy as they shift strategies in response to player actions and gameplay style.

Cross-Platform Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Announced

Activision announces Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, saying this is: "the first-ever cross-platform gameplay experience across the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, a variety of mobile devices, Windows PC and the web." The game will be shown off this week, and is due "later this year," with the newly launched Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Website specifying this means the fall. Here's a bit: "Using the game's Portal of Power, players will bring their Skylanders interaction figures to life inside the game on any platform. During console and handheld gameplay, each Skylander remembers skill advancements and level-ups, allowing players to take their leveled-up Skylanders to play on any of the other platforms."

Call of Duty Elite Beta This Summer, Launch in November

A set of Call of Duty Elite Frequently Asked Questions from Activision is actually the second such document they have issued since announcing the online service for the military shooter sequel (they've so far not followed through on their plan to post it to the game's website). The document justifies the idea of such a premium service, and announces we can expect beta testing this summer in advance of its November launch:
How can I become a member?
· With the roll out of the Call of Duty Elite beta this summer on Call of Duty: Black Ops, players can sign up on to queue up for participation. Once the platform officially launches with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on November 8th, players will be able to enter the service in through a variety of ways, which we will be announcing later this year.

End of Nations Interview

There's an interview on Strategy Informer talking with Nick Beliaeff about End of Nations, Trion's upcoming MMORTS game. Topics include progress on the game since its GamesCon showing, changes to their design, the infrastructure required to support large-scale battles, tactical structures, economics, social network integration, and more.

Infested Planet Beta This Month

Indie developer Rocket Bear Games announces plans to begin beta testing of Infested Planet on June 21, offering the chance to check out this upcoming real-time strategy game. Here's word on the game:
Infested Planet brings something new to real-time strategy games - mutating enemies. Your adversary will adapt by gaining new powers and abilities. You must use all of your strategic skills to counteract their adaptations. Mutations ensure that no two games you play are the same.

Your elite team of marines faces hundreds of endlessly regenerating enemies. To defeat this rampaging horde, you will need to construct perimeter defenses, research new technology and ultimately exterminate the swarming aliens.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today kicks off the festivities at E3, as a billion game developers, marketers, and journalists have all gathered in Los Angeles to both raise the glamour factor on the west coast, and show off some games along the way. Following the recent trend, a bunch of announcements and video trailers have preceded the show itself over the past week, but it's pretty likely that we'll get some surprises along the way.

R.I.P.: Andrew Gold dies at 59.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Advanced Combat.
Stories: Titanic II sinks on maiden voyage. Thanks Devicer.
Doorbell tricks burglars into thinking you're home invented by schoolboy. Macaulay Culkin or Ferris Bueller?
Science: Cryptic mutations could be evolution's hidden fuel.
Images: Volcano in the Caulle Cordon of southern Chile erupts violently.
Media: Guinness Record Rube Goldberg Machine: "The Time Machine".
Have You Seen the YouTube Horror Film?
Beaver is somewhat disgusted with a skunk he stumbles upon.
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!