Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 06, 2011

RAGE Specs

The Bethesda Blog offers the system requirements for RAGE, id Software's first-person shooter that's due on October 4th in North America. Here's word:
With under a month until launch, we’ve revealed the minimum and recommended system requirements for RAGE.

Minimum:

        • OS: Win XP SP3, Vista, Win 7
        • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or Equivalent AMD
        • Memory: 2GB
        • Hard Disk Space: 25GB
        • Video Card: GeForce 8800, Radeon HD 4200

Recommended:

        • OS: Win XP SP3, Vista, Win 7
        • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad or Equivalent AMD
        • Memory: 4GB
        • Hard Disk Space: 25GB
        • Video Card: GeForce 9800 GTX, ATI Radeon HD 5550

As noted previously, RAGE will use Steamworks and features Steam Achievements, VOIP, and Friends support.

Dead Island Patched

Though not noted on Steam News, Deep Silver PR Manager Aubrey Norris confirms that a patch for Dead Island is now available, saying the "correct version of the title is now available on Steam and fans are able to download it," according to a report on GamePro. This address the incorrect build of the zombie action/RPG released today, though it's warned that users are likely to lose their saved game data after patching, though they can restart at the last chapter they played. There's also word that this patch does not fix the Ripper activation bug, but this will be addressed soon in another patch.

OS X League of Legends Ending Tonight

An announcement on the League of Legends Forums (thanks Kotaku) announces that Riot Games is abandoning the OS X beta of League of Legends as of midnight tonight. The announcement requires registration, but it is also reproduced on reddit, so here's word on their hopes to resume Mac support in the future, and an offer of refunds in the meantime:
We realize our current approach regarding the Mac platform won't guarantee the quality and frequent updates we deliver today on the PC and are expected by our player community. We will continue to investigate the opportunity to provide player access on the Mac Platform in the future that aligns with our service and content update standards. We are committed to building a solution that will work on the Mac in the long run, but it will take some time. Additionally, testers that have utilized the League of Legends store during the Beta can either continue playing the PC version of the game, or receive a full refund on RP purchases made (which would close out the account).

Ships Ahoy - Space Marine

The Space Marine Website has news that Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is now available for Windows and consoles, offering a third-person action/RPG set in the Warhammer future. Here's word on the game and the co-op update expected in about a month:
Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, a planet sized factory, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.

Space Marine also features 8 vs 8 class-based multiplayer where players take on the role of either Space Marine or Chaos Space Marine in a battle to the death. Players can choose the balanced Tactical and Chaos Space Marine, the heavy weapons focused Devastator and Havoc or the jump pack equipped melee specialist Assault Marine and Raptor.

A free downloadable Co-operative gameplay mode called Exterminatus will also be made available to all players in early October. This mode pits a team of four Space Marine players against numerous AI controlled enemies in a fight to survive. Featuring dynamic challenges and global leaderboards, Space Marine’s co-op mode will keep players engaged for months to come.

Ships Ahoy - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

EA SPORTS Announces the launch of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters for Windows and OS X, offering the chance for those of us who wouldn't even be welcome to caddy at Augusta to duff around the famed course. On a semi-related note, TMZ reports the death of the oak tree which was the last thing Tiger hit squarely with one of his drives. Here's word on the release:
Golf enthusiasts and gamers can now experience the iconic Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club on a PC or Mac for the first time in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise history. An additional 14 championship courses are included, such as Pebble Beach®, St. Andrews Links®, and TPC™ at Sawgrass.

Boxed copies of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters on the PC/Mac are now available for purchase at EA’s Origin.com for $39.99 MSRP as well as other retailers. Each copy of the game includes a three-month membership to Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® Online*, an authentic golf experience streamed directly through a web browser. As a member, gamers will have access to additional features such as expanded multiplayer modes, additional courses and group tournaments.

Minecraft Version 1.8 Nears

The Minecraft Frequently Asked Questions on reddit reveals an ETA for the beta version 1.8 "Adventure Update Part 1" for Minecraft (here's a trailer), saying the patch is expected September 8. However, a tweet by Jens Bergensten (thanks IGN) cast doubt on this: "Looks grim to get a release out on 8th. We need more testing, one day is not enough. And we never release on fridays [sic]... I'll keep you posted."

Fallout: New Vegas - Lonesome Road Audio Preview

The Bethesda Blog now offers the Lonesome Road Holotape #1, an audio recording that will help lead up to the release of The Lonesome Road DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. This is accompanied by some text by Obsidian's Chris Avellone on how this will wrap up loose ends in the action/RPG sequel. Here's a bit: "Lonesome Road brings the DLC story arc to a close – events that were first hinted at in New Vegas and Dead Money come to pass, as the last of the DLC cast of characters, Ulysses, reveals himself. For a time, we just introduced him through the perspectives of other characters, a description of another Courier who wore an Old World flag on his back, and in Old World Blues, a mysterious figure who marked his presence through graffiti and holotapes left in the Big Empty."

Driver: San Francisco Console DLC Plans

The Xbox.com Forums offer a workaround for owners of the console editions of Driver: San Francisco, since some of the Uplay Passport codes intended to thwart used game sales were misprinted. They say: "To solve this problem, Ubisoft has made the Uplay Passport offer free for all purchasers of Driver: San Francisco." Also, Eurogamer has word that Ubisoft has announced plans to release 12 new "routes" for the game's online modes on September 15th, which will be followed by the release of one additional multiplayer route on a weekly basis for the next ten weeks after that. There's no word on whether these will be made available for the Windows edition of the action/driving sequel, which is expected for release in North America on September 27.

Speaking of the PC version's delay compared with the condole versions, Eurogamer has an explanation of that, which seems to indicate they should have known all along the game was not going to enjoy a simultaneous release on all platforms, as Martin Edmonson of Ubisoft Reflections says this was to port the game from the console version: "The PC version trails the console versions because the code-base comes from the consoles, it wasn't held back. "When we get to the point where [the console version] is finished, the PC guys take the final version of the code-base and do everything that's needed to build it into what they've already built," he explained. "There's just a natural delay. It's nothing like as long as many other games, where the PC can follow the console by many, many months - it's still fairly tight."

500 Developers on Call of Duty

There's an interview on VentureBeat with Dave Stohl, talking with the vice president for studios at Activision Publishing about the Call of Duty series of military first-person shooters. The series has had multiple developers for years, but it is still eye-opening to read just how many developers are currently tending to the franchise, as the article states Activision "has four or five studios working on Call of Duty titles at any given time. This includes the remainder of Infinity Ward teamed with Sledgehammer Games on Modern Warfare 3, Beachhead Studios at work on Call of Duty Elite, Treyarch working on the non-Modern Warfare arm of the franchise, and DemonWare handling network services for the whole series. As for the headcount this represents, they state: "Activision has said that it has more than 500 developers working on Call of Duty."

Op Ed

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Deus Ex- Human Revolution Is About DRM.
At which point you see the DRM metaphor. The Illuminati’s plan is to put DRM into every piece of cybernetics to ensure that it’s not misused – or, if it is misused, it can be prevented from causing wide-spread harm. Darrow’s murderous critique isn’t just that augmentations are dangerous – but that augmentations will leave you open to something like this. His problem is both what the augmentations let you do (“I can tear that dude’s head clean off if I feel like it”) and what they make you do (“They can make you feel like tearing that dude’s head clean off if they feel like it”). Some technology is just too dangerous for anyone to allow it to exist, because the safety-locks you “have” to add to it are just as rife for abuse as the technology it exists to control.

IndustryGamers - Square Enix's Handling of 'Racism' Case- A Page from Sony Playbook?
Certainly, the issue of perceived racism and the compromise of sensitive personal information are two entirely different beasts. But they're both issues that people take very seriously and personally. And by trying to defend their actions rather than immediately apologizing for them, both Square Enix and Sony risked alienating part of their audience.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (OS X) on Mac App Store.
  • Nox on GOG.com.
  • Pride of Nations: The Franco-Prussian War 1870 on Steam.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine on Steam.

Patches

  • Achron on Steam.
  • Duke Nukem Forever Mac on Steam.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor on Steam.
  • Nuclear Dawn on Steam.
  • The Polynomial on Steam.
  • Steam Client on Steam.
  • Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike- Source, Day of Defeat- Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.

On Sale

  • Cloning Clyde on Steam. Save 67%.
  • Kane and Lynch and Hitman Bundle on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Ecstasy of Au(gmentation). The good, the bad, and the vending machine. Thanks nin.

Steam Trading Launch

Valve announces the Steam Trading feature is now live after entering beta testing slightly under a month ago, offering the chance to trade Steam Gifts and in-game items (including items from Spiral Knights, the first non-Valve game participant). The Steam Trading FAQ has all the details, and here's the overview:
Welcome to the official launch of Steam Trading, which allows you to exchange In-game items and Gifts with everybody in the Steam Community.

Now you can trade Steam Gifts and in-game items from Valve games Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2, as well as from Spiral Knights, the cooperative adventure from Three Rings and Sega. We’re working with other developers to incorporate Trading and Inventories into their games, so keep an eye out for future announcements in the coming months.

Your Steam Community profile now has an item Inventory, and you'll be able to view the Inventories of every public profile in the Steam Community.

Click over to the Steam Trading FAQ for more information, and get trading!

Battlefield Academy Renamed, Cross-Platform OS X Version and Demo Released

Matrix Games announces Battle Academy is the new name for the World War II turn-based strategy game launched a year ago with the title Battlefield Academy. The name change is part of a settlement of allegations of copyright infringement by Electronic Arts, and they indicate that these legal matters also held back the release of add-ons and platform adaptations, and in keeping with that a new OS X edition of the game is now available that is able to play in multiplayer matches versus the Windows edition. There is also a new add-on titled Operation Market Garden for both Windows and OS X, and here's word on that: "With 8 single player missions and the introduction of a campaign mode where you have to possibility of carrying over your units from mission to mission, Market Garden adds a complete new level of gameplay to Battle Academy and is a must have for all the fans of this award winning strategy gem!" Finally, they offer a playable demo for Windows or OS X users to sample a custom made mission set in the village of Normandy.

Global Ops: Commando Libya Announced

Kalypso Media USA announces they will be publishing Global Ops: Commando Libya for Windows PC in North America. The new installment in the Global Ops series is an Unreal 3 engine third-person shooter developed by Spectral Games with a story ripped from yesterday's headlines, as it features a plot involving the sale of a vintage 1960s nuclear weapon to "a notorious Libyan dictator," who might be kind of tough to track down at the moment. Here are some screenshots, and the Global Ops: Commando Libya Website has some details and a trailer that seems to cut off, as it runs for just a few seconds. Word is: "In development by Spectral Games, Global Ops: Commando Libya is a third-person shooter that puts players at the heart of a global race to capture a nuclear warhead that’s been stolen by Russian organized crime, and get it back into safe hands before it becomes a terrorist weapon. Players will take part in a deadly global chase -- battling through Greenland and into North Africa as they fight to take down terrorist forces and recapture the devastating weapon."

Here's a feature list:

  • Dive into today’s headlines in a fast-paced 9-mission single player campaign with a thrilling, topical backstory
  • Enjoy dynamic third-person shooter action with a vast array of realistic, modern weapons
  • Explore exotic settings from Greenland to North Africa, rendered vividly with Unreal 3 technology
  • Battle online with up to 10 opponents across six multiplayer optimized maps
  • Master diverse missions: urban warfare, vehicle combat, guerilla activities and all-out pursuit

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Delayed in Japan

Square Enix has announced a delay to the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in Japan just a couple of days before its planned release on Thursday, reports Adrian Sang, saying the Japanese release of the action/RPG sequel is delayed to "October" (Thursday is in October, but obviously it will be later than that). They explain that Square Enix discovered an area in the game that "shows expressions forbidden by the Japanese games ratings board," apparently visual in nature, and confined to one area of the game. What the offending visuals consist of is not specified. Thanks MCV.

Battlefield 3 Beta Has "Hundreds" of Changes from Alpha

After visiting DICE last week, VG247 has word that the Battlefield 3 beta test promised for this month is likely still on track, and will include "hundreds" of changes and fixes since the alpha trial edition of the military shooter sequel. "Everything from gun-balancing to the placement of the objectives on the Rush map; we actually moved them around based on [the fact] that the first base was quite hard to take. We are still moving things around on that map to utilise feedback from the alpha. That’s why we’re doing it. It’s not to market the game, it’s actually to test it in a proper way. There are hundreds of things that we’ve changed since the alpha, DICE's Patrick Bach says. "Again, to the beta question, we are releasing the beta before the game and we are actually changing stuff based on that before we ship the game, even though you could argue that that’s very late close to the ship of the game, we will still have time to do, for instance, day one patches and changes to the Battlelog that will actually be game-changing." Access to the Windows version of the beta will be is guaranteed for those who preorder the game from the Origin Website.

Ships Ahoy - Dead Island; Patch Coming; Steam has an Xbox Build?

The Windows edition of Dead Island is now available in North America, offering Techland's zombie-themed action/RPG. The game is available in stores and also via digital distribution on GamersGate, Impulse, and Steam. Apparently a day-on patch is on the way, Destructoid has word on that along with a lengthy list of changes the patch will include. There's also a thread on the Steam Users' Forums stating the version available on Steam is actually an Xbox 360 build of the game based on header information calling this an "Xbox Live Submission Project Version." Eurogamer has word from Techland that they are looking into this: "Techland is currently investigating this information and we'll do everything we can to make sure everyone can enjoy playing their copy of Dead Island," a spokesperson told them. "Deep Silver is a part of every release process and any further updates will come from the game's publisher."

DiRT 3 Promo Keys Leak

A thread on the Steam Users' Forums discusses the availability of a bunch of leaked promotional keys for DiRT 3. There is much consternation from users who weren't aware these were not legitimate and now fear their Steam accounts may be banned as a result. One post by Bohemia Interactive's Dwarden sheds light on this, saying it is the "complete AMD promotion key list" consisting of around 3 million keys. Thanks Fantaz.

Quoteworthy - Avalanche on DRM

"If a DRM system constantly needs to be defended, something must be wrong. As a developer you will never win over any fans if you constantly let everyone know how much it costs to develop a game and how much money you lose." Avalanche founder Christofer Sundberg tells Edge Magazine. "I don't like always-on DRM solutions at all, since they offer nothing to the consumer. If you continuously give something extra for registering and being online, and award them for actually paying for and playing your game, it'd be different, but always-on DRM only says: 'Thank you for buying our game, we trust you as far as we can throw you." Thanks nin via Kotaku.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

R.I.P.: Bill Kunkel, Original Gaming Journalist, Dies at 61. Please send all tributes and condolences to his wife Laurie.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Loony Box. Thanks Daniel.
Expanded It.
Match and Remove.
Images: Daft Space.
Special Delivery For Aperture Labs.
This Might Be The World’s Most Dangerous Webcam. Hello?
Media: Tornado picks-up a pickup and spins it like a top.
Not Tetris 2. Game here.
15 Dots Enough.
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