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Monday, Sep 12, 2011 National Video Games Day


Red Orchestra 2 Preloads

With the release of the game planned for tomorrow, Steam is now offer preloads of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad for those who have preordered Tripwire Interactive's World War II shooter sequel, though there is heavy demand on the Steam servers at the moment. This also offers the last chance to get in on the 10% discount for preordering.

Why the Syndicate Remake is a First-Person Shooter

A brief story on The Official Xbox Magazine offers some tidbits from their upcoming issue 78 on the just-announced Syndicate reinvention, focusing on the game's new first-person shooter approach. "It was always going to be an FPS," Starbreeze game director Neil McEwan tells them. "The original nub of the idea was to take that viewpoint from the original game and zoom into the Agent's head, and play that part. A closer experience - to become one of those Agents."

In spite of the genre change, he still feels they can be true to the original. "We're big fans of the original Syndicate, and we're definitely paying as much homage to it as we can - bringing across the essence of the world, the core essence of what it is to be an Agent," he explains. "That sounds wanky but it's true - we're taking the Persuadatron and evolving it in different ways, the weapons and brutality. On both facets of the game, the co-op and the single player, it's very key to stay true to it." He also offers this reassurance for disgruntled Bullfrog fans: "I think the game speaks for itself. We've been very lucky to work with a great, original world, and create another facet of it really. I would love them to like it. You're never going to please everyone."

GameStop's Tablet Plans

GameStop announces plans to start selling GameStop-branded Android tablets this holiday season that will "come preloaded with exclusive content." Things are still a bit vague about this, though word is they are also looking into creating some sort of controller to go along with the tablets. "We are evaluating which tablets to carry in stores this holiday and the chosen tablets will be capable of delivering a great gaming experience using the latest chip technology," said GameStop spokeswoman Wendy Dominguez. This may or may not connect with GameStop's recent revelation of plans to accept trade-ins and resales of Apple iOS portable devices.

Wasteland Angel Demo

A playable demo is now available for Wasteland Angel, offering the chance to sample this recently released post-apocalyptic shooter. Here's the game's premise: "Bummer! World War III happened and killed most of the world’s population. The ones that got toasted were the lucky ones. Survivors live in constant fear of being murdered or enslaved by violent gangs, renegade military units and, of course; mutants." The demo can be found on Steam, and is can be downloaded from AtomicGamer, GamePron, and Gamer's Hell.

Dead Island Multi-Monitor Fix

The Widescreen Gaming Forum now offers a HUD and Menu fix for Dead Island for users with a triple-monitor configuration. The fix adjusts all menus and makes the HUD smaller and changes its position. Word is: "The fix follows the same method used for the FOV Mod, which makes it safe against the VAC ban (I hope)." Thanks HARDOCP.

Rise of Immortals Launches

Petroglyph announces the launch of Rise of Immortals, their free-to-play MOBA game. A new launch trailer celebrates the news, and word is those who have participated in the game's beta testing will receive 1,000 Petroglyph Coins (worth over $10) and an exclusive skin. Here's word on the game:

Rise of Immortals, is an online, free-to-play PC game that expands on the hit battle arena genre with new, innovative features that encourage socialization and cooperation. Rise of Immortals launches today after several months of beta testing and now offers players access to the full game, including the ability to purchase collectable items, potions, artifacts, and Immortals, artifacts, Immortals and skins through the game’s RMT system.

“Development of The Rise of Immortals development was a labor of love for Petroglyph,” said Steve Wetherill, executive producer of Rise of Immortals. . “We started with a group of designers, artists and engineers with a passion for battle arena games, and ended up with an incredible title that brings dozens of fresh, innovative features to the genre. I couldn’t be more proud of the team or more excited about how Rise of Immortals turned out and where it will go from here.”

Dungeons and Dragons Online Update #11 Launches

Turbine announces that Update 11 is now available in Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, their D&D MMORPG. They also announce a limited time VIP Promo offering a discount on a one-year VIP membership. Here's word on the contents of update #11, "Secrets of the Artificers": Continue here to read the full story.

Saint's Row: The Third Trailer

A new trailer (NSFW) from Saint's Row: The Third introduces The Deckers from Volition's upcoming open-world action sequel. The Deckers are hackers who love infiltrating computer systems and, of course shooting guns, even in cyberspace. Continue here to read the full story.

WARCO Revealed

Defiant Development unveils WARCO, an upcoming first-person shooter where the players do all their shooting through the lens, as they play photojournalists in war-stricken countries. Word is: "WARCO lets players shoot and record what they see ‘through the lens’ – framing shots, panning and zooming, grabbing powerful images of combatants and civilians caught up in war. They’ve got AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades – you’ve got a flak jacket, a video camera, and a burning desire to get the story. Every game space is embedded with multiple objectives and story leads for journalist Jesse DeMarco to find – a scoop if she’s smart, mortal danger if she drops her guard… " This trailer (NSFW) offers a look, and according to Shacknews the developer is looking for a publisher with the goal of releasing the game for PCs and consoles. Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: Shogun 2: Rise of the Samurai Trailer

This new trailer promotes the upcoming Rise of the Samurai expansion for Total War: Shogun 2, offering some of the history that lead to the emergence of the Samurai, background on the new factions the add-on includes, new units, and more. There details on all this in an accompanying update on the SEGA Blog. Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution


  • CrimeCraft-: Bleedout on Steam.
  • Portal 2 on Steam.
  • War Inc. Battlezone on Steam.

On Sale

  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Dungeons - The Dark Lord on Steam. Save 15% on prepurchases.
  • A Game of Thrones - Genesis on Steam. Save 10% on prepurchases.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

  • Counter-Strike: Global Ops on Kotaku.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Skyrim Trailer Triple-Feature

The Bethesda Blog offers three new videos from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, offering over 20 minutes of gameplay footage from the upcoming RPG sequel. The clip features Todd Howard's presentation of the game as seen at E3, QuakeCon, and PAX Prime showing off various environments and combat situations, including dragon encounters. Continue here to read the full story.

Windows Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection This Month

Activision And Treyarch announce September 22 is the release date for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of the Rezurrection DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops (already available for Xbox 360), saying this will be celebrated by offering double XP from September 23-25. Here's a reminder of all the zombie content in the fourth DLC pach for the military shooter sequel:

Rezurrection celebrates the popular Call of Duty® Zombie saga with everything undead, including the first Call of Duty throw-down to take place on the moon, as well as four remastered levels from Zombies past, an enhanced Zombies soundtrack and new Moon theme.

Moon, the first Call of Duty level to catapult players into orbit, delivers outrageous new weapons, high-tech gear and unstoppable hordes of low gravity zombie beasts, delivering the most epic, challenging and otherworldly Zombies experience yet. Rezurrection also brings back four of the original maps that spawned the Zombies phenomenon. Amplified by the firepower and visual fidelity of Black Ops, players can relive the nightmare of “Nacht der Üntoten,” escape the Zombie madness in the asylum of “Verrückt,” battle back the undead Imperial Army of “Shi No Numa,” and pull the plug on “Der Riese,” the zombie factory that started it all.

Serious Sam 3 BFE Help Line #2

Serious Sam 3 BFE Help Line Video Episode 2 is another trailer starring the inimitable Rich Knuckles, who once again mans the Serious Sam helpline to answer questions about the upcoming first-person shooter prequel. Word is: "The video features some SWEET footage of the split-screen co-op feature and offers (finally!) a super-duper detailed explanation of the game’s inventory system." Continue here to read the full story.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters Refunds?

The EA Forums have some complaints from owners of the newly released Windows and OS X versions of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters. The outcry is summarized on reddit, where they talk of the failure to supply promised features, saying this is one of those cases were a straight port of the console version would have been welcome. They also say the single-player game "is nearly non-existent," and playing online requires subscribing to the "expensive" Tiger Woods Online service, inspiring one of the forum moderators to state: "NO ONE is more disappointed in this release than I am." There are also posts from users indicating they were able to get refunds after complaining about the game. Thanks Eurogamer.

Football Manager 2012 Next Month

The SEGA Blog announces an October 21 European release date for the Windows and OS X editions of Football Manager 2012. Here's word on the release, which will be preceded by a playable demo:

The release date has been confirmed in the first in a series of blogs available here, talking about the new features and improvements for Football Manager™ 2012. Miles Jacobson’s blog, which features exclusive content, screens and videos, will deliver all the information you need for the new Football Manager™ season. In addition to this, a demo of the game will also be made available closer to launch to whet every FM fans appetite, with the option to continue their saved game when they buy the full version of Football Manager™ 2012.

U.K. Software Charts

GfK Chart-Track has the 20 bestselling full-priced PC entertainment titles for the week ending September 10. This week Deus Ex: Human Revolution drops to number five after a couple of weeks at the top of the chart. The new number one is Warhammer 40,0000: Space Marine and a new entry at number two is Dead Island. The new all formats chart also sees Deus Ex: Human Revolution drop to number five from number one in a chart topped by Dead Island and Space Marine. Other notable new entries on that chart are Resistance 3 at number four, Star Fox 64 3D at number nine, Gran Turismo 5 at #10, and NHL 12 at #12.

Syndicate FPS Confirmed for Next year

EA follows the leak of Syndicate details with the official announcement of the Syndicate remake, confirming this is a first-person shooter as in the works at Starbreeze Studios for release for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 early next year. "We are excited to finally reveal what we’ve been working on the past couple years," says Mikael Nermark, CEO of Starbreeze Studios. "It's been a great experience working with EA, and an amazing opportunity for us to use our expertise in the first person shooter and action genres to bring back, and reignite, the signature action/espionage gameplay of Syndicate." Here's more:

Set in 2069, Syndicate takes players into a dark, Machiavellian world run without government oversight with many syndicates vying for total dominance of their local market place. With no one to question their intentions or actions, three mega corporations – Eurocorp, Cayman Global, and Aspari – are at the forefront of this brutal war for control of the pivotal American market. In the world of Syndicate, everything is digitally connected, including the people. Players aren’t limited to the weapons in their hands. Through DART 6 bio-chip technology implanted in their head, players can slow down time and breach the digital world around them to take down their foes using a variety of upgradable hacking mechanics. Syndicate’s blend of fast-paced, futuristic, action shooter settings and story combined with innovative chip breach gameplay instantly immerses players in a unique digital world.

“Our goal with Syndicate is to provide a challenging action shooter for today’s gamers as well as fans of the original. I’m sure they will enjoy and recognize the legacy that made it such a classic,” says Jeff Gamon, EA Partners Executive Producer. “Fans of the franchise will recognize many weapons and environments in the game, but in a whole new way. The game also provides a separate and deep 4-player co-op mode featuring missions from the original cult classic, which adds another layer of depth to the overall experience.”

No VAC Bans for Dead Island Mods

The Steam Users' Forums points to a tweet from Steam Support replying to mund0x (someone explain how the latter is "verified" but the former isn't) following up on the recently raised question of whether modding Dead Island will earn someone a VAC ban from Steam. The simple question is: "can modding dead island get me vac banned?" The simpler answer is: "No." Thanks Acleacius.

Spaceships Ahoy - Gratuitous Space Battles Parasites

Positech now offers Parasites, a new expansion for Gratuitous Space Battles, their tower-defense-style strategy game. The add-on, which will be released through other digital distributors soon, adds 10 new ships along with new ship equipment and bonuses. Here's word on the expansion's titular parasites:

If you catch them at the wrong time the parasites are a race to be reckoned with. Every 200 years or so they travel the galaxy looking for new hosts, and we're not suggesting that this is a race that excels at making people feel welcome at parties.

The parasites always go too far, they never did get the idea of mutualism and they never have pets (for long). So now they are venturing forth from their adopted home planet and in search of a cognate species which breeds freely and is able to give birth at least once per year, with a good growth rate and preferably (although a bit of crunch is acceptable) without an exoskeleton. The parasitoid race is no longer deterred by bright colouring of potential hosts as they know from experience that these are sometimes simple dye additives that some races ingest in a rather feeble attempt to suggest they may be toxic. They have had 198 years to upgrade their battle fleet in between breeding and snacking and now want to change the menu. Mmm how tasty are you?

Pirates of Black Cove Patch

The Paradox Interactive Forums offer a new patch for Pirates of Black Cove that updates Nitro Games' open-world strategic action/adventure/RPG to version 1.0.4. The download is mirrored on Gamer's Hell, and here is the changelog: Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

Slate - Battlefield 3: Why aren't there any civilians in military video games. Misunderstanding that BF3 does.
By removing civilians from the picture, developers like Bach are trying to reap the benefits of a real-life setting without grappling with the reality of collateral damage. In sparing themselves the challenge of making their games deeper and more involving, they're the ones holding back the medium. While video games have come a long way since Mega Man, Battlefield 3's sanitized environment suggests that players are still limited to the same two basic actions: running around and shooting.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It was a somber day yesterday with all the 9/11 remembrance. I am thinking that this may have been the climax of such commemorations, as by the time the 20th anniversary rolls around a little more healing will have taken place.

R.I.P.: 'Spartacus' star Andy Whitfield, 39, dies of lymphoma.
R.I.P.: Actor Cliff Robertson dies at 88.

Somber Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: DuPont Advion Ant Annihilation.
Monster Corp.
Mad Shapes 2.
Links: The Funniest, Strangest Dead Island Glitches So Far.
Stories: F-16s scrambled in two flight incidents.
F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11.
Science: A long mission to ‘Mars’ for Colombian man. Thanks HARDOCP.
Images: 9/11 Debris Explores Mars.
Acronym FAIL.
Media: What do the Godfather and Henry IV have in common?
Tetris Art of the Day.
Why so serious done in the style of Mark Hamill.
Follow-up: Indonesia Smoking Boy Update.

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