Archived News:

Friday, Sep 16, 2011

Ships Ahoy - King Arthur: Fallen Champions

Paradox Interactive announces that King Arthur: Fallen Champions is now available, offering a "standalone, story-driven game which bridges the gap between the prior title and its upcoming sequel, King Arthur II" (the "prior game being King Arthur: the Role-playing Wargame). The say the game "is now available for $9.99 on all major digital distribution channels," also noting that the Paradox Sale on Steam offers the King Arthur Collection (which does not include the new game) at a 75% discount to celebrate the news. They also offer a new walkthrough video, which explains, in proper cockney, that "Fallen Champions bridges the gap between King Arfur one and two, wif a tale of free brave souls."

Valve Time Bites L4D2 Cold Stream DLC

The Left 4 Dead Blog announces the release of a beta version of the Death Toll campaign for Left 4 Dead 2, saying they "have made a few changes based on issues we saw during internal testing." Also, with the end of summer less than a week off, they admit the release of the Cold Stream DLC for the zombie sequel has run afoul of Valve Time:
The most popular question these days is when will the complete Cold Stream DLC be released? We have been saying end of summer, but that looks to be slipping quickly by. At the current rate of testing, feedback, and updating we are looking at around Halloween.

The second most popular question, when is the next update to the Cold Stream Campaign? Soon. We have been working on some performance issues. Before we officially release a campaign it needs to hit some performance benchmarks and be able to keep a minimum number of frames per second throughout the campaign. We are close.

EA to Close Visceral's Melbourne Studio?

Kotaku Australia reports a rumor that EA will shutter the Melbourne offices of their Visceral studio on Monday, saying an anonymous source tells them the studio was "working on a AAA game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 for the past three years until new management pulled the plug on the project and the studio" over worries the game would not be profitable. A report on Gamasutra lends further credence to this, noting corroborating information in two tweets from Screenplay.

Battlefield 3 Operation Guillotine Full Trailer

The Battlefield Blog announces the release of the full Operation Guillotine Gameplay Trailer from Battlefield 3, following the teaser trailer released last week. This offers a fuller look at this operation from the upcoming military shooter sequel, as well as the first trailer released from the Xbox 360 edition of the game. Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2011 Video Diary

The fourth and final video developer diary for F1 2011 features Senior Producer Paul Jeal and Chief Games Designer Stephen Hood talking about the Formula One racing sequel that's due for release next week. Word is: "The video features gameplay footage and reveals the all-new Safety Car in action alongside a range of season updates that make the game feel 'completely different'." Continue here to read the full story.

WoW Magazine Ends

The World of Warcraft: the Magazine Website announces that Future's WoW-specific magazine has ceased publication after only five issues. Subscribers are being sent codes to redeem for a "special offer" or a refund for the balance of their subscription. Here's word from their mail, passed along by nin: "We really appreciate your support for the magazine and would like to offer you a premium based on your remaining subscription term, or, if you prefer, a full refund of your remaining balance instead. To redeem your premium or request a refund, please visit www.worldofwarcraftthemagazine.com by September 30, 2011." The site offers a FAQ revealing what those who forego a refund will receive: "Most subscribers received a choice between a collection of six in-game pets or a full refund of their remaining subscription balance. However, some individuals with longer subscription terms remaining were offered one or two further premiums in addition to the pet collection."

New Gaming Peripherals

Corsair announces new Vengeance Gaming peripherals, including two Vengeance mice, one designed for first-person shooter players, and the other geared more towards RTS and MMO gaming, two Vengeance mechanical keyboards, with the same specializations as the mice, as well as three Vengeance headsets, which are genre agnostic, but offer different feature sets to suit different needs. Also, SplitFish announces the North American release of The FRAGFX SHARK 360, which is due in Europe on October 10th. As the name implies, this is for the Xbox 360, aimed at being the "ultimate weapon for Xbox 360 FPS players," though it will work on PCs as well. Word is: "The FRAGFX SHARK 360 is a significant step forward for the console gaming industry because it not only provides an almost perfect PC mouselike FPS experience for gamers on the XBOX 360, but also provides an easy to adopt, high end, fully programmable analog stick counterpart that make it possible for hardcore PC FPS fans to enjoy their favorite shooters on MAC or PC."

New Via Digital Distribution

New Impulse FAQ Now Available, though the announcement does not actually offer a link. You can find the FAQ here.

Games

Patches

On Sale

  • Battlefield 3 Limited Edition on Origin. Preorder and get Dead Space 2. Thanks HARDOCP.
  • Darksiders on Steam. Save 75%.
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Ultimate Sith Edition on Direct2Drive.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Tex Murphy 1+2 on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Tex Murphy: Overseer on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Xotic on Steam. Save 10%.

Op Ed

GamePro - Cliffy B Calls Eurogamer 'Haters' for Gears of War 3 Review Score.
But one particular jab at Eurogamer for their Gears of War 3 review is currently running as headline news, particularly because Destructoid's Jim Sterling pointed out the hubris of Bleszinski's statement that Eurogamer's Johnny Minkley was a "hater" for giving Gears of War 3 an 8 out of 10, where other outlets have given higher scores.

Fact is, Cliffy B should be extremely happy that Gears of War 3 is so critically acclaimed among the gaming press... even though his latest game is performing so well, it's a shame that he can't see the forest for the trees. In Sterling's own words, "a man who is currently swimming in perfect review scores" to be "getting upset because he didn't get just a handful more" comes off as "unbelievably vulgar."

Jim Sterling isn't wrong.

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Minecraft - Black Mesa. Thanks Ant.

Gone Gold - RAGE

"RAGE is ready!!" declares the Bethesda Blog, announcing that id Software's first-person shooter is now complete, and ready for its release on October 4th in North America and October 7th in Europe. They offer a picture of RAGE Senior Brand Manager, old whatshisname, holding final versions of the game for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, and direct those interested in preordering the Anarchy Edition to the RAGE website.

Tribes: Ascend Alpha Key Giveaway

Hi-Rez Studios announces they will give away 10 alpha keys for Tribes: Ascend through the game's Facebook page today, offering the chance for five winners to invite a friend to play the upcoming multiplayer shooter revival before the closed beta begins. Here's word:
To reward Tribes: Ascend Facebook fans, Hi-Rez is giving out 10 Tribes: Ascend Alpha keys today!

Step 1: LIKE Tribes: Ascend on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/tribesascend
Step 2: COMMENT on the post before midnight EST on Sept 16, 2011
Step 3: Hi-Rez will select 5 people who commented. If selected, you get one key for yourself and another key for a friend of your choosing.

You both can play Tribes: Ascend this weekend BEFORE the start of Closed Beta. Go!

Dragon Age II Mark of the Assassin DLC Next Month

The new GameTrailers mentioned below also features The Guild's Felicia Day, who reveals plans for new Dragon Age II DLC called Mark of the Assassin. Felicia is appearing in the DLC as Tallis, the elven assassin from her Dragon Age web series, not only supplying the character's voice, but doing its motion capture as well. They feature a little bit of cinematic and gameplay footage from the DLC for BioWare's RPG sequel, but avoid giving too much away, as there are apparently "surprises" involved, though they do mention the addition of her character involved creating new combat and stealth mechanics. She says the launch of the DLC on all platforms and the debut of her web series should both occur on October 11.

Deadshot in Arkham City

The new episode of GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley features a visit from Sefton Hill of Rocksteady Studios, as the game director for Batman: Arkham City discusses the upcoming superhero sequel. They outline the story of the game and Sefton also offers some revelations, as he discusses some new gadgets for this go-around with the caped crusader, unveiling the Remote Electrical Charge and the Freeze Blast. We also meet a new villain from the game, they show off Deadshot for the first time, as the assassin plays a significant role in some of the game's side missions.

Free Portal

The Learn With Portals Website announces that the original Portal is being offered for free between now and September 20th. The highly regarded Windows and OS X game available from Steam to anyone with a Steam account. Thanks Bill.

New Deus Ex: Human Revolution Debug/Burger Mod

A post on the Eidos Forums points the way to a new version of the modification that allows access to the Debug/Burger menu in Deus Ex: Human Revolution to account for the new version of Eidos Montreal's action/RPG prequel. Here's word on what this enables: "The Debug Menu allows you to manipulate the game (no health regen, infinite power, infinite ammo, AI options, UI options) and has a "Shop" feature, which lets you spawn yourself augmentations, money, weapons, weapon mods and other in-game items, as well as tons of debug options which you probably should leave alone." Thanks ^Drag0n^.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

A new list of version 4.2 hotfixes shows the latest changes to World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG (thanks Ant). Here's the list of server-side updates: Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of Neverwinter Open Beta

GamePro notes that open beta testing of Heroes of Neverwinter on Facebook is now underway. They also offer impressions of this social take on Dungeons and Dragons gaming: "Whatever your feelings on Farmville-esque Facebook games, Heroes of Neverwinter offers a significantly different experience and a fun time for fans of D&D 4e or tactical RPGs. While it's not perfect, it's still early days for the game, so Atari and Liquid will hopefully have plenty of time to listen to community feedback, act on it and deliver the definitive social D&D experience."

Gaikai Aims High

Excerpting their interview with Dave Perry (registration required), GamesIndustry.biz has word on Gaikai's goal of reaching 100 million users for their cloud-based gaming service by next year. "We are targeting 100 million as quickly as we can possibly get there," he said. "We need to get above the reach of any single game entity in the industry a quickly as we can." Word is the service already reaches 10 million users through their affiliate program.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I still have Archer in the DVR and I also just got both seasons of Frisky Dingo, so I'm set for an Adam Reed marathon, though since Frisky Dingo episodes are all of 11 minutes, this marathon is more like a 5K. I'm ready for some TV enjoyment, as we decided to further exercise our Arrested Development by checking out Up All Night the other night, which was horrible... Will Arnett was great as a secondary character, but unless this show improves by leaps and bounds I think it may be time to give up on the idea that he can help carry a show in a primary role (though I guess blaming him for the crappy writing in this and Running Wilde is a little unfair, maybe he just needs a new agent).

Primary Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: The King's League.
Red Code Origins Games.
Links: William Shatner hates Star Wars, but as for Leia ... he'd hit that. Set phasers to schwiing!
Bruce Campbell: No Ash in ‘Evil Dead’ Remake.
Why Are TV’s Top-Rated Shows Ignored at the Emmys? This *has* to be meant as irony.
Stories: Denver Men Accused Of Taking Friend's Corpse On Boys' Night Out. Thanks brother19.
Mother Fired After Taking Time Off To Give Her Son A Kidney. Thanks Digg.
Irish college boots Professor Conan T. Barbarian.
Science: NASA spots Star Wars-like "Tatooine" planet orbiting two stars.
Images: A Gallery of Underwhelmed Onlookers in Video Games
Gamers Play Real Ping Pong.
And All of a Sudden The Downstairs Tenants Heard a Loud Crash.
Media: Star-Studded Star Wars Reenactment of the Day.
Mr. Plinkett: an animated film.
Ewan McGregor learns the title of Star Wars Ep II.
The Funnies: Brevity.
Rhymes with Orange. It's funny 'cause it's true. Thanks dakslf.
The Origin of Batman's Costume.
Follow-up: 'God particle' goes missing: Higgs boson 'may not exist'. Thanks HARDOCP.
NMA: 'Star Wars' fanboys, actors gang up on Lucas.
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