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Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011


The Humble Indie Bundle #4

The Humble Bundle Website now offers The Humble Indie Bundle #4, the latest edition in this pick-you-price bundle series with a charitable component. This time around the bundle consists of seven multi-platform, DRM-free games: All participants will receive Super Meat Boy, Shank, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, and NightSky, and those who pay more than the average price will also get Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles. The EFF is no longer involved, as now customers can choose how their donation is split between the developers, Child's Play, and the American Red Cross.

Ships Ahoy - Duke Nukem Forever: The Doctor Who Cloned Me

2K Games and Gearbox Software announce the release of The Doctor Who Cloned Me, the promised new DLC for Duke Nukem Forever, Gearbox's first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "The Doctor Who Cloned Me is bursting with hours of the over-the-top Duke goodness that fans love. Deep in the heart of Area 51, Dr. Proton has been hatching his maniacal plan. Fueled by new ego boosts, Duke is ready to take on evil clones, alien queens and anything else that comes his way in order to save the world and his babes! This full, new single-player campaign includes brand new weapons, all-new enemy types and bosses, more Achievements/Trophies and many more interactive items within the world." The pack also includes these four multiplayer maps:

  • Sky-High: The alien-infested corporate offices of Pooty, Inc. near the center of Las Vegas. This map includes three indoor floors taken over by the aliens and two rooftops, jump pads, stairwells, and building-to-building combat.
  • Command: EDF command center with an imprisoned BattleLord at its core! A two-level map featuring winding stairs, straightaway corridors, and jump pads.
  • Drop Zone: Rooftop of Duke’s Lady Killer Casino featuring indoor and outdoor combat and stairwells for platforming, an EDF dropship on landing pad, and a bottomless pit.
  • Biohazard: Fight in the Breston Plant Nuclear Power facilities and compete across multiple floors in locker rooms, restrooms with showers, control rooms, and the nuclear waste storage room.

New AMD/ATI Catalyst Drivers

AMD now offers new version 11.12 AMD Catalyst reference drivers for AMD/ATI accelerators, as well as AMD Catalyst 12.1 preview drivers. Word is: "The AMD Catalyst™ 12.1 Preview includes all of the features found in AMD Catalyst™ 11.12 and also includes all of the latest optimizations found in the AMD Catalyst 11.11c performance drivers. It is highly recommended that all gamers use the AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver."

Back to Karkand Instructions

The Battlefield Blog outlines the various steps to follow to get the Back to Karkand expansion for Battlefield 3 running on your PC. This includes instructions on buying the game from Origin, buying it from within the military shooter itself, or redeeming the code for a free copy of the add on that came with the limited edition of the game.

Mass Effect 3 Trailer

This trailer (NSFW) is the VGA showing of Mass Effect 3, combining cinematics and gameplay to show off a truly massive boss encounter from BioWare's upcoming action/RPG sequel. Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Direct2Drive's 12 days of Christmas offers a new exclusive deal every day and 20% off your entire order with the code "SURPRISE20" on checkout ("FESTIVE20" in the U.K.). Today's Daily Wishlist Giveaway sale item on Steam is King's Bounty: Armored Princess for 75% off.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: LAN-Party Optimized House. Thanks Chris.

Hard Reset: Extended Edition Announced

Kalypso Media announces they will publish the Hard Reset: Extended Edition, an expanded edition of Flying Wild Hog's cyberpunk shooter, saying this will come to North American retailers in March 2012. Word is: "Hard Reset: Extended Edition for Windows PC will drop players into a dark dystopian cyberpunk world where they’ll enjoy frantic FPS styled gameplay combined with upgradable weapons, insane boss fights, physics-based combat and an intense new storyline." Here's a feature list:

  • A fast-paced, “old school” styled FPSExperience-based weapons upgrade system
  • Five new levels (adding approximate two hours of gameplay to the original game)
  • Four new enemies, one new boss character
  • Updated graphics engine
  • Additional gameplay elements
  • New back-story
  • Two new levels for survival mode

Continue here to read the full story.

Assassin's Creed Revelations DLC Today

Ubisoft announces the release of The Ancestors Character Pack, new downloadable content for Assassin's Creed® Revelations for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation3. They also note that the console editions of the stealth/action sequel are today's Video Games Deal of the Day. The PC DLC is $3.99 in The Official Ubisoft Online Store (where it is still listed as a pre-order with today's release date), and here's what that buys you:

  • New multiplayer characters: the swashbuckling Privateer, the devious siren Corsair, the battle-tested Brigand and the bloodthirsty Gladiator
  • Personalized taunts, weapons and stylized assassination moves
  • New Achievements and Trophies to earn
  • Multiplayer customization items

PC Alan Wake Plans?

A post on the Alan Wake Community Forums has a screenshot showing a listing for Alan Wake in Steam's registry, re-sparking speculation that a Windows PC edition of Remedy's console game is planned. They bolster this with a reminder of Remedy's Aki Järvilehto's statement on the prospect: "We have received feedback from a lot of PC gamers, and I have to admit that yes, we somehow ignored that. Let’s see if in the near future we could have some positive news to tell you about dating!" Thanks Eurogamer.

Battlefield 3 Goes Back to Karkand

The Battlefield Blog announces the Back to Karkand expansion for Battlefield 3 is now live for Windows PC and Xbox 360. They celebrate the new content for the military shooter sequel with a new trailer showing gameplay on the Sharqi Peninsula map. This page has more details and a FAQ on the add-on, and here's a bit on how this all works:

If you haven’t followed us before, Back to Karkand is our first expansion pack for Battlefield 3. It features four legendary Battlefield 2 maps reimagined in the Frostbite 2 engine, with enhanced levels of destruction.

More than just a map pack, Back to Karkand also features 10 new weapons to extend your arsenal (you can bring these new weapons back to the base game maps), three classic vehicles from Battlefield 2, including the STOVL fighter jet (excellent for hovering and capturing bases), Desert Buggy, and and APC, five new dog tags, and an added layer of persistence with the all-new Assignments you need to complete to unlock new weapons.

Now go back to Karkand and let us know what you think in the Battlelog forums! To find your new maps, just use Quick Match or the server browser as you normally would. The four new maps will appear together with the nine ones from the base game. For a full guide on how to use the server browser on console, check out this guide we prepared earlier. Just make sure you apply the latest multiplayer update for Battlefield 3, or you will not be avle to access Back to Karkand.

If you are a Limited Edition owner, you are entitled to this entire expansion pack at no extra charge. Otherwise, you can buy it for PC from Origin at $14,99 or for Xbox 360 from Xbox Live Marketplace or the in-game store for 1200 Microsoft Points.

The Old Republic Early Access Begins

EA announces the promised early access is now beginning for Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's new Star Wars MMORPG. Here's word:

The globally acclaimed MMORPG goes live on December 20, 2011 in North America and Europe, but customers that pre-ordered the title will begin entering the game starting as soon as today, December 13, 2011 at 6:00 AM CST. Players will access the game in waves, creating a rolling thunder of fans pre-loading and playing the game. The Early Game Access program will help manage server volumes, helping to ensure a smooth day-one experience. To participate in the Early Game Access program, customers must pre-order Star Wars: The Old Republic and redeem their code** at Pre-orders are available in limited quantities at most participating retailers and digitally via™.

Modern Warfare 3 Patched

Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling tweets about a new update with hotfixes for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Here's word:

Hot Fix Updates (Released):

No Recoil glitch
Infinite Laptop killstreak glitch (Stealth Bomber Glitch)
Map Exploits (Getting into trucks, under maps) Fix
Prevent Slow-mo and Super Fast lobbies

Hot Fix Updates (Releasing Today 12/12/11):
Fire rate normalization for Assault Rifles with undermounts
FMG9 Re-balancing (Nerf)
Akimbo FMG9 Re-balancing (Nerf)
Type95 Re-balancing (Nerf) - Reduce hipspread.
Fix for ACR with Red Dot / Shotgun
Fix Type 95 bug related to dropping it.
Fix map exploits on Dome

Re-balancing and Updates currently in Development and/or Discussion:

Updates to the Spawn system
Further “lag compensation” or “host advantage / disadvantage” updates plus ability for on-going hot fixes based on feedback.
Fix for Shotgun's with Extended Mags (Prevents them from shooting more pellets than intended)
Default :30 Round Start timer for System Link only, while looking into adjustable timer for System Link games for Competitive Play.
Options to allow System Link players to 'unlock all' for competitive play in System Link only.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website now offers an updated list of hotfixes applied on the server-side for World of Warcraft. As usual, these consist mainly of balance changes for Blizzard's MMORPG, though in this case, most of them are for Dungeons and Raids, rather than classes, though there are class changes as well. Thanks Ant.

Cobalt Friday?

Edge Magazine has word from Mojang that Cobalt may be released as soon as Friday, when the side-scrolling action game from Oxeye Game Studio will mark the developer's first publishing project (thanks VG247). "We haven't told anyone [about the release date] yet because we're aiming for Friday, but we don't know if we can make it," managing director Carl Manneh told them. "But I think we can." Here's more:

The biggest hurdle, Manneh told us, is the implementation of single Mojang log-in, which the studio announced last week; players will be able to log in to Minecraft, Cobalt and the upcoming Scrolls with the same account.

The game itself needs a final polish, with Manneh explaining: "The game has been demoed at PAX and Minecon, but there are certain things we need to make sure are ready…You have to make sure that the user experience works without having someone holding your hand, like we can when standing next to people at events."

Like Minecraft, Cobalt will be released in an alpha state, with those buying the game receiving all subsequent updates for free and player feedback taken into account as development progresses.

LEGO Batman 2 Outed?

Plans for LEGO Batman 2 are revealed by some artwork included in a new range of LEGO superhero toys, reports MCV. There's no indication yet that this will be coming to Windows, as word is: "The ad in the sets says the game is heading to 3DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and unspecified PlayStation formats (most likely both Vita and PS3)."

Drakensang Online Expansion Plans

Bigpoint announces plans for a massive update for Drakensang Online, their hack-and-slash MMORPG. The update is expected before Christmas, offering the following:

  • The NORLANDE expansion update is bringing several new quests, more than a dozen new levels, numerous monsters and champions, new bosses, and new character items and equipment to the game.
  • New Third Class – Rangers! Rangers are very agile archers, but also pack a punch. The Rangers will be accompanied by a whole new skill system that makes skills easier and better to use, and significantly improves gameplay.
  • In the coming months, we’ll be doubling the number of skills in each class – also, higher level players will have access to Skill Trees that will be implemented. This will really allow players to individualize and customize their characters and player styles.

Op Ed

Fempop - VGAs--Not The Oscars For Video Games.
And VGAs? Buddies? You’re the MTV Movie Awards. Despite a great panel of judges (a mix of male and female video game critics who know their stuff) and some very smart categories (Best DLC? Best Multiplayer? That’s awesome. Heck next you’ll do “Best Environment Design” and “Best UI” and those will be awesome too.) you’re pandering to the populist demographic. You’re forgoing prestige for ratings.

Which I get. Mama gotta eat right? You need to make money or it’s a waste, and you’re technically part of Spike TV, which never met a boob on a trampoline it didn’t like. So a little pandering is certainly in order.

But the VGAs have become straight up pandering with a side of stupidity. And what’s worse? It’s not even pandering to gamers! It’s pandering to pop culture’s idea of gamers. Which apparently involve sex obsessed dudes who like bad jokes and outdated internet memes.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


  • Marble Arena 2 is now available for free for Windows, OS X, and Linux…

Out of the Blue

Sign of the times: A Salvation Army Santa ringing his bell in front of a donation bucket that has a sign showing a number to use if you want to text a donation using your mobile phone. They've probably had that for years, but I've never noticed it before.

Texted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Words and Physics.
Links: Creating the Original Doom Chainsaw.
Portal Cookie Cutter Set and Portal Home Decor of the Day.
Stories: Doctor Who Missing Episodes Recovered. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Researchers study autism by making stem cells from autistic patients.
Images: Hotel Advertising WIN!
Star Trek Cameos of the Day.
Sorry, Mario...
Media: GTA V Leaked: It's GTA IV but somewhere else.
George Takei Wants to Unite Star Wars Fans and Star Trek Fans. Thanks nin.
Your white noise generator is no longer required.
The Funnies: Monday Thru Friday: That Boss Wasn’t Too Hard To Take Down.

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