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Friday, May 11, 2012


Battlefield 3 Double XP Weekend

DICE announces they are handing out double the experience points for Battlefield 3 for those who play the military shooter sequel over this weekend. Here's how this works:

This weekend, play Battlefield 3 multiplayer and boost your rank faster! Beginning Saturday, May 12 at 12:01AM PST and continuing through Sunday, May 13 at 11:59PM PST, all soldiers in the Battlefield 3 brigade will earn double XP in matches across all maps and modes.

During the Battlefield 3 Double XP Weekend players will continue to wage all-out-war in Battlefield 3 multiplayer. At the conclusion of each match, player’s total points for the round will be reflected in the end of round screen and classified as ‘ADDITIONAL POINT”. Double XP will be accrued across all ranked servers and matches.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #2 Details

Activision announces Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #2, saying this will come to the Xbox 360 edition of the military shooter sequel on May 22nd, preceded by a pair of free maps they will release next week. Word is: "All content will be available on other platforms at a later date." Here's a trailer and here's word on the collection:

The second Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 DLC Collection launches on May 22 with all-new Multiplayer/Survival Mode Maps, Special Ops Missions and the debut of Face Off maps. Totally new to the franchise, Face Off distills all the fun and intensity of multiplayer into a new breed of 1 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 2 close combat. In addition to 2 Face Off maps (Getaway and Lookout), Collection 2 deploys with 3 additional multiplayer maps (Sanctuary, Foundation and Oasis) and 2 Special Ops Missions (Iron Clad and Switch Back), offering fans new venues to test their Multiplayer and Special Ops skills.

EVE Online Inferno Ignites This Month

CCP announces they will launch Inferno in EVE Online on May 22nd, offering the 17th expansion for their science fiction MMORPG. You can find images and details on this page, and here's an overview: "More than any other expansion in EVE's history, Inferno aims to shake up all levels of warfare in the over 7,500 solar systems in EVE's massive universe. Overhauls of major war-related game systems will affect player-driven conflict and the first set of many new ship modules to come promise to alter tactics at the most visceral levels."

Take On Helicopters Free DLC

The Take On Helicopters Website now offers new Take On Noisecontrollers DLC as free DLC for Bohemia Interactive's flight simulation. Here's the deal:

Take On Noisecontrollers is an entirely free DLC for Take On Helicopters. Fusing two seemingly disconnected worlds, it is one of the first forays of hardstyle music into gaming. The exciting collaboration between DJ and producer duo Noisecontrollers and Bohemia Interactive, has produced a fun expansion for everyone to enjoy.

Take On Noisecontrollers includes 14 new Time Trials, virtual recreations of the Noisecontrollers themselves (Bas Oskam & Arjan Terpstra), themed Light helicopter liveries, and last but not least: a 30-minute exclusive DJ mix!

Max Payne 3 Launch Trailer

Rockstar Games now offers the official launch trailer for Max Payne 3, their upcoming third-persons shooter sequel. This paves the way for the game's release, which will happen for consoles next week in most territories, and at the end of the month for Windows (May 29th in North America and June 1st in Europe.

On Sale

  • 1C Classics on Save 50%.
  • Alan Wake on Save 50%.
  • Alan Wake's American Nightmare Preorders on Save 10%.
  • Avernum Bundle on Steam. Save 20%.
  • The Dream Machine (Chapter 1 and 2) on Steam. Save 20%.
  • Mutant Storm: Reloaded on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Offspring Fling! on Steam. Save 20%.
  • Spring Sale on GameStop PC Downloads. Save up to 75%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

DOTA Trademark Settled

Blizzard Entertainment and Valve announce a settlement of the lawsuit over Valve's trademark of DOTA:

Blizzard Entertainment and Valve today announced a mutual agreement regarding concerns over the names of upcoming products. In accordance with the agreement, Valve will continue to use DOTA commercially, including DOTA 2, while Blizzard will preserve noncommercial use of DOTA for its community with regard to player-created maps for Warcraft III and StarCraft II.

"Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to, so we're happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that," said Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment. "As part of this agreement, we're going to be changing the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date."

"We're pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities."

The companies do not plan to discuss the terms of the agreement beyond today's announcement.

DARK Announced

Kalypso Media announces DARK, a vampire-themed third-person stealth/action game being developed by RealmForge for release on Windows and Xbox 360 early next year. Here are some DARK screenshots, and here's what to expect: "DARK is a stealth action game with RPG elements that lets you slip into the role of the ultimate killer… a vampire. Stalk you enemies from the shadows then use powerful vampire abilities to attack and silently dispatch them! The exciting story of DARK immerses you in a world full of blood and darkness in which the hunter can become the hunted at any time. As you unravel the mystery behind the global conglomerate that seems omnipresent and all-powerful, continually improve your character by developing powerful skills to aid you in remaining unobserved, or make quick process of those unfortunate to take too keen an interest in you." Here's a feature list:

  • Stealth and action combine as players walk the world in darkness and silence, attacking their unsuspecting foes with supernatural fury
  • Use powerful vampire abilities and hard-hitting melee attacks to defeat dangerous enemies -- turn into a puff of smoke and disappear, or close with your foes in an instant!
  • Powerful and intelligently controlled AI enemies mix the fantastic with the real-world. Battle police and elite special forces along with ghouls and other vampires
  • Castles, museums, skyscrapers, nightclubs and more are rendered in stunning 3D cel-shaded graphics, beckoning the player to explore -- but beware, powerful enemies hide everywhere
  • RPG element mix with a compelling story – players will build up their skills through successful evasion and combat, while advancing the story through conversations with NPCs

April Retail Game Sales Fall 42%

The L.A. Times Website has details from the April sales estimates published by the market researchers at the NPD Group, showing a significant downturn compared April 2011. This shows game sales at U.S. retailers taking in $292.1 million last month, a 42% drop from $503.2 million the previous year, while sales of hardware peripherals held steady. As always some of this decline is the shift from retail packaged goods to digital, as they note "sales of used games, digital game downloads and online game subscriptions contributed an additional $370 million." NPD analysts also chalk this up to there being less new product for consumers to consume this year. "Simply stated, there were notably fewer" new game releases, says NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "I think it's as simple as that, because when we see compelling content come into the market, the games are still selling as well as ever."

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Interview

An interview on Games On Net talks with Pete Murray of Firaxis to learn more about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, their upcoming continuation of this strategy series. Topics include UFO interceptions, bases, territories, combat details, squad size, what contact the team has had with Julian Gollop and the original X-COM designers, what connections this will have with the XCOM shooter, and more. They also ask the usual burning question about DRM, but this is not answerable yet, as Pete says: "I don’t know. That’s something they work out on the publisher side, and we’ll try to get some more information on that as we go."

Game of Thrones: The Game Trailer

Here's a new trailer from Game of Thrones: The Game (French accent warning, though subtitles are provided). There's an old saying in Westeros: "What goes on behind the wall, stays behind the wall," but this trailer disregards that rule, as word is: "Narrated by Project Director Thomas Veauclin and Lead Game Designer Sylvain Sechi from Cyanide Studio, 'Behind the Wall' explains how the role-playing game set in the famous A Song of Ice and Fire universe was born. The pair discuss working with author George R.R. Martin to produce a game faithful to the universe he imagined, and how the TV series produced by HBO has influenced their work." Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

Games On Net -- How Cloud Gaming Turned Piracy Into Espionage.
But cloud games aren’t fully held by you, the gamer. The gamer only gets enough code to display the game on their computer. Critical data is stored on the server and streamed during play.

This is more than DRM because the gamer gets substantial benefits from the online connection. Two of the biggest are easy access to multiplayer games and increased protection from hacks. Neither could be provided without the online requirement—online-only means a large multiplayer population, and protecting the server code makes it difficult to hack.

Converting a cloud game to a single player game through reverse engineering is taking what the publisher hasn’t given you, and changing it to something else—with completely different benefits. It’s not fighting DRM. It’s taking what’s not yours.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Corsair Vengeance 1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset on Metku.
  • DeepCool Ice Wind Pro Heatsink on FrostyTech.
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SC Graphics Card on Guru3D.
  • GIGABYTE Sniper M3 Graphics Card on
  • Intel Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge CPU on PureOC.
  • Kingston MobileLite G3 Memory Card Reader on
  • Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB SSD on CDRLabs.
  • Noctua NH-C14 Low-Profile CPU Cooler on Nikk tech.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Graphics Card SLI on techPowerUp.
  • NZXT Switch 810 Case on Overclockers Club.
  • Xigmatek Centauro 1000W PSU on TweakTown.
  • Xigmatek SD1283 Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition CPU Cooler on ProClockers.
  • Zotac GeForce GTX680 2GB Graphics Cards on
  • Zotac Zbox Nano XS AD11 Plus on t-break.


Out of the Blue

Well I hoped to take delivery of a couple of baskets for my new rotisserie in time for the weekend, as I have ideas for a couple of things to use it for like veggies and chicken wings that won't work on the forks, but that's not going to work out, so I'll just have to start out on a typical chicken dealie. Now I have to figure out how people cook baseballs on one of these things.

R.I.P.: Horst Faas, legendary photojournalist, dies at 79.

BB Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Paladog.
Machines Planet.
Links: Space Coast motel goes nude in desperate attempt to survive post-Shuttle economy crash.
Stories: ABC Renews Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Castle, and 7 More Shows.
Student Arrested for Burping During Class. Thanks Digg.
From Graduate School to Welfare. Thanks Boing Boing.
Science: Light From Super Earth 55 Cancri E Detected, An Astronomical First.
Images: We "had" to get one for ThinkGeek HQ. It's a "business expense".
What If The Male Avengers Posed Like The Female One. Thanks ThinkGeek.
Media: Honest Movie Trailers - "Titanic 3D".
Sex With the Hulk.
"Save Jerry".

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