Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
User Settings
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:
Germany 08/31
Chicago, IL USA, IL 10/19

Regularly scheduled events

Archived News:

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012


Ships Ahoy - A Game of Dwarves

Paradox Interactive announces the release of A Game of Dwarves, which is accompanied by a new release trailer from Zeal Game Studios' vertically challenged strategy/management game. Here's the news:

Paradox Interactive and Zeal Game Studios has today launched A Game of Dwarves, a classic management and strategy title, which puts players into the metaphoric shoes of a dwarven prince who seeks to expand dwarvenkind’s prestige, underground dominance, and, of course, amass large amounts of treasure. Yay treasure! Utilizing a combination of strategy and management, A Game of Dwarves gives players full reign over a dwarven settlement as they dig, build, and conduct research to expand their underground empire. With a careful hand, players will need to level up their weak dwarflings and transform them into brave warriors, master craftsmen, and diligent diggers as they scour for rare resources hidden in the depths. Defend your dwarves from terrible beasts living in the uncharted regions of the world and make sure to adapt your strategy and tactic because deep down underground, you’ll never know what you’ll bump into.

Ships Ahoy - Hotline Miami

Devolver Digital announces the release of Hotline Miami, Dennaton Games, unusual action game with a 1980s setting that fits its throwback graphics. The game is available on Steam, here's the creepy Launch Trailer, and here's the story:

A splash of neon and blood hits PCs everywhere today with the release of the award winning, top down fuck-‘em up Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital. Available now through a variety of digital download retailers for $9.99, Hotline Miami combines breakneck action with stylized visuals and a driving soundtrack layered on an intense narrative that delivers one of the year’s most compelling indie games.

“Development has been both exciting and challenging but we can’t be more thrilled to finally release Hotline Miami," said developer Jonatan Söderström. “Dennis and I are incredibly proud of the game and are looking forward to people’s reactions to the story and questions posted to the player.”

Gamers will step into the neon-soaked underground of 1980s Miami as bizarre messages on your answering machine seem to be urging you to commit terrible acts of violence against a nameless group of armed thugs. Overflowing with raw brutality and skull crushing close combat, Hotline Miami demands sharp reactions and a creative approach to navigate a gauntlet of 20 multiscreen missions. Wield 35 different weapons, collect 25 game-altering masks, and unveil a dark, surreal storyline that will force you to question your role in this murderous spree.

“Hotline Miami has machine guns, expensive drugs, monster trucks, tiger fur rugs, and an attractive you blonde hungover on your couch,” said Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker. “It’s like they took my weekends and made a video game.”

The hotline itself can be reached by texting +1 786 519 3708 or tweeting @HotlineMiami. Leave a message. Visit for more on the game and for more on the collaboration between Jonatan Söderström and Dennis Wedin.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown DLC Released; Two More Packs Planned

2K Games and Firaxis now offer sales of the Elite Soldier Pack for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a set of customization tools originally offered as a preorder incentive for the strategy remake. This is accompanied by news they are also working on two DLC packs for the game, though they only have details on one of them, and this does not include key points like pricing or a release date. Here is what we know:

The Slingshot Content Pack, the first of two add-on content packs for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, will be available soon. In this new set of linked Council missions, gamers will meet an enigmatic Triad operative, divert an alien ship’s course, and do battle with the aliens in the skies over China. The Slingshot Content Pack includes three new maps tied to the Council missions, a new playable squad character with a unique story and voice and new character customization options. The release date and pricing of the Slingshot Content Pack will be announced soon.

The Elite Soldier Pack, originally free for those who pre-ordered XCOM: Enemy Unknown or purchased the game at launch, is now available for purchase for $4.99 (PlayStation®Network) / 400 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network) / $4.99 (Windows PC). The Elite Soldier Pack provides the ultimate tools for soldier customization in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, including:

  • Classic X-COM soldier: Players will instantly receive a new recruit in their barracks inspired by the original X-COM: UFO Defense. The iconic soldier with the blonde, flattop hairstyle will return fully modernized.
  • Soldier Deco packs: Players can customize their soldier with several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits, including the new Hyperion and Reaper soldier armor kits.
  • Complete color customization: A variety of colors and tints for all armor sets in the game allow players complete control to customize their squad’s look.

Original DOOM 3 Off Steam

As noted in some irate posts on the Steam Users' Forums, the standalone edition of DOOM 3 is no longer offered on Steam and is difficult or impossible to find on other digital distributors, where the newer DOOM 3: BFG Edition has taken its place. As noted on Eurogamer, the problem is that users have not yet been able to get DOOM 3 mods to work with the BFG Edition of the first-person shooter sequel, leaving those interested in a mod-friendly edition of the five year-old game with limited options (they mention the Super id Software Pack, but this no longer seems to be available in the U.S., either). This does not mean all hope is lost, however, as they have the following quote from a Bethesda rep on the situation: "We do realize that there are fans that would like to purchase the original version of the game, and we're looking into options for them. When there's new info to share, we'll let everyone know."

NVIDIA Beta Drivers

The GeForce Website offers new beta version 310.33 GeForce drivers for NVIDIA accelerators. Word is: "Featuring GTX 600 Series performance improvements of up to 15%, the new GeForce 310.33 beta drivers are a recommended download for all Kepler users. In addition to performance improvements, the GeForce 310.33 beta drivers include a number of new and updated SLI and Ambient Occlusion profiles that benefit and enhance all GeForce PCs."

No BF3 Color Grading Removal

A follow-up post from DICE senior programmer Mikael Kalms says he must retract his recent statement that an option to turn off color grading would be included in the next client patch for Battlefield 3 (thanks Joao). Here's the reasoning:

After discussing this further with my colleagues, we have decided to not implement this feature. This is the studio’s take on this matter, and I support this decision:

"As a studio, it is extremely important for us at DICE to have a unique identity in our games, not only from a gameplay perspective, but visually as well. While we appreciate that some players might want a slightly different look to the game, we are proud of the visual identity of Battlefield 3 and do not wish to change it."

I apologize for getting anybody’s hopes up, and if you have any further questions on this subject, I will refer back to the above statement.

Guild Wars 2 Halloween Events Begin

These Update Notes on the Guild Wars 2 Forum have details on a new update that's now live, bringing the promised Halloween events to ArenaNet's MMORPG. In addition to all the new themed content for the occasion, the new version also has a few general fixes. Thanks Jason.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Sniper vs Spider-Man. Thanks Ant.

Ships Ahoy - Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

Stardock announces that Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is now available, offering the fantasy strategy follow up to Elemental: War of Magic. As promised, this will be free to those who purchased the first Elemental during 2010 as compensation for the game's problematic launch. Here's word:

Stardock announced today that the long-awaited fantasy strategy PC game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, is now available. Fallen Enchantress offers players an immersive new world to build or destroy as they try to conquer the land and its inhabitants. Enter the world of Elemental and create a sovereign with unique talents and abilities along with a faction to align yourself with in an effort to bring the world under your control.

The land is not simply waiting to be claimed, it must be conquered. The lands of Elemental are teeming with monsters, bandits and ancient creatures who will not willingly give up their hold on the world. In addition, other factions are pursuing the same agenda at the same time raising the stakes.

Highlights include:

  • A new game every time. Players can choose the world conditions and have a world randomly generated with randomized opponents, monsters and quests.
  • Unique factions to play with or against. Each faction has its own special units, abilities and powers that require different strategies to achieve victory – or to resist against.
  • Massive scale. Players can zoom in and see individuals working in their cities or zoom out to see the known world presented in a real-time cloth map in one smooth transition.
  • Computer players that get better the more you play. The multi-core AI makes use of the character, factions and units players create in previous games.
  • Custom Scenarios. In addition to the epic sandbox game, Fallen Enchantress also supports custom scenarios. The game includes the scenario “The Fallen Enchantress” to introduce players to the backstory.
  • A strategy game in an RPG world. Fallen Enchantress introduces elements normally found in role playing games such as quests, loot drops, moral dilemmas, unit customization and much more.
  • Unique Locations. The world generator will randomly place one of several unique areas that contain special resources to use. These “Wild Lands” have their own powerful guardians who must first be defeated before the treasures within can be exploited.
  • Multiple paths to victory. Players can win through diplomacy, questing, sorcery, or good old fashioned military conquest.
  • An interactive tutorial. To introduce new players to the world of “4X” strategy games, Fallen Enchantress includes an in-depth tutorial to ease players into the Elemental world.
  • Advanced modding tools. The game ships with a rich array of modding tools including a map editor, tile editor and particle editor to provide players with the means to create new races, quests, spells and scenarios which can be easily shared with other players.
  • All-star development team. Fallen Enchantress reunites Stardock’s Galactic Civilizations team and is designed by Derek Paxton, the author of the acclaimed Civilization IV mod “Fall From Heaven”. The Fallen Enchantress scenario was created by the Civilization V designer, Jon Shafer, and the lore, backstories, and dialog were written by fantasy author Dave Stern.

Fallen Enchantress is $39.99 new and free for those who purchased War of Magic in 2010.

It is available direct from its home page ( as well as on Steam, GameStop, GamersGate and elsewhere.

Newer AMD/ATI Catalyst Beta

The AMD/ATI Catalyst beta driver released yesterday turns out to have a problem with Medal of Honor Warfighter, where the just released military shooter would crash when running with anti-aliasing enabled in a crossfire configuration. This page now hosts the updated version 12.11 beta 4 driver.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Shipped; Patched

Electronic Arts announces the release of Medal of Honor Warfighter, saying the PC and console editions of the military shooter are now available in North America, and will be released in Europe on Friday. Accompanying the release is a day one patch for the game, which is available on this page, where they offer this explanation: "This patch is for consoles as well as PC and includes a multitude of fixes for both the Single-Player and Multiplayer experience, and our team heartily encourages all Medal of Honor Warfighter players to download and install the patch as soon as they are able." Here are some screenshots, and here's word:

Step into the boots of the most elite Tier 1 Operators to hunt down terror. Danger Close™ Games, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. Electronic Arts Inc today announced that Medal of Honor™ Warfighter is now available at retail stores in North America and will be released on October 26 in Europe. The award-winning Medal of Honor franchise has sold over 50M copies in its illustrious history, with Medal of Honor Warfighter set to deliver this year’s only true modern military shooter experience. Introducing 12 Tier 1 units from 10 different nations including the Polish GROM, German KSK, Canadian JTF-2 and U.S. Navy SEAL, Medal of Honor Warfighter will deliver one of the premier multiplayer experiences of the year. Powered by the advanced technology of the Frostbite™ 2 game engine, says the game “looks and feels far better than its predecessor.”

The Medal of Honor Warfighter innovative multiplayer design allows players to represent their nation as gamers go head-to-head pitting the best-of-the-best soldiers from around the world in online competition. The game also introduces a new multiplayer co-operative feature called Fireteams, which gives players a competitive advantage and rewards them for teaming up with a friend on the battlefield. Players will be able to represent their global warfighters and experience Fireteams in eight real-world maps including Sarajevo Stadium in Bosnia and five unique modes like the nerve-rattling “Hotspot” and fast-paced “Home Run” Sport mode.

Continue here to read the full story.

Divine Space Kickstarter

This Kickstarter looks to raise $100,000 for Divine Space, a sci-fi action/RPG from indie developer Dodo Games, right on the heels of a report that Blizzard once prototyped a game in this vein. The plan is to develop a free-to-play Unity-engine game for tablets first, and to follow with versions for Windows, OS X, and Linux before turning their attention to multiplayer support.

Ships Ahoy - Tropico 4: Pirate Heaven

Shiver me torrent! Kalypso Media announces the release of Pirate Heaven DLC for Tropico 4, a new DLC pack for the Windows edition of the island dictator simulation (the console DLC is expected later this year). Here's word:

Tropico is becoming a pirate hideaway, courtesy of new DLC available now for the Windows PC version of the game. In the newly released "Pirate Heaven" DLC for Tropico 4, players can now ignore those pesky international blockades, importing goods via the new Smuggler's Hut building, and boost their naval power courtesy of the new "Sailor" character trait. As part of the new DLC, your minions will now be able to resort to piracy as a way of making quick money, though all that ship hijacking, ransoming, pillaging and plundering is sure to attract international attention (and ire), so you'll need to build up your defences to protect Tropico from invasion! Last but never least; players can dress up their female avatars with the new "Pirate Queen" outfit, giving just a bit more flair to your in-game persona.

The Pirate Heaven DLC is available now through various digital portals and the Kalypso Launcher for £3.49/€3.99 and requires the original Tropico 4 for Windows PC. The Pirate Heaven DLC will be available later this year for the console version.

Hero Academy Expands Next Month

Robot Entertainment announces plans to release a Shaolin team for Hero Academy next month, adding a martial arts faction to the asynchronous multiplayer game, accompanied by a new challenge collection with additional offline puzzles. Word is: "From heroic schools in the east comes a balanced team who turns their enemy's powers against them. The mystical warriors of the Shaolin team have defeated countless enemies in their own land. Now they hope to test their skills at the fabled Hero Academy. The Shaolin's heroes reduce the strength of their enemies, and can combine their attacks for additional damage."

FIFA 13 Patched

The FIFA 13 Website apologetically announces the belated release of a new patch to update the Windows PC edition of FIFA 13, EA's sports simulation sequel (thanks VG247). They explain why the patch did not come out when expected, and say the delay allowed them to address additional items along the way. Here is the change list from the title update: Continue here to read the full story.

Blizzard Once Toyed with Diablo in Space

Shacknews has promotion for an upcoming book on Blizzard Entertainment from David Craddock titled Stay Awhile and Listen describing a point following the release of Diablo II when Blizzard North prototyped a project codenamed "Starblo," since it was basically going to be Diablo in a science fiction setting. They offer this anecdote as a tease of a full chapter of the book they will publish online as a tease for the book. "The project earned the nickname Starblo for its mix of a space setting and the action-RPG formula that made Diablo so successful," he said. "Like Diablo 2, Starblo would take place over several acts, but rather than journey across a single world, players would board their customizable spaceship and travel to new planets, killing and looting the space creatures they found there. By the time Dave Brevik and the Schaefers left Blizzard North in summer 2003, the Starblo team had produced a few playable builds of the game, but still hadn't come up with a proper name."

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Having made the generous mistake of giving some away, we are actually almost done with the gallon of chili I made just over a week ago. This prompted a painful discussion over whether this meant the next batch should be larger, so it lasts longer, or smaller, so we don't end up consuming an entire cow over a very short span. Of course we could formulate a plan that involved a more moderate approach to consuming the chili, but I think we know that's not realistic.

Moderate Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Epic War Saga.
Links: The Blues Have It. Excelsior! Thanks j.c.f.
21 Videogames Begging to Be Made into Movies. Thanks
Stories: Stephen Colbert to Make 'Hobbit' Cameo.
Science: Bioengineered corn can digest itself in the name of biofuels.
Media: Iron Man 3 Trailer.
Lo Pan Style (Gangnam Style Parody). Thanks Mark.
Bus Station Sonata.
Follow-up: Combined pesticide exposure affects bumblebee colony success.

Blue's News logo