Archived News:

Friday, Oct 26, 2012

MechWarrior Online Open Beta Next Week

IGP (settle down Juggalos, that's Infinite Game Publishing) and Piranha Games announce an October 29th start date for the recently delayed open beta testing of MechWarrior Online:
Infinite Game Publishing (IGP) and Piranha Games announced today that MechWarrior Online is set for Open Beta next week on October 29. MechWarrior Online, one of 2012’s most anticipated titles, has been lauded by fans and the games media as the return of true mech combat. Recently the companies jointly announced that the MechWarrior Online Founder’s Program achieved more than $5 million dollars in sales since July.

Set in the year 3049 during the early stages of a massive interstellar war, MechWarrior Online puts you in command of the most powerful war machine to ever walk the field of battle, the mighty BattleMech™. Command your Mech and customize it to suit your battlefield role; upgrade systems, replace weapons, and tweak armor with endless options.

Get your pilot name and more information at www.mwomercs.com.

Natural Selection 2 Adding Map for Next Week's Launch

The Unknown Worlds Website has news that Natural Selection 2 will boast an additional map that's not part of the beta when the action/strategy sequel launches next week on Halloween. If that makes it sound like this map is a rush job, nothing could be farther from the truth, as they explain it "has been under construction for over two years." They offer some screenshots of the map, and detail all they had to change over the course of that time to get it into a state they are happy with. Thanks Joao.

Hotline Miami Patched; DLC Plans Revealed

Steam News has details on a new patch that's now automatically available for Hotline Miami, addressing some issues in the just-released action game. Word is the single-player campaign now operates as intended, though they say a controller fix is awaiting the next update. Also, Shacknews notes the Steam Community Forums have word from co-developer Dennis Wedin on DLC plans (thanks nin). He says: "If people enjoy the game and want more we have a storyline driven DLC in the plans with new characters and diving further in the story!!!"

Ghost Recon Online Patched

The Ghost Recon Online Website announces this online installment in this Tom Clancy shooter series is now up to version 0.9.0 with the addition of a new patch that adds Phase 1 of the game's Clan Feature, as well as some Halloween-themed content, explaining: "In GRO, we're not just about shooting people in the face but we're also about celebrating holidays."

Interstellar Marines: Prologue Kickstarter

This Kickstarter from Zero Point Software looks to raise $600K for development of Interstellar Marines: Prologue, which encompasses the back story for their planned trilogy of Interstellar Marines multiplayer shooters (thanks Morrow). Here's word:
Equipped with the latest in weapons and gadgets you, in cooperation with fellow candidates, will train and improve your skills in large underground training environments, ranging from shooting ranges to artificially staged hostage and first contact scenarios, all supervised by the all-encompassing AI SARA that makes sure every battle is different!

Drox Operative Beta Patches

Soldak Entertainment offers new patches on this page to update the Windows and OS X betas of Drox Operative to version 0.928. Word is: "This patch has a few balance changes, some useful UI tweaks, and a bunch of fixes." The change list has more details.

Need for Speed Most Wanted Launch Trailer

This is the launch trailer for Need for Speed Most Wanted, showing off the next installment in the action/racing series. Word is: "Buckle up, hit the gas and hold on tight; you’re in for the ride of your life. In Most Wanted, you’ll experience dream cars, the way you always wanted them. No tracks and no simulation. It’s about taking your ride to the limit and beyond, nailing perfect 200 mile-an-hour drifts, slamming your friends off the road, outsmarting the cops and getting away with it in style." Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Things to do in- Dishonored - Dance Party. Thanks nin via Kotaku.

Indie Royale Halloween Bundle

Indie Royale now offers its latest collection of flexibly priced independent games in a Halloween Bundle themed towards next week's spooky holiday. As usual, customers can opt for a bargain and choose the lowest price, or pay a higher price and lower the cost for the cheapskates who follow. The spooky bundle is composed of these five games: Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse (full season), Home, Pathologic, MacGuffin's Curse, and EvilQuest. There is also a bonus for their top contributor: "The Top Purchaser for the Halloween Bundle will get the previously sold out HOME: Old-School Collector's Edition."

Borderlands 2 Patched

Gearbox Software Support now offers updated patch notes for a new version 1.1.3 update that's now available for Borderlands 2, Gearbox Software's role-playing shooter sequel (thanks nin). This addresses a couple of bugs and performance issues, and also adds an option to reset your challenge progress while retaining your badass rank:
Added the ability to reset all challenge progress for a character once they've completed 85% of all non-DLC, non-area-specific challenge levels. This will keep the player's current challenge bonuses and rank, but reset all challenge progress to 0 and allow challenges to be re-completed for additional ranks and bonuses. Resetting is available on the "challenges" screen of the status menu and will display as a tooltip at the bottom of the screen if the player has met the criteria.

Borderlands 2 Golden Key Giveaways

Speaking of Borderlands 2, the Gearbox Software Community Website now offers a schedule for five SHiFT code giveaways to be conducted today and tomorrow for the first-person RPG/shooter. These codes can be redeemed for Golden Keys, and this page includes an outline of how this works. Here's when the giveaways will occur:
Friday, October 26 - 6PM CT (What time is that for me?)
Friday, October 26 - 11PM CT (What time is that for me?)
Saturday, October 27 - 5AM CT (What time is that for me?)
Saturday, October 27 - 11AM CT (What time is that for me?)
Saturday, October 27 - 3PM CT (What time is that for me?

Max Payne 3 Event, Triple XP Weekend

Rockstar Games announces a multiplayer event to be held later today in Max Payne 3, offering mask unlocks on all platforms, and a chance to play with the developers on Xbox 360. Online play will also earn players triple XP all weekend in the third-person shooter sequel:
Join us tomorrow, Friday October 26th from 4-7pm ET / 9pm-midnight BST, for a special Halloween edition of the Social Club Multiplayer Events series where you can unlock a freaky all-new Demonic Skull head item for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer in keeping with the spirit of the season. We'll be playing on Xbox LIVE; however, players across all three platforms will be able to join their respective Social Club Multiplayer Event Playlists in-game to unlock the Demonic Skull as seen above. TRIPLE XP will also be live on all three platforms, right through the weekend.

In addition to the Demonic Skull, we're also unlocking the Day of the Dead Skull as a special bonus exclusive to all members of our veterano Founder Crews. If you have a Founder Crew as your Active Crew, or you have played at least one full game in the 26th October Social Club Playlist, check out the Head Items section of your Multiplayer Loadouts after 4pm tomorrow to access the Skulls (you may need to exit to the main menu of Max Payne 3 and then return to Multiplayer in order to see them). Skulls do not award any bonus abilities, but they do look awesome!

Firefly HD Games Next Month

Firefly Studios announces plans to release Space Colony HD on November 8th, which will offer an updated version of this space simulation first released in 2003. This follows the recent announcement of plans to release Stronghold HD and Stronghold Crusader HD on November 1st, providing a similar update to their castle building franchise. Among other changes, all three games will now support resolutions as high as 2560x1600.

Diablo III Patch & World of Warcraft Hotfixes

World of Warcraft keeps dropping fixes like they're hot, as the official website for Blizzard's MMORPG outlines another batch of hotfixes applied since the version 5.0.5 patch went live. This time around is mostly bug-fixes, and no class balance changes are involved. Also, the Diablo III Website has details on a new patch that's now live, updating the action/RPG sequel to version 1.0.5a with a few bug fixes.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • AMD FX-8350 Processor on X-bit labs.
  • ASUS Sabertooth Z77 Motherboard on Hardware Secrets.
  • ASUS VG278HE 27” 144Hz Gaming Monitor on Hardware Canucks.
  • Cooler Master Excalibur 120mm Fan on eTeknix.
  • Corsair AF120, SP120, AP140 Fans on XSReviews.
  • Fractal Design Tesla R2 500 Watt Netzteil on Technic3D. In German.
  • HIS Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition Graphics Card on Rage3D.com.
  • In-Win GRone on Pure Overclock.
  • MSI GEFORCE GTX 650 Ti 1GB Power Edition Video Card on TweakTown.
  • RAIDMAX Orion Case on Overclockers Club.
  • Samsung 27" S27B970D Series 9 Super PLS LED Monitor on ModSynergy.com.
  • Silicon Power Velox V60 120 GB and Transcend SSD720 128 GB SSD on X-bit labs.
  • SilverStone Heligon HE01 vs. Phanteks PH-TC14PE Cooler on X-bit labs.
  • SilverStone HE02 CPU Air Cooler Heatsink on HARDOCP.
  • SteelSeries Free Mobile Wireless Controller on Hardware Heaven.
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB 2.5- Hard Drive on eTeknix.

Out of the Blue

Well it turned out the mea culpa I offered the other day accepting partial responsibility for the haywire advertising here was incorrect: Our ad provider told me that some older code from another source was at fault for the takeover ad some were experiencing, but after apologizing to you and looking into this, I found this to not be the case, so it was entirely on them. As you may have noticed, we've been running ad-free since then, as I removed all those codes once it became clear they were not able to determine the source of the issue. I have some new ad codes to insert from a provider we have worked with in the past, and though I don't anticipate any problems with these, please do let me know if they cause any once they go up. And once again, allow me to thank those of you willing to put up with this, as I know that this is the only site whitelisted on many of your ad-blockers. Hopefully this is the last of all this for the time being.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Haunted Halloween.
Stories: NYC officer arrested in ghoulish kidnap plot.
"Hobbit" Is 160mins. Might need to add another movie.
Science: CHAMP - lights out. Thanks j.c.f.
Images: Community Cosplay- Sylvanas Windrunner.
Media: First Look- iPad Mini. Thanks VideoSift.
Gigantic Gollum Installation.
Bath or Walk?
The Funnies: Brevity.
Zombie Memory Cartoon - Savage Chickens.

Thursday, Oct 25, 2012

Revised Windows Store Policy Allows PEGI-18 Games

Microsoft has revised the policy of the Windows Store, reports Gizmodo, backtracking on plans to exclude games rated PEGI-18 from being listed there. There will be a delay, however, as while the Windows 8 store launches today, the PEGI 18 games most likely won't be showing up there until December. Thanks Gamasutra.

Future Soldier Season Pass and Arctic Strike Map Pack

Ubisoft announces the availability of a Season Pass for all the DLC for the Windows edition of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, along with the Arctic Strike Map Pack, the first add-on covered by the pass. Here's the deal:
Today Ubisoft announced the availability of the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT Season Pass* which allows access to the entire range of downloadable content for the Windows PC version of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. This includes all-new playable maps and game modes, extra weapons for Ghosts and Bodark units, additional Uplay achievements, and more!

Starting today with the release of the Arctic Strike Map Pack on PC, Season Pass owners will automatically receive access to all new downloadable content. The Arctic Strike Map Pack extends your Ghost Recon: Future Soldier PC experience with new multiplayer maps, a new multiplayer mode, new Guerrilla mode co-op map, and six additional weapons to give you the edge over your enemies.

Order the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT Season Pass now and get $10 off the total price of all upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier downloadable content.

*Available for PC Only. Requires Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future SoldierT base game to play.

Ships Ahoy - PC Deadlight

Steam now offers Deadlight, offering Windows gamers the chance to play this action/adventure that was first released on XBLA. For the first week the game is available at a 15% discount, as is the special edition that includes a separate copy of the game's soundtrack. On a related note, today also marks the release of Escape Deadlight, a fan-created, live-action film based on the game. Here's a description:
The world has ended. There is no hope. No new beginning. Only the survivors. DEADLIGHT follows the journey of Randall Wayne, a man searching for his family across Seattle during the aftermath of a 1980s event that has decimated life on earth. This visually stunning Cinematic Survival Platformer will challenge you to run, jump, climb, and struggle for your life as you look for answers and the ones you love.

Turbine Layoffs

The Boston Globe has news of layoffs at Turbine, developer of Dungeons and Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online, among other games. An unspecified number of jobs were lost as a result, said to be part of a larger round of cuts at parent company Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Thanks VG247.

Op Ed

DSOGaming - Eurogamer amends Robert Florence’s article about Geoff Keighley after threat of legal action. Thanks Joao.

Eurogamer.net - Lost Humanity 18- A Table of Doritos.
Standards are important. They are hard to live up to, sure, but that's the point of them. The trouble with games journalism is that there are no standards. We expect to see Geoff Keighley sitting beside a table of s***. We expect to see the flurry of excitement when the GMAs get announced, instead of a chuckle and a roll of the eyes. We expect to see our games journos failing to get what journalistic integrity means. The brilliant writers, like John Walker for example, don't get the credit they deserve simply because they don't play the game. Indeed, John Walker gets told to get off his pedestal because he has high standards and is pointing out a worrying problem.

Forbes - Video Game Journalist Robert Florence Leaves Eurogamer After Libel Complaints.
Where does journalism end and unwitting advertising begin? I actually ask myself this question a lot, because a lot of the time I write very positive and hopeful things about gaming – because I love video games, and deep down I obviously want as many of them to succeed as possible.

These are hard questions and they don’t have simple answers, but they’re important questions to ask.

John Walker's Electronic House - An Utter Disgrace.
And what the above proves is not only just how moronic UK libel laws are, where someone can’t directly quote a person and then point out possible misinterpretations that could arise from it, but also how deftly our broken system can be used to silence not only discussion, but also criticism.

When a journalist feels they have been misrepresented, even if this so-called misrepresentation has arisen from their having been directly quoted, the response should not be to demand it be removed. The response is to offer to write a response column, or to publish a response in any of the public outlets to which they have access. To do anything else is to be an enemy of journalism, deliberately stifling discussion, and going out of one’s way to ensure further discussion is feared.

Three Dishonored Add-ons Announced

The Bethesda Blog outlines plans for new content for Dishonored, announcing an add-on called Dunwall City Trials coming in December, while also stating we can expect two more add-ons for Arkane's stealth/action game next year:
Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials, being released in December for $4.99 (or 400 Microsoft Points), will include 10 challenge maps that will test and track your combat, stealth and mobility skills. Ten distinct trials await challengers – including an arena battle against waves of enemy AI, a gravity-defying run of drop assassinations, and a race against the clock. Dunwall City Trials also features a whole new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard that will establish the greatest assassins for each challenge.

The second and third add-ons for Dishonored will be coming in 2013 and will each feature story-driven campaigns. Pricing on these two packs will be revealed closer to launch.

Daud, the leader of a group of supernatural assassins known as ‘The Whalers’, will be the focus of the second add-on pack, scheduled for release in early Spring 2013. Make your way through new Dunwall locales and discover Daud’s own set of weapons, powers and gadgets in this story-driven campaign. How you play and the choices you make will impact the final outcome…

Additional story details on the third add-on pack will be revealed closer to its launch next year.

0x10c Multiplayer Footage

Markus 'Notch' Persson conducted some multiplayer testing of 0x10c live on TwitchTV, offering a look at Mojang's upcoming space game in action. The live stream is over, but the recording of the session is available for your perusal, showing first-person shooter combat in an indoor environment. Thanks VG247.

Trains vs. Zombies 2 Today

RailSimulator.com announces Trains vs. Zombies 2, a standalone game that follows up on their Trains Vs Zombies DLC for Train Simulator 2013. The RailSimulator.com Website now features a countdown indicating this will be released later today. You don't usually see the word "navigate" associated with train travel, but it's featured in the description of what this is all about:
Railsimulator.com Ltd., the market-leading innovator of rail simulation and modeling tools, announced Trains vs. Zombies 2, a standalone game in which intrepid train operators must navigate the zombie-ridden city and carry a load of passengers to safety. Featuring five scenarios of frightful fun, this chilling challenge does not require Train Simulator 2013 in order to play.

New York City has been overrun by toxic slime, turning normal humans into mindless zombie-like creatures, and it's your job to rescue passengers from the Halloween nightmare that is taking over the Big Apple. With everything not quite as it seems, be careful who you let on your train as anyone caught in the zombie's slime is instantly turned into a ghastly ghoul. Abandoned trains block your escape route and the zombies are causing havoc ahead of you, but a few broken rails shouldn't stop you ridding the City of the green monsters-or will they? As night falls, the zombies become more devilish and help is needed to restore calm to the City. As you find ways to rid the city of the evil zombies, there are still plenty of surprises in store before reaching the safety of Penn Station. Are you ready to save the world one platform at time?

Features of Trains vs. Zombies 2 include:

  • A standalone product that does not require Train Simulator 2013 in order to play
  • Realistic Northeast Corridor route, complete with zombie characters
  • AEM-7 electric locomotive with passenger cars
  • Five ghoulish scenarios-complete each scenario to win the game!

Trains vs. Zombies is available as a Stream download for the following prices: $8.99, £4.99, €5.99, 124Rub and $3.99 CIS. For more information, visit railsimulator.com

SimCity in March

The SimCity twitter feed offers a March 5th North American release date for SimCity, the revival of the urban planning series, suggesting you allocate your free time accordingly: "Mayors! Mark your calendars, #SimCity will be in stores March 5th in NA. RT If you're planning to take vacation that week to play." Thanks PC Gamer.

Max Payne 3 Patched

Rockstar Games outlines a patch that's now automatically available for all versions of Max Payne 3, preparing the way for next week's release of the Hostage Negotiation Pack while also addressing some issues with the third-person shooter sequel. Here's word on what it does:

  • General improvements to multiplayer, improving overall stability and matchmaking efficiency
  • Added the option to copy one of your Loadouts into an empty custom slot
  • Fixed an issue where wins and losses were reported incorrectly on leaderboards
  • Fixed an issue where explosive kills were not working as intended in Arcade Mode
  • Fixed an issue where newly created Crews and Emblems would not always appear in-game
  • Fixed an issue where dual wielding the PT92 and .38 revolver and firing until the ammunition runs out could cause the weapons to jam

Distance Kickstarter

This Kickstarter seeks user support for Distance, an arcade racing game in the works for Windows and OS X from Refract Studios. This is a new developer formed by the team behind DigiPen student project Nitronic Rush, and they say Distance is a spiritual successor to that game. Here's the summary of the goals for this project: "In short, it's Trials Evolution + Rush 2049 + Halo + Tron. The game takes the intense action of arcade racing and fuses it with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly to survive in a chaotic and twisted city." The page offers details on the game, an announcement trailer, what they will do if they hit their $125K goal, and an endorsement from former Epic designer Cliff Bleszinski. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

The PA Report - Without iOS and Android support at launch, Microsoft’s Smartglass is as good as dead. Thanks nin.
On Friday, when the feature goes live, only Surface owners will be sure to have access to SmartGlass in the way it was intended, limiting the feature to a tiny amount of possible users. It’s not interesting enough to be a selling point for the new tablets, and by trying to keep the initiative locked into its own devices Microsoft is ensuring a lack of developer support. There may be gamers who own a 360, Kinect, Dance Central 3, and a Surface tablet, but not many of them.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Last week's football outcomes were more as expected, and all of us were over .500. Jivaro takes the day with an impressive 12-1, while Sprawl editorialized by picking all the teams with a bye. Here are my picks for this week: Vikings, Bears, Chargers, Seahawks, Packers, Dolphins, Falcons, Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Broncos, 49ers. Here are the full results from last week: Jivaro 12-1, Creston 11-2, Verno 11-2, Blue 10-3, Mag 9-4, Cutter 8-5, Batman 1-0, and Sprawl 0-0.

Picky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Flippin' Dead.
Stories: Brazilian man appears very much alive at his own funeral.
Science: Brain Region 'Solely Devoted' To Faces, Study Suggests.
Embryo from 2 women and 1 man made in lab.
Stars hiding in dark matter halos made early galaxies look big.
Media: Saw 7 teaser trailer. Spoof. Thanks Ryan.
Unbelievable Tennis Shot.
Louis C.K. - Farts.
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