An interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun
talks with Brian Fargo about inXile's recently revealed plans
, a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment
, the classic RPG. They talk about where the project stands, using the Numenera
system, why getting the actual license didn't work out, what "makes a Torment game a Torment game," Chris Avellone's involvement, and the likelihood they will be taking this project to Kickstarter. Thanks Pope Viper.
Closed beta testing of MechWarrior Tactics
has officially commenced, and North American gamers are being offered the opportunity to participate in vetting the online strategy title by purchasing one of three different Founder's packages
."MechWarrior Tactics is a game deeply rooted and inspired by the original and cherished BattleTech tabletop games. It’s important for us to bring to life the essence of the BattleTech experience for fans and we’re looking forward to their valuable feedback," says Chris Cleroux, Game Director, Roadhouse Interactive. "This is truly a project where the Closed Beta will be one, long conversation with the fanbase ensuring that we are creating an experience which captures the magic, excitement and flavor of the BattleTech universe."
An MSN Money article
has more on EA's plans for The Sims 3 besides the packs mentioned earlier
(thanks Rhino). Here's word on more simminess on the way:
Dropping anchor this June is The Sims 3 Island Paradise, an expansion pack filled with adventure, exploration and a world of new discoveries set on the sunny shores and beneath the glistening water of a tropical paradise. For the first time ever, Sims can take the helm of fully customizable houseboats and set sail in search of uncharted islands, create, own and manage resorts or discover what lies beneath the ocean through the new skill-based scuba diving and snorkeling activities. The Sims 3 Island Paradise introduces all new ways to build - whether it’s a lavish five-star resort, a bungalow on the water or a houseboat that can travel the seas. Players can create their own idea of island paradise for their Sims in this new expansion pack and embark on an unforgettable journey.
Launching this fall is an all-new stuff pack that is filled with clothing and décor inspired by iconic movie themes and settings. Additionally this fall, Sims will finally be able to travel to the future in an all-new expansion pack, currently untitled. More details will be revealed in the coming months, but Sims will certainly have the time of their lives this year with the offerings from The Sims 3.
is the introductory video for SimCity
, the upcoming continuation of Maxis' urban planning series. Word is: "Using all gameplay footage, the video shows off Multi-city play beginning with an expansive aerial view of one of the regions in the game before it dives into city specialisation, providing fans with a glimpse into how their cities can look when they specialise in dirty coal power, clean nuclear or wind power, or tourism. The video ends with the first look at the Space Center, one of the Great Works that players can work to create together when the game launches in the UK on 8th March 2013." Continue here to read the full story
The TERA Website
has news that En Masse Entertainment's MMORPG is going free-to-play next month (thanks Massively
). This FAQ
has all the details, and here's a bit:
TERA will be free.
No level, time, or content restrictions.
Our philosophy is to add to what we already offer instead of restricting existing content. We've added an in-game shop where players can choose to buy costumes, mounts, and consumables, but the core of the game will be 100% free.
has details from SOE's Matt Higby on the next patch for PlanetSide 2
, which is supposed to be deployed in the MMOFPS sequel on January 30. This includes details on performance improvements, XP enhancements, UI changes, and more. Word is: "We know this doesn't address every issue that's been brought up recently but we hope it knocks out some of the big ones. Hopefully you will see from this update (and the feature plan for the next 6 months, when that is revealed) that we're taking your feedback and concerns for the game very seriously. We're here, we're listening and we're committed to continue to work with our community to build the best online game the world has ever seen." Thanks Massively
The Twitter feed for Erik Todd Dellums
has clues from the voice actor that seem to reveal plans for Fallout 4
or some other future installment in the Fallout post-apocalyptic RPG series. This tweet
suggests we can expect a return of Three Dog, his DJ character from the game: "To all my #Fallout3 and #ThreeDog fans: There may be more of the Dog coming! Fingers crossed!" A subsequent tweet
says he has been authorized to blab like this: "How was that for a tease! I was given permission to release that tease, so fingers crossed." Thanks VGU
via No Mutants Allowed
American McGee tweets
that open beta testing is now underway for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters
, Spicy Horse's action/RPG. This will offer the chance to check out the game and see if its Kickstarter campaign
is worth your support. Here's word on the beta
What'd you think? We'd love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions! Discuss them here on Kickstarter if you like, but please be sure to also share them over on the SpicyWorld Forums and via the ZenDesk link labeled "Report Bugs/Suggestions" at the bottom of the game frame. This phase of Beta will last from today (Jan 9th) until a week from now (Jan 16th.) We'll then take the game offline for one week, during which time the team will tune, adjust and repair - based largely on the feedback you provide. Find something you don't like or think we should improve? Great! Tell us all about it! This is YOUR game!
U.K.-based game/media store Play.com is closing its retail operations, reports MCV
, saying the company will live up to its name as an online-only e-tailer as of March. More than 200 jobs will be lost as a result of the closure, which comes just months after the company was purchased by
Japanese firm Rakuten. Apparently the company is suffering a downturn due to the end of their ability to offer VAT-free imports
on lower-cost items.
Kalypso Media says they plan to release an OS X edition of Omerta - City of Gangsters
, saying Mac support will come in Q1 of this year, following the release of the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of the 1920s gangster game on February 1st. Word is this will include cross-platform play with the PC edition: "Now included in the release of Omerta, there will now be cross-platform multiplayer play between Windows PC and Mac, along with full support for Steam Cloud Saves on both platforms."
The Sims Website
announces plans for more content for The Sims 3
, Maxis' lifestyle simulation. They will release The Sims 3 70s, 80s & 90s Stuff
later this month, offering more virtual stuff for your virtual hoarders. They also will offer The Sims 3 University Life
in March, offering a place to send that good-for-nothing kid of yours so you can play with your new lava lamps and pet rocks. A limited edition of the University Life pack will include a bonus statue to ensure all your frat parties are epic. Thanks VG247
is at the Consumer Electronics Show demonstrating GameSkunk, their olfactory gaming device. Their website
has details on this, saying: "Missing from your game playing role is the ability to smell the action; cooking food, explosions on the battle field, crashes on the race track, and just the essence of real life as it plays out in a virtual reality setting. Just wait; you will be catapulted into a whole new way of game play. Don’t just play, play all the way." They also have details on a gamer-oriented dietary supplement that may work, in spite of all this nonsense: "...vibrational dietary supplement made of a proprietary blend of herbs and nutrients using a vibrational technology that incorporates the energy signature imprint ..." Thanks IGN
offers a look at gameplay from a 1997 prototype of Half-Life
, the first-person shooter from Valve that went on to greatness. The content is intended to show off colored lighting and other technical innovations, providing an interesting insight into the evolution of the game. Thanks PC Gamer
. Continue here to read the full story
I had another unfortunate incident walking our pooches yesterday, though the outcome could have been far worse. Hudson the wonder dog, the Gunnar-man, and I were approaching a corner when a neighbor's toy poodle came rushing up, barking his head off. His owner ran up and re-secured the leash he'd lost, as somehow he had more trouble with one dog weighing six pounds than I did with two totaling 120. Just as I started to joke that his dog has been trying to teach my guys a lesson for years (as he always barks at us as we pass his house) Hudson's remarkable telekinetic abilities kicked in, as she managed to get her leash to unclasp with a simple shake of her head. In a flash that defies her age she covered the five or six yards between us and grabbed the poodle in her mouth. As I reached the scene and grabbed Hudson's jaws to save the dog, my genius neighbor decided to help by kicking her in the face, which was one of the surest ways to escalate this into a situation that would result in his dog's death. I shouted at him to stop kicking and freed his pooch from her grasp. As he stormed off I called after him to ask if his dog was okay and he just repeated my command to "stop kicking her" to indicate he didn't like how I handed this. I tried to explain that this just was for his dog's protection, but he was just pissed. I stopped by their house and apologized to his wife and got reassurances that no injuries were suffered, so hopefully this won't result in any ill will.
There is a lesson here: There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with dog fights, and a surprising number of dog owners don't do any research on how to deal with such problems before they occur, something I would strongly recommend.
has follow-ups to comments recently attributed
to Ben Krasnow about plans for Steam
hardware. Ben says he was misquoted (or mistranslated) and that he did not confirm Linux support and he does not think they will be showing off anything of the sort this year as reported (thanks HARDOCP
). Meanwhile, there's an interview with Valve's Gabe Newell on The Verge
where the Valve honcho talks of how they are working with many hardware partners on "Good, Better," or "Best" boxes for playing Steam
games, and also goes ahead and says they will be releasing Linux-based "Steam boxes," among other things, also discussing their interest in low-latency controllers, biometric controllers, and other cutting edge-ness. This includes much discussion of open versus closed systems.
has details on the Razer Edge, a tablet PC with a gaming form-factor that will run Windows games natively under Windows 8. They expect this to start shipping this quarter, with base models priced at $999. Here's more on the system:
The Razer Edge is a 10.1-inch device being touted as the world's most powerful tablet, and a quick look inside both the base model and the souped-up Pro version show why. Both pack a third-generation Intel Core processor and a discrete Nvidia GT640M LE GPU. More specifically, the Razer Edge sports an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD, and the Razer Edge Pro comes configured with a beefier Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and the option for either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. Both models feature a USB 3.0 port, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and both run on a full version of Windows 8 with Intel architecture, in turn allowing PC games to run natively on the Edge without the need to be ported or optimized.
Ironclad Games announces that Sins of a Dark Age
is now available in three different founder tiers, which grant immediate access to early closed beta testing of the fantasy strategy MOBA along with various other incentives. This page
has all the details on the $25.00 Rare edition, the $55.00 Epic edition, and the $125.00 Legendary edition, which come with different perks and different amounts of in-game currency. Here's word on the game:
Sins of a Dark Age continues to shake up the MOBA genre with game-changing Realm Quests, a powerful system that encapsulates the opportunities, risks and rewards of a living world by offering a wealth of new experiences and strategic choices. This pioneering system fuses RPG-like quests and their resultant opportunities into the intense framework of a competitive MOBA game. Imagine dealing with the threat of plague-infested vermin, welcoming the arrival of timely reinforcements, escorting a merchant convoy, racing to gain favor of a powerful ally or even working cooperatively with your enemy against a deadly common threat. Your team's ability to plan, strategize and adapt to a world alive with ever-changing opportunities is just as important as your ability to counter the enemy heroes and their hordes of minions.
With stunning visuals and development plans for competitive and cooperative experiences, leaderboards, replays, spectating and plenty of post-release content in the form of Heroes, Realm Quests, Maps and Skins; Sins of a Dark Age is the next evolution of MOBA.
Activision announces details about the Revolution DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, saying this will initially be an Xbox 360 exclusive when it is released on January 29th, coyly saying other platforms will follow, but not specifying when. "With Black Ops II, the team set out to challenge assumptions about what fans should expect from Call of Duty, and there's no exception with Revolution," said Mark Lamia, Treyarch's Studio Head. "It starts with the massive amount of content that Revolution offers: four distinct multiplayer maps, an entirely new Zombies map and new Zombies mode, and a new bonus weapon. But quantity is just the start - it's the variety of new gameplay options in Revolution that sets it apart, making it our most compelling DLC offering to date, and a must-play experience for Call of Duty fans." Here's more of what to expect:
Continue here to read the full story
Revolution takes players to unexpected new locales the world over. "Downhill" is set in the ski country of the French Alps, where players fight their way down the slopes and through a ski lodge, while avoiding the moving hazards of the mountain's gondola system. Opponents must dodge the floodwaters in "Hydro" as they contend for dominance of this hydroelectric dam facility in Pakistan, filled with treacherous spillways. "Mirage" pits players in competition amidst the sand dunes of a dilapidated luxury resort in the sandstorm-devastated Gobi Desert, where a range of long-distance and close-quarters combat will mix up the action for all play styles. Finally, "Grind" transports players to the historic birthplace of skateboarding, California's Venice Beach, where they will battle it out through the ramps and half-pipes of this massive, epic skate park in a multiplayer environment comprised of unique curved architecture requiring players to adapt and learn new ways to take cover. Each map in Revolution delivers a uniquely exhilarating new landscape for tactics and battle.
Revolution also delivers a lethal bonus multiplayer weapon, the "Peacekeeper." This powerful SMG, accompanied by its own set of weapon challenges for additional XP, is unlocked to all Call of Duty: Black Ops II fans that pick-up Revolution.
has details on a new patch that's now automatically available for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
to update Ubisoft's military shooter to version 1.6. The new version includes new content including night mode versions of a couple of maps and a new hardcore mode. This forum post
and this one
each have complaints from users saying that multiplayer issues remain in the new version, including word from some experiencing worsened connectivity issues following the patch. Thanks Charliebrownau.
A Best of Kickstarter 2012
feature has some eye-opening statistics on the year in videogame crowdsourcing. Word is 561,574 backers pledged $83,144,565 to 2,796 projects. Thanks nin via Kotaku
Ubisoft announces the Battled Hardened Pack
is now available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of Assassin's Creed III
, while this new multiplayer DLC will come to the Windows edition of the stealth/action series on January 15th. The pack is $4.99, or free to Season Pass
holders. Here are some screenshots
, showing off the three contained multiplayer characters ("the influential Governor, the ferocious Highlander and the fearsome Coyote Man") and three multiplayer (Charlestown, Fort St-Mathieu, and Saint Pierre).
WBIE, TT Games, The LEGO Group, Marvel Entertainment and a cast of thousands announce LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
, the next installment in the series of action video games combining LEGO toys with various other properties. This page
offers details on the game, which is planned for release this autumn (Northern Hemisphere) for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and handhelds. Here's a bit:
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes complements the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes construction toy collection, which brings the characters, vehicles and action of Marvel’s renowned universe to the world of LEGO build-and-play adventure. There are currently eight iconic scenes from the X-Men, Iron Man and Spider-Man franchises available and more construction sets tied to the new Iron Man 3 feature film will launch later this spring.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes offers an original storyline in which Nick Fury calls upon Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Wolverine and other heroes spanning the Marvel Universe to save Earth from such threats as the vengeance of Loki and the hunger of Galactus, Devourer of the Worlds. LEGO and Marvel fans will enjoy classic LEGO videogame adventure and humor, while playing as their favorite Marvel characters.
now offers online sales of Replay Bundle Vol 1, which features some of the more popular titles from previous installments in this flexibly priced indie bundle series. Word is: "Back by popular demand - grab great titles that you may have missed the first time around! Included in this bundle are FPS and RTS hybrid experience Nuclear Dawn
, futuristic tower-defense game Defense Grid: The Awakening
, classic 2D adventure game Gemini Rue
, and two fast-paced dungeon adventures Soulcaster I
. Also included is a very special 56-track album bonus (a $20 value!) for those who pay $8 USD or their currency equivalent during this bundle, the 8 Bit Weapon Collection."
Steam News announces
the release of patch 3 for XCOM: Enemy Unknown
, updating the new installment in the turn-based strategy series with some bug fixes as well as new free DLC called Second Wave
. Here's word:
The XCOM: Enemy Unknown Second Wave content offers a series of advanced gameplay options that unlock a new level of depth, challenge and replayability. The Second Wave content includes:
- Damage Roulette: Weapons have a wider range of damage.
- New Economy: Randomized council member funding.
- Not Created Equally: Rookies will have random starting stats.
- Hidden Potential: As a soldier is promoted, stats increase randomly.
- Red Fog: Combat wounds will degrade the soldier’s mission stats.
- Absolutely Critical: A flanking shot guarantees a critical hit.
- The Greater Good: Psionics can only be learned from interrogating a psionic alien.
- Marathon: The game takes considerably longer to complete.
- Results Driven: A country offers less funding as its panic level increases.
- High Stakes: Random rewards for stopping alien abductions.
- Diminishing Returns: Increased cost of satellite construction.
- More Than Human: The psionic gift is extremely rare.
There are threads in the Diablo III Forums
about players exploiting the way vote kick mechanics work in Blizzard's action/RPG sequel to get other players killed, which is a particular problem in Hardcore
, where character death is permanent. A post by Blizzard
responds to this situation saying this unintended form of PvP griefiing will be addressed ASAP:
Ehhh. While the advice "don't play in Hardcore public games" may be valid in a number of situations, we recognize that this is a legitimate issue for Hardcore players and want to address it ASAP -- ideally in a way that doesn't impact co-op play (or impacts it as minimally as possible).
Right now, we're looking to remove the 10-second movement lockout whenever a Vote Kick is passed from both Hardcore and Normal modes. While we realize this solution may allow players to exploit the Vote Kick function to avoid death, it's not a very reliable survival technique and we feel that it's a better alternative than players losing a character they've invested a lot of time into due to griefing. We'll definitely be keeping on an eye on this, though, and will consider other solutions if necessary.
I don't know yet if this is something that can be addressed via hotfix; it may be a fix that we need to implement with a client-side patch. We're still working out the details, and I'll provide an update once there's any more info to share.
Paris-based developer Wizarbox (Risen, Grey Matter) filed for the French equivalent of bankruptcy last month, according to a report on Videogames Pockett
. The story quotes Wizarboss Fabien Bihour talking about the difficulty in getting game assignments from publishers and an unwillingness to pursue unprofitable iPhone development as factors in this, while also discussing hopes to get back on track after reorganizing by developing some serious games. Thanks Develop
has what details PC maker Xi3 is revealing about "Piston," a Steam
-optimized mini computer that seems to be the first blow in Valve's much discussed foray into gaming hardware. This is be a powerful little PC in a cool form factor, said to be based on its "performance level" X7A PC, a version of a modular PC that failed to achieve its Kickstarter
goals last year. This seems clearly aimed at the living room and Valve's "Big Picture" initiative.
Steam News announces
the release of three new DLC packs for F1 RACE STARS
, each adding a new track to the arcade racing game. These are a China Track
, an India Track
, and a Canada Track
, each of which is a whopping $4.99.
This press release
adds some clarity to how the IP assets of THQ will be sold off following the company's bankruptcy
and investor concerns
about how such a sale will be conducted. Yesterday a report
indicated these assets will be sold piecemeal at auction in two weeks, but the new announcement indicates that this will only happen if the combined bidding for all of them surpasses the Clearlake Capital Group's bid for the entire company.
A new mod on Skyrim Nexus
for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
called "Interesting NPCs" looks to make encounters with the AI populace of Bethesda's RPG sequel less like being trapped by a bore at a cocktail party. This is a work in progress, and here's how it's described: "This is a project to add color and life to Skyrim through three dimensional NPCs. Each character is integrated into the world, with a backstory and an extensive dialogue tree to explore. Many of these characters are fully voiced by a talented team of over 50 voice actors. The dialogue choices allow you to role-play, providing humor and depth to each conversation. You can be a jerk or a jester, a white knight or an assassin, as the most important character is you." Thanks Batman via Kotaku
I want to take this moment to wish Frans a very happy birthday, as I break with an unfortunate tradition and remember to do this on his actual birthday, rather than a day or two later. This gives me the opportunity to point out that Frans has remained vital to the operation of this site, serving as system administrator and tech guru, even though he also plies his trade elsewhere full-time. So, hearty huzza and kudos to our old friend, without whom you would not be reading these words! Happy Birthday Frans!
On a less significant note (for this site, at least), nin points out today is David Bowie's birthday, as he turns a startling 66, celebrating
with new music
that looks back at his experimental days with Eno in Berlin in the 1970s.
R.I.P.: ‘Snakes on a Plane’ director David R. Ellis dies at 60