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Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013


Steamships Ahoy - Sacred Citadel

Steam now offers digital distribution of the Windows edition of Sacred Citadel, Deep Silver's and Southend's new brawler set in the Sacred universe. A new Sacred Citadel release trailer celebrates the occasion, and here's word on the game:

Sharpen your axe, string your bow, brew your potions! Ancaria needs heroes like you. Grab your friends to join the resistance!

The once peaceful land of Ancaria is in grave danger. The evil Ashen empire has enslaved its population and is using the orc-like Grimmoc to wipe out the Seraphim, who swore to protect it. In order to defeat the empire you will have to prove yourself as a warrior by riding terrifying mounts, acquiring earth shattering skills and looting powerful weapons and valuable treasures. Grab your friends and join the resistance!

Ships Ahoy - Victoria II: Heart of Darkness

Paradox Interactive announces the release of Victoria II: Heart of Darkness, the new Joseph Conrad-inspired expansion for their imperialistic strategy sequel. Here's an outline of the game's prerequisites and discounts that lower the bar to enter: "Victoria II: Heart of Darkness is available on all major digital download portals for $19.99. Select retailers are also offering up to 75% off the original Victoria II and its first expansion, A House Divided—which are both required to play Heart of Darkness. Three small DLC packs—German Unit pack, Interwar Engineer Unit pack, and Songs of the Civil War music pack—are also available for $1.99 each." Here's word on the add-on:

Victoria II: Heart of Darkness offers a competitive and cutthroat colonization experience, and introduces new crisis mechanics that forces the Great Powers to pay attention to seemingly quiet corners of the world. A revised naval system fills in the gaps between ironclads and dreadnoughts and the customizable newspaper feature guarantees that you can follow major developments half a globe away.

Sword of the Stars: The Pit - Mind Games Announced

Kerberos Productions announces Mind Games (or do they?), an upcoming expansion for Sword of the Stars: The Pit that will add new characters and gameplay along with additional content to their sci-fi turn-based strategy game. They say this should launch in July after a beta in June, which players will be able to join if they preorder the game. Here's a feature list:

  • 2 New Playable Characters to choose from! In addition to the original game’ Marine, Pilot and Engineer characters, a new Human Psion is added and the first playable alien — the Tarka Ranger
  • 10 New Floors of ancient, evil science to beat — in addition to the original 30
  • New Room Types, including Open Artificial Areas
  • New traps, new weapons, new items, and new recipes
  • New game mechanics, including Psionic Powers
  • New Psionic monsters and enemies drawn from the Sword of the Stars universe
  • 2 New Play Modes, “Infinite” Mode and “Seriously?” Mode — a Level of Difficulty Beyond Insane
  • Expanded Meta-Game aspects, including the Ability to “Bank” XP and spare items during one session and start the next run of the game on a deeper level, with your “Banked” starting equipment.

You Sir, Are Being Preordered

Big Robot announces preorders of Sir, You Are Being Hunted are now available (thanks nin via Joystiq). Word is preordering can get you early access along with all the cool kids who supported their Kickstarter:

Lots to come in the next few weeks, but we’re starting with the pre-order, thanks to those lovely folk at Humble. Pre-order folk will get early access in our second round of testing prior to release, along with the base Kickstarter tiers. This will come about a month after the Kickstarter early access tiers get their access. This will all kick off at some point in the summer. It’s so close we can taste it!

Guns of Icarus Online—Adventure Mode Funded

The Kickstarter page for Guns of Icarus Online—Adventure Mode announces the successful funding of this version of Guns of Icarus Online with large-scale PvE support, as they have passed the $100k mark. Word is: "This primary goal covers the costs associated with creating AI controlled ships, planes, and missions/maps dedicated to a PvE setting." They now turn their attention towards their stretch goals, which have major milestones at $350K and $500K and incremental goals from every $50K from here to $900K (along with a pie-in-the-sky goal of $1.5 million and a pie factory-on-the-moon goal at $10 million).

Respawn TMs Titan

Joystiq by way of All Games Beta has word on a titanic trademark filing by Respawn Entertainment, where they have registered "Titan," which is also the codename for Blizzard's upcoming MMOG, surely a coincidence, since Respawn founders Jason West and Vince Zampella have so little history with Activision. There's not much on what this signifies, the trademark is for: "Video and computer game programs; video games discs; video game software." Thanks nin.

MechWarrior Online Adds Team Structure

These patch notes have details on a new update that's now live in MechWarrior Online, which is described as the game's "first step toward launch later this summer" as it adds in-game team structure as part of an update that implements in-game Commanders, Lance Leaders, and overall Lance structure, called the key precursor to the 12 v 12 matches to be added later this spring. Besides new Mechs for purchase in the mech lab, they say: "Other new features include new user-friendly UI tips, loading tips, and host state rewind for ballistic weapons all wrapped in a new pattern fans can grab now from the Mech Bay, the Fractal pattern."

Metro: Last Light Survival Guide Video

The Metro: Last Light website offers a second Ranger Survival Guide video even though the first person-shooter sequel isn't due for another month, since Sun Tzu places such emphasis on preparation. So what's this about? Glad you asked: "The second video in a series of three, “Enemy Danger” prepares the player against the hostile inhabitants of the Metro, both human and mutant. While deadly creatures control the desolate Moscow wastelands, the human survivors, having splintered into extremist factions, gangs of bandits, and the order of Rangers, try to maintain a hold on the tunnels of the Metro. To stand up to them, the player has a choice: will he try to sneak past the threats, save their lives and rare ammunition, or will he seek direct face-off to wipe them out once for all? Both ways carry risks and every action has consequences within the tunnels of the Metro."

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Ships Ahoy - Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall

The Bethesda Blog has word on the availability of The Knife of Dunwall, the new story-based add-on for Dishonored, Arkane's action/stealth game. They say it's available now in all territories for Windows and Xbox 360, and will be released for PlayStation 3 in North America later today and in Europe tomorrow. Word is: "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN In Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall take on the role of Daud, the legendary assassin who killed the Empress. This second add-on pack for the award-winning first person action game from Arkane Studios gives you a new perspective on Daud, and access to his weapons, gadgets, allies and supernatural abilities."

Bethesda Tease

Bethesda Softworks tweets a teaser video on Vine showing some flashes of images with no explanation of what it is. As for what it is not, Pete Hines tweets a response to shoot down speculation that this is a Fallout tease, saying: "Guess again." Thanks nin via Kotaku.

Ships Ahoy - Out of the Park Baseball 14

Out of the Park Developments now offers Out of the Park Baseball 14, the latest installment in their sports simulation series for Windows, Linux, and OS X. The game has garnered endorsements from athletes, including Curt Schilling, wrestler Steve Corino, and relief pitcher Pat Neshek, with Schilling saying: "There is no comparison to any sports sim I've ever played." The new version can be purchased on this page where they have details on the many changes from last year's edition. Here's an overview:

OOTP 14 lets players run a major league team from top to bottom, setting lineups and pitching rotations, determining defensive and offensive strategies, and making dozens of game-time decisions, such as when to steal a base or employ a hit-and-run. A play-by-play text stream, combined with a visual representation of what's happening on the field and such audio effects as the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, make an OOTP game session feel like a radio broadcast.

Between games, players define scouting budgets, make trades, handle the amateur draft, scour the waiver wire, sign free agents, negotiate contract extensions, demote underperforming players to the minors and call up hot prospects, manage team finances, and more. Many tasks can be delegated to computer-controlled personnel, letting players focus on the aspects of baseball management that appeal to them most.

OOTP also features solo or online play, an historical mode featuring all seasons from 1871 through 2012, the ability to create custom leagues stocked with fictional players, a staggering set of league reports, and a realistic statistical engine based on modern baseball theory such as DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Statistics).

Conflict of Heroes: Ghost Divisions Announced

Matrix Games announces Conflict of Heroes: Ghost Divisions, the first expansion for Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear, the World War II tactical strategy game. Word is: "Similar to the Awakening the Bear release, Conflict of Heroes: Ghost Divisions adds new content that has never been available before to Conflict of Heroes players, while staying true to the original board game rules. It also adds an exciting new feature – the ability to play any campaign multiplayer against a human opponent!" They say the release is imminent, and that this requires ownership of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear and it "will also work with the upcoming Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel."

Drox Operative SDK

Soldak Entertainment now offers a mod SDK for Drox Operative, allowing players to exercise their creativity within their sci-fi action/RPG. Word is: "The SDK has a lot of documentation on how to mod Drox Operative, a few example mods, and a few tools (font/model related)." They also outline rules for mods, which basically center around not stealing anyone's IP.

Rise of the Triad Multiplayer Footage

This video offers over 17 minutes of multiplayer gameplay footage from Rise of the Triad, the upcoming remake of, well, Rise of the Triad. Fighting the trend of shooters growing slower to accommodate regenerating health and other soul-crushing elements, the clip shows the game's throwback movement speed, which seems as fast as the original DOOM, which we recall had players running at the equivalent of 90 MPH. Continue here to read the full story.

Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars Stretch Goals

With the Kickstarter for Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars about 25% from its initial goal, Digital Eel offers a look at some concept art from the upcoming space adventure sequel and reveal stretch goals for the project. If they surpass their $30K goal by $10K the game will include the Space-o-Tron, described as "a digital encyclopedia that combines a game manual with all kinds of cool background information and stories about the intelligent species of Infinite Space." If the campaign hits the $50K mark, they will create OS X and Linux editions to accompany the Windows version. Finally, if they raise $60K, they will add the Enhanced Combat Simulator, an improved version of Ripcord's Combat School in Weird Worlds they say is "practically its own game mode" with pre-defined scenarios and a scenario editor.

Ashes Cricket 2013 Tease

The first teaser trailer for Ashes Cricket 2013 celebrates the approaching release of the next installment in the sports simulation series. You now how sometimes a publisher releases a trailer that's basically 30 seconds of a 3D unveiling? Yep, this is one of those.

Morning Interviews

Op Ed

Kotaku - We Need Better Video Game Publishers.
To give you an idea about how bad publisher influence can be, consider this: during production meetings, publishing execs often have someone—often the developer—“drive” a game so they can see how it is coming together. The publishing people all watch and then make passive, aesthetic appraisals of active, functional aspects of a game. This is because the bulk of execs can’t and don’t want to play or understand how games work. They don’t want to play. This would be akin to editors in literary publishing being unable to read or write.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

It's very sad about the bombings in Boston yesterday, as it is any such attacks, and our sympathies are with all those effected by this. The world we live in is a violent and complicated place, and unfortunately the innocent are so often the victims. This is another of those times when words don't seem to suffice.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Liquid Measure 3: Poison Pack.
Links: Boston. F*cking Horrible. By Patton Oswald
Do Not Touch. Thanks nin via Kotaku (NSFW).
The Secret Origins of 11 Famous Video Games.
Stories: 12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run Our Country. Thanks Boing Boing.
'Super-Criminal' Escapes From Prison Using Explosives Hidden Inside Tissue Package.
LAX unveils new program using dogs to relieve airport stress.
Science: Modified DVD drive analyzes blood and performs quick HIV tests for $200.
FDA secretly retests 100 different drugs after testing company admits its work was all fraudulent.
Images: Barbie without makeup.
Media: SimCity - Mayor Meltdown.
Tarantino Dancing The Pulp Fiction Twist.
Horse Mounting Fail.
Follow-up: Pentagon scraps medal for drone pilots after uproar.

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