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Thursday, May 30, 2013


Massive Chalice - Double Fine's Strategy Game Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter from Double Fine seeks funding for a strategy game called Massive Chalice they seek to develop to exploit their multi-team studio that's currently at work on Broken Age, their already-Kickstarted adventure game (thanks nin). They're already more than a third of the way to their $725K goal with four weeks remaining, so things are off to a rousing start. The best outline of what they have planned is in the update on the Broken Age Kickstarter, but that is perplexingly for backers only, so here's word from the new page:

If turn-based tactics and feudal fantasy had a lovechild, and that offspring founded a mighty century-spanning dynasty, it would be MASSIVE CHALICE.

With your help, MASSIVE CHALICE will become a reality—forged by Double Fine with our 3D in-house Buddha Engine and unleashed on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Battling alongside ancestors (early concept) We're inspired by classic tactical strategy games like X-COM, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem, as well as Game of Thrones’ array of noble families. With these influences in mind we’re creating an epic, replayable turn-based tactics game where you train generations of heroes to repel a demonic invasion.

And with Kickstarter, we can do it. We have a great concept and team ready to go, and we want to work closely with our community to control the future of MASSIVE CHALICE free from outside interference.

Rising Storm Rises

Tripwire Interactive announces Rising Storm is now available via digital distribution as planned, offering the latest installment in their Red Orchestra series of World War II shooters. This time our tour of duty is the war in the Pacific: "Rising Storm is a complete new multi-player game, focusing on the fighting in the Pacific Theater of WWII, with the US Army and Marine Corps taking on the Imperial Japanese Army." Here's a launch trailer and here's a feature list:

  • Large Scale Multi-player Combat in The Pacific: Take part in the brutal fighting in the Pacific online with up to 64 players at a time.
    Iconic Battles: Experience iconic battles such as Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Guadalcanal as the US military struggles to clear the Japanese from the islands in the Pacific.
  • Asymmetrical Gameplay: Far from the mirrored gameplay seen in other shooters, both sides utilize historical weapon sets and each has unique gameplay capabilities. American firepower is matched by Japanese ferocity and guile with such features as banzai charges, booby-traps, the infamous “knee mortar” and more. This creates a unique gameplay experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
  • WWII weaponry redefined – again: all of the weapon functionality you expect from the franchise returns - true to life ballistics, bullet penetration, breathing, adjustable sights, free aim, weapon bracing, and more, create WWII weaponry that has no equal. To that add over 20 new weapons including the devastating flamethrower and the portable “knee mortar”.
  • Morale: Your soldier’s state of mind plays a bigger role than ever. Banzai charging Japanese soldiers can heavily suppress the Americans making it difficult to return fire and allowing the Japanese to close the distance. The Americans can use their firepower advantage to suppress their enemies and gain the advantage!
  • Bonus Content: All Red Orchestra 2 multiplayer content is included with Rising Storm as a free bonus. Fight in the Pacific, then fight on the Eastern Front at any time, all in the same game and same server browser. Find out what made Red Orchestra 2 PC Gamer’s Multiplayer FPS of the Year in 2011 with this award winning content.

Ships Ahoy - GRID 2

Codemasters announces that GRID 2 is racing onto store shelves, offering the sequel to their racing game and that the accompanying Codemasters RaceNet service is now out of beta. Here's the launch trailer, and here's word on both launches:

As GRID 2 hits stores, RaceNet, Codemasters’ online community hub which tracks player’s Races, Rivals and Rewards, moves out of beta to launch in full. The beating heart of GRID 2’s extensive multiplayer component, RaceNet adds a huge suite of new functionality, including delivering players new objectives and rivals each week so gamers always have a new challenge. Players will earn RaceNet Followers for their performance in game, can upload clips of their best overtakes and most spectacular crashes to YouTube for display on RaceNet, earn RaceNet Awards and much, much more. Players can sign up for free at

Introducing a range of ground-breaking new features, GRID 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the BAFTA-award winning, critically acclaimed GRID™. Players will be able to experience the all-new TrueFeel™ system, which delivers edge-of-control racing without the need for assists, LiveRoutes™ will challenge players to race on circuits which dynamically change during the race so they never know what is coming next and players will experience new standards in graphics and damage in the genre.

Wargaming Unifies Accounts

Wargaming announces a new unified premium account system that will offer benefits across all their titles, saying this will provide simplified access, which makes sense, as well as more account security, citing enhanced security tools which don't seem to have anything to do with unifying the accounts. Here's word on the plan:

The Unified Premium Account, which grants bonuses such as an increased experience and credit accrual rate, will be applied across all of Wargaming's video game titles. Purchasing a premium account in World of Tanks will benefit in that account also being active for World of Warplanes, World of Warships, and any other future Wargaming title.

The Unified Premium Account will officially launch during one of the stages of World of Warplanes open beta, where players will receive special tokens for free that can be used to purchase a Unified Premium Account. These tokens will serve as the equivalent of in-game gold during the open beta testing phase. Wargaming's upcoming naval-combat MMO World of Warships will also feature the Unified Premium Account once that title goes into open beta.

On Sale

  • Alan Wake on Steam. Save 90%.
  • Capsule Computers Bundle on Bundle In A Box. Pay what you want and help charity.
  • DmC Devil May Cry on Steam. Save 40%.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete on Save 75%. Thanks Dealzon.
  • Max Payne 3 and LA Noire Complete Bundle (Steam) on Save 71%. Thanks Dealzon.
  • Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Telltale Games Bundle on The Humble Weekly Sale. Pay what you want and help charity. Beat the average and get The Walking Dead.

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

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Evening Consolidation

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Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bill Nye Scientifically Explains how Superman Shaves (thanks Ant). Bah. Any comic reader knows he reflects his heat vision off a piece of glass from his Kyryptonian baby rocket. Even the cartoon and the romantic comedy version know that, though they both went for a regular mirror (which would obviously melt). Science guy indeed!

Crysis 3: The Lost Island Announced; Due Next Week

EA announces Crysis 3: The Lost Island, a new DLC pack coming to Crysis 3 that will add two new multiplayer modes to Crytek's first-person shooter sequel when it is released on June 4th for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The DLC also uses a new tropical island locale, a far cry from the dystopian New York setting of the main game. Here are some screenshots, and here's word:

Grab your passports and get ready to suit up again outside of the New York City Liberty Dome, as EA™ and Crytek send the hunt for Rebel forces to the West Pacific in Crysis®3: The Lost Island multiplayer DLC pack. Showcasing four new breath-taking maps two additional multiplayer modes, Frenzy and Possession, and deadly new weapons, Crysis 3: The Lost Island will be available starting June 4th for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system for 1200 Microsoft points, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC for $14.99.

“The gameplay in the Crysis series has always been deeply connected to the unique environments in which the action takes place,” stated Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek. “By transporting players out of the Liberty Dome and into the Lost Island setting, we’re not only returning to Crysis’ spiritual roots, but also introducing fresh ways to play that provide Crysis 3 fans with genuinely game-changing new tactical options, game modes and weapons.”

In Crysis 3: The Lost Island, traces of a mysterious alien presence have been discovered on a small island in the Philippines 200 miles from Ling Shan. Rebel forces have been dispatched to destroy this unknown extraterrestrial entity before an elite CELL team has the chance to obtain it… by any means necessary.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Announced

NVIDIA officially unveils their new GeForce GTX 770 graphics cards. Word is: "Available now from all e-tailers and retailers at a recommended retail price of $399, the GeForce GTX 770 features the same desirable styling as the recently released GeForce GTX 780, and compared to its predecessor is 15% faster thanks to higher clock speeds, 192 more CUDA Cores, and faster 7Gbps memory. The GTX 770 also supports our latest hardware-software enhancements, like GPU Boost 2.0, Overvolting, Display Overclocking, and ShadowPlay." Here are the first reviews:

Mirror's Edge 2 Indications

Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that this URL on the EA website briefly hosted a support page for Mirror's Edge 2, the latest reflection that an unannounced sequel to the parkour action game is in the works, a saga of rumors that's been playing out for so long that stories about it are starting to seem like Brett Favre's retirement. This follows a couple of recent listings that appeared and disappeared from the Internet in a short time, a flurry of activity that seems too significant to be coincidental, but no official announcement about this game has yet been made, though about seven months ago Ben Cousins did state the game is in development.

How To Survive Announced

505 Games announces How to Survive, a new action/adventure that will attempt to address the dearth of zombie games when it is released for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this fall. Here are some screenshots, and here's the entire announcement:

Milton Keynes, UK. – 29th May, 2013 – 505 Games, a global publisher of video games, today announced How to Survive, a new IP coming to the Xbox Live® online entertainment network from Microsoft as an arcade game for Xbox 360®, for PlayStation®Network and Windows PC via Steam by Valve® Corporation.

Featuring a robust crafting system, unique survival guide and a host of playable characters, How to Survive strands players on a remote archipelago off the coast of Colombia in the aftermath of an unexplained accident … but you’re not alone. In order to survive, you must fulfill the most basic of needs - seeking out food, water and shelter, as well as crafting dozens of tools and weapons from fishing rods to Molotov cocktails. Players can also team up with other survivors in local and online multiplayer story and challenge modes to take on a growing array of the infected.

How to Survive is being developed by EKO Studios and is due for release this Autumn.

The Flock Announced

Indie Dutch startup developer Vogelsap announces The Flock, describing this as offering "a unique asymmetrical multiplayer experience," not to mention how it provides us a chance to dust off a lot of flocking puns we haven't gotten to use in almost four flocking years. A preliminary website is online, offering a teaser trailer and some screenshots, and here's word on how this plays out:

Set on a dark and grim future Earth of the year 3000, The Flock will feature asymmetrical online multiplayer in which players start out as the Flock and need to go in search of the solar capsule, also known as the light artifact. Grabbing the artifact will transform the player into the Carrier.

As the Carrier, you need to survive as long as possible and try to hold the artifact for a set amount of time in order to win the game. However hunting Flock might be lurking around the corner and kill you in an instant and steal the light artifact for themselves, in their turn becoming the new Carrier.

Flock are bigger, faster and can reach far higher places than the Carrier. But the Carrier is not helpless. It can use the solar capsule to spot moving players which will be burned to their death in an instant as a result. In their defence, Flock players can decide not to move and be safe from the light!

The dark atmosphere will help making it an engaging, sometimes even scary game. Players will switch roles from hunter and being hunted. This will make it a psychological experience in which players must deal with their weaknesses very carefully and play to their strengths or be outsmarted by other players.

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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASRock Z77E-ITX Motherboard on Mad Shrimps.
  • Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus Cooling Pad on Overclockers Club.
  • Enermax Triathlor FC 700W Power Supply Unit on Nikk Tech.
  • Genius SP-U115 Colorful USB Powered Stereo Speakers on ModSynergy.
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus on Hardware Heaven.
  • ioSafe N2 NAS - RAID Storage Solution on
  • Lamptron CW611 Watercooling Fan Controller on eTeknix.
  • Logitech G700s Rechargeable Gaming Mouse on TweakTown.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 on Neoseeker.
  • QNAP TS-269L 2-Bay Turbo NAS Server on CDRLabs.
  • Seagate Constellation ES 1TB Hard Drive on
  • Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock on Legit Reviews.
  • XSPC RayStorm 750 RS240 Water Cooling Kit on ProClockers.
  • Yantouch Black Diamond 3 Wireless 2.1 Bluetooth Speaker System on Technology X.


  • Night of the Living Dead Interactive takes Night of the Living Dead and turns the public domain film into interactive fiction…
  • Patent Blaster is a pixelated side-scrolling shooter that can serve as an outlet for those frustrated by absurdities of the patent system…

Out of the Blue

This tweet (as noted on Huffington Post via Acleacius) made my day, though it is pretty surprising to learn that the 72 year-old had managed to go this long without experiencing his first slice of pizza. He absolutely gets the credit he seeks for his New York fold, as well as other authentic NYC details like the red pepper flakes, his copy of the Times, and of course, his extra-large soda (thanks Mr. Mayor). The only out of place element is the Montreal Canadiens' hat, but I'll give him a pass, since I'll guess Jean Luc Picard would be a Habs fan.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: DefEndless.
Forgotten Dungeon 2.
Stories: Director Sam Mendes In Talks To Return For Next James Bond Film. Thanks nin.
Science: New dinosaur is a primitive bird. Thanks
Scientists poke frozen mammoth, liquid blood squirts out.
Media: Horse Mask Basketballers Mentos commercial.
Dentistry on a Budget - Tooth Removal With a Heavy Block.
1939 World Series color footage.
Follow-Up: Return of the Cicadas.
The Funnies: Spidey Sense.

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