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Monday, Jul 22, 2013


Enter the Dominatrix Now SR4 DLC Due in October

GameInformer has details from a talk by Volition and some of the Saints Row IV voice cast at Comic-Con, where details about the imminent open-world action sequel were discussed. One tidbit noted on Kotaku (thanks nin) is word that: "The first DLC called Enter the Dominatrix is coming 45 days after the game ships. It features a behind-the-scenes style narration as the characters explain why the content was cut from the game." Saints Row IV is due on August 20th in North America, so the expansion being expected 45 days later means it's due around October 4th. Enter The Dominatrix was first announced in May 2012 as a standalone Saints Row The Third expansion, but almost exactly one year ago this was cancelled, as Volition announced Saints Row IV (or as they called it at the time, "The Next Great Sequel in the Saints Row Franchise") saying the Enter the Dominatrix content would be a part of the main game. Obviously the plan changed somewhere along the way, which can't be too surprising considering Volition and the Saints Row franchise were sold from THQ to Deep Silver in the intervening time. Meanwhile, we have a new Hail to the Chief #2: Animal Protection Act trailer promoting the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Chainsaw Warrior Announced

Games Workshop announces a Chainsaw Warrior video game based on a zombie board game they released in the 1980s. Bucking a trend, this is a single-player only game, coming this summer to mobile devices and to Windows and OS X shortly after that. This page has an image and some details, and there's more on Facebook. Here's the announcement:

22nd July, 2013, Bristol, UK: The seminal hit board game Chainsaw Warrior, made by Games Workshop back in 1987 is set to return this year in a digital form. The original 80s game was a notable rarity in that it was a solo board game that pitted the player not against others but against the clock. The game saw New York balancing on the precipice of darkness as twisted forces from another reality attempted to rip the city from this world into theirs. Standing between them and the destruction of the city was a lone figure, the brutal and mysterious Chainsaw Warrior. As the eponymous hero, the player had to delve into a zombie infested New York tenement to locate the source of the evil spewing through the spatial rift and destroy it before he was destroyed. The game is being created by Bristol based indie developer Auroch Digital for mobile and desktop platforms.

Auroch Digital's Design & Production Director, Tomas Rawlings explained why they are resurrecting this mutant and zombie infested classic; "It's a game I played as a kid and loved. I see it as the pre-cursor of First Person Shooters when video games technology could not really do the first person or the shooting. For me this is not only a great game, but a classic of board game design - a solo shooter that really challenges the player. When we spoke to Games Workshop about developing a game this was the top of my list. I loved the 80s style of the game and we've kept much of that in our design as well as faithfully translating the gameplay. Don't expect to win the game easily. This was the Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day. Players didn't want to buy the game and run out of challenge at first play. The game has many ways to kill you and is unafraid to use them - which makes it all the sweeter when you finally win."

As well as its challenge, it also flies in the face of current trends in social aspects in games. Chainsaw Warrior is firmly an individual experience, Rawlings explains, "This is about you against the tide of darkness. Chainsaw Warrior is the last hope for the city and time is running out. Ultimately I wanted to make this game because it is one that needs to be brought to digital with all guns blazing and chainsaw-blades revving, and that is what we're going to do!”

RuneScape 3 Launches

Jagex announces the launch of RuneScape 3, a new chapter in their free-to-play MMORPG, saying this "ushers a new age for players not only in terms of user-driven content, but also in the game’s narrative, its gameplay, and its technology." Here's word:

The launch of RuneScape 3 marks the beginning of the Battle of Lumbridge, the first gaming experience forged by players, who will shape the future of the RuneScape world forever. In addition to the player-driven dynamic events sculpting both the content and lore in RuneScape 3, nearly every aspect of the immensely popular game has been upgraded. RuneScape 3, which is available in five languages and played in 190 countries around the world, is the most ambitious online adventure experience to date.

“The simultaneous launch of RuneScape 3 around the world has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of our team over the last year,” said Phil Mansell, Executive Producer of RuneScape 3. “RuneScape 3 ushers in a new age for players in terms of user-driven content, story, gameplay and technology, and we couldn’t be more excited for them to write the next chapter in RuneScape’s epic saga.”

QuakeCon 2013: Two Carmack Talks & Tourneys Announced

The Bethesda Blog announces the tournaments to be held at QuakeCon 2013, two of them in QUAKE LIVE, and in a fit of old-school awesomeness, one of them a 20th anniversary DOOM tourney using DOOM 3. Word is: "Players can register for the Intel QUAKE LIVE Duel Masters online. Registration is extremely limited, so sign up as soon as possible. Registration for the QUAKE LIVE Clan Arena 3v3 Open and the 20th Anniversary DOOM Challenge is first come, first served, on-site registration only. Interested parties please visit the tournament area on-site at QuakeCon from 10:00am to 3:00pm CST on Thursday, August 1st for tournament registration." Bethesda also announces John Carmack is going to be giving a second technical presentation this year, in case any minds are left unblown by the id Software technical director's keynote:

We’re excited to announce that in addition to his annual QuakeCon keynote address, John Carmack will return to the stage for lecture-style presentation focusing on light transport and rendering.

Titled “The Physics of Light and Rendering”, the talk will take place on Friday, August 2nd at 5:00pm CST. Learn how light behaves in the real world, and the approximations and compromises that are involved in simulating the behavior with computers. This lecture will be geared towards those interested in the interactions of light in the world and how computer software simulates it. Note: Not for the technically faint at heart. :)

Aliens: Colonial Marines Patched

A new patch is now automatically available on Steam for Aliens: Colonial Marines with changes and fixes for Gearbox's first-person shooter, including making "Recruit" mode easier and a fix for world detail particles that may require adjusting the world detail slider to take effect. The unconfirmed report last week that new DLC was due for the game this week did say it would be preceded by a patch.

On Sale

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Evening Metaverse

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Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Royal baby: Kate gives birth to boy. Thanks Ant. Joffrey is a nice name for a boy...

R.I.P.: R.I.P. Dennis Farina.

Battlezone, Star Control & More Atari IP Sold: Chris Taylor and Total Annihilation Reunited

Develop points the way to some court documents revealing the disposition of more Atari IP, following a big auction in May and the sale of a couple of other properties last month by the bankrupt publisher. Word is Rebellion placed successful bids on the Battlezone and Moonbase Commander franchises, Stardock Systems will acquire the rights to strategy classic Star Control, while Wargaming is now owner of Master of Orion and Total Annihilation. That last acquisition seems especially noteworthy since Wargaming also recently aquired Gas Powered Games, which means the Total Annihilation property is now reunited with GPG's Chris Taylor, who created the RTS series back in the CaveDog days.

Ultra Street Fighter 4 Footage

A new trailer shows highlights of a recent Super Street Fighter 4 tournament, with some torturous audio as they "mix" mumbled player comments with booming music. What the clip has going for it is footage of new character gameplay from the upcoming update to the fighting sequel that's been dubbed Ultra Street Fighter 4, as shouted by the new announcer heard at the end of the clip. Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

The new GfK Chart-Track chart of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending July 20th, which is mostly a re-shuffling of last week's list, with The Sims 3: Island Paradise continuing to enjoy its moment in the sun. Far Cry 3 jumped to the head of their list of top budget-priced PC games. Looking at the big picture on the all prices top 40 chart we see the Last of Us remains first and the one significant new entry is Dynasty Warriors 8, which debuts at number five. The biggest drop is Aliens: Colonial Marines, which falls from #10 to #26. Here's their overview:

There’s still no stopping ‘The Last of Us’ (-22%) as Naughty Dog takes the No1 for a 6th consecutive week.

In topping the chart again it also matches the unbroken runs of ‘Black Ops II’ and ‘FIFA 12’, an impressive feat as the title is exclusive to just one format. ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ (+20%) propels itself back up to No2 following a strong boost in sales. ‘Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros’ (-8%) hold their position at No3 just ahead of Nintendo’s second 3DS title ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ (-9%) at No4.

There’s a debut at No5 as developer Omega Force return with ‘Dynasty Warriors 8’ landing at No5. The latest instalment places 4th in the series best launch weeks behind Dynasty Warriors 6, 7 and Dynasty Warriors 5 - Empires. Ubisoft remain at No6 with ‘Far Cry 3’ (+4%) while retailer promotions for ‘Max Payne 3’ (+135%) see it climb nineteen places to No7. Strong sales for ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Legendary Edition’ (+31%) by Bethesda push it back into the Top 10 at No8. With the next edition on the horizon EA’s ‘FIFA 13’ (-43%) slips to its lowest position since launch (week 39 2012) dropping from No4 to No9. Square Enix round of the Top 10 with ‘Tomb Raider’ (-10%) sliding a spot to No10.

Enhanced Steam Browser Plugin

Enhanced Steam offers browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox to add some helpful functionality when visiting the Steam website (thanks and fiftykyu). This page lists the following features it adds to the experience:

  • Highlights the games and downloadable content you already own
  • Highlights games on your wishlist
  • Points out 3rd party DRM on games
  • Adds DLC categories to the product page
  • Finds out how much you really save on a bundle
  • See pricing history for each game
  • See how much you've spent on your Steam account
  • Fixes the "No Image Available" images on your wishlist
  • Displays Metacritic user scores
  • Gives you widescreen support information from WSGF
  • Adds an "Add to Cart" button on your wishlist items
  • Adds an "Empty Cart" button to checkout
  • Enhances the Steam Community pages
  • User-controlled options page lets you decide which features to enable
  • Replaces the Steam Greenlight banner.

Left 4 Dead 2 Solo Expert Runthrough

This video offers 2½ minutes of highlights from a years-long project by a user usefully named "Titsonabull" to complete all 55 maps in Left 4 Dead 2 and its DLC in expert mode with no bots. For those interested in the full hours-long treatment this playlist and this playlist have the entire series of videos, revealing all the strategies used to accomplish this feat.

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Out of the Blue

Based on some encouraging comments, I've decided I'm ready to try smoking a pork shoulder one of these days, and see how I can do with it. This has a lot to live up to, as I was introduced to pulled pork on a trip to southern Virginia at a full-on pork festival, so I know how the real thing is supposed to turn out better than my Brooklyn roots would suggest. I'm eyeing the forecast to see when this might happen, and I see that showers are no longer expected on Thursday, so that may provide me the 12-or-so hours of clear weather this will require.

Porky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Worlds Guard 2.
Stories: Nicolas Cage: 'People think I'm not in on the joke'.
Rise of the Warrior Cop. Thanks Slashdot.
Big pharma mobilising patients in battle over drugs trials data.
Science: Research update: Genome editing becomes more accurate.
A field guide to surviving a mass extinction.
Stem cell advance boosts prospects for retina treatment.
Media: Russian Gas Truck Explodes, Caught On “First-Person” Camera.
COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson trailer.
Kevin Rose protects his dog from a raccoon. Thanks nin.
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