Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 57 (week 07, 2012) - News - Network News Posted by: Danny on 02-22-2012 @ 09:35
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Here it is the 57th version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more, with a lot of interesting articles this week on new consoles, piracy and even a real wipeout model!. However you can find more news from the main Gamefront site - Here
We would love to hear any suggestions that you have; if you see something that you would like to be added to the Weekly Network Update, or you have any suggestions that you think may improve the Network Update then simply drop me an email at Danny[at]filefront[dot]com (please put "Network Update" as the subject though ).
Also If you like the Network Update please feel free write a comment as I would love to hear any critism, or support (constructive though please as this is the only way that I know how good or bad the insider is and it would help me to improve this further). Also I should mention that the comments section is not for complaining about the bugs of the network sites, most of these we do know about and are with the Break.com Tech Team , also again this is not the place for comments about the bugs, I myself do not have the ability or the knowledge to fix them, although you can use our forums to post your comments here - http://forums.filefront.com/filefront-com-help-center-1272/
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Gamefront News: Alan Wake PC Review: A Port That Gets It Right
There’s been talk of a PC version of Alan Wake for almost as long as there’s been an Alan Wake. Originally, developer Remedy was working on a PC version around the same time as the one that eventually made its way to the Xbox 360; but that project was scrapped, and more than a year has passed with only Xbox players having the opportunity to enjoy Remedy’s psychological thriller.
That is, until today. And while Remedy didn’t end up making a PC Alan Wake from the ground up, it did the next best thing: it took an already solid Xbox title and gave it just about every single upgrade and feature a PC player could ask for. The rest of the game development community should take note, because Alan Wake is a dissertation on how to make a damn fine PC port.
First off, we can skip much of the talk about Alan Wake as a game here, because this is the same game that hit Xbox 360 back in 2010. Our Mark Burnham gave Alan Wake a very respectable 91/100 in his review, and because it’s a port, all his points remain valid. Some of the writing in Wake is a bit cheesy, and on my less-than-top-of-the-line system, I saw a few of the old issues my Xbox had with trying to render the game’s graphics and light/darkness engine.
But I’m pretty confident in my assessment that it was my rig holding Alan Wake back and not the game itself weakening my experience, and even with the very slight issues I experienced, Remedy’s PC effort is visually beautiful. The differences in resolution between the two versions is pretty stark — in fact, Remedy released some screenshots detailing that fact — and when you can seriously start maxing out the settings on Alan Wake with the hardware capable of handling it, it looks pretty spectacular.
In a time when developer interviews are invariably filled with pablum and empty, PR-approved patter, David Jaffe stands out. The combative Twisted Metal developer never shies away from speaking his mind, waxing profane on a wide variety of subjects. Love him or hate him, Jaffe’s strong opinions make his blog and his Twitter feed essential, entertaining reading. Below, we’ve collected some of his most incendiary public statements.
5. On Online Passes
4. On the Calling All Cars Patch
3. On Playing As The Taliban in Medal of Honor
2. On “Artsy Fartsy” Games
1. On Twisted Metal’s Valentine’s Day Release
With two weeks to go before the release of Mass Effect 3, BioWare has released the single player and multiplayer demo on PC and XBLA. Naturally the demo is short, probably not more than 15 or 20 minutes worth of play. BioWare isn’t going to give the milk away for free after all. But is there anything new? While it’s certainly true that those of you following Mass Effect 3′s somewhat schizoid development over the last year will already be familiar with the majority of content contained in each scene, there’s a surprisignly large amount of new, if vague, information about the final chapter in the Commander Shepard trilogy.
The demo begins (somewhat) in media res with a very brief prologue set aboard Admiral Hackett (Lance Henriksen) command ship. We then cut to title cards explaining the facts of life in the Mass Effect galaxy (more on that below), and then to a new cutscene set at an Alliance base in Vancouver, where Commander Shepard meets James Vega . Vega will be escorting Shepard to a meeting with Alliance brass convened to deal with an unknown (but obviously, Reaper) threat. On their way you’re joined by Anderson, experience your first taste of ME3 dialogue, and run into either Kaiden or Ashley.
The meeting with Alliance command coincidentally (and as far as the narrative is concerned, ham-handedly) happens just in time for the Reapers to begin their attack on Earth. Naturally, Vancouver is among the targeted cities, the base is hit, and everyone in the room except for Shepard and Anderson are killed and the cut scene ends. The player can finally play the Mass Effect 3 training mission, which coincidentally happens to be one of the three scenes we saw at E3 2011. Shepard following Anderson through the wreckage of the Alliance base in order to reach the Normandy. You get two more bits of dialogue, see the much-talked about child, fight off several Reaper husks and finally get rescued by the Normandy. At this point, Anderson urges Shepard to flee earth and seek help from the Citadel Council. The scene concludes with a very pensive looking Shepard bearing silent witness to the destruction of Vancouver.
Mass Effect 3, the end to the Shepard trilogy in BioWare’s science fictional universe, is dropping on players in just a few weeks. In leading up to the huge game’s launch, BioWare gave gamers a Valentine’s Day gift of sorts: a demo of the game that includes the much-discussed but barely experienced cooperative multiplayer mode.
While the single-player content in the demo was mostly old hat for those of us who saw and played demos of ME3 at E3 2011 and San Diego Comic-Con 2011, the multiplayer features of the demo are all new. Alas, only players who purchased Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3 and redeemed the multiplayer online pass through an Origin account have access to multiplayer until Feb. 17. But a few of us at Game Front have gotten hold of the brave new step in Mass Effect’s evolution, and fresh from the battle, we’ve got a few impressions for you.
We’ve also tried out the first hands-on PC play with Mass Effect 3 thanks to BioWare’s demo, and have a few thoughts on it, as well.
Sleeping Dogs didn’t always have such a cryptic title. Way back in 2009, the game was called True Crime: Hong Kong, which got right to the heart of the matter. Since then, Sleeping Dogs and developers United Front Games have been caught in development purgatory, which finally ended when the rights to the game were dropped by Activision and picked up by Square Enix London Studios, the game’s current publisher. Together, Square Enix and United Front worked to craft an open-world game with an unusual emphasis on quality fighting, driving, and free-running mechanics.
The game is clearly a labor of love for the developers, who did extensive research to ensure that it could convincingly capture Sleeping Dogs’ unique setting. A fact-finding mission to Hong Kong resulted in thousands of photographs and interviews with former Triad criminals. The studio was impressed by the city’s dense urbanity and what developer Mike Skupa described in an in-person interview as “canyon-like” streets. Despite Hong Kong’s complex geography, players will be limited to a single region: Hong Kong island itself, bristling with skyscrapers.
After a 10+ year hiatus from the console gaming scene, the king of vehicular combat has returned to claim its vacant throne — flaming head, ice cream trucks, clown masks and all. Twisted Metal has been reborn on the Playstation 3 with dramatically improved visuals, online play and the same brand of crazy, over the top vehicular mayhem that made the series one of the premiere franchises of the PSOne era.
And if we’re fortunate enough, this new Twisted Metal will be the first of several more in the series because David Jaffe and the team at Eat, Sleep, Play have proved that the car combat genre never died, it just went away for a little while.
Twisted Metal: PS3 (Reviewed)
Developer: Eat, Sleep, Play
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released: Feb. 14, 2012
While player opinion on the Old Republic’s PvP varies from love to hate, one thing we can all agree on is that there is room for improvement. We won’t discuss the obvious technical issues, such as kills on Ilum not counting towards daily/weekly PvP missions or classes not being perfectly mirrored. We won’t discuss the subjective issues, such as the belief that there are too many crowd-control abilities and knockback effects. We won’t even discuss issues that can arguably be attributed to misunderstanding, such as the Resolve system.
What we will discuss are the issues that are an obvious detriment to the game and that cannot be resolved with a simple bug fix.
BioWare has been working hard to correct and improve SWTOR’s PvP gameplay, and while there have been some missteps along the way, the company clearly cares about the game and has the right intentions. The separate level 50 bracket made the level 10-49 crowd immensely happy. Dual-spec is on its way. Target-of-target is coming to answer the prayers of every healer. UI improvements will allow you to personalize your global cooldown bar.
Given BioWare intends to improve SWTOR’s PvP, it’s important to analyze what, precisely, is not working, and what are the best solutions that can be implemented.
Despite what some people believe, the point-and-click adventure genre isn’t getting brought back from the dead by Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert and their Kickstarter experiment, Double Fine Adventure. While that effort has earned more than to $2 million from players who want to see Gilbert and Schafer return to their LucasArts glory, it seems that many have overlooked the fact that there are plenty of developers creating point-and-click adventure titles for PC right now.
One of those titles is Yesterday, a point-and-click adventure from Spanish developer Pendulo Studios. It marks a departure for Pendulo, which generally makes adventure games that are more of the comedic variety. But after about an hour spent with Yesterday, it’s pretty clear comedy isn’t the game’s target — creepiness is.
The game starts with a heavily edited blast of murderous imagery. Set in New York City, the story starts with a pair of volunteers, Henry and Cooper, who work with an outreach group that is meant to help the city’s homeless. As the story begins, homeless people in the city have been targeted by a serial killer, their bodies found burned and unrecognizable. The opening cinematic conveys the horror story vibe of the whole idea, showing a wall that includes newspaper clippings, splashes of red that could be blood and strange writing — perhaps an investigation, or perhaps the deranged record-keeping of the killer him/her/themselves. Flashes of victims’ terrified faces sell it even further: we’re dealing with someone who’s pretty disturbed.
Gamefront News: 1 Million People Have Bought Killing Floor On PC
Tripwire Interactive have reached an impressive milestone with their first person survival horror co-op game, Killing Floor. 1 million people have purchased the PC version. These are huge numbers for a game that began life as an Unreal Tournament 2004 total conversion back in the misty days of 2005. Killing Floor quickly became the top-selling Steam game when the retail version launched in 2009, and in addition to the one million sales for the main game, 2 million individual DLC packs have been purchased.
Granted, some of these numbers might have been the result of a free giveaway last December. Even so, this is a huge accomplishment, and to celebrate, Tripwire Interactive is making Killing Floor available dirt cheap. Until midnight Thursday, Killing Floor is available at an 85% discount on Steam, for only $2.99.
21,879 marriages took place in Rift on Valentine’s Day, setting the Guinness World Record title for most in-game marriages in a 24-hour period. Guinness World Records will log the marriages and the record will be considered for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, and all participating players will receive the unique in-game title “The Avowed.”
Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer on Rift and Trion’s CCO said:
Establishing this record was a monumental achievement for our development team and community of passionate players, and I couldn’t be more proud. Ascended Weddings were a great way to lift the veil on Rift’s new ‘Gatherings’ feature, social experiences that bring players together in new and interesting ways. We look forward to expanding this great new gameplay element in the always-evolving world of Telara.
21,879 marriages — that means 43,758 characters were involved in this 24-hour event. I’d say that’s one hell of an achievement for the community.
According to an image taken at a booth during the Toy Fair, Activision may be working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle title. So now we know the theme of the next Call of Duty game.
Activision and Nickelodeon have worked together in the past, but this would mark Activision’s first foray into the world of teenage mutants — ahem. Ubisoft held the license for the TMNT games until a year ago.
According to the picture, the display lists the companies and properties Nickelodeon is working with at the moment, and alongside TMNT, its comics publisher IDW and Activision are listed.
Upon being contacted regarding the report, an Activision representative said the firm doesn’t “comment on rumors and speculation.”
Remedy’s Steam-enabled PC port of Alan Wake made the studio’s money back inside of two days. Probably because as ports go, it’s a pretty great one.
The news came by way of a post in the Remedy forums, in which Aki Järvilehto, head of franchise development, had this to say:
“We are very happy with the sales and hitting #1 on Steam at launch was nothing short of amazing. We recouped our development and marketing expenses during the first 48 hours. And yes, we’re certainly very excited about PC.”
Alan Wake hit Steam on Feb. 16, including new PC-only features like 3-D support, mouse-and-keyboard controls and the game’s two DLC packs (along with other extras stuff, like the original soundtrack). There’s also a retail release coming in March.
Bethesda’s Todd Howard has confessed that the angry mob wailing and gnashing their teeth over a litany of Skyrim bugs have a right to be pissed off. Speaking with Game Informer, the Elder Scrolls V director spoke at length about his game‘s glitches and their dire impact on the game, also revealing that it has received more updates than both Oblivion and Fallout 3.
“We can always do a better job,” said Howard. “All of our internal and external data show that it’s our most solid release, including the PS3 version. But it’s also our most successful. The percentage of people that have a problem on any particular system ends up a low percentage, but the raw number ends up being larger than we would have expected.”
Howard particularly highlighted the issues seen with the PS3 version, admitting that the team had to rake through hundreds of hours of saved game data to crack a varied selection of problems that users were having. Allegedly, the PS3′s myriad issues are fixed now, but nobody is blaming any gamer that’s gotten irritated by the whole affair.
If you’ve never gotten around to playing Fallout 3 or Oblivion, or if you traded away your copies long ago, now, or more precisely, April 3 is the perfect time to jump in. That’s the date Bethesda is releasing the Fallout 3 & Oblivion combo pack for Xbox 360 or PC. The Xbox version will cost $29.99; PC gamers will pay $19.99.
Sadly (for those of you living on other continents, the pack will be available only in North America. But for red blooded Americans, Canadians and Mexicans, if you didn’t play these games the first time, you can finally do so cheaply without having to buy them used.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 briefly appeared on Amazon France with a listed price of 69,99 euros and little additional information. The listing was since renamed to Call of Duty 9.
But that’s not all — artist Hugo Beyer’s LinkedIn page listed Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 as a project he worked on under Nerve Software.
Beyer has worked for several studios over the years, including Terminal Reality and Liquid Development, and his name appears in the credits of such games as Beatles Rock Band, Anno 1404, Doom 4, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. His LinkdIn profile has been taken down following his “reveal” of Black Ops 2.
Oh, if you haven’t heard of Nerve Software, they developed multiplayer maps for the original Black Ops.
2K has announced the Gods & Kings Expansion Pack for Civilization V is currently in development and will be released in late spring. The pack will allow players to found a Pantheon of the Gods and spread customized religion across the game world.
The Pack will include nine new civilizations, nine new wonders, three original scenarios, dozens of new units, buildings, technologies and resources, as well as changes to AI, diplomacy, espionage. The three new scenarios will let players experience the medieval period, the fall of Rome, and Empires of the Smoky Skies, a Victorian science-fiction scenario.
I still remember my Civ II days… Some franchises are just timeless.
After a 12 year relationship that includes the creation of Mass Effect, Drew Karpyshyn has announced that he is leaving BioWare. The move was revealed yesterday in a post to his official site.
“As of last week,” Karpyshyn says, “I have officially retired from BioWare.” He insists the move has nothing to do with any bad blood at BioWare. “Just to be clear,” he says, “the parting was completely amicable, and 100% my decision.” Karpyshyn will be writing one last book for BioWare, the next The Old Republic tie-in novel. After that, he intends to devote more of his time to writing original novels and “other non-video game related projects.”
“For the past twelve years I’ve had the privilege to work at one of the best companies in the video game industry, side by side with the most talented and incredible group of people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. I’ve enjoyed my time at BioWare immensely, but it’s time for me to move on…
During my time at BioWare I worked on a number of beloved and award winning titles. I’m proud of everything we accomplished, and I know going forward that BioWare will continue to live up to its well deserved reputation for making the best story driven games in the industry. The story and dialog in any BioWare game is the result of an entire team of writers working together, and I often felt I received an excessive amount of the credit for the games we created. The Dragon Age games and the continued success of the Mass Effect series after my departure make it pretty clear that BioWare can get along just fine without me, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the games as a fan rather than from the other side of the fence. (I alluded to this earlier when I was talking about ME3. That’s a little writer’s trick called foreshadowing.)
Kotaku has posted an interesting exchange with EA COO Peter Moore about Electronic Arts’ Steam competitor Origin. Moore acknowledges that not all has been perfect with the launch of their controversial service, but insists that the vitriol is dying down and that with “18 months to two years” to improve it, Origin will be a good experience for gamers.
Moore notes “If you go back and dust off the transcripts of when Steam first came out, it had the same reaction. People didn’t like it. You were obligated.” (Kotaku posts links to complaints about Steam from 2004 that back this claim up.) “They provided, over the years—to Gabe and the team’s credit—value to the gamer,” Moore says, but notes “Those first 12 months were very rocky.” This might be why he says “It’s one of those things where I would ask give us 18 months to two years.”
Moore also notes that a competitor to Steam is healthy, and to that we have to agree. Steam is a good service, but monopolies, even well meaning monopolies, are generally bad for everyone. And unlike Facebook’s doomed to fail adversary, G+, Origin can offer gamers access to things they can’t already get on Steam, namely EA games which aren’t available on Steam. With consistent service and enough decent games, it might prove to be a worthwhile alternative. That is of course assuming they aren’t still price gouging their customers in 2 years’ time.
A game like Mass Effect 3, big as it is, needs an equally big and potentially goofy publicity stunt to really capture the public’s imagination.
That’s why Electronic Arts is going to strap several copies of ME3 to weather balloons with the intention of launching them into space. Well, technically, a balloon can’t reach space — you need an atmosphere for a balloon to rise through. So the balloons will get pretty close to the edge of space, before the copies of Mass Effect 3 will fall back to Earth.
The gag is that each of the ME3 copies will include a GPS tracking device that players can monitor on masseffect.com. Then, when the copies hit the planet, you (yes you) can potentially go find one, and thus get the game as much as a week earlier than the rest of humanity.
The copies get released next week from New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris. Where they’ll end up is anybody’s guess, so I suppose you’ll have to get ready to start Interneting to get your early copies of ME3.
It seems EA Maxis is planning some kind of announcement at Game Developers Conference 2012 next month. It sounds big and important.
EA PR Manager Erik Reynolds has been tweeting cryptically about the announcement, and given the Maxis involvement and the magnitude EA is attaching to it, speculation says it could be some kind of big Sim game. That begs the question: could it be Sim City 5?
Unfortunately, I have no idea and while Electronic Arts is teasing everyone, they’re also being fairly tight-lipped about it.
Though it was previously only available to players who’d enabled Battlefield 3′s online pass through Origin, the multiplayer portion of the Mass Effect 3 demo is now open to everyone.
The demo includes two maps in which as many four players fight off waves of Cerberus enemies, occasionally coordinating to kill a specific target or dismantle certain machines within a time limit. We ran down the multiplayer demo in a pretty in-depth look, along with our impressions, earlier this week. Check it out here.
Meantime, fire up your demo and try ME3′s multiplayer, as it should be enabled on your game’s main menu already.
In an interview with Penny Arcade, Gabe Newell expressed his thoughts on DRM and piracy with regards to Steam. Newell believes that customers shouldn’t be punished for the possibility that they will breach a game‘s terms of service, and that draconian DRM has no positive impact on sales. While he doesn’t want to enforce any kind of DRM protocols for games released on Steam, he does hope that developers should focus on creating value for customers rather than making their lives more difficult.
PA: There’s also this huge conversation going about used games and piracy. Do you feel like you’ve kind of successfully sidestepped those issues with Steam as a service provider?
Gabe Newell: I get fairly frustrated when I hear how the issue is framed in a lot of cases. To us it seems pretty obvious that people always want to treat it as a pricing issue, that people are doing this because they can get it for free and so we just need to create these draconian DRM systems or anti-piracy systems, and that just really doesn’t match up with the data.
Last week, Electronic Arts dropped a Mass Effect 3 teaser trailer on us that suggested Reapers hate children. This week, we’re getting the longer cut of that trailer with lots more stuff in it — like the return of the Mako. Remember the Mako?
This extended cut of the trailer will get your Earthy jingoism up as we near the game’s launch on March 6. And guess what? This isn’t even the entire trailer. There’s an extended cut coming tomorrow. That’s right — we had a teaser for a trailer, now we have a trailer for a trailer, and tomorrow we’ll have an extended trailer.
That said, this is a cool vid and you should watch it.
Lucas Licensing has renewed its Star Wars deal with The LEGO Group, extending it by another 10 years. Under the renewed deal, LEGO will be able to continue producing Star Wars toys and video games, and is currently working on products based on The Old Republic.
Jill Wilfert, Vice President of Licensing and Entertainment for The LEGO Group said:
Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon that shares many characteristics with the LEGO brand–cross generational appeal, versatile story and character content, creativity and imagination—and we believe that we can continue to grow LEGO Star Wars for many years to come.
Before reading this, I would have scoffed at the notion that LEGO and Star Wars had anything in common, but Wilfert makes a great point. I can’t think of any other toy of movie franchise that has survived for so long, across so many generations.
The Mass Effect fan film has been on our radar since December when a few teaser trailers were released for it. Now the full version is available, and it’s not just Mass Effecty — it’s also interactive.
Check out the full movie below, in which some N7 operatives of dubious affiliation track down a crashed smuggler and his illegal goods. There’s also much gun-fighting and liberal use of the game’s actual sound effects. Cool thing is, you’ll actually have a few points during the course of the video where you can make decisions about how the story plays out, by choosing either Paragon or Renegade — just like in Mass Effect.
Get a load of the other works of Sneaky Zebra, the team behind the movie, on their YouTube Channel.
It’s time, people. Time to set aside the petty differences between us, time to finally have that last minute hook up with a coworker, time, in fact, to unite in order to defend ourselves from an enormous threat… to workplace productivity. Earlier this morning, Casey Hudson confirmed via his twitter feed that (drum roll please) Mass Effect 3 has gone gold.
You know the drill. Everyone needs to have their sick day excuse primed for March 6. For example, I’ll spend a few days prior to the release ostentatiously coughing and complaining about an achey head. How about you?
Read: Mass Effect 3 Is Gold Gamefront News: Max Payne 3′s New Trailer Gives Us a Little More Story (VIDEO)
Nobody says “I’m getting too old for this s–t” in Rockstar’s latest Max Payne 3 trailer, but if Payne uttered those words, I’d believe it.
Things don’t look so great for everybody’s favorite bad-ass slow-motion bullet-slinger. Hired to rescue the kidnapped wife of a business mogul, Payne finds himself embroiled in…well, a lot of people shooting at him, really.
So far, looks like Rockstar’s treatment of Max Payne 3 and its story could be pretty solid. Count me as optimistic and excited. Oh, and you can still pre-order the special edition version of the game since it was delayed, up until April 2.
ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 is still coming to PC, but an investor call with NCSoft today has confirmed the game will also be hitting consoles.
But ArenaNet remains committed to the PC version, the company’s community manager said. Writing in the Guild Wars 2 Guru forums, Community Lead Martin Kerstein told fans not to worry about the quality of the PC version now that console editions have been announced.
“I think ‘stay calm, don’t panic’ will become my new mantra,” Kerstein wrote. “We stated multiple times in public that we have a small team working on a console version, but that we are fully dedicated to make the most kickass game for PC.”
The call also indicated there will be a beta test for the game, which could be coming sometime in March or April.
Fans of the Playstation 2 classic Psychonauts have long wanted a sequel. Last year, when Double Fine, who already owned the IP rights, managed to secure the publishing rights as well, it seemed that they might finally get their wish. Unfortunately, thanks to Psychonauts’ relatively low sales, Tim Schafer has continually been unable to secure funding, a fact he confirmed earlier this month in an interview with Digital Spy.
Enter Mojang’s Notch, who outed himself as a fan and supporter when he told Tim Schafer he would like to be involved getting Psychonauts 2 made via twitter. Perhaps it’s because he’s still a shy nerd, or that he hasn’t quite grown used to his fame, but Notch was somewhat unprepared for the enthusiasm his comments would spark. Apparently, he has been deluged with correspondence from Psychonauts fans who took his comments to mean that there will definitely be a sequel, and it’s freaked him out.
To quell mass rejoicing before there’s even a deal in place, he took to his personal blog with a personal appeal for everyone to calm down. “Being a big fan of the first one, and thinking a sequel could probably be profitable, I semi-jokingly tweeted Tim about me funding a sequel,” he said. “And then the internet exploded. (Or at least my inbox did)” But of course it did. Psychonauts is possibly the only console game with a more devoted, and bereaved, fanbase than Beyond Good and Evil. And Notch doesn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up.
Nvidia has posted new WHQL drivers for its GeForce line of video cards, spiffing up the performance for a number of games. Specifically mentioned are the performance improvements possible for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the Diablo III beta and the Mass Effect 3 beta.
For Skyrim, Nvidia says its beta drivers released back in December have helped to boost frame rates in interior locations such as dungeons by 19 percent, and by about 2.8 percent in exterior locations. The new drivers should improve upon those figures even more. And the new drivers provide what Nvidia calls “Ambient Occlusion shadowing,” which translates to “more shadows that look pretty.”
Diablo III users also get Ambient Occlusion shadowing, Nvidia says, and players running the Mass Effect 3 demo can expect about double the performance out of their graphics cards with the new drivers.
The weirdo multiplayer first-person shooter concept that is Gotham City Impostors is getting a laugh in on all its Batman and Joker afficianados, it seems.
Apparently, users are reporting that a glitch is erasing all their character data, costing them valuable time, saved-up experience points and unlocks. It’s also costing them whatever money they might have paid to purchase experience and unlocks in order to upgrade their abilities more quickly.
You can check the ire of players on the Gotham City Imposters forums and potentially join in, if this has happened to you. If not, be careful: it has been suggested the glitch occurs when upgrading the trial version of GCI to the full version, so you might want to just retreat to your Batcave or…Joker…Place…until a fix is issued.
Mass Effect 3 is coming to PCs on March 6th, and if you’re planning on playing it with your mouse and keyboard, Razer has something that might catch your eye – Mass Effect 3 licensed peripherals.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Razer launching licensed gear. There were the Star Wars: The Old Republic tie-ins, Transformers 3 goodies, and of course the Starcraft 2 peripherals. While Mass Effect 3 hasn’t traditionally been thought of as a PC-first title, this type of attention can’t help but catch the eye of PC enthusiasts, many of whom already have Razer products on their desks.
Here’s a list of the peripherals Razer has available for pre-order:
Razer Imperator gaming mouse
Razer Vespula dual-sided gaming mouse mat
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate gaming keyboard
Razer Onza Tournament Edition Xbox 360 controller
Razer Chimaera Xbox 360 gaming headset
There’s also a N7 messenger bag and the N7 themed iPhone 4/4S case. Obviously, Bioware’s fired up about this partnership. “Mass Effect 3 is an all-out Galactic war and partnering with Razer gives us an opportunity to raise the stakes even higher and provide gamers with a product line that will certainly help them take Earth back on March 6,” says David Silverman, Marketing Director for BioWare. Whether or not you need these peripherals is up to you to determine, but you certainly can’t tell me that you can look at them and not want them just a little. The question is whether PC gamers will be interested in dropping a branded peripheral on their desk for years, when they’ll likely only be playing ME3 for weeks.
Hinting at what lies in store for Grand Theft Auto V, it has been discovered that Rockstar Games has trademarked the names “GTA TV” and “Rockstar TV”. The filings, both publicly viewable on the US Patent and Trademark office website, were made on February 14 and are largely identical. They each list a wide variety of services ranging from games, feature films and live action TV, even animated projects and documentaries.
Naturally, this doesn’t actually reveal anything. In order to ensure they aren’t poached, they need to be certain the trademark covers as wide a range of entertainment possibilities as possible. Furthermore, Rockstar has repeatedly kiboshed suggestions of films based on the GTA series. It’s therefore likely we won’t actually be seeing after school cartoons, TV shows or movies anytime soon.
But what does it mean? These filings represent the first tangible information since the initial announcement, and they say little. Rockstar has been enormously coy about GTA V. Since announcing the game last fall, they have provided no new details, no follow up trailers, not even confirmation of whether or not the narrator in the trailer is the game‘s protagonist. (I still insist he isn’t.) We still don’t even know if it will see release in 2012.
That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate, of course. My guess is that Rockstar TV and GTA TV are indication that GTA V will have a far more robust multiplayer than anything previously seen in the series. Expect something like Call of Duty: Elite, with player video uploads, possibly custom content produced by very prestigious people, and an increased community environment.
A week ago, the Skyrim Creation Kit launched, and since then, the Skyrim Workshop has seen over two million downloads. More than 2,500 mods have been published by the gaming community, all of which are available for free.
According to Steam data, the average number of hours that a gamer plays Skyrim exceeds 75, which is incredible given how few hours casual gamers put into a title. The PC version of Skyrim in North America outsold all other PC games by a factor of over three to one in the month of its release, and Skyrim is the fastest-selling title in Steam’s history.
The Elder Scrolls series has been a tent pole in the modding community, so while it doesn’t surprise me to see the Creation Kit being so well-received, it does please me. Who knows what incredible mods we’ll be seeing six months from now?
Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment’s head of product development, has egg on his face. In an interview with Game Informer, Yoshida expressed his regret at passing up on publishing Demon’s Souls due to his initial sour experience with the game.
For my personal experience with Demon’s Souls, when it was close to final I spent close to two hours playing it and after two hours I was still standing at the beginning at the game. I said, “This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game.” So I put it aside.
In retrospect, Yoshida admits this was a mistake, having seen the success of the franchise. He went on to say:
We definitely dropped the ball from a publishing standpoint, including studio management side. We were not able to see the value of the product we were making.
Get your snowboards ready, because you’ll be playing the demo for the SSX reboot next week. Creative director Todd Batty said the demo should hit Xbox Live on February 21, worldwide. On the PlayStation Network, the demo will release in the US on February 21 and reach Europe on February 22.
While the demo will only feature one primary playable character, you can unlock a second by referring a friend. You’ll be able to try out Ridenet, and the demo will cover four events and two tutorials, including a sky diving lesson.
SSX releases on playStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 28 in the US, and March 2 in Europe.
The first of several planned beta tests for TERAtook place February 10-12. Launching on May 1, TERA innovates the MMO genre with real-time, contextual attacks and an emphasis on player skill instead of statistics. Skill over timing cool-downs? Sign me up.
The beta wasn’t flawless — there were a few crashes — but overall, players got in some solid game time, even meeting their first Big-Ass Monster, or BAM, a basilisk that accounted for nearly two-thirds of all deaths during the course of the beta test.
Players were given the opportunity to explore the game’s opening sequence, the Island of Dawn, and the next beta weekend, February 24-26, will expand on the first closed beta test by opening up a PvP server and adding five more levels to explore.
By means of console commands, Skyrim players can visit Morrowind and the entire continent of Tamriel. While these landmasses are rendered in scarce detail, it raised the question:
Bethesda’s Todd Howard told Kotaku at DICE last week that “the story is they are there.”
The reason they are there – and I will not say if we are or are not using them in the future – is when we first built the landmass for Skyrim we knew we were going to have these tall mountains.
And what can you see? We have views early in the project where you can see into the [neighbouring] province from the other game. We needed to have something [there].
It’s not high detail. If you walk there, from a distance it’s…yeah, the stuff is there. And the thinking is, maybe we’ll use it one day, but our larger worry was, I’m going to climb up on top of a mountain and look that way. What will I be able to see there? We try to cover all those angles as much as we can.
I love living in the future. Instant access to information, total connectivity with my friends and family, amazing graphics on our video games. But as wonderful as all of that is, the iPod/Star Trek aesthetic lacks a certain old timey aesthetic charm I sometimes feel is sorely lacking from the world. Why, for instance, can’t I buy a smartphone built to look like a gold pocket watch? Oh well, I suppose we must accept that the past must stay in the past and that we must accept that the good goes with the bad when things are left behind. #Maturity.
Wait, hold on, what’s this?
That, my friends, is the World of Warcraft collector’s edition of Monopoly. Why it isn’t called Waropoly is beyond me, but it’s a real thing being unveiled this week at the 109th annual Toy Fair. The game is being released as part of a partnership between Blizzard and USAopoly, and will be on sale at some point later in 2012. In addition to the Blizzardification of the classic analogue business sim, USAopoly will also be releasing a specialty version of Risk based on the Starcraft series. Both sets will set you back 50 dollars and will remind gamers what the ragequit was like when you had to wipe pieces off the board instead flipping off the system.
From the press release:
Monopoly: World of Warcraft
Descend into a world of myth, magic, and legendary adventure to battle for control of World of Warcraft’s iconic locations. Featuring custom graphics from our artists and designers, the Monopoly game’s land grab includes coveted real estate such as Twilight Highlands, Grizzly Hills, and the Swamp of Sorrows. In the rush to rule over the faction capitals of Orgrimmar and Stormwind, players will roll Alliance- and Horde-themed dice, and feverishly buy, sell and trade in true MONOPOLY fashion, until one player controls the lands and vanquishes all comers. The game retails for $39.95 and will be available in May at specialty stores across North America.
Gamefront News: Valve Says Dota 2 Will Pack LAN, Mod Support
Leave it to Valve to make sure Dota 2 will be cool.
The developer has confirmed that its upcoming Dota 2 will include both LAN support for old-school PC players, as well as modding support – meaning there’s no end to the craziness DOTA 2 will likely spawn.
Project Lead Erik Johnson told JoinDota.com that Valve is still working on the LAN mode and there are features that need to be completed before it’s ready, but the developer is definitely working on it. Right now, Johnson said, the focus has been on matchmaking, but it sounds like Valve is going to get around to finishing up the LAN features once matchmaking is handled.
Johnson also confirmed that the game will include mod support, mentioning Valve’s history for supporting the mod community in all its games. He said he couldn’t offer an update on Dota 2’s release date or whether it will be free-to-play, however.
With recent news of a past security breach landing hackers encrypted credit card information, Steam users had a bit of a scare yesterday when the platform’s website and client went down without warning. Valve has since reassured us that the downtime was due to a power outage and nothing more.
A Valve representative posted the following message on the Steam forums:
Our datacentre’s uninterruptible power supplies experienced a power failure. The power is back on now, and we’re working to get service restored as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
The representative later added that Steam is up and running at a “normal user load,” but that a few lingering issues are still being ironed out.
The following comments are owned by the user that posted them. SolarEmpireFiles is not responsible for their content.
Total comments: 4 | Last comment: 03-16-2012 at 16:15
#1 - 02-27-2012 at 05:00
Jendo07 From: (Cambridge) Joined: May 8th, 2009 Posts: 436
Not related to the news but I've been noticing a lot of invalid file id messages of old files and broken links, and even refreshing the page doesn't always work. Just a heads up although I'm sure everyone is aware of the problems.
#2 - 03-06-2012 at 03:45
Apprentice From: (Coruscant) Joined: June 12th, 2002 Posts: 162
Quote:Not related to the news but I've been noticing a lot of invalid file id messages of old files and broken links, and even refreshing the page doesn't always work. Just a heads up although I'm sure everyone is aware of the problems.
I was under the impression that these kind of comments were not allowed here since it "wasn't the proper place for that". Guess it doesn't matter what is being said, but who is saying it. Hypocrite to say the least . . .
#3 - @2 - 03-10-2012 at 06:15
Jendo07 From: (Cambridge) Joined: May 8th, 2009 Posts: 436
I really don't see how my post has been interpreted as hypocritical, but I apologize for any offense I may have caused.
#4 - 03-16-2012 at 16:15
Jendo07 From: (Cambridge) Joined: May 8th, 2009 Posts: 436
Sorry everyone, I didn't see the last paragraph in the top section. I should of taken my own advice; when in doubt, post nothing.
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