Stunning Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer hits the web

Over on the official Deus Ex YouTube channel a video was posted today showing a kick-ass trailer for the upcoming shooter, that frankly smacks of a big-budget action/thriller movie more than it does a video game. It’s only 2 minutes long but they’ve sure enough crammed every moscel of awesome into it. Given the fact that Eidos have been hard at work for 4 years, there’s certainly plenty to show off.

Human Revolution has an August 23rd release date in North America, with Europe and Australia getting it on the 26th and 25th respectively. You can pre-order a retail copy now for PCXbox and PS3.

Related:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam
Deus Ex: Human Revolution system requirements revealed
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
WHQL-Certified GeForce R275 Drivers Out Now

WHQL-Certified GeForce R275 Drivers Out Now

Significant performance gains in R275Nvidia just rolled out their latest WHQL certified GeForce drivers for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500-series desktop GPUs as well as ION desktop GPUs.

The R275 driver suite is all about performance gains. On 400 and 500 series GPUs in particular there are quite a number of bumps in FPS for Crysis 2, Civilization V, Portal 2, Bulletstorm and Batman Arkham Asylum.

There are also a number of bugs ironed out from the previous beta, thanks to the savvy Nvidia community; see below:

Bug fixes in R275

If you’re running GeForce drivers V270.51 or higher then you should have received the update notification via your taskbar, if you have the ‘auto-update’ feature enabled. For everyone else you can download the drivers here.

For a full list of fixes and changes head on over to Nvidia’s blog.

Related:
Nvidia announce $99 3D Vision glasses
Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper goes beta
Nintendo DS Lite price falls to $99 next week

Nintendo DS Lite price falls to $99 next week

DS Lite price-drop to $99Nintendo America has made the announcement that their popular handheld console is dropping in price.

From June 5th onward you can pick up a DS Lite for just $99. The company also announced the repackaging in red of their Mario games lineup in order that they stand out more on shelves; games include New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, Super Mario 64 DS, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! and Mario PartyDS.

Currently the DS Lite is listed for $129 on Amazon, but come next week you’ll be able to snag one for $99.

From the press release:

The portable Nintendo DS™ Lite system is getting a new suggested retail price. Effective June 5, the system will be available at a suggested retail price of just $99.99 in the United States. The Nintendo DS family has become the best-selling video game system in history. More than 48.9 million systems in the Nintendo DS family have sold in the United States alone. Also in June, six Mario™ games for Nintendo DS will receive new red packaging, making it easier than ever for consumers to identify these hit titles in stores.

Related:
Nvidia announce $99 3D Vision glasses
New game releases for the coming week May 30 – June 6
Gabe Newell: charge players based on how fun they are to play with

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper goes beta

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Beta

If you’re trying to fix a PC so badly infected with malware that you can’t even get it to boot, Microsoft has announced a new program that might be a life-saver for PC repair.

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper is a new tool weighing in at 500kb; with this app you can create a bootable disc or thumb drive that will perform an offline scan and get rid of any malware or rootkits installed preventing your PC from booting up. It can also work in conjunction with your current antivirus software, if that program is having trouble getting rid of a virus or rootkit.

Microsoft does stress however, that this app is not a replacement for a full anitivirus suite, rather it’s for those occasions where you can’t boot your system because of malware. The company already has a full antivirus suite free of charge in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials.

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Related:
Adobe patches Flash Player, again
How often do you build a PC?

Nvidia announce $99 3D Vision glasses

New 3D Vision Wired Glasses Only $993D gaming on the PC has quite a way to go before it reaches widespread adoption, but Nvidia hope to entice the budget conscious gamer in with new, cheaper 3D Vision glasses coming in June.

The company made the announcement over on the Nvidia blog. The new 3D glasses will be wired, connecting to the PC via USB 2.0. There’s not a whole lot of detail available about the specifics, only the focus on bringing a cheaper 3D experience for gamers on a budget.

Nvidia’s Andrew Fear:

There’s a brand new product coming to the 3D Vision lineup this June – 3D Vision wired glasses. These glasses will deliver the same great 3D Vision features and quality you have come to know and love, at a more affordable price of $99 US MSRP.

A bit more about the glasses: They connect via USB 2.0 to a PC or notebook, and work with all the existing 3D Vision content, displays and other devices.  A notch in the USB connector enables you to use a standard cable lock system too – like those from Kensington – to secure the glasses to a PC or table.  It’s a great feature for LAN parties and iCafé gaming centers.

Related:
New game releases for the coming week May 30 – June 6
Gabe Newell: charge players based on how fun they are to play with

New game releases for the coming week May 30 – June 6

Hunted: The Demon's ForgeThis week sees the release of the Generations expac for The Sims 3 on Tuesday. It will be the fourth expansion for The Sims 3 since its release in 2009.

Also of note is Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, a dark fantasy third-person actioner published by Bethesda. It is hitting PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 also on Tuesday (May 31)

PC
The Sims 3: Generations – May 31
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge – May 31
Rockin’ Dead – May 31
Hank Haney World Golf 2011 – May 31
Dawn of Fantasy – Jun 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Escalation – June 2
Curse of Slate Rock Manor – June 1
Chronicles of Merlin – May 31
Prius Online – June 2
Bioshock 2: Minerva’s Den – May 31
Koya Rift - May 31
Soon Serenade – May 30

Xbox 360
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge – May 31

PS3
Hunted: The Demon’s Forge – May 31

Wii
Maximum Racing: Sprint Cars – May 31
Maximum Racing: Super Truck Racer – May 31
Wicked Monster Blast – May 31
Get Up Games: Family Sports – May 31
Fast – Racing League – May 30

Nintendo DS/3DS
(3DS) BlazBlue Continuum Shift II – May 31
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass – June 3
House M.D. – Episode 1: Globetrotting – May 30
Valet Parking 1989 – May 30
B Team – Episode 1: Dust & Steel – May 30

PSP
BlazBlue Continuum Shift II – May 31
Ducati Challenge – May 31

New game releases for the coming week May 23 – May 30

Dirt 3This week sees the global release of the latest instalment in Codemaster’s rally car series, Dirt 3. It’s out on Tuesday for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

Also of interest this week is a new Dungeons & Dragons game, Daggerdale. The action RPG  hits PC and Xbox 360 also on the 24th.

PC
Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale – May 24
Kaptain Brawe – May 24
Faxion Online – May 26
Aion 2.5: Empyrean Calling – May 25
King Arthur Collection – May 24
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean – May 24
Dirt 3 – May 24

Xbox 360
Dirt 3 – May 24
Kung Fu Panda 2 Kinect – May 24

PS3
Dirt 3 – May 24
Top Gun Hybrid (Game & Movie) – May 24
Kung Fu Panda 2 – May 24
Days of Thunder (Game & Movie) – May 24

Wii
NASCAR The Game 2011 – May 24
Kung Fu Panda 2 – May 24
Crazy Machines – May 25

Nintendo DS/3DS
(3DS) Dead or Alive Dimensions – May 24
Emily The Strange – Strangerous – May 24
Kung Fu Panda 2 – May 24
Duke Nukem: Critical Mass – May 26
Paws and Claws Pampered Pets 2 – May 24
Paws & Claws: Pampered Pets 2 – May 24
Cake Mania: Main Street – May 24
Murder in Venice – May 24
99Bullets – May 24

PSP

Gabe Newell: charge players based on how fun they are to play with

ValveGabe Newell recently did a long and interesting interview with Develop magazine, in which the Valve boss discussed the working culture inside the company and how they only hire the best people for the job among a lot of other things.

The most interesting thing Newell discussed was a ‘bug’ in the payment model used by the games industry – all players pay the same rate, whether they’re good or bad for the community they’re playing in.

Newell floated the idea of charging gamers based on how fun they are to play with:

Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them. Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave. We should have a way of capturing that. We should have a way of rewarding the people who are good for our community.
So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.

The whole interview is worth a read, covering a lot of topics like Facebook and social gaming, the Source engine and a lot about the culture inside Valve.

Gabe Newell on Valve via Escapist

New game releases for the coming week May 16 – May 23

L.A. NoireThis week sees Rockstar return with their single player detective thriller set in 1947 Los Angeles. L.A. Noire hits X360 and PS3 on Tuesday.

Also of note this week is The Witcher 2 for PC, new DLC for Fallout New Vegas, and Fable III’s arrival on PC.

PC
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – May 17
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Collector’s Edition – May 17
Fable III – May 17
The First Templar – May 17
Crysis 2: Retaliation – May 17
Fallout: New Vegas – Honest Hearts – May 17
Terraria – May 16
Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Abyssea Edition – May 16
Detour – May 16

Xbox 360
L.A. Noire – May 17
SEGA Rally Online Arcade – May 18
Crysis 2: Retaliation – May 17
The First Templar – May 17
Fallout: New Vegas – Honest Hearts – May 17
Pinball FX 2: Marvel Pinball – Fantastic Four – May 17
Shift 2: Unleashed – Speedhunters – May 17

PS3
L.A. Noire – May 17
Marvel Pinball: Fantastic Four – May 17
Fallout: New Vegas – Honest Hearts – May 17

Wii
ExerBeat – May 17
Chrono Trigger – May 16

Nintendo DS/3DS
Cake Mania 4 – May 17
Spongebob Squigglepants – May 17
Chess Attack! – May 18

PSP

We have 3 OCZ Flash drives to give away

OCZ ATV USB 2.0 FLASH DRIVE

OCZ ATV 16 GB Flash drive

OCZ 16 GB Diesel Flash drive

OCZ 16 GB Diesel Flash drive

OCZ Rally 2 8 GB Flash drive

OCZ Rally 2 8 GB Flash drive

 

 

 

 

 

OCZ have very graciously supplied us with the swag for our newest giveaway (we haven’t done any in quite a while but have a few in the pipeline for the coming months).

We have 3 OCZ Flash drives to give away, with capacities ranging from 8-16 GB.

To enter, follow the rules below and fill in the form at the end of this post. The contest closes on June the 3rd when we will contact the winners.

Rules:

  1. This contest is only open to readers in the USA, Canada and Europe.
  2. To be eligible to win, you need to either follow or like the Facebook or Twitter pages of OCZ and Igniq.com:
    Visit the Facebook pages of Igniq.com and OCZ and click the Like buttons at the top right
    or
    Visit the Twitter accounts of Igniq.com and OCZ and click the Follow buttons at the top left
  3. Once that’s done, fill in your name, email and the link to your Facebook or Twitter pages in the form below.

We will close the competition on June the 3rd 2011 and announce the winners on the site. Make sure to include the link to your Facebook or Twitter so we can verify the winners.

[contact-form 4 "OCZ giveaway"]

Adobe patches Flash Player, again

Adobe Flash Player updatedIn what seems to be almost as regular as the sun rising, Adobe yesterday announced yet another flaw in their Flash Player software.

This latest threat appears almost identical to last month’s flaw which was being taken advantage of by way of a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Word (.doc) file spread through email.

AFFECTED SOFTWARE VERSIONS

  • Adobe Flash Player 10.2.159.1 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.28 and earlier versions for Chrome users
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.2.157.51 and earlier versions for Android

Adobe recommends users of any of the above Flash versions to update immediately. Whether you’re on Chrome, IE, Opera or Firefox the version you want installed is 10,3,181,14. Head on over to Adobe’s About Flash Player page to make sure you’re up to date.

As always don’t forget about Mozilla’s handy plugin check page, that examines which plugins you have installed and lets you know of any available upgrades.

Related:
Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17th
How often do you build a PC?
PCMark 7 available now
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web

Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17th

Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17thNvidia today confirmed May 17th as the official release date of their upcoming GTX 560 graphics card.

Sandwiched somewhere in between last Summer’s GTX 460 and the current Nvidia mid-range Kingpin, the GTX 560 Ti; the GTX 560 will be hoping to win the hearts and minds of budget gamers looking to have a reasonable DX11 experience at a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Nvidia uploaded a few videos of the card running (as of now) unreleased PC games; Duke Nukem Forever, Alice: Madness Returns and Dungeon Siege III. According to their benchmarks the upcoming GTX 560 should have enough graphical grunt to keep most of today’s modern titles at bay. Basically the idea of the article is to show gamers they don’t need to re-mortgage their house in order to get a decent high-definition experience on their gaming rigs.

In their article Nvidia draws parrallels between the GTX 560 and 2008′s 9800GT, in terms of price-to-performance ratio. According to Steam statistics the 3-year old 9800 GT is the most popular card right now. Nvidia hope to repeat the success of the 9800 GT, with the same bang-for-buck marketing attributed to the GTX 560.

The advent of GPU technologies like NVIDIA 3D Vision, Surround, and advances in PhysX coupled with the emerging popularity of high-resolution monitors have provided exciting, new GPU-intensive features. This, however, does not mean that high-end PC gaming needs to cost gamers an arm and a leg. The GeForce GTX 560 delivers high-quality 1080p visuals with rock-solid gaming performance at a sweet-spot price point.

Amazon has the card listed from a few different GPU makers; MSI ($249.99), PNY (239.99) and a few others.

Related:
How often do you build a PC?
PCMark 7 available now
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps

Taliban goes all 21st century, uses Twitter

iPhoneWhen they’re not forcing women into cloth-bags or publicly flogging the fairer sex, the Taliban are more than a little keen on technology.

Despite their previous rejection of such technological marvels as the television or PC, the Islamist militia are beginning to warm to internet-based social networks.

@alemarahweb on Twitter has been broadcasting tweets in Pashto, the native Taliban tongue; mostly glorifying the deaths of American and British forces fighting in the Afghan region, and linking back to the The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan website. One tweet from yesterday writes:

Mujahideen from Khak-e-Safid district say that at least 6 puppet police were killed and 3 others wounded late yesterday afternoon in an ambush in Diwali Surkh area. A Mujahid was also injured in the 1 hour firefight.

At the time of writing this the account has 3,147 followers.

Related:
Adobe patches Flash Player, again
Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17th
How often do you build a PC?
PCMark 7 available now
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web

How often do you build a PC?

Upgrading RAM.For most avid PC types, it’s less about re-building than it is upgrading along the way. But what about everyone else?

Crucial, makers of SSDs and RAM conducted their own survey of PC users in the US, UK and France earlier this year. They have been spitting out the results over the course of the day; and these are their findings so far:

  • 53% of people think their PCs should last much longer than 3 years.
  • Nearly half of Brits surveyed said “slow-speed” was their number 1 pet peeve with their PC.
  • 49% of Brits believe a RAM upgrade would inject some performance into thier current rig.
  • Meanwhile 39% of Brits fear even opening up their PC, let alone upgrading parts.

Personally, I feel a decent investment in a $1,000 PC should see you through at least a few years of gaming, without having to be thinking about upgrades. But then of course there are a plethora of different desires and expectations out there, particularly when it comes to PC gaming.

What about you. Do you upgrade every time Intel blows their horn with the announcement of a new CPU, or whenever Nvidia or AMD announce a relatively beefier graphics card? Or are you more realistic and conservative with your PC buying budget?

Related:
AlienBEware: Why You SHOULD build Your Own Gaming PC
8 of the best SSDs for your gaming rig
PCMark 7 available now

50% off Fallout 3, plus all expansions

Games for Windows Live are offering 50% off 2008′s Fallout 3. This includes all expansions for the game, and the offer is good until May 18th.

Check the deal out here.

Meanwhile Bethesda has a new trailer up on YouTube for the upcoming DLC ‘Honest Hearts’ for Fallout New Vegas. There are also 6 new screenshots of Honest Hearts over on Bethesda’s website.

Related:
Fallout New Vegas for only $29.99
Only 5 days left to pre-order The Witcher 2
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps

Only 5 days left to pre-order The Witcher 2

The Witcher 2Over on GOG.com comes news that you have only 5 days left to pre-order and pre-download The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Digital Premium Edition.

You can also download 95% of the game right now, to save on time for the May 17th release. To incentivise people into making the purchase on GOG.com they advertise the digital version as “DRM-free”. It’s ironic that this is used as a selling-point; but alas it is a bonus.

Pre-ordering now will get you the following:

a virtual version of the collector’s edition artbook, the whole soundtrack with 4 unreleased tracks exclusive to GOG.com, wallpapers, avatars and a photo tour showing the behind the scenes work of your favorite CDProjekt Red team. Last (but not least!) you get one of five epic RPGs for free.

Will your PC have the grunt needed to play The Witcher 2? I should bloody well thing so; check out the system requirements below:

Recommended specs:
Processor: Intel Quad Core or AMD equivalent
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 260, 1 GB memory / Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory
Memory: 3 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
Hard Disk: At least 16 GB of free space

Minimum specs:
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD 2.5 GHz equivalent
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8800, 512 MB memory or ATI HD3850 512 MB
Memory: 1 GB for Windows XP / 2 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
Hard Disk: 8 GB for the game installation and 8 GB for bonus materials

Related:
The Witcher 2 hardware specs revealed
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

PCMark 7 available now

PCMark 7 out nowPCMark 7 is available now, having been initially slated for a May 3rd release.

The popular PC benchmarking suite from Futuremark is designed for Windows 7. Basically if you want to put your entire PC through a broad gamut of performance tests this program will give you an indication of how well your hardware is performing. You can even check and compare your score online with people who have similar or identical PC hardware.

Futuremark are offering 3 variants of PCMark 7; including a free edition which allows unlimited runs of the main test. You can download the free-edition or order the advanced or professional versions directly from the PCMark website.

PCMARK 7 BASIC EDITION – Free

  • Free PC test offering unlimited runs of the main PCMark test suite
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Store one result online

 

PCMARK 7 ADVANCED EDITION – $39.95 – ORDER NOW

  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Unlimited online results storage
  • Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service

 

PCMARK 7 PROFESSIONAL EDITION – $995.00 – ORDER NOW

  • Licensed for commercial PC system testing
  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  • Command line automation
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Unlimited online results storage
  • Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service
  • Priority support

Related:
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN

 Civilization World
CNN.com recently posted a new feature article with Sid Meier where the gaming legend gives his thoughts on gaming and more specifically the new world of social gaming through Facebook. The bulk of the article deals with the upcoming Civilization World, which is set to launch sometime in the summer.

Meier gives some insight into the changes he and his team had to make to the franchise to make it an easier fit for the social medium. Like a lot of the browser games already on Facebook, Civ World will have a focus on playing with friends:

“What was really intriguing to us was being able to emphasize cooperative game play, which was something that really hadn’t been a major part of ‘Civilization’ up to now,” he said. “A lot of our design in ‘Civ World’ was taking advantage and using these opportunities for players to work together — teamwork, communication, planning. Those are all the things that become really important to ‘Civ World.’”

Originally called Civilization Network when it was announced last year, Civ World doesn’t have a definite release date as of yet, however the alpha test for the game has been open since January. To take part in the alpha test you need to sign up with a group of friends as a team (this is for a better experience of the cooperative gameplay). The teams must have between 5 and 50 players to be accepted. Full details and how to sign up can be found here.

You can also follow updates and developments on Civ World at the official Facebook profile here.

More links:
Civ World “Fundamentally Changes Series”
Sid Meier’s Civilization Migrates To Facebook This Summer, Starts Going By Civ World
Civilization for Facebook coming next year (Nov 12 2010)

Related:
Civilization 5 Roundup
Civilization V Official Strategy Guide
Civilization III Complete
Civilization IV: The Complete Edition


Hitman Absolution on track for 2012

Hitman Absolution coming in 2012Following on the recent trailer for the upcoming Hitman Absolution, some new details have emerged concerning Agent 47′s next mission.

IO Interactive’s 5th instalment of the popular Hitman series will be built from the ground up with Glacier 2, a completely new gaming engine. According to a press release from Square Enix, Absolution will be ”familiar and yet significantly different from other Hitman games.”

For the first time we are taking Agent 47 on a personal journey which allows us to explore other parts of the Hitman® fantasy,” said Tore Blystad, game director, IO Interactive. “This is both a familiar and yet significantly different experience from other Hitman games; something our silent assassins will relish, as will all those new to the Hitman world.

For the lucky few, Hitman Absolution will be showcased (invitation only) at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles from June 7–9.

Absolution is slated for a 2012 release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Related:
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)

Starcraft 2 Wings of LibertyOver on Battle.net comes details of the latest StarCraft II patch (1.3.3).

Patch 1.3.3 is a mixture of adjustments to race balance and bug fixes.

See below:

General

  • The default hotkey to toggle in-game music on/off has been reverted to its hotkey prior to Patch 1.3.0. The hotkey to display APM in the observer stat panel has been changed as a result.

 

Balance

  • PROTOSS
    • Archon
      • Now a massive unit.
      • Range increased from 2 to 3.
    • Cybernetics Core
      • Research Warp Gate time increased from 140 to 160.
    • Gateway
      • Sentry train time decreased from 42 to 37.
      • Warp Gate unit train times remain unchanged.
    • Pylon power radius has been decreased from 7.5 to 6.5.
  • TERRAN
    • Bunker
      • Salvage resource return reduced from 100% to 75%.
    • Ghost
      • Cost changed from 150/150 to 200/100.
    • Thor
    • Thor now has 200 max energy, and starts with 50 energy.
    • 250mm Strike Cannons now cost 150 energy to use (cooldown removed).
  • ZERG
    • Infestor
      • Speed decreased from 2.5 to 2.25.
    • Spore Crawler
      • Root time decreased from 12 to 6.

 

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where Ghosts could not quickly EMP the same location.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to stack air units when issuing a queued stop command before the units reached the end of their patrol point.
  • Fixed an issue where unplugging your USB headset while another player was talking to you could cause a crash.
  • Fixed an issue where the APM statistic could be artificially increased.
  • Fixed an issue where 3D unit portraits were not animating smoothly at slow game speeds.
  • Fixed an issue where, when viewing a replay, no text message was displayed when a player left a game.
  • The Taiwanese hotkey to display/hide the game UI while in Observer mode now works correctly.

 

Portal 2 map makers rejoice

Portal 2 for $29.99 on Amazon.Already bored with the maps in Portal 2? Want to create your own?

Valve today announced the beta release of Portal 2′s authoring tools. With this release map makers can create their own custom singleplayer or co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music. In fact these are the same tools Valve themselves used to create the game.

The authoring tools are free to download for any owner of Portal 2 on the PC. If you own the game you can find the authoring tools under the ‘Tools’ tab in Steam.

Here’s what you get:

  • Updated version of Hammer, the Source level editor
  • Updated Faceposer
  • Example maps and instances to help build new maps
  • Updated suite of command-line compiling utilities

Related:
Portal 2 for $29.99
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Portal 2 DLC coming this Summer; free of charge
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Gaming avatars and real-life comparisons

Yeah, he's a dead ringer.Do you model your avatar around what you actually look like, or do you embellish the truth a little (or a lot)?

Roobie Cooper is an American photographer who toured  Korea, China, France and Germany to photograph gamers playing MMORGs. It was his intention to delve into the relationship between how a person views themselves online, as opposed to what they actually look like in real life.

Here are some interesting comparisons of Robbie’s work.

Related:
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Crysis 2 price-drop on Amazon
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web

A new trailer has been released showing off the upcoming DLC for Crysis 2, Retaliation.

Retaliation is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on May 17th, just one week from now. The DLC will feature 4 new maps; Park Avenue, Transit, Shipyard, and Compound.

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Crysis 2 price-drop on Amazon
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Microsoft confirms Skype takeover

Microsoft confirms Skype takeoverMicrosoft confirmed the news today that it has agreed to buy internet phone service Skype.

This will be the the company’s largest acquisition, costing the Windows maker a massive $8.5bn (£5.2bn).

Skype is one of the world’s most popular software applications for making voice calls and chat over the Internet. With a staggering 663 million users globally, the potential for advertising revenue is enormous; although it’s still unclear as to what Microsoft has planned after the takeover.

Skype CEO Tony Bates announced the news today over on the Skype blog:

The combination of Skype and Microsoft will directly benefit all of you who use Skype by ushering in a new era of generative ways for everyone to communicate.

Once the acquisition is complete, Skype will operate as a new business division of Microsoft, and I look forward to working with the team as president of Microsoft Skype to write the next chapter of the Skype story. Onwards!

Related:
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase

Duke is ready for pre-order on SteamDuke Nukem won’t be downing steak dinners, slapping women’s asses or setting off countless explosions until June 10th, but you can cast your vote now by pre-purchasing on Steam.

Valve just gave the word, and are offering a 10% discount on Duke Nukem Forever if you pre-purchase now.

You can also pre-order a retail copy for PCXbox 360 and PS3 from Amazon.

Related:
Nvidia giving away Duke Nukem Forever PC
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor

Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps

Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new mapsA massive update is now available for The Creative Assembly’s Total War: Shogun 2, which includes DX11 support and a torrent of updates and fixes. The gargantuan patch also brings 4 new multiplayer maps: Aki, Hida Mountain, Flood Plains and Sanriku Ria.

The news was confirmed over on the Total War forums:

DirectX 11 support, including:

• Advanced Shadows

The DirectX11 pipeline supports very high quality shadow maps, giving softer shadows with significantly less aliasing compared to DirectX 9.

• Support for MSAA 2x,4x,8x.

Requires Shader Model 4.1 or Shader Model 5 support, not available on Shader Model 4.0.
The DirectX11 pipeline supports Full screen multi-sampled anti-aliasing at 2x,4x & 8x resolutions. Shader Model 4.1 cards will support 2x, 4x MSAA. Shader Model 5 cards will support 2x, 4x, and 8x MSAA

• Enhanced Depth of Field

With Shader Model 4.0 & Shader Model 4.1 you will see enhanced depth-of-field with a dedicated pixel/vertex shader pipeline. With Shader Model 5.0 depth-of-field is accelerated with a Compute Shader, offering very high quality depth-of-field.

• Tessellation Support

Tessellated and normal-mapped rocks and rocky-terrain surfaces (requires Shader Model 5 support). Up close to the camera rocky terrain surfaces are visibly more detailed and realistic.

• Anti-aliasing support

I’ve honestly never seen so many fixes in one patch, so instead of taking up the whole page here I’ll let you venture over if you want to get a detailed look at what exactly has been fixed.

Related:
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor
Valve rolls out massive TF2 update, starts directorial competition
RAGE trailer ‘The Shrouded’ hits YouTube
id brings RAGE to unsuspecting Texans
Mass Effect 3, no Christmas for thee

Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console

In a recent interview with x360aNews, Dice’s Patrick Bach talks about the upcoming Battlefield 3; primarily the gameplay but also on a few key features that separate the PC version from the consoles.

The third instalment in the legendary Battlefield series is promising to push the PC envelope, taking advantage of 64-bit processors to fully realise their new gaming engine, Frostbite 2.0.

But Dice doesn’t want console gamers to feel like they’re getting left in the ditch. Despite the fact that Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware is over 6-years old, Dice is promising to “squeeze every bit” out of the ageing games machines to bring “a stunning looking game on the console”. But make no mistake about it, the PC version is going to be the Mothership as far as Dice and EA are concerned.

Battlefield 3 is slated for a release sometime in the 4th quarter of this year. You can pre-order for PC, Xbox and PS3 from Amazon.

Related:
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor
Valve rolls out massive TF2 update, starts directorial competition
RAGE trailer ‘The Shrouded’ hits YouTube
id brings RAGE to unsuspecting Texans
Mass Effect 3, no Christmas for thee

Game urges players to kill Bin Laden

Fancy taking out the world’s most wanted (ex)terrorist? Now you can courtesy of a new level in KumaWar 2. KumaWar 2 is a free tactical first and third-person shooter game that creates new levels based on current news happening around the world.

The episodic game has a solid 20million players and the latest episode focuses on the US Special Forces’ raid of Bin Laden’s bunker in Abbottabad, Pakistan one week ago. While Bin Laden is enjoying his 72 virgins in paradise (or was that 48?) you can relive the tense moments of one week ago that saw the former Al Qaeda financier kick the bucket, and even be the trigger man yourself.

Sound like fun? Head on over to download the free client here.

This game actually makes me flash back and think about the war and the aftermath….But that’s not necessarily bad. Being that I will be going back to Iraq for a 3RD tour, I’ll say that it’s much better fighting from my PC behind a desk then actually slinging lead at each other.”

SGT from HHC 1/64 Armor,
3rd Infantry Division(M)

Related:
KumaWar official website
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor
Valve rolls out massive TF2 update, starts directorial competition
RAGE trailer ‘The Shrouded’ hits YouTube
id brings RAGE to unsuspecting Texans
Mass Effect 3, no Christmas for thee

Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Deus Ex: Human Revolution available for pre-order on SteamDeus Ex: Human Revolution is looking more and more enticing as news drips in. On release it will support DirectX 11, 3D and Eyefinity, and now comes word that Human Revolution will be distributed digitally through Steam.

If you were worried that Eidos-Montreal might be going the ‘Securom’ route, or using some other invasive DRM, you’ll be pleased to hear the company will be embracing Steamworks to distribute their upcoming third instalment in the Deus Ex series. Anyone who pre-purcheses the game via Steam will get a discount on both the standard edition and Augmented edition of the game.

Being on Steam you can expect all the usual trimmings; auto-update, achievements, Steam Cloud etc. The “Augmented” edition will also include (for a little extra coin) a digital 40-page art book, a “making of” special, trailers, animated storyboard of the CGI trailer, motion graphic novel, soundtrack, and a free download of the Deus Ex Game of the Year Edition.

Although Eidos-Montreal has stated the game is available for pre-order on Steam, a quick glance at the Steam product page appears to suggest otherwise. I’m sure it will be sorted out later on today or early sometime tomorrow.

Human Revolution has an August 23rd release date in North America, with Europe and Australia getting it on the 26th and 25th respectively. You can pre-order a retail copy now for PCXbox and PS3.

Related:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution system requirements revealed
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor
Valve rolls out massive TF2 update, starts directorial competition
RAGE trailer ‘The Shrouded’ hits YouTube
id brings RAGE to unsuspecting Texans
Mass Effect 3, no Christmas for thee

id’s RAGE to ship with full level editor

RAGE to ship with level editorAs the release date for RAGE is getting closer and closer, id has announced that their upcoming post-apocalyptic shooter will have full support for modding and level design right out of the box.

id has always had a soft-spot for the modding community; the wealth of mods created for Doom 3 is testimony to that.

According to id Software’s Creative Director Tim Willits, all you need to do if you’re interested in designing a level, or modifying a standard one is “Pull down the console, type ‘id studio’, then press enter. Then, bam, there’s all the tools we use.” Pretty sweet.

Rage is coming to PC, Xbox and PS3 on September 13th. Amazon is already taking pre-orders.

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RAGE trailer ‘The Shrouded’ hits YouTube
Preorder Rage
id brings RAGE to unsuspecting Texans
Mass Effect 3, no Christmas for thee
Deus Ex: Human Revolution system requirements revealed
Escalation hits Xbox Live Marketplace
MS offering 1600 Xbox Live points when you buy an Xbox game
GeForce 7600 will handle Duke Nukem Forever
Portal 2 gets bug-zapping fix for PC