The Weekly Byte for 4/26/2010

Release List

  • Splinter Cell : Convictions – 4/27,  retailing for $59.99
  • Serious Sam HD : The Second Encounter – 4/28, Available on Steam for $19.99
  • Bioshock 2 and Just Cause 2 DLC releasing this Thursday, 4/29

News Bytes

  • Continuing, in the vein of Ubisoft, it would seem that the new DRM scheme for Ubisoft’s releases has been hacked by the SKiDROW team.  If you’ve managed to not hear about Ubisoft’s new technique, their PC releases, starting with Silent Hunter V and including Assassin’s Creed II and Splinter Cell : Convictions, forces players to be logged in to a Ubisoft online account and maintain a continuous online connection throughout gameplay, even single player.  The crack seems to allow users to completely avoid any type of online check, forced by the DRM, and allow access to the game, regardless of their Ubisoft account status.  The hack was created for Assassin’s Creed II, but one could assume that it could be tweaked to break other releases, like the upcoming Splinter Cell game, in a similar fashion.  It will be interesting to see what news breaks when Convictions hits store shelves on Tuesday.  Keep in mind, Ubisoft has gone on record to say that IF their DRM is hacked AND it allows players to access the full game experience, they would think about patching the new DRM scheme out.  I hate to be rooting for the hackers, but I personally will not pay $60 for a game that forces me to be online for single player play.  Stay tuned next week for any updates!
  • One last dip in the Ubisoft well, it would seem the team behind RUSE has bluffed gamers into reaching for a mirage, as the game will not emerge from it’s fog of war until September of this year.  RUSE is a new take on the RTS genre that employs a bluffing system, where gamers can lure their competitors out in the open with dummy units and sweep in for the kill with their full forces.  The good news is that the dev team is blaming feedback from the beta for the delay, leading us to believe they will be taking gamer’s voices and coding those suggestions into the release.  Or will they?  Tsk, Tsk, Ubisoft, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…..
  • Richard Morgan, famed sci-fi author, and creator of the upcoming Crysis 2 story, has released statements about his work with Crytek.  Morgan describes something called the ‘Big Mac Effect’; simply put it’s his opinion of pop culture feeding us exactly the same thing because it sold well previously.  He goes on to say that he would like to avoid this repetition in Crysis 2 by “using fresh ingredients, forcing gamers to eat healthy”.  Unfortunately, he did not expand further on exactly what we could expect this to be visualized as in gameplay features and story mechanics for the Holiday 2010 release.  Sounds great on paper, but without facts and videos, we will just have to wait and see how and if this will impact the game positively.
  • Southpeak and Techland have announced their entry into the arcade racer market, titled nail’d.  Due out Q4 2010, the game boasts many single and multiplayer features among various tracks and obstacle courses drawing comparisons to MX vs ATV titles.  It will be interesting to see more on this game, and see how it intends to stand out from the crowd of arcade racers due out this year, such as Boost and Split Second.
  • Sscreenshots and video of the Steam UI for Mac are showcased on the website, MacStories.  Not much news for PC users, but fantastic news for Mac gamers—even more fantastic news is that the UI looks and feels exactly like the new Steam UI just released this week, and seems to have all the functionality of it’s PC counterpart.  Just one question remains–How do I play Counter-Strike with only one mouse button?
  • Speaking of Steam’s new UI, have you taken the new Steam for a spin yet?  No choice for you now, the optional beta is over and the new UI has rolled out today–Monday, 4/26.  I, personally, love it with the exception of the games list;do not like the library tab at all.  It has made it a lot harder to tell what’s already installed.

Deals

The Direct2Drive Spring Sale continues this week, as we start winding down, with only one more week to go.  Some interesting deals are posted below, more are available at Direct2Drive, and they are good until noontime next Monday, when Week 4 commences.

  • Dawn of War II, Avatar Special Edition and The Saboteur — $14.95, each
  • Bioshock, Torchlight, the Civilization IV Complete Edition and Tom Clancy’s HAWX — $9.95, each
  • X-Com Collection of all 6 games —$4.95.
  • Brothers In Arms Collection of all three games for $19.95.

Also, Steam is selling their Rockstar Collection for $42.49, which is a steal if you don’t have those titles.  Basically, every GTA title, including the Episodes From Liberty City pack, along with Bully, both Max Payne games and and a couple others are included.  It would seem the only Rockstar PC title missing from this pack is Manhunt 2(which is not really a big loss).  Again, it’s a great deal if you don’t have many of these games.  The Episodes from Liberty City Pack retails for $29.99 by itself, so for under $15 bucks more, you get GTA IV along with every other GTA game, and a host of other Rockstar titles—and the added bonus of not having to keep tabs on your discs or CD keys!

Geared Up

If you are a fan of the podcast, you may or may not know me as the one with the ‘potty humor’ from one of our outtakes, which makes this entry all the more fitting!  Upon scouring the internets for the most interesting PC case mods, I found a shining porcelain gem, and now bring it to you.  Full details and pictures can be found here, but I’ve posted a couple below.  This comes from way back in 2001, at QuakeCon designed by Envader, creator of many cool concept cases.  With a biohazard sign on the lid and glowing green LED’s inside the Toilet, the Toilet PC was crafted from a child’s training potty.  I have to admit, it’s pretty creative, down to the flusher that doubles as a power switch.  There are too many obvious jokes, you may insert your own here whilst you bask in Envader’s porcelain glory!

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