The Weekly Byte for 9/6/2010

New Releases

Well, while all of the console gamers are enjoying NHL and Spiderman : Shattered Dimensions, here’s the releases we, PC gamers, are left with, from developers who still support our platform! :O)

  • Prison Tycoon : Alcatraz – $19.99 – Ever wanted to build your own Prison
  • Aion : Assault on Balaurea – $39.99 – Expansion for the airborne MMO
  • King’s Bounty : Armored Princess – $19.99 – Action RPG expanding on the King’s Bounty universe
  • The Sims 3 : Fast Lane Stuff – $19.99 – New cars and driver-themed gear for your Sims and houses
  • ME2 : Lair of the Shadow Broker – $10.00 in Bioware space bucks, newest ME2 campaign delving into Liara’s nemesis
  • DA:O : Witch Hunt DLC – $7.00 in Bioware space bucks, new Dragon Age DLC starring Morrigan
  • Jimmy’s Vendetta – $9.99 – First DLC package for Mafia II

News Bytes

Gearbox FTW! Well, the 800 pound gorilla in room, this week, is staring at us, courtesy of Gearbox Studios.  They aren’t happy with the breakaway success of last year’s Borderlands.  Instead of resting on their laurels, they are adding a great free update to the game later this year.  Oh, and did I mention they managed to bring Duke Nukem Forever back on the map and ready to release next year?  Yes that’s right, the planned game sequel that is older than cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, itunes, Napster, TiVO, blogging, YouTube, Firefox, GPS, Windows XP and Google is set to release in 2011, after being picked up by Gearbox.  Heck, I think CompuServe was still king when Duke last fought back the alien menace.  According to Gearbox head, Randy Pitchford, DNF has graduated to the polishing phase, and I can’t wait to see Duke all shined up, even if he is waaaay more than just fashionably late.  So, if you are still standing, Gearbox had a lot more surprises up their sleeve, at PAX.  When asked about the status of Aliens : Colonial Marines, there was no definite information given, but it was certainly hinted at that the project is alive, and that the other hands in that cookie jar were making Gearbox stay mute on the subject for now.  As if that wasn’t enough, Pitchford also alluded to a new Brothers In Arms title, but no details or timeframe were announced – just the simple statement that the book is not closed on the franchise.  If that still doesn’t have you twitching and spilling your Mountain Dew, than you can be assured that the new IP project that Pitchford hyped up quite a ways back as being bigger than anything they’ve handled before still has not been announced – meaning it is not any of the above mentioned projects.  Talk about catapulting your studio to the forefront!  The future looks bright, and it’s stamped with quite a few Gearbox logos!

Layoffs? It’s Elemental, my dear Watson! So, the roller coaster ride for the Elemental launch has been insane, to say the least.  For those unfamiliar, allow me to briefly recap.  Elemental launched on September 2nd, of this year, in a state that PC Gamer UK called unfit for launch—even going so far as to tell consumers to avoid purchasing the game, at this time.  Initially, Stardock CEO, Brad Wardell, was infuriated by PC Gamer’s comments, however now, he seems to be taking sides with them and admitting that the game was unfit to ship.  Wardell even went on to address reviewers, and ask that they review the release day build of the game and not, yes not, the patched version of the game, explaining that developers need to take responsibility for a product that is not ready and be judged by it.  Pretty bold words, and while I applaud Mr. Wardell’s candor in the matter, I am saddened to hear that this burdensome launch has resulted in the layoffs of workers at Stardock.  No numbers were posted, but Wardell, again, accepted the brunt of the blame, also citing poor QA for allowing the game to launch with as many bugs as it did.  He went on to expand and say that none of the core Elemental team was laid off and that the layoffs came as a result of poorer than expected revenue from the game, not as a punishment for anything relating to the game’s state, in addition, he hopes to take back any and all employees affected.  It’s tough to see Stardock fall again, especially after a similar debacle with Demigod’s release, not long ago, but you can’t help but admire the way Brad Wardell is handling the situation.  My hats off to you sir, and God bless for a speedy recovery!

Return of Tribes? Not quite, but those looking for an HD Tribes fix might not have long to wait!  Red 5 Studios has revealed it’s free multiplayer shooter titled Firefall, and it draws heavily from the jetpack fueled combat of Tribes.  The art style closely resembles that of Borderlands, but it appears the similarities don’t stop their–the game boasts a somewhat open world as well, for teams to compete and complete objectives in.  Sign me up!  No details on an ETA, but this looks like one to watch!

Geared Up

OK, normally I’m not one to gawk at much over-priced gaming trinkets, nor do I like posting gear that has been plastered everywhere else, but this was a case I made an exception.  In case you’ve been under a rock, Origin PC has released a completely sick gaming PC complete with an XBOX 360.  That’s right, the case has it’s own 360, liquid cooled, and built right in—for the hefty price of $7,000.00!!!!  Sure, we can’t afford it, but we can dream, right?  This gaming juggernaut also boasts an overclocked i7 processor, matching GTX480 GPU’s, a voltage-sucking 1500 watt power supply and 2 SSD drives.  All I can say is ‘Wow’.  Does it make yogurt too?

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