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PC Gaming Roundup - January 30, 2009

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 3 comments
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A few tidbits released this morning include ARMA II info, new Catalyst drivers and a note about Unreal Tournament 3.

ARMA II Weekly Updates
505 Games said that ARMA II homepage updates will be coming on a weekly basis starting today. The updates will include "fresh" news regarding all six factions, weapons analysis, and details on weapons and aircraft. "Each time Intel is declassified it will be accompanied by a series of authentic visual references, in the form of screenshots and/or video footage," said the company. Check out the declassified info by heading here. ARMA II ships in Europe this year.

Kharkov: Disaster of the Donets Patched

Matrix Games released a new patch for Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets (sounds like messy Doughnuts heh), updating the retail version of the game to v1.1. Supposedly the update includes "nearly twenty" significant improvements to the game system. According to the company, it adds variant units with differences in strength and OOB to the Mystery Variant system and allows entirely new “what if” formations like the 3rd Guards Rifle Corps to be part of the scenario variants. Matrix also said that rules to refit a unit have changed, and restrictions on viewing enemy OB screens have been implemented as well.

Unreal Tournament 3 on Steam Update
Yesterday Valve announced that consumers who already purchased a physical, retail copy of Unreal Tournament 3 can register the game within Steam, free of charge. What anyone neglected to mention is that Steam will download a fresh new copy of Unreal Tournament 3 through the Steam client one consumers register the code, ignoring the game already installed outside the Steam client. So what about all those mods and maps already installed? We fired over an email with that very question... hopefully we'll get a response shortly.

New ATI v9.1 Catalyst Drivers
Version 9.1 Catalyst reference drivers for ATI chipsets are now available on the ATI Drivers&Software page. According to the release notes (PDF), these new drivers add full OpenGL 3.0 extension support under Linux and Windows, however the Linux version also includes support for MultiView, Hybrid CrossFireX, and Ubuntu 8.10 production.

Blood Bowl Video #4
If you didn't get enough Blood Bowl goodness over the last few days, Focus Home Interactive has another installment ready for streaming, showcasing goblins with chainsaws, fireballs from the sky and on-the-field gameplay. Experience the game’s real-time and turn-based modes, and see how players can customize their teams – from choosing specific characters, to designing individual players before sending them out to do battle on the field.

Three New Need For Speed Titles
Electronic Arts said that it has three new Need for Speed titles in the works: Need for Speed SHIFT (Fall 2009), Need for Speed NITRO (working title, Fall 2009), and Need for Speed World Online (Winter 2009 in NA, Summer 2009 in Asia). According to EA, SHIFT will deliver an authentic and immersive driving experience, replicating the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars. Slightly Mad Studios, the group throwing SHIFT together, includes developers and designers that worked on the critically acclaimed games GT Legends and GTR 2. As for World Online, this Play 4 Free action racing game -exclusively for the PC- will offer gamers a chance to "prove their racing supremacy through the sophisticated online matchmaking features and fully customize their profile and their ride." Fans will have access to licensed cars, parts and multiple game modes. Finally, NITRO is in development over at EA Montreal for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS only, slated for a Fall release.

Gabe Newell Keynotes 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit
Apparently, Valve Software co-founder and president Gabe Newell will give a keynote address at the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit held at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, February 17-20. “Gabe Newell and Valve have become a force for innovation in gaming over the past a decade, creating some of the best-selling games of all time and a ground-breaking platform for PC entertainment,” said Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences. “His perspective and vision of the games industry are a welcome addition to this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit, and will greatly contribute to the high-profile line-up.”

Paradox Interactive Reveals All
Paradox Interactive revealed the upcoming multiplayer expansion pack for Mount&Blade at a Paradox media event in Stockholm yesterday. The expansion will offer improved strategic AI, extended diplomatic options, state-of-the-art rendering technologies (HDR), and a multiplayer deathmatch mode with 32-player support. Hearts of Iron III also made an appearance, sporting an AI-assisted Unit Interface, improved espionage, and new "threat" features in a public demo. Majesty 2 showed off a few new goodies, mostly marketplaces, trade posts, and temples. Majesty 2 will also offer 16 missions in each single player campaign, 6 single player scenarios, 8 multiplayer maps, and 30+ hours of gameplay. Paradox also announced Mezmer Games, a spin-off brand whose first title will be the quirky strategy title Stalin vs Martians.

Global Game Jam Begins
More than 2,000 developers have signed up to participate in the first Global Game Jam, a worldwide event challenging game developers to create innovative games in just 48 hours. Beginning yesterday and wrapping up at 5:00PM Sunday, February 1st, participants will be given the details of the game design theme, constraints, and mechanics allowed. Due to differing time zones, constraints will eventually be changed, mitigating any advantage that location might give one team over another.

Registration Now Open for GDC Canada
As the title states, registration for the first annual Game Developers Conference Canada (GDG Canada) is now open at the official website. The conference will take place May 12-13, 2009 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.  According to NPD Canada, the Canadian game industry grew by 23 percent in 2008 reaching C$2.09 billion in revenues. GDC Canada plans to serve this fast-growing region by providing a forum for Canadian developers to share best practices for fostering ingenuity and quality within their globally distributed games.  The advisory board for GDC Canada includes members of Bioware, EA, THQ Canada, Ubisoft and more.

More to come later on today, so keep checking back!

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  • -1 Hide
    curnel_D , January 30, 2009 10:51 AM
    The PDF link is extremely broken on the ATI bit. But to ease your worries, it's broken on every other site too.
  • 0 Hide
    hurbt , January 30, 2009 8:54 PM
    ArmA II... sweet! I loved Operation Flashpoint!!!
  • 0 Hide
    rta , February 1, 2009 2:00 AM
    Looking fwd to ARMA II :)