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Monday, March 14, 2011

Portal 2 To Feature Tune From The National
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Valve, creator of franchises such as Half-Life, Portal, and Counter-Strike, has announced an original song by recording artist The National will be included in its upcoming game, Portal 2. The action puzzle title is scheduled to be released the week of April 18.

Portal 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the title that earned over 30 Game of the Year Awards in 2007. The sequel adds new characters, game mechanics, and multiplayer co-op to the award-winning formula that made the original a global phenomenon in gaming.

"The inclusion of the original song, Still Alive, in the first Portal game was part of what made the game special," said Chet Faliszek, writer at Valve. "For Portal 2, we wanted to extend the use of music. When Bug Music mentioned to us that The National might be interested, we jumped at the opportunity to work with them."

"After I met with Valve and learned about the intricacies and story line of the first Portal game, I knew The National's music would fit beautifully in the sequel." said Julia Betley, Bug MusicManager. "The National's raw and emotive music evokes the same visceral reactions from its listeners that Portal does from its players. It was exciting and a privilege to bring together two exceedingly talented creative teams to create something special for Portal 2."

About The National
High Violet' is The National's most acclaimed and fastest-selling album to date. Released in May 2010, it debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, and prompted the New York Times to claim "The National is in a league of its own." The band has toured non-stop since the album's release, with highlights that include sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall and Brooklyn's Prospect Park; a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to benefit the Red Hot Organization, with accompanying live webcast on Youtube and Vevo directed by D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus; and mainstage performances at Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and Lollapalooza, where they "seduced everyone" according to USA Today.

Learn more about Portal 2 at the website below.

Valve Software
Portal 2
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Melissa Bianco Discusses City Of Heroes
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

PC Game Examiner has posted a new interview with Paragon Studos' Melissa Bianco. The lead designer for City of Heroes discussed the game's super hero theme, new super hero MMOs in the market, and the future of City of Heroes.

PC Game Examiner: There are at least 100 elves for every spandex-clad crime fighter. Why is the superhero MMORPG market so (relatively) small?

Melissa Bianco: When you conceptualize what a game is going to be like and you say the word “fantasy”, everyone has a built-in response – globally. Books and movies have permeated many cultures so when you say the word “elf” or “ranger” or “paladin”, people instinctively know what you’re talking about, no matter what part of the world they are from.

The superhero genre, though, plays out differently on the world stage. Western comic books are popular in the west, but they’re probably not as big overseas. In Asia they have a particular style of graphic novel which traditionally was very different than its western counterpart, right down to the opposing builds of its heroes vs. villains.

So partly it’s about cultural accessibility and popularity (though as movies are cyclical in nature, I’ve noticed a lot more superhero movies in the last few years) and it’s partly about “what we know” and understand that drives us to play a particular game. City of Heroes, however, has built up an incredibly loyal fanbase, and has managed to reach a larger audience, such as women and more casual players, thanks to the more accessible gameplay and amazing customization. I have heard countless stories from boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers, etc. of how their female counterparts would look over their shoulder and then watch for a while and ask to play, too.

Read more at the link below.

PC Game Examiner: City Of Heroes Interview
City of Heroes
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New Sims Medieval Webisode Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Electronic Arts has posted a new trailer showcasing gameplay from The Sims Medieval, the upcoming new installment in the popular Sims franchise. The game, scheduled for a March 25 release, will allow players to create heroes, venture on quests, build and control a kingdom, and play every Hero Sim character in the land.

The Sims Medieval offers players a chance to build up a medieval kingdom, controlling characters from all walks of life, from Kings and Queens, to Knights and Wizards, Blacksmiths and Bards. It provides a host of storytelling possibilities in the form of quests, from crafting a legendary sword to arranging a royal wedding, to protecting the kingdom from an evil sorcerer, to finding the fountain of youth. Every quest plays out differently depending on which Hero Sim the player is controlling.

The destiny of the kingdom rests in the players’ hands. Will players build up their kingdom through internal expansion, or perhaps look for a more imperial type of domination, expanding their rule by conquering territories? Will they take on quests in pursuit of fame, or focus on the health and wellbeing of their people? The choice is theirs! With the start of every new game, players will be able to select a new ambition for their kingdom, and embark on a new set of stories.

Everything in The Sims Medieval is crafted to create an immersive medieval world, from the quest-based gameplay, to the medieval objects such as swords and stocks and thrones, right down to the warm look of the characters, and the painterly approach to the world itself. Players can choose to customize every new Hero that comes to the kingdom, including selecting their traits and their fatal flaw. Players get close to their characters, not only sending them on epic quests, but also making sure they carry out their daily responsibilities such as healing the sick, trading for exotic goods, or forging armor. From having a baby to competing in a royal tournament, what happens to their Sims is up to the player. The time of romance and chivalry is back with The Sims Medieval.
Head over to the page below to view The Sims Medieval Webisode 4.

Gamer's Hell: Sims Medieval Webisode 4
Electronic Arts
The Sims Medieval
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Deploying Incursion
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Starfleet Comms recently released a new podcast featuring an interview with CCP developers about the recent deployment of the Incursion expansion for the company's sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The interview covers the unique challenges involved in implementing a multi-stage release, plans for the future, and difficulties some Mac users have been experiencing with the new character creation system.

Q16: MAC users report the new character creation system doesn't work (or doesn't always work), what support do you offer those users and what should they do moving forward?

The character creator works on Mac clients, there is of course reduced efficiency since it is a graphics intensive application with a compatibility layer between it and the OS. Users that experience severely reduced performance should try reducing their graphics settings; this is true for Windows users as well. There is also a massive difference between the performance of Snow Leopard and Leopard when it comes to gaming on the Mac so we recommend people upgrade their OS to get the best out of their hardware. If the character creation system absolutely doesn’t work then you should either file a bug report or petition (remember to include hardware data) so that we can find the problem and fix it.
Click over to the page below to read more.

Starfleet Comms: Incursion Podcast Interview
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mac Games News for Friday, March 11, 2011

Avadon: The Black Fortress Updated6:00 AM
Diablo III Facebook Milestone Results In New Visuals6:00 AM
Dragon Age II Soundtrack Available Now From iTunes6:00 AM
The Settlers 7 : Deluxe Gold Edition Released6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, March 11, 2011 on one page

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