Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC Beta Release

By Published January 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

The highly anticipated descendant of the Battlefield series, Bad Company 2, has released beta to anyone who pre-purchases the game using Steam's digital distribution services. Pre-purchased copies unlock a select set of "Limited Edition" perks, all of which are listed below.

Gamers who pre-purchase will have access to beta until February 25, at which point DICE plans to be ready for launch. The game lists at $50 on Steam and comes with the following "limited edition" features:

Zombie Driver Demo Released

By Published January 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Imagine a game based solely around picking a car, modifying it to the extreme, and zipping around an open-world city whilst mowing down the walking dead. Sound awesome? Too right it does! That's exactly the premise of EXOR Studios' latest game, Zombie Driver. Check out the trailer for it now:

Gorgeous graphics and all the gore. Mmmmm, makes me think about the first time I picked up Dead Rising on the Xbox 360, just trying to think of a better and better way to destroy the living dead. Still not convinced? Check out the screenshots after the break!

LittleBigPlanet Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger

By Published January 21, 2010 at 7:42 am

LittleBigPlanet. You all know the game, the one with the cute, adorable little sackboys that often have a tendancy to smack each other about (at least when I'm playing!). Yes, that game narrated by none other than British icon Stephen Fry.

Yes, THAT one.

A majority of the game's buyers hardly did anything with the game once you'd gotten bored of the puzzles and platforming. Ever create your own levels? You did? Well you never did it like these guys:

From what I can gather, the point of the contraption challenge was to build a gap crossing machine completely using LittleBigPlanet. It's a little kooky, but I can guarentee that these guys will be tomorrow's level designers. The amount of things you can do with stuff in LittleBigPlanet is astounding and this video itself almost literally blew my mind. I didn't even know you could create something as complicated as this in LittleBigPlanet, but I'll tell you something: it's making me want to!

Today Sony confirmed a delayed release for their new motion controller. It's not new technology, and the Nintendo Wii has certainly gained motion-sensing devices some recognition of late, but for those who saw the E3 demo of their motion controller last year, you know the wait is worth it.

The "Gem", an unintentionally released code-name for the product, won't see the light of day untill Q3-Q4 2010, if that.

~Martin "CyberGrim" Baker

Gaming Press Invited to Apple Event?

By Published January 20, 2010 at 8:48 am

Sometimes in the world the planets align and the sun ducks behind the moon, and then Apple goes and does something really quite strange. Imagine this conversation with the worlds' gaming press:

Apple: So... you want to come see our press event on the 27th of January?
Gaming Press: Not really. iSlate? Why do we care?
Apple: You never know ;)
Gaming Press: Damn you Apple, stop being sneaky and just spill it.
Apple: Nope, you'll have to be there, won't you?

Sounds cheesy and more than a bit weird, right? Yeah, that's what I thought too until I read, from various gaming press outlets, that almost exactly that had occured on the morning of January 18th, 2010. The only thing, as far as all the technology press is concerned, that Apple will be announcing on the 27th is the much rumoured iSlate/iPad (and apparently the iPhone 4.0 OS). Could this new device also be being designed from the ground up to play games? The iPhone plays games, we all know this, but the controls are a little sloppy, what could Apple have done with the iSlate to remedy this? January 27th will bring the answers and I'll be there to write about it. Mark my words.


I talked to Rockstar Leeds, the developers of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars about developing for the iPhone and they said the iPhone is almost as powerful as the PSP, the only drawback in terms of gaming is that the controls to play have to be coded onto the screen and there's no tactile feedback from any of them at all, often giving a less-than-standard gaming experience. Rockstar Leeds has worked hard to make gameplay feel better in the iPhone version of Chinatown Wars. The highest rated PSP and DS game of all time was released for the iPhone earlier this week.

~Martin "CyberGrim" Baker

There's not many pictures I can post with this news update like all the fantastical images shown in others, but what I have to say is quite important, if only for people interested in the games industry or trying to get in to it anyway.

Develop, the UK's leading games industry trade journal, is offering a year-long free subscription for people in the industry, or at university training for the industry. As a reader of the digital version of the publication, I can honestly say that it's definatley worth at least trying to get a subscription. The information they give is amazing and it often has articles on things that off-the-shelf magazines won't, so it's invaluable in that respect. Click Read More...

BioWare Announces Expansion for Dragon Age

By Published January 05, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Dragon Age: Origins - BioWare's bloodiest creation yet - will now be accompanied by a new arrival. This time, it's not DLC.

Awakening, as the expansion pack is titled, is up for pre-order now. BioWare said:

For centuries, the Grey Wardens—the ancient order of guardians, sworn to unite and defend the lands—have been battling the darkspawn forces. Legend spoke that slaying the Archdemon would have put an end to the darkspawn threat for centuries to come, but somehow they remain.

You are the Grey Warden Commander and have been entrusted with the duty of rebuilding the order of Grey Wardens and uncovering the secrets of the darkspawn and how they managed to remain.

How you choose to rebuild your order, how you resolve the conflict with "The Architect", and how you determine the fate of the darkspawn will be but some of the many complex choices that await and shape your journey as you venture to the new land of Amaranthine.

Several ambitious plotlines will be present in the new expansion pack, not limited to the possibility to rebuild the Grey Wardens, and set up a headquarters at a Keep. Players can also look forward to learning more about the Darkspawn, meeting new party members, and unlocking new combat skills. BioWare has stated that it will be possible to import your old character from DAO, but there is also an option to start out as a Grey Warden from French-based Orlais.

Five new party members will be available for those who get the expansion, and BioWare has hinted at an "old favorite" being present. My guess? Morrigan.

Killing Floor 75% Off Today!

By Published December 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Tripwire Interactive announced that their hit co-op zombie-killer game, Killing Floor, would be 75% off for the whole day today (Monday). That means the game is $5, and currently being the game we play regularly here at GN Magazine, that's totally worth it. Tripwire said,

"Today only Killing Floor is on sale on Steam for 75% off - that's only $4.99 in the US (other territories will be 75% of the normal price as well). So if you don't have Killing Floor, or have friends that want to get Killing Floor, or want to buy Killing Floor for someone as a gift, now is the time to act!!! Head on over to the Steam store page now:"

You heard them, time to drop the $5 and get a well-worth it game. The devs release new maps and new weapons regularly - now that's the kind of group you want to sponsor with your money.

Other than Killing Floor, Steam's placed several other big titles on sale. Steam announced, "Today is the sixth day in our Steam Holiday Sale featuring an all-new set of deep discounts for today only! The gift of giving just keeps on giving and I can't hold back any longer so here are the daily deals for today:

Space Siege - 75% Off
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box - 75% Off
The Orange Box - 50% Off
Prey - 85% Off
Killing Floor - 75% Off"

~Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke

Comcast settles for $16m in BitTorrent case

By Published December 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

Cable company Comcast was slammed with a class-action lawsuit in 2007 for "restricting access to file-sharing protocols." Of the protocols restricted, the widely known BitTorrent and Gnutella were two of them. According to Ars Technica, Comcast is "on the verge of settling with irate customers."

Likely in order to avoid an arduous legal campaign, Comcast proposed a $16 million settlement for users who experienced the restricted access. The proposal is "not an admission of wrongdoing by any party," as posted by the Settlement Website, but rather an expression that Comcast wants to "avoid a potentially lengthy and distracting legal dispute that would serve no useful purpose." (ArsTechnica).

Instructions are posted on the site linked above for those who wish to file a claim, should they have been one of the customers experiencing restricted access to legal video and audio files posted on BitTorrent. Class members can look forward to the following:

Comcast agrees to credit or refund some current or former High-Speed Internet service customers. Comcast agrees to pay up to $16 million dollars, less Settlement costs, to eligible Class Members. If you submit a valid Claim Form, you will receive a share of this amount, not to exceed $16.00

Ars says that a judge is still required to sign off on the agreement. There you go, $16. That should pay some of your internet bill, anyway.

GN's Game of the Year '09 Awards

By Published December 23, 2009 at 1:29 am

Initially, a head-exploding amount of cumbersome titles were planned for release this year; StarCraft 2, Mass Effect 2, BioShock 2... some other 2's. Gaming tends to burst-fire once every two years. 2008 was mediocre, but 2009 was supposed to be (and would have been) glorious. A certain shooter placed its foot down in the Q4 launch pad, frightening would-be timesinks into the depths of 2010. Curse you, Modern Warfare 2! You have engulfed me in the anguish that is my lack of patience. Thanks to you, I won't see SC2, ME2, or even BioShock 2 until two years before the apocalypse, and damn it, I demand at least three years to play such hyped-up titles (the world does end in 2012, after all).

Despite dozens of setbacks, this year had its spotlights. The independent developers spat in the face of big names and trudged through buckets of blood, likely left behind by a certain BioWare title, to raise the indie bar. If nothing else, perhaps developers will learn that competing with titles such as the Call of Duty series is more competent than dog piling into Q1 of any year. Oh well, did anyone truly believe the 4 different release dates placed on SC2, anyway?

I thank the heavens (that's Canada, apparently its own country) for games like Dragon Age: Origins, wherein I invested 33.8 hours within the confines of a week; Runic for games like Torchlight, that reinvigorate old genres with a contagious ambition; and of course, games like Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, for revealing that even the best devs can turn into carnivorous moneymongers.

Let's get to the awards. We've reported the news all year, reviewed games that you asked us to, and given away prizes like our $2,000 gaming rig. Now it's time to see what YOU have given us! GN Forumites were asked to cast their votes, here's what the community said:

Our categories for 2009, GN's first official GotY awards, are as follows: Best FPS, best RPG, best RTS, best Action/Adventure, best Indie, and Game of the Year. Let's start it off with a bang.

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