Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Black Ops 2 takes the franchise to the near-future. So, how will the new setting change multiplayer? Treyarch and Activision has released a brand new trailer showing off the game's new online offerings. You'll notice some throwable melee weapons, riot shields, drones, and vehicles.

The game will be out on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this November. Pre-orders come with a bonus remade Nuketown 2025 multiplayer map.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

GaymerCon, a new gaming convention created for LGBTQ (lesbian; gay; bisexual; trans; and queer) video game-likers, is going to be considerably more flashy when it debuts next summer, thanks to KickStarter. Having set out to raise $25,000 to expand plans for the con, the GaymerCon KickStarter has already raised around $32,000 with 24 days left to go.

"Gamers, as a whole, have had to make space for themselves in a society that, for a long time, treated them as outsiders. They have come together and created a real community of people, but one that is not always welcoming if you don't fit into the mold," GaymerCon's organisers explain on the KickStarter page. "Just like most gamers, queer geeks and gaymers want that same sense of community and belonging. Therefore we intend to create a space where all gamers and queer geeks can come together in a welcoming and safe space."

GaymerCon was going ahead no matter what happened on KickStarter, but the money will help with better venues, prizes, events, and all those other bits that make up an event.

"We want all genders, races, and sexual identities including our straight friends and allies to come together and have a gay, geeky good time. We believe very strongly that creating a space like this is not only important for building a strong community, but also showing new generations of gaymers that there are others like them out there, they are not alone, and there is a welcoming place for them, not just at GaymerCon, but as part of the larger gaming community."

Also, Ellen McLain is amazing.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Sackboy is having a busy year, between his Vita debut and Karting adventure. The series-standard platforming title is due on September 25, and today Sony announced that Karting will follow on November 6.

The date was announced on the PlayStation Blog, which also reiterated that you can pre-order to get a Kevin Butler sackboy, complete with golf cart. Incidentally, November 6 is also election day in the US, so you can treat yourself to some adorable kart racing as a reward for taking part in the democratic process.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Forza Motorsport 4 is getting a new "August Playseat Car Pack" today, featuring ten new cars for $7 (560 MSP). The line-up of cars ranges from a modern Ford Mustang to a classic Lincoln Continental, with various notable cars in-between.

The full car list includes a 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2003 Aston Martin DB7 Zagato, 2012 Chevy Camero ZL1, 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track, 1962 Lincoln Continental, 1989 Mercedes-Benz #63 Sauber-Mercedes C 9, 1984 Peugeot 205 T16, 2013 Scion FR-S, 1962 Triumph TR3B, and the 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport. Surely something in that set appeals to your inner gear head.

The pack is sponsored by Playseat, a sim-seat designer, and the company will be giving away prizes for being top ranked in the the Playseat Car Pack Challenge. The winner will get a sim-racing chassis, and runners-up will get other Playseat goodies. The announcement promises full details at the contest page, but it isn't active as of time of writing.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

England's delightful and you should all come visit us here but if you're somehow unable or, Her Majesty forbid, unwilling, to, Sir, You Are Being Hunted is recreating the experience perfectly. Developer Big Robot today released the first trailer, revealing that Johnny Foreigner too will get to experience the joys of being chased through English countryside by robotic gentlemen in 2013.

Plonked down into procedurally-generated English countryside, you'll have to fend off robotic rapscallions as you scavenge for supplies and cling onto your worthless fleshy life. Yes, it is inspired in part by GSC Game World's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.

Big Robot, a four-chap team including veteran games journo Jim Rossignol, is developing Sir for PC, Mac and Linux computing devices.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

The Half-Life remake mod Black Mesa really is coming, and now a leaked video confirmed as real has surfaced with a peek at its jazzed-up 'On a Rail' chapter. You know, that frightful section with the tedious trains then glorious rocket launch.

The footage leaked to ValveTime is a rough cut of a planned gameplay video the Black Mesa team put together, Black Mesa team member 'Raminator' has responded, which somehow got into the wild early.

"The build featured in the video is between four and five weeks old," he explained. "You won't be seeing very many changes between what's in the video and what's in the final product."

As for the iron sights aiming seen on the revolver, a feature not in the original Half-Life, that's only available for the .357 and crossbow, boosting accuracy a little but lowering firing speed. After fans grumbled about seeing this in the leaked video, an option's been added to disable it.

Raminator says that following the leak, the team is going to be "moving some things forward" when it comes to showing us more of the long, long, long-in-development mod.

Some frankly unwatchable footage of an early version of the 'Surface Tension' chapter has also been leaked, though darned if I can see anything in it.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

DayZ creator Dean 'Rocket' Hall has spoken before about a standalone version of the smash-hit Arma 2 zombie mod, but now it's properly official. The day after the mod hit one million players, Hall has announced he'll be leading the standalone project at Bohemia, following "the Minecraft development model."

Hall, who already works at Bohemia on the Arma series, explained that it'll be introduced as an alpha version at "a heavily discounted price," updated in "fast iterations." A bit like how the mod already works, really--and how it'll continue to work.

"Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so," he reassured.

Watch the standalone's official site for more.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

The game formerly known as Double Fine's Trenched is finally making its way to the PC. Iron Brigade released on Xbox Live Arcade in 2011, after a lengthy trademark dispute caused some release scuffles.

Combining mech action with tower defense, Iron Brigade was well received by the critics. Thankfully, it won't be long until keyboard and mouse folk can play the game.

The game will be available to download on August 13th. In addition, the PC version will include the Rise of the Martian Bear expansion for free. (Oddly, the announcement doesn't reveal pricing details, but the original game retailed for $14.99.)

Here's a video to help you understand what the game is all about:

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Amazon is the next web giant to jump into the world of social games. The popular internet retailer has unveiled Amazon Game Studios, and "Living Classics," the company's first game.

"Amazon Game Studios is exactly what it sounds like: a new team at Amazon that's focused on creating innovative, fun and well-crafted games," the announcement reads. The company claims that it's creating social games because "we know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games... and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience."

That's not an entirely original mission statement, but at least it will result in a few more jobs being created. Amazon's announcement (via Joystiq) notes that they are hiring.

Living Classics is a typical "moving object game," set in various fairy tale worlds, including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur. You can play it on Facebook.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

BioWare's upcoming Ultima Forever will be a free-to-play game. However, executive producer Jeff Skalski promises the game will differ from many of the other F2P games on the market.

For example, while free-to-play, the game will not employ the typical "energy" model found in other games. "You'll find no lightning bolts here, so keep playing to your heart's content. I never wanted to kick players out of our game and say, 'Hey, come back in 3 hours. Goodbye,'" Skalski said.

"The game is wide open. You'll need to level up to take on new challenges, but all of that can be earned by just playing the game," he told IGN. Purchasable items will include vanity gear, weapons, inventory space, and early access to abilities. "The only thing we won't sell is virtue," he said. "You have to earn that!"

Those virtues will begin with a set of questions that determine your starting inclinations, but earning them all will boil down to NPC missions and "how you treat other real players" in the game. Skalski cites an example of being sent to find an NPC's missing husband, and finding his corpse with a note from his mistress. You can either be honest or compassionate, and those answers will lend you virtues accordingly. "Neither answer is right or wrong, but it's your choice to decide what virtues you lean towards and ultimately the path you'll take to prove worthy of Avatarhood."

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