Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

The week drags on, and hits Late Night Computing for November 15, 2012 square in the kisser.

Sorry Ezio, it looks like the zombie apocalypse is going to take precedence for me next week. Telltale revealed the season finale of The Walking Dead will land next Wednesday and Thursday, which I'm greatly anticipating. The last episode left on something of an expected, but surprising note, and I can't wait to see how it concludes.

News bits.

  • Your Google-fu is weak, young padawan. Here are some tips and tricks on how to refine your search skills and get the results you're looking for. [via The Atlantic]

  • Is the 'era of Japanese consumer electronics giants' coming to an end after renewed competition from South Korea, China, and the United States? [via CNet]

  • A closer look at how one data center survived the assault on New York City by Hurricane Sandy, along with the lessons the staff learned from the ordeal. [via ArsTechnica]

  • Steve Balmer discusses Microsoft's plans for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and how it plans to fill the niche between Google and Apple. [via MIT Technology Review]

Chatty posts of the moment.

Make sure you log-in and check your filters if you can't see the following:

  • "Next Generation starts in 3 days. I'm stoked. With Tim Sweeney recently saying that dev costs are going to, at the very least, double for games with Samaritan-level graphics, I think Nintendo is taking the right approach not focusing on graphics capabilities. Godspeed, ma'am." [by Cihte]

  • "Was anyone else not aware that the next JJ Abrams Star Trek movie is now titled Star Trek Into Darkness? When did that happen? That's an... unusual title. I bet Joseph Conrad is cool with it though. Also, there will be a 9 minute preview of the movie showing at The Hobbit IMAX screenings." [by silent prophet]

Nightly file.

  • Left 4 Theft 3.0 mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. "Left 4 Theft is a major/total modification for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The mod is slightly based on Left 4 Dead and will bring you the zombie apocalypse in San Andreas. Fight off zombies, explore the infected world, join factions and a lot more!" Download the free mod for Windows.

Media.

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 2 cinematic trailer:

Watch the full second cinematic for Halo 4's Spartan Ops.

We also have a ton of new screenshots for Mars: War Logs, Tropico 4, Wargame: European Escalation, Assassin's Creed III, Rayman Legends, and ZombiU.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

The Deus Ex movie is really happening. Based on the recently-released Human Revolution, the upcoming film adaptation has just signed a writer and director.

Scott Derrickson will write and direct the film. Best known for his work on the recently-released Sinister, the director's resume includes The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

It appears the movie will follow the story of the game quite closely. Deadline reports that Deus Ex follows Adam Jensen who must "embrace mechanical augments in order to unravel a global conspiracy." That sounds about right.

"Deus Ex is a phenomenal cyberpunk game with soul and intelligence," the newly-attached director said. "By combining amazing action and tension with big, philosophical ideas, Deus Ex is smart, ballsy, and will make one hell of a movie."

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Borderlands 2 is getting a heaping helping of bloodlust, with the previously outed Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage. Just as Handsome Jack served as the head of the weapon manufacturer Hyperion, Torgue has his own brand of weapons.

No word yet on a launch date or if the downloadable content will be part of the Season Pass, but Torgue's campaign should be full of plenty of "badassitude." That's "badass" as a general term, not "Badass" as an enemy ranking. Borderlands makes it confusing sometimes.

Torgue pirated the Twitter feed of Borderlands 2 Mechromancer Gaige and had been releasing tidbits most of the day.

If you aren't sure who Mister Torgue is, this video should help remind you.

Shacknews - Ryan Calavano

Nintendo Land is being positioned as the company's flagship game for the Wii U console, much like Wii Sports was for the original Wii. Unfortunately, this mini-game compilation falls short of that ambitious goal. Thankfully, New Super Mario Bros U picks up the slack, thanks to excellent level designs, fantastic boss battles, and exhilarating multiplayer modes. Simply put, this is the best game in the New Super Mario franchise to date. Then, the fifth and final episode of Telltale's The Walking Dead will claw at your door next week, bringing the adventure game series to a most-probably-distressing conclusion. Finally, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is preparing its next bit of downloadable content, titled Dragonborn. Bethesda shed a little more light on the name and the content today, with a handful of screenshots and a few details on what exactly you'll be doing when you take up the mantle again.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube. And, don't forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes as they go up.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

On the surface, Extreme Road Trip 2 appears to be a fun take on the endless runner genre that has rapidly filled the iOS App Store. What Etienne Giroux could not have imagined, however, was his game surpassing a million download. Giroux has been a member of the Shacknews community since 2002, under the name barichnikov, and was happy to talk about Extreme Road Trip 2.

"Extreme Road Trip 2 is an Endless Runner with a twist: You have to keep performing stunts to stay alive," said Giroux. "The one problem is, performing stunts is dangerous and can, and probably will, kill you. The goal of the game is to get as far as possible, but also to get to specific distances as fast as you can, like 2K, 5K, etc."

Extreme Road Trip 2 has been in development since February, with Giroux only joining the team recently. Roofdog's founder, Guillaume Germain, created the first ERT by himself in 2011. He recruited a small development team in June of this year for the game's sequel, which Giroux became a part of in September. The team now consists of five people.

Stunts in Extreme Road Trip 2 consist of standard flips, high jumps, near misses, and tumbling moves. Players can expand their abilities by upgrading their car. Every car in ERT2 has five levels of upgrades, all of which grant such abilities as higher speed, better spin, and additional gas. It's proven surprisingly deep for a free app, so I asked what went behind the decision to launch ERT2 as a free-to-play game.

"We want our games to be played by the highest number of people, and free games are the way for that," Giroux answered. "That was the way the first game was released, and it was a real hit for Roofdog, so we're not fixing what ain't broke, as they say. There is, of course, a way to pay for better cars and more power-ups in the game, which we hope many people will do."

So far, it appears people have taken to purchasing those premium items. Only weeks after its release, ERT2 has reached the top 50 grossing games on iTunes. The game became such a quick hit that it passed one million downloads in a matter of days, something that stunned the entire team, including Giroux. "We always hope for the biggest hit, but it happened in only a few days, and that was awesome," he said. "By now, the number of download has just about doubled."

The future looks bright for Roofdog Games, as the team continues to work on ERT2. The game's first major update, containing bug fixes and new cars, is currently running through Apple. In addition to that, Giroux says that Roofdog currently has a few new projects that they're presently evaluating. "We do have other games in the works, and we're toying with a few really cool prototypes right now," he added. "And of course, we're also working on implementing new features for ERT2."

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

"Get to the chopper!" More than a hilarious reference to the movie Predator for one to yell at any opportunity, it's also a new mode coming to dinosaur vs. human multiplayer shooter Primal Carnage as free DLC. As you may guess, the mode involves journeying to a helicopter, but unfortunately an awful lot of dinos are along the way.

The objective-based mode will have its own new map, with a nice long linear path for the human team to casually stroll down on the way to their transportation. Obviously, the dinosaur team would rather they not miss dinner. A bit like standard Left 4 Dead multiplayer, you know.

Developer Lukewarm is also working on a alternate skin packs, starting with one for the dinosaurs. That's due to arrive in December, as is the 'Get to the Chopper' DLC.

"Gamers are hungry for more content and today we reveal not only these character skin updates, but also 'Get to the Chopper', the first of several additional game modes that will be offered absolutely free to our players. Primal Carnage and its community are looking forward to solidifying our foothold as a stellar multiplayer experience unlike anything else on the market," lead designer Ashton Anderson said in the announcement.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is inching closer to release at the end of this month on PC, Mac and iPad, but Beamdog President Trent Oster told Shacknews that Sony wanted the remade classic RPG for the PlayStation Network as well.

"We were approached by Sony to bring the game to PSN, so I counter-proposed what I thought it would cost for us to do it right," Oster said. "For me, to make BG:EE a good experience on a console would require a very heavy redesign for the entire control and input scheme. We're big fans of Baldur's Gate, so we want the game to be great. Without a large scale effort we just could not make a product we could be proud of and Sony decided not to proceed. I believe they wanted to proceed with a quality product, but we just couldn't make the numbers work."

Oster said in April that the game would not appear on the Xbox 360 because of problems translating the game to a controller scheme.

In an extensive interview going up tomorrow, Oster talks about the work left to do before the game comes on November 28, as well as the how the team missed its initial September release date. We also talk about DLC and the future of the BG series.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Candygun Games, the studio behind last year's zombie tower defense game Dead Block has announced its next project: a four-player game called Dollar Dash. The game has you take on the part of bank-robbers competing to hit the loot vault before your fellow thieves.

You'll be able to customize your crook and then pick from among three game modes: Dollar Dash, Save the Safe, and Hit'n'Run. According to the official site, it boasts 20 weapons and 30 maps. Kalypso Media is publishing the game, and it's set to hit PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 this winter. A post on the PlayStation Blog also provides a lengthy explanation of the game's iterative process, from concept to execution.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Valve president and co-founder Gabe Newell is joining the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame next year. The AIAS credits his role in founding and managing Valve, his involvement with the Source engine, Steam, and several highly-regarded Valve franchises like Half-Life, Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead, and Portal.

To mark the occasion, Newell will be giving the keynote address at the 2013 DICE Summit in Las Vegas. His spot in the Hall of Fame will join gaming luminaries such as Tim Sweeney (2012), the "BioWare doctors" Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka (2011), and Mark Cerny (2010).

"Gabe is one of the most cherished and respected figures in the industry not only for his technological innovations in advancing many of today's highly successful video games, but also for his unique stance towards leadership and management," said AIAS president Martin Rae, in the announcement. "Gabe's vision for the interactive industry has created lasting effects that have completely reshaped this generation's digital distribution model, paving the way for independent developers and creating an invaluable service for consumers. It is a great honor to have Gabe inducted into the Academy's Hall of Fame."

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

"Wreckateer is everything a Kinect game should be: accessible for newcomers, hard to master, and genuinely a blast to play." - Steve Watts, Shacknews

That's pretty incredible praise for the Kinect-exclusive Xbox Live Arcade game. And today, the game has gotten even better... by becoming free.

Wreckateer uses the Kinect to put you in control of a massive castle-wrecking Ballista. You'll use various magic projectiles and destroy castles. Isn't this the stuff of children's imaginations? You can download it for free today on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Enjoy.

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