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Gears of War 3 Beta Schedule Released

Gears of War 3 Trenches Map

EPIC Games has released the official beta test schedule for their upcoming Gears of War 3 beta program. The program begins on April 18th with team deathmatch and wraps up on May 15th. Gears of War 3 is due out on the Xbox 360 platform on September 20th, 2011.

As we near the full Gears 3 beta release on April 25th, many fans are curious what maps and game types will be unlocked and when. See our full schedule below and let us know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments!

April 18th – April 24th:  TDM on Thrashball and Checkout.
April 25th – May 1st: TDM and KOTH on Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches and Old Town.
May 2nd –  May 8th:  TDM, KOTH, and CTL on Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches, and Old Town.
May 9th –  May 15th:  TDM, KOTH, and CTL on Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches, and Old Town.

LINK: Official Beta Schedule

PlayStation Network Outage Continues

Sony has been steadily updating its official PlayStation Blog with news on the rebuilding of its PlayStation Network online services after a brutal attack last week that some say even resulted in large amounts of customer information being compromised. What is definitely known is that this outage has left many games, such as SOE’s DC Universe Online, unplayable as well as even halted the distribution of Infamous 2 beta codes.

Latest PlayStation Blog Update

PSN Update
+ Posted by Patrick Seybold // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

I know you are waiting for additional information on when PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will be online. Unfortunately, I don’t have an update or timeframe to share at this point in time.

As we previously noted, this is a time intensive process and we’re working to get them back online quickly. We’ll keep you updated with information as it becomes available. We once again thank you for your patience

You can checkout more as Sony releases it over at the official PlayStation Blog.

Author Looks at The Zombie Autopsies

CNN reports on a new book titled “The Zombie Autopsies” which takes a look at how the much-talked about zombie apocalypse could actually happen. Written by child psychiatrist Dr. Steven Schlozman, who holds a position at the Harvard Medical School as well as the Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Program in Child Psychiatry, the book takes a look at what would be needed for a virus to turn normal human beings into devourers of flesh.

What a zombie virus would do to the brain

So maybe you’ve seen “Night of the Living Dead,” read “World War Z,” or can’t wait for the return of the AMC show “The Walking Dead,” but you probably don’t know what differentiates the brains of humans and zombies.

First things first: How does the zombie disease infect its victims? Many stories in the genre talk about biting, but Schlozman’s novel imagines a deliberately engineered virus whose particles can travel in the air and remain potent enough to jump from one person to another in a single sneeze.

Dr. Schlozman will be on a CNN Twitter chat session from 12:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 26. Tweet your questions to @cnnhealth and follow along at #cnnzombies.

Gatling Gears Debut Trailer Released

Vanguard Entertainment and Electronic Arts have released the debut trailer for their upcoming isometric, mech-actioner, Gatling Gears. Gatling Gears is due out on May 11th for the Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Windows PC platforms.

Section 8: Prejudice Offers Dedicated Servers to Xbox 360 Players

TimeGate Studios has announced that it is partnering with GameServers.com to begin dedicated servers to Xbox 360 players of their newly-released online shooter, Section 8: Prejudice. Starting today, players can rent dedicated servers that will allow up to 32 player matches to take place on them.

“We’re excited to provide this feature to the Xbox 360 community,” said Adel Chaveleh, President of TimeGate Studios. “Players who rent dedicated servers from GameServers can customize their server so they can play with their clans and friends how and when they want. It’s all about giving more control to the player. Our partnership with GameServers helps us provide a quality service for Xbox gamers never seen before, and we’re proud to reveal this feature for Section 8: Prejudice in a manner that makes setup and management of a dedicated server a no-brainer.”

You can order your own dedicated server over at GamerServers official website.

FEAR 3 Story Arc Trailer

File this under ‘while we were out’ as we missed it during our two week long hiatus, but we wanted to catch up a bit by showing you the recent story arc trailer for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s upcoming horror-shooter, FEAR 3. Due out on May 24th, FEAR 3 picks up after the events of FEAR 2 by putting players into the boots of the Alma-spawned ‘Fettel Bros’. You can checkout the story arc trailer below! Read More

Yar’s Revenge Out Now on PC

Atari has sent word that the re-make of their arcade classic, Yar’s Revenge, is now out on the Windows PC platform. The game puts players in the role of a former Yar on a mission to stop the evil Qotile Empire. The game is available for $9.99 at Atari’s official website.

PC Launch Trailer

Origin PC Announces 4.5 Ghz Gaming Laptops

Origin PC has announced the availability of their new EON17-S gaming laptops, which feature Intel’s 2nd generation ‘Sandybridge’ architecture as well as a 4.5 GHz turbo boost mode. The EON17-S gaming laptops are available now over a ORIGIN PC’s official website, starting at $1,759.00.

 

EON17-S Features and Technology:
  • 17.3 Full HD Widescreen, LED Backlit, 16.9, 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
  • Customizable ORIGIN top cover
  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 Processors
  • Overclocking up to 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost on Core i7 Extreme Edition processors
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M 1.5GB or GTX485M 2GB
  • FOUR Memory Slots for up to 32GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333Mhz or 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz
  • Bluray burner & reader, Hybrid and SSD drive with RAID options
  • Full size keyboard with numeric pad
  • HDMI Out; Optical Digital Out, up to 7.1 HD Audio with THX TruStudio support
  • Built-In 802.11n & Bluetooth Support
  • Bluetooth 3.0 & Wireless Video options
  • Built-In TVtuner support
  • Built-in USB 3.0 & E-SATA ports
  • (W)16.22″ x (D)10.87″ x (H)1.65″ – 1.79”
  • 8.6 lbs with the battery
“The EON17-S laptops are remarkably portable and with 2nd generation Intel processors overclocked to 4.5GHz, they are the fastest ORIGIN laptops ever built on an Intel mobile platform” said Kevin Wasielewski ORIGIN CEO and co-founder.

Grotesque Tactics – Evil Heroes Patch Released

Meridian4 has announced the release of a new patch for their strategy RPG, Grotesque Tactics – Evil Heroes. The game pokes fun at traditional Western and Asian-inspired fantasy game norms. The ‘Epic Patch’ weighs in at 74megabytes and is available for download the game’s official support website.

 

Epic Patch (Version 1.2.0.2)

 

New features

10 Steam achievements

New optional deferred rendering system with day night cycle, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), depth of field, rim lighting, unlimited dynamic lights, etc…

Combat GUI: new damage font effect

Diagonal movement and combat now possible

Roaming characters

Normal maps, specular maps and parallax maps

New GUI elements

New sound effects

Added torches

New vegetation models

New screen effect seen on critical hits

 

Updates

Some SSAO performance optimization

Conversation GUI: game text speed slider affects text fade-in speed

Conversation GUI: raised LMB press fade speed by factor 10

Conversation GUI: correct behavior with LMB if text has been fully faded in

Conversation GUI: correct behavior of mouse wheel when conversation dialog windows are active

Many improved camera systems with additional options in game

Improved navigation (character avoidance, ground slope affects acceleration)

Improved performance

Improved terrain textures

Increased global games peed by 20%

Removed the quick talk button

Improved grid fading

Improvements to the English text

 

Fixed

Invisible Mandy if killed during the first fight before she entered the party

Disabled entity slider

Conversation GUI: invisible characters

A rare problem where characters have been assigned wrong grid cells

Memory leak that caused items not to be cleaned up after loading a save game

Indoor levels are now cached out

A selection particle rotation problem

A GUI problem with special attacks and right mouse button

A rare crash in the event system

An AI problem with characters being both in seduced and berserk states

On occasion the dialog system would freeze if it focused on a dead NPC

Some items overlapped in the inventory system

Added a tool in the root game directory to help bypass the config tool for those experiencing problems

Many minor fixes

Max Payne 3 Screenshots and Fact Sheet

Rockstar Games has sent out some new Max Payne 3 screenshots this morning, nine in fact! Along with the screens was the official fact sheet for the game, which you can see after the screenshots below. Max Payne 3 is being developed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms.

Official Fact Sheet

Developers: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: TBC
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & PC
Background and Aims
It’s almost exactly 10 years since Rockstar Games and Remedy worked together on the original Max Payne, and eight years since Max Payne 2.
With Max Payne 3, Rockstar Studios’ aim was to use every tool at their disposal – from advances in Euphoria physics, particle effects and AI, to a new creative approach to Max’s classic comic-book panels, combined with Rockstar’s notoriously obsessive attention to detail – to create a highly cinematic action shooter.
Story Overview
Max Payne 3 is set eight years after the events of the last instalment. No longer a cop, Max is close to washed-up, drunk and addicted to painkillers. Without a job on the force, Max has left the greater New York area, and he finds himself in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working in the burgeoning field of private security.
Max’s latest assignment sees him protecting the family of Rodrigo Branco, a wealthy real estate mogul and his two brothers: Victor, a local politician and the youngest, Marcello, a party-loving Eurotrash playboy, along with Fabiana Branco, Rodrigo’s trophy wife, and Giovanna, Fabiana’s sister.
The story of Max’s descent from vengeful, leather-jacket wearing detective roaming the alleys of New York to the broken, shaven-headed man out for justice on unfamiliar streets far from home is at the center of Max Payne 3.
Features to note:
– The combination of Natural Motion’s Euphoria character behavior system and Bullet Time adds a new level to Max’s classic shoot-dodge moves. Shoot-dodge is not a canned animation, but a natural interaction with the environment, as Max will reach out to the floor as he dives, and naturally respond to objects in his way if you attempt to dive into a wall or obstacle
– This marriage of slow-motion gunplay and Euphoria physics amplifies the cinematic action of Max Payne 3 significantly, and enemies will also respond realistically to each bullet fired.
– Max Payne 3 extends the concept of Bullet-Time to now include game areas of the game that will trigger set pieces involving Bullet-Time. These provide epic moments of action that allow Max to take out enemies in a new interpretation of Max Payne’s signature style.
– Bullet-Cams return: in keeping with the stylish gunplay for which Max is known, Bullet-Cams deliver players a reward for downing enemies with a satisfying final kill
– Max Payne 3 takes the graphic novel panels of the earlier games and evolves them by utilizing in-game assets to create a motion comic-style approach.
– James McCaffrey, the original voice of Max, is back. Not only as the voice of max, but Max’s appearance, face and many of his movements in Max Payne 3 are all captured directly from James himself.
– Max Payne 3 features an integrated cover system. Cover adds an extra strategic element to the classic shoot-dodge/bullet-time/ run-and-gun mechanics of Max Payne, providing players with new options in any given situation
– Tremendous detail has been paid to every facet of Max Payne 3: Bullets destroy nearly everything in the environment, sweat will appear on Max’s face and shirt as the heat of battle wears on, and blood soaks the clothing of his enemies. You’ll also notice the minute details of the weapons themselves: hammers cock back, slides move, shells expel from the chamber and literally hundreds more.
– Partners and sidekicks will play a large role in Max Payne 3. Hundreds of hours of custom motion-capture were done for individual characters, making traditional in-game encounters completely unique, such as enemies sweeping a room or simply the way Max’s partners will behave as they move through the game.