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Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft II To Be Released On July 27 220

Blizzard announced today that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first game in a series of three, will be released on July 27. The game will contain the Terran campaign (29 missions), the full multiplayer experience, and "several challenge-mode mini-games," with "focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies." It will launch alongside the revamped, which we've previously discussed. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said, "We've been looking forward to revisiting the StarCraft universe for many years, and we're excited that the time for that is almost here. Thanks to our beta testers, we're making great progress on the final stages of development, and we'll be ready to welcome players all over the world to StarCraft II and the new in just a few months."
Role Playing (Games)

BlizzCon Keynote — New WoW Expansion, Diablo 3 Details 316

BlizzCon kicked off this morning with a keynote address that brought some major announcements for some of their games. First, World of Warcraft's third expansion, Cataclysm, was officially revealed. It differs from the previous expansions in that they will not be creating an entirely new continent for players to explore. Instead, the two huge continents from the original game will be going through a literal cataclysm, causing some zones to be destroyed, new ones to become available, and existing ones to be entirely revamped. Big news came for Diablo III as well, with the announcement of the Monk class and a trailer showing how it plays. More details for both games as well as StarCraft II will undoubtedly become available over the next few days, but read on for more about what we already know. If you have any questions, don't forget to post them here.

Spirit Stuck In Soft Soil On Mars 160

cheros writes "NASA reports that the Spirit Mars lander is presently stuck in soft soil. The lander's wheels are halfway sunk into the soil and they are planning simulation tests to see if they can get it out again. I hope they can get it out of there because it's picking up enough new energy to operate; however, it only has 5 wheels left to get around on — one of the wheels hasn't been working for years. Fingers crossed."

Activision Wants To Bring Guitar Hero To Arcades 75

dlapikin writes "Activision is preparing a deal with Konami and Raw Thrills to bring Guitar Hero to arcades worldwide as soon as 2009. It looks to be a great fusion of their current Guitar Hero III axe and World Tour. 'Some features have been streamlined, however, like character customization. Raw Thrills doesn't want people obsessing over the hair color of their on-screen rock star. But one important feature that has remained is downloadable content. Raw Thrills has the ability to push new songs to "Guitar Hero Arcade" through the Internet. Owners of the machines can pick and choose which of the new songs to add to the cabinet.'"

Activision Blizzard Announces Guitar Hero 5, New Call of Duty 85

MTV's Multiplayer Blog reports on recent announcements from Activision Blizzard which confirm that sequels to several popular franchises are on the way. The games include a new Guitar Hero, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and a new Tony Hawk, which will use some kind of non-standard controller. "At the meeting, Activision Blizzard showcased new games that would make sense for in-game ads, including the vaguely titled "Guitar Hero 5," which included a screen shot of gameplay with a Burger King ad to the right of the note highway."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

New Details On Halo Wars 45

As Halo Wars gets closer to its February release, details are gradually emerging about the game. In an interview with CVG, lead designer Graeme Devine claimed that the controls are actually better than those of a PC RTS, and said the downloadable content for the game is mostly done already, but will be held back until well after the release. Giant Bomb got some hands-on time with the game, and said the controls the controls "do work well enough, even if they're geared more toward broad tactical strokes than intensive small-group micromanagement." Kotaku has further details about the game as well. A video showing some of the gameplay is also available. Ensemble Studios has explicitly denied the possibility of a PC port.

Mars Rover Spirit Still Alive 185

Toren Altair writes with this excerpt from a story at The Space Fellowship: "NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit communicated via the Mars Odyssey orbiter today right at the time when ground controllers had told it to, prompting shouts of 'She's talking!' among the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 'This means Spirit has not gone into a fault condition and is still being controlled by sequences we send from the ground,' said John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., project manager for Spirit and its twin, Opportunity."

ESRB Supplements Rating System With Summaries 53

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced today that in addition to their standard ratings for video games, they'll begin including summaries of the games, highlighting the parts which earned the rating. As Giant Bomb points out, some are quite entertaining to read. The new policy drew praise from Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), both of whom have spoken out against "inappropriate" game content in the past. The summaries are viewable at the ESRB's website; thus far, they've only done them for games rated since July 1st.

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