Updated: Oct 31, 2014 6:41 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Friday, Oct 31, 2014 Boo! Happy Halloween


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Human Head on Prey 2

Human Head Studios comments on the just confirmed cancellation of Prey 2. Word is they haven't worked on the planned shooter sequel "for some time" in this statement sent by Business Development Director Tim Gerritsen:

We can confirm that Human Head Studios has not been involved with Prey 2 for some time. While we are disappointed that we won't be able to deliver our vision of the game, we remain proud of our work on the franchise, which we feel speaks for itself, including the award-winning presentation of the game at E3 2011. We enjoyed working with the many talented people at Bethesda, and we wish them all the best of luck with any future plans they may have for the franchise.

The Crew Specs

UbiBlog offers system specifications for the Windows edition of The Crew, saying the upcoming open world driving game requires a 64-bit operating system:

MINIMUM

Supported OS
Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1 (64bit)

Processor
Intel Core2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz (or better)

RAM
4GB

Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 or AMD Radeon HD4870 (512MB VRAM with Shader Model 4.0 or higher)

RECOMMENDED

Supported OS
Windows 8/8.1 (64bit)

Processor
Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.66 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0 GHz (or better)

RAM
8GB

Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX580 or AMD Radeon 6870 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or higher)

OPTIMAL

Continue here to read the full story.

Gone Gold - Dragon Age: Inquisition

BioWare announces that Dragon Age: Inquisition is gold. Here's word from Executive Producer Mark Darrah:

I’m excited to announce that Dragon Age: Inquisition has gone gold on all platforms! This milestone is a testament to the hard work of the developers (and their families!) who put so much into this game, and took on every challenge that was put before them. That we’ve made it this far is also an acknowledgment of tremendous support and patience from our fans: you’ve been an inspiration to us since the beginning.

We started working on this game in earnest more than four years ago, before we’d even finished Dragon Age II. Back then, our goal was simple: do whatever we had to in order to tell the biggest story we’d ever told in the Dragon Age universe. Achieving that meant leaving no stone unturned – from adopting a new engine in Frostbite 3, to reimagining combat so it could blend tactics and action better than ever. It meant bringing back playable races in addition to gender choice, to work in conjunction with the biggest and deepest character creator we’ve ever built. It meant building a beautiful and detailed online platform to ensure your decisions from the previous games carried over. But most importantly, it meant crafting a story that put you in the role of a leader, with the biggest supporting cast we’ve ever had, made up of both new and returning characters.

These are characters who can challenge you, support you, fall in love with you, and maybe even betray you over the course of hundreds of hours of playing. Perhaps you’ll do the same with them. Looking over the vastness of the game we’ve finished, it really is the Dragon Age experience we’ve always wanted to make for you.

The biggest story of the year is yours to play, very, very soon. Thank you.

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager Released

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager is now available for Windows. The links to get the game are on its official website, and here's word on the release, which carries a discount for the first week:

In this game, focused on the history of space exploration, the players are taking on the role of a space agency director. By opening programs, launching missions, allocating the right financial and human resources to the programs available, they help humanity to boldly go a step further in the solar system. But space is only one more place in the universe to defy your enemy. Indeed both fans of management and competitive games will have a blast playing the Cold War campaign in which both US and Soviet factions are engaged to be the first to place their flag on the surface of the Moon!

Following an intense and satisfying early-access period, Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager has been designed in direct cooperation with the community, taking ideas from the fans and implementing them as new features. This includes the addition of the Soviet Space Agency, as well as the often requested multiplayer modes.It is thanks to the early adopters that we have been able to make the most of the game and we thank them all for their input. Obviously the contribution of Buzz Aldrin himself is beyond compare. As an engineer, pilot and astronaut, he delivered extremely precious advice to the developers to help them designing an immersive and realistic game about the conquest of space!

We are offering a $10 discount to the early adopters during the week of the launch! We are also going to offer a free Steam key to anyone who bought a copy of the game from the Matrix Games or Slitherine store, once the game is available on this digital platform!

Among the Sleep Free DLC Announced

This trailer features the announcement of plans for free DLC for Among the Sleep, Krillbite Studio's crowd-funded horror game which is currently on sale (thanks nin). Word on Facebook is this is coming next week:

Whoo! We’re launching the free DLC for Among the Sleep next week, on the 5th of November! The DLC builds on the main story, so we recommend playing through the main game first. In addition you can get the game on both Humble and Steams halloween sales these days

Thanks again to all the Kickstarter backers who’ve been involved in the production!

Continue here to read the full story.

Summer Camp Announced

Gun Media announces plans for Summer Camp, a "1980s-themed slasher game" set in a camp coming to Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Details are scant, as there's not much yet on the Summer Camp website and the announcement trailer is a live-action grindhouse movie send-up. Here's word for now:

Gun Media, the designers behind Breach & Clear, Breach & Clear: Deadline and Speakeasy, have teamed up with horror film icon Tom Savini to announce Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp. The first installment in a series that pays homage to the splatter/slasher movies that dominated the eighties, Summer Camp is a third-person survival game set in a wooded campground similar to those of Sleepaway Camp, The Burning and the Friday the 13th franchise. Within the campground players take on the role of one of 6-8 teen counselors – or the killer – and are asked to survive the night.

“This is my love letter to the classic films of the slasher/splatter era,” said Wes Keltner, Founder and Creative Director of Gun Media. “I want that experience of being helpless, running for my life against an unstoppable killer. But I knew I needed help to do it right. Who else could I turn to for a campy, 80s slasher than the Sultan of Splatter, Tom Savini? His FX defined the splatter/slasher genre.”

"I've always wondered why a game like this didn't exist,” said horror FX icon Tom Savini, founder of Tom Savini’s Special Make-up Effects Program. “Sure, there are great horror titles, but none that really touch on the slasher genre. When Wes approached me, I could tell immediately that he was on to something. He was coming at this project from a whole different angle.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Return of the Shadow of the Eternals

IGN has details on Quantum Entanglement Entertainment (Q2), a new company founded by Denis Dyack, saying one of their first projects will be another go at Shadow of the Eternals:

One of the first projects we'll see from QE2 will be the return of Shadow of the Eternals -- a spiritual successor to the Silicon Knights cult-classic Eternal Darkness. Dyack tried to relaunch the game a few times through crowdfunding, but the project stalled after failing to reach its goals.

However, he said Shadow of the Eternals is actively in production now. And it won't just be a video game.

"(We're) looking at it from a film and television side," Dyack said. "We've got more going on that we're just not ready to talk about yet."

Taking a look at the current video game landscape Dyack said the gamer has more say in what they want to play. And he said a successful game isn't hardware-dependent anymore.

"It could be successful on a cell phone, it could be successful on a console, it could be successful on a PC," he said. "(It's) a combination of things gamers have wanted to see for a long time."

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Epic Special: Unreal Series on GOG.com.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Halloween Horrors on GOG.com.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Steamships Ahoy - NS2 Combat

Steam now offers the promised release of NS2 Combat, Faultline Games' standalone first-person MOBA based on the asymmetric combat in Natural Selection 2. The game carries a 10% launch discount, and for those interested, the developers are just concluding a 96 hour livestream on Twitch for charity. Here's a rundown on the game:

Combat pits aliens against space marines in a fast paced, action-packed struggle for survival. Part twitch-shooter, part stealth crawler, you can choose your own play style using one of seven different life forms.

NS2: Combat includes seven different player-controllable lifeforms, a vault full of weapons and abilities, a stats system, full modding support and 5 original maps. Games last around 15 minutes and players may join and leave at any time. You can try unique abilities such as 'Devour', where the largest alien eats her enemies, or pilot the hulking mechanized 'Exo Suit' and punch aliens in the face.

Evolve Big Alpha Underway

A tweet from Evolve announces the Windows version of the Evolve "big alpha" is now live on Steam, saying: "PC / Steam users - Evolve #BigAlpha is now open! Feel free to stream, tweet and screenshot your game." Turtle Rock follows this with another tweet offering a tip for invitees having trouble with this. This update has further details for participants as well as a code that should still permit entrance into the alpha. Here's a refresher on this asymmetric shooter:

In a savage world of man vs nature, are you the hunter or the hunted? The creators of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios, bring you Evolve, the next-generation of multiplayer shooters where four hunters face-off against a single, player-controlled monster. Stalk your prey, execute your attack and prove you are the apex predator in adrenaline-pumping 4V1 matches.

Prey 2 Cancelled

CNET has news that Bethesda Softworks has finally officially cancelled development of Prey 2, the planned first-person shooter sequel. The game was said to be "in limbo" a couple of years ago and last year Bethesda said that while developer Human Head considered development complete, it failed to meet their quality standards, a complaint that Pete Hines repeats in explaining the cancellation: "It was game we believed in, but we never felt that it got to where it needed to be - we never saw a path to success if we finished it," Hines said. "It wasn't up to our quality standard and we decided to cancel it. It's no longer in development. That wasn't an easy decision, but it's one that won't surprise many folks given that we hadn't been talking about it." Hines does leave open the possibility they will still revisit the franchise as a matter of faith: "It's a franchise we still believe we can do something with -- we just need to see what that something is."

Call of Duty Zombie Shocker

A post on reddit covers the discovery of a leaked trailer from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that shows the upcoming military shooter sequel will include zombies, which is not actually very shocking considering the undead have been a mainstay in the series all the way back to World War II. The video has been removed and reposted a few times since then, but IGN notes a Glen Schofield tweet which sort of confirms this is legit while regretting the leak: "@CodFlufy nothing I can do about it now. But yeah it sucks. Imagine you're playing and this comes up- you'd be psyched up, right?" Seems they could avoid such leaks in the future by putting their new intern in charge of video security.

Battlecry Testing in AU Announced

Bethesda announced at PAX Australia that beta testing of Battlecry will begin as an exclusive to gamers in Australia and New Zealand before expanding to other territories, which Bethesda specifies will happen "later." There an interview on AusGamers.com getting further thoughts from Battlecry Studios' Rich Vogel and Bethesda's Pete Hines on the subject. "I feel very confident we’ll be able to hit [any] balance issues and that’s one of the reasons why we picked Australia and New Zealand," Vogel explained. "To work with a small, close and tight community to get [the game] tuned before we go large scale." Those from the area interested in participating can sign up through the game's website, where they also offer a video showing off some gameplay from a "pre-alpha" version of the free-to-play multiplayer action game. Along the way Pete Hines describes the new gameplay mode they are now showing:

"So the mode we have here [at PAX] is sort of like Domination," Pete explains. "It’s three points at a time and once you control them there’s a countdown timer and once it counts down [the point] vanishes and a new one pops up somewhere else. So it’s structured, but then it’s not just the same three points all the time."

"It’s not your basic kill everyone TDM, it’s actually objective-based which really shows off the classes well and their depth in the game really well," Rich enthuses. "That’s really the big difference, as well as more abilities; more capabilities [for each] character in the game versus what was at E3 so it’s a completely different experience to what [people] had at E3.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Nordic Buys de Blob

The breakup of THQ is apparently still underway, as Nordic Games, who also now own the THQ name, announce they have picked up the IP for de Blob from the defunct publisher. The original de Blob was released for Windows in 2006 and there was a sequel for consoles in 2011, and the series apparently will soldier on. "de Blob is just a great and truly unique franchise," says Reinhard Pollice, Business & Product Development Director at Nordic Games. "We are excited about what the future holds for this polychromatic extravaganza as the newest addition to our portfolio. We will evaluate opportunities with the existing games, as well as potential sequels."

Blizzard Perma-Bans Hearthstone Win-Traders

A post on Battle.net has news that following a series of bans for botting in Hearthstone, Blizzard has now issued permanent bans to a bunch of players for win-trading in the virtual card-based game (thanks PC Gamer). Here's what happened:

Fair play is at the heart of Hearthstone. The Ranked Play ladder is a place where players have the opportunity to duel and gauge their card-slinging prowess while climbing the ranks. Participating in Ranked Play should be fun, exciting, competitive, and fair.

We’ve recently banned Hearthstone accounts that were found to be participating in win trading. Win trading at any rank is something that we do not take lightly, and is in violation of our Terms of Use. As we mentioned in our previous statement regarding fair play in Hearthstone, instances of cheating will not be tolerated. Accounts that were discovered participating in win trading have received permanent account closure and disqualification from events where ranking is used as a method of qualification.

Trove Open Beta Next Week

The Trove website is now accepting signups to beta test Trion Worlds' upcoming voxel-based free-to-play MMOG, saying testing will commence on November 5th. Here's the pitch: "Pushing the boundaries of community created content, Trove is a free-to-play online game where players can explore, craft, and create adventures in procedurally generated worlds that are fully buildable and destructible. Traverse through unlimited dungeon variations, discover a limitless supply of loot, or harvest resources to craft a variety of useful and powerful items - Trove combines adventure, creation, and destruction in an endless universe of voxel worlds."

Crowntakers Gameplay Video

This video recaps a livestream session for Crowntakers that took place on Twitch, offering an extended look at Kasedo Games' roguelike RPG. They use this as an opportunity to remind everyone that the game is available for pre-purchase on Steam in advance of its release next week, as the advance commitment includes the game's original soundtrack as well as bonus game content. Continue here to read the full story.

Interloper Video

This video from Interloper shows off an entire match in the upcoming real-time strategy game to illustrate how Interloper matches will not exceed five minutes in length. The clip runs under four minutes, and includes developer narration to explain the mechanics of the gameplay on display. Word is: "The new trailer also gives an insight in improvements that have been made to the game since the last footage we released. We reveal a new faction: the purple tribe. This tribe will be the one of the three tribes you can align yourself with. The trailer also shows off an improved domain shader. This visual effect was changed with the express purpose of increasing readability, a value we hold dear."

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Boo! Sorry if I scared you, but happy Halloween! The candy has been hidden from me for weeks now, so we're not even in much danger of running out. Be safe, have fun, and of course, trick or treat!

Tricky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Zombo Buster Rising.
Gravity Plex.
Vortex Point 5.
Link: How Muhammad Ali's Rope-A-Dope Myth Suckered America. Thanks Digg.
Science: In mice, genetics dictates Ebola infection outcomes.
'Treasure in saliva' may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them.
Scientists make enzyme that could help explain origins of life.
Media: Bewaouw! Take Caouw! Bewaouw! Homestar Halloween.
Heroism in Canada.
Kangaroo On Steroids.
Follow-up: Orbital Sciences Had Slated Its Soviet Rocket Engines for Retirement. Thanks JDreyer.

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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

The Evil Within Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for The Evil Within, Bethesda Softworks' recently released survival/horror game. This includes the first three chapters and the opportunity to continue your progress in the full game if you buy it. The Bethesda Blog explains:

In time for Halloween, you can scream on Steam – free (!!) – through three chapters of The Evil Within!

Starting October 30th, you’ll be able to enjoy the first three chapters for free. If you choose to purchase the game after the first three chapters, you’ll be able to continue your save progress, and as an added bonus, we’ll throw more evil your way with a free copy of Call of Cthulhu. Finally, and for a limited time only, we are offering 50% off The Evil Within’s Season Pass!

Already purchased The Evil Within and its Season Pass? Fear not. Those that already have the main game will have Cthulhu added to your library, and purchasers of the Season Pass will receive special offers on other Bethesda titles.

Ships Ahoy - Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is now available for Windows and OS X, offering the chance to return to this classic Forgotten Realms RPG thanks to Beamdog's modernized remake. This is available from Beamdog, GOG.com, and Steam. Here's the announcement:

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Available!
Evil stirs beneath the Spine of the World.

In the northernmost reaches of the Forgotten Realms lies the region of icy tundra known as Icewind Dale. Journey deep into the Spine of the World mountains, a harsh and unforgiving territory settled by only the hardiest folk. Encounter fearsome beasts that have learned the cunning and ferocity needed to survive among the snow-shrouded peaks. Confront an evil that schemes beneath the carven glaciers and mountainsides to wreak destruction upon the face of Faerun. This is the world of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition features both Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster expansions, and allows players to experience the epic adventure on Windows and Mac!

Ubisoft Financials - Watch Dogs Sells 9M

Ubisoft offers financial reporting for the first half of fiscal 2014-2015, reporting better-than-expected results and confirming their targets for both 2014-15 and 2015-16. They say Watch Dogs has "sold in" more than 9 million units, and here are some income figures: "Gross margin represented a record 78.1% of sales (€378.1 million) in the first half of 2014-15, up from 68.9% (€202.2 million) for the first six months of 2013-14. This sharp improvement reflects the positive impact of the success of Ubisoft's games and the increasing importance of the digital segment. Ubisoft ended the first half of 2014-15 with non-IFRS operating income of €24.2 million, a significant improvement on the €98.0 million operating loss reported for the same period of 2013-14."

Gone Gold - Far Cry 4

UbiBlog announces that Far Cry 4 is gold, and the shooter sequel will be released worldwide on November 18th for Windows, OS X, and Linux. They have high hopes for this, as GameSpot notes that Ubisoft said during its earnings conference call that they expect to sell six million copies of Far Cry 4 in the first year. They celebrate the news with a rundown on what to expect from the game and some reflections on its development. Here's a bit:

In Far Cry 4, players will become Ajay Ghale, a man born in Kyrat but raised in the United States. Ajay returns to the fictional Himalayan nation for personal reasons, only to become embroiled in a bloody civil war. With Kyrat, Far Cry 4 is set to deliver the franchise’s most ambitious world yet – a diverse region with a wide array of ecosystems and a richly realized cast of characters.

And then there’s co-op. Take one of the best parts of Far Cry – the open-world gameplay in which every second delivers a new story – and then bring in a friend. While you can still enjoy the entire experience solo, you now have “lots and lots of opportunities where it will be twice as much fun or twice as interesting or twice as funny with another person,” says Creative Director Alex Hutchinson.

Far Cry 4 is a major leap forward for the franchise. The story is fully integrated into the overall experience, with your choices making a real difference in a civil war that’s roiling Kyrat. The open-world is packed with surprises. The addition of open-world co-op allows gamers to double their fun in new and creative ways. And the PvP delivers a true Far Cry experience this time: pitting the rebel Golden Path ‘I’M PROUD OF BOTH THE QUALITY AND THE SHEER VOLUME IN FAR CRY 4′ against the mythical warriors of the Rakshasa, the asymmetrical competitive multiplayer is set on 10 maps based on familiar Kyrati locations, and uses animals (including elephants) and vehicles in 5v5 matchups across 3 distinct modes.

Diablo III Bonus Weekend

Battle.net has word from Blizzard that Diablo III players will receive double experience and gold this weekend:

This weekend, we invite you to take part in a celebration honoring these ancient ghosts of the fallen. All mortals who log in to Diablo III this weekend on any platform will receive a +100% bonus to Gold Find and EXP! As with previous buffs, the bonuses provided will stack multiplicatively with existing in-game bonuses, including those provided by items, shrines, Pools of Reflection, and Paragon points.

This bonus Gold Find and Experience period begins in the Americas region on Friday, October 31 at 12:00 a.m. PDT and ends on Monday, November 3 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Europa Universalis IV Art of War Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release of the Art of War expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy sequel for Windows, Linux, and OS X. They show off the expansion in a new launch trailer, which is accompanied by a new version 1.8 patch which includes features for the base game as well as the add-on. They announced this as a reference to Machiavelli, but are now shifting to Sun Tsu:

"Sun Tzu said that it is best to win without fighting at all, but if one must fight, preparation is the key to victory," says Martin Anward, lead designer on Art of War. "With over nine hundred new provinces, over a hundred new nations and the addition of major religious wars that ravage a continent, preparation will be essential in the Art of War if you hope to guide your nation through four centuries of expanded, enriched gameplay and emerge as one of the winners of history."

Inspired by the passion and tragedy of the Thirty Years War, Art of War brings the military aspects of Europa Universalis IV into high relief by adding new military mechanics. New challenges await your empire, but new opportunities as well. If you are starved for manpower, why not turn your vassal into a March, and use its soldiers to buttress your own? Force the Holy Roman Empire to convert to Protestantism and undo centuries of tradition.

Continue here to read the full story.

Assassin's Creed Unity Time Anomaly Revealed

The UbiBlog has a new feature on Assassin's Creed Unity offering the first look at a "time anomaly" feature, a new addition to the stealth/assassination series. They are fairly tightlipped about this, saying "we want to leave you with some big surprises," but they include this trailer to scour for further clues. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Hopefully the answer is yes, because they actually say the video is "going to blow your mind." Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - BlazeRush

Developer Targem Games announces the release of the Windows edition of BlazeRush on Steam, saying the top-down shooter is on sale for 15% off for the first week, while a 25% discount is available for four-packs. They also announce a cross-promotion for players of Star Conflict, their free-to-play multiplayer space shooter. Here's word on the game and what makes it different:

In a new twist to the arcade racing genre, BlazeRush does away with the traditional damage counters and health bars to keep the ferociously fast races in progress. The only way for a player to die is by falling off the death defying track and plummeting to the landscape far below.

Designed with local multiplayer in mind, BlazeRush allows up to four players shared-screen local play and up to eight players online, with a very simple pick up and play control style. With the ‘drop in’ system, one player can start racing against bots, and then as other players join the bots are removed.

The game includes sixteen playable vehicles, all of which have notably different handling and racing capabilities, ranging from heavy tracked crawlers to light race cars and hovercrafts. Additionally, players can choose from a vast assortment of weapon power-ups to use against racing opponents, such as pushing, throwing, stunning or slowing down other vehicles on the track. It’s not just about winning the race, there is also the constant challenge of trying to knock out rivals while keeping your vehicle on the track.

Continue here to read the full story.

Clandestine Early Access

Steam early access is now underway for Clandestine, Logic Artists' asymmetrical co-op shooter set in the 90s, where any self-respecting infiltration involved an operative assisted by a hacker with access to the target's computer systems. They say early access customers will be rewarded with a free copy of the game's first DLC, and they also offer a discount on two-packs. It also bears noting that the game's minimum specs are generally modest, but do call for 4GB of RAM. "We’re so excited to launch Clandestine on Early Access so that we can start gathering player feedback and incorporate that into the final version of the game," said Jonas Wæver, creative director at Logic Artists. "We know that players will enjoy this unique asymmetrical cooperative gameplay and look forward to hearing what they think!" They also reassure early access customers that they will not have the game's story spoiled for them:

With Clandestine launching on Early Access, developers guarantee a spoiler FREE version, meaning that players have access to four Challenge maps to experience the core mechanics of the game without giving away Clandestine’s intricate plot through the Story mode which will be available in the full launch version. In addition to the Challenge maps, Logic Artists has introduced three playable game modes, including Cleaner, Smash & Grab and Exfiltrate.

The ‘Spy’ and ‘Hacker’ characters, central to the theme and gameplay, also each have unique features and abilities that must be used together harmoniously in order to achieve success. The Spy has a selection of weapons to equip, including three pistols (PPK, SR1, MK23), two ammo types (Lethal, Non-lethal), gadgets and grenades (Banshee, Remote Pager, Remote Modem, Fragmentation Grenade, Flashbang) and two outfits (Tactical Gear, Low Profile - civilian outfit), as well as a lock-picking option to help infiltrate secure areas without calling attention to themselves. The ‘Hacker’ player in Clandestine holds the important role of blocking security cameras, bribing guards, hacking security doors, arranging dead drops of ammo and health, guiding the Spy through intricate mazes, alerting the Spy to nearby danger and generally providing instructions about what is going on outside of the Spy’s visual field. For the Early Access launch, Logic Artists has also included the ability for the Hacker to tag enemies so that they are visible to the Spy, even through walls.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer

This "Discover Your Power" video promotes Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with some live-action, because it is apparently difficulty to get Hollywood directors like Peter Berg to work with video game characters, who do not take kindly to feedback. Word is: "Suit up and unleash the raw power of the advanced soldier in the live action trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Directed by Peter Berg and starring Taylor Kitsch and Emily Ratajkowski, fight your way through a series of enemy forces and discover new movements, capabilities and weaponry along the way in this heart-racing journey through 2059 Lagos." Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2014 Trailer

A new trailer from F1 2014 shows off another hot lap in Codemasters' recently released Formula One simulation, showing off the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, site this weekend's United States Grand Prix. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

The Steam Halloween sale is underway, offering discounts on no fewer than 436 titles.

  • Auditorium on Steam. Save 60%. Save 60%.
  • BioShock Infinite Season Pass on Amazon. Save 50%.
  • Fractal: Make Blooms Not War on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Humble Weekly Bundle: Halloween on Humble Bundle.
  • Intake on Steam. Save 60%.
  • King's Bounty: Dark Side on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Splice on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Watch_Dogs on Steam. Save 40%.
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on Steam. Save 10%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

  • Assassin's Creed Rogue on UbiBlog.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Paul Reubens Announces a New Pee-wee Herman Movie on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’. Thanks nin. "There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."

PC Valkyria Chronicles Includes DLC; Preorders Underway

Following hints and a confirmation earlier this week that a PC edition of Valkyria Chronicles is in the works, SEGA announces details on their plans to bring this strategic RPG to Windows. They say it should be available for preorder soon if not already through various digital distributors, and that it will include all of the DLC release for the PS3 edition. Here's word:

In the words of series’ favorite, Aika Thompson, “we’re just getting warmed up!” If you saw the news on twitter on Monday night, which saw ‘Valkyria Chronicles™’ trending worldwide, you’ll know that some eagle-eyed reporters spotted Valkyria Chronicles listed for PC on PEGI’s website. Well, we were going to tell you all about it tomorrow, but we have all the details for pre-ordering and content available at launch right here, right now.

In Valkyria Chronicles, for those who don’t know, players embark on an epic adventure through beautiful environments and battle legions of troops to save the small country of Gallia from total destruction. Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictitious continent reminiscent of 1930s Europe on the verge of a great war. The game follows Welkin and his fellow soldiers of the Federation’s 7th Platoon that are fighting against the Empire, who is intent on unifying the continent under its power. The emergence of the “Valkyria”- an ancient race with special powers thought to exist only in legends, turns the tide of the war and the Federation’s ability to win and a hope for a better future hangs in the balance.

This Strategy RPG was a critical success, garnering a whopping 86% on Metacritic and even earned a Guinness World Record in 2010 for being the best Strategy RPG on PS3. Valkyria Chronicles will launch for Windows PC via Digital Download on November 11, 2014 and will come bundled with all the DLC that was available for the original PlayStation 3 game including:

  • Hard EX Mode (harder versions of skirmish missions in the main game)
  • Edy’s Mission “Enter the Edy Detachment” (a side story campaign)
  • Selveria’s Mission “Behind Her Blue Flame” (a side story campaign)
  • Challenge of the Edy Detachment (six challenge missions)

So you can pre-order now and pick up this award winning, critically acclaimed strategy RPG that’s so good it announced itself, for £14.99/€19.99/$19.99 from selected digital retail partners.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Lord of the Hunt Announced

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces details on Lord of the Hunt, the first DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is coming to Monolith Productions' Tolkien-inspired action game this year. Here is some concept art and a trailer along with word on what to expect:

In Lord of the Hunt, Sauron has dispatched lethal Beastmaster Warchiefs to exterminate the monsters of Mordor. Talion will join Torvin the Dwarven Hunter and use his powers of Domination to turn these menacing new beasts against the Warchiefs, proving that Mordor cannot be tamed.

  • New Story & Lore – Discover more tales from Torvin, the Dwarven Hunter, as you work together to tame the beasts of Mordor and fight Sauron’s minions.
  • New Nemeses – Face off against the Beastmaster Warchiefs, powerful new Uruks who have the ability to ride monsters and engage in perilous mounted combat.
  • New Monsters – Ride into battle on the Wretched Graug to vomit toxin at your foes, stalk your enemies on the predatory Caragath and attack from the shadows or raise an all-consuming Ghul Horde.
  • New Missions & Challenges – New Beast Hunting challenges and collectibles open up new trophies and achievements.
  • New Epic Runes – Make your Mount unstoppable with five new epic Runes that make you the ultimate hunter.
  • Test of the Wild – Test your skills against the Beastmasters and mount your trophies on the leaderboard.
  • New Character Skin – Lord of the Hunt skin transform Talion into the ultimate Beastmaster.

Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: ROME II Halloween Update

SEGA announces a new update is now live in Total War: ROME II, adding a Halloween celebration to Creative Assembly's RTS sequel. There are no details about this on their haphazard news page, but it is discussed in their Rally Point video Episode 22, which also covers the upcoming ATILLA expansion. Here's word on the patch:

Live now, the latest free update for Total War™: ROME II adds the festival of Lemuria to the game and a new seasonal challenge, Nightmare Mode!

Lemuria was an ancient feast during which restless spirits were exorcised from the home with the alternate offering of beans and then clashing of cooking pots. Perhaps an early Roman version of Trick or Treat?

Nightmare Mode can be toggled on from the game options menu, causing your troops to suffer horrifying visions in battle. Harpies descend from the skies as a terrifying atmosphere envelopes your forces. Assailed by such apparitions it is no surprise that your soldiers will find the enemy extremely frightening!

Any generals skilled enough to complete a Campaign battle in Nightmare Mode will earn a new Steam achievement and the adoration of their peers. May the gods help you if you try to complete a whole campaign…

Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age Keep Open Demo

EA announces that open beta testing is now underway for Dragon Age Keep, a web-based tie-in with Dragon Age: Inquisition, the next installment in BioWare's RPG series. Those interested in participating can head over to the Dragon Age Keep website and sign in with an Origin account. This new trailer shows off what to expect, and here's a further explanation:

BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced that the Dragon Age™ Keep is now available in open beta. The Dragon Age Keep is a revolutionary story creation web app that will give gamers and BioWare fans an opportunity to discover and shape the legacy, heroes and world around their personal story in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the highly anticipated, next generation RPG launching starting on November 18. To access Dragon Age Keep* from a modern web browser, players can visit www.dragonagekeep.com and log-in with their Origin account.

“The story of Dragon Age is truly immense and filled with rich characters, beautiful and deadly locales and incredible events which have shaped the world players will experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition,” said Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal. “Dragon Age Keep is an opportunity for players who are both new to the franchise and those who have played past games to forge the key moments in the lore, creating a personalized and customized experience when Inquisition launches starting on November 18.”

Dragon Age Keep will allow gamers to make key decisions and mold their own Dragon Age history while watching their choices unfold before their eyes through the visual tapestry layout. From defining the heroes, to exploring the World of Thedas and its many influential and memorable personalities, players will be able to shape the story set in the months preceding the cataclysm that begins the events in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Players will also be able to share their stories with their friends and compare their progress across games within the franchise.

Continue here to read the full story.

Scream Fortress VI Underway

The Team Fortress website has word that the annual Scream Fortress Halloween celebration is now underway in Team Fortress 2, Valve's multiplayer shooter. This update outlines what to expect:

Very soon, fear-fans, the Halloween update other game companies aren't BRAVE enough to give you is coming! And those other companies are right to be hesitant! Last year's Scream Fortress update hit Valve with a tidal wave of wrongful death lawsuits! That's right: Everyone who played last year's update DIED mysteriously! The only clue was that everyone's hair had turned snow-white!

They died of FEAR, reader! Or possibly premature hair-graying! We're not doctors. No, OUR jobs are to be your ringmasters at this year's Scream Fortress Update! Check out the teaser Update Page to get a taste of what's coming!

Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms – Final Early Access Update

bitComposer Games announces a final update to the early access version of Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms on Steam, saying this adds a new playable character and completes the second chapter of the action/RPG, paving the way for its planned full release on November 13th. This announcement has full details, and here's the Reader's Digest version: "Today, bitComposer Games and Games Farm are releasing the final update to the Early Access version of Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms. The highlight of the update is a new playable character: Sebekan Slaver. Additionally, there are new areas to explore, new enemies to battle and new quests to complete. The user interface has also been reworked and the crafting system has been expanded. Meaning that the 2nd chapter of the action RPG can now be played in full!"

The Long Dark Alpha Grows

A Steam Community announcement has details on an update to the early access version of The Long Dark (thanks Instant Karma via VG247), adding a Coastal Highway zone which doubles the size of the alpha sandbox in the survival game (the update was followed by a quick hotfix). Word on the new version is: "Game tuning around the new region is WIP and will be constantly modified based on further internal testing and feedback from external playtesters (i.e. all of you). Please note that the availability of Supplies, the distribution and density of wildlife, distances between shelters, etc. are constantly being refined. Also, keep in mind that the game is now being tuned around a larger Sandbox experience -- this means that some Regions might be more suitable for certain activities, and Supply distribution is more regionalized." Here's a rundown on the game itself:

The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-focused survival experience set in the Northern wilderness in the aftermath of a global disaster. Brave the elements and other survivors, hunt for supplies, explore the world, uncover the mystery, answer the question: How far will you go to survive?

Skyhill Demo

The Mandragora website now offers playable Windows and OS X demos of Skyhill, their upcoming roguelike survival game. The demos show off how they've redesigned the game in response to the reaction to the first showings of a raw build of the game. The rough state of the game at that time scuttled their Indiegogo campaign and has left their Steam Greenlight campaign stalled, so they are eager to show off a more true vision of what they have planned. Here's a description:

Skyhill is a story based game about survival in randomly generated hotel during post-apocalypse. All game action is in this building. Our hero is on the last floor of it where the richest people live, isn’t it nice? However, suddenly apocalypse begins! The hotel is full of the aggressive neighbors! No food, no weapons. And in these conditions player must begin his path to survive in 100 floors.

Features:

  • Full randomly generated building of 100 floors;
  • Crafting;
  • Fallout type fightings;
  • Story line is not simple as you could think!
  • Quest elements with classic roguelike style;
  • Experience progress;
  • Upgrades for the home;
  • Permanent death!

Bezier Open Beta

Open beta testing is now underway for Bezier, a Windows twin-stick shooter that indie developer Niine Games has been working on for the last siix six years. The open beta is offered through Desura, and this trailer shows off some gameplay. Here's word on what to expect: "After six years of development PC indie blaster Bezier is now available to play in a free open beta hosted by Desura. Bezier is a dual stick blaster set inside a vast computer built deep underground. The story traces the principal's escape from this "Noah's Ark" gone wrong. A simple shooter on the surface, the deeper narrative pulls in his relationship between evolution and god, family and love. These themes question his motives, force him to confront what is real and lead him to salvation." Continue here to read the full story.

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Out of the Blue

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series. Though I wasn't very invested, I couldn't help pulling for the Royals, as baseball makes by far the least effort of the four major American sports to balance the playing field for teams in smaller markets, making most of the teams underdogs (historically five teams have won more than half the 109 World Series). Also, its completely inappropriate for championship celebrations to result in violence, so reports of shootings and a stabbing as a result of this are very upsetting.

And with the Knicks getting blown out in their season opener, I remind all pool participants that it's time to get NFL Week Nine picks in.

Small Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Monkey Go Happy Halloween.
Castle Lite.
Wandering Eyes.
Science: Virus recreated after 700 years in icy caribou poo.
Worsen a laser to improve it.
Media: I'm Pooping So Bad.
What Father And Son Get Up To When Mom Leaves (remix).
Tricky Landing - Windy Madeira Airport.
The Funnies: BYOD Meets Internet of Things.



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