Updated: Oct 20, 2014 7:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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Play Civilization V Free This Week

Sid Meier's Civilization V on Steam is playable for free through Thursday at 1:00 pm EDT, presumably to fuel interest in Friday's release of Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the upcoming sci-fi spinoff of the strategy series.

Door Kickers Released

KillHouse Games announces that Door Kickers has breeched various digital distributors, and the SWAT game is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. A new trailer celebrates the news, and here's word on how the game has changed upon leaving early access:

It’s been one year since we’ve entered Early Access on Steam, one and a half since we began crowdfunding. One and a half years of constant updates, great feedback from the players and two-way communication with you guys.

And we’ve taken the process to completion – Door Kickers moves on from Early Access.

For those that actually play each version, what’s new? The Campaign is IN. You have 3 campaigns now, with more to come! We’ve also changed the way Single Missions count now – troopers deaths are no longer saved in those. Think of Single Missions as your proving ground, where you try to beat your own performance, and campaigns as your real job – do the objectives and keep the troopers alive. Can you handle that? Maybe also in Iron Man Mode?

Another new and long in-coming feature are multi-layer maps. You can go up and down, exploring some new and old locations in a new way.

There’s also a new scenario type – Dope Raid – which tasks you not only with securing the suspects, but also capturing evidence before it gets trashed. And it will get trashed, unless you move swift and to the point.
And no, you cannot shoot everyone.

One last thing… this version will reset all your stats and mission completion. So why are you still reading this, get back to 3-staring everything!

Continue here to read the full story.

Far Cry 4 Season Pass Announced

Ubisoft announces details on the Season Pass for Far Cry 4, hoping to inspire advance purchases of a DLC subscription for the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. This page outlines all the content this includes, and here's an overview:

Today, Ubisoft® detailed the Season Pass for Far Cry® 4, the highly anticipated first-person shooter for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

The Season Pass extends players’ time in Kyrat and includes new missions that can be completed in either single-player or co-op. Content includes a Season Pass exclusive day-one mission, prison break from Durgesh in an open world survival mode for single player and co-op, exclusive missions with Hurk and his harpoon gun, a new PvP mode that will have friends teaming up to fight opposing forces and a chance to encounter the rarest beast in the Himalayas – yetis.

Space Engineers Sells 1M

Keen Software House announces that Space Engineers has sold more than one million copies, an impressive milestone for an indie title. Here's word on the achievement which also outlines plans for future support:

“We feel twice as happy with this achievement since it came on our first year anniversary since Space Engineers was launched to the public. This gives us double reasons to celebrate” said Marek Rosa, CEO and Founder of Keen Software House. “We want to devote this accomplishment to our fans, whose encouragement and active participation made this possible. They have been beside us all along, giving inspiration for new ideas and supporting us with their valuable feedback. It is a great thing to have such an amazing community like ours!”

Space Engineers, one year after it was released on Steam Early Access, has captured the attention of PC gamers around the world. Voted by the players as one of the best Indie games of 2013 (IndieDB Game of The Year Awards) and featuring an incredibly passionate fan base, Space Engineers has become one of the most popular Early Access games on Steam.

Looking to the future, Space Engineers will remain in development for a while longer, focusing on adding new features and bug fixing and also continue taking feedback and suggestions from the community who is helping to further improve and expand the game. Space Engineers is already counting over 50 new updates which are added on a weekly basis, including the recent implementation of the Modding API and the Dedicated Servers.

The Evil Within Soundtrack

The Bethesda Blog has word that the official soundtrack for The Evil Within is now available on iTunes. They say:

Does the soundtrack of your life need a little more intensity? Madness? On the heels of last week’s release of The Evil Within, evil can now take hold of your music library.

The Evil Within Original Game Soundtrack features 18 iconic tracks from the game, which is more than enough to build the tension between playthroughs of the game, or add atmosphere to your Halloween party.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Jade Raymond Leaving Ubisoft

Ubisoft Toronto announces Jade Raymond is departing this studio she's managed since its formation as she is leaving Ubisoft after a 10 year stint. They make this sound amicable and mutual with the oddly formed statement that "the company and Jade Raymond have agreed to pursue future opportunities separately." The managing director post will be handed over to Alexandre Parizeau, another founding member of Ubisoft Toronto. Here's a bit on Raymond's accomplishments and her parting statement:

During her tenure at Ubisoft, Raymond was producer on the first Assassin's Creed® (2004-2007) and served as executive producer on Assassin's Creed® II (2008-2009), Watch_Dogs® (2008-2009) and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Blacklist (2010-2013). She also opened the Ubisoft Toronto studio and served as its managing director since 2009, a role she will turn over to Parizeau starting October 29.

“I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games,” said Raymond. “This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I’m confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what’s next for me, but for now, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavors."

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Requires 6GB of RAM

Steam now offers minimum system specifications for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (thanks VG247), though it's not clear how much of this computational power is to realistically bump-map Kevin Spacey in the upcoming military shooter sequel. For the moment, at least, these indicate the game will require a minimum of 6 GB of RAM. Here's word on what it will take to run the game, which is shown off in a new cinematic launch trailer released yesterday:

OS: OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
Processor: Intel® CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD PhenomTM II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 @ 1GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 55 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX-compatible

FINAL FANTASY XIV Heavensward Expansion Announced

FINAL FANTASY Website announces Heavensward, the first expansion for FINAL FANTASY XIV coming to the MMORPG this spring (thanks CVG). They offer some wallpapers, and point the way to this teaser page which offers this brief teaser trailer. All they have to say about this for the moment is: "What new threats await the Warrior of Light? Check out our new promotional site to see what’s in store in an all-new teaser trailer!" Continue here to read the full story.

AitD Creator Crowdfunding 2Dark

There is a 2Dark campaign on Ulule as Frédérick Raynal, who originated both Alone in the Dark and Little Big Adventure, is crowdfunding a new action/adventure through this French site. This will be the first game from Gloomywood, a new developer crated by Raynal along with other veterans of the French game development scene, and they say they are shooting for a 2015 release on Windows, OS X, and Linux. Here's a video (French warning, though there are subtitles) kicking off the campaign, and here's word:

2Dark is a visually unique survival adventure experience, where players will need to solve puzzles and procure weapons, while finding children and survive the lethal dangers lurking in the shadows. Darkness surrounds all, and the player will need to make the best possible use of limited resources to successfully create light, evade the traps lying in wait, listen carefully and survive the horrors. Through ten different and replayable levels, the players will slowly get to know more about the disturbing backstory of the protagonist Mr. Smith and his quest to rescue the children. The game uses an innovative voxel graphic rendering style designed in-house at Gloomywood to create an old-school top down perspective.

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track is back once again with their weekly U.K. game sales charts. The Evil Within debuts at number one on the PC top 30 chart, where Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel jumps into the third spot and F1 2014 races in at number six. On the all platforms chart The Evil Within starts at number two, the Borderlands 2 prequel launches at three, and the new F1 game rounds out the top 10. Here's their rundown on all the activity:

‘FIFA 15’ (-35%) makes it four straight weeks at No1 holding off the challenge of several new releases.

It also matches ‘FIFA 13’ in holding the top spot for four straight weeks from launch. One survival horror title replaces another at No2 this week as Bethesda Softworks’ third release of the year ‘The Evil Within’ debuts in second place. It’s comfortably ahead of another new release ‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!’ which lands at No3. Take2’s latest addition to the series debuts on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC with no sign of Xbox One or PS4 versions. With two new releases taking 2nd and 3rd Warner’s ‘Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor’ (-51%) drops a place to No4.

‘Forza Horizon 2’ (-39%) is also pushed down a spot to No5 in its third week. Last week’s No2 ‘Alien: Isolation’ (-70%) slides four places to No6 but does enough to stay ahead of ‘Destiny’ (-22%) at No7. PS4 exclusive title ‘Driveclub’ (-45%) drops down to No8 in its second week. ‘Minecraft: Playstation Edition’ (+14%) climbs a place this week with a boost in sales seeing it claim No9. Codemasters latest Formula One title ‘F1 2014’ makes a Top 10 debut at No10.

I am Bread Trailer

This trailer offers a first look at I am Bread, a new game in the works at Bossa Studio, creators of Surgeon Simulator, in case the new game's title wasn't a tip-off that there is some oddity afoot here (thanks Eurogamer). The clip shows QWOP-style controls, making moving your piece of bread around far more difficult than it is in real life (we're trying to play along here). Here's word on the clip: "The beautiful story of one slice of bread's epic and emotional journey as it embarks upon a quest to become toasted." Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

We had our first local frost warning of the season overnight, so fall continues to roll in, and it's still pretty cold this morning. Thankfully this hasn't happened before now, as we are still waiting for the plumber to service our furnace, as after our scare with it going out last Thanksgiving, we were told having this older unit regularly maintained will help forestall the eventual replacement we fear. This means we haven't wanted to run the heat before now, so as I say, we're pretty lucky that we haven't had any unseasonable cold yet, which would not be unprecedented around here.

Precedented Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: The Rogue Puzzle Game.
Pico's Infantry.
Story: Casting conch: Scarlett Johansson set for Ghost in the Shell remake.
Media: Destiny Bro! Thanks nin.
Dancing "The Shepard Shuffle" Across NYCC 2014.
HAPPY WHEELS #2 (Teens React: Gaming).
Auction: This 'bit of plastic' from Star Wars is worth £50,000.

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Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer

A new launch trailer is now available for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, showing a bunch of cinematic shooting in the military shooter sequel, all at the behest of that smarmy E*Trade spokesperson. Here's the description of the game that accompanies the clip:

A new vision for the blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare takes players to a future devastated by a global attack. Rising from the chaos is Atlas, a Private Military Corporation led by the cunning Jonathan Irons. With the most powerful military force in the world, Atlas has effectively become a superpower for hire. Playing as Jack Mitchell, suit up in an advanced exoskeleton and join a highly-trained unit committed to restoring order.

The exoskeleton carries over into Multiplayer, where an all-new movement system changes the way players traverse the terrain. Chain together boost actions like jump, dodge, and dash in a fast and fluid style of play. Equip all-new abilities and armaments in the revamped Create-a-Class. Earn additional weapons and gear through in-game Supply Drops, outfitting your operator in the deepest customization experience in franchise history.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Top 10

These are the 10 bestselling titles on Steam last week according to Valve:

  1. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
  2. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  3. Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
  4. PAYDAY 2
  5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  6. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - Season Pass
  7. Alien: Isolation
  8. The Evil Within
  9. Tomb Raider
  10. Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

On Sale

  • SpeedRunners on Steam. Save 66%.

Sunday Patches

Sunday Interviews

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970 4GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Crucial DDR4-2133 DRx4 RDIMM Memory on TweakTown.
  • Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W Semi-Modular Power Supply on eTeknix.
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Nikk Tech.
  • Logitech G502 PROTEUS CORE on Vortez.
  • Toshiba TransMemory Pro EXII 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on TweakTown.


Out of the Blue

Got the Halloween decorations all worked out yesterday, which consists of a pumpkin on the porch (no one can say we're not playing along). The candy supply is in place, and so far unmolested no less, so we're pretty set. I'm not sure if the Gunnar-man is dressing up for the holiday this year... though I did just give him a haircut, so I could claim he is dressed as a poodle, which isn't usually the case. Well, that was easy... maybe it's time to reward myself with some candy.

Candied Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Land of Enki 2.
TypeRacer - Test your typing speed and learn to type faster.
Science: Men With LUTS, Other Prostate Problems May Improve Urination By Sitting Down.
Media: Weatherman vs Dog News Blooper. Thanks nin.
A restored WWII fighter with operational machine guns.
Contaminated Soil Ignites While Being Removed.

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