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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013

  

Company of Heroes 2 Free & Paid DLC Released

The SEGA Blog has details on today's release of the promised free Turning Point update for Company of Heroes 2 along with some new premium content for the World War II real-time strategy sequel on Steam. Word is: "The ‘Turning Point’ update for Company of Heroes 2 will be live on Steam today. The update features a host of free content including the eagerly anticipated World Builder, allowing fans to create their own maps, two free multiplayer maps as well as four free multiplayer commanders. On top of the free content players will also be able to purchase the new ‘Victory at Stalingrad’ Theater of War update, four additional multiplayer commanders and new skins."

Shadowrun Returns DRM Ending

Harebrained Schemes took to Kickstarter to share the good news that they have negotiated an end to the DRM in Shadowrun Returns, saying this will allow them to release DRM-free versions of the game and its future expansions:

We just want to send out a quick update to share some good news. Thanks to a new agreement we were able to negotiate with our partners at Microsoft, Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce that we are now able to release fully DRM-free versions of Shadowrun Returns and future expansions such as Berlin.

The DRM-free versions of SRR and Berlin will continue to be fully supported. You'll be able to download all game patches, use the Shadowrun Returns editor and experience user-generated content downloaded from third-party sites such as Nexus.

We’re starting work to get Shadowrun Returns available on GOG.com right now - not sure how long that will take but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an answer.

Ships Ahoy - SimCity Cities of Tomorrow

EA Maxis announces the release of SimCity Cities of Tomorrow, the expansion for their urban-planning game:

SimCity Cities of Tomorrow is an entirely new way to play the ultimate city-building simulation. Players have the choice to create a utopian society underpinned by clean technology under the auspices of The Academy, or encourage giant corporation OmegaCo to strip-mine natural resources and pollute in the name of making massive profits. These new specializations are set against the backdrop of the all-new MegaTowers, massive structures that players build high into the sky and dwarf the rest of the city. With the right balance the MegaTowers become self-sustaining monoliths that cater to all of the needs of the Sims under one roof. When players have finished deciding whether they want their Sims to live together in harmony, or as members of an exploited workforce, they can rain chaos upon them by unleashing an all-new disaster exclusive to this expansion pack.

The SimCity base game is available on PC and Mac and was developed by Maxis. The base game and expansion pack are cross-platform compatible, so all players play together across the same servers. Owners of SimCity Cities of Tomorrow can play alongside those who do not own the expansion pack and provide them with futurization benefits when they play together in the same region. Launched last March, SimCity has had eight major game updates that have made upgrades to the core simulation and provided game content at no additional cost.

40 New Steam Greenlights

The green lights continue to shine at Steam, as a Steam Community update reveals 40 new games coming to Valve's service upon completion of development. Here is the complete list of all the new approvals.

Wasteland 1 on GOG.com

GOG.com announces the release of a "slightly updated" edition of Wasteland 1, the classic post-apocalyptic RPG. Here's the blast from the past:

Back in 1988 Wasteland 1 - The Original Classic (or just Wasteland back then) took the fresh memory of living in constant fear during the Cold War, reached for the aesthetics of the Mad Max movies, added solid cRPG mechanics, and offered gamers an experience that would soon inspire a whole gaming sub-genre. Long before Mr. Ron Perlman announced to the world that "war never changes" in the iconic opening sequence to Fallout, the post-apocalyptic grim future was a vision already present and persistent in the minds of gamers. That was mostly because of Wasteland. The open-ended free-roam gameplay, paired with incredibly rich and suggestive setting made a lasting impression on everyone who dared to visit the nuclear desert. With challenging difficulty level and great variety of NPCs, quests, and locations, this fantastic title is still a blast to play!

On Sale

Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target Black Friday game deals revealed.

  • Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Ubisoft Financials

Ubisoft has issued sales and earnings figures (Adobe Acrobat format) for the first half of their fiscal 2013-2014, which ended September 30th. Highlights include €293 million in sales, a confirmation of their 2013-14 targets, and the claim of an average score of 85 for their past five releases. On the downside this all resulted in €98 million in non-IFRS operating loss. "This year, Ubisoft has constantly stood out for the very high quality of its creations. This will be a determining factor for ensuring our future success and enhancing our financial performance, explains Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. "In 2014-15, we intend to step up the level even further by launching a number of particularly ambitious titles under both new brands and established franchises, starting as of the first quarter of the fiscal year, with the release of Watch Dogs."

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Announced

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unveils plans for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a third-person action game set in Tolkien's Middle-earth in development at Monolith Productions for release on Windows as well as last- and next-generation console systems. They have launched the Shadow of Mordor website, and we can expect further details soon, since this is the cover story on the December issue of GameInformer, and in the meantime, here's the announcement:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a next-generation, third-person action game set in Middle-earth that explores an original story of vengeance and redemption. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is in development for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, gamers take on the role of Talion, a valiant ranger whose family is slain in front of him the night Sauron and his army return to Mordor, moments before his own life is taken. Resurrected by a Spirit of vengeance and empowered with Wraith abilities, Talion ventures into Mordor and vows to destroy those who have wronged him. Through the course of his personal vendetta, Talion uncovers the truth of the Spirit that compels him, learns the origins of the Rings of Power and ultimately confronts his true nemesis.

Continue here to read the full story.

DIRT 3 Leaving GFWL in the Dirt

Codemasters confirms via Twitter that DIRT 3 is another game that will transition to Steamworks for multiplayer support with the unlamented death of Games for Windows LIVE (thanks PC Gamer). This may not get the green flag until next year, however, as they say: "We are working on it but it may not be until the new year."

Ships Ahoy - XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within is now available for Windows in North America, expanding the throwback counter-UFO strategy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown with new content (available on consoles as the standalone XCOM: Enemy Within – Commander Edition). 2K Games confirms the add-on, which requires the original game, will be released internationally on Friday, and outlines what it offers:

In XCOM: Enemy Within, players can modify their soldiers genetically to enhance their operatives’ abilities or transform their soldiers into cybernetic warriors. These new abilities and units are imperative to combat two new aliens, the Mechtoid and the Seeker. In addition to new aliens, XCOM: Enemy Within adds a new threat known as EXALT, an underground human organization set on disrupting XCOM operations and taking control of Earth. XCOM: Enemy Within also includes an array of new maps, abilities, upgrades and weapons across both single player and multiplayer.

“XCOM: Enemy Within continues the tradition of robust expansion packs from Firaxis Games,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “With an incredible amount of new content, XCOM: Enemy Within is the definitive way to play last year’s best strategy game.”

“The number one thing our fans asked for after we released XCOM: Enemy Unknown was more maps,” said Ananda Gupta, lead designer at Firaxis Games. “In XCOM: Enemy Within, we’re giving players nearly 50% more maps in addition to a massive amount of other new content, providing nearly limitless replayability for XCOM commanders to enjoy.”

Key features for XCOM: Enemy Within include:

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 is now available, offering new content for BioShock Infinite, including a return to Rapture, the setting of the first installment in this series of first-person shooters. The game's official website features a launch trailer to help acclimate us to the add-on's underwater environment without getting the bends. Here's the announcement, including a bit on plans for episode two:

2K and Irrational Games announced today that BioShock® Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 is available for download worldwide* on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC starting today.

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1, developed by Irrational Games, is the second add-on content pack for the award-winning BioShock Infinite, and features Booker and Elizabeth in a film noir-style story that places them in a shining Rapture on the eve of its fall from grace.

Game Informer recently called BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1: “…the DLC we've been waiting for.” Destructoid stated: “…I loved it so much that it makes me wonder why it's not a standalone game.” IGN concluded: “It feels damn good to be back in Rapture.”

BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode 1 can be purchased separately for $14.99, or as part of the BioShock Infinite Season Pass, which is priced at $19.99. The Season Pass, which is available for purchase via online marketplaces on all available platforms starting today, contains $35 of playable content for $19.99, including both Burial at Sea episodes, the previously released Clash in the Clouds add-on pack, as well as the Early Bird Special Pack that has powerful weapon upgrades, exclusive gold weapon skins and infusion bottles to upgrade player abilities.

“It’s been particularly rewarding to return to Rapture with Booker and Elizabeth,” said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. “We were inspired by both Columbia’s and Rapture’s storylines, and merged them into something new. The icing on the cake is seeing the BioShock Infinite team build entirely new sections of the underwater city in the Infinite engine.”

Continue here to read the full story.

New 7 Days to Die Alpha

A second alpha version of 7 Days to Die is now available for backers of the indie zombie extravaganza. This can be picked up on the Customer Portal on the 7 Days to Die website, where they boast this adds lots of new features, but also warns this is not compatible with the previous alpha.

Free Saints Row IV DLC

A new Thank You Pack is now available for free on Steam for all owners of Saints Row IV as a "thank you" for purchasing Volition's open-world action sequel:

The Thank You Pack, all new content for Saints Row IV is Now Available for free to all Saints Row IV owners on Steam!

As a thank you for your support of Saints Row IV, checkout this free outfit pack which should be construed in no way as an attempt to get back into your good graces following a prematurely-released game patch.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 16GB DDR3 1866 MHz on HCW.
  • Fractal Design Adjust 108 Fan Controller on TechwareLabs.
  • GIGABYTE GTX 780 Ti OC & Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition on TechSpot.
  • GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 780 Ti WindForce 3X OC on Guru3D.
  • HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 Video Card on Mad Shrimps.
  • Metadot DasKeyboard Model S Professional Clicky MX Blue Lesertest on OverClocked inside. German.
  • MSI GE40 2OC-009US Gaming Notebook on PC Perspective.
  • MSI GT60 20D (3K Screen) Gaming Laptop on Hardware Heaven.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 On Linux on [Phoronix].
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs. AMD Radeon R9 290X 4K Gaming on HARDOCP.
  • OCZ Vector 150 240GB SSD on Hardware Canucks.
  • Roccat Ryos MK Glow on Pure Overclock.
  • Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Toxic Edition 3GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Sapphire Radeon R9 290X VS Sapphire Radeon R9 280X on ULTIMATE HARDWARE.
  • Teratrend (SilverStone) TS231U 2 Bay USB3.0 RAID Enclosure on eTeknix.
  • WD My Cloud EX4 Personal Cloud Storage NAS on Techgage.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy 11/12/13! You don't get to say that everyday. Not that you get to say it's any other date every day either, but you know what I mean. We can revisit this incredibly significant topic next year on 12/13/14, unless you use European notation, in which case you have an entirely different 11/12/13 of your own next month.

Sequential Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Madville.
Escape Machines.
Link: PG-13 Films More Violent Than R-Rated?
Stories: Smart Wheel By FlyKly Could Change Everything About Commuting.
Walmart to launch Black Friday sales earlier. TV fights to feature more upchucked turkey.
A Man Named "Batman, Son of Superman" Sent to Prison. (Really.).
Science: Nature Glows With Neon Animals and Plants.
Media: Barrel and Box.
Katniss Everdeen Kills Everything.
Follow-up: GOCE satellite falls to its fiery doom in South Atlantic Ocean, experts say. Thanks brother19.



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