Updated: Oct 04, 2023 12:43 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Wednesday, Oct 04, 2023 World Animal Day

Police Questioning Ex-Ubisoft Execs

A report on Libération in the site's native French reveals that police have detained former Ubisoft employees for questioning as part of an investigation to the allegations of sexual harassment at the developer/publisher that first surfaced over three years ago. That scandal resulted in apologies, promise of changes, and the removal and departure of staff, but the ramifications continue. Kotaku has details in English, including its own corroboration of the news. Here's a summary of what's going on:
The arrests were first reported by the French newspaper Libération, and have been corroborated by Kotaku’s own sources. As part of the detentions, the former executives will give testimony to law enforcement that could be used in an eventual criminal trial. The high-profile action being taken regarding allegations that first came to light in 2020 follows a multi-year investigation involving interviews with over 50 current and former employees, Libération reports.

Gears of War Rumor

An X from  Cliff Bleszinski mongers a rumor about Gears of War, the third-person shooter series he helped bring to life during his time at Epic Games. The post has a Django Unchained meme saying: "You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention." He says this is in response to a rumor he's heard:
Heard a rumor today from my friend who wrote Gears 5 about the future of the franchise and, let's just say...

Get Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok for Free

GOG.com announces a new freebie, revealing it is now giving away free copies of Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok, a fantasy-themed RPG for Windows and Linux from Crystal Shard. If you're looking for an endorsement, dig this: "The game has been voted voted [sic] 69th All-Time Best Computer RPG by RpgCodex." Here's a trailer with a look the retro style of the 2014 release. Here's word:
Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok is an adventure / RPG hybrid. Like in many adventure games, you have a world to save, and must use your wit, guile and inventory to puzzle your way through. Like in many roleplaying games, you can customize your character with various classes and skills, and must train yourself in combat to stand a chance against the fierce monsters in your way. Each class has her own solution to the numerous obstacles, where the warrior is the most straightforward to play, the sorceress focuses on smart solutions and finding the right spell for the situation, and the rogue cheats her way through life without getting caught.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Alters Announced

11 bit studios announces The Alters, a base-building survival/adventure that takes on the implications of Moon and Multiplicity, and what you would happen if you could create duplicate versions of yourself. The game's Steam Listing says it's "coming soon," and the first trailer is here with look at what you and you and you and you can expect from this. Here's a bit:
The Alters is a base-building survival game driven by life-defining choices and exploring the diverse paths one could take. The inhospitable planet where Jan crash-landed is turning toward a massive sun, causing radiation levels to soar; in this desperate race against time, Jan must harness local Rapidium crystals to create his many versions: the “Alters”.
Continue here to read the full story.

Drakantos Revealed

Wingeon Game Studios offers a first Gameplay Trailer for Drakantos an MMORPG coming "soon" to Windows on Steam as a free-to-play release. The clip shows off action combat and handcrafted pixel art graphics. The indie Brazilian developer also shares some details about its debut game:
Drakantos takes place in the fantasy world of Derid, brought vividly to life through voice-acted cutscenes and a gorgeous and nostalgic pixel art style. Adventurers can explore missions solo or with friends with a growing cast of more than 20 unique heroes. Players will journey through hundreds of handcrafted dungeons that appear over time, each presenting a new set of enemies, bosses, traps, objectives and even special events with unexpected twists, ensuring that every playthrough is unique. As players progress, they'll level up their heroes, discover rare items, and equip themselves with powerful gear.

The game also brings a huge number of collectibles (exclusive icons, titles, skins, emotes, items and pets) as well as several other features such as housing, skill customization, a guild system, market, and more. In PvP, players can battle in competitive ranked modes and in-game tournaments. The stats are even to ensure that only your skill and strategy matter, preserving the competitive integrity apart from the main PvE content.
Continue here to read the full story.

Thief Simulator 2 Released

Thief Simulator 2 is now available on Steam, offering Windows gamers the chance to resume a life of crime in this sequel from CookieDev and PlayWay. This is also coming to consoles next year. This carries a 10% launch discount and there is an additional discount for owners of the first game and another discount for owners of other PlayWay titles. A new trailer celebrates the news with a look at gameplay. Here's word:
Thief Simulator 2 uniquely combines stealth, simulation, and adventure in a world of thievery. This first-person perspective (FPP) game offers two gameplay modes: story and free mode. Players can anticipate a variety of challenges, ranging from common houses to highly secure facilities. The storyline of the new installment loosely connects to the mafia family known from the first game; however, the creators emphasize that familiarity with the first title is not a prerequisite to enjoying the criminal fun in the new entry.
Continue here to read the full story.

IO Interactive Celebrates 25 Years

A new IO Interactive Website celebrates the 25th anniversary of the formation of the developer of the Hitman series, taking us back to the 1990s with a retrospective The festivities includes new content and special activities in Hitman: World of Assassination. Here's word:
Players are invited to join the celebrations and enjoy a long list of in-game events. Two Elusive Target Missions, Bad Boy and The Food Critic, will return to the game, available between October 13th and 23rdand October 20th and 30th respectively.

Hitman: World of Assassination will also offer new challenges and cool suits to its players throughout the month of October. Notably, The Mills Reverie Halloween Event will be back on October 26th. Starting on the same day, the Codename 47 challenge will allow fans to unlock a retro skin and suit for Agent 47. On October 27th, livestream fans will be able to unlock an exclusive Purple Streak Suit as a Twitch drop while watching their favourite content creators.

Out of the Blue

It's 10/4 in US notation, so here's a 10-4 good buddy, though June 6th International Convoy Day, perhaps to avoid arguments over the proper way to write dates. Here's some good news for fans like MrsBlue and myself, that 'Only Murders in the Building' is renewed for fourth season. The show has been a delightful surprise all along, and we greatly enjoyed Season 3. Though now that it's done, we're struck by the fact that it should have been (spoiler warning) Only Manslaughters (not) in the Building. But that's a quibble. It was tons of fun.

Only Round-ups in the Building
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Tuesday, Oct 03, 2023 German Unity Day

The Lamplighters League Released

Harebrained Schemes and Paradox Interactive have launched The Lamplighters League, and this turn-based strategy game is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store and Steam as well as for Xbox Series X|S and Game Pass. There's an article from NVIDIA discussing support for the PC edition, which includes DLSS 2 on GeForce graphics cards. The Release Trailer is here with a look at gameplay. Here's word on how this will take players back to the heyday of serials and pulp novels:
Sneak, steal, and shoot your way through a world of pulp adventure in The Lamplighters League! Globetrot across a variety of exciting locales around the world and outwit your enemies in strategic turn-based combat - and, if you play your cards right, you might just save the world.

Harebrained Schemes, the creators of The Shadowrun Trilogy and BATTLETECH, bring you an all-new world set in an alternate 1930s, where a tyrannical cult called the Banished Court stands on the cusp of world domination. For millennia, all that stood between this sinister cabal and their plans were a band of heroic scholars known as the Lamplighters League.
Continue here to read the full story.

High On Life: High On Knife Released

High On Knife is now available on the for Windows on the Epic Games Store and for consoles, bringing a knife to the gunfighting of High On Life, the chatty first-person shooter from Squanch Games. This was made without the participation of Justin Roiland, who left the project following domestic abuse allegations. The DLC boasts new voice talent, but the official launch trailer does not feature any of it. Here's word:
High On Knife is essentially a big new bonus episode set after the events of High On Life’s campaign. Your bounty-hunting hero comes home from adventuring, only to find a missed-package slip for a delivery meant for your knife companion, Knifey. Knifey convinces you to head to his home planet to pick up this mysterious package, and then a bunch of stuff happens. Funny stuff. And spooky stuff!

High On Knife features (amazing!) all-new performances from a variety of well-known actors and comedians, including:
Continue here to read the full story.

Kill It With Fire 2 Multiplayer Beta

Publisher tinyBuild and developer Casey Donnellan Games announce Kill It With Fire 2 will include multiplayer support. This will include co-op support, as well as PvP to escalate your war on spiders to include other players. The chance to experience this is upon us, as the game's Steam Listing offers signups to beta test the game PvP Spider Hunt mode. The Multiplayer Reveal Trailer accompanies the news, showing the chaos this brings. Here's more:
Grab your Trackers and Hairspray, we are thrilled to confirm that Kill It With Fire 2 will feature multiplayer for the first time ever in human (and arachnid) history! As well as
four-player co-op multiplayer for the entire campaign, Kill it With Fire 2 also features the highly tactical, often hilarious, competitive PVP - Spiders versus Exterminators!

Our PVP Spider Hunt mode is playable NOW by clicking the playtest button on the Steam page!

Our co-operative mode supports up to FOUR spider-slaying exterminators as you play through the entire campaign from start to finish.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cyber Combat Demo

Steam now features a playable Windows demo for Cyber Combat, a fast-paced first-person shooter featuring an off-hand grappling hook for a swinging good time. The game features neon vector-style graphic for a Tron vibe, as seen in this Demo Trailer. Here's word:
Featuring a distinct Tron-style visual aesthetic for the world and unique movement mechanics, the game also draws inspiration from other shooters in the genre such as Doom and Ghostrunner, as well as real life sports for both the movement and combat mechanics. Swing around neon arenas like a deadly spider, pouncing on your enemies with a powerful array of unique weapons, and jumping back to evade their counter-attacks and prepare your next strike.

Your grappling hook and momentum will be your best allies to fly around the arena, running on the walls in search of openings to flank your enemies. Take advantage of your surroundings and terrain to evade your enemies and use your weapons unique skills to your advantage: wreak havoc pushing enemies to crash them on each other, hurting or killing them and creating chaos in the battlefield, or use them as bouncing points with your grappling hook to navigate to remote areas – with physics-based collisions that can create chain reactions, your skills can help you cause pure mayhem!
Continue here to read the full story.

Ira Released

Nicalis announces the launch of Ira, a "unique character-based shooter with roguelike elements" that's now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com,* and Steam. The Launch Trailer is here with a look at the game's anime-inspired bullet hell gameplay. Here's the deal:
Developed by Korean studio ABShot with Nicalis, Ira is a unique character-based shooter with roguelike elements, including procedurally generated levels, random item drops and randomly stocked shops. Players are sent back to the starting point when their health runs out, and all weapons, items and gold are lost. But you do get to keep the fragments of the powerful Ira crystal that you collected, and you can use them to activate permanent upgrades for the Apostles who accompany you. You also unlock more Apostles with different abilities as you progress.
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III Multiplayer Trailer

Activision offers the first Multiplayer Trailer from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, kicking off a big week for the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. The Call of Duty Next presentation gets underway on Thursday followed by the Call of Duty Endowment Bowl IV, and the PlayStation multiplayer beta begins on Friday. Also, there are bonuses to be had for those able to stomach chain pizza pizza:
Little Caesars®, a Proud Partner of Call Of Duty® NEXT and Modern Warfare® III. Order from Little Caesars® in November and receive Dual 2XP and bonus in-game rewards, including an Operator Skin with your second qualifying purchase.

Survivor - Castaway Island Released

The writer's strike is ended, but reality TV isn't going anywhere, and Survivor - Castaway Island is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store and Steam to celebrate that, well, reality. This is also available for PlayStation and Switch, with Xbox editions to follow. The announcement also covers a GOG.com version, but it's not there at this time. So strip down, snack on some bugs, and check out the Launch Trailer and the details:
In Survivor: Castaway Island, be prepared to experience the ultimate test of survival! As you navigate the treacherous landscape, you'll need to rely on your survival instinct and strategy to remain in the competition. Every decision you make will be crucial to your fate. Are you cunning, strategic, and ruthless enough to outwit, outplay and outlast your opponents?

During your adventure, look for resources and form alliances with other castaways to survive, but remember that trust is hard to come by in the game of Survivor. Choose your allies wisely and don’t get blindsided. In team or individual challenges, push yourself to the limit to avoid being voted off the island.
Continue here to read the full story.

Aeterna Noctis Virtuoso Next Month

Aeternum Game Studios announces November 9th as the release date for Virtuoso, new boss rush DLC for Aeterna Noctis, the Metroidvania action/platformer featuring 2D hand-drawn graphics. The PC edition will come to both the Epic Games Store and Steam, depending on where you own the original game. There is a hedge in the announcement, which calls this an "estimated" release date, despite being barely a month away. A new trailer is here with a look, and here are some details:
Just over a month until players can step into the shoes of the King of Darkness to face the ruthless bosses of Aeterna Noctis and their much more lethal versions. According to the video and images shared by the studio, “Virtuoso” is a boss rush that will allow players to repeat the fights against the wide and varied catalogue of final bosses in the base game as many times as they want, adding new modes of combat, difficulty and attack patterns, exclusive challenges and what seems like a new, unreleased final boss.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rubber Royale Demo

A playable demo for Rubber Royale is now available for Windows on Steam as a sample of a Rubber Bandits spinoff. This is an upcoming entry in the platformer sub-trend of the battle royale trend. It involves all the ragdoll physics and wackiness we've come to expect from such a game, as seen in the Demo Trailer. Here's more:
Experience wacky and chaotic gameplay featuring loveable wobbly idiots in a high-speed knock-out setting. Rubber Royale is easy to pick up and learn. Just jump in, customize your character, and battle strangers or friends in a variety of different game modes with the last man standing being the victor in this crazy royale fiesta of a game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Multiplex

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

First off, thank you to RogueSix for a forum post about problems with the Astro A50 base station, as it helped me identify the Astro MixAmp Pro TR from my Astro A40 headset as the source of my own USB glitches. I bought a new A40 because I liked my previous one, and the new one came with a fancy MixAmp dealie to switch between PC and Xbox. Want to see a lot of Google results? Search for Astro A40 Xbox One problems. Sure enough, this never worked as intended on my console, but at least I was able to workaround by plugging it into a controller, so I just used the USB in my PC. But once this USB issue was identified as a possible source of my issues, I went back to trying to get it working properly on my Xbox so it could talk to the PC without the USB. This refused to work, so in desperation I turned to tech support. After running through their extensive troubleshooting routine of making sure the firmware was updated and trying an alternate USB port, I asked for a refund. This process seems to be going smoothly, so Astro/Logitech gets high marks for that part of this at least. Anyway, the good news is that removing the MixAmp did indeed clear up the USB/audio resets I was experiencing, and in the past week or so, I've experienced exactly two glitches: A single CTD from Cyberpunk 2077 and another from Portal RTX. I'm going to call that a win.

Fixed-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.



Thanks VideoSift.

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