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Wednesday, Dec 07, 2016

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Assassin's Creed III for Free

The UBI30 page on the Ubisoft Club now offers the promised free copy of Assassin's Creed III for anyone with a Ubisoft Account. This caps off the release of seven games for free to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Word is: "To celebrate Ubisoft's 30th anniversary, The Ubisoft Club is offering you seven digital PC games. Every month a new game will be revealed and free to download. Then it is yours to keep! Hurry up, the game is available for a limited time. Just register here with your Ubisoft account." Here's word on the game:

Created in Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed is Ubisoft’s biggest franchise ever.

Revealed at E3 2006, Assassin’s Creed puts the audience in the middle of an ancient war between two age old factions: the Assassins, who fight to protect free and the Templars, who aspire to impose a New World Order.

Throughout history, these two groups have been fighting for the fate of humanity. In the Present, the Templars are close to realizing their dream of dominion by using ancient artifacts known collectively as Pieces of Eden. Among other things, these artifacts have the power to influence the human mind and control the masses.

With the development of the Animus, a device that allows for the projection of genetic memories buried deep within a subject’s DNA, Abstergo Industries —a Templar front—has been abducting people in the hopes of locating these lost artifacts.

From Italian Renaissance to the Russian Revolution, the player meets real historical heroes, take part to event and shapes its own destiny. From one episode to the other, the creative teams have constantly added new layers of interactions and new gameplays making each world deeper and more fascinating.

Today we offer you the Assassin’s Creed III, the game where as a Native American assassin, you experience the truth behind the most gruesome war in history: the American Revolution.

Guild Wars 2 PvP Revamp and Wintersday Next Week

ArenaNet announces a revamp is coming on December 13th to PvP play in Guild Wars 2, and that day will also see the return of the Wintersday event to their MMORPG sequel. This post has details on Wintersday 2016, saying this will involve "long winter nights, snowball fights, and exchanging gifts," and that the developers will be participating alongside players. This lengthy post has all the details on the PvP update, discussing improving matchmaking by removing the pips restriction, the addition of skill tiers, changes to rewards, reworked personal scores, and a new map rotation. Here's the introduction outlining their motives:

Hello, Tyrians! Big changes are coming to PvP Leagues for Season 5, and we’re excited to reveal what we’ve been working on. Our goals for Season 5 include creating a more competitive environment, accurately indicating your skill level, giving more consistent rewards across the skill spectrum, and ensuring upper divisions are occupied by skilled players who have put in the time and effort to make it there. In short, we’re dialing up everything that makes leagues great.

Space Hulk Deathwing Delayed Until Next Week

A Steam Community post has an updated release date for Space Hulk Deathwing, which includes much handwringing over what amounts to a five-day delay. Just last month Focus Home Interactive announced a December 9th release date, but now they say to expect the game on December 14th. Here's why:

Last week's Beta saw tens of thousands of you donning Terminator armour and answering the call to fight Genestealers in the Space Hulk Olethros!

We'd like to thank you once again for having taken the time to post your feedback on our official forum in large numbers, helping us to exterminate a wide range of Heretical bugs.

In order to ensure Space Hulk: Deathwing is in the best state possible for launch, we've taken the decision to delay the launch of the full game to December 14th, 19:00 CET.

While some of you may be disappointed, others have expressed support for allowing time to fix the remaining bugs.

Most of the issues from the Beta have been addressed, including drastic improvement of the loading times, optimisation of the general performances, improvement of certain interface and menu elements, sound-design changes (character voices), and fix of numerous bugs and nearly all occurrences of crashes.

We know you are eagerly waiting to purge Xenos, but we want to ensure all players can enjoy the game optimally on launch by continuing to work on the massive amount of feedback for an extra week.

Our tech-priests are preparing for the task, and no sacrifice is too great to gain the Emperor's blessing!

Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory Next Week

Paradox Interactive announces a December 15th release date for Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory, the first expansion for Hearts of Iron IV, their World War II strategy game. To help fans pass the time they offer a video developer diary with a look at what to expect from the add-on, narrated by game designer Dan Lind. Here's the deal:

The British Dominions and Commonwealth states take centre stage in Together for Victory, the first expansion to Hearts of Iron IV, the hit World War II grand strategy wargame from Paradox Development Studios. And now a date has been set for the brave offspring of the Empire to show off their new uniforms.

Together for Victory will be available on December 15, 2016 for $14.99 at major digital retailers, including the Paradox Store.

This expansion is not only the first for Hearts of Iron IV, but sets the model for many future add-ons, bringing new detail and gameplay options to nations outside of the great powers. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Raj of India have been given unique National Focus trees, more leaders to choose from, and a selection of industrial corporations to add extra color to your experience.

Game Designer Dan Lind has enlisted to present a short video summarizing what you can expect:

Continue here to read the full story.

No Man's Sky Patched

This announcement has details on a new patch now available for No Man's Sky, updating the space exploration game to version 1.12. This addresses some bugs and other issues identified since the release of the big Foundation update. They also note that they've identified a problem with unsupported mods, so they've come up with a way of preventing future updates from breaking the game when mods are installed:

Following reports of some people experiencing issues with the game while unsupported mods are installed, we’ve added mod detection which will show a warning screen on loading when mods are detected. A mouse click or button press will dismiss this screen. We have also introduced a new method for mod installation which should prevent player’s games from breaking when a new update is released. For details please see the ‘DISABLEMODS.TXT’ file in the \GAMEDATA\PCBANKS folder.

Gatherings & Competitions

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Out of the Blue

The 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks prompted this article with a story I'd never seen before. There may be a perfectly normal explanation, but that does seem pretty weird. An interesting mystery, though it seems pretty doubtful it will ever be solved.

Mysterious Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Governor of Poker 3.
Tile Risers.
Stories: Trump is named Time magazine's Person of the Year.
75 years ago, what if Japan never attacked Pearl Harbor?
A Pearl Harbor survivor spent decades trying to forget it. Then one man got him talking.
Science: Apartheid's lingering effects on HIV and AIDS.
Removing Pubic Hair Linked To A Heightened Risk Of STIs.
Media: Casually Explained: The Future.
"Suicide Squad" Eviscerated In Honest Trailer.
How the NFL's magic yellow line works.

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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2016

Overwatch Winter Event Next Week?

A tweet from Overwatch looks like an indication to expect a winter event for Overwatch to begin next week. The tweet has an animated image of a snow-covered map in the multiplayer shooter, and says: "It's the most wonderful time of the year, and we hope you'll join us for some holiday cheer. When: December 13, 2016. Where: Overwatch."

Dead Rising 4 Rises

CapCom Unity announces the launch of Dead Rising 4, the new installment in their zombie-infested action game. This requires Windows 10 for the PC version, and there's also an edition for Xbox One. The launch trailer came out last week, and the announcement of the news is pretty brief:

The team here at Capcom Vancouver is excited that Dead Rising 4 is out today for Xbox One and Windows 10. The game sees the return of Frank West, Dead Rising's original hero, as he travels back to Willamette to investigate a new zombie outbreak.

This time it's the holiday season, as decking the halls has been switched to splattering blood on the walls!

So this Christmas "Let the Slay Ride Begin" and pick your bat and your blambow and fight back against the undead hordes in Dead Rising 4.

Continue here to read the full story.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta Signups

Ubisoft is now accepting signups on this page for those interested in beta testing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. The open-world tactical shooter is due on March 7, 2017 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, so testing should begin soon, but they don't specify when. The news is accompanied by a mission briefing trailer and the following word on the game:

Developed by Ubisoft Paris*, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands is a military shooter set in a massive and responsive open world, entirely playable in single-player or up to four-player co-op. Players will discover Bolivia a few years from now, a country turned into a narco-state by the vicious Santa Blanca drug cartel. Sent behind enemy lines, Ghosts will have to cripple the Santa Blanca cartel’s operation, breaking alliances between the drug lords and the corrupted government, and saving the Bolivian population from the cruelty of El Sueño, Santa Blanca’s ruthless leader. To do so, players will have a total freedom of choice to accomplish their missions how they want and watch as the world reacts to their actions.

Continue here to read the full story.

Arizona Sunshine Released

Vertigo Games announces the release of Arizona Sunshine, a new VR shooter for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. This adds the newness of virtual reality to the now-familiar scenario of surviving one of those zombie apocalypses. Here's a launch trailer to show all the game's shooting and tanning, and here's word:

Today Dutch independent developers Vertigo Games and Jaywalkers Interactive release their VR zombie shooter, Arizona Sunshine, and accompanying launch trailer. Move through the desert wasteland of post-Apocalyptic Arizona as you search for weapons, ammo, and tools needed to stay alive, all while fighting off the zombie hordes roaming the ruins of our world.

Priced at $39.99, the game is now available via Steam (HTC Vive) and Oculus Home (Oculus Touch).

Arizona Sunshine is developed from the ground up for HTC Vive and Oculus Touch. Step in the midst of a zombie apocalypse as if you were really there, freely move around and explore a post-apocalyptic world, and handle motion-controlled weapons with real-life movements - putting the undead back to rest is more thrilling and satisfying than ever before.

Key features:

  • Real-life weapon handling. Using VR motion controllers, handle, fire, and reload over 25 different weapons with real-life movements. Anticipate attacks, manage your ammo and aim down the sights to blast your enemies to undead pieces.
  • Freely explore your surroundings. Move around without restraints to explore a series of huge southwestern American environments, including blistering-hot deserts, treacherous canyons and deep, dark mines.
  • Enjoy a full-size single player campaign. The campaign mode is built in bite-sized VR chunks that flow together to form a full narrative. Whether you want to jump in for a short session or stay for the complete ride, we’ve got you covered.
  • Join forces in co-op multiplayer. Combine forces with a friend in co-op campaign mode or multiplayer Horde mode for up to four players. But beware, more warm brains mean more hungry undead.
  • Put yourself through serious survival. Scavenge the environment, loot your enemies and manage your ammo and consumables.
  • Experience unprecedented VR realism. When powered by an Intel® Core™ i7 processor or equivalent, Arizona Sunshine brings unprecedented realism to VR gaming with zombie mutilation, destructible environments, and an overall cinematic and immersive experience.
  • Play it only in VR. Arizona Sunshine is a VR shooter exclusively built for VR from the ground up. Step into the midst of a zombie attack as if you were really there and take on undead creatures close enough to touch.

Realpolitiks Announced

1C Company announces Realpolitiks, a political grand strategy game in development at Jujubee. This is coming to Windows, OS X, and Linux in February, and the game's Steam page is already online. This trailer offers a first look at what to expect, and here's word:

Realpolitiks is a streamlined real-time grand strategy game that allows you to become the ruler of any contemporary nation. Dive deep into the issues of the modern world, with its current geopolitical borders, using your country’s power and economic strength to engage in military conflicts and international affairs. Choose your own method of coping with other nations' interests, unexpected events, global threats and various crises. Deal with the disintegration of the European Union, the expansion of Islamic State, the aftermath of World War III and many other real and fictional scenarios.

Based on three main political systems (democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism), Realpolitiks allows you to extend the influence of your country through various means, all in order to win the race for global domination. Use your diplomatic skills, economic advantages, military power and the full freedom of moral and ethical decision-making to become a world superpower and ensure the well-being of your citizens.

Grow and develop your nation to the highest possible levels of economic power, technological competitiveness and military supremacy in globally-ranked charts. The choice is yours as to whether you become a valued member of the United Nations, or a nuclear tyrant, bullying all those around you. Expand your territory any way you like with the whole-world sandbox gameplay of Realpolitiks, even creating colonies out at sea. And if that's not enough, try spreading the seed of our civilization to outer space...

  • Lead any country in the world to global domination in various game scenarios.
  • Shape your country's political system and course determine its relations with other nations.
  • Deal with internal and external affairs and face threats from natural disasters, terrorism, financial crises and more.
  • Make use of common political instruments in your international relations, including spy tactics and espionage to directly influence other nations’ internal affairs.
  • Take the moral and ethical high road in your dealings with others, or not...
  • High replay value ensured by a broad decision tree in all matters, as well as diverse mini-scenarios and random events.

Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper Elite 4 Italian Campaign Trailer

A new Italy 1943 Story Trailer is the first in a series of new clips promoting Sniper Elite 4, the next installment in Rebellion's sharpshooting series. There is also a new article on PlayStation.Blog with an inside look at the game's Italian campaign. Here's word on the trailer:

Featuring previously unseen concept art, environments, factions and brand new story details, "Italy 1943" recounts the intricate machinations behind the Allied invasion of Italy. In SNIPER ELITE 4, Karl Fairburne will help release the country from the shackles of Fascism, fanning the flames of resistance, and in doing so uncover a terrifying Nazi technology threatening the whole of Europe.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cold Iron Studios Announced

Cold Iron Studios announces their existence to the world, calling themselves a AAA development studio. They were formed in 2015, and have no game to announce at the moment, so that's about all of it for now. They do say they have an Unreal 4 engine sci-fi game in the works for PC and consoles, but don't have many details to share yet. Word is: "We’re working hard on a AAA online action game that is literally out of this world, and we cannot wait to share it with you." The Cold Iron website is online with details on previous games from their staff, and a couple of job openings they are looking to fill.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Actor Peter Vaughan Dies At 93. And now his watch is ended.

Paragon Monolith Update Live

The promised Monolith patch is now live in Paragon in what Epic calls a Massive update for their free-to-play MOBA. This post outlines the changes in version .35, and this older update has more outlook on the future of the game. This video is a developer diary, and the description has more on the new version:

The Monolith Update brings a brand new map and revamped gameplay experience to Paragon. Cameron Winston and Kevin Abbot from Paragon's design team take you through the big changes and what to expect when the update goes live on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

It's time to Start a Fight. Paragon is available for free now on PC and PlayStation 4. Download now and start playing today.

Continue here to read the full story.


SUPERHOT Team now offers SUPERHOT VR for Oculus Rift, a virtual reality edition of the time-warped shooter. Here's a release trailer with a look at how this operates, and here's the deal:

After years of experiments and iterations, the team behind the critically acclaimed, violently beautiful time-bending shooter SUPERHOT is ready to unveil its newest creation. SUPERHOT VR is a title reimagined and redesigned from the ground up for VR and hand-tracking controllers. The fruit of super close cooperation between SUPERHOT and Oculus, SUPERHOT VR is releasing with Oculus Touch controllers and is available for purchase today!

SUPERHOT VR is a complete and standalone experience. Apart from the cinematic beauty of enemies driven and falling apart right in front of you in slow motion, SUPERHOT VR also boasts:

  • Over 75 unforgivingly tough, physically exhilarating action sequences
  • 26 unique locations designed and fine-tuned for VR from the ground up
  • Hundreds of red crystal enemies to murder in viscerally brutal fun by smashing, shooting and slicing through them in bulk
  • Free arcade mode and challenge update coming in early 2017 for you to play SUPERHOT VR FOREVER

Continue here to read the full story.

HITMAN Holiday Content Next Week

The HITMAN website has details on new holiday content coming on December 13th to the episodic assassination game. The news is accompanied by a styling Holiday Hoarders Trailer. Here's word on the new content and their efforts at supporting charity:

We are very excited to reveal a brand new mission that is coming to HITMAN on December 13th, just in time for the holiday season!
"Holiday Hoarders" is a free mission for ALL players that takes place in a festive Paris, which has been overhauled with Christmas trees, snow, decorations and presents.

The mission will be released in support of World Cancer Research Fund and we are asking players to donate whatever they can via www.wcrf-uk.org/hitman.
It's important for us to say that a donation is not required to enjoy the Holiday Hoarders mission and that all contributions of any amount are appreciated.

Take a look at the trailer for this mission and read on for more details - plus the full December Live Content Schedule

The 'Holiday Hoarders' mission gives a festive feeling to the existing Paris location with snow, decorations and even presents, which have been scattered all around the palace. Unfortunately, not everyone in attendance at the fashion show is there to spread festive joy. Two thieves have gained entrance to the fashion show event and are stealing the presents. As Agent 47, it's your job to stop them, for good. If you are able to get to the presents first, feel free to open them and use whatever you find inside to help eliminate these two sticky bandits...

On top of all that, this new mission will add new holiday-specific challenges that offer up an additional reward.

Continue here to read the full story.

Galactic Junk League Beta; Early Access Next Month

Pixel Federation offers this trailer to introduce Galactic Junk League, a spaceship building combat game coming to Steam early access on January 17th. Here's word on the free-to-play game, which will feature 8-on-8 combat. Those interested in checking this out before then can head over to Galactic Junk League website to sign up for the beta. Here's an outline of what to expect:

Galactic Junk League is a “Crafter Arena” and spaceship building combat game that allows players to combine superior technology with forgotten galactic junk to build anything that moves and shoots - from agile frigates to lumbering battleships.

The Early Access version of Galactic Junk League will feature updates that include many improvements to the game including larger matches of up to 8v8, a brand new matchmaking system, and updates and additions to ship building.

  • Build Your Ship
    Players combine superior technology with forgotten galactic junk to build anything that moves and shoots - from agile frigates to lumbering battleships. Every piece of the ship affects its power, manoeuvrability and special abilities.
  • Enter an Arena
    Choose an arena to fight in. Some are wide open, some are tricky, and some require mad pilot skills to survive their hostile environments. Knowing how to take advantage of a particular arena is an essential key to victory.
  • Crush The Enemy
    Players release the power of their ships in various multiplayer modes, and by fighting enemies using powerful weapons, shields and abilities. Earn rewards for each victory to unlock new and more powerful building blocks, as well as visual perks to add some swag to the ships.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf PC Plans

HeroCraft announces plans for a PC edition of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf, saying the port of the F2P mobile game will enter early access in February of 2017. This trailer shows off this version of the game, and more media and details can be found on Steam. Here's the deal:

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf was originally released on iOS and Android as a f2p game, and now we’re ready to officially announce that it will be a premium game for PC players. But at the very beginning of Early Access there will be the original mobile gameplay and in-game balance, because the main aim of this Early Access is to gather players’ feedback and get the understanding of what they would like to see in our game.

Steam version of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf will be remastered especially for PC players and will include:

  • enhanced graphics with improved textures and materials;
  • dynamic lighting;
  • improved weapon effects and brand new weather effects;
  • completely redesigned GUI and controls.

Continue here to read the full story.

PDX CON 2017 Announced

Paradox Interactive invites fans of their games to PDX CON 2017, a paradoxical gaming convention to be held May 13-14, 2017 in Stockholm Sweden. Here's the plan:

Paradox Interactive, a Stockholm-based publisher and developer of award-winning video games, today announced “PDX CON 2017,” an upcoming convention for their global community of fans and players, which will take place in Stockholm on May 13-14, 2017 at the historical Gamla Riksarkivet at Riddarholmen.

The convention, which has traditionally been restricted to media and developers only, will be open to the public for the first time in 2017. This gathering will feature hands-on gaming with Paradox’s titles, as well as direct interaction with the creators and developers from Paradox and their partner studios. Some of Paradox’s top personalities will lead seminars and panel discussions, sharing their insights into such topics as modding, the development process at Paradox, AI programming and much more.

Details on these events as well as other activities (including parties, special guests and speakers) will be revealed in coming months. Tickets for the convention are on sale now at www.paradoxplaza.com/pdxcon2017.

Morning Patches

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Well, it's not quite winter yet according to the calendar, but it's feeling pretty wintery out there already. We've had our first frosts, and even our first couple of minor dustings of snow. And the BlueTower is in full winter glory, as we actually set up our full Christmas tree, though I also have my little Charlie Brown tree on display as well. I just need to put a sign for Santa on the chimney warning that it just leads to our furnace.

Wintery Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Smash and Blast Baseball 2.
Story: "Westworld" Producers Confirm 2018 Return.
Science: Rare Superbug Gene Discovered on U.S. Pig Farm.
Media: Indestructible Coating?
What DID Happen to the Titanic Crew?
Duck Duck ... CAT!.


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