Updated: May 18, 2019 1:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Borderlands 3 Pulled from Epic Mega Sale

Borderlands 3 is no longer available for preorder on the Epic Games Store, as Gearbox's upcoming shooter sequel is the latest game to be yoinked from the big Epic Games Sale. Other games were removed from the sale because of the impact of the $10.00 USD discount Epic is subsidizing on top of other discounts, and it seems likely that unhappiness with this is behind the removal of the new Borderlands game as well. Eurogamer notes that the PC edition is also no longer available for preorder from the Borderlands website. They asked Epic for a comment, and Epic declined, saying to ask 2K Games, but the publisher has not provided an explanation as of yet.

Surviving Mars and More in Free Weekend Bonanza on Steam

No fewer than six games are currently offering free weekends on Steam (thanks Steam Database via Ant). All six games are also on sale, making them easier to purchase for those who get hooked along the way:

Moonshiners The Game Announced

Watch out for the revenuers, as Discovery announces Moonshiners The Game, a project expected in fall 2020 based on the Moonshiners television series. As can be inferred from the title, this is based on the age old, albeit illegal, art of home whiskey distillation. The game already has a Steam listing, and while this doesn't have a video, it has a bunch of stills (sorry) to show how this game looks. With the promise of more details soon, they provide the following feature list:

Moonshiners main features:

  • Build your own unique apparatus inspired by designs of fabled moonshiners
  • Make your own moonshine recipes or find legendary recipes in the game world
  • Watch out for the police and Feds - you can run or maybe it's better to bribe them?
  • Discover the atmosphere of the Appalachians: alcohol smuggling, police raids, forest stills and the beauty of misty and mysterious forests.
  • Write a new page in the Moonshine history! Will you become a new legend like Popcorn Sutton or Barney Barnwell?
  • Decide who you will deliver to and who will have to wait - but remember you are not the only moonshiner in the area and the competition may use any delay.

Warframe: The Jovian Concord Next Week

Digital Extremes announces The Jovian Concord, an upcoming overhaul of the Jupiter tileset in Warframe that will rework gameplay as well as the environments in the Gas City environment. They say this free update will come to the PC edition of the third-person shooter next week, offering this video with a before and after look. This will also see the introduction of a new Warframe called Wisp, and they provide this trailer with a look this "ethereal traveler."

On the heels of Warframe®'s recent Plains of Eidolon Remaster comes the powerful new The Jovian Concord update, a full graphic overhaul of the Tenno-favorite Jupiter tileset (AKA 'Gas City'), now with reworked environments and gameplay. Reimagined with Warframe's modern parkour movement in mind, The Jovian Concord enables Tenno to wield the powerful 40th Warframe 'Wisp' to experience a variety of new enemies including the deadly new flying Eidolon boss. Canadian developer and publisher Digital Extremes' The Jovian Concord will arrive on PC next week for free.

Beneath gaseous bronze clouds lies the opportunity to explore something surprisingly new. The Jovian Concord reimagines the original Warframe environment with a vast level of physical terrain, every inch offering a fresh look and feel. Using nimble parkour skills, Tenno can explore internal heights and face new hazards or gauge their chances outside by leaping through the air along floating stations, distant platforms, crossbars, antennas, and more.

Longtime villain Alad V's twisted experiments with Sentient technology have yielded hideous cyborg-like results -- Amalgam variants and Jetpack Agents -- whose laboratories hide a deeper sinister plot. Through new Sabotage, Rescue and Spy missions, and even a new gameplay mode, "Disruption", Tenno will piece together frightening tidbits of lore that could lay the groundwork for a looming war -- all before confronting Gas City's deadliest threat, the ever-present menace the Ropalolyst.

The Jovian Concord brings with it the second new Warframe of 2019, the ethereal Wisp. Players will float across the battlefield with her light-based Abilities to provide support to allies while wielding her unique Passive, turning her invisible in air. Her Abilities include:

  • RESERVOIRS: Choose and summon a Reservoir filled with Motes that attach to and aid Wisp and her allies. Haste Mote grants increased movement and attack speed. Vitality Mote increases maximum health and heals over time. Shock Mote stuns nearby enemies.
  • WIL-O-WISP: Cast forward a spectral image of Wisp to confuse and distract enemies. Reactivate to travel to its position. Hold to have the image travel faster and teleport to its position on release.
  • BREACH SURGE: Open a dimensional breach to overwhelm nearby enemies and cause them to release aggressive Surge sparks when damaged.
  • SOL GATE: Open a portal to the sun to irradiate enemies with a devastating beam of pure solar plasma.

Download Warframe's The Jovian Concord next week on PC for free. Look for the console versions to arrive soon.

Continue here to read the full story.

Death end re;Quest re;Leased

Steam now offers the Windows edition of Death end re;Quest. an anime action/RPG with a meta theme about a game developer getting trapped inside one of their projects. Here's a cinematic trailer, and here's more:

Arata Mizunashi, a video game programmer, receives a notification from an email sent to him by Shina Ninomiya, a colleague of his who went missing nearly one year ago. Together, they worked to create World’s Odyssey (W.O.D.), an immersive virtual landscape powered by breathtaking, state-of-the-art technology. That is, until Shina's sudden disappearance put a swift halt to production. Arata discovers the startling revelation that Shina Ninomiya was stuck inside of “W.O.D.” the whole time. When Arata delves hurriedly back into the lines of code haunting his forsaken project, he realizes that his game is now ravaged by an infestation of bugs, and that Shina is its only active player.

Arata soon learns that a nefarious force prevents him from extracting Shina out of the game. Her only way out? She must complete the game to unlock the perfect ending—an outcome with a success rate of 1%. On their journey, they encounter a slew of NPC characters that blur perceptions of humanity and A.I.-technology, setting into a motion a thrilling narrative that calls into question the differences between the virtual world and ours.

Little do they know what horrors await them on both sides of the screen...

Continue here to read the full story.

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Fassbender, Foxx, Dinklage Up For "Wild Bunch." Please. Just. Don't. Feel free to make more remakes of pretty good westerns such as The Magnificent Seven and True Grit. There are plenty out there where you can justify another take on the concept. But The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece, and I don't see how you can do it justice. The only thing that would upset me more is if someone decided to start remaking Sergio Leone movies. I may need to round up a posse and go after these outlaws.

Wild Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: The "Game of Thrones" finale will cost the U.S. $3.3 billion in lost productivity. Thanks LinkedIn.
Science: Can CBD Really Do All That? Thanks j.c.f.
Wandering Earth: rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet.
Younger Children Make More Informed Decisions Than Older Children, Study Finds. Thanks Max.
Archaeologists find DNA in a 10,000-year-old piece of chewing gum. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: Underground Photos From New York’s Seediest Years. Thanks Digg.
Media: How to hypnotize a rooster.
Guy Sticks His Camera Into A Rattlesnake Den And It Is A Big Pile Of Nope - Digg
Multiple launch rocket system being fired at night.


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Friday, May 17, 2019 Happy National Day (Norway) Hurra, hurra, hurra!

Xenon Racer Gets Free Update and Demo

This post on Steam announces the release of a free content update for Xenon Racer, the Windows edition of this futuristic motorsports game. There is also a new playable demo for the game on Steam, allowing the chance to give it a test drive. SOEDESCO offers this video showing off the contents of the new update. Here are the details:

A completely free content update has been added to Xenon Racer, which includes a frosty new location and a new racing team. This update is the first in a series of three free content updates. In June, there will be several new customization options added, such as additional rims and liveries, and in July there will be another new location with several tracks and a car model added into the game. Additionally, the Nintendo Switch version has been updated to include a performance and quality mode alongside other improvements to the stability of the game.

Steam Extras & PC Demo
Fans of Valve’s award winning IPs Left 4 Dead, Portal and Half-Life will be able to race round the Xenon tracks in cars sporting a dedicated livery. A demo of the game is available for free on Steam and there’s a variety of contests running in both the demo and the full game on Steam to win a SOEDESCO game bundle.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dungeons 3 Gets Patch and Famous Last Words DLC

New DLC called Famous Last Words is now available for Dungeons 3, the latest installment in this strategy series that tests your skills as a Dungeon Lord. This is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on GOG.com and Steam. In addition, a new patch is now available for the base game, updating it to version 1.6.0, and this post has the details on what this changes and the new free skirmish mode map it adds. A post called We’re in the endgame now (presumably penned by Dr. Strange) has a trailer for the new DLC and the following details:

Strategy gaming specialists Kalypso Media and developers Realmforge Studios are thrilled to announce the release of Famous Last Words, the final DLC for strategy hit Dungeons 3, available now on PC, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.

In the new DLC, the Dungeon Lord finds itself with absolutely nothing Good left to conquer. With no paladins, queens or goddesses left to defeat, what’s an overlord to do? Just as the Bored-to-Death Evil contemplates hanging up his armour and plundering the as-yet unconquered depths of its own nose, a heated discussion suddenly erupts between the Absolute Evil’s trusted lieutenant Thalya and…the narrator!? Who will emerge victorious when these two set out to prove themselves the ultimate warrior on the battlefield?

Famous Last Words features a new, fully-voiced campaign set across three challenging new maps, and a brand-new boss character – the notorious Narrator, who is backed up by a new creepy type – the dreaded Pen Pushers, equipped with their vicious, needle-pointed writing implements. Both the Narrator and the Pen Pushers will also be available in skirmish missions, as well as the new campaign.

Continue here to read the full story.

Eden Rising Rises out of Early Access

Eden Rising is now available as promised on Steam, as this Windows open-world tower defense game graduates from Early Access. The official launch comes as a free-to-play version, which can be augmented by the premium Crystal Weapons Pack or the even pricier Ascendant Edition. A look at the concept can be found in the cinematic launch trailer, and an outline of what is changed since Early Access is in this launch day post. Here's the announcement:

Developer Nvizzio Creations has announced today that the full launch of its highly anticipated title Eden Rising has arrived on Steam. With more than fifty thousand wishlists on Steam, the unique blend of action-tower defense and open world delivers a fresh multiplayer experience with two feature-packed editions, including a free-to-play option.

One year after its successful release on Early Access, Eden Rising has launched on Steam. It brings all-new features and content such as resource cultivation, character customization, a revamped item upgrade system, and an expanded multiplayer co-op for up to 8 players. The game has also introduced its free-to-play ‘Explorer Edition,’ a fully-featured gameplay experience with no microtransactions. Players that owned the Early Access version of the game will now have access to the ‘Ascendant Edition,’ which is available to purchase for new players. This edition includes four additional areas, more sieges, armor dyes, extra bestiary mastery, and more.

No matter which game version players opt for, they’ll be able to seamlessly explore the world of Eden with friends. ‘Ascendant Edition’ owners can share the additional features of their game version with friends who join their servers. Whether playing solo or in up to 8-player co-op, Eden Rising will challenge players with navigating a vibrant world full of exotic and dangerous creatures.

Continue here to read the full story.

New Rainbow Six Siege Operator Announced, Old One Temporarily Pulled

A post on the Ubisoft website introduces Collinn "Warden" McKinley, a new operator coming to Rainbow Six Siege in Year 4 Season 2 for the tactical shooter. On a semi-related note, this post explains another operator, Clash, is temporarily unavailable while they address "exploits surrounding Clash, IQ, and Deployable Shields." The promise more details on Tuesday. Back to Warden, this trailer offers a look at the new character, and here are some details:

Preparation and improvisation are usually opposite concepts, but Collinn “Warden” McKinley somehow manages to encompass both. With a career of 30 years and counting, he has certainly gained the experience to handle all of it.

Hailing from the state of Kentucky, McKinley rose through the ranks of the Marines before he found his calling for close-protection detail in the Secret Service. He demonstrated his skills distinctly when he led the Secretary of State to safety, during an attack where hostiles outmaneuvered all prior planning.

The events of that day gave him the idea for his gadget’s prototype, the Glance Smart Glasses. They reflect the nature of his natural talent, to see what most cannot in order to gain the upper hand in any given situation. He would be just as talented without them, but with them, there’s nothing he can’t tackle.

His tendency to follow his gut and his unshakeable confidence have proved that he is in a league of his own. It’s no wonder that he was recommended by high-ranking government officials. Now that he is part of the team, he faces a new challenge: to determine if his skillset and iron will remain unparalleled when faced with specialists of his own caliber.

Continue here to read the full story.

DiRT Rally 2.0 Season Two Next Month

Codemasters announces that Season Two for DiRT Rally 2.0 will get underway on June 4th, offering new content for the off-roading game. Those who purchased the Deluxe Edition will receive this at no additional cost. "Season Two is a perfect blend of new and old and there is something here for everyone," said Ross Gowing, Game Director. "Fans will be thrilled at the return of the Group B rallycross cars and we’re excited to give our community two new circuits in Latvia and Germany. Although our primary focus for Season Two is on rallycross, we haven’t forgotten our rally purists, and we know from fan feedback how much they love taking on the tough Welsh terrain and what better way to do it than in Ryan Champion’s Porsche 911 SC RS." Here's more on what this will add to your garage:

Codemasters today revealed the DiRT Rally 2.0™ Season Two DLC will launch on June 4 2019. New content, comprising of cars, liveries and environments, will be made available every two weeks with a primary focus on rallycross. Traditional rally fans can also enjoy a new location with the return of Wales and the Porsche 911 SC RS.

New content will be released as per the following schedule:

  • Week 1: Peugeot 205 T16 Rallycross, Ford RS200 Evolution, Special Livery
  • Week 3: Latvia RX
  • Week 5: Porsche 911 SC RS, Lancia 037 Evo 2, Special Livery
  • Week 7: Wales Rally
  • Week 9: Lancia Delta S4 Rallycross, MG Metro 6R4 Rallycross, Special Livery
  • Week 11: Germany RX

Lords of the Fallen 2 Falters Again

Last summer CI Games announced that development of Lords of the Fallen 2 was restarting with Defiant Studios as its new developer. Now Poland-based publisher/developer CI Games announces they've taken Defiant off the project and will complete the action/RPG sequel in-house. Eurogamer has a translation of the Polish press release with the news, which says this was due to low-quality work. They also have a defiant response from Defiant: "We categorically disagree with the portrayal of Defiant Studios made by CI Games," founder and managing director David Grijns states. "The team that was working on CI Games' project was comprised of exceedingly talented developers whose work we fully stand behind. Our team knows how to build quality games as is evident by their key roles in Just Cause 3, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 5, Devil May Cry (DmC) and many other top tier projects." Here's the translation of the announcement this to which this responds:

"The termination of the agreement was submitted due to inadequate execution by Defiant [of] a key work stage (milestone no. 11), a so-called vertical slice. The quality of the work was lower than expected by the company, as precisely described in the agreement, despite three calls to improve the quality of this stage of work."

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Herman Wouk Dead: Author of ‘Caine Mutiny,’ ‘Winds of War’ Dies at 103. The Caine Mutiny was one of my favorite books as a kid.

Bloodlines 2 Pulled from Epic Mega Sale

Apparently some publishers were not aware of elements of the Epic Mega Sale launched yesterday on the Epic Games Store. A story on Kotaku reports that a couple of titles are no longer available on the store during the sale, most notably Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, the upcoming RPG sequel. The game was removed shortly after the sale began, and word is purchases made before it disappeared will be honored, but apparently Paradox was not happy with how inexpensive this made the game, probably due to the additional $10.00 discount Epic is funding. Kotaku has a comment from Paradox: "We are in discussion with Epic regarding the temporary removal of Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 from the Epic Game Store," the company confirms. "The game will return to the store soon! Any purchases made while the game was discounted during the Epic Mega Sale will be honored and no Masquerade violations will be assessed." They also this quote on the situation: "If a developer or publisher chooses to not participate in our sales, we will honor that decision," an Epic representative said in an email. "Paradox Interactive has chosen to not participate in the Epic Mega Sale and the game has been temporarily removed from sale. If you’ve purchased Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 during the period when the discount did apply at the time of check out, Epic will honor that price." They also note that Oxygen Not Included is no longer, well, included, but that publisher Klei Entertainment has not yet commented on the situation. Finally, the report discusses some pricing adjustments made to games to make their sale discounts better align with publisher desires.

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Launch Trailer, Reviews

With Total War: THREE KINGDOMS expected next week, Creative Assembly now offers a launch trailer for the latest installment in their long-running strategy series. Here's word on what they say is the most preordered title in Total War history: "In just one week, this underdog and his sworn brothers will face off against the cruelty of Dong Zhuo, the might of Sun Jian, and the cunning of Cao Cao for control of Ancient China. Join him – or fight against him – when Total War: THREE KINGDOMS releases for Windows PC on May 23rd." It would also seem the review embargo for the game has expired, as evaluations are popping up all over. Here's a roundup:

Continue here to read the full story.

Alt-Frequencies Released

Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears: Steam now offers the Windows and macOS editions of Alt-Frequencies, a narrative mystery game played out through a series of audio clues. The game's release trailer offers a look, or rather a listen, at what to expect from this admittedly short game (they estimate it at about two hours). Here's word:

Alt-Frequencies tasks players with unravelling a mystery taking place between multiple radio stations among a disparate group of people, intersecting where interactive investigation meets podcasting. Record, rewind time and broadcast snippets of radio shows to find out the truth about the time loop, a conspiracy and the biggest vote in history.

Alt-Frequencies supports Visually Impaired players and Blind gamers with inclusion of players of various disabilities being a cornerstone of the game design. In Alt-Frequencies players will solve a series of puzzles to progress in their investigation. A radio/audio format is used as the game’s key mechanic, delivering an innovative and original method of non-linear storytelling which has become the signature calling card of acclaimed development studio Accidental Queens.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Chaos Space Marines Next Month

Steam now offers preorders of Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Chaos Space Marines, a new faction-themed DLC for Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War, the 4X 40K game (so what is that, like 160K?). Here are the details:

As the only 4X Warhammer 40,000 game, Gladius is built upon the idea that every faction is different, it plays in a different way and delivers a totally different experience to the players. And of course, every Warhammer 40,000 fan has a favorite faction to play with.

So what's peculiar about playing with these?
Well, you can sacrifice your own population to please the Dark Gods and obtain their benevolence in the form of boons bestowed upon you. You can benefit from the Dark Gods generosity to upgrade your units with powerful Marks of Chaos. And of course, your units can either become Daemon Princes if they perform well on the battlefield or, if they are unlucky, they can be demoted to Chaos Spawns.

That's a total of eighteen completely new units and their variations, new buildings, new technologies, new quests and a wealth of brand new gameplay mechanics.

PC Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls This Month

Publisher XSEED Games announces Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is coming to PCs on May 29th, offering wider access to this adventure/RPG first released on the PS3 in 2011. A Launch Date Trailer offers a look at how this has and has not been updated since the original version. The game already has a Steam listing, which does not show whether this will come to Linux and/or macOS in addition to Windows. Here's word:

XSEED Games, the independent-minded publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced that Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls, a beloved entry in the long-running dungeon crawling RPG series that has influenced the genre for nearly 40 years, will launch on Windows PC via Steam and the Humble Store by Humble Bundle on May 29, 2019 for $14.99, €14.99, and £12.99, with a launch week discount of 10%.

Originally released on the PS3™ system in 2011, Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls allows players to choose from eight classes and five races to build a six-person team with diverse but complementary skill sets. During exploration, players are able to change character classes as needed or focus on leveling up their primary class to earn bonus skills. This new PC version of the game has been upgraded to modern PC standards with HD graphics, support for various resolutions, customizable controls supporting gamepads and mouse and keyboard, and a newly introduced Turbo Mode. The PC version will also include all previously released DLC content for completionist adventurers.

Vambrace: Cold Soul Features Trailer

With Vambrace: Cold Soul due on GOG.com and Steam on May 28th, publisher Headup and developer Devespresso Games offer a new trailer kicking off a series of clips showing off features of this Roguelike fantasy/adventure. Here's word:

Feature #1 is all about the underground enclave of Delearch which serves as the central hub for the player.

As the adventuress Evelia Lyric, you will use Dalearch as a starting point for expeditions, where you will discover quests, assemble a party, gather supplies and relics, craft items, store loot and customize Evelia. Along the way you’ll run into a colorful cast of characters that will help you along your journey. Learn more in the brand-new Feature Trailer #1:

Our 3-part feature will propel you on a journey filled with memorable characters, brutal challenges, and deep strategy. Stay tuned for the next feature video on the turn-based battle mechanic system!

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Robert Pattinson Is "The Batman." There's a little backtracking in there, so this may not be official. But if it is, this not the best news from my point of view. It's not that I was on team whathisname, it's more irritation at Twilight in general. Of course the series was not targeted at me, so that's fine. And I'm always impressed when actors surprise us when they defy expectations or typecasting, so I'll keep an open mind in case I can end up pleasantly surprised. From the rumors I was actually pretty certain that Kit Harington would land the role, in spite of being a bit vertically challenged. I guess, like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

R.I.P.: Grumpy Cat dies aged seven: 'Some days are grumpier than others.' Thanks David.

I'm Linksman!: Thanks Ant.
Stories: "Dark Phoenix" Headed For Franchise Low Open.
Nuclear "coffin" may be leaking radioactive material into Pacific Ocean, U.N. chief says. Thanks RedEye9.
Manatee orgy causes traffic jam in Florida.
Science: NASA details the most distant world we've ever observed.
Mathematicians Just Discovered an 'Astonishing' New Way to Multiply Large Numbers. Thanks Max.
How Much Alcohol Can You Drink Safely? Thanks j.c.f.
A New Diet Study Confirms Your Worst Suspicions About Ultra-Processed Foods.
Media: Game of Thrones theme shredded to bits by Nuno Bettencourt, Tom Morello, Scott Ian and Brad Paisley. Thanks Redwood.
Lake Dunlap Dam Spillway Failure.
Timelapse of a giant excavator moving to a parking site.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.


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