Updated: Apr 24, 2018 8:38 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018

BATTLETECH Released

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Harebrained Schemes now offer BATTLETECH for Windows and macOS, saying the Linux edition will follow. They note that this first turn-based tactical BATTLETECH/MechWarrior PC game in more than two decades is thanks to the support of over 55,000 Kickstarter backers. This is available through many digital distributors, including Paradox Interactive, Steam, and GOG.com, with GOG.com offering a free copy of Shadowrun Returns to anyone who purchases this through May 8th. Here's the release trailer, and here's a description of the game:

From original BATTLETECH/MechWarrior creator Jordan Weisman and the developers of the award-winning Shadowrun Returns series comes the next-generation of turn-based tactical 'Mech combat.

The year is 3025 and the galaxy is trapped in a cycle of perpetual war, fought by noble houses with enormous, mechanized combat vehicles called BattleMechs. Take command of your own mercenary outfit of 'Mechs and the MechWarriors that pilot them, struggling to stay afloat as you find yourself drawn into a brutal interstellar civil war. Upgrade your starfaring base of operations, negotiate mercenary contracts with feudal lords, repair and maintain your stable of aging BattleMechs, and execute devastating combat tactics to defeat your enemies on the battlefield.

Continue here to read the full story.

May Twitch Prime Freebies

Twitch reveals the free games they are giving out to Twitch Prime subscribers in May. These are be free to keep, and if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you are already eligible. May's freebies are Psychonauts, Clustertruck, Gone Home, Titan Souls, High Hell, and I, Hope. Here's more:

  • Psychonauts: A Psychic Odyssey Through the Minds of Misfits, Monsters, and Madmen. This classic action/adventure platformer from acclaimed developers Double Fine Productions follows the story of a young psychic named Razputin.
  • Clustertruck: a chaotic physics based truckformer. Jump your way through insane levels in a game of “the floor is lava” on top of speeding trucks driven by terrible drivers. The game only gets harder when dangers such as swinging hammers, lasers and flamethrowers are added.
  • Gone Home: You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something’s not right. Where is everyone? And what’s happened here? Gone home is an interactive exploration simulator. Interrogate every detail of a seemingly normal house to discover the story of the people who live there.
  • Titan Souls: Between our world and the world beyond lie the Titan Souls, the spiritual source and sum of all living things. Now scattered among the ruins and guarded by the idle titans charged with their care, a solitary hero armed with but a single arrow is once again assembling shards of the Titan Soul in a quest for truth and power.
  • High Hell: High Hell is a neon-soaked, arcade-action first-person shooter from Terri Vellmann (Heavy Bullets) and Doseone (Enter the Gungeon, Gang Beasts). Descend upon the criminal underground with the most blessed of shotguns and bring lethal salvation to those that have fallen from the light.
  • I, Hope: I, Hope is a poignant, cathartic, and transcendent story about a young girl and how her life has been turned upside down by cancer.

DARK SOULS REMASTERED Discount for Owners of Prepare to Die Edition

FROMSOFTWARE tweets that owners of Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition will get a discount on DARK SOULS REMASTERED when this is released on May 25th. DSOGaming notes that the Japanese website puts this discount at 50% (thanks RedEye9). DSoG also offers the game's fairly modest system specifications:

Minimum system requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64 bit, Windows 8.1 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
  • CPU: Intel (R) Core (TM) i5 2300 2.8 GHz / AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz
  • memory: 6 GB RAM
  • graphic: NVIDIA (R) GeForce (R) GTX 460, 1 GB/ATI Radeon (TM) HD 6870, 1 GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • hard disk: 8 GB free space
  • sound: DirectX 11 or higher compatible sound card
  • network: Internet connection environment necessary for activation activation at the first start and online play

Recommended operating environment

  • OS: Windows 10 64 bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i 5 4570 3.2 GHz / AMD FX (TM) 8350 4.2 GHz
  • memory: 8 GB RAM
  • graphic: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660/ATI Radeon (TM) HD 7870, 2 GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • sound: DirectX 11 or higher compatible sound card
  • controller: Xbox One Controller, Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

EARTHLOCK Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for EARTHLOCK, a recently released RPG adventure for Windows, Linux, and macOS. They say this is inspired by classic RPGs of the late 90s, and the demo provides the chance to see how it lives up to that legacy. "Since launching on Steam, we’ve had multiple request from the adventure RPG community to release an EARTHLOCK demo," said Bendik Stang, CEO at Snowcastle Games. "In the try before you buy demo, all progress that you have made in your two hour playthrough automatically transfers over to the full game. You’ll able to take off right where your demo finished." This trailer shows off gameplay, and here are some details on the game and the demo:

Indie studio Snowcastle Games today announced the release of a free EARTHLOCK Steam demo for PC and Mac players. The demo, available now through the EARTHLOCK Steam page, allows players to explore the beautiful surroundings of Umbra, a harsh planet that stopped spinning thousands of cycles ago. Inspired by the classic 3D Japanese RPGs of the late 90s, EARTHLOCK boasts a fresh spin on turn-based combat and character progression. Players enter a beautiful world haunted by a fateful past and join a party of unlikely heroes on their journey to rescue Amon's uncle from an ancient cult. Only then might they uncover the secrets of EARTHLOCK.

Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny 2 Warmind Details

The Destiny website now offers the promised details on Warmind, the upcoming second expansion for Destiny 2, Bungie's first-person shooter sequel. There's also a post about this on the GeForce Website which offers 4K screenshots and this trailer showing this is set on a surprisingly hospitable version of Mars. Here's word on Warmind, which will be available on May 8th:

Destiny 2 Expansion II: Warmind continues your Guardian’s journey with an all-new story. Ana Bray, a Guardian long thought lost, searches for a connection to her past…one that could be lost forever on the polar ice caps of Mars. As Golden Age warsats begin slamming into the ice, the glaciers begin to thaw, revealing the core of the Warmind Rasputin – and an ancient Hive army bent on its destruction. Now free, the Hive swarm in service to their god Xol. Help Ana discover her past and destroy the Hive’s gargantuan worm-god before it is too late.

Expansion II: Warmind will be available for standalone purchase starting on May 8 for $19.99 SRP.

Features:

  • All-new Raid Lair: Spire of Stars
  • New themed weapons, armor and gear to earn
  • All-new ritual activity: Escalation Protocol
  • All-new relic weapon, The Valkrie
  • New Strikes
  • New story missions and adventures
  • New destination polar ice caps of Mars
  • Access to multiplayer arenas in Private Matches

Continue here to read the full story.

Strange Brigade in August

Rebellion unveils an August 28th release date for Strange Brigade, their co-op adventure set during the 1930s. They celebrate the news with a new story trailer for your expositional needs and word on bonuses for those who preorder the game. Here's the deal:

Have no fear - the intrepid and dashing STRANGE BRIGADE® set off for rip-roaring escapades on August 28! Rebellion's new 1930s co-op adventure is now available for pre-order on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC, including Collector's and Digital Deluxe editions.

As today's brand new story trailer reveals, our four heroes find themselves in exotic, unplumbed corners of Egypt, where ancient terror lingers. Risen from the dead, the Witch Queen Seteki commands an army of mummified monstrosities hell-bent on terror, and only one band of brave adventurers has the gusto to sock ancient evil back into its sarcophagus! Together, the STRANGE BRIGADE® must take on treacherous traps, overcome puzzling predicaments and blast their way through hordes of malevolent monsters in a thrilling campaign for 1-4 players.

PRE-ORDERS & FREE CONTENT
Would-be adventurers can pre-order STRANGE BRIGADE® starting today. All pre-orders will include the Secret Service Weapons Pack FREE, including the butter-smooth Wilkers & White P19 pistol, the piercingly precise Stoudenmire 960 submachine gun, and the punch-packing, one-of-a-kind Gehrig-Delgane S1 rifle.

Digital discoverers can also pre-order the STRANGE BRIGADE® Deluxe Edition, featuring the game and Season Pass in one great value-for-money bundle. Post-launch Season Pass content will include new campaign missions, characters, weapons, items and more.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Swords of Ditto Drawn

The Swords of Ditto is (are?) now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on GOG.com and Steam, offering what's described as a "compact" action/RPG. This post on GOG.com has the launch trailer and the following details:

As the profoundly evil Mormo rises, so do the numerous heroes sworn to stand against her. Their deeds, mishaps, and unclaimed loot will linger throughout the land, leaving traces behind for their successors to find and deal with. Whether you choose to do battle alone or with a co-op partner there are tons of quests and items to test or upgrade your hero with, so better get started!

Continue here to read the full story.

Aura of Worlds Early Access

Kiss my aura, Dora! Aura of Worlds is now available on Steam, offering Early Access to this Windows platformer. This trailer shows off procedurally generated gameplay, and here we have some details about what to expect from this:

Aura of worlds is a creative tactics rogue-lite platformer.

Explore multiple worlds where you must utilise your creative abilities and wits to twist adversity to your advantage. Finding your way through these ever-changing death labyrinths.
Escape flooding passages, outrun toxic pollen, face off against gargantuan bosses that have made entire mazes their home. Do you play defensively with the spear and energy shield, or swing into the fray with a boomerang and grapple hook? Do you scour the levels for potions and runes; or do you dive headfirst into the chaos?

Continue here to read the full story.

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

Battlefield 1 Content Updates End Soon

There's a note in the Battlefield update that we mentioned last week that was not mentioned here at the time. Thanks VideoGamer for noticing that this reveals announces that DICE appears to be winding down their monthly content updates for Battlefield 1 after June. Here's word on support for the World War I shooter:

We’re continuing monthly updates for Battlefield 1 until June 2018, in which you can expect fresh content together with various tweaks and fixes for the player experience. As you may have seen on the Updates Page, these updates can cover anything: matchmaking, weapon balancing, even Dreadnought horns that sometimes won’t stop blaring.

Enjoy the road ahead and keep jumping in to Battlefield 1 regularly – you don’t want to miss what’s coming.

Frostpunk Released

Steam News announces the release of Frostpunk, a chill survival strategy game for Windows from 11 bit studios. This does not carry a typical launch discount, but they are offering a 10% loyalty discount for those who already own This War of Mine. You can find details on the launch in this post, where they list day one fixes, and offer this official launch trailer with a look at the game's Snowpiercer vibe. Here's the game's description:

Frostpunk is a brand-new title from the creators of This War of Mine. It’s a society survival game that asks what people are capable of when pushed to the brink of extinction. In an entirely frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. The city’s ruler has to manage both the citizens and the infrastructure they live in. The leader’s tactical skills face challenges that will frequently question morality and the basic foundations of what we consider organized society. Optimization and resource management often clash with empathy and thoughtful decision-making. While city and society management will consume most of the ruler’s time, at some point exploration of the outside world is necessary to understand its history and present state.

What decisions will you make to ensure the survival of your society? What will you do when pushed to the limit? And...

...who will you become in the process?

Continue here to read the full story.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire DLC Detailed

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is not due for release until May 8th, but Obsidian Entertainment reveals post-release plans for the RPG sequel. They offer details on three different DLC packs to support the game over the remainder of this year. These will be sold individually or as a season pass, and those who backed the project at the appropriate tiers are to receive all three as part of their purchase. Here are the details:

Obsidian Entertainment, developer of critically acclaimed role-playing games, in partnership with indie publisher Versus Evil, today announced plans for three exciting, in-depth expansion packs for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. The expansion packs will include new quests that will add to the lore of the Deadfire, new areas to discover, new secrets to reveal, and a whole host of new characters to meet and challenges to overcome!

The first downloadable-content pack (DLC), ‘Beast Of Winter‘ will be available in July 2018, and will take your party to an island populated by a mysterious doomsday cult, that hides an ancient secret. Players will get to experience adventuring in ‘The Beyond,’ a mysterious dimension populated by ancient souls and filled with devilish challenges.

The second DLC ‘Seeker, Slayer, Survivor’ available in September 2018, is a combat-focused expansion taking place on a previously undiscovered island that will challenge the martial prowess of your party, and your tactical skills as a commander, as you embark on a mission to rediscover ancient relics, and pit your party against Eora’s most skilled and savage.

The third DLC, ‘The Forgotten Sanctum’ available in November 2018, will test your party’s allegiance and morality in a quest to help (or obstruct) the great wizards of Eora. Will you befriend, betray or befuddle these venerable mystics as you uncover secrets lost to the generations? The consequences of your actions will be felt across the Deadfire Archipelago whatever you decide.

Continue here to read the full story.

MotoGP 18 BTS Trailer

A new behind-the-scenes trailer from MotoGP 18 offers a look at Milestone's development of the next installment in their motorcycle racing series. Word is: "An exclusive Behind-The-Scene to Discover how each detail of MotoGP has been faithfully recreated in game, until reality and simulation become one." Here's more:

In an exclusive Making Of Video, Milestone team shows what it means to recreate the experience of MotoGP™ to perfection: thanks to the use of Drone Scanning System, all tracks have been recreated in a 1:1 scale, and with the 3D scanning system now all faces of real MotoGP™ riders are faithfully reproduced in game, down to the smallest details.

Watch the video to discover all secrets behind MotoGP™18 technological evolution.

Continue here to read the full story.

Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia Trailer

A new Land of Hope trailer from Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia celebrates next week's launch of the strategy game with a cinematic look at it's depiction of historical England. Creative Assembly accompanies the clip with a little history lesson, but there's no word if there will be a pop quiz:

The next release from the multi-award-winning Total War strategy series takes England and the British Isles as its setting, during a time of great change that would come to define it.

"It was under Alfred the Great and his immediate successors that a unified Anglo-Saxon kingdom was first forged." said Thrones of Britannia Game Director, Jack Lusted. "As the only major kingdom left standing after the Viking Invasion, it was under the banner of Wessex that the lands the Great Viking Army had conquered, known as the Danelaw, were retaken. The name of this kingdom changed from Wessex to England."

The Anglo-Saxons had conquered the land and united the people, mixing and merging cultures that originated in Germany, Scandinavia, and Europe.

"The reconquest of the Danelaw led to an adoption of many elements of Viking culture, some of which persist today. A number of towns across Northern England bear Viking names for instance, and there are well over a hundred common English terms that can be traced back to Nordic origins."

This new English kingdom would go on to be seized by William the Conqueror in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I am pretty much completely over my recent bout with a cold, which is nice. Unfortunately, this means I am suffering the worst part of it, which is the repercussions of giving it to my wife. MrsBlue is not at all amused about the situation, and she is not being shy about letting me know about it. Next time I get sick I should just start sleeping in the doghouse, since I ended up there anyway.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Link: China escalates the war on jaywalkers with automated shouting laser-squirtguns tied to motion-sensors. Thanks ViperFour.
Stories: Prince Album of Previously Unreleased Material Due in September.
Bruce Campbell Officially Retires As Ash.
Science: Forget the Double Helix—Scientists Discovered a New DNA Structure Inside Human Cells.
How Windmills as Wide as Jumbo Jets Are Making Clean Energy Mainstream. Thanks RedEye9.
It's True - Uranus Really Does Stink.
Images: Look at this golfer get beat the hell up by a goose.
Media: WestWorld for the Rest of Us.
VENOM - Official Trailer.
BOOM! Tetris for Jeff. Neck and neck!
The Funnies: Cryogenic Investment Firm - Dilbert.
Adult Children.

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Monday, Apr 23, 2018

StarCraft II Premium Maps

Blizzard announces that with the release of StarCraft II version 4.3.0 they will be offering two new Premium Arcade maps will go on sale, bringing paid community-created content to the for the RTS sequel. This trailer shows off one of them, called ARK Star, and this trailer looks at the other, Direct Strike, which is an evolution of Desert Strike HotS. Here's word:

With the launch of StarCraft II patch 4.3.0, we’ll be introducing two new Arcade maps made by prominent community creators with whom we’ve been working over the last year. These two high-quality premium Arcade maps each offer different kinds of experiences—and when you purchase them, a share of the sales will go directly to the developers who made them.

Check out the two maps* that will be available for purchase.

*Note that these two maps are available in English only.

Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny 2 Warmind Details Tomorrow

Bungie plans to reveal details about the Warmind expansion for Destiny 2 tomorrow, saying those interested in what this will bring to their shooter sequel should tune into Twitch at 1:00 pm EDT. In the meantime they offer a Warmind Reveal Teaser Trailer that runs just 30 seconds to get everyone excited about this. Here's the description from the clip:

Join developers from Bungie and Vicarious Visions for a look at a new destination to explore, a new cooperative endgame activity to master, and new ways to level up in the Crucible. The reveal of 'Warmind,' the second expansion to Destiny 2, begins on April 24 at 10AM Pacific. Follow us at www.twitch.tv/bungie

Continue here to read the full story.

Super Mega Baseball 2 Trailer

Opening day for Super Mega Baseball 2 is May 1st, and developer Metalhead Software celebrates with a new action trailer showing off how the sports sequel will give you a big head even if you don't play well. They also announce that three cosmetic DLC packs will launch alongside the game on that day for both Windows and consoles. Here's a bit more on the game: "The critically acclaimed Super Mega Baseball series is back with gorgeous new visuals, deep team and league customization, and long-awaited online multiplayer modes. What’s more, Super Mega Baseball 2 will release with cross-platform support between both PlayStation 4 and PC, and Xbox One and PC, making for even better competitive online Pennant Race matches." Continue here to read the full story.

The Swords of Ditto Trailer

Publisher Devolver Digital and developer onebitbeyond offer a new trailer for The Swords of Ditto, celebrating tomorrow's planned launch of the adventure game on Steam. This has no gameplay, it's an animation intended to convey the project's charm. Here's the description of the video:

The Swords of Ditto is a compact action RPG that creates a unique adventure for each new hero of legend in the relentless fight against the evil Mormo. Explore a delightful but dangerous overworld, brave menacing dungeons, and improve your hero in a charming village, during your quest to overcome the evil that plagues the island. Unleash the mystical Sword of Ditto and grab a co-op friend for an unforgettable adventure filled with delightful characters, extraordinary loot, and heroic battles!

Continue here to read the full story.

Champions Online Celebrates Milestone

The Champions Online Website has word that Cryptic's MMORPG has surpassed their City of Heroes as the longest-running superhero MMORPG, saying they are celebrating with an event called "Still Standing." They promise more details about that soon, but there is already more to know about this from the note they sent on the topic. Word is:

Still Standing brings a celebration to the heroes of Champions Online, offering both external and in-game events to engage in detailed below:

  • Save the Earth! – Champions must travel to a space station, high above Millennium City, and battle with their own personal Nemesis to save the world.
  • Double XP – For the week of the celebration, Champions can enjoy double the experience as they fight their way to new levels of power.
  • Origins Costume Contest – Calling all players! The team is offering the chance to win original Champions Online concept art for players willing to compete by showing off their interpretation of their hero’s very first costume.
  • Players will also be able to unlock a brand new Cosmic Cape and Inner Power Aura during the event.

Originally launched in 2009, Champions Online brought the first true action-MMORPG with furious, fast-paced encounters previously reserved for action and fighting games, offering instantaneous and electrifying combat. Players can choose from thousands of different costume pieces, colors, body types and powers to create their own unique superhero. There are billions of possible combinations, and in a universe brimming with the fantastic and the unforgettable, players can become heroes they’ve always wanted to be!

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Stellaris: Distant Stars Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Distant Stars, a new content pack coming soon to Stellaris, the 4X space strategy game for Windows, Linux, and macOS. This reveal trailer shows off what they are calling a "discovery-themed" pack that will involve new anomalies, storylines, and aliens, which is already available for preorder. Here's word:

Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of gateway games to whole new universes, today announced that Distant Stars, a new Story Pack for Stellaris, will soon be available to transport you to uncharted solar systems straight from your Windows, Mac, or Linux PCs. For the suggested retail price of 9.99 USD, Distant Stars will add new content and features to Stellaris including a sealed jump lane in the gateway network leading to a mysterious sector entirely outside known space, but players must be quick as the mightiest empires of the galaxy are all racing to find the secret to unlock it. Pre-order Distant Stars today here: https://pdxint.at/2HBZLcw.

Distant Stars is a new Story Pack for Stellaris, the sci-fi grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. In this new discovery-themed pack, players will uncover new anomalies and storylines, and encounter strange new beings in the uncharted depths of space. Featuring new surprises that may help or harm ambitious explorers, the new Distant Stars DLC will include:

  • Behind Closed Doors: Discover hidden traces of an ancient gateway network unlocking a sealed path to a constellation outside our own galaxy. But is this door holding something out, or keeping something in?
  • Sensors are Picking up… That Can’t be Right: Encounter dozens of new anomalies and events for your intrepid scientists to observe and analyze, and a galaxy of wonders for them to discover.
  • Brave New Worlds: Plot unexplored unique solar systems, each with their own story to tell. Gain technology, resources, and valuable worlds to colonize.
  • There’s Always a Bigger Fish: Come face to face with a number of unique gargantuan creatures that exist and thrive in the vacuum of space. But approach with caution, because whether gentle giants or something more sinister, these legendary behemoths have existed long before you and will do what it takes to survive long after.

For more information about Stellaris, visit http://www.stellarisgame.com/

Continue here to read the full story.

Overload Next Month

Revival Productions announces a May 31st release date for the PC editions of Overload, the Early Access 6DoF shooter from the folks behind Descent, the grand pappy of the genre. "We started Overload as a nostalgic homage to Descent, but it’s really grown into something more," explains Mike Kulas, co-creator of Revival Productions. "We were able to create a deep story with voice, a new challenge mode and add VR support. And all this is on top of graphics and sound we could only dream about 20 years ago." To tide us over until the release, they point the way to their most recent Overload Playable Teaser 3.0 on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux (including VR support), a new gameplay trailer, and the following details:

Descent, developed by Parallax Software and published by Interplay in 1995, received critical acclaim for its 3D six-degree-of-freedom gameplay that combined the best of space flight simulation with FPS experience. Overload offers a Descent-like style of play, but brings the labyrinthine environments to new and vibrant life with updated features, deeper gameplay, and dramatically enhanced graphics. Overload is currently available in Early Access on Steam with a user rating of 97%.

Gameplay Features

  • 15 level single-player campaign plus secret levels
  • Numerous level challenges including lava, forcefields, lockdowns, ambushes and secret rooms
  • 20 terrifying robot enemies, plus Super-Robots and Variants and three bosses
  • Multiplayer with public and private matches
  • Challenge mode (with two variants) and 12 Challenge Mode levels Story by the writer of FreeSpace 2 with fully-voiced audio (English Only)
  • Adrenaline-pumping soundtrack
  • Optional training level for refining your piloting skills
  • Achievements and Leaderboards
  • Upgrades and XP system and advanced player stats
  • Automap and Holo-guide for navigation assistance
  • Save anywhere
  • Six difficulty levels ranging from a casual challenge to very punishing
  • Support for mouse, keyboard, gamepad and/or joystick controls
  • Surround sound audio options
  • Virtual reality support for Oculus and Vive
  • Interface and Subtitle Available in: English, French, German, Spanish and Russian
  • Post launch: Release of Level Editor and support for user-created levels and campaigns

Continue here to read the full story.

Starpoint Gemini Warlords 2.0

LGM Games announces a major patch is now live for Starpoint Gemini Warlords on Steam, updating the 4X space strategy game to version 2.0. The point release recognizes the significance of the diplomacy overhaul this brings. This trailer shows this off in action, and they provide a concise description of how this changes things: "With Update 2.0, Starpoint Gemini Warlords feels like a living, breathing organism thanks to a complete Diplomacy overhaul. Whatever you do in the game, Gemini reacts to it, whether you like it or not. Factions will become your allies, and then betray you for their own gain; or may offer help with the research and technologies, with the ultimate goal of total domination over the Gemini system." Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG Weapon Balance Plans

This post outlines plans to rebalance the arsenal in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS to address the fact that only a limited number of guns and attachements are used in most circumstances in the battle royale game (thanks VG247). Here's the plan:

Based on your feedback, we’re preparing to ship a number of changes to weapon balance and attachments very soon.

We’ll save the exact numeric balance changes for the patch notes, but today we want to pull back the curtain a bit and explain our goals.

According to our research, only a few specific types of weapons (ARs) are used in most situations. We believe the choice about which gun to use should be based on personal preference and its effectiveness in any given situation, rather than simply “which gun is strongest.” Our goal is to make it so no one gun will feel objectively better than the others.

Alongside the weapon balance changes, we plan to make some changes to weapon attachments. Again, the goal here is to provide you with a wider array of attachment options so you can choose one that best fits your combat situation (rather than any one “best” attachment).

Finally, expect some changes to the level three helmet. It’s a game-changing item that can impact the outcome of a match—basically, it gives you an extra life in situations where a headshot would otherwise kill you. We don’t want luck alone to determine who gets items like this, so we’re removing it from the normal loot spawn tables and limiting it to care packages only.

We’ll test all of these changes on the test servers first. This is the first time we are attempting a balance patch of this scope. The plan is to keep tweaking and tuning each weapon over time, so we’ll need your help (and all your honest feedback) to get it right.

Once we’re ready to push these changes to live servers, we’ll include all the specifics on the changes in the patch notes.

Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition

Grand Theft Auto V has continued to sell copies at a brisk pace since the release of the open-world crime sequel in 2013. Now Rockstar Games announces an updated SKU for the game reflecting how Grand Theft Auto Online has became the main focus of this iteration of the series. Here's word:

The Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition - available for PS4, Xbox One and PC - includes the complete Grand Theft Auto V story experience, the ever evolving world of Grand Theft Auto Online, and all existing gameplay upgrades and content including The Doomsday Heist, Gunrunning, Smuggler’s Run, Bikers and much more.

You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, the fastest way for new GTA Online players to jumpstart their criminal empires with the most exciting and popular content plus $1,000,000 bonus cash to spend in GTA Online - over GTA$10,000,000 in value.

GOG.com Profiles

GOG.com introduces GOG Profiles, allowing us to finally be able to share details about ourselves online. Word is: "See what your friends on GOG are playing, achieving, and sharing across four sections – Feed, Profile, Games and Friends." They've also added new privacy settings to go along with this feature, so get to locking things down.

U.K .Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track announces God of War is number one on their latest chart listing the 40 bestselling games in the U.K. last week across all platforms. There's nothing so exciting on the PC top 30 chart for the same period, where The Sims 4 stays comfortably settled in at number one. Here's the top 10 from the PC chart:

LW TW Title Developer Label Publisher
1 - 1 THE SIMS 4 THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
2 - 2 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018 SPORTS INTERACTIVE SEGA SEGA
4 ˄ 3 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE BETHESDA BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
6 ˅ 4 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II DIGITAL ILLUSIONS EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
3 ˅ 5 THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
12 ˄ 6 CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE INFINITY WARD ACTIVISION ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
9 ˄ 7 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM LEGENDARY BETHESDA BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
13 ˄ 8 PLANET COASTER FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS SOLD OUT SALES & MARKETING SOLD OUT SALES & MARKETING
10 ˄ 9 X-PLANE 11 LAMINAR RESEARCH AEROSOFT AEROSOFT
19 ˄ 10 FARMING SIMULATOR 17: PLATINUM EDITION GIANTS SOFTWARE FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I'm very exited about the premiere of season two of Westworld as the scope of the story expands. I won't spoil anything for anyone who has yet to watch, but I remain as caught up as ever in where they are going with this. Also, my back feels better, my cold has cleared up, and the weather has finally decided it's spring around here. Also, this week is the NFL draft, the debut of the new Avengers movie, and my wedding anniversary, so I'm a pretty happy camper right now.

Excitable Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Dog Simulator: Puppy Craft.
Zig Zag Switch.
Story: James Cameron Is Ready For ‘Other Stories’ In Sci-Fi Beyond ‘Avengers.’ Like Avatar XIII. Thanks [H]ardOCP.
Science: 3.6 million-year-old footprints suggest early human ancestors were excellent walkers.
Cannabis Extract's Popularity Gets Ahead Of The Science.
Media: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Movie Ride) #PlanetCoaster. Thanks Kxmode.
Sneaky guide dog leads owner to his favourite store whenever they're out shopping.
Something fell out of the sky.


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