Archived News:

Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 Half-Life 2 Release Anniversary (2004)

Refunds Demanded as Elite: Dangerous Offline Mode Scrapped

The Elite: Dangerous Newsletter #49 that went out a couple of days ago has cause an uproar among followers and backers, as Frontier Developments announces Elite: Dangerous will not support an offline mode, even though this feature was promised, as shown in this image of a reddit comment on the topic (thanks Joao). There is a firestorm about this including refund requests on the game's forums, including a post from the game's biggest backer who is demanding his money back: "I pledged £5,000 for the making of this game and feel deceived. Refund requested via store." Here's word on the change from the newsletter that's stirred things up like this:
We have also been able to create a connected experience which lets you play your own story whilst in a dynamic, ever unfolding galaxy that is constantly reacting to what you and every other player is doing, be that trading, combat, exploration or missions. This has become fundamental to the whole experience.

Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders. Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved. Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy. A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.

Assassin's Creed Unity Patch 3 Preview & Tips

The UbiBlog now features a bunch of tips on playing Assassin's Creed Unity. Also, the Assassin's Creed blog now offers a preview of the upcoming third patch for the stealth/action sequel, as Ubisoft continues to scramble to address launch issues. Here's word:
The list of specific fixes is not yet final, but the categories that we’re focusing on include:

  • Gameplay: this includes bugs like Arno getting stuck on certain areas of the map (including a few more hay carts), problems with getting into/out of cover, character animation bugs, and general camera problems
  • AI & Crowd: in this category are problems with NPC animations, crowd events, and crowd stations, NPC navigation issues, as well as bugs related to NPCs detecting Arno’s activities in various situations
  • Matchmaking & Connectivity: this covers a number of issues related to co-op play, including bugs with joining games in-progress and problems that happen during host migration
  • Menus & HUD: fixes in this category will address missing details in certain menus, problems with some of the mission objective and co-op update pop-ups, localization inconsistencies, as well as some of the issues with menus and pop-ups overlapping each other
    General Stability: this includes fixes for a number of crash situations we've identified in both campaign and co-op modes.

Again, while the ultimate list of fixes for Patch 3 isn’t finalized yet, it will be soon. Part of what we want to do at this point is balance the competing desires to get as much as we can into the patch with getting it out quickly. Once we’ve locked down exactly what will be in Patch 3, we will update you again with a more specific set of patch notes. This next patch won't solve every problem, but we're expecting that it will dramatically improve your experience.

We are also investigating various performance issues including framerate drops, and are looking into how we can address them. We’ll tell you more about our progress on that topic in the coming days.

Steamships Ahoy - Lords of Xulima

Steam News announces the release of Lords of Xulima, which carries a 10% discount to celebrate the launch. Here's the news:
Lords of Xulima is a challenging Role-playing game set on the mythical continent of Xulima, where Gods and humans once walked side by side. Experience a genuine RPG featuring over 100 hours of gameplay, and discover one of the most epic sagas ever told.

Steamships Ahoy - Frozen Synapse Prime

Also now available on Steam is Frozen Synapse Prime, the sequel to the turn-based tactics of Frozen Prime. This is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux, and comes with a 15% off launch discount. Here's word from Steam news:
Take on the role of Tactics, leading a rebel faction to overthrow a powerful corporation controlling the virtual city of Markov Geist. Control an elite strike team of futuristic soldiers; plot paths and issue orders to your units, test your plans and predict your opponent in each turn.

Steam Top 10

Here's this week's list of last week's bestselling games on Steam:

  1. Football Manager 215
  2. Far Cry Franchise Pack
  3. Assassin's Creed Unity
  4. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
  5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  6. Valkyria Chronicles
  7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  8. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  9. Far Cry 4
  10. This War of Mine

On Sale

  • Skullgirls on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Styx: Master of Shadows on Steam. Save 33%.

Sunday Patches

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS GeForce GTX 980 4GB STRIX OC Video Card on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

It was a decade ago today that Half-Life 2 was released, so happy 10th birthday to the superb shooter sequel. This reminds me of the concern at the time over its delays, as opposed to the perspective from today that the game is a classic. Just a reinforcement of the game development proverb that a good game is only delayed for a specific period, but a bad game is bad forever. Here's to good games. Here's to Half-Life 2.

R.I.P.: Glen A. Larson, Creator of TV’s 'Quincy M.E.,' 'Magnum, P.I.' and 'Battlestar Galactica,' Dies at 77.
R.I.P.: Choose Your Own Adventure - R. A. Montgomery 1936 - 2014. Thanks Ant via Slashdot.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Cluck-O-Nauts.
Rogue Soul 2.
Science: How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers.
Images: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Carrie Fisher.
Media: This Guy's Mom Can Sing the Dragonborn Theme Better Than Your Mom.
Fishermen suddenly surrounded by 6 enormous humpback whales.
The Funnies: Money Matters « EXTRALIFE.
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