Archived News:

Monday, Oct 26, 2015

Fallout 4 Preload Plans

Bethesda Softworks tweets that those who preorder Fallout 4 will have at least "a few days" to preload the game files before the RPG sequel officially leaves the vault (thanks VG247). They say:
We can confirm that #Fallout4 will have pre-loading on Xbox One, PS4, and PC so you have a few days to download the game before 11/10

StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Beta Ending

Battle.net has details from Blizzard about the imminent conclusion of beta testing for Legacy of the Void, the upcoming final chapter in StarCraft II. They say they've gleaned lots of valuable information from this, and offer some end of beta suggestions for participants:
From reporting on large issues like game balance, pacing and competition, to bringing up smaller things which deserved more polish, you've all been tremendously helpful! We've pored over your feedback and gotten some truly rich data as a result.

Now that the beta is ending, we’ll soon be locking the beta feedback forums. If you have any additional feedback to share, we suggest that you write your final post(s) there as soon as possible.

Additionally, we recommend uninstalling your beta client, as the retail version of Legacy of the Void doesn't use the same files as the beta. To do this, select “Beta: Legacy of the Void” from the dropdown in the Battle.net App, then select Options > Uninstall Game. Doing so also gives you back around 13 gigabytes of hard drive space back. Hooray!

Vertiginous Golf Free for a Day

Steam News announces that Vertiginous Golf is free for 24 hours on Steam, offering a 100% discount on the sports game, accompanied by a 50% discount on all its add-on content. Here's word on the game:
Vertiginous Golf is a dystopian steam punk mini golf adventure game set in the skies above an alternate world where life on the ground is enveloped in permanent smog, constant darkness and never-ending rain.

After suffering on the ground under a haze smog and pollution, the people of Scudburough have been split in half by a lottery, with the winners heading up into the clouds to live in a floating city called New Lun-Donne. For those left below, they can get a temporary escape from the gloom through the Verti-Sphere, a device that allows them to rise virtually into the cloudy paradise to play mini golf on challenging obstacle courses floating in the sky. But something is amiss in this nation of two cities. Another voice is trying to break through the propaganda messages of peace and prosperity… the voice of an insurrection.

Battlefield 4 Fall Update and New Map Tomorrow

The Battlefield 4 Battlelog says to expect Battlefield 4 Community Operations for Battlefield 4 tomorrow, including Operation Outbreak, a new map created as a community project. The Fall Update for the military shooter sequel will also roll out tomorrow as a separate free download. In the meantime they offer a Battlefield 4 Community Operations Cinematic Trailer created by "the immensely talented" Two Scotsmen. Continue here to read the full story.

Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars This Week

Digital Eel announces an October 29th official launch date for the Windows and OS X editions of Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars, their now gold space Roguelike sequel. The full versions will be released on Steam and on IndieGameStand, where they will offer it free of DRM, but the game can also be picked up right now as an early access game. They promise to celebrate by putting the game on sale for 33% off, and they say they will also permanently reduce the price of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, so it seems prudent to hold off for these price breaks before making a purchase.

Cobalt Delayed

Mojang announces a delay to Cobalt, saying this platformer they are publishing is feature complete, but instead of releasing it this week as planned, they are delaying it until February for further polish. This video has a humorous look at the news, and here's word:
We’ve been working on Cobalt for a long time and, though the game is feature complete, our current build is buggier than we’re comfortable with. We want every part of Cobalt – the campaign, challenges, and local and online multiplayer to live up to your expectations, no matter which platform you play it on. That’s going to require a bit more development time.

In honesty, we don’t need four months to fix the outstanding issues, but releasing a game on console is an especially complicated business. There are release windows, and certification things, and all kinds of boxes that need to be ticked before games can be released into the wild.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Decline of Steam Greenlight - looking at actual statistics.

On Sale

Evening Previews

  • The Division on UbiBlog. "How Weather and Lighting Affect Your Experience."

Evening Mobilization

Another Steam User Record

Just a week after setting a new Steam record of 10,761,566 players, the Steam Game and Player Statistics page shows that mark was obliterated over the weekend, when 11,625,415 users were logged in at once (thanks DSOGaming). The two most popular games listed are Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, each of which boasts more concurrent users than the rest of the top 10 combined.

DICETINY: The Lord of the Dice Early Access

DICETINY: The Lord of the Dice is now available on Steam as an early access release, offering the chance to play this "card-boiled tabletop RPG under the influence" in the alpha stage as indie Korean developer Fakedice works on finishing it up. An early access trailer offers a look at the current state of the game, and here's why they feel you should roll the dice on this one:
Why Early Access?
“We want to make this game as FUN and AWESOME as possible! We hope you enjoy the current version! However we do feel that the current version lacks content, and we're still looking for that magical spark to make the game to reach its full potential. That's why we need your help! Frequent updates based on your feedback will create something AMAZING!. We look forward to working with you!”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“We're aiming to launch this game officially in the 2nd quarter of 2016. We promise that our journey together will be an exciting one! Never a dull moment.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“Ones who join us in this Early Access ride will have access to various content early in the development and will be part of the exciting development process! Here are things you can expect to see during Early Access...

  • More heroes, jobs, and cards!
  • More stages and dungeons!
  • More game modes! (Competition, collectible)
  • Content based on your feedback (Heroes, cards, dungeons)
  • Better animation, parodies, sound/visual effects, etc.
  • Others (Training, tutorial, achievement)

Continue here to read the full story.

PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up

A reddit AMA with Overkill Software discusses PAYDAY 2 and the just-concluded Crimefest event for the heist shooter (thanks GameSpot). Unsurprisingly, the game's recently addedd microtransactions also come up, as despite changes to how they work, customers are still unhappy, since Overkill promised the game would not feature microtransactions (some angry fans have launched a The Road From Greedfest website [thanks Polygon] to parody the situation). After an initial answer in the AMA explains this allows them to provide more content than planned, there's this follow-up for people not satisfied with that explanation, tossing a lot of blame at the gaming press for not making this more palatable:
Two and a half years ago, during development of PAYDAY 2 and in the build-up for its release, myself and then Game Director David Goldfarb said that there would be no microtransactions in PAYDAY 2. At the time, there were games that were released with in-game microtransaction systems at launch; players were asked to pay for the full game, and then continue to spend money directly after the initial purchase. At the time, PAYDAY 2 featured a relatively advanced weapon modifications system where players for in-game money could buy, sell and modify weapons, masks and modifications. When we discussed this with people, we'd receive a ton of questions regarding whether or not it was microtransactions or not in our game too. To make sure there was no confusion, we said what we did to make things absolutely clear. If you asked me then, there would be no way we would've added a system like we just did.

Fast forward to today, two and a half years later, and the addition of the Black Market update. There's been a lot of articles written by a lot of people claiming a lot of things about us, our intentions and the effect this has on the community as a whole and the future of PAYDAY 2. It’s a bit hard to take some of these people serious when you know they don’t even play the game. One contributor on an esteemed website even said: "An earlier version of this post called the game "competitive multiplayer" as I wrongly believed there was a competitive component. There isn't and I apologize for the error. However, paying real-world money to perform better in a multiplayer game even without PvP is still a problem." I think the problem here really is people in positions of power in media and elsewhere making uninformed, clickbait articles about things that matter a lot to a lot of people, instead of doing some serious legwork to get their facts straight.
Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns debuts at number two on the GfK Chart-Track chart of the 30 bestselling PC games in the U.K. for the week ending October 24th. The console versions of Assassin's Creed Syndicate enter the all platforms top 40 for the same period at number one, while Guitar Hero Live enters the chart at number three (which makes the absence of Rock Band 4 much more noticeable). Here's their explanation of what happened:
‘Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’ topples ‘FIFA 16’ at the top of the All Formats chart.

Its launch fails to outperform previous title ‘Assassin’s Creed: Unity’, which was denied top spot last year by the second week of ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’. It is the second major entry in the Assassin’s Creed series not to be developed by Ubisoft Montreal, that honour this time going to Ubisoft Quebec. ‘Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’ surpasses with ease the other non-Ubisoft Montreal developed title ‘Assassin’s Creed: Rogue’, but its launch falls short of surpassing any of the other major entries in the famous series. Sales of ‘FIFA 16’ fall by 16% this week, but it still manages to secure 2nd place ahead of Activision Blizzard’s ‘Guitar Hero Live’, new at No3. It may be 5 years since the last Guitar Hero title Warriors of Rock, but the new game still manages a 24.3% increase on its predecessor’s launch.

‘Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection’ (-26%), makes way for the new releases by dropping 2 places to No4, while ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ sticks at No5 thanks to a 51% jump in sales. ‘Lego Dimensions’ (+12%) falls 2 places to No6, while ‘Destiny: The Taken King’ (-5%) slips by 4 places to No7. ‘Forza Motorsport 6’ (+11%) is still in demand at No8 ahead of ‘Lego Jurassic World’ (+74%) which was heavily promoted this week, a non-mover at No9. ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ (-3%) rounds off the Top 10, meaning Nintendo’s new 3DS title ‘The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes’ has to settle for No11. Thrown in with the new Assassin’s Creed Syndicate PS4 hardware bundles, ‘Watch Dogs’ (+430%) scampers back into the chart at No12, while ‘The Witcher III: Wild Hunt’ (+121%) also shoots up the chart, thanks to price promotions and a recent new expansion. The only other new title to debut inside the Top 40 this week is Ubisoft’s ‘Just Dance 2016’ which gets the party started at No19.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Samsung MUF-64BA 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

I never followed up on my comments about looking forward to the start of Blunt Talk, the Patrick Stewart vehicle on Starz, which concluded its debut season on Saturday. I guess I shouldn't be too shocked that the show met with mixed reviews based on how much I loved it. At this point I'm not going to say this is because I know better than the critics, it's probably more fair to admit that I'm just drawn to a sort of quirkiness that doesn't have a particularly broad appeal. Personally I found it to be funny, offbeat, and surprisingly human, and as far as I know the concluding season will air next year as planned, so I'm happy, critics be damned.

R.I.P.: Flip Saunders, veteran NBA coach, dies at 60.

Critical Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Match Craft.
Pirates Kaboom.
Link: The Worst Traffic Cities of 2015. In just 50 slides.
Story: White Mid-30's Guys Go Wild For "Force."
Science: Researchers create blackest material ever made. Thanks HARDOCP.
Media: WTF. I have no words.
LADDER CLIMB.
Epic stormtrooper nutshot.
Follow-up: Drug firm offers $1 version of $750 Turing pill. Thanks HARDOCP.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
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