Archived News:

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015 Armistice/Veterans/Remembrance Day

J.J. Abrams Collaboration SPYJINX Announced

Epic Games announces SPYJINX, a new action strategy game coming next year to PC and mobiles as a collaboration between Hollywood director/producer J.J. Abrams and Infinity Blade and Shadow Complex developer ChAIR. A SPYJINX website is online, where signups are being accepted from those interested in participating in an upcoming closed beta test. The site also offers this trailer where J.J. Abrams and Donald Mustard introduce the concept, and this description:
In a new collaboration of artists from video games, television and film, video game creator ChAIR (Infinity Blade, Shadow Complex), director/producer J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mission Impossible, Lost) and Bad Robot Interactive (Action Movie FX) present: SPYJINX. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, SPYJINX is a unique mix of action strategy gameplay, dynamic world building and RPG character development – all set in a thrilling, treacherous world of espionage. SPYJINX is expected for initial release on PC and mobile in 2016, and is now recruiting future closed beta players. Register today!
Continue here to read the full story.

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series Concludes Next Week

Telltale Games announces that The Ice Dragon will be released for Windows, OS X, and consoles on November 17th, offering the conclusion to Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, their episodic adventure based on the HBO television series. The release of the sixth and final episode will allow them to release the complete game on disc that day as well. Here's word:
Your story is about to come to an epic conclusion. With House Whitehill tightening its grip on Ironrath at the behest of Ramsay Bolton, the remaining Forresters must give their all to save the family, whether through diplomacy, subterfuge, or violent force. In the frozen wilds beyond The Wall, Gared learns the secrets of the mysterious North Grove, and Mira discovers that political games in a King's Landing controlled by Cersei Lannister often involve the highest stakes of all.

What is the fate of House Forrester? When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. Your choices, your story: you decide.

Free Armored Warfare Tank

Obsidian Entertainment is offering a free T-62 Veteran Main Battle Tank in Armored Warfare to all players who play Armored Warfare between now and November 22nd, saying this is in honor of Veteran's Day. This trailer offers as look at the tank in action, and this page is where to get started redeeming this offer. This page has screenshots and more details, saying: "The Tier 3 T-62 Veteran is a special, camouflaged version of the T-62, which features high alpha damage, very good penetration, and excellent armor!" Continue here to read the full story.

Blizzard Sues Bot Maker

TorrentFreak has legal documents showing that Blizzard Entertainment is suing James "Apoc" Enright and several unnamed others for copyright infringement (thanks PCGamesN). The defendants are allegedly the creators of bots to automate play in World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Heroes of the Storm, and Blizzard claims they are "entitled to monetary damages, injunctive and other equitable relief, and punitive damages against Enright and those working in concert with him." Their take on those "monetary damages" seems to involve some serious coin, as they say:
As a result of Enright’s conduct, Blizzard has lost millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill. Meanwhile, Enright and his team have been massively and unjustly enriched at Blizzard’s expense, having received hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in profits from the sale of the Bots.

On Sale

  • BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Fractured Space on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Impossible Creatures Steam Edition on Steam. Save 40%. Yes, the 2003 RTS game.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Candy Crush: The Movie (With Liam Neeson). Thanks nin.

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide Sells 300K, Free DLC Next Month

Fatshark announces plans for Sigmar’s Blessing, a free DLC pack for Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, celebrating the news that the melee combat game sold more than 300,000 copies in the first two weeks of being released. This will be released on December 3rd, and will be followed by a series of alternating releases of paid and free DLC. Here's the plan:
“We couldn’t be happier to reach 300,000 sales of Vermintide so far and the player reception and feedback, has left us humbled more than anything,” said Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark. “I’m super excited to announce that Sigmar’s Blessing will be free for all current and future Vermintide players, plus, going forward, Vermintide will offer alternating free and paid DLC”.

The free DLC will introduce a number of new features including player control of what loot is dropped in-game and a new altar in the Inn, that provides ways of sacrificing existing loot to improve players arsenal. In addition to this, the DLC will include completely new traits added to the loot tables and new, unique weapon drops in the “red” loot class for each of the 40 weapon types in Vermintide. Each red weapon features a set trait combination, taking top tier gameplay to a new level.

Aside from this first DLC, Fatshark is separately planning on adding a private mode, for players wanting an even bigger challenge as they face off against the Skaven alone! Realism mode is also on the way, removing the game HUD, crosshairs and more to create a truly immersive and authentic (and hardcore!) experience for particularly skilled Vermintide fans. Last but not least, Fatshark will be adding a survival mode to the game, allowing players to take on endless waves of ever-increasing enemies. How long will you be able to last against the deadly Skaven hordes?

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Sales Soar

Activision Publishing celebrates the success of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, announcing that the shooter sequel took in over $550 million in its opening weekend, and saying this makes it the biggest entertainment launch of the year, topping the cinematic launch of Jurassic World. We're not sure how this stacks up to previous such claims, since the parameters are different each time around: In 2011 they noted a record set by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 selling 6.5 million units in the U.S. and U.K. in 24 hours, and the following year they announced Black Ops II reached the $1 billion in sales mark in 15 days, two fewer days than it took Avatar. Here's word on the success, which is thankfully not accompanied by an infographic:
Activision Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), today confirmed that Call of Duty®: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch of the year. In its first three days, the blockbuster title exceeded $550 million in sell-through worldwide, according to Activision estimates. The opening weekend haul is the biggest entertainment launch of 2015, including theatrical box office, music and book launches.

Engagement per player also set a new record for the Call of Duty® franchise. Additionally, fans played more than 75 million hours online in its opening three days.

“Call of Duty’s millions of passionate fans have shown us, yet again, the strength of their commitment to this enduring franchise,” said Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Executive Officer. “Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever.”

“The Call of Duty: Black Ops III launch is bigger than any game, any movie, or any entertainment launch this year. But more importantly, our fans are engaging more deeply with the franchise than ever before. In fact, so far, people are playing Black Ops III for more hours per player than any Call of Duty game on record,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Call of Duty is more than a game, it’s a year round passion for a growing base of millions of fans and it’s only gaining momentum.”

Europa Universalis IV: The Cossacks Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces December 1st is the official release date for The Cossacks, the upcoming expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy sequel. And for owners of the game, they also note the expansion will be accompanied by a major update for the game, even without the expansion. Here's the most recent trailer from the game, and here's word:
With the holiday season soon in full swing, it’s the perfect time to plan how you’ll be spending those late nights in front of the computer. Why not conquer the world?

On December 1, 2015, you will be able to play The Cossacks, the next expansion for Europa Universalis IV, the best-selling historical grand-strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. With a host of new features and upgrades as impressive as the legendary steppe warriors themselves, The Cossacks brings even more depth and detail to Paradox’s flagship series.

A new diplomatic system lets you highlight provinces for expansion, pointing out to friend and foe alike where your ambitions lie. Earn the trust of your allies by performing favors for them, and use the promise of enemy territory to entice them to your side.

Other features include:

  • The Estates: Allocate lands to clergy, nobles and merchants as you try to balance the powers in your Renaissance state.
  • Tell The World What You Want: Designate neighboring provinces as “places of interest”, build trust with other nations, and entice allies with the promise of land for their support.
  • Tengri: Tengri is now a Syncretic faith, allowing it to tolerate a secondary religion as if it were a national faith.
  • Horde Unity and Razing: Nomadic nations now must pay attention the horde unity of their tribes – a unity that can only be maintained by the occasional pillaging
  • Improved Culture Change: You can now restore a previous culture to a converted province, or convert a province you hold to a culture that is not your own.
  • Native Policies: Set your policy for colonial encounters with natives. Are you focused on quick subjugation, peaceful growth or trading advantages?
  • Improved Espionage: New spy actions allow you to study the technology of more advanced countries and prod your rivals’ subjects towards independence.

And, as always, even if you don’t buy The Cossacks, its release will be accompanied with a free major content update for all Europa Universalis IV players.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is Veteran's Day here in the U.S., Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in a few places, and National Independence Day in Poland, all outgrowths of the end of World War I. Here's a salute to vets everywhere and the sacrifices they have made. I don't recall previously providing the personal perspective on this that is very common to the occasion, so I will offer a specific thank you to my uncle, as my dad's much older brother is still around and the hero of his local VFW, as he was a marine in the Korean War who received a purple heart for being wounded in action. And here's to the memory of my great-uncle Bob, who was a combat soldier in World War II, and actually participated in the Battle of the Bulge, though I don't know any more details about his service.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Cover Orange Journey Gangsters.
Save Sam.
Media: How To Go To Space (with XKCD!).
Bullet Spinning on Ice.
Electromagnetic Plasma Rifle Test Fire. Thanks JDreyer via Foxtrot Alpha.
Follow-up: Staying Safe After a Heavy Crash in Alaska. Thanks descender.
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