Archived News:

Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Next Month

Gearbox Software announces plans to release Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak on January 20th, offering follow up to Homeworld Remastered Collection, their space RTS remake. They are offering a free copy of Homeworld Remastered to those who pre-purchase this on Steam, and a 20% discount on this to those who already own the previous game. Here's an announce trailer promoting the new game, and here's word:
The planet is dying, but deep in the southern sands of Kharak, an anomaly has been discovered. Could Kharak’s salvation lie in the desert? Led by chief science officer Rachel S’jet, the Coalition of the Northern Kiithid sends an expedition deep within enemy-controlled territory to investigate the finding, which could forever seal the fate of humanity.

Pre-order now on Steam and receive a FREE copy of Homeworld Remastered Collection! Existing Homeworld Remastered Collection owners will instead receive 20% off their Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak pre-orders.

Learn more about Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak at
Continue here to read the full story.

Just Cause 3 Patch Friday

An update to the Just Cause blog announces a patch is coming for Just Cause 3 this week updating Avalanche's action sequel to version 1.02 (thanks Shok). They specify the PC patch is coming Friday, and address some player concerns not covered by the patch, along with an outline of what sort of changes to expect:
Since launch, we’ve been pouring through your reviews and comments to help us prioritise our fixes accordingly. We know many of you have been patiently awaiting today’s patch, and this update is part of a much larger plan to optimize and improve the game. Thanks for your patience here.

In the 1.02 patch (132.1MB), you can expect:
+ Significantly improved loading times
+ Optimizations to online stats
+ General stability fixes
+ Fixed an issue related to challenges, wherein vehicles sometimes disappeared when starting a challenge
+ Fixed issues related to screen resizing and closing the game window before the game has fully started up [PC ONLY]
To those of you still having issues, rest assured we are working hard to alleviate these, and are listening very closely to everything that’s being said.

Overwatch Video

Here's another video developer update where game director Jeff Kaplan Blizzard's plans for further Overwatch development following the holiday break. They say this covers "the evolution of a progression system in Overwatch, including what's been tried in the past, why early versions of the system didn't work out, and how the team is looking to approach in-game progression going forward." The video is just Jeff, there are no visuals from the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light The Following Story Trailer

Techland offers this new trailer teasing the story in The Following, the upcoming expansion to Dying Light, their zombie game. Here's word:
Today Techland lifted the veil of secrecy by releasing a story teaser for its upcoming game expansion, Dying Light: The Following. The new storyline takes place shortly after the final events of the original game as protagonist Kyle Crane and his group of survivors face both a new threat and new hope for salvation. Hard-pressed by the circumstances, Crane leaves the city walls and travels to a remote region taken over by a mysterious group whose intentions are not readily clear. The rumor of a way out turned out true, but does a potential cure really exist out here or is it all smoke and mirrors?
Continue here to read the full story.

Steamship Ahoy - FINAL FANTASY VI

Steam News announces the release of the PC edition of FINAL FANTASY VI, though as noted last week, this is a port of the mobile adaptation of the classic RPG, if that matters to you. Here's the announcement:
The War of Magi left little but ashes and misery in its wake. Even magic itself had vanished from the world. Now, a thousand years later, humankind has remade the world through the power of iron, gunpowder, steam engines, and other machines and technologies. But there is one who possesses the lost power of magic--a young girl name Terra whom the evil Empire has kept enslaved in an effort to harness her power as weapon.

New features include painstakingly recreated graphics by veteran character designer Kazuko Shibuya, updated controls and active-time battle system optimized for fluid combat on PC, and Steam achievements and trading cards.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Trailer

This trailer from Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (apologies for writing this as Battlefield at first) shows off the Imperium Navy from the upcoming four-faction RTS game. They say to expect the game early next year, and offer the following update to accompany the clip:
Focus Home Interactive and Tindalos Interactive today warp into the Imperium faction, for their new RTS adaptation of Games Workshops famous tabletop game. Featuring miles-long ships, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada pits four factions against each other for control of the Gothic sector of space.

The Imperial fleet ships are not the fastest nor the most powerful in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, but a millennia of war has made them tough nuts to crack. Let's delve into the intricacies of these battle-hardened goliaths!

Defined by dense void shields and metres thick armour, these ships can adapt to any kind of battle situation. Their torpedo strikes and devastating Nova cannon blasts are enough devastate most opponents. Any that do survive are quickly dispatched by the powerful broadside armaments, while the Imperium ships' armour and shields ensure they survive the encounter.

If your targets are not shredded by your barrages of torpedo strikes - or, if your ships are equipped, devastating Nova cannon blasts - your powerful broadside Macro-cannons and Lance batteries will make short work of what's left of the enemy.

As a last-resort, remember the ships are well-armoured and can take quite a beating. This means that ramming your prow into the hull of an enemy ship can be a surprisingly effective tactic, especially if your target is of a smaller class.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada warps in on PC beginning of 2016.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Political Machine 2016 Multiplayer Patch

Stardock now offers a new update for The Political Machine 2016 that brings the early access version of the politics sim to version 0.80. Word is this adds multiplayer support to the game for online mudslinging matches: "This update includes the option for multiplayer, allowing players to compete against their friends. A multiplayer lobby and in-game chat are included to keep communication going during the campaign." There's more on the game on The Political Machine 2016 website, and further details on the new version in this Steam Community announcement.

Kojima's Konami Departure Confirmed

Hideo Kojima tweets a confirmation of yesterday's report of his expected Konami departure. He cleverly skirts the service's 140 character limit by using an image to issue the following statement: "My employment contract with Konami has been terminated as of Dec 15th, so today marks a new start for me. I'm committed to be involved in creative activities for as long as I live. Look forward to what's coming." This video from Sony confirms (in Japanese, with English subtitles), that the first project from the newly formed Kojima Productions will be a PlayStation exclusive, but a Q&A on Medium (thanks GameSpot) adds that the plan is to also bring this to PCs: "The title is planned to become available on PC (after PS4)." Continue here to read the full story.

Crystal Dynamics Boss Leaves

Darrell Gallagher has departed Crystal Dynamics after 10 years as the head of the studio behind the Tomb Raider series, with MCV reporting his role is now being handled by co-heads Ron Rosenberg and Scot Amos following a "seamless" transition over the past few months. It's not clear if he quit or was fired, though the official statement implying the former would suggest the latter to a cynical mind:
“I want to thank [Darrell] for his tremendous effort and contribution to Square Enix, along with the amazing entertainment he has helped create,” Square Enix’s Western CEO Phil Rogers said. “I am sad to see him go but respect his decision and we should all celebrate the sheer blood, sweat and tears he has put into our company over the last ten years.

“We are excited for him and his family on their next chapter. We wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Counter-Strike Gun Control

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive blog has release notes for a new version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that's now available. These mention that some weapon gameplay changes have been reverted, and this blog post has further details on what happened and explains the plan going forward:
It’s difficult to measure the impact on gameplay when too much changes at once. The Winter Update came with some really huge changes to gameplay, including a new weapon, an adjustment to pistols, and the rifle change. Since we likely changed too much too quickly, in today’s update we’re rolling back both the rifle and pistol adjustments to their pre-Winter Update state.

We failed to anticipate the reaction of the community to changes in such heavy-use weapons, and we clearly need to re-evaluate our process for making and communicating about changes in that space. We still think there’s value in trying to find a better balance for pistols and more skillful ways to use rifles, so we hope to tackle rifles and pistols again in the future.

We’re constantly reading community feedback and while we don’t often respond directly, understanding the community is one of the most important parts of working on CS:GO. Mistakes happen, but when they do, we’re committed to making sure they get fixed.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I get to do something cool later today, though mentioning it in advance is not really playing it cool. I'll keep the rest of my cards close to the vest for now, but I'll fill you in tomorrow, at which point it will probably be a "so what?" sort of deal since I'm giving it this advance buildup. So I'm just setting myself up here. That's me... living on the edge.

Set Up Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
Rancho Ranch.
Link: How to build a real lightsaber.
Media: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Clickbait Video.
Honest Trailer - Star Wars Ep III- Revenge of the Sith.
What if Star Wars Episode III Were Good?
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