Archived News:

Friday, Dec 18, 2015

UnderRail Released

The UnderRail website announces the release of this throwback role-playing game after a couple of years of early access. This is available on and Steam, and there's a dev log on Steam outlining the passion that's fuelled this project for the last seven years, over which time the project's staff exploded by 300% (to a grand total of three developers). Here's a release trailer showing off the game's isometric style, and here's the description from the clip:
Underrail is an old school isometric turn-based RPG set in a distant future, when the life on the Earth’s surface has long since been made impossible and the remnants of humanity now dwell in the Underrail, a vast system of metro station-states that, it seems, are the last bastions of a fading race.

The player takes control of one of the denizens of such a station-state whose life is about to become all that much more interesting and dangerous, as our protagonist is caught midst the conflicting factions of Underrail as the violently struggle to survive in the harsh underground environment.
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Free MP Weekend

Activision is now offering a free multiplayer weekend on Steam for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, their futuristic shooter. Word is:
A free trial weekend for Call of Duty: Black Ops III PC multiplayer is available now on Steam. Fans can download and play the multiplayer portion of the PC game starting today through Sunday, Dec. 20, 1pm PT. During the trial, Steam is also offering a promotional price for the PC version at a suggested retail price of $44.99 and the Digital Deluxe to $79.99.

Rainbow Six Siege Free Weekend

UbiBlog has details on how participants in the Rainbow Six Siege beta have the opportunity to invite up to four friends to join them over the weekend:
If you’re an existing player on PC, head to, and you can give up to four buddies full access to the game through Uplay – just enough to fill out your squad. From 3:01 p.m. PST on Friday, December 18, to 9:01 p.m. PST on Sunday, December 20, they can join you (or strike out on their own) in 5v5 multiplayer matches or co-op Terrorist Hunt runs. They can even play through the single-player Situations, which is a good idea anyway, as it’ll help them acclimate to Rainbow Six Siege’s unique pacing and Operator abilities.

If just playing with buddies isn’t enough of an incentive to bring your friends in, referrers will also be rewarded with a 24-hour Renown Booster (to be delivered shortly after the program ends) for each friend that redeems a key. You can send your friends keys right now, giving them the chance to preload through Uplay and be ready to breach at 3:01 p.m. PST on Friday. Best of all, if any “recruits” decide they want to keep playing after Sunday, they’ll be able to get a 25% discount on the full game from Uplay, and keep all the progress they’ve earned.

American Truck Simulator in February

A Steam Community Group Announcement has a release date for American Truck Simulator, saying SCS Software's trucking sequel is due on February 3rd (thanks PCGamesN). They include a reminder that this will launch with just a portion of the full game:
At last, we are ready to commit to an official release date of the first edition of American Truck Simulator; the game will hit digital and retail stores on February 3, 2016.

As the readers of our blog will no doubt know by now, this release will be just the first step on the road. A couple of trucks and the state of California that we are bringing you with the base game release is only a fraction of our grand vision - to cover all of North America eventually and to chase every relevant truck manufacturer for a license to allow us to include their trucks into the game.

Well, we have to set on the way, and this is where we start. Hold on tight!

Batman: Arkham Knight Patched

A Steam Community Group Announcement has details on a new patch that's now available for the Windows edition of Batman: Arkham Knight, the superhero sequel (thanks Wookiestick). This includes "gameplay fixes and stability improvements" along with other changes. Here are the details:

  • Fixed some issues with stars being awarded or lost incorrectly in specific AR Challenges
  • Improved target prioritization during combat
  • Restored heavier rain during the opening section of the game
  • Fixed missing rain effects on a few remaining player character skins
  • Miscellaneous gameplay fixes and stability improvements
  • Fixes to some keyboard and mouse prompts after being rebound
  • Made frame times more consistent for 60hz monitors running at 30fps with VSync enabled
  • Previously equipped gadgets can be selected with keyboard and mouse again after restarting an AR Challenge
  • Fixed the default key binding for Harley’s Snare gadget
  • Batgirl’s Remote Hacking Device can now be properly selected with keyboard & mouse in AR Challenges
  • Minor performance optimizations for certain combinations of hardware
  • Fixed keyboard & mouse controls that did not function in DLC AR Challenges when no previous save data existed
  • Quick Photo Mode can now be triggered with keyboard and mouse controls when using the Batmobile
  • Special Combo Takedowns can now be performed with Quickfire Gadget binds if they were rebound
  • Fixed graphical corruption that may occur after Alt-Tabbing
  • Improvements and corrections to some localized text
  • Added new Classic Harley Quinn skin for use in AR Challenges & the Harley Quinn Story Pack
  • Added Arkham Knight as a playable character for AR Challenges & the Red Hood Story Pack
  • Added support for December DLC content

Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars Patch

The Digital Eel website announces the release of a new patch for Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars, updating the space roguelike to version 1.1.0. The new version includes completely revamped mod support and adds new content, including the Kestrel from FTL. The Steam edition also now includes some Steam-specific features. Here's word:
The new version 1.1.0 introduces totally re-vamped mod support with a handy browser for launching mods, and now lets mod makers access the built-in editing tools that we used to make content for the game.

We have also added new content to the game in the form of a new special quest featuring a special guest, the notorious Tiberian swamp pirate Arch Fenster! Oh, and just possibly a ship from that other space roguelike-like game created by one of our Kickstarter backers may make an appearance!*

For all of our Steam fans, this update just keeps on giving by adding over fifty achievements, as well as Steam trading cards, badges (not steenking), profile backgrounds and emoticons!

On Sale

Evening Previews

  • Diablo III on Patch 2.4.0 Preview: Items and Sets.

etc., etc.

New Conan Game Planned

Funcom announces a new agreement with Conan Properties, following their collaboration on Age of Conan, the barbaric MMORPG launched in 2008. The Norwegian developer says they will unveil three new games over the course of 2016, the first being a new Conan the Barbarian game based on this agreement that they will officially unveil next month. Here's an outline of their plans:
Funcom is excited to announce that the company has entered into an agreement with Conan Properties, making it the preferred partner for all PC and console games based on the 'Conan the Barbarian' brand and the world of Hyboria. The two companies have already enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship, having successfully brought to market Funcom's critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online game 'Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures' back in 2008.

"We are tremendously excited to be strengthening our relationship with Conan Properties," said Funcom CEO Rui Casais. "'Conan the Barbarian' is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest and most recognizable fantasy heroes, and as game developers, working with such a character and being able to draw from the fantastically detailed world of Hyboria is nothing short of a dream come true."

As Funcom communicated earlier this year, the company will be announcing three new games in 2016. The first of these games will be based on the 'Conan the Barbarian' brand and will be announced to the public in January next year.

"Working with Funcom through the years has been a rewarding and very enjoyable journey," said Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Conan Properties. "Making them our preferred partner for all PC and console games based on 'Conan the! Barbarian' is the next step on that great journey. Funcom has shown they are more than capable of managing the rich heritage of Conan and to breathe new life into the world of Hyboria, and we are thrilled to be working together on new, exciting projects."

For more information about Funcom and our games, please visit

The Elder Scrolls Legend Delayed

Bethesda Softworks announced The Elder Scrolls Legend at E3 2015, at the time saying the free-to-play virtual card game would come by the end of this year. With that deadline fast approaching, Bethesda's Pete Hines responded on Twitter to a question about the release with a sideways admission it is delayed, coyly saying: "@tal_elmar i think it's safe to say it's not coming in the next 15 days." Thanks VG247.

French Steam Lawsuit

Valve is once again heading to court to defend its subscriber agreement, as this report (in French) describes a suit by a French consumer rights group over aspects of their terms of service. PC Gamer points the way to a translation by redditor Silencement of key points in the case:

  • Steam's Subscriber Agreement explicitly forbids users to sell their games, despite the transfer of ownership of digital products/licenses being legal.
  • Valve declines responsibility in the event that users' personal information is stolen.
  • Valve claims ownership of the rights of any user-created content uploaded to Steam.
  • It is impossible to get the money on your Steam Wallet back if your account is closed/deleted/banned.
  • Valve applies Luxembourg's consumer law regardless of the user's country.

Rocket League Nears $50M

Wall Street Journal reports a new milestone for Rocket League, the runaway hit motorsports game, saying developer Psyonix is claiming the game has now raked in almost $50 million in revenue since launching for PC and PlayStation 4 (thanks MCV). They quote company founder Dave Hagewood on how they managed this:
“We paid the bills by working on some of the biggest games in the industry,” such as EA’s “Mass Effect 3” and Microsoft Corp.’s “Gears of War,” the 40-year-old said.

The few who played “Battle-Cars” loved it, Mr. Hagewood said, “so we saw that as a problem of awareness.”

His strategy for “Rocket League” was to get it into as many hands as possible. So he made it a free download for a month for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Plus subscribers. Otherwise, it was $20 for nonsubscribers and PC users.

Psyonix also passed along the game to players who stream on YouTube and Twitch, in a bid to build word of mouth.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is the official opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but I don't know how that works since it opened in tons of theaters last night. We saw it again, since we already had purchased advance tickets when we scored our invite to a screening on Wednesday. So the movie comes out today, and I've already seen it twice, which, if nothing else, is certainly a good way to avoid spoilers.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Christmas Cat.
Retro Sabotage.
Puppet Soccer 2015.
Stories: "Force Awakens" First Box-Office Figures.
Posting Star Wars spoilers should be illegal, says Philadelphia PD.
Joke’s on us. American teeth are as bad as British teeth, study says.
Media: Everything Wrong With Star Wars Episode III- Revenge of the Sith, Part 1 and Part 2.
Today's Star Wars weather.
This Cyclist Miraculously Survives Being Struck By A Train. Thanks ViperFour.
Follow-up: Martin Shkreli Was Bad at Investing and Worse at Stealing Money to Cover it Up, Say Authorities. Thanks nin.
Pegg, Abrams Talk Issues With "Star Trek".
"Riddick" Spin-Off TV Series Report Confirmed.
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