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Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 Happy Birthday Qtest (1996)

DOOM Uncut for Germany

A Bethesda Deutschland tweet announces DOOM will come to Germany with no content cuts, a first for the violent shooter series. Polygon has more on the news after discussing it with Bethesda's Pete Hines. "We're pleased the game can be released in its entirety in Germany without the need to edit or change anything," Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines told Polygon. "Perhaps not all that surprising given how other titles have been rated there recently, but still a cool thing to see given that Doom and Doom 2 were banned in Germany and were delisted a few years ago."

The Flame in the Flood Released

The Flame in the Flood is now available, offering a post-societal rafting trip for Windows, OS X, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 created by The Molasses Flood, a developer composed of veterans of veterans of Irrational, Harmonix, and Bungie, among others. There are details on the project on The Molasses Flood website, and you can get a look at the game in this launch trailer. Here's the announcement:
The river cuts through the wilderness, a roiling path stretching over the horizon toward adventure and the promise of a better life... if it doesn’t swallow you first. The Flame in the Flood is available today on Xbox One, PC, and Mac.

With an original soundtrack by Chuck Ragan, The Flame in the Flood is a rogue-lite river journey through the backwaters of a forgotten, post-societal America. Forage, craft, outwit predators, and brave the rapids as you make your way down the procedurally generated river.

From cold to starvation and rapids to wolves, the odds are stacked against you. Craft clothing to keep the elements at bay, traps to keep yourself fed, and upgrade your makeshift raft to withstand the hazards of the river. With a little ingenuity and a whole lot of determination, you just might survive.
Continue here to read the full story.

Shadwen Demo; Playing Lowers Game's Price

The Shadwen website now reveals what they were counting down to, which is a playable sneak peek demo for this upcoming stealth game. This has an unusual twist, as they keep track of the total community score achieved by everyone who plays and replays the demo through the end of the month, and they will lower the eventual selling price of the game the higher this score goes. This video explains this process further, and here's word on the game:
Shadwen is a stealth-action game where the only rule is to remain unseen. Stay hidden - or the ruthless guards will kill you on sight!

Shadwen, an assassin on a quest to kill the king, has a chance encounter with an orphaned girl, Lily. She follows Shadwen on her dangerous journey, but when the ruthless guards get too close, Shadwen must take action right in front of Lily's eyes.

Will Shadwen risk the girl's budding trust by resorting to violence, or try and find another way while keeping her real purpose concealed?

To kill or not to kill - that is the question.
Continue here to read the full story.

Postal Redux This Spring

Developer running with Scissors says spring of this year is when to expect the release of Postal Redux, the shooter remake they unveiled in late 2014. In addition to the already revealed Unreal Engine 4 makeover, they also announce the remake will include some brand-new content. The game now has a Steam page, showing this is coming to Windows, OS X, and Linux, and they note a PlayStation 4 edition will come later this year. Here's a new teaser trailer, here's word, and remember to stand and salute when they come to the part about free speech:
In POSTAL Redux, players take control of The POSTAL Dude as he battles to survive in a world gone MAD. Crazed gunmen are out for blood and wait around every corner. Players fight back with a destructive arsenal as they make their way through a kill-or-be-killed psychological thriller.

One major addition to POSTAL Redux is Rampage Mode, a new single-player mode based around a scoring system, which encourages an aggressive style of play by increasing a multiplier for each consecutive kill in a streak. Players will receive a grade following the completion of each level.

POSTAL Redux will maintain the elements that made the original POSTAL world-renowned. The grim art style, frightening ambience, the omnipresent "demonic voice" and the marching band will be faithfully recreated in this modern day take on a title which became a symbol for free speech in gaming.

"Even with all the noise surrounding POSTAL, gamers focused on the experience, playing the game by the millions, giving it great user reviews and helping us not only survive, but flourish. POSTAL Redux is a love letter to our fans," said Vince Desi, founder of Running With Scissors.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Division 60 FPS PC Trailer

Ubisoft celebrates their plans for a Windows version of Tom Clancy's The Division with a new trailer from the upcoming third-person shooter captured at 60 frames-per-second on the PC edition to show off how it takes advantage of the superior hardware. On a related note, they also offer Collapse, a web-based simulator built on the game's theme that shows how quickly you can set off a global pandemic from your own home, leading to the collapse of society (in other words, a rollicking family funfest). Here's more on the PC version of the game:
On March 8, Tom Clancy’s The Division will simultaneously launch on PC with dedicated visual and technical optimizations that make New York City more immersive than ever. Captured in 60 frames per second on PC, this latest trailer highlights some of the gameplay benefits the PC version has to offer. For the best viewing experience, please make sure to watch on the most recent generation devices.

Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place weeks after a devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City on Black Friday. One by one, basic services fail and in only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, an autonomous unit of tactical agents leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, is activated to save society. Team up with other players to investigate the source of the virus, protect civilians from dangerous factions, and reclaim the city from the overwhelming turmoil.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dirty Bomb Ranked Season One Begins

The Dirty Bomb Forums announce that Ranked Season 1 begins today in this online shooter from Splash Damage and Nexon, saying all who qualified for preseason trinkets should find them in their inventories over the next couple of days (thanks Patrick). They say you must reach level 7 to qualify, everyone will have to play 10 placement matches (though your preseason results will influence where you land), and they outline a new named ranking system, saying the number system was confusing." Here's more on what's new:
What Else Has Changed?

  • Skill Limit Update - We're significantly tightening up the maximum allowed skill difference between players for more evenly matched games. While we will always match the closest available players, you might occasionally come across a difference of 3-5 Ranks.
  • Rank Bracket Update - We've updated the point at which new players enter the system to the top of Bronze, rather than the top of Silver.
  • Leaver Penalty - To discourage players from leaving Ranked games, anyone who leaves will no longer receive ANY credits at the end of the match. Previously they would leave with anything they had earned up until that point.
  • Solo/Duo Queue - For this first Season, we'll be limiting queues to Solo/Duo. This is to prevent the majority of players who join as Solo coming up against 5-Player pre-made Parties. We plan to re-introduce full 5vs5 Ranked play with a few improvements as soon as we can, as we consider organised teamplay the lifeblood of Dirty Bomb. For a greater breakdown on the change, check out this forum post.
  • Disabled AU & Asia Regions - We will be disabling the AU and Asia regions in Ranked play for the time being, to avoid overly long queue times due to the smaller player counts in these regions

League of Legends Movement Speed Nerf

The version Patch 6.4 notes on the League of Legends website detail the usual balance changes in Riot's MOBA, though this time out they have to explain why "some champions like Ryze and Kog'Maw [are] receiving buffs or nerfs despite having just gotten the opposite the patch before." They also note a global nerf on movement speed, and explain their reasoning:
So what snapshots do we have today? We've got heaps of changes to individual marksmen, some nerfs to top-tier pro play outliers, and a holistic reduction of movement speed. Zooming around the rift is cool and all, but the abundance of bonus movement speed is skewing the early game into a sonic-speed arms-race of who can stack it more, faster. We'll continue to monitor the game's mobility creep over the next few patches, but this is our first push toward solving what could become a larger problem.

Good Robot Announced

Indie developer Pyrodactyl follows their successful launch of the crowdfunded Unrest with the announcement of Good Robot, a roguelike, side-scrolling shoot-em-up coming to Windows, Linux, and OS X via Steam in April. Their website has images and details on the game, and this not particularly new trailer shows off some action-packed gameplay. Word is: "The year is 2031, and robots perform all the boring and repetitive tasks, which leaves humans with all the exciting jobs - like desperately fighting malfunctioning kill-crazed robots. The Good Robot was built to reverse the stereotype that robots are violent disasters, chiefly by seeking out and systematically destroying every wayward robot in the colony." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

etc., etc.

Thanks Ant.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: One of those days 3 - Candide Thovex. Thanks Donovon and Ant.

Hitman Cinematic; Live Component Detailed

The opening cinematic for HITMAN is now online, showing off 20 years of creative assassination from Agent 47 as IO Interactive gears up for the March 11th release of the next installment in the series. The accompanying announcement invites PlayStation Plus members to an open beta a week before the release, and also serves up more details about what to expect. They also have a new article explaining exactly how the "live component" of the game will work, and here's a portion of that lengthy post:
Elusive Targets
The Contracts that are available for a limited-time are what we call Elusive Targets. An Elusive Target is the closest thing to the Hitman fantasy that we've ever created. These targets will be custom-created characters that are added to existing locations and are only there for a limited time in real-time. You'll only have one chance to take them down. If they escape, they are gone for good. If you kill them, that's the way that you killed them. There are no do-overs and no second chances. When an Elusive Target leaves the game world (one way or another) they never return.

Each Elusive Target will have a custom briefing video, a backstory and a unique reason for being in that location. When you're actually playing in the location, the Elusive Target will not appear on the map and will not appear in Instinct. In order to find them, you'll need to use clues from the briefing video and a photograph that you will be able to review. You'll need to explore, find your target, learn their patterns and come up with a plan to eliminate them - all whilst playing. The pressure will be on when you've got the target in your sights. If you miss the shot and chaos breaks loose, you will need to have a plan B, because the save-game is disabled during an Elusive Target. If you kill the wrong person or die when trying to exfiltrate, that's it. Game over, the target escapes.

As the season unfolds, you’ll earn in-game rewards for completing multiple Elusive Target contracts. The rewards are signature suits from previous Hitman games and versions of those suits with gloves. There’s also a version of the signature suit from the new HITMAN with gloves.

We know that Elusive Targets are not going to be easy, they were designed that way.
Continue here to read the full story.

Obliteracers Released

Obliteracers is now available on Steam, offering a single-screen party game for Windows from Australian developer Varkian Empire featuring combat racing in a science-fiction setting. You can see how this plays out in this semi-recent trailer, and here's word on what to expect: "Intergalactic party racing mayhem! Obliteracers is an award-winning same-screen party racer for up to 16 players. Race brutally cute aliens on exotic planets, using weapon power-ups and physics-based vehicles to annihilate your competition in different game modes. Connect spare gamepads, laptops and smart devices as extra controllers. Stragglers will be eliminated... only one alien shall prevail!" Continue here to read the full story.

Trinium Wars Trailer & Class Details

Here's a new trailer from Trinium Wars, showing off PvE gameplay from the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMORPG and introducing the game's three-class system. This is set to launch in early access next week, and here's what you need to know about how classy this will be:

  • Warrior: As two handed sword wielding masters of melee attacks, Warriors can take on several enemies at once. Although being very effective with melee attacks, Warriors are also equipped with a machine gun for ranged support. With heavy armor on, they are perfect tanks, nevertheless they can support allies with buffs and smaller heals as well.
  • Ghost is an agile class, depending on quick attacks, stuns and debuffs. Equipped with claws and a machine gun, attacks are both based on long-range and close quarter combat. Ghosts can lay traps, make themselves invisible and even detect other invisible units. They are masters of the shadows and skilled in evading danger due to their light armor.
  • Esper, the third class in Trinium Wars, uses range attack only. They can freely manipulate energies of nature and use diverse elemental powers. Esper possess powerful single-target or areal skills and also take the role of a health and status healer for party members. They supplement their weaker body with protective skills, summons and teleportation.

All three classes have different skillsets. Skills can be bought and upgraded at trainers for Tau, which is an inferior version of the precious Trinium. Each class can acquire an additional skillset called mechanic skill. The mechanic skillset consists of 10 base skills, which every class can learn, ranging from summoning machinery, setting up mines to mortar attacks, plus eight class exclusive skills. In contrast to normal skills, the mechanic skill can not be learned from a trainer but either be found as rare loot or crafted in the base building mode. The sheer amount of skills to choose from allow variations inside the three different classes. Together with the detailed character customization every player can create and progress their character to their own liking and set their own focus. Trinium Wars will be available via Steam Early Access 2nd of March 2016.

Continue here to read the full story.

Street Fighter V Status Report

There's a fourth post-release update on CapCom Unity following up on the release of Street Fighter V, and efforts to iron out the new installment in the fighting series. Here's the latest progress report:
Matchmaking for Ranked and Casual battles is continuingly being improved for most users. Throughout the weekend and after the server reset, most players should be matched up with opponents at a quicker rate than before.

We understand players in Europe, the Middle East and some other territories are still running into issues with slow matchmaking. The server team is aware of this and will be continuing to look for ways to improve this issue.

Our goal is to provide the best online experience for all users, and if you are not in a region that has a large number of users with stable connections it will take longer to find a suitable opponent. Again, we will continue to look at this issue and find ways to circumvent longer than intended wait times for matchmaking.

Battle Lounges
Improvements to Battle Lounges have been made in that users should not get disconnected once they are in a lounge. That said, the ability to search and join Battle Lounges still needs improvement as it is not functioning as intended. We’ll be looking at this over the coming weeks and hope to fix the issue soon.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Ant Queen -- Steam Greenlight. "Begin a journey like no other, become the ant queen and establish your empire. Ant Queen is a RTS/Simulation game where you breed different types of ants to ultimately conquer your surroundings and achieve a stable ant colony. "
  • YamaYama -- Steam Greenlight. World's first fatsuit game? "YamaYama is a whacky party game where you complete all sorts of mini-games to collect points on your path to victory."

Morning Screenshots

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • BeQuiet! Silent Base 600 Case on Hardware Canucks.
  • Corsair Carbide Series 400Q Gehäuse on Technic3D. German.
  • Corsair Scimitar RGB MMO Gaming Mouse on Techgage.
  • Creative Sound BlasterX P5 Pro-Gaming Earphones on TweakTown.
  • ECS LIVA ONE SFF PC on TweakTown.
  • Fnatic Gear Flick G1 Optical Mouse on Overclockers Club.
  • Gigabyte Z170X-GAMING 5 Motherboard on pcGameware.
  • Gladiator Computers APOCALYPSE Gaming PC on eTeknix.
  • HyperX Savage 2800MHz 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 Memory Kit on
  • Mushkin Impact 256GB and Atom 128GB USB Flash Drives Capsule on AnandTech.
  • Noctua NH-C14S C-Type Premium CPU Cooler on Technology X.

Out of the Blue

Caught up last night with the first two episodes of the second season of Better Call Saul, and my love for the series continues unabated. I'd say my affection for the show has actually grown, but I think I'm just forgetting just how great it already was. I'd go off on a further rant about how much better this is than anything else on television today, but I am furiously torrenting Hoboken Squat Cobbler videos.

Happy birthday Qtest, as this test version of Quake was released 20 years ago today. For free with no preorder required I might add. Ah, the good old days.

Pie Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mutant Fighting Cup 2.
Cube Escape: Birthday.
Story: An R rated cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is on the way.
Science: New molecular scissors cut out lingering HIV—maybe once and for all.
Media: The Oscars - Honest Trailers.
How to fix a round cage directors cut. NSFW.
Follow-up: Jeremy Clarkson apologises to Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.
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