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Friday, Aug 19, 2016

Free Umbrella Corps Weekend

If you are interested in checking out Umbrella Corps, Steam has you covered with a free weekend on the Resident Evil shooter, coinciding with a 33% off sale. The announcement is pretty light, so here's the description of the game itself:
Join the corps! Umbrella Corps is a new fast-paced third-person shooter set in the Resident Evil universe. The competitive online game will feature quick, intense matches in compact battle zones themed from historic Resident Evil environments such as an Umbrella Facility map. Umbrella Corps utilizes the Unity engine developed by Unity Technologies.

Umbrella Corporation, a ruthless international pharmaceutical company, had been known for its genetic experiments and biological weaponry that led to worldwide devastation including the infamous Raccoon City incident. Although the organization was brought down in 2003, its legacy of bio-terrorism continued. In the present day, corporations with nebulous interests in bio-weaponry have hired squads of special forces for experimental battles in restricted virus-infected areas against other mercenaries.

EVE Online Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for EVE Online. CCP's hardcore space MMORPG is free through Sunday, and the game is also on sale, as are subscription plans and various add-ons. This announcement has more:
We invite you to play EVE Online for free this weekend from August 18th 10am PST to 21st 1pm PST. Either you can start a completely new account on Steam for free over the weekend, or you can reactivate your old, inactive EVE Steam account (if it was created after May 2013 and was unsubscribed for 30 days or more).

Additionally, we offer massive discounts on Core Starter packs[] (75% off) including 30 days of game time, Premium Editions including PLEX (50% off), as well as 10% off Content packs, PLEX, and Aurum.

If you are looking to strengthen your corporation, alliance or coalition with new players or returning veterans, this is the time! Lend your newbros a hand and reap the benefits of additional manpower - as we all know, there is power in numbers.

Spread the word and join the free EVE on Steam celebration!

F1 2016 Released

F1 2016 is now available, offering the latest installment in the Formula One racing series. This trailer celebrates the release, and here's the game in one sentence: "F1 2016 features 22-player online racing, formation lap, pit strategies and the return of the safety car, all with stunning broadcast-style visuals." Want more, okay here are some bonus paragraphs:
F1 2016, the official videogame of the 2016 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™, is now available in stores worldwide for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC. To celebrate the release Codemasters® and Koch Media have today released a new gameplay video which is available to view now on the official YouTube channel:

Featuring all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from this thrilling season, F1 2016 boasts the most extensive Career Mode ever seen in the franchise. Stretching for up to ten seasons, the Career allows players to ‘Create Your Own Legend’ as they immerse themselves in the world’s most glamorous motorsport working with their Research and Development Engineer and Agent to get the most out of their time in FORMULA ONE™.

With action both on and off the track, F1 2016 is the most complete FORMULA ONE experience Codemasters has ever created. For the first time players will experience the pre-race tension of the Formation Lap before the drama of manual starts. During the racing the iconic Safety Car makes a return and is complemented by the new Virtual Safety Car.

Online, F1 2016 has support for up to 22 players allowing gamers to create full grids of human players. The brand new Multiplayer Championship Mode will also allow up to 22 players to compete against each other over the course of a season. Players can race together as teammates or they can battle it out as different teams.

This will be the first time that gamers will be able to race the thrilling Baku street circuit, the home of the 2016 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF EUROPE, and drive for the new US-based Haas F1 Team.

Available now, F1 2016 Limited Edition includes the ‘CAREER BOOSTER’ DLC PACK, which will give players a head start in their career as well as exclusive Career Helmet and Laptop designs.
Continue here to read the full story.

TOXIKK & Free Trial Next Month

The Toxikk website announces a September 9th release date for TOXIKK, the upcoming first-person shooter. After 20 months of early access, they are polishing the throwback game for release. REAKKTOR STUDIOS celebrates the news with this release date trailer and a new Making of TOXIKK trailer. They also announce plans for a free trial version coming at the same time. The developer explains this will be a demo, but they are avoiding that term because of Steam restrictions. Here's word:
FREE TO PLAY is giving the base game away for free and then LETTING YOU PURCHASE LITTLE CHUNKS OF IT FOREVER (cosmetic and/or gameplay affecting items). For many reasons, we have a deep antipathy against micro-transaction fueled business models.

But if we let you FRAG LIKE IT'S 1999, why not also give you a demo like it's 1999? The idea behind shareware and demos may be a bit out of fashion (just like Arena FPS in general), but there really isn't anything more transparent to let you experience a game. And if you like it, you pay once and get the FULL GAME with ALL its features, customization options etc.

The term DEMO has a defined meaning on STEAM that comes with specific technical restrictions. E.g. people who play a demo on STEAM cannot play online against people who own the full game. Which is obviously far from optimal for a multiplayer game.

Plus, THE FREE EDITION OF TOXIKK IS A LOT MORE THAN JUST A DEMO: It comes with the full core experience, has no competitive disadvantages versus the FULL GAME and let's you play TOXIKK for free for as long and often as you like.
Continue here to read the full story.

Bonus Weekend in GTA Online, Battleborn, Evolve

Time to stock up on experience while it's cheap. There are three bonuses to take advantage of this weekend. Rockstar Games announces Double GTA$ and RP this weekend in Grand Theft Auto Online. This comes along with Rockstar Stunt Races, three new entourage mode maps, an unlockable jumpsuit, and more. Meanwhile, Gearbox Software is offering Double Credits in Battleborn now through Monday morning. Finally, 2K's revitalization of Evolve as a free-to-play game continues with a bonus weekend for the asymmetrical shooter. The third week of the Shear Madness event is an Overpowered Weekend for Evolve Stage 2. This introduces a new Map Variant called Overpowered and Renegade Abe, a new Assault character. They also make double XP events seem stingy by offering 10X XP and 10X Silver Keys.

Dishonored 2 Gamescom Video

Bethesda Softworks now offers the Gamescom 2016 Video for Dishonored 2, their upcoming assassination sequel. This is accompanied by a lengthy rundown of demonstrating the game at the show. Here is the introduction:
At Gamescom, Emily Kaldwin took center stage, showing off her all-new powers in a new setting: the Clockwork Mansion. Originally teased in the game’s announce trailer at E3 2015, the Clockwork Mansion is a signature themed level in which the player can trigger a series of switches to literally change the mansion around them. The walls move. The floors shift. New pathways are revealed with every alteration. Savvy assassins can even find their way through the mechanics embedded behind the walls, offering even more freedom to navigate through this complex and detailed level.
Continue here to read the full story.

Prey 2 Video also offers a look at a presentation for Prey 2. This demonstration of the shooter sequel debuted behind closed doors at QuakeCon, but is now available publicly. Here's the video and here's word:
Prey made its Gamescom debut with a theatrical showing of the gameplay that was first revealed behind closed doors at QuakeCon. (For full details about the demo, check out: Prey at QuakeCon 2016 – First Gameplay and New Trailer.) Bethesda also released a teaser of the gameplay, which shows Morgan Yu inside the Talos I space station shortly after he picks up the Gloo Cannon – a multi-purpose tool that he can use to freeze the Typhon aliens in place. (Also shown: Morgan wielding his Superthermal power to then blast the incapacitated aliens to bits.) The Gloo Cannon also comes in handy for traversal, allowing Morgan to create pathways to hard-to-reach areas, or seal off fiery vents so he can bypass them safely.

Later in the gameplay teaser, we see Morgan use another power he learned from the aliens: Mimic. Morgan needs to get into a locked area, but without a passcode the only way in is through a tiny window. Using Mimic, Morgan becomes a mug (yes, a mug) and rolls through the opening. To end the teaser, we see a snippet of Morgan exiting Talos I and drifting through space – yet another way to explore the fully contiguous space station. Watch the teaser right now for a taste of Prey gameplay.
Continue here to read the full story.

etc., etc.

Europa Universalis IV Rights of Man Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Rights of Man, an upcoming expansion for Europa Universalis IV. This will update the strategy sequel with content loosely based on the writings of Thomas Paine. They say this will come along with a large update for the base game that will include "the first major overhaul of the technology system since launch." Here's the deal:
Today, Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio announced the next expansion for their hit grand strategy game Europa Universalis IV.

Thomas Paine wrote that laws get their force from the consent of those who agree to live under them. It is in this spirit of that Paradox Development Studio continues expand and improve Europa Universalis IV, with the upcoming Rights of Man.

This expansion to Paradox Development Studio’s best-selling historical strategy game introduces a number of small changes that add up to a deeper and more dynamic experience. Near the top of this list is the Great Power mechanic, where the most developed nations have access to new diplomatic options to bully or entice weaker neighbors. Keep that development going, or lose the powers you paid a high price for.

Rights of Man also adds a little more character to your monarchs, as they acquire traits that will give bonuses (or penalties) to your country, and affect how rival nations approach you. Beware the conqueror next door, but be nice to the generous king across the river - he may have some gold to spare in your time of need.

Other features coming in Rights of Man include:

  • New goals for Coptic and Fetishist religions
  • Greater control over adopting new cultures in your empire
  • Leader Traits giving battle hardened commanders added prowess
  • More detailed military instructions for Subject Nations
  • Revolutionary Republics now have Factions to balance
  • Ottoman Empire gets new Harem Politics events and options

As usual, the release of Rights of Man will be accompanied by a free update for all Europa Universalis IV players – and this one will have the first major overhaul of the technology system since launch.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided Reviews

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is due on Tuesday, but it's pretty obvious that the review embargo ended today. Opinions don't seem divided, as the action/RPG sequel has an 83 metascore on Metacritic as of this writing. There are reviews up on the following outlets:

Umbrella Corps Adds Content

CapCom Unity has details on a new update that's live in Umbrella Corps. This adds new content to the Resident Evil-inspired action game, including an all-new mode. Here are the details:
Veterans of Resident Evil 6 will be familiar with the twisting, chaotic streets of Lanshiang, which has just been added as a new, free battleground in Umbrella Corps! This new map can be accessed in both One-Life Match and Multi-Mission Mode, and is sure to result in plenty of tense firefights. Be sure to coordinate with your team as you navigate both the streets and the creatures lurking within.

This update also brings along an additional game mode: 4 Survivors. While the different modes of Umbrella Corps have favored fast-paced, 3-on-3 team battles, 4 Survivors mode provides a unique, battle royal approach to the competitive formula with lowered lighting and a tense, survival-themed tone. In 4 Survivors, four solo players start out armed only with a handgun, knife and flashlight. A quick click of the flashlight can reveal a healing herb or a valuable weapon, but can also act as a shining beacon for other players to home in on and close in for the kill. Points are gained for every second alive, but any player who’s taken out drops all their current points on the ground for other players to pick up. Securing an ink ribbon will allow players to “cache” their current points, keeping the banked points safe from other players even upon death, but there’s only one typewriter - and every player knows where it is. A single death can change everything, so you’ll have to constantly be on your toes in this new mode.

If that’s not enough, new equipment, I.C.O.N.S., and customization items have also been added, allowing you to alter your appearance even more. Additional gameplay enhancements have been made to improve the overall experience as well. This new update is available now and is completely free, so be sure to fire up Umbrella Corps on PlayStation 4 or Steam to check out the new map, mode, and items!

For the full patch notes, click here.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Had a strange time checking out Overwatch on the PTR last night. First off I was having trouble connecting, but I think that may be because Windows was performing a backup. When I was able to play, things became odd because of the new emotes that allow players to sit. Most matches degenerated into peacefulness (I like that phrase), with players finding interesting places to just lounge around. Overwatch and chill so to speak. The other funny element is the new filter that substitutes a benign or self-deprecating phrase when someone types "gg ez" at the end of the match. This provoked everyone on both teams to spam that exact thing. I never said that for real when it was BM, but now that it's not, I was doing it myself too. It was good for a lot of laughs, and I imagine this will carry over to the live game as well. Rather than simply being a way to censor bad sportsmanship, this appears to actually counteract it. This seems like a great idea... though it may get one into the habit of saying it in other games. I wonder if it will eventually just eliminate the negative connotation of gg ez altogether?

EZ Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
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