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Tuesday, Oct 04, 2016

Limited Time Outlast 2 Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for Outlast 2, the upcoming survival/horror sequel. Developer Red Barrels warns this will only be available through November 1st:
After terrifying players at PAX East, E3, and Gamescom, the Outlast 2 demo is available today for free on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

The demo will be available until Tuesday, November 1 only, so download it while you can and make your Halloween a bloody one with Outlast 2.

The Outlast 2 demo provides a sneak peek at what Red Barrels have been working on for the last few years. More features and environments will be unveiled in the coming months, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the Outlast comic book series, The Murkoff Account. With two issues out of five released to date, The Murkoff Account bridges the gap between the original Outlast and Outlast 2.

Read The Murkoff Account here:

Mortal Kombat XL Released

WBIE announces the release of Mortal Kombat XL, an updated version of Mortal Kombat X though it feels like we should read that as Roman Numerals as Mortal Kombat 40. This includes all the kontent from Kombat Pack 2 and is accompanied by a new patch for owners of the original. Here's the deal:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced that Mortal Kombat XL for PC is available now for purchase. Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat XL is adapted for PC by QLOC and offers an expanded version of the critically acclaimed Mortal Kombat X, which was honored as Fighting Game of the Year by the 19th D.I.C.E. Awards and The Game Awards 2015. Also available today, current owners of Mortal Kombat X on PC can download the latest patch for free, giving players access to the enhanced netcode that was available in the recent beta test for the game.

Mortal Kombat XL offers the ultimate Mortal Kombat X experience that includes the main game and all content featured in Kombat Pack 2:

  • Brand new playable characters the Xenomorph from Alien, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror film series, Triborg and Bo’Rai Cho
  • Apocalypse Skin Pack
  • Previously released content including playable Goro, Brazil Skin Pack, Kold War Skin Pack and Kold War Scorpion Skin

Also included with Mortal Kombat XL are previously released downloadable content from the original Kombat Pack:

  • Playable characters Predator, Jason Voorhees, Tremor and Tanya, with each accompanied by three themed skins
  • Samurai Skin Pack

Rocket League AquaDome Released

Psyonix now offers the promised AquaDome update for Rocket League. This free update adds underwater environments to the motorized sports game and is released alongside a couple of new premium cars. Here's a video and here's the news:
Independent video game developer and publisher, Psyonix, has announced that its new AquaDome update will be available for download in Rocket League® later today. Featuring a FREE new underwater arena of the same name, the AquaDome update also includes model redesigns for well-known launch vehicles Hotshot and Road Hog, FREE AquaDome customization items, seven new Achievements and Trophies, and additional in-game refinements and adjustments.

Two new premium DLC Battle-Cars, Proteus and Triton, will also release today for USD $1.99 per car (or regional equivalent), in addition to a new "Champions Series III" Crate, which can be opened with Keys that help fund Psyonix's esports initiatives.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of the Storm Heroes Brawl Coming

The Heroes of the Storm website offers details on Heroes Brawl, a new game mode coming to Blizzard's MOBA the week of October 17th (so probably on October 18th, though the page includes confusing play now buttons). This will bring new maps, new mutators, and weekly rewards. They do not specifically say so, but this may be the evolution of the Arena mode they announced almost a year ago at Blizzcon. This trailer offers a look, and here's word:
The upcoming new game mode, Heroes Brawl, is Heroes of the Storm infused with just the right amount of delightful madness! Play on both familiar and never-before-seen battlegrounds with new unique twists and custom rulesets that turn everything you thought you knew about the game on its head.

Heroes Brawl launches the week of October 17, so mark your calendars and prepare to take a break from the conquest of the Nexus, gather your friends, and check out what this new mode has to offer!
Continue here to read the full story.

Atlas Reactor Launches

Today is the official launch day for Atlas Reactor, the simultaneous turn-based arena game for Windows. This is free-to-play, though there are also thee premium additions with bundled heroes. The official announcement has all the details. Here's more on the game and its launch:
Atlas Reactor, Trion Worlds’ simultaneous turn-based battle arena game, is now available direct from Trion and on Steam and Amazon for $29.99. Players looking to try Atlas Reactor’s unique fast-paced turn-based mechanic for free can jump into the game’s Free Mode now, giving them access to all the edge-of-your-seat competition with a weekly rotation of specific Freelancers. Atlas Reactor is a new kind of PvP battle arena that fuses simultaneous turns with tactical team combat. Quick, timed turns challenge players to rapidly assess a constantly changing battlefield, master and customize their Freelancers of choice, and coordinate with teammates to take down enemies.

“Atlas Reactor is the culmination of ideas coming from a passionate group of gamers who wanted to create a smart, new kind of competitive game that we ourselves wanted to play," said Peter Ju, Executive Producer of Atlas Reactor. "We hope players around the world will find that the game combines some of the best elements of high-stakes gaming into a fast-paced, frenetic yet strategic competitive experience. I couldn't be more proud of our team!”

At launch, Atlas Reactor will introduce the new dual-gun wielding Freelancer, Juno, and a brand new map, where players will battle around the Omni trust’s parasitic reactor core, in addition to the 20 Freelancers and 3 maps already available in-game.

Trion Worlds also announced today that Atlas Reactor will be the first ever game to feature fully integrated Discord voice chat. For the first time, players will be able to fully control their Discord client in-game for instant chat and communications among teammates in Atlas Reactor. “We’re excited that Trion chose to work with Discord for Atlas Reactor’s in game voice and hub for its player community,” said Stanislav Vishnevskiy, Chief Technology Officer at Discord. “It’s an amazing, competitive game and adding quality voice will make it even better.”

Kerbal Space Program Team Turnover; Patch Next Week

Kerbal Space Program website has details on future plans for Kerbal Space Program. This includes a patch coming next week to update the space flight simulation to version 1.2. This also explains they are bringing in new talent to support the game, following a reddit post from the original developers explaining they are now leaving the project (thanks Kotaku via nin). They say version 1.2 will be "amazing," and offer the following outlook on the future:
This is by far the best update we’ve developed and you, the community, have been an essential part of it. We can’t thank you enough for helping us with your feedback, your bug hunting and, of course, your support. You are the real heroes of Kerbal Space Program!

We also want to thank our fantastic team of professionals, whose hard work, dedication and passion made this possible!

But this is not all! Here at Squad we’re looking into the future and we have great and ambitious plans for the KSP franchise and even more!

If you’ve been following us closely, you must be aware that we’re growing and we’ve been looking for talent and great collaborators that help us build the next milestone of this franchise. New talents have enrolled in the past few months and they are just as excited as we are. Bringing new talents is allowing us to bring fresh ideas to the plate and we can’t be more excited for what’s coming

There’s an important amount of new content, besides this new update, that we’re currently working on. This includes more free updates, full expansion packs with an incredible amount of new content and much more!

We’re also experimenting with new technologies and platforms to expand the KSP experience towards new horizons.

Furthermore we want to participate in more industry events, because we want to have a closer relationship with our fans. We’ve already participated in Gamescon, Tokyo Game Show and Twitchcon and we’ve met amazing people who have given us lots of insight and ideas. We’re hearing you and we’ll not disappoint you!

Rocksmith 2014 Edition - Remastered Released

Ubisoft announces the release of Rocksmith 2014 Edition - Remastered, which, in spite of the 2014 in the title is a newly updated version of the music game. This can be purchased for Windows, OS X, and consoles, and is available as a free upgrade for owners of the original game. Here are all the details:
Today, Ubisoft® announced that Rocksmith® 2014 Edition – Remastered, an updated and improved version of Rocksmith® 2014 Edition, is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Mac and Windows PC. New players can join the nearly four million people who have learned to play guitar and bass through the award-winning Rocksmith method with the remastered edition for $59.99 and current owners can download the free patch on all platforms, including Xbox 360 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, to access the updated features.

The fastest way to learn guitar* is better than ever with a customizable learning curve, expanded practice tools, stat tracking, improved menus and more. Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered has more than 50 tracks on disc, and over 900 songs are available for purchase. Nearly 650 songs have been added since that game’s initial launch, with new tracks added every week. Players who purchase Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Mac, will also get six new bonus downloadable songs for free, from a wide variety of genres. These six songs will be available for purchase separately for existing owners who download the free patch.

  • Bob Marley & The Wailers – Three Little Birds
  • Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
  • FUN. – Some Nights
  • Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
  • Outkast – Hey Ya!
  • Train – Drops of Jupiter

For more information about Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered, please visit

Grand Theft Auto Online Bikers Launch

Rockstar Games announces the release of the Bikers update for Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer mode for some long-forgotten single-player game. They offer this trailer to show off the mode, and details on all this adds, including new clubhouses, businesses, vehicles, weapons, clothes, and tattoos. There's also a new adversary mode, premium race, and a snapmatic contest, all celebrated by a bikers week. Here's the wrapup:
Today’s update also brings many optimizations, enhancements and fixes to GTA Online including items by popular demand including giving hosts the option to set “Non-Contact” for Stunt Races and the ability to use destroyed or impounded Personal Vehicles in Races. Check out full Title Update notes at the Rockstar Support website as always, and please remember to continue sending your feedback for consideration to us at

Stay tuned for details of the official Bikers livestream happening later this week on Twitch and YouTube featuring the Rockstar Broadcast team and special guests to be announced.

Mafia III Trailer

Here's a new trailer from Mafia III showing off more gameplay from the upcoming open-world crime sequel. Here's word on the latest mob movie: "In Mafia III – The World of New Bordeaux – The New Mob, learn how Lincoln Clay found uneasy allies among other victims of Sal Marcano’s tyrannical reign over New Bordeaux. Quickly, Lincoln recruited these allies into a variously-talented corps of underbosses, assembling his own family to exact revenge." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Canadian Hunter Shames Bear Off Tree. Using his "who's a good boy?" voice no less.

Hide and Shriek for Halloween

Funcom announces Hide and Shriek, a new multiplayer Halloween game for Windows they will release this month in time for the occasion. This involves one-on-one battles between invisible combatants where the goal is to scare your opponent to death. The game's Steam page has more details, including screenshots and a teaser trailer. Here's word:
“Last year we were the ones scaring the players, this year they’ll be doing the scaring,” said Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “’Hide and Shriek’ is a ticket to quick, fun ten-minute multiplayer matches where players get ! to indulge in the spirit of Halloween by setting each other up with traps and surprises.”

Funcom’s Halloween game last year, ‘The Park’, was an experimental project for the company’s Oslo studio mainly intended to increase the development team’s experience with the Unreal Engine. ‘Hide and Shriek’ is a similarly experimental title developed by Funcom’s North Carolina studio, developed by a small team over to increase their competence with the Unreal Engine.

‘Hide and Shriek’ is a one vs. one multiplayer romp played out in ten minute matches. Your objective is simple: be a mischievous little rascal and scare your opponent half to death before time runs out! If there is no clear winner when the timer stops, the player with the most points wins the game. There is just one catch: you are both invisible! You will need to use cunning traps and potent spells to reveal your opponent in order to scare them. Just remember they are looking for you too, and if you`re not careful you might be the one jumping in your seat!

‘Hide and Shriek’ will be available this Halloween on Steam, fully localized to German, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese languages. For more information, please visit or visit the game’s Steam page directly.
Continue here to read the full story.

Beholder Beta to Demo Transition

Beholder Steam page announces that the closed beta of this indie adventure is making a transition to a public demo this week. This game is set in a dystopian future where an oppressive totalitarian state exerts complete control over the population. That post is short and sweet but the announcement they sent along has further details on how all beta keys will be revoked tomorrow before the demo is released on Thursday. They also say they will randomly select 50 of those who filled out their surveys and give them keys for the full version of the game when it's released.

Streamline Early Access

Steam News announces the launch of early access for Streamline. As the title implies, this calls itself "the first in a new genre of Stream First games." This is an action sports game so you can show off your twitch on Twitch. Here's word on how this works:
Stream First
Streamline has been designed and built from the ground up to be perfect for streaming. Broadcasters can easily make parties to play with their communities while stream viewers can bet on players, change the rules of the game in real-time, compete in mini-games, and more to become (in)famous on the stream, all by using, a unique website integrated on desktop, mobile, or tablet. Streamline is the perfect game for Sub Sundays, Follower Fridays , or just playing together with your friends.

Elimination Mode
Throughout Early Access, Proletariat is developing multiple game modes for Streamline, each featuring one or more broadcasters, up to 16 Players, and tens, or even hundreds of, thousands of Viewers. In the first mode, ‘Elimination’, players free-run around the maps, gather points, and avoid the competition. The Hunter tracks down the Runners and eliminates them from play while streaming to the Viewers. Viewers can bet on the best Runner to win big, change the rules of the game in real-time, and play mini-games like Bingo. Give your Runner an edge by turning the floor into lava or bringing them back from the dead or help the Hunter by restricting the Runners’ movements or making them explode if they touch each other!

Op Ed

PC Gamer -- Valve must take greater ownership of Steam's Early Access program.
"I think Valve's desire for Early Access to be a one-size-fits-everyone label does create confusion. Because the same 'under construction' label is applied to each project, the burden is placed on the player to research and understand the exact state of the game, interpret the developer's roadmap, and dig up other nuances that distinguish the often radically different approaches of Early Access developers. "We work really hard to make sure that customers understand what they are buying when they get an Early Access title on Steam," a preamble to the Early Access rules reads. I think the opposite is true: there's no subcategorization between a pre-alpha experiment and a nearly-finished technical test, for example. A visualization of how many updates the game has received over time is one feature that could help players the history of the project at a glance.

Valve has allowed Early Access to become something of a genre on Steam. It's almost treated this way within the Steam store, barely separated from sections like Action and Strategy, and adjacent to Free to Play as a category. There's a suggestion there that Early Access is a type of gaming experience: the opportunity to get in on the ground floor, the chance to see something in its primordial state and influence its evolution. Increasingly, it's an experience I think many PC gamers would say is unpleasant and uncertain."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I was about to joke that today being 10/4 (in U.S. notation) should be some sort of CB radio day. You know, 10-4 good buddy? Then I realized I this probably wasn't a joke. Sure enough, today is actually National CB Radio Day. So there... time to fire up a copy of Smokey and the Bandit and drink a toast to what I saw described as "the greatest travel communication tool since the middle finger."

Truckin' Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: The Castle Dungeon.
Links: Multiclick. Thanks Boing Boing.
Story: Westworld's creators explain how their series addresses violent video games. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Nobel physics prize 2016 to be shared by British scientists – as it happened.
New Method To Create Antiparticles May Make The Sci-Fi Dream Come True.
Bad habits that are sabotaging your sleep.
Media: Watch Stranger Things, the 8-bit version.
Carpooling in Russia.
M923 5 Ton Stump Pull.