Archived News:

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2016

The Little Acre Released

The Little Acre is now available via digital distributors, including GOG.com and Steam. This is an adventure game for Windows, OS X, and Linux from Pewter Game Studios and executive producer Charles Cecil (Broken Sword and Beneath a Steel Sky). This video offers a launch interview, and here are some details:
Created by the Dublin-based Pewter Games alongside Broken Sword creator Charles Cecil as executive producer, The Little Acre is a heart-warming, story-led adventure featuring hand-drawn animation, full voice acting, and a beautiful original score. Inspired by the marvels of classic Don Bluth animation (All Dogs Go to Heaven) and the magical wonder of a Miyazaki world, the game is set in 1950s Ireland and follows the story of Aidan and his young daughter, Lily. Investigating the sudden disappearance of his father, Aidan finds himself transported to a strange new land populated by bizarre creatures. Things are made slightly more difficult when young Lily decides that she is going to “help” and encounters her own perils along the way.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cossacks 3: Days of Brilliance Released

Cossacks 3: Days of Brilliance is now available on Steam, offering new DLC for Cossacks 3, GSC Game World's real-time strategy sequel (which is required). Here's word on the Polish troops that are now all polished for release: "Immerse yourself into an epic Polish campaign that depicts heroics of the Polish army in the 17th century, or witness the iconic military events from all over the Europe in new singleplayer scenarios! Denmark and the Netherlands are also here to join both singleplayer and multiplayer battles, increasing the already impressive roster of nations on Cossacks 3!" Here's the semi-recent official trailer, and here's more on what to expect:

  • Polish campaign: Experience the most thrilling events of the Polish history in 17th century. From the genius Battle of Klushino to the grand Saving of Vienna, lead the mighty winged hussars over the plains of Europe in the age of their greatest triumphs and victories.
  • New exclusive missions: 5 new exciting missions will take you all over the Europe and allow you to assume the role of general in the key historical military events of the 17th and 18th century Old World.
  • Additional nations: Play as mighty Denmark or the swift Netherlands, each with its own new unique buildings, units and music themes.
  • Brand-new original units: 5 new units will set their foot on the battlefields of 17th century Europe, including original new units, exclusive to Cossacks 3, for new nations and Poland.

Continue here to read the full story.

Rocksmith Unplugged

UbiBlog has details on a new update that's live in Rocksmith that supports acoustic guitars in the music game. Here's how this works:
That brings us to Rocksmith. Even though there are plenty of songs in the library that prominently feature acoustic guitars (R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Extreme’s “More Than Words,” Don McLean’s “American Pie,” Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” and Eagle Eye Cherry’s “Save Tonight” all come to mind), most players use electric guitars and basses when they play. If you have an acoustic with a pickup in it (sometimes called an “acoustic-electric” or “electroacoustic” guitar, or a guitar fitted with a removable pickup that temporarily slides into the soundhole), the Real Tone Cable works just fine – but anybody with a traditional acoustic guitar hasn’t been able to join in the fun.

Well, that changes today. When you sign in to your platform’s online network, a new free patch will download and add Microphone Mode to your copy of Rocksmith 2014 Edition Remastered. Now, you can plug a dedicated USB microphone into your hardware (console or PC), point it at your acoustic guitar, and play without a Real Tone Cable. The only difference you’ll notice is that the Authentic Tones are disabled – so if you want to play Pantera on your acoustic, you won’t get that great Dimebag Darrell distortion bleeding out of your speakers in Microphone Mode. But Rocksmith will still hear your playing, let you know which notes you got right, and adjust the difficulty to match your skill level, just like when you play with the Real Tone Cable connected.

New ShootMania Game Modes Detailed

A new Maniaplanet 4 Preview #5 on the ManiaPlanet Blog offers a look at new gameplay modes coming to ShootMania with the upcoming ManiaPlanet 4 update (thanks Frans). They introduce a new game mode called Warlords and "variants on existing game modes: XP and FUN mode variants will allow you to experience different styles of play." They offer this trailer with an example of a mode called Royal XP. Here are some details:
For example, in the Royal XP mode, players will be able to get gold that will display on the map after the tornado starts moving. In the mode’s store, they will buy upgrades such as additionnal rockets and armors or items and strong weapons to be activated during a round. Players will also observe that their upgrades will be preserved between games thanks to a persistance specific to the XP modes.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Overwatch Winter Event Begins

The new patch is now live in Overwatch, updating Blizzard's multiplayer shooter with a bunch of fixes and changes, including the promised rework to Symmetra. This also introduces their limited-time winter event. Here's word on that from the previously posted patch notes:
Overwatch is getting into the holiday spirit with a brand new seasonal event. For the next three weeks, Hanamura and King’s Row will be decked out in holiday lights, we’re introducing a new collection of holiday-themed cosmetic items, you can challenge your friends to a snowball fight, and our Loot Boxes will be and tied with festive bows. Grab a mug of hot cocoa and jingle all the way to Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland. To learn more, click here.

Grand Theft Auto Online Import/Export Update

Rockstar Games announces the release of the Import/Export update for Grand Theft Auto Online. They say: "Expand your criminal empire with a new frontier of illicit profiteering to explore: dominating the city’s trade in stolen luxury vehicles with GTA Online: Import/Export, the latest enterprising extension of the CEO gameplay introduced with Further Adventures in Finance and Felony." Here's more:
As you source more vehicles, you will unlock Special Vehicle missions; co-op based efforts that will require your Organization to deal with a range of SecuroServ operations and plenty of vehicular mayhem. Completing Special Vehicle missions opens up the ability to purchase these vehicles at a special SecuroServ trade price, and owning specific Special Vehicles also unlocks new VIP Work. These unique modes of transportation range from the armed and the armored, to the amphibious and the airborne, and will all be stored in the lower level of your Vehicle Warehouse.

Beyond the 8 new Special Vehicles, stock your massive new Executive Garage with two new Super class cars; the Pegassi Tempesta and Ocelot Penetrator, plus the Principe Diablous Custom and Annis Elegy Retro Custom, two new upgrade options at Benny’s. Executive Garage owners can also add an optional custom shop to their shiny new digs for in-house customization and Benny’s style vehicle Upgrades, which include a variety of garage customizations including lighting and design options.

Turtle Rock's New Co-op Shooter

Turtle Rock Studios discusses a new co-op first-person shooter they are developing which will be published by free-to-play publisher Perfect World Entertainment. They discuss their plans in an article on GamesIndustry.biz, saying this goes back to their roots, though it will not be a zombie game like their signature title, Left 4 Dead. This excerpt covers their plans:
"We are developing a new franchise set in an all new universe that leverages the style of gameplay our community loves and expects from Turtle Rock Studios. We're focusing on what we do best - heart-pounding moment-to-moment online co-op FPS action," said Phil Robb, Co-founder of Turtle Rock Studios. "And with Perfect World as our partner, we will always make sure that our players come first by listening to them and growing the game based on how they play and interact over what we hope are many years to come. We cannot wait to show them what we have in store."

According to President and GM of Turtle Rock, Steve Goldstein, the developer isn't willing to go so far as to call the new IP a spiritual successor. "We think that kind of label has big expectations tied to it, also - it sets an expectation that we're making something sequel-like that does not deviate too far from the original formula. And while we focus on awesome first-person shooting and co-op, we'd rather have the new game be something our players classify and designate and judge without us affixing the label ourselves," he said.

"What we can say is that we are definitely going back to our moment-to-moment gameplay roots with a huge focus on co-op FPS. There will be plenty of baddies to shoot up, but it is not a 'zombie game' or anything post-apocalyptic. What we can say right now is there's a strong dark fantasy element to it."

Sniper Elite 4 Hitler Preorder Bonus

Rebellion announces a Target: Führer mission where the goal is to assassinate Adolf Hitler as a preorder bonus for Sniper Elite 4, their World War II sharpshooting sequel. If this sounds familiar, that's because a Hitler assassination mission was also a preorder bonus for Sniper Elite V2, released in 2012. The change here is that while the previous take on this was single-player only, while the new mission is for one or two players. Here's a reveal trailer, and here's word:
Featuring an expansive coastal environment – including a lofty U-boat facility packed with elite Nazi troops and the kind of environmental hazards that would make any health and safety inspector run for the hills – players will get a fantastic taster of Sniper Elite 4’s open-ended approach to tactical third-person combat, rewarding not only their sharpshooting skills, but also their wit and creativity.

Designed for 1-2 players and offering hours of replayability and dedicated achievements and trophies for discovering some of the most unique kills, Target: Führer offers a substantial and thrilling bonus for fans who pre-order Sniper Elite 4 before launch.

Target: Führer is included FREE with ALL retail and digital pre-order editions of Sniper Elite 4 and will also be available to purchase when the game launches worldwide on February 14th, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Continue here to read the full story.

Sudden Strike 4 Trailer

Sudden Strike 4 is on display in a new gameplay trailer from Kalypso Media's upcoming World War II strategy sequel. They say the game is on track for release in the spring, and they hope to inspire prepurchases on Steam with a 15% discount, a soundtrack, a digital art book, and a bonus Battle of Kursk DLC pack. Here's more on the video:
Kalypso Media is thrilled to present the new gameplay trailer for Sudden Strike 4, showing the latest glimpses of gameplay from the return of the legendary RTS franchise in all its glory. As well as new footage of single- and multiplayer modes, the new trailer demonstrates the return of the optional ‘pause and play’ system, allowing players to suspend the action while they issue detailed commands and manoeuvres to their units.

Also shown is one of the most significant new features of Sudden Strike 4 – commanders. Players may now for the first time select from nine historically accurate commanders, each of whom has their own unique abilities, perks and skill tress to unlock as you play through the game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mirage: Arcane Warfare Trailer

The Vypress class from Mirage: Arcane Warfare is on display in a new Instruments of Death trailer from this multiplayer first-person shooter that's currently in alpha testing. Those seeking entrance into the closed alpha can sign up on the official website. Here's word on the new trailer:
The Vypress is one of Mirage: Arcane Warfare’s deadliest competitors that you probably won’t even see coming. Wielding two blades that can slice through your head in an instant, the Vypress relies on her superior speed and specialized abilities - the high-flying “Pounce” and the teleportation-like “Phase” - to end her enemies in the flash of an eye. What she lacks in defense she makes up for in agility, as seen in the new class trailer focused on her that can be viewed here.

Salvage Op Released

Salvage Op is now officially launched on Steam, offering a salvage-themed action game that requires a VR headset and tracked motion controllers. The game just departed early access, and this news post covers all that's changed since then. Here's word:
Engage in a series of Salvage Operations on deep space vessels which have been overrun. This virtual reality shooter uses a teleport mechanic which is friendly to those with motion sickness. Wield multiple weapons, interact with objects, and overcome your fears with a head mounted flashlight as you explore multiple challenging levels.

Graywalkers: Purgatory Next Year

Dreamlords Digital announce a first-quarter 2017 release window for Graywalkers: Purgatory, their supernatural, post-apocalyptic RPG funded by a Kickstarter. There is no recent video on the game, but the announcement includes a bunch of details:
Graywalkers: Purgatory is the first in a series of emergent Strategic and Tactical Turn-based Role-Playing Games set in a stylish supernatural post-apocalyptic world, where parts of Heaven and Hell have merged with Earth in an event called "The Rupture". The game was inspired by a combination of the tactical elements of XCom, the strategic features of Jagged Alliance, and the RPG aspects of classic Fallout & Wasteland. The game was funded on Kickstarter and is now currently in the alpha stage. It will be released first for PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and later on will be ported to console (PS4 & Xbox One)

The story happens on the new island of Purgatory, a place made up of displaced land masses from all over the world that have merged together. You play the prophesied leader of the Graywalkers, 36 individuals who are destined to protect mankind across history. Your goal is to unite all the factions together under your banner and lead the war to reclaim the world for humanity against the supernatural forces that have dominated the world.

The game will have several key features:

  • Game Modes – will have 3 game modes: Campaign, Skirmish (Mission Based), and Multiplayer will be added through a free update. Early Access will be released with the Skirmish mode first.
  • Strategic Management - Manage your resources, personnel, influence, technology, magic, and equipment
  • Race – choose from 6 races (human, dhampir, Nephilim, cambion, wolfkin & hunterborne). More races will also be added through DLCs
  • Character Paths – choose from 10 initial paths(classes) for your character to follow
  • Characters – in addition to your custom character, you will be able to recruit from over 40+ playable NPCs, each with his own abilities, background and personality. Level them up and customize them as they improve
  • Table-Top Experience – game utilizes a new table-top RPG system
  • Enemies – encounter creatures like vampires, demons, angels, werewolves, ghosts, witches, zombies, and many other supernatural enemies
  • Resources - Scavenge for resources, rebuild lost technology, recover ancient relics, research new technologies, and craft objects from ordinary items that you find.
  • Factions – choose your alliances from among various factions, with each having their own agendas.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Trianga's Project- Battle Splash -- Steam Greenlight. "Battle Splash is a third-person shooter which takes inspirations from water fights. The game features water weapons to fight with your friends in a friendly competitive environment that everyone can enjoy to their fullest. Players choose one of 4 ordinary girls that lacked of combat training, and have to combine their skills with the provided weapons in order to master the game." Here's a trailer.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ACME Zoopa Q420 Cruiser Quadrocopter on Mad Shrimps.
  • Axtremex Micro SSD Gen2 mSATA - USB 3.1 Gen 2 Storage Bridge on AnandTech.
  • Corsair Harpoon RGB Mouse on ocaholic.
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2G OC Graphics Card on Technic3D.
  • Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W PSU on ocaholic.
  • SilverStone Redline RL05 Case on techPowerUp.

Out of the Blue

That wintery weather I mentioned yesterday has got me thinking that it's chili season, and I'm contemplating cooking up my first batch of the season. And apparently I won't be experimenting that much with my recipe, either. I recently floated the idea of breaking from my strict carne version of chili con carne by making a batch adulterated by things like tomatoes and beans as an experiment in a more mainstream version of the dish. This has met with universal disapproval, and I am apparently forbidden from such sacrilege.

Unadulterated Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Blocky XMAS.
Cancelled Refuge.
Science: Climate change brewing more extreme weather, shifting breaking points.
NASA aborts takeoff of plane-launched rocket, reschedules.
Could Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk- It Depends.
Images: The entire internet, circa 1973. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Media: The cast of Westworld sure loves a good Dubmash.
ATTENTION ALL HUMANS!!! - STOP PET SHAMING.
Hot Car - Cyanide & Happiness Minis.
Hoverboard Snowplow.
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