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Wednesday, Mar 08, 2017

  

Steep Free Weekend

UbiBlog announces a free weekend begins on Friday for Steep, allowing the chance to take the plunge in this extreme winter sports simulation. Point your goggles at these details if you are interested in taking part:

Steep’s immense open world of winter sports will be yours to explore for free this weekend, throwing open the doors to pristine Alpine and Alaskan slopes on PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via Uplay). Beginning March 10 and running until March 13, the trial period will be a chance to experience everything Steep has to offer, including the new content added in the Alaska update. As you explore two gigantic mountain ranges and compete with skis, snowboards, paragliders, and wingsuits, you’ll also be able to meet up with other players on the slopes. This gives you the chance not only to tackle competitive events with friends, but to experience the mountains alongside other players who appear randomly in your session.

On PS4 and PC, the trial runs from 10AM PST on March 10 through 10AM PST on March 13. Xbox One owners will get to spend a little more time on the slopes for free, with their trial running from 12:01AM PST on March 10 until 11:59PM PST on March 13. And if you decide you want to keep playing with your progress intact after the trial period is over, you’ll be able to purchase the full version of Steep at a hefty discount. Console players can get 50% off the standard edition (or 40% off the Gold edition, which includes the Season Pass), with discounts lasting until March 13 on Xbox Live, and March 20 on PSN. On Uplay, meanwhile, you’ll be able to get the standard or Gold editions at 50% off until March 14.

There’s plenty to discover as you earn notoriety on the slopes, and after the improvements added with the Alaska update, there’s never been a better time to test your high-speed mettle against the mountains – especially when it’s free.

Homefront: The Revolution: Beyond the Walls Released

Steam now offers Beyond the Walls, a new DLC for Homefront: The Revolution, Dambuster Studios' insurrection-themed shooter. The PlayStation 4 edition of this is accompanied by a new playable trial, but this is not part of the Windows release. What is included is content set in a new environment in rural Pennsylvania. Here's word:

The second American Revolution has been crushed by the KPA occupation forces, and Philadelphia - last stronghold of the Resistance - is about to fall.

In America’s darkest hour, a glimmer of hope appears when a NATO agent makes contact from beyond the city walls with a desperate call for help. They claim to have information that could finally end the occupation - but can the Resistance reach them before the KPA close in…?

Features

  • Play as Ethan Brady, on a last-chance mission to free America from her nightmarish, totalitarian occupation
  • Travel beyond the walls of Philadelphia to the rural heartlands of Pennsylvania, the cradle of Independence
  • Make contact with NATO and discover their daring plan to defeat the KPA once and for all

Subsiege Early Access

Subsiege is now available in early access on Steam, offering the first chance to take a deep dive with this MOBA set under water. A new trailer accompanied the announcement, which explains what to expect when you dip your toe in these waters:

Subsiege is a real-time strategy game that pits players against mechanized underwater ships and sea creatures fighting for the earth’s last resources, with a main focus on battles with up to 12 players. Commanding handpicked squads of 1 to 6 units with MOBA-like abilities, players will use each unit to battle opposing forces, different sea monsters and compete for oxygen. The game will primarily play out in a ruthless and tactical way, so skill and quick decisions will be important for victory.

The developer team spared no effort to present an awesome game experience to all new players and the existing community.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Division Free Expansion Plans

There's an anniversary celebration for Tom Clancy's The Division on UbiBlog, where they discuss the first year of release for the open-world action game. They say two free expansions will come to the game during the coming year, offering some early details:

That free content for Year 2 is coming in the form of two separate expansions planned for release this year. The first unnamed expansion will be based on an event system that drives players to activities that feature modifiers, leaderboards, and unique vanity items that will only be available through these activities. In addition, Gerighty says the team has plans to include a loadout feature that will let players switch efficiently and quickly between their favorite gear combinations, as well as a system to mark a player’s feats. “[It] will reward players for different activities – long-term activities, short-term activities, and medium-term activities within the game,” Gerighty adds. “Basically, our Division achievements, if you will.”

The second expansion is still far enough away that the team doesn’t want to comment on it, and while Gerighty stresses that it will be “more content-focused”, new story missions won’t necessarily be a part of the package. “Story missions are tricky, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have narrative content,” he says. “We can’t really deliver story missions that will fit into the RPG aspects of the game in a simple way. So we’re not going to be doing the classic main mission type of thing, but narrative content is something that we are definitely looking at.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda PC Settings

The GeForce website talks about the upcoming release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, offering the previously released system specs, discussing PC graphics settings, and showing off some 4K Ansel screenshots of the game. Here's the outline of the settings:

If you’ve played other Frostbite Engine games, such as Battlefield 1 and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, you’ll know that titles built on DICE and EA’s engine run well and feature a good range of graphics options. Unsurprisingly then Mass Effect: Andromeda continues the trend, enabling you to scale image quality and performance to suit systems old and new.

As you can see below in screen captures of the WIP graphics menu, Mass Effect: Andromeda gives you options for Ambient Occlusion, Anti-Aliasing, Chromatic Aberration, Effects Quality, Film Grain, Lighting Quality, Mesh Quality, Post-Process Effect Quality, Resolution Scaling, Shader Quality, Shadow Quality, Terrain Quality, Texture Filtering Quality, Texture Quality, and Vegetation Quality.

In total there are 16 options that affect image quality, most of which have several detail levels. Additionally, Mass Effect: Andromeda players with a HDR television, or a G-SYNC HDR monitor, can enable the best implementation of HDR seen to date on PC with one flick of a switch in the Video menu.

Games of Glory Closed Beta Weekend

Lightbulb Crew announces this weekend will be a closed beta for Games of Glory, their upcoming top-down shooter/MOBA. The game entered early access almost two years ago, but that ended last November as they gear up for release. The beta will give a chance to see the game's new UI and sample cross-platform support that will place Windows and PlayStation 4 users in the same games. There's no mention of this on the Games of Glory website, but there's this hidden page where you can request beta keys for either platform. For those who don't get in, they say to expect an open beta later this month. Here are the details:

Lightbulb Crew, the indie studio made up of former devs from Ubisoft and DICE, today announced the dates for its upcoming closed beta for new top-down team shooter, Games of Glory. The closed beta will begin this Friday, March 10 and conclude on Sunday, March 12. Available on both PlayStation 4 and PC (Steam) with seamless cross platform play, the closed beta will offer players unique chance to get hands-on with the Games of Glory’s new user-interface and updated 3v3 and 4v4 game modes.

Games of Glory takes place in the sci-fi universe of the Synarchy, where clones of great warriors enter the futuristic gladiator arena as both a source of entertainment and a way to resolve conflicts of the empire. In the game, players can battle on the planet of Arkashan, a 4v4 battle where players take control of capture points in order to lay siege to their opponent's base, or Svandia, a 3v3 battle where players focus the randomized star player on the other team in a race to win five rounds before your enemy.

Games of Glory currently has 15 unique clones that break into 5 different classes, including Tank, Support, Carry, Assassin and Scout. Along with the 5 classes, each character has access to 50 unique non-character weapons, including shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols, flamethrowers, rocket launchers. As no two players are the same, each weapon is customizable and allows players to build their weapon in a way that fits their unique play style.

Blackwood Crossing Next Month

PaperSeven announces Blackwood Crossing will launch on PCs on April 5th, the day after the upcoming adventure game comes to PlayStation 4. This represents a delay, as the game was announced for release by the end of last year. Here's word on the game:

Blackwood Crossing explores the relationship between Scarlett and Finn, orphaned siblings growing apart as Scarlett enters adolescence. When they cross paths with a mysterious figure, a seemingly ordinary train ride evolves into a magical story of life, love and loss.

The game can be found on the US PlayStation store here, and PC players can add the game to their Steam wishlist here.

Blackwood Crossing will be the first major release from PaperSeven, an independent studio based in Brighton, England, made up of former Disney Black Rock Studio developers, as well as Oliver Reid-Smith, writer of The Room.

RAID: World War II Trailer

This new trailer offers a look at RAID: World War II, the upcoming four-player co-op shooter set during World War II. Here's word accompanying the clip: "Starbreeze AB has released an all-new cinematic trailer for its upcoming action co-op shooter RAID: World War II, expected to launch this summer on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC. Developed by Lion Game Lion, the game lets teams of up to four players go undercover behind enemy lines to destroy the Nazi war machine from within. Join Allied soldiers from different parts of the war to systematically take down the regime and seek redemption, one mission at a time." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Dead Space on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Panzer Corps 2 Announced

Slitherine announces Panzer Corps 2 is in development at Flashback, saying the new installment in the World War II strategy series is switching to the Unreal Engine 4. This teaser trailer is to whet our appetites, and it concludes with a 2018 release window. There's a full announcement on the original Panzer Corps section on Steam. Here's a bit:

Panzer Corps 2 is currently in development using Unreal Engine 4, to allow an impressive leap forward in both technological capabilities and visual impact. Hundreds of World War 2 units will be shown with a level of quality and detail never seen before in awargame.

The move to a fully 3D engine is a natural evolution of the game, but the core gameplay will always remain true to its roots: pay tribute to the classic gameplay of a distant golden age of strategy gaming, refine it, perfect it and use the most recent technologies to enhance these experiences and bring them to a new generation of gamers. In other words, strike the perfect balance between tradition and innovation, both in visuals and gameplay.

We will disclose more details about the game as we move through the development process, so make sure you follow us on the forum and on the Flashback Games site.

Continue here to read the full story.

Free Syberia II

The new game offered in Origin's On the House program is Syberia II, so the puzzle game is free to anyone with a free Origin account (thanks Ant). This is a limited time offer, but if you get it, the game is yours to keep. Here's a refresher on the game:

Having searched Eastern and Western Europe for a missing heir, Kate Walker finally completed her long and arduous journey, obtaining the signature of Hans Voralberg and closing the automaton factory buyout.

Mission accomplished? Not for this sophisticated New York lawyer…

An unlikely pair, young Kate Walker and old, eccentric Hans Voralberg now set off on a journey together: in search of the last of the fabled Syberian mammoths at the heart of a long and forgotten universe. The surreal quest Hans began alone several years ago will come to a final close as he and Kate face obstacles far more dangerous than ever before, testing their courage and determination.

Far and beyond, a mystical Syberia awaits their arrival…

Key Features:
Original and captivating storyline.

Rich and intriguing new characters with new, realistically detailed 3D environments.

Completely integrated, original puzzles that test the players skill throughout the game.

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide Sells 1M - Free DLC

Fatshark announces that Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide has sold more than one million copies. To celebrate, they offer a Lorebook DLC pack for the Warhammer action game. This offers a quest to create your own lore book, as outlined in the description:

Hidden and strewn around the various missions of Vermintide and its DLCs, you will find unique Lorebook pages. By picking up a page of the Lorebook, you will slowly unlock the story behind the various locations, enemies and even the Heroes of Ubersreik. Discover details you never knew or simply lose yourself in the rich world of Warhammer Fantasy.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gameplay Video

WBIE offers a trailer from Middle-earth: Shadow of War, showing off the first look at gameplay from the upcoming sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Here's the announcement that accompanies the clip:

Today, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment revealed the first gameplay footage of Middle-earth: Shadow of War™, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor™.

This Gameplay Walkthrough introduces viewers to the next generation of the innovative Nemesis System with the addition of Nemesis Fortresses, where players must utilise different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and forge their personalised Orc army. In this video, Talion and Celebrimbor, who return as the Bright Lord, must lead a fortress assault on the mountain valley of Seregost and take it from one of Sauron's Overlords. To succeed, they will use the power of the New Ring to recruit Followers during enemy encounters—a new mechanic allowing gamers to establish entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. This Gameplay Walkthrough is just one of the millions of possibilities that players will experience in Middle-earth: Shadow of War™.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Banner Saga 3 by Stoic — Kickstarter. 200% funded. Eternal Arena stretch goal unlocked.
  • It's A Blast! -- Steam Greenlight. "It's A Blast! is a physics-based, explosive multiplayer jousting game in which you fight your friends by headbutting each other into submission. Every 3 seconds a blast will propel your character forward as you aim for your opponents' buttocks. Use the pandemonium, environment and momentum to your advantage and remain as the last man standing!" Here's a trailer and a playable demo.
  • Juanito Arcade Mayhem -- Steam Greenlight. "Our beloved classic Arcade games have been infected by the evil Clonocells! Juanito, a lazy bones kid was chosen to save them by Gluk, a manipulative bipolar alien. Get inside an Arcade machine, go through all the most famous retro video games, equip you laser gun and fight against the mutant Clonocells from outer space!"

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA SSD Ultimate SU800 Solid State Drive on Benchmark Reviews.
  • AMD Ryzen 1700 vs 1700X - AMD Ryzen 1700 CPU vs 1700X CPU on HARDOCP.
  • Antec Cube Case Designed by Razer on Technic3D. German.
  • Crucial MX300 Limited Edition 750GB 2.5" SSD on ModSynergy.com.
  • Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop on TechSpot.
  • Logitech G533 Wireless 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset on PC Perspective.
  • MSI Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium Edition Motherboard on ocaholic.
  • Western Digital Black PCIe SSD (512GB) on AnandTech.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy International Women's Day. Seems like a good idea... I sure do love me some international women. At least I got this one in time, as yesterday I failed to note National Pancake Day, ironically offered by the International House of Pancakes. Too bad, I like me some pancakes too, even if they're just domestic.

International Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Lego Speed Champions.
Science: Inside NASA’s daring $8 billion plan to finally find extraterrestrial life.
Bacon and Soda Linked to Heart Disease Deaths.
Media: YOUTUBERS REACT TO TASTING NINTENDO SWITCH CARTRIDGES.
Man hasn't stepped out of his car for 7 YEARS. Thanks Boing Boing.
Hugh Jackman Doing ADR For Logan.



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