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Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 Happy π day!

  

Starbreeze Investing in System Shock 3

Otherside Entertainment announces Starbreeze will be publishing their upcoming System Shock 3. This sounds like a significant boost to the prospects for the action/RPG sequel, as the publisher is committing at least $12 million to the project, though it sounds like some of that will help bring it to consoles. Here's the plan:

Starbreeze AB, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, has signed a publishing agreement with Otherside Entertainment regarding the game System Shock 3. Starbreeze will invest $12 million to bring the game to PC and other platforms.

System Shock 3 – The latest in the series of landmark, award-winning games from Otherside Entertainment is in development under the direction of industry legend Warren Spector and a dream team behind such ground breaking games including the original System Shock & System Shock 2, as well as Thief: The Dark Project and Deus Ex.

“System Shock is one of those iconic franchises in the history of games that still gets my blood going and Mr. Spector is one of the founding fathers of the modern action RPG” said Bo Andersson-Klint, Starbreeze CEO. “We’re greatly looking forward to bringing System Shock 3 to players world wide in our collaboration with Otherside Entertainment and Warren Spector’s team. I’ll be first in line to play”.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Starbreeze for System Shock 3,” said OtherSide’s CEO Paul Neurath. They truly get games and gamers, and have been able to translate that understanding into a robust publishing business, and build thriving gaming communities around their franchises.”

Starbreeze will be able to recoup 120% of its full investment including marketing costs. Starbreeze share of revenues will become 50% after the investment is recouped. Otherside Entertainement will retain 100% of the intellectual property relating to System Shock 3.

System Shock 3 is currently in the early concept stages of development. Fans can go to the game site to receive updates as they become available.

Full Throttle Remastered Next Month

GOG.com announces they are accepting pre-orders for Full Throttle Remastered, offering an April 18th release date for the hog-riding remake. Here's what's going on:

Full Throttle Remastered, the bombastic return of the heavy-metal point & click legend, is now available for pre-order exclusively on GOG.com, with a 20% pre-order discount!

When the Polecats hit the road, they're indestructible. No one can stop them. But they try.

Now the gang has gotten into some serious trouble, and it's up to their stoic leader Ben to outrun explosions, rough up some tough guys, and lay waste to a bunch of mechanical bunnies.

To celebrate the game's return, creator Tim Schafer will be joining us for a special Twitch stream on Friday, March 17, 7PM UTC. Get your desktops dressed for the occasion, with the mighty fine wallpapers available soon as a pre-order bonus.

Additionally, there's a rad Double Fine Sale going on, with games like Day of the Tentacle Remastered, Brütal Legend, Broken Age, Psychonauts, and more going for up to 90% off.

Dead Rising 4 on Steam

CapCom Unity announces the promised release of Dead Rising 4 on Steam, bringing the game to some of the advertising-free versions of Windows. Here's the deal:

The mall walking undead have shuffled their way onto computers worldwide, as Dead Rising 4 is available now on Steam.

Retired photo journalist Frank West has been drawn back to Willamette, the scene of the first zombie outbreak, for the biggest scoop of his career with ambitious young student Vick at his side. Frank finds the town under siege from another zombie infestation and the rebuilt Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall is stocked with bloody entrails and all sorts of consumer goods.

There’s not only your standard B-Movie zombie horde to contend with, but Frank will also have to face off against two new and dangerous kinds of running dead when he meets the highly-energetic infected zombies and the dangerously intelligent Evo. Add to that, a shadowy para-military organization and some unfriendly survivors who prove to be terrible civic ambassadors, Frank has his work cut out for him to get the story and get out of town.

Dead Rising 4 is out today on Steam for $59.99 (USD). The Steam release is action-packed with all free title updates, including “My Bloody Valentine,” two new difficulty levels (Hard and Blackest Friday) and the Street Fighter costume pack. Also available is the Dead Rising 4 Seasons Pass for $19.99 (USD), which adds in the “Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack,” “Frank Rising” and “Super Ultra Dead Rising 4: Mini Golf”.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered St. Paddy's Event

The Activision Games Blog announces Operation Shamrock and Awe, a Saint Patrick's Day-themed event that's underway in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. The announcement goes into full detail and includes a trailer with a look at what to expect. Meanwhile, we have an announcement they sent along that's a little more to-the-point:

Beginning today, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is introducing a host of new content in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

During the promotion, which runs now through 12:01am Pacific April 3rd, all players will get access to a free map called Daybreak, which is a modified version of Downpour with lush, green country side and holiday décor layered in throughout. The map also features in-game challenges that allow players to earn a holiday-themed weapon camo called “Folium.” Additionally, players will get a free Supply Drop each week simply by logging in to play.

Fans can also acquire a bevy of new themed items including reticles, camos, calling cards and emblems, along with the ability to unlock Darren “Graves” Cosgrave as a playable character.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Multiplayer Video

This video shows off multiplayer gameplay from Mass Effect: Andromeda. The description explains: "Welcome to the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay series. In this video, learn all about cooperative multiplayer. Join forces with up to 4 players, battle through hordes of enemies, and win using high-tech armaments and deep customization. The fight for humanity's new home continues." Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch Orisa Video

A new video from Overwatch shows off Orisa, the next hero coming to Blizzard's shooter. The clip includes gameplay footage, concept art, and interviews with the design team discussing what went into creating her. Continue here to read the full story.

AereA Announced

SOEDESCO announces AereA, a new palindromic IP coming this year to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This short teaser trailer accompanies the news, which offers this brief outline of what to expect:

Adam’s Venture: Origins was the first IP released under the SOEDESCO brand. With AereA, the publisher adds an exciting new brand to its portfolio. The first title in the AereA-series is a music-themed action RPG in which the player goes on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the broken world of Aezir.

Hans van Brakel of SOEDESCO about the announcement: “Our strategy is to combine the publishing of third party games with first party titles. The AereA-IP is the next step in building a strong portfolio and a great addition to our 2017 line-up.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Nex Machina Revealed

The GeForce website reveals development of Nex Machina, a twin-stick shoot-em-up in the works at Housemarque. They have a trailer showing off the game's 4K graphics, and the its Steam page says to expect it this year. Here's the Steam News announcement describing their plans to support PCs:

We are very excited to announce that Nex Machina will be coming to PC!

This is our first PC game launch since Supreme Snowboarding in 1999 (Outland is on Steam, but was ported 3 years after the console release) so it has been a long time coming.

“It’s amazing and humbling to be able to get back to our roots in PC development, where we started almost 22 years ago”, said Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Housemarque.

Officially there is no date to announce yet, but our aim is to get Nex Machina out during the summer on PC and PS4. As twin-sticks go, the game will be controller focused, but we are also fine-tuning a mouse and keyboard control scheme as we speak.

“Working on the PC build has come with its own set of challenges, but our friends at Nvidia have helped us realize that Housemarque magic on the PC as well”, said Mikael Haveri, Head of Publishing.

Get ready for more Nex Machina related news in the days and weeks before launch. There is still quite a bit that we haven’t yet announced and a few question marks still remain.

Until next time, enjoy the “PC announcement trailer” that features a brand new level of Nex Machina, and add it to your wishlist on Steam.

Paragon First Anniversary Celebration

The Paragon website details a new patch that's now live in Paragon, kicking off a first anniversary celebration for Epic's early access MOBA. The patch introduces a new hero Yin (shown in this video), game updates, their first round of balance changes, and a gift for players to celebrate. This video highlights the contents of the new patch, and here's word:

Epic Games celebrates the one year anniversary of Paragon today with a game update that brings a new hero, huge updates to existing Heroes and cards, and a week long celebration with gifts for all players.

Players who play one game this week will receive a “Year One Gift,” granting them one of six skins from the vault as a special “thank you” for their support. Double XP is also in effect all week, along with limited time sales on bundles, loot crates, and keys.

Paragon also welcomes its newest Hero, Yin. This wind-summoning, whip-wielding carry can slow down projectiles and send them hurdling back at her opponents. Epic has released an overview video, which can give you a deeper look at her abilities and see her in action.

This update also sees changes to 20 Heroes, and marks the first major Hero balance update that includes everything from minor tweaks to major ability overhauls. Additionally, some cards have been reworked to include more impactful passives and actives, changes that reflect the general direction of Paragon’s full card system rework coming in 2017.

Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of the Storm New Hero Released

Battle.net announces the release of a new patch for Heroes of the Storm, adding the new hero Probius to the MOBA, along with other changes and tweaks. In addition, the update expands the free hero rotation, kicks off 2017 ranked season 1, and marks the return of the viral Cho'gall giveaway event. Also on tap are promised user interface changes, and a round of balance tweaks.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

  • Ashes of the Singularity on the Stardock Website. Ashes dev journal. Replays and other new features in the works.
  • Diablo III on Battle.net. Necromancer Update: The Meleemancer.
  • Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer on Blizzplanet.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Sweet Jesus! OMFG! NSFW. Title actually makes sense.

For Honor Bans

A post on reddit by the For Honor team reveals they are banning players for AFK farming in For Honor (thanks VG247). This is not as drastic as it sounds, as they say 1,500 players received three-day bans, while 4,000 more received warnings. Those wrist-slaps aside, they threaten permabans for repeat offenders. Here's word:

We communicated earlier this month about how we’re fighting AFK farming and how the For Honor team takes this issue very seriously. A first wave of warnings has been sent earlier last week, and the first wave of banning was performed today. Also, a new wave of warnings has been sent simultaneously.

In today’s wave, around 1 500 players got a 3-Days ban for doing AFK farming.
Around 4 000 new AFK farmers got detected and will receive a warning.

Using a cheat engine to exploit AFK farming is against our Code of Conduct, and these impacted players may get a permaban for cheating.

In all cases, impacted players will receive an official email detailing their sanction and the reason behind it.

As a reminder, our Code of Conduct can be found here: Code of Conduct
You may also wish to refer to our FAQ regarding applicable sanctions in For Honor Sanctions

Lucio Changes and More Revealed in Overwatch AMA

An AMA on reddit hears from Jeff Kaplan, game director on Overwatch, Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. Thanks PCGamesN, where they highlight a couple of answers of interest, including Jeff's outlook that one of the game's must-pick heroes needs changes, as does one of the niche characters:

Lucio’s being re-tuned
Everyone’s favourite roller-blading DJ looks to be getting a tune-up in the future. “Right now we're trying some stuff with Lucio,” revealed Kaplan. “We feel like a lot of players feel like he is a ‘must have’ in comps but he also doesn't feel super impactful to play. We're trying some ideas to make him more engaging to play while making him a little less obvious/must pick.”

Winston’s getting buffed
“Winston is the least picked hero in the game in case you were wondering,” said Kaplan. In order to try and rectify this, some new changes are coming to the PTR. “I am looking forward to seeing how the barrier changes play out from the PTR once they go live. We've seen that Winston in the hands of the right player -- like Miro for example -- can be amazing.

Styx: Shards of Darkness Released

Cyanide Studio announces the release of Styx: Shards of Darkness, saying the stealthy assassination sequel has emerged from the shadows for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Here's the launch trailer that debuted last week, and here are some details on the game:

Styx: Shards of Darkness, the Stealth game from Cyanide Studio, releases today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC! Players will take control of agile goblin thief Styx, as he assassinates, sneaks and snarks his way across an immense, dark fantasy world filled with deadly secrets and enemies. Watch the game’s lively launch trailer for a taste of Styx’s abilities, quick acrobatics, and even quicker tongue!

Styx’s latest adventure sees him making an unexpected deal with a mysterious human officer named Helledryn – and she’s got a job with far higher stakes than anything he’s tackled before. He must steal an ambassador’s scepter, which has attracted the interest of several nefarious (and goblin-hating) parties. As a reward for completing this dangerous mission, he’s promised a mountain of magical Amber, the source of Styx’s power and a substance he’s hopelessly addicted to. Of course, it’s not long until our green-skinned thief is stuck in a web of intrigue and assassination!

Master the verticality and non-linearity of Styx: Shards of Darkness’ open environments with an array of tools and abilities. Struggling to bypass a heavily guarded entrance? Scout the path ahead using your amber vision, distract the guards with a controllable goblin clone, then emerge from temporary invisibility to stab them in the back! Styx will always have a wide range of dastardly creative methods for completing his objectives – and if you join a friend in the drop-in coop, you’ll discover even more ways to unleash chaos!

Continue here to read the full story.

Rend Announced

Frostkeep Studios announces Rend, a fantasy survival game that is the first project from this new studio formed by veterans of Blizzard and Riot. This will launch in early access this spring, and a Steam page and a gameplay trailer to help paint a picture of what to expect. Here's word on the game:

Frostkeep Studios, an independent games studio formed by veteran World of Warcraft and League of Legends developers, was announced today along with the studio’s first new game, Rend, a hybrid fantasy survival game that introduces RPG elements and other game mechanics to the genre in ways never previously seen.

Operating under the radar for nearly the last year, Frostkeep Studios was created by three game developers – Solomon Lee, Mat Milizia and Jeremy Wood – who met 15 years ago working together on the original World of Warcraft. Over the last year, Frostkeep Studios has assembled a talented team of game developers and contractors, including Overwatch composer Neal Acree, to contribute to the creation of the studio’s first game, Rend.

“Frostkeep Studios is what we dreamed making games would be like as kids – we are pushing boundaries, and putting players and the love of the game at the focal point of every decision we make,” said Solomon Lee, co-founder of Frostkeep Studios. “Our goal is to deliver rich, compelling experiences where players truly get a voice in the discussion and shaping of the games we are making.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Grand Theft Auto Online Update

A new update is live in Grand Theft Auto Online, updating the part of Grand Theft Auto V that actually gets updated. The new patch adds the Cunning Stunts: Special Vehicle Circuit, a collection of new stunt races intended to highlight the capabilities of some of the game's cars. This post from last week has the details:

Next week, a different breed of high-flying vehicular competition hits GTA Online with 20 new Stunt Races custom built for the Rocket Voltic, Ruiner 2000 & Blazer Aqua in Cunning Stunts: Special Vehicle Circuit. Designed with each of these vehicles' unique characteristics and abilities in mind, this collection of Stunt Races comes to GTA Online on Tuesday, March 14. Also on Tuesday, Legendary Motorsport adds the classically-styled Progen GP1 to its formidable roster of supercars.

And to gear up for next week's Special Vehicle Races, we've also got a flight of new GTA Online bonuses kicking in this weekend and running through Monday, March 13th (on top of ongoing specials including Double GTA$ & RP Stunt Races). Aspiring kingpins can claim their own high-rise for 25% off Executive Offices and Office Garages before taking advantage of CEO bonuses all weekend long. To help satiate your thirst for carnage and gear up for Tuesday, Warstock is slashing the SecuroServ prices on Special Vehicles. Special Vehicle Missions will also dish out Double GTA$ & RP throughout the weekend, allowing you to earn big while getting acclimated with the Special Vehicle of your choosing. Bodyguards and Associates are also getting a Double GTA$ salary bump this weekend.

The Marble Nest - Free Pathologic Teaser

Ice-Pick Lodge now offers The Marble Nest for free for all to download. This is a short teaser game originally created for Pathologic Kickstarter backers, and it is now being set completely free. Pathologic is still coming this fall for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. They have a trailer with a look at the game, and provide the following details:


Ice-Pick Lodge is pleased to announce the public release of Pathologic teaser game, The Marble Nest, along with a new trailer showcasing the game and its warped, ethereal world.

The Marble Nest, a separate game set parallel to the main story, was previously available only to backers of the Pathologic Kickstarter campaign, which raised almost $335,000. The several-hour-long experience is designed to give players an introduction to this strange town, destroyed by an ungodly plague.

Pathologic - a complete re-imagining of the cult classic of the same name - mixes roleplaying, adventure and survival mechanics to tell its dark and dreamlike story. The Marble Nest features some (although by no means all) of the genre-fusing mechanics that will feature in the full Pathologic game when it releases later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

"We started working on what became The Marble Nest as an internal prototype, but it quickly blossomed into something we felt was representative of the tone and style of Pathologic," explained producer Ivan Solvtsov.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Happy Pi Day! I'm hoping this means the nor'easter we're currently experiencing around here will end up being known as the Pi Day Blizzard, which has a much better sound than Winter Storm Stella (unless, of course, you shout STELLA like Brando). It's going to be hours before the snow stops falling, so I have to decide if I want to go out at some point and do some intermediate shoveling so I don't have to try and move more than a foot of snow at once. Maybe there's time to entertain the notion of just ignoring it until it goes away, with spring just a week off, except there's more snow in the forecast for the weekend. Apparently Mother Nature has thrown out her calendar.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Ghost Sniper.
Science: Natural swings partly responsible for Arctic sea ice loss.
Space Sex Is Serious Business.
12 FACTS ABOUT FARTING YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW.
Media: Highway through a Building.
LEMMINGS AND DOG! - LEVEL 2.
English bulldog rolls down hill and has encore performance.
The Funnies: xkcd: Chat Systems.



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