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Thursday, Apr 13, 2017

  

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - Inception DLC

Stardock now offers Inception, new Christopher Nolan-free DLC for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, their and Oxide's Windows RTS game. This is available on Steam for all of a few bucks, though Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is also required. They explain that this offers four new maps along with branches that allow for different outcomes:

Today, Stardock released "Inception," a new DLC for its massive-scale RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. This DLC contains four new maps and a unique split-scenario where the player's choices directly affect the outcome of the campaign.
"Until Inception, choices within each scenario have been pretty linear," said Derek Paxton, VP of Stardock Entertainment. "This time, the player gets to choose which faction to play as. The dialogue, direction, and results of the scenario are different depending on whether they're the PHC or the Substrate. To get the full story, you'll need to play through once as each."
The main scenario in Inception places the player on the planet Oneiros. A mysterious entity, known as Nihilon, has corrupted the consciousnesses of all of the PHC and Substrate on the planet. Players who choose to experience the scenario as the Substrate must rescue their brethren and find out what Nihilion has done to them. Players who choose the PHC, however, only have one goal: to neutralize all of the threats on Oneiros, regardless of the source.
Inception also features four new maps of various sizes and player counts. Each map has been newly designed to accommodate many different game types such as free-for-alls, comp stomps, team matches, and more. The new maps are:

  • Oneiros: 7-player map with a strong central starting position, vulnerable north and south positions with abundant resources, and four isolated corner starts.
  • Bayern: 3-player Terran map with vulnerable starting locations and massive metal deposits in the center.
  • Brasil: 10-player ice map with a resource-rich central valley and several defensible points around starting areas.
  • Polska: 5-player desert map with strategically critical hills and passages between regions.

Watch Dogs 2 DLC and Free Update Next Month

UbiBlog announces a two-part update coming to Watch Dogs 2, saying a free update and a new DLC release will add new free and premium content to the open-world action game. There are loads of details following this introduction:

A new, two-part content rollout for Watch Dogs 2 begins April 17, when a free upgrade will add new competitive multiplayer modes, armored trucks to raid and hack, and a nonlethal paintball rifle, among other things. The next day, the No Compromise DLC hits PS4 (with PC and Xbox One to follow on May 18), bringing a new story arc, new single-player time trials, and more to Season Pass holders (or those who purchase it separately). There’s a lot to dive into, so here’s a quick look at what’s in store, based on our time playing the new content.

Endless Space 2 Next Month

Amplitude Studios announces a May 19th release date for Endless Space 2, their 4X strategy sequel. The game's departure from early access coincides with a big sale on the original game:

Amplitude Studios announced today that its genre-defining 4X sci-fi game, Endless Space®2, has an official launch date! Endless Space®2, Amplitude's modernized take on the turn-based 4X genre, will leave Early Access and be fully available May 19 on Steam. In celebration of its time in Early Access coming to an end, players can now get the original Endless Space® on Steam for just $1.00 USD for a limited time.

The original Endless Space is on sale for $1.00 beginning today through Monday, April 17, includes the base game and the Disharmony DLC. Also, current owners of the base game will receive the Disharmony DLC for free. Be sure to snatch up this amazing deal this weekend as moving forward, the Endless Space Collection will be the only option available for purchase, which includes the base game and Disharmony for $19.99.

Endless Space®2 is a turn-based, space-strategy game that expands through the Endless universe, putting players in the fascinating role of leader guiding a civilization in making its first steps into the cold depths of interstellar space. Play through eight factions alone or against your friends.

Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces a release date for Mass Transit, saying the new expansion is coming to Cities: Skylines on May 18th. This will add new transportation options to Colossal Order's urban planning game (as always with this genre, you come for the buildings, but you stay for the endless road upgrades). This trailer shows things off, though the Yanni-style soundtrack wouldn't have been our first choice compared to other options like Train in Vain, Another on Rides the Bus, Rock the Boat, or anything from Led Zeppelin. Here's what to expect:

Paradox Interactive, a publisher that sometimes goes off-track, and genuine bona-fide electrified six-car developer Colossal Order today announced that “Mass Transit”, the next expansion for Cities: Skylines, will be available on May 18th, for $12.99. Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit brings a blimp-load of new features to to the critically acclaimed city-builder, including new public transportation options such as monorails, cable-cars, ferries, and most majestic of all, blimps!

The expansion also includes new mass transit hubs, which allow passengers to easily switch between different public transportation options, showcased for the first time in this new trailer:

Continue here to read the full story.

Mr. Shifty Released

Mr. Shifty is now available on Steam, offering a top-down action game for Windows, OS X, and Linux that's drawn many positive comparisons to Hotline Miami. Here's a launch trailer to show things off, and here are some details on the game:

Shift through bullets, and master lightning-fast takedowns in an all new kind of action game from tinyBuild and Team Shifty! Mr. Shifty follows a teleportation-fueled heist to break into the world's most secure facility.

  • Shift through walls, through bullets, cover huge distances and be everywhere at once
  • One shot kills. Survive on skills.
  • Use distraction, trickery, explore what's possible when stealth and action become one!
  • Toy with enemies, laugh as they use doors to enter rooms
  • Underestimate enemies, and cry as they use group tactics to outsmart Shifty

A group of industry veterans behind 21 games, from GameBoy Advance to Xbox 360, have joined together to raise the bar for independent games: Team Shifty's action-packed debut is a must play!

Continue here to read the full story.

Dawn of War III Voice Cast Video

Fog of War #5 is a new video diary for Dawn of War III, Relic's upcoming real-time strategy sequel. As explained below, this clip introduces the game's cast of voice actors:

The voices that bring our characters to life have been an integral part of the Dawn of War experience since its original installment in 2004, and Dawn of War III is no different. Our latest episode of Fog of War takes you behind the scenes and into the minds of characters like the strong and poised Farseer Macha, and the battle-hungry Warboss Gorgutz ‘Ead’unter.

For Dawn of War III, the team went to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the Warhammer universe, to find the most authentic voices possible for each of the characters. The British talent on display is immense, including Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Christopher Fairbank (Guardians of the Galaxy), Alec Newman (Dune, Children of Dune), and Babou Ceesay (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Step into the audio booths of Side UK, and meet a few of the talented actors stepping into the shoes of iconic franchise characters, and the audio designers who help their voices shine in-game.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Star Wars Battlefront II Trailer Saturday

A preliminary Star Wars Battlefront II website is now online, dedicated to the upcoming Force-powered action game sequel. There's not much there at the moment, as it only offers mailing list signups, and the promise of a full-length trailer on Saturday, though we don't know whether or not this is the trailer that EA already leaked onto the internet. There's also an animated gif that probably includes some Easter eggs in hexadecimal code for everyone to sort through. Thanks VG247.

BANDAI NAMCO Warns: "Prepare to Dine"

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment offers a new teaser trailer for an announcement expected one week from today on April 20th. This shows some stylish, mostly monochrome 2D animation, and delivers the tagline "Prepare to Dine." There are no other details for now, but from the style of the clip, that seems more likely to refer to some manner of monster than a chef, though it's possible that leaves some wiggle room for Gordon Ramsay. The clip also includes this URL, though that just refers back to the clip and offers the chance to sign up for their mailing list. Stay tuned for more on this next week. Continue here to read the full story.

Cossacks 3: Guardians of the Highlands Released

GSC Game World announces the release of Guardians of the Highlands, the first mini-expansion for Cossacks 3, the Windows real-time strategy remake. This is available on Steam, and requires owning the base game on Steam, but is not one of the DLC packs included in the Digital Deluxe Edition. Here's word on the add-on reminding us that if it's not Scottish, it's crap:

Cossacks 3: Guardians of the Highlands gives you an opportunity to lead Scotland, a freedom-loving nation of highlanders, which makes its debut in the Cossacks series. Its captivating campaign will tell a tale about the triumphs of the Scottish people in the 17th and 18th century, and will allow you to personally participate in them. Among other additions to the game, the mini-addon brings AI-assistant – a great tool for both new players and the veterans of the game.

As an aside, in looking for a video for this, we discovered this animated movie, a reminder that Sir Sean Connery must have the worst agent in Hollywood history.

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS vs Cheating

An Early Access Week 3 Update for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS has details on a new patch for the battle royale with cheese game which is intended to curtail cheating. The accompanying update indicates this is the first step in a process that could take months. Here's word:

Before we move onto what has changed in this week's two patches, I want to briefly talk about the reports of cheating within our game. Before we moved to early access, our core focus was on adding all the needed systems into the game. Now that this is mostly complete, we are focused on optimizing performance, and increasing security to ensure everyone plays fair.

This is not a simple task, as tackling cheaters is a constant battle, but we are confident that over the coming weeks and months we can implement new measures to make it harder to cheat in the game. This week alone we closed two major holes that allowed current cheats access to the game, and as we move further through Early Access we will continue to track down and further secure the game from those that don't want to play fair.

As with all games, talk of cheating is discouraged and will be removed from our public facing community forums, not to try to hide it from players, but rather to ensure that those that cheat get no exposure to the public, which is something most of them desire! We hope you understand this point, and bear with us as we work to clean up the game.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, I'm happy to have avoided turning this into a late update. I was playing online with the boys last night and I one more gamed myself into a super-late bedtime. It's just tough to quit sometimes when you're on a really hot winning streak. I'm guessing I'll pay the price at some point, but I managed to get going this morning on a ridiculously small amount of sleep. Time to fire up some more coffee.

Caffeinated Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
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