Archived News:

Thursday, Jun 22, 2017 Anniversary of Quake's Release (1996)

Get Killing Floor Free

The Humble Store is offering a 100% discount on the Killing Floor, Tripwire Interactive's co-op survival/horror game (thanks Acleacius). This limited time offer runs until about noon EDT on Saturday. This is fulfilled through Steam, so an account there is required. Here's a refresher on the game:
Killing Floor is a Co-op Survival Horror FPS set in the devastated cities and countryside of England after a series of cloning experiments for the military goes horribly wrong. You and your friends are members of the military dropped into these locations with a simple mission: Survive long enough to cleanse the area of the failed experiments!

Bohemia Interactive Releases Free Game and Free Arma 3 DLC

Bohemia Interactive announces today is the 16th anniversary of the Arma series, which is a bit of a stretch that harkens back to the launch of Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (the first actual Arma title was some five years later). They celebrate the occasion with the release of free Malden DLC for Arma 3 as well as Argo, a free five-vs-five tactical first-person shooter. Here's the Malden DLC trailer, here's a Ben Affleck-free Argo launch trailer, and here's word:
Both Argo and the Arma 3 Malden DLC deploy players to a re-imagination of Malden – the iconic island terrain from the first Arma game (originally titled Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis*), which was released today sixteen years ago on June 22nd 2001. The new Malden (also referred to as ‘Malden 2035’) spans 62 km2 of landmass, and with many of its unique locations having been designed to support Argo’s infantry focus, the new terrain is specifically suited for close-quarters combat. Malden 2035 features 15 towns and villages, and many other special points of interest such as an airfield, bunkers, a radio station, a goat farm, a fjord and rock formations, orchards and vineyards, a desert area, and more. In comparison to the original Malden, the number and names of the towns and villages, and all locations of hills, crossroads, gas stations, have remained the same. For those who do not remember or did not experience Arma’s first deployment to the island, Bohemia Interactive posted a new video in which someone people might know from the Cold War Crisis campaign, U.S. Special Forces veteran James Gastovski, shares his memories of his deployment to Malden back in 1985.

Graduating from Bohemia Incubator, Argo is an Arma-based hardcore tactical multiplayer first-person shooter, in which players fight as mercenaries over the remnants of a crashed space station. The game features three competitive 5-vs-5 game modes (Clash, Link, and Raid), and based on their performance, players earn experience points, which can be used to unlock new weapons, weapon attachments, and gear. The game also features a 10-player cooperative game mode (Combat Patrol), where players need to team up to fight against AI in an open-world setting. As a bonus, Argo includes a 3D Scenario Editor. Here players can set up their own military operations and alter or create game modes. Argo is available completely for free on Steam and will not require any form of payment to play the game. Those who would like to support the game do have the opportunity to purchase the Argo “Supporter’s Pack” at € 9.99 / $ 9.99 / £ 6.99 on Steam or the Bohemia Store. As a token of gratitude, this pack comes with a few special in-game rewards which do not affect gameplay: 13 exclusive animations for the MVP screen at the end of each match, a bundle of 23 unique apparel items, the ability to use vehicles in the 3D Scenario Editor, access to premium Argo Supporter servers, and the names of supporters are highlighted on the leaderboards.

The development of Argo also benefits Arma 3 players, who will today be receiving the free Arma 3 Malden DLC, and which is automatically added to their Steam Library. The Malden DLC features the re-imagined 62 km2 Malden terrain also used in Argo, plus a variant of Argo’s Combat Patrol cooperative sandbox mode, supporting up to 12 players. In addition, the Malden DLC delivers new structures and buildings to Arma 3 content creators, the ‘Escape from Malden’ and ‘Escape from Tanoa’ survival multiplayer scenarios, and orchestral renditions of the classic Arma Cold War Assault and Arma 3 main theme songs (music is available only to owners of the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, Arma 3 Extended Edition, Arma 3 Apex Edition, Arma 3 Special Edition, and Arma 3 Supporter Edition). Meanwhile, Arma 3 is currently on sale for the lowest price it has ever been on Steam and the Bohemia Store, with discounts up to 66% on the Arma 3 base game, Arma 3 Apex expansion, and Arma 3 DLC.
Continue here to read the full story.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 Video

This trailer offers the chance to experience the E3 2017 demonstration of Beyond Good and Evil 2, the long-awaited action/adventure sequel. The clip runs more than 14 minutes, and features some game engine footage and narration from Michel Ancel. The description includes the following details:
Journey to System 3, for the prequel to one of Ubisoft’s most beloved games! Fight alongside unforgettable characters in a stunning new solar system, as you struggle for freedom and the right to determine your own fate among the stars. Play the adventure by yourself or with friends in a vast and seamless online playground.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is the spiritual successor to the cult classic, a prequel that will transport players into a profoundly multicultural world, capturing the spirit of the original with grandiose decors and intense dramas that play out across a vast universe. Through the Space Monkey Program, Ubisoft Montpellier will be developing the game alongside its community of fans.

System 3 has become the center of interstellar trade and colonization in the Milky Way of the 24th century, thanks to the creation of Hybrid slaves. While private enterprises fight over resources and power, the first colonists weave together the rich and diverse spiritual and cultural heritages of Old Earth to give meaning to their existence. In this new era of piracy, we will rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain at the helm of massive star-faring vessels, adventuring alongside crews of colorful characters to fight for freedom and the right to determine our own fate among the stars!
Continue here to read the full story.

Ensign Watson Joins Star Trek: Bridge Crew

UbiBlog has word that the promised update is now live for Star Trek: Bridge Crew that uses IBM's Watson supercomputer to parse voice commands for AI crewmembers. Here's a new trailer with a leisurely approach to explaining this, and here's word:
Starting today, Star Trek: Bridge Crew has interactive speech and cognitive capabilities courtesy of IBM Watson. As Michael Ludden of IBM describes in the video below, Watson’s speech-to-text service transcribes the voice command and then sends it through Watson Conversation to parse the meaning of the text and deliver the command.

In order to be heard by their AI crewmates, players need only press a button to activate listening and then speak commands to the crew. This works whether you are playing solo, or cooperatively with a mix of human and AI crewmates. Most existing commands are voice-compatible (players must still select targets manually), but there are a few extras the team put in to enhance the Trek experience. “Make it so” will engage warp or impulse to the targeted destination, “on screen” responds to a hail, “damage report” brings up the ship status, and “red alert” causes all your human teammates to freak out (by activating the red alert siren).

This Watson-fueled functionality is now live for all platforms and works in-game on both the Aegis and the original Enterprise.
Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch Highlight Improvements

A new video update from Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan outlines some changes coming to Overwatch, the multiplayer first-person shooter. Jeff says they are completely revising the highlights system to allow you to preserve your finest moments. Now highlights will remain available for 24 hours, even after logging out, and they are adding the ability to bookmark your own highlights. This will incorporate with the addition of a way to save your favorite highlights. Jeff also announces plans to "drastically" reduce the frequency of duplicate items showing up in loot boxes. Anticipating the concern that fewer dupes will result in lost "income," he says they are also increasing the drop rate of game credits to more than make up for the difference. Continue here to read the full story.

For Honor Competitive Mode and Duel Tourney Testing Next Week

Ubisoft announces they will launch a public test next week in For Honor that will introduce ranked play a duel tournaments to the melee combat game. The test period will begin on June 29th and conclude on July 4th, and they offer a Q&A on the plan with game director Damien Kieken. Here's the latest community livestream for the game and here are details on the plan from the UbiBlog:
For Honor was designed from the ground up to encourage competitive play, and now the development team wants to raise the game’s competitive bar with the introduction of ranked play through a public test for Duel Tournaments. For Honor’s Duel Tournament feature is a structured tournament system where warriors will battle it out not just for bragging rights, but also for glory in a new ranking system. All players start in a qualifier stage, where they will have to participate in 20 matches before being ranked into one of five tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond – the highest rank) based on their performance. These tiers are then divided into five groups, ensuring that battles are fought between warriors of similar skill. Because this is a public test of the Duel Tournament feature, progress and rewards will not be saved after the test period concludes on July 4.

This is just the beginning of ranked For Honor play, as the team will release the full feature in a future update for all platforms. The For Honor Team also has some upcoming competitive opportunities for those looking to prove themselves on the battlefield before the ranked feature launches. Stay tuned on the Blog for more information on that soon.
Continue here to read the full story.

Linux Cossacks 3

This announcement reveals that the Linux edition of Cossacks 3 is now available. They refer to this elsewhere as an open beta, but the post says it is "officially available." This is also official enough that the store page has the SteamOS logo and word that cross platform play with the Windows edition is already live. Here's word:
We congratulate all Linux owners - a miracle has come to pass!
From today "Cossacks 3" is officially available for two platforms - Linux & Windows.

Everybody who has Linux-version of the game, without time limitations, gets Early Bird bonus, which contains:

  • Additional mini campaign for single player.
  • 2 unique mercenary units that could be hired from the every nation’s Diplomatic Centre.
  • A special Early Bird Badge visible in multiplayer shell.

We are deeply sorry for delays on its release, as we hadn`t foreseen all the difficulties which occured during porting process on other OS. But we sincerely hope you will get enjoy playing our game and this will reward your patience.

If you already have the game in your library - just click Play (reload Steam if it's needed), otherwise, you can buy it in Steam:

de Blob 2 Released

The Windows edition of de Blob 2 is now available, offering a sequel less than two months after the first installment in this action/adventure series. You can find this on GOG.com, Steam, and other digital distributors. Here's a release trailer, and here's word:
Celebrate! Summer is here and de Blob 2 makes it's debut on PC, the game is out now on Steam and other ESD-platforms. The new release offers not only the most colorful game ever made but also some new features, added to the remastered version:

  • Upscaled videos
  • Added FXAA Anti Aliasing
  • Added resolution and graphic quality options
  • Keyboard & mouse and Gamepad (Xbox/PlayStation™) support and UI adaptation, also added remap feature
  • Unofficial Wiimote support

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: A heart pounding chase (thanks Ant). The title doesn't begin to describe it. What on earth do they feed that little rocket?

Steam Summer Sale Launches

As predicted, the Summer Sale is now live on Steam, and will run into July 5th. Valve's online store is offering discounts on thousands of games. There are also Steam Summer Sale Trading cards and a badge to craft and upgrade. This year's accompanying project involves a virtual sticker book and daily quests to earn stickers. The stickers can be placed in the book and then, well, apparently that's most of it. Here's a bit from the FAQ on the topic:
What are stickers?
Stickers are virtual collectibles that can be earned by completing quests during the Steam Summer Sale.

When a quest is completed, you will earn a sticker pack that contains three unique stickers from the event

View your sticker collection here

What can I do with stickers?
After opening your sticker packs, you'll be able to apply the stickers to corresponding pages from your sticker book.

Once you've applied all of the stickers that correspond to a specific page, that page will permanently unlock on your account.

For all of your unlocked pages, you'll be able to customize them any way you want with your extra stickers.

How are the contents of the sticker packs decided?
Packs will contain three stickers associated with one or more pages from the sticker book.

The stickers are assigned randomly, however you will never receive the same sticker twice until you have received them all.

How do I get new stickers?
For each day of the sale, you will have new opportunities to collect more sticker packs.

Gigantic Next Month

Perfect World Entertainment offers the big, huge news that Gigantic is going to launch out of early access on July 20th. This will expand the game's reach to Windows 7 and 8, and the open beta is now also available to those versions of Windows through Arc Games. The game is free-to-play, but they are also selling Founder's packs with access to 18 heroes, saying this is a $175 value, which some might see as a bargain, while others might consider it an indictment of free-to-play economics. They offer a new Open Beta Launch Trailer, even though the open beta began in December. Since few games admit to being MOBAs, here's word on what they call their strategic hero shooter:
Today Perfect World Entertainment Inc., a leading publisher of free-to-play online games, and Motiga, Inc. announced Gigantic launches on Arc, Steam, Xbox One and Windows 10 on July 20. The free-to-play strategic hero shooter has also expanded the final month of Open Beta to the Arc platform today with new features, allowing even more PC players across the world to battle alongside massive Guardians. Gigantic is also currently available on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Check out the Gigantic Open Beta Celebration Trailer: https://youtu.be/JbBLgg009WY

Gigantic’s Open Beta received a sizable update today, introducing bot matches, a revamped tutorial, voice chat and new front-end UI. To celebrate the last month of Open Beta, Gigantic is offering a login and play bonus to all players. Starting today, Arc players who log in to the game and play one match will receive an Arc Lightning skin for Tripp, while Xbox One and Windows 10 who do the same can get the Excelsior skin for Tyto the Swift.

Players looking to unlock even more for their Gigantic experience can also purchase the Founder’s Pack, now discounted to $29.99 (down from $39.99), to gain access to all 18 current heroes, two upcoming heroes and additional unique rewards. Valued at over $175, the Founder’s Pack offers a substantial savings to players looking to establish themselves right away and is currently available on Arc, Xbox One and Windows 10, and disappears forever on July 20.

Gigantic is a free-to-play strategic hero shooter developed by Motiga. Gorgeously rendered, lighthearted and charming, Gigantic is for all types of gamers, pitting teams of five heroes and their massive Guardians against each other in epic battles across a variety of maps. The game combines explosive combat with fast-paced teamwork, strategy and skill, as players must work together and fight relentlessly to defeat the opposing Guardian with spells, guns and swords.

For more information about Gigantic and the Founder’s Pack, please visit the official website: www.GoGigantic.com.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard "Couch Co-op" Added

A new "couch co-op" mode is now available in Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, allowing two players to play the action/RPG on the same PC or PlayStation 4, with the patch to add this to Xbox One to follow. A post on the Kalypso Media forums outlines all the changes in the game's latest update:
Since the launch of Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, countless foes have been slain in the name of the old gods as players have made their way through the campaign in singleplayer and online-multiplayer modes. However, after listening carefully to fan feedback and working tirelessly behind-the-scenes, Kalypso Media and developer Games Farm are thrilled to announce the addition of ‘couch’ co-op multiplayer to its brutal action RPG as part of a major free update, available now on PlayStation®4 and Windows PC, with Xbox One to follow soon. Now two players can join forces on one console or PC to fight their way through hordes of vicious frost giants and rival clans.

In addition to couch co-op, significant changes have also been made to New Game+ mode, enabling players to carry over their items while increasing the difficulty with subsequent playthroughs of the main campaign, among other changes and improvements. Another much-requested new feature is the ‘stash’, a new addition to the village hub that gives players the ability to share items between all their different characters. In addition, players may now share items with fellow players during multiplayer games.

Other changes include improvements to the Trials of the Gods, new effects for legendary items, changes to talismans, adjustments to several boss fights and improvements to sounds, voiceovers, stability, UI, performance and localization. Please see the Kalypso Media Forums for the full changelog.

Kalypso Media and Games Farm are also pleased to confirm ongoing support for Vikings – Wolves of Midgard as they continue to work to add further minor enhancements requested by players.

No Recoil for Destiny 2 Guns on PC?

Those skeptical about the PC inexperience of Bungie and their PC porting partner Vicarious Visions in developing Destiny 2 won't be comforted by this post on finder.com.au (thanks PCGamesN). This reveals that the guns in the PC edition of Destiny 2 will not have the recoil found in the console versions of the shooter sequel. They quote lead designer, Mark "No Coke Jokes Please" Noseworthy on the topic, who later qualifies his statement, saying "I think that's accurate." Concluding with the odd abrupt ending from the post, here's his comment on recoil:
Yeah, we’ve thought about that quite a bit. Ultimately, we have one design for the game. And so, if you’re playing the Raid on PC or you’re playing it on PlayStation [4], it’s the same Raid. It’s the same experience. And we’re going to try and keep them as similar as possible, because hopefully we want this to be the best experience. We may look in a few places where weapons need to be handled differently, and we’ll treat them slightly differently.

For instance, there’s no recoil on guns on PC because recoil on the controller feels really good. ‘I’m firing, I’m firing, I’m firing, oh, I’m losing control of my gun a little bit.’ That feels great, especially with magnetism and all the magic in the controller that makes you feel it. With a mouse and keyboard, you don’t want the mouse moving without you moving it, so recoil doesn’t feel good, so there is no recoil on PC.

There are a couple of key ways we’re going to try and change it, make it so it feels native to that platform, because we want people to feel like Destiny 2 is built for PC. We want them t

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III on Mac App Store

The macOS edition of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is now also available on the Mac App Store. This allows you to skip Steam, though the version recently released on Steam also includes the Windows and Linux editions. Feral Interactive offers a (noisy) minisite for Mac and Linux users.

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

It's time to buy QUAKE a cold one, as it's not only the game's birthday, but the first person shooter is now 21, so it's legal to drink or drive in any state. I always think I'll replay these older games on such occasions. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail, but I'll definitely play a little QUAKE today. I'll meet you at the slipgate.

Slippery Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Badminton Legends.
Stories: Rumours Of A New Fantastic Four Movie From Fox. You Know, For Kids. Thanks GameSpot.
Watch a KFC sandwich fly to the edge of space.
Canadian sniper shatters record, kills ISIS fighter from 2 miles away: Report.
Science: Don't Fall for the "Memory" Pills Targeting Baby Boomers.
Media: 8 Things That Would Make The Force Awakens Amazing.
Watch the F-35 Fighter Jet's Stomach-Emptying Public Debut at the Paris Air Show.
The Funnies: Potato Chips.
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