Archived News:

Friday, Sep 22, 2017 Hobbit Day

Gone Gold - South Park: The Fractured But Whole

South Park Studios offers this trailer (NSFW) to announce that South Park: The Fractured But Whole is now gold, so the flatulent RPG is on track for release. Word is: "South Park: The Fractured But Whole has gone gold and is almost here. Get ready for release on October 17th 2017." The clip features a fish that totally isn't Kanye West, and a farting unicorn sequence that totally isn't his game, so, you know, the usual. Here's word from UbiBlog:
This highly anticipated sequel features more than twice the amount of content than South Park: The Stick of Truth. Created, written, voiced, and directed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is authentic, interactive South Park at its finest – hilarious, outrageous, and a whole lot of fun. Everything is bigger, longer, and goes deeper than before. Come on down to South Park and have yourself a time.
Continue here to read the full story.

Depth Free Weekend

Steam is offering the chance to play Depth for free for the next two days to allow players to submerge themselves into this asymmetrical action game. This gives players the chance to be a diver or a shark and see how that plays out. For those who enjoy themselves, the game is also currently on sale for 75% off. Here's a more complete description:
Play as a shark or a diver in a dark aquatic world and overcome your enemies by employing cunning, teamwork, and stealth. Depth blends tension and visceral action as you team up against AI or be matched with other players in heart pounding combat.
Key features

  • Play as a shark
    As any one of 7 shark species, speed and senses are your greatest weapons. Stalk your prey from across the ocean and tear them in half with your razor sharp teeth. Be a Great White, Tiger, Mako, Bull , Hammerhead, Thresher ...... or even the legendary Megalodon!
  • Play as a diver
    As a human diver you must explore the abyss in search of treasure to upgrade your arsenal. Defend yourself with a range of high powered gear, from spearguns and pistols to underwater assault rifles and explosive sea mines.
  • Heart pounding atmosphere
    Experience the dread that comes from swimming in the darkness of the ocean. Dynamic lighting and shadows create a unique and gut-wrenching atmosphere that will have you on edge from the moment you dive in.
  • Evolve your play style
    Unlock exotic new weapons for your diver, or 'evolutions' for your shark that open up new tactical possibilities as you play the game. Persistent stat tracking and meaningful steam achievements will also give you something to shoot for (in some cases, quite literally!)
  • Practice offline with AI bots
    Not feeling quite ready to plunge into online play? Depth allows you to hone your skills against some alarmingly clever AI enemies who can be configured in several modes of difficulty.

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire Launches

ArenaNet announces the launch of Path of Fire, the second expansion for Guild Wars 2, their MMORPG sequel. To celebrate the news, they offer this post with an infographic celebrating the game's success with some numbers reflecting their players' engagement. Here's a launch trailer, and here's word on the release and the infographic:
ArenaNet™, publisher and developer of the acclaimed Guild Wars franchise, today announced that Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, the second expansion to Guild Wars 2, is now live. The highly-anticipated expansion is available at digital and retail stores across North America and Europe. Path of Fire comes to PC just two months after the conclusion of Living World Season 3 and just in time for the Guild Wars 2’s 5th anniversary.

To mark this milestone, ArenaNet also released an infographic today highlighting the impressive milestones that Guild Wars 2 has achieved over the past five years. Since its launch in 2012, the game has welcomed over 11 million players globally who have created over 53 million characters, while earning a staggering 78 trillion total experience points over more than 61 free content releases and one expansion.

For veterans and newcomers alike, Path of Fire delivers a vast new region that takes players across magic-drenched desert plains, ancient temples and ruins, and beautiful oases. Tyria’s very existence is in danger, as Balthazar, the god of war and fire, and his Forged legions descend upon the Crystal Desert and adjoining kingdom of Elona in their relentless hunt for Elder Dragons. To preserve the balance of magic and protect Tyria, players must hunt down and halt the rogue god and his army on their path of terror and destruction.
Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf Released

Steam News announces the release of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf, a Warhammer 40K action/strategy game that originally came out for mobile devices. The game was in early access, and this post discusses its graduation and provides a new gameplay trailer. Word is: "Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a card-driven turn-based tactical game which features RPG elements, containing a single player campaign, survival and PvP modes. Win these battles using the arsenal of weapons, abilities and cunning of the sky warriors." Continue here to read the full story.

Heat Signature Released

Steam now offers the launch of Heat Signature, a new action/adventure from Tom Francis and Suspicious Developments, the team behind Gunpoint (thanks Cameron). This post has word on the launch and details on the fixes in a day one patch that's also now available. Here's word on the game, which involves sneaking into spaceships to pull off secret missions. Here's the launch trailer along with an explanation:
Break into spaceships!
Fly your pod up to any spaceship in the galaxy and dock with its airlock to sneak inside. From there, you've got to sneak up on the crew, outshoot them in slowmo gunfights, or outthink them with clever gadgets. Take missions to steal loot, assassinate VIPs, or rescue friends.

Take your time!
Get out of impossible situations by pausing at any time and taking as long as you need to figure out a clever plan. You have a wide range of gadgets with clever uses, and you can switch, aim and fire them with no time pressure at all, letting you pull off ridiculously cool tricks without needing twitch skills.

Liberate the galaxy!
All your missions get you closer to liberating new space stations from the empires that control them, and this unlocks new gadgets to buy in your shops, and special challenge characters to play.
Continue here to read the full story.

Inmates Next Month

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Davit Andreasyan announce October 5th will be the release date for Inmates, the recently announced psychological horror game. They demonstrate their joy over this news with a new teaser trailer called "Despair." Here's the pitch:
In Inmates, players assume the role of Jonathan. You wake up in a seedy prison cell, with no recollection of how you got there. Everything is unknown, yet familiar. What did these cells hold? What is a child doing in here? What is real and what is not? Can you make sense of it all, before you are lost forever? Unlock the prison’s secrets, through sharp and cunning puzzle and exploration gameplay mechanics.

Upon release, Inmates will receive Chinese, Russian, German, French, Italian and Spanish language support. Players can now wish-list the game on Steam in anticipation of its October 5 release.

Key Features

  • Interact with the environment to unravel the truth
  • Intense and mind-bending puzzles
  • Suffocating setting
  • Disturbing imagery
  • High-quality graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4
  • Full controller support
  • Estimated game –play length: 3-4 hours

Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG vs Fortnite

PLAYER UNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS developer BlueHole is expressing concern over similarities between their battle royale game and Fortnite, which Epic Games acknowledges in saying "We love battle royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version." This is not to be confused with recent comments from Daybreak Games saying "there wouldn’t be PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds without H1Z1." The Verge relates BlueHole's thoughts on the topic:
Now, PUBG developer Bluehole has issued a response to what it describes as “growing concerns” about the similarities between the two games. “We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of [Unreal Engine 4], the engine we licensed for the game,” Chang Han Kim, Bluehole’s vice president, said in a statement. “After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”

Bluehole says its concerns extend beyond just the basic, last-player-standing theme of both games, and also include similarities with Fortnite’s interface and structure. “We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press,” Han Kim said. “This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”

Project CARS 2 Starts Its Engines

Publisher BANDAI NAMCO and developer Slightly Mad Studios announce that Project CARS 2 is now available, offering their motorsports sequel for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game's launch trailer came out earlier this week with a look at "how Project CARS 2 pushes the envelope on racing simulation with a huge roster of more than 170 cars, and the largest track roster of any console racing game ever." Here's the launch announcement:
Leading interactive entertainment company BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., and Slightly Mad Studios, today announce the launch of Project CARS™ 2 in the Americas for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM®. Recently honored with the “Best Simulation Game” award at Gamescom 2017, Project CARS 2 delivers a large roster of 180 cars, over 140 tracks at 60+ locations, an expanded list of racing disciplines – including ice, dirt, and snow – over its critically acclaimed predecessor (Project CARS™), and refined graphics, physics, and controls. The game supports up to 12K* resolution graphics (PC) with VR support, making Project CARS 2 the most immersive and technically advanced racing simulation experience to-date.

Developed by a team synonymous with racing games, and fine-tuned by highly skilled professional racing drivers, Project CARS 2 delivers unparalleled authenticity in its presentation of motorsports racing to players of all skill levels. Project CARS 2 utilizes leading-edge visuals, precise car physics, and realistic A.I. designed to mimic a competitive driver’s heart and mind to challenge players. The use of Slightly Mad Studios’ proprietary LIVETRACK 3.0 technology has enabled the development team to create all 4 seasons of dynamic real-time weather & seasonal effects, track surface conditions & time-of-day changes, and implement advanced tire grip/wear physics into the Project CARS 2 gameplay. By combining these technology features with the highest performance driving machines in the world from notable automotive brands such as McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche, etc., Project CARS 2 delivers a comprehensive experience for players to live-out their dreams of being a racecar driver.
Continue here to read the full story.

Raiders Of The Broken Planet Released

MercurySteam announces the release of Raiders Of The Broken Planet, offering an asymmetrical shooter for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. As previously mentioned here, the game has a somewhat offbeat episodic model that includes a free prologue episode that is also now available, and a Founders Pack option that offers access to more characters and campaigns. Here's the deal:
MercurySteam, the award winning independent development studio behind the multi-million selling Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series and the critically acclaimed Metroid: Samus Returns, today announced that Raiders of the Broken Planet is out now for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Available as a free download on Steam, the Xbox Store and the PlayStation Store, the Prologue contains two missions, 4 characters and sets the stage for the incredible story to follow. The first campaign of the 2017 Season - Alien Myths - is available to purchase for €9.99/$9.99/£9.99. Containing four missions, a gripping story, four new characters, new weapons and more, Alien Myths represents incredible value for players who want to visit the Broken Planet and participate in the unforgettable adventure the Raiders are embarking on.

“Raiders of the Broken Planet is easily the most ambitious title MercurySteam has ever produced. It has taken us three years to get here and I’m so proud to be launching the Prologue and Alien Myths campaign today! We hope players can see the amount of love and passion that has gone into this title,” said Enric Álvarez, Co-Owner of MercurySteam. “We want the barrier of entry to be as low as possible which is why we have a free Prologue, followed by individual €9.99 campaigns, as opposed to a €60 retail release. Publishing Raiders of the Broken Planet ourselves gives us the freedom to make these decisions.”

Three more campaigns will be released at regular intervals: Wardog Fury, Hades Betrayal and Council’s Apocalypse. Each campaign will tell a new parallel story focusing on different members of the Raiders while also adding new playable characters. Campaigns will cost €9.99/$9.99/£9.99 individually. The parallel nature of the stories ensures players can jump in at any time, enjoying the adventure in any order they please. Playing all four campaigns will reveal even more about the mystery at the centre of the Broken Planet.

For the ultimate Raiders of the Broken Planet experience, players can purchase the Founders Pack for €39.99/$39.99/£39.99. The Founders Pack includes access to every campaign on launch and additionally grants players immediate access to three new characters, Mikah, Dr. Kuzmann and Ginebra, 10 days prior to full release, without having to purchase them with in-game currency.

Consortium: The Tower Early Access

Early access is now underway on Steam for Consortium: The Tower, a single-player shooter for Windows with a science fiction theme. This post covers the release, offering links to revision notes for alpha version 1.0 of the crowdfunded game, and a new trailer shows off gameplay. This ties into the original CONSORTIUM, but the features list for the game explains that knowledge of the first game is not required:

  • Play this game entirely on its own or import your universe from CONSORTIUM and continue your story seamlessly! Playing the first game is NOT required to fully understand the narrative.
  • Imported games include alternate dialogue and situations stemming from your choices in CONSORTIUM.
  • New Players unfamiliar with CONSORTIUM will also be given unique dialogue and situations based on having NOT played the first game!
  • Explore hundreds of pages of optional backstory and lore through an in-game Information Console (our version of a codex)
  • A semi-realtime element allows for events to trigger based on playtime, and for world events outside of The Tower to pop periodically. Keep an eye out on these events, and piece together an interconnected narrative that spans well past the confines of The Tower.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Asus ROG Strix XG27VQ Monitor on TechSpot.
  • Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 Cooler on Phoronix. Keeping Threadripper Running Happy With Air Cooling.
  • Philips BDM4037UW 40-Inch Curved 4K UHD LCD Display on Nikk Tech.
  • Razer Lancehead Mouse on
  • TerraMaster F2-420 2-Bay Quad-Core NAS on Legit Reviews.
  • TP-Link Archer C3150 Dual-Band Wireless Router on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

Happy autumn to the northern hemisphere and happy spring to those in the southern. It's actually not here yet, as the autumnal equinox is today at 4:02 pm EDT, but we don't need to split hairs here. This is a little less jarring for me this year than it often is, as I have a friend in Australia who has been posting pictures of flowers from her garden lately, but I do admit to almost deliberately ignoring the earlier sundowns lately and the smattering of fallen leaves on the lawn.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Megaclash Warriors League.
Stories: A Delta Flight Beat Hurricane Irma Out of San Juan Airport, and It Was NBD.
With 'Star Trek- Discovery,' CBS Discovers That TV Ain't Easy Anymore.
Science: How flying seriously messes with your mind. Thanks Slashdot.
There cannot be two kinds of medicine: EU scientists shred homeopathy, alt med.
Alarm as 'super malaria' spreads in South East Asia.
Media: Jeff Kaplan: the consequences of toxic behaviour. Thanks PCGamesN.
Just your everyday traffic in Russia.
Let me see what you have.
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