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Tuesday, Oct 24, 2017

Destiny 2 for Windows Released

Bungie announces the release of the Windows edition of Destiny 2, and the first-person shooter sequel is available through the Blizzard Shop. This post from last week outlines issues PC gamers will encounter on day one. Also, AMD offers recommended settings for playing this on their hardware, though we also see a report that the game "has major crashing issues for AMD Phenom users." Here is the accompanying announcement:
Bungie and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), delivered for the first time, the world-renowned, first-person action game, Destiny 2, on PC across the globe today. Destiny 2 has received more than 70 global awards and nominations to date, including winning “Best PC Game – Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2017,” and industry nomination for “Gamescom Award 2017 - Best PC Game.” The console game, released on September 6, was recognized as the best-selling console game of 2017 in the United States to date with less than one month of sales by The NPD Group yesterday, and now Destiny 2 PC is available exclusively on Blizzard®, Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed online-gaming platform, for digital distribution and at global retailers.

Developed by Bungie, and brought to PC in partnership with Vicarious Visions, Destiny 2 is optimized to take full advantage of the PC platform, delivering a native PC experience with PC specific features such as: 4K resolution support, uncapped frame rate, full mouse and keyboard support with custom key mapping, text chat, adjustable field of view, a detailed PC settings screen, 21:9 and triple monitor support, and HDR. Destiny 2 PC is playable on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

"It’s not every day that you get to welcome a new community to a game, but today we’re very excited to welcome PC players to the incredible universe of Destiny 2,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. “And with the unique partnership between Activision, Bungie and Blizzard, we’re giving players a gaming experience they won’t soon forget. Time to defeat Ghaul on triple monitor widescreen.”

Bungie’s PC Project Lead David Shaw, said, “The anticipation we’ve seen from the community and industry for the addition of PC is exciting for Bungie, our partners at Vicarious Visions and Activision.” He added, “We committed resources to make sure the PC game was created with the discerning requirements of the PC community in mind and are happy to extend a red-carpet welcome to those players across the world now that the game is live on Blizzard’s platform.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Stronghold HD + A.D. 2044 for Free is holding a giveaway, and for the next 48 hours or so you can head over an collect a free bundle of Stronghold HD + A.D. 2044. Stronghold HD is Firefly Studios original siege warfare game, updated with modernized graphics. A.D. 2044 is a puzzle/adventure game that was first released in 1996. Interestingly, the bundle of both games is currently free, but if you want them individually the giveaway does not apply, and they will cost you $5.99 USD each. This post has the details:
No man's land.

GIVEAWAY: For the next 48h, both Stronghold HD and A.D. 2044 are FREE!

Get them through the banner on the front page.

Make sure to grab your copies now - the offer lasts until October 26, 12PM UTC.

A.D. 2044, a cult sci-fi adventure, has just been released DRM-free on

Set in a post-apocalyptic future ruled only by women and female androids, this is a highly idiosyncratic first-person story following a male survivor in his attempts to navigate this strange society while avoiding capture.

Together with A.D. 2044, you will also get the obscure but fascinating Polish adventures Sołtys and Skaut Kwatermaster as bonus goodies.

Play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for Free

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is free-to-play for the next two days on Steam, offering the chance to try the latest installment in this cyberpunk shooter/RPG series (thanks DSOGaming). For those who want to continue after that point, the game is also currently on sale, carrying a 75% discount. Here's a refresher on what it's about:
The year is 2029, and mechanically augmented humans have now been deemed outcasts, living a life of complete and total segregation from the rest of society.

Now an experienced covert operative, Adam Jensen is forced to operate in a world that has grown to despise his kind. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

HITMAN - GOTY Edition Next Month

Io-Interactive announces a HITMAN - GOTY Edition is coming on November 7th, eschewing the opinions of critics to declare the episodic assassination sequel a game of the year themselves. This will include the game's entire first season along with a new campaign called Patient Zero. The new campaign comes all in one chunk, but there's no telling if this means they are giving up on the episodic model for the franchise. Here's a trailer from the GOTY edition, and here are the details:
We are super excited to announce HITMAN – Game of the Year Edition!

This awesome package includes The Complete First Season, the brand new ‘Patient Zero’ campaign, new Escalation Contracts, new weapons, new suits, new challenges, improvements to existing features and new lighting enhancements to all locations that make the game look better than ever – plus we have a few more surprises!

This is our first new content release since becoming an independent studio and we had an absolute blast putting it together for you. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we did making it – get ready to have your multi-coloured socks blown right off!

HITMAN – Game of the Year Edition will be released digitally on November 7th 2017 for PS4, Xbox One and PC! Here’s a full rundown of what’s included:

  • HITMAN The Complete First Season
  • New: ‘Patient Zero’ Campaign
  • New: Clown Suit and themed weapon
  • New: Raven Suit and themed weapon
  • New: Cowboy Suit and themed weapon
  • New: 3 themed Escalation Contracts

The Complete First Season
This is everything that we created for HITMAN Season One. All seven locations, all bonus missions, all of the Challenge Packs, Escalation Contracts, Featured Contracts and more than 700 challenges! We’re talking more than 100 hours of gameplay and a game that we’re continuing to improve. See below for more of that.

New: Patient Zero Campaign
After the routine elimination of a target, a contingency plan to unleash a global pandemic is triggered and Agent 47 must race against the clock to prevent a virus from spreading. This four-mission campaign spans different locations in the game, each one re-worked from the original settings with new gameplay opportunities, disguises, characters, challenges, gameplay mechanics, AI behaviour and HUD elements. Bangkok, Sapienza, Colorado and Hokkaido look and feel completely different with a new time of day and new custom music created by the composer for Season One, Niels Bye Nielsen.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Escapists 2: Wicked Ward Released

Team17 announces the release of Wicked Ward for Windows, macOS, and Linux, a new DLC pack for The Escapists 2, the jailbreak adventure sequel that offers the chance for a little redemption, Shawshank style. Here's a launch trailer with a look, and here are some details on Wicked Ward, which sounds even better if you say it with a Boston accent:
Award-winning international games label Team17 is excited to reveal a new spooky prison for their sandbox escape hit The Escapists 2. The Wicked Ward DLC is out now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Things have taken an odd turn in the locked off wings of an abandoned hospital. A mad scientist and his hoard of undead guard their terror-tory within the gothic halls. Outside an ominous sky of thunder, rain and lightning blankets the surrounding woods. Once again, you’ll have to craft, fight and scheme your way to freedom from this spooky supernatural slammer. Your ghoul is to escape at all costs!

The Wicked Ward DLC features:

  • A brand-new horror themed map to escape
  • New Halloween themed customisations
  • New items and craftable recipes

Continue here to read the full story.

Ballistic Mini Golf Early Access

Early access is now underway on Steam for Ballistic Mini Golf, a Windows mini-golf simulation which adds to the usual challenges of such a game with science fiction gadgetry. Here's a trailer showing the abuse this will heap on your balls, and here's word on the game:
Combining amazing graphics, fine-tuned physics and easy-to-use controls, Ballistic Mini Golf is a fun and family-friendly sport game for all ages. Players can play solo, with friends and family or with other players around the world on wide variety of levels that consist of ramps, turns, tunnels, slopes, sand traps, portals, shortcuts, obstacles, special boosters and moving elements. The goal of the game is to complete each hole of a course using as few strokes as possible and score under par. The player with the lowest score at the end of the course wins. Golf balls can be customized and decorated with hats, trails and patterns.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Tech Bits

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Robert Guillaume, 'Benson' star, dies at 89. The voice of Dr. Eli Vance.

Injustice 2 PC; Open Beta Tomorrow

WBIE and DC Entertainment announce Injustice 2 is coming to PC, saying an open beta for this will begin on Steam tomorrow. This features Justice League characters and other DC comics mainstays. Here's the plan:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced that the top-selling videogame Injustice™ 2 is coming to PC (Steam and Windows Store) this Autumn. Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, Injustice™ 2 is being adapted for PC by QLOC and beginning 25th Oct, fans will be able to participate in an open beta that will be available on Steam. For the first time, PC players will be able to experience the super-powered hit game featuring Justice League characters Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg, as well as other iconic DC characters such as Harley Quinn and Green Arrow.

Developed by the award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Injustice™ 2 features a massive roster of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains and allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favorite DC characters. Players can fight their way across an epic Story Mode, ever-changing Multiverse and online multiplayer guilds - all while earning rare and valuable gear to fully customize their characters. The game is currently available for PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One.

Destiny 2 PC Keeping Controller Aim Assist

An interview on The Telegraph chats about the PC edition of Destiny 2 with David Shaw, PC project lead at Bungie, and Thomas Gawrys, lead engineer at Vicarious Visions (thanks DSOGaming). They discuss the challenges of bringing the game to Windows, what they learned from beta testing, and more. They say they've received some negative feedback about aim assist for controllers on the PC, but they indicate that for now they plan on keeping this in the release version as well. Here's word on mouse, keyboard, and controller support:
Given the possibility to play with a mouse and keyboard, would PC be the platform of choice if Destiny 2 were ever to move towards esports?

Gawrys - We love seeing that people spin off their own tournaments and different stuff like that for competitive gaming we don't have anything to announce right now about esports.

Shaw - I think we kinda look at it as that we didn't try to go build an esports, it's nothing we're opposed to in any way, but I think the esports community would decide what the best way to play it is. From our perspective, however people want to play, I mean a lot of the input we put on PC was about choice, letting people play the way they want to play on the hardware they want to play on.

Would you be looking at changing the aim assist on PC if player feedback calls for it to be improved, lessened, or otherwise changed?

Shaw - So, we heard feedback on that and we're definitely listening and we'll continue to listen going forward, but right now we are planning to ship the controller similar to how it was in the beta. We think our controls on the controller are pretty good, and people seem to like them, and we think that the PC players should have the ability to play that way if that's their choice.

Is it possible that you might change that in the future depending on how the community feels about it?

Shaw - I would be speculating, I can't really say what we might or might not do.We're definitely going to listen to feedback, we can commit to that. What we will or won't change, that I can't say with any confidence.

Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces the Jade Dragon expansion for Crusader Kings II is coming on November 16th to add new content to the medieval strategy/RPG. The most recent video from this offers a feature breakdown on what to expect, and there's more on that topic in the announcement:
In less than a month, desktop royalty will have the chance to test their resilience against the most majestic empire of the Middle Ages. On November 16, 2017, Paradox Development Studio will release Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon, the latest expansion to the best-selling medieval grand strategy role-playing experience.

The Emperor of China is powerful, but not invulnerable. Clever rulers can exploit the Emperor’s occasional generosity to build their own empire, carefully watching the news reports and changes in the Middle Kingdom so that they can best ride out the tides of history. Then, when the moment is right and you are confident in your strength, strike out and seize the Dragon Throne for yourself.
Jade Dragon features include:

  • The Further East: A new “China Screen” lays out the status and desires of the Emperor of China, letting you keep tabs on what he wants and how to earn his grace
  • An Eventful History: Random events tip you off to major happenings in distant Cathay, letting you know when the Middle Kingdom might be shifting its center of gravity
  • Taoism: A Chinese religion that gives bonuses to stewardship, but spreads very slowly.
  • New Asian Tributary System: Submit to the Empire as a tributary, always keeping an eye on the waning power of the Emperor, so you can time your escape to freedom
  • Ambitious Adventurers: Disgruntled princes or curious adventurers may leave China to seek their own fortune to the west.
  • Amazing Riches: Collect wondrous new Chinese artifacts for your characters, and a new Silk Road system that adjusts returns based on China’s stability.
  • Chinese Characters: New Chinese and Tibetan portraits and Chinese units bring the empire to life
  • Eight New Casus Bellis: Fight!

Continue here to read the full story.

Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization Next Month

Paradox will be busy on November 16th, as they also plan that date for the release of Cradle of Civilization, a new expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy sequel. They offer a new video with a feature breakdown on this project. Here's word:
Paradox Development Studio announces that Cradle of Civilization, the newest expansion to its flagship grand strategy game Europa Universalis IV, will be available to all wannabe conquerors on November 16, 2017. In less than a month, the million-plus explorers, traders and conquerors that make up the Europa Universalis community will see deeper gameplay and more detailed modeling of the tumultuous Middle East and Central Asia.

Cradle of Civilization will come with a host of new features, centered on the great empires that rose and fall in the fertile valleys that stretch from the Nile to the Indus. But let’s listen to Europa Universalis IV Game Director Jake Leiper-Ritchie outline the exciting changes in this developer video:
Continue here to read the full story.

Steel Rats Announced

Polish publisher and developer Tate Multimedia announces Steel Rats, a combat racing game rolling out on PC and consoles next year. The cinematic announcement trailer somewhat resembles the Mad Max/Road Warrior movies, and the announcement suggests this is not a coincidence:
Prolific Polish publisher and developer Tate Multimedia are strapping on their spiked shoulder pads and fire-spewing wheel saws as they today announce that the all-out motorbike action title Steel Rats is coming to the PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC in 2018.

Steel Rats is a visceral and groundbreaking evolution of the 2.5D action arcade genre, fusing destructive, octane-fueled motorbike combat and death-defying stunt gameplay, set in a visually stylized retro-future world.

Become one with your bike as you master the realistic physics-based controls of these powerful and deadly vehicles. Choose how you want to tear through the stylized and highly detailed environments of Steel Rats, traversing up, down, left and right as your bike speeds fluidly in and out of the game world, over rooftops and through enemy-infested tunnels.

Join the Steel Rats, a larger-than-life punk biker gang who once ruled the streets of Coastal City and now find themselves as the last line of defense against an invading horde of destructive and constantly evolving army of junkbots. Choose your character, and unlock new special abilities and customizable bikes to fight with style through vast areas of the city in a deadly mix of speed, agility and firepower.
Continue here to read the full story.

Newegg in Hot Water

The LA Times reports that four South Korean banks have filed lawsuits against NewEgg, alleging the company engaged in a Ponzi scheme intended to defraud the banks out of millions of dollars (thanks Gizmodo). The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accusing Newegg and computer wholesaler ASI Corp. of making fraudulent orders for home-theater personal computers from Korean hardware manufacturer Moneual. Moneual is said to be the architects of the scheme, and they are using these phony orders to secure bank financing. Here's word:
The banks allege that they lent Moneual hundreds of millions of dollars because the manufacturer had shown that Newegg and ASI had made sizable orders. Both Newegg and ASI were in on the scheme, the banks say, because Moneual priced the computers that were supposedly ordered at 300 times their actual market value.

“No such business would have bought the products at such an inflated price, unless it intended to create the illusion of extensive, profitable, high-value commerce between it and its supplier for the purpose of defrauding lenders into supporting the transactions,” the complaint said.

Newegg did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plaintiffs demand a jury trial and monetary damages. The lawsuit alleges that, of the orders Newegg and ASI made to Monseual that were financed by the banks, more than $230 million is still owed.

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've been suffering with a bit of a backache, something I used to get more commonly, but I can't recall the last time I had one, it's been that long. For me they'd usually start at their worst and gradually get better, but this one started out pretty mild before getting worse. It peaked yesterday, and I was coincidentally at the doctor's office to get my flu shot, so I warned them I'd be back if this didn't get better. I don't think I'll have to make good on this threat as I feel much better today. For years I've thought my Herman Miller Aeron chair has been keeping my back pain away, so now I'm wondering if the little wobble it's had since I unsuccessfully tried to replace its gas canister is at fault. Guess I won't worry too much about the cause and effect as long as it stays away once it ends.

R.I.P.: Paul Weitz, commander of first flight of space shuttle Challenger, dies.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Return Man 2: Zombies.
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Creatonotos gangis. That's totally from outer space, right?
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