Archived News:

Friday, Nov 24, 2017

Get Sanctum 2 for Free

The Humble Store is offering free copies of Sanctum 2, a 100% discount that remains in effect for about another 24 hours, since we're about 24 hours behind on the news (thanks Acleacius). This comes via a Steam key, so a Steam account is required. Here's word on what you get for your no-money:
Sanctum 2 is the sequel to the world’s first Tower Defense/FPS hybrid game. Pick from four unique character classes and protect the Core! Outfit your character exactly the way you want through the new and extensive customization system. Choose your own loadout of towers, weapons and perks, but choose wisely because you are humanity’s last defense against the unrelenting hordes set out to destroy it.

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius Announced

Slitherine and Games Workshop announce Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, an upcoming game that will offer a 4X take on Warhammer 40,000 (so, Warhammer 160,000?). The new 40K game will offer 4X play at 4K resolution featuring four factions, so to paraphrase Edwin Starr, Waaagh, what is it good four? They start things off with an announcement trailer and say they will follow this with a livestream on the Slitherine Twitch channel next Friday at 2:00 pm EST. You can also follow this project through its official product page and Steam page. In the meantime, there are details about what to expect in the announcement:
Slitherine and Games Workshop renew their relationship to offer a fresh approach to the Warhammer 40,000 universe – planetary 4X.

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius incorporates the dark, gothic, far future science-fantasy setting in ways never tried before. A brand new, deep storyline has been created to combine elements of 4X gameplay with a combat-focused system. The evolution of technology, construction of infrastructures and exploration of an unknown world, goes hand in hand with the management of military resources, including heroes with special abilities and mighty war machines.

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius has been designed to give four totally different gameplay experiences, depending on which factions players choose. Space Marines, Astra Militarum (aka Imperial Guard), Orks and Necrons each have dramatically different characteristics, both in how they develop and expand and in the way they interact with allies and enemies. This gives the game virtually endless replay value and players the chance to play out the same experience in totally divergent ways.

In Warhammer 40,000: Gladius there is also a massive difference between playing solo or in multiplayer. The deep storyline was created from scratch to allow players to explore an entire world and lead the expansion of an empire from the ground up. The discovery of ancient artefacts and the custom-crafted quests will reveal the secrets of the planet and its mysterious history as the story progresses.

The real-time multiplayer system lets players build their own path to victory while fighting against live opponents, time and the natural perils that Gladius hides.

Don't miss the exclusive first look at Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War on Slitherine's official [Twitch channel], live on Friday December 1st at 7 pm GMT.
Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: ARENA Open Beta Testing

Anyone interested in Total War: ARENA now has the opportunity to join the beta for the online strategy game. The game has been in closed beta testing, but all are allowed to join in for the next 11 days, and anyone who participates in the free event will continue to enjoy full access to the closed beta after open access concludes on December 4th. Those who take part will also receive three premium units as a bonus. Here's a quick refresher on the game: "Spanning over 1000 years of ancient history, Total War: ARENA features massive, authentically crafted 10-vs-10 multiplayer clashes, where each player controls an army of hundreds." There are details on the Total War: ARENA website, and here's more on the game and how to participate:
Currently in closed beta, Total War: ARENA continues to fine-tune in-game mechanics, as well as bolster its ranks with new content so players have a constantly evolving and engaging experience. Much of this fine-tuning and gameplay balancing has been led by player feedback on the forums and other channels. Letting a large number of new players into the game will allow even more helpful feedback to be collected. There are currently 11 commanders with unique playstyles ready to fight tooth and nail for glory across 9 historical maps, featuring iconic locations such as Thermopylae and Hadrian’s Wall.
For more details and to download the game and join the open week, visit:

Loot Box Stories of the Day

There's an official statement from the U.K. Gambling commission about selling loot boxes in video games, which remains the hot topic of the moment (thanks Eurogamer). They say they are not set to officially declare the practice gambling, but they do indicate they are prepared to assist in regulating it nonetheless. Word is: "Where a product does not meet that test to be classed as gambling but could potentially cause harm to children, parents will undoubtedly expect proper protections to be put in place by those that create, sell and regulate those products. We have a long track record in keeping children safe and we are keen to share our experiences and expertise with others that have a similar responsibility. Whether gambling or not, we all have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe." Meanwhile, from across the Channel, One Angry Gamer notes a French post on UFC-Que Choisir discovered by jeuxvideo.com with more backlash against in-game loot crate sales. The article says they are planning to reclassify such sales as gambling, and prohibit their sale to minors. Since our French is more than a petite rusty, we'll just rely on Google's rough machine translation to offer part of the post in English:
The lottery pay: the chance causes the disenchantment
One of the big outputs of this end of the year, Star Wars Battlefront II , envisaged a system of release of contents making use of chance inside the game. In exchange for money stumbling, players could acquire bonuses, especially in the context of multiplayer modes via the Internet, in the form of booty chests (also called " loot boxes "): the player pays for an object, without knowing which to in advance, and the gain is determined randomly, after payment. If obtaining a gain is systematic, the content of it is however random.

Although the publisher Electronics Arts has announced, under the pressure of the players, the temporary deactivation of this function, the basic problem remains intact, others applying it. Indeed, a reference to Article L. 322-2 of the Internal Security Code shows that booty boxes have the characteristics of lotteries, and as such their strict supervision is essential. Indeed, it is unacceptable for a young audience to be introduced to games of chance, when it is no longer necessary to demonstrate the harmful effects of the addiction they can provoke.

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start

The Beamblog announces the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start is now underway for those who have preordered the RPG remake. They offer instructions on how to download and play your early copy of the work-in-progress. For those interested in more details on the project, Beamdog also announces a livestream on the topic today at 2:30 pm EST. Here are the details on how to join in:
One livestream wasn’t enough, so get ready for another!

Want to know more about what's coming for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition? Tune in on Beamdog's Twitch channel Friday November 24 @ 11:30am PST to find out!

Join Beamdog Studio CEO Trent Oster, Director Phil Daigle, and Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Project Director Jonathan Hill in the first of a series of weekly livestreams.

Come for NWN:EE news, stay for prize giveaways! Not a Neverwinter Nights fan? Tune in anyway! We’ll be sharing more about what’s coming down the line for our Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions!

Door Kickers Adds Co-op

This announcement reveals that two-player cooperative support is now present in Door Kickers, the top-down shooter. The game is currently on sale for 40% off on Steam, and developer KillHouse Games offers this trailer to celebrate the news. Here are all the details on the version 1.1.0 co-op patch:

Features:

  • Online cooperative mode (Steam version only)
  • Changed the way grenades are thrown: clicking on the UI item automatically "sticks" the grenade to the mouse pointer and is released when clicking again.
  • Optimizations for slower CPUs
  • Reduced HDD and RAM consumption by using better compression for sound files
  • Can now use language-specific characters to edit trooper names.

Fixes:

  • Fixed grenades taking a different trajectory than shown (hitting walls when they shouldn't).
  • Fixed some mods not showing up in the Mods menu except when selecting their specific tag.
  • Fixed troopers sometimes not waiting for gocodes before doing an action.
  • Fixed being unable to use language-specific characters when editing trooper names.
  • Fixed breaching charges sometimes blowing up in the wrong direction.
  • Fixed bad line breaks in Doctrine texts.

Continue here to read the full story.

One Hour Star Citizen Video

A new user-created video shows off the first hour of gameplay in Star Citizen, the upcoming crowdfunded space game first announced a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (thanks DSOGaming). The clip shows the latest build of version 3.0 in 4K resolution in ultra widescreen format. Continue here to read the full story.

Black Friday Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Corsair LL120 RGB Fan on TechPowerUp.
  • Kinesis' Freestyle Edge ergonomic gaming keyboard on The Tech Report.
  • HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Gaming Keyboard on Techgage.
  • Sennheiser GSP 303 Need For Speed Payback Edition Headset on Play3r.
  • SteelSeries Rival 110 Mouse on Play3r.

Out of the Blue

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was a little unusual for us, as we usually host the event here at the BlueTower in what I'd describe as a pretty large event, ranging from a dozen to nearly two dozen attendees. MrsBlue's recent hand injury was going to be a tough obstacle to overcome in preparing and cooking for the occasion, however, so we begged off and passed the hosting duties to my step-father. It was a smaller affair with only six of us, which made for a quieter and more intimate dinner, and the food was fantastic. There was also a revelation to be had. For the previous 16 years of hosting this, we were working with the belief that there was a balance between cooking and cleaning versus travelling, even thinking we were maybe getting the better end of the deal. This shattered that illusion. There really isn't even a case for the idea that hosting Thanksgiving is as easy as attending. That would be like saying being carried up a mountain is as much effort as carrying someone else up a mountain. That said, we fully plan on resuming hosting duties next year.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Infestation.
Science: Elon Musk wins bet, finishing massive battery installation in 100 days. Thanks RedEye9.
Why do left-handers excel at certain elite sports but not others? Thanks Slashdot.
Human Brains Have Evolved Unique 'Feel-Good' Circuits.
Media: FINAL EPISODE! - PORTAL - Part 5 (React- Let's Plays).
Missed it by THAT...oh, didn't miss it...
Like a Deer in the Headlights.
Follow-up: What we know about the Argentine submarine that went missing nine days ago. Thanks RedEye9.
The Funnies: xkcd- Emoji Sports.
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