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Monday, Dec 04, 2017

  

Get World in Conflict Free and Free Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Plans

UbiBlog announces that RTS World in Conflict and its Soviet Assault DLC is available for free for a limited time for the next week. This page is where to head to get started with this. And that's not all, as they announce this will be followed by a giveaway of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, the seafaring installment in the assassination series. Here's the plan:

Just in time for the holiday season, Ubisoft is celebrating two big anniversaries by giving players the chance to download Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag and World in Conflict on Uplay PC for free. It’s been ten years since the release of critically acclaimed real-time strategy game World in Conflict, so from December 4 (9AM PST) through on December 11 (2AM PST), you’ll be able to download World in Conflict and its expansion (Soviet Assault) for free. Then, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the first Assassin’s Creed game, you’ll be able to get Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag for free from December 12 (6AM PST) through December 18 (2AM PST). As long as you download the games through Uplay during their free periods, they will be yours to keep and play whenever you like.

Developed by Ubisoft Massive, World in Conflict is an RTS set in an alternative history in which the Soviet Union invades the United States in the late 1980s. You play the role of an American commander tasked with marshaling air and ground units in skirmishes ranging across the U.S. (and into the U.S.S.R. in the Soviet Assault expansion). Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your armies, then leverage them as you wage war on destructible battlefields in the solo campaign or in online multiplayer.

In Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, you are Edward Kenway, a pirate out to make a name for himself on the tumultuous Caribbean seas by sailing your ship among the isles in search of plunder, attacking enemy vessels, and diving below the waves for lost treasures. Become embroiled in the conflicts of the era and discover your connection to the series’ age-old struggle between the Assassins and the Templars.

Mega Man 11 and Mega Man X Series Coming to PC Next Year

CapCom Unity announces Mega Man 11 is coming next year, saying the platformer sequel will come to PC as well as Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. They pile onto this news with word that they will also bring all eight games in the Mega Man X series to those same platforms during the summer of 2018. Word is: "It’s been nearly 30 years since Rock, Dr. Light’s robot lab assistant, first volunteered to be converted into a fighting robot and our hero’s place was cemented as a legendary video game icon, influencing and inspiring the action-platformer genre for years to come. Today we’re pleased to introduce you to an all-new chapter to the series’ storied history. Mega Man 11 brings a fresh new design and incredible 2.5D visuals to the classic series, leaping into the modern era of gaming with beautiful 3D-modeled characters and hand-drawn environments. Everything you know and love about the Blue Bomber and much more is here in a brand-new style! With an expert development team at Capcom, many of whom have been working at the company since the early 8-bit era, we’re revitalizing and revolutionizing Mega Man for a new generation while keeping the series’ tight classic gameplay and the heart of our beloved hero intact. Veterans can expect the series’ signature challenge, and we’re inviting new players to the mix with a variety of difficulty options to choose from in the game." They celebrate the news with a new Mega Man 11 - 30th Anniversary Trailer showing the series through the years. Here are more details on the plan:

I hope this news comes as a pleasant surprise and we thank you for your patience! We’ll have much more to share with you all on Mega Man 11 in Summer of 2018! Speaking of Summer, we also announced that we’re bringing all eight games from the Mega Man X series to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in Summer 2018! Set in the far-off future of 21XX, fans of this more mature take on the classic formula will have plenty of reason to rejoice when the wall-jumping, armor-wearing, Maverick hunting X makes his debut on modern consoles with Zero and Axl in tow. We’ll have more to share on this in the coming months.

Finally, with the announcement of a new numbered entry, now is a great time to revisit all of the Blue Bomber’s classic adventures! We’ve heard your requests, and Mega Man Legacy Collection, which includes 1-6 and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, featuring 7-10 are coming to Nintendo Switch – play on the go, at home, or everywhere in between in preparation for Mega Man 11! We’re adding a Rewind feature to the first Mega Man Legacy Collection which will help you turn back the clock if you make a mistake or just need a moment to recover in the challenging 8-bit originals. These collections of retro classics will be out in Spring of 2018. Existing owners of the first collection featuring the original 8-bit entries can look forward to the Rewind feature rolling out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC in Spring of 2018 as well.

It’s an incredible time to be a Mega Man fan, and the 30th anniversary festivities are only just beginning with today’s announcements! There’s been a lot of great news today, so to recap:

  • Mega Man 11, a brand new game in the legendary series, will be out in late 2018 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs.
  • All 8 Mega Man X games will also be coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs in Summer 2018
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 will be coming to Nintendo Switch in Spring 2018.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Division Patch Tomorrow, Free Weekend Starts Thursday

Word on UbiBlog is to expect a new patch for The Division tomorrow to update the open-world shooter to version 1.8. They also announce plans for a free trial weekend for the game that will run from December 7-10. This trailer promotes the free trial, while this one covers the patch, which is also discussed in further detail in this post. Here are all the details:

The Division’s free Update 1.8, codenamed Resistance, launches tomorrow on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, bringing a raft of additions and changes to the battle for post-pandemic Manhattan. The most immediately noticeable is a whole new area of the map, West Side Pier, which also hosts two new game modes: Resistance and Skirmish.

In Resistance, up to four Agents can team up to fight off Manhattan’s enemy factions, who have united to take down The Division with waves of attackers. Using cooperative tactics is strongly encouraged, as is using the resources dropped by enemies to set up defenses or extend the battlefield. The longer you can survive, the greater the rewards you’ll earn. The PVP Skirmish mode, meanwhile, pits two teams of four agents against each other in a competition to get the highest kill count in timed matches. And it’s not enough to just “down” an enemy player – you have to eliminate them to make it count.

Update 1.8 also lets players upgrade their favorite Gear, ratchets up the challenge and rewards of the Underground DLC, and overhauls how players go Rogue in the Dark Zone. Division Agents can also meet up and gear up in a new social space, Camp Clinton. To celebrate Update 1.8’s release, all of The Division’s paid DLC expansions – Underground, Survival, and Last Stand – will be freely accessible to all players from December 5 through December 10. And if you haven’t yet tried The Division, you’ll be able to play the full game and its DLC at no cost during the free weekend, which runs from December 7-10. Additionally, The Division will be on sale for 70% off from December 5-10 on the Ubisoft Store and from December 7-10 on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One. Both free events will be available on all platforms, and any progress you make will carry over if you decide to buy the full game or its DLC afterward.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Bossa Studios Making AI Push

Bossa Studios announces their plans to emphasize artificial intelligence going forward, and the U.K.-based developer says they are currently hiring to make this happen. This video shows a recent talk on the topic given in London by Bossa's Chet Faliszek who is said to be spearheading this initiative, which is interesting, as his high-profile position with former employer Valve Corporation was as a writer, not a programmer, not to mention that Bossa's previous titles Worlds Adrift, I Am Bread, and Surgeon Simulator are not the most AI-heavy games you will find. In the video Faliszek talks about AI's potential to change player interaction with virtual worlds, saying, "We can use AI not only to add to games, but to fundamentally change the way we tell stories." Here's more:

“We can use AI not only to add to games, but to fundamentally change the way we tell stories,” Faliszek tells his audience. Bossa Studios is keen to close the division that exists between the player and the characters they play in games. They intend to “resolve the dissonance” between these two perspectives, by using AI to power dynamic narratives that go beyond conventional methods.

This new project is illustrative of the acclaimed studio’s continued pursuit of the latest technologies to create innovative and memorable experiences.

Sylvain Cornillon, CTO at Bossa Studios, explains the motivations behind this project: “We are looking at AI as a means to create bigger games, allowing the players to experience deeper, more meaningful stories tailored to them.”

Bossa Studios is currently recruiting and assembling a talented team to support their ambitions, to make this bold AI vision a reality for players. Visit the studio’s official website for the latest openings.

More information on the project will be revealed in 2018. In the meantime, follow Bossa Studios for the latest news on its range of singularly special games on Facebook and Twitter.

Continue here to read the full story.

A.O.T. 2 in March

KOEI TECMO Europe announces a March 20, 2018 release date for A.O.T. 2, the upcoming action game sequel based on the Attack on Titan anime series. They celebrate the news with a new story trailer, and the announcement includes further details on what to expect:

Today KOEI TECMO Europe proudly revealed that A.O.T. 2 will be released on the 20th March 2018 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Nintendo Switch™, and digitally on Windows PC via Steam®!

To celebrate the news KOEI TECMO Europe shared an action-packed new trailer, giving a taste of the thrilling narrative players can come to expect from A.O.T. 2. In addition, they have unveiled new details on additional playable characters: Hitch Dreyse, Marlo Freudenberg, Mina Carolina, Nile Dawk, Thomas Wagner, Annie Leonhart, Bertholdt Hoover, Reiner Braun, the Armored Titan, the Colossal Titan, the Female Titan and a yet to be revealed Mystery Titan.

Players will be able to create their own custom Scout in A.O.T 2, an all-new addition to the series, offering a fresh perspective on the events of both seasons of the worldwide anime hit, ‘Attack on Titan’. With enhanced Titan movements, Scouts will have to strategically use a plethora of new abilities in order to survive; from evade-style attacks like the hook drive ability, to long-rage sneak attacks – carefully strategised with the help of the new monocular tool!

Additional RPG elements have been implemented into A.O.T. 2’s Town Life segments; allowing players to build relationships with their favourite characters from the Attack on Titan universe to gain a deeper understanding of their comrades.

Continue here to read the full story.

Government Simulator Released

Steam now offers the release of Government Simulator for Windows, a chance to go behind the political scene and see how the sausage is made. The Government Simulator website has details on the game and this trailer showing off gameplay that seems to borrow from Excel, everyone's favorite video game, featuring graphs, pie charts, and other action packed elements. Word is: "In this economic and political simulation game, you can take control of a whole country, like the USA, Germany, France, Russia, Switerland [sic], or Austria. Change laws, taxes and budgets based on real world statistics and data, and see what happens." Here's more on the game, and its use of real-world data:

In the game, you can for example:

  • Turn the USA into a social paradise or even a dictatorship
  • Start a war with Mexico
  • Make Russia a capitalist utopia
  • Turn Germany into a third world country
  • Experiment with universal basic income
  • Introduce a cash ban, nuclear phase-out, or diesel ban
  • and much more

The game simulates a whole country: Population, debt, GDP, economic growth, unempolyment, crime, life expectancy, birth rate, mortality rate, state of the infrastructure and so on. The player can adjust budgets, taxes, laws, and see what the outcome is.

The game is running on real-world data. Meaning everything is based on real values: If you play as the USA, the debt, income, expenditures, crime rate, unemployment rate, etc. you start with is based on the actual, real values of the USA. For example if you lower a tax rate, you'll see what the simulation calculates as new values afterwards, in dollars, people, crimes per 100.000, interest rate, life expectancy in years, and similar.

Continue here to read the full story.

Orochi Park Demo

Want more politics? Steam now offers a playable demo for Orochi Park, even though this adventure game is not due for full release for another year. This is an interactive story they call "the most advanced Twine game ever made." Twine supports Windows, macOS, and Linux, but platforms are not listed on the page. Orochi Park parodies games, pop culture, and global politics, featuring familiar game characters, as well as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, so expect some satirical politics along the way. This was started as a fan-created tribute to The Secret World, but somewhere along the way evolved into a planned commercial release. This trailer shows things off, and here's word on the demo:

In the new demo, released today via Steam, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un find themselves teaming up to fight a greater evil. Funcom writer and game director Joel Bylos makes a cameo.

The demo is an early one - the game is far from finished - but creator Anima Chambers hopes this will give people a taste of what's to come, as well as the opportunity for valuable feedback.

"Welcome To Orochi Park has been a labour of love for years now, and I'm delighted to finally reveal what I've been working on," said Chambers. "The full game won't be released for some time yet, but the demo should give people a sense of what the game is all about."

Chambers added: "The Secret World community have been really supportive so far, which is great for something that began its life as a fan project. I'm very grateful for my core fanbase of The Secret World players."

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track announces Call of Duty: WWII has spent five consecutive weeks on the all-platforms chart of bestselling games in the U.K. for last week. DOOM VFR is the top new entry on their PC games top 30, where Football Manager 2018 maintains a toehold on the top spot. Here's the PC top 10, which does not include Star Wars Battlefront II, which drops to number 11 this week:

LW TW Title Developer Label Publisher
1 - 1 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018 SPORTS INTERACTIVE SEGA SEGA
2 - 2 THE SIMS 4 THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
3 - 3 THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
4 - 4 OVERWATCH GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
- * 5 DOOM VFR ID SOFTWARE BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
5 ˅ 6 CALL OF DUTY: WWII SLEDGEHAMMER GAMES ACTIVISION ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
9 ˄ 7 THE SIMS 4 CITY LIVING THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
6 ˅ 8 WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS MACHINEGAMES BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
8 ˅ 9 THE SIMS 4 GET TO WORK THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
10 - 10 DOOM ID SOFTWARE BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Somewhere along the way MrsBlue has become a Star Wars fan. This was completely unexpected by me, because she was indifferent just a few years ago, but her work on children's books on the series forced her to watch the first two trilogies, and drew her in. We usually don't go to the movies, but we did make it out to see both The Force Awakens and Rogue One, which shows how far this goes. And before I even got to ask about The Last Jedi, she asked me if we had tickets yet after seeing a commercial for it. So I hit Fandango and now we are set for a week from Thursday, hopeful that going to the first show will help avoid spoilers. There's no way I could have influenced this to happen myself, so I just have to thank the fates for working it all out for me. Or perhaps it was not the fates, but The Force?

Forceful Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Cow Defender.
Stickman Shooter.
Links: Artist Creates Cuphead Tribute With More Than 22,000 Dominoes.
Story: "John Wick Chapter 3" Begins Pre-Production.
Science: How will humanity react to alien life- Psychologists have some predictions.
Media: Vox: How Technicolor changed movies.
James "Bubba" Stewart is the fastest man ever to ride.
The Last Jedi: Lightsaber Training Featurette (possible spoilers).



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