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Thursday, Dec 07, 2017

  

Get Homefront for Free

Humble Store is offering Homefront for free to anyone who picks up the insurgent shooter from them over the next two days. Here's a refresher:

The year is 2027. The world as we know it is unraveling after fifteen years of economic meltdown and widespread global conflict over dwindling natural resources.

A once proud America has fallen, her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray. Crippled by a devastating EMP strike, the USA is powerless to resist the ever expanding occupation of a savage, nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic.

Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners… or collaborators… or revolutionaries.

Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force in Homefront’s gripping single player campaign penned by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn). Stand alongside a cast of memorable characters as an emotional plot unfolds in this terrifyingly plausible near-future world. Experience visceral, cinematic first-person shooter action as you fight your way across Occupied USA using guerrilla tactics, and commandeer military vehicles and advanced drone technology to defeat the enemy.

Multiplayer brings epic warfare to the online arena as infantry, tanks, attack helicopters and combat drones battle across huge, open battlefields. A rich feature set offering layers of tactical depth combined with a game-changing innovation in the multiplayer space will set a new benchmark in online warfare.

X-Series and The Division Free Weekends

Valve announces two different free-to-play game promotions running this weekend. Everyone with a Steam account can play any game in the X Franchise until Sunday afternoon, and the entire space game series is currently on sale for up to 80% off. They also announce the promised free weekend for Tom Clancy's The Division is free for the same period, and that game is also on sale for 70% off.

Ubisoft Delays Far Cry 5, The Crew 2, and a Third Game

A post on UbiBlog indicates neither Far Cry 5 nor The Crew 2 will come out on time. The next Far Cry game was expected on February 27th, but is now due exactly a month later on March 27th. They urge those interested in the next installment in the shooter series to return tomorrow for a look at the game: "Tune in to the Ubiblog tomorrow, December 8th at 10pm PST to get the newest look at Far Cry 5." Meanwhile, The Crew 2 was planned for release on March 16th, but is now due "in the first half of our next fiscal year," so they are going from a precise date to a six month Window that requires a decoder ring. Their fiscal year ends on March 31st, so this indicates The Crew 2 is now due between April 1 and September 30 2018. And while they are on a roll, they also offer this press release covering those two games and adding word that a third "franchise" game that they are yet to announce is going to miss a release window they likewise never announced. Word is, "In addition, one of the three unannounced franchise games initially planned for release in Fiscal 2018-19 now will be released in Fiscal 2019-20." Here's word:

Today, Ubisoft announced it is investing more time in the development of three upcoming games. Far Cry® 5 is now slated for release on March 27, 2018 (instead of February 27, 2018) and The Crew® 2 will come out in the first half of Fiscal 2018-19 (rather than on March 16, 2018). In addition, one of the three unannounced franchise games initially planned for release in Fiscal 2018-19 now will be released in Fiscal 2019-20.

Christine Burgess-Quémard, Ubisoft’s Worldwide Studios Executive Director, said, "This decision is in line with our strategic vision of developing even more engaging and higher quality experiences for gamers. Taking more time with Assassin’s Creed Origins enabled our talented development team to fully express their creative vision. As expected, this had a very positive impact on the game’s quality and largely participated to its commercial success. Taking a similar approach, we have decided to invest additional development time in three upcoming games."

New Tomb Raider Tease

A tweet from Tomb Raider shares the news that a new Tomb Raider game is coming, saying "our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018." There also appears to be a simple coded message in the tweet, which seems to be a nod to the rumor that the next Lara Croft game will be titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider (thanks NerdBite via MP1ST). You'll notice the first letter in each sentence in the message spell out the word shadow:

Square Enix is excited to share some big news with you next year. Honestly, we wish we could share it with you right now, but we're taking a new approach this time.

A new Tomb Raider game is coming.

Driven by our goal of putting our fans first, we want you to know that it won't be very long between the official reveal and when you can play.

Our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018. We simply can't wait to take you on Lara Croft's defining adventure.

Fade to Silence Revealed; Early Access Next Week

A Steam page is now up for Fade to Silence, a survival game from Black Forest Games and THQ Nordic set to hit early access on December 14th (thanks Polygon). Here's a chunk of the description:

As the player you take the role of Ash, a natural but tormented leader. In that role you explore a post-apocalyptic, frozen wasteland to gather the resources necessary to establish a refuge for survival. With dwindling resources, simple tasks like upgrading equipment and collecting materials quickly require an expedition to scavenge the necessary items. In the search for survival materials, players must navigate a vast territory, in which they will encounter Eldritch monsters and an even greater foe: the unrelenting winter. While freezing temperatures constantly take their toll on the player Ash, the deadliest event is that of a blizzard. If caught by surprise, it takes every ounce of skill, determination and luck to survive.

In order to survive and overcome all challenges, the player needs to attract followers, bringing them into thei refuge. Each individual skillset and character traits grants access to higher tier resources and gear. Without such advances, the player character can scavenge only the barest necessities, crafting makeshift tools and weapons.

Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions May Not Return

Ars Technica reports on remarks made by Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen this week at a NASDAQ investor conference indicating microtransactions may not necessarily return to Star Wars Battlefront II. "Over time we'll address how we will want to bring the [microtransactions] either into the game or not and what form we will decide to bring it into," is the exact quote they report. The company took heat over pay-to-win elements of the game's real-money transactions, and eventually suspended them, but generally indicated they were planning on adding them back after working out the kinks, and this is the first real admission that their return was in doubt. Here are the other comments on the subject they quote:

"Clearly we are very focused on listening to the consumer and understanding what the consumer wants and that's evolving constantly," Jorgensen said. "But we're working on improving the progression system. We turned the [microtransactions] off as an opportunity to work on the progression system inside the game. We're continuing to update that...

"It's been a great learning experience for us," he continued. "We consider ourselves a learning organization, and if we're not learning we're failing in some way."

Devil May Cry HD Collection in March

CapCom Unity announces a Devil May Cry HD Collection is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 13, 2018. They offer a retrospective on the DMC trilogy, introduced thusly:

Since his debut back in 2001, Dante swiftly became a gaming icon, representing fun and challenging combat coated in a layer of stylish moves and crazy acrobatics that make you look like an absolute badass. We’re talking juggling enemies in the air with handgun bullets and even riding them around like skateboards. It’s that stylish potential that has drawn in and captivated fans worldwide; after all, who doesn’t like looking super cool?

So if you’re part of the group of people that didn’t raise their hands just now, we have just the collection for you, and the perfect jumping on point to get to know this irreverent character that has since appeared in various fighting games, puzzle games, RPGs and even had his own animated series. Featuring three games, silky smooth 60fps gameplay, and a wide variety of enemies, weapons and styles to experiment with, Devil May Cry HD Collection is the perfect compilation for those looking to get their stylish combat fix.

Hearthstone: Kobolds & Catacombs Released

Blizzard announces that the Kobolds & Catacombs expansion is now available in Hearthstone, and that new card packs are now available for purchase. They also promise a free Legendary Weapon card and three free Kobolds & Catacombs card packs to all players. Here's the previously released Kobolds & Catacombs trailer, and here's a video where Dave "Fargo" Kosak discusses the game's new solo Roguelike Dungeon Runs. Here's more on that:

Into the Dungeons!
In Kobolds & Catacombs, take on the role of a dungeon delving hero! The Dungeon Run is a new incredibly fun, single-player “rogue-like” mode where you’ll face challenging encounters and gather loot to build a crazy powerful deck. It's also completely FREE and everything you need is provided – no collection required!

If you manage to complete a full Dungeon Run with each of the nine Classes—which is no easy feat!—you’ll add the Candle King card back to your collection.

Weapons of Legend
Legendary adventures call for Legendary Weapons! From mystical blades crackling with eldritch power to staves bursting with forbidden arcane knowledge, mighty magical weapons are the calling cards of great heroes.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Giveaways During Tonight's Game Awards

Valve announces they are giving away piles of games to those who view the show on Steam tonight:

Watch The Game Awards 2017 live on Steam! The stream begins Dec 7th at 5:30pm PST.

In addition to the show, there are a number of nominated titles on sale right now until Dec 9th at 10am PST. Also, to celebrate The Game Awards 2017, we will randomly drop 150 free copies of nominated titles every 15 minutes during the show. Click here for details on how to participate.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 Videos

UbiBlog now offers two new videos from Beyond Good and Evil 2, a First Ship and Crew Update and a Space Monkey Report #1 Live Stream, which is no longer live, but is preserved for posterity. Here's the accompanying text:

The Beyond Good & Evil 2 development team is hard at work bringing System 3 to life. Since their dramatic debut at E3 2017, the team has more than doubled in size and has begun digging in deeper into the mechanics and story of the game. In the video below, you’ll get a glimpse a ship designs ranging from puttering tuk-tuks to towering motherships, see hybrid character models that blend human and animal into entirely new beings, and hear about how your crew will be one of the driving forces of your adventure.

But the team in Montpellier won’t be the only ones bringing their creativity to Beyond Good & Evil 2. Through the Space Monkey Program, the team is welcoming people from all around the world to engage in discussions about what the future might look like, what kind of societies might still be around, and what kind of space pirate they’d want to be. The team is planning to make Space Monkeys even more involved in the creative process as development continues, and you can sign up for a chance to join the conversation at bgegame.com. Be sure to check out the first Space Monkey Report below.

Continue here to read the full story.

GTA Online: The Doomsday Heist Next Week

Rockstar Games announces The Doomsday Heist is coming next week to Grand Theft Auto Online: Here's the official trailer, and here's word:

A billionaire tech mogul, an idealistic intelligence agent, a socially awkward conspiracy theorist and a neurotic supercomputer have been forced into an unlikely alliance to save San Andreas from total annihilation. As apocalyptic threats mount from enemies unknown, you and your criminal crew are enlisted to un-tangle mysteries and eradicate threats spanning from the bustling streets of downtown Los Santos to the ocean floor and all the way to the inner depths of Mount Chiliad in an epic new online adventure.

The Doomsday Heist is coming to Grand Theft Auto Online on December 12th.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

SpellForce 3 Released

THQ Nordic announces the release of SpellForce 3, the latest installment in this fantasy RTS/RPG hybrid series. This is a PC exclusive, available for Windows through GOG.com and Steam, while a physical Standard Edition and a limited-edition Collector's Edition are also available, and this page shows the way to ordering those. The Release Trailer comes along with the following announcement:

The critically acclaimed RTS/RPG-series SpellForce returns today with a new installment: SpellForce 3 is available as a PC-exclusive title.

By combining real-time-strategy and role-playing, SpellForce 3 takes the best from both and blends it together in a unique way. Players will create their own hero, and meet others along their epic journey through the 30+ hours of campaign gameplay. They will construct large bases and muster powerful armies, command three different factions, clash together in multiplayer matches or join forces in the co-operative campaign.

The story of SpellForce 3 takes place before the events of its predecessors, telling the tale of the aftermath of the Mage Wars – an exciting experience for players of the former SpellForce games and players who are new to the franchise alike. In SpellForce 3’s launch trailer, you can see all the features that will #MakeRTSGreatAgain:

Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light: Bad Blood Battle Royale Expansion

Polish developer Techland announces Bad Blood, a new expansion coming to Dying Light which gets in on the Battle Royale bandwagon with online matches that combine PvP and PvE gameplay (musical interlude). They invite players to participate in a global playtest on Steam, so those interested should sign up here. Here are the relevant details:

As a response to numerous fan requests for a Player-vs-Player approach to Dying Light, and the recent popularity of the battle royale genre among the survival horror fans, today Techland unveiled its new standalone expansion - Dying Light: Bad Blood. While retaining the core of what made people fall in love with Dying Light in the first place, Bad Blood will offer violent and dynamic online matches that blend PvP and PvE styles of gameplay.

“Our aim is both to satisfy players’ demands for competitive PvP gameplay and to explore new directions for Dying Light’s multiplayer experience,” said Tymon Smektala, Producer at Techland. “Since Bad Blood was inspired by fan requests, we want player feedback to be an integral part of our development. That's why we’re inviting Dying Light fans to take part in our Global Playtest. They can play the expansion early and share their thoughts, knowing their feedback will have a major influence on Bad Blood's development.”

Global Playtest is a closed online event that allows selected players to try out Dying Light: Bad Blood before its release. PC players can register for the playtest now.

Stellaris Humanoids Species Pack Released

Paradox Interactive now offers a Humanoids Species Pack for Stellaris, adding new portraits, ship models, and voiceover sets for VIR to the 4X space strategy game, as well as remixed music tracks. The release trailer shows off what to expect, and the announcement fills in more details:

Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of games that tell human interest stories, today released a new Species Pack for Stellaris, the sci-fi grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. “Humanoids Species Pack,” available today for a suggested retail price of $7.99 on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs, includes a wealth of new cosmetic content for ambitious galactic rulers. With new species portraits, ship models, music tracks, and voice sets for VIR, The Humanoids Species Pack provides more variety and character to Stellaris’ most-played phenotype, inspired by the classics of Western science fiction.

Follow the ambition of the latest species to explore the stars in a new trailer for Humanoids Species Pack:

Continue here to read the full story.

Dungeons & Dragons Online Mists of Ravenloft Launches

The Dungeons & Dragons Online website announces that update 37 is now live, adding the Mists of Ravenloft expansion to the fantasy MMORPG (thanks Dave). The post includes lengthy release notes for the add-on, and there's even more on the topic to be found on the this page which explains how you can buy this outright for cash money, and this FAQ has details on how content can be purchased for store points, what this means to VIPs, and more. Here's an overview:

The Mists of Ravenloft
Enter the Mists of Ravenloft! The entrance can be found in House Jorasco in Eberron and Eveningstar in the Forgotten Realms. Find out more about our newest expansion at DDO.com/Ravenloft, and click here for our FAQ!

Mists of Ravenloft includes:

  • The Land of Barovia wilderness area
  • Twelve quests
  • Two raids (one raid is currently available, with the second raid arriving soon.)
  • New public areas
  • New Saga
  • Save the people of Barovia, slay Strahd, and restore balance to the land!

Sentient Weapons
Sentient Weapons allow players the opportunity to discover weapons with their own personality and customize their powers! See more information about Sentient Weapons in the News and Notes below, and find Sentient Jewels and more in the Mists of Ravenloft expansion.

Veteran Status Level 10
Veteran Status Level 10 is now available as a limited-duration event. When the event is active, players will be able to create characters and begin their adventure at level 10 with updated gear, a limited-duration level 10 hireling cleric, and more! This event begins mid-day Eastern time on December 7th, and runs through December 17th.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Steam now offers Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, described as "a punishing climbing game" and an "homage to Jazzuo's 2002 B-Game classic 'Sexy Hiking'." The Windows and macOS game is quite simple for something said to be so challenging, but that's not too surprising since Bennet Foddy also designed QWOP, which made the basic act of running a near-impossible task. Here's a trailer and here's an outline:

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a punishing climbing game, a homage to Jazzuo's 2002 B-Game classic 'Sexy Hiking'. You move the hammer with the mouse, and that's all there is. With practice, you'll be able to jump, swing, climb and fly. Great mysteries and a wonderful reward await the master hikers who reach the top of the mountain.

To quote Jazzuo himself: "The hiking action is very similar to way you would do it in real life, remember that and you will do well".

  • Climb up an enormous mountain with nothing but a hammer and a pot.
  • Listen as I make philosophical observations about the problem at hand.
  • Between 2 and ∞ hours of agonizing gameplay, depending. The median time to finish for my playtesters was 5 hours, but the mean was closer to ∞.
  • Lose all your progress, over and over.
  • Feel new types of frustration you didn't know you were capable of.
  • Magical reward awaits hikers who reach the top.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dimension Drive Released

Dimension Drive is now available on Steam, offering a vertical bullet hell shooter that challenges players to play two games at once. This game has been in early access for several months after a successful Kickstater following a first crowdfunding attempt that was derailed by a trolling incident. The launch trailer shows off gameplay, and here's word:

Dimension Drive delivers '80s blistering arcade cabinet gameplay reinvented for modern times. Pilots will have to masterfully shift between dual playing fields in frantic fashion. It’s practically like playing two games at once!

Dimension Drive's art style: Video game meets comic. Experience the story of Jack through the motion comics and be amazed at the colour rich in-game comic art style. Who said space had to be black?

  • 2 games on your screen: Multitask and single-handedly fight 2 shoot’em ups side-by-side.
  • Unlock several weapons by finding secret data cubes.
  • 4 difficulty modes: Normal, Hard, Extreme and Insane!
  • Single player and local co-op: Enjoy total cooperative gameplay where both players share everything!
  • Mirror Dimension: Finished the 13 levels of the campaign? Play the Mirror Dimension levels. 13 extra levels in this New Game+ mode.

Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: ARENA Video Diary

A new video Developer Diary #6 for Total War: ARENA assumes the form of a talk show to discuss the upcoming free-to-play multiplayer installment in the Total War series of strategy games. Here's word:

In the latest episode of Total War: ARENA’s Developer Diaries, Luke Kneller gets stuck into how different units mirror their authentic roles in battle and discusses the history of factions with Jan van der Crabben (Lead Metagame Designer) and Joshua Williams (Developer Communications).

With a strong historical blueprint, each player can find a faction and commander that fit their play style, but it’s the uniqueness of the units themselves that allows for incredibly diverse yet specific tactics. Did you know Germanic cavalry were better at scouting than other horseback units, that Falxmen used their specially curved blades to cut through Roman shields, or that a well-thrown shot from a sling had the power of a .44 Magnum?

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I've commented before that I'm not sure December 7th lives in as much infamy as FDR envisioned when he made his December 8th declaration of war in Japan. That may be for the best, as hostilities between the U.S. and Japan seemed to fade pretty quickly after World War II, and that's not something to complain about. But the date will always jump out for me as the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, so it's hard for me to imagine noting anything else about the date here. I think I'll take the occasion as a chance to watch the fine historical drama based on the attack, Tora! Tora! Tora! (with no apologies at all to Michael Bay).

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Tough Growth.
Sofra.
Link: A city destroyed: 100 years after the Halifax Explosion. Thanks David.
Stories: Pearl Harbor: Hero sailor finally honored for saving 6 men.
Korean, Japanese and German cars edge out Americans in IIHS top safety picks.
Science: This Dinosaur Fossil Was So Bizarre, Scientists Thought It Was Fake.
Breast cancer: Study finds tumor risk increased by use of oral contraceptives.
Media: A Ladder Fire Truck Is Driven Like A Boss!
Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions.

Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017

Valve Cashing Out of Bitcoin

Not sure if this confirms Half-Life 3, or just that GabeN is Satoshi Nakamoto, but Valve announces they are no longer accepting Bitcoin as payment on Steam. Here's word why they are bailing on the volatile cryptocurrency:

As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin.

In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network. For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.

Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days. This creates a problem for customers trying to purchase games with Bitcoin. When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network. The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn’t complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.

The normal resolution for this is to either refund the original payment to the user, or ask the user to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance. In both these cases, the user is hit with the Bitcoin network transaction fee again. This year, we’ve seen increasing number of customers get into this state. With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer).

At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.

We will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees.

Ylands Early Access

Ylands for Windows is now available on Steam as an early access release. This is a sandbox adventure with throwback graphics that represents a departure for the Arma III and DayZ developer. This release teaser provides a quick look, but we need to turn to the announcement for a real understanding of the game:

Bohemia Interactive, today, announced the official release of its new sandbox adventure game, Ylands, on Steam Early Access. The beautiful open-polyworld of Ylands completely unleashes players' creativity to craft, explore, and create anything they have ever imagined. Bohemia's hardcore titles, Arma and DayZ, are known for their huge open terrains, lots of gameplay freedom, many opportunities for content creation, and their involved community. While this family-friendly title might look like a very unusual addition at first sight, Ylands aims to bring exactly those elements that made Bohemia successful to a brand new group of gamers. The game can be found here on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/298610/Ylands/

Ylands is a unique sandbox game that lets players explore their creativity. Players can seamlessly switch between single and multiplayer modes while exploring uncharted ylands, laying siege to castles, engaging in naval battles, taking part in car races, crafting monumental structures or quirky things like crab armor, cheese walls and much more. Ylands lets you live your childhood fantasies and create your own new adventures.

Another powerful feature of the game is the Ylands Editor. With interactive scripting and thousands of objects to play with, it makes Ylands much more than yet another sandbox game. It's a platform where players can create their own games and share them with others through the custom-made Workshop.

"You don't need any special skills or knowledge to become a creator in Ylands - if you have an idea, that one creative spark, you're all set," said Aleš Ulm, the Creative Director of Ylands. "We can't wait to see what players think about our game and hope that together we'll shape it into something unique" he added.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: WWII Winter Siege Begins Friday

Activision announces a Winter Siege event for Call of Duty: WWII will get underway on Friday and run through January 2nd. This will be free to all owners of the military first-person shooter, offering some winter weather, a limited-time return of Gun Game, and seasonal supply drops. Here's word:

The first seasonal community event for Call of Duty®: WWII is here. Running Friday, December 8, 2017, through Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Winter Siege delivers an array of activities and content for free to all Call of Duty: WWII players for a limited time. The Winter Siege features a new, frost-covered Winter Carentan multiplayer map, the return of the Gun Game party mode, Double XP Playlists, a winterized Headquarters with new visiting Quartermaster as well as new Winter Siege Supply Drops delivering new, limited edition winter gear and content to players. Winter Siege is packed to the brim for the Call of Duty: WWII community this holiday season.

“The Winter Siege is all about celebrating with the Call of Duty® community,” said Aaron Halon, Senior Product Developer, Multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games. “There’s a ton of content for everyone to play during this time from a reimagined Winter Carentan multiplayer map that’s now packed with snow to Gun Game to Supply Drops full of winter-themed gear and content all available throughout the Winter Siege.”

Winter Siege Features:
The Call of Duty: WWII Winter Siege event brings the seasonal change to Multiplayer like never before. During the Winter Siege event, all players will have access to Winter Carentan, a snow-covered winter themed version of the fan-favorite Carentan map, previously only available as reimagined Carentan to Season Pass owners.

The Winter Siege event also marks the limited-time return of Gun Game. This beloved mode makes its Call of Duty: WWII debut during the second week of the event as part of a non-stop schedule of special 2XP playlists, delivering a perfect way for players to take a variety of weapons out for a spin and keep their opponents guessing.

The Winter Siege event also winterizes Headquarters, with the beach encampment taking on a seasonally appropriate appearance for the span of the event, and welcoming an all-new Quartermaster, Captain Butcher. Captain Butcher visits Headquarters bearing Winter Siege Division uniforms, cosmetic items and weapon variants. Players can earn a variant of each new weapon for free via Special Orders from Major Howard (Orders will be rotated daily to allow players to unlock a variant of each new weapon for free). Other rarity variants of these weapons are available through Collection Bounties, or in Winter Siege Supply Drops. Winter Siege Supply Drops can be earned for free simply by playing Call of Duty: WWII during the event. Players will also receive a free Winter Siege Supply Drop for logging in to play each week of the Winter Siege event. Players can also purchase Winter Siege Supply Drops using Call of Duty Points in-game currency.

Son of Scoregasm Comes Out

Son of Scoregasm is now available on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here's a trailer, and here's word on this bullet-hell shooter that proves that Scoregasms can lead to offspring:

In Son of Scorgasm, you only have one simple but dastaradly objective ... Destroy all of the evil space baddies and rescue the King of the Earth's beloved biscuit tin! Blast and manoeuvre your way through 28 varied levels full of evasive enemies, traps, red hot lasers and atmospheric explosions! Are you in for a dunking or can you save the galaxy, defeat the boss contraptions and rescue the biscuits! With online leaderboards showing the world who's no.1!

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New Historical Total War Planned

A Total War: WARHAMMER II development update covers a lot of territory, just like a Total War game, discussing the complications of the kind of parallel development of several projects and updates they currently have on their plate (thanks K). They are not making this any easier on themselves, as they include this tidbit, "Plus, we also have the next full-blown historical era title in the works too. More on this next year." Other bases they cover include development of Thrones of Britannia, their first Total War Saga game, refining the Empire Divided expansion for Total War ROME II, and the complications of aligning all the elements they are developing for the Total War WARHAMMER trilogy. This is a lengthy post which includes a developer Q&A that explains why some aspects of their plan may seem out of order, such as launching a DLC campaign pack before Norsca makes it into Mortal Empires. They offer a roadmap that summarizes what to expect over the next six months:

December: Reprisal Update rollout for Mortal Empires. This contains equivalent Foundation Update skill/campaign improvements to Old World Legendary Lords and Chaos, and will also include some new changes and fixes for Mortal Empires. We’re also bundling in a free, new (and highly experimental!) game mode which we’ve had in our back pocket for a while now. More news on this later in the week.

January: Our first Campaign Pack was initially planned for this year, but will slip to January. Not to seem too… cryptic… but It’s a hugely characterful and significant addition to both Eye of the Vortex and Mortal Empires, and we’re pretty sure people are going to enjoy it. We’ll also be rolling out another Mortal Empires update alongside this release to address any further issues post-Reprisal Update.

May: Yes, this is a bit of a gap, but this is how long our painstaking re-implementation of Norsca will take to get added to Mortal Empires. This update will include Norsca and its full roster, updates to various aspects of the race (eg techs, New World race interactions) to make them appropriate and relevant as well as the 30th birthday Regiments of Renown. There will also be further updates to other aspects of Mortal Empires.

Bridge Constructor Portal Announced

Headup Games reveals they've got chocolate in their peanut butter with the announcement of Bridge Constructor Portal, a game that combines the engineering of their Bridge Constructor series with some quantum physics licensed from Valve's Portal series of first-person puzzlers. This is due quite soon, as they announce a December 20th release date for Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile, and say to expect console versions next year. This cinematic trailer introduces the mash-up, featuring trucks, bridges, turrets, portals, and GLaDOS, everyone's favorite murderous AI. Here are the details:

We welcome all lucky applicants to Bridge Constructor Portal with our new vehicle-based test chambers, Quantum Tunnels and patented Aperture technology!

For the last year we've been secretly working in our underground labs on the next iteration of the million-selling Bridge Constructor series. This new stand-alone title will release on PC, MacOS, Linux, mobile devices, and console, and fully embraces the Portal license, one of the most beloved video game franchises of the last decade.

Bridge Constructor Portal will blend the laws of structural engineering and technology straight from Aperture Laboratories into an exciting new game experience, all under the demanding gaze of GLaDOS.

Do you think we're kidding? Here is undeniable scientific proof:

Bridge Constructor Portal - Announcement Trailer

Bridge Constructor Portal will be released on December 20 2017 for Windows, MacOS and Linux as well as for mobile devices. The console versions will follow in early 2018.

"If you've been paying attention the solution should be obvious. As the case may be... good luck!"

Continue here to read the full story.

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS Desert Map Details

An update on Steam offers details on the new desert map coming to PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, saying this will come to the early access battle royale game in its last content update before the game hits version 1.0. They also reveal the name of the map is Mirimar, an odd title for a desert map, as our careful research tells us this term is of Portuguese and Spanish derivation, and means "sea-view" or "sea sight," but the images included in the article do show this desert is surrounded by the sea, so there. Along with that news and the screenshots, PUBG Corporation also offers details on some of the landmarks on the new map:

Players,
We are excited beyond words that we can finally share the name of our new desert map and tell you a little bit about some of the places you can visit. When we decided to create a new map, we focused on creating an environment that is very different from Erangel. We wanted to go the opposite direction of having lush fields and forests and arrived at the harsh and unforgiving desert of what we can now reveal is Miramar. The unique terrain and dense urban areas of Miramar will create a new Battle Royale experience where the old strategies may no longer work and new tactics are required. We don't want to tell you too much as you will soon be able to experience it all yourself but we did write a few short descriptions of several of the key landmarks and towns. You can find them below, together with the new screenshots.

Continue here to read the full story.

Antigraviator Announced

Iceberg Interactive announces Antigraviator, a Unity-engine science fiction racing game coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in Q2 2018. As the title implies, this involves racing anti-gravity ships, à la Redout, and this teaser trailer offers a look at this in action. The game's Steam page is now online, as is the Antigraviator website. Here's more:

In the year 2210, racing has evolved far beyond its expected limits. New terraforming capabilities paired with scientific breakthroughs in the field of antigravity have given birth to a new spectacle: the Antigraviator tournament. In Antigraviator, players will race on exquisitely detailed stages, full of light-speed danger, chaos and mayhem. Gamers will guide their Grav in three gameplay modes across four different worlds with three tracks each. These dynamic courses come to life, while pushing the power of Unity to the limit.

Players can challenge their friends in the fiercely competitive multiplayer modes, either online or in split-screen mode. Race yourself to the top of the worldwide leaderboard and earn special ranked skins.

Gamers can sabotage their fellow racers by activating hover mines, damaging the environment to create a rockslide, causing tunnels to collapse, firing missiles from rocket launchers along the track and many more fiendish tricks.

Gravs are customizable, but choose wisely: deciding on one upgrade may mean compromising on another. Strategically tailor-make Gravs to gain the upper hand in races or face the crushing prospect of defeat. In addition to the customization options, unlockable skins will be available free of charge.

In this futuristic high-octane racing game, defying gravity is the least of your concerns.

Key Features

  • No speed limit!
  • Play the single player campaign to unlock new parts, ships and skins
  • Race your friends with local split-screen multiplayer for up to 4 players
  • Race anybody in online multiplayer mode with rankings and leader boards
  • Use environmental traps to overtake your opponents
  • Power-ups and boosts allow you to become top of the track
  • Vehicle customization gives you an edge over the opposition
  • Four beautifully created sci-fi worlds with three dynamic courses each
  • Stunning realistic 3D graphics powered by the Unity Engine
  • Soundtrack featuring 12 intense tracks that will enhance your racing experience

Continue here to read the full story.

Hyper Knights: Battles Released

Hyper Knights: Battles is now available on Steam, offering a sandbox strategy game for Windows, Linux, and macOS. The twist here is the ability to design your own units, so this has a touch of Gratuitous Space Battles to it. This launch trailer shows off some gratuitous ground battles, and the announcement offers the details:

Spartans vs Persians, Ogres vs Chickens, Marines vs Archers. Create your own units, customize their AI and watch them fight!

Create
your own units by drawing the sprites, creating the animations and writing their AI.

Want to make a Goose that can teleport and stuns enemies? You can!
Want to make a Space Ninja that can push and pull enemies while attacking them with lightning? You can!
Want to make a Super Hero that can solo 1,000 enemies? You can!
Your imagination is the limit!

Features 11 Default Unit Types: Minion, Shielder, Archer, Chuck Boris, Space Ninja, Spartan, Persian, Ogre, Chicken, Marine, Zombie

Share your Units in the Workshop and check out what others have built.

Continue here to read the full story.

Jetball Early Access

Early access to Jetball is now available on Steam, offering a first-person shooter that plays a bit like Rocket League crossed with Starsiege TRIBES, as it simulates a sports game played with jetpacks and weapons including a disc launcher. This trailer shows off gameplay in what's described as raw footage from the alpha. The game features bots, a variety of maps, and the ability to run your own dedicated server. Here are some details:

You take control of a super athlete playing a football/basketball style game in the future. You can take to the skies with a powerful jetpack. Maintain your speed by bunny hopping (or skiing) downhill giving way to unrestricted movement. The ball inherits all of your momentum as you throw, so speed plays a big part.

Objective
The objective is simple. Get the ball and throw it into the enemy goal. Pass and score off teammates using one-timers to add style points to your score. Like Basketball, score from long distance and you are also rewarded.

Weapons
To stop the enemy from scoring in your goal, you are equiped with 4 unique weapons.

  • The disc launcher shoots an explosive disc that not only harms players but also delivers a strong knockback.
  • The nade launcher lobs an explosive grenade that also harms players and delivers an even stronger knockback force.
  • The spike thrower shoots fast and deadly spikes that fly across the map at super speeds.
  • The boost gun can knock back players and also be used to grab that ball when it is just slightly out of reach.

Continue here to read the full story.

Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Korea Trailer

A new trailer for Civilization VI: Rise and Fall takes a look at the role of Korea in this upcoming expansion for Sid Meier's Civilization VI, the turn-based strategy sequel. The video also introduces the faction's leader Queen Seondeok (little rocket lady?). Here's the description:

Get a first look at the Korean civilization and its leader, Queen Seondeok, one of nine new leaders in the Civilization VI: Rise and Fall expansion. SUBSCRIBE for First Looks at other civs, leaders, features and tips from the developers of Civilization VI: http://2kgam.es/CivilizationYT

The Civilization VI: Rise and Fall expansion arrives February 8, 2018.

Continue here to read the full story.

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