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Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018

  

Get Dead Space for Free

The Origin On the House Page announces that Dead Space is the latest free game offered through EA's giveaway program. All that's required is an Origin account, and once downloaded, the game is yours to keep. It's been almost 10 years since this was first released, so here's a refresher:

You are Isaac Clarke, an engineer on the spacecraft USG Ishimura. You're not a warrior. You're not a soldier. You are, however, the last line of defense between the remaining living crew and deadly reanimated corpses. The undead have become Necromorphs; horrific zombie-alien hybrids that won't succumb to traditional means. Fortunately, your offense is equally unique, as the high-powered mining tools at your disposal provide the means to fight against the threat.

Game Features:
Messy monster slaying. The Necromorphs are unlike any enemies you've seen before. Headshots do about as much damage to them as flicking rubber bands. To survive, you'll need to dismember their insect-like limbs, one at a time.

Improvised weapons. There aren't many traditional firearms aboard the Ishimura, but there's plenty of stopping power in Isaac's toolkit. Send horizontal or vertical blasts of energy at enemies with the Plasma Cutter, remotely control a high-speed sawblade with the Disc Ripper, and fill hallways with wide swaths of destruction with the Line Gun. Switch things up with alternate fire modes, and purchase upgrades to increase ammo, power, and reload speed.

Real-time attacks. Whatever you do, don’t drop your guard. Everything takes place in real-time. That means any action you take, whether it be reloading or digging through your inventory, gives the Necromorphs a perfect opportunity to attack. This nightmare has just begun and it’s up to get to the bottom of what happened here.

THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 Free with GOG Sale

A Chinese New Year sale is now underway on GOG.com, offering up to 90% off on over 500 games along with flash deals between now and February 20th. They kick things off with a giveaway, as anyone can head over and pick up a copy of THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 for free for the next 48 hours. Here's word:

Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Spring Festival... regardless of what you call it, it calls for celebration! And so we bring hundreds of deals on games you should play in The Year of the Dog, a game giveaway, new GOG Connect wonders, and spectacular Flash Deals for that long-missing thrill of the hunt.

Come by the GOG.com front page and grab King of Fighters 2002 – free for 48 hours, until February 15, 2 PM CET. A classic NeoGeo arcade fighter, King of Fighters 2002 is beloved for its broad roster of fighters and intense tag team gameplay, earning it a spot in the "Top Ten Video Game List" by Japan's arcade-gaming magazine, Monthly Arcadia.

Remember Flash Deals? They're back on GOG.com! Relive the anticipation, the satisfaction, that feeling when you get a ridiculous deal right before it's gone. Flash Deals come and go every hour – starting with Deus Ex GOTY Edition (-85%), Vikings - Wolves of Midgard (-70%), This War of Mine Soundtrack Edition (-80%), Thief Gold (-85%), and Shadowrun Hong Kong - Extended Edition Deluxe (-80%).
Look out for more sudden bursts of savings with Tropico 5 (-80%), Shadow Warrior 2 Deluxe (-65%), Thimbleweed Park (-30%), Icewind Dale: EE (-80%) and many more popping up throughout the sale!


Plus hundreds more deals all throughout our Chinese New Year celebrations, including Hellblade (-30%), Stardew Valley (-33%), Cuphead (-15%), Divinity: Original Sin 2 (-10%), lest we forget The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY (-60%), and more as cheap as 90% off.

Morality Group Targets Steam

Rolling Stone reports on a letter sent this summer to Valve Corporation complaining that a couple of the games for sale on Steam violated the service's own policies against "pornography" and "patently offensive content." This was sent by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an outfit formed in 1962 under the name Morality in the Media. The games in question are House Party and Porno Studio Tycoon (it would be a disservice to Barbra Streisand to not include the purchase links). They say these violate Steam guidelines, and note that they are easily accessible by anyone of any age due to the lax age gate that guards them. According to Rolling Stone, these transgressions land Valve on the NCOSE's "dirty dozen" list of top offenders, a group of perverts that includes Amazon, Backpage.com, Comcast. Ebsco, HBO, iBooks, "the poster boys of #metoo," Roku, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube, and Steam. Thanks Devicer.

Destiny 2 Crimson Days Underway

Bungie announces the Crimson Days event is now underway in Destiny 2, their first-person shooter sequel. This trailer highlights the news, and here's word on the two-versus-two battles this brings:

Crimson Days begins on 13th February, featuring 2v2 Clash with a round-based twist and a new map – The Burnout! Earn exclusive rewards by competing in the Crimson Days playlist, completing select activities, and receive both an Illuminated Engram and a Crimson Engram each time you level up past max level for the duration of the event.

Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Delivered

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is now available on Steam, offering an open-world RPG for Windows. Those with Tobii Eye Tracking or an interest in the technology can check out this post for details on the game's eye-tracking support. Here's a rundown on the game:

You're Henry, the son of a blacksmith. Thrust into a raging civil war, you watch helplessly as invaders storm your village and slaughter your friends and family. Narrowly escaping the brutal attack, you grab your sword to fight back. Avenge the death of your parents and help repel the invading forces!

Story:
Bohemia – located in the heart of Europe, the region is rich in culture, silver, and sprawling castles. The death of its beloved ruler, Emperor Charles IV, has plunged the kingdom into dark times: war, corruption, and discord are tearing this jewel of the Holy Roman Empire apart.
One of Charles' sons, Wenceslas, has inherited the crown. Unlike his father, Wenceslas is a naive, self-indulgent, unambitious monarch. His half-brother and King of Hungary, Sigismund the Red Fox, senses weakness in Wenceslas. Feigning good will, Sigismund travels to Bohemia and kidnaps his half-brother. With no king on the throne, Sigismund is now free to plunder Bohemia and seize its riches.

In the midst of this chaos, you're Henry, the son of a blacksmith. Your peaceful life is shattered when a mercenary raid, ordered by King Sigismund himself, burns your village to the ground. By bittersweet fortune, you are one of the few survivors of this massacre.

Without a home, family, or future you end up in the service of Lord Radzig Kobyla, who is forming a resistance against the invasion. Fate drags you into this bloody conflict and shoves you into a raging civil war, where you help fight for the future of Bohemia.

Features:

  • Massive realistic open world: Majestic castles, vast fields, all rendered in stunning high-end graphics.
  • Non-linear story: Solve quests in multiple ways, then face the consequences of your decisions.
  • Challenging combat: Distance, stealth, or melee. Choose your weapons and execute dozens of unique combos in battles that are as thrilling as they are merciless.
  • Character development: Improve your skills, earn new perks, and forge and upgrade your equipment.
  • Dynamic world: Your actions influence the reactions of the people around you. Fight, steal, seduce, threaten, persuade, or bribe. It’s all up to you.
  • Historical accuracy: Meet real historical characters and experience the genuine look and feel of medieval Bohemia.

Crossing Souls Released

Publisher Devolver Digital and developer Fourattic announce the release of Crossing Souls, an action game inspired by the actual 1980s as well as more recent media inspired by the 1980s. Pop the launch trailer into your VCR and read on for more details:

Independent developer Fourattic and the helpful townsfolk from Devolver Digital have launched Crossing Souls on PlayStation 4 and PC. The meticulously-crafted pixel art homage to 80s adventures is available now with 20 percent off its $14.99 price [http://crossingsoulsthegame.com/].

Crossing Souls is an action-adventure set in a California suburb in the midst of a supernatural event that rocks the small community as grand forces siege the town. Control five characters: Chris, Matt, Charlie, Big Joe and Kevin, each one with their own skills and combat styles. Change characters on the fly and use each character’s specialties to overcome any obstacle and target your foes weaknesses. Fight in real-time, solve clever puzzles, face off against powerful bosses and play special levels inspired by 80s arcade videogames.

“If we could afford iconic 80s spokespeople like Michael J. Fox, Alf, and the actor that played Chunk from the Goonies, I’m sure they would tell you that Crossing Souls is an incredible game that you should buy right now,” noted Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker. “But alas we cannot, and therefore they have not said anything of the sort and are likely unaware of the game at all.”

Crossing Souls is available now on PlayStation 4 and PC for whatever 80 percent of $14.99 comes out to – you do the math, nerd. Just buy it and stop being so cheap.

Continue here to read the full story.

QuakeCon 2018 Details

Bethesda Softworks announces details about QuakeCon 2018, the 23rd annual installment in the id Software bring-your-own-computer LAN party. This year's gathering will run from August 9-12, and like last year, will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, TX. Last year's show had to limit capacity a bit, but as they promised at the time, the BYOC area will be twice as large this year. They are not yet selling premium packages, but offer some details on accommodations:

WHEN: QuakeCon will take place from Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12, 2018.

WHERE: Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center
1501 Gaylord Trail
Grapevine, TX 76051

Guests can make room reservations at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center by calling 1-817-778-2000 or going online to: https://aws.passkey.com/e/49568787. A special room rate of $185 per night is available when you reference QuakeCon 2018!

DETAILS: Entering its 23rd year, QuakeCon 2018 will celebrate games and the people who play them by hosting North America’s largest BYOC (Bring-Your-Own-Computer) LAN party. This year’s BYOC will be doubling in size from QuakeCon 2017, so even more participants can showcase their custom computers and join the QuakeCon community to play their favorite games either solo or against one another on the same local area network.

QuakeCon is free for general attendees and open to the public. This year’s event will offer diverse activities for all, including those who choose not to bring their own computer. Attendees are some of the first to see sneak peeks of Bethesda’s upcoming titles and announcements, while also attending a wide array of panels, presentations, tournaments, workshops and exhibits from leading tech companies showcasing the newest gaming accessories and hardware.

QuakeCon welcomes exhibitors and sponsors to showcase their games, hardware and services. For more information on how to get involved, please email sponsor@quakecon.org or visit www.quakecon.org/sponsorsandexhibitors.

For more information on QuakeCon 2018, visit www.quakecon.org.

Surviving Mars Pre-Purchases

Paradox Interactive is now accepting pre-purchases of Surviving Mars, the upcoming survival game that presumably rewards you for getting your ass off Mars. Buying the Windows, Linux, and macOS game in advance on Steam has its privileges, as they promise "bonus content for eager colonists who secure their copy before the game’s release." The news is accompanied by this trailer, which sadly does not use the Bowie song in its title. The clip sets up the game's story, ending with an ominous incursion to what seems like an idyllic space colony. Here are the details on the bonuses for special editions and pre-purchases:

All players who pre-order Surviving Mars will receive, in addition to the game itself, a set of new visual skins for their colony’s domes inspired by the far-flung futuristic design of Paradox’s Stellaris. Pre-orders on all PC platforms will also include the Surviving Mars original soundtrack, featuring music from the in-game radio stations.

Paradox also today detailed the additional content included with the Deluxe and First Colony Editions of Surviving Mars. The Deluxe Edition, available at a suggested retail price of $49.99, will include an additional in-game radio station with new music, a set of three alternative housing styles to add variety to colony domes, and a set of chromatic, shiny utility buildings that will provide a metallic flair to players’ infrastructure. Players who purchase the Deluxe Edition on PlayStation®4 will also receive a Surviving Mars theme, while the Deluxe Edition on PC platforms will also include a digital art book and Surviving Mars wallpaper.

Also available is the Surviving Mars First Colony Edition for a suggested retail price of $74.99 on all platforms, which includes all platform-specific content from the Deluxe Edition along with the Surviving Mars Season Pass. The Season Pass will grant players access to two forthcoming game expansions and two content packs, and is available for standalone purchase for a suggested retail price of $34.99.

Continue here to read the full story.

Real Farm DLC Plans

SOEDESCO announces The Potato Pack and the Grünes Tal Map will launch on March 2nd, offering the first two DLC packs for Real Farm, the simulation with more hoes than Grand Theft Auto. Word is both packs will be free to all who already own the game prior to that date. Here's a trailer showing off the new content, and here are details:

The Potato Pack and the Grünes Tal Map
The first crop that was ever grown in outer space is now coming to Real Farm with the permanently free Potato Pack! Additionally, the lush new Grünes Tal Map takes players to the vast and glorious agricultural communities of Western Europe.

Those who own Real Farm before the DLC launches can enjoy the green valleys of the Grünes Tal Map for free. For those who buy Real Farm after the launch, the map costs €9,99/$9.99. On Steam, Real Farm players automatically receive the Grünes Tal Map DLC once it launches. On PlayStation®4 and Xbox One, the map is free to download for 7 days after launch and becomes a paid DLC after that period.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 42,000 Match Sphere Gets Lit. Thanks Boing Boing.

Sea of Thieves System Requirements

PC Gamer now offers system requirements for Sea of Thieves, Rare's upcoming seafaring RPG. These range from below minimum to above maximum (or something like that), resulting in six different specifications. These are presented in a honking big infographic, so we ran it through the wayback machine to create a text version:

540p@30fps
(iGPU Below Min Spec)
720p@30fps
(Minimum)
1080p@30fps 1080p@60fps
(Recommended)
4k@30fps 4k@60fps
(Extreme)
OS Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
Windows 10
Anniversary (1607*)
CPU Intel Iris Pro
Graphics 6200 or
Intel Iris 540
Intel Q9450@2.6GHz
or AMD Phenom II
X6@3.3GHz
Intel i3 4170@3.7GHz
or AMD FX-6300
@3.5GHz
Intel i5 4690@3.5GHz
or AMD FX-8150
@3.6GHz
Intel i5 4690@3.5GHz
or AMD FX-8150
@3.6GHz
Intel i7 4790@4GHz
or AMD Ryzen 5 1600
@3.6GHz
RAM 4GB 4GB 8GB 8GB 16GB 16GB
DIRECT X 11 11 11 11 11 11
VRAM 1GB 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB 8GB
GPU Integrated Nvidia GeForce GTX 650
or AMD Radeon 7750
Nvidia GeForce GTX 660
or AMD Radeon R9 270
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770
or AMD Radeon R9 380x
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti
or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti
or AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
MODERN GPU Integrated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1030
or AMD Radeon R7 450
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
or AMD Radeon RX 460
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
or AMD Radeon RX 470
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti
or AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
HDD 60 GB 5.4k rpm 60 GB 5.4k rpm 60 GB 7.2k rpm 60 GB 7.2k rpm 60 GB SSD 60 GB SSD
GRAPHICS SETTINGS Minimum "Cursed" Low ("Common") Medium ("Rare") Medium ("Rare") Ultra ("Mythical") Ultra ("Mythical")

New Paradox CEO

The Paradox Interactive Forums have a farewell post from Fredrik Wester, who announces he is leaving his role as CEO of Paradox Interactive, and will now serve as Executive Chairman of the Board. He introduces Ebba Ljungerud as the company's new CEO, saying they believe the changes are what serves Paradox best. Here's a bit of his explanation:

So this August I’ll be stepping out of the role of CEO at Paradox Interactive and will be taking up a post as Executive Chairman of the Board. We´re making this change as we believe it is what suits Paradox best. This will be my full-time job; I will continue to work out of the office and hopefully have more time to interact with with all my colleagues and with you. This change will put me in a position where I can focus on the things I love, helping Paradox grow and expand, while handing over responsibility for ongoing operations to a person better suited for the job.

I’m also really happy to announce that we’ve already selected the person who will step in as CEO of Paradox Interactive, starting in August. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ebba Ljungerud. Ebba has a long history with Paradox: she’s been on our board for four years now, and she and I have worked closely together in that time on many different projects and topics. She’s also been the CCO at Kindred Group for the last few years, so her ability to manage a growth company the size of Paradox is a safe bet. Yes, pun intended.

Apart from myself, Ebba will be supported by veterans like Johan Andersson, Mattias Lilja, Thomas Johansson, Henrik Fåhraeus, Shams Jorjani and Susana Meza Graham, all of whom have been with Paradox for several years, some even longer than me, and are familiar faces in our community already.

It´s important to note that this does not change what we do at Paradox. We remain focused on creating the kind of games we do best and are known for. This is about making sure we have the organisation in place to handle the growth we´re currently experiencing, and making sure our trajectory continues upwards.

Space Invaders Extreme Invades

TAITO announces the release of Space Invaders Extreme on Steam as the celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Space Invaders, the seminal arcade shooter. This trailer shows off gameplay and the twists that make this version so extreme. Grab some quarters and read on:

The critically acclaimed update to the Space Invaders franchise is here to invade Steam. Learn the intricacies of the scoring system and use that knowledge to conquer the leaderboards. The invaders have evolved. Can you keep up?

  • Greatly improved graphics and audio
  • Interactive sound and synchronous visuals
  • Brand new World Ranking System
  • 16 stages brimming with devious invader attack patterns and bosses whose strategy adapts according to game difficulty
  • Practice individual stages then go up against your rivals score in Arcade Mode
  • Discover all the countless hidden bonuses
  • New tracks by Zuntata and Cosio

Welcome to the new invasion.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Expansion and Free Update

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Eugen Systems announce the release of the Back to Hell expansion for Steel Division: Normandy 44, their World War II strategy game for Windows. This adds new historical missions and units to the game, and comes alongside a free update for the base game as well as a new SKU that bundles the game and the add-on. They offer this release trailer with a look at what to expect, and this announcement with details:

Paradox Interactive and Eugen Systems are making history today, with the release of Back to Hell for Steel Division: Normandy 44. Now available on Steam for Windows PC, the game’s second expansion features first-ever cooperative play, seven new historical missions, four new divisions, two new exclusive ace models and 58 new units. Don’t be a saint, get Back to Hell now for $14.99 MSRP.

In Back to Hell, players will lead 11 never-before-seen divisions into seven historically accurate battles (including five in co-op and multiplayer), based on real world operations. For each historical mission, divisions are set, and players have to choose the pre-made battlegroups they want to command. Battlegroups must fit into a greater plan to achieve common goals, which means players will have to fight and accomplish objectives with what they are given, not always what they would have chosen.

In addition to historical missions, Back to Hell features four new divisions: Allied (Demi-Brigade SAS and the 7th Armoured Division "Desert Rats") and Axis (Festung Gross-Paris and 2. Panzerdivision), with 58 new units, like the Staghound, Wasp Mk.IIC, FFI Jagdpanzer IV, Jeep SAS, Maultier Mun and Panhard MG.

Back to Hell arrives alongside a free content update, Bulls on Parade, which adds a long-awaited random map option to the lobby, and features the free historical mission Operation Atlantic in solo, co-op and multiplayer. The 11th Armoured Division "Black Bull" is playable for the first time, and only available in this mission. It will team up with the 3rd Armored and face off against the 16 Luftwaffe and the 21 Panzer divisions.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Paradox introduced a new bundle today, Steel Division: Normandy 44 Locked & Loaded, which contains the base game, deluxe edition content, Second Wave and Back to Hell. Available exclusively on Steam, Locked & Loaded gets players up-to-date on content and 10% off the cost.

Continue here to read the full story.

Monster Energy Supercross Released

Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame is now available, offering the chance to go off-road with this caffeine-fuelled racing game. The Windows edition is not referenced on the game's Buy Now Page, but it can be found on Steam. This offers a couple of cosmetic DLC packs, but no reference to the season pass or other DLC for consoles that's mentioned in the announcement. Here's the game's latest trailer and a feature list that seems to cover all versions:

Key features include:

  • The Official 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Season;
  • Official bikes, iconic tracks, and athletes from both 250SX and 450SX Classes: Chad Reed, Ken Roczen, reigning champion Ryan Dungey and others will race across official challenging tracks;
  • An exciting career mode with extreme customisation options for both riders and bikes with the maximum flexibility to advance in racing classes;
  • A powerful track editor, for endless gameplay possibilities. Thanks to the track editor, players can create their own custom tracks, race on them and share them online. Once uploaded on the server, users can “like” other gamers’ creations, vote for their favourite tracks and increase the prestige of the track designer.
  • Top notch graphics for world-class game quality and a next-level immersive experience;
  • Online modes, with Multiplayer up to 12 players who can ride on both official and custom tracks.

The track editor and online modes will only be available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and Windows PC®/STEAM.

Continue here to read the full story.

DYNASTY WARRIORS 9 Released

Steam News announces the release of DYNASTY WARRIORS 9, or as the site displays the title, DYNASTY WARRIORS 9/真・三國無双8. Here's word on this open world installment in KOEI's action series:

For the first time in the series, the expansive land of China is shown on a single map with the introduction of an open world format for diverse progression through the game. The 'one vs. thousands' exhilarating action of the Warriors series and the beloved characters from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms tale are carried over, but the freedom through an open world stage provides a brand new Warriors experience.

Key Missions unfold and progress the story of the player character, and are supplemented by numerous missions from various regions such as Regular Missions that affect the Key Missions and requests from other characters. The situation will be ever changing depending on what missions are selected. In the many battles that occur on the map, players will find a variety of strategies and tactics open to them such as "attacking head on," "launching a surprise attack from an elevated position" or "infiltrating at night", for numerous ways to enjoy the expansive world of the Three Kingdoms.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Fat Tuesday, happy Shrove Tuesday, and happy Pancake Tuesday. In other words, happy Mardi Gras. And yes, I will indeed bare my chest for plastic beads. Important note for those of you visiting the Blue's News cocktail lounge: there is a $100 deposit on the hurricane glasses. No exceptions.

Shrove Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Geometry Neon Dash Subzero.
Science: New DNA nanorobots successfully target and kill off cancerous tumors.
Foreign Accent Syndrome: American woman says she woke up sounding British.
Media: Siri in the '80s.
Casually Explained: Introverts and Extroverts.
Elephants Are Gross (NSFW). Warning, the title is no lie.



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