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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018


New Overwatch Character Confirmed

The Overwatch Website confirms speculation that Brigitte Lindholm is coming to Overwatch, as the youngest of Torbjörn's daughters will be the next hero to join the multiplayer shooter. Actually she already has, to some extent, as the new character in now playable in a new patch that's live on the PTR. She is the game's seventh support character, and this part of the update explains her role:

Brigitte is the seventh support character to join the Overwatch lineup and her gameplay is engineered to defend allies while also providing healing and armor. She excels at healing multiple allies at once with Inspire while pressuring the enemy team’s front line as she whittles them down with her Rocket Flail. Her Whip Shot can be used to disrupt an enemy formation or to shove a flanking assassin off a vulnerable teammate. Repair Pack can be either used as an instant reactionary heal or as a preventative heal when anticipating incoming enemy damage. Brigitte’s Barrier Shield is most effective as a personal shield to absorb some damage so Brigitte can reposition herself if she finds herself being targeted by the enemy or safely move up into the heat of the fray. Shield Bash’s stun can be key in defending her allies from foes who get too close, or to immobilize an important target and start a team fight. Its mobility allows her to move into a fight or escape from an enemy’s reach. Rally can be used either to engage the enemy with a favorable advantage or safely disengage from a losing battle. Armor gained from her ultimate is permanent until chipped away by damage.

Crytek CEO Change

The Crytek Website announces a change at the top, as Cevat Yerli is stepping down as CEO and president of the studio, and is being replace by fellow cofounders Avni Yerli and Faruk Yerli (thanks GameInformer). Here's what's happening:

Frankfurt-based independent game developer, publisher, and technology developer Crytek is proud to announce the appointment of Avni Yerli and Faruk Yerli as joint CEOs.

The change in leadership follows the successful launch of the company’s much-anticipated bounty hunting game, Hunt: Showdown, last week. The company will continue to focus on enhancing its industry-leading proprietary development platform CRYENGINE, as well as ongoing development and publishing for Hunt: Showdown in the Frankfurt studio and Warface in the Kiev studio. Crytek’s Istanbul office will continue to be responsible for operating Warface in Turkey.

An investment made in autumn 2017 has fortified Crytek and added the necessary capital for future growth.

Former CEO and President Cevat Yerli said: “With the company in a strong position, now is the ideal time to recognize the existing leadership’s excellent achievements over these past two years and formally transition executive leadership to Avni and Faruk. I have been honored to serve as CEO of the company I founded with my brothers almost 20 years ago and have seen the team accomplish breakthrough things in that time. I look forward to continue helping Crytek as a major shareholder, and I am very excited to see what tomorrow brings. I have every confidence that the company will continue to shine under the guidance of Avni, Faruk, and the rest of the leadership team.”

Gravel Released

Gravel is now available on Steam along with a playable demo that offers the chance to test drive this off-road racing game from Milestone (thanks Frans). This post covers the release:

Your off-road playground is now open for business!

Gravel is finally out today, with its speedy races, extreme weather conditions and a car selection of the most iconic legends from the modern and past times. It’s been one hell of ride so far for us, and your adventure starts right today.

Please find here the supported peripherals list

We hope you enjoy the game as much as we enjoyed developing it during the past two years, and don't forget to contact us in case you need help through our Customer Support:

Build-Engine Ion Maiden from 3D Realms Early Access

Early Access to Ion Maiden is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to party like it's 1996 with a new Build-engine shooter published by 3D Realms. This is a preview campaign, and says it's also available there, but restricted to owners of the Bombshell Digital Deluxe Edition. Here's a reveal trailer and here's word from this announcement:

3D Realms is proud to bring back the Build engine, which powered Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Shadow Warrior, in all of its hand-crafted pixelated glory.

We’ve spent a lot of time tinkering under the hood to take advantage of new technology and techniques. Bigger levels, hundreds of new colors, and morphing maps that transform mid-level are all just a few of the advancements made to the engine.

Today we're releasing the ION MAIDEN in Early Access!

Early Access owners will be granted immediate access to an exclusive multi-hour preview campaign, which you can play RIGHT NOW!

This is a big moment for us - The first official 3D Realms IP to launch as a Build Engine FPS since Shadow Warrior.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Preorder Beta

The preorder beta for Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is now available, offering early access to those who have pre-purchased the action sequel on Steam. The game will be officially released on March 8th, and the beta will run up until that time. This post has details on the beta as well as a new video showing off gameplay. Here's word:

Independent developer Fatshark today announced that the Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Pre-Order BETA is available. Everyone who has bought Warhammer: Vermintide 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the multi-million selling game Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, will have access to the BETA all the way to the release on March 8.

“First of all, we are thankful that so many bought the game early on, and we are happy to involve all owners of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 in the Pre-Order Exclusive BETA” says Martin Wahlund, CEO Fatshark.

Continue here to read the full story.

Deep Rock Galactic Early Access

Steam now offers Early Access to Deep Rock Galactic, a co-op first-person shooter with an Armageddon-style setting, "badass space Dwarves," destructible environments, procedurally-generated caves, "and endless hordes of alien monsters." Here's the launch trailer along with a portion of the feature list:

Work together as a team to dig, explore, and fight your way through a massive cave system filled with hordes of deadly enemies and valuable resources. You will need to rely on your teammates if you want to survive the most hostile cave systems in the galaxy!

Pick the right class for the job. Mow through enemies as the Gunner, scout ahead and light up the caves as the Scout, chew through solid rock as the Driller, or support the team with defensive structures and turrets as the Engineer.

Destroy everything around you to reach your goal. There is no set path so you can complete your mission your way. Drill straight down to your objective or build an intricate network of paths to explore your surroundings -- the choice is yours. But proceed with caution, you don’t want to stumble into an alien swarm unprepared!

Explore a network of procedurally generated cave systems filled with enemies to fight and riches to collect. There’s always something new to discover and no two playthroughs are alike.

Continue here to read the full story.

Elium - Prison Escape Breaks Out

Elium - Prison Escape is now available on Steam, offering a Windows roguelite RPG with a strong emphasis on swordfighting. This comes from Lone Artisan Games, which, as the name implies, is a one-person studio. You can read up on the game on the Elium Website, where there's also this trailer with a look at gameplay. Grab a monte cristo sandwich, light up a Montecristo cigar, and read on for more on this chance to make like The Count of Monte Cristo:

In Elium - Prison Escape, you take the role of a war prisoner who tries to free himself from imprisonment by all means. Engage direct melee realistic combats in first and third person view with shooter-like controls as you dive into a dance of swings and parries, counterattacks, feints and dodges. Use footwork to manage a proper distance and positioning, and manage your Stamina to avoid exhaustion.

“You may think that Elium - Prison Escape is about fighting only, but it’s not”, says Oscar Sanz, the indie developer creator of this title. “You can also also take your enemies from the shadows or use distractions to subtly sneak past the prison guards”.

Elium - Prison Escape combines hand-crafted and procedurally generated elements ensuring proper placement and gameplay as well as great variety. Fight with a sword, equip a shield, use your fists or even resort to fight with objects around you to get through the deadly mazes in this game. To make things even more challenging, free other prisoners who will join forces with you.

Continue here to read the full story.

Q.U.B.E. 2 Launch Trailer

You can now view the official launch trailer for Q.U.B.E. 2 on YouTube, which is harder to say than rubber baby buggy bumpers. This shows off more of the first-person puzzle sequel in advance of its release on March 13th. "With Q.U.B.E. 2, we have pushed the boundaries of what a small independent team can create in a first person puzzle game," says Dan Da Rocha, Managing Director at Toxic Games. "In addition to creating incredible new puzzles, we also focused on narrative from this game’s inception. Amelia’s emotional journey throughout the adventure has given the puzzles a greater thematic depth and spurred us on to design some truly unique challenges. We think this has truly elevated the gameplay experience of Q.U.B.E. 2 to another level." Here's more on what to expect from the game:

Armed with a special pair of gloves that let her manipulate the environment, Amelia must navigate a monolithic structure filled with alien technologies in search of another stranded scientist, Emma Sutcliffe, to whom she communicates with via radio. Together they must find a way home. Over the course of 11 Chapters, players will step into Amelia’s shoes, exploring the structure and solving its puzzles to progress. Combine the abilities of the “manipulation gloves” with the alien architecture of the monolith for an open ended gameplay adventure featuring over 80 puzzles. In a story that explores themes of trust, isolation and humanity, thought-provoking questions about Amelia’s true purpose and the origins of the structure will need to be considered, forcing her to come to terms with a devastating truth that will shake her world.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

  • Terra Feminarum is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a bullet-hell shooter they describe as the Aurora Borealis of shoot-em-up games. Here's a trailer

Into the Black

Link of the Day: FXX Sets -Archer- Danger Island- Premiere. Danger zone!

H1Z1 Launches With New Auto Royale Mode

Daybreak Games announces the official release of H1Z1 after an extended early access run for the survival shooter, as they highlight the game's role in spurring the current mania for Battle Royale games. This is marked by the launch of a new Auto Royale mode, which is said to be in beta, so fans of works-in-progress games are still covered. A Launch Day Producer's Letter has lots of details and this post outlines what's changed for the release version. This trailer shows off Auto Royale, and the announcement has all the details:

Daybreak Games® today announced the official launch of H1Z1®, the original standalone battle royale game that sparked a worldwide phenomenon. H1Z1 is now available on Steam for Windows PC with a brand-new game mode, Auto Royale™, injecting high-octane vehicular mayhem into the genre.

“In 2016, we did something unheard of - we split a successful game into two products and introduced the world to the first standalone battle royale game. The next year, we created the first battle royale esports league and became the second esport to ever air on broadcast television. This year, we continue to push this young genre forward with the introduction of Auto Royale,” said H1Z1 General Manager Anthony Castoro. “Auto Royale doesn’t rinse and repeat what is currently available on the market, it turns the genre on its head with a fresh approach - arcadey, vehicle-only battle royale unlike anything anyone has experienced before.”

Inspired by H1Z1’s fast-paced vehicle play, the new game mode – Auto Royale – features up to 30 teams of four in a battle to be the last vehicle standing. Teams speed around the massive map looking for power-ups, weapons, ammo, fuel, and health as they try to out-shoot, out-drive, and out-last the competition. The mode introduces two new vehicles to H1Z1, a sedan and an armoured recon vehicle (ARV), and a variety of features to cause vehicular havoc, including ramps, land mines, oil slicks, turbo boosts, vehicle jumps, corrosive smoke, and much more.


  • Two New Vehicles: Players can choose from two vehicles in Auto Royale – Sedan or ARV – both new to the game and only available in Auto Royale.
    • Sedan: Nimble car with faster acceleration and higher jump clearance, allowing skilled drivers to quickly evade enemies.
    • Armored Recon Vehicle (ARV): Offers more stability, making it easier to drive for new players, but has less turbo fuel efficiency.
  • New Weapons: The Light Machine Gun (LMG), available only in Auto Royale, deals the most sustained damage of any gun in the game.
  • New Power Ups: Players pick up evasive, defensive and combat drops to throw opponents off their trail, heal themselves, or deal damage to enemy vehicles.
    • Defensive drops include vehicle repair kits, environmental buffs, fire extinguishers, and vehicle armour.
    • Evasive power ups include smoke screens, high-octane fuel, turbo boosts, and oil slicks.
    • Combative pick-ups include land mines and corrosive smoke.

Auto Royale is currently in Beta and will continue to develop with feedback from the community. Along with the new vehicular battle royale game mode, H1Z1 launches with a plethora of new features designed to enhance the game’s competitive nature and fast-paced combat.


  • Tactical Deployment: Players can choose which area to parachute into at the start of a match using a heat map that shows locations of where other players spawn.
  • Airdrop Revamp: The airdrop system has been refined to add more points of contention, increasing the drop frequency and item value.
  • Season 1: The official first in-game Season for H1Z1 starts with an all-new scoring algorithm designed to reward consistency and aggression, not just a player’s 10 best placements.
  • Mini Map: Players now have the option to turn on a mini map to help the navigate the world.
  • Founder’s Item: All players who bought H1Z1 during Early Access will receive a special in-game shirt.
  • And More!

Continue here to read the full story.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Announced

Funcom pays off on last week's tease with the announcement of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a "tactical adventure" game based on the Mutant tabletop series coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 later this year. Funcom is the publisher, and development of the Unreal-engine game is being handled by Bearded Ladies, a studio that includes former HITMAN designers and PAYDAY designer Ulf Andersson. "It’s an unusual label for a game, but tactical adventure really fits the bill, no duck pun intended," says Andersson. "Our goal is to blend the deep and tactical combat of ‘XCOM’ with a branching storyline that unfolds as you explore overgrown forests and abandoned cities with your team of Mutants. Mixing that with real-time stealth gameplay gives you a unique way to approach or avoid combat situations you encounter while exploring." The Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Website with a cinematic reveal trailer is online, as is a Steam listing, and they say they will be showing the game off at the Game Developers Conference when that gets underway in San Francisco in a few weeks. In the meantime, the announcement has further details, so ignore the Herberts and read on:

Of course the world ends, it was just a question of time. Extreme climate change, global economic crisis, a lethal pandemic, and increasing tension between old and new superpowers. For the first time since 1945 nuclear weapons were used in armed conflict. Mushroom clouds rose from east to west before the dust settled. The humans are gone. The Mutants are here.

Funcom, the independent games developer and publisher, and Bearded Ladies, a Sweden-based game development studio that includes former ‘Hitman’ designers and Ulf Andersson the designer of ‘PAYDAY’, today announced a brand-new game called ‘Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden’. Proudly standing out as a tactical adventure game, it combines the tactical turn-based combat of ‘XCOM’ with real-time exploration and stealth gameplay, wrapping it all up in a deep storyline set on a post-human Earth.

The game, which is being developed by Bearded Ladies and published by Funcom, is set to release in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Players must take control of a team of unlikely heroes, such as Dux (a crossbow-wielding, walking, talking duck) and Bormin (a boar with serious anger issues), and help them navigate a post-human Earth with its abandoned cities, crumbling highways, and mutated monsters on every corner. The ultimate goal: save yourselves by finding the legendary Eden.

Continue here to read the full story.

Defiance 2050 Announced

Trion Worlds announces Defiance 2050, an MMO sci-fi shooter coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this summer. This is a ground-up remake of the original Defiance, which launched in 2013 as a tie-in with a SyFy television series, and it is set 32 years from now (unless we missed 2048 intermediate games along the way). The Defiance 2050 Website is online, and registering there includes the possibility of being invited to the upcoming closed beta test. Here's the Defiance 2050 announce trailer, and here's word:

Trion Worlds is thrilled to reveal the next title set in the Defiance universe! A reimagined sci-fi shooter experience for current gaming hardware, Defiance 2050 takes the exciting story and groundbreaking gameplay of the original game, and gives it a major overhaul. Defiance 2050 launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this summer.

Twenty years have passed since the catastrophic Arkfall event left millions of Votans dead and Earth terraformed into a nearly unrecognizable post-apocalyptic landscape. In Defiance 2050’s version of San Francisco, players are transported to a dynamic open world where they can explore and fight in skirmishes and story-driven missions on an epic scale. Players will engage in massive cooperative battles with their friends, utilize hundreds of distinct weapons and skills, and take on huge alien threats as they explore transformed futuristic environments.

Defiance 2050 recreates the original game from the ground up to be representative of the current generation of consoles. From updated textures to improved resolutions and framerates, Defiance 2050 is a marked improvement over the original Defiance.

Defiance 2050 is more than just a simple graphical remaster, as the game’s systems have gotten major improvements to create the definitive version of the game. Today’s consoles and PCs enable the dev team to implement features and upgrades that fans of the game have been clamoring for, while advancements in hardware allow for action on an even larger scale than before, with more players able to take to the battlefield in white-knuckled combat.

Continue here to read the full story.

Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition Announced

WBIW and DC Entertainment announce Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition, a new version of Injustice 2, coming on March 27th to Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox One. This updated edition of the comic-inspired brawler adds a bunch of DLC and some new features to the game, including all downloadable playable characters. Here's word:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition, the upcoming version of the hit videogame Injustice 2, named Fighting Game of the Year by the 21st D.I.C.E. Awards and The Game Awards 2017. Available beginning March 27 for PlayStation®4, PlayStation®4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One X and PC via Steam and the Microsoft Store, Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition offers the ultimate DC Super Hero and Super-Villain fighting game experience and packages the main game with the following downloadable content:

  • All downloadable playable characters: Darkseid, Red Hood, Starfire, Sub-Zero, Black Manta, Raiden, Hellboy, Atom, Enchantress and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Premiere skins available from the Injustice 2 Ultimate Edition including Power Girl, John Stewart Green Lantern, Reverse-Flash, Grid and Black Lightning each with unique looks, voices, and dialogue.

In addition to the packaged content, enhancements that will be available with Injustice 2 - Legendary Edition include:

  • The introduction of the Learn Hub, the game’s expanded tutorial
  • New Gear items for all characters have been added
  • The character level cap is increased to 30
  • A new Augment Slot is available at level 30

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Out of the Blue

One of my old softball teams is tossing around the idea of an old-timers game this summer. I would bristle at the "old-timers" designation, but my softball career ended around the time my webmaster career began, so, yeah, it's been a while. I'm enthusiastic about this, but am also realistically thankful that they seem to be targeting September, as that leaves at least six months to try and get into something resembling playing shape, the stereotypical physique of a softball player notwithstanding.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Superheroes vs Footballers.
Story: Trump strikes $3.9 billion deal with Boeing for new Air Force One. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Minnesota Toddler Allergic to Water.
Why Scientists Love to Study Dogs (and Often Ignore Cats). Thanks j.c.f.
Media: Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 Official Teaser Trailer.
Learn to Break a Glass with Your Voice -- Learn Quick. Thanks Boing Boing.
Throwing a Needle Through Glass in Slow Motion. Thanks Hypothermia.

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