Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018

Steam Opening the Gates

A new post on the Steam Blog discusses "Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store" in light of recent questions about Valve's policies regarding games that include adult content and controversial topics. It's a lengthy discussion of the issues involved and the history of their policies. They then announce that their new policy going forward is to allow all content "except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling." Here's their conclusion:
So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen. But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.

It also means that the games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valve’s values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create & consume the content you choose. The two points above apply to all of us at Valve as well. If you see something on Steam that you think should not exist, it's almost certain that someone at Valve is right there with you.

To be explicit about that - if we allow your game onto the Store, it does not mean we approve or agree with anything you're trying to say with it. If you're a developer of offensive games, this isn't us siding with you against all the people you're offending. There will be people throughout the Steam community who hate your games, and hope you fail to find an audience, and there will be people here at Valve who feel exactly the same way. However, offending someone shouldn't take away your game's voice. We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game. But that's it.

In the short term, we won't be making significant changes to what's arriving on Steam until we've finished some of the tools we've described in this post. As we've hopefully managed to convey, navigating these issues is messy and complicated. Countries and societies change their laws and cultural norms over time. We'll be working on this for the foreseeable future, both in terms of what products we're allowing, what guidelines we communicate, and the tools we're providing to developers and players.

Get Fortified for Free

Steam News announces that Fortified will be permanently added for free to the library of anyone who claims their copy within the next 48 hours. Here's word:
Fortified is an explosive strategy shooter where players will defend the Earth against a menacing Martian invasion in the 1950s. Play as one-of-four pulp inspired heroes as they fight swarms of terrifying robots with an arsenal of Cold War era weapons and experimental technology. Protect the city by building a network of defensive structures, commanding an army, and jumping into battle against dangerous sky scraping attackers. Fight for Earth alone or with up to four players for the ultimate co-op defense experience.

The Crew 2 Post-Release Free and Paid Content

The Crew Website announces Ubisoft's plans to support The Crew 2 with a premium Season Pass as well as frequent free content updates:
Today, Ubisoft® revealed the post-launch plan for its upcoming open-world racing game The Crew® 2. The release of the game on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and Windows PC on June 29th is only the beginning of the journey for all motorsports addicts, as the development team will introduce significant new content through regular updates. Ubisoft also unveiled The Crew 2 Season Pass, which will be available to purchase from June 29th and will be included in the game’s Gold Edition and Motor Edition.

Major free updates will occur every three months to expand the game’s experience, enrich its world and bring new disciplines, modes and features. The game’s first update, Gator Rush, will be released September 2018 and will let players enjoy a tropical cocktail of bouncy fun and wacky races on all kinds of surfaces and playgrounds, mastering a new and exotic discipline: the Hovercraft. This free update will also introduce five completely new vehicles to the line-up, as well as the new “Legendary” rarity level on performance parts that players will be able to collect in game. In addition to major updates, two new vehicles will be added to the existing line up each month.

More exciting new vehicles and features are being announced, including a brand new PvP mode planned for the second major free update, to be released this December.

“Continuous expansion and renewal has always been at the core of our vision for the franchise,” said Ahmed Boukhelifa, Ivory Tower Managing Director. “For players, this means they will always find new activities and things to discover – or re-discover from another perspective.”

Players looking for the ultimate The Crew 2 experience will be able to do so with the Season Pass including:

  • Three exclusive vehicles on day one, the Porsche 911 TURBO 3.6, the SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MK IX and the ICE Marine BLADERUNNER 35
  • Seven days early access to the monthly added vehicles, totaling 22 vehicles
  • One exclusive house location as well as two exclusive outfits
  • VIP 20 percent discount off of the game store

Antigraviator Released

Antigraviator is now available on Steam, offering futuristic low-friction racing for Windows. Iceberg Interactive celebrates the occasion with the release of this video with six minutes of high-speed gameplay in 4K resolution. There is also a playable demo to test drive on Game Jolt and They float the following explanation for the release:
Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Cybernetic Walrus announce that their multi-award winning anti-gravity racing game Antigraviator is available on PC today through Steam and other digital retailers, at an SRP of 24.99$. To mark its release, the game will receive a 10% discount during the week of launch.

With a respectful nod to old favourites WipeOut™ and F-Zero™, Antigraviator is a sleek new take on the anti-gravity racing genre. Use traps, power-ups and boosts to overtake your opponents and dominate the track in single player or multiplayer mode. In a unique twist, the player has unlimited speed at their disposal, the only limit being their skill and ability to avoid walls and obstacles.

A new 4K-gameplay video shows just how fast the game can co, with speeds reaching up to 1200 km/h in this video alone:
Continue here to read the full story.


A new cinematic trailer for Total War: THREE KINGDOMS has the first in-engine look at the upcoming strategy game. This reveals a delay for the game, saying it is now due in spring 2019 after being announced for a Fall 2018 launch. The clip introduces Cao Cao, one of the warlords vying for control of 14th century China in the game. SEGA also offers this blog post discussing the game's "romanticised history." Here's more on that, and how the game will also feature a more historically accurate mode:
Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is the first Total War game to take inspiration from a romanticised version of History. Influenced by Luo Guanzhong's 14th century historical epic 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms', it follows the dramatic lives and deeds of near-mythical warlords and their retainers in 2nd to 3rd century China as they try to unite the country under their rule and forge the next great dynasty. Revealed in this first in-game cinematic is one such leader with designs on being the one true ruler of China, the cunning strategic mastermind, Cao Cao. Bringing grand speeches, breath-taking siege battles and legendary duels to Total War: THREE KINGDOMS, Cao Cao will no doubt be the leader of choice for players who enjoy a "divide and conquer" approach.

In another series first, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS features a romanticised version of the period including generals with preternatural fighting abilities able to tackle scores of enemy troops single-handedly and heavily influence battles. However, true to the series' legacy, the game will also feature a Classic Mode that offers a more grounded, historically authentic Total War experience. Find out more about this in our blog post:
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Wars Battlefront II Getting Solo Content

EA announces more Solo-inspired Han Solo content is coming to Star Wars Battlefront II on June 12th. Start saving your parsecs (or something), as this trailer shows off new content. Here's what to expect:
He’s a gambler, a driver, a flyer – and an unexpected hero in the making. It’s time for young Han Solo to make his way to Star Wars Battlefront II. Starting June 12, players can jump into all new content inspired by the latest Solo: A Star Wars Story film including:

  • New Location Kessel – The notorious coaxium mines of the planet Kessel will available in a variety of modes including Blast, Hero Showdown, Heroes vs. Villains or Extraction.
  • Extraction Mode – This popular mode first seen in Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim will make its return. In extraction, an infiltration squad must retrieve and escape with a critical payload while fending off enemy forces. Players will join as either attackers or defenders in this asymmetrical and intense mode.
  • Lando’s Millennium Falcon – Take the Millennium Falcon for a spin prior to when Han Solo won it in a game of sabac.
  • New Appearances – Arrive to battle in style with new Appearances for Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, all carefully modeled after their looks in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Overwatch Adding Social Features

A new video developer update for Overwatch features Jeff Kaplan outlining new social features coming to Overwatch in the future that are now in testing on the PTR. He explains they are finally ready to discuss features the community has been requesting for some time, including Endorsements to reward consistent contributors and Looking for Group to help with matchmaking. Here's the table of contents:
00:18 – We have two new upcoming social features: Endorsements and Looking for Group!
00:52 – Recognize players in three different ways: Sportsmanship, Good Teammate, and Shot caller
04:55 – Players who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will be rewarded periodically
05:17 – Looking for Group is coming your way!
05:17 – Craft your gameplay experience using specific parameters to create your dream team
07:35 – Attack and Defense heroes will now be merged under a new category: DAMAGE!
08:30 – Player profiles can now be set as private, friends only, or public
09:12 – Our Symmetra re-work will go live in the next patch!
09:30 – The Horizon Lunar Colony map will also receive several significant changes
10:12 – More social systems are on the way, two in the summer followed by another later in the year
10:35 – Thank you for watching—we hope you enjoy the features!
Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo III Introducing Themed Seasons

The Diablo III Website offers a first look at Season 14 for the action/RPG sequel, which will get underway on June 15th. Blizzard is introducing themes for seasons, kicking this concept off with the "Season of Greed," which arguably describes most of the history of the loot-oriented series. Here's more on the theme:
Starting with Season 14, we’re introducing a new seasonal concept—themes. Throughout the next Season, we’ll be embracing our inner goblin and celebrating the Season of Greed. For the duration of Season 14, all Treasure Goblin spawns will be doubled. This means that each time you encounter a Treasure Goblin in the wild, they’ll be accompanied by an exact duplicate of themselves for two times the loot, chaos, and fun!

There are a few important details to keep in mind with this effect:

  • This does not affect goblins encountered via Bandit Shrines, Goblin “Rift” packs, or in the Realm of Greed
  • Duplicate Whimsydale portals created by the Rainbow Goblin will enter the same instance of Whimsydale

Need a refresher on the various types of Treasure Goblins and what they do? Be sure to check out our Game Guide for more information.

In addition to doubling up on everyone’s favorite treasure-thieving troublemakers, other celebrations may spring up across the globe as we kick off this exciting new Seasonal concept. Be sure to keep a close eye on Twitter and Facebook for more information as we move into Season 14!

Assetto Corsa Competizione Trailer

505 Games announces plans to show off Assetto Corsa Competizione at E3, which will be the first public showing of the racing game sequel. They illustrate the news with a brief new trailer with a quick tease of gameplay. Here's word on what they will be demonstrating in the Thrustmaster booth:
All attendees will have the opportunity to experience the game in its pre-Alpha stage, using the most recent Thrustmaster products, with Ferrari and Sparco official licenses in a hotlap-based endurance race; using professional simulations from California-based company VRX

Assetto Corsa Competizione will be available for testing in its pre-Alpha stage on several circuits, with two different cars. Fans will face this mix of contents, enriched by the presence of night/day cycles and rain, enjoying for the first time Unreal Engine 4’s graphics engine applied to a racing simulator.

Virtual racers, thanks to Thrustmaster, will dive into Assetto Corsa Competizione feeling every single curb, since TS-XW double-belt brushless motor servo-base will be used. They will be able to test this equipment together with Ferrari F488 GT3 and Sparco P310 wheel add-ons, perfectly replicating their real counterparts, while being able to win prizes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Today marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France that lead to the eventual end of World War II. My fascination with this has only grown stronger over the years, as I still find it impossible to wrap my mind around the scope of the plan they executed. Here's a bit on that from the Wikipedia: "The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June. Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. The Germans lost 1,000 men."

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Harpoon FRVR.
Space Chess.
Stories: 'Nobody Is Left': Guatemala Volcano Ravaged Entire Families.
Jared Leto’s Joker Gets Standalone Movie at Warner Bros.
Media: Passed Out In A Car (NSFW). Is there a chance alcohol was involved?
A Capella THX Logo Theme.
Dancing FBI Agent Negligent Discharge.
Auction: Original Apple-1 computer and accessories go up for rare auction.
The Funnies: Brevity.
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