Archived News:

Friday, Oct 12, 2018

Sudden Strike 4 - Africa: Desert War Released

Africa: Desert War is now available on Steam, offering a new add-on for the Windows, Linux, and macOS editions of Sudden Strike 4, the World War II strategy sequel. Turn off those reruns of Rat Patrol and check out this launch trailer for a look at what to expect. Here are the details:
Sudden Strike 4: Africa – Desert War features two new mini campaigns with six new single player missions from the North African campaign of World War 2. In the Axis campaign, you will start the Italian advance on Egypt to take the city of Sidi Barrani, besiege the city of Tobruk and take over its harbor, as well as break through the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia. In the Allied campaign, take part in Operation Compass and retake the village of Sidi Barrani, relive the watershed of the Western Desert Campaign, the Second Battle of El Alamein, and break through the German defensive line in the Battle of Mareth. Fight in an unforgiving and harsh desert setting with sandstorms to challenge your tactical wits.

Along with new campaigns, players can choose from five new doctrine commanders to lead their troops into battle. On the side of the Axis, armchair generals can choose from the highly decorated German general Erwin Rommel and three additional Italian commanders, including renowned field marshal Giovanni Messe. On the Allies, play as legendary armored division general Sir Richard O’Connor.

As the war heads into new territory, Africa – Desert War introduces over 30 new vehicles including an all new medical truck, the Marder II Tank Destroyer, the British Bishop SPG, and the Italian Semovente da 105/25 Assault Gun.
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Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces plans to unleash Holy Fury on Crusader Kings II on November 13th with the release of the new expansion for their grand strategy sequel. They also announce that neo-folk-metal band PAGAN FURY is now the official rock band of the game, though we're still waiting for news on the official polka band of the game. A new story trailer celebrates the release date news, and this announcement covers both developments:
The greatest grand strategy role playing adventure ever made returns to its roots in Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury. The newest expansion to Paradox’s beloved medieval dynasty manager again turns its eyes to the cross and the sword, as religious strife tears across the Old World. You can unsheathe your righteous sword on 13 November, 2018.

As a Pagan chieftain, join a Warrior Lodge and become a legendary hero through mighty feats of arms and bravery. As a Christian king, seek out the blessing of the Pope for your coronation and plot to entrench your own family in the Holy Land in the free update to the game’s Crusade system. There are saints, new types of Crusades, and a deep Pagan religious reform system that lets you customize the new faith.

But you can’t put Europe to the sword without songs of war, and Paradox has found the perfect partner in PAGAN FURY, a neo-folk-metal band fronted by the charismatic Arven Latour. Paradox was so impressed by their dedication to crafting music dedicated to Crusader Kings II, that PAGAN FURY is now the Official Rock Band of the game.

Follow their artist page on Spotify where you'll also find their first track, "Until the Day We Die"!
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen Gameplay Video

Another new video from Star Citizen comes out of CitizenCon, showing off a lot of the upcoming sandbox space game. This includes a walkaround showing off various bits and over an hour of gameplay in a clip that runs close to 90 minutes. The whole thing is accompanied by a running developer commentary to explain what's going on. Thanks Primalchrome. Continue here to read the full story.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Gameplay Video

With Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales due on October 23rd, now offers a new video CD Projekt RED's single-player RPG set in the same world as The Witcher. Word is the clip shows off 37 minutes of gameplay:
Today, developers CD PROJEKT RED released a brand new video showcasing a 37-minute long walkthrough from the game's first act. There's a healthy amount of story, exploration, and turn-based card battle combat for you to enjoy, all with commentary by Paweł Burza (Community Manager), who provides valuable insight into the world of Thronebreaker.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Firing a 2 Inch Gun in Slow Motion.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Released

Activision announces the global launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, saying the shooter sequel is now available for Windows and consoles. They offer details on the various different versions to choose between, and here's a bit of what they say about the game:
Black Ops 4 is here! The best-selling series in Call of Duty® returns with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 available now, digitally and at global retailers worldwide. The most anticipated multi-platform game of this holiday according to Nielsen Game Rank™, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 delivers a game-changing experience with more ways to play together with friends than ever before.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is packed with an amazing array and a massive amount of content across Multiplayer, Zombies and Blackout, and the launch marks just the beginning of an incredible journey ahead,” said Rob Kostich, EVP and GM, Call of Duty. “When you pick up a Black Ops game, you know you have something you are going to play for a really long time, but Black Ops 4 takes that to an entirely new level. The team’s commitment is clear – no matter what kind of player you are, there is a ton of content to be enjoyed, and there is even more to come for everyone in the community. Black Ops 4 is unlike anything Treyarch has ever created and we think fans are going to have a blast.”

“We revealed playable Multiplayer earlier than ever, put in more Zombies available on day one than any other game, held two Betas, and along the way the response from the Black Ops community has been nothing short of incredible,” said Dan Bunting, Co-Studio Head, Treyarch. "Our mission was to build a game from the ground up that allowed fans to have fun together and play with one another in new ways – that’s just what we did, and the launch of Black Ops 4 is just the start. This is a game that we plan to support for the long haul.”

New GeForce Drivers

The GeForce Website offers new version 416.34 WHQL-certified drivers for NVIDIA GeForce cards running under Windows. These cover today's big new game release and more: "Provides the optimal gaming experience for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, SOULCALIBUR VI, and GRIP."

HITMAN 2 One-on-One Ghost Mode Details

HITMAN 2 is getting a new competitive 1v1 Ghost Mode, saying this will be available in Miami when the assassination sequel launches, and will be added to other locations post-release. This sounds like this will have agents facing off against each other like in the Hitman films, but it is actually a competition between two agents to see which one can eliminate his targets faster. This trailer shows off how this works, and the announcement has more details:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive today announced the addition of competitive multiplayer for HITMAN 2. Ghost Mode is a unique and brand-new take on 1-versus-1 online competition, putting players’ assassination skills to the ultimate test.

Agent 47 is the world’s deadliest assassin, and the only person who can match him in skill, stealth and execution is… himself. Therefore, Ghost Mode allows two players to compete against each other online, both as Agent 47, to assassinate the most targets in a match. At the start of each round, both players begin side-by-side and must race to take out the same targets faster and cleaner than their opponent, while utilizing weapons, items, outfits and ghost crate supply drops along the way to help accomplish the overall mission.

The unique twist with Ghost Mode in HITMAN 2 is that players will simultaneously hunt targets while in the same location and can see a “ghost” version of their rival gamer to track progress against their own, but they exist in separate realities unaffected by the actions of their adversary. In Ghost Mode, the player who can outsmart, outplay and outkill their opponent by eliminating five targets first, will declare victory.
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Quake Champions Adds Athena; Kicks Off Slipgate Festival

The Quake Champions Website announces the launch of the October update for Quake Champions, id Software's online first-person shooter. This features the return of Athena from QUAKE II after putting her through her paces on the test server along with a new four-versus-four Slipgate mode. The patch also kicks off a new Slipgate Festival event which will celebrate the new game mode between now and the end of the month, and offering community rewards for participation. This post has the big picture and this one has more details, while a post on Steam also covers the news and the patch notes while also providing some visual aides. They have a Slipgate Mode Tutorial video, another trailer explaining the Slipgate Festival Event, along with an Athena tutorial video. Here's more on the Slipgate Festival:
From October 11th - 31st all players taking part from day one will immediately receive the Elder Guardian Tentacle Weapon Shaders for all starting weapons (Machinegun, Shotgun, & Nailgun)!

Subsequent festival milestones will result in the new Annihilator Heavy Machine Gun Skin being gifted to all participants, then unlocking the Overseer Scalebearer Lore Skin and, ultimately, Athena – or her Coalition Lore Skin if the Champion is already owned either through the Champions Pack, or by purchasing Athena any time before the goal is reached.
Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG Investigating Matchmaking Issues

A post on Steam from PUBG Corp says they are investigating matchmaking issues in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS sine the release of update #22 for the battle royale shooter. They explain they've already deployed a preliminary fix and are prepared to follow-up on this as necessary:
We’re aware that many of you are having a bad experience with the recent changes to matchmaking that went live in Update #22. The intention of these improvements is to re-enable map selection and provide a better game experience and faster queue times.

The improved system is intended to automatically send players to the region that provides the lowest ping, but unfortunately an error related to ping calculation occurred and the player’s location wasn’t being identified correctly, resulting in them being placed into matches in a region that didn’t provide the optimal gameplay experience. Due to the large number of players affected by this issue, the gameplay experience for many players has been impacted negatively and we sincerely apologize for this.

Within the last 24 hours we deployed an initial fix to prevent players from connecting to the wrong local region. The team is actively working to resolve the remaining issues in a fix we expect to deploy next week, which also includes a change to prioritize matching players with teammates who speak the same language, to improve the player experience.

Once deployed, the system will now properly prioritize putting players into matches on servers in their local region. In the event of excessive queue times due to a small matchmaking pool, the next closest region will be chosen to ensure players aren’t stuck matchmaking indefinitely.

We understand that issues like this are extremely disruptive to how you enjoy the game and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our loyal players. Our team will continue to closely monitor this issue, both through data and player feedback.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress and make another announcement once the additional fix is deployed next week.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We've been getting some severe rainstorms in this area recently, which are obviously nothing in comparison with the hurricane devastation still being dealt with down south. This has had a weird side-effect though, which is an influx of mushrooms. And by that I mean a lot of them, and some of them are positively huge. I don't know much about fungi and we haven't figured out what type they are, or even why they arrived, but the wetness seems part of it. We took advantage of the literally hundreds of mushrooms in the yard by inviting our friends the twins to help pick them resulting in delightful scenes like this.

Fungal Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Soccer Physics 2.
Stories: Master Sommelier Exam Cheating Scandal Results in Stripped Titles. Thanks RedEye9.
Lindsey Buckingham sues Fleetwood Mac for kicking him out.
Science: Lab-grown eyes explain how a baby's vision develops in the womb. Or you could just ask Hannibal Chew.
Same-sex mice have babies.
Media: Wind speeds up to 155 mph.
Honest Trailers - Doctor Who (Modern).
Low Flying Jets.
Follow-ups: Failed Fyre Festival founder foiled, forfeits six years (and $26 million). Thanks RedEye9.
F-35 jets- US military grounds entire fleet. Thanks RedEye9.
Thousands of young U.S. children get no vaccines, survey finds.
Gibson: New "Wild Bunch" 'Was' A Bad Idea.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
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