Archived News:

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019

Get Assassin's Creed Unity for Free

Ubisoft announces they are donating €500,000 to help with the restoration and reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris following the fire that destroyed part of the famed cathedral. They are also offering gamers the chance to experience the virtual version of the structure they created by giving away free copies of Assassin's Creed Unity for PC on this page. Here's the deal:
As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre-Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarité with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused. Notre-Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected. Seeing the monument in peril like this affected us all.

In light of Monday's events, we will be donating €500,000 to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Cathedral. We encourage all of you who are interested to donate as well. In addition, we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how. For one week, we will be giving Assassin's Creed Unity away free on PC, for anyone who wants to enjoy it. You can download it now for Uplay PC here: http://assassinscreed.com/unity-notredame/

When we created Assassin's Creed Unity, we developed an even closer connection with this incredible city and its landmarks – one of the most notable elements of the game was the extraordinary recreation of Notre-Dame.

Struggling Announced

Chasing Rats Games announces Struggling, a co-op survival game where two players team up to play a creature that looks like a transporter accident from Star Trek or The Fly. Since we're obviously struggling to convey the essence of Struggling, here's a trailer showing off gameplay, where each player controls one of the creature's arms. This is expected for release this fall, and the game's Steam Listing is online for your wishlisting pleasure. Here's the official description:
Struggling is a physics-based coop game where each player controls one of the arms of a strange creature (kind word to describe the thing). By grabbing onto any surface, the monstrosity will need to painfully drag itself in different environments and overcome all kinds of obstacles while staying classy by wearing hats discovered along the way.

TRUE COOP
In Struggling, your partner is more than just another character, he is part of yours. Get ready to operate a makeshift boat, escape a wildfire, ride a dirtbike and explore the world while sharing the body of a “charming” abomination with your friend. You will be struggling!

KEY FEATURES

  • Unorthodox and unique way to play and move the character with your friend by controlling one arm each in a physics based environment.
  • A handcrafted and wild coop adventure starring the weirdest protagonist you'll ever have the chance (or bad luck) to look at and play as.
  • Go on a pilgrimage to find the abomination gods and earn new powers to become a supreme/less mediocre being.
  • Tons of exotic gameplay sequences using the coordination of both player controlled arms, ranging from wiring up explosives to operating a tank in a suburb.
  • Local multiplayer game modes where you can face another abomination controlled by some of your friends in which you compete in various trials.
  • Solo mode where you control both arms for a radically different experience.

Two Point Hospital Free DLC This Month

Developer Two Point Studios and publisher SEGA announce The Superbug Initiative will come to Two Point Hospital on April 30th, adding infectious new DLC to the wacky healthcare simulation for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This trailer showing this off, offering a viral look at the viral content. This post on Steam explains what this involves, and explains how you can access this right away if you've achieved One Star in Mitton University in the game. Here's word:
Word has come in from Bungle Technologies: select healthcare organisations will be invited to work towards the future of Two Point County as part of the Superbug Initiative, from April 30 as a free update to Two Point Hospital.

All of the Kudosh in the world can't buy certain, coveted items and upgrades for your healthcare organization... But we in Two Point County have the solution: the Superbug Initiative. Complete in-game challenges with your friends, and players from around the world, all from the comfort of your own hospitals to unlock cutting edge technology and rare items for your hospitals and revolutionise healthcare forever. Two Point Studios will push regular updates, with more challenges, after its initial April 30 launch.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark This Month

1C Company announces an April 30th release date for Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, which is when this fantasy RPG will launch on consoles and depart from Early Access for Windows, Linux, and macOS. This post on Steam covers the release news, and offers an Official Release Date Trailer as an illustration. Here's word:
We're almost there! Just two more weeks and Fell Seal will be coming out of Early Access. On April 30th, you will be able to experience the epic conclusion to your adventure in Teora.

To celebrate this, we prepared a brand new trailer that you can check out here:
Continue here to read the full story.

Delayed Dark Devotion Due Next Week

Publisher The Arcade Crew and developer Hibernian Workshop announce an April 25th release date for Dark Devotion, their upcoming side-scrolling action/adventure. This admits a delay that already occurred when the game failed to make it out in Q1 of this year, a release Window they announced in January. A new Gameplay Overview trailer accompanies the news, which follows:
Publisher The Arcade Crew today announces with developer Hibernian Workshop that Dark Devotion, the engrossing adventure through a grim, mysterious temple teeming with dangerous secrets, will welcome brave warriors through its foreboding doors April 25 on PC via Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle for $19.99. The challenging sidescrolling action game will also reach consoles at a later date.

Though a treacherous journey awaits those searching for divine recognition, The Arcade Crew has prepared an introduction to Dark Devotion’s brooding world to help players prepare for their destined battles and revelations. Enduring the temple’s trials will require flawless reflexes, keen intuition and a steeled determination, as the threats explored in this video are only a sampling of the horrors lying ahead: https://youtu.be/setoctN-jas

Dark Devotion’s sprawling, dilapidated temple takes adventurers through a twisted environment rife with mystery where they’ll encounter scores of dangerous foes slinking within the shadows. Combat is deliberately paced and weighty, making mistakes feel impactful and every looting of scarce supplies a relief in this tormenting labyrinth partially inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In Dark Devotion, faith is more than just a guiding light; it’s a precious resource demanded by an unappeasable God who is happy to watch you struggle against its most loyal Templars.

For the latest word on Dark Devotion, be sure to visit the official site (https://www.darkdevotion.fr/). To start off on the right foot with your unquestionable ruler, add the game to your evening prayers and Steam wishlist (https://store.steampowered.com/app/718590/Dark_Devotion/).
Continue here to read the full story.

Faeria Expands

This announcement on Steam reveals that Chronicles of Gagana is now available on Steam, offering a new expansion for Faeria, the turn-based strategy game featuring collectible cards. We were pretty disappointed that this did not feature Snoop Dogg until we realized the title is not Chronicles of Ganja. Here's a summary of what to expect:
The expansion adds a new civilization and continent, new creatures never seen before, and allows players to discover powerful ancient treasures. The ‘Chronicles of Gagana’ expansion provides players with 40 new cards to help build out powerful decks to plan new card synergies with. The expansion also adds a new Mecha card subtype, for the first time in Faeria, players will be able to enter the very heart of the Mecha civilization, a city built into the core of a volcano!

Trine: Ultimate Collection Trailer

A new trailer shows off gameplay from Trine: Ultimate Collection, the upcoming bundle of the first three Trine games along with Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, the next installment in the puzzle series. Here's word on the collection, and how you can preorder it to prepare for its release this fall:
Experience Trine 4 and the complete Trine series with Trine: Ultimate Collection this Fall! Pre-order now: http://trine4.com

The Trine: Ultimate Collection includes all four titles in the best-selling Trine series including Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Trine 3: Artifacts of Power and the all new Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince.

The Trine series returns to the magic of 2.5D with Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince this fall! The three heroes of the best-selling adventure series are back, sent on a quest to retrieve the troubled young Prince Selius. Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief are joined together once again on a thrilling quest through fantastical fairytale landscapes teeming with danger.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Dark Phoenix - Final Trailer.

Snooker 19 Breaks Out

Snooker 19 is now available for Windows and consoles, offering the chance to break some balls, as shown off in this launch trailer. The Windows edition is cued up on Steam, where this post notes a slight delay to the release, but this is cleared up already. Here's the announcement:
Snooker 19 features 128 of the world’s top players including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui. Players can choose a seasoned pro or a rising star and progress through the ranks in the single player career mode, playing at meticulously detailed recreations of iconic venues such as The Crucible in Sheffield, The Tempodrom in Berlin and The Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium in Beijing. As they progress through their career, players will earn trophies to commemorate their victories and gear to customise their avatar.

Players can challenge their friends to matches locally or online, where they can also matchmake against regional and global opponents. For the biggest challenge of all, players can compete in global online tournaments, synced to their real world counterparts. Winning online tournaments will earn players highly stylised cosmetics such as new cues, waistcoats and bow ties, showing anyone competing against them that they are the king of the table. The first online tournament will be the Betfred World Snooker Championship, taking place at the legendary Crucible in Sheffield from April 20th - May 6th.

“Being big fans of snooker, we’re thrilled to finally bring Snooker 19 to the masses,” said Justin Forrest of Lab42, Game Director of Snooker 19. “This has been a big passion project of ours and the chance to work with World Snooker was a dream come true. We’re confident that we have created the definitive snooker experience, and hope you will agree when you try Snooker 19 yourself.”

Leveraging the visual feature set of Unreal Engine 4, Snooker 19 sets a new visual standard for the snooker video game. Lab42 have created a custom advanced physics engine, designed from the ground up to deliver the most true to life snooker experience and an AI engine designed specifically to emulate the way different pro players approach their shots and maneuver the cue ball around the table to continue their break.
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Jurassic World Evolution Evolves

New content for Jurassic World Evolution is now available in a new Carnivore Dinosaur Pack that adds three new creatures to the dinosaur game, with not a veggie-saurus among them. This comes along with a new version 1.7 update for the base game, and this post on Steam has details on that along with a new trailer for the DLC. Here's the news:

Frontier Developments today launched the Jurassic World Evolution: Carnivore Dinosaur Pack premium downloadable content for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

The Carnivore Dinosaur Pack adds three new dinosaurs to Jurassic World Evolution, and arrives alongside a free update for all players featuring a new camera mode for would-be dinosaur photographers.

The new dinosaurs include:

  • The Herrerasaurus is a well-adapted carnivore with a narrow skull and serrated teeth for tearing into flesh, along with an unusually flexible joint in its lower jaw, allowing it to pin prey with a vice-like grip.
  • The Proceratosaurus is small in stature but this carnivorous two-legged dinosaur from the middle Jurassic period is an ancient relative of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • The Acrocanthosaurus is a large and muscular dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. Studies of its skull and inner-ear reveal it would have had an unusual posture, lowering its head when running to maintain balance.

Continue here to read the full story.

S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster Next Month

The spate of May game release news continues with the announcement to expect S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster on May 23rd. This version of the real-time strategy game offers remastered graphics, gameplay improvements, and the return of multiplayer, so fans of the original should be in hog heaven. The news is accompanied by a new trailer offering the first look at the game's new look. Here's word from Assemble Entertainment, which fudges a bit on the Bay of Pigs part, but we've been known to stretch for wordplay, so we'll forgive them: "Just in time for the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, publisher Assemble Entertainment and developer Kite Games have released a brand-new gameplay trailer, where players will be taken back to the good old days of merciless war between pigs and rabbits!" Here's more on the game:
On July 26, the Republic of the Pigs was overthrown by General Iron Tusk. After dealing with the remaining Republican loyalist forces in his territory, Tusk turned his attention to the neighboring nation of Carrotland, home of the Rabbits. The Rabbits worked out their strategy, too; and now the two species need to find a capable officer who can lead their operations.

This funny strategy war game, which was first released in 2001, focuses on the strategic aspect of the battle. You don’t have to construct buildings or collect resources. Instead, you just need to capitalize on the strategy points and use them to expand and develop your animal army.

Key features of S.W.I.N.E HD Remaster include:

  • Remastered graphics: S.W.I.N.E HD Remaster boasts a redesigned interface adjusted to 16:9 aspect ratio, along with detailed unit texture. Extended graphics settings are available: anti-aliasing, v-sync, screen selection, and full-screen mode.
  • Improved game experience: Tons of bug fixes, extended zoom, improved unit ordering, and plenty of other updates bring the game into the modern age.
  • Multiplayer is back: Travel back to the good old days with your friends and play this unique landmark of a game either online or on LAN.

Continue here to read the full story.

In Defense of Aliens Announced

In Defense of Aliens is a tower defense game with a twist, as it includes third-person shooter gameplay along with its strategy elements. This is coming to Early Access this summer, but you can get an first look in this gameplay trailer and you can score instant access to the game's alpha test by joining its Discord Server. Here's the pitch:
In Defense of Aliens is a fast-paced, hybrid tower defense game in which humanity's greatest heroes defend allied civilizations from onslaughts of militant aliens all across the galaxy. Mixing strategic tower defence tactics with impactful third-person combat, In Defense of Aliens puts you at the forefront of humanity's last stand against the galaxy's greatest foe. Build your character, ready your weapons, and save the little guys.

Kicksome invites players to join them on their journey and take up arms against the alien menace prevailing the galaxy by signing up to the game's free alpha, exclusive to those who join its Discord server.

Studio Founder Nitin Malhotra, whose children helped to devise the concept of the game, said: "'Dungeon Defenders meets Lemmings in a strange but beautiful world' - that's the goal we set out to achieve when my kids and I first dreamed up In Defense of Aliens. Now, more than five years later, we're all extremely excited to share the game with the world and hope it brings them the same amount of fun with cooperative play that inspired us to create it."
Continue here to read the full story.

Eden Rising: Supremacy Rises Next Month

Another game in Early Access on Steam that will graduate next month is Eden Rising: Supremacy, which is due on May 17th. This is another tower defense game with a twist on the genre as it incorporates an open-world dynamic. This trailer from last October show this in action, and the announcement has details:
Eden Rising, the acclaimed open-world action tower defense game, is leaving Steam Early Access and fully launching on May 17, developer Nvizzio Creations announced. Either solo or in 8-player co-op, players can defend their bases from hordes of various monsters, gather materials, craft defenses, and gear, and explore the lands of the game.

With the game’s full launch on Steam, arriving on the anniversary of its Early Access debut, Eden Rising brings a plethora of new content such as character customization, resource cultivation, an expanded item upgrade system, and up to 8 players in multiplayer co-op. As a hybrid game seamlessly blending elements from the action tower defense and open world genres, Eden Rising is a truly unique experience.

“We went into Steam Early Access to receive crucial feedback from our players about the game they wanted Eden Rising to be. The result was a new and improved product with a leap in gameplay mechanics and a large addition of content,” said Brent Ellison, of Nvizzio Creations. “Once the game is in full launch, we’ll be adding even more content and continuously bringing quality updates for our players.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Oxygen Not Included Next Month

May 28th is the official launch date for Oxygen Not Included, the sci-fi BYOO resource management game. The game has been killing it in Early Access on Steam, and that version is currently on sale for 25% off to celebrate the release news. Here's a new launch teaser trailer and here's the news:
Klei, the critically-acclaimed independent games studio behind the smash-hit franchise Don’t Starve, is happy to announce the full release of the resource management sim, Oxygen Not Included, which will be leaving Steam Early Access on May 28.

Jamie Cheng, founder of Klei Entertainment said: “After two years, we are happy to announce that Oxygen Not Included is coming out of Early Access on May 28. Throughout Early Access, we’ve added a ton of content, polish, improvements, optimizations and features to realize our vision of the game. Features such as simulating disease, implementing a skill system, adding creature taming, logic gates, automation, duplicant scheduling, recreational facilities, as well as a menagerie of new creatures, biomes, official mod support, space travel, and more, have all been added to complete the experience.

“We have sold almost two million copies so far and we’ve been amazed at how the community has taken the game and run with it, including AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" built with logic gates, a 100-Duplicant challenge colony, and an astonishing retrospective of a 2000-cycle colony. It is all so much more than we could have hoped for and we’re so grateful for our community’s continued feedback and support.”

With the final Oxygen Not Included Early Access update Klei is introducing a host of new features, including three new biomes, new buildings, new creatures, and asteroid generation settings, so each playthrough can feel fresh and challenging.

Oxygen Not Included is a space-colony simulation game, designed in a way that only Klei can deliver. Manage your colonists and help them dig, build and maintain a subterranean asteroid base. You'll need water, warmth, food, and oxygen to keep them alive, and even more than that to keep them happy.
Continue here to read the full story.

Gladiabots Next Month

Gladiabots will officially launch on Steam on May 22nd offering a Windows, Linux, and macOS strategy game from French solo-developer GFX47. This follows a nine-month run on Early Access that's seen the game earn "very positive" reviews. Gladiabots allows you to construct an AI robot squad to do battle in the arena, as shown in this trailer. Here's a full description of the game and how it has evolved since entering Early Access:
Assemble your perfect team of robots and set their AI strategy with the simple to use but satisfyingly deep visual AI editor. Decide when your units should attack, gather resources, support each other, retreat depending on their health, keep their distance, close in, save their shield, react to the circumstances on the battlefield and much more. Improve, refine and repeat until you outsmart all your opponents and friends online.

Features added since Early Access started

  • 2 new game modes (3 in total now): Elimination (8 vs 8, kill them all) and Domination (6 vs 6, capture and hold strategic points on the map)
  • 200 new solo missions
  • Campaign leaderboards
  • Translation by the community in 10 languages
  • New AI options
  • New cosmetic customization system
  • Tons of improvements on the AI editor
  • Tons of improvements on the matchmaking
  • New OST by Corentin Brasart

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've been suffering with some odd leg pains the past couple of days. My left hamstring has been bugging me both where it meets the butt and where it attaches to the outside of the knee. I was not optimistic that Doctor Google could help with this, since it would probably focus on things I am not suffering from like a hamstring tear or strain. But after some prodding from MrsBlue I did search around a bit, and was able to find a couple of things that could help explain this, such as hamstring tendonitis or hamstring syndrome. I'll do a little more reading on this to see where it leads me, but what I seen initially suggests rest is going to be part of the process for getting past this. That's not making me happy, as I've put in a few miles of dog walking a day for years now. All that walking may well be at the root of the problem, but it's not going to make me happy if I have to curtail it, as it's something I really enjoy. Jedi the Jindo would not be thrilled either. But something needs to happen here... it's to the point where I'm actually considering calling the doctor. I know! Crazy talk!

R.I.P.: Georgia Engel, Sweet-Voiced Star Of 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' Dies At 70.
R.I.P.: Warren Adler Dead- Author of ‘The War of the Roses’ Was 91.

Hamstrung Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Emperors on Ice.
Stories: Macron vows to rebuild Notre Dame within five years, a breakneck pace for a monumental project.
Notre Dame fire: Macron's five-year rebuilding pledge is unrealistic, experts warn.
Tolkien was right- Scholars conclude Beowulf likely the work of single author.
Science: CRISPR gene editing has been used on humans in the US.
As Ebola outbreak rages, vaccine is 97.5% effective, protecting over 90K people. Thanks RedEye9 and Max.
Employee Wellness Programs Yield Little Benefit, Study Shows.
Media: Game of Thrones Vs. Vanilla Ice.
James Corden's parents watch 'Game of Thrones' for the first time and it's an absolute riot.
100 Greatest One-Liners: Before The Kill.
Follow-up: Anti-vax moms sue NYC as US heads toward record measles spread.
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