Archived News:

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Divinity: Fallen Heroes Falls; Development on Hold

The Larian Studios forums have an update on the future of Divinity: Fallen Heroes, saying that this is now on hold after being expected next month. This can often be a euphemism for outright cancellation, and they do not give any indication of when production on this next installment in the Divinity series will resume:
It is with a profound sense of regret that today we announce Divinity: Fallen Heroes has been put on hold, as we fondly celebrate the work done so far. We’ve been working with Logic Artists for over a year since before the announcement on March 27, 2019. Though enthused by the reception of the announcement and the energy of our fans, we have taken many things into consideration over the course of the last few months, and today we’re ready to talk about its future.

Originally scheduled for a November 2019 release, it has become clear to everyone involved that the game will need far greater development time and resources than are available now to bring it to fruition, in a fun and sustainable way.

Going forward, we at Larian will continue to work on Baldur’s Gate 3 with news coming soon, and Logic Artists will be focusing on their own Expeditions games. As an independent developer ourselves, we understand and value the importance of a developer investing into their own IPs, and their own future.

We’re sorry for the players excited for Fallen Heroes, who will have to wait an unspecified period of time, but we strongly believe that bringing Fallen Heroes to fans should be done in a timeline that allows it to be developed soundly.

We value the work that everyone has put in to Fallen Heroes, and though we lament its status as of now, we all agree that there’s a great game in there that will sometime reach the players who await it.

Logic Artists shared the following statement: “It's always sad to put an exciting project on hold, but sometimes the realities of development and release schedules simply assert themselves in ways that are outside anyone's control. It's been an incredible honour to work with Larian on their Divinity IP, and everyone at Logic Artists has been blown away by how helpful and welcoming Larian has been throughout the project.

There's no doubt we've learned much that will benefit our own projects in the future, and we'll always be grateful for that experience. As our own team pivots to focus fully on the third installment of the Expeditions series and a new IP of our very own, we wish Larian the best of luck with Baldur's Gate 3. We can't wait to play it!”

The Division 2 Episode 2 – Pentagon: The Last Castle Released

Ubisoft announces the release of Episode 2 – Pentagon: The Last Castle for Year 1 Pass holders in Tom Clancy's The Division 2. This comes with a reminder that Thursday will bring the opportunity for those who don't own the game to try it for free. This page has details on the free weekend, an accompanying sale, and how progression in the game will carry over for those who decide to buy it. Here's word on the content of Episode 2 and the accompanying title update for the base game:
“Episode 2 – Pentagon: The Last Castle” features escalation in Washington D.C. for Division Agents, as Black Tusk forces continue to wreak havoc around the city. In Episode 2, players must fight to solve the ongoing outbreak crisis. It will be up to Agents to uncover the secrets inside the Pentagon before it falls into the hands of The Black Tusk.

Content featured in “Episode 2 – Pentagon: The Last Castle” includes:

Two New Main Missions
At the beginning of Episode 2, players will investigate a transmission from a fellow Agent scouting the Pentagon for the perfusion bioreactor. Securing the bioreactor would allow Agents to replicate the antiviral samples recovered at Tidal Basin. Agents must navigate flood damage and Black Tusk forces to take back The Last Castle. After securing their safe house, players will be able to access the two replayable main missions of Episode 2.

  • First Main Mission - Pentagon: Agents will discover the location of the perfusion bioreactor inside the Pentagon’s underground research facility. The Black Tusk have already infiltrated the lab and are attempting to extract the reactor.
  • Second Main Mission - DARPA Research Labs: Players must make their way through the Pentagon and into the DARPA Labs, as the Black Tusk are in the process of transporting the perfusion bioreactor through an abandoned Cold War tunnel network.

New “Technician” Specialization: Effective October 15, Year 1 pass holders and UPLAY+ subscribers will instantly unlock the Technician Specialization. Players who do not own the Year 1 pass can unlock the specialization by completing a series of objectives. Additional rewards, including a signature weapon skin, are also available once the specialization is unlocked. The latest specialization includes:

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Disco Elysium Boogies Out; Includes Free UnderRail on GOG.com

Disco Elysium is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a turn-based RPG in a fantasy setting. GOG.com is offering a giveaway of a free copy of UnderRail along with your purchase. Traditionally getting rails at a disco involves extra cash and a transaction in the bathroom, so this shows how times have changed. This deal is live for the next week, so you can refer to the UnderRail listing on GOG.com to see if this serves as motivation. Here's a Launch Trailer and here's a quick refresher on both games:
Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking open world role playing game. You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city block to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being.

Underrail is an old school isometric turn-based RPG set in a distant future, when the life on the Earth’s surface has long since been made impossible and the remnants of humanity now dwell in the Underrail, a vast system of metro station-states that, it seems, are the last bastions of a fading race.

The player takes control of one of the denizens of such a station-state whose life is about to become all that much more interesting and dangerous, as our protagonist is caught midst the conflicting factions of Underrail as they violently struggle to survive in the harsh underground environment.
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Zombie Army 4: Dead War in February

Rebellion announces Zombie Army 4: Dead War will shamble onto PC and consoles on February 4th, adding that the shooter sequel is now available for preorder, and that preorders will come with a free Undead Airman Character Pack. They also reveal details on a Collector's Edition, a Super Deluxe Edition, and a Deluxe Edition, and provide a Release Date Trailer showing off gameplay, including zombie soldiers, zombie suicide bombers, and even a zombie shark. Here's the gameplan:
Independent UK developer Rebellion is delighted to reveal that Zombie Army 4: Dead War launches worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on February 4, 2020, and is now available to pre-order. All pre-orders include the Undead Airman Character Pack FREE, featuring new playable character Hector, the British zombie with a very stiff upper lip!

To celebrate today’s announcement, Rebellion has unleashed a gameplay trailer blazing with brand new reveals:

From Venetian canals gurgling with death to a Croatian zoo now home to mortal terror, and pouncing, bloodthirsty Creepers to grotesque, zombified tanks, demonically possessed and able to spawn undead at will! Brace yourself for a Mediterranean nightmare in the post-World War 2 hellscape of Zombie Army 4!

And if that’s not enough, Rebellion has also let loose details on a variety of editions now available to pre-order: ZOMBIE ARMY 4 COLLECTOR’S EDITION
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Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip Rolls Out

Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip is now available for Windows and consoles, offering a shooter with local co-op support. This is based on both the previous and the upcoming Zombieland movies, and this trailer offers a Twinkie-free look at gameplay. Here's word:
Set after the events of the first movie, Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip is a ridiculously fun top-down twin-stick shooter featuring local co-op multiplayer for up to four players and a righteous Horde Mode that will keep you hunting zombies for hours on end. Play as your favorite heroes from the original — Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock — as well as new unlockable characters from the anticipated sequel.

Use your special abilities, an arsenal of weapons and the essential Zombieland rules for survival to stay alive against huge numbers of uniquely grotesque and dangerous undead monstrosities. Zombieland: Double Tap - Road Trip includes a story-based campaign mode and wave-based horde mode.
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AI War II Next Week

Arcen Games announces AI War II will leave Early Access on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux one week from today. October 22nd is when version 1.0 of the grand strategy/RTS hybrid sequel will be released, offering the sequel to AI War: Fleet Command. You can find the full release notes on the Arcen Wiki and get a look at the game in action through the Launch Trailer. Read on for more details:
AI War 2 is a grand strategy RTS hybrid against an overwhelming, inhuman enemy who has conquered the galaxy. The enemy has made only a single error: underestimating you. You must steal as much technology as you can, take enough territory to fortify your bases and launch your attacks.

Rather than trying to recapture all the territory (which will simply enrage the vast enemies enough that they slaughter you), you must capture planets with care, invest in new technologies, and strike with precision. This isn't a stealth game, but there's a definite art to knowing when and where NOT to strike.
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ArcheAge: Unchained Lets Loose

ArcheAge: Unchained Website now offers sales of ArcheAge: Unchained, a premium version of ArchAge which contains all the content from the original free-to-play edition of this fantasy MMORPG. Here's a new trailer to show off what to expect, and here are the details:
In ArcheAge: Unchained, players will be able to access everything that has been developed for ArcheAge. The buy-to-play version of the complex MMORPG allows adventurous players to claim even the most powerful items of the ArcheAge universe through sheer skill and their abilities alone.

For the past five years, players of ArcheAge have been following their dreams of freedom, glory and riches. Players now can travel the lands and seas of the epic world of ArcheAge: Unchained freely. Scorching deserts, evergreen forests or the secluded Hiram-Mountains, home to the reclusive Hiram people, wait for the players to be explored or even conquered.

Talent alone will determine every player's success in the game’s manifold quests and challenging dungeons. Diligence, skill and a little bit of luck decide who will emerge victorious from the massive PvP-battlefields of ArcheAge: Unchained. For the first time, pirates now can participate in PvP-battles thanks to the new Siege and Territory System.

The update Shadows Revealed breathes fresh air into the world of ArcheAge: Unchained, offering a myriad of graphical enhancements and the visually improved elven race. Thanks to the upgraded combat effects, eager fighters now can enjoy even more detailed combat. The new skillset Swiftblade enables shadow warriors to prove their might in dashing duels.
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Fortnite Chapter 2 Launches

After a couple of leaks revealed the plan in advance, Fortnite Chapter 2 launched in the wee hours this morning, bringing an all-new island to the battle royale game. The Fortnite Website shows off what's new with a Launch Trailer and shots of the new island's 13 new locations; water-based gameplay including swimming, fishing, boats, and more; new support options, upgraded combat; and the new battle pass, promising "more fun, less grind" for a price (here's a Season 1 - Battle Pass Gameplay Trailer). Besides a What's New Page that summarizes the changes in 10 words there are also separate articles with details on The Featured Hub, a new Save the Word Roadmap, and a Creative Developer Update that goes into detail on some of the changes. The popularity of Fortnite makes this newsworthy for The New York Times, where they attempt to explain things for the "uninitiated" about this "battle royal" which is pretty funny. Continue here to read the full story.

EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN Storms Out

EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN is now available on Steam, offering the latest installment in this third-person shooter series. This is shown off in a launch trailer they call a Web Commercial. Word is: "Developed by YUKE’S and out now for Windows PC via Steam, “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN” enters new territory, introducing character customization, a new cast of characters focusing on one of the strongest military units in EDF, equipped with even more advanced gear, tech and weaponry – and a brand-new threat facing the EDF and citizens of Earth." Would you like to know more?
Since it first launched in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 console, the “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE” series has earned a strong reputation for its relentless third-person wave shooter gameplay and co-op fun, featuring swarms of enemies, a wide array of unique classes and weapons -- and charming B-movie dialogue and settings with cities under siege by giant insects, kaiju monsters, and alien invaders.

Twelve years have passed since mankind’s first encounter with the alien “Aggressor” invasion that devastated planet Earth. In this time of great despair, the battle to free mankind from the Aggressor’s extended assault continues in “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN”.

“EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN” Key Features:

  • First EDF in Unreal Engine 4: “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: IRON RAIN” is the best-looking EDF to date. Players will see and feel the difference with an overwhelming number of on-screen alien invaders as well as gigantic kaiju monsters raining down from the sky
  • Over 50 Intense, Story Driven Missions: Five levels of difficulty to select from where players can unlock new weapons and items by clearing missions and levels as well as spending Energy Gems currently earned from mission playthroughs
  • Master Four Soldier Classes: Recent advancements in PA Gear research has resulted in a variety of updated soldier classes, each with their own critical Over Drive ability to change the tide of battle, including the Trooper whose E-Dodge ability and versatility makes it a strong choice for a variety of situations, the Jet Lifter, whose E-Flight ability and mobility helps maintain control over the skies, the Heavy Striker whose E-Field barrier shields players from damage on the frontlines, and the Prowl Rider whose E-Needle ability let’s players zip across the battlefield
  • Co-Op and PvPvE Multiplayer: Staying true to the series’ roots in arcade action, both online and local multiplayer split-screen modes are available. Online supports up to six player co-op – and the new Mercenary mode, which finds two teams competing for Energy Gems gained by defeating enemy waves, which hosts up to 8 players
  • Character Customization: For the first time in the EDF series, players will step into the boots of Closer, a decorated war hero who awakens from a seven-year coma. Players can fully customize his or her appearances with vast options including facial expressions, hair styles, body figures, voice types, clothing style, before diving into the game’s character driven campaign

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Moons of Madness ARG

Funcom is running an alternate reality game for Moons of Madness to lead up to next week's launch of their cosmic horror game set in space, where no one can hear you scream. Cyrano Story is the website that's home to this, and word is this ARG will send one winner and a guest to NASA to have lunch with an astronaut, and they are handing out a couple of thousand game keys to other winners. We know this because though marketing efforts like this are often viral, they've come right out and announced what's going on here. Read on for details on this and how Funcom is utilizing Google AI to create "by far the most advanced ARG [they] have ever created.":

Funcom have teamed up with alternate reality game (ARG) experts Alice & Smith to create an eerie and unique experience ahead of the launch of cosmic horror game Moons of Madness. The result is CyranoStory.com, where players from all over the world already have discovered hidden parts of the narrative and backstory of the highly anticipated game.

The ARG, which will continually be updated with new content till Moons of Madness launches on PC October 22nd, utilizes Google AI in an innovative fashion – giving it control over the storyline and player interactions.

“This is by far the most advanced ARG we have ever created,” explains Andrea Doyon, Chief Storyteller at Alice & Smith. “We have basically put Google AI in charge of the game universe. You interact with it through words, like with any other AI, but it will reply using emotions, sounds, visuals or even creepy ghost whispers.”

Fear is central to CyranoStory.com, and Doyon reveals that they have taught the AI 298 human phobias for this game. This will allow the AI to identify the players worst fears based on what they input. It will also allow the AI and storyline to evolve as the game reaches new stages.

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Chinatown Detective Agency Announced

Singaporean developer General Interactive announces Chinatown Detective Agency, a management game coming to Steam this winter. This is set in the year 2032, and this trailer shows off its throwback graphics and gameplay. You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? Well then read on for more:
General Interactive, the studio behind the critically-acclaimed management sim Terroir, is back with Chinatown Detective Agency, releasing next year on PC. Take on cases, manage your agency the best you can, and unravel a global conspiracy that you may not have signed up for. Check out the very first gameplay footage in the new trailer: https://youtu.be/7mJ1p_vt0gI

The year is 2032. Singapore is one of the last refuges of relative safety in a chaotic world, but even there, private detectives are becoming the first option for citizens who can afford a semblance of justice. You’re Amira Darma, once a rising star at Interpol. You’ve just set up shop as a Private Investigator in the heart of Chinatown, and your first client is about to walk through your office doors...
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Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Next Month

Square Enix announces Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and updated edition of the action adventure that bundles all seven of the game's DLC packs in one place. It will also include a unique DLC outfit, and those who already own the game and its season pass will be entitled to download that for free. This is coming on November 5th to Steam, Stadia, and consoles. Here's a trailer and here's the announcement:
Square Enix® announced today that Shadow of the Tomb Raider™: Definitive Edition will release digitally and at retailers in select countries on November 5, 2019 for the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC/Steam®, with the Stadia version launching with the platform later in November. Featuring the base game and all seven post-launch DLC, the bundle gives players the chance to experience the final chapter of Lara Croft®’s origin story with every challenge tomb, downloadable weapon, outfit and skill.

Those who already own the game and Season Pass can download the Definitive Edition DLC outfit for free from their respective platform’s store.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must travel through a magnificent world, filled with the largest tombs in franchise history, hidden secrets, and cunning new enemies. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will be forged into the Tomb Raider® she is destined to be.
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Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

It seems the more the NFL does to try and clean up its officiating problems, the worse things get. The two illegal use of hands penalties in last night's game were pretty horrible, and had a direct impact on the game's outcome, which is particularly no bueno. I'd suggest they make this another of the penalties that's eligible for review, but the new rule allowing pass interference reviews has proven to be a giant nightmare, as the officials seem determined to avoid reversing any calls that are not as blatant as last year's blown call in the Saints game that inspired this rules change. It's a bad situation, so hopefully there's some way to address it.

Obituary: Obituary: Insomniac Games artist Craig Goodman.

Blown Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: OverGame.
Stories: London police arrest man dressed as broccoli.
California is first state to push back school start times. Thanks Kxmode.
‘I want to help:’ Florida realtor pays off school lunch debt for students in 9 schools. Thanks Acleacius.
Science: 'The smell will knock you off your feet'- mass mussel die-offs baffle scientists. Thanks RedEye9.
Images: Untitled Goose Costume.
Media: Weather: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (NSFW).
Hvaldimir steal my gopro! and return it.
Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans Collapses.
Follow-up: Meet the Money Behind The Climate Denial Movement.
The Funnies: Edge Cases.
Savage Chickens.
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