Archived News:

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019

Play Overwatch for Free

Overwatch can currently be played for free on Battle.net, kicking off a free week in the multiplayer shooter that will conclude on December 4th. For some reason this goes unmentioned on the Overwatch Website or the Blizzard Website, but we logged in with a smurf account and confirmed this to be the case. Here's word from a Blizzard email:
Assemble your friends and get ready to clash on the battlefields of tomorrow—for a limited time, you can play Overwatch free! Choose from 31 unique heroes, each with their own awe-inspiring abilities. Battle across a wide assortment of maps with varied objectives set around the world and lead your team to victory.

The free trial is live now and ends on December 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Call the shots when you play the ultimate team-based shooter.

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS Released

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS is now available on Steam, offering a tactical RPG for Windows that puts you in command of your own team of SD Gundams. Word is: "Players who purchase SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS by 4:00PM PST on January 6, 2020 will receive special STEAM Early Bird Rewards, including the coveted “Sisquiede (Titans Colors)” unit in addition to unique parts and character abilities." A new Launch Trailer offers a fast-paced, colorful cinematic. Here's the announcement:
SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS bridges four iconic eras within the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM universe, spanning MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM WING, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00, and MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS, all culminating to deliver the ultimate tactical RPG experience. Leveraging the series’ unique “Development”, “Design”, and “Capture” mechanics, tacticians will battle for the principles of hope, freedom, reformation and instinct as they pave the way for a new era of GUNDAM.

“We’re thrilled to bring such an epic strategy game to Western audiences,” said Stephen Akana, Senior Global Brand Manager at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “We hope that fans will find endless hours of fun as they recruit and level-up their favorite characters and mobile suits from across the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM universe.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: WARHAMMER II The Shadow & The Blade Next Month

SEGA and Creative Assembly announce that The Shadow & The Blade will be released on December 12th on Steam, offering new content for Total War: WARHAMMER II. There's a FAQ devoted to answering potential questions about this, and this trailer shows off what to expect, albeit in cinematic form. Here's word on the DLC and an accompanying free update for the base version of the strategy game:
Tz'arkan, the Drinker of Worlds has escaped from his eternal prison within the Realm of Chaos and latched himself onto the mind of Malus Darkblade, forging a deadly partnership that reverberates throughout the New World. Sensing the potential of this daemonic entity, the Nightlord of Clan Eshin has dispatched his most trusted assassin, Deathmaster Snikch, to track down the daemon and investigate its true power.

Out December 12th and playable in both the Eye of The Vortex and Mortal Empire campaigns, the Shadow & The Blade introduces two legendary lords to Total War: WARHAMMER II, both with an insatiable desire to spread destruction across the battlefields of the world. With swarms of sneaky rats, nightmarish Medusa-bound blood shrines, stealth magic lore, and a unique and intertwined campaign, players have an arsenal of new ways to inflict death upon their enemies.

Shadow and Blade:
Continue here to read the full story.

etc., etc.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Gallops onto Steam Next Week

Rockstar Games tweets that the PC edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released on Steam on December 5th. That about covers it, but for the record, here's what they say about the Steam release of the wild west shooter sequel:
Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC is coming to Steam on December 5

Refunds Offered for Two Additional Stadia Pro Games

In a post to the Stadia Blog, Google announces they're adding two additional games to the lineup available to Stadia Pro subscribers for December (thanks Gamasutra). Word is: "In addition to being able to claim both Bungie’s exceptional multiplayer first-person shooter Destiny 2: The Collection and the stylized fighting game SAMURAI SHODOWN, starting at 9 AM PST on December 1st, gamers will also be able to claim: Farming Simulator 19 and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition." Because these games are also being sold for Stadia, in this post they announce they will refund the purchase price for either or both to those who previously bought them:
We know that some users have recently purchased these two games for their collection. Because of the proximity between the launch of the platform, and the announcement of these titles in Stadia Pro, we're happy to assist you if you'd like to request a refund if you have purchased either or both of these titles, even if it's outside of our normal policy.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan Gets Friend's Pass

BANDAI NAMCO is now offering a free Friend's Pass to all current and future owners of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, Supermassive's horror adventure that's available on Steam. This can be gifted to one friend to allow them a single free playthrough of the game's shared story mode. They also announce the release of The Curator's Cut, adding new content from a different point-of-view. Here's an Announcement Trailer, and here are the details:
The treacherous waters of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan may be teeming with dangerous foes, but BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. is bearing plenty of gifts to help players sleigh them this holiday season. From now through January 6, 2020, everyone who purchases—or has already purchased—Man of Medan will be granted one complimentary Friend’s Pass, giving them one full playthrough of Shared Story Mode with a friend who doesn’t own the full game!

To redeem the free Friend’s Pass for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, new players need only download the Man of Medan Free Trial, and then be invited to play the Shared Story Mode by someone who already owns the full version of the game. To redeem the free Friend’s Pass for Steam, please see instructions in the recent announcements on the game’s official Steam page. The Friend’s Pass will no longer be usable after completing one playthrough of the Shared Story.

In addition, The Curator's Cut, an alternative viewpoint that provides additional content after completing the main story, is now available for everyone to enjoy!
Continue here to read the full story.

Wreckfest Steel & Wheels Pack Rolls Out

THQ Nordic announces the release of a new Steel & Wheels pack on Steam for Wreckfest, their demolition derby game. This trailer shows off the DLC, and the short announcement has some details:
Turn your cars into true beasts of steel with this heavy armor pack! Get your car ready for all-out demolition derby battles with heavy bumpers, side protectors, and roll cages. Or add some wrecking style with wild exhausts, spoilers, and wheels. The Steel & Wheels pack comes with over 30 armor and customization items and is out today.

The Steel & Wheels pack is part of the Season Pass, which is including 20 new cars, 20 special roof decorations and additional car customizations like armor, rims and more. This new content will be released step by step, along with free content updates.
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen Videos

This video offers a look at CitizenCon presentation of Star Citizen for those who did not attend (thanks C W). Word is: "Star Citizen Gameplay cut of their New CitizenCon 2019 Demo with the Carrack, Pisces, microTech, New Missions, Dynamic Weather, Jump Points and a New Star System, Pyro." There are also a bunch of new videos on the Star Citizen YouTube Page. These include looks at some of the ships that are part of the current free-fly event for the long-in-development space game and two videos showing the keynote from the show: CitizenCon 2949 - The Adventure Begins and CitizenCon 2949 - The Adventure Continues. Continue here to read the full story.

Widget Satchel Released

Widget Satchel is now available on Steam, offering a wacky platformer for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here's a Launch Trailer that attempts to answer the age old question, "why a game about a ferret?" In case that doesn't cover the topic completely, here's more:
Widget Satchel is a Metroidvania-lite, where you find widgets, build doohickies, and cause mischief on a space station.

Widget Satchel features a weight mechanic that allows players to complete levels quickly, while more skilled players will have to find clever ways to get around while carrying as much as possible in their satchel.

Enjoy causing mild mischief while listening to the original soundtrack that dynamically reacts to your progress.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Had an Abbott and Costello moment this morning after MrsBlue emailed the sysadmin at work to get a password for the laptop she brought home for the weekend. I've changed his name and adjective to avoid a cybersecurity fail:

MrsBlue: Jim Rocks! Blue: He wrote you back?
MrsBlue: Yup. Blue: What was your password?
MrsBlue: Jim Rocks. Blue: Yeah, he got back to you fast. So what was it?
MrsBlue: Jim Rocks. Blue: Why are you...? Oh. Your password is "Jim Rocks?"
MrsBlue: How many times do you need me to tell you that? Blue: Who's on first?

Rockin' Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Star Wars Instant Pots invite you to cook out of Chewbacca’s chest. Who's been smoking the instant pot? Thanks Neutronbeam.
Stories: US life expectancy is still on the decline. Here's why. Thanks RedEye9.
Storms threaten Thanksgiving travel across U.S., hundreds of flights canceled in Denver.
Science: 18,000-Year-Old Puppy Found Frozen In Ice Could Be ‘Oldest Confirmed Dog’ Ever. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Media: The Gold Shirt.
We Made Star Wars R-Rated. Thanks Hypothermia.
If you grab a teacher's ankle... Easy way to get kicked in the face.
Follow-up: 1 year later, mystery surrounds China’s gene-edited babies.
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