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Thursday, Dec 05, 2019

Get Jotun: Valhalla Edition for Free

The Epic Games Store now offers the promised release of Jotun: Valhalla Edition as their latest weekly free release. This is yours to keep if you pick it up within the next seven days. After that The Escapists will take its place, presuming their breakout succeeds. Here's their very brief description of the Jotun: Valhalla Edition:
Jotun is a hand-drawn action-exploration game set in Norse mythology. In Jotun, you play Thora, a Viking warrior who died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla. Impress the Gods!

Goat of Duty Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway on Steam for GOAT OF DUTY, offering the chance to check out this wacky multiplayer shooter where players take on the roles of heavily armed goats. Word is: "Ram and troll your friends, don the craziest goatstumes, and put your skills to the test in the quirkiest FPS ever. Are you ready to become the GOAT of goats?" This post on Steam discusses the promotion, noting that the game is on sale for 40% if you get a kick out of it. Here's more on this effort to get your goat:
Goat of Duty is a fast-paced and intense multiplayer first-person shooter, and that's pretty much all you need to know. No nonsense: no need to master a convoluted metagame, learn different characters, combine skills, strategic team play... just devilish combat arenas,
powerful weapons, and fast-paced action. Well, and lots of silly humor, crazy goatstumes (skins), and goat mechanics for you to troll your friends to your heart's content!

  • Goats. You are an armed goat fighting other goats. It doesn’t get any better than that!
  • Experience intense deathmatch multiplayer battles for 2 to 10 goats
  • Fast-paced gameplay: Goats are fast and nimble, after all; they can climb pretty much anything and jump really high.
  • Old-school, no-nonsense shooter experience: Just you and your skills against your enemies!
  • Wear crazy goatstumes, dance like a goat, and troll your buddies when you bleat them in combat!
  • Four multiplayer modes: Classic free-for-all, Gun Deathmatch, Herd Wars (or team deathmatch for humans) and an original, new mode: the crazy Fus Ro Arena
  • Explore a variety of crazy maps with different playstyles: Feel right at home on a futuristic farm, explore mountains in distant planets, survive the desert of the lambs, experience hair-rising fear at the horror well, wander adrift the space station, or encounter mind-boggling randomness at the medieval village -- among others!

Darksiders Genesis Released

Publisher THQ Nordic and developer Airship Syndicate now offer the Windows edition of Darksiders Genesis on Steam and Google Stadia, with the console editions expected in February. This prequel to the previous installments in the action/adventure series is the first Darksiders game played from a top-down perspective; the first to offer co-op support; and the first to feature STRIFE, the fourth horseman of the apocalypse. All of this newness is shown off in the Launch Trailer and discussed further in the following description:
Darksiders Genesis is an action/adventure that tears its way through Hell and back with guns blazing and swords swinging. Genesis gives players their first look at the world of DARKSIDERS before the events of the original game. Furthermore, it introduces the fourth and last horseman STRIFE, as well as Co-op gameplay for the first time in the history of the franchise.

Features

  • Explore the epic world of Darksiders and wreak havoc with a friend in two-player cooperative mode (couch or online)
  • Blast angels and demons as the gunslinging Horseman Strife, playable for the first time
  • Swap between the powerful swordsman War and Strife instantly in frenetic, single-player gameplay
  • Experience a brand new story campaign that takes place before the original Darksiders, exploring the origin of the Seven Seals
  • Grow in strength and power as you collect items, abilities, weapon enhancements, creature cores and more

Continue here to read the full story.

Full Steam Ahead for Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is now available on Steam, offering another way to pick up the wild west shooter for Windows. They offer all three variants, as a Special Edition and an Ultimate Edition are available in addition to the base version, offering escalating bonuses for an escalating price. Here's a refresher on the PC edition of the game:
Red Dead Redemption 2, the critically acclaimed open world epic from Rockstar Games and the highest rated game of the console generation, now enhanced for PC with new Story Mode content, visual upgrades and more.

America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.

With all new graphical and technical enhancements for deeper immersion, Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC takes full advantage of the power of the PC to bring every corner of this massive, rich and detailed world to life including increased draw distances; higher quality global illumination and ambient occlusion for improved day and night lighting; improved reflections and deeper, higher resolution shadows at all distances; tessellated tree textures and improved grass and fur textures for added realism in every plant and animal.
Continue here to read the full story.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Road to the Black Sea Released

Breaker one-nine! The Road to the Black Sea expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2 is now available on Steam, adding new content to the Windows, macOS, and Linux trucking game. This will allow owners of the game to travel new roads and visit 20 major cities throughout Romania, Bulgaria, and parts of Turkey. This blog post features thoughts on the news from developer SCS Software along with this previously released video showing off what to expect. Here's more of what to expect, which hopefully does not include any vampires:
Road to the Black Sea brings three new European regions. Drivers will be able to expand their company and deliver to the countries of Romania, known for the forested region of Transylvania and the surrounding Carpathian Mountain range, Bulgaria with its diverse terrain and Black Sea coastline, and the Trakya region of Turkey which is the gateway to Europe's largest city, Istanbul.

A significant parts of Road to the Black Sea map are composed of dense urban areas. From large cities to small humble villages found in the countrysides, truckers will also be able to drive on roads which lead to scenic coastlines alongside the Black Sea.

These regions offer a large variety of industries for players to deliver to and from; including farms, logistics companies, mining and steel industries.
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Wars Battlefront II - Celebration Edition Released

Origin now offers Star Wars Battlefront II - Celebration Edition, a new version of the Force-powered action game that includes all current and future free updates and some other goodies. This is available to new players while those who already own the base game can purchase an upgrade and get in on the celebration. This is also the version of the game that's included with an Origin Access Premier subscription. Here's word on what this does and does not offer:
After two years of updates to the game we’ve decided to give Star Wars fans an easy way to access all that content, which is why we’re introducing the Star Wars Battlefront II - Celebration Edition.

The short version is this: The Celebration Edition will deliver instant access to every Hero Appearance, Trooper Appearance, Emote, Voice Line and Victory Pose available in Star Wars Battlefront II that can be unlocked with Credits or Crystals, including new content coming in December with our The Rise of Skywalker Update. Simply head on over to the collection menu and they’ll be ready and waiting.

Want to play as Anakin in his General Skywalker Attire? Go ahead. Feel like playing as Boushh Leia? The choice is yours.

What you get

  • Base game with all past and future free updates
  • 150+ Appearances, including 6 Legendary Appearances
  • 100+ Emotes
  • 90+ Victory Poses

What isn’t included

  • Experience and Star Card progression, this will need to be unlocked via regular gameplay.
  • The Last Jedi appearances for Kylo and Rey, as these remain exclusive for players who pre-ordered, and owners of the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition.
  • Customization options that can only be obtained via special in-game events such as Leia Princess of Alderaan or the Farmboy Luke appearances.

Mosaic Released

Mosaic is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering Windows, macOS, and Linux editions of this "darkly atmospheric adventure game" that's already available on Apple Arcade. That atmosphere they reference is on display in the Release Trailer and you can discuss the news in developer Raw Fury's Discord. Here's the elevator pitch:
Mosaic is a surreal experience about corporate culture, urban isolation and our relationship with modern tech. As a cog in the machine with a repetitive existence in a cold, overcrowded city, you’ll live out the tedium of everyday life — until something strange and unexplainable starts to occur.

Inspired by the monotony of our daily distractions and routines, Mosaic weaves a mysterious narrative journey through the moments of hope that can be discovered by those who resist the drudgery of the system and seek out something more meaningful.
Continue here to read the full story.

Riot Games Launches New Publishing Label

Riot Games announces Riot Forge, a new publisher for third-party League of Legends games. Here's their mission:
"We’re a player- and developer-focused publisher; our mission is to bring awesome new League of Legends games to players by partnering with experienced and talented developers from around the world.

The League Universe and its champions offer limitless possibilities; by supporting and empowering passionate partners to tell their own stories and expand the League world, we’ll deliver a variety of bespoke games that enable players of all types to experience League in new and exciting ways.

We can’t wait to get these games to players and play them ourselves!

If you’re a developer and want to be a part of our mission, we want to hear from you."

Evening Interviews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: What Does Blue Taste Like? Thanks Ant.

Imperator: Rome Free Weekend

A free weekend for Imperator: Rome is currently underway on Steam, offering three days to sample this historical grand strategy game for Windows, Linux, and macOS (thanks SteamDB via Ant). If this inspires you to cross the Rubicon to buy the game, it is on sale for 33% off. Here's word on this chance to carpe diem:
Imperator: Rome is the newest grand strategy title from Paradox Development Studio. Set in the tumultuous centuries from Alexander’s Successor Empires in the East to the foundation of the Roman Empire, Imperator: Rome invites you to relive the pageantry and challenges of empire building in the classical era. Manage your population, keep an eye out for treachery, and keep faith with your gods.

Play Portal Knights for Free

Portal Knights is free-to-play on Steam for the next day or so, accompanied by a sale on the Windows action/RPG if you enjoy your sample when it ends tomorrow (thanks SteamDB via Ant). Here's word on the game:
Prove yourself a Portal Knight by levelling up your character, crafting epic weapons, and vanquishing foes in real-time in this cooperative, 3D sandbox action RPG.

Explore dozens of randomly-generated islands! Build almost anything! In a world torn apart by the Fracture and terrorized by the Hollow King, you and your friends are its only hope!

Craft your adventure. Forge your hero. Become the ultimate Portal Knight!

Conan Exiles Adds Mounts, Mounted Combat, and Follower Leveling

Conan Exiles players now have the chance to ride or die with the addition of mounts and mounted combat to the Hyborian Age survival game on Steam. This is accompanied by the release of a new Riders of Hyboria Pack to enhance the experience. This post mounts a defense of the DLC release, clarifying that it includes a variety of exclusive cosmetic content, but does not impart any competitive advantages. This trailer shows off the new features, and this post has all the details on mounts, mounted combat, and a new Tkrall leveling system. Here's a bit:
From a foal to a majestic and loyal Warhorse, you can now breed and train your trusty steed and ride into battle (or where adventure calls you) with the new Mount system. Not only can you use your horse for faster traveling, but you'll also be able to engage in combat with many single-hand weapons, bows and a new weapon archetype: Lances!

And what better complement to this new feature than the new Follower Leveling System? That's right! You can now level up and perk up any companion you bring with you as a follower -be it a Thrall, pet or your new mount. As a thank you for all your ongoing support, we've also squeezed in the possibility to rename your own thralls, so they can be more unique to you and reflect the time and effort spent in training them.
Please note that with this update we're introducing a follower cap system that will limit the number of pets and thralls you can have active. While private servers can opt in or out as soon as the patch goes live, this change will be disabled on launch for official servers, giving you time to manually cull those followers you're ready to part with. We will enable the limit on official servers at a later date, but we will announce it in advance. You can read more about this system in our recent write-up and our Frequently Asked Questions.

We have also continued our work in balancing and overhauling more aspects of the combat system. We spent some time bringing improvements to the dodging mechanic, which along with a new momentum-based player movement focuses on a fighter's commitment to their actions, raising the skill ceiling during fighting situations. Trebuchets also get an overhaul, as well as the movement system, plus a myriad of tweaks and balancing to weapons we'd love to hear your feedback about.
Continue here to read the full story.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Launch Trailer

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is set to rumble out on December 10th, and developer Piranha Games paves the way with a new Launch Trailer for the BattleTech sequel. Here's word on the trailer and their release plans:
Showcasing incredible carnage, fiery rockets and trademark giant 'Mech on 'Mech destructive combat, fans just have five short days to wait until they can strap in to the cockpit and get locked on targets. Fans looking to preorder can still do so at www.mw5mercs.com.

Featuring expansively destructible environments, pilots can tear through structures while swatting helicopters out of the sky and reducing rival pilots’ rides to scrap. Strategize in the moments in-between battles in the Mech Bay with mission recovery and choose your pre-deployment loadouts to maximize your chances of glory on the battlefield. Whether you play solo or team up via co-op with friends, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is all about risk, reward, and consequence.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries marks the return of the series’ mission-focused campaign structure, allowing pilots to call the shots while leading either AI-controlled allies or up to three friends through optional co-op into dangerous contracts. Unit leaders will decide which risky missions to accept, where their priorities lie across the Inner Sphere’s volatile conflict zones, as well as how to best utilize the resources earned from their dances with death.
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

  • Forbes - ‘Borderlands 3’ Has Gone Three Months With Zero Microtransactions, A True Anomaly. Thanks Neutronbeam.
    "Borderlands 3 has not sold anything at all post-launch across two different events, Bloody Harvest and Maliwan Takedown. You earned cosmetics and loot from running Bloody Harvest missions, and there were no Halloween cosmetics sold. Maliwan Takedown brought new loot and difficulty levels, and none of it cost anything. Now, players will be asked to pay for Mad Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot DLC, but I don’t think anyone is going to object to that."

Out of the Blue

Good news about your favorite teams can be hard to come by lately if, like me, you are a fan of the New York Mets and the New York Giants. But today is an exception. For the Giants, the silver lining in the high ankle sprain suffered by quarterback Daniel Jones that means it's "very likely" that Eli Manning will start on Monday against the Eagles. This will give fans a chance to say farewell to Jones' beloved predecessor, who was MVP in a pair of Super Bowl victories. There may be a little b.s. going on to exaggerate the severity of the injury to make this happen, but either way, it's welcome. It is highly unlikely Eli will be with the team next year, and I hope they will mark his departure by retiring the number 10. This was previously worn by a couple of other Giants luminaries: hall-of-famer Fran Tarkenton and the under-appreciated Brad Van Pelt, who played back when linebackers were still allowed to wear such a number. The news for the Mets is probably even more significant, as rumors swirl that billionaire Steve Cohen is looking to increase his stake in the hapless baseball club to a majority share. The team has suffered terribly since the finances of its owners were derailed by the Bernie Madoff scandal, and it would nice if they were owned by someone who could actually afford to the kind of high-finance that running a major franchise in the world's largest media market demands.

Obituary: Edge editor Jason Brookes.

Optimistic Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Remember ‘Command And Conquer’? No? Okay Then.
Science: NASA's closest-ever Sun flybys reveal how solar wind works.
Researchers create lung 'blueprint' that could aid organ regeneration.
Heart in a Box: Device used to revive heart for transplant will increase donor pool, doctors say.
Media: The Big Lebowser.
Driver Who Drove From New York To Los Angeles In 27.5 Hours Explains How His Team Evaded The Police.
Front Suspension Leaning Trike.
Follow-up: The Arctic Is Warming Much Faster Than the Rest of Earth.
Fake Meat vs. Real Meat. Meat producers looking out for your health. Thanks j.c.f.
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