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Thursday, Jan 16, 2020

Get Horace for Free

Horace is now free on the Epic Games Store as their latest weekly giveaway. As usual, this is free to keep if you pick it up before next Thursday. They also reveal next week's freebie as The Bridge. Here are the details on the "huge platforming adventure" to be had in Horace:
A game made by videogame lovers for videogame lovers!

An unmissable tale of a small robot on a big adventure! Made by just two people, Horace offers over 15 hours of exciting platforming and pushes the boundaries of the genre with profound storytelling and quirky and nostalgic pop culture references!

  • “A frankly gorgeous-looking pixel art platform adventure game” Kotaku UK - 9/10 "Might very well be the best platformer of 2019" Cub3d
  • “Horace’s heartwarming narrative pushes you through the hardcore gameplay, and the high quality aesthetic and music burns themselves into your brain” Escapist Magazine - 9/10 “Definitely one of the best Indie titles I have played this year” Demon Gaming
  • 9.5/10 “One of the best games of 2019 and one of the best independent games I have ever played” Way too many games - 8.5/10 "Manages to offer his own personal reading of the platform genre, surprisingly walking the streets of narration" Multiplayer.it
  • 8/10 "Unique, unsettling and surprising title". Everyeye.it - “Brilliantly exceeds expectations” PDVG - “Is a treat, and very well worth getting hold of” Get Indie Gaming

Adventure through hours of varied gameplay, dubbed by many as Indie GOTY 2019! Overcome 2D platforming challenges with a unique twist, unlock new metroidvania inspired robot abilities, enjoy retro-inspired mini games and reunite Horace with his family.

Cyberpunk 2077 Delayed

This tweet from CD Projekt RED offers a letter announcing a delay to Cyberpunk 2077, their highly anticipated RPG. The game was expected on April 16th, but now they say it is due on September 17th. They say it is now playable, but the extra time will be used to make it "perfect":
We have important news regarding Cyberpunk 2077's release date we'd like to share with you today.

Cyberpunk 2077 won't make the April release window and we're moving the launch date to September 17, 2020.

We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there's still work to be done. Night City is massive — full of stories, content and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing. We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation and postponing launch will give us precious months we need to make the game perfect.

Expect more regular updates on progress as we get closer to the new release date.

We're really looking forward to seeing you in Night City, thank you for your ongoing support.

Cyberpunk 2077 MP After 2021

Following the above news of the delay to Cyberpunk 2077, CD Project held an investor conference call, revealing that a multiplayer version of Cyberpunk 2077 is coming sometime after 2021. This is something they previously mentioned, and IGN says they've confirmed that this is one of the two other Cyberpunk projects they've said are in the works.

Endless Franchise Free Weekend

What could be better than an endless weekend? An endless free weekend! Well it will still just last for the until Monday, but Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for three of the games in their Endless series. Here's word:
Play Endless Space 2, Endless Legend, and Dungeon of the Endless for FREE starting now through Monday at 10AM Pacific Time. Save up to 75% on all Endless Franchise titles too!*

If you already have Steam installed, you can click the following links to start playing now! Endless Space 2, and Endless Legend, Dungeon of the Endless. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

BANNERMEN Free Weekend

You can call out your bannermen without pulling out your wallet, as BANNERMEN is free to try for the next two days on Steam. If want to play on after that, the fast-paced real-time strategy game is currently on sale for 67% off. There is also a tournament for the game starting January 25th, though it may be too late to get to the level of expertise required to participate. Here's a bit on the game:
Bannermen is a real-time strategy (RTS) game, with a strong focus on individual unit control as well as map control. With the complexity of chess, you must adapt and outsmart the enemy in real time while gathering intel through scouting. Every encounter is critical.

With two resources, Wood and Gold, the game takes inspiration from predecessors within the genre and has a very high skill ceiling while still being easier to get into than comparable competitive RTS games.

While staying true to its roots, Bannermen takes the best elements from the genre and adds its own unique flair to it. The nature of the game is competitive. Matches generally last between 10-25 minutes, depending on playstyle. This fast format allows for intuitive learning and gets you right in the action while making it easier to learn the counter plays than in other RTS games.

Horizon: Zero Dawn PC Rumor

Kotaku reports a rumor that Horizon: Zero Dawn is escaping the confines of PS4 exclusivity and will make its way onto PCs this year. They say they hear this from "three people familiar with Sony's plans" speaking anonymously, but that Sony is not answering questions about this right now. The Guerrilla Games Website offers this trailer and the following description of the game:
Explore a vibrant world rich with the beauty of nature – but inhabited by awe-inspiring, highly advanced machines. As a young machine hunter named Aloy, you must unravel the mysteries of this world and discover your own destiny.
Continue here to read the full story.

DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT Released

Steam News announces DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT is now available for Windows on Steam. Word is: "Relive the story of Goku and other Z Fighters in DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT! Beyond the epic battles, experience life in the DRAGON BALL Z world as you fight, fish, eat, and train with Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and others." Here's more:
BE THE HOPE OF THE UNIVERSE

  •  Experience the story of DRAGON BALL Z from epic events to light-hearted side quests, including never-before-seen story moments that answer some burning questions of DRAGON BALL lore for the first time!
  • Play through iconic DRAGON BALL Z battles on a scale unlike any other. Fight across vast battlefields with destructible environments and experience epic boss battles against the most iconic foes (Raditz, Frieza, Cell etc…). Increase your power level through RPG mechanics and rise to the challenge!
  • Don’t just fight as Z Fighters. Live like them! Fish, fly, eat, train, and battle your way through the DRAGON BALL Z sagas, making friends and building relationships with a massive cast of DRAGON BALL characters.

Relive the story of Goku and other Z Fighters in DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT! Beyond the epic battles, experience life in the DRAGON BALL Z world as you fight, fish, eat, and train with Goku, Gohan, Vegeta and others. Explore the new areas and adventures as you advance through the story and form powerful bonds with other heroes from the DRAGON BALL Z universe.

Overwatch Lunar New Year Celebration

The Year of the Rat is underway early in Overwatch, as the Lunar New Year event is now underway in Blizzard's teamplay shooter. This page has details on the festivities and its rewards and shows off the various cosmetics that can be found in lunar loot boxes along the way. Here are some details:
Get ready to ring in the 2020 Lunar New Year with more seasonal items, exciting weekly challenges and rewards, and the new brawl, Capture the Flag Blitz. We’re commemorating the Year of the Rat with an abundance of new skins, highlight intros, emotes, and sprays for players to unlock. Fly a delightful kite as Bastion, savor some hot soup with Baptiste, or show your Lunar New Year spirit with new legendary skins like Opera Brigitte, Face Changer Sombra, Mask Dancer Moira, and Samul Nori Lúcio.

Pandemic Express Going Free-to-Play

An announcement on Steam from tinyBuild reveals Pandemic Express is now free to play. Not to be confused by your favorite eatery in the food court, this is a zombie escape game, described like so: "You play as a human, but when you die, the match isn’t over for you — you come back as a zombie to hunt down the rest of the humans." To monetize this they sell stars to buy cosmetic items, but you can also earn stars by playing. They also announce that everyone who paid for the game before this will be receiving a constellation of these stars, as well as some free music tracks:
Going Free To Play in a nutshell:

  • Pandemic Express is now free
  • You earn stars for playing matches
  • You can spend these stars on costumes, emojis, and in-game music
  • If you don’t have enough time to earn stars, you can simply buy them
  • All original buyers of the game are getting 2,000 stars to buy whatever you want -- thank you so much for being with us from the start!

We believe this is the most fair and transparent way to do free to play. Tell us what you think in the comments!

Free Music For Everyone Who Bought The Game!

To celebrate going Free To Play, we are giving everyone who originally bought the game all in-game music tracks!

In-game music is the jukebox you carry around in the beginning of the match. By choosing your own music, you set the theme for the whole match. Unless you get eaten by zombies of course.

New The Elder Scrolls Online Content Plans

Bethesda Softworks announces a new DLC and a new chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online, their MMORPG. Here's a video of the reveal, and here's word on what they are and are not revealing at this time:
THE DARK HEART OF SKYRIM
An ancient evil emerges from the depths, intent on devouring the souls of Skyrim. A dark tide of monsters rise from Blackreach and threatens to plunge all of Tamriel into darkness.

In the Dark Heart of Skyrim, you can experience a new year-long adventure, beginning with the upcoming Harrowstorm DLC dungeon pack and continuing through the Greymoor Chapter and beyond. You can experience the entire massive story in these upcoming releases:

Keep an eye on for more updates on this new year-long epic soon, starting with Harrowstorm!

Continue here to read the full story.

NAVGTR Award Nominees

The National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers announce the nominees for the 2019 NAVGTR Awards. The winners will be announced on February 24th. Here's an explanation of who will be voting: "The general voting body of reviewers, journalists, analysts, YouTubers, Twitch streamers, content creators, and writers includes contributors for Bitmob, CBS Interactive, Destructoid, EGM Now, Game Informer, Game Trailers, GamesIndustry.biz, Gamespot, Gamezone, IGN, Kotaku, Machinima, Mashable, Massively, MSNBC, Polygon, Retroware, The Koalition, Ten Ton Hammer, and Venture Beat." Here's an overview:
The NAVGTR Awards honor 57 competitive categories recognizing achievement in animation, art direction, character design, controls, game design, game engineering, musical score, sound effects, writing, and more. Since its inception, the academy has recognized over 3,600 talented individuals.

Leading all games with 18 nominations is A Plague Tale: Innocence, followed by Astral Chain with 10. Disco Elysium leads the indies with 5, with Sayonara Wild Hearts and Untitled Goose Game close behind with 4. Other notable indies with nods include Slay the Spire, Katana Zero, Outer Wilds, Superliminal, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

This year’s Game of the Year nominees are:

  • Control
  • Disco Elysium
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Please Don't Watch The Goop Lab.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 20.1.2 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards. Word is these add official support for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and Vulkan version 1.2:
Support For

  • Dragon Ball Z™: Kakarot
  • Vulkan®1.2
    • Product is conformant with the Vulkan® 1.2 Specification. Vulkan and the Vulkan logo are registered trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc.

Fixed Issues

  • Some UE4 based titles such as KovaaK 2.0: The Meta™, Tetris Effect™ and Snooker 19™ may fail to launch with Adrenalin 2020 edition software.
  • Some single display Radeon RX 5700 series graphics product system configurations may experience intermittent reboots when the system is left idle on desktop.

The Surge 2 Summons The Kraken and Premium Edition

The Kraken is now available for The Surge 2, offering the promised seamonster-free expansion for Deck13's action/RPG. This comes alongside the game's debut on GOG.com, which carries a launch discount and a bonus discount for owners of The Surge. It also marks the launch of the promised The Surge 2 Premium Edition on GOG.com and Steam, which bundles all the game's content as shown in the Premium Edition Launch Trailer. The Kraken is also available separately on GOG.com and Steam. Here's word on the new edition and the new DLC:
Welcome to Jericho City.
Armor-clad soldiers enforce martial law, robots are on a rampage, and a nanostorm looms over the cityscape. Explore the devastated city while fighting its numerous, ferocious threats in unforgiving combat. Slash and tear equipment from foes utilizing The Surge 2’s dynamic Limb Targeting System.

The Surge 2 - Premium Edition contains the full game, and all the Season Pass content. This includes The Kraken, the story-focused expansion, and all the new post-launch weapons and armor sets.

The Kraken
Discover the truth behind the VBS Krakow, mysteriously beached on the shores of Jericho City!
Continue here to read the full story.

Lightmatter Released

Lightmatter is now available on Steam, offering a first-person puzzle game for Windows from indie developer Tunnel Vision Games. You can see the game in action in the previously released Announcement Trailer, which shows off some floor is lava gameplay with a bit of a Portal vibe. Even better, you can check it out for free for one hour, and if you enjoy this sample and purchase the game, you will retain your progress. Here's word on the game, which, like Portal, began as a university project:
Lightmatter is the atmospheric, first-person puzzle game inside a mysterious experimental facility where the shadows will kill you. Watch your movements closely through the sprawling tunnels and rooms or be swallowed into the vast darkness. The game tells a sci-fi story about a maniac inventor who has created the ultimate power source called Lightmatter. Players must explore the facility in an attempt to discover the hidden plot, while facing challenging puzzles that require mastering different light sources to survive.

Game Features:

  • Step into an evacuated facility that risks tearing the world apart atom by atom.
  • Use lateral thinking to solve mind-bending puzzles with lights, shadows, beams, platforms, and even Lightmatter.
  • Explore themes of journalistic integrity, scientific ethics, and megalomania.
  • Starring David Bateson (Known from playing Agent 47 in Hitman) who leads as Virgil, CEO of Lightmatter Technologies, and who provides the game’s dark humor narrative.
  • Inspired by art used in thick-line animation and graphic novel-style outlines.
  • Pays homage to first person puzzlers, drawing inspiration from The Turing Test, Portal, and The Talos Principle.

Continue here to read the full story.

P1R4T3S Ear1y Acc3ss Th1s M0nth

Russian developer Blini Games announces P1R4T3S will set sail on January 31st, offering a twin-stick shooter set in space, where no one can hear you scream "I am 1337!" Word is: "n P1R4T3S, you become a space pirate, travelling through the galaxy in your very own pirate vessel, boarding ships, space stations and land bases, looting everything you encounter – and of course shooting the hell out of any poor sucker who dares to stand in your way!" Here's more:
P1R4T3S is the second game by Blini Games, the studio behind the successful Lovecraft’s Untold Stories (available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS & Android). Taking all the lessons learnt in their first release, P1R4T3S is meant to be bigger and better in every aspect – even including multiplayer (to be released further down the road). The current price of the game, $9.99/€9.99, will increase in the future as major updates with new content are added to the game.

P1R4T3S KEY FEATURES

  • Sail the deep space in your customizable pirate ship
  • Board and plunder other ships, space stations, and land bases
  • Shoot any scurvy dog who dares to stand in your way in this twin-stick shooter action roguelite!
  • Loot treasure and farm resources… and use them to improve your ship and build a pirate base!
  • Customize your character and gear
  • Capture cargo and prisoners and ransom or sell them. It's up to you what to do with your precious trophies! (to be released further down the road)
  • Pillage with friends in online multiplayer co-op mode (to be released further down the road)

Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop Early Access

Early Access to Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop is now underway on Steam, offering a new rogue-like deck-builder for Windows from indie developer One Up Plus Entertainment. Here's an outline of the state of this in Early Access: "Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop is launched in Early Access containing 2 playable classes, 2 allegiances and 3 playable dungeon areas. The game will be bi-weekly updated to balance, finish 3rd class, and integrate 2 more allegiances." The game is shown off in this teaser trailer. Here's a description:
A rogue-like deck-building game with table top battles! Choose a hero and allegiance then dive into the dungeon and build your deck as you battle!

DungeonTop is a fresh new take on the roguelike deckbuilding genre, bringing a flavour of tight table top battles into the mix. Employ clever board tactics to gain advantage such as range, flanking, tanking and rushing.

A balance of risk to reward greets you both in an out of battle. Progression in DungeonTop could mean two things, grabbing more gold, or defeating more monsters! Play it your way. Will you build for cunning, speed, or power? Your choices in the dungeon directly influence your chance of survival!
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season One Extended

Infinity Ward announces that Season One for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is being extended until February 11th:
Over the next few weeks, a host of new items and challenges will arrive, including an in-game Challenge to earn the new Crossbow weapon, more remixed game modes, new playlists, and more in the Store to discover. To make room for all that activity, we are making a one-time extension of Season One – it’s now ending on February 11. During that time, there will be 2XP, 2X Weapon XP, and 2X Tier Progression to help you finish up your Officer Ranks and Tiers, and get you ready for an exciting Season Two.

Out of the Blue

I want to thank everyone who took the time to share thoughts on my Windows 10 upgrade problem, I think the advice I received helped put me on the right track here. I realize the idea of reinstalling Windows 7 to do an upgrade is completely crazy when the option of just installing Windows 10 is preferable anyway. I think I will just buy a new SSD to do so fresh and proceed from there. This will be the best way to get the new OS, will circumvent any possible disc issues with my old SSD, and provide me with the maximum ability to check back with my previous programs and settings to make sure I'm set up the way I wish. Win 10 win/win/winning. I feel like I have tiger blood.

Obituary: Gary Starkweather, Inventor of the Laser Printer, Dies at 81. Thanks Slashdot.

Informed Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Link: No Time to Die: Barbara Broccoli & Michael G. Wilson on Bond’s Future.
Science: Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete.
Mighty Mice In Space May Help Disabled People On Earth.
McMaster chemists close to breaking down old tires to make new ones. Thanks Max.
Media: How to get past a fallen log - Blocked Path. NSFW.
Overstocking on Ammo in PUBG - More Ammo.
Toss a Coin to Your Witcher (metal cover by Leo Moracchioli). Thanks Simon.
Follow-ups: Is 737 Max safe? New Boeing CEO hopes to end crisis after plane crash.
2019 Was the Second-Hottest Year Ever, Closing Out the Warmest Decade.
Letting slower passengers board airplane first really is faster, study finds.
Here's the Apology Subaru Sent to American Dealers Over the Subaru F.U.C.K.S. Debacle. Thanks Hypothermia.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
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