Archived News:

Friday, Mar 20, 2020

Steam and CS:GO Set New User Records Again

The Steam Game and Player Statistics page shows that both Steam and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have once again set new player records (thanks DSOGaming). Earlier this week Steam hit 20,313,476 concurrent users and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reached 1,024,845 simultaneous players. Now the new Steam high-water mark is 21,360,226 and the new record for CS:GO is 1,060,189.

Call of Duty: Warzone Passes 30M Users

In this tweet Activision offers the latest on the number of players who have tried out Call of Duty: Warzone. Here's the census for the recently launched free-to-play battle royale game based on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: "Over 30 million of you have dropped in to play #Warzone. Thank you to this amazing community."

Release Date Roundup

Usually game release dates trickle out in a way that allows us to report them individually. But here's batch that justifies a roundup into one post for your convenience. Here are the release plans for a bunch of titles:

Top Steam Releases for February

The Steam Blog has a rundown on the top releases on Steam for February 2020. This is broken down into two lists, one covering premium games and the second for free releases. The list of the games can also be found on this page, and they note many of them are on sale. Here's an overview:
The charts showing the Top Releases on Steam during February 2020 are now available. In addition to showcasing the top releases by revenue during the first two weeks after launch and a look at the top five free to play releases (measured by unique player count), the review of February's top releases also includes a look at some of the trends in this month's charts plus a spotlight section on two of the teams on this month's charts, Flying Oaks Games (ScourgeBringer) & Ink Stains Games (Stoneshard).

Out of the Park Baseball 21 Released

Today is opening day for Out of the Park Baseball 21, and this Windows and macOS baseball simulation is available from OOTP Developments or on Steam. Here's the pitch:
Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association, and MiLB, today announced that Out of the Park Baseball 21 is available worldwide today! OOTP 21 is the 21st anniversary edition of the award-winning baseball strategy game, featuring the most new features and improvements ever made to a single new release in series history.

Out of the Park Baseball 21 includes:

  • All new Game Flow guides you through the unique OOTP experience in a smart, fully customizable way! Not sure what to do next? Game Flow gets you where you want to be, depending on what is happening right now. Whether it is Spring Training, the dog days of summer, or the off-season, it is easy to find what to do next. A fun way for newcomers and veterans alike to experience Out of the Park Baseball.
  • 3D Ballpark Construction Kit 1.0 - At long last - build your franchise’s dream ballpark! The new 3D Ballpark Construction Kit allows you to configure a 3D stadium to your whims. Choose from many different field shapes and sizes, ballpark layouts and architectural elements and combine them with Ballpark Factors to emphasize the kind of organization you want to put together - defense, power, speed, gaps, you name it. This long-awaited feature, which will be improved via free updates throughout the year, lets you live a childhood dream - building your own ballpark.
  • New 2020 MLB rules, tactics, and player strategies! Baseball is changing in significant ways, and we have got everything in place. How will you use the all-new 26-man rosters to your advantage, as well as the new 28-man September configuration? How will you strategize around the new 3-batter-minimum for relief pitchers? What will your lineups and rotations look like with separate 10- and 15-day Injured Lists for pitchers and hitters? It is a whole new world!
Continue here to read the full story.

American Motorcycle Simulator Announced

PlayWay and Movie Games announce the chance to get your kicks on Route 66 with the upcoming release of American Motorcycle Simulator, an opportunity to jump on a hog and see where the open road takes you. This has a Steam Listing which says it's "coming soon," and this trailer shows off some of the dive bars, gogo clubs, and fistfights you will encounter along the way. So grab your cuts, throw away that dome, and read on for more details:
2448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles, you, your faithful bike, beautiful landscapes and the magnificent roar of the engine.

Have you ever had enough of mundane problems of daily life? Did you want to drop everything and move on? What would you say about a great road trip across the States on the legendary Route 66?

American Motorcycle Simulator is a motorcycle survival game - a real tramp with a lot of features. You can not only ride a bike across the continent but also repair, upgrade and decorate your machine. You have to fuel it and take care of it - along the route, you will find several gas stations and in some, there are stores and workshops. And... yes, there might be gogo clubs and pubs as well. American Motorcycle Simulator simulates the full range of a biker's life.
Continue here to read the full story.

Five Ziggurat Games Join GOG.com

GOG.com announces the addition of five "classic" games from Ziggurat Interactive to their DRM-free market place. Three of these are set during the Vietnam War: NAM, a Build-engine first-person shooter from 1998; Elite Warriors Vietnam, a first- and third-person shooter from 2005; and 2003's Line of Sight Vietnam, another FPS/TPS. The other two games are Deadly Dozen, a World War II first-person shooter from 2001 and Fields of Glory, a real-time strategy recreation of Napoleon's Waterloo campaign that was originally released by MicroProse in 1993.

Wanking Simulator Released

As promised (threatened?), Wanking Simulator is now available on Steam, offering a hand-crafted game where learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. This post has the details, including word on the free DLC that's included in the base version, meaning it's not actually DLC. Grab your crazy pills and read on for more:
REMEMBER! Surrealism, absurdity and humour are three words that perfectly describe the nature of this production. The final version of the game goes far beyond the expectations that the title can bring to mind. The gameplay is highly varied, additional modes provide even more crazy entertainment, and many elements will surely be a surprise for players. All this is coated with absurd humour and political incorrectness.

Wanking Simulator is a title FULLY focused on humorous elements.
The only sexual act the players will encounter is the masturbation of the main character, but no genital organs or organic fluids will be visible in the game.

The game is based on completely absurd assumptions. Some of its elements may seem controversial, in a sense, but they have purely humorous intentions. Developers of this simulator certainly do not intend to offend anyone.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Happy International Day of Happiness. Thanks RedEye9.

Get Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Tomb Raider for Free

Square Enix is offering Tomb Raider for free on Steam and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is also free on Steam. Each game yours to keep if you pick them up between now and Monday or when they run out of keys (thanks Ldonyo). This post has more on the deal:
We’re warmed by stories of communities banding together to support those in need during uncertain times, and by honoring directives intended to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Gamers are part of a global community. We regularly rally together online to return balance to fantasy kingdoms, recruit crew to save the universe from sci-fi threats, and indulge in healthy competition through high-octane action games. For others, shifting to both online work and play is unfamiliar territory.

With this in mind, we’re offering a gift to our community. Starting right now through 11:59 PM PDT Monday, March 23, we’re releasing both Tomb Raider: Game of the Year Edition (2013) and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for free on Steam.

Continue here to read the full story.

Get Mable & The Wood for Free

GOG.com announces a giveaway of Mable & The Wood as part of their Spring Sale. All you have to do is pick up your copy over the next couple of days and it is yours to keep forever. Here's a trailer and here's a bit on this Windows, macOS, and Linux platformer:
Mable & The Wood is a Metroidvania where you hunt down massive beasts and, upon destroying them, shapeshift into their forms in order to use their powers to save or destroy the world. Players with less violent intent can find secret paths to complete Mable without killing anything, including bosses.

Unlike most Metroidvanias Mable does not allow you to run, jump and kill on your own. Instead, you must use non-human forms to attack creatures and traverse through difficult challenges.
Continue here to read the full story.

Get Deiland for Free

Here's another freebie, as you can now grab Deiland on Steam with a 100% discount. This Windows and macOS single-player RPG will be yours to keep if you get it between now and Monday, or while supplies last. This was first released in August 2018, so here's a trailer and a refresher on what to expect:
Deiland is a single-player adventure RPG with several sandbox elements, such as farming, crafting, and building.
Put on the mantle of the Little Prince of Deiland and rule over your own planet!

Tend Deiland
Your planet is your home, turn it into a unique and special place. Improve your skills, craft tools, cook delicious food, brew potions, and create many more items that you can manage and trade.
Continue here to read the full story.

Offroad Racing - Buggy X ATV X Moto Free Weekend

Publisher Microids is giving everybody the chance to get off the beaten path for free, as Offroad Racing - Buggy X ATV X Moto is free-to-play on Steam between now and 1:00 pm EDT on March 23rd (the page currently says this offer is good for the next nine days, but we're informed this is an error). This offers all weekend to test drive this dirt racing game for Windows. Here's a description:
Offroad Racing offers a huge choice of all-terrain vehicles to get away from everyday life. Bomb along in a quad bike, buggy or motocross race and enjoy the change of scenery as you explore immersive offroad tracks.

5 singleplayer game modes:

  • Dedicate your life to offroad racing in Season mode.
  • Fulfil your destiny in Championship mode.
  • Don't have time? The Race-against -the-clock and Single race modes are for you.
  • Not afraid of the heat? Try Hot Lap!

Continue here to read the full story.

DOOM Eternal Released

DOOM Eternal is now available for PC and consoles, offering the latest installment in id Software's seminal first-person shooter series that began way back in 1993. The Windows edition is played through Steam, and you pick up your copy through Steam, or for 10% less (as of this writing) through Green Man Gaming. This is also available as a physical release, and retailers are listed on Bethesda.net. Paradoxically, this seems to be the least expensive option, as both Amazon and Walmart offer the USD$59.99 game for under $50.00, while there is also a pricier deluxe version for those who feel like splurging. Business aside, the previously released Official Launch Trailer offers a look at gameplay, and the Steam Listing has the following description:
Hell’s armies have invaded Earth. Become the Slayer in an epic single-player campaign to conquer demons across dimensions and stop the final destruction of humanity.

The Only Thing they Fear... Is You.
Experience the ultimate combination of speed and power in DOOM Eternal - the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat.

Slayer Threat Level At Maximum
Armed with a shoulder-mounted flamethrower, retractable wrist-mounted blade, upgraded guns and mods, and abilities, you're faster, stronger, and more versatile than ever.

Unholy Trinity
Take what you need from your enemies: Glory kill for extra health, incinerate for armor, and chainsaw demons to stock up on ammo to become the ultimate demon-slayer.

Enter Battlemode
A new 2 versus 1 multiplayer experience. A fully-armed DOOM Slayer faces off against two player-controlled demons, fighting it out in a best-of-five round match of intense first-person combat.
Continue here to read the full story.

DOOM 64 Released

Along with the release of DOOM Eternal comes the launch of DOOM 64, the Windows port of the Nintendo 64 version of the original DOOM that was first released in 1997. This was offered as a preorder bonus for DOOM Eternal, but is now available for individual purchase on Steam. Here's word:
DOOM 64, originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, is now available for the first time on PC.

Fight against demons in your crusade to hunt down the Mother of Demons and stop Hell's invasion. As you battle through more than 30 action-packed levels, be on the lookout for enhanced weapons and secrets to help you put an end to the demonic threat.

New AMD Adrenalin Drivers

NVIDIA's drivers for DOOM Eternal came out yesterday and now AMD follows suit with the release of new version 20.3.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition drivers for their graphics cards. These add support for id's new shooter as well as the imminent release of Half-Life: Alyx along with Vulkan support for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. These are available through the AMD Drivers and Support Page and the Release Notes have all the details. Here's the outline on new game support:
Support For

  • DOOM™ Eternal
    • Achieve up to 5% better performance playing Doom Eternal (Ultra Nightmare settings) at 1920x1080p on the Radeon™ RX 5700XT with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.3.1, versus Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2. RS-333
  • Half-Life™: Alyx
  • Ghost Recon™ Breakpoint
    • Vulkan® API

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Free Weekend

Ubisoft is offering the chance to go on a free odyssey this weekend, as Assassin's Creed Odyssey is free to play on Steam for the next three days. They clearly hope to grease the wheels to remain in ancient Greece for more of this action/adventure, as it is also currently on sale for 67% off. Here's a quick refresher on the game:
Choose your fate in Assassin's Creed® Odyssey.
From outcast to living legend, embark on an odyssey to uncover the secrets of your past and change the fate of Ancient Greece.

TRAVEL TO ANCIENT GREECE
From lush vibrant forests to volcanic islands and bustling cities, start a journey of exploration and encounters in a war torn world shaped by gods and men.

FORGE YOUR LEGEND
Your decisions will impact how your odyssey unfolds. Play through multiple endings thanks to the new dialogue system and the choices you make. Customize your gear, ship, and special abilities to become a legend.
Continue here to read the full story.

Echo Now on Overwatch PTR... PTR... PTR...

You can now check out Overwatch's newest hero Echo, as she is now playable on the PTR for Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. There's an article called Echoes of Echo: A History of Hero 32 on the Overwatch Website with the character's lore, and we have a brief announcement from Blizzard outlining her abilities. These include a devilish twist, as her ultimate ability involves duplicating an enemy hero and using their powers. Here's word:
Loading additional skill modules… the 32nd hero in Overwatch, Echo, is now live on the Public Test Realm (PTR) on PC! Echo is a multirole evolutionary robot programmed with a rapidly adapting artificial intelligence and represents the cutting edge of technology. Echo is a Damage category hero.

Who is Echo?
Echo was the creation of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, who was one of the earliest members of Overwatch. Prior to joining the organization, Dr. Liao was widely considered one of the prominent experts in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered Listing Spied

A South Korean Rating is now online for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered (콜 오브 듀티: 모던 워페어 2 캠페인 리마스터) (thanks DSOGaming). It looks like this popped up last month, as it carries a 2/26/2020 date. This suggests that a remake of Infinity Ward's 2019 installment in the Call of Duty series is on the way, so we'll just have to ponder the implications of that while waiting to see if an official announcement follows.

Cities: Skylines: Cities: Skylines Next Week

Paradox Interactive announces Sunset Harbor, new DLC for Cities: Skylines that's coming on March 26th to add new views to the urban planning simulation. Word is: "Cities: Skylines - Sunset Harbor introduces the fishing industry, new mass transit options, and important city services. Increase the entertainment of your city by taking flight with helicopters and private planes. Create cities across five new maps and build fishing infrastructure to develop your industry." Here's the Official Announcement Trailer talking a look at what to expect. They say this release will be accompanied by the launch of additional new content, promising more details soon. Curious to know more? Water you waiting for? Read on:
Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer that harbors strong feelings for its players, today announced the newest expansion for Cities: Skylines, available next week for both PC and consoles. Sunset Harbor, a new fishing, maritime, and transportation-themed expansion for the award-winning city-builder from Colossal Order, will launch on PC platforms, on Xbox One, and on PlayStation®4 simultaneously on March 26, 2020. The new expansion adds a wealth of content including Fishing Industries, intercity buses, passenger helicopters, water treatment plants, and much more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Imperiums: Greek Wars Beta

Imperiums: Greek Wars is a 4X grand strategy game that will launch on Steam soon, as it carries a spring 2020 release window. Here's the game's elevator pitch: "Imperiums: Greek Wars is a unique combination of turn-based 4X and historical grand strategy with a mythological twist. Explore the ancient world and open it up to your people. Survive, expand, conquer... and win!" To gear up for launch, publisher/developer Kube Games is currently conducting a beta test. If you are interested in participating you can fill out the form on this page. For more on the plan, this page has a gameplay trailer and the following explanation:
The next milestone is here, finally! Today we open the beta application for anyone who wants to try out Imperiums: Greek Wars and help us polish it for launch.

It has been a long ride. We have worked really hard to make the game as stable and bug free as possible during alpha and with the positive feedback from our testers, we feel ready for the next stage and hope you are too!

We want to call into action all strategy gamers who are willing to spare some of their time to test the game, report bugs and share opinions with us and others on our forums. We want to hear your honest feedback and to make Imperiums the one game you always wanted to play.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Signifier Announced

Publisher Raw Fury and indie developer Playmestudio announce The Signifier, a tech-noir mystery adventure coming to PC this summer on Steam. Word is: "In the darkest reaches of the human mind, you’ll interpret the abstract language of unconscious thought on a quest to determine the truth in a subjective world." The game's official website is online, offering details and a reveal trailer. Here's the description:
The Signifier is a first-person tech-noir mystery adventure that blends investigation, experimental psychology, and artificial intelligence.

Players step into the role of Frederick Russell, an expert in AI and psychology, and the main researcher behind an experimental deep brain scanner called the Dreamwalker. Its controversial technology allows the exploration of the recorded senses and unconscious realms of the mind. He finds himself thrust into a spiral of intrigue when asked to use his creation after the vice president of the world’s biggest tech company turns up dead in her apartment.

Explore the real and surreal worlds, become immersed in fringe psychology, solve puzzles, and find the truth.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Out of the Blue

I had a dentist appointment that was scheduled for today, but I got a call earlier this week postponing this as the office is shutting down out of concerns about COVID-19. This is an extremely understandable move, though I had previously decided not to cancel myself, feeling they would be naturally predisposed to being sanitary. I am rescheduled for a month hence, but I'm guessing it will be postponed further as that date approaches. I hope I am wrong about that, as this is the follow-up to my recent oral surgery, and I am eager to trade in my temporary prosthetic teeth for proper implants. But that is a very trivial concern compared with the horrific impact the pandemic is having on so many, so I'll just take things as they come.

Postponed Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Stories: IRS will move tax filing deadline to July 15.
Flooding could affect one-third of the U.S. this spring.
Drive-In Cinemas Making A Comeback.
Science: How Fast Does a Virus Spread? Let’s Do the Math.
Media: Freeman's Mind 2- Episode 13 (NSFW).
DOOM CARTOON COLLECTION.
First No Touch Open! (Retekess Keypad).
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