Archived News:

Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Get Overcooked for Free

Overcooked is now available for free on the Epic Games Store, offering the chance to experience the game's crazy co-op cooking action without burning any cash. This is yours to keep if you pick it up between now and next Thursday, when the next giveaway takes its place. The release contradicts the seemingly well-founded rumor that this week's freebie would be Ark: Survival Evolved. It's possible this represents some sort of change of plans, since Overcooked was already a previous EGS giveaway last July. Of course sometimes déjà vu is a glitch in the Matrix. Here's word on Overcooked:
Overcooked is a chaotic couch co-op cooking game for one to four players. Working as a team, you and your fellow chefs must prepare, cook and serve up a variety of tasty orders before the baying customers storm out in a huff. Sharpen your knives and dust off your chef’s whites, there isn’t mushroom for error and the steaks are high in these crazy kitchens!

The Onion Kingdom is in danger and only the finest cooking can save it! In Overcooked players must journey through a variety of cruel and unusual kitchens on their quest to become master chefs capable of conquering an ancient edible evil which plagues the land.

Play solo or engage in classic, chaotic couch co-op for up to four players in both co-operative and competitive challenge modes. You’ll have to cook a range of different dishes and work together in order to become the most effective and ultimate team!

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS on Steam, offering the chance to fight it out with 99 of your closest enemies in this Windows battle royale shooter. The game is free to try for the next four days, and if you enjoy the experience, it is on sale for half off until June 8th. If you do go that route, you will get to keep all the rewards you unlock during the free weekend. See this post for more details. Here's a description of the game:
PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS is a battle royale shooter that pits 100 players against each other in a struggle for survival. Gather supplies and outwit your opponents to become the last person standing.

PLAYERUNKNOWN, aka Brendan Greene, is a pioneer of the battle royale genre and the creator of the battle royale game modes in the ARMA series and H1Z1: King of the Kill. At PUBG Corp., Greene is working with a veteran team of developers to make PUBG into the world's premiere battle royale experience.

Pro Cycling Manager 2020 Released

NACON and Cyanide now offer the release of Pro Cycling Manager 2020 for Windows in tandem with the release of Tour de France 2020 for consoles. They take the occasion to remind us that there's a PC edition of this new Tour de France game on the way for the very first time, and this should cross the finish line in August. Here's the Pro Cycling Manager 2020 Launch Trailer, and here's word on this chance to live the dream of being a bicycle coach:
In Pro Cycling Manager 2020, players step into the shoes of a manager in its extensive Career mode. After choosing a team, players must manage their cyclists' training, schedule races, invest in better equipment, find new talent to recruit, keep morale high, and sign contracts with new sponsors to increase their budget and improve race results against a combative AI.

The dashboard has been improved to provide better visibility, and an assistant manager is now available for the first time to help with planning the race schedule. Players can take part in over 230 races and 650 stages in Pro Cycling Manager 2020.
Continue here to read the full story.

VALORANT Beta Cheaters Remain Banned

Riot's Matt Paoletti tweets that many of those who were caught cheating during the VALORANT beta remain banned from the first-person shooter following its official launch. He says "those who tested the tools a couple of times have been spared like @mirageopenguins and I have said, but continual abusers of free cheats and users of pay-to-cheats have remained HWID'd for an indefinite period" (thanks Kotaku). He adds "to clarify once again - some of those who were only 'testing' have been spared. we did our best we could to try to be forgiving to low risk cases but if you're downloading something from 'unknowncheats' there's only so much lenience that can be done without hurting players." IGN seizes the narrative by getting a statement on the topic from Riot's Paul Chamberlain:
“All cheating account bans are permanent for the account,” says Valorant’s Anti-Cheat Lead Paul Chamberlain in a statement to IGN. “Most cheating account bans also come with a hardware ban, meaning we track their souls through time and space and ban them again when they try to re-enter the game with a fake mustache.”

“I can’t reveal too much here, but I will say that not all of these bans are permanent, and we do periodically review them to lift specific ones. At release, we have reviewed all existing hardware bans and unbanned some of the less egregious offenders. We are not planning to remove any more hardware bans until our next periodic review.”

More EA Games Come to Steam

Electronic Arts announces 25+ EA games are coming to Steam some of which launched today. It was last October that it was announced that EA titles would return to Steam following their departure in the dawning days of Origin. Now this reconciliation takes a new leap forward, and they say that the EA Access subscription service is headed to Steam soon as well. Here's word:
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) launched the first wave of 25+ EA games on Steam, with more on the way. Starting today, players can explore BioWare™’s award-winning Role-Playing Games - Dragon Age™: Inquisition and Dragon Age II, experience high-speed, white-knuckle driving action in Need for Speed™ Heat, Need for Speed: Rivals and Need for Speed (2016) and battle it out in the wacky, fun and over-the-top shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville™. A selection of the bold and innovative games from EA’s indie development partners like Unravel, Unravel II, Fe and Sea of Solitude will also become available. Additionally, these games and many others will be available as part of an EA Access subscription on Steam that will launch to players later this summer.

“We want to make it easy to play the games you love, wherever you want to play. Delivering games to the Steam community is an important step in achieving this goal,” said Mike Blank, SVP, Strategic Growth. “Not only are we excited to have our games on Steam, but we look forward to bringing them even more value when our subscription becomes available in the Summer.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection Launch Plans

A post on Reddit EA reveals plans for tomorrow's launch of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, which the story above reminds us is coming to Steam as well as Origin. Here's a personal message from Kane on the release (thanks Ant), and here's the plan:
Over the past 18 months, transparency has been at the core of the interaction I wanted to have with all of you in the community. I would thus be lying if I didn’t say 2020 has been a tough year, and at times it’s been difficult to stay positive and hopeful. I simply wanted to say how grateful I am for everyone in the community who has expressed their support of the project and our teams. While we hope the Remastered Collection can provide a positive event for all of you in this time, we do not want the launch to take away from the events happening in the world. Please stand together, stay safe, and support your communities during these moments.

With regards to the launch, we’ve always had several items planned for the next 24 hours. Be sure to join us on YouTube to view our Launch Trailer as the game goes live at 10:00am PDT on June 5th. And then rumors have been circling about the return of an infamous leader, along with the leak of classified intel from HQ…
Continue here to read the full story.

DCS World P-47 and English Channel Early Access

DCS 2.5.6.50321 Open Beta patch notes have details on the latest open beta version of Digital Combat Simulator World, the free-to-play digital battlefield (thanks Olaf). In addition to the latest refinements to the platform, this supports Early Access to the latest two paid World War II modules. These are the DCS: P-47D Thunderbolt by Eagle Dynamics and DCS: The Channel map by Eagle Dynamics. The P-47 pack adds the long-awaited Thunderbolt to the skies, while the Channel map is a 40,000 square km recreation of the English Channel, central to the legendary Battle of Britain.

Hunting Simulator 2 Delayed

There's a slight delay to virtual hunting season, as NACON announces that Hunting Simulator 2 is now coming to PC on July 16th after being previously expected on June 25th. To help tide everyone over, they offer a new The Best Equipment Trailer showing off some of the weapons and more that are part of the game. Here's word on the clip:
In this brand-new video, the Hunting Simulator 2 team invites you to look through the numerous equipments from official brands that are included in the game. Weapons, accessories and hunting outfits: the greatest brands have played the game to provide the most realistic experience and meet the community’ expectations!

In Hunting Simulator 2, you will access various options of customization to create and improve your hunting equipment as you progress in the game and fulfill your objectives. From the beginning of the game, you must choose with precision the calibre adapted to your prey, and you will learn to master the different accessories ensuring the success of your hunt.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Wearable robotic "third arm" can punch through a wall. Not quite Steve Austin just yet.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Re-Vealed

A new listing on the Microsoft Store reveals plans for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, a remaster of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the 2012 RPG from Big Huge Games and 38 Studios that was designed by Ken Rolston, R.A. Salvatore, and Todd McFarlane (thanks PC Gamer). The listing says our day of re-reckoning is August 18th of this year. Target systems are not mentioned and the system requirements online mention Xbox One, so we reckon it remains to be seen if this is coming to PC as well. Here's the description of how the game is being updated:
The hit RPG returns! From the minds of the bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston, comes Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Remastered with stunning visuals and refined gameplay Re-Reckoning delivers intense, customizable RPG combat inside a sprawling game world.

Uncover the secrets of Amalur, from the vibrant city of Rathir to the vast region of Dalentarth to the grim dungeons of the Brigand Hall Caverns. Rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war and control the keys to immortality as the first warrior ever to be resurrected from the grips of death.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rock of Ages 3 Open Beta Next Week

Modus Games announces plans to roll out an open beta on June 9th for Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break. This will offer Windows, Stadia, Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One gamers the chance to live the dream of being a giant boulder in the prerelease version of this tower defense game. If you're interested you can sign up on this page. If you're not sure this will rock your world you can check out the Open Beta Trailer and/or read on for more details:
Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break inventively blends tower defense-style base designing with bursts of arcade-paced demolition via guidable boulder. Boosted with an incredible retelling of history throughout a humorous campaign, an avalanche of game modes, and the series’ first-ever stage creator, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break offers bountiful opportunities for players to create and bash through wildly imaginative experiences.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tarkov Taking on RMT Too

In addition to banning cheaters in Escape from Tarkov, Battlestate Games plans on taking on real-money traders in their MMO shooter as well (thanks PCGamesN). A post on Reddit explains the battle plan to combat cheaters and RMT:

  1. BattlEye bans (a lot of them everyday, we are all together refining the system to ban them as fast as possible). From 12.6 patch start (from 28-th of May) almost 10 000 cheaters banned already. The situation is that most of the cheaters gets banned, it only a reason of time (which needs to be as soon as possible).
  2. We are making the report system ingame with a lot of additional stats gathering, this info will be used with BattlEye and it will not be one and only reason of ban.
  3. We are making additional countermeasures against cheaters on game servers (instakick, instaban).
  4. We are looking into 2FA SMS verification of accounts but it is not a simple task and it will not make the game cheater-free (cheaters, who pay 200 $ for a cheat will pay for another simcard or for a virtual simcard service easily). This will just make their life a little harder, but it's a good thing. Stop thinking that 2FA SMS is the only needed thing.
  5. Asian region lock was implemented long time ago, but cheaters can play on different regions with the help of VPN services. We are looking into partial ban of this services. Other than that we slowly decreasing ping limit - not only because of cheaters, but because of overall bad ping influence on the server/other player experience. Right now ping limit is 180, we plan to limit it to 150-160.
  6. We ban real money traders too, as well as RMT buyers. Planning a lot of things against them which I can't disclose.
  7. Many more things.

Sea of Craft Announced

Wizard Games announces plans for the western launch of Sea of Craft, a waterborne take on the Minecraft concept where you custom build your own ships and set sail in search of adventure. This is coming to Early Access in either September (according to their press release) or October (according to its Steam Listing). Word is: "Sea of Craft has been undergoing closed beta tests on Tencent’s new platform, WeGame where it has emerged as one of the hottest titles on the platform." We will hear more about this during the Steam Game Festival that will run next week from June 9-14. Here's the Announcement Trailer and here's more:
Build It Your Way
Sea of Craft allows players to build their very own unique battle ships. A vast range of building materials and weapons are on offer giving players infinite options for their creative output at the Shipyard.

Single Player Chapters
Sea of Craft Early Access version will offer a Single Player mode where players complete carefully designed Chapters. More than 30 Chapters are planned for Single Player, and depending on players’ design choices there is an estimated 12 hours of gameplay to look forward to.

Online Multiplayer Modes
Sea of Craft is made for infinite fun! Players will be able to design their own ships and compete with other players in online modes.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Fabled Woods Announced

Headup games announces The Fabled Woods, a narrative adventure in the works at CyberPunch Studios for release on Steam in Q4 of this year. An Announcement Trailer takes us on a camping trip to the game's locales, and the announcement fills in some details:
Fans of games like Firewatch, Gone Home, or What Remains of Edith Finch will find themselves wandering around a thick beautiful forest, eager to find out which strange and brutal things happened here. Built using the Unreal Engine 4 engine, this dense, name-giving “fabled woods” will make you stop from time to time, just for enjoying a great vista combined with a relaxing audio atmosphere.

The Fabled Woods is a narrative adventure that puts the player at the center of nested mysteries within an expanse of beautiful woodland. Starting at a forsaken campsite, the player progresses through the story by exploring the forest and discovering clues, guided by unknown voices.
Continue here to read the full story.

Legends of Ellaria in Q3

Larkon Studio announces that Legends of Ellaria will complete its Early Access run on Steam in Q3 of this year, which will mark the official launch of this sandbox, first-person RTS/RPG. To build up to the occasion they have published a series of developer diaries detailing progress on the game. These Introduce the Studio and Introduce Ellaria and go on to explain Kingdom Management, Factions and Diplomacy, and in a new entry, Heroes, quests and exploration. Here's a full description:

Legends of Ellaria is a unique blend of First-Person/Real-Time Strategy Adventure and Role Playing Sandbox game where you can build your own kingdom, fight epic battles and explore an immersive fantasy world. You play as a lord who flees from a dying world with his subjects, founding a new kingdom in the world of Ellaria - a crossroad between dimensions where other factions and races have settled, just like you, and fight for control over the priced magical resource of the Rifstones. Explore a vast world in first-person adventures, build your cities and kingdom in real-time strategy mechanics, command your armies and lead them from the front lines, or send your heroes and generals to lead your forces for you!

Continue here to read the full story.

Skin Witch Released

Developer Blackwood Specter announces the release of Skin Witch on Steam, offering a first-person survival game for Windows. Here's a Launch Trailer witch you can watch for a look at gameplay, and here's word on the game:
Independent developer Blackwood Specter has just launched the survival horror game Skin Witch, with updates flowing consistently. Skin Witch follows the more classic survival horror approach, giving the player weapons but with limited ammo and resources. The game features multiple weapons, enemies, unique puzzles, horrific rituals, and non-linear gameplay. The level design is like a labyrinth, twisting and turning, and claustrophobic. The game also features multiple difficulties and endings.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Since our insurance changed and we moved, MrsBlue and I tried a new doctor earlier this year. We were not impressed, and MrsBlue decided we should just try someone else. Our first appointment with the new one was scheduled for today, but we did not love the idea of visiting during the pandemic. As it turns out we can do this via teleconference. I'm not clear on how this is supposed to work, but I think he's getting the lab results from the other doctor, which is probably the only way it could. I am certainly curious to experience the remote doctor.

Remote Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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