Archived News:

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020

UPLAY+ Free Trial

Ubisoft is now offering a seven-day free trial of UPLAY+, offering the chance to sample the 100+ PC games offered on their subscription service. After a week the regular price of $14.99/month takes effect. You are required to enter payment information, but you will not be charged as long as you cancel before the trial ends. Here's more on the service:
100+ PC games
Download games from our growing catalog, including new releases, latest games, classic titles and beloved PC franchises

New releases
Play new Ubisoft titles the day they release

Complete editions
Access Deluxe, Gold, or Ultimate** editions of your favorite games, including additional content such as expansions and season passes
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The Sims 4 Reality TV Show Next Week

Electronic Arts announces The Sims Spark'd, a reality competition series using The Sims 4 that will air on TBS starting on July 17th. Word is: "The contestants will be given creative challenges to build the most unique characters, worlds and stories, all told through the latest highly successful game in the franchise, The Sims 4." Here's the Official Trailer and here's an explanation:
The Sims Spark’d is a four-episode series where players will compete in both skills and elimination challenges with $100,000 on the line, showcasing contestants from The Sims community as they race against the clock to impress a panel of celebrity judges. The show features an amazing cast, with former American Idol finalist, Rayvon Owen, as the host, who has been playing the game since middle school. Joining Rayvon are three judges that each bring their own critical Sims voice to the competition. The first is BuzzFeed Multiplayer YouTube personality, Kelsey Impicciche, famous for her own #100babychallenge series she created with The Sims. Next up is singer-songwriter, Tayla Parx, who has done voice acting work for the game and sang her song, “Me vs. Us” in Simlish (in-game language) for The Sims 4 Get Famous expansion pack. Rounding out the judges’ panel is Maxis™ game developer, Dave Miotke. Maxis is the development studio behind the franchise where Miotke - better known in the community as SimGuruNinja - has worked for 15 years.
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Trusted Mode Fights Cheating

A post on the Counter-Strike blog explains Valve continues its offensive against cheating in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with the launch of Trusted Mode, which will prevent third-party apps from interacting with the multiplayer shooter:
Today we’re shipping changes to CS:GO that are part of our continuing fight against cheating.

CS:GO now significantly restricts the types of programs and files that can interact with the game.

By default, players will launch CS:GO in Trusted mode, which will block third-party files from interacting with the game.

If you would like to play while using third party software that interacts with CS:GO, launch with the -untrusted launch option. Note that in this case your Trust score may be negatively affected.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands This Fall

Blizzard had their promised livestream today for Shadowlands, their upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft. This video is the VOD version of the stream, where Blizzard committed to a fall release. "You have our commitment that we will be releasing Shadowlands this fall," executive producer John Hight announced today. "Even if we end up shipping it from our homes." They also revealed a premium-priced Collector's Edition, and this post has all the details on that. Here's a bit:
This limited Collector’s Edition boasts a trove of collectibles to complement the journey of World of Warcraft players into the Shadowlands, including:

  • Hardback Art of the Shadowlands book
  • Shattered sky mousepad
  • Set of 4 collector’s pins featuring the sigils of each Shadowlands covenant
  • Shadowlands Collector’s Edition digital soundtrack key
  • Epic Edition digital game key, which comes with 30 days of game time and all the in-game extras from the digital Epic Edition:
    • Ensorcelled Everwyrm mount
    • Anima Wyrmling pet
    • Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone
    • Illusion: Wraithchill cosmetic weapon effect
    • Shadowlands-level character boost

Continue here to read the full story.

Dual Universe Next Month

Novaquark announces an August 27th launch date for the beta version of Dual Universe, their MMORPG. The news comes with a trailer called The Rebirth Project, which sets up the story. This is the opening cinematic which probably doesn't reflect gameplay, since this will feature voxel graphics. They say the full release won't be until next year, but after four years of development they are confident the beta is a solid representation of the game. Those who've bought into on of their alpha packs will also get access to the beta, but once it launches, their monthly subscription plan will take effect. Here are all the details:
The excitement is ramping up as the Beta launches on August 27. Sci-fi fans who enjoyed today’s trailer can jump into Dual Universe right now for $60 USD / €60. Check out the game’s website for more information or to ​purchase your pledge pack​. Dual Universe’s Beta launch ​is expected to release this summer​, with the full game arriving in 2021.

About Novaquark
Novaquark’s goal is to create the first virtual online civilization, enabling potentially millions of players to shape and share a metaverse of their own, together, at a scale never seen before. A world with meaning, where everything you do matters and has a permanent impact. Novaquark, composed of veterans from Sony, Apple, CCP Games, Epic Games and Bioware, is on a mission to bring a new generation of MMO through science, expertise and technological innovation.
Continue here to read the full story.

Imperiums: Greek Wars This Month

Kube Games announces a release date for Imperiums: Greek Wars, saying their historical 4X strategy game will launch on Steam on July 30th. The way they actually characterize the game is quite a mouthful, as they call it "a unique combination of turn-based 4X and historical grand strategy with a mythological twist." Here's a Release Date Cinematic Trailer, here's a Release Date Announcement Trailer, and here's word:
Inspired by our previous award-winning title Aggressors: Ancient Rome, we bring you a fresh look at a Greco-Persian world of schemers, warmongers, and ruthless politicians. This merciless world is enhanced by myths and stories about heroic deeds and hidden treasures as only the Greeks were able to imagine.
Continue here to read the full story.

What Happened This Month

Publisher Katnappe and developer Genius Slackers explain what had happened was they've set July 30th as the release date for What Happened, the first-person survival/horror game involving drugs and suicide. A new video developer diary discusses the dark story, and the announcement explains further:
In the game, players will step into the shoes of high-school student Stiles and try to guide him to the light, against the will of the demons that dominate his troubled mind. Only players’ empathy, and ability to read between the lines of his confused memories and drug-fuelled hallucinations, can turn Stiles from his self-destructive path.

To mark the release date announcement, the developers at Genius Slackers have released their first video dev diary. In it, game director Arash Negahban reveals the inspirations behind the story of What Happened, and what the team set out to achieve.
Continue here to read the full story.

Old Skool Racer Released

Old Skool Racer is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering an arcade racing game for Windows from Karma Play Limited. In this game you can koose between five different vehicle types, including kariots. See how much fun we're having with their spelling gimmick? Okay, we're done now. Here's a video (NSFW) that indeed looks like it came from a time machine, and here's more on the game:
Old Skool Racer is a complete arcade racing game world that recreates the sheer thrill of classic arcade racing games such as Outrun, Screamer, Star Wars Pod Racer and Wave Race 64. The game is designed to be updated regularly in close cooperation with racing game fans. To enable this, we are planning monthly feature updates recommended by the community itself.
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On Sale

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Another Assassin's Creed: Valhalla Video Leak

Another video from Assassin's Creed: Valhalla shows off more leaked footage from the upcoming installment in the action series (thanks DSOGaming). This is higher-quality than the previous leak, and the poster claims the source is within Ubisoft. The official Ubisoft Forward event is coming on Sunday, and they've promised we'll see more on the game at that time. In the meantime, this clip shows off seven minutes of gameplay, including a boss fight. Update: Not unexpectedly, this video is no longer available. Continue here to read the full story.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope in October

BANDAI NAMCO announces October 30th is the release date for Little Hope, the new installment in The Dark Pictures Anthology, their horror series. They illustrate the news with a Release Date Announcement Trailer to creep us out. The announcement includes details on three different versions of the game and the bonus you can earn by preordering any of them:
Little Hope, the brand-new game in The Dark Pictures Anthology will release on October 30th. Experience moments of tension and terror alone in single player mode, with your friends through 2 player online shared story or with up to 5 players in the couch-friendly movie night mode.

Trapped by a mysterious fog in the abandoned town of Little Hope, four college students and their professor search desperately for a means of escape whilst visions from the town’s gruesome and sinister past haunt them from the shadows. In order to stay alive, they must uncover the mysteries behind these dark apparitions before evil forces drag each of their souls to hell!
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Warfare 1944 Early Access

The first shots are being fired in Warfare 1944, which is now available in Early Access for Windows on Steam. This is a World War II tactical shooter developed by Drakeling Labs in conjunction with undead publisher MicroProse. They say this release is to help support further development of Drakeling's Operation: Harsh Doorstop even though Warfare 1944 is still in its nascent stages: "This is a very early version of the game, an alpha demo that is primarily aimed at testing and feedback-gathering." A Development Blog from a few weeks ago discusses the project, and the Announcement Teaser Video from the same time offers a look at gameplay. Here's word:
Fight on the frontlines of World War 2 in this stylized tactical shooter. Engage in large open environments with a variety of weapons and equipment during the pinnacle of World War 2. Make smart decisions, and lead your team to victory.

Warfare 1944 focuses on tactical gameplay. Bullets are deadly, one shot can kill. Team communication is essential and Warfare 1944 features robust proximity voice communication which allows you to communicate with your fellow soldiers alongside you. Wield a wide variety of weapons and equipment while you attempt to survive the chaos of war. Rally your friends to your team, and fight in massive battles across vast open landscapes. Keep your wits, and defeat your enemies. Warfare is unforgiving.
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WWE 2K Battlegrounds in September

2K Games announces WWE 2K Battlegrounds will come flying off a turnbuckle and into the ring on September 18th, offering an over-the-top arcade game based on the over-the-top world of professional wrestling. This page offers preorders on all platforms for a Standard Edition or a Deluxe Edition that includes some extra wrestlers and some in-game spacebux. Here's word on each edition and their preorder bonuses:
DELUXE EDITION
INCLUDES

  • Base game
  • Digital Deluxe Bonus Pack - Raise some hell with Stone Cold Steve Austin, lay the SmackDown with the Attitude Era version of The Rock and get rowdy with Ronda Rousey. The WWE 2K Battlegrounds Digital Deluxe Edition includes three versions of each Superstar.
  • Edge Totally Awesome Pre-Order Pack - WWE 2K Battlegrounds will reek of awesomeness with WWE Hall of Famer Edge, included in the Digital Deluxe Edition.
  • Currency Pack - Includes 1100 Golden Bucks, used to unlock additional Superstars and vanity items.

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Wreckfest Launches New Season and New Car Pack

THQ Nordic and Bugbear announce the commencement of a new tournament season called Banger Bash for Wreckfest, their demolition derby racing game ("It's not the speed really so much. I Just Wish I hadn't Drunk All that Cough Syrup This Morning"). They offer complete patch notes for the update, which comes as the game enjoys a 60% discount on Steam. This also comes alongside a new Banger Racing Car Pack which adds the Sweeper, the Hearse, and a Stock Car, and all this is shown off in a new trailer. The pack is available separately or as part of the game's Season Pass. Word is: "The Banger Racing Car Pack is the sixth Car Pack and part of the Season Pass, which includes 20 new cars, 20 special roof decorations and additional car customizations like armor, rims and more." Continue here to read the full story.

Free on Twitch Prime

Twitch Prime users, which includes all Amazon Prime users, can pick up the following five games to keep for free as part of their subscriptions. You just need to grab your copies this month, and they're yours to keep:

  • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
  • Dear Esther
  • GRIP
  • KUNAI
  • Dark Devotion

Out of the Blue

The tendinitis in my arm seems to have made a pretty significant improvement since I started trying to remedy the situation. I wear a wrist brace and a tennis elbow strap when using the computer, have tried to moderate my extended gaming sessions, and use a heat wrap for a little added therapy. As a result my chronic discomfort has all but disappeared, to the point where I sometimes realize I'm using the computer without using my braces. This is in contrast to when I first got them and discomfort from typing would remind me right away if I forgot to put them on. I am very happy to be experiencing relief at this point, and I'm going to continue with all these treatments for the foreseeable future, as I have no interest in re-aggravating the situation.

Obituary: Mary Kay Letourneau, teacher jailed for raping student she later married, dies at 58.

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