Archived News:

Friday, Oct 09, 2020 Blue's News Anniversary (1996)

Total War: WARHAMMER II Free Weekend

A free weekend is underway for Total War: WARHAMMER II is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to participate in SEGA's 60th Anniversary Celebration (thanks SteamDB via Ant). This chance to play the fantasy real-time strategy sequel for Windows, macOS, and Linux runs for the next three days, and the game is on sale for 66% off if you want to carry on the battle beyond that. Here's a refresher:
Total War: WARHAMMER II is a strategy game of titanic proportions. Choose from four unique, varied factions and wage war your way – mounting a campaign of conquest to save or destroy a vast and vivid fantasy world.

This is a game of two halves – one a turn-based open-world campaign, and the other intense, tactical real-time battles across the fantastical landscapes of the New World.

Play how you choose – delve into a deep engrossing campaign, experience unlimited replayability and challenge the world in multiplayer with a custom army of your favourite units. Total War: WARHAMMER II offers hundreds of hours of gameplay and no two games are the same.

Prison Architect Free Weekend

How can you be imprisoned and free at the same time? In Prison Architect, as this is free to play all weekend on Steam, offering the chance to get in touch with your inner warden in this Windows, macOS, and Linux slammer simulation. Anniversaries are the theme of the day, as the game is 80% off in honor of the release of new Anniversary Editions celebrating five years of imitation imprisonment. We'll risk explaining further what to expect, even though snitches get stitches:
Only the world’s most ruthless Warden can contain the world’s most ruthless inmates. Design and develop your personalized penitentiary in Prison Architect.

Key Features:

  • Customized Confinement
    Allocate resources to optimize your compound, but don’t restrict the flow of the crowd lest you encounter a flood, fire, fight, or full-blown riot.
  • Invest and Innovate
    Tap federal money with grant applications & direct your funds to combat disease, gang activity, litigation, and more!
  • Management and Muscle
    Ensure your prison is *mostly* ethical and safe with top-notch staff including armed guards, psychologists, doctors, lawyers and snitches.

Epic Versus Apple Split Decision

A new filing from the Epic versus Apple lawsuit makes permanent the temporary restraining order preventing Apple from blocking Epic's ability to support the Unreal Engine on iOS (thanks The Verge). But the ruling also denies Epic's request for a preliminary injunction to force Apple to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store. Here's the payoff of the 39 page document:
In sum, the Court finds that based upon the record before it, the Winter factors weigh against granting a preliminary injunction based on Epic Games’ requests as to Fortnite and other games and in favor of granting a preliminary injunction order as the Epic Affiliates effected developer tools, including as to Unreal Engine.

Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the motion for preliminary injunction.
THEREFORE, APPLE AND ALL PERSONS IN ACTIVE CONCERT OR PARTICIPATION WITH APPLE, ARE PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED from taking adverse action against the Epic Affiliates with respect to restricting, suspending or terminating the Epic Affiliates from the Apple’s Developer Program, on the basis that Epic Games enabled IAP direct processing in Fortnite through means other than the Apple IAP system, or on the basis of the steps Epic Games took to do so. This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect during the pendency of this litigation unless the Epic Affiliates breach: (1) any of their governing agreements with Apple, or (2) the operative App Store guidelines. This preliminary injunction SUPERSEDES the prior temporary
restraining order.

The Outer Worlds on Steam This Month

In this tweet Obsidian announces that The Outer Worlds will arrive on Steam in two weeks:
The Board is excited to inform you that job openings for employees through Steam will be opening on Oct 23! Your shift begins in 2 weeks, spacers, so start your preparations today! 🚀✨

The Medium in December

Bloober Team announces your chance to achieve a happy medium will come on December 10th with the release of The Medium for Windows and Xbox Series S/X. The PC editions are now available for preorder on the Epic Games Store and Steam and they celebrate the news with the release of free tracks from the soundtrack on Steam. Here's a new Release Date Reveal Trailer and here's word on this horror game:
The creative minds behind such acclaimed titles as Blair Witch, Observer and Layers of Fear debut a brand new video that gives you a closer look at the dual-reality world, showcasing the game's dark art style inspired by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, and his dystopian surrealist work. Bloober Team’s artists have closely studied Beksiński’s paintings to bring the visually distinct and nightmarish atmosphere to life, pairing it with an evocative score from Arkadiusz Reikowski and Akira Yamaoka to create a truly eerie experience.
Continue here to read the full story.

Baldur's Gate 3 Hotfix and Character Creation Critique

In a post on Steam, Larian outlines changes in a new hotfix for Baldur's Gate 3, fixing a few issues in their Early Access RPG. They also reveal the results of some analytics they've done to see how players are utilizing their ballyhooed character creation system. Apparently many of the exotic options they've included are not being used, causing them to be disappointed in our preferences rather than their own priorities:
Before the fixes, let’s share something you’ve created yourselves (this is your own fault) through your choices in character creation. We took the most popular choices in character creation, and recreated this. We thought our analytics system wasn’t working! We checked. It is.

Congratulations, you’ve basically made the default Vault Dweller. What the hell guys. We gave you demon eyes, horns, and even tails. We are sorely disappointed. Go crazy. We worked hard on this!

Borderlands 3 Bloody Harvest Returns

The Bloody Harvest Halloween event is once again live in Borderlands 3. The game's official website offers a new trailer and all the details. Here's a bit on how you can reap what you sow in the looter-shooter:
It's that spooky time of year again, when vengeful ghosts possess corporeal beings across the galaxy and rakk-o'-lanterns terrorize the skies.

Yes, Bloody Harvest has returned!

This free limited-time event runs in Borderlands 3 until November 5. Get revenge on the fearsome Captain Haunt and his macabre minions in the pursuit of brand-new rewards.

To take part in this optional event, seek out Maurice aboard Sanctuary III. Your friendly Saurian shipmate will give you a mission to collect Hecktoplasm from the ghosts that spawn when you kill haunted enemies. These possessed punching bags bear a telltale green glow and can be found throughout the galaxy. And while you only need the base game of Borderlands 3 to participate, ghostly foes can also be found in DLC locations like The Handsome Jackpot, Xylourgos, Gehenna, and even Krieg's Mind (DLC add-ons available for purchase separately). Killing haunted enemies spawns fearsome specters, which you’ll have to kill to collect that precious, precious Hecktoplasm.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: The Commercial that Killed a Fast Food Chain. Never heard of Rax before. Thanks RedEye9.

ExoCorps Early Access

Early Access to ExoCorps is now underway on Steam, offering a new first-person shooter for Windows with a 20% launch discount. This allows you to don your jetpack-powered Exosuit and do battle, and you can see the influence of Tribes in the Early Access Trailer. Word is this has taken 10 years to get to this point: "ExoCorps has been a decade in the making and we’re thrilled to finally unleash its first public release," says Lead Developer, Artist and Designer Garin Mazaika. "We wanted to capture that Iron Man experience of cruising through the skies, managing a vast array of futuristic machinery while facing off against other super-powered foes. We think ExoCorps fulfills those fantasies!" Here's more:
Drawing gameplay inspiration from classic game titles such as Counter-Strike and Tribes, with a dash of the epic aerial duels featured in animes such as Macross, ExoCorps is a multiplayer arena FPS set in the near future. An international initiative is testing new military technologies for use across the globe and into the solar system. Players use powerful exo-suits equipped with full-flight jetpacks and tactical subsystems to engage each other across large landscapes equivalent to several square kilometers.

Managing your power is key to mastering ExoCorps’ unique blend of aerial firefights and stealth, as your ammo and health draw from the same pool. Your Multirifle is six guns in one, but the more you shoot, the weaker you are. And the more you fly, the more detectable you are, thanks to your heat seeking missiles and radar. This can organically create cat-and-mouse gameplay, where players silently stalk each other, interrupted by intense chases and firefights.
Continue here to read the full story.

FIFA 21 Kicks Off

Electronic Arts announces the release of EA SPORTS FIFA 21, the latest installment in their association football/soccer series. The Windows edition is available on Origin and Steam, while the console versions are in their respective stores with the promise of free next-gen upgrades when the time comes. Here's the previously released Official Gameplay Trailer and here's a bit on the game:
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) launched EA SPORTS™ FIFA 21, where players can manage every moment of their team’s journey with new additions to Career Mode or immerse themselves in the soul of the streets with groundbreaking updates to VOLTA FOOTBALL, which offers more ways to play with friends online. Combined with the most intelligent gameplay to date and new social experiences in FIFA Ultimate Team™, fans can discover unrivaled authenticity on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and PC via Origin™ and Steam.

This year, more players than ever before are jumping into the game early, with over 2.3 million players worldwide already experiencing the excitement of stepping out on the virtual pitch through EA Play**. Players have also been busy creating their dream squads, with more than 3 million squads created to date.
Continue here to read the full story.


OUTRIDERS was originally announced for release this past summer, but now Square Enix announces People Can Fly's sci-fi shooter will come out on February 2, 2021. "We’re taking a little bit longer to ensure players have the best possible experience with OUTRIDERS," explains Square Enix's Lee Singleton. "We’re also including new features like Cross-Play which will make our game much more accessible on all platforms." They illustrate the news with a Release Date Announce Trailer. Here are the details:
SQUARE ENIX® is excited to announce that OUTRIDERS™, the RPG-Shooter where survival demands aggression, from People Can Fly, the developers of Gears of War: Judgment and BULLETSTORM, and Square Enix External Studios, the minds behind SLEEPING DOGS® and JUST CAUSE®, will be releasing on February 2nd, 2021.

OUTRIDERS will feature full cross-play compatibility across all formats, meaning players across PS4™, PS5™, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and Stadia will be able to play together regardless of what platform they are on.
Continue here to read the full story.

Still Even More Steam Demos

The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition is still producing more demos than an imbalanced Team Fortress 2 match:

  • The Fabled Woods
    Welcome to The Fabled Woods, a dark and mysterious narrative short story. Despite the picturesque beauty, ugly and terrible secrets lurk among the shifting boughs, darkness that no amount of dappled sunlight can erase. Take the first step, and experience an unforgettable journey.
  • Farmer's Life
    Life of a farmer is filled with stench, filth and hard work. Kashmir is an old bachelor, farmer and an alcoholic.... Help him survive as long as possible in the middle of east-european nowhere. Your life rhythm will be determined by seasons, wildlife will threaten your life and the land will be hard to work with.
  • The Hand of Merlin
    The Hand of Merlin is a turn-based rogue-lite RPG in which Arthurian legend clashes with sci-fi horror. Recruit mortal heroes and explore medieval lands assaulted by an otherworldly evil. Search for the lost fragments of your soul, scattered across the multiverse - and save as many worlds as you can.
  • House Builder
    They say a man must do three things in his life: plant a tree, beget a son and build a house. We can’t help you out with the tree neither with the son, but you can build as many houses as you like while playing House Builder.
  • Party Animals
    Fight your friends as puppies, kittens and other fuzzy creatures in PARTY ANIMALS! Paw it out with your friends both online and offline. Interact with the world under our realistic physics engine. Did I mention PUPPIES?
  • Pumpkin Jack
    Pumpkin Jack is a Spooky Scary 3D platformer in which you embody Jack, the Mythical Pumpkin Lord! Dive into an Epic Adventure through otherworldly landscapes and help the Evil annihilate the Good!

Adventures of Chris Released

The Adventures of Chris are now underway, as this superhero adventure is now available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Switch. The PC editions can be found on and Steam. The Launch Trailer sets up the story, and the description fills in the details:
Oh wow, I'm actually kinda surprised you scrolled down this far...that's awesome! My name's Chris, and I'm so excited to tell you about my game! It’s a ‘90s-inspired adventure platformer about the totally normal adventures I went on as a chubby kid back in 1995 - traveling the world, learning useful abilities, and, naturally, getting kidnapped and turned into a balloon by cartoon villains. Thankfully, I escaped and learned to use my transformation as a kind of superpower. I got to learn all kinds of cool stuff - how to throw fireballs and lightning, how to bounce around like a basketball and rocket around the earth. It's a neat story...I think. I really hope you'll enjoy it - I had a lot of fun making it!
Continue here to read the full story.

Marvel's Avengers Assembling New Content

Kotaku has a statement from Crystal Dynamics expressing confidence that they can reverse the trend in Marvel's Avengers as player counts decline in the superhero game due to lack of content. They don't specify when it will happen, but they say more missions are on the way, promising a blog update with more details next week. Here's word:
As such, we have a number of new content pieces coming in the weeks ahead including: a totally new War Zone mission type called Tachyon Rifts, a new Outpost that’s a jumping off point for new story missions in the future, and AIM’s Cloning Lab, which requires a coordinated high-level group of four players to beat with new top-end loot rewards for finishing it. And in each of these updates we do tuning and bug fixing to enhance the overall experience.

In addition, we’ve announced two new Heroes coming in the near future: Kate Bishop in Operation: Taking AIM, and after that the double-feature Operation starring Clint Barton… this is the “two Hawkeyes” we mentioned in the last War Table. These new Operations pick up right from where the main Reassemble campaign ended in the core game and will propel the overall world story forward with new mysteries and villains, as well as new multi-player content.

Lastly, we will continue to add new content to the game in the coming months as we address issues and overall game balance, including loot distribution and quality of life features everyone is clamoring for to improve our day-to-day experience from accessibility to co-op communication tools to balancing the economy!
Continue here to read the full story.

Ben 10: Power Trip Released

Ben 10: Power Trip is now available for Windows and consoles, offering a co-op open-world adventure based on the Cartoon Network series. The PC version is available on Steam. The Launch Trailer has a look at the game, and the announcement explains this road-trip:
Ben 10: Power Trip takes Ben and his family on an epic quest across Europe as he battles the evil magician Hex and uncovers the truth behind four mysterious crystals that threaten to take over his world. Players will be able to transform into powerful aliens and work together to battle fearsome foes in this co-op open world, adventure. Solve fun puzzles, use your skills to help out the townspeople you meet, and collect power-ups to upgrade your aliens. And explore the cities, forests and mountains of Europe on your way to the final showdown against villainous Hex.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday Blue's News, as it was 24 years ago today on October 9, 1996 that blue's Quake Rag moved from my personal homepage to its own domain and adopted its new name (and a capital "B"). Today's logo commemorating the anniversary was created by Walter "2" Costinak in 2008.

A lot has happened over all those years, and there are so many people to thank that I'm sure I'll forget someone, so apologies in advance. But thank you to Redwood and Joost Schuur for helping get the word out early on. To Mike Wilson for the invitation to the QuakeWorld launch event and to all the game developers who provided cooperation and friendship over the years to this press scum. To Mike and Brian at Fluxx Designs for helping get the new domain. To furn and Bagpuss for their programming back in the day. To Walter "2" Costinak for the site design and all those logos. To loonyboi for all his contributions. To Verno, JDreyer, and drayth for taking on the thankless job of forum moderation. Special thanks to Kxmode for his truly Herculean efforts at dragging our old code into the modern age with his mobile conversion and other contributions toward making everything work better under the hood here. And more so than any other individual, thank you to Frans, whose tireless volunteer efforts over two decades have kept this site going and moving forward. There's no doubt that without him, you would not be reading these words today. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the many who have taken the effort to send in news tips and links, starting with Ant and the tireless Neutronbeam as well as other current contributors like Acleacius, A51Abductee, j.c.f., RedEye9, Max, Simon, and ConsoleGenRL (I know I'm forgetting some, so apologies). Thanks as well to the many others who contributed so much in the past, including (but certainly not limited to) Mike Martinez, Enahs, Randy Perry, Apache, James Fudge, nin, Frans, loonyboi, and so many more. And finally, thanks to all of you. Many of you have been here this whole time, which is pretty boggling, and special gratitude to those who signed up as supporters when we offered that option earlier this year. This proved to be vital to being able to continue on as the pandemic devastated advertising revenue. I know that's a lot, and as I say, I know this is woefully incomplete due to my faulty memory, so one last time, apologies to the deserving I've failed to mention.

I'm greatly looking forward to our 25th anniversary next year, and the next 25 years after that. Excelsior!

Anniversary Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link





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