Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020

Ubisoft Club and Uplay PC Changes

Ubisoft Support announces changes coming to Ubisoft Club and Uplay PC, which will merge together under the name of Ubisoft Connect on October 27th. They say they will unlocked rewards for legacy games that are not making the transition. Here's a Ubisoft Connect Launch Trailer and here's the plan:
Ubisoft Club and Uplay PC will become Ubisoft Connect on October 27th 2020.

In the period between October 21st 2020 and October 27th 2020 we will be performing the necessary changes for the transition.

Rewards will be temporarily unavailable in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Rainbow Six: Siege and Steep.

We will also UNLOCK ALL REWARDS for older Ubisoft titles that will not fully TRANSITION to Ubisoft Connect.

Between October 26th 2020 and October 27th 2020 there will be a maintenance to UPDATE THE UPLAY PC CLIENT and Ubisoft Club services to Ubisoft Connect and our webpages with the new Ubisoft Connect branding.
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Rune II Lawsuit Alleges Sabotage

Publisher Ragnarok returned to court to pursue their lawsuit against members of defunct developer Human Head over the circumstances surrounding the closure of Human Head and its impact on the release of Rune II. This new complaint accuses Nine Realms (Human Head), Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Media, Roundhouse Studios, Chris Rhinehart, Ben Gokey, Paul MacArthur, Rob Edgar and 20 "Does" of a variety of charges, including Breach of Contract, Fraudulent Concealment, Conversion, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Unfair Business Practices, and Tortious Interference. It's a mass of legalese, but there's a post on Gamasutra that sorts through it. Here's a bit:
Ragnarok alleges that Human Head and Bethesda/ZeniMax conspired for months to undermine the release of Rune 2, pointing to the conflict surrounding its source code and the fact that the game’s launch was overshadowed by the Roundhouse news as evidence of this fact. Throughout the legal complaint, Ragnarok says that Bethesda and ZeniMax nudged that effort along out of fear that Rune 2 would compete in some way with its own game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

According to the lawsuit, the staff and equipment of Human Head was acquired by ZeniMax nearly a week before the closure was announced or before Rune 2 would release. It also argues that ZeniMax played a key part in Human Head’s plans to dodge agreements with the wronged publishers behind this lawsuit, going so far as to say ZeniMax helped pen announcements and emails surrounding the shift.

“Bent on snuffing out potential competition, the conglomerate instructed its new employees to keep the merger secret and breach their contractual obligations. After the merger became public, the co-conspirators refused to turn over the games’ source code. This made a rescue of Rune 2 all but impossible. Through these actions, the co-conspirators undermined the release of Rune 2 and attempted to destroy any chance that Rune 2 or Oblivion Song might gain market share.”

Steam Digital Tabletop Fest Begins

The Steam Digital Tabletop Fest is now underway, offering a celebration of digital/physical game crossovers. This features presentations, livestreams, demos, and a sale on a bunch of games from the category. Here's a trailer and here's more on what this involves:
Featuring nearly 40 hours of premiere streaming events, the first-ever Steam Digital Tabletop Fest is on now thru Friday. In addition to the virtual let's plays, panels and talks happening during the Fest, Steam also running a Digital Tabletop Sale thru the weekend -- offering savings on hundreds of card, board, and tabletop-adjacent titles -- and featuring new demos.

Celebrating games that cross between physical and digital, the event is being produced in collaboration with Auroch Digital and aims to explore the fusion between physical and digital games with legendary designers, upcoming studios, and you.
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Interstellar Space: Genesis - Natural Law Announced

Praxis Games announces Interstellar Space: Genesis - Natural Law, the first expansion for Interstellar Space: Genesis, their 4X space strategy game. This is coming "soon" to Windows via Steam. They show this off in this new trailer highlighting the two new races this adds to the mix along with new rulers, new music, new leaders, and more. Here's an overview of what to expect:
For far too long, the desires of the galaxy lay ignored, neglected by its so-called most intelligent and advanced species. Little did they know that while the galaxy's demands may be delayed, they will not be so easily subdued. There is a natural order, an ordained path it longs to take, and there are laws far greater than their own that must be fully obeyed. Against near impossible odds, two newcomers arise, alleged champions for their cause, both of whom ready and willing to right that which they feel has gone wrong.

Expansion Overview
This expansion features 2 new races, each fully equipped with unique new capabilities which are also usable by custom races. It also includes 9 new fully animated ruler options, 4 new music tracks, and 4 new leaders!
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HUMANKIND in April; Stadia Demo Released

HUMANKIND is now available for pre-purchase on the Epic Games Store and Steam, paving the way for an April 2021 release for this historical strategy game that developer Amplitude Studios calls their magnum opus. There are bonuses to be had for this advance commitment, and there's also a Digital Deluxe Edition packed with more. The game is also coming to Google Stadia where there's now an OpenDev Beta you can sample for free for the next seven days. Here's a new Gameplay Trailer to celebrate the occasion, and here's word on the game:
HUMANKIND™ is a historical strategy game, where you’ll be re-writing the entire narrative of human history and combining cultures to create a civilization that’s as unique as you are.

Combine up to 60 historical cultures as you lead your people from the Ancient to the Modern Age. From humble origins as a Neolithic tribe, transition to the Ancient Era as the Babylonians, become the Classical era Mayans, the Medieval Umayyads, the Early Modern era British, and so on. Each culture will add its own special gameplay layer, leading to near-endless outcomes.
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Darkest Dungeon 2 EA Exclusive to the Epic Games Store in 2021

A new trailer from Red Hook Studios offers a teaser for Darkest Dungeon 2 called "A Glimmer of Hope." This concludes with word that the horror/RPG sequel is coming to Early Access on the Epic Games Store in 2021. According to a Darkest Dungeon 2 FAQ on Steam, the game will be exclusive to the Epic store until version 1.0, at which point it will come to other storefronts (thanks Gematsu). Here's an outlook on how long Early Access will run: "Darkest Dungeon 1 was in EA for 11.5 months. We find the yearlong period to be a good goal which allows for lots of additions and refinements but also doesn’t become a perpetual Early Access product. However, part of the benefit of Early Access is being able to adjust a bit to feedback, so we aren’t fixing that duration in stone at this time." Here's a brief description of the game:
The eagerly awaited follow-up to Red Hook's smash hit gothic horror RPG! DDII will test your mettle and drive you to the brink of madness. Armor yourself with purpose and provision your party for the journey ahead. It will be arduous.
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Stellaris: Necroids This Month

Paradox Interactive announces that the recently announced Necroids Species Pack will arrive for Stellaris on October 29th. This brings what they call "the spookiest expansion this side of the galaxy" just in time for Halloween. A new Date Announcement Trailer celebrates the news. Here's more on the Necroids:
Prepare to meet the Necroids, an intelligent species who believe that death is not the end, but rather the beginning of their journey. Necroids are known to spend their days excitedly studying in preparation for their eventual “transformation” in the Elevation Chamber. New cosmetic changes will reincarnate playthroughs of Stellaris for long time players, while also bringing new life to killer type empires. In total, the Necroids Species Pack includes:
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Dead by Daylight The Archives Tome V Released

Behaviour Interactive now offers The Archives Tome V, adding a new Tome and more to Dead by Daylight, their 4v1 multiplayer action game. This also kicks off a limited-time Halloween event and adds the latest phase of their incremental graphics overhaul. Here's an UNLEASHED Rift Overview Trailer and a Hallowed Curse Collection Trailer. Here's more on what's happening:
This Tome allows players to unlock memories for The Hillbilly, Nea Karlsson and The Blight. The Blight’s story is explored deeper as players have access to the conclusion of the original “Hallowed Blight” event storyline from 2018, as well as all past “Hallowed Blight” lore content.

For the first time since The Archives’ inception, a brand new Halloween themed challenge type is introduced: interacting with Pustula Plants. Once selected in the Auris Web, players will have to work with the plants to complete the challenge.

Within the Tome, players will be able to earn 4 progressively growing Pustula Plants Charms across the 4 levels. Players will also enjoy 30% off Auric Cells price on characters Adam Francis and The Clown between October 21st and October 28th to celebrate the release.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: "Archer" Renewed For A Twelfth Season. Danger zone!

Fallout 76 Free Week

You can now play Fallout 76 for free between now and October 26th to sample what the post apocalyptic RPG sequel has to offer. This is to "celebrate" October 23rd as the day the bombs drop in the game's story. You can pick up the Windows version on Steam and the Fallout 76 Website has details on other editions. This post has more on the plan, including in game events, associated sales, and the included chance to sample Fallout 1st with a preview of this premium service:
If you haven’t had the chance to jump into Fallout 76 yet, now is the best time! From now through October 26, you’ll be able to experience the entire game for free. This includes the base game experience, plus Wastelanders and Nuclear Winter.

As you play through Fallout 76, you’ll also be able to take advantage of all of the new features introduced in our One Wasteland Update, including enemy level rebalancing, which will let you play with anyone, anywhere in the wasteland. There’s also a brand-new Daily Ops system, which rewards you just for playing and completing challenges. Learn more about everything the One Wasteland Update has to offer here.

And, if you decide to get Fallout 76 when the Free Play Week is over, not only will all your progress carry over, but the game and all available content bundles will be on sale!
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Devolver Digital Acquires Croteam

Devolver Digital announces the acquisition of Croteam, the Croatian developer of the Serious Sam series (thanks Gematsu). Here's the wedding announcement:
Nearly thirty years ago, a group of childhood friends got together to start Croteam from a small garage in Zagreb. The fledgeling studio was built around creative experimentation, pushing technical boundaries, and a trust in one another that would span decades. The team dabbled in soccer / football games before putting together a dazzling tech demo that would eventually become Serious Sam and change the path of the studio forever. But it was a struggle to sign the Serious Sam demo with a publisher and only one label - Gathering of Developers - showed interest and support. That support blossomed into friendship and respect which would eventually reconnect Croteam with some of the Gathering of Developers team when they later helped found Devolver Digital.

A decade ago Devolver Digital was just getting started and looking for its first project to partner on in the emerging digital distribution world. Similarly, Croteam was on the search for a partner it could trust to help them bring their beloved franchise back to prominence with the upcoming Serious Sam 3. And like that, the next big Serious Sam game brought old partners back together and forged a decade of friendship and dedication.
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ScourgeBringer Leaves Early Access

Publisher Dear Villagers and developer Flying Oak Games announce that ScourgeBringer has graduated Early Access, and this roguelike platformer is now officially available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on the Epic Games Store,, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass for PC, as well as for Xbox One and Switch. This comes along with a major content update, and you can read all about what that adds in this post on Steam. Here's an Animated Release Trailer, and here's word on the scourge that this release brings:
ScourgeBringer aims to channel the mystery and rawness of an early rogue-platformer, with fluid control, aerial combat, pixel graphics and a punchy soundtrack. The story follows hero Kyhra, who is sent away to uncover the secrets of an Eldritch monolith which is threatening to destroy her world. Armed with her trusty combat drone, she must shoot and slash her way through the infinite depths of an ever-changing dungeon, wherein gigantic bosses, ancient machines, strange ghosts and untold secrets from previous explorers await. There is no backtracking, as the game’s structure follows a procedural combination of pre-built challenge rooms, not unlike the Binding of Isaac.
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Solasta: Crown of the Magister Early Access

Early Access to Solasta: Crown of the Magister is now underway on Steam, offering a turn-based tactical RPG for Windows based on the Dungeons & Dragons version 5.1 Systems Reference Document. There is also a Supporter Pack DLC for this, which is free for those who backed the project on Kickstarter. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer with a look and here's a rundown on what to expect:
Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a party-based adventure where each character plays a critical role in the campaign and can be a hero. The dynamic and mysterious world features elements of verticality, allowing players to use their surroundings as an element of strategy. Players can position ranged characters on high vantage points or send their thief down into shafts and caverns to scope out what lies ahead.

In Solasta: Crown of the Magister, light is a tool to explore the depths and hollows of dungeons or can be used as a weapon against the creatures in the dark, but if players aren’t careful, it will give away the party’s position to nasty creatures bent on their demise.
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The Captain is Dead in February; Demo Released

Thunderbox Entertainment announces a February 1, 2021 release date for The Captain is Dead, the upcoming PC game based on the board game of the same name. This is exactly one year after the February 1, 2020 release date the game carried when it was first announced. In the meantime a playable demo for this Windows and macOS turn-based, survival/strategy game is available on Steam. Here's word on this game where you must take charge of the ship after, rather than Ensign Redshirt, it's the captain who meets his titular demise on one of his habitual away missions. Here's a recent Teaser Trailer and here is the captain's log:
Based on the frantic and fun board game, The Captain is Dead puts you in charge of crew members on a besieged starship. You must co-ordinate the crew to repair critical systems and fend off hostile aliens, or you will share the captain’s fate. From the Chief Engineer, Weapons Officer, and visiting Admiral, all the way down to the Ensign and the ship’s Janitor, you must combine your unique talents to avoid utter annihilation in the cold depths of space!

Step into the Captain's chair and command the crew! Each team member has a very particular set of skills that you'll need to leverage to the full if you want to survive, including...
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Fortnite Slims Down After Patch

This tweet announces a new version 14.40 patch is now available for Fortnite, Epic's battle royale/survival game. As detailed in this post this brings Fortnitemares 2020 event to celebrate Halloween. And as noted in this follow-up tweet, this larger-than-usual update is a diet patch of sorts, as it reduces the game's footprint, and will also result in smaller patches in the future:
Please note the patch size will be larger than normal on PC (approx. 27 GB). This is to make optimizations on PC resulting in a massively reduced Fortnite file size (over 60 GB smaller), smaller downloads for future patches, and improved loading performance.

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape Next Month

EA and Maxis announce The Sims 4 Snowy Escape will come on November 13th to the PC and console editions of The Sims. We hoped this would put your little people on a major cocaine binge, but as shown in this trailer, we see that this is about taking a vacation to engage in some winter sports. There's more on the official website. Here's a description:
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and Maxis™ today announced that The Sims™ 4 Snowy Escape is coming to PC and Mac via Origin™ and Steam, Xbox One and PlayStation®4 systems on November 13. The 10th expansion pack introduces the majestic and serene world of Mt. Komorebi, a new location for Sims looking for a getaway from their everyday lives or a new dream home.

The Japanese-inspired world offers a variety of activities for Sims to enjoy, from unwinding in the mountain’s onsen bathhouse, meditating on mindful walks or testing their limits with exciting, and sometimes dangerous sports activities like skiing, snowboarding and rock climbing.
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Out of the Blue

Gone But Not Forgotten: Compaq. Well, almost forgotten, but not completely. I certainly still recall the early days of PCs when I had a considerable case of Compaq envy. But they were way out of my price range, so I went for a far lesser clone as my first PC in the 1980s. I built every desktop PC I've owned since then except for one Velocity Micro box around 20 years ago. I got that as a way to get top-of-the-line CPU that was hard to find at the time. It didn't work out as planned, as I was never able to get that CPU to run without crashing on any other motherboard than the original. But in around 35 years of owning PCs, that was the closest I came to an actual name-brand computer, not counting laptops.

Name-Brand Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.



The Funnies

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