Archived News:

Monday, Dec 14, 2020

Ubisoft Holiday Giveaways This Week

UBISOFT'S HAPPY HOLIDAYS is offering giveaways from Ubisoft every day between now and Friday. Today's holiday gift is the Assassin's Creed Valhalla Rewards pack. This is available for owners of the game on all platforms, offering the Seafarer Settlement Pack and the legendary Bayek outfit for Eivor. We'll need to check in tomorrow to see what their next giveaway will be.

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Released, Patched

We failed to mention the release of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, but the virtual reality installment in the World War II shooter series launched on Steam on Friday. The Launch Trailer offers a look, and word is: "A deep single-player campaign takes you through historic events on land, air, and sea, sabotaging Nazi bases, subverting enemy plans, aiding the French Resistance, and much, much more." As noted in this post, a new "small game update" is now available that brings the game up to version 1.19. Here's more on the game:
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is an action-packed, immersive VR experience set in World War II, where you step into the boots of an agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in war-torn Europe. A deep single-player campaign bursting with authentic detail takes you through historic events on land, air, and sea, sabotaging Nazi bases, subverting enemy plans, aiding the French Resistance, and partaking in the biggest moments of the war.

In addition to the rich narrative campaign, you’ll be able to hone your skills in challenging combat exercises, go deeper into the history with award-winning short films created just for the game, and test yourself against your fellow soldiers in explosive, fast-paced multiplayer matches. Multiplayer modes take place on numerous sites across Europe and feature competitive modes where you fight alone, with a team, or even scramble to plant and diffuse timed explosives.

You’ll need more than good aim to succeed in your mission. Use anything in the world as cover, throw back enemy grenades, swim from sinking ships, and dive out of burning airplanes. You’ll have to stay on your toes if you want to make it out alive. You’re not watching history, you’re experiencing it, like never before.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Hub Full Launch

Valve announces that the new Steam Hub that launched as a Steam Labs Experiment in September is now live. This replaces the old news page to offer everyone a personalized news feed. This post has complete details, and here's an overview:
Full integration of the Steam News Hub is now complete and available to everyone on Steam. The old news page has gone away, making the Hub the source for Steam news. Through the service, players may browse a personalized Hub to easily find updates, news from dozens of news organizations, announcements, and events for the games they play and/or have an interest in following. Includes options for receiving email and mobile alerts.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone Season One Battle Pass Wednesday

A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone Season One Battle Pass will launch on Wednesday. This will feature 100 tiers, offering the new Operator "Stitch," two free weapons, four fresh mixtapes for Wartracks, up to 1,300 Call of Duty Points and more. This trailer offers a look while this post has all the details, including this overview:
Each season of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone comes with a Battle Pass System, which allows you to earn a selection of free items, including two new base weapons, several Weapon Blueprints, up to 300 COD Points, and more.

If you want to unlock more content through this system, purchase the Season One Battle Pass. By getting the Battle Pass, you’ll be able to get access to all 100 tiers, rather than just the free tiers included with the system.

Some tiers within the Battle Pass include two rewards: one for Black Ops Cold War and one for Warzone. These are marked within the Battle Pass, offering those who own Black Ops Cold War with their own special item in addition to one they can use in Warzone.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fortnite Performance Mode Alpha Tomorrow

Epic Games announces an alpha "performance mode" will come tomorrow to Fortnite, offering relief for playing the survival/battle royale shooter on lower spec systems. Here's an overview:
Beginning December 15th, we’re launching a new performance mode on all PCs that meet Fortnite’s minimum specifications. Available in Alpha, Performance Mode will be selectable through the in-game settings menu and offers significant performance gains by trading out visual quality to lower memory usage and lighten the load on CPU and GPU. For players already on low scalability settings or less powerful hardware, this mode will allow the game to run better than ever before and maintain a smoother framerate.

Performance Mode is opt-in for most users and will launch with support for Battle Royale and Creative mode only. Users running on older hardware will see a prompt pushing them to the mode to try it out as the recommended way to experience the game. Performance Mode can be enabled or disabled at any time through the in-game settings menu and restarting the game.

On Sale

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Evening Multiplex

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: One Toke Over The Line - Lawrence Welk - WTF! (1971) (video).

EA Confirms Codemasters Bid

Electronic Arts announces they have reached an agreement to purchase Codemasters for approximately USD$1.2 billion. This confirms yesterday's report that they stepped in with a bid on the racing game developer. This is despite an announcement last month that Codemasters was being purchased by Take-Two Interactive. So this may not be over yet, as Take-Two responds by announcing: "Take-Two is considering its position in relation to Codemasters and a further announcement will be made when appropriate." Here's more on the EA bid:
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) announced that it has reached an agreement with the Board of Codemasters for the recommended acquisition of Codemasters, the UK-based game developer and publisher. In the transaction, Codemasters' shareholders will be entitled to receive 604 pence (approximately US$7.98*) in cash for each ordinary share of Codemasters with an implied enterprise value of US$1.2 billion*. The acquisition is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of calendar 2021.

“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category. The Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA’s knowledge, resources and extensive global scale – both overall and specifically within the racing sector. We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience,” said Gerhard Florin, the Chairman of Codemasters.

CD PROJEKT RED on Cyberpunk 2077 on Last-Gen Consoles

A tweet from CD PROJEKT RED expresses apologies for the poor performance of Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (thanks Simon). They outline what's being done about this and offer refunds to dissatisfied customers for the next week:
First of all, we would like to start by apologizing to you for not showing the game on base last-gen consoles before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase. We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Second, we will fix bugs and crashes, and improve the overall experience. The first round of updates has just been released and the next one is coming within the next 7 days. Expect more, as we will update frequently whenever new improvements are ready. After the holidays, will continue working will release two large patches starting with Patch #1 in January. This will be followed by Patch #2 in February. Together these should fix the most prominent problems gamers are facing on last-gen consoles. We will be informing you about the contents of each patch ahead of their release. They won't make the game on last-gen look like its running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now.
Continue here to read the full story.

Vin Diesel Joins Studio Wildcard

Studio Wildcard has more on the recent announcement of Ark II with more details on the prehistoric action sequel and the Ark animated series. This includes word that Vin Diesel has joined the developer as President of Creative Convergence and will be serving as an executive producer as well as talent:
ARK II thrusts players into a brutal new world of primitive survival against both beast and man, facing down the ever-present threats of hyper-realistic intelligent dinosaurs, aggressive alien fauna, and the exotic environments of an unearthly planet. Survivors will continue ARK's dramatic eons-spanning story of humankind's evolution, in this next-generation sandbox survival experience!

As Wildcard’s President of Creative Convergence, Diesel will act as an executive producer of ARK II, where he stars as Santiago, a fully rendered hero protagonist, as well as EP of the newly announced “ARK: The Animated Series,” where his character will cross over from the video game.
Continue here to read the full story.


THE GAME OF LIFE 2 is now available on Steam, offering a digital sequel to the classic board game. Developer Marmalade Game Studio offers this trailer showing off the game along with the following details:
THE GAME OF LIFE 2 is the official contemporary sequel to Hasbro’s THE GAME OF LIFE board game. Marmalade’s adaptation of the original, world famous life simulation game has been a best seller on both mobile and PC. With more choices and more freedom, players will have a lot of life to live this holiday season!

Marmalade have made a number of well-placed updates to gameplay and visuals. In doing so, they’ve crafted a contemporary experience more relatable to the journeys of modern life. For example, wealth is no longer the only path to success. Players can also earn points for knowledge and personal happiness!

With important crossroad moments found throughout the game, it's never too late to get married and go back to school, or even choose a new career and become a successful Video Blogger. Players can fill their house with children, or pets! The choice is theirs!
Continue here to read the full story.

League of Maidens Open Alpha in February

Indie developer Maiden Gaming announces League of Maidens, an action/RPG that will offer free open alpha testing on Steam on February 25th. An Official Launch Trailer shows off gameplay where the game's titular maidens attempt to protect the Earth through the power of ridiculous bewbs. Here's word:
League of Maidens® is a FREE TO PLAY online action RPG game that features beautiful maidens with guns and super powers by the 3-man indie studio Maiden Gaming. League of Maidens features a unique blend of 3rd person 360 degree land, sea and air movement with classic gun controls and action combat melee and super power mechanics. Not only can you battle it out on the battlefield or complete quests, CREATE.POSE.SHARE.QUEST.BATTLE mechanics allow players to spend 100s of hours in our in-depth character customization system, pose created characters with our free Pose3D (4K Photos) and Motion3D (Videos) tools as well as share created characters, poses, scenes and photos with fellow players across the world.
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

  • Kotaku - Games Made Under Crunch Conditions Don’t Deserve ‘Best Direction’ Awards. Thanks Slashdot via Ant.
    "Hades—and, tacitly, those directing its development at Supergiant—was up for the Best Direction award last night too. It’s a great game, just as good as The Last of Us Part II and arguably better in some ways. Why it didn’t win Game of the Year is a subjective discussion I’m not interested in right now, but Hades deserved to win for Best Direction, at least more so than The Last of Us Part II, thanks to the studio’s meaningful avoidance of crunch culture across its various projects."

Out of the Blue

I mentioned the other day that I had a load of wood pellets to store and how much I was dreading the chore. Then I remembered seeing a neighbor using a convertible hand truck to haul his pellets around to the back of our units, where they could go straight into the lower level through the patio doors. So I headed off to the home improvement store for a hand truck. This allowed me to haul four bags of pellets at a time. I could have done more, except a lot of this was over grass, and the smaller front wheels on the truck would bog down (it didn't help that it was raining lightly). This was easier than lugging the bags down the stairs one-by-one, but that still doesn't mean it was easy. But I'll take it, and will continue to look for ways to make this arduous task easier.

Obituary: John le Carré, author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, dies aged 89.
Obituary: Windows gaming pioneer Eric Engstrom dies at 55.

Truckin' Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Thanks RedEye9.



The Funnies

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