Archived News:

Monday, Jan 11, 2021

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies Free Week Plans

Activision announces they will be offering one week of free access to the zombies mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War starting on Thursday. This first-ever free access to this mode celebrates a new mid-season update for the first-person shooter that adds a new zombies mode called Cranked, a new multiplayer map, a new 6v6 mode, new Warzone content, and more. This post has complete details on all the new content. Here's more:
Get ready for a massive new arena when your squad drops into Sanatorium, a low-wooded hills area where your team will unearth the clandestine secrets of Project Golova. Jump into a fleet of land, sea, and air vehicles and take the fight to the enemy in this sprawling new map.

Also coming with this update for Multiplayer is a brand-new 6v6 mode Dropkick, a frantic game of hot potato where two squads battle for control of a briefcase containing nuclear codes. Be the first team to score 200 points and set off an explosive ending!

Over in Zombies, get ready to crank up the intensity in Cranked, a frenetic mode where every kill resets the timer counting down your eventual doom. Spend too much time without a zombie takedown, and you’ll explode!

Lucasfilm Games Name Revived

The Star Wars Website announces a new era for Lucasfilm Games, which is basically that they will once again be selling games under the Lucasfilm Games label, a plan they first mentioned almost two years ago. Here's a new Lucasfilm Games Sizzle Reel along with the plan:
Lucasfilm’s legacy in gaming stretches back decades. And with Lucasfilm and the galaxy far, far away entering a new and unprecedented phase of creativity, so will the world of Lucasfilm Games — developed in collaboration with the finest studios across the industry.

StarWars.com is thrilled to reveal that Lucasfilm Games is now the official identity for all gaming titles from Lucasfilm, a name that encompasses the company’s rich catalog of video games and its eye toward the future. To mark this new era, Lucasfilm Games has launched social channels on Twitter (@LucasfilmGames) and Facebook (@LucasfilmGames), which will deliver breaking news and more directly to fans. You can watch a special sizzle reel celebrating the history of games from Lucasfilm below; the Lucasfilm Games logo, featured above, will appear in all future Lucasfilm Games titles.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition March Release Date Leaked?

This tweet from an Indonesian game seller is one of two listings that sets a March 12th release date for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. This release date for the space opera re-release has not been officially announced and is unconfirmed, but Eurogamer vouches for its accuracy: "barring any further delays, Eurogamer understands the above date to currently be accurate."

Nightdive Teases System Shock 2 Enhanced Edition VR Support

A tweet from Nightdive Studios answers the question "Is System Shock 2 EE still a thing?" It offers a glimpse of them playing their upcoming System Shock 2 Enhanced Edition in virtual reality to give a sense of where the project stands (thanks PC Gamer). They still don't say when they expect to release this, but it does indicate it will have VR support which will allow you to get a little exercise while you brain your enemies with a wrench.

Riot and Bungie Suing Cheat Makers

Riot and Bungie are teaming up on a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Lawsuit against Cameron Santos dba GatorCheats over alleged sales of cheat software for VALORANT and Destiny 2, the developers' respective first-person shooters. Polygon has the details. Here's a summary:
Bungie and Riot allege that Santos and the GatorCheats staff sell and distribute their cheating software through a website, but also via email, Telegram, and Discord. The software provided is specifically designed to go undetected by Riot and Bungie’s anti-cheat technology systems. Access to the cheating software ranges from $90 per month, up to $500 to lifetime access to the cheat. Lawyers allege that GatorCheats has made “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the cheats. (Valorant cheats are quite a bit more expensive than Destiny 2 software, according to the complaint.)

Pragmata Delayed

Pragmata has suffered a delay, as Capcom announced at CES that their dystopian near-future game is now due in 2023 just seven months after announcing it would come in 2022. This is reported on GameSpot where they say no new footage and no new details on the game were revealed at the show.

Disjunction This Month

Publisher Sold Out and developer Ape Tribe Games announce plans to release Disjunction on January 28th, a little after the summer 2020 release they promised when they announced this cyberpunk action/RPG. In the meantime, Steam offers a playable demo you can check out right now. Here's a new Gameplay Walkthrough Trailer and here are some details:
Inspired by tech noir classics, Disjunction is a sci-fi stealth-action RPG set in the dystopian underworld of 2048 New York, following three hardened citizens as they rise to uncover a conspiracy threatening to alter the city’s fate.

Featuring an interconnected narrative starring three playable characters, players can choose their playstyle and use an arsenal of futuristic tech, weaponry and cybernetic upgrades to engage in lethal, high-octane combat, or utilize distraction techniques and non-lethal attacks to stick to the shadows and evade detection. Experience a reactive story shaped by your actions, unlock cybernetic upgrades to augment your abilities, and crush entire factions or convince them to aid your cause. Your destiny is yours to write.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Polish Government Looking into Cyberpunk 2077

Benchmark reports (in Polish) that a Polish government consumer affairs organization called UOKiK (Office of Competition and Consumer Protection) is looking into the problems with the console editions of Cyberpunk 2077 (thanks Comicbook.com via Acleacius). The game has already been pulled from the PlayStation store and refunds have been offered, but the statement from a UOKiK spokesperson seems to indicate they remain interested in what CD PROJEKT RED is doing to make things right. Here's a translation:
We ask the entrepreneur to explain the problems with the game and the actions taken by him. We will check how the manufacturer is working on introducing corrections or solving difficulties that prevent the game from playing on different consoles, but also how it intends to act in relation to people who have complained and are dissatisfied with the purchase due to the inability to play the game on their equipment despite the manufacturer's previous assurances.

UK Sales Chart

Here's the top 10 from GfK Entertainment's new chart of the top-selling games in the UK for the week ending January 9th:

# Title Publisher Last Week
1 - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo 1
2 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Nintendo 3
3 Just Dance 2021 Ubisoft 5
4 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts 2
5 Assassin's Creed Valhalla Ubisoft 4
6 Ring Fit Adventure Nintendo 18
7 - Minecraft Nintendo 7
8 Grand Theft Auto V Take 2 9
9 Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Nintendo 10
10 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Activision Blizzard 6

Lilith Odyssey Revealed

A Steam Listing for Lilith Odyssey is now online as home to this survival/strategy adventure from Chaystar Unlimited that's coming to Early Access in May. This is set in space, where no one can hear you eat Nachos, as it is set in the cheesy aftermath of the "Great Nacho Wars." Here's an Announcement Trailer, and here's word on this game that's said to be inspired by Oregon Trail and No Man’s Sky:
Inspired by a nostalgia for Oregon Trail and the immersive depth of No Man’s Sky, Lilith Odyssey takes the survival strategy gameplay of a migration adventure and puts it in an oddball, low-poly galaxy filled with alien cultures and animals, space businesses, and the freedom to explore more than 1000 unique worlds.

With Lilith Odyssey, we aim to bring a fresh take to the space adventure genre by simulating an alien family’s migration across the cosmos. We want players to feel the challenge and mystery of a galactic journey. Flight sim mechanics are used to ride solar rays across vast distances, balanced with the strategy to manage supplies, defend against space- and ground-level threats, and explore opportunities for food, fuel and goods on alien worlds. Our hope is that the adventure captures the grand scale of long-distance space navigation and draws players into the civilization of a strange galaxy that comes with its own lingo, history and an in-game radio of original “pop hits” and ads. The story has a beginning and an end, but it’s the player’s leadership that defines the rest.
Continue here to read the full story.

Raging Blasters This Month

TERARIN GAMES announces plans to release RagingBlasters on January 22nd. This video shows off the game's throwback vertical shooter action, and Steam offers a playable demo if you want to check it our firsthand. Here's what to expect:
Game features:

  • Vertical scroll shooting featuring "high-speed scrolling" and "exhilaration of destruction".
  • There is an "arcade mode" consisting of all 8 stages and a "caravan mode" in which you compete for a 3-minute score.
  • Supports online ranking.
  • Supports local two-player cooperative play. You can also use Remote Play Together to play online with your Steam friends.

Continue here to read the full story.

Interstellar Space: Genesis on GOG.COM

Interstellar Space: Genesis is now available on GOG.COM along with the Natural Law and Soundtrack DLC for Praxis Games' 4X space strategy game. These all were originally released on Steam. GOG's DRM-free version of the base game is 50% off to celebrate its arrival.

Out of the Blue

I see you shiver with ant... icipation! Happy birthday Ant! Our favorite formicidian has been a loyal friend to this site for more than 23 years now, contributing countless tips about game news along with other links of interest. I just looked through the archive and it appears his first submissions were back on July 21, 1997 when he sent in two links, the first being a separated at birth about the resemblance between the Quake Marine and Captain Kangaroo. Happy birthday Ant, go celebrate by finding a picnic.

Obituary: Nancy Bush Ellis, Sister and Aunt of Presidents, Dies at 94 (may require registration or subscription).

Ant Hill Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Sunday, Jan 10, 2021

Steam Top 10

Here's the new rundown of the bestselling titles on Steam for last week. Many Bothans died to bring us this information:

  1. Rust.
  2. Valve Index VR Kit.
  3. Cyberpunk 2077.
  4. Sea of Thieves.
  5. Phasmophobia.
  6. Raft.
  7. Hades.
  8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Operation Broken Fang.
  9. Grand Theft Auto V.
  10. Red Dead Redemption 2.

Out of the Blue

On Friday we watched Alex Trebek's final Jeopardy episode. He died two months ago, but the fact that there were still new shows helped forestall the finality of the news. So I was awash once again with sadness when it ended, especially when it was followed with this wonderful tribute video. 2020 was a rough year and many people lost actual loved ones, so it seems a little superficial to morn the deaths of celebrities one hasn't met, so I don't mean to overstate the impact of this. But that said, over the year Alex was one of three of my favorite famous people who passed away (I guess it's a commentary on modern culture to feel so moved over the deaths of people you've never met). In addition to Alex, over the year Tom Seaver and Sean Connery also died, and both have also been giant figures in my life since my youth. Coincidental to the death of the quintessential James Bond actor was the loss of two of the most iconic "Bond girls," Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg, who in a further coincidence were both part of The Avengers TV series. And while he wasn't on the same pedestal as the other three, my favorite movie composer Ennio Morricone also died last year. Death is a part of life, and it's a surefire sign that one is aging when things like this happen, so there's nothing unnatural here, but I am very sorry to see all of them go.

Mournful Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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