Archived News:

Friday, May 14, 2021

Subnautica: Below Zero Leaves Early Access

Subnautica: Below Zero has surfaced from Early Access on Steam, offering Unknown Worlds' sequel to the underwater adventuring of Subnautica. Word is: "Subnautica: Below Zero is a new chapter in the Subnautica universe that will drop players into a freezing underwater adventure, set after the events of the original Subnautica. Below Zero challenges players to survive the icy biomes of an alien planet by crafting tools and scavenging for supplies as players unravel its mysteries." Here's a thread from yesterday with some reviews you might want to check out. A new trailer comes up for air to show off some gameplay, and the announcement explains more:
Subnautica: Below Zero offers players a myriad of new challenges and tools to face them, including the Seatruck and Snowfox vehicles that offer new ways to traverse the frozen seascape. Alterra bases offer more variety than before with new room types and even jukeboxes. A stream of quality of life improvements have also been injected into the game for the official launch and throughout the early access period. New icy biomes above and below the surface encourage players to explore, improve their gear, and discover all corners of the map.

The Subnautica series has been critically acclaimed for its massive open world and immersive gameplay that tests how far players are willing to go in wonder of its ocean world. Subnautica: Below Zero features an all-new story, new land environments to explore, new technology to craft, and treacherous mysteries to uncover.
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition Multiplayer Still Possible

In an interview on CNET BioWare's Mac Walters and Kevin Meek discuss hopes that the just-released Mass Effect Legendary Edition will change players' opinions about the game's *spoiler.* Walters also answers a question about multiplayer support, saying it's possible this will return, depending on the overall response to the re-release:
Is there any possibility of the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode (which isn't in the Legendary Edition) coming back in some form? I got super into it back then because you could try all the different abilities and just zip around as an Asari or one of the other races.
Walters: I would never say no to that -- we want to see what kind of reception the Legendary Edition gets and what the demand for the multiplayer is. And then we'll ask ourselves if we have the resources and time to bring it up to the quality level we and fans want.

Knockout City Getting 9-day Free Trial

EA Games invites us all to a Knockout City Block Party. This explains that the promised free trial of the upcoming dodgeball game is going to be a 10-day party starting on day one. The free trial part of this is actually nine days, as it gets underway on May 21st at 8:00 am EDT and ends on May 30 at 8:00 am EDT. Word is: "This isn’t some level-capped, red-tape teaser with gated access, either. You’ll have the full game at your disposal—which is good, because you’ll want to try out all the new Contracts, Playlists, and content we’re releasing at launch without worrying about hitting an invisible barrier." Here's a Block Party Trailer and here's more:
Remember back in the early days of Knockout City™, when we casually mentioned there’d be a free trial of Knockout City at launch? What we didn’t tell you back then is we’ve secretly been planning an entire PARTY. Come to KO City for the ultimate Block Party, and bring your friends, because everyone is invited!

This ain’t no ordinary shindig, either. This event is going to be ten straight days of nonstop party-till-you-drop as we turn the excitement up to 11 with a free trial that lasts the entire length of the party. Here’s what you need to know so you can start gearing up to throw down!
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Call of Duty Bans

Quoth the raven, "nevermore!" Raven tweets that it is kicking off the weekend with a little workout for the old Call of Duty banhammer. Word is over a half-million Warzone cheaters have now shared this ignominious fate:
Banned over 30,000 malicious accounts across Call of Duty yesterday... bringing us to over half a million accounts banned in #Warzone.

Elite Dangerous Horizons and Odyssey Not Compatible

A post to the Frontier Forums from Frontier Community Manager Bruce G explaining that next week's launch of the new Odyssey expansion for Elite Dangerous will divide the community, as only owners of the expansion will be able to play the new Odyssey content (thanks Eurogamer). Odyssey players can also temporarily enter a Horizons mode to allow them to play with Elite Dangerous: Horizons owners (but not with Odyssey players). Here's word:
All Elite Dangerous: Odyssey players will gain access to the new features, including planetary improvements, enhanced lighting, and textures. The differences will mean that Elite Dangerous: Horizons players cannot share a gameplay session with those playing Odyssey. However, Odyssey owners will be able to share a session with and play with those in Horizons by launching the game in Horizons mode – though if they do this, they will temporarily not have access to the new Odyssey features.

cyberpunkdreams Released

Steam now offers cyberpunkdreams, an interactive fiction RPG for Windows and Linux from Late Night Games. Here's the recently released release trailer. For more, this post has details on a week of livestreams that are underway to celebrate the launch. Here's a bit to help decide if this is the cyberpunk of your dreams:
The city is spread before you, horizon to horizon, a vast sore squatting on the world. 24 million people, most of it lawless slum and favela. The last outpost of civilisation on the edge of the badlands. One of the most relevant, cosmopolitan cities in the world. Is it any wonder you ended up here?

cyberpunkdreams is an evolving text-based role-playing adventure with countless opportunities, and endless chances for destruction. Take on the role of a lone wanderer sent to the gates of 2090s Cincinnati. The dirt and grit from the badlands coats your clothes - with your memories torn from you, all you have is a weapon across your back and a mission to complete.
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Days Gone Preloads

With Days Gone set to launch on Tuesday, Steam is now offering preloads of this open-world action/adventure from developer Bend Studio and publisher PlayStation Mobile. This post has a PC Features Trailer and more on the launch:
We are only a few days away from the release of Days Gone on PC. If you Pre-Purchased Days Gone on Steam, you can pre-load it right now! Available to play on May 17 at 9:00 PM PDT/ May 18 at 12:00 AM EST.

If you missed any of our previous announcements, catch them here with our PC features trailer and the Days Gone PC - FAQ.
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Epic v. Apple Exhibits - Part XVI

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Released

As noted on the EA Website, the Mass Effect Legendary Edition is now available for Windows and consoles, offering the chance to once again shepard your crew through the epic space opera trilogy. The PC edition is available on Origin and Steam. There is no launch discount or break for owners of the original versions of these games. Steam does feature an ME3 Owner Offer which gives a 17% discount to owners of Mass Effect 3, though this also includes a Mass Effect 3 N7 Digital Deluxe Edition upgrade which pushes the price past that of the Legendary Edition alone. Here's yesterday's Community Tribute Trailer and here's more on the improvements in the new edition:
One person is all that stands between humanity and the greatest threat it’s ever faced. Relive the legend of Commander Shepard in the highly acclaimed Mass Effect trilogy with the Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition. Includes single-player base content and over 40 DLC from Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 games, including promo weapons, armors and
packs — remastered and optimized for 4K Ultra HD.

Experience an amazingly rich and detailed universe where your decisions have profound consequences on the action and the outcome.
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WoW Classic Clone Price Drop

After community outcry, a post to the World of Warcraft Forums has word from Blizzard of a significant price drop to clone players' characters for the Burning Crusade update for World of Warcraft Classic. While USD$15.00 may still seem steep, it's a significant discount off the original planned price of USD$35.00:
This service – providing a player with a second copy of a character in a different game – is new for us. Our original concept of the value of this service was largely based on how we price other optional items and services. We want players who choose Classic Era realms to feel as though their choice comes with the possibility that they’ll be able to build relationships and guilds with other players they can count on.

However, over the last week or so, we’ve gotten a very large amount of feedback from the community, and we’ve decided to lower the price. A lower price will likely still accomplish our goals with the new service, while allowing many more players to explore the option of playing characters on both Classic Era and Burning Crusade Classic realms.

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to lower the price of a cloned character in WoW Classic to $15.00 USD ($20.00 CAD, $20.00 AUD, $24.00 NZD). You’ll see the lower price in-game when the service becomes available next week.
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Viscerafest Early Access Next Week

Stock up on the cleaning supplies, as publisher 1C Entertainment announces Viscerafest, a single-player arena FPS from Acid Man Games and Fire Plant Games, will come to Early Access on Steam on May 20th. The previously released Announcement Trailer shows off the game's retro style and its colorful, fast-paced gameplay. Here are the visceral details:
The year is 3796, and you are Caroline. A bloodthirsty, psychopathic mercenary who wants nothing more than to marry her wonderful boyfriend Athens Fetter. Problem is money's tight, and rings aren't exactly cheap. But thankfully there may be hope for her yet, as a warlock named Cromune has acquired a rather hefty bounty on his head. He's being accompanied by a small fraction of the U.S.C. (The United Scientific Conglomerate) Lead by Dr Mortice. Which means he's got a small army defending him. But what's an army to someone who's taken on a legion? What're a few hundred soldiers to death incarnate? Nothing but a slaughter... Nay... A viscerafest.
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Highrise City Announced

Deck13 announces Highrise City, an upcoming city-building/management game with lofty ambitions. Fueled by a megagrant from Epic, this is in the works at German indie developer FourExo Entertainment using the Unreal Engine 4. This is coming to GOG.com where it's "coming soon" and Steam, which lists a 2022 release date. The Announcement Trailer shows off a city, a bunch of highrises, and a first look at gameplay. Here's word on the massive scope of the game which suggests that all those skyscrapers will not forestall urban sprawl:
Highrise City is the next evolution of City Simulations. Experience a modern take on the genre enriched with a complex resource based economy system. Highrise City combines two genres in new and interesting ways: City Builders and traditional Economy & Resource Management Simulations. Highrise City offers you challenging gameplay and gives you all the possibilites and tools you need to create a living and breathing city. Take care of your city and make it grow and flourish into a giant Metropolis!
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BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2 Terminal Updates Updated

Ziggurat Games announces the release of new "Ultimate Updates" for the enhanced "Terminal Cut" editions of BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2. These are free to owners of either game on GOG.com or Steam, offering some final enhancements for the updated vampiric action games. Here's more on the fresh blood these updates bring:
The Ultimate Update Features:

  • (Steam) Trading Cards, badges, and emoticon support have all been added
  • (GOG) Wallpapers in HD resolutions are available in the game extras folder
  • BloodRayne: Terminal Cut
    • Textures on enemy models restored to their original console version aesthetic
    • Japanese voice-acting and subtitles added
    • Additional rendering improvements to water and other textures
    • Miscellaneous bugs fixed
  • BloodRayne 2: Terminal Cut
    • Ephemera boss fight rebalanced
    • Restoration of missing music and audio tracks
    • Improved graphical fidelity for bonus materials
    • Russian language localization improvements
    • Miscellaneous bugs fixed

Disco Elysium: A Final Cut Gets Australian Rating

Kotaku Australia announces that the Australian Classification Review Board has reversed its ruling that Disco Elysium: A Final Cut be refused classification in Australia. The refusal meant that the updated version of the murder mystery game would not be available down under. Now it has an R18+ rating, meaning it can be purchased by adults:
In the Review Board’s opinion, while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game. The game contains frequent strong coarse language, often used aggressively, which has a high impact. The themes within the game are related to a detective investigating a murder while also attempting to manage his own alcohol addiction, and getting his life back together after his substance abuse. The themes and drug references within the game are inextricably linked.

Battling Bugs

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

"All hail the burger!" That's the takeaway of a video entitled Americans Love Hamburgers from the NPD group, which occasionally analyzes market segments other than gaming. This celebrates the fact that May is apparently National Burger Month. I certainly do my part, as burgers are among my very favorite foods, and a mainstay in Manstovia. I try not to overdo anything, but I do make them two or three times a month over the summer. In fact, in a bit of a coincidence, I just made a couple yesterday. I'm also set to make good on a long-standing plan to take my burger game to the next level. I have a meat grinder that was purchased years ago to help prepare raw meals for Hudson the wonder dog and the Gunnar-Man. This can allow me to pick my own meat mix and grind the burgers myself. This is generally accepted as the easy way to get better ground beef. It is also the easy way to avoid the contamination concerns behind the recommendation that burgers be well-done for safety.

Well-Done Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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