Archived News:

Thursday, Aug 19, 2021 World Photography Day

Call of Duty: Vanguard Announced

The promised unveiling of Call of Duty: Vanguard took place within Call of Duty: Warzone today, with Activision announcing the next installment in the military shooter series will make its debut on November 5th in a return to the World War II setting. The Call of Duty Blog has the announcement along with a Reveal Trailer. Word is that the game will also feature a new Warzone experience "seamlessly integrated" into the game:
Scheduled to start November 5 players will turn the tides of war to experience World War II like never before in Call of Duty®: Vanguard. Alongside a seamlessly integrated, new Warzone experience coming later this year, the massive amount of Call of Duty content will provide players an unrivaled offering.

Vanguard delivers the complete package to Call of Duty fans across Campaign, online Multiplayer and Zombies co-operative modes. Players will witness the origins of Special Forces as they change the face of history, forming Task Force One in a sprawling World War II narrative campaign spanning the Eastern and Western fronts of Europe, the Pacific, and North Africa. Multiplayer features 20 maps on day one at launch. While Zombies fans will experience a signature undead gameplay experience, marking a franchise-first Zombies crossover for Call of Duty.
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Get Void Bastards and Yooka-Laylee for Free

The Epic Games Store now offers Void Bastards and Yooka-Laylee completely free as this week's promised freebies. Either or both can be yours to keep as long as you take advantage of the giveaways by next Thursday. At that time the store will be cooking up an Automachef giveaway as a goodwill gesture. Here's a quick pitch for each of this week's gifts:
Yooka-Laylee is an all-new open-world platformer from genre veterans Playtonic! Explore huge, beautiful worlds, meet (and beat) an unforgettable cast of characters and horde a vault-load of shiny collectibles as buddy-duo Yooka (the green one) and Laylee (the wisecracking bat with the big nose) embark on an epic adventure to thwart corporate creep Capital B and his devious scheme to absorb all the world’s books… and convert them into pure profit!

Forget everything you know about first-person shooters: Void Bastards asks you to take charge, not just point your gun and fire. Your task is to lead the rag-tag Void Bastards out of the Sargasso Nebula. You make the decisions: where to go, what to do and who to fight. And then you must carry out that strategy in the face of strange and terrible enemies.

Enhanced Quake Released

Well we didn't have to wait long for a payoff on the teasing of a "revitalized" version of Quake. There's background on this release in this article on the PlayStation.Blog. This post on Steam has release notes and a FAQ about a new update to the venerable first-person shooter that adds a bunch of modern touches. These include enhanced graphics with support for higher resolutions, the addition of the two official DLC packs, the full Trent Reznor soundtrack, a new episode, and more. This is all integrated into the version of the game sold on Steam, and if you already own that, then you have the new version at no additional cost. Here's the quick overview:
Quake – the legendary dark fantasy FPS that revolutionized the genre is now enhanced! This new offering features cross-play, dedicated servers for online deathmatch matchmaking, free optional Add-ons, split-screen support for local deathmatch and co-op, AI opponents in deathmatch and more!

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition Announced

Bethesda announces plans for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition, another new edition of the RPG that will arrive on November 11th, exactly 10 years after the game originally launched. This post has word from Bethesda Softworks on what to expect from this update:
Finally, we have some exciting announcements for the game itself. Current and future owners of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on any platform including Xbox Game Pass Subscribers will receive access to three free pieces of Creation Club content: Fishing, Survival Mode and even new quests with Saints and Seducers. Additionally, Skyrim Special Edition owners on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, as well as Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox Series X|S will receive a free upgrade to an enhanced version on November 11 for their respective PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S systems!

We’re also excited to announce the most definitive version of Skyrim to date: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition. In addition to the three free Creation Club items mentioned above, this version contains the full game plus all three expansions and over 500 pieces of unique content from Creation Club, including pre-existing and new quests, dungeons, bosses, weapons, spells and more!

Call of Duty: Warzone Battle of Verdansk Begins

The Battle of Verdansk is now underway in Call of Duty: Warzone, offering a time-limited event that will run until August 23rd in the Battle Royale. This post describes what this involves, breaks down the rewards you can expect, and even supplies some gameplay tips. Here's a bit explaining how this is not your grandfather's Verdansk:
A sight unseen on the Eurasian continent since World War II, this armored train could level Verdansk with its row of powerful tank turrets. The Operators set their charges to stop this monstrosity before it seizes the city, but fate prevails: the engine fires up, and the wheels are set into motion toward the Verdansk Train Station.

Amid the chaos, intel suggests that hostile bombers are flying in formation only a few klicks away from the city; despite this, every Operator must keep calm and carry the city on their shoulders, using everything they have to destroy this steamrolling death machine.

RiMS Racing Rolls Out in EU

Publisher NACON and developer RaceWard Studio have launched RiMS Racing in Europe, giving PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S gamers the chance to play this motorbike racing game. Word is: "The experts from Italian studio RaceWard have developed a game that gives players an unparalleled experience, blending driving and mechanics, pushing the limits of realism and customization." Gamers in North America don't have long to wait before getting hold of this, as it's slated to arrive in the new world on August 24th. Here's the Launch Trailer and more:
Racing conditions, riding style and mechanical status of the components have a direct impact on the motorbike’s behaviour. By taking the customisation to its most extreme level and thanks to a physics system offering unmatched precision, RiMS Racing highlights the connexion between each part and puts mechanics at the very core of the gameplay.

To ensure victory, players are able to fully disassemble their motorbike and replace every element to achieve the best possible setup by choosing over 500 official components: tyres, discs, callipers, pads, suspension, springs, air filters, exhausts, brake and clutch master cylinders, brake fluids, engine oils, ECUs, fairings… and many more.
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Syberia: The World Before in December

Microids announces December 10th is the release date for Syberia: The World Before, the upcoming new installment in the Syberia series. This includes details on a Digital Deluxe Edition of the adventure game as well as a preorder bonus if you purchase The World Before before its release. Here's the Official Release Date Trailer and here are the official release date words:
Gamescom 2021, Microids is delighted to announce the release date for Syberia: The World Before as well as the pre-order campaign opening and the content of the Digital Deluxe Edition with a brand new trailer! The game will launch December 10th on PC.

The saga created by the lamented author and comic book artist Benoît Sokal will take players on an incredible journey alongside the beloved character Kate Walker at the year’s end.

Tag along for a thrilling adventure with the rise of the fascist movement Brown Shadow as backdrop and discover the link between Kate Walker and Dana Roze as they face multiple threats in different time periods.
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Recompile Released

Recompile is now available for PC and consoles, offering a metroidvania hacking adventure from publisher Dear Villagers and developer Phigames. The Epic Games Store and Steam are where to find the Windows edition, which carries a 10% launch discount for the coming week. You can get a look at gameplay in the Launch Trailer and get an explanation of what that's showing us in this description:
Recompile features stunning visuals, intense combat, tight 3D platforming, and an environmental logic-based hacking mechanic. World obstacles include intelligent enemies and intricate environmental circuitry, and both require the mastery of new abilities such as time dilation and jetpack flight.

The game has multiple endings based on the player's actions; they can repair systems, restore lost data, hack or destroy enemies, all whilst uncovering the truth about the Hypervisor and the original purpose of the Mainframe.
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Evening Metaverse

Quake Gets New Beta and ESRB Listing

There's a new listing for Quake on the ESRB Website for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series. This further supports the recent leak that seemed to reveal a "revitalized" version of id Software's classic first-person shooter. But that's not all, as VG247 notes an update to SteamDB tracker has picked up a new update to Quake that includes a locked beta branch. QuakeCon 2021 gets underway today, and there has been speculation that all these clues will be paid off with an imminent announcement. We'll just have to wait and see.

GOG Games Festival

The GOG Games Festival is now underway on This will run for the next two weeks, bringing announcements, demos, and sale prices on hundreds of games. Things kick off with the announcement that the store will carry Psychonauts 2 upon its launch next week. This page has a list of other upcoming titles for the service. There's also the news that you can now pick up Quake II RTX on, offering another way to get this RTX-enhanced version of the classic FPS for free. More daily additions are planned. Here's the complete launch lineup:

  • The announcement of Psychonauts 2 release on GOG and more games coming soon
  • Latest playable demos of B.I.O.T.A., The Magister, Project Warlock II, and many more
  • Quake II RTX now available for free
  • Four new Tomb Raider games joining our catalog and up to 89% off
  • 1200+ game deals up to 90% off, including Cyberpunk 2077 (-33%), Metro Exodus (-60%), Gods Will Fall (-75%), Pizza Connection 3 (-80%), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - GOTY Edition (-80%), and more

Star Citizen Free Fly Underway

The promised Free Fly promotion is now underway in Star Citizen. This offers the chance to check out some of the spacecraft coming to the crowdfunded space game. Here are some details from the Roberts Space Industries Website:
From now through August 27th, Star Citizen is completely free to download and play. Enjoy access to six iconic ships, each giving you a taste of the distinct career paths and play styles awaiting you in the ‘verse.

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Play The Elder Scrolls Online for Free

The Official ESO Website announces that a QuakeCon 2021 Free Play Event is now underway in Elder Scrolls Online, allowing players to sample the MMORPG for nothing. Here's word:
To join over 18 million players and discover this award-winning RPG for yourself, simply visit our Free Play page and select your platform. This event gives you access to Morrowind's zone (Vvardenfell) and ESO base game, which includes four of the game’s original classes, 23 unique zones, and countless hours of adventure.

Because the Free Play Event includes the base game, you can begin your Gates of Oblivion adventure with access to the Blackwood Prologue questline. If you’d like to continue your story beyond the Free Play Event, pick up The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: Blackwood from our Buy Now page to get immediate access to the game and previous Chapters.

If you’ve already played ESO during a previous event, you can continue your adventures as normal. Even better, all new ESO accounts created also receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store!

Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour Begins

Stay tuned for a traffic update, as the Rush Hour is here for Train Sim World 2, Dovetail Games railroad simulation. This is available on all platforms, and comes with the game's new generation console updates. The Windows Rush Hour Season Ticket is waiting at the station on the Epic Games Store or Steam amidst the over $1000 worth of DLC for the game. Here's a new Boston Sprinter Trailer and word on the free update that is also now available:
Alongside Rush Hour, a major update for the existing Train Sim World 2 simulation has been released for free on all platforms. This updates the game to Unreal Engine 4.26, adds new visuals like distance field shadows, upgraded immersion controller scheme allowing new camera views, and panels for information like gradient profiles to aid operators when driving. This update also includes some major improvements for existing routes, making it the perfect time for players to start their journey as a driver.

Dovetail Games is proud to have the official license from Amtrak and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for the two new locomotives added in the Boston Sprinter route, with the team working closely to accurately recreate the look, feel, and sound of these engines as they traverse the 43 mile (70 km) route between Boston and Providence.
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The Vale: Shadow of the Crown Released

Today is launch day for The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, and this action/adventure is now available for Windows via the Epic Games Store,, and Steam as well as for Xbox. The launch trailer promotes the game. But since gameplay is audio-only, this is really just an accolades trailer. We do also have a new gameplay video with more of a listen than a look, and word is that headphones are required to get the best experience from the game. Here's more:
Winner of the 2018 Ubisoft Indie Special Prize and the Reboot Develop Red 2019 Special Selection Prize, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown trades visuals for audio cues, creating a distinct take on action combat while also breaking down barriers for low-vision and blind gamers. Challenging battles, exciting quests, and AAA quality voice acting performances from dozens of acclaimed voice actors including Karen Knox (Starlink, Far Cry 5), Samer Salem (The Expanse, The Handmaid’s Tale), and Steve Cumyn (Far Cry 3, Versailles), make for a gaming experience unlike anything you have ever played!
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MakerKing Early Access

Early Access to MakerKing is now underway on Steam, offering an action platformer from Green Frisbee Games. This hopes to challenge your creativity, as designing your own levels is intrinsic to playing the game. This represents a new phase in the free-to-play game's development, as it's been in the works at for a few years now. This post has all the details on the new version 0.9 that spearheads this Early Access launch. Here's an Official Trailer and here's more:
Become a King (or Queen) at making levels! Join a community designed around level creation and online play. The level editor is simple to use and lets you create anything, even living creatures! There are no limits to this game, use wires to build complicated puzzles, learn advanced techniques with the frisbee or speed through levels with the magic carpet. The whole experience is multiplayer, so don't hesitate to discover those levels with friends in real time!
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Despot's Game Early Access in October

Publisher tinyBuild and developer Konfa Games announce October 14th as the Early Access release date for Despot's Game, a "turbo-charged" autochess roguelike. A demo for this was part of the most recent Steam Next Fest, but this is no longer available. There is, however, an open beta test getting underway today on Steam. If you are interested in partaking, hit the "Request Access" button and cross your fingers. Here's the previously released Announcement Trailer with a look, and here are more details:
A group of people wake up in a strange post-apocalyptic labyrinth — naked, with no memories and with a bunch of weapons. Is this a joke, a crazy experiment, or... a game? You'll find out soon enough, just try not to die first!

Your puny squad is capable of much more. Choose your loot and transform the squishy humans into wizards, cultists, ninjas and dozens of other heroes, including the mythical stale pretzel throwers. With perks and class combos, there are thousands of ways to build your army. The man-eating cabbage will appreciate the variety in its diet!
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Op Ed

  • Kotaku - Tumblr Helps Explain The Nasty Boyfriend Dungeon Backlash.
    "And at the center of all of this is Boyfriend Dungeon. A game with a cute, queer aesthetic and compromised relationship dynamics that just so happened to release in 2021, just as Tumblr communities have started collapsing in response to poor ownership—sending their remaining members to Twitter, where they’ve found easy access to the personal accounts of developers. What has followed is a veritable shitstorm of people who are very mad about a game they wanted to play not catering to their particular standards of what content should and should not be included in a text."

Morning Mobilization


Out of the Blue

QuakeCon 2021 begins today, kicking off three days of festivities related to Quake and Bethesda Softworks games in general. Like last year, the pandemic is preventing an in-person gathering, so we'll all have to experience this from home. It's been an awfully long time since I attended QuakeCon in person, so I'm used to this. I do miss the show though. Even the odd parts like the August heat in Dallas, the incongruous waves of crickets, and, of course, all those meals at Denny's. So here's the thing about that. I've discovered that our new home is less than 30 minutes from the nearest Denny's. MrsBlue is far pickier about food than I am, so this will be a tough sell, but I'm going to try and convince her to make a Denny's run with me to mark the occasion.

Occasional Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link



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