Archived News:

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition Next Month

Oddworld Inhabitants announces Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition, an improved version of the action/platformer. This will come to the Epic Games Store and consoles at the end of November, finally freeing gamers from tired, ancient gameplay that is already over seven months old. How the game will be improved is not specified, but we are assured that betterness will abound:
This announcement has a lot to unpack. Let's start with the first announcement. We are excited to announce Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition, an action-adventure platformer will be available by the end of November on all Xbox and PlayStation consoles and Epic Games Store. As the name states, it is enhanced and you will experience improved gameplay mechanics and motion code, as well as all previously released updates.

Steam Deck Game Verification Program

For those with questions about how well the Steam Deck will play various Steam games, Valve now offers a Steam Deck Verified Page with answers. This allows you to see at a glance how well individual games are suited to playing on the upcoming handheld PC. At this point the system divides games into four distinct categories. Verified games are those which will work great on Steam Deck "right out of the box." Playable games will work with some manual tweaking, Unsupported games are not functional on the Steam Deck at this time. The final self-explanatory category is Unknown. Here's an Introducing Deck Verified Trailer, and here's more:
Valve is reviewing the entire Steam catalog, and will be categorizing each game by its level of compatibility with Steam Deck. Customers will see these categories on the Steam Store and in their own Libraries.
Continue here to read the full story.

Valorant Cheating Trending Downward

There's an Anti-cheat- Fall 2021 Update on the VALORANT Website with the latest from the anti-cheat team on keeping the multiplayer shooter secure. There's a good deal on what's been done in the past and ongoing efforts to clean up the game. The good news is that the number of cheating reports in the game is at an all-time low:
Thanks to ongoing detection systems in place and, in part, to a previous rollout of meta-game system updates to VALORANT’s ranked, the number of report rates for cheating are trending downward, and are at the lowest they’ve ever been.

Still, the team is combating increased cheating efforts, as cheaters and cheat developers continue to attempt to implement new techniques. The global popularity of VALORANT has created a global market for these nefarious actors, and we make sure to respond accordingly. Certain regions saw spikes in report rates, but through additional investigation and intelligence efforts, as well as continual improvements to Vanguard, we’ve been able to negate these spikes and keep competitive integrity globally strong.

Call of Duty The Haunting Begins Tomorrow

Call of Duty Blog has details on The Haunting, a Halloween event making its return this year for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. Things get underway tomorrow and run through November 2nd. Here are some Haunting details:
Featuring the "Ghosts of Verdansk" limited-time mode, The Haunting in Warzone brings Verdansk back under nightfall. In Black Ops Cold War, new modes in Multiplayer and Zombies are sure to get players into the Halloween spirit. Completing The Haunting's challenges in either game will unlock prototypes of the LAPA SMG - the first-ever ranged weapon event reward, which will also have unique Weapon Blueprint available in the store, along with Halloween-themed bundles.

Those additional Store offerings include the new SCREAM's Ghostface Operator and the Frank the Rabbit Operator Skin from Donnie Darko. Later during The Haunting, there will be a trio of ultra-rarity Operator Skins across three bundles, including the Tracer Pack: Necro Queen Reactive Mastercraft, Tracer Pack: Disciple of Mayhem Ultra Bundle and Tracer Pack: Lumens Maxis Ultra Bundle.

Team Fortress 2 Operation Hexadecimal Horrors

Here's another Halloween event, as the Team Fortress 2 Blog has details on Operation Hexadecimal Horrors, which is now underway in the team-based first-person shooter. This is accompanied by a charity event:
A Halloween-inspired take on the traditional Mann vs Machine dynamic, Operation Hexadecimal Horrors features 48 brand new missions spread across more than 10 new, returning, and spookified maps! The campaign will run until November 30th, so don't wait! Servers are available in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

On an entirely different, less scary topic: a charity drive benefiting The Trevor Project will be running in tandem with the campaign. In-game medals are available for those who donate $5 or more! Check out the website to learn how to donate and how to play!

Hot Wheels Unleashed Getting DC Villain Season and Batman Expansion

Milestone announces a Batman Expansion is coming to Hot Wheels Unleashed on December 2nd, because as Val Kilmer once put it, chicks love the car. That's not the only comic book-inspired content coming to the toy car racing game, as a DC Super-Villains Racing Season gets underway on November 11th. Here's a DC Super-Villains Racing Season Trailer and a Batman Expansion Trailer. Here's more on both releases:
Revealed over the weekend, the DC Super-Villains Racing Season will start on November 11, delivering to every player a large number of free and premium content than can be unlocked by completing new challenges that have been added specifically for the DC Super-Villains Racing Season. The Season will include six themed vehicles: Bane, The Cheetah™, Poison Ivy™, Black Manta™, Deathstroke™, and Harley Quinn™. It will also introduce many themed customization items for the Basement and the Player Profile, as well as plenty of gears and coins for everyone. The Season will start on November 11, and it will end on January 18, 2022.

Coming on December 2nd, the Batman Expansion DLC will bring a huge amount of new content with a brand-new Career Map inspired by Gotham, and a breathtaking new environment - The Batcave - with many new tracks and items. The Batman Expansion also includes five themed vehicles spanning The Penguin, Robin™ 2.0T, Armored Batman™, Batman™ Rebirth, and The Joker™ GT, plus a new Track Builder Module - the Joker Funhouse Split - and tons of themed customization items. The Batman Expansion is included in the HOT WHEELS™ Pass Vol. 1 or can be purchased separately starting December 2.
Continue here to read the full story.

Deadwater Saloon Announced

Creative Storm, CreativeForge, and Tanglefoot announce Deadwater Saloon, a new management simulation set in the wild west coming to PC in Q2 of next year. As you might infer from the title, this puts you in the role of the owner of a fledgling saloon. There seems to be a consciousness that this is a chance to play at being Al Swearengen, as the bar owner in the Pre-Alpha Trailer bears a striking resemblence to the Deadwood character. Here's the Steam Listing, and here's more:
Dive into the wild west as a saloon owner in a volatile frontier town. Customize your character and face the consequences of your choices as you forge friendships and enemies of townsfolk, travellers, outlaws, and lawmen. Build the most famous saloon in the territory or be overrun and destroyed.
Continue here to read the full story.

Elden Ring Delayed

BANDAI NAMCO announces a delay to Elden Ring, saying it is now due on February 25th. The action/RPG collaboration from FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin had been expected about a month before that, but "it has been decided to extend the development time for final adjustments." This involves a further round of network testing, but this will just involve the console editions. Here's a new Closed Network Test Announcement Trailer and here's word:
Selected fans will be able to experience the opening hours of ELDEN RING to get a hands-on glimpse at what the full game will have to offer while assisting the development team in testing the game’s online servers ahead of its new release date of February 25, 2022. The depth of the game and the degree of freedom in strategy exceeded the initial expectations, hence it has been decided to extend the development time for final adjustments.

The ELDEN RING Closed Network Test will be playable throughout the weekend of November 12-14 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S during the following time blocks:
Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo II: Resurrected Login Queue Patch

A new patch is now available for the PC edition of Diablo II: Resurrected. Saying it hopes to release the same patch soon for Console players, Blizzard explains features in this patch designed to help better cope with long server wait times:
GENERAL

  • We have implemented a Login Queue for high traffic periods. This queue will pop up after the title screen when opening up the game. The queue will only appear during high traffic windows.
  • Players will be shown a number on where they are in queue.
  • Players will have the option of exiting the queue and playing offline immediately if they wish by hitting “Escape” on the queue prompt.
  • We should note that the higher your queue number appears, the slower the number will refresh in the prompt. The number is still refreshing in the background, so we do not recommend leaving queue as this will create further delays to you entering the game during these high traffic windows.

We expect a patch in the next week that will implement the same queue functionality to consoles.

Bloodborne PC Rumor

A new installment of The XboxEra Podcast (video) revives speculation about plans to bring Bloodborne to PC, years after the launch of FromSoftware's action/RPG for PlayStation 4. As highlighted on PlayStation Universe, podcast cohost Nick Baker says the rumored Bloodborne 2 is in development, and that Bluepoint is working on a Bloodborne remaster, and has all but completed a PC edition, saying it's "pretty much done and dusted." Continue here to read the full story.

Operation Tango Gets Free DLC

Operation Tango players. Are you busy dancing the tango while listening to Wango Tango and watching Tango and Cash? Then whiskey tango foxtrot? You should be heading over to the Epic Games Store, Steam, or the appropriate console store to pick up the free new DLC that adds a co-op challenge mode to the asymmetrical espionage game. Here's a new trailer where you can spy the new content in action, and here's a dossier:
You and your partner may have completed your primary mission, but you still need to keep your skills sharp! Explore the all-new Challenge mode to hone your communication skills, compete for medals, and even take control of new robot friends! Master your craft and work quickly if you want to collect every medal! Bronze, Silver, and Gold are all up for grabs... and for the most elite agents looking to prove themselves, there will be leaderboards on the Clever Plays Discord server!

Not feeling competitive? You can always just walk through each challenge at your own pace and enjoy the new content - there’s no time limit for those of you who like to take their espionage at a more casual pace.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Last Stand: Aftermath Next Month

Developer Con Artist Games and publisher Armor Games Studios announce a November 16th release date for The Last Stand: Aftermath, a single-player, roguelite action/adventure that began through a crowdfunding campaign. For an idea of what to expect, you can check out the Launch Announcement Trailer and/or the playable demo, which is still available on Steam. This twist in this zombie game is how you don't have to work to avoid becoming one of the infected, because that horse is already out of the barn:
The Last Stand: Aftermath is a roguelite adventure, which sees players taking control of a survivor thrust into a cataclysmic zombie apocalypse.

In a unique twist, however, the survivor has been infected and must strike out to make the most of their final days by gathering supplies for those who will come after them, and hunting for the truth behind the renewed danger of the zombie virus, before they themselves inevitably succumb to the virus.

Microsoft Apologies for Pointless Fable Tease

Xbox Game Studios Publishing is apologizing after winding up gamers with a since-deleted tweet that suggested a Fable-related announcement would come today. The offending tweet stated: "We’re excited to kick off something special tomorrow. Just give us one more day to prepare the chickens. We’d call it our Fable Anniversary, but that name was already taken." Apparently this incident is teaching them an obvious lesson about not hyping things that do not exist, as a subsequent tweet apologizes for getting everybody excited over absolutely nothing:
Sorry for any confusion! We don't have any big game news tomorrow, or any info about @WeArePlayground's upcoming Fable game.

The Good Life Lives

The Good Life is now available, and you can find the Windows edition of this murder mystery "Debt Repayment RPG" on Steam. The Launch Trailer shows how this will allow you to live your best life and there's a playable demo as well. Here's word on the game:
Journalist Naomi Hayward is drowning in debt and is at the end of her rope. Having accepted a request from The Morning Bell newspaper to “uncover the mystery of a small English town”, Naomi finds herself far from her home in New York, in Rainy Woods. Upon beginning her investigation, Naomi – camera in hand – soon discovers an inexplicable phenomenon in which the townspeople transform into cats and dogs as night falls... Then, as just she’s looking into that particular mystery, a murder occurs... Join her as she attempts to reveal the truth about Rainy Woods.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Well, before our TV went tango uniform we did get to finish off the second season of Ted Lasso, so we have that going for us. Since we were so late to the party, it was impossible to avoid the buzz for the show. But even with the hype we were not disappointed. There's so much to like about it, including the eventual realization that Ted's amazing outlook on life comes amid its downturns, rather than as a way of pretending they don't exist. This is not what I expected from Jason Sudeikis, so hats off to him and the show's other creators for doing something so marvelously different.

Obituary: Pixel art legend Hiroshi Ono (Pacman, Xevious etc.) passed away at 64.
Obituary: Colin Powell, military leader and first Black US secretary of state, dies after complications from Covid-19.

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