Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021 Saint Andrew's Day - Giving Tuesday

CoD: Vanguard/Warzone Season One Includes New Kernel Level Driver

The Call of Duty Blog has details on Season One for Call of Duty: Vanguard, which gets underway on December 8th. The first 24 hours will be Early Access for those who own Call of Duty: Vanguard, and after that it will be free-to-play for everyone. This will launch the new Warzone Pacific map, bringing the Pacific theater of World War II to the battle royale 70 years to the day after the US declared war on Japan. Word is: "Featuring a dedicated Playlist with new vehicles and Vanguard weapons, Warzone Pacific’s first season kicks off another year of free content comprised of 15 huge, distinct areas to explore and fight across." The launch will also include a new kernel-level anti-cheat driver, which is news that never fails to spark controversy. Here's word:
As part of the Season One update, RICOCHET Anti-Cheat will deploy a new, internally developed kernel-level driver on PC to assist in identifying cheaters in Warzone. This will allow players to focus more on the fun new offerings in Warzone Pacific as #TeamRICOCHET fights unfair play with its new anti-cheat security initiative. This kernel-level driver is coming first to Warzone and will be required for all PC players as of this update.

Caldera and Warzone Pacific are just the beginning for the free content to be offered in Season One of Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone. Stay tuned for additional intel about two free functional weapons, new Operator, Zombies content, Multiplayer modes and two maps all launching on December 8, including a Pacific-inspired take on a fan-favorite Call of Duty map. Later in the seasons fans can expect two more Operators, an additional core Multiplayer map and returning small-team tactical mode, additional Zombies info, another free weapon unlocked via Challenges and a festive celebration across both games.

Rainbow Six Siege High Calibre Launches; Play for Free This Week

High Calibre is now available for PC and consoles, kicking off the fourth and final season of Year 6 in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. The new season adds Irish operator Thorn, reworks the Outback map, and begins a new Battle Pass. If this catches your interest, but you're still undecided, you're in luck, because the game will be free for everyone to try from December 2-6. Here's a High Calibre Battle Pass Trailer, and here's more of what to expect:
In High Calibre, players will discover a brand-new defender: Thorn, equipped with the Razorbloom Shell: a throwable proximity device that once triggered initiate a timed blast. If an enemy player doesn’t get out of the area of effect on time, they will receive damage at the end of the fuse timer. Thorn is a medium speed, medium armor Operator, and her loadout consists of the new custom made UZK50Gi or the M870 as primary weapons and the 1911 TACOPS or the C75-AUTO as secondary weapons.

In addition, the Outback map has been rebuilt to improve balancing and player comfort. Both the main building and its exterior have been tweaked to allow Attackers to create and execute more effective strategies. In addition, new exterior soft walls have been added to the building, and some areas have been refurbished and cleaned up to remove junk and provide better lines of sight and balance.
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Aliens: Fireteam Elite Season 2 Next Month

Cold Iron Studios and Focus Entertainment announce December 14th is when to expect Season 2 to begin in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Word is this will come with free rewards for everyone who plays the xenomorph-infested third-person shooter. It will also launch alongside the Nostromo Salvage Pack, a second Endeavor Pass DLC Pack. Here's the plan:
Following the September release of Season 1: Phalanx, this new season includes free bonuses for all players, including a new mode called Point Defense. This fast-paced alternative to Horde Mode will challenge players in a new survival-based defensive match where your fireteam must protect, repair, and hold three different strategic points through multiple attack waves from the xenomorph hive. Players can unlock up to 20 new rewards by completing the mode at various difficulties.

Season 2: Point Defense features the following free content:

  • New Game Mode: Point Defense
  • New Feature: Lifetime Stats
  • New challenge cards
  • New weapons, attachments, and cosmetics as Point Defense rewards or in the in-game store

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Blood Bowl 3 Delayed

Nacon announces new release dates for a few more games following the news of the delay to Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong. Word is that Blood Bowl 3 will release later next year than previously planned and there will also be delays to Train Life: A Railway Simulator and Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator. Here are all the details:
Initially planned for release in February 2022, Blood Bowl 3 an adaptation of the Games Workshop board game, will release later in 2022. The game has already received many positive updates and Cyanide Studio continues the development in order to ensure a high-quality adaptation of the renowned board game. Fans can still try out Blood Bowl 3 before it releases with upcoming closed beta before launch.
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Steam October Top Sellers

This page on Steam is where you can buy all of the top-selling new games for the month of October on the service. The Steam Blog has a write-up on all the activity for the month. Here's a bit that highlights some of the big names on the list:
It comes as no surprise for a Top Release list, but October was filled with marquee franchises popular around the world. These franchises aren't exclusive to gaming either, with characters and stories cherished by movie-goers and bookworms of all ages. Look no further than the Steam debut of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, which has captivated fans for years with its acclaimed manga series. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy also landed on Steam this month, becoming a household name over the last decade in comic book shops and box offices everywhere. For Age of Empires IV, the latest installment of this beloved PC franchise will expand into academia, as students will be given a unique opportunity to earn college credit by combining history lessons with base-building.

Dead Cells: The Queen & The Sea Announced

Motion Twin and Evil Empire announce The Queen & The Sea, a new DLC pack coming to Dead Cells on PC and consoles early next year. This will conclude the storylines introduced in previous DLC The Bad Seed and Fatal Falls. This is called "the most generous content update yet" for the game, which we're told has now sold six million copies worldwide. Here's a Teaser Trailer with a look. Here's more:
Today’s new teaser trailer reveals a sneak peek of Dead Cells: The Queen & The Sea, including two new biomes with a twist: one won't be the standard-issue Dead Cells level that you’re used to... and if you make it through this new kind of challenge, there will be a totally new epic ending to the game waiting for you unless you can't defeat the all-new alternative final boss: the Queen.

To combat the new challenges presented in the new biomes, players can expect a lot more goodies in the next update and more details will be revealed soon.
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Sid Meier's Command Series Returns

Revived publisher Atari announces it is reviving classic games as well as classic branding. These are Sid Meier's 1980s Command series of strategy games. Now available on Steam are Decision in the Desert, Crusade in Europe, and Conflict in Vietnam. Here's more on the revivals and all three games:
The three part series of tactical wargames was originally released in the 1980s under the MicroProse label. Sid Meier, later creator of the Civilization series, collaborated with historian Ed Bever to ensure the games’ historical accuracy. Their realism and depth of strategic gameplay earned the titles a loyal following persisting to this day.

The approach to the Command Series grew from observation of actual tabletop U.S. military scenario exercises. As a result, the games challenge players to manage assets, strategically place and move them around the battlefield map, and outmaneuver the enemy. Victory requires careful strategic thinking and fast responses to rapidly changing battlefield conditions.
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Gone Gold - Dying Light 2

Techland tweets that development of Dying Light 2 Stay Human is complete, and the action/RPG sequel is on track for most recent release date of February 4th. Here's more on the resumption of the zombie infestation:
Dying Light 2 has gone gold!
It wouldn’t be possible without your support over all these years - we will spend an additional time making sure that we’ll deliver the best possible experience for you.
Thank you for being with us!
Can’t wait to meet you in The City on February 4th!

Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition Released

Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition is now available for Windows, Xbox, and PlayStation, adding some refinements to this platformer sequel. The PC edition is on the Epic Games Store, and it is a free upgrade for those who own the original version. So what's new? "Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition includes dramatically improved gameplay mechanics and motion code, audio balance improvements, seven additional months of polish, improved Slig and follower AI (more intelligent and responsive), as well as all previously released updates and brand-new content." Here's the Launch Trailer and here's an outline of that new content:
Xbox players will go hands-on with Vykkers Labs, a throwback to classic Oddworld 2.5D gameplay featuring short puzzle-filled levels. Earn leaderboard prestige for speed runs or zero-death performances. For those who don’t recall, Vykkers Labs is a large airborne lab used for pharmaceutical testing on animals and run by the sadistic Vykkers.

PlayStation and Epic Games Store players will experience Toby’s Escape. Like Vykkers, it is a throwback to classic Oddworld gaming short puzzle-filled levels to master. If you have played Soulstorm, you’ll know Toby from the train, but how did Toby escape RuptureFarms and become the train’s conductor...find out in Toby’s Escape.
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GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition Patched

A new patch is now available for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, updating the open-world action compilation to version 1.03. The game has had loads of problems since its launch, and these are the focus of the patch, as the Title Update Notes include 110 instances of the word "fixed." These range from the sublime, like stability improvements, to the ridiculous, like fixed spelling errors.

Halo Infinite Battle Pass Adjustments

343 Industries community manager John Junyszek tweets about adjustments to the progression rate in the controversial Halo Infinite Battle Pass. He notes this is not they plan to do to address complaints about how this works: "We know many of you want even larger changes and we're committed to doing so, but those will take time. We made this update based on data and player feedback, and we'll monitor its impact after we push it live tomorrow morning." Here's what's being changed right now:
After seeing how XP was earned with those changes, we noticed that players were starting their sessions with slower payouts than we'd like. To address this, we will be increasing the XP payout for the first 6 matches of each day. An outline of this update can be found below:

1st Game = 300XP
2nd Game = 200XP
3rd Game = 200XP
4th Game = 100XP
5th Game = 100XP
6th Game = 100XP
7th+ Game = 50XP

We believe this increase will help address those slower initial payouts while also benefiting those of you jumping on each and every day.

Into the Starfield Trailer

A new trailer called The Endless Pursuit goes "Into the Starfield" with Starfield, the upcoming action/RPG set in space, where no one can hear you riff. This features three of the game's developers giving us their perspective on the project:
Join Game Director Todd Howard, Studio Director Angela Browder and Art Director Matt Carofano as they discuss how Bethesda Game Studios’ ambitions, passions and history have shaped the studio and how they are looking to the future with Starfield . Keep an eye out in the coming months for more episodes of ‘Into the Starfield.’

Starfield arrives exclusively on Xbox Series X|S and PC on 11.11.22. Play it day one with Xbox Game Pass.
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HITMAN 3 Winter Roadmap

There's a Winter Roadmap on the IO Interactive Website for HITMAN 3, outlining holiday content coming to the assassination game sequel beginning today. Here's a Winter Roadmap (Holiday Special), and here's an overview:
HITMAN 3 joins in on the festive fun and Holiday Hoarders makes it’s much-anticipated debut, starting on November 30. Paris is all decked out, presents are scattered around the palace and snow cannons are relentlessly spreading white joy. It’s not all fun and games though, because well-known thieves Harry and Marv are in town and stealing anything they can get their hands on.

It’s up to Agent 47, once again, to save the holidays. His reward is the iconic Santa 47 suit.

Holiday Hoarders is a permanent addition to HITMAN 3 for all owners and if you’re playing the HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack, you’ll be able to play it throughout December for free!
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Card Shark Delayed

Card Shark will not be released this year as originally planned. The Card Shark Website and the Card Shark Steam Listing both now display a 2022 release date. The delay is unexplained, but there's a new Shuffling to 2022 Trailer to highlight the change. Curious about the game? Here's the deal:
Our adversaries tonight? An unscrupulous group of scoundrels and rogues, rumoured to possess an unlimited fund between them. If we stick to the strategies you’ve learnt, this will be a walkover." - Comte de Saint-Germain.
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Clid The Snail Next Month

Weird Beluga Studio announces their debut game, Clid the Snail, is coming to Windows on Dec. 15th. This gives plenty of time to work up some garlic butter for escargot. Here's a new PC Release Date Trailer, and here's more on this hero on the 3/4ths shell:
"PC is a very important platform for us mainly because PC gamers are an extremely varied bunch," said Tomas Manzano, Game Developer at Weird Beluga Studio. "Clid the Snail is a very picturesque, dark sci-fi game with plenty of humor and challenging twin-stick gameplay, and we can’t wait for PC players to jump straight into it.”

Clid the Snail is a dark fable about a grumpy humanoid snail armed to the radula. Clid the exiled snail joins forces with a peculiar gang of outcasts and is tasked with the mission to eradicate a wide-spread slug plague. The top-down twin-stick shooter encourages creative gun play with its vast array of weapons and mechanics, alongside exploration and puzzle solving while exploring a grim-looking world.
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Op Ed

  • Kotaku - Halo Infinite’s Battle Pass Is Fine The Way It Is—For Now.
    "Whether or not you believe that full completion of a battle pass should be a badge of honor solely reserved for the most dedicated players, Infinite’s pass, as it stands right now, is designed to be completed by those who are even moderately engaged each week. It’s a system set up to steadily reward players over the course of months. No one’s going to finish it within the first few weeks. That’s not the point. Mathematically, you’ll get to the end eventually—as long as you stick with it somewhat."

Out of the Blue

Happy Giving Tuesday! This seems much more compatible with the thankfulness of Thanksgiving than all the shopping holidays between the two occasions. There are certainly enough worthy causes out there for those lucky enough to be able to give. Also, happy Saint Andrew's Day to all my fellow Scots (I'm a pretty mixed mutt of Anglo-Saxon interbreeding). Saint Andrew's Day is the official national day of Scotland, the national day of Independence in Barbados, and, somewhat surprisingly, a national holiday in Romania. Someone pour me a single-malt and pass the haggis.

Giving Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.





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