Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 02, 2021

Battlefield Shakeup

A series of tweets from Oskar Gabrielson announce his departure from DICE, where he had served as General Manager. He does not get into why he's departing, focusing instead on looking back at his work on the Battlefield series. He says leaving DICE and Electronic Arts is one of the hardest decisions of his life. This does, however, come following the poorly received launch of Battlefield 2042. Thus Gabrielson's departure is part of what GameSpot calls a "major shake-up" of the long-running military shooter series. Among the details they reveal are plans for Vince Zampella to take command of the series, for Marcus Lehto (Halo designer) to start a new studio in Seattle to work along with Ripple Effect and DICE to develop "a new Battlefield experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe." Some of what's planned will result in a universe where "the world is interconnected with shared characters and narrative." Here's a bit from the lengthy post:
Additionally, DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson is leaving the company to pursue a new endeavor outside of EA. The shake-up also includes Respawn's Vince Zampella taking on a bigger role as the new overall boss of the Battlefield franchise, while Halo designer Marcus Lehto is building a new development team in Seattle focused on injecting more storytelling into the Battlefield universe. Ripple Effect, the developer of Battlefield 2042's Portal mode, is developing a new Battlefield experience in the Battlefield 2042 universe.

In the immediate future, EA told GameSpot that DICE, Ripple Effect, and Lehto's new Seattle studio will work together to expand upon and improve Battlefield 2042. The other Battlefield games and experiences in the works are meant to serve as extensions, to a degree, of the new Battlefield universe that EA is trying to create. There are no specifics available about the new games and experiences that EA intends to create or when they will release, as of yet.
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Get Dead by Daylight and while True: learn() for Free

This week's freebies are now available on the Epic Games Store, where you can now get Dead by Daylight and while True: learn() with other people's money, as the expression used to go. This 100% discount lasts for a week, but the game's are yours to keep as long as you act in time. Next Thursday the offer will change to two different games: Godfall Challenger Edition and Prison Architect. Here's word on the current giveaways:
Dead by Daylight is a multiplayer (4vs1) horror game where one player takes on the role of the savage Killer, and the other four players play as Survivors, trying to escape the Killer and avoid being caught, tortured and killed. Survivors play in third-person and have the advantage of better situational awareness. The Killer plays in first-person and is more focused on their prey.

while True: learn() is a puzzle/simulation game about even more puzzling stuff: machine learning, neural networks, big data and AI. But most importantly, it’s about understanding your cat. In this game, you play as a coder who accidentally found out that their cat is extremely good at coding, but not as good at speaking human language. Now this coder (it’s you!) must learn all there is to know about machine learning and use visual programming to build a cat-to-human speech recognition system.

Cricket 22: The Official Game of The Ashes Released

Publisher Nacon and Big Ant Studios announce the release of Cricket 22: The Official Game of The Ashes, just in time for next week's resumption of the Ashes series. It's available for Windows, PlayStation 5 and 4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, and the PC version is on Steam. Here's a previously released trailer showing off what's new in the latest installment in the series. Here's the pitch:
Cricket 22 builds on Big Ant Studios’ celebrated cricket simulations over the past decade, while adding a next generation level of polish to the experience. With 4K resolution graphics for the first time, an advanced new visual engine, a narrative-driven career mode, and the broadest suite of licenses and gameplay modes in a cricket game to date, Cricket 22 gives all fans of cricket the ability to experience their sport in their way.
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Solar Ash Released

Solar Ash is out for PC and PlayStation, with the Windows edition available through the Epic Games Store. Here's the Launch Trailer, which carries the following description: "From the creators of the award-winning Hyper Light Drifter comes the high-speed and gravity-bending world of Solar Ash. Available December 2nd on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Epic Games Store." Here's more:
Set amidst a surreal dreamscape filled with long-abandoned ruins of great civilizations past, you play as Rei, a Voidrunner determined to stop at nothing to save her planet from falling prey to the Ultravoid’s path of eternal hunger.

Fight through mobs of grotesque creatures, grind rails with sheer delight, grapple to wild heights, take down enormous bosses, and surf the ashen clouds of shattered, bygone worlds swallowed by the void.
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Mechajammer Released

Mechajammer is now available for Windows and macOS on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam, and word is a Linux edition of this turn-based cyberpunk RPG will follow. Developer Whalenought Studios and publisher Modern Wolf offer the following snappy description: "Immerse yourself in a dystopian cyberpunk reality inspired by low-tech, analog worlds featured in 80's sci-fi/action movies. Explore, interact and fight your way out of the hellhole you find yourself in." The Launch Trailer offers a 4K look at gameplay. Here's what makes this tick:
Mechajammer is a CRPG with strong tabletop roots but with a precise, peculiar take on the genre. The foundation of the game is an immersive sim (like an isometric Deus Ex) on which the players will freely choose how to face different tactical situations. Stealth is always an option, as party-based combat is.
The combat system sports a powerful twist as turns take place simultaneously and allow for interrupts, quick reactions, and, in general, an experience that feels like real-time but with the rules of turn-based combat systems.
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No Plan B Early Access

Early Access to No Plan B is now underway on Steam, providing Windows gamers with the chance to assemble squads, create a plans, and do a little breaching and clearing. This post has an outline of the plans for Early Access along with this Early Access Release Trailer. Here's a bit that describes the game and explains the title:
In No Plan B, every choice, however small, may decide the fate of the entire team. Players will need to assemble their squad and gear them up carefully, work out the perfect plan using the innovative timeline system, and watch it play out in real-time.

A gripping tactical game with no room for failure, No Plan B offers roguelike campaigns, standalone challenge missions, and community-made maps with randomly generated enemies with 4 playable factions.
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Aftermath Announced

META Publishing and Italian developer One O One Games announce Aftermath, a psychological thriller coming to PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. The Steam Listing doesn't show a release date, and revelations about the game are promised "throughout 2022," so this one is still off in the future. For the moment we have a cinematic Reveal Trailer that shows what seems to be the beforemath. Here's word:
Aftermath strives to throw players into a narrative driven world beyond the unimaginable. Designed to make you wonder: what would humanity do when faced with a situation like this?

The game follows Charlie Gray, a former European astronaut, as she struggles through the remnants of society, in search for her daughter. Driven by its gut wrenching narrative, Aftermath delves deeply into philosophy and psychology, drawing from the One O One team’s previous experience from games like “The Suicide of Rachel Foster”.
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Sea of Thieves Season Five Begins

The Sea of Thieves Website announces that Season Five for Sea of Thieves is underway. This involves new content for the multiplayer pirate game along with new events, seasonal rewards, and a new Plunder Pass. Here's a trailer and here's a little talking (or shouting) like a pirate:
ENJOY A SUITE OF NEW TOOLS, FEATURES AND QUALITY OF LIFE UPDATES THAT’LL REINVIGORATE YOUR ESCAPADES ON THE SEA OF THIEVES! BURY YOUR OWN TREASURE, LIGHT UP THE SKY WITH FIREWORKS AND TRY OUT NEW WAYS OF IMMERSING YOURSELF IN THE WORLD. NEW EVENTS, SEASONAL REWARDS AND MORE AWAIT TOO!
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For Honor Y5S4 Next Week

Ubisoft announces Year 5 Season 4 will begin on December 9th in For Honor, the melee combat game. The news includes details on Title Update 2, a patch that will arrive on January 27th with a new hero and more. The kickoff of the new season will coincide with the start of a limited time event that includes both a free and a premium battle pass. Here's a Frozen Shores Story Trailer and here's the story:
Following last season's Testing Grounds, improvements to the Shinobi will be added to the live game on season launch. For Honor will also have another phase of Testing Grounds from December 30 to January 6, focusing on the Dominion game mode and Conqueror. Changes for Dominion will include capture speed, renown, hard points and other UI improvements.

On January 27, Title Update 2 brings a new hero into the world of For Honor, as well as limited-time experiences and rewards. The Covenant Games return, allowing players to play the Carousel of Horkos game mode, with rewards including a Battle Outfit and an Ornament as well as an Effect. A Throwback Event, the Black Prior’s Riposte, will also bring back original rewards and weapons.
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Tribes of Midgard Season 2: Serpent Saga This Month

More seasonal plans come from Gearbox Publishing and developer Norsfell, in the form of details on Serpent Saga, Season 2 of Tribes of Midgard. This will begin on December 14th, bringing a bunch of new items and content, and kicking off a three week yuletide event. On a related note is the announcement that the survival RPG has now attracted over one million players, a feat celebrated in this Thank You video. Here's word:
Grab your weapons and craft some Boat Kits, because starting in Serpent Saga, Vikings can explore new horizons of Midgard with the addition of Boats and Swimming. Boats and Swimming are all fun and games, but make sure you don’t get too distracted, as you have another Saga Boss to contend with before Fimbulwinter. Players must race against the oncoming winter to find and unlock the island lair of a mysterious new Boss. But fear not, Wolf-fans – Fenrir still awaits those brave enough to choose to attempt to take down both Saga Bosses in the same session.
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Path of Exile December Events

December Event Schedule has word from Grinding Gear Games on a big lineup of end of year events for Path of Exile, the free-to-play action/RPG. These plans are shown off in this trailer. Word is things kick off tomorrow with an Endless Delve:

  • Endless Delve - December 3 – 13: In this event, players delve deep into the Azurite Mine. Unlike regular Path of Exile gameplay, players will skip the campaign entirely and take on an entirely new levelling experience within the confines of the mine's darkness.
  • Zizaran's Gauntlet - December 10 – 20: Community streamer Zizaran is hosting his Gauntlet event once more. In this event, monsters are much stronger than normal and players will compete by slaying bosses and meeting objectives to earn points. This gruelling mode is a challenge for even the most adept Path of Exile players.
  • Endless Heist - December 17 – 27: Endless Heist is a brand new mode where players will skip the campaign entirely and level exclusively by taking on risky Heists. Players must hire skilled rogues to infiltrate facilities, evade the detection of its guards and make a mad dash out with the goods. But be careful, if you die on a Heist you'll lose your loot!
  • Atlas Invasion - December 24 – January 3: The Atlas Invasion is a new event mode where players will encounter map bosses in each area of Wraeclast. These formidable enemies will be found throughout the campaign, and pose an additional challenge to those who dare to take them on.
  • Delirium Everywhere - December 31 – January 10: The Delirium Everywhere event is a new mode in which the mists of Delirium have blanketed the land. Every area will be more challenging and have more monsters to defeat. While challenging, this mode is great for those who want to sink their teeth into the blood and glory Wraeclast has to provide.
  • Path of Exile: Royale featuring Brutus - December 9, 23, 30: Path of Exile’s Battle Royale mode makes a return! Players will face off against each other in an ever-shrinking area as they seek to become the sole victor of the match. However, there's a catch! Once the remaining players reach the centre of the island, they'll also have to contend with Brutus, who takes no sides and will attempt to destroy anyone who comes close.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Batman Expansion Released

The die has been cast, and Milestone offers a new Batman expansion for Hot Wheels Unleashed, adding new vehicles and environments to the toy car racing game. Imaginatively titled Batman Expansion, this adds the Batcave, new items, and, of course, cars (you had us at Batmobile). The Windows editions are available on the Epic Games Store and Steam. Here's a trailer and more:
The Batman Expansion brings a huge amount of new playable content with a brand-new Career map inspired by Gotham and the breathtaking Batcave environment featuring many new tracks. The Batman Expansion also includes five themed vehicles: The Penguin, Robin™ 2.0T, Armored Batman™, Batman™ Rebirth, The Joker™ GT, plus a new Track Builder Module, the Joker Funhouse Split, and many themed customization items. The Batman Expansion is included in the HOT WHEELS™ Pass Vol. 1 or can be purchased separately starting today.
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Quake Gets Horde Mode

An update from Bethesda Softworks says the resurgence of support for Quake continues with a new major update for the almost 25 year-old first-person shooter. The patch adds an all-new Horde Mode, and also marks the debut of the game on the Epic Games Store. Here's an overview:
Update 2 contains a brand-new Horde Mode made by MachineGames with 1-4 player co-op (including optional bots), new Add-on "Honey", some quality-of-life improvements, and bug fixes.

It also marks the Quake release on the Epic Games Store (for PC). With Horde Mode you can play solo, with bots, or friends, and face off against waves of enemies of increasing difficulty. Earn Silver Keys to unlock access to better weapons. Survive long enough and earn a Gold Key, which will allow you to escape, or stay behind and fight against the armies of Quake until you fall

Evening Patches

Official patch.

Funcom's Dune Game Goes NUKKLEAR

Funcom announces more about the Dune survival game that's part of its from 2019 deal with Legendary Entertainment and Herbert Properties to create games based on the classic Frank Herbert sci-fi novels. Word is development is being shared by NUKKLEAR, the German studio behind the recently launched Comanche. This fits with the announcement that the scope of the Dune game expanded as part of a deal with Tencent. Here's word:
NUKKLEAR will be taking on a co-development role, helping to realize the expanded scope of the title previously announced by Funcom. The studio was also recently awarded approximately 1.6 million EUR by the BMVI (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und Digitale Infrastruktur) as part of the “Computerspieleförderung des Bundes” German Federal Government Grant. The grant will be used to support in part NUKKLEAR’s development and production work on this project.

In 2019, Funcom announced that it had secured the rights to make a game based on the popular sci-fi franchise, Dune. The untitled project will take inspiration from Funcom’s most successful title, Conan Exiles, and be an online multiplayer survival game. After investment from Tencent, the Dune project greatly expanded its scope, and NUKKLEAR has been brought on to assist in completing it.

ANVIL Drops

Early Access to ANVIL: Vault Breakers is now underway on Steam, offering a roguelike, co-op shooter for Windows from Action Square. This begins with a pre-season, and the team is taking Early Access feedback into account to steer the game towards the launch of season one. You can read more about how the game's seasons will work in this developer blog. Here's more:
ANVIL: Vault Breakers lets players take control of characters called Breakers to battle against hostile aliens and monsters. Teams of Breakers must work together to locate relics and artifacts from fabled Vaults brimming with the remnants of alien civilizations. The powerful energy and technology found within allows players to increase their ability survive and fight.

Each Breaker brings distinctive abilities and skills to combat, so players must choose wisely as they gear up to join the battle. A Breaker’s strength will increase as they equip relics acquired in previous runs, allowing them to unlock stats from the season pass. With over 100 randomly generated relics, an assortment of galaxies to explore and distinctive threats to conquer with dozens of weapons at their disposal, players will get a unique experience every playthrough.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning - Fatesworn This Month

THQ Nordic announces a December 14th is the day of re-reckoning for Fatesworn, the new expansion for resurrected RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. The release date, but nothing resembling gameplay, are shown in this new Release Date Trailer. Read on for more on this twist of fate:
Almost 10 years ago, a legendary RPG was born: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This year on December 14th, the journey of the Fateless One continues. After the Crystal War has been fought and Gadlow has been defeated, the people of Amalur were hoping for peace to return to their lands. And although peace has indeed come to Amalur, rumors of a new threat are starting to spread, rising in the far west, the icy lands of Mithros. None other than Telogrus, the God of Chaos himself has awoken and is gathering followers to throw the whole world into chaos!

The upcoming expansion Fatesworn offers a brand new storyline, a new environment, various new quests and missions, new Chaos Realm dungeons all over Amalur, a new gameplay mechanic, new weapons and armor, new enemies, and much more. It will raise the level cap to 50, and even features a new soundtrack by famous composer Grant Kirkhope. Fatesworn requires the base game Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.
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The Ascent - CyberSec Pack Released

A new CyberSec Pack is now available on Steam, offering new DLC for The Ascent, the Windows action/RPG from publisher Curve Games and developer Neon Giant. This is accompanied by a new Patch #5 that updates the base game for everyone. A new trailer is here to show off all the add-on brings to the party. Here's word:
The CyberSec Pack is the new explosive collection from CyberSec Mega - the largest mil-tech manufacturer and main supplier of CorpSec - with two new weapons, a new tactical, four new pieces of armor and four new animated weapon skins; players will have all they need to jump into the action with a bang! The new CyberSec DLC Pack is available now for £3.99 / $4.99 / 4,99€.

Also going live today is The Ascent’s Patch #5, FREE for all players which introduces a brand new Transmogrification feature, allowing Indents to change their appearance to match the visual style of any armour currently in their inventory by visiting the Stylist and paying a small fee. Once a visual style is applied, players can equip any armour based on their gameplay priorities whilst keeping their customised look!

Out of the Blue

Well, our booster mission was a mixed bag. Turns out they only had the J&J shots. MrsBlue opted to get one, while I decided to stay the course and continue to seek out a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. There are places offering walk-ins, so I think I'll see how I can do with that. The pharmacy we tried yesterday was in a Wal-Mart. This seemed like a strange place to congregate to be safer from the pandemic, but it was actually a surprisingly smooth and professional experience. I would go back there if I found out they have one of the other boosters.

Also, happy birthday to long-time friend of the site Redwood. I'd tell you how old he is, but we'd have to saw him in half to count the rings.

Unboosted Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Thanks Max.

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