Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2022

EA Launching Kernel-Level Anti-Cheat

Electronic Arts offers "A Deep Dive on EA AntiCheat for PC." This announces that EA is launching its own kernel-level anti-cheat/anti-tamper solution as part of the launch of FIFA 23 this (northern) autumn. This approach can be effective at enhancing security, but the fight fire with fire approach leaves many gamers uncomfortable, since such drivers are so intrusive. EA explains that creating its own in-house approach has a number of advantage over third-party solutions. Here's the plan:
EAAC is a kernel-mode anti-cheat and anti-tamper solution developed in-house at Electronic Arts. PC cheat developers have increasingly moved into the kernel, so we need to have kernel-mode protections to ensure fair play and tackle PC cheat developers on an even playing field.

As tech-inclined video gamers ourselves, it is important to us to make sure that any kernel anti-cheat included in our games acts with a strong focus on the privacy and security of our gamers that use a PC.

Third party anti-cheat solutions are often opaque to our teams, and prevent us from implementing additional privacy controls or customizations that provide greater accuracy and granularity for EA-specific game modes. With EAAC we have full stack ownership of the security & privacy posture, so we can fix security issues as soon as they may arise.

Call of Duty: Warzone Bans

Speaking of cheating, Activision announces it has been hard at work banning toxic users from Call of Duty: Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale. In concert with these efforts is an updated Code of Conduct explaining the company's stances on toxicity and unfair play. This presents core values which one would hope most players would follow naturally: "Treat everyone with respect, compete with integrity, and stay vigilant." There's more on the victims claimed by the banhammer in this blog post:
We know addressing toxicity requires a 24/7 sustained effort. Since our last Call of Duty® community update, our enforcement and anti-toxicity teams have continued to progress, including scrubbing our global player database to remove toxic users.

  • 500,000 accounts banned to date
  • 300,000 accounts renamed since launching our automated filtering systems
  • Added additional languages for in-game, text-based chat and name creation moderation bringing the total to 14 languages*

Lovecraft's Untold Stories 2 Released

Now it can be told, as Lovecraft's Untold Stories 2 is now available for PC, offering an action/RPG sequel in a Lovecraftian horror setting. You can find this on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com*, and Steam, and each offers a 15% launch discount. It's just the Windows edition for now, but Fulqrum Publishing says the macOS and Linux editions will follow. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's more:
Discover a truly nightmarish rogue-like non-stop action and try to steel your mind to endure the insanity-inducing dangers.

Selecting the proper character for the job, crafting the right gear and consumables for the occasion and receiving the fickle blessing of the Great Old Ones when searching for loot will all be paramount to achieve victory. Death will be a constant companion, but any task can be tried and tried again, perseverance will surely eventually be rewarded with success.

Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2 let’s players switch between 6 different characters which can be unlocked during their journey, each one with a different playstyle. Fan favourites from the previous instalment - the Detective, the Witch and the Professor – make their return, joined in their fight against the insanity of the Great Old Ones by the newcomers: Medium, Veteran and Alienist.
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RPG Time: The Legend of Wright Released

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a "handmade notebook" RPG that's also available for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, and PlayStation 4. That unusual description makes more sense after watching the previously released Announcement Trailer (way too perky narrator warning). Here's the wright stuff:
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, which retails for $29.99 USD, features a unique, hand-drawn art style that replicates aspiring game creator Kenta doodling his own imaginatively nostalgic RPG adventure in a physical notebook, aptly titled “The Legend of Wright.” While the game's title contains the term "RPG," players will be able to experience mini-gameplay from a variety of different genres inside a world made from cardboard and stationery strewn across a desk, including action, adventure, side-scrolling shooters and command battle games.

Over the course of its 10 years of development and 16 years of conception, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright’s uniquely creative presentation and imaginative vision has earned the two-person DeskWorks team awards and recognition at numerous trade shows around the world, including Tokyo Game Show, Taipei Game Show, BitSummit and IndieCade.
Continue here to read the full story.

FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse Announced

KOEI TECMO announces FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, is coming early next year to PC and consoles. This is a remastered version of a Japanese horror/adventure that was first released in Japan in 2008. The Announcement Trailer shows off the updated graphics along with a glimpse at the game's horror sensibilities. Here's word:
FATAL FRAME: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse takes place a decade after five girls mysteriously disappeared at a festival on Rōgetsu Isle, an island in southern Japan. While all of the girls were eventually rescued, their memories were lost, with only the faint remembrance of a single melody and a seemingly possessed masked woman dancing in the moonlight. Now, ten years later, with still no memory of the events surrounding their disappearance, two of the five girls have died -- discovered with covered faces and found in a tragic, crying pose. The remaining three girls now head off to the eerie island to solve the mystery of their friends’ death, while also unlocking the mystery of the memories left behind.
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TRIANGLE STRATEGY Next Month

TRIANGLE STRATEGY now has a Steam Listing, confirming the rumor that a PC edition of this Switch tactical/RPG is in the works. Those interested will not have long to wait, as this shows an October 13th release date. The Steam Announcement Trailer has a first look. This post from Square Enix covers the announcement and outlines options for a Deluxe Edition or a Deluxe Edition/Various Daylife bundle. Here's part of the introduction that sets up the story:
Three mighty powers have long waged war on the great continent of Norzelia.

This land bears a long and scarred history that includes the Saltiron War, a war that erupted over control of salt and iron resources. A balance of power has been achieved between the Holy State of Hyzante, which controls the salt, the Grand Dutchy of Aesfrost, a land of iron clad in frost and snow, and the forested Kingdom of Glenbook, which lies nestled between the other two powers.

However, a certain incident shakes the balance between these three powers, which then begins to crumble away...
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Babylon's Fall Ends in February

Babylon's Fall is going offline on February 27, 2023, announces SQUARE ENIX. This means the online action/RPG will conclude less than a year after its launch. The game's decline began immediately after its release, inspiring an announcement that it would continue after just two weeks of operation. A couple of months later the game reportedly had just one player, so this news is not the biggest shock.
With the desire of delivering an exhilarating online multiplayer action RPG set in an elaborate high fantasy world, we launched the game’s official service on Thursday, March 3, 2022, and have continued to undertake additional development and operations. However, it is with deep regret to inform you that we will be terminating the game’s service on February 27, 2023.

As a result, we will also cancel the large-scale updates that we had planned. In terms of the plan moving forward, Season 2 will run until Tuesday, November 29, 2022, as scheduled, and the Final Season will begin with the maintenance scheduled on the same day. This Final Season is the period during which you can earn the ranking rewards of Season 2.

As a way of expressing our gratitude to all our players, we plan to implement as many events and other initiatives as we can, leading up to the end of the service.

Isonzo Released

Isonzo is now available for PC and consoles, offering a new World War I shooter from the team behind Verdun and Tannenberg. This comes just a day after the news that the project has changed hands. It's available for Windows and Linux on Steam, here's the Launch Trailer with a look. Here's what has to happen before Johnnie comes marching home again:
The WW1 Game Series seeks to bring the Great War closer than ever before, and after prequels Verdun and Tannenberg, it is now Isonzo’s turn to take the stage. Starting today, the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies will clash in Isonzo river valleys and the Alps of the Southern Front.

The 'Offensive' game mode is a carefully refined experience that allows players to witness first hand the high-altitude battles of the Italian Front and reenact key historical moments. Authenticity and historical accuracy are the staples of the WW1 Game Series, and Isonzo takes the series to a new height.
Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper Elite 5 DLC and Free Map

A new Concealed Target Weapon and Skin Pack is now available for Sniper Elite 5, the World War II sharpshooting sequel. It's out on PC and consoles, and the Windows edition is on Steam. This adds new outfits for your enemies to Nazi you wearing along with a new covert pistol. Here's a trailer showing off the new content. Speaking of which, alongside the DLC comes a new survival map that's free for all players of the game. Here are the details:
Rebellion, one of the world’s most successful independent video game developers and publishers, has today released a free Survival Map for Sniper Elite 5, as well as the latest batch of Season Pass One content. Titled ‘Amongst the Rubble,' the new Survival Map is available free to all players as part of the latest title update while the new Concealed Target pack, which features a new pistol as well as character and weapon skins, is available as part of Season Pass One or as an individual purchase.

Playable in both solo and co-op, ‘Amongst the Rubble’ takes you back to the once beautiful city of Saint Nazaire. Now ravaged by war, it’s down to you and your teammates to defend the Command Post as you fight a seemingly never-ending stream of Nazis in the smoke-filled streets and ruins.
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Dying Light 2 Stay Human Chapter 2

A Huntress and a Hag is now available as a free content update for Dying Light 2 Stay Human for PC and consoles. This is the second chapter for the zombie-infested action/RPG. Word is: "Chapters are an essential part of Techland's post-launch support plan for Dying Light 2 Stay Human. Chapters feature non-time-limited content that can be played and completed at the player's leisure, and they will be entirely free across all platforms." The UPDATE 1.6.0 Patch Notes have all the details. The new content ties-in with an event that's now underway. Here's a trailer with a slightly animated cinematic and some gameplay. Here's word:
Track and hunt your prey with the Huntress and help put down once and for all the unimaginable horror that is the Hag and her legion of Plaguebearers. The Hag is a very dangerous creature and the ultimate challenge for any hunter. However, amazing new ranged weapons await for those brave enough to pursue.

New Chapter Agent — Meet Shen Xiu AKA The Huntress—the newest Chapter Agent and a very talented tracker. The mysterious bow containers littered throughout the City used to belong to her, as she is an expert in ranged weapons. Moreover, she represents the Hunters, a faction as mysterious as the Pilgrims themselves. These highly talented warriors hunt the most dangerous Infected. The chase for Shen Xiu's latest prey led her all the way to the City.
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EA and KOEI TECMO Going Hunting

Electronic Arts announces it is collaborating with publisher KOEI TECMO and developer Omega Force on what it's describing as "the next great hunting game." This is not about camo and rifle scopes, however, as its setting in a fantasy version of feudal Japan will make finding such modern innovations futile. This is just a tease, but we're told to expect more later this month. That might mean the Tokyo Game Show, which begins in but two days. Here's what we have for now:
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) EA Originals Label has announced a new partnership with KOEI TECMO and studio Omega Force, the team behind the popular Warriors series, including DYNASTY WARRIORS and SAMURAI WARRIORS, to develop and release the next great hunting game. This original IP delivers a truly AAA experience based in fantasy feudal Japan, with more details about this exciting new title coming later this month.

“It's an honor to be partnering with EA Originals and to have the support of a team with such an incredible track record of releasing groundbreaking new games,” said Yosuke Hayashi, Executive Vice President of KOEI TECMO GAMES CO, LTD. “The EA team fully embraces our creative independence and have become invaluable partners offering both development and publishing support. Adding the global resources of EA with our own will help us introduce a new kind of hunting game to a global audience of players and expand our reach into global markets. I’m really looking forward to the day that gamers from around the world can play this new game.”

Europa Universalis IV: Lions of the North Released

Lions of the North is now available on the Epic Games Store and Steam, offering a new Baltic expansion for Europa Universalis IV, the grand strategy sequel. Here's a Release Trailer featuring hand-drawn art, sonorous narration, and glimpses of gameplay. Word is the add-on will allow players to experiment with various speculative scenarios:
For almost a decade, Europa Universalis IV has encouraged players to explore new and exciting alternate histories of the early modern world. In the newest immersion pack, Lions of the North, dramatically different pasts can unfold before your eyes. Denmark can keep its hold on its northern subjects. The Teutonic Order can retreat to its past crusader glories. Gotland can become a pirate haven.

All of these dramatic “what ifs” are now available in the new Baltic Sea themed add-on to Europa Universalis IV. With branching missions, new government options for major players and even new military units, Lions of the North is packed with variety and excitement. Make your enemies hear your roar!
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Nobody Saves the World: Frozen Hearth Released

Frozen Hearth is now available on GOG.com*, Humble Store*, and Steam, offering new DLC for Nobody Saves the World, the pessimistic action/RPG from DrinkBox Studios. Here's a trailer and here's a primer:
The Frozen Hearth DLC unearths a forgotten region deep underground where the strongest warriors compete for glory in The Tempering, a series of puzzles and challenges that will push players’ transformation skills and creativity. Pass the trials of the Tempering, and players will be rewarded with the new Killer Bee and Mechanic forms, which can be used both in the DLC and in the main game.
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Morning Legal Briefs

Out of the Blue

We didn't watch the Emmy Awards here in the BlueTower, but, unlike the Oscars, we at least have seen many of the nominated shows. But in this age of impressive television there's always something new to learn. There were a couple of nominees we haven't seen yet. Most conspicuous seem to be Yellowjackets, What We Do in the Shadows, and Abbott Elementary. I'm disappointed Better Call Saul did not receive more recognition, but the whole competitive art thing is so weird it's hard to take it that seriously.

Obituary: Jean-Luc Godard, Enfant Terrible of Modern French Cinema, Dies at 91.
Obituary: Ramsey Lewis, the pop chart's favorite jazz pianist, dies at 87. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Emmy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Play

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

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