Archived News:

Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Play Rainbow Six Siege Free for a Week

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Website reveals a free week is underway on all platforms for this tactical shooter from Ubisoft. Word is: "This week, you can access the full game for FREE, including all of the maps and modes. Get your friends together, pick an operator and dive into intense tactical action!" If you like the game, you can pick it up on sale for 75% off and your progress from the free week will carry over. Here's a bit on the game:
Master the art of destruction and gadgetry in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. Face intense close quarters combat, high lethality, tactical decision making, team play and explosive action within every moment. Experience a new era of fierce firefights and expert strategy born from the rich legacy of past Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six games.

Engage in a brand-new style of assault using an unrivaled level of destruction and gadgetry.
On defense, coordinate with your team to transform your environments into strongholds. Trap, fortify and create defensive systems to prevent being breached by the enemy.
On attack, lead your team through narrow corridors, barricaded doorways and reinforced walls. Combine tactical maps, observation drones, rappelling and more to plan, attack and defuse every situation.

Hell Let Loose Free Weekend

Also free to try this weekend is Hell Let Loose on Steam for Windows, Black Matter Pty's and Team17's hardcore first-person shooter set in World War II. This one is on sale for 33% off if you decide to reenlist after your free tour. Here's the recruiting pitch:
Fight in the most iconic battles of the Western Front, including Carentan, Omaha Beach and Foy and more. This is combat at a whole new scale....with lumbering tanks dominating the battlefield, crucial supply chains fuelling the frontlines, you are a cog in the machine of colossal combined arms warfare. Hell Let Loose puts you in the chaos of war, complete with deep player-controlled vehicles, a dynamically evolving front line, and crucial unit-focused gameplay that commands the tide of battle.

Featuring more than 9 sweeping maps modelled on real reconnaissance images and satellite data, the entire battlefield is divided up into large capture sectors - allowing for emergent and constantly unique gameplay that pits two forces of fifty players in a fight to the death across fields, bridges, forests and towns on an ever-evolving front line. When a sector is captured, it will generate one of three resources for your team, creating a complex meta-game that will influence your team’s march to victory.

INDIE Live Expo - Winter 2022 Beginning

The INDIE Live Expo - Winter 2022 is this weekend, offering two days dedicated to new and upcoming indie games. This takes place in Japan, so the plan will not agree with most Western schedules. Things get underway tomorrow at 4:00 am EST (the wee hours tonight) and again at 4:00 am EST the following day. The festivities will be streamed in English, Japanese, and Chinese. This page has details on the plan. Here's a bit:
DAY1: Let’s Play will highlight previously released and Early Access games. Watch for reveals of updates and new content for select titles and spotlights on games worth playing from notable figures in the media, content creators, and gaming industry. Learn about many games in as little time as possible in the return of the rapid-fire INDIE Waves segments spotlighting dozens of games from creators worldwide.

DAY2: Awards will split its focus between unreleased titles with INDIE Live Premiere segments and more INDIE Waves features, along with honoring the winners of the third-annual INDIE Live Expo Awards. Winners from 10 categories, including Game of the Year, will be determined by an international judges’ panel and public voting. The deadline for public contributions is Dec. 3 at 11:59 AM JST, with voting available at this link. The latest INDIE Studios Around the World feature takes place on DAY2, with a spotlight on developers from Korea.

Secret Neighbor: Hello Neighbor Multiplayer Free Weekend

Secret Neighbor: Hello Neighbor Multiplayer is another game holding a free weekend on Steam. This is the Windows multiplayer social horror game where a group teams up to try and save their friend from the creepy neighbor's basement. Here's how it works:
Secret Neighbor is a multiplayer Social Horror game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. Explore the Hello Neighbor house with your friends, but beware - one of you is the Neighbor in disguise. Use teamwork and rescue your friend from the basement, or mess with everyone’s heads as the Neighbor!

Your group has one goal - sneak around the house, collecting the keys in order to unlock the basement door. The only problem is - one of you is the Neighbor, a traitor in disguise!

Cooperate with your teammates, stay together or tactically split up, use your perks and abilities, and drop those basement door locks one by one.

Witch It Free Weekend

One more free weekend on Steam is for Witch It, a multiplayer hide-and-seek game for Windows from developer Barrel Roll Games and publisher Daedalic Entertainment (thanks SteamDB via Ant). This post outlines the plan:
For the next 3 days, Witch It is currently free to download and play for a limited time!
Now's the perfect time to introduce the game to your friends and family without having to spend a single coin...

Witch It is currently free to download and play on Steam for a limited time, ending on Sunday at 1pm PST.

In addition, Witch It is also on a -75% discount until December 8th - so if you enjoy the free weekend, then make sure to grab a discounted copy for yourself or a buddy!

Fuser Servers Close Next Week

Harmonix announces it is sunsetting live services for Fuser, and the servers for the rhythm game will go offline one week from today (thanks Gematsu). While the game will no longer be sold, the good news is that players can still enjoy the campaign and quickplay:
We want to thank you for mixing with us. On December 19, we will be disabling FUSER’s live services and all sales of the game, as well as its DLC. Players who already own FUSER will still be able to play the Campaign and Quick Play with any DLC they have already acquired.

Thank you again for your support and for all the amazing mixes over the years.

I Am Jesus Christ: Prologue

Steam now offers I Am Jesus Christ: Prologue, a playable demo for I Am Jesus Christ, the upcoming first-person retelling of the story of the birth of Christianity. A video Devlog #34 discusses the Prologue and what to expect. This post digs further into its content, saying it offers about an hour of gameplay from the full game, which is expected to enter Early Access next year. Here's more on this chance to exercise your god complex:
The I Am Jesus Christ prologue offers players around an hour of gameplay inside a carefully recreated section of the Holy Land including the City of Jerusalem and the Galilee region. During this gameplay sample, players will see in first person key moments of Jesus’s life including experiencing him wandering the desert where he was tempted by Satan, and witnessing the miracle where he turned water into wine.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Multiplex

Content creator videos.

Marvel's Midnight Suns Dawns

Take-Two Interactive announces the worldwide launch of Marvel's Midnight Suns for Windows PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5, offering a superheroic, card-based RPG from Firaxis. The PC edition is available through the Epic Games Store and Steam. The Official Launch Trailer offers a look at some marvelous cinematics, but no gameplay. If you're interested in reviews, we posted a roundup on Wednesday you can peruse. Here's word:
From the creators of the critically-acclaimed tactical XCOM series comes an engaging and deeply customizable card-based battle system that rewards clever thinking with Super Hero flair. Deploy a squad of Super Heroes on tactical turn-based missions to thwart the forces of evil. Use your environment, move around the battlefield lining up the perfect shot or combo, and then launch devastating hero abilities to gain the advantage in each epic encounter.

The combat leverages the best elements from tactical games and card-based combat in a truly unique and thrilling experience.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Callisto Protocol Released

The Callisto Protocol is now available on Steam, offering a horror-themed, sci-fi third-person shooter for Windows. Also available on consoles, this is published by KRAFTON and created by Striking Distance Studios, a developer which includes veterans of the Dead Space series. The previously released Official Launch Trailer shows off some of the game's gruesomeness. And this tweet outlines the game's Max and Ultra system requirements. Lastly, this tweet outlines plans for post-release support, including a New Game+ mode coming in February. Here's word on the game:
In this narrative-driven, third-person survival horror game set 300 years in the future, the player will take on the role of Jacob Lee – a victim of fate thrown into Black Iron Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary located on Jupiter's moon, Callisto. When inmates begin to transform into monstrous creatures, the prison is thrown into chaos. To survive, Jacob must battle his way to safety to escape Black Iron Prison, while uncovering the dark and disturbing secrets buried beneath the surface of Callisto. Using a unique blend of shooting and close-quarters combat, Jacob will need to adapt his tactics to combat the rapidly evolving creatures while scavenging to unlock new weapons, gear, and abilities to outrun the growing threat and escape the horrors of Jupiter's Dead Moon.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Callisto Protocol Reviews

Following the above-mentioned launch come the first reviews of The Callisto Protocol. This is not a pretty picture at this point, as Steam shows almost 4,000 "Mostly Negative" reviews. The PC edition is reportedly suffering performance issues, with Eurogamer calling it almost unplayable. There's even a report that the game's Metacritic Score has actually hurt KRAFTON's stock price (thanks RedEye9), despite standing at a respectable 75/76 as this is written. Here's a roundup:

Need for Speed Unbound Races Out

Electronic Arts announces Need for Speed Unbound is living up to its name, as the driving game sequel is now-unbound, and available for PC and consoles. For the Windows edition, race over to the Epic Games Store or Steam. The new installment boasts an "all-new unique visual style," which is shown off in this video. Read on for more:
The time is now to race to the top! Experience adrenaline-pumping moments as you speed through Lakeshore in Need for Speed™ Unbound from Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and Criterion Games, now available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The next generation of the iconic Need for Speed franchise puts players in the driver seat of their own street racing fantasy as they outsmart cops and prove they have what it takes to win The Grand, Lakeshore’s ultimate street racing challenge.

With an all-new, unique visual style, Need for Speed Unbound blends elements of street art with the most realistic looking cars in the franchise’s history in smooth 4K resolution at 60 FPS for the first time in the series. The innovative single player campaign delivers thrills and consequences through an immersive narrative that engages players in the city of Lakeshore as they race, collect, upgrade and customize the world's hottest performance cars on their way to the top of the scene.
Continue here to read the full story.

subROV - Underwater Discoveries Early Access

Steam now offers Early Access to subROV - Underwater Discoveries, offering the chance to dive into a new simulation/adventure that emerses players in the field of undersea exploration. The Launch Trailer shows how this involves operating a remote-controlled submarine to explore the ocean bottom, and maybe find that old lady's diamond. This post discusses the milestone, saying Early Access is expected to run about six months. Here's a deep dive:
subROV: Underwater Discoveries is a submarine exploration game where you learn to operate an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), and embark on dives the world around. You will chart unknown regions, sample hydrothermal vents, find ship wrecks, and study aquatic species along the water column.

You are in complete control of every aspect of the dive that you embark on, from navigating an oceanic research vessel, to deploying and operating a full-ocean-depth rated ROV equipped with an array of advanced tools.

Begin as a trainee and earn your certificate to become a full-fledged pilot and take on dives to explore and discover the many fascinating sights and mysteries of the deep ocean.
Continue here to read the full story.

Warframe Adds Cross Platform Play

Digital Extremes announces that Cross Platform Play is now supported in Warframe, the free-to-play mech combat shooter. This is an optional feature to allow players on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch to play together. The Warframe Cross Platform Progression Guide has details, saying that Cross Platform Save is not implemented yet, but is in the works. This trailer introduces the changes. Here's more:
Warframe’s Cross Platform Play feature can be turned on and off in the game Options Menu. When the feature is enabled, a players’ platform icon will be displayed next to their name. They can Chat, join Squads, and can expect expedited Public Matchmaking as other players across all platforms in the Origin System join in for the Missions ahead. Players across all platforms can also meet in Relays and Dojos, however, VoIP chat features will be added in the future and are currently unavailable.

To help identify players who have the same name across different platforms, each player has been assigned a numeric suffix. This suffix is only necessary when players are looking to invite someone into their squad or want to chat with other players who may have the same name. Players can find their suffix in their Profile from the game menu. Console players have an ability to include spaces in their Warframe alias. For PC players to Whisper (private message) to their friends on console with a space in their name, they must use apostrophes to capture their full name. An example of this interaction can be found in the Cross Platform Play FAQ on the Warframe website.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

My new RTX 3070 Ti GPU arrived, and is now humming along happily in my machine. There was a small to medium hiccup along the way though. I installed the new card and got a long and three short beeps. So no video card recognized. I re-seated it, but I knew this wasn't the problem, because the performance-enhancing RGB lighting on the card lit up when I powered on the system. I double-checked the GPU power cables and all the other troubleshooting I could, but was stuck. I called Zotac and the tech said if I could verify with ASUS that this ancient Sabertooth Z77 motherboard supported the card I should RMA it. I spoke with ASUS, and got that confirmation (after a lengthy explanation of just how out-of-warranty the mobo is). But having built so many PCs I knew user error was far more likely than hardware failure, so I stuck with it. That's when I remembered that the system was fairly aggressively overclocked. It's easy to forget when you've been running a stable OC for years without thinking about it. I reset the BIOS to its default, and the new card fired up immediately, and I was in business.

And I have to say, that business is far better than expected. The CPU, now running at stock 3.4GHz, may be holding back the GPU, but it's nothing like I feared. Performance is greatly improved across the board, and the card happily handled all the ray-tracing that I threw at it. I'm making a note here, huge success. Speaking of which, this upgrade decision was immediately followed by the news that RTX Portal will arrive next week, so I am now serendipitously all set to enjoy this remaster of one of my very favorite games of all time.

Obituary: Gaylord Perry, two-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84.

Sped-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links


Thanks Max.


Creature Features
Thanks Kxmode.

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