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Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022

Unreal Tournament 3 X Revealed

A new Steam Listing appeared today for Unreal Tournament 3 X (thanks Wario64 via The Verge). It carries a notice saying: "This title is currently unavailable and will be available in the future. Stay tuned!" This follows shortly after the news that Epic is ending online services for more than a dozen older games. One of those game is Unreal Tournament 3, but there's a footnote saying: "We have plans to bring back online features via Epic Online Services in the future." The description of the multiplayer FPS says it will be completely free, contain no microtransactions, and support crossplay between the major PC stores:
The classic first-person shooter is now completely free. Unreal Tournament 3 X, with crossplay between Steam, Epic Games Store and GOG features more than half-a-dozen online multiplayer modes or defend humanity in the complete single-player campaign!

Try Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II MP Free This Weekend

Season 01 Reloaded is now underway as promised in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0. The battle royale gameplay of Warzone is always free to play, but Activision is planning free access to Modern Warfare II multiplayer as well. Word is this will be free to check out between tomorrow and December 19th. This post has the patch notes for the new season, and this blog post has more on the free multiplayer access weekend. Here's word:
Call your friends and family: the battle’s heating up in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II, and you’ll need every available Operator to secure victory.

Following the launch of Season 01 Reloaded on December 14, the Multiplayer Free Access period invites everyone to try a limited portion of the Multiplayer experience from December 15 through December 19 at 10 AM PT. Deploy to Farm 18, El Asilo, and the latest map courtesy of Season 01 Reloaded: Shipment. Compete in Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, Domination, and Kill Confirmed, including the Third-Person variants of each.

Holstin Announced

Polish developer Sonka announces Holstin, a psychological horror game coming to PC via Steam. Check out the Reveal Trailer to see the unusual mix of old and new graphics, as the game features "superior, unique 2XD rendering technology that allows the team to create real-time lighting in a pixel-art game." The game carries a TBA release date, but word is a playable demo will launch on Steam next month. Here are some details:
Late November 1992. A small, isolated town in eastern Poland is struck by a foul calamity that slowly begins to consume everyone and everything it touches. This is the last known whereabouts of your friend Bartek before he stopped answering your calls. Now, you need to follow in his footsteps to uncover what brought him to this town in the first place and why he possibly couldn’t ever get out.

Something is very wrong in the town of Jeziorne-Kolonia. Explore an eerie, isolated 90’s Polish town that has been consumed by something wretched. The streets are overrun by some kind of filthy slime. The people, the buildings, and the wildlife all seem to be slowly deteriorating from the inside. You need to find your lost friend and get out before this town sinks its claws into you too.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Sunsetting Online Services

Epic games announces it is turning off online services and servers for some older games on January 24th. In most cases the affected games will still be payable offline, but some games are going away altogether. Here's the list:
The following titles will have all online services disabled on January 24, after which players can continue playing single or local multiplayer modes offline:

  • 1000 Tiny Claws
  • Dance Central 1-3
    • Note: Dance Central VR online multiplayer will remain available
  • Green Day: Rock Band
  • Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
  • Rock Band 1-3
    • Note: Rock Band 4 online multiplayer will remain available
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars
  • Unreal Gold
  • Unreal II: The Awakening
  • Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • Unreal Tournament 3
    • Note: We have plans to bring back online features via Epic Online Services in the future.
  • Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Update Released

The promised next-gen update for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is now available for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5. This adds support for many advanced graphics features, giving the seven-plus year-old RPG a fresh coat of paint along with gameplay and UI enhancements. Check out the patch notes for details and take a look at the Next-Gen Update Trailer for a look at what to expect. There's also an article about this from NVIDIA showing off GeForce graphics support. This has not gone without hiccups, however, as the developer tweets it is investigating reports of PC issues. The Windows update is available for free on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com*, and Steam. Newcomers can pick up the game on any of those stores, but GOG.com is the obvious choice at the moment, as besides benefiting the developers at CD PROJEKT RED more directly and including no DRM, the game is on sale there for 80% off. Here's word:
Behold the dark fantasy world of the Continent like never before! This edition of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been enhanced with numerous visual and technical improvements implemented with the power of the latest console generation and modern PCs in mind, including:

  • Faster loading times on console;
  • vastly improved level of detail;
  • a range of community created mods;
  • brand new mods developed for this edition of the game;
  • realtime ray tracing;
  • and more!

*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

New Bloober Team Game Revealed

Take-Two's Private Division label celebrates its fifth anniversary with a big announcement unveiling a new Development Fund to support smaller indies with financing and mentorship to enable them to self-publish. This also unveils a new partnership with Bloober Team to create a new survival/horror game. Here's a 5th Anniversary Trailer celebrating the milestone, and here's what's being revealed for now about the new game:
Bloober Team, well-known for creating horror games such as the Layers of Fear franchise, The Medium, Observer, and more, are developing a new survival-horror game to be published by Private Division. The title is in early development and does not yet have an announced release date. It is not expected to launch before calendar 2025. Private Division and Bloober Team look forward to sharing more details about this game in the future.

“Our next project is an exciting new survival-horror game, which will help us become a leader in the horror industry at large,” said Piotr Babieno, Chief Executive Officer of Bloober Team. “I am grateful for this cooperation with Private Division. Their expertise is extensive, and their people are also very approachable. We don't perceive them in a typical ‘publisher-developer’ relationship; they’re more like a friend who shows us support or keeps us in line when we need it most.”
Continue here to read the full story.

MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM BATTLE OPERATION 2 Delayed

An announcement on Steam reveals that MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM BATTLE OPERATION 2 will not arrive this year on Steam as planned (thanks Gematsu). Here's part of the explanation of why the launch of the mech combat game is being pushed into 2023:
We sincerely apologize that we were unable to conduct the network test on the scheduled date in April due to the high server load caused by the heavy access, which made it difficult to connect to the game and prevented the game from being saved properly.
 
Since then, we have investigated the cause of the problem and taken corrective measures, and now that we are on schedule to resume the network test, we are preparing to conduct the network test again in early 2023. We apologize again for the long wait, and we will continue to improve the quality of the service based on the feedback we have received from users during this test. We will release more details on the network test schedule and content as they become available.
Continue here to read the full story.

Superfuse Testing Begins

Playtesting of Superfuse begins today to prepare this superhero action/RPG from Stitch Heads Entertainment and Raw Fury for its Early Access launch on January 31st. To get in on the testing, head over to the Steam Listing and hit the "Request Access" button. A new trailer accompanies the news, showing off some co-op gameplay in action. This post has more details on testing:
ABOUT THE BETA
We’ve sure come a long way since our Next Fest Demo, and have the battle scars to prove it! So strap in and enjoy our brand new Beta test - an early version of the game, with Single Player and Multiplayer modes available to play AND stream to your heart’s content! Share your gameplay or screenshots with us on Twitter at @SuperfuseGame, and be sure to step into our hidden Beta area on Discord too (more info below)!

COMBO COMPETITION
Who DOESN’T love a good fuse combo, am I right? Which is why we want to see the most creative fuses you can think of throughout the Beta test, and submit them via a screenshot/clip to our Discord Beta #discussion channel! The one that wows will receive the unique (and braggable) server title “Combo Champion,” and will have their winning screenshot or clip shared on our Twitter page for our horde of followers to see. Ends December 20th at 11:00 am CET so get fusing, folks!
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

  • The Guardian Pushing Buttons: Shouldn’t the ‘video game Oscars’ be about more than just hours of trailers?
    "The Game Awards has the same problem as the much longer-running Golden Joysticks, now in their 40th year and arguably better placed to claim the title of the Oscars of video games, in that it is at heart a money-making exercise. It is very difficult to feel very much when you watch them – unlike, say, the Baftas, which are smaller-scale and less obviously profit-oriented, and which do genuinely feel like a celebration of gaming creativity. That’s partly because the voting system allows indie games to compete on a level footing with the commercial giants of the industry, and often win."

Out of the Blue

As I reported in the forums yesterday, I was finally able to get my PC back up and running. The physical media was not required, just a little time away from the project to approach it from the proper angle. Some cool-headed research led me to properly reformat the boot drive and restore a backup. Within a couple of hours it was almost like nothing ever happened. Seems I should feel lucky that my restore worked so well. I use this utility called Genie9, and in Googling to find what client I should install to restore the backup I found lots of articles complaining about the program. There are even complaints calling it a "scam," related to sales of "lifetime" cloud storage for backups. My local restore worked fine, but this still is worrisome. I like the way the program operates in the background to keep a time machine of changed files, so maybe someone has a recommendation for a similar program that comes with less baggage?

Obituary: Kawānanakoa, 'last Hawaiian princess,' dies at 96.
Obituary: 'Ellen' DJ Stephen 'tWitch' Boss Dead at 40 by Suicide.

Running Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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