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Thursday, Feb 02, 2023 Groundhog Day

Get City of Gangsters and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider for Free

It's another Thrifty Thursday on the Epic Games Store, where the latest weekly game giveaway is now available. This time is a two-for, as everyone can collect both City of Gangsters and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider in exchange for a payment of nothing at all. Either or both are for keeps, just act before 11:00 am EDT next Thursday when the cycle will refresh. At that point we'll all have the chance to get a free copy of Recipe for Disaster. Here's a quick pitch for each of today's freebies:
In this new management tycoon game you'll start a criminal operation from nothing, and grow it into a well-oiled money machine! Build speakeasies and illegal distilleries. Manage production chains and resource distribution. Set up illicit gambling dens and squeeze your debtors dry. Smuggle goods from out of town and bribe the police to look the other way. Grow a powerful crew and keep your rivals under your thumb. Eliminate competition and rule the city. But most importantly, keep the money flowing.

From the award-winning developers at Arkane Studios comes Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the next standalone adventure in the critically acclaimed Dishonored series. Be a badass supernatural assassin and take on the role of notorious Billie Lurk as she reunites with her mentor Daud in order to pull off the greatest assassination ever conceived.

Tim Schafer Going Into the AIAS Hall of Fame

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announces that Double Fine's Tim Schafer is this year's inductee into the AIAS Hall of Fame. He will be honored on February 24th at the 26th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. Tim wouldn't be getting this honor if he needed an introduction, but for the record, here's a bit on how we got here:
Schafer - a former computer-science major from UC Berkeley - started his career in the electronic entertainment industry at Lucasfilm Games, where he worked as an assistant designer to Ron Gilbert on the Secret of Monkey Island franchise.

Later, alongside fellow game designer Dave Grossman, Schafer would go on to co-direct the sequel to Gilbert’s critically acclaimed Maniac Mansion game, entitled Day of the Tentacle. This classic, point-and-click, time travel adventure game marked the start of Schafer’s illustrious career as a game director, with other notable and award-winning titles such as Grim Fandango and Full Throttle coming from under his direction during his tenure at Lucasfilm Games.

Best known for memorable, comedic storytelling with heart, Schafer has gone on to direct and produce several other critically acclaimed games including Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and Broken Age under the umbrella of his own games company - Double Fine Productions.
Continue here to read the full story.

No More Back 4 Blood Content

Turtle Rock Studios announces that it's working on a new game. The bad news is that this means an end to active development on Back 4 Blood. This does not mean the co-op shooter is left for dead, but it does mean no new content is in the works. There are no details about the new game, but the developer says it may be a bit quieter for a while as they work on it:
What an amazing year 2022 was for us. First off, we wanted to thank all of you for making Back 4 Blood what it is today. With three expansions – Tunnels of Terror, Children of the Worm, and River of Blood – we’ve traveled on a fantastic adventure together beyond the walls of Fort Hope. This phase of our war against the Ridden now comes to a close.

Turtle Rock Studios is actually pretty small for a studio making AAA games. We don’t have quite enough folks to continue working on Back 4 Blood content while we spin up another game – yes, another game! Given this, it’s time for us to put our heads down, get back in the lab, and get to work on the next big thing.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tails: The Backbone Preludes Released

Tails: The Backbone Preludes is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store and Steam, offering a narrative adventure as a new entry in the crowded post-noir raccoon detective genre. This prequel to Backbone returns to the setting of a dystopian Vancouver populated by anthropomorphic animals. All this plays out in hand-drawn pixel art style, as shown off in this Release Trailer. Here's more:
Taking place years before the events of Backbone, Tails: The Backbone Preludes is a narrative game following four characters through formative moments of change, circumstance, and consequences in life and told through a series of interactive vignettes.

Your choices are what’s most important – what traits are you bringing with you in your story, and what is the impact you make on the characters around you?
Continue here to read the full story.

NVIDIA Discord Workaround

NVIDIA Support offers a workaround for gamers who own NVIDIA graphics cards and run Discord. Users on Reddit and the Linus Tech Tips forum noticed a recent Discord update causes memory clock speeds to drop by up to 200 MHz (thanks The Verge). A fix is in the works, but in the meantime, there's a workaround that involves a manual settings edit. In short:
Issue:
After a recent update to the Discord app, users may notice that the graphics card memory clocks will not reach full speeds when launching a game.

Solution:
A fix will be pushed to users PCs via an over the air update at a later date. If you do not receive the update or if you wish to apply the fix manually, you may do so by following the instructions below:

The Day Before Gameplay Footage

Developer Fntastic offers a new video with gameplay from The Day Before, the MMORPG that was recently delayed again. There have long been questions about this upcoming MMORPG based on its use of unpaid developers, multiple delays, and no lack of gameplay footage. This speaks to that last concern, showing off 10 minutes of gameplay, including exploration, inventory management, combat, and, well, wandering. There's also another new short running 39 seconds purportedly showing someone playing the game in real-time. There's no HUD in either clip, and there are comments from gamers who remain skeptical that these videos show actual gameplay. Continue here to read the full story.

Deliver Us Mars Delivered

Deliver Us Mars is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a sci-fi sequel from developer KeokeN Interactive and publisher Frontier Foundry. This post discusses the release, illustrated by a new Launch Trailer setting up the game's narrative. A subsequent post mentions a first minor update that's now live. Here's more on this follow up to Deliver Us The Moon:
Sequel to the award-winning Deliver Us The Moon, Deliver Us Mars is an atmospheric sci-fi adventure offering an immersive astronaut experience. Explore new frontiers on a suspense-fuelled, high-stakes mission to recover the ARK colony ships stolen by the mysterious Outward.

Ten years after the Fortuna mission, humanity is closer than ever to extinction. After a mysterious distress call from Mars, Earth’s youngest astronaut Kathy Johanson joins the Zephyr and its crew on one last mission: to recover the ARK colony ships stolen by the mysterious Outward, and with them, ensure the survival of the human race.
Continue here to read the full story.

PERISH Released

PERISH is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com,* and Steam, offering a throwback first-person shooter with single-player and co-op support. Console gamers worried they won't get this should perish the thought, as it's coming to PlayStation and Xbox by the end of this year. The Release Trailer is here with a look at some fast-paced gameplay. Word is this may not be FPS heaven, but at least it's purgatory:
​Set forth as Amyetri, a corporeal spirit condemned to live a shadow life in the halfway realm of Purgatory. Armed with nothing but a broken sword, Amyetri must escape a dark eternity.

Slaughter cultic spirits and bestial creatures to the riffs of a heavy-metal soundtrack. Press onward throughout the holy domain of Elysium, traversing daunting paths littered with lifeless bodies and undying enemies ready to return Amyetri to the darkness.

Abolish hordes of undead and rare colossal deities in epic boss battles. Raid corpses to gather gold danake. Meet with the high priestess to exchange danake for more than 10 handcrafted and ornate weapon types including javelins, swords, bows, and guns, each with its own unique and upgradeable offensive capabilities. Deposit the blood-soaked currency into the Pantheon or risk losing it all upon death. Reap the spoils of combat and carry on through collapsing cliffs, decaying labyrinths, and fiery pits.
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

Limerick: Cadence Mansion Demo

Limerick is a game with a dream. In the works at the Jenito Studios team. It will fill you with fear. When it launches this year. But for now there's a demo on Steam. Limerick: Cadence Mansion features puzzles to solve and evil creatures (including a marionette) to overcome. Here's a previously released IP Announcement Trailer, and here's more:
Limerick is a story-rich, atmospheric thriller-adventure set on the foreboding Nightsonnet Isle. You awaken in an empty cell with your past and purpose shrouded in mystery. Responsive puzzles, otherworldly monsters, and enigmatic clues will challenge you each step of the way as you explore, experience, and engage with the riddles of Cadence Mansion.
Continue here to read the full story.

Way of the Hunter Aurora Shores Announced

THQ Nordic announces Aurora Shores, new DLC for Way of the Hunter that will take the hunt to the challenging environments of Alaska. This is coming "soon" to the PC and console editions of the game, and it will be accompanied by a patch for all players which will add a crossbow to everyone's arsenal. There's also a reminder that a free UTV DLC was added to the game a couple of weeks ago. You can find the PC edition on Steam. Here's the Aurora Shores DLC Announcement Trailer, and here's more:
As a newly graduated Wildlife Trooper, your mission is to preserve the region's natural resources. Immerse yourself in the untamed wilderness and encounter 14 different species, from Kodiak Bears to Roosevelt Elks and beyond. As a trooper, it's up to you to manage the delicate ecosystem by controlling the population of certain species for the benefit of others. Discover the diverse beauty and open-world habitats of Aurora Shores, from verdant grasslands to soaring mountaintops and lush rainforests. Despite the harsh Alaskan winter, the region boasts breathtaking landscapes year-round. Explore the Nianuk Rise peaks and the sprawling Aivuk Rainforest, and be captivated by the idyllic charm of this unique wilderness.
Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch 2 Anti-Cheat Efforts Take on Boosting

The Overwatch Website has the latest on Blizzard's efforts at making Overwatch 2 a better place with its Defense Matrix Initiative. This includes details on disruptive voice chat detection, custom game moderation, streamer protection, and further measures being taken to thwart cheaters. This includes the acknowledgement that boosting is a form of cheating, and action is being taken to punish players who ride along on cheaters' coattails:
We acknowledge that cheating continues to be a major concern for many of our high-ranked players. So far, we have actioned over 50,000 accounts that we found to be cheating since the launch of Overwatch 2. Along with taking action against cheaters, we want to discourage any incentive to take advantage of cheating, including grouping up with anyone who uses cheats and hacks. Starting in season 3, we’ll be identifying players who willingly group up regularly with those flagged for cheating, and they will also face account action, even if they are not using cheats themselves.

Players who knowingly group up with cheaters are looking to take the same advantage as those who use cheats themselves, including boosting their accounts to skill levels they would not normally belong in with their own skill. Doing so creates unfair and imbalanced matches for many in our community and does not live up to our core value of Play Nice, Play Fair. While those who directly cheat are often permanently banned immediately, we will be issuing severe suspensions for extended amounts of time, and in extreme cases, outright bans, to those grouping up with known cheaters.

Out of the Blue

Happy Groundhog Day. Here's hoping everyone got off to a great start with a Sonny and Cher tune and a Ned Ryerson reunion. But of course there's only one factor that determines whether it's a good Groundhog Day or not, and that's the weather forecast. It's a clear sunny morning in our area, so it's not shocking that Punxsutawney Phil reportedly saw his shadow, a harbinger that winter weather will persist for another six weeks. On the other hand, the even more local Staten Island Chuck predicts an early spring. This shouldn't be too shocking either, as this is the eighth year in a row he's made that exact same prediction. This dates back to when Chuck was possibly killed by the mayor, so it may have to do with the substitution. According to the this article, Chuck's been on the money 10 out of the last 11 years. Here's hoping he's right again, because I'm certainly ready for some warmer weather.

Shadowy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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