Archived News:

Thursday, Oct 26, 2023

Play Space Engineers for Free

A free weekend is underway on Steam for Space Engineers, offering the chance to enter this sci-fi sandbox and try your hand at the exploration, construction, and survival gameplay it offers. As is often the case, your progress will carry over if you buy the game, which is currently on sale for 75% off. Keen Software House notes this free weekend comes along with a surprise patch to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary in this post:
Ten years ago we began this incredible journey through the stars, laying the foundation for everything that has come to pass. 10 years, 5 million copies, Hundreds of updates, and a half million workshop mods and creations later, Space Engineers is still thriving!

In celebration of this incredible moment, we have prepared a surprise update for you to commemorate 10 years of engineering, planning, grinding, welding, battles, and exploration!

To every Space Engineer out in the vastness of space, those of you that have been with us from the beginning, to those that became a Space Engineers only now, thank you for being a part of this journey. Your creativity and passion for Space Engineers inspires us to our very best.

Ubisoft Releases Financials; Delays "Large Game"

Ubisoft confirms guidance after Q2 revenue beat, headcount drops has details on Ubisoft's latest financial reporting. Word is: "The group reported operating income of 16.1 million euros for the six months to end September, after a loss of 215.3 million euros in the same period last year." There's also an update on the company's austerity program: "Ubisoft's total headcount dropped to 19,410 employees as of September 30, down from just under 20,000 reported in May, as the company said it was "well on track" with a cost-cutting plan initially announced in January." Looking forward, the company affirms its guidance for next year, even after revealing the delay to an unrevealed "large game":
Ubisoft, which has been dogged by game cancellations and delays, reiterated its forecast of a full-year non-IFRS operating income around 400 million euros, without releasing the other large game it had initially planned to launch during the last quarter of the current fiscal year.

For the third quarter, the company expects net bookings of around 610 million euros.

Steam Scream Fest: The Revenge

Steam Scream Fest: The Revenge is now underway, a timely celebration of scary games as Halloween nears. This runs from now until November 2nd, and there are free daily rewards to encourage you to visit every day. The fest highlights horror games for PC, VR, Steam Deck. Many of these are on sale, and there a bunch of playable demos that will only be playable for the duration of the event. Here's the Steam Scream: The Revenge Official Trailer and here are a few demos:

  • Gord (Windows). "Gord is a single-player adventure strategy. To survive, you must build, but to prevail, you must conquer the darkness beyond the gates. In this dark fantasy world, you must complete quests while managing a populace whose personal stories and well-being decide the fate of your tribe."
  • Hauntii (Windows). "A beguiling adventure in which you uncover the secrets of an expansive and mysterious world - haunting both the environment and its denizens to craft ingenious solutions to the many challenges that await."
  • Leximan (Windows). "Do you like silly hats? Were you that one kid in class who broke reality? Are you eating nutritional slime right now? Embark on a brilliant adventure, using words and incompetence to solve bizarre problems. There are also hat goblins."
Continue here to read the full story.

The Unliving Lives

RocketBrush Studio and Team17 Digital announce the launch of The Unliving, and version 1.0 of this roguelite RTS/RPG is now available on Steam with a 40% launch discount. This post covers the news, offering patch notes for what's changed for the launch along with a Launch Trailer with a look at frenetic pixel-art gameplay. Here's word on the game and its Early Access journey:
RocketBrush Studio and Team17 Digital have today launched action RPG The Unliving out of Steam Early Access and into version 1.0 on Steam. Combining rogue-lite and real-time strategy gameplay with a dark fantasy setting, The Unliving follows a vengeful Necromancer sweeping relentlessly across the land, smiting his enemies and reanimating fallen foes in pursuit of an antidote to restore his broken soul.

Since its launch into Steam Early Access in November last year, The Unliving has received a series of updates and quality of life improvements, including a new game mode, requested quality of life features that streamline gameplay, and optimisation of the Horde mechanics.
Continue here to read the full story.

NecroCity Leaves Early Access

Also leaving Early Access today is NecroCity, which is now officially available for Windows on Steam. This is a city building/tower defense game where you lead undead forces to fending off the incursion of do-gooders with all their fancy quests. The Release Trailer shows these so-called heroes getting what they deserve. Here's word:
Gameparic released NecroCity on Steam, and after several months of development, Studio decided to release the game in the Full Version. The game is a mix of city-building, strategy, and tower defense games. Players have to defend their undead outposts from the persistent forces of the so-called “good”.

Also as a free update to the game, Gameparic decided to add a new mode - Endless Mode. This exciting game mode will allow players to face a constant wave of enemies and overcome any challenges they can imagine in the Undead World.
Continue here to read the full story.

Get The Evil Within 2 and Tandem: A Tale of Shadows for Free

It's Thursday, and you know what that means. Poppa's got a brand-new snag at the Epic Games Store where two more games are now available for free. For the next seven days every Epic Games Store user is entitled to a free copy of Tandem: A Tale of Shadows, and the sequel to last week's giveaway, The Evil Within 2. Get them while they're hot and they're yours to keep. But the offer will end next Thursday when giveaways go live for F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch and Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. Here's more on today's freebies:
Detective Sebastian Castellanos has lost it all...but when given a chance to save his daughter, Sebastian must descend once more into the nightmarish world of STEM in The Evil Within 2. Horrifying threats emerge from every corner as the world twists and warps around him. Tackle adversity head on with upgradeable weapons, cleverly deployed traps and even stealthily avoiding harm's way in this nailbiting survival horror sequel from the talented team at Tango Gameworks. Return to the nightmare to win back your life and loved ones as you plunge into the twisted world of The Evil Within 2.

Tandem : A Tale of Shadows redefines the puzzle platformer genre with a unique gameplay and exceptional aesthetics. Help Emma and the teddy bear Fenton solve the mystery of the disappearance of the famous magician Thomas Kane.

New GeForce Drivers

New version 545.92 GeForce drivers for Windows are now available as the latest "game ready," WHQL-certified drivers for GeForce graphics cards. Among other things, these prepare for tomorrow's launch of Alan Wake 2 and today's release of Ghostrunner 2. This article has all the details. Here's a bit on NVIDIA support in Alan Wake 2:
Full ray tracing, also known as path tracing, accurately simulates light throughout an entire scene. It is used by visual effects artists to create film and TV graphics that are indistinguishable from reality, but until the arrival of GeForce RTX GPUs with RT Cores, and the AI-powered acceleration of NVIDIA DLSS, full ray tracing in real-time video games was impossible. Throughout Alan Wake 2 you’ll witness spectacular scenes and jaw-dropping set pieces that leverage the power of GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs and NVIDIA DLSS 3.5 to deliver the definitive experience.

Alan Wake 2 includes the complete suite of DLSS technologies, maximizing frame rates and image quality using the power of AI. DLSS Super Resolution enables all GeForce RTX gamers to significantly accelerate frame rates. DLSS Frame Generation multiplies performance on GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards, desktops and laptops by up to 4.5X. Reflex reduces system latency, making gameplay even more responsive. And our newest groundbreaking feature, DLSS Ray Reconstruction, replaces several hand-tuned ray tracing denoisers with a new unified AI model, elevating the image quality of ray-traced effects and full ray tracing to new heights.

Play Fallout 76 for Free

Presumably related to the recent Fallout Day, Steam is offering the chance to play Fallout 76 all weekend for free (thanks Ant). This is access to the full version of the post-apocalyptic prequel, including the just-launched Spooky Scorched Halloween Event. If you find your vacation in the wasteland fulfilling and want to move in, the game is on sale for 80% off, and you will be able to retain your progress. Here's a refresher:
Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76. Twenty-five years after the bombs fell, you and your fellow Vault Dwellers—chosen from the nation’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America on Reclamation Day, 2102. Play solo or join together as you explore, quest, build, and triumph against the wasteland’s greatest threats. Explore a vast wasteland, devastated by nuclear war, in this open-world multiplayer addition to the Fallout story. Experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.

Ghostrunner 2 Released

Following a couple of days of Early Access for preorder customers, Ghostrunner 2 is now officially available for all on PC and consoles, offering the chance to once again jack in as Jack, a stealthy cyber-ninja fighting his way through a neon-lit sci-fi world. This cyberpunk environment and a slice of gameplay are on display in the edgy Launch Trailer. The Windows edition is on the Epic Games Store,,* and Steam and each store hosts the playable demo. Here's word:
Set one year after the events of the original Ghostrunner, the high-octane sequel follows cyber ninja Jack as he fights a violent AI cult. Wield a razor-sharp katana once more, and slice through the relentless onslaught of frenzied cultists, cybernetic warlords, and terrifying AI entities both in and, for the first time, outside of Dharma Tower.

Engage in vehicular combat, weaving through obstacles and knocking down enemies on a high-speed motorcycle. On foot, Jack embraces his iconic parkour and Gap Jammer move set from the original game, improved and expanded upon for quick traversal across varying surfaces in both neon-lit urban environments and a sand-blasted wasteland. Stylishly slide, dash, and evade deadly attacks from a range of new adversaries.

Ghostrunner 2 ups the ante with new abilities and a revamped progression system. Explore new combat options and find the right approach to dodge, parry, and destroy foes capable of killing Jack with one strike. Defeat bosses with increased freedom, learning how to overcome with their devious new tricks.

ARK: Survival Ascended Early Access

ARK: Survival Ascended is now in Early Access on Steam, offering an version of ARK: Survival Evolved updated for newer systems using Unreal Engine 5. The Windows version is taking point, but the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 editions will follow next month. ARK offers the chance to breed dinosaurs, raise dinosaurs, and kill dinosaurs. The Launch Trailer shows how the visuals are improved over the original that launched way back in 2015. Here's more:
Respawn into a new dinosaur survival experience beyond your wildest dreams… as ARK is reimagined from the ground-up into the next-generation of videogame technology with Unreal Engine 5! You awake on a mysterious island, your senses overwhelmed by the blinding sunlight and brilliant colors bouncing off every surface around you, the azure waters of a verdant Island lapping at your bare feet. A deep roar echoes from the misty jungle, jolting you into action, and you stand up – not afraid, but intrigued. Are you ready to form a tribe, tame and breed hundreds of species of dinosaurs and other primeval creatures, explore, craft, build, and fight your way to the top of the food-chain? Your new world awaits… step through the looking-glass and join it!
Continue here to read the full story.

Risk of Rain Returns Next Month

Risk of Rain - Dev Thoughts 32 is a video from Hopoo Games and Gearbox Publishing revealing November 8th as the release date for Risk of Rain Returns, the upcoming platformer remaster. The game will arrive at that time for Windows and Switch. The date is not yet reflected on the Steam Listing, but it's discussed in this post. Here are the launch details:
Risk of Rain Returns will release on Steam and Nintendo Switch on November 8th 2023 - the exact 10 year anniversary of the release of the original Risk of Rain!

The suggested retail price of Risk of Rain Returns will be $14.99 however for a short period at launch there will be a -15% discount down to just $12.75

All of us at Hopoo Games want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for both following along during the development of Risk of Rain Returns and all the support you’ve given us over the last ten years. It’s been a wild ride and we have plenty of plans for the future…
Continue here to read the full story.

Berzerk: Recharged Next Month

Atari announces November 9th is the official release date for Berzerk: Recharged, the arcade game revival that was announced just three weeks ago. Here's the Announcement Trailer if you missed it at the time, and here's more on this returning chance to go berzerk:
In Berzerk: Recharged, players will fight through a deadly maze filled with menacing, vocal robots that have one thing on their processor-driven minds: your doom. Fans remember the original Berzerk as one of the first arcade games to use speech synthesis, and Berzerk: Recharged keeps the dialog going. The robots chasing you have a sinister, snarky monologue running through their OS, so you will have to endure “kill the humanoid” and the taunting barb, “Chicken, fight like a robot!” as you fight to survive.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fish Game Swims Out

Fish Game is now available on Steam, offering a Windows simulation that allows you to create and cultivate an aquarium, recalling a bygone time when people paid cash money for an aquarium screen saver. This is from A Shell in the Pit Games and Creative Ink, and there's a credit for SmarterEveryDay as a development partner. Here's an Early Access Launch Trailer with a look at gameplay, which is mostly serene until the piranhas arrive. Read on to decide if this idea holds water:
Dive into the de-fin-itive home aquarium simulator handcrafted by fish enthusiasts for fish enthusiasts, while remaining accessible to all sim fans. Get your feet wet right away with an intuitive tank creation interface to create and populate simple fish tanks, intricate aquascapes, and everything in between.

Sculpt substrate to form sandy peaks and valleys, place an array of plant life, and drop in hardscape materials such as rocks, driftwood, and statues to design dreamlike aquariums. Beyond building, you must also balance and maintain your growing collection of life and the–perhaps-unexpectedly–complex relationships therein.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

MrsBlue is at an on-site meeting at work today, leaving me to my own devices here in the Blue Tower. This inspired me to treat myself to a lunch that she would have no part of. I have a few cans of sausage hash stashed away that are perfect for the occasion, since she finds this delicacy off-putting. I'll run further afoul of my better-half's tastes by topping it with a runny egg. I am the one averse to icky things, and she loves all sorts of seafood like oysters and other stuff I won't touch. But egg yolks are the one such food that I love and she hates, so I'm just going to town doing my own thing here. I know, I know. It's not hookers and blow. Sorry for being such a bore.

Runny Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.




Creature Features
Nature fights back edition.


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