It started yesterday, but you still have until the 19th of August to jump into Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, for free. And this is across PC, Xbox One and PlyaStation 4.
Via Uplay, of course. (*Hides*).
But seriously, with 35 million concurrent players and a bustling esports scene, this Rainbow Six is one of the best competitive versions of the game ever released. And you can jump in on all three platforms for the next few days for free.
Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted if they purchase the game. They will also benefit from a discount of up to 60% off on the Standard, Advanced, Gold, and Complete Editions between August 16 and August 27, depending on the platforms.
The upcoming Operation Grim Sky will feature two new operators, one American Attacker and one Defender hailing from Great Britain, and the first ever fully reworked map, Hereford Base. The full reveal of the Year 3 Season 3 content for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be made on August 19 during the Six Major Paris.
Which is pretty big news. He was instrumental in the creation and internal distribution of EA's outstanding Frostbite game-engine. His place within DICE and across Battlefield and other projects cannot be denied, however, given the current thread of games coming out of the company and its more recent turmoils around Visceral, Star Wars and the backlash against a Battle Royale mode in Battlefield V, it might be the right time to move on.
Patrick has been a trusted business partner and a great friend, and his inspiring leadership has had an outstanding impact on EA. As an integral part of the management team for many years – including as head of Worldwide Studios and, most recently, Chief Design Officer – he’s been an agent of change and transformation. From his early vision for Frostbite, which has now become a cornerstone for our technology strategy, to being a champion for Players First experiences, Patrick has always ensured we put creative at the center of everything we do. He has also been unwavering in his commitment to building our pipeline of amazing new games to come, and his fingerprints will be on the experiences that we bring to players well into the future.
We wish Patrick the very best in his next life adventure, and we thank him for his many significant contributions.
It should be noted, as highlighted by Kotaku, that Söderlund is walking away from a salary most of us can only dream of. Last year he reportedly made AUD$66.7 million (US$48.3 million) and was handed a AUD$27.6 million (US$20 million) bonus in an effort to keep him around -- meaning he'd likely been wanting out for at least a little while.
It will be interesting to see where he goes, but also how EA moves forward into the future. It's no secret this is one of their quietest years in terms of release output, and coupled alongside Casey Hudson's recent update, and EA's back-flipping on Loot Boxes and apologies around a lot of business practices, there's a lot of work ahead for the long-time gaming publisher and developer.
Blizzard will be hosting the Overwatch League All-Stars Weekend featuring the "fan-selected Atlantic and Pacific Division All-Stars".
And they'll be showing off their elite "get on the point" skills. Well, actually it'll be in a series of "custom skill-based games":
Talent Takedown, Presented by T-Mobile
The 18 players on each roster will compete in at least one game mode, and there will be no substitutions within each game. The All-Star game itself will take place on Monday, 27 August over a total of five maps. The six starters for each division, including Australia’s Scott “Custa” Kennedy, will play the first map, but each team’s 12 reserves will play at least one map in the series.
All-Star Weekend will be streamed live on Twitch, OverwatchLeague.com, the Overwatch League app, MLG.com, and the MLG app. To celebrate the event in-game, two new legendary skins will be available. Atlantic All-Star Tracer and Pacific All-Star Genji are redeemable for 300 Overwatch League Tokens from 18 – 28 August.
Nintendo Australia today reminded us their online service for Nintendo Switch would be kicking off in the "second half" of September, though there's still no actual date, Nintendo has said they'll reveal this closer to launch.
It's a paid service that Nintendo feels is affordable, that will allow particular Switch games to be played online (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon, ARMS, Mario Tennis Aces, plus third-party games that opt-in), as well as give access to a "growing list" of NES classics with "added online functionality". Whatever that means, but we're a bit excited at the prospect. Moreover, cloud data backup saves will be implemented (helpful given the micro-SD card system in place now, especially for those of us who take lots of video and screenshots.
Finally, you'll be able to download a Nintendo Switch smartphone app that will have added features. Though what these are still hasn't been fully revealed.
Have you been playing any competitive games on Switch online? And will you opt-in to this if so?
The wait has been worth it. Red Dead Redemption 2's first cohesive look at gameplay, which premiered this morning is six-minutes of pure open-world tease that looks less likely to stray too far from what made the first game so memorable, but goes further to refine it.
We haven't had a lot of time to digest the whole thing, but upon two viewings we can surmise that this is not just one of the best-looking open-world games so far, but one with depth of activity and gameplay. From setting up and moving camp; making and keeping relationships, hunting, fighting, robbing, selling, buying, crafting and, importantly, creating a meaningful bond with your horse (requiring care and further gameplay), Red Dead Redemption 2 is very much an alive game-world.
The other take-aways were the option to engage with any NPC you see, to be able to antagonise or defuse situations and that amongst all of this, the game-world itself reacts to you. We also saw a number of lush and unique biomes, suggesting alongside the camp movement mentioned above, that we'll constantly be on the move. But enough from us, let the video do the talking:
I never thought I'd explain a genre as "car parkour survival racing", but here we are, and now I've typed it out twice. But I don't mind, because after checking it out in video form, it looks incredibly promising and fun.
Distance is in development from the team behind Nitronic Rush, Refract Studios, and features crazy, out-there racing levels, stunning visuals and just a cool-AF vibe. It will also fully support VR for both Oculus and HTC Vive and will feature a short single-player narrative alongside Arcade Mode and Multiplayer and will also feature both a random track generator as well as a level editor.
The studio has shared a list of facts about its development
Distance has been on Steam in Early Access since 2014 and the beta version has already attracted more than 150K players who have played more than 13.5 million levels.
Early Access fans of Distance have shared more than 2,500 community levels on the Steam Workshop.
Distance has won several awards including one of MomoCon’s best games in the 2017 Indie Awards, Best Racing Game from PAX West from Curse in 2015, and SideQuesting Team Choice Award at PAX East 2017.
The game is a spiritual successor to the multi-award winning Nitronic Rush, created by Refract’s founders. Nitronic Rush has been downloaded more than three million times. It was widely praised for its innovative mechanics, visual style, audio design, and atmosphere, all of which have all been included and upgraded in Distance.
Every Saturday, Distance fans organize multiplayer events from 11am to 1pm PT.
In Distance roads are treacherous with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, survive to the end in the quickest time. The cars have abilities that not only allow them to drive on the track, but upside down and on buildings and walls. Players can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths. Take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with friends.
It is scheduled to land on Steam on September 18. Watch a trailer for Distance embedded below.
Yeah, we've been teased for a sort of teaser, but hey, it's Red Dead Redemption 2, so we don't mind. And if you needed a good enough reason to stay up on a school night, this is it because it airs at 1AM AEST (so very early Friday morning, or later tonight).
Unfortunately that's all the information we have, but as a refresher, we've embedded the first lot of trailers for you below to watch again in anticipation of later tonight.
So not only do you get a real glimpse of some tight Insurgency: Sandstorm PvP action (which looks impressive, by the way), but as a pre-order bonus you can also jump into the game's first official beta starting next week. (This footage was taken from a closed technical alpha build.)
Which is even more impressive. Here's some official company lines around what's going on with the sequel to the Indie hit:
From 9th August through 13th August, players who have pre-ordered Insurgency: Sandstorm on Steam will receive exclusive access to Pre-order Beta 1. This will be the first official beta test, and the first time the game will be playable at home. New World Interactive is really looking forward to hearing what the wider Insurgency fanbase thinks and will be gathering as much feedback as possible leading up to the second Beta phase closer to the full release on PC in September.
Three maps from the final release build will be available in Pre-order Beta 1. Each is a complex maze of brutal interiors, deadly sniping lanes, and wide-open battlefields, each uniquely designed to make every moment of every game feel fresh. Whether your playstyle is run and gun, slow-paced, or more specialised, you’ll find plenty to study and learn across the maps. The four game modes - Firefight, Push, Checkpoint, and Skirmish - each change the accessible parts of the map, drastically altering the available strategies.
Pre-order Beta 2 will begin 30th August, just a few weeks before release, and have a further three maps available for play. This will allow players to test the full content of the launch version of the game. New World Interactive will be focusing their work during Beta 2 on bug fixing, server stability, and starting work on their extensive post-launch support plans.
As Pre-order Beta 1 will have no NDA and no streaming restrictions, those curious are invited to watch live gameplay on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, and Facebook throughout the long weekend. Preview codes giving access to the beta are available on request to publications, content creators, and streamers.
THe game is out on PC in September and will eventually support both Linux and Mac while console versions of the game will arrive in 2019.
Watch the four-minute gameplay video embedded below.
I've been on extended holiday away from Azeroth, so this type of news is news to me, but I figure everyone who's still populating the world ought to know that "the opening shots have been fired in the next great battle for Azeroth", what with the alleged destruction of Teldrassil and all. (I say "alleged" because as I say, I've been on holiday away from Azeroth.)
And rather than fumble around information I don't wholly know, here's what the curators of Azeroth had to say officially:
Now the armies of the Alliance have arrived to bring the fight to the Horde’s doorstep—the Siege of Lordaeron has begun!
Starting today, World of Warcraft players can head to Stormwind (Alliance) or Orgrimmar (Horde) to participate in an all-new in-game event that sets the stage for their journey to Kul Tiras and Zandalar in Battle for Azeroth.
For the Alliance, it’s an opportunity to reclaim the former human city of Lordaeron as their own—and bring justice to Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner for the devastation she has wrought.
For the Horde, the entire faction must rally to protect the Undercity, home of the Forsaken, and retain their critical foothold in the Eastern Kingdoms.
Whose side will you stand on?
If that's not enough, we've embedded a trailer for you below, while Blizzard has been kind enough to point out that you can get a jump on the deeper story involving the upcoming Battle for Azeroth via two free novella: "Elegy" by Christie Golden and "A Good War" by Robert Brooks.
In fact, it's out in just seven days, arriving on GoG.com and Steam on August 14. And according to inXile's Brian Fargo, the new remasters feature updated visuals and even bug fixes the team faced back in the 80s for an absolutely complete experience in one of the most celebrated RPG series of all time.
Moreover, Aussie stalwart studio, Krome Studios, is involved as is explained in this presser:
inXile Entertainment, the studio led by Interplay founder and industry icon Brian Fargo, is proud to announce The Bard’s Tale Trilogy, a complete remaster of the legendary series that helped define the RPG genre. Featuring updated graphics and optional quality-of-life gameplay features, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is the ideal way to experience the dungeon crawling challenge that made the original games beloved classics. The title will release on Aug. 14, 2018, for PC on both Steam and GOG.com with a retail price of $14.99.
Features of The Bard’s Tale Trilogy include:
Remasters of all three original The Bard’s Tale games. The first volume, Tales of the Unknown, is available at launch, with The Destiny Knight (fall 2018) and Thief of Fate (winter 2018) arriving later in the year.
A uniform playing experience across all three titles without the need for emulation or compatibility concerns.
Create a party in the first volume and play it across all three volumes to create a heroic narrative all your own.
For the first time, play as male or female across all three games. Also includes other quality-of-life changes such as automapping for all three games, spell access, and updated equipment/inventory management.
Updated art that holds true to the spirit of the originals, featuring never-before-used character art by series creator Michael Cranford!
An opportunity for new players to experience the events that led to The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Mage’s Tale!
The final content to be released will be a Legacy Mode, a set of options which allows players to make the titles play similarly to the 1980s originals… with all the challenge that entails!
Partnering with Australia-based Krome Studios, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is an ambitious undertaking for inXile, especially as no complete source code for the original games could be found. Not only that, each game worked and looked differently depending on its platform, and each title was different in many ways from the others. Often times, it was discovered that features in some versions of the games were present but had no actual functionality.
Check out a trailer for the undertaking embedded below.
SEGA Confirmed overnight that Football Manager 2019 -- the stats-heavy management spreadsheet-style game for, you know, football (or soccer) -- will be arriving on PC this November 2nd, and will also come packaged with a number of new features.
Not the least of which is a new look for the game which also sees the "Manager Man" moved on in place of you -- the new young buck manager.
Football Manager 2019 will be saying goodbye to the iconic ‘Manager Man’ who has featured on the cover of every Football Manager game since FM 2005, to be replaced by a manager’s eye view of the pitch as the gaffer and players head down the tunnel ahead of a big match. With redesigned logos, loads of new and improved features, and the implementation of the DFL Bundesliga license for the first time, Football Manager 2019 is set to be even more comprehensive in its realism than ever before.
Aussie SEGA distributor, Five Star Games, has also revealed that "fans who pre-order Football Manager 2019 (for PC and Mac) from participating Australian retailers will receive a 10% discount right up until launch".
Check out an interesting live-action trailer for the game below.