Orange Cast Has Free Prologue Demo Available Now On Steam
Publisher Valkyrie Initiative and developer Team Rez have announced the release of Orange Cast: Prologue on Steam. The title is a free demo and allows players to try out the game ahead of the full game’s launch.
Orange Cast is an atmospheric adventure set in a large scale setting where Soviet and Western Sci-Fi are combined. Players take control of one of humanity’s elite space troopers into a heroic, action-packed adventure. The adventure will lead to exploring planets, discovering new dimensions, but having to survive hazardous environments.
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The game takes place in the year 2046. The Sion colony is under attack of multiple, unknown forces. As soon as the attack begins, there’s chaos in the colony. Civilians are being killed quickly. To make matters even worse, the colony’s defenses and communications are gone.
What begins as an invasion leads to an investigation into learning about what happens. This leads to the awakening of the protagonist and to find out why he even exists.
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The entire time, the playable character is wearing a unique suit that also provides even more unique abilities. Players have access to the colony’s power weapons but also a special set of abilities to fight enemies and even tougher bosses.
The combat is fast-paced yet rewarding. The developer states that the player is always busy doing something in the game. There are no dull moments within the combat, dialog, story decisions, side quests, and exploring the lore. All of the content is further connected for a unique gameplay experience.
The demo will be permanently available to download and play, even after the game is officially launched. This will give players more time to try out the game in the future. Players are also encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions, which may change the future of the series.
Orange Cast was inspired by James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse series. The unique gameplay hopes to deliver an experience that may remind some of the Mass Effect series.
The game was first announced in August 2017 but is now preparing for its full release more than two years after the news broke. The developer, who is based in Kaluga, Russia, is also planning a sequel in the future to further expand on the world of Orange Cast. Currently, only a PC release is planned with a possibility for consoles further in the future.
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Orange Cast: Prologue is available now for free on PC via Steam. The full game launches on January 21.
Published at Wed, 20 Jan 2021 14:25:55 +0000
EU Commission Fines Valve And Game Publishers For Geo-Blocking Steam Games
It was rumored that an investigation was being carried out into Valve (and others) geo-blocking practices, and it has now been confirmed in an official report from the EU Commission.
Valve and several game publishers – such as ZeniMax and Bandai Namco – will be fined for using geo-blocking to restrict purchases of video games to/within certain EU member countries.
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Valve and five game publishers fined millions for geo-blocking Steam games in EU https://t.co/51QQHUsnO6 pic.twitter.com/x7iN6PGrDx
— The Verge (@verge) January 20, 2021
What is geo-blocking? In practice, geo-blocking means restricting access to certain games on Steam within a geographical area. The combination of territory-locking and Steam activation keys means Valve and the publishers could restrict people from buying a Steam key from outside their country.
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The Commission report mentions several Eastern European countries as an example, although in theory geo-blocking can be applied in any EU country. Geo-blocking affects people in these countries more because of the price discrepancy – they can get a better deal by buying a discounted game from another country, whereas the price for a game in Latvia, for example, is much more expensive.
Geo-blocking essentially limits the effectiveness of the EU Single Digital Market, which is a law put in place by the EU to protect consumer rights and allow people to shop around for the best price. This is one of the founding principles of the EU market and it’s clear the Commission will continue to protect its consumers.
The publishers fined were: Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media, and ZeniMax. Some publishers had their fines reduced after cooperating with the commission to prevent geo-blocking practices in the future.
Valve, however, refused to cooperate and was fined just under 2 million euros for its complacency and encouragement of geo-blocking practices.
Geo-blocking apparently had an impact on over 100 Steam games, from a variety of genres. This makes sense considering the different types of Publishers involved with the practice.
Access was denied to the games if the player bought it on a disc or via a digital download, making it impossible for them to activate the game within their home country.
Overall, it’s no surprise Valve refused to cooperate. It’s protecting its publishers and the company’s right to determine where games can be bought and sold. However, this won’t work under the European system, which is designed to be fair for everyone within the Union.
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You can’t force people to spend more on a game when it is available for digital download at half the cost across the border.
Published at Wed, 20 Jan 2021 14:17:45 +0000