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[Update] Original Splinter Cell Free On PC Now

Update: You can now download your free copy of Splinter Cell. All you need to do is log into the Uplay app and it will be available on the main menu.

Original Story (July 7, 2016 @ 1:41 p.m. Central): Ubisoft is celebrating its 30th anniversary by releasing a free digital PC game every month for download through Uplay. This kicked off during E3 when Ubisoft announced Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was free (and currently still is for a limited time) on its Ubisoft Club website. Today on its Twitter, Ubisoft has revealed that the next game up for the month of July is the original 2002 stealth game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

Starting on July 13 you will be able to access it for free on PC through Uplay. It will then be available for a limited time until the next, currently unknown, free game will replace it for the month of August.

[Source: Ubisoft via Twitter] – The Feed

7th Dragon III: Code VFD Launch Trailer Brings Dragons and Free DLC

7th Dragon III: Code VFD launches on the 3DS in North America today. Despite the confusing name, this is the fourth of the 7th Dragon games, but the first to make it to North America.

In 7th Dragon III: Code VFD, players find themselves as a monster hunter paired with game developer Nodens Enterprises fighting off an invasion of dragons on earth. The game's launch trailer seen below shows off the various classes and characters you will be able to recruit on your journey.

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Though the 7th Dragon series is larger outside of North America, Sega has said that the story and new characters present are meant to stand alone. Additionally, players will be treated to three free waves of DLC in the weeks following launch. The first of which is available now, and adds two outbreak quests that let players gain extra XP.

There are two more waves to be introduced, and these DLC packs will increase in price to $ 1.49 after a week. 7th Dragon III: Code VFD is available now only for 3DS. – The Feed

Elite Dangerous: Arena Is Free To Download This Weekend

If you haven't jumped in to Frontier Developments' Elite Dangerous, this weekend is your best opportunity. The publisher has announced that the game's standalone close-quarters-combat PvP mode, Arena, is free for a limited time. To make things better, those who download Elite Dangerous: Arena this weekend aren't getting a limited trial; those who download Arena this weekend for free are able to keep it permanently.

Arena places players in four unique spaceships in first-person dogfights taking place in four different arenas. The game rewards players for ranking up with new tactical options through custom loadouts. If you're still undecided, you can check out the trailer for Elite Dangerous: Arena below.

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If you want to grab your free copy of Elite Dangerous: Arena, you have until Monday, July 11 at 10 a.m. Pacific to log on to Steam or To read about the full Elite Dangerous experience, you can read our review. – The Feed

Atlas Reactor Adding Two New Characters To Kick Off Free Event

Atlas Reactor, Trion Worlds' turn-based battle arena game, is going free-to-play for the next 10 days. In addition, Trion Worlds is announcing two new additions to the character roster of freelancers, as well as an early implementation of ranked mode.

The first new character has already been revealed as Celeste, a firepower freelancer with smoke bombs, a dash ability called "On the Run," and a damaging ultimate called "Safecracker." We don't know much about the second freelancer Trion Worlds is announcing during the free event aside from the fact that it is a mechanized hero that will be revealed today at 2:30 p.m. Pacific during Trion's weekly Atlas Reactor livestream.

In addition, Trion Worlds released a 15-second teaser for its upcoming cinematic trailer from Blur Studio. You can get an early peek at that trailer below.

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Atlas Reactor is currently in Early Access on Steam. The game ranges in price from $ 19.99 to $ 99.99. The $ 19.99 version includes access to all freelancers, and is currently on sale for $ 14.99 through July 18. – The Feed

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Will Be Free On PC Starting Mid-July

Ubisoft is celebrating its 30th anniversary by releasing a free digital PC game every month for download through Uplay. This kicked off during E3 when Ubisoft announced Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was free (and currently still is for a limited time) on its Ubisoft Club website. Today on its Twitter, Ubisoft has revealed that the next game up for the month of July is the original 2002 stealth game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

Starting on July 13 you will be able to access it for free on PC through Uplay. It will then be available for a limited time until the next, currently unknown, free game will replace it for the month of August.

[Source: Ubisoft via Twitter] – The Feed

Evolve Goes Completely Free On PC With Significant Gameplay Changes

When Evolve was first introduced to the gaming world, it made a huge impression at both E3 and Gamescom. Players were ready for a new kind of multiplayer that focused on cat-and-mouse chases, big boss fights, and the chance to be an overpowered monstrosity. 

Turtle Rock, which began working on the title under now-defunct publisher THQ, saw its aspirations start to crumble as Evolve neared release. A confusing set of purchase options and an overblown controversy over cosmetic DLC left gamers feeling lukewarm before they even got to try it for themselves.

Since its February 2015 release, Turtle Rock has continued to support Evolve. The game has eight more hunters than it did at launch, as well as two additional monsters. Still, many gamers saw a value mismatch, with a number suggesting Evolve would have been better suited as a free-to-play game.

We’ll find out if they were right. Evolve has been overhauled and will re-launch as a free-to-play game on PC called Evolve Stage 2, which will formally be revealed on July 7.

“When Evolve launched, the reception wasn’t what we expected,” studio co-founders Chris Ashton and Phil Robb said in a blog post. “Sure, there were some good reviews. There were also bad reviews. Yes, there was excitement. There was also disappointment – for players and for us. The DLC s***storm hit full force and washed away people’s enthusiasm, dragging us further and further from that first magical pick-up-and-play experience.”

If you already own Evolve, you’ll be granted founder status and anything you already owned will be unlocked. You'll get 3,000 silver keys, all past and future adaptations for any hunters and monsters you own, a number of weapon skins, and four founder-exclusive animated badges. Additionally, Turtle Rock is going to be doling out bonuses for founders over time.

Everything, including hunters, monsters, and skins, can be earned in-game. Most can be unlocked with earned keys. Badges are tied to progression milestones.

The idea of going free-to-play with Evolve isn't brand new. When Turtle Rock was working under the game at THQ before its bankruptcy, company president Jason Rubin suggested going that route. We learned more about that possibility in our look at the studio during our Evolve cover story.

"He led us down a few roads that resulted in some really good game-design decisions," studio head Phil Robb tells us. "Initially, we only had four hunters. Jason's a big proponent of the free-to-play stuff."

Rubin cautioned that it was unclear what the market would look like by the time Evolve was released and suggested Turtle Rock work up a back-up plan with a free-to-play model. "I had been looking at games like League of Legends, which sells characters," Robb explained. "That makes sense. I would rather buy a character than an individual piece of equipment. That's sort of where the multiple characters came from."

At the time, studio head Phil Robb told us that he didn't see a path in which Evolve changed business models. A year after launch, Turtle Rock is changing approaches, and is also taking the opportunity to rebalance the game.

There are a couple of key differences. Trappers were the position requiring the most skill in the original version. Isolating the monster in a dome, where it could be easily damaged, is extremely valuable to a team's success.

Now, every hunter has access to the team’s dome. It also won’t miss anymore. To balance this out, Turtle Rock has taken steps to ensure that you won’t be able to take down a less-experienced monster player in one dome.

As the monster knocks players down, incapacitates them, or takes damage, the dome will lose some of its charge. It also has a clearly visible recharge timer, so monsters and hunters all know when the next, inevitable fight is coming.

“No one liked to watch the monster not fight and die in a cage,” says lead designer Brandon Yanez. “So the entire flow minute-to-minute is just getting into fights and encouraging those fights. Dome goes up, there’s a five-minute timer, it’s ticking down. You can’t run out of a dome. If the monster gets an incap on anybody it takes off a huge portion of the time. If hunters start eating into the monster’s health, it’ll start taking increments off the time.”

In exchange, Trappers now have a dash ability and a planetary scanner that points in the general direction of the monster. This keeps the role valuable without penalizing the team for having a rookie in that slot.

All hunters will also have a very minor health recharge. This mitigates the situation in which you’re too far from a medic, or that player is still learning how to manage the team’s health.

Another big change is how the dropship respawn mechanic works. It used to be on a constant cycle of two minute countdowns. Now, it takes on more of a MOBA feel, with the timer getting longer as the match goes on.

Specific actions will increase the timer’s length. It starts at zero, but as the monster evolves and other actions occur during the match, it will permanently lengthen.

Turtle Rock has plans to roll out new hunter variants, cosmetics, and other content updates along the way. As the game transitions fully into a service model, the team understands that it needs to move at a faster pace to keep people engaged.

“We realize that throughout the past year-and-a-half, patches were coming too slow. Content was coming too slow,” Yanez explains. “We’ve put a lot of work into how we build things, our infrastructure, and the engine behind it so we can patch weekly if we need to. We’re going to try and keep that up. It’s super important that we can respond to things as a multiplayer service. We can’t have an exploit be in the game for as long as it may have been in the past. We have to be very aggressive about cleaning all that stuff up.”

Beyond patching, Turtle Rock expects that it will shift quickly to a multiplayer service model for content updates. You’ll start seeing more regular drops for both cosmetic and gameplay items.

“We are going to get stuff out fast. We have four hunter adaptions that are going to be hitting in the first two months,” Yanez says. “Every two weeks roughly, you’ll get a hunter. In the off week you’ll get new perks. That’s in addition to any skins or cosmetic badges that come out. That’s our fairly aggressive showing that we can produce this stuff and that we can patch quickly. We intend to have very regular character updates, perk updates, and additions to the game beyond that.”

Evolve’s tone is also changing. You’ll still be able to find the hardcore experience if you want to play ranked matches. But if you’re looking for something a little more approachable and friendly, those players will be able to have something to enjoy, too.

“We acknowledge more of the casual players now,” Yanez says. “We’ve made the non-ranked queue more varied. We won’t say what it is, but we acknowledge that a little more lighthearted experience is something that we want to press.”

Fans can look forward to some characters that might be off the beaten path from what they’ve come to expect from the game. We didn’t get too many hints, but community manager Corey Lanier (who is also on the balancing team) suggests fans won’t expect what’s coming next.

“The first hunter that we’ll be throwing out there will be a big surprise for a lot of people,” he says. “It’s one of our favorite hunters that we’ve ever had a chance to work on. It cuts across the whole project. Evolve is a fun game, and we just want to have more people playing the game.”

If you are looking for the tone or content of the original Evolve experience, you won’t have to look far. There’s going to be a ranked queue if you want to play competitively. And for those that own the original version, you’ll be able to select that, too.

“There’s still that place where if you want to play ranked and go competitive and try all that, cool. We have all that,” Yanez says. “That’s not a focus for us. The focus is getting to enjoy Evolve with as many people as we can.”

Part of Turtle Rock’s philosophy was giving some newer voices a chance to reshape Evolve into its new form. Yanez was a character designer on the original game, and the studio gave him the chance to flex his design muscles. 

“I played fairly competitively in the studio, with groups of people,” he explains. “After launch, I continued to do character stuff for Behemoth, but played tourney Evolve with friends. I gleaned information on high level competitive stuff, and then I’d go in and talk to our lead designer Chris Ashton about directions we should go.”

Lanier was plucked from Evolve’s community, after playing and streaming countless hours. “I met Corey because I was streaming the game nightly,” Yanez says. “Corey and our other balance-team member were watching on Twitch, and then we’d jump in and play together. We’d play a lot of Evolve, but also Dota and stuff like that. We bonded and it was a good experience, because I could see how they did under pressure. As I got to know them better, we got them hired one by one.”

As far as the game’s presence on Steam, here’s what you can expect on July 7. Anyone that owns Evolve on PC will see an update that will result in Evolve Stage Two. The original version has already been delisted and you can't purchase it from this point forward.

When it returns to the Steam storefront, anyone will be able to download the free version, which is in alpha starting on July 7. Beta is targeted for August. Expect balancing to happen once the public gets in.

You can unlock cosmetics in-game right away with silver keys. However, Steam Workshop support will not be present. Turtle Rock is considering adding it later, as well as the option for players to design items to be sold on the marketplace.

Console players might have a similar transition to look forward to. However, Turtle Rock wants to make sure things are in good shape on PC before considering an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 conversion.

"There are a lot of reasons why we are starting this Evolve Stage 2 Beta on PC. One of the main reasons is that, with the way updates work through Steam, we can iterate quickly without going through a submissions process," Yanez explains. "This means that we can more quickly identify and resolve problems and get Stage 2 to a place where we feel it is really solid and an excellent player experience. After implementing and testing these new changes on PC, if we find that players respond well to the changes, we would want to bring Stage 2 changes to consoles in the future. But for now PC is our exclusive beta platform."

Turtle Rock is giving Evolve another chance, which few could have predicted. We’ll see if the free-to-play gambit pays off and players who clamored for that model from the start give the game another shot.

Check back on July 7 to get your first look at the first gameplay trailer for Evolve Stage 2.

Note: We've updated a key point. Silver keys can only be earned. There is currently no monetization involved in the game. Everything is unlocked via playing. – The Feed

All 50 Mystic Western Game Jam entries now available for free

Indie community Juegos Rancheros has released every single game from its recent Mystic Wester Game Jam for free through …

Gamasutra News

Story Mode For Street Fighter V Available Tomorrow As Free DLC

A July 1 update for Street Fighter V includes a cinematic story mode, two new fighters, stages, costumes and other features. The update is free to download, with the additional content included available to purchase in-game with either the game's currency Fight Money or real currency.  

The story mode, entitled A Shadow Falls, will be divided into five acts and takes place between the events of Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV. In the battle between the
evil Shadaloo organization and the heroic World Warriors, players enter battles using each of the original Street Fighter V characters as well as the 6 additional DLC characters both released and unreleased. A Shadow Falls is free to download. You can check out the cinematic trailer for A Shadow Falls below. 

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The two new challengers joining the roster are Balrog and Ibuki. Balrog is a familiar face to the Street Fighter franchise, first appearing as a boss in Street Fighter II and a master in the art of boxing. It was announced earlier this week that he would making his way to Street Fighter V, and he got his own reveal trailer too. 

Ibuki first appeared in Street Fighter III: New Generation, and a combination of her tactical martial arts and ninja bombs makes her a deadly foe. At the start of June it was announced that she would be joining Street Fighter V alongside the anticipated story mode when she got her own reveal trailer as well showing off her battle mechanics. 

In addition to the new characters and story mode, the update will also include Balrog’s
Las Vegas stage and Karin Kanzuki's family private beach stage and three new alternate stages. Premium battle costumes are obtainable for all 20 characters along with a
 premium summer costume for Karin and story costumes for both Balrog and Ibuki. 

The in-game currency store will be updated with the PlayStation 4 and Steam real currency options, and the update includes better matchmaking systems to improve online play. 

[Source: Capcom] – The Feed

Big Uncharted 4 Update Brings Free DLC, Leveling System & More

Uncharted 4's multiplayer DLC will all be free, and the game's first batch – Lost Treasures – is out today with the game's 1.08 patch, which has plenty of its own goodies.

The Lost Treasures DLC features the Sunken Ruins map, chests featuring gameplay items (such as the Path of Indra Mystical that lets you teleport to teammates), and a variety of cosmetic vanity items.

The patch introduces a leveling system (70 levels) with awards along the way, ranked team deathmatch, the first triple pack, and a variety of multiplayer improvements.

For more on the Lost Treasures DLC and the Patch, click the source link below.

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[Source: Official PlayStation Blog] – The Feed

PlayStation Plus Members Are Getting Free Early Access To Paragon In July

Starting on July 5, the starter pack for Epic Games' MOBA Paragon will be free for the month for PlayStation Plus members.

The starter pack will allow players to enter the early access season before its free open beta arrives on August 16 for both PlayStation 4 and PC. Early access will have challenges for three hero classes: Murdock, Rampage, and Gadget. Master challenges for these classes include an immediate challenger skin and permanent hero level XP boost. Completing a master challenge unlocks a taunt and master skin for each separate class.  

Epic Games released the trailer seen below announcing the PlayStation Plus release. 

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Earlier this month, Paragon received retail packaging and began selling in stores despite not being fully finished and tested. The back of the box stated it was in early access, and it came with unique features such as skins, five hero master challenges, and rep boosts for a $ 60 price tag labeled as Paragon Essentials Edition.

In 2015, we talked to Epic Games about what will make Paragon unique in the rapidly growing MOBA genre, and you can check out a gameplay trailer for the Paragon here. – The Feed