Tuesday, September 21, 2021

THQ Nordic Announces Outcast 2: A New Beginning

THQ Nordic has announced a revival of the Outcast franchise with the upcoming release of Outcast 2: A New Beginning. Development started in 2018 with at least ten developers from the original Outcast team onboard, including the director and art director from that game. Outcast 2 revives ideas from the original sequel that was being planned in 1999/2000. Due to financial issues with its publisher Infogrames, the project was shelved indefinitely. Appeal Studios, the team behind A New Beginning, wants to make a product that feels like a successor to the cult classic. Appeal is looking to implement a non-linear narrative an enticing world to explore. Click here to watch embedded media Like the first game, Outcast 2 will take place on the planet of Adelpha, and players will step back into the shoes of Cutter Slade 20 years in the future. Due to an accident while escaping the planet, Slade was blipped out of time and found his way back decades later. To keep the world fresh, players will explore a different part of the planet and meet new inhabitants. Combat and movement have been updated, according to THQ Nordic. Outcast 2 is a third-person shooter at heart, with modular weaponry being a focus. However, Cutter will also receive magic-like “Talan powers” and a new mobility-enhancing jetpack. While we don’t have a release date quite yet, THQ Nordic informs us Outcast 2 is nearing the end of its “pre-alpha” stage of development, a good sign we’ll be seeing it sooner rather than later. THQ Nordic and Appeal Studios are releasing Outcast 2 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.   Outcast is a game that I missed out on all these years but heard rumblings of it over time. Do you have any Outcast memories you’d like to share? How did the game impact you in the late 90s and beyond? Are you excited about the re-emergence of the franchise? Tell me all about it in the comments! Click image thumbnails to view larger version                                                                                                             
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    The Oldsmar, Florida water plant hacked earlier this week used outdated Windows 7 PCs and shared passwords, the Associated Press has reported. A government advisory also revealed that the relatively unsophisticated attack used the remote-access program TeamViewer. However, officials also said that the hacker’s attempt to boost chemicals to dangerous levels was stopped almost immediately after it started. “The cyber actors likely accessed the system by exploiting cybersecurity weaknesses, including poor password security and an outdated Windows 7 operating system to compromise software used to remotely manage water treatment,” according to investigators. "The actor also likely used the desktop sharing software TeamViewer to gain unauthorized access to the system." The unknown attacker logged into TeamViewer, accessed sensitive systems and attempted to boost lye levels by 100 times. A supervisor monitoring one of the systems saw a mouse pointer move across the screen and “immediately noticed the change in dosing amounts,” according to the advisory. They were able to reverse it immediately and the water treatment process was unaffected. If it hadn’t been observed, the alteration would have taken 24-36 hours to affect the water supply and the changes would have been detected and stopped by plant safeguards. Windows 7 has not been patched with security updates in over a year. On top of everything else, the computers were “connected directly to the Internet without any type of firewall protection installed,” the advisory said. The Oldsmar hack was an accident waiting to happen, according to experts. “We have known for a long time that municipal water utilities are extremely underfunded and under-resourced, and that makes them a soft target for cyberattacks,” Dragos Security’s Lesley Carhart told the AP. “In a lot of cases, all of them have a very small IT staff. Some of them have no dedicated security staff at all.”

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