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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013

  

Ships Ahoy - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Today marks the North American release of the Windows PC edition of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the latest installment in Ubisoft's stealthy action series. Owners of NVIDIA graphics cards will want to note the new drivers that are optimized for the game on their systems. Here's a reminder on what this is from the game's official website:

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag begins in 1715, when pirates established a lawless republic in the Caribbean and ruled the land and seas. These outlaws paralyzed navies, halted international trade, and plundered vast fortunes. They threatened the power structures that ruled Europe, inspired the imaginations of millions, and left a legacy that still endures.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hanger 6 R&D DLC

Steam News announces the release of the Hanger 6 R&D DLC for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified:

In the days leading up to the events of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Agent Nico DaSilva volunteers for a series of dangerous secret experiments to identify and treat a terrifying new pathogen. Maximize your combat skills and push your team to its limits to protect a friend from his own hallucinated terrors.

Star Lords Trailer

Here's a teaser trailer for Star Lords showing off Arkavi Studios' upcoming 4X space strategy game in action. You can find all the details about the game on the Star Lords website. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers add ShadowPlay Beta

The GeForce website offers new WHQL-certified GeForce 331.82 Windows drivers, which they say are optimized for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. These offer additional performance boosts, as well as an updated beta of NVIDIA's ShadowPlay that can record gameplay with minimal impact on GTX 600 and 700 series GPUs, saying the CPU requirement for this has now been removed. Here's word:

The new GeForce 331.82 WHQL driver is now available to download. An essential update for all GeForce GTX users, 331.82 WHQL is the Game Ready driver for Assassin's Creed IV and Need For Speed Rivals, giving you a great gaming experience from day one with the latest driver tweaks and performance optimizations. In addition to a multitude of performance optimizations in a variety of games, 331.82 WHQL also introduces major 3840x2160 4K Gaming optimizations, giving up you up to 50% faster framerates in Battlefield 4, Crysis 3, and Metro: Last Light when playing at the demanding resolution.

GeForce 331.82 WHQL also sees the introduction of GeForce Experience 1.7.1, which includes the long-awaited ShadowPlay Beta, an innovative gameplay recording tool that can constantly record the action with a minimal performance impact thanks to the H.264 encoder built into GeForce GTX 600 and 700 Series GPUs. With GeForce Experience 1.7.1, ShadowPlay CPU requirements have been removed, opening ShadowPlay up to all GeForce GTX 600 and 700 Series users.

Half-Life Anniversary

Rock, Paper, Shotgun notes that today is the 15th anniversary of the release of the original Half-Life, which jibes with our archived news showing the seminal first-person shooter indeed first appeared in stores that day. While we're on the topic, the archive shows today is also the 15th anniversary of what was a little of a Black Thursday for ION Storm, as it was on this day that the developer suffered a group resignation that affected both the Daikatana and Anachronox teams which lead to the formation of Third Law Interactive (remember KISS Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child?), and on that same day programmer Corinne Yu also left ION to join 3D Realms to do what turns out to have been ill-fated programming of the QUAKE II engine for "Prey and Duke Nukem 5 (tentative title)."

Call of Duty: Ghosts Lowers RAM Requirement

Infinity Ward Tweets that a patch is now available for the PC edition of Call of Duty: Ghosts. A post on reddit says that among other things, this lowers the RAM requirement in the military shooter sequel from 6GB to 4GB. Presumably official patch notes will follow. Thanks Eurogamer.

Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall (Berlin) in January

The Kickstarter home of Shadowrun Returns has details from Harebrained Schemes on the Dragonfall expansion for Shadowrun Returns, saying this will be followed today by an official announcement (thanks nin). They announce the expansion, known under the codename "Berlin," will be released in January 2014 and will be accompanied by a new Campaign Pack edition of Shadowrun Returns that bundles the game and the add-on. Here's a feature list:

  • Experience a New Full-Length Campaign: Return to the “Tech meets Magic” future of Shadowrun as you and your team of runners get drawn into a treacherous conspiracy. Operating out of an offbeat central hub neighborhood, you’ll choose which missions to accept and how you’ll approach them while navigating the dark underbelly of “the Flux”.
  • An Exciting New Locale: Shadowrun: Dragonfall transports runners to the Free City of Berlin, a thrilling Shadowrun setting full of gorgeous new hi-res environments, a diverse new cast of characters, and a new soundtrack by the composer of the original Sega Genesis Shadowrun game, Sam Powell.
  • Command Your Team: Lead a small team of shadowrunners, each with their own outlook and backstory. Each member of your team is designed to play an interesting role during missions and has a unique set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • New Weapons, Cyberware, Enemies & More: Try your hand at the long-range sniper rifle, devastating grenade launcher, or stun-inducing taser. Chrome yourself out in the latest cyberware and take on deadly new enemies - including new magical creatures like gargoyles and fire drakes. Dragonfall brings a host of new items, characters, portraits, and improvements to the Shadowrun Returns experience.
  • Save Anywhere: You can save your progress at any time during the game. This functionality will also be added to the original Shadowrun Returns “Dead Man’s Switch” campaign.
  • New Game Editor Features: A wide range of enhancements to the game editor for community content creators - including a scripting system to better control lighting, tracking mission objectives in the main game UI, placing exploding barrels, and allowing players to input keypad passwords and custom text strings in conversations. In addition, content creators will be able to use all of the new Berlin environment art, items and characters in their own stories along with assets from the original Shadowrun Returns campaign.

PC Speedball 2 HD Next Month

Speedball 2 HD is coming to Windows PCs, tweets Mastertronic, where they say they are "thrilled" at the news (thanks CleverCaviar). There's already a Steam Database entry for this updated version of the extreme sports game first released in early 2008, and there is also a Speedball 2 HD page on Steam with a "shiny new trailer" and a December 5th release date. Here's word on the game:

Speedball 2 HD is a modern reincarnation on the classic, futuristic cyberpunk sports game Speedball, originally developed by the Bitmap Brothers and first released for the Atari ST in 1990. A brutal mix of handball and ice hockey placed at break-neck pace. Now Tower Studios, Vivid Games and The Bitmap Brothers have created a glorious fusion of classic gameplay and modern technology to launch this game into the 21st century.

Op Ed

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

This was an 11 win week for me in my NFL picks, so the apocalypse may be upon us. Sorry I had to call the commissioner about that last call last night, but a wins a win, right? Seriously, though, I don't buy that that was an uncatchable ball, but the NFL needs to at least admit that if it was uncatchable, it is still a penalty for holding. It certainly is weird how many New England games are decided on picky interpretations of the rules, isn't it?

Picky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Furtive Dao.
Factory Kingdom.
Story: Vinicio Riva disfigured man who met Pope.
Science: Chilly temperatures help cancers grow.
Study reveals potential breakthrough in hearing technology.
Quick look: NASA’s Mars MAVEN mission.
Exposure to fast food makes it harder to appreciate beautiful pictures and music.
Images: Why wait in line when I can just download PS4?
Media: Hunger Games: 8-Bit Cinema.
Zapruder Film Stabilized Motion Panorama HD-Slo Mo.
Drew Carey Gets Punked. Thanks reddit.



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