Updated: Sep 24, 2016 1:54 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Saturday, Sep 24, 2016



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Street Fighter V Patch Rootkit Removed

CapCom Unity reports that the promised September patch for Street Fighter V is now available for the Windows edition of the fighting sequel. This adds the new Urien character, new daily targets, and more. However, The Register reports this patch installed a rootkit that compromised PC security via privilege escalations. They detail how this was an attempt to provide security against game hacks without requiring being online, but that the way it was implemented opened PCs up to attack. The good news is that Capcom responded to the problem, Tweeting that they have rolled back the rootkit: "The rollback to the PC version of SFV prior to the security measure update is now live. The new September content is included."

Sunless Skies Announced

Failbetter Games announces Sunless Skies, an upcoming sequel to Sunless Sea. They are showing this off today at EGX, and say this will take to Kickstarter in February for funding. In the meantime they offer a fact sheet with seven details about what to expect. Here's the list:

There’s very little we can say at this early stage, but we've put together just a few facts:

7 facts about Sunless Skies

  1. As with Sunless Sea, it'll be rich with stories. This is the Victorian Empire in space - the High Wilderness - a "blistering, wonderful night" among the thrones and domains of the stars. The Empress has abandoned London and led an exodus to the High Wilderness, to carve out a new British Empire. With the Empire being increasingly authoritarian, bohemians, revolutionaries and outcasts - like you - are trying to make a life for themselves on its fringes.
  2. Sunless Skies will elaborate on Sunless Sea. We’re enhancing the stuff we liked, and refining the experience. It will be a punishing game, but respectful of your time.
  3. At full release, it will be available on the same platforms that Sunless Sea is available on now: Windows, Mac and Linux.
  4. We will use Early Access again, taking on board all of the lessons we learned from Sunless Sea.
  5. Why the name? The stars are dying. The stars are the Judgements: the inventors, arbiters and enforcers of the universe's laws - but a revolution has begun, and the stars are being murdered.
  6. Our influences include: the science fiction of H G Wells and C S Lewis, the planetary romances of Leigh Brackett, Art Nouveau, Event Horizon, trains.
  7. We are running a Kickstarter for it in February 2017!

As well as pre-production work on Sunless Skies, right now we are completing work on Zubmariner - Sunless Sea's expansion, due to launch on 11 October. We'll be premiering the launch trailer on Saturday.

Gone Gold - Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration

Square Enix announces Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is gold for all platforms, and will be released on October 11th. They call this the "definitive Rise of the Tomb Raider experience," which adds a new story chapter, a co-op endurance mode, an art book, and additional in-game content. Here's word:

Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics®, and Nixxes Software today announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration™ has completed development and will be released worldwide on October 11. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara becomes more than a survivor, and embarks on her first Tomb Raiding expedition in search of the secret of immortality. She’ll explore a vast and hostile world, engage in guerilla combat, and discover deadly tombs.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is the most comprehensive version of the award-winning experience, and includes Rise of the Tomb Raider, the new story chapter “Blood Ties”, “Lara’s Nightmare” zombie combat mode, PlayStation VR support for “Blood Ties”, co-op Endurance gameplay, an “Extreme Survivor” difficulty, 5 classic Lara skins, and an outfit and weapon inspired by TR III. It also includes all of the previously released downloadable content such as “Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch”, “Cold Darkness Awakened”, 12 outfits, 7 weapons, multiple Expedition Card packs, and more. The game launches on PS4 October 11th, and the new content will be included as part of the Season Pass on Xbox One and PC.

Saturday Patches

  • Fragmented 16.9.2 Build is Now Live. "Highlights include a slew of new achievements, housing improvements, a number of visual and feedback related upgrades, and the usual assortment of bug fixes and random tweaks."

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Can you smell what the Blue is cooking? Well, probably not, but the answer is hamburgers. If you can smell them from where you are, I'm probably overcooking them. Anyway, it's a lovely fall weekend here, and I look forward to taking advantage of it.

Smelly Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Muhammad Ali: Puzzle King.
Stories: Alleged gold smuggler hid 'Oreo-sized' nuggets in rectum. Gold Sphincter. Thanks JDreyer.
Clueless iPhone 7 owners destroy new handsets after YouTube prank.
Science: What The F? What swearing reveals about language and ourselves.
Stress Can Cancel Out The Benefits Of 'Healthy' Fat.
Stephen Hawking warning: If aliens call, should we answer?
Media: No Man's Sky replicated in Doom2.
HeroStorm Ep18 Trust the Nydus Touch.
Abandoned Blockbuster- (Exploration). Thanks Destructoid.


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Friday, Sep 23, 2016

Oculus Facing Political Backlash [Updated]

Kotaku has a follow-up to the news that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is involved in the Nimble America social media campaign supporting presidential candidate Donald Trump. They report that some developers are cancelling Oculus Rift support, and others are reconsidering their interest in supporting the headsets. Online statements from SUPERHYPERCUBE and Scruta Games and email contacts with a couple of other developers use terms like racism and hate speech as reasons for changes of heart about the platform. The article also speculates that other developers may be tempted to follow suit, but are reliant on Oculus support to continue development. Ars Technica covers the same topic, noting that Fez developer Polytron has also chimed in. Ars points out that "there's no sign yet that developers are turning away from their association with Oculus en masse," and also note that not all of the games involved in this discussion were actually suited to VR in the first place. They also touch on Twitter buzz from consumers threatening boycotts. Update: A Facebook update by Palmer Luckey (thanks Kotaku) says he contributed $10,000 to Nimble America, but he is not the author of the "NimbleRichMan" posts, and that as a libertarian, he plans on voting for Gary Johnson.

Civilization VI Specifications

A new announcement on Steam has system requirements for Sid Meier's Civilization VI. The strategy sequel is highly anticipated for release next month, and here's word on what sort of hardware it will require:

We’re happy to report that we’ve just locked down our system requirements for Civilization VI. Thank you for your patience while we tested a variety of systems to ensure Civilization VI is as optimized as it can be.

Minimum
OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz or greater
MEMORY: 4 GB RAM
HARD DRIVE: 12 GB or more
DVD-ROM: Required for disc-based installation
VIDEO CARD: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 5570 or nVidia 450)

Recommended
OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
PROCESSOR: Fourth generation Intel Core i5 2.5 Ghz or AMD FX8350 4.0 Ghz or greater
MEMORY: 8 GB RAM
HARD DRIVE: 12 GB or more
DVD-ROM: Required for disc-based installation
VIDEO CARD: 2 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 7970 or nVidia 770 or greater)

Other Requirements
Initial installation requires one-time Internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 and 2015 Runtime Libraries, and Microsoft DirectX. Internet connection and acceptance of Steam™ Subscriber Agreement required for activation. See www.steampowered.com/agreement for details.

DOOM Deathmatch Update

Free update 3 is now available for DOOM, id Software's first-person shooter. This adds the recently promised deathmatch support. The news is being celebrated with a Double XP weekend that runs all the way into Monday. The release notes have the details:

DOOM's Free Update 3 is now available! Free Update 3 includes new multiplayer features like Deathmatch and Private Matches, as well as improvements and fixes. See below for the full release notes:

Multiplayer

New Features

  • Deathmatch – New Deathmatch free-for-all multiplayer mode
  • Private Matches – Players can create their own private matches in multiplayer. When setting up your matches, you can determine the modes, maps, length of play time, and other match settings.

Campaign

Fixes and Optimizations

  • Fixed an issue where exiting a Classic Map would cause the user to freeze on the Main Menu
  • Fixed a progression blocking issue when reloading checkpoint in Titan’s Realm while picking up yellow skull in crusher room.
  • Fixed the Summoner and Pinky models not being visible under the Collectibles menu.
  • Fixed a crash which occurred when reloading Security Switches checkpoint with DOOM Classic Weapon Pose enabled in the VEGA Central Processing
  • Fixed cases of the Combat Shotgun Pop Rocket mod not tracking progress towards mastery.
  • Fixed an issue where dying at the map transition and restarting the map in next level would put your character in a broken state
  • Fixed an issue where turning on the Classic Weapon Pose during a weapon examination cut scene would cause a broken state
  • Fixed Remote Detonation mastery not incrementing if the player first uses Stun Bomb on enemy targets.
  • Fixed an animation issue where the Talisman Guards' legs would not move.
  • Fixed an issue where Mission Select does not accurately reflect the in game status of Dead Man Stalking Challenge in Kadingir Sanctum.
  • Various instability issues addressed.

SnapMap

Continue here to read the full story.

Watch Dogs 2 Trailers

This video from Watch Dogs 2 lists 10 ways the sequel will improve upon the original. On that topic, another new trailer takes a look at the story in the upcoming snoopy, hacking sequel. The UbiBlog has details on what we're seeing here:

So far, we’ve learned a few key things about Marcus Holloway, protagonist of Watch Dogs 2 and member of hacker collective DedSec. We know he and his buddies are idealistic activists, dead-set against the use of technology as a method of corporate surveillance and control. But who, exactly, is grabbing for that control? In the new story trailer, we’re introduced to Blume CTO Dusan Nemec, an ambitious yoga enthusiast who views DedSec as a serious threat. We also get our first real look at DedSec members Horatio and Josh, and a confirmed appearance by someone very familiar to fans of the first Watch Dogs.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer 40,000 - Eternal Crusade Launched

Steam now offers the release of Warhammer 40,000 - Eternal Crusade, an MMO third-person shooter based on the Games Workshop series. BANDAI NAMCO offers this trailer to celebrate the launch. Here's a bit on the game:

Based on the highly popular Warhammer 40,000 universe, WARHAMMER 40,000: ETERNAL CRUSADE will immerse players in vicious battles between four factions: Eldar, Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, and Orks. Whether taking on PvP (Player versus Player) or PvE (Player versus Environment) modes, players will have to play cohesively while engaging in massive battles in order to destroy enemy factions. Players can also create their perfect warriors by selecting a character model from 20 different sub-factions as-well-as unlock hundreds of different weapons, customization options, and accessories drawn from over 29 years of Warhammer 40,000 lore.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mafia III Trailer

A third World of New Bordeaux trailer shows off the arsenal of Mafia III. Word is: "With an entire stockpile of military-grade weapons at your disposal you can pick the right tool for the job. Find out more about all the different weapons Lincoln Clay will use to bring down the Italian Mob." The open world crime sequel is due on October 7th, and this page outlines bonuses for preordering. Continue here to read the full story.

Dawn of War III Eldar Preview

There's a new article on the Dawn of War website about Dawn of War III, the upcoming RTS sequel. This takes a look at the Eldar, who return to the series as a playable race. Here's a bit: "The Eldar are the last of an ancient civilization that once ruled the Galaxy. With fearsome psychic powers, sophisticated technology, and Battle Focus shielding, the Eldar are fighting for their ongoing survival as they use hit-and-run tactics to strike the enemy with speed and fury, before falling back to regenerate for the next calculated assault."

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on Steam. Save 75%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Best Ebay Listing Ever.

Star Citizen Examined

There's a lengthy article on Kotaku UK called "Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen." This is the latest look at development of Cloud Imperium's space game, famed for its record-setting crowdfunding efforts. The article tracks down former developers from the project and discusses the pressing questions of what's taking so long and what are they doing with all that money. One of the answers that keeps coming up is feature creep, and for a bit of equal time, PCGamesN has several quotes from project lead Chris Roberts responding to the points raised. The intro lays out the issues:

Star Citizen’s development has been high-profile enough, expensive enough and, yes, troubled enough to spawn a whole ecosystem of theories as to what’s going on at Cloud Imperium Games, from theorising about the project’s technical challenges to wild accusations about what’s happening to the money. Various community scandals have added yet more fuel to the fire, turning Star Citizen into a lightning rod for controversy. The questions I wanted answers to were: what exactly has been happening over the past five years? What are the reasons behind Star Citizen’s various delays, and what specific development problems has it encountered? Have things been mismanaged? And, as many Star Citizen backers are now beginning to wonder, can it ever actually be finished?

Chasing this information has not been easy. There’s a reason that many of the sources in articles like this are usually anonymous: people fear both legal and professional repercussions for speaking out. In the course of contacting over 100 different people while researching Star Citizen’s development, I was told by multiple sources that they were worried about legal repercussions if they spoke to the press. Speaking out publicly about a previous employer carries professional peril, too; prospective future employers may see you as a risky hire. Nonetheless, over the course of the year we found that many of the people who had worked on Star Citizen were willing to talk about their experiences, which painted a picture of a development process riven by technical challenges, unrealistic expectations and internal strife.

Titanfall 2 PC Specs

The Titanfall website has minimum, recommended, and ultra system specifications for the PC edition of Titanfall 2 along with more details on the multiplayer mech sequel. The post takes on the disappointment in the absence of a Windows demo for the game with a further discussion of the game's PC support. Here's Word:

Titanfall 2 PC System Requirements

Minimum

OS - Win 7/8/8.1/10 64bit
CPU - Intel Core i3-3600t or equivalent
RAM - 8GB
HDD Free Space - 45GB
GPU - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 660 2GB, AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
DirectX - 11
Internet Connection - 512Kbps or faster

Recommended

OS - Win 7/8/8.1/10 64bit
CPU - Intel Core i5-6600 or equivalent
RAM - 16GB
HDD Free Space - 45GB
GPU - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1060 6GB, AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
DirectX - 11
Internet Connection - 512Kbps or faster

Ultra 4K60

OS - Win 7/8/8.1/10 64bit
CPU - Intel Core i7-6700k or equivalent
RAM - 16GB
HDD Free Space - 45GB
GPU - NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080 8GB
DirectX - 11
Internet Connection - 512Kbps or faster

So, what does it mean when we say "minimum" or "recommended"? Since this is a variable standard across the entire industry I think it is important for me to detail the kind of experience you can hope to expect. In the past minimum specs were literally the minimum bar to launch the game - your experience once in the game was probably not going to be ideal. Our goal for minimum PC specs on Titanfall 2 is that you can play at a 1600x900 resolution with most details turned on and average around 60fps. We strongly believe that if you at least match the posted requirements you should have an excellent visual and gameplay experience playing the game, so don’t be alarmed if you boot it up and don’t need to turn all the settings to Low for playable framerates – our artists would actually like if you could see their work! Because of this you will probably be able to actually run the game on a lower-than-minimum spec PC, but the quality and performance won’t quite be ideal. For recommended PC specs we're aiming for details nearly maxed out, 1920x1080 resolution (2560x1440 is also very playable), and again an average of 60fps or higher. We chose the minimum specs with 60fps in mind for the pure gameplay benefits you get once at 60fps (and beyond!).

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided System Rift DLC

New System Rift DLC is now available on Steam for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for Windows. This bolsters the RPG sequel with additional content, and requires a base copy of Mankind Divided. This is also out for consoles, and the PlayStation.Blog features a launch trailer with cinematics setting up the story (thanks nin). Here's word on the story, which is more authentic if you read it with your Clint Eastwood voice:

Re-unite with Frank Pritchard, Adam’s friend and former colleague at Sarif Industries, and assist him in hunting down information on the mysterious Santeau Group. Desperate to get more information, Pritchard targets one of the most secure data banks ever created – the Palisade Blade. In agreeing to help, Adam may also be able to uncover hints as to who the Illuminati really are.

Continue here to read the full story.

Battlerite Early Access

Steam now offers early access to Battlerite, a team arena brawler featuring two-versus-two and three-versus-three battles. In just a couple of days this has received "overwhelmingly positive" reviews, and the game currently sits atop Valve's current list of Steam top sellers.This video shows off the game's combat, and here's word on the release and its immediate success:

Stunlock Studios, an enthusiastic team of indie developers working out of Skövde, Sweden, launched its new online team arena brawler, Battlerite, into Early Access on Steam this week. The team and co-investor, Coffee Stain Studios, are incredibly excited to share that Battlerite immediately soared to the top of the Steam Top Seller list. Initial reactions among players have been overwhelmingly positive and Battlerite currently holds an astounding 96% positive ratings on Steam as of the time of this writing.

“As a small indie development team trying to do our own thing in a genre dominated by some of the biggest games on the planet, seeing these first reactions from players is really amazing. It’s also incredibly humbling, and we’re all keenly aware of the responsibility we have to see the game through Early Access and into full launch and truly make it the best game it can possibly be.” says Peter Ilves, Game Director at Stunlock Studios.

Battlerite is the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Bloodline Champions, the 2011 PC game also developed by Stunlock Studios. In Battlerite you engage in quick and intense online action by taking control of one of several unique champions. The game is played out in adrenaline-fueled 2v2 and 3v3 battles, and while it can certainly be easy to get into, Battlerite is a game that is challenging yet very rewarding to master.

Continue here to read the full story.

Void Destroyer 2 Early Access

Void Destroyer 2 is now available in early access for Windows on Steam, paving the way for a 2017 release. This space combat game includes space combat action as well as real-time strategy in a sandbox environment with distinctive cel shaded graphics. This post has details on the early access period and the early access trailer offers a look at what to expect. Here's word:

Set in a desolate asteroid field, Void Destroyer 2 emphasizes combat, tactics and strategy -- with battles ranging from one on one to fleets versus fleets. The game contains a simple, manageable yet engaging economy and offers loads of freedom to the player on how to play and who to play as. These are dangerous times with many opportunities for the intrepid, the cunning, and the ruthless.

Continue here to read the full story.

Road Rage Video

Maximum Games offers a new trailer from Road Rage, showing off their upcoming motorcycle racing game. The video shows off the game's setting of Ashen, a massive city where the player will fight to control various neighborhoods. The game is due on November 15th for Windows and consoles, and in the meantime you can keep up with details on the Road Rage website. Here's word on the video and the game:

The outward beauty of Ashen belies the dangerous underbelly of the motorcycle gangs that rule its streets. From the city of Chitaly, to the suburbs of Ruscago, to the outer reaches of its Farmlands, players will need to explore, race, and battle for control of the expansive neighborhoods of Ashen if they want to survive and advance within their gang.

Maximum Games’ new video takes a closer look at the Story, Environments and Missions in Road Rage, giving players an overall taste of the mayhem they’ll encounter in the game. From all-out gang brawls to timed races, you’ll get a preview of the types of missions you’ll have to complete within each district on your way to becoming Club President.

Road Rage boasts heavy melee-based combat racing that promises an adrenaline-pumping motorcycle ride for all. Featuring 42 story-based missions and over 50 side missions, players must take the helm as Reef Jackson, the newest member of the outlaw motorcycle club controlling underground crime in the city of Ashen. There are absolutely no limits in Road Rage: ride through a vast open-world environment, play as a range of distinct characters, explore unique neighborhoods, customize bikes and weapons, and battle your way to become ruler of the road!

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I just dealt with the front door lock here at the BlueTower. This had grown finicky, with keys becoming harder to turn over time, and lately it becoming harder just to get them in and out of the keyhole. Remembering how these things were handled in my youth, I picked up a tube of powdered graphite to lube things up. I got this stuff specifically to fix the lock, but I am still shocked at how well it worked. After getting some inside the keyhole and the mechanism I worked the lock a few times and it went from squeaky and resistant to smooth and quiet in a matter of seconds. I couldn't have expected better results if I had replaced the entire lock mechanism with a new one made of Teflon marketed for its smoothness. The funny thing is the graphite came in a tube about 100x larger than the little ones I remembered, holding well over an ounce. Based on the minute quantity required to fix my lock, I think I have enough left over to lube every lock in the county.

Locked Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Sons of Guns.
Story: Here are the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize 'winners.'
Science: Drinking Beer May Help You Read Certain Emotions.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet.
We Know Why The Midshipman Fish Sings.
Media: Brian Posehn And His Abusive Relationship With Star Wars.
Shovel delivers instant karma.
IF VIDEO GAMES HAD TEXTING 2.



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