Archived News:

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

World of Warcraft Expansion Reveal Next Week

Blizzard announces plans to unveil a new expansion for World of Warcraft at Gamescom next week, saying the unveiling of new content for the MMORPG will take place at noon EDT on August 6th. Here's the plan:
Join us Thursday, August 6 at 9 a.m. PDT for a special World of Warcraft event streamed live from gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany—where we’ll be unveiling the next chapter of the World of Warcraft saga. . . .

Tune in again Sunday, August 9 at 8:00 a.m. PDT for a World of Warcraft developer chat before the show ends, and find out more about what’s in store.

Stay tuned to our dedicated gamescom page for further details on the live stream. Those who are able to join us in person at gamescom can visit us at the Blizzard booth in hall 7.1. We hope to see you there!

NVIDIA and AMD Windows 10 Drivers

With Microsoft rolling out Windows 10, hardware vendors like NVIDIA and AMD are rolling out new drivers. NVIDIA now offers new version 353.62 drivers with WHQL certification for Windows 10, while AMD has new WHQL-certified Catalyst 15.7.1 Windows 10 drivers. Both of those are for 64-bit Windows, and for now, only NVIDIA also has 32-bit Windows 10 drivers. Thanks HARDOCP.

StarCraft II Bans & Suspensions announces that Blizzard has fired up the ban-laser and used it on some StarCraft II cheaters:
We recently issued a new round of account suspensions and bans to StarCraft II players who were in violation of the Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair competition that’s essential to play on, cheating and hacking can lead to stability and performance issues with the service.

As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and secure online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on and take action as needed.

Magic Duels: Origins Released

Steam News announces the release of Magic Duels: Origins on Steam, offering the latest way to play the Magic card strategy game without any physical cards. This free-to-play Windows edition follows the mobile versions, but precedes the game's release on consoles. Here's word:
Enter the world’s best strategy card game with Magic Duels, an all-new digital experience!

Immerse yourself in the world of Magic: The Gathering’s exciting new Origins campaign as you play through the stories of five iconic Planeswalkers. Hone your skills and build your deck of spells from an ever-growing library of collectible cards, then take on your friends or thousands of AI opponents in Battle Mode.

Enjoy virtually endless gameplay with regular card and content updates, quests and achievements, multiple play modes—including fan favorites like Two-Headed Giant—and fully earnable content. The new Skill Quest training system and enhanced Deck Builder with step-by-step guidance ensure an epic Magic experience for new and veteran players alike.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Next Month

Ubisoft announces Toy Soldiers: War Chest is coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on August 11th, offering a return of the toy-based action/strategy series. Here's a new trailer revealing the addition of Cobra Commander and Assassin's Creed's Ezio, and here's word on the Standard and Hall of Fame editions of the game:
Today, Ubisoft announced that Toy Soldiers: War Chest will release worldwide on August 11, 2015. The third installment of the popular franchise created and developed by Signal Studios offers a hybrid blend of action strategy gameplay mixed with tower defense mechanics. Toy Soldiers: War Chest will be available digitally and at retailers on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame edition will be available as a digital-download and at retailers. The Hall of Fame edition includes four licensed armies in addition to the four armies included in the standard edition. Toy Soldiers: War Chest (standard edition) will be available as a digital-download only. Players will also be able to download each individual licensed armies from the Hall of Fame edition or all four together in the Legendary Heroes pack.

Marching into the toy box is a highly trained special mission force, code name: G.I. JOE. Led by brave field commander Duke and armed with an arsenal of weapons and overflowing with fighting spirit, this team works together on the front lines to stop evil in its tracks.

Enabled by the power of Grayskull™ is the Masters of the Universe™ army led by He-Man™, The Most Powerful Man in the Universe™. Gifted with unimaginable strength and fearless courage, He-Man, Battle Cat™ and his Eternian warriors team up to protect the Eternia toy box from the forces of darkness.

Cobra Commander
Trained in explosives and martial arts, and backed by the support of a fanatical army comprised of a deeply loyal infantry, the Cobra Commander army will not hesitate to take on any opposing faction. With a mix of brute force, advanced technologies and fierce tenacity, the Cobra Commander army is a force to be reckoned with on the ground and in the skies.

Gifted with a prowess in parkour, stealth and charisma, Ezio and the Assassin’s brotherhood team up to create a fierce alliance of justice and protection. An ancestor of Desmond Miles, the charming Florentine Ezio Auditore da Firenze is a master with the hidden blade and the ladies.

Steamship Ahoy - Colonial Conquest

Get ready to do some empire building, as Steam now offers Colonial Conquest, a historical strategy game from indie developer Argonauts Interactive on sale for 10% off at launch. This post follows the release with a day one patch fixing a number of issues, including game freezes. Here's word:
Colonial Conquest is a conquest simulation set in the Victorian age of warfare and expansion of the late 1800's and early 1900's. The object of the game is to become the dominant major power throughout the world. Players can be one among six of the great powers of the time: Great Britain, Germany, France, USA, Japan or Russia.

Inferno 2 Released

Steam now offers Inferno 2, a Windows twin stick shooter carrying a 10% launch discount. Word is: "The sequel to Inferno+, Radiangames' critically-acclaimed twin-stick action-RPG, arrives on PC at last! INFERNO 2 boasts even more devious levels, more weapons, more upgrades and powers, more enemies, and more customization, along with more insane explosions and particle effects."

Just Cause 3 Video Diary

This video developer diary from Just Cause 3 asks, and attempts to answer, the question of "who is Rico" in the upcoming action sequel, and there is also a new meet the team trailer introducing the folks at Avalanche Studios. Here's word on the new diary, which they say kicks off a five-part series:
Today sees the first release in the JUST CAUSE 3 dev diary series. This first video offers insight from Avalanche Studios about who Rico Rodriguez is, what new skills and abilities he’s bringing to the table for his third outing, and how the team have brought him to life.

“He’s gotten older,” explains Game Director Roland Lesterlin in the video, “he’s got his scars from his years in Panau and San Esperito. We wanted to give him that background. What would it be like if you set off a nuke? Twice?”

Warhammer: End Times Vermintide Trailer

Fatshark now offers this trailer, which is part two of Inside The Vermintide, a look at Warhammer: End Times Vermintide, their upcoming co-op action game (part one was released last week). Word is: "Associate Producer Liam O’Neill and Game Designer Victor Magnuson talk co-op, design, lore, and much more for Part 2 of Inside the Vermintide." Continue here to read the full story.

Five Nights at Freddy's Developer Responds to "Hate"

A post by developer Scott Cawthon responds to what he calls "a lot of hate" directed towards him and the Five Nights at Freddy's series, and how rapidly the sequels have followed (thanks Kotaku via nin). Here's what he says:
Hi guys. First of all, I wanted to thank the community in general for the huge outpouring of support through emails and in the forums. I know a lot of you are concerned about me or think that I’m stressed out. It’s true that I’m stressed a little; but it’s ok because the result was good. I’ve worked very hard this year, almost non-stop, to produce good games for this series. Even though there may be some debate as to how “good” the games are, I did my best to provide some good scares and a good story. All I can do is judge from the Steam reviews that I’ve been mostly successful; so I’m very happy about that.

It’s true that there has been a lot of hate toward me lately; on the forums, on youtube, etc. And I’ll be honest, it’s difficult. It’s difficult when people seem to dislike you only because you’ve found success with something. I think some people have this idea that I spend my days swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck, cranking out games with no effort, then laughing all the way to the bank. The reality is quite different, and I think that people who hate on me for being successful are misguided.

Did you know that last year I was working at Dollar General? I worked as a cashier. I had three bosses who were all still in high school. Before that I worked at Target in the backroom freezer, unloading frozen foods. I haven’t had a successful life; and now that God has blessed me with some success, I’m doing my best to be responsible with that success. I don’t party on weekends, I don’t get drunk or sip martinis. I spend my evenings playing Megaman 3, buster only, with my kids. And I try to good with what's been given to me.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

etc., etc.


Harebrained Schemes announces BATTLETECH, a PC mech combat game Shadowrun Returns developer is planning in collaboration with Jordan Weisman, creator of BattleTech and MechWarrior. They plan a Kickstarter campaign this fall, and in the meantime they offer a website with concept art, newsletter signups, and the following outline of their plans:

Harebrained Schemes is pleased to announce their return to Kickstarter this Fall to partner with Backers in co-funding the creation of BATTLETECH. Jordan Weisman, the creator of BattleTech and MechWarrior, is back with the first turn-based BattleTech game for PC in over two decades. Steeped in the feudal political intrigue of the BattleTech universe, the game will feature an open-ended Mercenaries-style campaign that blends RPG ‘Mech and MechWarrior management with modern turn-based tactics.

Dying Light Expansion Announced

Techland announces Dying Light: The Following, "a feature-heavy, story-based" expansion for Dying Light, their zombie game. This will be offered separately, and will be a free download for Season Pass holders. They plan on unveiling this more fully off in Germany next week at Gamescom, and in the meantime, offer these screenshots and the following general overview:
“For Dying Light: The Following we’re adding a number of bold game-changers to create one massive expansion. Something big that will give the game a brand-new flavor. The new map alone is the same size as all the previous maps from Dying Light combined, so there is a lot we’re packing in here.

We also kept a close eye on player feedback to help tailor what we’ve created here. Hopefully people will see that this new expansion is first and foremost, for the fans.”

– Tymon Smektala, producer, Dying Light: The Following

Asian Online Titanfall Game Plans

Nexon announces an agreement with Electronic Arts to bring a PC online game based on Titanfall to Asian markets. There's no word on plans to bring this multiplayer version of the mech shooter westward, but that's certainly an eventual possibility. Here's word on the plan:
NEXON Co., Ltd. (“Nexon”) (3659.TO), a worldwide leader in online games, today announced its Korean subsidiary, NEXON Korea Corporation, has entered into a game development and publishing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) to bring a PC online version of the critically-acclaimed, first-person shooter game, Titanfall™, originally developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA, to players in Asia.

Respawn Entertainment – which was co-founded by Vince Zampella, one of the co-creators of the multi-billion dollar franchise CALL OF DUTY™ and co-founders of its development studio, Infinity Ward – is an independent video game development studio located in Los Angeles, California.

“With its pilot vs. titan gameplay, among other innovations, Titanfall is a uniquely intense game experience. We look forward to working with the talented teams at Respawn and EA and leveraging Nexon’s free-to-play expertise to deliver a new and engaging online game based on Titanfall to the Asian market,” said Owen Mahoney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexon.

YAGER's Dead Island 2 Team Insolvent

Yager Productions GMBH has filed for insolvency, reports, explaining that this is a subsidiary of the developer, and the change does not impact other divisions of YAGER or their projects like Dreadnaught. Word is this branch of the company was specifically created to work on Dead Island 2, and the insolvency follows the recent announcement that they were off the project. "As single-purpose company, Yager Productions GmbH was assigned to the development of the Deep Silver title Dead Island 2," says YAGER MD Timo Ullmann. "The insolvency filing is a direct result from the early termination of the project and helps protecting our staff. In the course of the proceedings, we gain time to sort out the best options for reorganizing this entity." & Windows 10 announces their support of old games is mostly ready for Microsoft's new operating system. They explain how users can help improve compatibility, and describe where things currently stand:
Today, roughly 85% of our library is labeled as compatible with Windows 10. These games were fully playable with no significant performance or graphical issues during our testing process and are ready to go right now. You can filter through Windows 10 games in our catalog, and the compatibility will be labeled on every game card.

Moving forward, we plan to continue our work to bring as many of the remaining games as possible over to the new OS. As new updates and features are released, we hope to see improved backward compatibility and new tools to work with, but it's always possible for new issues to come up along the way. If you do suspect that a game should not be labeled Windows 10 compatible, we'll appreciate your help in getting to the bottom of things, but you can always rely on your 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

The most important thing to stress is that Windows 10 is a brand new operating system, and that means we're still in the middle of a transition period. The coming weeks or months may be rocky as the first wave of patches hits the OS, so we'll constantly monitor the situation to quickly put out any fires.

Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces Trailer

A new Know Your Units trailer introduces the Centaur, a tank in Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces, the upcoming standalone RTS expansion. Word is: "In this third installment in the series of four “Know Your Units” videos for Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces, Relic unveils the Centaur tank. Featuring twin 20 mm Polsten guns, the Centaur helps control the battlefield by serving as an excellent anti-aircraft and anti-infantry tank." Continue here to read the full story.

King of Dragon Pass Released

King of Dragon Pass is now available on Steam, offering a Windows and OS X edition of this strategy game that's already available for mobiles. You can take a look in this trailer from last summer with this pocket-sized description: "Create your own epic saga of conflict, mythology and community! Rule your own clan, take important strategic decisions, win battles and expand the territory of your people in this unique mix of RPG, strategy and story-telling." Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Well today is the launch day for a new version of Windows, a free upgrade for most, no less. I've seen many comments already from those holding off on this for now, and I'm firmly in that camp myself. It's kind of funny, as I feel there's no reason to upgrade, but I would probably be upset if there actually was a reason, because it would feel like I was being coerced. I guess coercion will eventually play into this, as I will probably tumble before the free upgrade expires, though I could go for it earlier if the reviews seem to warrant it, and early notices seem positive.

Upgraded Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Bad Ice-Cream 3.
The Company of Copperhill.
Resonant Voices.
Stories: Cecil the lion's killer revealed as American dentist.
Legendary Punk Store Trash & Vaudeville Leaving St. Mark's Place.
Members of Roxy Music and The Clash form supergroup. Thanks MrKawfy.
Media: Pixel Cops (ft. Markiplier & CaptainSparklez).
GUITAR HERO (Honest Game Trailers).
Micah Should Not Have Fallen Asleep.
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