Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015

Sword Coast Legends Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for Sword Coast Legends along with a 50% off sale on the D&D RPG:
Play Sword Coast Legends for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Sword Coast Legends at 50% off the regular price!*

Set in the lush and vibrant world of the Forgotten Realms, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons as a shared storytelling experience. With a deep narrative developed by a team of long-time industry veterans and a partnership with Wizards of the Coast, the single player campaign of Sword Coast Legends brings the world of Faerûn home like never before.

New AMD Crimson Drivers

AMD support offers new version 15.12 Crimson reference drivers for AMD graphics cards. The list of resolved issues mentions a number of game-related fixes, covering Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4, Just Cause 3, and more. This post originally said the new version was 15.15, apologies for the error.

Remastered Turok Released

Those ripples in your cup are harbingers of the arrival of the remastered version of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter from Night Dive Studios, as the shooter remake is now rumbling onto the scene via digital distribution. Here's word:
Get ready to wield an arsenal of weapons as you battle to protect Earth against time-traveling warriors, demons, and dinosaurs. Turok makes its triumphant return to PC in time for the 2015 holiday season.

Originally developed for Nintendo 64 and PC in 1997, Turok has been re-mastered by Night Dive Studios for today’s modern gaming audience. Some of the updated features include:

  • Reconstructed game engine that captures the look and feel of the original while also supporting today’s technology
  • Modernized graphics that accommodate widescreen and high-resolution monitors
  • Improved menus and customization options
  • Support for gamepads and keyboard binding
  • Support for Steam achievements and trading cards

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Date, Specs

A new CapCom Unity post specifies January 15th as the release date for the Windows edition of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, their open world action/RPG that was already expected in January. They celebrate the news with a new PC trailer as well as these minimum and recommended system specifications:
It’s a wonderful thing to see the dark-fantasy world of Dragon’s Dogma finally realized in 4K and running at silky-smooth 60 FPS. As a matter of fact, the framerate is uncapped, so if your rig surpasses the recommended specs below, just set the framerate to “Variable”, sit back and enjoy all the action.

Speaking of which, here are the Minimum and Recommended specs, as well as an all-out Performance spec list, if you wanna get fancy and run the game at 4K:

Minimum Specs:
OS: Windows Vista or newer
Processor: Intel Core i5-660 CPU or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon HD 5870 or equivalent
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 22 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX-compatible sound card or onboard audio chip
Additional Notes: 1) Supports Keboard + Mouse and XInput / DirectInput devices including Xbox 360, Xbox One, DualShock and Steam Controller. 2) Some high end integrated graphics chips and modern gaming laptops with a discrete GPU may work but have not been tested, nor are they officially supported by Capcom.

Recommended Specs:
OS: Windows Vista or newer
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K or equivalent
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or equivalent
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 22 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX-compatible sound card or onboard audio chip
Additional Notes: 1) Supports Keboard + Mouse and XInput / DirectInput devices including Xbox 360, Xbox One, DualShock and Steam Controller. 2) Some high end integrated graphics chips and modern gaming laptops with a discrete GPU may work but have not been tested, nor are they officially supported by Capcom.
Continue here to read the full story.

Street Fighter V SteamOS Support & 3rd Beta Plans

CapCom Unity has details on the third beta session for Street Fighter IV, saying this will begin tomorrow for Windows and PS4. They outline the characters and game modes this will include, and offer a detailed schedule of tests. A separate post outlines plans for Steam OS support in the brawler sequel, and how the test will include Steam Controller support:
Hey everyone. I’m excited to announce that Street Fighter V will be officially supporting Steam OS! We are working closely with Valve on this endeavor, and will have more details to announce in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.

Street Fighter V will also support the Steam controller, and you’ll be able to try that out right away during the upcoming beta test that takes place from December 18~20.

Wargaming Hires

Wargaming announces a pair of new hires, one of whom is Paul Barnett, former GM for EA Mythic whose name has appeared here quite often over the years. Here's the news:
Wargaming America, the exclusive North and South America publisher for, today announced recent additions to the company’s executive team to further develop and strengthen their growing workforce and portfolio of products. Thaine Lyman was appointed head of global publishing production and Paul Barnett has joined the team as director of community.

“We are thrilled to welcome both Thaine and Paul on board during this exciting time of growth for the company,” says Wargaming America general manager Jay Cohen. “Their respective experience developing high-performance products and innovative, culture-driven teams will help support Wargaming’s efforts as we continue to expand our audience throughout the Americas on new platforms with community focused features and content.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Galactic Civilizations II Patched

Stardock now offers a new patch for Galactic Civilizations II, as opposed to the more recent Galactic Civilizations III, calling the version 2.20 update a "blast from the past," as it is a major update for this 4X space game that was first released in 2006. This was developed as a collaboration between the Galactic Civilizations community and development team, and includes major overhauls to AI, balance, and general gameplay. "It was awesome being able to work with the fans to integrate years of their own mods and tweaks into the base game," says Brad Wardell, CEO and President of Stardock. "They also gave me a long list of areas where they thought I could improve the AI, which I used to dig into the now 10 year old AI source code base to implement." This post has a complete changelog.

COLECO Chameleon Announced

COLECO announces the COLECO Chameleon gaming system, calling themselves a "video-game industry pioneer," though that's a more accurate description of the company that went out of business in 1988, rather than the company that reformed around the name in 2005. They say this will "accurately play compilations of favorite games from the past" and "also has the ability play brand-new games in the 8-, 16- and 32-bit styles." There's not yet anything about this on the Coleco website. but say the unit will debut at the February New York City Toy Fair and will be released next year. Here's more:
COLECO Chameleon is a versatile video-game system that serves as a modern day take on the classic game console and will accurately play compilations of favorite games from the past. The COLECO Chameleon also has the ability play brand-new games in the 8-, 16- and 32-bit styles, a growing and popular genre in today’s gaming landscape.

Chris Cardillo, a partner in COLECO said, "Mark [Thomann] and I are excited to work hand-in-hand with Retro Video Game Systems, Inc. in the launch of the COLECO Chameleon. It's ironic that a new ‘retro’ video-game system would actually revolutionize and revitalize the COLECO brand."

And, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the COLECO Chameleon will once again play brand new games on long-lasting, durable cartridges that can be played, traded, and collected for a lifetime. And all game cartridges will include high quality, plastic clamshell cases with illustrated instruction manuals and game developer liner notes.

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 Trailer

A new trailer from Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 introduces the backyard battleground from EA Popcap's upcoming action game sequel. Here's the description:
Today, PopCap Vancouver released the Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2: Backyard Battleground Gameplay Reveal Walkthrough Trailer, a deep dive into the features of Backyard Battleground, an all-new dynamic and interactive hub that connects you to every map and mode throughout Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2. Backyard Battleground is your personal playground full of surprises, stories, and secrets to discover, including:

  • Flag of Power - Jump into action right away with this King of the Hill-inspired mode. Raise the Flag of Power and do everything you can to prevent the enemy from lowering it; igniting an all-out war where you’ll have to fight off wave after wave of enemies in an frantic, escalating battle.
  • Missions and Quests - Complete missions for Crazy Dave and Dr. Zomboss, and uncover the secrets of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 along the way. Or visit the Quest Board for a list of dynamically updated challenges that will reward you for every completed event, increasing your XP and coins.
  • Crazy Targets - Test your aim in a frantic shooting gallery of fun - one of the many mini-games you'll discover and unlock in Backyard Battleground. Your best scores make it onto the leaderboard where you can compete for the best times against your friends - or even the world!
  • Stats Room - Display all of your characters’ stats and achievements. There’s also a sticker book where you can get an overview of all the characters and accessories you’ve unlocked.

Whether you’re on a solo adventure or discovering hidden secrets with friends, Backyard Battleground is your personalized space, and brings to life new ways to play like you’ve never seen in a PvZ game before.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bill Burr never got Star Wars mania.

Tencent Buys Remainder of Riot, League of Legends

Tencent is now the sole owner of Riot Games and League of Legends, Riot's hugely popular MOBA. The Chinese conglomerate previously was previously a majority owner of the developer, but a recent post about employee equity reveals they have purchased the remainder. They conclude the update expressing optimism about the change: "We’re excited about the flexibility of this new approach to comp and believe it’ll help us continue to ensure Riot remains a great place to work." Thanks Ars Technica.

Star Citizen Procedurally Generated Planets

The Roberts Space Industries website has a new trailer called "From Pupil to Planet" showing off procedurally generated planets in Star Citizen, Cloud Imperium's upcoming space game. The clip features a flyover of a planet and an explanation of the various elements their system will generate. Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Winter Sale Next Week?

Shacknews has an image of what's said to be a PayPal advertisement they say inadvertently revealed this year's Steam Winter Sale will begin on December 22nd. The ad suggests there will be some incentive to giving or receiving a PayPal digital gift card during the sale, though this remains an unconfirmed report at this point.

WoW Banhammer

A forum post reveals that Blizzard has once again "taken action" against a "large number" of World of Warcraft players for botting shenanigans in their MMORPG (thanks PC Gamer). Word is they are ramping up punishments for repeat offenders, suggesting bans for such infractions are temporary:
We’ve recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as “bots.” As a part of this action, we have removed various currencies and inventory from these accounts including, but not limited to, gold, PvP currencies, and gear. The penalty for those identified as repeat offenders has also been increased.

We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated.

If you believe that you’ve encountered a player abusing a bot, exploit, or cheat, please let us know! You can do so by using the right-click report functionality in the game, and/or by emailing information to

Rainbow Six Siege HD Pack

UbiBlog has word on the release of a new high resolution texture pack for Rainbow Six Siege as free DLC through Uplay or Steam. Here's word:
If you’re playing Rainbow Six Siege on PC, there’s an extra treat waiting for you today alongside the latest update – and it’s one you’ll definitely want to grab if you’re playing on a higher-end rig. Download the Ultra HD Texture Pack, and you’ll get new weapon and character textures that look amazing at resolutions up to 4K.

You don’t need a 4K monitor or ultra-high-end graphics card to take advantage of the new textures, however. For example, if you’re running a GPU with at least 4 GB of memory, you’ll notice a difference when using the new textures between 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Rainbow Six Siege looks even better on a GPU with 6 GB or more, which lets players take full advantage of the Ultra HD Texture Pack at 4K resolution.

Finally, those running dual GPUs with 6 GB or more each will be able to breach walls and rescue hostages with the game looking its absolute sharpest, with 4K resolution, Ultra HD textures and the highest settings for lighting and shading.

Moving Hazard Announced

Psyop Games and IllFonic announce Moving Hazard, an attempt at a new take on the crowded zombie shooter series by making your fellow survivors enemies and the zombies weapons. This video offers a look at what's described as "raw pre-alpha" footage, and there's more on the game on its official website. Here's a rundown:
Moving Hazard is a multiplayer-focused, team-based tactical military shooter that introduces an entirely new weapons class – the undead.

In the game, the zombie war is already lost and what remains of humanity has retreated to fortified military bases, leaving everything in between to the shambling corpses. In order to survive, the player’s squad must venture into the wasteland and face off against other survivors for control of important resources and strategic command points.

While battling powerfully equipped human opponents, the player will also need to survive the hunger of the zombie masses. Even more important, the player will use technology specifically evolved in this post-apocalyptic hellscape to control the mindless shamblers by attracting, repelling, sedating or angering the horde. Only by working as a strategic military team while simultaneously harnessing the power of the undead, can a battle be won.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I guess I'm predictable enough that yesterday's guessing game wasn't much of a game, as the answer was immediately correctly pegged in the forums. The cool thing I mentioned was that I scored an invitation to an advance screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I got to attend the premiere of The Phantom Menace years ago, but this was even cooler, as it was the day before the premiere, not to mention it was for a far better movie. I won't spoil anything, since I know lots of you plan to see it, so I'll just say I was not disappointed.

Star Struck Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Epic Clicker: Saga of Middle Earth.
Abandoned: The Watchers' Chamber.
Story: Quentin Tarantino Blasts Disney Over Pushing ‘Hateful Eight’ Out Of Cinerama Dome For ‘Star Wars’.
Science: Large Hadron Collider may have detected a new particle. Thanks HARDOCP.
Two atoms make quantum memory, processing gate, and test of entanglement.
How This Scientist Discovered Coffee Was Reorganizing His Brain.
Media: STAR WARS: A Bad Lip Reading. And Empire. And Jedi.
How Revenge Of The Sith Should Have Ended.
GoPro: Danny MacAskill - Cascadia.
Dogs Vs. feather filled pillow.
Follow-up: CEO Reviled for Drug Price Gouging Arrested on Securities Fraud Charges. Thanks Digg via nin.
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