Archived News:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

XCOM 2 Alien Hunters Released

2K Games and Firaxis announce the release of Alien Hunters, a new DLC pack for XCOM 2, the strategy sequel that features, well, alien hunters. This requires the base game to play, and here's word on what it adds: "Transform the soldiers of XCOM into an elite alien hunting squad with impressive new weapons and armor to face off against new alien Rulers that will pursue your squad across an entire campaign. Additional cosmetic upgrades to soldiers and the Avenger are included, as well as a new epic mission where Central Officer Bradford leads a squad with the guidance of an old friend." This trailer shows off what to expect. Continue here to read the full story.

9.7 Million Play the Overwatch Beta

Blizzard announces more than 9.7 million players checked out the Overwatch beta, making the recently concluded testing of their multiplayer shooter their biggest-ever open beta. They offer more stats on the success of the testing, thankfully not in infographic format. Here's word:
Blizzard Entertainment today announced that more than 9.7 million players around the world played its upcoming team-based shooter Overwatch® during the Open Beta for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and Windows® PC, making it Blizzard’s biggest open beta ever. By the time the Open Beta came to a close on May 10, participants had joined forces for more than 4.9 billion minutes (over 81 million hours) across more than 37 million matches of intense competitive action, incredible teamwork, and all-out fun.

“We're thrilled that such an incredible number of players from around the globe got a chance to check out Overwatch during the Open Beta,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Our mission was to make sure as many console and PC gamers as possible could experience the full game ahead of its launch—the response was overwhelming, and we hope that everyone had a blast.”

Free Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer Weekend

Steam News announces everyone can play Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer for this weekend until Sunday at 4:00 pm EDT. Here's word on the free weekend, the corresponding sale, and the game:
Play Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Black Ops III at 40% off the regular price!*

Also, save 25% off the Digital Deluxe Edition

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 combines three unique game modes: Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies, providing fans with the deepest and most ambitious Call of Duty ever. The Campaign has been designed as a co-op game that can be played with up to 4 players online or as a solo cinematic thrill-ride. Multiplayer will be the franchise’s deepest, most rewarding and most engaging to date, with new ways to rank up, customize, and gear up for battle. And Zombies delivers an all-new mind-blowing experience with its own dedicated narrative.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Empyrion - Galactic Survival Free Weekend

Also on Steam News is word of a free weekend for Empyrion - Galactic Survival that's underway until Sunday afternoon. Here's word:
Play Empyrion - Galactic Survival for FREE starting now, through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time.
Plus, save 40% on Empyrion - Galactic Survival as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Empyrion. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a 3D open world, space survival adventure in which you can fly across space and land on planets. Build, explore, fight and survive in a hostile galaxy full of hidden dangers.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster Released

Steam News announces the release of FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster, offering the chance to re-experience two highly regarded installments in the role-playing series. The bundle is 20% off for the next week, and here's word: "FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster celebrates two of the most cherished and beloved entries to the world-renowned franchise, completely remastered in gorgeous High Definition & now available on PC / Windows!"

SMITE Bonus Weekend

The SMITE forums announce a "Double Everything Weekend" in SMITE starting tomorrow, offering double experience, worshipers, favor, and fantasy points in Hi-Rez's MOBA. In addition, they are also offering free access to all gods all weekend on both PC and consoles. In one last bit of related news, Dark Horse comics announces plans to publish a SMITE graphic novel on December 28th.

One Piece Burning Blood Trailer

A new trailer from One Piece Burning Blood shows off multiplayer play in the upcoming fighting game, focusing on the game's Pirate Flag Battle. The clip also shows off three DLC characters that are being offered as a preorder bonus for those who buy the game before its release next month. Here's word:
One Piece fans, are you ready to ignite the flames of battle? BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today reveals a new trailer for One Piece: Burning Blood ahead of the game’s release later this month. Today’s trailer highlights multiple online play modes within One Piece: Burning Blood, giving fans a closer look at Pirate Flag Battle, which allows players to join a pirate crew and sail across the seas to claim victory at different famous locations in a massively multiplayer online territory building campaign. The trailer also shows off Ranked Matches and Player Matches where players can challenge friends or other online-players in drag-out fights and battle for victory in order to ascend online ranks for bragging rights.

In addition to the online modes, today’s trailer also highlights three DLC characters, Gear 4th Luffy, Afro Luffy and Kung Fu Luffy. These playable characters will surely please and excite One Piece fans and are available as part of the One Piece: Burning Blood pre-order bonus. One Piece fans who pre-order the game will be able to fight as these exclusive characters featuring brand new move sets.

Crush Online Announced

Publisher GAMESinFLAMES announces plans for a western launch of Crush Online, a MOBA from Korean developer JoyImpact they say will have a strong focus on PVP battles. This trailer offers a look, and those interested should head over to the game's website to register interest in the closed beta. Here's more on the game:
The world of Gaia is home to three realms, each populated by thousands of players fighting an endless territory war. These nations, along with a comprehensive guild system, are the groundwork for truly grand military clashes. Guilds and nations can ally with each other in exciting Castle Sieges to gain control of a nation and lord over its subjects, while entire nations may scheme with and against each other to win epic wars where not just glory, but also valuable treasure and powerful ability enhancements are at stake. Players can choose their avatars from a number of distinct, fully customizable classes, each with tons of different weapon setups and compete with other players and NPCs in tactical and challenging fights. It’s not just a match – it’s war!
Continue here to read the full story.

KingsIsle Layoffs

KingsIsle Entertainment confirms for Gamasutra the site's report that the Wizard101 developer has laid off staff. The original report said this was approximately half the studio, which would be around 80 jobs lost. Here's the official statement on the topic:
To verify, many talented employees were released as part of a reduction in force today at KingsIsle Entertainment, and we wish them the best. This coincides with a couple of unreleased mobile games being cancelled. The strategy is to refocus our efforts on our MMO games and polish our more promising mobile projects, many of which are still slated for a 2016 release. Fans of our MMOs should know that Pirate101 is soon to receive an update and will be going to Test Realm most likely next week. Wizard101 has new content updates in the works for both Summer and Fall 2016.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Win That War! by Insane Unity — Kickstarter. "Win That War! is a real-time strategy game for PC that throws you way back to the old strategy classics, adding a touch of arcade feel and a dash of self-mockery. Its unique aesthetics are a nod to 1960’s American sci-fi." A playable demo is offered, and here's a trailer.

On Sale

Save 50%

Atlas Reactor Free Weekend

Trion Worlds announces that early access to Atlas Reactor will begin today on Steam, offering the access to the closed beta testing of this multiplayer strategy game. This kicks off with a free weekend at 8:00 pm EDT today to allow everyone the chance to see the state of the game, and this will conclude at 3:00 am EDT on Monday, at which point everyone who so desires can buy into early access. Here's word:
Trion Worlds today announced that Atlas Reactor, its competitive team tactics game currently in closed beta, is now available in Early Access form on Valve’s Steam digital distribution platform. To kick it off, Trion is holding a free weekend beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT today and ending Sunday, May 15 at 11:59 p.m. PT. During the free weekend, anyone can play Atlas Reactor, with access to all current freelancers. Trion today will also offer a preview of the game’s spectator mode, and during an upcoming livestream will tease a new freelancer, who will become available next week.

As part of Early Access, Steam users can jump into Atlas Reactor this afternoon and join the tens of thousands of gamers already participating in the closed beta. For a limited time, Trion’s Atlas Reactor can be purchased for as little as $19.99, and those purchasing the game will receive all freelancers forever.

“We’re proud of all the progress we’re making on Atlas Reactor and excited to see how the Steam community reacts to the game,” said Peter Ju, executive producer on Atlas Reactor.

AMD Crimson Drivers

AMD announces the release of new version 16.5.2 Crimson Edition reference drivers for AMD graphics cards. These are non-WHQL certified drivers, and there is a list of known issues, but they provide support for tomorrow's release of the new DOOM along with a new Crossfire profile for Battleborn. Word is: "Radeon Software Crimson Edition is AMD's revolutionary new graphics software that delivers redesigned functionality, supercharged graphics performance, remarkable new features, and innovation that redefines the overall user experience. Every Radeon Software release strives to deliver new features, better performance and stability improvements." Thanks Mashiki.

Riff Racer Released

Riff Racer - Race Your Music is now out of early access on Steam, and officially available, offering an arcade stunt-racing game for Windows that creates race tracks on the fly based on your music tracks or any of the 25 included tunes. This post outlines all the changes in the new version, which include new features as well as bug fixes, and this trailer offers a look. Here's word:
Riff Racer brings a fresh twist to music gaming. FOAM’s innovative MEGA engine takes any piece of audio and analyses it down to its core components and creates a unique stunt filled racing experience from it.

Not a rhythm game, but a challenging arcade racer where you race the song itself and score for how well you stay in Sync.

Action on track is synced to the audio - players literally have to race the music to stay in time and score points.

Verses, choruses and drops become checkpoints, and the environment, colours and cars are styled to the genre of music you're playing.

Experiment with your music collection and find out which songs make the best racetracks!

Score big for staying in sync, whilst performing stunts, jumps, drifts and rolls!
Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Legion Beta Nears announces that beta testing of World of Warcraft Legion "begins soon," offering the chance to help steer the future of the MMORPG. They outline the process for selecting testers, and offer patch notes for the beta to get an idea of what to expect. Here's the deal:
The Legion beta test includes the new Demon Hunter class, the starting experience for the Broken Isles, the new level-up and max-level zones, the new Artifact system, and much more. Beta testers will be able to create characters using level 100 templates, so they’ll be primed and ready to explore the newest content. Be sure to check out the beta patch notes for more details on what to expect.

There’s no NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for the Legion beta test, so those invited to play are free to discuss their experiences as well as take screenshots, share videos, and stream game content. Please keep in mind that the expansion is still in development—we’ll be making changes to the game as the beta evolves, and what you’ll see during the beta test is not necessarily representative of the final game.

Hearts of Iron IV Video

Paradox Interactive now offers a second video developer diary from Hearts of Iron IV, focused on the naval, land, and air power in the World War II RTS sequel. The game is due on June 6th, the anniversary of D-Day, and here's word on the new diary:
With the release of Hearts of Iron IV only weeks away, the developers behind Paradox’s newest grand strategy wargame want to imprint on your mind the scale of the task that lies ahead for desktop generals around the world.

The newest video developer diary emphasizes how Hearts of Iron IV will be the total strategy game for a total war. Victory will depend on your armies, but not on them alone.

Hearts of Iron IV is the latest version of one of Paradox Development Studio’s most popular series. Take control of any nation in the world and guide it through humanity’s most trying hours. With a new and improved battleplan system, you will be able to direct sweeping movements of troops through steppes, deserts and jungles. Area and mission based systems take the micromanagement out of naval and air combat.

And, as you would expect from a Paradox game, history is only a rough guide. You can rewrite the past through your daring charge to Berlin through Denmark, or a desperate assault on the Japanese home islands.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Mentioning my goal yesterday of having my next PC be near-silent set me off to see if I could quiet this one down in the meantime. What was getting to me was a little higher pitched than typical fan noise, so my initial thought that this might be coil whine that I was not going to be able to do anything about. Looking at some diagnostics and monitors, however, showed me these two little "assistant fans" on my ASUS Sabertooth motherboard were working their little asses off, and sure enough, reducing their speed made all the difference in the world. The funny thing is these hardly make a difference in temperatures, so slowing them down seems harmless, and I compensated by cranking all three of my case's 120 MM fans to 100%, which increased their noise not at all, so now all I hear is the gentle whoosh of the larger fans. I did have a funny moment when I grew concerned that my USB 3.0 chipset was running 10 degrees hotter than my CPU, but then I realized that 46ºC is only around 115ºF, which is obviously nothing to worry about. I just checked and it's currently at all of 40ºC while the mildly overclocked CPU is at 30ºC, so this PC is just one cool cat. I should probably just switch these things to the more American-friendly Fahrenheit, but Celsius seems so much more cool and sciencey that it would feel like a downgrade.

Quiet Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Bike Trials.
Media: Anaesthesia gangster kid.
Zero Zero Robotics Hover Camera- Hands-on. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Why Flying is So Expensive.
Auctions: George Zimmerman to Auction Gun Used to Kill Trayvon Martin.
About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!