Archived News:

Friday, Aug 12, 2016

No Man's Sky Released

No Man's Sky is now available for Windows PCs. The GeForce website celebrates the release with PC graphics settings and some 4K screenshots. Reviews of the space game on Steam are currently "mixed" after over 10K responses, a turnaround since they skewed worse at first. Some of the negative write-ups mention performance issues, and the NMS website looks to address these. Here's word:
Sorry you are having issues on PC. Let’s try to resolve your problem. Let’s just check some things first…

*Firstly do you meet our min spec?*
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i3
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GTX 480, AMD Radeon 7870
Storage: 10 GB available space
*Requires OpenGL 4.5, Intel cards are not supported.
*Core 2 CPUs and below are not supported

*Secondly, have you updated your drivers for your GFX card?*
AMD
nVidia

*Thirdly, have you restarted Steam and No Man’s Sky?*
We just updated moments ago to include the VC++ Redist 2010 (which was causing many issues).

*Still having problems?*
Please mail support@hellogames.co.uk with the following three details…

1) Specify the issue you are having.
2) Please list your PC Spec:
OS: []
Processor: []
Memory: []
Graphics: []

3) If you are having a crash a crash dump will most likely be put into this folder:
C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Temp
(it will be called something like NMS_crash_1471005374.dmp)

Please attach this to the email sent to support@hellogames.co.uk .

Overwatch Tick Rate Increasing

Blizzard announces that they are tripling the PC client refresh rate in Overwatch from 21 Hz to 63 Hz. This will improve responsiveness, addressing one of the most frequent complaints about the shooter. They say their experiments with a higher tick rate in custom games proved successful, so now they are expanding to other game modes. They say they will look into a higher rate on PS4, and they are also looking into an option to limit the tic rate for clients looking to conserve bandwidth. Here's the news:
When we implemented the “High Bandwidth” option to Custom Games back in beta, we also noted that—if the feature performed well and players responded positively to it—we would investigate adding it to other games modes. We’re holding to that promise and are currently in the process of rolling out high bandwidth support globally for PC. This process may take a few weeks for all regions, but once fully deployed all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will be running in high bandwidth mode by default.

So what does that mean? In Overwatch, our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive.

Since we know that not all internet connections are equal, we’ve also added in tech that will automatically and adaptively scale down your update rate if we find your connection can't keep up. Similarly, because high bandwidth servers (as the name suggests) will increase your bandwidth consumption, we’re also looking to add an option to self-limit your update rate in a future patch.

We’re very excited to be able to roll out this support on PC, and are already exploring how we can bring it to consoles. We hope your experience in Overwatch will be improved as a result, and look forward to hearing your feedback!

Police Simulator – Law Enforcement Announced

German publisher astragon Entertainment and Portuguese developer Bigmoon Entertainment announce Police Simulator – Law Enforcement. This is an Unreal Engine 4 simulation coming to PCs next year. Here's a reveal trailer, and here's what the beer-drinking, bratwurst eating publisher has to say about this:
Publisher astragon Entertainment in co-operation with Portuguese developer Bigmoon Entertainment are pleased to announce that coffee drinking, donut eating want-to-be cops everywhere will be able to put their policing skills to the test in Police Simulator – Law Enforcement, a police simulation game powered by Unreal Engine 4, set to raid PC’s in 2017.

In Police Simulator – Law Enforcement players will get the opportunity to slip into the role of a real US police officer - either as a male or female cop – as they tackle the exciting day-to-day police work while on patrol in a city plagued by a high crime rate. The extremely expansive and, thanks to the use of the Unreal Engine 4, incredibly lifelike metropolis can be explored freely by the player during their shifts.

The virtual police officer will be able to drive realistically recreated US police vehicles, including fully functional cockpits, as they rush to crime scenes throughout the different neighborhoods of the city with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring. In their courageous fight against crime they will also have access to a wide variety of authentic equipment including tasers, handcuffs, radios, guns and much more.

As crime fighting in a big city is always a full-time job, players will be able to patrol the streets as a team of two in the cooperative multiplayer mode and grant each other the back up necessary for their dangerous job.

Police Simulator – Law Enforcement will be released for PC in 2017. More information about the game will be revealed soon. The official reveal trailer however can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/XV-pbkrzCNc
Continue here to read the full story.

The Shattering Announced

Developers SuperSexySoftware and Deck13 announce The Shattering. This is a first-person psychological horror game coming to Windows in 2018. They call the game's art style "unique," and offer five Gamescom screenshots to demonstrate the point. Here's word:
The Shattering is about a fragile mind trying to piece itself together after tragic events. The player explores the mind of a man trapped inside his self-created hell. "You have lots of horror games nowadays but they are more about jumpscares and sadly not so much about what actually scares us." says Marta Szymanska, Founder of SuperSexySoftware. "We want to change that. Our idea is to confront the player with the hidden fears that lie beneath an idyllic illusion of normalcy, only then one can truly understand the despair of the hero."

However it is not all about the mind - the psyche influences the body significantly. The character will show realistic body reactions in moments of stress and fear. To celebrate today's announcement SuperSexySoftware and Deck13 have released five fresh pre-gamescom screenshots showing off the unique style of the game.

Killing Floor 2 in November

Tripwire Interactive announced a November 18 release date for Killing Floor 2 for Windows and PlayStation 4. The impatient can have it before then, though, as it was released in early access last year on Steam. Here's an overview of the game:
In KILLING FLOOR 2, players descend into continental Europe where the outbreak caused by Horzine Biotech’s failed experiment has quickly spread and gained unstoppable momentum, essentially paralyzing the European Union— Just one month after the events in the original KILLING FLOOR, the specimen clones are everywhere and civilization is in disarray; communications have failed, governments have collapsed, and military forces have been systematically eradicated. The people of Europe know survival and self-preservation too well and lucky survivors have gone into hiding.

Not all have given up hope though... A group of civilians and mercenaries have banded together to combat the outbreak and established privately funded operation bases across Europe. Upon tracking specimen clone outbreaks, players will descend into zed-laden hot zones and exterminate them.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole Preorders

Ubisoft is now accepting preorders for South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Those enamored enough of the RPG to buy it before it's done should head over to the Ubisoft Online Store and pick it up. This includes a free copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth on the chance that someone would preorder the sequel to a game they don't own. If that's not enough, there are two different collector's editions and even a figurine that's sold separately. They also promote the game with a video on the Nosulus Rift Experience, a two-minute clip that stinks, proving just how difficult comedy can be. Unless it's actually real, which would prove something else altogether. Continue here to read the full story.

Worlds Adrift Trailer

Bossa Studios offers a new trailer for Worlds Adrift. This shows off the ship-building tools in the upcoming MMORPG. The game is set among floating islands, and it turns out Steam has a free island creation tool to play with. Here's word on the new video:
Bossa Studios, the award-winning creators of Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread, unveiled a first-look at the elaborate ship building tool players can use to create their sky ships in Worlds Adrift, the studio’s upcoming sandbox MMO set in a shattered world full of floating islands. The Shipyard allows players to craft sky ships of all shapes and sizes, enabling players to strategize where they place precious elements (engine, navigation tools, etc.) as well as offensive components to use against fellow sky pirates or dangerous fauna found in the game world.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Screenshots

Into the Black

Link of the Day: BEST FUNNY NEWS BLOOPERS JULY 2016. Thanks nin.

No Man's Sky Launch & Workarounds

Sean Murray tweets a reminder that the PC edition of No Man's Sky will launch today. This tweet says this will be a 2.6 GB download, but that preloads are not available. Finally, he offers a schedule of when the game will unlock in various regions. Correcting his use of Standard Time, the game's global launch should come at 1:00 pm EDT. To pave the way, a post on the No Man's Sky website discusses issues players are encountering in the space exploration game. These apply to the already released PS4 edition, but many of the workarounds they offer will apply to today's PC release as well. Here's word on how they are ramping up support along with some temporary fixes:
Here are some things to be aware of:

  • We’ve brought a new QA team on board today (larger than the entire Hello Games team!). This will complement the existing Sony QA team.
  • We are working on fixes for the most critical issues, which will be in a patch in the near future.
  • We will be moving to a ticketed support system next week, and have hired someone to manage this starting Monday.
  • Some information will be posted in the Sony forums here http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/Games-Services/bd-p/22190
  • Or contact Hello Games here http://www.no-mans-sky.com/support/

Workarounds

Here are some workarounds for some known issues:

  • If you believe you are stuck, or can’t reach your ship, be aware you can jetpack forever whilst pushing against any surface
  • If you have made a mistake – you can revert to any of your two previous saves in the Options Menu
  • If you have left your ship somewhere inaccessible, you will be able to summon it from landing pads or beacons found at most buildings or points of interest (marked by question marks)

Nordic Games Becomes THQ Nordic

Nordic Games announces it is no longer Nordic Games. Henceforth the publisher's name is THQ Nordic. Nordic announced a couple of years ago they would one day make use of this brand they picked up as part of THQ's bankruptcy. The Bard said renaming roses is just semantics, but they imply this brings other changes. Here's word on the renaming and their plans:
Whilst we take great pride in our Swedish roots and accomplished a great deal under the Nordic Games masthead, we decided it was time to incorporate the THQ name. Those key brands will continue to shape our business in a meaningful way going forward, and THQ Nordic represents a core approach of doing much more than “owning” a highly competitive portfolio of IPs. We cherish them, and align them with the very best development resources to expand upon them with the level of experience that communities and established fan bases expect and deserve. Side note - another upside to this whole rebrand thing is we don’t get asked about the Nordic Game parties at Gamescom anymore – it was the other guys who threw them.

With this rebrand we are entering the next phase in our company’s evolution.

As of now we have 23 game projects in development, 13 thereof have not yet been publicly announced, but are sure to be in the next months. Needless to say, the majority of these projects are based on former THQ owned IPs and franchises.

Renoir in November

1C announces they will publish Renoir, the upcoming noir adventure game. They will be showing the game off next week at Gamescom and say to expect its release in November. This was announced and Kickstarted by Czech developer Soulbound Games, but 1C says this is in the works at Black Wing Foundation in Ukraine. The RENOIR website explains the change came after 1C acquired the IP. A new announcement trailer offers a look at the game's noir platforming in stark black and white. Here's a bit on the game, which sounds like it just missed out on being a big RIPD tie-in:
Now a ghost, Renoir possesses a unique ability that allows him to control phantoms around him and use them to solve environmental puzzles. Seeking justice from the shadows, he must tread carefully and avoid light at all costs. James’s ghostly form must backtrack over his last steps in the world of the living, recollecting his memories and searching for the clues that will lead him back to his murderer.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I think I've finally solved my coffee storage problem. I keep the joe flowing in the BlueTower by buying 40oz bags of Starbucks beans at BJs. Some knock Fivebucks' quality, but I've settled on them for the cheapest good coffee going. These French Roast beans look as good as they taste, with a shiny gleam I can't help describing as "sexy." The trouble is it takes a couple of weeks to go through a bag, and they start to border on stale by the end. This was in an Oxo container, as it's not quite airtight. I bought a container advertised for the purpose, but this "extra large" canister is would only hold about a quarter of the bag. What I've found is that by putting the beans in a gallon Ziplock bag, I can use a straw to suck out most of the air. This creates about as good a vacuum seal as possible, and then I store the bag in the Oxo. This has improved the lifespan of my beans, and I'm pleased with the outcome. This means my next coffee disaster story will involve the Heimlich Maneuver to stop choking on a coffee bean, but hey... fresh coffee!

Fresh Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Shop Empire Galaxy.
Story: JetBlue turbulence puts 24 in hospital.
Science: Brain wiring needed for reading isn’t learned—it’s in place prior to reading.
Meet the worst ants in the world.
A 400-year-old shark- Greenland shark could be Earth's longest-lived vertebrate.
Media: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Official).
The Accidental Origin of the Hit Song ‘American Woman’. Thanks JDreyer.
Swimming pool during the 7.8 Nepal earthquake.
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