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Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016

  

New AMD Radeon Crimson Drivers

AMD Support now features new version 16.8.3 Radeon Software Crimson Edition reference drivers for AMD graphics cards. The new drivers include CrossFire profiles for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and the Battlefield 1 Beta. They also fix an issue that caused occasional blank or colored screens to appear while gaming on some RX 400-based cards. Thanks HARDOCP.

EA Service Outages

You may notice problems trying to play the new Battlefield 1 open beta today, and EA Support tweets they are working on this: "EA is currently experiencing an outage. EA games, services & support may be impacted. We’re working to resolve as fast as possible." Though they don't say they are being attacked, GameInformer notes that PoodleCorp is taking credit, saying, "We are responsible for the downtime of @EA & @Battlefield."

NVIDIA's Fallout 4 Mod

The GeForce website has details on Vault 1080, a mod created by NVIDIA for Fallout 4. The NVIDIA pedigree means there's an obvious emphasis on visuals, but they explain they also worked hard to create gameplay that fits with the RPG sequel:

Think the end of the world can’t get any worse? Then NVIDIA’s high-quality Fallout 4 mod has some bad news – turns out that adding super-advanced lighting and shadows to a thermonuclear Wasteland just makes it scarier, moodier and more dangerous than ever.

Vault 1080 is an official NVIDIA mod, and as such packs a serious technological punch. Volumetric lighting features extensively – in ways not seen in the standard game – while shadows are more realistic and velvety than ever. This is thanks to HBAO+ and its control of ambient occlusion, which creates authentic depths anywhere a light source is blocked, no matter how small or fleeting.

You’ll also see those lovely godrays whenever you do find the sun, plus weapon debris and new meshes and materials.

But this is not just about looks. Vault 1080 uses its terrifyingly realistic light and shadow as the core of its experience. It’s a dark and ominous journey before you even head below ground, as you travel to the ruins of a fog-shrouded church through hostile marshland. Once in you find the entrance to Vault 1080 and its dark, intimidating tunnels. Tunnels that are, inevitably, full of twisted dangers.

This is a big mod – equal in size to the other vaults spread across the commonwealth – with its own brand new questline. And it’s a Fallout vault like you’ve never seen before.

It’s certainly taken its toll on its occupants. They’ve become a congregation that embraces the darkness and sickness, and they’ve done it – so they believe – to survive. They’re not the friendliest bunch. But is the whole thing built on lies? The truth is deep within Vault 1080, through a whole lot of fearful mystery. Find it and decide for yourself whether the monsters deserve their salvation… or not.

Discover what awaits you in Vault 1080 by downloading the new NVIDIA mod at Bethesda.net for Fallout 4, which is now available on PC.

Stronghold Kingdoms: Final Age Revealed - Winner Can End the World

Firefly Studios announces plans for a Final Age expansion coming to Stronghold Kingdoms, their besieged MMORPG. They are taking the "final" part seriously, saying this will result in one player in control of the end of the game world. This trailer celebrates the news, and here's word:

As the British developer prepares for the cross-platform release of Stronghold Kingdoms on iOS and Android, players on PC and Mac ready themselves for the unique trials of the Final Age. In this expansion a single House of players must conquer and capture all Royal Towers, a new PvE target on the world map, before deciding whether or not to press ‘The Button’ and close their world forever. Players are then rewarded with multiple prize tiers based on their rank and position at world end, with up to $500 of in-game loot each.

“From the very beginning we knew players would be involved in development, this is the ultimate expression of that” said Simon Bradbury, Lead Designer at Firefly Studios. “Players deserve a proper endgame and in the case of Kingdoms we believe this means letting the community decide whether or not to close their game worlds. This doesn’t mean Stronghold Kingdoms is coming to an end, far from it! For those worlds that players do decide to close new ones will open. We also have updates planned for the game, including our upcoming events system and redesigned iOS and Android versions.”

While the Sixth Age is already available, the Final Age expansion is set for release in the near future. Meanwhile Firefly is responding to one particular request from the community by developing a new in-game event system, offering global PvE and PvP challenges in which players compete for rewards. There are even new world types on the horizon to replace the old and give all players the opportunity for a fresh start in new and uncharted lands.

Continue here to read the full story.

Titan Quest Anniversary Edition Released

THQ Nordic announce the release of Titan Quest Anniversary Edition for Windows on Steam, celebrating the 10 years since the launch of the action/RPG. This launches with a 75% off discount and is offered as a free gift for owners of any prior Titan Quest title on Steam. The Anniversary Edition contains both Titan Quest and Titan Quest: Immortal Throne and the roughly 1,261 changes that have come to both over the past decade. They explain this results in a complete rework "of multiplayer, stability, performance, balancing, AI and much more," all detailed in this change log. This post has all the details. Here's word on the game:

For its 10 year anniversary, Titan Quest will shine in new splendour. This Anniversary Edition combines both Titan Quest and Titan Quest Immortal Throne in one game, and has been given a massive overhaul for the ultimate ARPG experience.

Anniversary Edition update

  • Restored and improved multiplayer functionality, including new features like a built-in voice chat and NAT resolving for best multiplayer connectivity
  • Support for more resolutions, larger camera distance and scaleable UI size
  • Improved performance and general stability
  • Support for modders through new modding options and a fully integrated Steam Workshop
  • Complete balance rework with improvements to all Masteries, damage types, unique items and sets
  • Countless bug fixes and other improvements, including ten years’ worth of community fixes
  • Increased challenges and rewards for larger parties and on higher difficulty levels
  • Dozens of new heroes and bosses to encounter
  • Improved enemy and pet AI
  • Quality of life features like higher stack limits, quick item pickup, a larger stash and a speed setting
  • Reduced cheating with curbed exploits, removal of test items and mod comparison in multiplayer
  • Steam Friend Invites
  • Steam Achievements
  • Steam Trading Cards

SHINY Released

Windows action/platformer SHINY is now available on Steam. In SHINY you play a robot tasked with rescuing his buddies, which will require ingenuity, but no violence. This post accompanying the release has a tip about setting the proper gamma settings. Here's the previously released announcement trailer and here's word on the game's release on PC and delay for Xbox One:

The much-talked about, action platformer SHINY is finally making its debut as it launches today on PC, while the Xbox One version will release in October. Developed by independent video game developer Garage227 Studios and published on PC by 1C Company, SHINY places players in control of a compassionate robot named Kramer 227 as he flees a doomed planet while saving his robot friends along the way. Players must manage Kramer’s energy and utilize power-ups judiciously in order to escape without running out of energy and without leaving any friends behind.

Left to fend for himself after mankind abandoned the doomed planet Aurora, Kramer 227 must find a way to harvest energy and rescue his robotic friends before Aurora crashes into its sun. In his journey through 20 action-packed levels that will test platformer skills and reflexes, Kramer will probe the planet and overcome challenging obstacles, all while trying to conserve his limited life energy to power himself and his friends on their way to safety. Energy is running low on Aurora, so Kramer will have to collect batteries or use generators to recharge, as every action drains his power. Various power-ups collected along the way, including jetpacks, energy spheres and temperature regulators, can help him on this crucial journey.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steamship Ahoy - NeuroVoider

NeuroVoider is now on Steam for Windows, OS X, and Linux, offering a rogue-lite, twin-stick shooter with a cyberpunk theme and a retro flair. This trailer shows how that looks, and here's word on the game:

NeuroVoider* is a twin-stick shooter RPG set in a cyber futuristic world about brains shooting around evil robots with nuclear rocket launchers. Battle through the horde of vigilant robots, boost your character with the smoking remains of your victims, and defeat the master NeuroVoider to end this eternal war. Play it coop with up to 4 friends, or go alone in an adventure of hack'n'slash rampage, with a pinch of rogue-lite, and some permadeath.

* may contain explosions.

On Sale

  • From The Depths on IndieGameStand. Pay what you want and get a free second copy to gift.
  • Pool Nation VR on Steam. Save 25%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The luckiest dog in Bolivia.

Free Play Coming to EVE Online

CCP announces a Clone States update is coming to update EVE Online in November to add free play to the science fiction MMORPG. This will replace the game's current 14-day trial with the ability to play for free as an Alpha Clone. This grants access to all areas of the game with certain character progress limitations. The alternative is to be an Omega clone, which works the same as current subscriptions. This video introduces the plan and this blog post has all the details, explaining they believe this is a way to bring in new players without upsetting the game's economy. Here's a bit:

This feature is built around the complex biotechnology which originally gave rise to the capsuleers: clones. Technological advancements in New Eden have led to a new way of manufacturing and augmenting clones, unlocking the possibility for a variety of distinct Clone States. With this technology, clone manufacturers can now build and distribute clones which possess a base state, the Alpha state. They can be enhanced or otherwise altered to achieve other states, but the Alpha state will always exist underneath. The state of a given clone may affect its access to trained skills, its ability to train new ones, or the rate at which new skills are acquired.

When we launch later this year there will be two clone states available:

  • The Alpha Clone State is the new base state for all clones and it will be available to any character in New Eden at any time. Clones in the Alpha state will be able to train and use a specific set of skills including tech one Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers for your faction along with essential weapons and modules. Alphas will also train skills at a reduced rate compared to Omegas.
  • The Omega Clone State is obtained by augmenting basic clones using neural expanders and cerebral acceleration technology, granting unlimited skill access. Omega clone state will behave exactly as your subscribed characters do now.
    Your clone state will be determined by your account status. Characters on subscribed or PLEXed accounts will be granted Omega state, while Alpha state will be given to characters on any unsubscribed account.

You probably have a lot of questions already, and we will address many of them here, but let’s start with some discussion about why we are excited to make this change and why we’re making it now.

As you know, EVE is a very special game. Our single shard server means that every player truly affects every other, whether through economics, resource gathering, direct combat or bad posting. This in turn means that our universe is more interesting, more exciting and more dangerous with each additional citizen.

Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 1 Open Beta

After a brief early access for Battlefield Insiders, the Battlefield 1 open beta is now available for everyone through Origin. This previous announcement has details on testing the World War I shooter. Here's word:

The Battlefield 1 Open Beta will include the Sinai Desert map, a scorching hot battlefield located just East of El-Jifar. From infantry skirmishes in the narrow streets of the village of Bir el Mazar to dogfights above the majestic cliffs, you’ll need to make tactical use of the dunes as you engage in explosive battles. When all hope is lost, reinforcements will arrive in the shape of a powerful Behemoth: a deadly Armored Train charging through the desert sands.

Two modes will be available as well:

  • Conquest. An all-time fan favorite of Battlefield players, Conquest is a large-scale game mode with up to 64 players fighting for the control of key objectives. With large armies on foot or behind the wheel and the addition of fearsome Behemoths, Conquest brings together all the elements of the signature Battlefield All-Out War.
  • Rush. A 24-player mode where the Attacking force must find and destroy the Defending force's Telegraph Posts, which can be used to call in artillery strikes. The Defenders can deny the Attackers their mission by disarming explosives they plant on the telegraph positions. Should the Telegraph Posts be destroyed, the Defenders must fall back to the next sector and protect the Telegraph Posts there.

Get your Squad ready to deploy, because on August 31, you're going to experience war on an epic scale in Battlefield 1.

Champions of Anteria Released

Champions of Anteria is now available, offering a fantasy-themed real-time strategy game for Windows PCs. This launch trailer offers a look at the game, and if that piques your curiosity, there's a playable demo on Uplay and Steam. Here's word on the game:

The land of Anteria is being torn apart by warring armies, and it’s up to a handful of heroes to restore peace, one territory at a time. Blending a unique take on real-time strategy with base-building, Champions of Anteria is now available on PC, putting players in control of a squad of three heroes (chosen from a pool of five) whose elemental affinities and interconnected abilities let them tear through monsters, bandits, and other threats to Anteria’s safety. To cast more light on what Champions of Anteria has to offer, we spoke with Mihnea Dragoman, the game’s creative director, about elementally charged strategy, village management, and balancing fantasy warfare with an overtly goofy approach to storytelling.

Continue here to read the full story.

Carnival Games VR Announced

2K Games announces Carnival Games VR will be released later this year for HTV Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR. This will offer the chance to experience the joys of visiting a carnival without having to hang out with carnies or be tempted by funnel cakes. Here's the news:

2K today revealed Carnival Games® VR, a new take on the hit franchise created by Cat Daddy Games that has sold-in more than 9 million copies worldwide. Carnival Games VR will be 2K’s first virtual reality offering to leverage today’s leading edge technology that will bring the fun and thrill of 12 different carnival games into living rooms in an entirely new and engaging entertainment experience. The title will be available worldwide for digital download for $19.99 on October 28, 2016 for HTC Vive™ and PlayStation®VR; and later this year for Oculus Rift.

“Virtual reality is an exciting new emerging platform that has the potential to enhance the way that interactive entertainment is created and experienced,” said Sarah Anderson, SVP of Marketing at 2K. “As our first foray into this space, we wanted to deliver a highly accessible entertainment experience that would allow players to immerse themselves in the familiar, classic fun of our Carnival Games series. With its stylized interactive environments and all-new features, Carnival Games VR will deliver the magic of the midway like never before.”

Carnival Games VR allows players to explore the park, interact with patrons and play up to 12 different games. Whether it’s scaling a castle in Climbing Wall or rolling for a high score in Alley Ball – everyone will find a favorite. In each of these games, players have the opportunity to collect tickets for fun virtual prizes when they enter one of four different Carnival Alleys. All prizes are held in the Play Room where they can be used to unlock unique achievements. In addition, players will have the opportunity to challenge their friends and see if they can earn the top spot on the online leaderboard. For full details on all 12 games, please see the Official 2K Blog.

Carnival Games VR will be available for digital download for $19.99 on October 28, 2016 for HTC Vive (via Steam) and PlayStation®VR (via PlayStation Store), and later this year for Oculus Rift.

Black Desert Online Expands

Kakao Games announces the release of part two of the Valencia update for Black Desert Online, their MMORPG. This trailer shows off the add-on, and here's the news:

Kakao Games announced that the second part of the Valencia Expansion as well as the first class Awakening are both coming to Black Desert Online today.

With the Valencia Part Two Expansion, players will be able to journey to Muiquun, the Land of Outlaws. This abandoned town, in the middle of the Cantusa Desert, is rumored to be the home of the infamous Muiquun gang and other lawbreakers, who drove Muiqunn’s original inhabitants away. Players looking for a safer area in the desert regions can stop by Arehaza, a small fishing community located east of the Great Valencian Desert, which has a port where adventurers can trade goods or transport supplies.

Continue here to read the full story.

HITMAN Disc Release Detailed

The Hitman website announces a January 31, 2017 release date for the retail disc version of the new episodic HITMAN game. Square Enix also announces what will be included in the release:

We are very pleased to announce the full details of what will be included when we release HITMAN: The Complete First Season on disc on January 31st 2017 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

HITMAN: The Complete First Season will be released in a day one Steelbook® and is the ultimate physical version of the game and includes all of the locations and episodes from Season One; the Prologue, France, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, USA and Japan. In addition, all of the Escalation Contracts, Challenges, Opportunities and Contracts that have been created by our community will be included as well as all upcoming Elusive Targets taking place after January 31st.

Included with HITMAN: The Complete First Season box is bonus downloadable content:

  • 3 Bonus Missions from the Summer Bonus Episode, which includes 'The Icon' and 'A House Built on Sand' missions, plus the brand new upcoming 'Landslide' mission
  • Original Soundtrack featuring the original game score
  • The ‘making of’ HITMAN documentary charting the journey from showing the game to our fans for the first time before E3 2015, through to the digital launch in 2016
  • HITMAN Requiem Blood Money Pack which includes the signature Blood Money white suit, white rubber duck and chrome ICA pistol
  • The PlayStation®4 version includes 6 additional exclusive The Sarajevo Six contracts

Here's a note from IOI's Head of Studio, Hannes Seifert: "The disc combines everything we have learned, refined and updated over the course of a 10-month live season. It’s the direct result of live input, development and feedback from our players. Especially for our fans who want to own the game in a box, we’ve made it a high quality SteelBook® box. We also added loads of additional downloadable bonus content to release on the 31st of January for everyone getting this beautiful edition of the game on a disc and everybody owning the digital Full Experience or upgraded versions of the game."

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Op Ed

WIRED - Hey, Here’s an Idea: Maybe Stop Preordering Videogames.
"Just to name one example, if you go to the Penny Arcade Expo convention in Seattle this weekend, Nintendo will be recruiting players visiting its booth to place a preorder for the new Pokemon games by offering “a collectable gift.” Today’s preorder campaigns start early and get flogged hard. Square Enix is promising Final Fantasy fans a boatload of physical and digital exclusive bonus items if they would only pay full price, sight unseen, for a game that’s spent 10 years in development hell. What could possibly go wrong?"

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

  • Batman - The Telltale Series: Episode 1- 'Realm of Shadows' on Gaming Nexus.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

At the risk of seeming like an HBO blog after a couple of recent posts about The Night Of, I have to comment on the latest Deadwood movie report sent along by nin. After a bunch of similar stories, I have given up on having given up on this, and now have officially raised my hopes and expectations. HBO, if this doesn't happen, I Swearengen you'll be Deadwood to me.

Dead Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Terr.io.
Stories: The Race to Save the Films We Love. Thanks The Digital Bits.
Media: The Lord Inquisitor - Prologue. Warhammer 4K-inspired. Thanks C W.
Gene Wilder - The Waco Kid.
Unlikely Kid Wins High School Dance Off. You've been served.



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