Archived News:

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016

DiRT 3 Complete Edition for Free

Humble Store is now celebrating its third anniversary with a birthday sale with savings on a bunch of games. There is also a freebie, as they now offer DiRT 3 Complete Edition for Windows and OS X completely free, which our calculations show to be more than half off. This is part of their birthday celebration and while the game will be yours to keep, you must pick up your copy before the timer hits zero, under 48 hours from now. The complete edition comes with seven content packs along with the base game and full Steamworks integration, so a Steam key is required. Here's an overview:
Get DiRT 3 Complete Edition, the definitive edition of off-road racer DiRT 3 now expanded with extra content and enhanced with Steamworks integration, including Achievements, Leaderboards and Steam Cloud Saves.

In DiRT 3 Complete Edition, you’ll race iconic cars representing 50 years of off-road motorsport across three continents – from the forests of Michigan to the infamous roads of Finland and the national parks of Kenya. You’ll also express yourself in the stunning Gymkhana mode, inspired by Ken Block’s incredible freestyle driving event, and take on other modes including Rallycross, Trailblazer and Landrush. Powered by Codemasters’ award-winning EGO Engine, DiRT 3 Complete Edition features Flashback to rewind time, genre-leading damage and you can take on all game modes in split-screen and competitive online multiplayer.

Tyranny Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release of Tyranny, the new Windows, OS X, and Linux RPG from Obsidian Entertainment. They offer the game through this page, though sales are fulfilled though Steam. That page also offers a brand new launch trailer with a look at gameplay. Here's part of the announcement:
Paradox Interactive today released Tyranny, a brand-new role-playing game (RPG) from Obsidian Entertainment, for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs. Tyranny, designed and developed by the award-winning studio behind both modern and classic RPG hits including Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, is now available via digital retail outlets worldwide. The game places players within a world where a brutal clash between good and evil has taken place – and evil has emerged triumphant. Players will take on the role of a high-ranking officer in the armies of Kyros the Overlord, make world-altering, morally difficult decisions that guide the fate of thousands, and find their place in a new world order.

See the new regime under Kyros in a new trailer for Tyranny:
Continue here to read the full story.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Released

GOG.com and Steam now offer Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, expanding Stardock's sci-fi RTS game with new content. This is a standalone release, so it's offered at a discount to owners of Ashes of the Singularity. This post has all the details:
Choose your side amidst the rising tensions between the Post-Human Coalition and the AI beings, the Substrate. Conquer new and exciting worlds, build unique and diverse armies, and engage in epic battles against up to a dozen other players on huge maps.This expansion adds global zoom, specialized units, advanced aircraft, new game setup options, new maps and terrains, and so much more.Unlike the base game, Escalation is designed with veteran RTS players in mind. Take a look at some of the new features:

  • Strategic zoom. You can now zoom from up close all the way out with the map transitioning to a more abstract view of the world similar to what we did with Sins of a Solar Empire (and similar to Supreme Commander)
  • Several new, specialized units for each playable race that allow for more sophisticated strategies
  • Lots of new, upgradeable defensive structures that allow players to execute area denial and siege strategies
  • New, advanced air units that provide both close air support as well as strategic bombing functions
  • New campaigns that flesh out the backstory and also continue the story from the base game
  • Maximum players on a map increased from 6 to 14
  • Additional start-up configuration options
  • Two new alien environments to play on (Volcanic worlds and Crystaline worlds)
  • Much bigger mapsSeveral new global abilities to provide more strategic and resource combinations
  • And much more!


If you already own Ashes of the Singularity, you can upgrade your copy for only $19.99.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Free Weekend; New Content Next Week

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, and the shooter sequel will remain free through midday Sunday. The game is also currently on sale, so if you enjoy it, you can pick it up for half off. Meanwhile, UbiBlog has more on the Red Crow content coming to the game next week:
New operators and a new map are coming to Rainbow Six Siege, and Ubisoft is celebrating by giving players free access to the game from November 11 to November 13. The free weekend will be available for the first time on PlayStation 4, as well as on PC through Uplay and Steam.

Operation Red Crow is set to launch on November 17 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, marking the fourth major update for the game. It will include two new Operators (Hibana and Echo), a new map (Skyscraper), and new gameplay features. Season pass holders can play as the new Operators on November 17, and all players will be able to unlock them with Renown or R6 credits starting on November 24. As always, the new map and new gameplay features will be available to all players for free at launch on November 17.

To see Operation Red Crow in action before its launch next week, tune in to twitch.tv/rainbow6 at 9:45am PT on Sunday, November 13 for a live demo. The Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Season 3 Finals will be broadcast all weekend on that channel, so if you like seeing high-level skill shots and deadly team coordination, that’s the place to be.

Squad Free Weekend

Steam News announces that Squad is on sale for 50% off, and that the 50 versus 50 first-person shooter can be played by all for free until Sunday at 4:00 pm EST. Word is:
Squad is a 50 vs 50 multiplayer first-person shooter that aims to capture combat realism through communication and teamplay. Major features include vehicle-based combined arms gameplay, large scale environments, base building, and integrated positional VoIP for proximity talking & radio.

Dishonored 2 Tech Tips

With Dishonored 2 now in the hands of preorder customers, Bethesda.net responds to launch issues for the Windows edition with a new Dishonored 2 Launch FAQ. Here are their tips:
We are aware that some of you may be encountering issues with Dishonored 2 on PC. Please take a moment to review our recommendations to help better your experience.

General recommendations

  • Avoid using Alt-Tab when playing. Relaunch the game if you see performance dropping after using Alt-tab.
  • Avoid having background applications running in addition to the game.

Video Settings

  • If you have performance issues, try lowering the resolution.
    • Use 1440p resolution only if you have a very high-end GPU ( GTX 1070/1080 or equivalent)
  • Keep the V-Sync activated, especially if you have large framerate fluctuations.
  • If you have framerate under 30 fps, adjust the “Adaptive Resolution” between minimum (50%) and default value (75%).

Advanced Settings

  • Use the “Auto” presets: this should adjust your visual settings without impacting your framerate.
  • If you still have performance issues with “Auto” presets:
    • Try deactivating the “TXAA Anti-Aliasing”
    • Try lowering the texture details

Order of Battle: Blitzkrieg DLC Released

Slitherine announces the release of Order of Battle: Blitzkrieg on Steam, a new DLC pack for Order of Battle: World War II. This is premium DLC, and it requires the base version of the Windows and OS X strategy game, but that is free-to-play. The original game is set in the jungles of the Pacific Theater, while the expansion travels around the world (and back in time) to reenact Germany's blitz across Europe. Here's word:
You are being reassigned from the Pacific Islands, the hard-fought naval battles and the challenging, hilly jungles where ruthless assaults to capture strategic positions are as important as a well-executed defensive plan. You have proved your tactical acumen in testing terrain, but you will need a totally new plan of action as your skills are required on a new front.

Your destination is Germany, 1939.

You have been allocated a range of more than 200 new units. Make use of state-of-the-art aircraft and tank technology to achieve deep armoured penetrations and envelop your enemies. The goal is to win lightning fast victories and overrun enemy positions as quickly as possible. We must reach total domination of Europe before our enemies can react!

This new form of warfare is called Blitzkrieg.

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Daedalus by Black Cloud Studios — Kickstarter. "Daedalus – is a thriller hard sci-fi adventure video game. You play an astronaut aboard the Daedalus Space Station, a man plagued by prophetic nightmares of death and destruction. You tell yourself they are only dreams, but after the first crewmate dies… what will you tell yourself then?" You can have a look in the Kickstarter trailer.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: What People Who Make Video Games Think of Westworld. Thanks nin and Kxmode.

New AMD Crimson Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 16.11.3 Crimson Edition reference drivers for AMD Radeon graphics cards. These add support for Dishonored 2 and fix an issue with both Steam and Origin. As is their inexplicable way, the release notes list more broken things than fixes:
Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.11.3 Highlights

Support For:

  • Dishonored™2

Fixed Issues

  • Steam™ and Origin™ will no longer terminate when using AMD X-Connect Technology on unplug.

Known Issues

  • A few game titles may fail to launch, experience performance issues or crash if the third party application "Raptr" has its game overlay enabled. A workaround is to disable the overlay if this is experienced.
  • DOTA™2 may experience a crash when launched using the Vulkan™ API on some Graphics Core Next products.
  • Battlefield™1 may experience an intermittent application specific error message popup citing graphics device removal
  • Flickering may be experience while playing Overwatch™ in the main menu or viewing character models using AMD CrossFire mode.
  • H.264 content playback may experience playback issues on internet browsers with hardware acceleration when also running gaming applications or content.
  • FIFA 17™ may experience an application hang or black screen on launch for some select Hybrid Graphics or AMD PowerXpress mobile configurations.
  • H.264 content may experience blocky corruption when streaming using P2P content players on some Radeon RX 400 series graphics products.

Play Overwatch for Free Next Weekend

Blizzard announces the opportunity to play Overwatch for free next weekend on Windows or consoles. Word is this will begin on Friday the 18th and run through Sunday. This will offer full access to all the game's heroes, maps, and progression rewards, and those who choose to then purchase the game will get to keep all their progress and unlocks. This will require PlayStation 4 owners to have a PlayStation Plus membership, Xbox One owners to have an Xbox Live Gold membership, and Windows users to have a Battle.net account. Here's a deployment schedule and a free weekend FAQ. Here's the deal:
Attention, recruits! If you haven't already had the opportunity to suit up and save the world as one of Overwatch's heroes, now's your chance.

From November 18–21, we're putting out the call to any prospective agents: assemble your team and dive in during the Overwatch Free Weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One!

For this free weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 22 heroes and 13 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options.

(Plus, if you decide to purchase a copy of Overwatch after test driving the game, you'll get to keep any progress that you made during the weekend—just be sure to use the same Battle.net, Xbox Live or Sony Entertainment account that you played on.)

Beholder Released

Beholder is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux on Steam, offering a side-scrolling strategy game set in a totalitarian state. This previously released trailer offers a look at gameplay and the game's dark setting. Here's the description:
Welcome to a grim dystopian future.
A totalitarian State controls every aspect of private and public life.
Laws are oppressive. Surveillance is total. Privacy is dead.

You are the State-installed manager of an apartment building. Your daily routine involves making the building a sweet spot for tenants, who will come and go. However, that is simply a facade that hides your real mission...

Your primary task is to covertly watch your tenants and eavesdrop on their conversations. You must BUG their apartments while they're away, SEARCH their belongings for whatever can threaten the authority of the State, and PROFILE them for your superiors. You must also REPORT anyone capable of violating the laws or plotting subversive activities against the State to the authorities.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of the Storm Balance Plans; Deckard Cain Pitches

Battle.net has patch notes for a Heroes of the Storm update that's already on the PTR and should go live in the full game today. This is a balance patch, and includes nerfs for the two newest heroes, the latest indictment of their balance dartboard. Their Zarya changes are intended to promote build diversity along with a "slight nerf," while they seem to expect Samuro to remain overpowered even after this first pass at fixing him. They are cutting down on his burst damage, but are being cautious for now, saying: "We also realize that damage and confusion are really all he brings to a team, so we wanted to be careful with the changes." On the topic of hero design, Heroes of the Storm hero designer Nathan LaMusga tells Polygon he's soliciting fan suggestions for adding Deckard Cain to the game, which would be more Diablo seasoning for what can be seen as Heroes of Warcraft. "I love reading hero pitches on our main Heroes of the Storm forums and on Reddit," LaMusga told them last week at BlizzCon. "If you’re a community member reading this right now: Send me your Deckard Cain pitches. Make a Deckard Cain. I’d love to see our community’s pitches on that one." It's hard to say what's more surprising. That they need community help with this, or that they are ignoring the Deckard Cain proposal from Carbot.

Firewatch Free Roam Mode

Firewatch has added a free roam mode to this first-person mystery game. Some have gripes with the few hours it takes to complete the game, but the new mode will allow you to strap on a backpack and do some hiking without a care in the world. Here's the deal:
If you, like so many others, have finished Firewatch and yearn to return to the Shoshone, then today is your lucky day. Firewatch's free-roam mode gives you an objective-free game world to explore, dynamic 24-hour time of day and miles of trails to hike.

Unlocked when you've finished Firewatch, you can find free-roam in the special features section of the main menu.

Patch Notes:

  • Free Roam mode added (whatever language we're using for that)
  • Fix issue where latest drivers for Xbox One controllers on Windows 10 had non-functional DPad input
  • Various small bug fixes

Shadow Warrior Classic Available in Germany

Good news for German gamers who have been waiting since 1997 to play Shadow Warrior. Though the game was banned back over concerns of harming minors, it has now been approved for release, not even 20 years later. This retroactive approval also applies to the more recent Shadow Warrior Classic Redux. The announcement about this is in German, so we're relying on Google for a machine translation here:
Good news from the US: Devolver Digital are pleased to announce that the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors (it is said that, right?) Indexing Shadow Warrior Classic and the remake Shadow Warrior Classic Redux has lifted - that both tracks can be officially sold in Germany. Shadow Warrior Classic and Shadow Warrior Classic Redux are at in Germany Steam available and GOG - Shadow Warrior Classic Redux there over the weekend even with a discount of fabulous 80% percent. And Shadow Warrior Classic is even available for free, their free beer faces!

Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-1K6HdQ3ow

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux includes optically upgraded and improved Shadow Warrior Classic, the Wanton Destruction- and Twin Dragon extensions and the original version of the game plus a Steam Play support for PC and Mac, Steam Achievements and Steam Cloud support.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

So amid all the hubbub of this week we hit a milestone here, as Steve wrote in pointing out he wasn't too far off from being our billionth visitor. There's still a counter here, but it is semi-hidden at the bottom of the front page, so it required a little detective work to notice this. This is a reminder of the tremendous support you all have shown here over the years, and I cannot express enough appreciation.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Bob The Robber 3.
Alien Complex.
Science: Paralyzed monkeys walk again with wireless 'brain-spine interface'.
The tragic reason seabirds keep mistaking ocean plastic for food.
Image: This clever Ant-Man cosplay is a real team effort.
Media: Adobe Voco - awesome tech or awful pandora's box?
Feast - Animated Short About Winston The Dog.
Mann verstopft Auspuff. Thanks Boing Boing.
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