Archived News:

Friday, Nov 18, 2016 National Adoption Day (USA)

Overwatch Free Weekend

The promised free weekend is now underway in Overwatch, Blizzard's multiplayer first-person shooter. The Overwatch website is where to pick up the Windows edition, and the console versions are free as well, though an Xbox Live Gold subscription or PlayStation Plus membership is required. This previous post has the deployment schedule and other details. They say progress and unlocks will carry over for anyone who chooses to buy the game after playing for free, though trophies and achievements are not being awarded to free players. The free weekend runs until Monday at 7:00 pm EST.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Double XP Weekend

Activision and Infinity Ward announce a double experience weekend is underway for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Here's how to double up in the military shooter sequel:
From 6pm GMT this evening and running throughout the weekend, you will be able to achieve Double XP and Double Weapon XP in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Multiplayer. Simply start playing from 6pm onwards to rank up with Double XP, or any point from then until 6pm GMT Monday November 21st.

Dishonored 2 Game+ Mode Coming has word on changes coming to Dishonored 2 to add a new Game+ mode and new custom difficulty settings to Arkane's assassination sequel. This is part of a post about the game stressing their goal of allowing players choices and freedom. They offer a video highlighting this "play your way" approach, and here's more on that and the update plans:
“At Arkane we have this philosophy of Play Your Way,” says Dishonored 2 Lead Designer Dinga Bakaba. “But it has to be real. We don’t want it to be just smoke and mirrors.”

Those who played the first Dishonored were already familiar with this philosophy in action. As Corvo Attano, players could stay hidden in the shadows… or they could openly wreak havoc in the streets of Dunwall.

While Dishonored 2 remains, at its core, a stealth game, it offers even more player choice and freedom – and not just because you now have two fully playable characters. Beyond the different experiences delivered by Royal Protector Corvo Attano and Empress Emily Kaldwin, Dishonored 2 includes even more nonlethal options, along with more ways to fight and subdue your foes. For Creative Director Harvey Smith, it’s all about allowing players to be as improvisational as they desire. “Some players move through the game like a shadow, without leaving anyone disturbed,” Smith says. “Other players leave a big trail of blood and body parts. We try to support both fantasies – taking out your enemies with surgical precision and minimal collateral damage, or leaving the city burning at your back.”

And for those looking for a completely different type of challenge, Dishonored 2 even includes the option to play with no powers at all. Watch the video (above) to see how Dishonored 2 embraces the “play your way” philosophy, with exclusive insights from the team at Arkane Studios.

Next month, Dishonored 2 will offer even more options to play your way. In a free update, Dishonored 2 will include a New Game + mode and new custom difficulty settings. We’ll have more details on the content of this update (including the exact release date) in the coming weeks.
Continue here to read the full story.

Breach & Clear: DEADline Rebirth Released has details on a new content update that's live in Breach & Clear: DEADline that adds so much to the squad tactics game they've redubbed it Breach & Clear: DEADline Rebirth. The new content is free to those who already own the game, and for everyone else the game is currently 75% off. Here are the details:
Breach & Clear: DEADline Rebirth, the real-time/tactical hybrid of an elite squad battling the horrible results of a nasty virus infestation, has been Rebirth-ed! For FREE! Developers Mighty Rabbit Studios went and injected the isometric shooter with a healthy dose of their Massive Changes mutagen, resulting in a much more fun and immersive experience. If you haven't tried the game before, your timing is impeccable - it's now 75% off for a week and so is its predecessor Breach & Clear!
Here are the main changes:

  • Gameplay significantly modified and re-balanced with changes across the board: characters, enemies, weapons, gear, even the generated dungeons' layout!
  • Smoother controls and better visual feedback on your enemies' gory deaths
  • Significant visual upgrade: Breach & Clear: DEADline Rebirth now runs on Unity 5 and aside from the regular engine benefits, the lighting and textures have also been touched up.
  • Improved performance and better stability (thanks to the removal of the unreliable online co-op)

Overwatch Graphic Novel Cancelled

The Overwatch Forums have word that Blizzard has cancelled the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel. This was intended to tell the story of Overwatch, since the multiplayer shooter is presented with little or no internal exposition. Here's word:
I wanted to let you know that we have decided to cancel the release of the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel. While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction.

The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch.

So for now the early adventures of Gabriel Reyes, Jack Morrison, Ana Amari, Reinhardt Wilhelm, Torbjörn Lindholm (and more!) wait for another day. But we know that this is a story that you are excited about, and it's one we still plan to tell.

I'd like to thank everyone for the enthusiasm, passion, and support you've shown towards the Overwatch universe. We have a number of stories in development that will delve deeper into the world and its heroes, and we can't wait to share them with you in the coming months.

On Sale

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Happy birthday to the one and only Graham Parker!

Link of the Day: The Sinister Reason Weed is Illegal.

New AMD Crimson Reference Drivers

AMD Support announces the release of new version 16.11.4 Crimson Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards. The main focus here is improved support for Sid Meier's Civilization VI, but they include other changes, as outlined below:
Support For:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization® VI

Fixed Issues

  • H.264 content playback may experience playback issues on internet browsers with hardware acceleration when also running gaming applications or content.
  • Radeon R9 Fury Series products may experience minor graphical corruption in Titanfall™2 when inside a titan.

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.
  • DOOM™ may experience a crash when launched using the Vulkan™ API on some Graphics Core Next products.
  • DOTA™2 may experience a crash when launched using the Vulkan™ API on some Graphics Core Next products.
  • Flickering may be experience while playing Overwatch™ in the main menu or viewing character models using AMD CrossFire mode.
  • 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.

Killing Floor 2 Released

Tripwire Interactive announces the release of Killing Floor 2, their co-op, horror shooter for Windows and PlayStation 4. This trailer offers a look at the game's zombie-infested gameplay, and here's word on the release:
The sequel to the 3+ million unit selling PC game, Killing Floor, makes its console debut with this release, bringing with it its trademark frenetic gunplay and larger than life gory visuals, completely amplified with fluid controls, sharper textures and overall increased fidelity. Today’s release marks the closure of KILLING FLOOR 2’s extremely successful time in the Steam Early Access phase, selling over 1+ million units and continuing to grow its loyal community. Those who have previously purchased the Early Access version will be able to update their game to reflect the full launch content, including the brand new Survivalist perk, available today.

“We’ve poured our heart and soul into perfecting KILLING FLOOR 2, seeing all of the community feedback from the Early Access phase was invaluable, and to see the game’s full release today is truly overwhelming,” said John Gibson, President of Tripwire Interactive. "We wanted to give existing fans the visceral action that this longstanding franchise is known for, as well as offer new fans a chance to experience the brutal joy that millions of gamers already know and love. Launching KILLING FLOOR 2 for the PC, and for the first time ever on consoles via the PlayStation 4 Pro and PlayStation 4 symbolizes the next step for us at Tripwire Interactive and we could not be more ecstatic.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Civilization VI Fall Update

A new Fall Update is now available for Sid Meier's Civilization VI, updating the strategy sequel with new maps and content along with balance changes and bug fixes. The new version also adds DirectX 12 support. This update has all the details, including a very lengthy change list. Here's the overview:
A new update is available for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI today. The “Fall 2016 Update” will automatically install when starting the Steam client; if it doesn’t install automatically, please restart Steam.

This update adds DirectX 12[] support to Civilization VI, starting with AMD cards and NVIDIA Maxwell-series-or-later cards; please make sure your drivers are up-to-date. Support has also been added for Logitech ARX[]. For more information on each of these, please click their respective link.

Today you’re also able to play a whole new scenario called “Cavalry and Cannonades,” and settle on two new map types, “Four-Leaf Clover” and “Six-Armed Snowflake.” These maps are playable both online and off, and were designed to encourage more conflict by forcing players to move toward the center. For the full list of what’s in this latest update, please see below.

System Shock Remake in 2018

A new Kickstarter update from Nightdive Studios announces a new Q2 2018 release window for their crowdfunded System Shock remake. They are a little general about this, saying: "Our goal is to launch on PC/Mac/Linux/XboxOne/PS4 by Q2 of 2018. Not sure if it will be a simultaneous launch, but we’ll do our best." We don't recall the title having a previous release date, but according to GameInformer this is a delay from plans to get this out by next December. They accompany the news with word on a couple of job openings and a couple of pieces of new concept art showing off their return to the seminal action/RPG. Update: Apologies for mistakenly calling the new release date "next year." We have purchased an actual calendar to avoid repeating such errors.

Master of Orion DLC Next Month

WG Labs and NGD Studios announce a December 1st release date for Revenge of Antares. This is a new DLC pack for Master of Orion that expands the 4X space strategy game with new independent civilizations, playable races, and three new playable races to the gameplay mix. This premium DLC will be accompanied by a free expansion with additional new content. The Master of Orion website is home to details on this, and here's word:
The battle to conquer Orion is set to become even more challenging. On December 1, Master of Orion’s anticipated “Revenge of Antares” DLC will become available, giving access to independent civilizations, a new victory condition and more. The expansion also introduces three new playable races to the massive galaxy. Arriving in the DLC expansions are the Trilarians, Gnolam, and Elerians—formidable aliens that will open up new paths to victory as commanders strive for dominance of the galaxy.

“We’re excited to introduce new content for players of Master of Orion,” said Jacob Beucler, Publishing Product Director for Master of Orion. “They will find themselves in a new environment, filled with new challengers, adventures and enemies to face off with or forge an alliance with. This content will add new dimensions to the game’s already robust lore.”

Three of the newly available races (Trilarian, Gnolam and Elerian) can be purchased in a single bundle. With the addition of these playable races, the possibilities and strategy multiplies as players forge their galactic destiny in even more unique ways.

Additionally, as a response to the dedicated Master of Orion player community, a free expansion will also be offered to all players. This expansion deepens the gameplay by allowing them the ability to recruit new leaders to their side, battle the fourth new, non-playable race, the Antarans, and interact with independent civilizations.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Trailer

A new trailer from Space Hulk: Deathwing shows off 17 minutes of the solo campaign from the upcoming Warhammer 40K first-person shooter. They are gearing up for the game's release, as the Windows edition is expected on December 9th, though preorder customers get early access to a beta version. Here's word:
Space Hulk: Deathwing, the upcoming first-person shooter set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, features a solo campaign written in collaboration with Black Library author and Dark Angels specialist, Gav Thorpe, as well as cooperative multiplayer. With only one month left until release, you can now watch 17 minutes of uncut gameplay from the solo campaign. Clocking at around 15 hours of gameplay in normal difficulty mode – more when playing on harder difficulty and if players take time to explore, finding hidden relics on the way - the campaign boasts huge environments, with lots of optional areas and secret rooms to discover.

In the solo campaign you play as a Librarian of the Dark Angels' 1st Company, the Deathwing, taking on swarms of Genestealer in the Space Hulk Olethros with Storm Bolter and Force Sword in hand. The Librarian is a Psyker, granting him access to powerful psychic abilities such as chain lighting, a powerful lightning bolt, which arcs between multiple enemies; and Shockwave, which blasts enemies back from you. You will need to utilize the full armory of the Deathwing company, your powerful psychic abilities, as well as the squad members under your command to fend off the xenos threat.

The Genestealers adapt their behaviour, based on their numbers, their type, and your actions. Commanding your teammates to cover you, block doors to prevent genestealers from flanking you, heal you, or hold a key position, is vital to survival in the depths of the Space Hulk. By playing the campaign you also unlock new weaponry for use by you and your squadmates, along with gaining experience to spend on three skill trees to unlock powerful new abilities.

Space Hulk: Deathwing is available for download on PC on December 9 before landing on consoles in early 2017. Pre-purchasing through Steam will gain you access to the pre-order beta, beginning end of November.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • AeroCool DS-230 und Project7 P7-C1 Lesertest Anmeldung on OC Inside. German.
  • Apacer AS682 ARMOR+ 250GB Solid State Drive on eTeknix.
  • Asustor AS3204T NAS on Modders-Inc.
  • D-Link DIR-885L AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router on Big Bruin.
  • Freshtech Solutions Aerocool DS230 GTX 1050 Ti Gaming PC on eTeknix.
  • Samsung SSD 960 Evo 500GB SSD on TechSpot.
  • SilverStone ST30SF & ST45SF SFX PSU on PC Perspective.
  • SteelSeries Siberia 840 Wireless Gaming Headset on Mad Shrimps.
  • XFX Hard Swap Quick Change Fan on Overclockers Club.
  • Zalman ZM-K650WP Gaming Keyboard on AnandTech. Waterproof at $30.

Out of the Blue

I got a note about the spider extermination video posted here yesterday that merits a response. The reader pointed out that I was not using the same sort of judgment I would exercise in not linking other forms of animal cruelty. At the risk of sounding like a "some of my best friends are spiders" spin, I must say I actually really like spiders a lot. I once had a pet tarantula, and the wild spiders that take up residence in my office are always welcome. The thinking in posting the clip was that this was about clearing deadly spiders from where a family spends time, and that this would be some sort of equal time for readers horrified by my spider affection. In retrospect, I don't think that rationale really holds up very well. I now some people don't like apologies for having posted something, and to them I apologize for this apology, but I do regret ignoring whatever concerns I had about the clip before posting it, and understand why some find it bothersome... oddly, I'm actually one of them bothered by it.

Poisonous Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Alien Invasion Tower Defense.
Stories: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Renewed For Fourth Season.
Man's body 'dissolved' by Yellowstone hot spring after seeking place to swim. Thanks JDreyer.
Science: Scientists aim to feed the world by boosting photosynthesis.
Space Poop Challenge: NASA Calls for Better Spacesuit Potty Systems.
Media: Don't Starve: The Movie (Trailer) - Gritty Reboots.
Polar Bear petting Dog.
Laziest Fight Ever.
Auctions: Marilyn Monroe’s JFK birthday dress sells for $4.8 million.
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!