Archived News:

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2016

Torment in February

inXile Entertainment and Techland Publishing announce February 28th, 2017 will be the release date for Torment: Tides of Numenera, the upcoming spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment. A post on Kickstarter (thanks nin) has word for backers on what to expect in return for their support, and a new trailer celebrates the release date and offers details on the day one edition. Here's the plan:
inXile Entertainment and Techland Publishing have announced the release date for Torment: Tides of Numenera - February 28th, 2017.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is set one billion years in the future, using the science-fantasy setting created by pen and paper RPG luminary, Monty Cook. Players will experience a game of intricate choices and consequences with thousands of meaningful decisions that will make every playthrough unique.

The game is created and developed by inXile Entertainment, which consists of industry icon Brian Fargo and many other veteran creators of the original Planescape: Torment - one of the most critically revered cRPGs in gaming history.

Pre-orders for the Day One Edition and The Collector's Edition are also now available. For a full list of what is contained in the Collector's Edition along with pre-order incentives, see the official trailer here.

DOOM – Bloodfall Released announces the availability of DOOM – Bloodfall, the third, and final, DLC pack for the shooter remake. This trailer celebrates the release, and they offer the following details, including word that an XP bonus is currently in effect:
We’re thrilled to announce that Bloodfall, DOOM’s latest multiplayer DLC, is available right now. Bloodfall is the third and final DLC pack for DOOM, bringing three diverse new maps, a Grenade Launcher, the Cultist armor set, and more to the game’s fast-paced multiplayer. You’ll also be able to transform into the Spectre Pinky, a fan favorite demon whose signature invisibility tactic allows you to sneak up on enemy players.

To celebrate the launch of Bloodfall, we’re also holding a Double XP Weekend from now until Monday, December 19 at 12pm ET. Play all new multiplayer content, and try to level up to the new max rank of Echelon 11, level 50 to unlock the DOOM Marine Armor, which was part of last week’s Free Update 5 release.

Bloodfall is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and can be purchased for $14.99 (£11.99 / €14.99 / AUS $23.95), or as part of the DOOM Season Pass.


3 New Maps

  • Empyrian – Fight in an ageless colosseum held aloft by opposing energies, as the gilded battlements slowly crumble
  • Boneyard – Battle in the outer realm of Hell, where the landscape is made entirely of demon flesh, teeth and bone
  • Outbreak – Engage in intense combat throughout a UAC facility transformed after underworldly science breaks free from containment

New Weapon

  • Grenade Launcher - Use this UAC-banned weapon to bank grenades off walls and deal area damage, or use the secondary fire to detonate a smoke grenade to conceal your position from enemies

New Playable Demon

  • Spectre Pinky - As the fast and heavily armored Pinky demon with Spectre abilities, stalk your enemies with invisibility, or bull rush to insta-gib all in your path

Continue here to read the full story.

Space Hulk: Deathwing Takes Flight

Space Hulk: Deathwing is now available on Steam, offering a first-person shooter set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. This post covers the release, and outlines all the improvements Streum On Studio made over the early access version. Here's a bit, including word that controllers are not supported at this time:
Here are some of the highlights with regards to bug-fixes and improvements in the release version:

  • Much faster loading times
    • Loading times are reduced by rougly 40-50% on average.
  • Huge performance increase
    • The game should run more smoothly in most situations across all hardware.
  • Crash Fixes & Massive debug
    • The vast majority of crashes and bugs from the Beta have been fixed.
  • GUI improvements
    • The GUI has been updated according to Beta players' feedback.
  • Balancing
    • Changes regarding some multiplayer classes and difficulty values.
  • Localization improvements & debugging
    • Localization is almost final. Added some indications on the tutorial keybinds.
  • SFX Iteration
    • Belial and Librarian voices have been updated according to Beta players' feedback.
  • Controller debugging
    • Controllers aren't officially supported at release. Controllers previously corrupted keybindings. This is no longer the case, and the controller mapping has been updated. We're not 100% satisfied yet with controller support, and we strongly advise you to play with keyboard and mouse for now.
  • New Optional Multiplayer Game Mode: Codex Rules
    • Class change during mission disabled.
    • Equipment changing during mission disabled.
    • Progression and XP system deactivated, with access to all equipment unlocked from the start.
    • All skills and equipment are unlocked from the start.
    • Respawn is limited.

Dishonored 2 Game Plus Mode Monday; Beta Available has details on the next patch for Dishonored 2, saying that this will be a free game update that will include various changes based on player feedback along with a new game plus mode. This is currently available for Windows in beta, and will be officially released for all platforms on Monday. They also outline plans for a second free game update next month with more customization options. Here's word:
If you’ve wondered what it would be like to combine Empress Emily Kaldwin’s all-new abilities with Royal Protector Corvo Attano’s signature powers, you’ll soon have the opportunity to do just that. Next week Dishonored 2 will get its first free Game Update, which – along with various improvements based on player feedback – includes New Game Plus. With this new mode, you’ll be able to combine Emily’s Mesmerize with Corvo’s Devouring Swarm – or create any other custom combo of multiple powers that you can you imagine.

Unlocked once you complete Dishonored 2 with either Emily or Corvo, New Game Plus lets you begin anew with either character, but this time you’ll have access to the full suite of abilities from both of the game’s heroes. You’ll also start your new playthrough with all the Runes and Bonecharm Traits you’ve collected from your previous game, but you’ll be able to re-assign those Runes so you can choose the powers you want.

“Dishonored players have asked for it, so now New Game Plus is here for Dishonored 2,” says Creative Director Harvey Smith. “If you've ever wanted to make higher-powered characters, now's your chance. If you've wanted to play Emily Kaldwin with Possession or Devouring Swarm, or Corvo Attano with Domino, now you can. We've been having fun with it here at Arkane Studios, and we hope you will too.”

The first of two free updates, Game Update 1 releases today as a beta on PC, then will release in full for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on Monday, December 19.

Game Update 2 will arrive in January, and will include two new features: Mission Select and additional Custom Difficulty Settings, the latter of which allows you to further tailor Dishonored 2 to your playstyle and adjust the challenge based on a wide array of settings. We’ll have more info on Game Update 2 soon.

Continue here to read the full story.

For Honor Beta Signups

UbiBlog has details on story missions in For Honor, the upcoming hack-and-slash game. They discuss the campaign, and offer this trailer to show it off. And with the game due for release on February 14th, they also announce plans for closed beta testing that will take place between now and then. That post has a trailer of its own, showing off Viking gameplay. Here's word on testing and how to apply:
Prepare for war. For Honor’s Closed Beta begins in January, giving you an opportunity to don the mantle of a Viking, Knight, or Samurai and battle your foes in new multiplayer experiences. To help up the ante, For Honor is also introducing War of the Factions, in which your faction allegiance impacts a persistent fight for supremacy between For Honor’s Vikings, Knights, and Samurai.

In War of the Factions, all multiplayer victories (as any hero) will contribute towards your declared faction and its global leaderboards. Entering the Closed Beta automatically enrolls you in War of the Factions, and all participants will receive a special in-game reward, with the winning factions earning additional in-game rewards to be revealed at a later date. Want to be a part of it? Sign up here for a chance to turn the tide of war and help your faction reign supreme.
Continue here to read the full story.

Galactic Civilizations III Update

A new patch is now available for Galactic Civilizations III, updating Stardock's 4X strategy game to version 1.9. This post has details, calling the patch "massive," and also reveals that it includes the handiwork of company founder Brad Wardell, as the CEO did some of the programming on the patch. This announcement has more on the patch and Brad's contribution:
Stardock released version 1.9 for its popular space-based strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III today. Stardock’s CEO, Brad Wardell, returns to the Galactic Civilizations team for v1.9 to introduce several improvements and enhancements to the game. Better optimization, advancements to enemy A.I., new Capstone Techs, and additional balance adjustments, are among several new and updated features within v1.9.

"I’m excited to be back into the code for this game," Wardell said. "This update is just the first step toward lots of enhancements and improvements that I have planned. The team and I have been active within our player community and have been listening to their thoughts. I think they’ll be pleased with the results."

Players can also look forward to additional challenges from the AI. v1.9 introduces several new improvements to AI playstyle, including smarter fleet building, a more assertive approach to expanding, a greater focus on spreading influence, among others.

New Capstone Techs are also now available once the Age of Ascension is reached. Players will have the chance to research new techs that provide large but temporary empire-wide bonuses. These techs can be researched repeatedly and their bonuses stack.

A significant focus of the 1.9 update is speed. "I multithreaded the texture loading at the start of a game in order to improve performance," said Brad Wardell, CEO and President of Stardock. "New texture compressions for planets and ships reduces the memory usage and boosts start up times so you can get right down to conquering the galaxy."

The work on performance optimization has also allowed for the addition of more stars and planets. These new details make each galaxy feel unique and even more vast than before. Additional small updates and additions to the game, such as the ability to see stat updates on the planet immediately after building on a tile, further enhance playability and enjoyment for the player.

For a complete list of the updates in v1.9, please view the changelog here.

Heroes of the Storm Winter New Hero, Event

There are now patch notes for a new update that's live in Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's MOBA. This has a bunch of balance changes and bug fixes, introduces the game's newest character, and kicks off their Winter Veil event, which includes a quest and XP bonuses. This post has specifics on the new hero Ragnaros, the fire lord. Word is: "As the lord of Azeroth’s fire elementals, Ragnaros desires nothing more than to burn the world to ash. Banished to Firelands eons ago, the Firelord now turns his rage toward the Nexus, intent on incinerating everything and everyone within it." Here's more on the winter event:
Celebrate Winter Veil 2016!

  • Our 2016 Winter Veil celebration has arrived! Ring in the holiday season this year with a 25% XP bonus, a new event quest, and of course, quest rewards.
    • 25% XP Bonus
      • The XP bonus begins at 10:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 until 10:00 a.m. PST Tuesday, January 4, 2017.
  • Winter Veil Event Quest
    • Quest: Play 25 games in any matchmaking mode (Co-op vs. A.I., Quick Match, Unranked Draft, or Ranked)
    • Rewards: Special Snowflake Portrait and Festive Treasure Goblin Mount.
  • Click here for additional Winter Veil 2016 details.

The Division Free Weekend

A free weekend for Tom Clancy's The Division gets underway on Friday, and that preloads are now available so you can play as soon as things get underway. The game is on sale for the duration, and all progress from the weekend will carry over for anyone who buys a copy. Here's the plan:
New York is in peril. Its population has been decimated by a terrible virus, while violent factions fight for control. As an Agent of The Division, you’re tasked with infiltrating the streets of the city to save what’s left, and starting tomorrow, you can do that for free. From December 15 at 10AM PST to December 18 at 1PM PST, The Division will be free on Uplay PC, allowing you to play through the entirety of the core game, along with all of its free content updates, for zero dollars. Season Pass content is not included, but the progress you make during this free period will transfer over if you purchase the full game – both the regular version and the Gold Edition of The Division will be available on the Uplay store with a 50% discount.

Evening Previews

etc., etc.

  • Stereo Aereo is available on Steam for Windows, OS X, and Linux. This is "a rhythm and story driven space arcade shooter that is inspired by the pop-culture influences of the 80's."…
  • Doom 2 on optimus maximus. Thanks HARDOCP

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Avoid holiday destruction.

Todd Howard Tapped for AIAS Hall of Fame

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announces Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios will be their 22nd Hall of Fame inductee at their 20th awards ceremony in February. Here's part of the announcement:
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce its 22nd Hall of Fame recipient, Todd Howard, Executive Producer and Game Director at Bethesda Game Studios, who has created some of the industry’s most successful games by pioneering open-world gameplay. Howard has been integral in the creative direction and growth of such well-loved franchises as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, which have been recipients of numerous D.I.C.E. Awards throughout the years. Both The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are known for their experiential approach to world-building and storytelling. The scale of their open worlds, variety of questlines, and near-endless cast of characters has ensured no two players have the same experience.

“The Academy is thrilled to be honoring Todd Howard as our next Hall of Fame recipient during our 20th D.I.C.E. Awards celebration,” said Mike Fischer, President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “I know that many of us in the industry have spent countless hours enthralled in the vast, open worlds that Todd has created. He’s made us all reconsider the player-game relationship and extended the storytelling possibilities of our medium. We look forward to honoring Todd and celebrating his achievements and contributions to the video games industry.”

The 2017 Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Howard during the 20th D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at the Mandalay Convention Center in Las Vegas by his long-time colleague, Pete Hines, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, Bethesda Softworks.

Age of Empires II HD DLC Next Week

Age of Empires website announces Rise of the Rajas, a new DLC pack coming on December 19th to Age of Empires II HD, the RTS remake, offering the first new content for the game is an age or two. This is coming to Steam, though it is not available yet for preorder as they say it is. They promise more details on the new content in the short time before its release, and in the meantime offer the following on the DLC as well as a new performance patch for the base game:
That’s only six days away, but we’re not going to make you wait that long to get a taste of the new greatness in store; we’re celebrating RIGHT NOW, and you can join in! Here’s a breakdown of this week-long party:

  • ZeroEmpires and the rest of the crew at Escape Gaming are putting on the Battle for Angkor tournament on December 17–18! This tournament, featuring some of the world’s top Age of Empires II players, will be streamed live for all to see right here on the brand-new Escape Twitch channel! More details coming soon.
  • The devs at Forgotten Empires will be publishing a new sneak peek each day until release. There are four new civs, a new map type, and much, much more to discover, so head over to their blog each day to get the inside scoop straight from the developers!
  • We’ll have our own countdown-to-launch stream featuring special guests, including devs from Skybox Labs and Forgotten Empires, on our official Twitch and Beam channels on December 19. More details coming soon!

Performance Upgrades and Balance Fixes!
This awesome expansion is set in southeast Asia, and brings tons of new content as well as some serious upgrades to the quality of life for our Age of Empires II HD. We’ve had an open beta over the past few months to identify and correct a few performance issues, and with your help we’ve managed to reduce desyncs by 90%! With today’s announcement of Rise of the Rajas, we’re also pushing these performance upgrades live to all of our players for free. Among other things, this makes multiplayer matches much more stable, AND we’ve added multiplayer restore back in, so if you ever DO lose a match in progress to a desync, you can get it back and pick up where you left off!

Descent: Underground Next Year?

Descent: Underground is currently in early access on Steam, offering an early crack at this 6DoF shooter revival. This beta version became available there over a year ago, so Swiss site contacted the developers at Descendent Studios to ask when early access would give way to a full release. Their question was in German, but the answer is English, and they offer a vague timeline that indicates this will come some time after March of next year:
Our current plan is to complete development of our single-player campaign around March of 2017 and to release out of Early Access shortly thereafter. We are a small, independent team, so of course that timeline is subject to change.

The Surge Gameplay Video

Focus Home Interactive offers a new video showing off gameplay from The Surge, Deck13's upcoming action/RPG. The clip runs four minutes and features unedited footage of the game's mechanized combat. The clip is accompanied by an explanation of what we're seeing:
Deck 13's new hardcore action-RPG The Surge today unveils a few minutes of unedited gameplay, showing the visceral, uncompromising combat, the limb-cutting system, and a few of the brutal enemies prowling the dysfunctional CREO Complex.

While some of the earlier enemies encountered while exploring the complex - namely, your former fellow workers - have erratic behavior and may be defeated easily if you are not reckless, others are much more "combat-ready", and will hunt you down relentlessly.

Result of unspoken experiments, volatile prototypes built from secret nano-technology, or simply efficient death machines built for maintaining security in high-risk environments, these enemies leave no room for mistakes during combat. The slightest misstep, or moment of hesitation, will certainly mean death for you. However, these enemies wear some of the best equipment, weapons and implants you can claim for your own use. You'll have to decide if you wish to secure a victory, attacking their weak spots, or make your life a bit harder and aim for their armored parts, hoping to recover this precious equipment that will make you stronger, faster, tougher.

Balance the need for better equipment versus your own survival... but remember, you'll definitely need to power yourself up when you inevitably face the world's bosses, that will put your skill to the test!
Continue here to read the full story.

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've sort of been ignoring this for the most part of the year, but the trailers and other publicity for Rogue One have served their intended purpose, and I am now pretty hyped for the movie. I know... the Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

R.I.P.: Alan Thicke dead at 69.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Alien Sky Invasion.
Papa's Sushiria.
Links: Alan Thicke's Best Television Theme Songs- 11 Unforgettable Tracks.
Story: Jewelry thief Doris Payne strikes again at metro Atlanta mall.
Media: Kylo Ren All-Star Gaming- Multibowl.
Honest Trailers - Star Wars- Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. Thanks nin..
Addiction (NSFW).
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