Archived News:

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

EA Financials

Electronic Arts announces Q3 FY17 financial results, saying this is the first quarter generating over $1 billion in operating cash flow. Here are the highlights:
Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics:

  • Digital net sales* of $2.861 billion for the trailing-twelve-month period represents 60% of total net sales, up 18% year-over-year.
  • FIFA 17 was the best-selling console title in the world in 2016.
  • Battlefield™ 1 was our biggest Battlefield launch ever and has a player base more than 50% larger than that of Battlefield 4™ in its comparable launch quarter.
  • To date, more than 10 million fans have played “The Journey”, the new single-player mode in FIFA 17.
  • In Q3, average gameplay time per player in Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes reached a new high of 155 minutes per day.

* Net sales is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period.

For Honor Open Beta Next Month

UbiBlog announces the For Honor open beta test will start February 9th in advance of its official launch on February 14th, saying this will be preceded by a celebrity livestream. Here's a recent map variations video, and here are details on the open beta:
If you’ve been itching to storm the battlefields of For Honor but haven’t yet had your chance, then you’re in luck: From February 9 through February 12, all players on Xbox One, PS4, and PC will be able to download the For Honor open beta, declare allegiance to a faction, and fight for supremacy in pitched multiplayer battles as a Knight, Samurai, or Viking. In the beta, you’ll be able to try out the new Elimination mode – a best-of-five series of four-on-four matches with no respawns – as well as the Dominion, Brawl, and Duel modes. You’ll also be able to continue the War of the Factions, giving you the chance to lead your chosen army to victory and claim rewards when the full game launches on February 14.

Before the open beta begins, a squad of celebrity warriors and top streamers will take to Twitch to continue the War of the Factions and show off the Elimination mode. Featuring Lauren Cohan, Jason Momoa, Alfie Allen, and Demetrious Johnson, the livestreamed battle begins February 7 at 2PM PST, and you can catch it live on the For Honor Twitch Channel.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind Announced

The Elder Scrolls Online website has the promised announcement of what's next for Bethesda's MMORPG. This is a Morrowind expansion that will launch on June 6th, offering a new location, a new class, a new PvP mode, and more. A Pre-Order FAQ has all the details on how to pick this up, and here's more on what it will offer:
This June, the next Chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online will begin. Return to the iconic island of Vvardenfell for over 30 hours of adventure in a brand new location, with a new class, a new PvP mode, a new Trial, and so much more.

The fate of Morrowind hangs in the balance and you must take up the mantle of a hero to help Vivec, the legendary warrior-poet and Guardian of Vvardenfell, save the world from a deadly Daedric threat. Set roughly 700 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, ESO's new Chapter takes you to familiar locations as you attempt to solve the mystery of Vivec's mysterious illness and restore his strength. Travel from the volcanic Ashlands to the mushroom-filled forests, and walk the streets of Vivec City, still under construction at this point in time.

With the largest landmass addition to date, a brand-new player class, and an intense new PvP mode, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is the perfect entry point for new players and a great way for veterans to continue their journey.

Those who already own ESO can simply upgrade their experience and immediately jump into the new Chapter when it launches on June 6, 2017 for all platforms, including on PC in Japan. And thanks to the One Tamriel update from last October, new players can also sail directly into Morrowind and play with other adventurers of all levels. The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind also includes all the original ESO content, so new players will have access to hundreds of hours of excitement throughout Tamriel. Existing players can choose to carry their characters over to Morrowind, or start fresh on a new adventure with a new face.

BioWare on Their New IP

The BioWare Blog offers "A Note About Our New IP." They say they want to offer some additional background, but you aren't going to get very fat on something with this few calories:
As we’re working hard to finish Mass Effect: Andromeda, I wanted to take a minute to talk about our new IP. As our CEO Andrew Wilson mentioned, we’re creating a unique IP that will bring players together in exciting new ways.

There’s much more to say in the coming months, but for now, I wanted to offer this additional background.

In 2012, we began crafting a new universe full of new characters, stories, and gameplay. Our ambition is simple: Draw upon 20+ years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends.

There’s nothing quite as exciting as building a new IP from scratch, and it will be even more thrilling for us to share more with you in the future.

Fallout New Vegas 2 Rumor Follow-up

Kotaku follows up on the rumor that Fallout New Vegas 2 is in development. They say this is untrue, having confirmed with Obsidian they are not signed on for a sequel. Of course, they do not own the IP, so New Vegas 2 could be in the hands of a different developer. But they also impugn the integrity of the source, saying the operators of Fraghero are overstating the track record of the accuracy of their rumors by editing older articles to seem more accurate. In their expert opinion this was just game news clickbait.

PAYDAY 2 and Shadow Warrior 2 Crossover

Flying Wild Hog, Devolver Digital, OVERKILL, and Starbreeze announce they have banded together to create a cross-promotion event between PAYDAY 2 and Shadow Warrior 2. This involves item crossovers between the two first-person shooter sequels. To celebrate, both games are on Sale on Steam with an additional savings if you already own one or the other or if you buy them both together. Here's word on the crossover: "The crossover event includes two PAYDAY 2 weapons and the iconic Dallas mask introduced into Shadow Warrior 2 while Lo Wang’s trademark katana and several demon masks have made their way into PAYDAY 2."

Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 End now offers a 404 error as Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 are now officially offline, per this previous announcement. PC Gamer recounts the last minutes of Asheron's Call including the experiences of a player saying goodbye to the virtual world after 17 years.

Heavy Metal Machines Open Beta

The Heavy Metal Machines website announces that Heavy Metal Machines is now in open beta testing, allowing full access to this MOBA. The game features vehicular combat racing, obviously influenced in part by the Mad Max series. Word is: "After months of closed beta testing, Heavy Metal Machines is ready to reveal for a bigger group of fans to experience its unique brand of car combat, MOBA action. In addition to being available to more gamers, this open beta introduces a number of significant upgrades, including an all new character." The game's announcement trailer from the summer shows off gameplay. Continue here to read the full story.

Vidar Early Access

Early access is now underway on Steam for Vidar, a throwback adventure game where you attempt to save your fellow villagers from death, and deal with the ripple effect of the deaths you fail to prevent. Here's word:
Vidar is Dying
In the middle of a blizzard, a community's remaining citizens are forced to confront their impending deaths. Every night, a villager is killed, and the survivors are forced to alter their course in response. Chart a path through always-changing, challenging environmental puzzles, and explore the stories and grief of these townsfolk before Vidar is lost forever.

A Random Story Every Time
In Vidar, every villager has heavily interdependent relationships with the others. When one person dies, everyone else’s stories change - if the blacksmith loses her apprentice, she’ll give you different quests; if the blacksmith loses her supplier, still different; and if she predeceases both, then those two will respond accordingly, etc. Because the order of deaths is random, the story and quests you receive will be different every time you play.

New Challenges to Overcome
To stop the killings you’ll need to enter a puzzle dungeon. Use your tools and your environment to help navigate to the center of the cave before everyone in town is dead. These puzzles are also randomly chosen from a bank of hundreds, so that when you come back to see a new story unfold, you’ll also face a new challenge.

Neverwinter: The Cloaked Ascendancy Next Month

The Neverwinter website announces The Cloaked Ascendancy, a new expansion for Neverwinter, saying this will come to the PC edition of the Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG on February 21st. Here's word:
On February 21, heroes will face the mages of the Cloak Tower as the Spellplague continues to cast a shadow over Neverwinter!

In The Cloaked Ascendancy, adventurers return to the city after the harrowing events of Storm King’s Thunder to honor a fallen hero. However, a strange cabal of mages led by Gyrion the Ascendant have made themselves known and are prepared to wield their powers against the citizens of Neverwinter!

In this latest expansion, adventurers will brave their way through the River District to uncover hidden motives and return to the Spellplague Caverns leveling dungeon, including an Epic version with different monsters and bosses. In addition to a new campaign, adventure zone, and skirmish, powerful artifact weapons await the hero willing to stand up against this new tyranny!

Are you ready to face The Cloaked Ascendancy?

Sniper Elite 4 101 Trailer

A new trailer from Sniper Elite 4 gives us the 101 class on the sharpshooting sequel that's due for release in two weeks. The video includes over six minutes of gameplay, showing combat as well as various customization options. Here's the deal:
Captured entirely from in-game footage, this six-minute '101' trailer showcases all-new gameplay from Sniper Elite 4's extensive feature set, including:

  • An expansive campaign for 1-2 players: Explore 1943 Italy and fight alongside the brave men and women of the Resistance. Hunt down a terrifying new weapon that threatens the entire Allied fightback.
  • A deep and rewarding sniping simulation: deliver pinpoint assassinations at extreme distance, adapting to wind and gravity, and adjusting for range with scope zeroing.
  • Traverse massive environments featuring hundreds of enemies and vehicles: Find your ideal sniper's nest, out maneuvers your enemies or hunt them up close. Combine suppressed weapons with deadly traps to torment enemy formations and isolate priority targets.
  • Employ a massive, personalized arsenal including iconic World War II rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, explosives and heavy weapons. Adapt your loadout for each mission and upgrade core attributes like scope magnification, stability, recoil, muzzle velocity and more.
  • Challenging online co-op & multiplayer modes set across six gorgeous custom-designed maps. Take on dedicated co-op modes for up to four players and prove your mettle across seven competitive modes for up to 12 players.

It's time to deploy, sniper. It's time to liberate Italy and set the wheels in motion for victory in Europe.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Previews

  • Maniaplanet 4 on the ManiaPlanet Blog. A look at channels and support for live streaming in Nadeo's games. Thanks Frans.

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Jan Paul van Waveren. Mr. Elusive programmed the AI in Quake III Arena and other id games. John Carmack calls him "The best developer I ever worked with, my right hand, and a good friend." Thanks Frans.
R.I.P.: Asia Co-Founder, King Crimson Member John Wetton Dead at 67.

Conan Exiles Early Access

Funcom now offers early access to the Windows edition of Conan Exiles on Steam, offering an open world survival game set in Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age. They support the game with the launch of a new Conan Exiles website with information and forums and celebrate the news with an early access launch trailer. Here's word on the game and plans to bring it to other platforms:
Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game set in the brutal lands of Conan the Barbarian, the world's greatest fantasy hero. The game can be played on private and public servers, either in multiplayer or local single-player. In the world of Conan Exiles, survival is more than tracking down food and water. Journey through a vast, seamless world filled with the ruins of ancient civilizations, uncovering its dark history and buried secrets as you seek to conquer and dominate the exiled lands. Conan Exiles was released into Early Access on the PC on 31 January 2017 and will hit the Xbox One Game Preview Program in Spring 2017. The game will also make its way to PlayStation 4 at a later date.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hitman Disc and Patch Release

The Hitman website announces the release of the complete first season of the episodic Hitman game on disc. This offers every chapter of the game along with some bonus content. This is accompanied by a new patch for the game, and these patch notes describe all that's coming to the game today, including the Landslide bonus mission depicted in this trailer:
On January 31st, we will release HITMAN - The Complete First Season on a physical disc. On the same date, we will release our January Update, which is mandatory for all players and includes improvements across the board, including a new difficulty level, HDR support and many features or improvements that were requested by our community. Thanks for your continued support and for providing us with feedback.

As well as the physical disc release of the game, there are a few other items that will be released or made available for purchase on January 31st 2017.

  • Our 3rd bonus mission, 'Landslide' will be released at no extra cost for owners of The Complete First Season / Upgrade Pack.
  • The 'Original Soundtrack' and 'Making Of Documentary' will be made available for all players. After downloading the January Update, follow the in-game instructions (top-left tile of the 'Featured' Hub) to link your profile to the Square Enix Members service, as this is how the content will be made available. Steam players will see both items added to their accounts automatically.
  • The 'HITMAN - Requiem Blood Money Pack' will be made available for individual purchase, after previously being given to all players who pre-ordered the game. This pack includes 3 in-game items; 'Legacy Requiem Suit', 'Silenced ICA-19 Chrome pistol' and the 'Pale Duck' explosive item. As per the above image, this pack is also included with the SteelBook Edition of the game.

For players who prefer to purchase individual episodes with the Intro Pack:

  • The 'Bonus Episode' (formerly called Summer Bonus Episode) will be made available for individual purchase. The Bonus Episode includes 3 bonus missions: 'The Icon', 'A House Built on Sand' and 'Landslide'. Pricing will vary according to region, but will closely match the established cost of an individual episode.

Continue here to read the full story.

ARK: Survival Evolved Patch Adds Tek Content

A Steam Community Announcement reveals the release of a new Patch 254 for ARK: Survival Evolved for Windows, Linux, and OS X. They call this the biggest update yet for the dinosaur-themed adventure game, saying it adds a load of new science-fiction Tek content. They celebrate the news with a sale on the game, which is still in early access as well as a sale on the Scorched Earth expansion. This includes new creatures, a new weapon, a new mechanic, and more. They provide a video showing off what to expect and the following outline:
The mad masterminds at Studio Wildcard have unleashed a wave of sci-fi-themed content for ARK: Survival Evolved today - end-game features that reward hard-working players with awesomely futuristic gear and guns. The new TEK Tier content, launched in today's v254 update on Steam and coming in February to consoles, includes fantastic sci-fi weapons and gear; including powered armor suits, dino-mountable laser cannons, plasma rifles and much more. Players are invited to jump into ARK and get crafting ASAP so they can get their hands on these cool new tools of destruction!

ARK: Survival Evolved is discounted on Steam started today for its biggest sale ever - 67% off the main game and 51% off the Scorched Earth Expansion Pack.

More details from this huge update revealed in the new gameplay trailer:

Watch the new ARK v254 trailer HERE:

Players wanting TEK Tier loot will need to gather the newly introduced Element resource, which is granted after successfully completing Boss Arenas. Each Boss now has 3 difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard) and after completing each level players are awarded with the TEK Knowledge engram, element and other general Boss Rewards. Collect the Element then use the TEK Replicator to craft all TEK items.
Continue here to read the full story.

Resident Evil 7 biohazard Banned Footage DLC Next Month

Capcom announces the release of Banned Footage volume one for Resident Evil 7 biohazard for PlayStation 4, to be followed by volume two on February 14th. Both volumes of this first DLC will come to other platforms like the PC on February 21st. Here's a trailer showing off some unbanned footage from the DLC, and here's word on the DLC and other content plans:
Banned Footage Vol. 1 is available today for PlayStation 4 players for £7.99/ €9.99 / $9.99 and will also be readily available for consumers who have purchased either the Deluxe Edition or Season Pass. This Vol. 1 pack includes “Nightmare,” where Sewer Gators cameraman Clancy must craft weapons and ammo to face off against hordes of enemies to survive until morning. Also included is “Bedroom” where Clancy must figure out how to get out of a locked bedroom in the Baker family’s plantation and make his escape but beware – Marguerite Baker won’t be happy if she knows he’s up and out of bed! Along with both of these scenarios is an infinitely replayable extra game mode called “Ethan Must Die”, which is an extra tough mode that is separate from the events of RE7. (Please note that PSVR is not supported in “Ethan Must Die.”)

Following this, Banned Footage Vol. 2 will be available for PlayStation 4 owners on February 14th at a price of £11.99 / €14.99 / $14.99. In this Vol. 2 pack, the “banned footage” scenarios include “21” and “Daughters.” Players will need to gamble with their own life in a deadly game of “21” with Lucas Baker and then dive deeper into the Baker family’s life before the tragic events of Resident Evil 7 biohazard in “Daughters.” An extra gameplay mode titled “Jack’s 55th Birthday” provides a race against the clock as players serve up the Daddy of the family, Jack Baker, with tons of treats for his special celebration. (Please note that PSVR is not supported in “Jack’s 55th Birthday.”)

Banned Footage Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 will be available to purchase for all other platforms on February 21st. Deluxe Edition and Season Pass owners will get the Banned Footage contents as they release per above and an additional story episode with more details to come. Finally, in spring 2017, all players will have access to the free “Not a Hero” content, introducing players to a new separate storyline away from Ethan’s saga in the main game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Garages tend to get cluttered, but the garage here at the BlueTower was particularly bad, because it cannot actually be used for cars. I know that sounds bizarre, but it's in the backyard with no driveway. Apparently the guy who built this house built it first and used it as a workshop for his construction, but that still doesn't satisfactorily explain why he didn't make this so it can be properly used. Anyway, we recently decided to clear the "garage" (storage shed?) of junk, and it's much more organized now. Some of this stuff cannot go in the trash, including a set of tires, so until someone comes to haul away, it all has to live in the backyard. Naturally I took advantage of this, and used the junk to create a robot. I haven't gotten him to follow commands yet, but I've been concentrating more on his body than his brain so far.

Robot Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Blue Lights #2.
Stories: Peter Capaldi to Leave ‘Doctor Who.’
Ben Affleck is not Directing Batman, but will Produce, Star.
Science: Michelin’s new performance tire might just be too good at cornering.
Media: 6 Construction Failures, and What We Learned From Them.
So anyway, turns out microchips are a good thing..-
Snowmobile Put In Reverse Prank.
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!