Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017


UploadVR has hands-on impressions from GDC 2017 on the recently revealed "next generation" VR head-mounted display in the works at LG (thanks HARDOCP). There is not yet an indication of when to expect these will be released, but they do have word on their impressive technical specs:
The prototype revealed at the Game Developers Conference uses the same tracking technology from Valve that’s used in the HTC Vive which shipped last year. It also runs at 90 frames per second and flips up away from the face like the Microsoft headset we tried earlier this week. This should make VR developers very happy.

Here are the specs provided by LG:

  • Two panels (one for each eye) with a resolution of 1440 by 1280 each
  • OLED display from LG
  • 3.64 inches diagonal
  • 90 Hz refresh rate
  • 110 degree FOV

These dev kits are going out to “select partners” by the end of this week. Representatives from the company were reluctant to commit to a time frame for a consumer release, but said an announcement should come some time this year after they get feedback from partners and developers.

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Steel Division: Normandy 44, a World War II strategy game in the works at Eugen Systems. There are screenshots and details for the game on the new Steel Division website, where they say the game is "coming soon." There is also an announcement trailer, though this doesn't show any gameplay. Here are some details:
Paradox Interactive, a publisher on the front line of gaming, today announced that it has partnered with Eugen Systems, a renowned developer of games such as the Wargame-series and R.U.S.E., to release Steel Division: Normandy 44, a new tactical real-time strategy game for Windows PCs.
Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a game that puts players in command of historically accurate tanks, troops, and vehicles at the height of World War II, and will feature a single-player campaign alongside online multiplayer modes, up to and including 10-versus-10 battles. The game will be available later this year.

Steel Division: Normandy 44 features thorough attention to historical detail, from the carefully rendered tanks to the in-game maps – based on actual aerial reconnaissance photos of Normandy in 1944. The game runs on the latest version Eugen’s IRISZOOM engine, allowing players to zoom from an aerial, battle-wide perspective all the way down to a single unit, and keep track of the dynamic front line as they plan and execute maneuvers, ambushes, and more. From creating a battlegroup of historically accurate infantry, tanks, and vehicles, to troop positioning and real-time engagement with the enemy, players will need to be clever and cunning in order to win; raw firepower alone will not be enough.

“Few developers appreciate strategy and history as much as Eugen Systems, and that’s what makes this partnership so ideal,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “The level of detail they’ve included in Steel Division is impressive, and I know it will meet the high standards that Paradox fans have when it comes to their historical games.”

Steel Division: Normandy 44 will feature:

  • Command Over 400 Historically Accurate Units: Whether fighting for control in intense multiplayer battles with up to 10-vs-10 players going head-to-head, playing alone or working with friends in ranked matches, players will need to coordinate their selection of historically accurate infantry, tanks, aircraft, and support vehicles to counter enemy units in this Tactical RTS game.
  • Real-world Tactics: Battles rage over three distinct phases, where different units unlock over time, mimicking the movements of real-world armies and adding variety to the ever-changing theatre of war. A dynamic front line illustrates the ebb and flow of the conflict. Pin down your opponent's infantry to gain the advantage and force a retreat, or push through with a perfectly executed plan.
  • Real-world Setting: Using the latest version of Eugen’s IRISZOOM engine, players can smoothly zoom from a tactical aerial view all the way down to a single unit, and see 400 different real-world vehicles and units designed with careful historical detail and accuracy. Maps are designed based on actual aerial reconnaissance photos of Normandy in 1944, requiring real-world tactics and strategies to cover and control.
  • Outplan, Outsmart, Outgun: From battlegroup customization to troop positioning and maneuvering, winning battles requires cunning and strategy, not just raw firepower. Each unit lost presents a growing tactical disadvantage, and players will need to fight to gain -- and keep -- the upper hand.

Continue here to read the full story.

DiRT 4 Day 1 and Special Editions Planned

Codemasters and Deep Silver announce a day one edition and a special edition coming to DiRT 4, their upcoming rally racing sequel. A new trailer accompanies the news, featuring drivers Petter Solberg and Kris Meeke discussing the game's "your stage" feature. Here's more on the special editions and the your stage feature:
Codemasters & Deep Silver today announced that there will be a Day One Edition of DiRT® 4™ which will feature an exclusive Hyundai R5 rally car as well as a unique event* and Founder Icon. There will also be an exclusive Special Edition that will feature the Day One content plus a Team Booster Pack that give you a unique team offer, staff and facilities bonuses, and an additional Steelbook option which includes the Day One content with a limited edition steel box.

Double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg and rally driver Kris Meeke have both been involved in the development of DiRT 4 and they give their thoughts on Your Stage, a game changing stage creation system, in the game’s latest video available here:

Your Stage allows you to produce a near infinite number of unique stages at the touch of a button in DiRT 4. Just select one of the five rally locations from within the game (Australia, Spain, Michigan, Sweden & Wales) and set the time of day and weather conditions. You adjust the route’s length and complexity using sliders before generating your own completely unique stage. If you are not happy with it, just press Generate again and create another. You can then race, share and challenge your friends to take on your bespoke stage.

Paul Coleman, DiRT 4’s chief game designer, commented, “Your Stage is something that we have been working on since the launch of DiRT 3 in 2011. It allows players to generate an almost infinite variety of stages at all of the rally locations in DiRT 4. It’s a revelation as now our players will get the thrill of driving a new stage whenever they want.”

“It is extremely simple for you to create a stage but, behind the scenes, we have an extraordinarily complex series of rules and algorithms that put these routes together. Your Stage creates such a huge variety of routes, some that we would never have thought of crafting before, and they’re amazing to drive.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Free Robo Recall for Oculus Touch

Epic Games has released Robo Recall for free, offering a fast-paced first-person shooter designed for virtual reality on the Oculus Touch. Here's the deal:
Built with Unreal Engine 4, Robo Recall features over-the-top arcade action, gratifying gameplay and an in-depth scoring system, along with immersive environments for players to explore as they take on a variety of rogue robots, unlock an expanding arsenal of weapons and access all-new challenges.

In a surprise move, Epic also revealed the Robo Recall Mod Kit, a native mod editor for the game in which new maps, characters and weapons can be added to the full game experience. The Robo Recall Mod Kit is also available now for free, and it is accessible through the Epic Games launcher in the Modding tab, alongside toolsets for other Unreal Engine-powered moddable games.

With the Robo Recall Mod Kit, players are invited to bring all-new experiences to Recallers everywhere. Modders can build new RoboReady-approved products, including top notch weapons for dispatching rogue robots, or change up the fight by creating their own opponents in need of recalling and creative decimation. The Mod Kit also allows players to create and share new levels for everyone to explore and build new versions of the Robo Recall maps with custom gameplay.

Using a range of customizable and unlockable weapons, Robo Recall fulfills players’ fantasies of being a badass Recaller, testing their bot-destroying skills with a variety of increasingly challenging and over-the-top missions. In this immersive VR experience, a high score is the ultimate goal, and can be earned by destroying enemy robots with creative combat tactics, fancy moves and skill shots as players teleport throughout the game’s stunning city environments. Robo Recall also features an emergent sandbox experience that allows players to test out trick shots while tearing apart and decimating robots in extreme ways!

GTA Online Adds Stunt Races

Rockstar Games announces the release of 15 new stunt races for GTA Online along with cash and reputation boosts for stunt racing for the next two weeks (thanks Mordecai). The update also includes a snazzy pink racing suit and a sale on some gear. Here's word:
There's no point in barrel-rolling through a ring of fire while flipping off your adversaries unless you look the part while you're doing it. Tackle the new Stunt Races in style with the Pink Stunt Jumpsuit, a free unlock for all who log onto GTA Online at any point between now and March 13th.

Since we're celebrating the arrival of 15 new Stunt Races, it only makes sense to discount some of the hallmark vehicles and clothing of Cunning Stunts now through March 13th. Enjoy 25% off the following:

  • Annis RE-7B
  • Emperor ETR1
  • Vapid Desert Raid
  • Vapid Trophy Truck
  • Obey Omnis
  • Lampadati Tropos Rallye
  • Liveries
  • Stunt Tattoos
  • Stunt Clothing

And for multi-tasking Stunt Racers with fledgling criminal enterprises, invest your hard earned 2x GTA$ into a Vehicle Warehouse for 25% off, which brings missions to steal and deal vehicles for a profit and unlocks access to Special Vehicles.

Dawn of War III Trailer

A new environment showcase trailer from Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III shows off some of the locales in the upcoming real-time strategy sequel. SEGA and Relic offer the following explanation of what the clip shows:
As we gear up towards the release of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, SEGA Europe Ltd. and Relic Entertainment invite you to experience a few of the mysterious locations that players will visit in the highly anticipated third installment of the RTS franchise.

Over the course of development, the Dawn of War team has focused on creating massive landscapes – not just to accommodate the huge scale of battle, but to elevate gameplay with destructible features, strategic depth, and nods to the rich 40K universe.

In this Environment Showcase trailer, Art Director Matt Kuzminski and Lead Environment Artist Tristan Brett speak to the inspiration and design process behind these spectacular, deadly worlds that will form the foundation of Dawn of War III, and act as a canvas for a new era of endless war.

These environments include:

  • Cyprus Ultima: Filled with details and history, Cyprus Ultima has a medieval style that expresses the war-ravaged way of life for people in the 41st millennium
  • Cage World: A true alien environment, Cage World’s ever-evolving landscape means the ground can literally shift beneath your feet, so you can never be sure where the battle will take you
  • Starfort: With massive structures towering over each battlefield, the scale of the weaponry on display in this gothic battle station is the ultimate in Imperium technology
  • Acheron: From first glance, where waves of lava clash against mountains of snow and ice, it’s clear that the elements aren’t all that’s at war on Acheron. Home to nothing but violence, the beautiful glaciers serve as frozen tombs for the battles of the past, and as the stage for some of the largest battles you’ll face in Dawn of War III

Continue here to read the full story.

Ghost Recon Wildlands Betas Set Records

UbiBlog has word that the recent beta tests for Ghost Recon Wildlands broke some Ubisoft records:
The recent beta phases for Ghost Recon Wildlands gave players a taste of what it’ll take to fight the Santa Blanca drug cartel in the Bolivian wilderness, and as it turned out, a lot of you were eager to squad up and hit the ground. More than 6.8 million of you, to be precise, breaking Ubisoft’s previous beta records – but that’s not the only impressive statistic coming out of the closed and open betas. More than two billion minutes were played, and more than 60 percent of all players played in co-op (Ghost Recon Wildland supports both solo and cooperative play for a team of up to four Ghosts).

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Toygeddon -- Steam Greenlight. "Toygeddon is an online Battle Arena Racing (R.O.B.A) inspired by several more popular MOBA , with the addition of mechanical racing fun. It tells the story of some toys that live in an old and dismissed Shopping Mall, that is going to be to demolished. To face this situation, a group of toys decides to look for a new home, but has to cope with other groups that do not agree with this idea."

Evening Previews

  • Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade on the official website. CRUSADE DIARY 4- What is a 4X strategy game?
  • Ship of Heroes on YouTube. Sneak peak at combat.
  • Total War- ARENA on YouTube. Developer Diary #2.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti This Month

The GeForce website has the expected announcement of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, a new flagship for their line of gaming video cards. They claim the founder's editions for these will be available beginning March 10th for $699, and that preorders will begin tomorrow. These will boast "next-gen 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory," and in a separate post they announce that this fancy RAM will make its way to the rest of the 1080 line in a refresh, saying this is "video memory that's faster and better than the G5X VRAM on the $1200 NVIDIA TITAN X." Here's more on the 1080 Ti:

Featuring the most powerful and efficient hardware we've ever designed, the $699 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is up to 35% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080, and is even faster in games than the $1200 NVIDIA TITAN X.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti achieves this feat through its implementation of 3,584 CUDA Cores, and 11GB of next-gen GDDR5X Video Memory (G5X VRAM) running out of the box at 11 Gbps. Even faster than the G5X memory on the GeForce GTX 1080 and NVIDIA TITAN X, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti's blisteringly-fast G5X memory further increases memory bandwidth and takes performance to new heights.

In addition, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition features a new high-airflow thermal solution that's cooler and quieter than previous designs, maximizing the potential of GPU Boost and enabling overclockers to achieve even faster speeds. And under the hood efficiency is improved thanks to a new 7-phase power design with 14 high-efficiency dualFETs that deliver better power efficiency at the highest usage and power levels.

Mass Effect Andromeda Gameplay Video

This IGN First video shows off 17 minutes of gameplay footage from Mass Effect Andromeda, showing off Peebee's loyalty mission. This is a 4K clip that runs at 60fps, and word is it is edited to avoid spoilers, though those concerned with that are still probably avoiding such clips. The game is due for release on March 21st. Thanks Josh. Continue here to read the full story.

Desync Released

Desync is now available on Steam, offering a single-player first-person shooter with a stylized untextured look (thanks Mike). This trailer offers a look at this, and here's an outline. Here's word:
DESYNC is an intense, single-player first person shooter that begs you to play dangerously and creatively. Eliminate your opponents as you perform violent attack sequences using the explosive digital weaponry and lethal side-arms at your disposal.

Switch weapons and move masterfully to unleash Attack Sequences – special moves that deal bonus damage and effects. Launch an enemy into a trap with a well-placed shotgun blast, then destroy another while they’re in the air. Think quickly and discover new combinations to maximize your score and decimate the leaderboards.
Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch Season 4 Begins

Blizzard announces the new version 1.8.0 patch is now available for Overwatch, kicking off the fourth competitive season in the multiplayer shooter along with a new game browser. This post has all the details on season 4, and this one introduces the game browser. Here are the full patch notes, and here's the overview:
After being launched on the PTR earlier this month, the new patch is now available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The update brings some exciting changes to the game, including:

  • Game Browser — This new feature is an extension of Overwatch's Custom Game mode, allowing you to adjust the settings on various maps, modes, and heroes, creating your own tailor-made server
  • Capture the Flag — Capture the Rooster has been Overwatch’s most popular brawl, and now it’s here to stay as the ongoing Capture the Flag game mode in the Arcade
  • Hero Updates — Plenty of improvements have been made to Overwatch’s heroes, including Bastion, which is now stronger and more flexible with the move of power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon

Check out the blog post for details on these changes and more, including a video on the new Game Browser. You can also read the full patch notes here.

Competitive Play Season 4

Along with the new patch comes a new season of Competitive Play, and the Overwatch developers have made a few improvements to kick things off. Here are a few highlights:

  • High-level players are required to play more competitive matches to avoid inactivity decay, improving the accuracy and prestige of skill ratings
  • Only players who reach the top 500 leaderboard at the end of the season will be rewarded, providing incentive to keep up a high skill rating
  • To encourage competition, skill ratings below 500 will no longer be displayed

You’ll find an overview of all the changes affecting the new Competitive Play season in this blog post.

Snow Moto Racing Freedom Trailer

Here's a GDC trailer showing off Snow Moto Racing Freedom, the crowdfunded snowmobile game in the works for PC and PS4. The clip is accompanied by some details on the game:
Snow Moto Racing Freedom lets you take your rightful place on a high-speed snowmobile on Snocross tracks or through vast beautiful winter landscapes. Experience the thrill of racing so close to your opponents that you can feel the spray of the snow and hear the roar of their engines. Carve your own chosen path through exotic sceneries while stringing together extreme stunts high up in the air to gain that extra speed boost to fly past your opponents.

Progress through Championships to unlock new snowmobiles and become a Legend. When you have mastered the local opposition, go online, show off your skills and make your mark in the world competitions!
Continue here to read the full story.

Stage Presence Released

Stage Presence is now available on Steam for Windows and VR HMDs. This launch trailer shows off what's described as "the anti-guitar hero," a comedy/horror/karaoke mash-up where you must ad lib to entertain a crowd during a concert that's run into technical difficulties. Here's word:
Stage Presence is the anti-guitar hero. A comedy-horror-karaoke game where you need to use your voice and wits to win over a fickle mob!

You're the lead singer in the world's unluckiest band playing a huge show when the bands equipment fails! You need to keep the crowd entertained with your voice (and weird unlockables) while the gear is fixed. As the crowd get angrier, they start heckling, throwing bottles of piss at you, shining lasers in your eyes and turning into demons. The usual stuff.

Stage Presence's unique Multiplayer mode puts you in the crowd in another player's game! Cheer them to victory or heckle them failure with the gear at your disposal - laser pens, bottles, glowsticks and flares!
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Things are starting to get real in the packing up of the BlueTower for its move west. There are currently movers taking out boxes of stuff to put into storage as we prepare our house for showing. We didn't really want to do a two-stage move, but it seems like it's the best way to deal with our circumstances, so here we are. It's a disruptive process, but it is a relief to start getting some elbow room. I'm sure the contractor working on fixing up things here feels the same way.

Westerly Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Surgeon Simulator.
Story: 22 tornadoes rip through the Midwest; 3 people killed.
Science: SpaceX Could Beat NASA Back to the Moon.
More states introduce bills to interfere with science education.
WHO: These 12 superbugs pose the greatest threat to human health.
Media: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer.
Alien: Covenant - Official Trailer.
Mean Tweets – Oscars Edition.
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