Archived News:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Dungeons 2 for Free

The Humble Store now offers a 100% discount in Dungeons 2, as the Windows, OS X, and Linux RPG sequel is free for the next couple of days. Here's a description of this 2015 title that puts you in the role of the bad-guy:
The Dungeon Lord is back – and this time he’s serious! In Dungeons 2, fulfil the Dungeon Lord’s insatiable quest for vengeance by recruiting fearsome new monsters from all corners of the underworld in order to undertake his evil bidding. Taking over the underworld isn’t enough though – this time The Dungeon Lord will extend his dominion over the puny humans and attempt to conquer the overworld too!

Take control of the mighty Dungeon Lord and craft a network of unique and terrifying dungeons, recruit an army of fearsome creatures and command two new factions. Prepare to defend your Kingdom against those pesky heroes, go above ground to wage war on their human cities and use the ‘Hand of Terror’ to take direct control over your minions, issue commands, and even dish out a swift slap to keep them in line.

Eador: Genesis for Free is giving away Eador: Genesis for free as part of a sale on the Eador series of turn-based strategy games. Here's word on the giveaway and sale:
Taking place within a fascinating universe of land shards floating in the Great Nothing, Eador games feature a unique blend of turn-based strategy with RPG mechanics, which make their nonlinear campaigns even more captivating.

Start by picking up your free copy of Eador: Genesis to get better acquainted with this broken world that is constantly contested between the so-called Masters. Then spread your dominion further with Eador. Masters of the Broken World, the Allied Forces DLC and the most recent Eador. Imperium, now up to -85% in our Eador games Sale.

The Eador: Genesis giveaway will last until May 13, 13:00 PM UTC.

The Eador series Sale lasts until May 18th, 13:00 PM UTC. Once the giveaway expires, Eador: Genesis will also become part of the Sale for the remaining time.

DiRT Rally Free Weekend

Steam News announces the chance to get your hands DiRTy with a free weekend for DiRT Rally that coincides with a sale on the off-road racing game. Here's a refresher on the game:
DiRT Rally is the most authentic and thrilling rally game ever made, road-tested over 80 million miles by the DiRT community. It perfectly captures that white knuckle feeling of racing on the edge as you hurtle along dangerous roads, knowing that one crash could irreparably harm your stage time.

Mirage: Arcane Warfare Open Beta Weekend

Torn Banner Studios announces open beta testing is now underway for Mirage: Arcane Warfare their "upcoming magic ‘n melee multiplayer combat game." This will run all weekend, and paves the way for the game's release on May 23rd. A new trailer celebrates the news and shows off the game, and here are some details on the game and testing:
Featuring the current roster of nine maps that are cycling through the beta, as well as the latest gameplay and technical improvements to the still-in-development game, the Mirage: Arcane Warfare Open Beta will also introduce a brand new gameplay mode called Arena. The new Arena mode is a 3-on-3, last-man-standing style competitive tournament mode that takes place on an entirely different set of smaller, more close-combat maps. The final game will ship with six Arena mode maps, but two are included in the Open Beta: Spire and Tunnel.

Fight on the top of a huge monolith. Bait your opponents to the perilous edges of the tower - then shove them to their doom!

There’s only one path to death in this long, narrow level. Meet your opponents in the centre, using wall-jumps to gain the higher ground in this claustrophobic corridor.
Continue here to read the full story.

Half-Life 2: VR on Steam Greenlight

A Steam Greenlight campaign is underway for Half-Life 2: VR, a free mod for Half-Life 2 with updated graphics for Valve's first-person shooter as well as support for virtual reality headsets. All the details on this can be found on the Road to VR, where they offer the Greenlight trailer for the mod. A prior version of this mod is available, but due this only works on development kit headsets. Here's word on how they are modernizing this:
After several years of the mod in dormancy, members of the original mod, with some new help, have devised a method to make the mod work with the latest Rift and Vive. Watch the trailer above. Not only will it allow players to step into the world of Half-Life 2 in VR, it will also add motion controller support to make the game function much like a modern VR title. The mod team is further promising the following:

  • HDR lighting
  • Updated effects, textures, models & maps
  • A made for VR UI
  • Realistic weapon interactions
  • Multiple VR locomotion methods

Continue here to read the full story.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Health

UbiBlog announces Ubisoft's plans to change how Rainbow Six Siege is updated across all platforms. This is planned as a three-month, three-stage process with a "hard push toward tech improvements and bug fixes." Here's a bit on the plan and how this changes their schedule:
Rainbow Six Siege boasts a thriving community of online players, and the game’s overall health is always chief among the development team’s priorities. As such, the team has made the decision to focus on improving the overall Rainbow Six Siege experience over the next three months with a series of improvements and changes called Operation Health.

Operation Health is a hard push toward tech improvements and bug fixes, and it introduces a new three-stage deployment process for updates, with new features first rolling out on a Technical Test Server, then on PC, then on consoles. (There’s also a new on/off feature in case a rollback is needed). Because of this new focus, the planned Hong Kong season will be pushed back to Season Three in August, while November’s Season Four will feature South Korea. Poland will no longer have its own season in Year Two, but its GROM Operators will be available at the start of seasons three and four. The number of new maps has also been reduced to three, and includes the most recent map set in Spain.

Block'hood Released

Block'hood is now out of early access on Steam and is also now available on, offering the full release of this Windows, Linux, and OS X neighborhood builder. This trailer offers a look at the game, which seems a little like the offspring of Sim City and Populous. Here's the announcement:
Announced for the Early Access program in 2015, Block'hood has achieved several accolades and recognition for its approach to conscious building and city planning. Budding city planners now have access to more than 200 building blocks from the original 90 to arrange and combine, creating unique neighborhoods and the sometimes surprising consequences of their designs.

Additional resources are always needed to unlock new blocks, configurations, and combinations to create more prosperous neighborhoods. Throughout the design process, players will need to avoid the decay of their city blocks by making sure each unit doesn’t run out of resources and become a strain on the complementary units around them.

With a five episode story mode now complete, players are able to experience a heartwarming tale about a boy, his pet and his neighborhood as well as explore other modes like Challenge mode, Sandbox mode and Education mode. Additionally, the title has undergone a complete aesthetic update that iterates on the already unique and eye-pleasing design of the original.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Cells Early Access

Steam now offers early access to Dead Cells, a "rogue-lite, metroidvania action-platformer" for Windows. You can get a look at this in the early access launch trailer, which lived up to its title by coming out early, or in this funny clip that accompanies the release. Word is:
Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, metroidvania action-platformer. You'll explore a sprawling, ever-changing castle... assuming you’re able to fight your way past its keepers in 2D souls-lite combat. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat.
Continue here to read the full story.

ESO Morrowind Trailer now features a new trailer from The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind introducing the assassins and the great houses in the upcoming expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online. Here's their outline of what this means to the MMORPG:
Ready to step into the high-stakes world of Dark Elf politics? Watch the new ESO: Morrowind Assassins and the Great Houses Trailer to learn everything you need to know in order to survive the clan-feud intrigues of Vvardenfell.

In Morrowind, nothing is as it seems, and this is especially true in the cutthroat world of Dunmer politics. As you explore Vvardenfell in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with and against the three Great Houses currently in control: House Hlaalu, House Redoran, and House Telvanni. It’ll be treacherous work, but don’t be daunted: should their schemes cross the bounds of propriety, there’s always the threat of the Morag Tong to keep them in line. So watch your back and keep one eye open, because you never know who is truly a friend or foe when meddling in the politics of Morrowind.
Continue here to read the full story.

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Closed Beta Ending

CD PROJEKT RED is planning to end registrations this weekend for the closed beta of GWENT: The Witcher Card Game. This will close one door to get to play the strategy game, but they are getting set to open another, saying open beta plans will be revealed next week. has the details, along with word on a GWENT tourney this weekend:
CD PROJEKT RED just announced that registrations for the Closed Beta of GWENT: The Witcher Card Game will shut down this weekend. The game will remain active for everyone who redeemed their invite before, or during the weekend.

If you're eager to jump right to it, you can still join the Closed Beta by signing up on

“Throughout Closed Beta, we’ve reworked and added a huge amount of features and mechanics to GWENT. Balance changes, numerous tweaks of how cards work and how the game flows; additional cards, a new faction and ranked play — it was an amazing ride and GWENT’s community was with us all the way,” said Benjamin Lee, Development Director at CD PROJEKT RED. “I’d like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the hours invested,” added Lee.

The end of Closed Beta registrations is part of the preparations for GWENT’s Public Beta. More information regarding this next stage will be revealed next week.

The upcoming weekend will also play host to the GWENT Challenger tournament finals. On May 13th the winners of GWENT Challenger community qualifiers will compete with professional gamers: Jeffrey “Trump” Shih, Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy, Peter “ppd” Dager, and Kacem “Noxious” Khilaji for a piece of the $100,000 prize pool. The finals of GWENT Challenger will be streamed live starting at 3PM CEST on CD PROJEKT RED’s Twitch channel.

On Sale

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The most entertaining history of the entire world. An attempt to rebound from unhappiness with last night's masterpiece.

GeForce Prey Hotfix Drivers

NVIDIA support now offers new version 382.19 GeForce Hotfix Windows drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. These are to resolve a stutter issue experienced on some configurations while playing Prey, Arkane's new first-person shooter. There are drivers for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7, under this amusing heading: "Choose the appropriate driver according to your Windows 10 version." Thanks Hypothermia.

Square Enix Selling IO Interactive

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. Announces Financial Results For The Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2017. These seem positive, as they say: "For this fiscal year, the Company reported record-high net sales, operating income, ordinary income and profit attributable to owners of parent, respectively." It's not good news for everyone, however, as they also announce they are parting ways with HITMAN developer IO Interactive. This relationship stretches back to when Square Enix acquired the assets of EIDOS Interactive, but it is now coming to an end. There are further details in a Notice of Booking of Extraordinary Loss, which explains they are putting the company up for sale:
To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO Interactive A/S, a wholly-owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017. This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.

Battlezone VR Rolls Out for PCs

Rebellion announces the release of Battlezone VR for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, offering PC gamers the virtual reality tank experience already available for PSVR. The game is available on Steam, and this launch trailer offers a look. Here's a bit of the news:
Delivering intense first-person tank combat, massive replayability and thrilling four-player co-op, BATTLEZONE® is a VR gaming experience like no other.

Optimized for Oculus™ Rift & HTC Vive™, and featuring all of the additional content and improvements that came to the PlayStation VR version, BATTLEZONE® on PC adds exclusive features including ultra-high resolution textures, customizable super-sampling, higher resolution shadow maps and Oculus™ Touch compatibility.

Built from the ground up for VR, Rebellion's widely acclaimed reboot put you right in the cockpit of the galaxy's most powerful tank. You and your teammates must take on legions of ferocious cyber-enemies across expansive neon landscapes, forging your path across a procedurally generated campaign to the epic finale!
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew Gets Watson AI

UbiBlog announces that interactive speech features coming to Star Trek: Bridge Crew thanks to Watson, the supercomputer named for a really smart dude's roommate. This game will put players into a virtual reality simulation of running a starship, but this relates to the game's AI, rather than its VR magic. They say Watson can fill out the crew for groups of fewer than four players, and will understand natural language commands. Here's word:
Part of what makes Watson an effective question-answering machine is its ability to work with natural language – and it’s those interactive speech and cognitive abilities that are set to boldly make their way into Bridge Crew. When playing as Captain on either ship, the U.S.S. Aegis or U.S.S. Enterprise, you’ll be able to speak direct, interactive commands to your virtual Starfleet shipmates. Captains can use Watson for any crew of less than four players. And where in the past voice commands in games have often been a source of frustration and controller-hurling, this new technology – built using IBM’s VR Speech Sandbox system – promises a far smoother and more responsive experience.

“We have been eager to find the right way to use interactive speech to tap into the more immersive and interactive experiences that virtual reality offers,” says David Votypka, senior creative director on Star Trek: Bridge Crew. “Watson gives captains the ability to issue commands to non-player crew members in the same way they do with a human crew: by using their voice.”

Watson’s speech features will be available to Star Trek: Bridge Crew players this summer in beta for cross-platform play, enabling combinations of AI and human players and ensuring a seamless experience if a player drops out mid-session (or if two or three friends want to play privately).

Star Trek: Bridge Crew will arrive on May 30 for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR

Total War: WARHAMMER 2 Trailer

A new trailer from Total War: WARHAMMER 2 offers an introduction to the Lizardmen from the upcoming fantasy strategy sequel. The clip is cinematic, but they stress that it is all in-engine footage. Word is: "It is time to march on the Fallen Gates. The Elf servants have blasphemed not just by leaving Ulthuan, but by daring to interfere with the Cosmic Gates – an ancient device that can open a portal into the Realm of Chaos. For such a heinous transgressions, the Elves must be punished as decreed by Mazdamundi, the Lord of the Solar City." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I had an encounter the other day that completely delighted the dog lover in me. I got to meet someone's pair of rescue greyhounds. Saving a retired racing dog is something that appeals to us, but MrsBlue's allergies would prevent us from following through on that. These dogs were so sweet, and it was a lot of fun getting to know them. The other thing was that this was in a very small apartment, which did not seem to bother these large dogs a bit. That is how the breed is described, apparently in spite of their speed and athleticism, greyhounds are quite content to be couch potatoes given the opportunity, much like most of us.

Potato Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Military Squad.
Doodle History: Architecture.
Stories: Huge flying arse makes successful test flight.
HHS secretary says police ‘did what they felt was appropriate’ in arresting a West Virginia journalist.
Science: Massive Lava Waves Detected on Jupiter’s Moon Io. I Have the High Ground!
Media: Amazing Data Entry.
Robin Williams explains how golf was invented.
Office track racing- How we did it.
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