Archived News:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Overwatch Horizon Lunar Colony Map on the PTR

Blizzard announces a new beta version of Overwatch is available for testing on the PTR for their first-person shooter. They offer instructions on how owners of the game can participate in testing, as well as patch notes. The patch includes the new Oni Genji and Officer D.Va legendary skins; a load of balance changes; and Horizon Lunar Colony, the new assault map set on the moon, where no one can hear you say GG EZ. Here's a new trailer showing off the new map, and here's a description:
Built as a first step towards humanity's renewed exploration of space, the Horizon Lunar Colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation—on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising...until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.
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Tokyo 42 Released

Tokyo 42 is now available on Steam, offering an open-world isometric shooter that lives up to their description by looking "hyper-stylish." If you want to see if you agree, you can check out this launch trailer. Here's the pitch:
Tokyo 42 is a hyper-stylish isometric open-world shooter. Framed for a murder you didn't commit, you'll delve into a world of assassins, deadly corporate intrigue and...tactical cats.

Spin the camera to see every angle of this beautifully hand-crafted micro Tokyo, as you discover a huge range of weapons, secrets and stories.

Skilful shooting, bullet physics, sneaky stealth and crowd simulation all play a role in this ultra-colourful kinetic frenzy.

A single player open-world story mode and a host of multiplayer modes await in this unique and critically acclaimed action masterpiece.
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The Elder Scrolls: Legends Launches

Steam News announces the release of The Elder Scrolls: Legends on Steam for Windows and macOS, which seems to indicate the beta for the free-to-play card game is over. They promise everyone who tries this out before June 14th five free card packs. Here the description of the game:
PLAY ON YOUR OWN
Story mode provides hours of solo gameplay in which you’ll earn new Legends cards, decks, and packs. Or draft a deck from scratch and battle a series of computer opponents.

PLAY AGAINST OTHERS
Test your decks against friends, challenge online opponents in ranked play, or draft a deck from scratch and battle other players who have done the same.

PICK YOUR BATTLES
Legends gameplay features a divided battlefield with “lanes” that deepen your strategy options.

LEVEL UP!
You can upgrade certain cards in Legends by winning games with decks that contain them. Level up your cards to improve your decks, give you more flexibility, and tailor them to your play style.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer DLC Trial Pack

The Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer DLC Trial Pack is now available on Steam, offering the chance to sample the DLC for the military shooter for a month. This post explains how this works:
Black Ops 3 PC: Starting May 30 for 30 days

  1. Play all MP DLC for FREE
  2. 2XP on MP DLC you own
  3. 2XP on ALL MP maps for Season Pass owners

For 30 days, all Black Ops 3 and Black Ops 3 Multiplayer Starter Pack owners will get to enjoy all of the Multiplayer Maps from all four DLC Packs for FREE.

During the 30 day trial, DLC1 and DLC2 owners will receive 2XP rewards each time they play on Multiplayer maps they own. Season Pass and Digital Deluxe owners will receive 2XP rewards on every MP match!

The Long Journey Home Begins

The Long Journey Home is now available on Steam, offering a Windows simulation/RPG set in space, where no one can hear you ask when are you going to get tired of this Alien joke. For a look, check out the release trailer, and for help with the game, this post points the way to their Discord channel and some tutorial videos. Here are some details:
It was supposed to be a short test run - a quick flight to Alpha Centauri and back. But when mankind’s first experimental jump drive goes wrong, a misfit crew finds itself trapped on the wrong side of the universe - alone, injured, falling apart. The only way back… is through.

Explore an endlessly shifting universe. Form alliances with strange aliens, from the noble Wolphax Knights to cruel-minded Ilitza slaver empire. Harness your crew’s skills in everything from research to archeology to diplomacy. Learn the laws of an often hostile universe, and make tough decisions that may change it forever. Do whatever it takes to get back to Earth.

The Long Journey Home combines the endless freedom of space with a new open questing system that always leaves you in command. Deliver the stranded Glukkt to his homeworld as he asks, or to your new slaver friends? Attempt to make allies with everyone, or pin your hopes on the tougher races, and hope they never turn on you? Jump by jump, make hard decisions and live with the consequences, in a universe that is never the same twice.
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Hover: Revolt of Gamers Released

Hover: Revolt of Gamers is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, with the console editions of the parkour game expected later this year. Details on the game including where to pick up a copy can be found on the official website. You can get a look at the action in the PC launch trailer which will is set to the soothing soundtrack from Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma. They say the launch version includes doubles the game content of the Early Access version, and offer the following details on the game:
Hover: Revolt of Gamers offers an unique experience based on a fast-paced gameplay yet without violence, guns or blood. It’s all about “Parkouring” an incredible city, high speed racing, mega jumps, tricks and combos in a wide futuristic open world.
Launch trailer - Music Track from OST by Hideki Naganuma, Jet Set Radio composer

Hover takes you to ECP17, also called Hover City, a high-tech city built on a distant planet where the Great Admin established a strong dictatorship and banned any kind of entertainment.

Players are in charge of a team of young rebels, the Gamers, equipped with high-tech gears allowing amazing jumps and speed. They roam the city to fight against the new anti-leisure laws, sabotage the propaganda, help citizens, and find a way to put an end to the oppression.

Hover’s buildings offer breathtaking vertical playgrounds where you will have to prove your value. Deride the security forces, rise up to many challenges, assemble the best possible, upgrade your gear and experience the adrenaline of speed and height.

Hover : Revolt of Gamers is both a single and multiplayer experience. At any time you can switch from offline to online mode and join your friends or players from around the world. You can progress through the adventure by cooperating or play against them. Hover : Revolt of Gamers is a community-driven game offering many tools to players to create missions or mini games.
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Sir! The Hollywood Roast Released

Steam now offers Sir! The Hollywood Roast for Windows and OS X, a spinoff of Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator, making insult sims an improbable genre. Here's a trailer, and here's word:
The boys & girls are back, and they look better than ever! Oh…Sir! The Hollywood roast is a brand new spinoff to the surprise indie hit 0f 2016, Oh…Sir!! The Insult Simulator. This time around we’re taking tinsel town down a few notches, whilst classing up the joint. Play as one of many famous, but for legal purposes, slightly different pop culture icons and verbally spar with other Hollywood elitists using a deep battle system

Verbally joust by yourself or take you verbal skills on a global PR tour and battle friends and family from anywhere in the world.
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Gunheart Announced

Drifter Entertainment announces Gunheart, an Unreal Engine 4 virtual reality action/shooter coming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive this summer. They say this is being designed for co-op to take full advantage of motion controls and 3D spaces, "bringing three players together in high speed, explosive matches." This trailer offers a look, and the announcement has more details:
Gunheart combines the fun of summer sci-fi blockbuster movies with the polished genre-defining gameplay of Gears of War and Halo. Players transform into futuristic bounty hunters, linking their minds and hearts with robotic killing machines across the galaxy. Shedding bodies like bullet casings, players are able to adapt to any situation and move across the battlefield at the speed of thought as they enter a lawless frontier filled with rival factions, hostile aliens and wealth beyond measure waiting to be pulled from the heavens.

Gunheart's unique take on teleportation takes battlefield mobility to the next level, allowing players to teleport quickly through levels, engaging alien enemies with a variety of weapons, which can be held in either hand. Players can unlock the verticality of any space with a thought, raining hell from high ground and then quickly switching to up-close-and-personal surprise attacks. The game’s variety of weapons changes the way players move while unlocking new strategies on the battlefield. Mastering combat within Gunheart will rely on both real-world skill and agility.
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Rezrog Released

Redrum! Rezrog is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering an adventure/RPG for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here's a release trailer, and here's word:
Test your fighting spirit as you take your party of brave adventurers on an epic quest to restore peace to the lands of Rezrog in this table-top inspired, turn-based, dungeon crawler. Upgrade your skills & tactically exploit enemy weaknesses as you try to handle everything the dungeons will throw at you.
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On Sale

  • Quantum Break on Steam. Save 50%.

Take-Two Acquires Kerbal Space Program; New 2K Prez

Two news bits come out of Take-Two Interactive this morning. They announce the appointment of David Ismailer as President of 2K, replacing Christoph Hartmann, who left the company earlier this month. They also announce the acquisition of Kerbal Space Program. Here's part of the story:
The acquisition of Kerbal Space Program further diversifies Take-Two’s industry-leading portfolio of owned intellectual property. The current team at Squad will continue to provide support and ongoing development for the title through game updates and expansions, including the previously announced Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion, which is expected to launch later this calendar year.

“We have been impressed with Kerbal Space Program since its launch, and we are committed to grow this unique experience while continuing to support its passionate community,” said Michael Worosz, SVP, Head of Corporate Development and Independent Publishing at Take-Two. “We view Kerbal Space Program as a new, long-term franchise that adds a well-respected and beloved IP to Take-Two’s portfolio as we continue to explore opportunities across the independent development landscape.”

National Videogame Foundation Update

The National Videogame Foundation updates us on what's going on at this nonprofit organization in the U.K. dedicated to videogame preservation, curation, and exhibition. Word is: "The National Videogame Foundation continues its work with Bath Spa University, developing strategies for videogame curation and exhibition, surveying international work and publishing a new White Paper detailing their findings and recommendations." They say their white paper will come later this year with recommendations on how to address issues involved in game preservation. Here's an outline of their mission:
While the economic and cultural value of videogames to the U.K. and global creative sectors is widely recognised, the long-term sustainability of games heritage is under threat. Unless we act now, future generations will lose access to their cultural heritage and the next generation of UK developers will be robbed of historical reference material.

A number of museums, galleries and grassroots projects around the world have dedicated themselves to preserving, curating and exhibiting videogames. At the forefront of this are the UK's National Videogame Arcade, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, the Computerpielemuseum in Berlin and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

However, this activity is not co-ordinated at a national or international level.

Supported by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, this year, Iain Simons (National Videogame Foundation) and Professor James Newman (Bath Spa University) will travel to Japan, the USA and Germany to survey colleagues' work, share practise from the National Videogame Arcade and publish a White Paper sharing their findings and recommendations.

TransRoad: USA Announced

Publisher astragon Entertainment and developer Deck13 Hamburg announce TransRoad: USA, a simulation of running your own trucking company. They say this will be released globally for the PC later this year, and they offer this teaser trailer showing trucks on the highway with Archer-style animation. Here's how they will set you on the road to being a mean mother trucker:
Have you ever wanted to be the head of a giant transport company responsible for connecting all important sectors of the US industry? This fall, TransRoad: USA, the newest management simulation game by Deck13 Hamburg and astragon Entertainment, will grant you the opportunity to discover the sophisticated logistics that are indispensable when it comes to keeping the US economy up and running.

After conquering the Seven Seas twice in TransOcean: The Shipping Company and TransOcean 2: Rivals, the newest game by German developer team Deck13 Hamburg will take you to mainland USA. Or more precisely to a city of your choice from where you will manage your very own transport company. In the course of the game you will send countless trucks and their valuable freight along the legendary US highways, which connect not only federal states and time zones but also important industry sectors and their suppliers. With TransRoad: USA you will gain entrance into the challenging world of cross-country haulage and by cleverly employing your management skills seize the opportunity to lead your business to the very top!

TransRoad USA: will become globally available for PC in fall 2017.
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Exzore: The Rising Announced

Tiny Shark Interactive officially announces Exzore: The Rising, their upcoming open-world RPG coming to PC and consoles late next year. An official website is live as home to the project, offering a reveal teaser trailer from April, along with art and other details from the project. Here's the big picture:
Tiny Shark Interactive today announced their upcoming open world RPG, Exzore: The Rising, for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Set in the medieval world of Eogaan, the game follows Damien Clive, former commander of the Exzore army unit, as he is emerges from the ashes of his betrayal to seek retribution and regain his honor. Exzore: The Rising features the use of "mechanical gadgets" which give special abilities to the hero and can be used in combat and exploration. The game also features a unique Affinity system, which affects the player's experience and how the story unfolds as the character interacts with the game world and the various factions, as well as an extensive combat system that allows players to mix and match Exzore abilities in a wide variety of combos.

"We wanted to create a real role-playing experience in which players' choices have an effect on the gameplay experience," says Vishal Ranga, Creative Lead of Tiny Shark Interactive. "The NPCs and your enemies will get smarter and stronger as you play, so players will really need to consider their actions. Additionally, experimenting and coming up with creative ways to use the special abilities of the Exzore gadgets really make the game your own."

Eogaan is split into four factions, each with its own community and rules. As you play, your interactions between the different factions will affect the game's story and how it progresses. Favor any faction of your choice to get special missions, rewards, benefits, and abilities. Each faction has its own motivations and agendas. The Affinity parameter will be altered as a consequence of player's choices in game. Every mission will alter affinity, increasing toward one and decreasing toward another. Affinities are important because they directly affect the character and mission progression, and play an important role in gameplay experience. Choose your faction and actions wisely, as they may alter how the story ends.

Key features of the game include:

  • Play as an Exzore - As Master Exzore, you have the ability to equip up to six unique mechanical gadgets at a time - to help in combat and exploration. Each of these gadgets are different from one another and offer unique special abilities.
  • Faction Affinity System - Favor any faction of your choice to get special missions, rewards, benefits, and abilities. Each faction has its own motivations and agendas. Choose your faction carefully as it may alter the game progression and ending.
  • Companion - Icarus, your pet Golden Eagle is your most trusted ally in the field. Use his abilities to perform various scouting activities, right from spotting targets or treasures to aiding in combat.
  • Unique Combat system - Indulge in well-crafted combat system containing smart and challenging foes. Mix and match multiple Exzore abilities in combination with your weapons to create powerful combos.
  • Dynamic World - Feel the game world react to various natural factors like time, seasons, weather (rain, snowfall, wind), day-night cycle etc. Player interaction and exploration alter the game world, making it more alive.
  • Smart Characters and Enemies - Every character in game has his/her own mind and will develop through the game. Everyone, right from common town folk to your greatest enemies will get smarter and stronger as you level up too.
  • Non-linear Quests - Every quest in game is designed to be completed in many different ways. Every choice has its own unique outcomes and consequences.
  • Progression - Start off with just two Exzore gadgets and a basic equipment, but as the game progresses, you unlock several other Exzore gadgets with uniqe abilities, craft your own weapons and armours using the Modular Crafting System and Develop your character by spending your experience points on stats and Skill Trees.

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PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS Leadeboard Wipe; Patch Plans

An Early Access Week 10 Update for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS details a week 10 patch coming to the battle royale game (thanks VG247). As part of this update they have committed their first leaderboard wipe. Word is: "The leaderboard tracking will remain offline for 24 hours and will return on June 1st at 4PM KST/12AM PDT/7AM UTC. All data for matches played during this time will NOT be saved." Here are the details on the patch, which is expected to go live tomorrow:
Client Performance

  • Improved performance by reducing effects played excessively during vehicle crashes

Server Performance

  • Improved performance on the server in relation to vehicles

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a crash related to unequipping an item
  • Fixed a crash related to when vehicles crashed
  • Fixed a bug that caused a player to die without entering the REVIVE state when being shot by a shotgun or a full-auto weapon in DUO or SQUAD modes
  • Fixed a bug that caused other players' voice chat to be heard at high volume on the airplane
  • Fixed a bug that caused breath gauge to be shown incorrectly in certain situations
  • Partially fixed a bug that caused a player to “die from falling” after getting stuck in buildings or vehicles
  • Fixed a bug that caused sound to stutter when many players are swimming
  • Fixed a bug that caused translucent crosshair to be shown on VSS scope
  • Fixed a bug that caused a player to go back into the REVIVE state when two players start the revive action and one cancels

Ghost Recon Wildlands Fallen Ghosts DLC

UbiBlog announces the release of the Fallen Ghosts DLC for Ghost Recon Wildlands for those who own the season pass for the shooter sequel. They say this will go on sale for everyone else on June 6th, and offer a new trailer along with some details on what it adds:
With the Santa Blanca neutralized, Unidad forces are struggling to maintain control as various factions the cartel’s remnants in the Bolivian countryside. To help them assert control, they bring in Los Extranjeros – a group of international ex-military mercenaries with the singular focus of taking out any and all opposing forces. You and your team will have to use every tool at your disposal to engage this formidable new foe in Fallen Ghosts, the new expansion for Ghost Recon Wildlands available now for Season Pass owners (and available June 6 for individual purchase).

What makes Los Extranjeros so dangerous is their tech and expertise. For starters, there’s the Armored unit, a walking tank with a single weak point that will require Ghosts to hone their headshot skills. Then there’s the Covert Ops unit. These cloaked enemies specialize in catching you off-guard, so it might be a good idea to have a squad member check their thermal vision more often. Rounding out Los Extranjeros are the Elite Snipers and Jammers – the former is a constant threat, while the latter causes a new set of problems with their roaming electronic disruption capabilities.

Los Extranjeros present new challenges for Ghost Recon Wildlands players as the Ghosts undertake 15 new missions and work towards the new level cap of 35 – but for those looking for an even greater challenge, Fallen Ghosts’ tweaked difficulty settings allows players to create an even greater tactical challenge for their squad.
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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is World No Tobacco Day 2017. The concept here is pretty straightforward, and the article has tips on quitting. Not that anyone needs an example of the reasoning behind this, but I feel compelled to throw my support behind it, since my dad basically died because he waited too long to quit smoking. He was not alone, as they say six million or so die each year due to the effects of smoking, so this remains a worthy effort. Best of luck to you if you do try to quit.

Smoke-free Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Zombie Harvester Rush.
Honey Home.
Link: Just look at this utterly out-of-control custom Donkey Kong PC.
Stories: FAA Proposes Fine Against United Airlines For Allegedly Flying Unsafe Plane 23 Times.
The National Spelling Bee’s new normal: $200-an-hour teen spelling coaches.
Mary Kay Letourneau's husband files for separation.
Science: Watch a Partial Solar Eclipse From Space.
First cases of ‘dog flu’ reported in Florida.
Space industry CEO is ‘absolutely convinced’ that aliens have visited Earth.
Media: How to Brake. Like a boss doesn't even begin to describe it.
The street goes BOOM! Damn!
Octopus Steals Crab From Fisherman.
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