Archived News:

Friday, Aug 11, 2017

No Man's Sky Patched

The promised patch is now live for No Man's Sky, and the space exploration game is now on sale for 60% off on GOG.com and Steam. Here's word:
This is the biggest update we’ve released to date, featuring a new central storyline and a wide array of new and improved features. Whether you’re a veteran interloper or completely new to the No Man’s Sky universe, there has never been a better time to start your journey.

Full patch notes are available here: www.nomanssky.com/atlas-rises-update, but here’s a quick run down of the main features:

  • 30 hours of branching story and deeper lore
  • Procedurally generated guild missions
  • Much deeper interstellar trading
  • Star Systems have varying wealth, conflict and economies
  • Overhauled Space combat controls, weapons and AI
  • Portal stargates enable quick travel
  • Terrain manipulation for more complex bases
  • New farming and mining interactions bring increased depth
  • Increased biome variety and Rare exotic biomes
  • Analysis visor & discovery improvements
  • Galaxy map and many other UI improvements
  • New S Class ship designs
  • Low altitude flight and the ability to crash your ship
  • Crashed Freighters to salvage on planets
  • Joint exploration

Our story brings a new quest system and branching narrative to No Man’s Sky. In the Atlas Rises story, the fabric of existence is starting to falter. A mysterious new inter-dimensional race have appeared, and ancient portals have begun to open.

Glitches in the simulation, visualised by strange floating orbs, allow players to see and communicate with up to 16 other travellers and explore the universe together. While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky.

On behalf of myself and the team here at Hello Games, I just want to say thank you for this year. Thank you for playing, providing feedback, sharing, discovering and so much more…

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire Preview Weekend

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire is free to play this weekend. GuildWars2.com has the details:
If you’re excited to play Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire™, we have an express ticket to the Crystal Desert for every Guild Wars 2 player! Come join us this weekend for a hands-on experience with the expansion.

The preview weekend begins on Friday, August 11, and runs through Sunday, August 13.

Who can play?
Everyone! You don’t need to prepurchase Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire to participate—simply log in on the dates provided. If you’ve never played Guild Wars 2 before and would like to play during the preview weekend, register here to create an account and begin playing for free.

What can I expect?
You’ll be able to play the first part of the Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire story, which will kick off your journey to the Crystal Desert. Once you arrive, the Crystal Oasis map is yours to explore. Take in the sights, unlock the raptor mount, and have fun with other players!

On August 18 through August 20, you’ll be able to experience the new elite specializations for the first time in PvP and WvW.

To learn more about Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, or to prepurchase the expansion and receive extra bonus items, please visit the official site.

We can’t wait to see you in the desert!

Rainbow Six Siege Blood Orchid This Month

UbiBlog announces Rainbow Six Siege Blood Orchid, new DLC coming to the first-person shooter on August 29th. Here's word on a livestream to reveal more at Gamescom, along with their pro league finals, which are also promoted in this video. Here's the plan:
On August 29, Operation Blood Orchid will be released for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, bringing a new map, new customization items, and three new Operators to Rainbow Six Siege. A few days ahead of release, players will be able to get a look at the new content in action during a livestream from Gamescom. In addition to showcasing the new Hong Kong map, the stream will also show off the three new Operators.

The show will take place on August 26 at 10:15AM PDT during the Pro League finals. The finals will be aired on twitch.tv/rainbow6 on August 25-26, and will see the eight best teams from Latin America, Europe, and North America competing for a $237,500 prize pool and the chance to be crowned Year 2 Season 2 Pro League Champions.

The Operators from Operation Blood Orchid will be available for Season Pass holders starting on August 29, and all other players will be able to access the new Operators on September 5. The new map will be available for free to all players on August 29.
Continue here to read the full story.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 Expansion Announced

SCS Software announces development of an Italia map expansion for Euro Truck Simulator 2 as well as plans for free content for the transportation simulation. This previously released trailer teases the news, but now they are spilling the following beans:
ABOUT ITALIA MAP EXPANSION
SCS Sofware development team is working on the new expansion of the game world with maximum effort to bring the fans our rendition of beautiful Italy with its rich history and modern industry.

Our map designers have fallen in love with the new region right from the research stages - there are so many diverse environments to combine! From tall mountains to the shores of the seas, from manicured farmland to wilder and more arid places, it was clear that we are looking at quite a challenging and demanding task! We tried our best to depict the typical features of Italy from behind the wheel, like roads leading through the Apennines, where tunnels and bridges alternate with scenic vistas and curvy segments, opening the view to distant horizons. The geography and shape of Italy have also led to a relatively high concentration of cities and industries in the new DLC.

We hope that players will be excited about our work and appreciate our efforts to show Italy for what it is: Bella Italia!

MORE CONTENT FOR ALL EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2 OWNERS
The game already contains several cities from northern Italy. These areas of the game world will receive an extra layer of polish to coincide with the DLC release, so even players who decide to wait with the purchase of the new DLC will benefit from a partial upgrade of the game map.

RELEASE PLAN
If everything goes according to the plan, we expect to release this latest Euro Truck Simulator 2 map expansion towards the end of this year.
Continue here to read the full story.

StarCraft: Remastered Launch Event Next Week

Blizzard announces a livestream event starting Monday for StarCraft: Remastered:
The world-wide launch of StarCraft: Remastered approaches! On Monday, August 14 through Tuesday. August 15, we welcome you to join us as we bring some of the storied starCraft: Brood War personalities and players together for a 2-day hang-out extravaganza over StarCraft: Remastered. Below we've put together details to help you get ready for this broadcasted LAN-party celebrating the re-release of a game which caused us to re-imagine what it meant to be a gamer.

Sonic Mania Delayed

During a livestream today, SEGA announced a delay for the PC version of Sonic Mania. This was previously expected on Tuesday, but now it is being pushed back two weeks. Eurogamer has the news, along with word that preorder customers are receiving a complementary copy of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

Super Mega Baseball 2 Delayed

Developer Metalhead announces Super Mega Baseball 2 will not be making the September release window they revealed in May. Noting that the December release of the original Super Mega Baseball probably hurt sales, they say they will now wait until the onset of the 2018 baseball season to release the sequel. They say they can take advantage of the extra time to make sure this is a homerun. They offer this video to discuss the news along with this video revealing how lineup management will work. Here's word:
A few months ago we announced that Super Mega Baseball 2 would be released sometime in September 2017. As it often goes in game development there were unexpected hurdles, and the September release is no longer feasible.

We’ve been working around the clock to complete the game but there are still features that aren’t finished yet. And where we’re sitting now, to release it by September would mean having to cut a lot of corners. And we do not want to give you a game that you won’t be happy with.

If we pushed, we could probably get a decent game out by the end of the year. But we released the original SMB in December so we know from experience that baseball in winter is a tough sell. We don’t want to put ourselves (or the future of the game) in that position again, so we’ve decided to delay the game until 2018 when baseball is spinning up again.

There is a big upside to this, though. Delaying until 2018 gives us some more time, especially for certain members of the team who were ramping down on their tasks. We’re going to use this extra time to work on small features and pieces of content that had previously been cut out of our scope – things like defensive shifts and additional art components. We’ve also always wanted to do a beta, but we weren’t able to squeeze it in before September. Now we’ll have the time to do a beta, test the game, and get feedback.

We know that this is disappointing news for some, and we’re sorry to have gotten your hopes up for September. We are committed to making the best game we can with the resources available to us, and the end of the day we think you’ll get a better game out of this.
Continue here to read the full story.

Absolver Trailer

Devolver Digital has released a new trailer showing off character creation and customization in Absolver ("I am un chien andalusia. Wanna grow up to be, be an Absolver"). This is not just about cosmetics, as they explain that what you wear affects gameplay. Word is: "Clothes can denote where you are from, and each item you equip has a specific weight and purpose. There are thousands of possible combinations: Players will have to choose what's right for their combat style but be careful: You can lose items and equipment to a victor in battle or drop them in combat as well." Here's an overview of the game, which is due for PC and PlayStation 4 on August 29th:
Absolver puts players behind the mask of a Prospect, who has taken a sacred vow and chosen to join the Absolvers, an elite corps of combatants fighting to maintain stability in the world. Monitored by the Guides, the new rulers of the fallen Adal Empire, players will wander these forsaken lands and encounter other Prospects online in order to learn their place in this world and eventually become Absolvers. Along the way, they will learn new combat styles and attacks, and acquire better weapons, powers and armor.

Build a team of warriors to fight side by side with you in the dungeon mines of Adal (PvE) or put your skill on display in dedicated combat arenas (PvP) scattered across the land. It's up to you to decide how you want to become an Absolver.
Continue here to read the full story.

Team Racing League Released

Steam now offers early access to Team Racing League, a Windows game they call "the first ever dedicated team-based racing game." a trailer with a look at ze game, and here are some details:
In Team Racing League, two teams of three players battle each other to the finish line; best- of-three format. Only one player needs to finish first for a team to win. Other players can choose to support their racing team mate, fight for position, or screw over opponents. With a range of unique abilities and team tactics at your disposal, TRL has been designed to be the most competitive top-down racer ever, creating an arena with lots of e-sports potential.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: How the Fine Art Market is a Scam.

Sudden Strike 4 Released

Well that's sudden! Sudden Strike 4 is now available on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Celebrating the news is this post which points to the General's Handbook videos with looks at the World War II strategy sequel, including a new clip on Soviet Forces. There is also this release trailer with an overview. Here's the announcement:
The legendary World War II Real-Time-Strategy series Sudden Strike has returned! Kalypso Media is proud to announce that Sudden Strike 4 is now available digitally worldwide on Steam, with a North American retail and PlayStation® Store release to follow on August 15, 2017. The boxed retail edition for Windows PC, Mac, Linux and PlayStation®4 is also available today across Europe. Today marks the return of a beloved PC strategy series and a groundbreaking moment for PlayStation®4. For the first time in the series’ history, Sudden Strike has received a multi-platform release, positioning the game to become the definitive strategy experience available on consoles.

Sudden Strike 4 on Steam supports Windows PC, Mac and Linux platforms, and includes the 'Battle of Kursk' DLC, a digital artbook and a digital soundtrack. These bonuses are also available with the physical Day One Edition for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. The PlayStation®4 Day One Edition is complete with a digital artbook and digital soundtrack. Both versions of the Sudden Strike 4 Day One Edition feature reversible cover artwork designed by Games of Thrones artist Robert Simon.
Continue here to read the full story.

No Man's Sky Patch This Week

The No Man's Sky website has details on a new patch that's coming this week to the space exploration game. The patch is called Atlas Rises, and they say it will improve the game's central story. Here's word from Hello Games' Sean Murray:
It’s been a year since No Man’s Sky first released, and it’s been an exciting, intense and emotional year for us at Hello Games. We have been quiet, but we have been listening intently.

We’ve spent that year working hard on free updates for this game our team cares about so much.

Update 1.3 will release this week and will be available for free to all No Man’s Sky players. We’re calling it Atlas Rises. It focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals. Patch notes will be made available shortly before the update goes live.

What we do is much more important than what we say, but since launch we have sometimes focused too much on that.

We wanted to reach out and celebrate the devoted community that means so much to us. We launched Waking Titan to try to do that.

When we posted those cassettes we didn’t know what to expect. In the last eight weeks a quarter of a million players from across the globe (174 countries, to be precise!) have come together – united by a shared love of mystery and science fiction – to form the Citizen Science Division. You’ve travelled great distances both real and virtual, undertaken complex tasks, and explored the depths of simulation theory. New friendships have been forged, and a tight-knit community has been created. Most importantly a cute hamster has a new home.

You’ve become part of the No Man’s Sky origin story.

It’s been an honour to watch, but this is just the beginning. Whether you’ve followed Waking Titan or not, we welcome anyone to sign up to the Citizen Science Division, and to join us on the official CSD forums.

Our journey continues.

Thank you for this year. We hope you enjoy what comes next.

Arma 3 DLC and Free Update Revealed

Bohemia Interactive announces Laws of War, an upcoming DLC pack for Arma 3 that they previously referred by the codename "Orange DLC." They say this will be available in the beginning of September, and offer this trailer with a look at what it will offer. This will come along with a free update for all users of the military shooter sequel. Here are the details:
The Laws of War DLC delivers new playable content, together with many new in-game assets, providing even more opportunities for various types of combat operations and roleplay in Arma 3. Its key features include:

  • International Development & Aid Project (IDAP) - This new faction, IDAP, is a non-governmental organization which is specialized in rapidly responding to humanitarian disasters. The faction is composed of new IDAP-branded clothing and gear, including outfits for specialized roles such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists, as well as many other tools, supplies, and other items.
  • "Remnants of War" Mini-Campaign - Take on the role of IDAP explosive specialist Nathan MacDade, who is tasked with identifying and deactivating mines after the war in the Republic of Altis & Stratis has ended. While you are being interviewed by an investigative journalist, you will uncover what happened in the town of Oreokastro, experiencing the events from the perspective of various sides, in recollections that span multiple periods of time.
  • Van - IDAP makes use of a new van, which comes in multiple variants, with over twenty custom liveries in total. Each variant caters to a specific purpose, such as cargo logistics or the transport of people. There is also an ambulance variant available.
  • Utility & Demining Drone - IDAP has a new drone at its disposal to be able to quickly move cargo or supplies to a specific location. A special variant of the drone is used as part of IDAP's demining operations.
  • APERS Mine Dispenser - The APERS Mine Dispenser is an effective but controversial area denial weapon system. It is typically only used in desperate situations, and can have devastating effects even long after a conflict has ended.
  • Vests, Bags, Headgear & Facewear - Various pieces of new gear are available to help you carry out your duties. This includes safety vests, messenger bags, hard hats and press helmets, ear protectors, safety goggles, and much more.
  • Additional Content - The Laws of War DLC adds a variety of miscellaneous additional content, such as time trial challenges for the new van and drone, a paramedic outfit, and a training mine.

In addition, the Laws of War DLC will be supported by a major free Arma 3 platform update, adding a lot of new content and feature extensions related to the DLC's assets and theme. This platform update is free for all owners of Arma 3. Its highlights include: refined cluster strikes, the simulation of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), the ability to drop (custom) leaflets from the sky, two new Showcase scenarios (Showcase Laws of War and Faction Showcase IDAP), a wide variety of emergency and medical supplies such as food bags, water bottle packages, blankets, stretchers, and IV bags, plus decorative objects such as shelter tents and new furniture, extra Steam Achievements, and much more. A complete overview of the Laws of War DLC, and its supporting platform update, is available at www.arma3.com/dlc/lawsofwar .

Continue here to read the full story.

3030 Deathwar Redux Next Month

Co-developers Bird In Sky and Crunchy Leaf Games announce a September 13th release date for 3030 Deathwar Redux, which they describe as "an intergalactic indie epic that fuses Elite-style space exploration with classic comedic adventuring." You can learn more about the game from its Steam page and you can see it in action in this early access trailer showing a retro style that explains the caption, "The Space Adventure the 80s never made." The game currently has 100% positive reviews for the early access edition, and they explain this is the result of over a decade of development and refinement:
Ten years in the making, the game has been through a variety of iterations. After releasing an early version of 3030 Deathwar back in 2007, developer Bird In Sky teamed up with co-developer and publisher Crunchy Leaf Games to expand on the world, improve the gameplay, and add a ton of adventure-style story content to the ambitious cyberpunk indie title. The result is 3030 Deathwar Redux - an inventive open-world space adventure with frantic combat, a story filled with weird and wonderful characters, and a gigantic universe with 30 star systems to explore and an array of quests to complete!

The game has become something of a cult hit in Steam Early Access with an incredible 100% positive user review score and a place in the Top 50 of the 'Steam's Top 1000 Hidden Gems' list.
Continue here to read the full story.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar Video

This video is an animated introduction to Battle Chasers: Nightwar, the upcoming RPG from THQ Nordic. Word is this 80s cartoon-inspired clip will open the game: "Inspired by title sequences of TV series, mostly the classic 'Thundercats' from the 80ies, this video will also serve as the intro of the game." Here's more on what to expect:
Battle Chasers: Nightwar is an RPG inspired by the classic console greats, featuring deep dungeon diving, turn-based combat presented in a classic JRPG format, and a rich story driven by exploration of the world. It features classic turn-based combat with a unique overcharge mana system and incredible Battle Bursts. Players can explore beautiful, randomly-generated dungeons loaded with traps, puzzles, secrets and loot and an overworld peppered with hidden dungeons, rare bosses and randomly appearing friends and foes. Build your adventuring party by choosing three of six available heroes from the classic Battle Chasers comic series, each with unique abilities, perks, items and dungeon skills.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Maze Announced

Publisher ICO and French developer Atelier 801 unveil Dead Maze, a zombie-infested MMORPG scheduled for a full launch on Steam early next year. The reveal trailer offers a look at gameplay, and the game's Steam page is already online. Here are some details:
The world as we know it is gone, overrun by unrelenting hordes of infecteds. Players in Dead Maze take on the role as one of the few remaining survivors, who have to work together to stay alive in a ravaged contemporary world where death lurks around every corner. Resources can be scavenged and turned into life-saving supplies, while ordinary objects become deadly weapons against a wide array of aggressive, hive-minded infected. The free-to-play game Dead Maze features a unique visual style, with a colourful 2D isometric perspective, showing destruction in all its glorying detail.

“Who doesn’t love zombies? At Atelier 801 we love them with all our hearts, so we are very excited to reveal our unique take on the apocalypse, Dead Maze,” said Jean-Baptiste Le Marchand, co-founder of Atelier 801. “With Dead Maze we wanted to try and do something different: an MMO where you have to work together in order to survive and restore civilization. Exploring, crafting, fighting; all of this is key, but you won’t last long on your own. We can’t wait for our community and players to get started.”

Some of Dead Maze’s unique features are:

  • Cooperation is key: work together to explore high-risk, high-reward instances in a ravaged modern world. Scavenge for resources, craft life-saving supplies and fight off the ever-present hordes of infected.
  • Set in a destroyed Western United States, experience the absorbing story which puts players in the middle of the action. Interact with a strong cast of supporting characters in your quest to survive.
  • From kitchen knives to old undergarments, use any of the 500+ items to defend yourself and defeat the hordes of infected.
  • Face not only the undead, but also hunger, thirst, injuries and diseases. Ration your food and drinks, and monitor your health carefully thanks to the in-depth survival mechanics.
  • Choose and change which archetype to play at any time, from being a healer supporting others, to a tank or DPS, thanks to the versatile Skills and gear.
  • Watch out: the infected work together using an advanced AI design and will gather together before attacking. They come in many different shapes and sizes, from violently exploding infected capable of attracting even more undead, to bosses able to project more infected towards you.
  • Establish your camp and build and furnish your own home with the help of others. Plant seeds and tend to your vegetable gardens or breed cattle to gain access to extra food sources such as milk.

Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2017 Trailer

A new trailer from F1 2017 combines live action and gameplay footage to give another look at the upcoming Formula One racing simulation. The clip shows pro driver Lando Morris putting the game through its paces, surely a comfortable experience in a fire suit and racing gloves (at least they didn't make him wear his helmet). Here's word:
The exciting young driver, just 17, recently took part in the official FORMULA ONE testing at the Hungaroring, setting the second fastest time behind World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari.

“Getting behind the wheel for the first time was a really great feeling - after my test in the 2017 car in Hungary, I’m happy to confirm that these cars are much faster and more intense to drive, and that really comes across in the new game,” commented Norris. “I think people are going to have a lot of fun driving the new breed of Grand Prix car in F1 2017.”

He continued, “It was also a really nice experience to get to re-live several chapters of McLaren’s past by driving classic cars from 1988, 1991, 1998 and 2008, each representing a world championship success for the team. The 2008 title-winning car has tons of downforce, and is a lot of fun to throw about. The heritage cars are really the icing on the cake.”
Continue here to read the full story.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole Specs

UbiBlog announces system specifications for South Park: The Fractured But Whole. It will not take a very powerful PC to play the upcoming RPG sequel:
MINIMUM CONFIGURATION

Resolution:
720p @~60FPS
Video Preset: Low
V-Sync: Off
OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5 2400 | AMD FX 4320 or equivalent
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560Ti / GTX 650 / GTX 750 / GTX 950 / GTX 1050
AMD Radeon HD 7850 / R9 270 / R9 370 / RX 460
(2GB VRAM or above | See supported list below)
SYSTEM RAM: 6 GB

RECOMMENDED CONFIGURATION

Resolution:
1080p @~60FPS
Video Preset: High
V-Sync: Off
OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-4690K | AMD FX-8350 or equivalent
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 / GTX 750ti / GTX 960 / GTX 1060
AMD Radeon R9 280X / R9 380 / RX 470
(2 GB VRAM or above | See supported list below)
SYSTEM RAM: 8 GB

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I booted my PC this morning and encountered oddly sluggish performance. I found that my CPU usage was pegged at a steady 100% in spite of running no foreground applications and no processes claiming responsibility for overworking my processor. I conducted a investigation for a few minutes, which was futile, so my years of tech training and experience suggested a reboot was the first solution to attempt (don't try this stuff at home, I'm a professional). Mousing over the start button just made the cursor go all hourglass on me, so I channeled my inner Neanderthal and hit the reboot button (albeit not with a club). After booting the problem was solved. Thanks unfrozen caveman PC technician!

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Doge Miner 2.
Science: Scientists de-bug pig genome in preparation for farming organ donors.
Media: Tiny island in New York City that nobody is allowed to visit.
Mars Curiosity: 5 Year Timelapse.
Frisbee Dog Fail.
Lions are fast.
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