Archived News:

Monday, Aug 06, 2018

Remastered The Bard's Tale Trilogy Kicks Off Next Week

inXile Entertainment announces the first volume in a remastered edition of The Bard’s Tale Trilogy will be released on August 14th on GOG.com and Steam, saying the rest of the trilogy is expected before the end of the year. This includes remastered graphics which are shown off in this launch trailer. "We were extremely limited in what we could do in the 1980s. This is an opportunity to truly realize the vision that the original dev teams had, and in some cases fix a few bugs that are over thirty years old," explains inXile CEO Brian Fargo. "Even with all the challenges this project presented, we’re thrilled with how this has turned out, and we can’t wait for our fans to start playing this." Here's more on the plan:
inXile Entertainment, the studio led by Interplay founder and industry icon Brian Fargo, is proud to announce The Bard’s Tale Trilogy, a complete remaster of the legendary series that helped define the RPG genre. Featuring updated graphics and optional quality-of-life gameplay features, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is the ideal way to experience the dungeon crawling challenge that made the original games beloved classics. The title will release on Aug. 14, 2018, for PC on both Steam and GOG.com with a retail price of $14.99.

Features of The Bard’s Tale Trilogy include:

  • Remasters of all three original The Bard’s Tale games. The first volume, Tales of the Unknown, is available at launch, with The Destiny Knight (fall 2018) and Thief of Fate (winter 2018) arriving later in the year.
  • A uniform playing experience across all three titles without the need for emulation or compatibility concerns.
  • Create a party in the first volume and play it across all three volumes to create a heroic narrative all your own.
  • For the first time, play as male or female across all three games. Also includes other quality-of-life changes such as automapping for all three games, spell access, and updated equipment/inventory management.
  • Updated art that holds true to the spirit of the originals, featuring never-before-used character art by series creator Michael Cranford!
  • An opportunity for new players to experience the events that led to The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Mage’s Tale!
  • The final content to be released will be a Legacy Mode, a set of options which allows players to make the titles play similarly to the 1980s originals… with all the challenge that entails!


Partnering with Australia-based Krome Studios, The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is an ambitious undertaking for inXile, especially as no complete source code for the original games could be found. Not only that, each game worked and looked differently depending on its platform, and each title was different in many ways from the others. Often times, it was discovered that features in some versions of the games were present but had no actual functionality.

Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout 76 Blowing Off Steam

Ars Technica reports that the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. FAQ indicates the PC edition of Fallout 76 will be distributed through the Bethesda Launcher, and not through Steam. This tidbit was either not noticed at first, or was added after the FAQ was first posted last month. Word is: "Both the B.E.T.A. and the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net only). Stay tuned for exact B.E.T.A. timing for each platform here and @Fallout on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please note that the B.E.T.A. for Xbox One will begin first, followed by other platforms." Ars notes that both Fallout Shelter and Quake Champions also debuted as Bethesda Launcher exclusives, and both eventually came to Steam as well.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 18.8.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards (thanks Hypothermia). The Release Notes explain these are the goto drivers for Monster Hunter: World and more:
Support For

  • Monster Hunter™: World
  • Up toto 5% faster performance using Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.8.1 on the Radeon™ RX Vega 64 (8GB) graphics card than with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.6.1 at 1920x1080 (1080p)1
  • Up to 6% faster performance using Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.8.1 on the Radeon™ RX 580 (8GB) graphics card than with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.6.1 at 1920x1080 (1080p)2
  • World of Warcraft™: Battle for Azeroth
  • We Happy Few™
  • Madden NFL 19™

Fixed Issues

  • Fortnite™ may experience an application crash on game launch in Windows®7.
  • Some games may experience a game crash or hang on multi GPU system configurations when changing or applying resolutions.
  • Graphics and memory clock speeds may remain elevated or locked while gaming if video content is also playing on the system.
  • Civilization® VI may experience a game crash using DirectX®12 API on game or map launch.
  • Samsung™ HMD Odyssey may experience intermittent black screens or flashing on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products.

Dead Cells Exfoliated

Dead Cells is now officially available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, following more than a year of Early Access on Steam (thanks Mordecai). This "rogue-lite," metroidvania-inspired, action-platformer carries a 20% launch discount, there is a bundle that includes the full soundtrack, and it is also part of a Not a Metroidvania Bundle on Steam with an even bigger discount. This post celebrates the news, and promises free DLC or a free update is part of their post-release plan for the game. Let's parse some genres, shall we?:
Roguelite? Metroidvania? Roguevania!
You grew up with the roguelikes, witnessed the rise of the roguelites and even the birth of the roguelite-lites? We'd now like to present for your consideration our RogueVania, the illegitimate child of a modern Roguelite (Rogue Legacy, Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, Spelunky, etc.) and an old-school MetroidVania (Castlevania: SotN and its ilk).

Features:

  • RogueVania: The progressive exploration of an interconnected world, with the replayability of a rogue-lite and the adrenaline pumping threat of permadeath.
  • 2D Souls-lite Action: Tough but fair combat, more than fifty weapons and spells with unique gameplay, and of course, the emergency panic roll to get you out of trouble.
  • Nonlinear progression: Sewers, Ossuary or Remparts? Once unlocked, special permanent abilities allow you to access new paths to reach your objective. Opt for the path that suits your current build, your play style or just your mood.
  • Exploration: Secret rooms, hidden passages, charming landscapes. Take a moment to stroll the towers and breath in that fresh sea mist infused air...

Interconnected levels and progressive unlocking of access to the island provides you with a real incentive to explore your surroundings. Add in a degree of evolution for your character and permanent weapon upgrades and you can see where Dead Cells borrows from the long line of MetroidVanias that precede it.

At the end of the day though, it’s YOUR skills as a player that matter most! Roguelites are about constantly getting better, until what was an insurmountable obstacle becomes a walk in the park. Unforgiving combat wed to the absence of any kind of safety net makes for an adrenalin pumping ride each and every run and unrivaled replayability.

Battle Brothers Beasts & Exploration DLC Announced

The Battle Brothers Developer Blog announces Beasts & Exploration, a premium DLC pack coming to Battle Brothers. This comes as a surprise after developer Overhype Studios said they were moving on to other projects after releasing free DLC for the tactical, turn-based role-playing game (thanks DocZ). Now they explain they are working on this paid DLC as well as a free update for all:
We’re very excited to announce that we’re working on a full-sized DLC for Battle Brothers. Yes, you heard that right – there’s going to be a real and meaty expansion with fresh content coming for that game that you like. The name of the upcoming DLC is going to be ‘Beasts & Exploration’.

That’s a pretty telling name, and as it suggests, the focus of the DLC will be on introducing new beast opponents in order to bring more variety to every stage of the game, and to make exploring the world more interesting and rewarding. But that’s not all!

Here’s the list of major features you can expect:

  • A variety of challenging new beasts populating different parts of the wilds. Each with unique mechanics and loot.
  • A bigger world to explore, full of unique hidden locations throughout that offer new possibilities and rewards to the daring adventurer.
  • Trophies from slain beasts that can be crafted into charms, potions and other items to customize the look of your hardened mercenaries and benefit them in combat.
  • New contracts that have you engage in profitable beast hunting, exploration and more.
  • New weapons, tools, shields, and armor to equip your men with.
  • New paint items that can be used to paint shields and helmets in the colors of your company.
  • Lots of new events.
  • New music tracks.

In addition to these major features, the DLC will also include countless smaller additions. Just like in the past, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why. We expect to be working on this for several months and will announce a release date and final feature list once we’re closer to the finish line. We’re also making good progress on our new game, and will continue to work on it in parallel.

Alongside the DLC, which will not be free, the game will also receive a sizable free update. This update will contain a whole bunch of improvements and balancing changes, as well as some minor content additions.

Join us next week for our first dev blog on the new DLC, introducing a terrifying new opponent!

Wargaming Turns 20

Publisher and developer Wargaming is marking their 20th anniversary this month, saying: "Over these two decades, the company has created a portfolio of over 15 titles across PC, consoles, and mobile. On these platforms, it has taken the lead to bring free-to-play to the mainstream audience. Wargaming cooperated with industry leaders while making younger developers’ dreams become a reality through recently developed 3PP programs." The celebration involves special bonuses and events in all their games. Here's an overview of all the PC activity:
World of Tanks PC
Wargaming’s flagship title is preparing a fancy camouflage and emblem unique to the 20-year milestone. Alongside this, there will be a marathon of missions, x4 XP for every first victory over the weekend and a huge amount of tanks heavily discounted.

Check for more details here: https://worldoftanks.com/

World of Warplanes PC
A set of five battle missions are awaiting aviation enthusiasts. Each mission gives a better reward (Premium Account, Crew XP and more) and ultimately, gifting victors, the Soviet Tier IV Fighter, Polikarpov I-153 DM-4. Much like World of Tanks, there will be heavy discounts (up to 50%) and x5 XP for the first victory that weekend.

Check for more details here: https://worldofwarplanes.com/ (NA)​​​​

World of Warships PC
On August 22, captains will be transported to St Petersburg when they open their Port: after all, St. Petersburg is the hub of development. The game is also sharing its own 3rd birthday so it’s extra special.

Community celebrity Dasha has been transformed into an in-game captain, and each player will receive her for each nation. Everyone will receive patches featuring the aforementioned Dasha and another fan favorite, Alena, as well as a group of new signal flags.

Check the Developer Bulletin for more details: https://worldofwarships.eu/en/news/public-test/bulletin-078/

Total War: ARENA
Total War: ARENA is offering 100,000 Free XP to anyone who logs in to the game from August 3-10. This sum can be used to unlock in-game content. In addition, from August 3-8, players will get x6 XP for each Commander’s first victory and huge discounts of 50% on the Commanders themselves and customization items. This is the best time to discover the free-to-play multiplayer title from the legendary Total War™ series.

More details via the link: https://totalwararena.com/en/news/specials/happy-birthday-20/

Fuel Renegades for Free

Steam now offers Early Access to Fuel Renegades, a free arcade racing game for Windows featuring split screen multiplayer support. This is offered with no DLC or loot boxes, so it is actually free as in beer. Here's a trailer along with word on the colorful hover-racing it shows:
Fuel Renegades is a Real Free To Play (No paid DLCs, no loot boxes, just fun) project that will be available on Steam on July 31st. The main goal of the game is to put our reflexes to the test and match our abilities with our friends (and foes) both on split-screen and online. Up to four pilots could compete on the same room, bringing the number up to eight on online mode. .

The title aims to bring back under the spotlight something nearly lost in videogame industries: the split-screen. Through this system we would be back on the couch with our friends and we will enjoy the game experience in company, thus remembering one of the most important parts of videogames: the shared experience.
Continue here to read the full story.

Surviving Mars Adds Creative Mode

Update: Paradox sent a note correcting the Sagan details to show it offers 24 new challenges, rather than 30 as originally stated. This story is corrected to reflect this.

Paradox Interactive announces the launch of a free content update for Surviving Mars on Steam, also offering details on another that's in the works for the sci-fi survival game. They demonstrate that are sciencing the doo-doo out of the game by naming these after scientists. The first pack is called Da Vinci, since it focuses on creativity and also makes the game easier to play. The second is called Sagan, and it is expected next month, and while it will not bring billions and billions of stars to the game, it will ramp up the difficulty level in other ways. The fact that Sagan has been dead for more than 20 years may save them from going to court after this, as the later astronomer sent Apple a cease and desist order when they used his name as code for the Power Macintosh 7100, prompting a dick move by Apple which the courts upheld. This post unravels the DaVinci code, and offers more details on Sagan as well:
Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of games that let you master your own universe, today announced two new free updates for Surviving Mars, the survival management game from Haemimont Games. “Da Vinci,” or Creative Mode, will allow players to take more creative liberties with their Martian colonies and will launch today for PC and consoles shortly after. This update includes stress-reducing features such as buildings that do not require maintenance, immortal colonists, and a starting budget of $100 trillion. The “Sagan” update, for the explorer who felt that surviving the inhospitable desert of Mars was simply too easy, will launch for all platforms in September. Including 24 major challenges to overcome, this update adds a new level of difficulty for the hardcore survivalist who’s ready to take a running start at everything the red planet can throw at them.

Whether you like to stop and smell the barren wastelands of Mars or are raring to discover new ways to doom your dome, Surviving Mars’ upcoming updates will have adventures for every kind of player.

Da Vinci features include:

  • Fit as Fiddles - No need to fret over these super-powered colonists as they cannot die from starvation, suffocation or exposure. They’ll stay healthy and happy never dropping below 50 health or sanity no matter what your creative mind cooks up for them.
  • More Money, Fewer Problems - Kick off your adventure with a cool $100 trillion in funding burning a hole in your rocket, no questions asked.
    A Stroll Down Easy Street - Building your dreams has never been easier with buildings that not only don’t require resources to be constructed, but also can never malfunction due to lack of maintenance.

Sagan features include:

  • All Outta Luck - Face 24 new major challenges in separate playthroughs each with their own parameters for success, including: sponsor, commander profile, active game rules and map coordinates.
  • Not All Wins are Created Equal - You may have risen to the challenge but it’ll take a true strategist to master it. Each challenge will have an associated rating and it’ll take speed and skills to achieve an “Excellent” rating - otherwise you’ll have to settle for “Good”.

Football Manager 2019 in November

SEGA announces a November 2nd release date for Football Manager 2019, the next installment in their association football/soccer simulation series. They celebrate the news with this new trailer. This is a first-person live-action clip that not only doesn't feature gameplay, it doesn't feature soccer, as it focuses on the replacement of the game's familiar shouting "Manager Man" avatar, representing the new manager's-eye view of the pitch the game provides. Here's news on the release date, and how to get early access to the beta by preordering:
With fans eagerly anticipating the upcoming season, Sports Interactive and SEGA are delighted to announce that would-be managers will get the chance to ensure their team finishes top of the league when Football Manager 2019 hits the streets on Friday, November 2nd with a new brand look.

Football Manager 2019 will be saying goodbye to the iconic 'Manager Man' who has featured on the cover of every Football Manager game since FM 2005, to be replaced by a manager's eye view of the pitch as the gaffer and players head down the tunnel ahead of a big match. With redesigned logos, loads of new and improved features, and the implementation of the DFL Bundesliga license for the first time, Football Manager 2019 is set to be even more comprehensive in its realism than ever before. See the new look for the first time in this exclusive trailer.

From today, fans who pre-purchase Football Manager 2019 (for PC and Mac), from a SEGA approved digital retailer* or pre-order from a participating physical retailer will receive a 10% discount right up until launch. Furthermore, those who pre-purchase through a SEGA approved digital retailer will be able to kick-off their managerial careers early through a fully-playable Beta version, which will be available roughly two weeks prior to the official street date (single player careers started in the Beta can be carried across to the full game).
Continue here to read the full story.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Technical Support

A post to the Obsidian Forum Community on bug-fixing Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire attempts to unravel a vexing issue that can cause the RPG sequel to crash or freeze upon entering the Arena Sub-level area (thanks GameWatcher). They are hoping someone who is local to their Irvine, California offices can bring their rig in so they can figure out what's causing this:
We are committed to fixing this issue and after much analysis, we've come to the conclusion that we need one of your rigs that is experiencing the issue to runs tests on for ourselves. Specifically, we are requesting that anyone who is nearby to our Irvine office to please physically bring in their computer so that we may have our programmers discern the direct cause of this crash. If you are nearby, experiencing this issue, and are willing to let us borrow your machine for analysis, please message me directly so that I may look into setting up an appointment for you.

The Walking Dead Infest TEKKEN 7

Bandai Namco US tweets content plans for TEKKEN 7, revealing that Negan from The Walking Dead is walking into the fighting sequel, because crossover (thanks GamesRadar+). The tweet includes a video and the following details:
Introducing a brand new lineup of warriors stepping into the TEKKEN 7 ring! With Season 2 of the TEKKEN 7 Season Pass, fighters such as Anna Williams, Lei Wulong and Negan from AMC's The Walking Dead join the fight! Buy your copy today: http://bit.ly/2vKrZrd

Yakuza 0 Unpatched

This post announces the release of the first patch for the PC edition of Yakuza 0 on Steam. A subsequent post, however, reveals this patch has been rolled back due to issues discovered once it went live:
While our patch showed no issues in testing, it appears that Patch 1 is causing issues for some users who had no issues previously. Therefore, we are rolling back the patch while we continue to investigate.

Our apologies to all who are experiencing difficulties. We are investigating all issues raised here and will be back with more information soon.

U.K. Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track announces Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy is spending a sixth straight week atop their all platforms chart tracking U.K. videogame sales for the week ending August 4th. Football Manager 2018 retains its toehold on the top spot on the PC top 30 chart, staving off an assault by The Sims franchise, which dominates the next five positions. Here's the PC top 10, and we'll adopt a cleaner format we spotted in a GFK press release:

POS. TITLE PUBLISHER LAST WEEK
1 - FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018 SEGA 1
2 - THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES 2
3 ˄ THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS EA GAMES 4
4 ˅ THE SIMS 4: SEASONS EA GAMES 3
5 - THE SIMS 4: CITY LIVING EA GAMES 5
6 ˄ THE SIMS 4: GET TO WORK EA GAMES 7
7 ˄ THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - LEGENDARY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 25
8 ˄ X-PLANE 11 AEROSOFT 16
9 ˄ GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 13
10 ˄ WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 11

Morning Previews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS Prime X470-PRO Motherboard on ThinkComputers.org.
  • Fnatic Streak / miniStreak eSports Grade RGB Mechanical Keyboards on Play3r.

Out of the Blue

It's funny timing to see an open letter to Microsoft management re: Windows updating (thanks DSLReports via Ant) on the heels of the problem I mentioned. That's because it was one of three different issues I had with Windows update over the weekend. I also had a Windows 10 laptop hang on updating, which required once again ignoring the warning not to shut off the machine. This worked out fine, but I'm sure I've used up a lot of my luck by getting away with this twice in one weekend. The other was an old laptop that I wanted to get ready to donate somewhere. The problem is that it's running Vista, and either Windows Update just rejects machines running deprecated OSes, or it had some other problem. That one I just went for a factory reset and called it a day. But yeah, I think I agree that it would be nice if they smoothed off a couple of rough edges in the patching system, though I can't imagine how complicated this must already be with the wide variety of hardware out there running Windows.

R.I.P.: Charlotte Rae dead- Mrs. Garrett on Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes dies at 92.
R.I.P.: Barry Chuckle dead: One half of comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers dies, aged 73. Thanks RedEye9.

Updated Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: The Postal Illuminati. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
LEGO made from plants. LEGO are friends, not food.
Stories: Two elderly men ditch their nursing home, hit up heavy metal festival.
Florida Man Takes Alligator on Beer Run, Chaos Ensues.
White House approves Carr Fire disaster declaration.
Science: We're going to be eating bugs really soon now, again.
Media: Man Catches Flying Baseball Bat, Saves Wife's Life, Gets A Kiss And Doesn't Spill His Beer. My New Hero.
Bird Taking Off at 20,000 fps (213 milliseconds) - Smarter Every Day 197. Thanks Hypothermia.
The Cymbal Master Crafting the Perfect Sound.
The Funnies: Adult Children.
Savage Chickens.
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