Archived News:

Tuesday, Aug 07, 2018

The Elder Scrolls Online Free Weekend

Bethesda announces they are celebrating this weekend's QuakeCon 2018 with a free weekend for The Elder Scrolls Online that coincides with a sale on the MMORPG. Word is there will also be Twitch drops to be earned for watching the keynote on Friday. Here are the details:
Starting Thursday, August 9 at 10:00AM EDT, you can play The Elder Scrolls Online free on all platforms (PC/Mac, PlayStation®4, and Xbox One). Once the event starts, visit our Free Play page and select your platform of choice. You’ll be able to enjoy the ESO base game AND the Vvardenfell zone completely free until Wednesday, August 15 at 10:00AM EDT.

Note that you will not need PlayStation®Plus if playing on PlayStation®4 in order to download and participate in the event.

With the ESO base game, you’ll be able to explore Tamriel, reclaim your soul in an epic main story, and fight in a massive open-world PvP zone. For the first time, the Vvardenfell zone will also be available during the free play event, allowing you to visit the island home of the Dark Elves to help a god regain his lost power. If you already own the ESO base game, you’ll be able to enjoy access to the Vvardenfell zone during the event period, too!

Starting today and running for the duration of QuakeCon 2018, select Crown Packs, The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset (including Digital Collector’s Edition and Upgrades), The Elder Scrolls Online Collection, and The Elder Scrolls Online Standard Edition are on sale.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is the latest Chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online saga, allowing new and veteran players alike (there are no level requirements) to explore the isle of Summerset and uncover a Daedric conspiracy.

The sale is now live on all platforms, including the ESO Store, Steam Store, PlayStation®Store, and Xbox Store, and it will run until Monday, August 13. Check individual storefronts for complete sale details.

The Elder Scrolls Online Standard Edition will be available on sale until Monday, August 20.

On Friday at 12:00PM EDT, watch QuakeCon 2018’s keynote address live on Twitch to receive an exclusive ESO pet and Twitch Drops. The show will begin at 12:00PM EDT on Friday, August 10 and can be viewed on Bethesda’s official Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube channels. Note that you can only earn these rewards by watching on Twitch:

  • Flame Atronach Wolf pet
  • 5 Ouroboros Crown Crates

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Beta Specs

Activision now offers minimum and recommended system specifications for the PC multiplayer beta weekend on for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Testing gets underway on Friday for preorder customers and on Saturday for everyone else. This post covers all the news, and here's a bit:
This Multiplayer Beta showcases six modes—Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Kill Confirmed, Search & Destroy, and Control. You will battle over six distinct maps—the four already seen at various events, plus two new ones, Gridlock and Hacienda—across playlists that showcase all the content that the Specialists revel in.

Participating in the beta helps our development teams here at Treyarch, at Beenox, and at Blizzard gather data that is used to fine-tune the PC experience. Your feedback is not only welcome, but also a key element in ensuring that we collectively deliver the best PC experience possible.

With that in mind we can now share both the Minimum and Recommended system specs for the PC Beta. Please note: these specs relate specifically to the Multiplayer Beta only. As you know, beta means that the game is still in development and we continue to tweak and refine both the gameplay and technical details.

Specs are for the Beta only. You got that, right? Beta only. Specs.

Windows 7 64-Bit or later
CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent
HDD: 25GB HD space
Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2 GB / GTX 1050 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7850
DirectX: Version 11.0 compatible video card or equivalent
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

Windows 10 64 Bit
CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
HDD: 25GB HD space
Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
DirectX: Version 11.0 compatible video card or equivalent
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible

This PC Open Beta is important to the development teams who will be jumping into matches throughout the course of the Beta period. We have been waiting anxiously to get the game in to so many hands and are eager to hear the feedback. In fact, at the conclusion of the multiplayer PC Beta a survey will be emailed to a group of participants. We encourage you to respond honestly with your experiences. But if you just want to play, that’s cool too!

NBA 2K19 Trailer

2K Sports offers a new trailer from NBA 2K19 with a first look at gameplay from the upcoming installment in the basketball series. Word is: "Entitled 'Take the Crown' and featuring music by Jay Rock (@jayrock), the trailer reminds all NBA 2K19 players that to be the best, you have to take down the king." Continue here to read the full story.

Hearthstone Launches The Boomsday Project

Blizzard announces The Boomsday Project is underway in Hearthstone, offering new cards and big badaboom. This previously released video features our old pal Fargo talking about this, and they also have prior Hearthside Chat videos with a Welcome to Boom Labs and an explanation of how magnets and mechs work in the expansion. The announcement has word on how to pick up free card packs to celebrate, and says that three more free packs are coming this month when The Puzzle Lab launches. Here's what this is all about:
Operating out of Boom Labs—a secret world-class facility located in the beautiful, purple-lightning wracked floating islands of Netherstorm near Area 52—the Boomsday Project is the brainchild of the renowned Dr. Boom. Once a researcher at Area 52, Dr. Boom struck out alone and became a rising star in the fields of Mech design and rapid catastrophic disassembly.

Dr. Boom is at the top of his field, and the time is ripe to tackle new challenges. Enter The Boomsday Project, a multi-disciplinary research endeavor that’s sure to change the world—forever! Somehow. His team is still working out the details. . . .
Continue here to read the full story.

Overcooked! 2 Released!

Today is the release date for Overcooked! 2, and the Windows, macOS, and Linux editions of Team17's chaotic cooking sequel available on Steam. Here's the launch trailer, and here's word on what this has cooked up for us:
Overcooked returns with a brand-new helping of chaotic cooking action! Journey back to the Onion Kingdom and assemble your team of chefs in classic couch co-op or online play for up to four players. Hold onto your aprons … it’s time to save the world (again!)

Out of the frying pan, into the fire…

You’ve saved the world from the Ever Peckish. Now a new threat has arisen and it’s time to get back in the kitchen to stave off the hunger of The Unbread!

You’ll knead to work together (or against each other) to get the highest score in chaotic local and online multiplayer.

Journey across a brand new overworld map by land, sea and air. Get cooking in new themes ranging from sushi restaurants, magic schools, mines and even alien planets!

Travel the land cooking up a range of new recipes that are sure to cater to any tastes, including sushi, cakes, burgers and pizzas.

Travel through teleporters, across moving platforms and save time by throwing ingredients across dynamic kitchens that shift and evolve. Some kitchens even whisk your chefs away to new locations.

Continue here to read the full story.


BANDAI NAMCO announces NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER will be released on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on August 31st, offering the chance to kick around this anime-styled brawler. A new action-packed trailer shows off the game's squad-based combat, and the announcement supplies more details:
Pick your ninja class and get ready to clash with NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER, available in the Americas on August 31, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via STEAM.

NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER features four different classes to fit the play style of any player. These four classes include: Attack, Range, Defense, and Heal and players can switch between these classes to lead their ninja team to victory. Charge into the enemy as the “Attack” class and deal massive damage with hand-to-hand combat or stay a safe distance and strike from afar with the “Range’ class. If you trust your teammates to fight in the front lines, step back and stand your ground with the “Defense” class and make the enemy team think twice about invading your territory. The one thing all three classes have in common is they all need healing! Play as the “Heal” class and keep your team moving towards victory with both solo and ranged heals.
Continue here to read the full story.

MU Legend Launches on Steam

WEBZEN announces the official launch of MU Legend, following open beta testing of the Windows action/MMORPG. This also marks the free-to-play game's launch on Steam, and this post has all the details on the launch version, which includes a new Noria expansion. This trailer shows things off, and here's more:
MU Legend features fluid and stunning combat mechanics with 5 distinct character classes – Dark Lord, Whisperer, Blader, War Mage and Spellbinder – and is available in 6 languages, i.e. English, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The game contains top-quality voice-overs in English, provided by famous voice actors from Hollywood, and features an outstanding soundtrack from BAFTA award-winning and Billboard/MTV VMA-nominated composer Jesper Kyd.

Noria, the first MU Legend expansion, adds new major features, namely the entirely new continent of Noria with numerous new quests and dungeons offering exceptional rewards. Among other new elements added to the game, the convenient and improved leveling, a whole new pet system, an innovative talisman system and Airship Defense will push the players' dexterity and skills to the next level.

In addition, MU Legend's official release version will also be available to users via Steam. To celebrate the Steam release, MU Legend has prepared a Steam platform-exclusive DLC which is only available to users of the platform. This DLC, named "MU Legend Pioneer's Pack", contains valuable items to ensure players get the best possible start into the game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Interviews

Rainbow Six Siege Season 3 Details

Ubisoft reveals first details about Operation Grim Sky, the upcoming third season of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. They unveil two new operators, and say this will also feature their first map rework, as HEREFORD BASE is being revamped. They say this will still be familiar, but will feature enough changes to be considered a new map, so Sean Bean can be excused if he doesn't know the color of the boathouse there. They promise a more complete reveal later this month:
Today Ubisoft® reveals the first details of “Operation Grim Sky” which will feature two new Operators, one American Attacker, and one Defender hailing from Great Britain. Operation Grim Sky will also mark the first ever Map Rework, one of the development team’s key commitments to enrich Siege players’ experiences during Year 3.

HEREFORD BASE, an iconic map inspired by the training camp from the Tom Clancy novel and among the first maps introduced during the Rainbow Six Siege Beta back in 2015, was selected to benefit from a full rework in Operation Grim Sky. This rework will include a new visual identity, layout, and architecture. The map will still feel familiar to our players, but with the rework, Hereford Base may be considered a new map.

The full reveal of Year 3 Season 3 content for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be made on August 17-19 during the Six Major Paris, the largest Rainbow Six esports competition in Europe to date.

Destiny 2: Forsaken - Combat Reveal Livestream Today

Bungie announces plans for a livestream at 1:00 pm EDT today on Twitch to unveil changes coming to Destiny 2 combat with the upcoming launch of the Forsaken expansion for the first-person shooter sequel. To whet our appetites, they also offer this brief teaser for the stream that offers a glimpse of gameplay. Word is: "Live from Bungie, we invite you to join Communications Director DeeJ, Sandbox Design Lead Josh Hamrick, Senior Sandbox Designer Greg Peng, and Senior Gameplay Designer Claude Jerome as they dive into combat and sandbox changes coming alongside Destiny 2: Forsaken on Tuesday, August 7th at 10am PT!" Continue here to read the full story.

Tyler: Model 005 This Month

Tyler: Model 005 is alive! Publisher Maximum Games and developer Reversed Interactive announce Tyler: Model 005, a "loveable" action/platformer set in the 1950s that will be released on Steam and Xbox One on August 21st. This is a familiar tale of a loveable little robot who powers up and goes on a hunt for his missing creator, though there's no sign of Kylo Ren or Master Luke anywhere. This trailer offers a look at what to expect, and here's word:
Video game publisher Maximum Games, in partnership with Reversed Interactive, today announced Tyler: Model 005, a loveable 3D action-platformer set in the 1950s, will be available digitally on Xbox One and Steam for $9.99 on August 21st.

In just a few weeks, players can experience a day in the life of the spunky miniature robot, Tyler. Many years after powering down, Tyler is accidentally powered back on during a riotous thunderstorm and now must discover why his creator is missing and what has happened to his home.

Surrounded by rats, spiders and more, Tyler is faced with a multitude of obstacles and puzzles as he makes his way through a web of mysteries. With light as his power source, Tyler must avoid becoming engulfed in too much darkness or he risks losing power again. And because he is a minuscule robot, normal items take on a completely new dimension in Tyler's world: for example, chairs, stairs and bookshelves are giant impediments. It's up to you to get Tyler through the maze!

Dozens of different enemies will stand in the way of your goal. Luckily, you are equipped with a variety of weapons, from your trusty bolt-blade to boxing gloves, cherry bombs and more. Wear a huge assortment of diverse outfits, from medieval helmets to pixelated eyeglasses, and collect objects that will upgrade your skill tree and help you on your journey.
Continue here to read the full story.

IGN Pulls Review Amid Plagiarism Accusations

A new video from Boomstick Gaming is titled "IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do?" The clip lays out a pretty strong case to support the accusation, showing the reviews are similar not just in content, but in pace (thanks One Angry Gamer). While it is not an admission of wrongdoing, IGN took this seriously enough to remove the review and post the following message addressing the situation:
Editor's Note: As a group of writers and creators who value our own work and that of others in our field, the editorial staff of IGN takes plagiarism very seriously. In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've been in the midst of some tech housekeeping lately, clearing out some unused programs, updating my backup setup, and mundane stuff like that. My best accomplishment is cleaning up my email, as I tend to let old mail pile up. I've got things pretty straightened out now, but it's a sign of my problem that some of the mail I was dealing with was a few years old. I'm going to try and stay on top of this better. The next time I post about an email backlog be sure to point out that I said that.

Accountable Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Dragoon Drop.
Science: An Invasive New Tick Is Spreading in the U.S.
Disease X and the Unknowability of the Next Epidemic.
Media: Drama.
That is gonna leave a mark.
Rapid Bridge Replacement.
Follow-up: HGTV to Restore ‘Brady Bunch House.’
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
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