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Friday, Sep 07, 2018

NASCAR Heat 3 Released

Time to start your engines, as 704Games announces that NASCAR Heat 3 is now available for PC and consoles, offering the latest installment in their stock car racing series. This trailer (bring your own ear protection) has a brief look at the game in action, and the announcement explains further:
704Games, NASCAR’s exclusive esports partner for simulation-style video games on console platforms, has released the newest entry in its best-selling racing series: NASCAR Heat 3. Featuring the biggest names in motorsports, the title is available today for $49.99 digitally and at retail in North America on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One, as well as on Windows PC via Steam.

“NASCAR Heat is back with developer Monster Games behind the wheel for our most exciting and comprehensive racing experience yet,” said 704Games President Paul Brooks. “NASCAR Heat 3 has more tracks, improved multiplayer with online tournaments, and an even deeper career mode featuring a totally new dirt-racing challenge: the Xtreme Dirt Tour.”

The Xtreme Dirt Tour brings the competition to eight new dirt tracks, building up to the authentic NASCAR career racing experiences of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™ and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™. Players can also own and manage their own race teams.

In addition, NASCAR Heat 3 expands on the race-ticket coupon program* established in NASCAR Heat 2. Fans who purchase NASCAR Heat 3 at retail will receive a $50 race-ticket coupon, redeemable toward the purchase of any NASCAR-sanctioned event ticket through 2019 at any of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.’s eight tracks, as well as Dover International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Heat 3 players can also compete in NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami, an all-new esports tournament on Xbox One and PlayStation®4. Weekly winners will be flown to Miami for a final competition during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fans can visit for further details and the official rules of NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami.

Twelve-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports grace the cover of NASCAR Heat 3, featuring the team’s star drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.

“It was exciting to launch the NASCAR Heat 3 cover earlier this summer,” said Patrick Perkins, Vice President of Marketing for Hendrick Motorsports. “Now we are equally excited for people to see the game and all the enhancements 704Games has made. They’ve put tremendous resources into developing a world-class experience for racing fans. We’re proud to work with them and have our four drivers and cars featured so prominently.”
Continue here to read the full story.

System Shock: Enhanced Edition Source Port Update

Nightdive Studios announces the release of "The Source Port Update" for System Shock: Enhanced Edition on Steam (thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun). This offers a direct port of the original edition of this action/RPG, with support for modern touches such as 4K resolution and widescreen monitors. Here's word:
For the first time ever, System Shock has been rebuilt from the original source code as a FREE update to all owners of the game!

System Shock: Enhanced Edition features:

  • Higher resolution support up to 4K widescreen mode
  • Mouselook support
  • Rebindable keyboard/mouse/joystick commands
  • Adapted to Nightdive's KEX engine
  • Support for both Direct3D and OpenGL
  • Option to switch between hi-resolution Mac assets and the original DOS assets
  • Official support for fan missions and fan mods
  • New unified options menu that allows changing preferences before gameplay
  • Adjustable FOV (Field of View)
  • Smoother camera rotation and translation
  • Improved control scheme which allows faster and streamlined experience
  • Brand new achievements
  • In-Game remappable keys with three profiles to choose from: original controls, custom controls, and lefthanded controls.
  • Many original game bugs fixed.

We hope you enjoy this free update for System Shock: Enhanced Edition!

Feel free to let us know what you think about it in the forums. We'll be monitoring it a lot over the next few weeks or so to gather information.

Twin Mirror Video Diary

A new video diary for Twin Mirror is called "A Place for a Thriller," and it takes a look at the recently announced psychological thriller. The video says it's "Dev Diary #1," while the accompanying announcement confuses matters by saying it's the second one: "Bandai Namco Entertainment are showcasing the second Dev Diary from upcoming title Twin Mirror, focusing around the setting behind the psychological thriller, and how the rustic town of Basswood, and the characters who inhabit this world plays a major role in setting the tone of the game." Continue here to read the full story.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Specs

Ubisoft announces PC system specifications for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the next installment in the stealth/action series. Word is: "As was already the case for Assassin's Creed Origins, the PC version is not a port of the console versions of the game, but a tailored experience developed by a dedicated team at Ubisoft Kiev in close collaboration with Ubisoft Québec, the lead studio on Odyssey. Having a dedicated team on the PC version allows us to offer the level of customization that PC players expect, which will enable them to adapt the experience to their PC configuration. The PC version of Assassin's Creed Odyssey will also include unique features not found in the console versions, such as benchmark tools to test the different graphics settings, and a toggle option for dynamic resolution rendering to uncap the framerate." Here are the specs:
Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: AMD FX 6300 @ 3.8 GHz, Intel Core i5 2400 @ 3.1 GHz, Ryzen 3 - 1200
  • Video: AMD Radeon R9 285 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0) or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Resolution: 720p
  • Targeted framerate: 30 FPS
  • Video Preset: Low
  • Storage: 46GB available hard drive space
  • DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers

Recommended Specification

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz, Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.5 GHz, Ryzen 5 - 1400
  • Video: AMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB VRAM or more with Shader Model 5.0) or better or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (4GB) – See supported list*
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Targeted framerate: 30 FPS
  • Video Preset: High
  • Storage: 46GB available hard drive space
  • DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers

Recommended 4K Configuration

  • OS: Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 1700X @ 3.8 GHz, Intel Core i7 7700 @ 4.2 GHz
  • Video: AMD Vega 64, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Targeted framerate: 30 FPS
  • Video Preset: High
  • Storage: 46GB available hard drive space
  • DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers

*Supported video cards at time of release:

AMD Radeon R9 285/R9 380/RX 460/RX 560 or better, AMD Radeon 200/300/Fury X/400/500 series, Radeon Vega series: RX Vega 56 or better, NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 660/760/950/1050 or better, GeForce® GTX 600/700/900/10-Series series.

Wildstar and Developer Carbine Closing

MMOG Wildstar is shutting down as its developer Carbine Studios also prepares to close its doors, reports Kotaku (thanks Kxmode). This looks like it originated as their report of a rumor, but it contains a statement from NCSOFT confirming the news. Oddly, there is no mention of this on the NCSOFT Website or the WildStar Website, and, disturbingly, the most recent tweet from Wildstar came less than 48 hours ago to promote their in-game item shop. Here's the statement:
“Today, we are closing Carbine Studios and will begin the process of winding WildStar down to ultimately shutter the game,” NCSoft said in a statement. “WildStar players who have spent money within the game will be refunded purchases from July 1, 2018 until the payment system is shut off. We are also in the process of identifying the teams that will be doing the work to bring WildStar to a close. These decisions are very difficult to make and we are in the midst of shifting as many of our teammates as possible into other roles within the organization.”

Quake Champions Adds The Longest Yard

A development update on the Quake Champions Website has details on a September Patch that's now live in id Software's multiplayer first-person shooter (thanks [H]ardOCP via RedEye9). This includes balance changes, performance updates, gameplay changes, new arcade modes, and more. Sure to please old school Quake players is word that this also adds the remade version of Q3DM17, a classic map from Quake III Arena, the game on which Quake Champions is based. This map's name is The Longest Yard, an homage to a classic Burt Reynold's movie, so it's an interesting coincidence that this came out yesterday on the date of the actor's death. Here's a trailer showing off testing of the new old map. Continue here to read the full story.

Mega Man 11 Gets PC Specs, But No PC Demo

CapCom Unity announces the release of a playable demo for Mega Man 11 for Nintendo Switch, saying this will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 today. This does not seem destined for PCs, as there's no mention of a PC version at all. There is one tidbit here for PC gamers, though, as the game's Steam Listing now offers system requirements, along with details on the game's use of Denuvo DRM (thanks DSOGaming). These are not really complete, as AMD hardware is an afterthought:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit required)
Processor: Intel Core i5-3470 3.20GHz or AMD equivalent or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GTX 650
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Sound Card: DirectSound (DirectX 9.0c or better)
Additional Notes: ・DirectX9.0c is also required ・Hardware specification target Resolution: 1080P/60FPS Display Mode: Windows Mode Anti-aliasing: OFF

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit required)
Processor: Intel Core i5-4460 3.20GHz or AMD equivalent or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GTX 760
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Sound Card: DirectSound (DirectX 9.0c or better)
Additional Notes: ・DirectX9.0c is also required ・Hardware specification target Resolution: 1080P/60FPS Display Mode: Windows Mode Anti-aliasing: ON

Immortal: Unchained Unleashed

Toadman Interactive (apologies to Delmar) announces the release of Immortal: Unchained for PC and consoles. The Windows edition of this hardcore, sci-fi shooter is available through Steam with a 10% launch discount, a DLC pack that's free for the next week, and a free copy of the soundtrack. "We’re thrilled to finally put Immortal: Unchained into player’s hands," says Robin Flodin, CEO of Toadman Interactive. "We’ve worked tirelessly to deliver a game that matches the vision that Game Odyssey brought to us, and that our fans and community have been asking for. I’m incredibly proud of what the team and the studio has achieved." This announcement has the launch trailer and more details:
As a launch bonus, we'll be offering a 10% discount on the game and the Midas Touched Cosmetic DLC pack until September 14th, after which the price will return to its usual price. So if you want to save the Cosmos and save a bit of cash while doing it, jump in now!

Plus, as an extra special thanks to early adopters, the Primes Pack DLC will be available absolutely FREE on Steam until September 14th! The Primes Pack features the Reckless Auto-Shotgun, Frost Shiv, Steel Skin, a Special Armor Tint, an Extra Hairstyle and an Extreme Ragdoll Effect, giving you even more options with which to take on the Undead. Please be sure to download the Primes Pack within the first week of launch, as it will return to its usual price after the promotional period.

We're also giving away the official soundtrack free with every purchase of the game on Steam. Because free things are awesome!

But we aren't done yet. In the months ahead we'll be releasing updates that push the game even further, including a New Game Plus mode, Challenge mode, and some exciting new DLC that we'll be talking about soon. New Game Plus has been requested by the community and is something we're eager to add too, so we're working on introducing it to the game via a free update before the end of the year.

We really want to show our support to the community and our passion for single-player games with a range of free and premium content that we hope keeps you coming back long after your adventure across the Cosmos has concluded. We can't wait to give further details on how we plan to do that soon. For more info on the game and upcoming announcements, please visit our official website at
Continue here to read the full story.

Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry Trailer and Livestream

Assemble Entertainment offers a new gameplay trailer from Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry, the upcoming continuation of this lecherous adventure franchise being developed without the participation of series creator Al Lowe. This is not today's only look at the game, as they promise a livestream at noon Eastern Time:
Assemble Entertainment today released the first gameplay trailer for the point & click adventure game Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry, to be released on November 7, 2018! As a direct sequel to the first Leisure Suit Larry game, Wet Dreams Don't Dry tells the tragic story of Larry, who is thrown straight from 1987 into the present day. How will Larry react to the modern world with smartphones, social networks, and dating apps? What is the mega-corporation Prune planning? And what do two wrestling alpacas have to do with it? The gameplay trailer gives only limited answers to these questions!

In addition, the world's first live presentation of Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry will take place today, 4 PM UTC, on Assemble Entertainment's Twitch channel - for about an hour, the unbelievably capable people behind the point & click adventure will play the game and answer questions from the community. It's worth joining:
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Hardware Reviews

  • Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo III GPU Cooler on Overclocked Inside.
  • ASUS ROG STRIX B450-I Gaming Motherboard on Guru3D.
  • Corsair Crystal 280X RGB Case on TechPowerUp.
  • ECS LIVA Q2 Pocket PC on Mad Shrimps.
  • ELEPAWL EP6 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphone on Legit Reviews.
  • HP Spectre x360 (2018) Laptop on WIRED.
  • SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard on AnandTech.


Out of the Blue

I went back to that Windows Vista laptop I recently mentioned was refusing to properly update through Windows Update. I've done two reinstalls, and, after getting over the shock of the bundled bloatware this reinstalls (Napster?!), I've found it stops updating at the same point every time. It downloads and installs hundreds of patches, and then stops once the "improved" version of Windows Update tries to install. I now have a Windows Vista laptop that hangs on updating, and a Windows 7 desktop in the same foundering boat. As I've alluded to before, I'm starting to think my only way out of this is to upgrade to Windows 10, but even as I soften to that as a general concept, it is really irritating to feel like I don't really have a choice in the matter.

R.I.P.: Obituary: Square Enix America and Europe COO Mike Sherlock.

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