Archived News:

Friday, May 10, 2019 Happy Whacking Day (Springfield)

PAYDAY 2 Free Weekend

PAYDAY 2 is one more game currently running a free weekend on Steam, in addition to previously reported freebies Divide by Sheep, Fearless Fantasy, Stellaris, and Conan Exiles, making for a tough choice of where to not spend your money. This post has the details on the PAYDAY 2 freebie and the accompanying sale:

PAYDAY 2 is free to play until Monday! Just head to the store front and download the game to play. We've also discounted the base game at 50% and the Ultimate Edition at a whopping 80% off - a steal!

The Free to play period as well as the discounts end on Monday at 10am Pacific.

Check out the website for a link to the wallpaper!

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Early Access This Month

Developer Tower Five announces a May 30th Steam Early Access launch date for Lornsword Winter Chronicle, their story-driven, fantasy action/strategy game. This will be a three-episode affair that's also coming to consoles late this year. This is being created by ex-Creative Assembly developers "looking to bring their own unique flair to the action strategy genre, complete with fast moving combat." This reveal trailer shows off gameplay. Here's a bit on the plan:
Featuring a drop-in and drop-out cooperative mode that allows the player to team up with an ally for intense melee and ranged based combat against enemy factions, Lornsword Winter Chronicle is setting its sights on action RPG and action strategy fans with an experience that includes resource management, base building and upgrading, exploration and combat in a dynamic battlefield. Presented in a three-dimensional top down perspective, players will be judged by the decisions they make as a general on the battlefield, directly commanding soldiers and units, building their settlement, capturing mines, farms and searching for artifacts in detailed environments, that begins within a land of snow and ice.
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed - Valve Index asks for innovation without incentive.
"But cool technology comes at a cost, and not just a hefty price tag. In presenting the headset to the press, Valve representatives outlined three core pillars they felt were necessary for VR's success as an industry. High fidelity, which I've already mentioned, was one. The other two were low friction and affordability. And then, in one of the strangest pitches I've witnessed, Valve told us that the remaining two pillars of low friction and affordability were problems for another day and not what the company was concerning itself with for the Valve Index."

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Wachowski's Teased For Possible "Matrix" Return. Wait, what?

Ghost Recon Breakpoint an Epic Games Store Exclusive

The Epic Games Store now offers preorders of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft's just-announced military shooter sequel. This reveals an increasing familiar scenario where the game will be exclusive to Epic's store and Uplay. PCGamesN has a confirmation of this from Ubisoft, noting it isn't a huge surprise following how Ubisoft stopped selling Anno 1800 and The Division 2 on Steam to make both games EGS exclusives. The standard edition of Breakpoint is listed at $59.99 USD, so consumers are yet to see any trickle down benefit from the discounted royalty structure that's behind such exclusives.

New NVIDIA Drivers

The GeForce Website now offers new version 430.64 WHQL GeForce drivers for Windows, saying these are the game ready drivers for RAGE 2 and Total War Three Kingdoms that also offer Vulkan performance improvements for World War Z. They offer details on the impact of the new drivers running all three games, kicked off by the following explanation: "Our latest GeForce Game Ready driver delivers day-one support for Rage 2 and Total War: Three Kingdoms, and increases World War Z Vulkan-renderer performance by up to 18%."

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne This Winter

CapCom Unity now offers the promised additional details on the PC edition of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, the upcoming expansion for the action/RPG. While announcing the console editions of the add-on are due on September 6th, they now say the Windows edition will launch on Steam this winter. They also offer details on the content that's coming to all those platforms when the time comes. They provide a gameplay reveal trailer and here's their intro to the new info:
This isn’t just your average expansion. In fact, we can tell you that the volume of gameplay content in Iceborne will rival that of Monster Hunter: World, with even more quests to face this time around!

Speaking of the base game, if you already own World, you’ll only need to purchase the Iceborne expansion digitally. And for players that do not own World, we’re preparing an all-in package that includes both World and Iceborne called Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition—a full breakdown can be found towards the end of this blog. Pre-order links are available from today, and as a bonus, everyone who pre-orders the game will get the Yukumo layered armor set!

With all that in mind, let’s take a closer look at all the new content Iceborne has in store for us—new monsters, new storyline, new gameplay features, etc.—so if you want to keep everything a surprise, this is your cue to stop reading, and scroll all the way down for product options and availability.
Continue here to read the full story.

Life is Strange 2 Episode 3 Released

Steam now offers the Windows edition of Wasteland, Episode 3 of Life is Strange 2, the halfway mark in DONTNOD's episodic adventure sequel. The news comes with a launch trailer and the following details:
In Episode 3: “Wastelands," the long journey from Seattle to Mexico continues a few months after their dramatic escape from Beaver Creek, as Sean and Daniel Diaz arrive in the Redwood Forests of California.

The brothers experience life on the fringes of society as they reunite with Cassidy and Finn, befriend a close-knit community of drifters and runaways, and begin working on an illegal farm in an attempt to scrape together enough money to continue their journey.

New friendships, relationships, and mentors influence Sean and Daniel, encouraging them to learn more about themselves and each other. Their resolve is tested once again, as friction arises between them. Uncertain about their once united purpose, will their strong bond survive?
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Op Ed

Polygon - The dangers of in-game data collection.
"That information can be used to make better games. And it can also be combined with other types of information to build robust personal profiles. Those personal profiles are typically used to target advertising, but privacy experts warn that in the future, that information may be used in sinister ways we can’t expect."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I have an appointment next week at the body shop to take a scratch out of the rear bumper of my car. Ironically, I picked this up on Saturday as MrsBlue and I were driving to the defensive driving class that entitles us to a discount on our insurance premiums. We were navigating our village's most preposterous hairpin curve when we encountered a full-sized fire engine coming in the opposite direction. He was already halfway though the turn as well as halfway into my narrow lane, and going downhill at that, so I had little choice but to back up. But as I say this is a crazy hairpin, and I realized I was coming ominously close to the guardrail, so I stopped to try and reset myself. Despite the fact that there wasn't yet enough room for him to pass, the moment I stopped, the engine advanced. So I had to quickly back up a little more, and skimmed the guardrail in the process. We have a friend who's a firefighter (in a different area) and I asked he thought the department might take care of this, and he said I had no chance unless the truck actually hit me. They guy at the body shop agreed with that, pointing out my mistake was avoiding the collision, which the fire department would pay for. But that would have taken some quick thinking, as well as a big set of balls, because this was a huge vehicle. It's easy to imagine it just driving over me like it was a monster truck rally.

Scraped Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Conan O’Brien Pens Essay on Why He Settling Joke-Stealing Lawsuit.
Stories: Jeff Bezos unveils his sweeping vision for humanity’s future in space.
More tigers now live in cages than in the wild. One man is risking his life to save them.
Why is there no high-speed rail in the U.S.? The American way: Slow commutes and fast food.
Science: Placebos May Be A Powerful Tool That Medicine Has Overlooked. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo 2019. Just a leisurely bicycle jaunt.
The Roomba That Screams When it Bumps Into Stuff. NSFW.
How to nullify a cat. Cheese can even overwhelm the brain from outside.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
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