Archived News:

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

PC Tetris Effect Next Week on Epic Games Store

The Tetris Effect Website announces that Tetris Effect is coming to PCs on July 23rd as an Epic Games Store exclusive. This will feature 4K resolution or optional support for Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE virtual reality. The game is now available for preorder with a 20% discount and some limited time bonuses. Here's a PC Announce Trailer and here are more details:
Enhance and The Tetris Company, Inc. announced today that the ultimate version of their award-winning game Tetris® Effect is coming to the PC on July 23rd, with optional VR-support for Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE, available exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Originally released on PlayStation®4 late last year, Tetris Effect was hailed as a breakthrough title by fans and critics alike, earning an 89 Metacritic score and 60+ awards and nominations from major outlets, including overall “2018 Game of the Year” honors from Giant Bomb and Eurogamer, and various “Best of 2018” awards from The New Yorker, Polygon, The Washington Post, IGN, GameSpot, The Verge, PlayStation Blog, and many more.

As the ultimate version of Tetris Effect, the PC version is capable of running at resolutions of 4K or more with an uncapped framerate (with Vsync disabled), and includes ultra-wide monitor support as well as other expanded game and graphical options not found in the console release for both 2D and VR play (including adjustable particle volume and size, texture filtering, and more).
Continue here to read the full story.

Uplay+ Game List

Ubisoft announces the full list of games coming to Uplay+, their new premium subscription streaming service. Word is: "The full list of games coming to Uplay+ has been revealed, and offers more than 4,000 hours of gameplay. The subscription service gives players access to more than 100 Ubisoft games across a wide variety of franchises, genres, and generations – including more than 40 premium editions, meaning players will be able to play not only the base game, but also additional content, expansions and DLC." Here's a trailer, and here's word:
"The value of Uplay+ is that you not only get access to our catalog of more than 100 games and DLC, but you also will be able to enjoy our upcoming releases," says Brenda Panagrossi, VP of platform and product management. "Uplay+ subscribers will be able to play Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Watch Dogs Legion premium editions.* Couple that with upcoming games like Gods & Monsters and Rainbow Six Quarantine, Uplay+ is packed with new releases in the first 12 months for only $14.99/month."

Uplay+ allows you to download games directly to your PC, and will launch on September 3. Players who sign up for Uplay+ now will be able to access** a free trial of Uplay+ from September 3 to September 30. At launch, the service will include more than 40 premium editions, meaning you'll not only get the base game, but also additional content, expansions, and DLC.* That includes all 48 Operators for Rainbow Six Siege, and of course, all 18 assassins from across the Assassin's Creed franchise.
Continue here to read the full story.

Control System Specifications

Epic Games Store page for Control now offers PC system requirements for Remedy Entertainment's upcoming action/adventure (thanks DSOGaming). These include specs for ray-tracking, which we are pretty sure is ray-tracing. Here's what sort of machine it will take to stay in control:
Minimum Requirements
OS:
Windows 7, 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-7500 / AMD Ryzen 3 1300X or better
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD RX580 or better
For Ray-Tracking: GeForce RTX 2060
RAM: 8 GB
DirectX: DX11
Additional Features: Widescreen support 21:9 / Remappable controls / Uncapped frame-rate / G-Sync / Freesync support

Recommended
OS:
Windows 10, 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-8600K / AMD Ryzen 7 2700X or better
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti / AMD Radeon VII or better
For Ray-Tracking: GeForce RTX 2080
RAM: 16 GB
DirectX: DX11 / DX12
Additional Features: Widescreen support 21:9 / Remappable controls / Uncapped frame-rate / G-Sync / Freesync support

New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition version 19.7.2 drivers for AMD accelerators. These address a few issues and add support for the Gears 5 Beta:
Support For

  • GEARS 5™ BETA

Fixed Issues

  • Radeon ReLive streaming and uploading of videos and other content to Facebook™ is currently unavailable.
  • Textures in Star Wars® Battlefront II may appear pixelated or blurry when using DirectX®11 API.
  • With Radeon Image Sharpening enabled, Radeon Overlay may flicker in DirectX®9 applications or games.
  • Valve Index headset may experience flicker for approximately 30 seconds when launching SteamVR on AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics.
  • Auto Tuning controls in Radeon WattMan may fail to apply to per game profiles when global Radeon WattMan changes are made.
  • Some enemies may experience yellow texture/color corruption in DOOM™.
  • Auto Tuning features in Radeon WattMan may show max values instead of increased values when the Auto Tuning results screen is shown.
  • Radeon WattMan memory clock gauge may fail to update when memory clock changes have been made.
  • AMD Display Drivers may fail to uninstall when using express uninstall on Hybrid Graphics system configurations.

Known Issues

  • AMD Log Utility Driver may intermittently fail to install on Windows®7 system configurations.
  • Radeon Overlay may intermittently fail to appear when toggled in game.
  • Audio for clips captured by Radeon ReLive may be corrupted or garbled when desktop recording is enabled.
  • Minor stuttering may occur when playing Fortnite™ during the first few minutes of gameplay on AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics.
  • Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics may experience a black screen during uninstall on Windows®7 system configurations. A work around is to perform uninstall in safe mode.
  • Recording clips with Radeon ReLive may result in blank clips on Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics with Windows®7 system configurations.
  • League of Legends™ may fail to launch on Radeon RX 5700 Series Graphics with Windows®7 system configurations.

Darksiders III – Keepers of the Void Released

The new Keepers of the Void DLC is now available for Darksiders III, Gunfire Games' hack-and-slash action/adventure sequel. Word is: "It is known that Vulgrim fulfills his profession as The Demon Merchant very well: He has a promising repertory of various items of dubious and mysterious origin if you can deliver him enough souls on exchange. This time, the rewards are tremendous and so is the price! Fight an ancient threat and deploy your Hollow skills to solve puzzles and defeat enemies for new weapons as well as one legendary reward: The Abyssal Armor. Darksiders III - Keepers of the Void is out now for PC, PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One for an SRP of $ 12.99 | £ 10.99 | € 12.99!" Here's a Launch Trailer, and here's more:
On a quest from Vulgrim, Fury must travel into the Serpent Holes to remove an ancient threat that resides there. The Serpent Holes are riddled with new puzzles and enemies eager to test Fury’s abilities. If Fury prevails, she will unlock all new weapon from the Hollows, as well as the biggest prize of them all: The Abyssal Armor.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dauntless Fortune & Glory Update

A new patch is now live for Dauntless, updating the open beta of this co-op action/RPG to version 0.9.0. Phoenix Labs calls this content update "Fortune & Glory," as it adds trials and a new hunt pass season. They also announce the game has now attracted more than 12 million players. Here's a trailer, and here are some details:
“Fortune & Glory” provides Slayers with a formidable new challenge in the form of Trials. The Trials experience is a new gameplay offering from Lady Luck, an enigmatic figure who arrives in Ramsgate with a mysterious island in tow. Trials will pit adventurous Slayers against dangerous, modified Behemoths and all-new environmental challenges, like terrain-transforming pests. With the clock ticking through each hunt, it will be up to Trials challengers to prove that they can execute under pressure. Trials are split into two difficulty levels: "Normal" and "Dauntless." Completing “Normal” difficulty Trials nets Slayers with Steel Marks, used to purchase unique rewards such as weapon mods and alternate special attacks, while completing “Dauntless” difficulty Trials rewards Slayers with Gilded Marks: currency used to purchase exclusive cosmetic rewards that showcase more advanced accomplishments. Both Steel and Gilded Marks are exclusive to Lady Luck’s shop, and can only be earned through Trials.

Slayers can see how they stack up to Trials competition by viewing the Wall of Champions outside Lady Luck’s shop in Ramsgate. The wall displays a list of the top performers in both solo and group hunts. And because Trials rotate on a weekly basis, there's always a chance for Slayers to see new names -- or even their own -- on the wall.

“Fortune & Glory” marks the beginning of the “High Skies” season in Dauntless. It will include two consecutive Hunt Passes complete with new and stylish content. The first Hunt Pass is marked by a swashbuckling pirate theme, and Slayers will quickly familiarize themselves with Lady Luck and her corsair fleet. “Fortune & Glory” offers 50 levels of content to unlock and numerous cosmetic and consumable rewards to earn. Slayers can look forward to more adventures and content as the “High Skies” season continues later this summer.
Continue here to read the full story.

Nightmare Reaper Early Access

Early Access to Nightmare Reaper is now underway on Steam, offering the first episode of this Windows first-person shooter styled after the classics of yesteryear. The Early Access Release Trailer gives us a look at the game's throwback graphics and gameplay. Developer Blazing Bit Games hopes to use feedback on episode one to refine the formula for what follows "We're really proud of how much content and polish we managed to cram into this initial Early Access build of the game," says company founder Bruno Beaudoin. "We can't wait to open a dialogue with players and make Episodes 2 and 3 even better." Here's word:

Nightmare Reaper is a dark and violent meld of retro and modern action games, mainly inspired by the classic 2.5D first person shooters of the 90s like Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Rise of the Triad and Wolfenstein 3D.

Features

  • Over 80 satisfying and balanced weapons (32 in EA)
  • Open-ended levels filled with surprises
  • Find gold, powerups and enchanted weapons with different stats
  • Purchase character upgrades and customize your abilities via a minigame
  • Wage war through three varied game-sized episodes
  • Soundtrack by the great Andrew Hulshult
  • Non-intrusive, but mysterious story
  • Fight hordes of enemies at the same time
  • A focus on satisfying combat that'll make you addicted

Continue here to read the full story.

Ubisoft Responds to Watch Dogs: Legion/HITRECORD Criticism

Ubisoft tweets a response to complaints about their call for community music submissions through HITRECORD for the Watch Dogs: Legion soundtrack. Here is our painstaking translation of their statement from image to text:
The Watch Dogs: Legion Audio team worldwide is already working with professional artists and composers on more than 140 licensed songs, and an original score for the game. The additional contributions - no matter how large or small - from anyone within the HITRECORD community are completely voluntary, and are meant to give them a chance to have their own creative expressions included in the game.

PUBG Matchmaking Plans

A post on Steam has a dev letter outlining plans to change the matchmaking system in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. They explain how they will attempt to continue to pursue fair matches while reducing the wait times in certain regions. It's a pretty lengthy post, and here is how they sum things up:
The matchmaking experience is crucial to the long-term fun of PUBG. We know there isn’t a perfect solution out there, but believe these steps will enable the majority of players to get into games. Our next step is to deploy these systems to live servers so that we can collect appropriate data while you experience them and give us your feedback. Of course, we will continue to work on new ideas to continually improve these systems, so please always feel free to offer your opinions and ideas. We thank you all for your patience while we’ve been getting these solutions ready. This solution will be coming with the next update, so please give us your valuable feedback once it gets updated.

Rainbow Six Siege Top Issues

The Rainbow Six Website runs down a list of "Top Issues and Community Concerns" for Rainbow Six Siege, offering a status report on their efforts towards remedying these (thanks MP1ST). These cover sound bugs, connectivity issues, smoke clipping, weapon sight misalignment, inconsistent shotgun destruction, echo yokai cloaking, and more. The list includes the two top balance issues they've identified:
OPERATOR BANS
Description:
We have seen a high ban rate for Blitz, Jackal, Echo, and Caveira in Ranked.
Status: We are discussing how we want to approach topic of balancing around Pick/Ban in Ranked, and the Operators that are affected the most by it.

SMOKE
Description:
Adjustments to the damage curve for Smoke’s Gas Canister will move Smoke further towards an area denial role.
Status: [On Hold] We are satisfied overall with how this is developing, but but need to put it on hold until other dependencies are delivered.

Borderlands 3 Happy Together Video

The Borderlands Website now offers this trailer to pay off on a their promise of a "celebration of togetherness" in Borderlands 3. This was taken by many as a tease for an announcement of cross-platform support in the action/RPG/shooter sequel, but a tweet from Randy Pitchford shot this down, saying "Some folks may be speculating that this thing tomorrow may be about cross play. Tomorrow’s thing is awesome, but *not* about cross-play. But, Good News: We are committed to supporting cross-play for Borderlands 3 with our partners as soon as practicable after launch." The awesome that he promised is a music video set to the tune of Happy Together by The Turtles that features dancing and flowers. #awesome. Continue here to read the full story.

Killsquad Early Access

Early Access is now underway on Steam for Killsquad, a co-op, bounty hunting, action/RPG for Windows. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer, and here's word on what you and your squad will be killing: "This is not the future you dreamt of. The Galaxy is in chaos, planets go rogue, and mega-corporations assemble Killsquads to raid whatever riches and bounty are left. Welcome to Killsquad: a hardcore action RPG done by hardcore RPG fans. A game that blends the best of the genre and presents a new universe for you to discover. Set up your team, choose your heroes, weapons and gear, and unleash hell on a fast-paced battle through hordes of monsters and deadly bosses." Here's more:
Killsquad’s quick session-based gameplay means action is fast and intense as players overcome various obstacles in the course of their mission and quest for that big payday. Players can select one of four different heroes to play, each of which has their own distinct capabilities based on their class: Assassin, Warrior, Specialist or Support. These classes have plenty of skill and upgradeable gear options to completely customize the chosen character down to its appearance.

Killsquad introduces a live contract system which players can undertake in real time with other hunters. These contracts allow other players in the Killsquad community to drop in and ride shotgun, enjoying the same experience and grabbing a share of the mission’s rewards. The contract system presents a myriad of challenges and deadly adversaries from automated defence systems to meteor showers and boss characters. The hunt is not without its dangers as players navigate the exotic, richly detailed environments of each planet in search of their quarry.

Killsquad will be continually updated with much more content planned for the game later this year including additional heroes and mission types. Novarama will also confirm more details on console versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Continue here to read the full story.

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity Launched

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity is now available as promised for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam as well as for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. Word is the Terminal Velocity edition improves upon the original game with new mechanics such as the ability to drill through asteroids "to provide players with the best momentum-driven experience possible." A new Release Trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement has further details:
In LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity players boost, swim, bounce, leap, smash and teleport their way through a myriad of obstacles in a desolate yet beautiful galaxy as they struggle to find their way back to civilization. Armed with only an improvised set of equipment and a relentless spirit, astronauts will need to survive 65 intense levels across 5 systems, and confront not only their mortality, but also what lurks in the darkness. To aid in the travels, survivors must upgrade their abilities and employ fast-thinking skills to complete their interstellar journey alive.

“Terminal Velocity contains so much new and revamped content that those playing it, regardless if they’ve played the original, will find a wealth of entertaining features to challenge themselves with for hours,” said Alex Golebiowski, co-founder of PixelNAUTS Games. “With Terminal Velocity players will get the most robust asteroid dodging experience possible and for Xbox and Switch owners, the chance to test their skills at LOST ORBIT for the first time.”

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity features a bevy of new content including:

New Mechanics:

  • Drill through asteroids, but make sure to not overheat.
  • Smash into explosives to send them flying in obstacles and space pirates to clear the way.
  • Dodge mines, laser fences, spikes and other space pirate traps!
  • Grind and change rails to easily pass by obstacles.

New Levels:

  • Explore 12 new story-driven levels in a brand-new solar system!
  • Clear a path for an out of control starship.
  • Escape pirates in an intense boss chase.
  • Sneak and smash your way through an old space mine.
  • Try your skills at over 15 new and extremely challenging levels

Continue here to read the full story.

Robo Instructus Released

Robo Instructus is now available on Itch.io and Steam, offering a puzzle game for Windows and macOS where you control a robot to complete tasks through a programming language. This can be seen in action in this gameplay trailer and a playable demo offers the chance to check this out firsthand. In the way a Thermos can both heat or cool, word is this will provide challenges even if you are already a programmer, while being simple enough to be played by those with no coding experience. Here's word:
In Robo Instructus, players will discover a hidden language and explore the spirit of creativity - learning to program a salvage robot on a forgotten alien world. As players unravel the robot's functionality, they will learn new programming commands, allowing them to remotely manipulate the robot through a range of hostile and dangerous environments, uncovering an intricate web of sci-fi storytelling along the way.

As your code becomes more efficient, so too will your strategic options - opening up a multitude of ways to overcome each challenge and delve deeper into the game's intricate world.

Presenting an in-game scripting language, based on existing programming languages, Robo Instructus is designed to provide a fascinating, explorative challenge to coders and non-coders alike. The game, much like the story, is a puzzle that players must unravel as they progress.

Solo developer Alex Butler said: "Each puzzle in Robo Instructus asks you to not only get your robot somewhere, but to properly articulate every step in how it gets there. Succeed and you can embrace a sort of narrative archaeology as you uncover the game’s secrets."

He added: "I've been developing Robo Instructus for two years, the last three months in a beta phase where the game has been polished and improved thanks to the feedback of around 3,000 beta players. So now I'm very excited to see Robo Instructus releasing, and I look forward to the game finding its audience out in the PC gaming wilds."
Continue here to read the full story.

Bakery Simulator in October

Live Motion Games studio officially announces Bakery Simulator, a tycoon/simulation game where the player can make their bread by making bread. This is expected on Steam in October, unless they start loafing, and they are also cooking up console versions that should rise next year. They promise a "high level of realism," so this seems distinct from the Baking Simulator Steam Greenlight Trailer from five years ago which recalls the uncoordinated controls of Surgeon Simulator. This trailer shows off the game, which still seems pretty nutty, what with setting the kitchen on fire and rolling the delivery truck, but maybe that's why bakers get up early enough that we never see that side of the business. Here's word:
In October 2019, Bakery Simulator will debut on PC. The new game will allow you to make a career in the bakery industry. Live Motion Games studio announces that the title will stand out, among other things, with its high level of realism and expanded opportunities for business development. The gameplay is based on work in a bakery and the timely delivery of bread. In 2020, the simulator will also appear on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch...
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

  • Phantom Gear for the Sega Genesis - Mega Drive by Mega Cat Studios — Kickstarter. "Phantom Gear is a new original game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. We want to deliver an old school experience that takes inspiration from different games, both modern games or games from our childhood, like Shantae, Kirby, Megaman X, Castlevania, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Ristar, Gunstar Heroes and Monster World IV, to name a few. And we need your help to make it real."

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 took off for the moon. The anniversary is inspiring all sorts of retrospectives, and I'm eating it up, as I've had a lifelong fascination with the space program. There's even the chance to Relive Apollo 11 in Real Time on YouTube, though this may be a little much even for me, as the mission lasted roughly eight days.

Over the Moon Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: This Huge Godzilla Collectible Is Only $600. A tail kickstand at that price? Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: NASA Has Announced The First Fruit They'll Grow on The ISS, And It's Hot. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Media: Cow Caught Outside Of Her Fence.
Mountain of Hell 2019 - Winning Race.
Using Math to Skate On Thin Ice.
Follow-up: Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster.
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