Archived News:

Thursday, Sep 12, 2019 National Video Games Day

Conarium Free on Epic Games Store

As promised, the Epic Games Store now offers Conarium for free to keep to anyone who picks up their copy of the Lovecraftian horror game over the next week. In a change from how they've been handling this series of first biweekly and now weekly giveaways, they do not come out and announce the title of next week's giveaway, instead teasing with question marks. There's an image, however, which combines images from various Batman games from both the Arkham and LEGO series, so their next freebie should be one or more of those games. We'll know for sure on September 19th. In the meantime, here's a Conarium Epic Games Store Launch Trailer and some details on the game:
Conarium is a chilling Lovecraftian game that follows the gripping story of four scientists and their endeavor to challenge what we normally consider to be the "absolute" limits of nature. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's novella At the Mountains of Madness, but largely set after the original story.

You, as Frank Gilman, open your eyes inside a room filled with strange, pulsating noises. Patterns of lights executing a Danse Macabre on the walls is presented by a queer device on the table. Having recalled nothing other than that you’re in Upuaut, an Antarctic base located near the South Pole, you find the place deserted and have a distinct feeling of something being terribly wrong. Somehow knowing that your memories cannot guide you enforces a strange feeling of vulnerability, a familiar yet alien sensation of being a part of a peculiar whole... Soon you will discover that having used the device during the expedition, you have died but then returned subtly changed, speaking of strange memories and of strange places. You have lost something important or gained something sinister...

Explore the Antarctic base, as well as dreams and visions. Study clues and unlock secrets, whilst avoiding macabre beings at all cost.
Continue here to read the full story.

Deep Rock Galactic Free Weekend

Deep Rock Galactic is free-to-play all weekend on Steam, and the co-op first-person shooter is on sale for those who enjoy their sample (thanks DSOGaming). Here's word:
Attention Miners!
As we’re getting very close to the launch of update 25, we want to recruit new Greenbeards to work the mines below the surface of Hoxxes IV. We’ve already passed the mark of recruiting 750.000 brave dwarven brethren, so to celebrate this we’re having a free weekend as a recruitment drive. Join Deep Rock Galactic, the most tenacious space mining corporation in the galaxy, and get your limited edition recruitment helmet, while supplies last.

SALE
During the Free Weekend and an additional couple of days, Deep Rock Galactic will be 35% off, so if you have friends that have been waiting for a reason to take the plunge, this is it. Give them a nudge. The Free Weekend runs until September 16, 5PM UTC. The sale ends September 18, 5PM UTC.

YOU GET A HAT!
As an extra bonus, we have something special for everyone taking part of the free weekend. For this limited time only, we’ll have a special, handcrafted, hot-off-the-forge helmet available in the nearest Accessory terminal (it’s the first one you see when you exit the personal pods). Remember that this is only available during the Free Weekend, so you’ll have to go grab it in the Accessory Shop, or you’ll miss it.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 19.9.2 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Windows drivers for AMD graphics cards (thanks WCCFTECH). Word is these offer support for Borderlands 3 and Radeon Image Sharpening:
Support For

  • Borderlands 3
    • Up to 16 % FPS improvement on the Radeon™ RX 5700 graphics card running Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition version 19.9.2 vs. 19.9.1 drivers.RS-312
  • Radeon Image Sharpening
    • Now available on Radeon RX 590, Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX 570, Radeon RX 480 and Radeon RX 470 series desktop graphics products for DirectX®12 and Vulkan® applications.

Fixed Issues

  • With v-sync enabled FPS may be locked to 30 on some displays set to 75hz refresh rates.
  • System instability may be experienced on some Radeon RX 5700 series graphics system configurations when watching video content in a web browser.
  • Audio for clips captured by Radeon ReLive may be corrupted or garbled when desktop recording is enabled.
  • Radeon Settings may list core clocks as not available with some Radeon RX 5700 series graphics system configurations.
  • Enabling Enhanced Sync may cause game, application or system crashes on Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products.

Steam Discovery Update

Valve announces a new Steam Discovery update is now live to offer more precise and diverse recommendations due to "several algorithmic changes and bug fixes." They say the store will now actually personalize recommendations rather than assuming you just would like to see what's popular with everyone else. Here's a chunk of the update explaining what's going on:
In these changes, "Recommended for You" became less biased towards popular games, and showed games that are more relevant to individual customers. As it turned out, customers in the experiment group were more likely to click on the games shown in the recommendations section, at a rate almost 15% higher than the control group. The increased personalization means there is an even greater variety of games being shown in this section, and customer impressions are more evenly distributed among them.

To get a feel for the breadth of titles that were being visited, we measured how many games members of the experiment group visited via the "Recommended For You" section compared to a sample of customers who were not in the experiment for a few days. The results were very promising: we saw a 75% increase in the number of unique games visited, and a 48% increase in the average visits per game.

Store areas driven by Tags, such as "More Like This," saw increases in purchase and wishlisting across a broader set of games. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but by increasing qualitative specificity and showing a wider range of titles, more customers found things they didn't know they wanted.

We're encouraged by these results and have now rolled them out to everyone. We continue to make changes and run experiments like this in order to improve Steam's existing features, while we also explore entirely different ways for customers to find games they love. If you head over to Steam Labs you can use one of these new methods: the Steam Interactive Recommender experiment. With a few clicks, we're confident you're going to find or rediscover a game that interests you.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Ember Rise Rises

Operation Ember Rise is now underway in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, kicking off Season 3 of Year 4 for the tactical first-person shooter. Word is: "Operation Ember Rise brings two new Operators, Amaru from Peru and the Mexican Goyo to the game that recently reached 50 million players worldwide. The Kanal map has also been completely reworked to improve playability and aesthetics, alongside many improvements." The Kanal map rework and other new content is now free to all players, while for the first week the two new operators will only be available to owners of the Year 4 Pass. Everyone else will be able to unlock these Operators starting September 18 using Renown or R6 Credits. Here's a Amaru & Goyo Trailer showing off the pair, and here is an outline with more on what the new season has to offer:
In Operation Ember Rise, players will meet two new Operators:

  • Amaru is the new Attacker from Peru. She uses the Garra hook that allows her to grapple onto ledges, balconies, skylights and windows, and hoist herself up in record time. Amaru’s opponents now not only have to worry about attacks from above, but also attacks from below. When timed right, hooking the Garra onto a window can result in Amaru’s infamous Garra Kick, which instantly takes out an opponent standing behind the window.
  • Goyo, the new Defender from Mexico can deploy Volcán Shields. Like the ordinary Deployable Shield, the Volcán Shield provides cover and allows Defenders to block pathways, but Goyo turns up the heat with an attached incendiary bomb. From the front there’s little indication of which it might be, and Attackers can easily be surprised when the Volcán Shield explodes.

Additionally, Operation Ember Rise includes a complete map rework of Kanal, significantly altering the core gameplay experience with an emphasis on easier rotations. A new bridge has been added to create an alternative path to the objective areas. Additionally, a staircase has been added in both buildings to make vertical movement more accessible and indoor playable areas have been added or extended. Finally, bomb sites have changed: The bomb on Kitchen has been moved to the Security Room, with a brand new doorway connecting it to the Map Room. The site in the Radio Room is now found in the expanded Lounge Room, across the hall from the usual Coast Guard site. Radar and Server remain unchanged, though these areas have been reorganized. Finally, a new pair of sites has been put in. At last, Bomb can be played on Supply Room and Kayak, although the area just outside has been turned into an indoors Diving Room.

Additional Operation Ember Rise updates include the following:

  • An all new unranked playlist containing the same rules as Ranked without affecting players’ rank or MMR.
  • An all new Champions rank
  • Map rotations have been reworked in Ranked, Casual, and Unranked
  • Player Behavior updates to combat in-game toxicity
  • The Operators menu has been reworked
  • The shop interface has been improved

Finally, new skins have also been added: The Mira Elite skin is an homage to her grandmother’s service in hard times, and the Eternal Wind and Eternal Sun weapon skins are inspired by the Aztecs and Inca respectively.

Continue here to read the full story.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Cold War Breaks Out

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Cold War is now available for Windows on Steam. This is a standalone expansion for Men of War: Assault Squad 2, which, as the title states, brings the setting of the RTS game forward from World War II and into the cold war. Duck and cover and view the previously released Announcement Trailer and then climb into the comfort of your bomb shelter to check out the announcement:
The title places itself against the backdrop of the heated conflict between the United States and Soviet Union and brings all the tense, military tactics players have come to expect from the series.

Building upon the framework of Men of War: Assault Squad 2, Cold War introduces a brand new feature to the series: dynamic campaign creation. Mirroring the ever-present feeling of dread that permeated the era, dynamic campaign creation ensures no two campaign experiences play out the same in single player and co-op. From randomized skirmishes to custom army compositions, players will be forced to think on their feet in the heat of battle.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Cold War also marks the return of the series’ genre-defining RTS combat. Players take control of vast armies of U.S. or Soviet soldiers, tanks, helicopters and more as they take this historic struggle to series-first locales. From sleepy winter villages to fortified border zones, Direct Control mode returns, giving players unprecedented control over their forces, allowing them to control single units in a bid to out-maneuver their enemies. Couple this with online multiplayer to match the game’s dynamic single player and co-op campaigns, and Men of War fans have a lot to be excited about!

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Cold War launches today on Steam for $24,99 / €21,99 / £19,99. For more information, follow Digitalmindsoft and 1C Entertainment on Twitter.

Key Features:

  • Pick your side: The United States of America versus the Soviet Union
  • Dynamic campaign creation makes singleplayer and cooperative campaign play extremely replayable with randomized skirmish battles and custom army compositions
  • Competitive online multiplayer modes
  • Assault Zones game mode: Capture and hold flag points using all military means possible
  • Annihilation game mode: Dominate the enemy or capture their base, as valuable resources can be secured on the battlefield
  • Command large armies or control single units with the series-defining direct control mode

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Siege of Centauri Released

Siege of Centauri is now available, as promised, on the Stardock Store and Steam, offering a Windows tower defense game set in the Ashes of the Singularity universe. Here's a Gameplay Trailer and here's more on the game:
Siege of Centauri puts you in command of the defense of Earth's first interstellar colony. Set in the Ashes of the Singularity universe, thousands of alien machines are attacking and only you, with your arsenal of deployable defense structures and strategic orbital abilities, can stop them.

Customize the Carpathia in order to best handle the challenges of each individual mission, battle across the surface of an alien world through a series of story-driven campaigns or see how long you can survive in a doomed region where the enemy waves are truly endless.

The enemy comes in all shapes and sizes, challenging you to counter them with the right defense in the right place. Siege of Centauri combines the best elements of classic tower defense games with the strategic depth Stardock has delivered in past titles, including Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion and Ashes of the Singularity.

Features

  • Defend the colony on Proxima Centauri from hordes of alien invaders in a vast campaign full of challenging missions. Deploy defenses, use powerful orbital abilities, and call units at the right time and place in order to survive the onslaught.
  • Create your own missions using the workshop, then upload and share them with other players. Download new missions created by other users, too.
  • Customize your defenses using dozens of tower upgrades. Determine what you need in order to survive. Upgrade your particle cannon to slow its target, your Artillery Post to leave fire in areas it has attacks, or your Corrosion Mortars so that victims infect the allies around them.
  • Survive against unrelenting enemy waves in Endless Mode and see if you can outlast other players on the leaderboards.
  • Fight against dozens of enemies with unique attacks and defenses. Beware the Falling Star that disables defenses when it explodes, or the Heart of the Phoenix that forms a chrysalis when destroyed that can be reborn as a new Heart.

Continue here to read the full story.

Die Young Released

Die Young is now out of Early Access, and version 1.0 of this Windows action/adventure game is now available on Steam. This chance to "Live fast, die young, and have a good-looking corpse" (which is not actually a James Dean quote) is shown off in the Official Gameplay Trailer. Actually the goal of the game is to escape your kidnapping and not die at all. Here's a full description:
Kidnapped for no clear reason to a dazzling yet mysterious island on the Mediterranean Sea, a young girl has to find a way to escape. Armed with only her wits, agility, and the will to stay alive, she must make her getaway or Die Young.

Die Young is an open world, dynamic action adventure presented in first-person perspective. You awaken, on a picturesque 12 sq km island in the Mediterranean, buried alive and left for dead. Starving and dehydrated, your struggle to stay alive has just begun. Jump, climb, take advantage of your athletic and parkour skills to overcome the dangers and wildness of nature!

  • Stay Alive. This is not a "classic" survival game. If you aim to spend many days and nights looking for resources or build a shelter or a fortress, this will not be possible here. Your main goal is to stay alive. Your only purpose is to escape. As soon as possible. Stay hydrated in the hot Mediterranean summer, looking for a way to leave.
  • Equip and Fight. Stripped of everything of value down to the shoes on your feet, you have to make a run for it. You have no chance of escaping relying on your wits alone. Search for items and combat equipment that can help you survive the nightmare.
  • Explore. Explore the island and find out more about its enigmatic dwellers, ancient ruins, dark mines and caves. Uncover the awful truth behind the quiet, bucolic life of the island.
  • Escape. The astonishing beauty of the natural landscape hides deadly threats and foes. Fighting your way out is hopeless. Run, jump, climb, and leave those who want you dead behind.

Nerve-racking and brimming with suspense from the moment you press start, Die Young is an immersive thriller that will take you on an unforgettable dash for freedom and survival.

Continue here to read the full story.

DemonsAreCrazy Released

DemonsAreCrazy has officially launched on Steam after an Early Access run for this free-to-play MOBA set in the underworld. This trailer from last week shows off the game, which offers the chance to play from several different perspectives. Word is the launch includes the chance for all players to get bonus gear: "To celebrate the launch, both Early Access veterans and newcomers can get their hands on special armor: 'BetaCoats' for beta testers with a ranking of 6 or higher (check your email!) and exclusive 'Outlaw Coats' for new players – available for a very limited time in the event shop. Finally, extremely rare 'animas' (equipment) will be awarded to the top 100 players each week as a PvP ranking reward. This special event will end in two week’s time, so hurry up!" Here's more on the game:
Different demons also offer distinct perspectives. Those who love playing games in first-person can choose an FPS demon for a familiar experience. If an overview of the battle arena is more important, players can choose a MMO-focused demon and plan attacks by targeting specific locations – even the ground!

Once a character is selected, players can customize powers and abilities just like they would in an RPG. For long-range, players can build up ranged abilities and stay out of the fray. Believers in a “smash and slash” approach can buff armor and melee abilities instead. All play styles are welcome in DemonsAreCrazy!
DemonsAreCrazy – Screenshot 3
KEY FEATURES

  • Explore a stunningly detailed rendition of Hell.
  • Experience an intense, action-packed MOBA with FPS, hack-and-slash, and MMO gameplay choices.
  • Build up your political party with 18 playable “Starter Demons” who have customizable skills and equipment.
  • Try your hand at different game modes – including the “Seven Sins” PvP arenas, specialty PvE events, and boss hunt campaigns.
  • You’ll always have something to do with side quests, auctions, guilds, and more!

Continue here to read the full story.

Touring Karts Early Access

Early Access to Touring Karts is now underway on Steam, offering a first chance to get behind the wheel in this Windows kart racing game that also includes virtual reality support. This will also come to consoles and mobile devices down the road and will support cross-platform multiplayer. The Touring Karts Website features this trailer showing off the game's VR support, and you can cast your goggles on the following details for more:
Touring Karts takes maximum advantage of the possibilities of VR by reinventing KART-type races in the midst of chaos full of action and surprises.

The current Early Access version offers the following features:

  • Up-to 8 players Online Multiplayer support with no waiting times. You will be training against the AI meanwhile your rivals enter the circuit.
  • 3 Online Game Modes: Unique Daily Cups, Custom Play with your Friends and Random Play.
  • Story-based Mode with more than 500 original challenges (+120h to complete) with collectible prizes. It can be completed in Single Player or Multiplayer Mode.
  • Craft up-to 45 new power-ups by combining the ones you already have and surprise your rivals!
  • Power-ups originally designed to be used in VR, can also be enjoyed on non-VR platforms.
  • 3 views to choose that are specifically designed for VR: One free of dizziness, a classic one in 3rd person and the more immersive first-person view.
  • 22 tracks and 30 customizable cars, all inspired in Formula 1 tracks and teams.
  • Multiple Controls Compatibility: FFB steering wheels, motion simulators, VR controls with with hand movement detection, classic controls, etc.
  • Quick Race Mode with all cars and tracks available from the get-go.

Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: How EVERY NFL Team Got Its Name & Identity. Happy Thursday Night.

Endless Space 2 Awakening Launches

The new Awakening expansion is now available on Steam, offering the chance to boldly go further in Endless Space 2, developer AMPLITUDE Studios' turn-based "strategic space opera" for Windows and macOS. This includes a new playable faction with new heroes and a new fleet, a new minor faction, and the promotion of the Academy to an empire in its own right. Here's a new Gameplay Trailer, and here's the captain's log:
We here at Amplitude, in collaboration with NGD Studios, are happy to announce today that "Awakening", the latest expansion for Endless Space 2, is available now. If you've never played ES2 before, allow us to fill you in: it's a galactic turn-based strategy game that puts you at the helm of your very own space empire. The Endless universe is full of different factions vying for control, each with their own stories and unique characteristics that make for radically different gameplay depending on which faction you've selected as a player.

We've pushed this asymmetry even further with "Awakening", by introducing the all-new Nakalim faction. Typically, what ES2 factions have in common is that they start the game focused on growth and expansion. As the Nakalim, however, you will begin as an extremely technologically advanced society that has recently been awakened from a dormant state. Your mission will not be to expand, but rather to seek ancient relics and reconquer lost lands, and to maintain your lead all the while staving off decline.

But the Nakalim are just one element of this jam-packed new expansion. Here's the rundown of everything that's included:

EXPANSION CONTENT

  • Nakalim – The aforementioned new playable faction has a large technology head start, balanced by weak science per turn. They depend on discovering lost Relics to learn new technologies. Their relationship with the Academy allows them to gain control over other systems through the Influence of their temples.
    • Four new Heroes – The Nakalim are explorers, warriors, and believers. Use these heroes to master exploration and for developing systems and diplomatic influence.
    • New fleet – Re-discover and take control of your ancient territories with heavily defended exploration-oriented fleets.
  • Minor Faction – Xirmisala – Dust-sensitive philosophers whose skills were defined by the community via a Games2Gether vote.
  • Academy empire – The Academy has always been the training ground for Endless Space's legendary heroes. In "Awakening", the Academy becomes an empire with the ability to manage star systems, fleets, and colonize new worlds. Contribute to their expansion, and you will be duly rewarded with special Academy roles that will give you special powers and bonuses, as well as access to the Academy's own fleet of impressive ships.

Continue here to read the full story.

Deliver Us The Moon Launches Next Month

Wired Productions announces October 10th as the release date for the Windows edition of Deliver Us The Moon, a space program simulation that will come to consoles next year. This debut game from Dutch developer KeokeN Interactive will be coming to Steam, where you can now add it to your wishlist and/or purchase the soundtrack. A new trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement explains all:
Counting down to launch, Deliver Us The Moon is set to take players to new frontiers on a genre defining journey. Experience huge space stations, lunar settlements and wide-open moonscapes, all brought to life for the very first time with the help of real-time ray tracing technology and Nvidia GeForce RTX.

Powered by Unreal® Engine 4, Deliver Us The Moon is set in an apocalyptic near-future where the Earth’s resources have been depleted and humanity looks to the stars. Nations band together to create the World Space Agency, an organisation tasked with solving the extreme energy crisis. The solution: colonization and exploitation of the Moon’s natural reserves of Helium-3 to serve the energy needs of a growing Earth population. Suddenly, and without warning, communications with the Moon cease and the energy source is lost. Plunged into darkness and without power, years pass as world governments come together once more to embark on a new mission – to re-establish the energy supply and with it hope for the human race.
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Overcooked! 2 Cooks Up a Carnival of Chaos

New Carnival of Chaos DLC is now available on Steam for Overcooked! 2, cooking up more content for this appetizing adventure for Windows, Linux, and macOS. This requires ownership of the original game, and is available separately, or including in the Season Pass. This culinary carnival is shown off in this Launch Trailer, and since it involves more than corn dogs and funnel cakes, here's more of an explanation:

Team17 and Ghost Town Games have once again teamed up, this time to serve a chaotic course of fun fair food as part of Overcooked! 2’s season pass, with today’s launch of the ‘Carnival of Chaos’ DLC. This final part of the season pass sees players enjoy a new burst of culinary delights with new carnival inspired recipes, new levels, new chefs, combo meals, and even cannons!

Key Features

  • New levels! The Carnival becomes your kitchen across 15 brand new levels
  • Four new chefs! Rule the big top as the Ringmaster Chef, Strongman Chef, Clown Chef and Stunt Chef
  • Recipes! New recipes for players to master and/or burn to a crisp, including donuts and hot dogs, as well as the introduction of a new sauce machine
  • Combo meals! Extra hungry customers are looking for more food, so combine meals and top them off with a thirst-quenching beverage
  • Erm... Clown cannons? Yes, CANNONS! Travel across the kitchen faster than ever before with this new unconventional kitchen contraption

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DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT in January

BANDAI NAMCO announces a January 17th release date for DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT. The Steam Listing for the Windows edition of this action/RPG says January 16th just to keep us on our toes. This offers pre-purchases in three different editions, including a Deluxe Editions and an Ultimate Edition. They also announce this will include the Buu Arc offering this teaser trailer with "Buu-tastic Action." Here's word:
If you’ve ever wanted to live life through the eyes of the most famous, most powerful, and most beloved Saiyan to have ever lived, then your wishes are about to come true on January 17, 2020 when DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT launches in the Americas for the PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM®.

Developed as the most expansive and accurate retelling of Goku’s life, DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT will take players through their favorite DRAGON BALL Z story arcs, meet beloved friends, battle powerful enemies, and bring light to some long-running DRAGON BALL Z mysteries as well. No other game has ever told Goku’s life story in such detail and with such vivid presentation.

We’re also excited to announce that DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT will also be available in Deluxe, Ultimate, and Collector’s Editions along with a Super Saiyan Pre-Order offer.
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vRotors Promises Mixed Reality Drone Racing

vRotors announces plans to give you the chance to be the remote operator of actual racing drones via mixed reality. Word is: "The new platform invites anyone with a PC or VR headset to experience the fun of racing drones without the challenge of finding legal locations, the fear of crashing, or finding others to race against. The drone mounted camera gives users a full first person / mixed reality cockpit experience for aspiring aces." They add that this features full Twitch integration, "giving spectators the opportunity to influence the race’s outcome by taking charge of repairing the ship and providing weapons support." The vRotors Website has details on this and an intro trailer showing what to expect. Here are more details:
vRotors’ Features Include:

  • Mixed Reality: Augmented reality puts 3D objects seamlessly into a real environment, providing players the ability to pilot an actual drone on a real course with augmented objectives, weapon fire and enemies.
  • Twitch Integration: vRotors fully incorporates audience participation via Twitch Chat and custom extensions, where viewers can repair their favorite streamer’s ship as it takes damage from hostile obstacles or provide additional weaponry in the race to victory.
  • Weapons System: Launch missiles and fire lasers to reap destruction on enemy targets or fire flares to confuse their armaments.
  • Low Risk, High Reward: Purchase a 15-minute flight session where players can race against or buddy up with friends from around the world. Each pilot will receive a full video of their flight to share with friends and develop new strategies. vRotors’ technology limits the risk of crashes, but should it happen, the company fully assumes the risk. No more worrying about the repair and upkeep, vRotors’ drones are always ready for action.

vRotors opens up real flight experiences to the vast home gaming audience, in real time, via its live mixed reality platform. Players use their PC or VR headsets to enter virtual cockpits and fly real, remotely connected drones on approved courses located around the world. The cockpit shows the action from a camera stationed on the drone and features instrumentation with altitude, speed, weapons overlays and directional information. Using augmented reality, course objectives, challenges, and even enemies are overlaid onto the real environment.

Continue here to read the full story.

After-H Early Access This Month

French developer smartVR announces After-H will be released into Early Access on September 23rd on Steam and VIVEPORT. This is a free-to-play virtual reality first-person shooter that promises esports support, "total immersion," and compatibility with a wide-range of VR headsets. The Launch Trailer shows off what to expect, and you can find all the details on the After-H Website. There's also a chance to play in a preview event for this next week before the game's release, and they offer beta key signups for North America and Europe. Here's an overview:
French studio and VR operator smartVR is proud to announce the release of After-H on Steam Early Access and Viveport free of charge on September 23. With After-H, smartVR goes all out on VR esport. FPS fans will recognize classic FPS, but in total immersion. After-H is compatible with popular VR headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, WMR, and many others. Already showcased in over 200 arcades around the world, After-H is now ready for home gaming. The beginning of a new era for the license.

In this fast-paced FPS, players personify soldiers from different factions fighting over the solar system’s resources. The game comes with a set of maps for up to 4 vs 4 PvP action, three game modes, various weapons, weapons and characters skins. Immersed in a science fiction universe, players from all over the world will pace Martian battlefields starting September 23, 2019.

"Our goal was to make a true esport game with quality graphics for optimal VR immersion. We've worked hard on balancing and gameplay to launch a game that’s fun and quick to pick up, where players can also develop skills" says Jean Mariotte, co-founder of smartVR

After-H is compatible with popular headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and WMR. The game will be updated regularly and will remain free.
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Bullet Roulette VR Early Access

Bullet Roulette VR is now in Early Access on Steam, offering an edgy Russian Roulette simulation, released just a day after World Suicide Prevention Day. This requires a virtual reality headset, with support for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index. Here's a video with a look at gameplay, and here are details in case you want to give this a shot:
Bullet Roulette VR is a casual game for 1-4 players. Each player randomly becomes one of 6 characters. Before shooting you should draw 2 cards that can completely change the rules of the game. If the player survives, he will get $ 1 for which he can shoot another player on the next turn. If he killed another player, then he takes his money. An unsuccessful attempt to shoot another player takes all the money. Be tricky enough to become the last survivor!

Features:

  • Opportunity to play with AI, where each AI has its own behavior
  • Sticky gameplay brings out adrenaline and fear of self-shooting
  • Great replayable abilities

Content:

  • Six game characters
  • Three NPC you can interact with (shoot them! Everyone loves to shoot)
  • Atmospheric location - players find themselves in a secret old bar
  • Irritating piano music (a good reason to kill the pianist!)
  • Many cards that can change the rules of the game

Continue here to read the full story.

Pine Next Month

Publisher Kongregate and Dutch developer Twirlbound announce an October 10th release date for Pine, an upcoming open-world adventure game for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Switch. The game listing on Kartridge offers sales of a limited-release beta version of the game, but all the available copies seem to be claimed already. It also contradicts the press release we received by saying the game is due on October 9th, so it's unclear precisely how long you'll have to pine for this. An Official Launch Trailer accompanies the news, which follows:
In Pine, players take on the role of Hue, a clever young adult who has to explore the beautiful island world of Albamare as he struggles to help his diminished human tribe climb the food chain. Albamare is packed with a diverse simulated ecology of species who constantly compete for food and territory. Players will have to decide when to befriend or hinder any particular species through trade, questing, and fighting. Along the way, Hue will explore a huge seamless open world ripe with secrets, puzzles, and collectibles.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hardware Reviews

  • AMD Agesa ABBA with Boost Clock Fix Tested on Ryzen 3900X CPU on TechPowerUp.
  • AMD Ryzen Boost Frequency Fix Benchmarked: AGESA ABBA Tested on Gamers Nexus. Thanks Simon.
  • ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Apex Motherboard on Modders-Inc.
  • Corsair Force Series MP600 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 M.2 SSD on TweakTown.
  • Corsair HS35 Stereo Gaming Headset on Guru3D.
  • MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT GAMING X Graphics Card on TweakTown.
  • MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X Graphics Card on Guru3D.
  • NZXT H710 BR Mid-Tower PC Case on eTeknix.
  • Toshiba N300 10TB NAS Hard Drive on Mad Shrimps.
  • VR Wars: The Vive Pro vs. the Oculus Rift – RX 5700 XT vs. 2060/2070 Supers on BabelTech Reviews.

Out of the Blue

Happy National Video Games Day! Here's hoping you got all your cards in the mail on a timely basis and have a nice party outfit picked out. Actually this seems like the opposite of a special occasion for a gamer. It's more like Pinky: "Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?" Brain: "The same thing we do every night, try to play video games!"

Celebratory Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Ant Art Tycoon.
Amidst the Sky.
Stories: Two Mathematicians Just Solved a Decades-Old Math Riddle — and Possibly the Meaning of Life. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Black hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be getting hungrier.
Scientists find biology's optimal 'molecular alphabet' may be preordained. Thanks Max.
Squirrels listen in to birds' conversations as signal of safety. Thanks Max.
Media: When an NPC gets in your way - Block.
Ad Astra - "Good Luck" Clip.
Scientists Fact Check Natural Disasters In Movies.
Follow-up: Chinese Scientists Try to Cure One Man's HIV With Crispr.
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