Archived News:

Friday, Oct 25, 2019

New PAYDAY 2 Content Coming: Won't be Free

A post from OVERKILL Software discusses the "winds of change," as this Starbreeze-owned studio announced the resumption of development of content for PAYDAY 2 (thanks WCCFTECH). The company was widely thought to be going under, but they recently announced that PAYDAY 3 is expected by 2023. The new announcement is good news and bad news for fans of the heist series, as there's new content coming to PAYDAY 2, but this will break their promise that such DLC would always be free. Here's an explanation:
Now we’re breaking the Ultimate Edition promise of forever-free-content. The reasoning for this is plain and simple:

We want to move forward and make more of PAYDAY 2, and to do so we need your support to continue producing content. New DLCs will be a mix of paid and free updates.

Enter The PAYDAY 2: Legacy Collection!
The Ultimate Edition will be retired today, but PAYDAY 2: Legacy Collection will immediately replace it. This will still be the best offer on anything released 2018 or earlier. Also:

À la carte is back on the table!
I’ve had reports from our team that the smörgåsbord, or à la carte option, to be able to purchase DLC separately, is very much requested; I’m happy to announce that we’re making individual DLC available again starting later today. The prices for the individual DLCs will remain as stated as the original price in the bundles.

More Payday 2!
What about the next content drop for PAYDAY 2? Be patient with our team please. They’re working hard to deliver the next PAYDAY 2 update and will present it in all its glory, starting soon™ [URL to come soon!]

Thank you for your support and for sticking by us.

Strategic Mind: The Pacific Released

Strategic Mind: The Pacific is now out of Early Access and officially available on Steam, offering a turn-based strategy game set in the Pacific theater of World War II. Here's the latest trailer from the game in case you missed it last week, and here's word from developer Starni Games on the game and its historical accuracy:
In Strategic Mind: The Pacific you’ll face the waging war between the USA and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Ocean – with mindblowing historical accuracy and attention to detail. The game offers an immersive experience of commanding both sides of the conflict, allowing you to gain a unique understanding of the situation through the eyes of both sides’ real-life commanders.

Build up, train and equip your troops with the newest weaponry available to maximize their efficiency and set sail for victory. The core element of the game is large scale naval battles with numerous carrier ships bringing aircraft into the battle for seizing control over the ocean. Upon overtaking the sea you will have to set foot on hostile land through a series of costly landing operations.

You will have to make your naval, aerial and amphibious forces act as one flawless mechanism - a task only a truly strategic mind can achieve.

Key features
Continue here to read the full story.

Secret Neighbor Released

Secret Neighbor is now available on Steam, offering a Windows multiplayer social horror game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. tinyBuild offers a Launch Trailer to help convince you to pick this up along with a Beginner Tutorial Trailer. They also offer notes for a Huge Day 1 Balance Patch to address issues with the game. Here's how this works:
ABOUT THIS GAME
Secret Neighbor is a multiplayer Social Horror game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. A group of kids try to sneak into their creepy Neighbor's house. Events of the game take place between Act 1 and 2 of the original Hello Neighbor game. 6 players sneak into the house, trying to get into the locked basement door -- only to realize one of them is the Neighbor in disguise.

Playing as the Neighbor
As the Neighbor, you choose from several classes and use everything in your power to prevent intruders from succeeding. Initially, you are in disguise, and it's up to you to gain trust of other players to lure them away form the group and have them go missing. Your arsenal consists of useful gadgets such as bear traps, a secret control room, smoke bombs, and more. The best players in the game are the ones who convince groups of people that someone else is the Neighbor. It feels like that scene from "The Thing" where characters test each other for who's the traitor. Practice your roleplay skills.

Playing as the intruders
A group of friends are searching for their missing friend. Everyone thinks he's locked in the creepy Neighbor's basement. The only logical thing to do is to break into the neighbor's house and into his basement. Intruders come equipped with classes and different abilities. Bagger will have extra storage space, Brave will be able to give everyone a speed boost, the Detective knows where the keys are, and more. Using these abilities, players need to scavenge the house for basement keys, and valuable loot they can use to upgrade their skills and equipment.
Continue here to read the full story.

Conglomerate 451 Delayed

1C Entertainment offers an updated roadmap for Conglomerate 451, saying this Windows first-person dungeon crawler/RPG is now expected in February 2020. When the game entered Steam Early Access in May, they said it would be released this year, and they now admit they were targeting this month, but the setback will make for a better game: "We had planned to exit Steam Early Access in October 2019, however with the help of our community, we’ve noticed many opportunities to improve existing gameplay, add new content, and update features to better serve Conglomerate 451 players. We want to come out of Early Access with a truly great game, so instead of releasing the full version we have decided to remain in Early Access a little while longer and aim for February 2020."

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Extremely Fast Snowmobile. Description doesn't really do it justice (and I'm not talking about the lack of snow).

The Outer Worlds Released

The Outer Worlds is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, offering a new single-player, sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment. Here's the Official Launch Trailer which debuted last week, and we posted a review roundup earlier this week. This press release has some developer quotes: "When we set out to create a new RPG universe for players to explore, meaningful player choice was at the core of everything we wanted to build," said Tim Cain, co-game director at Obsidian. "The Outer Worlds is our love letter to fans who want to role play as any character they’d like, whether it’s a hero, a villain, or even Leonard Boyarsky." Here's some of what it says about the game:
In The Outer Worlds, you awake from hibernation after drifting in space for seventy years on a lost colonist ship, the Hope. Here at the edge of the galaxy, corporations control all aspects of life in Halcyon, and they are hiding a dark secret that could destroy the colony. As you explore multiple, distinct locations in the game’s vibrant world, you will encounter various factions, and meet a host of multi-faceted characters who may offer assistance in your missions. But choose carefully, as the actions and choices you make will determine how this player-driven story unfolds. Your choices affect not only the game’s narrative, but your character progression, companion stories, and different endgame scenarios.
Continue here to read the full story.

Citadel: Forged with Fire Free Weekend

Steam is offering a free weekend for Citadel: Forged with Fire, saying this sample of Blue Isle's Early Access online sandbox RPG will run for the next three days (thanks Steam Database via Ant). They mention the free weekend in this post which also outlines changes in the game's latest patch and says to expect the game to graduate from Early Access into full release on November 1st. Here's a bit on the game:
Citadel: Forged With Fire is a massive online sandbox RPG with elements of magic, spellcasting and inter-kingdom conflict. As a newly minted apprentice of the magic arts, you will set off to investigate the dangerous world of Ignus. Your goal: create a name for yourself and achieve notoriety and power among the land’s ruling Houses.

You have complete freedom to pursue your own destiny; hatch plots of trickery and deceit to ascend the ranks among allies and enemies, become an infamous hunter of other players, build massive and unique castles, tame mighty beasts to do your bidding, and visit uncharted territories to unravel their rich and intriguing history. The path to ultimate power and influence is yours to choose.

Bethesda Responds to Fallout 1st Fallout

After publishing a list of user complaints about the just launched Fallout 1st subscription service for Fallout 76, Polygon has a response from Bethesda Softworks that addresses a few of these gripes:
A Bethesda Softworks representative said that an update to private world settings will be coming soon, to allow players to control all access to their private servers. The company also examined the Scrap Box and private server recycling issues.

For Scrap Boxes, Bethesda said that “a small number of players with a large quantity of scrap are experiencing a display issue causing their Scrap Box to appear empty.” The studio thinks this is a user interface issue and that players have not lost any scrap; they should still be able to access it when crafting from workbenches, as usual. “We are actively working to address this issue, both internally and using the data and characters folks from the community have provided us,” Bethesda said.

Regarding recycled servers, Bethesda denied that players are getting used or recycled worlds. “When a Fallout 1st member starts a Private World, a dedicated world is launched on an [Amazon Web Services] server. Players who have seen looted containers upon login may be experiencing the expected behavior upon log out and log in. Loot is instanced for each player in containers. As Fallout 76 players know, if you loot a container on one server, and then log out and log back in to another server, the container remains in a ‘looted’ state for a period of time.”

And as to private worlds’ privacy, “we understand this is not what players expected for their Private Worlds,” Bethesda said, meaning that anyone in a friends list may join a private world without invitation. “We are looking to provide an option in an upcoming patch that will allow Fallout 1st members to restrict access to their servers more completely.”

Update, 11:40 p.m.: Bethesda Game Studios has continued to investigate the Scrap Box issue and now acknowledges it is more than a menu display problem for a small number of users.

“Our initial investigation indicated that this was a display issue, and that no items had gone missing,” a Bethesda representative told Polygon. “However, we have since found that a small number of players have in fact experienced a loss of scrap items after placing them into the Scrap Box and then loading into a world.

“Resolving this issue is currently our top priority,” the representative said. “We are also exploring ways to restore the missing items.” Developers are trying to come up with a hotfix to resolve the issue ASAP.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new version 19.10.2 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards running under Windows. As noted in the Release Notes, these include support for the launches of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, The Outer Worlds, and Chernobylite Early Access:
Support For

  • Call of Duty™: Modern Warfare
    • With ultra presets on the Radeon™ RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 18% better performance playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 edition 19.10.2 than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.1.
  • The Outer Worlds™
    • With very high presets on the Radeon™ RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 8% better performance playing The Outer Worlds with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 edition 19.10.2 than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.10.1.
  • Chernobylite™ Early Access

Fixed Issues

  • Launching League of Legends™ may cause the display to remain blank for a few seconds.
  • Radeon Chill may create an incorrect registry entry when enabled or disabled.
  • Borderlands 3™ may experience an application hang after running the in-game benchmark or changing resolutions.
  • Flicker may be experienced while playing media in Movies and TV application when using some displays connected via USB Type-C.
  • Some Radeon RX Vega and Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may intermittently experience a thread stuck crash or TDR when there is a high GPU load active.

Known Issues

Continue here to read the full story.

Bonus DLC Joins DOOM 64 as DOOM Eternal Preorder Bonus

A post on the Bethesda Softworks website about DOOM Eternal preorders offers a Pre-Order Content Trailer as well as the DOOM 64 Announce Trailer mentioned the other day (thanks Frans). The post reminds us that DOOM 64 is one of those preorder bonuses, and says to expect that to be released along with DOOM Eternal on March 20, 2020. It also mentions a Rip and Tear Pack that's another incentive for buying the shooter sequel before its release. Here's word:
No more dusting off old cartridges to experience a classic: DOOM 64 is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC on March 20, 2020 – the first time the game has been made officially available since it debuted on the Nintendo 64 over twenty years ago!

And we’ve got something else we’re excited to announce - you’ll be able to slay demons like it’s 1997 for FREE with every pre-order of DOOM Eternal.

That’s right, pre-order DOOM Eternal for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or PC before March 20, 2020 and receive DOOM 64 as a free digital download when DOOM Eternal launches! DOOM 64 will also be included free with preorders of DOOM Eternal for Nintendo Switch, which will be released at a later date.

This offer is applicable to all past, present and future pre-orders of DOOM Eternal, so there’s no need to pre-order the game again if you’ve already done so. We can’t wait to bring this action-packed chapter in the DOOM franchise to a whole new generation of Slayers!
Continue here to read the full story.

Focus Home Interactive Financials

A second quarter financial report from Focus Home Interactive announces they are off to a "record start" for fiscal 2019-2020 with an 80% rise in revenue. They attribute this to the performance of their back-catalogue as well as their new releases:
For the first six months of its 2019/20 fiscal year, Focus Home Interactive posted revenues of €79.8 million, an increase of 80% in comparison with the same period of last year. Digital sales accounted for 84% of total sales in the first half compared to 65% during the first half of 2018/19.

The strong performance in the first half of the year was driven by the digital distribution on consoles of World War Z and the successful launches of A Plague Tale: Innocence and GreedFall.

The first semester also benefited from the solid performance of the back-catalogue, driven by its well-known titles like Farming Simulator, Vampyr, Insurgency: Sandstorm, the Surge and MudRunner, confirming Focus Home Interactive’s ability to build its success over time and gather communities of players around its games over the long term.

Rise of Industry: 2130 Released

Rise of Industry: 2130 is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a futuristic expansion for Rise of Industry, the manufacturing simulation for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The Release Trailer sets the stage for the release, showing a story that kicks off with an ecological crisis. Here's word:
The year is 2130. Your idyllic world of profit and loss lays in ruins. Mankind’s endless capitalism and destruction of decades gone by has given birth to a dark and desolate new world.

Now you must construct all-new technologically advanced production lines and mine resources from fallen cities as you look to rebuild your industrial empire in a bleak dystopian future.
Continue here to read the full story.

Gangsters 1920 Next Month

Sunlight Games announces Gangsters 1920 is coming on November 7th on Steam, offering a PC version of their mobile game based on the underworld in the prohibition era. They say this will be "PC optimized" and offer Windows system specs, which are understandably modest. They say this is "Inspired by a great adventure game from the 1980s," and the Steam Listing offers screenshots which are un-textured in a starkly retro black and white. Here's a description:
Explore the gloomy roads of the surreal 1920s underworld and find the relevant hints. Together with detective Lake, you will be able to hunt down the gangsters responsible for the national bank robbery. Better be safe than sorry – find out who your friends are before encountering your foes. The right people will do you a favor and give you the two clues, the wrong people will kill you.

Find the secret passwords and combine them properly to solve the tricky case.

Features:

  • Arcade-Adventure in retro-look
  • 3D-iso-view
  • Graphics in real time including shadows
  • Controlling by mouse and keyboard (retro!)
  • High replay value thanks to a randomly generated scene map after each new game start

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS Next Month

BANDAI NAMCO announces SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS will arrive on Steam for Windows on November 27th. They celebrate the game coming west with a new trailer, which still contains Japanese voiceovers, but does include English subtitles. Here's more on the latest offering from the developer/publisher rumored to be the sole remaining reason for the persistence of the caps-lock key:
Leading anime video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announced SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS, the latest entry into the G GENERATION series of Gundam tactical games. The title will be available as a digital download for PCs via STEAM on November 27, 2019.

In SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS, players will be able to relive the story and collect their favorite Mobile Suits and characters from four different eras of the iconic MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM series, including MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM WING, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00 and MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Thanks very much for the sympathies over MrsBlue's father's failing health. Sadly, he ended up dying yesterday, not long after I wrote here about his condition. We are quite sad about this, but relieved that his suffering has ended, as the past few months were terribly hard on him. It's a cliché to have conflicts with your in-laws, but my wife's folks accepted me into their family quite readily, and always treated me with kindness and love, so I sort of won the lottery there. My father-in-law was a great guy, and he will be sorely missed. The funeral is next week, and I will offer a heads up on my travel plans once they are nailed down.

Mourning Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: How 9 Cuts of Meat Got Their Names. Thanks Neutronbeam.
2019 Union Pacific Steam Schedule. Thanks RedEye9.
How a Harvard class project changed barbecue.
Stories: Man Arrested For Indecent "Frozen 2" Toy Act.
Hunter dies in Arkansas after deer he shot attacks him.
Food Network President Says She’s ‘Talking’ to Alton Brown About Doing More ‘Good Eats.’
Science: Rats learned how to drive tiny cars and it reduced their stress, researchers say. See if that calm lasts in rush hour traffic. Thanks Max.
Momentous fossil find in Colorado Springs draws world recognition.
A Man Kept Getting Drunk Without Using Alcohol. It Turns Out, His Gut Brews Its Own Booze.
Media: Miami Marlins' Austin Dean Shows His Perfect Aim.
Honest Trailers - Total Recall (1990).
Epic tank diorama.
Follow-ups: NASA’s Mars 2020 rover rests on its own six wheels for the first time.
Lion Air Boeing 737 Max crash investigation faults flight-control feature, regulatory lapses and pilot error.
SpaceX wants to land Starship on the Moon before 2022, then do cargo runs for 2024 human landing.
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