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Wednesday, Nov 06, 2019

I.G.I. Origins Officially Announced

After teasing a new I.G.I. game called I.G.I. Origins early this year, Toadman Interactive officially announces this stealthy espionage prequel, saying we should expect it to sneak out in 2021 for PC and consoles. A new Teaser Trailer accompanies the announcement, which follows:
Toadman Interactive, a video game developer and publisher, today unveiled the first trailer and details for I.G.I. Origins, a multi-format Cold War spy-oriented stealth shooter. The title is currently in development for PC, Xbox One and PS4, and scheduled for global release in 2021.

Developed by Antimatter Games in Cornwall, the studio who are known as the shooter specialists behind Rising Storm and Red Orchestra, I.G.I. Origins is set in an alternate 1980s where Cold War spy conflicts take center stage with cinematic flair. Featuring signature gunplay with tactical realism as well as stealth, gadgets, and a focus on narrative, I.G.I. Origins puts the player in the role of a male or female super spy with MI6. Players will go on a high-stakes thrill ride across the globe in settings with an iconic 80s look and feel, with a do-or-die chance to redeem their reputation as a secret agent—and to save the world.
Continue here to read the full story.

A Year Of Rain Early Access

A Year Of Rain is now available in Early Access for Windows on Steam, offering a real-time strategy game where it's never a good day to wash your car. Here is an oddly rain-free Release Trailer, and here's the release announcement:
A Year Of Rain unites classic strategy elements like expansive base building and deep campaign storytelling with full cutscenes and voiceover, as well as a strong focus on hero units and co-op teamplay. For a limited time only, A Year Of Rain will be available in a 2-player pack on Steam for a discounted price!

A Year Of Rain’s story and multiplayer modes are built from the ground up with teams of two in mind, whether the second player is human or AI. At launch, early access features an expansive story campaign, fully playable in either single-player or two-player co-op. The classic 2v2 “Skirmish” mode is made to encourage competition - and teamwork - across the entire spectrum of skill levels. At the beginning of a match, both teammates choose between three different roles: Tank, Damage, and Support. Each comes with different bonuses for the respective armies and the overall team, allowing for a multitude of strategic combinations and synergies.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Radius VR Early Access

Into the Radius VR is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering a horror-themed shooter in a post-apocalyptic, post-Soviet Union setting. As can be inferred from the title, this is a virtual reality game that requires an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, or Windows Mixed Reality headset. This is inspired by Roadside Picnic, a novel by the Strugatsky brothers, whose work has led to a bunch of games over the years, including Hard to be a God, The Island: The Earthling, Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power, and Dead Mountaineer's Hotel. The Early Access Trailer shows a little s.t.a.l.k.i.n.g. and shooting in the game's irradiated environment. Here's a description:
Inspired by the seminal sci-fi novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Into the Radius combines Eldritch horror storytelling with open-world Virtual Reality exploration and realistic weapon handling. Life and death intertwine inside the Radius, lurking somewhere in the middle of everything is the answer to a question you can’t quite remember. Through the flickering memories of your tarnished life as a former resident of Pechorsk and now UNSPC specialist, your only means of survival is to stalk the strange and threatening zone and complete the missions assigned to you.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Hunter / Prey DLC Announced

Stardock announces new Hunter / Prey DLC is coming to Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, their massive RTS game. They say this will be released "soon" and that it will come along with a new patch to update the game to version 2.9 for all users. A Steam Listing for the DLC is already online, and the Ashes of the Singularity Website now has the announcement along with some screenshots. Here's word:
Today, Stardock announced the new Hunter / Prey DLC for its massive-scale RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity™: Escalation. New Substrate units and PHC base defenses add depth to players' strategic options in skirmish, multiplayer, campaign, and scenarios.

"This dlc further differentiates the two factions," said Callum McCole, lead designer for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. "The PHC are now much better at locking down territory, while the Substrate's new units provide versatile tools for assaulting enemy strongholds."

In Hunter / Prey, Substrate players can take advantage of the devastating capabilities of the new Heart of the Phoenix juggernaut, unleash swarms of mechanical Hatchlings using the Clutch of Eggs, and disable enemy defenses with the Falling Star. PHC players can defend their territory with the powerful and heavy-hitting Minos Cannon, wipe out enemy shields using the Nova Tower, or freeze units dead in their tracks using the Stasis Hammer. There are more units and structures to try out and explore, which means greater battles and deeper strategy.
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HITMAN 2 Anniversary Content Roadmap

WBIE and IO Interactive celebrate the one-year anniversary of the release of HITMAN 2 with a roadmap of free content coming to the assassination game starting with a handful of contracts coming tomorrow. Here's a trailer and here's a rundown:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IO Interactive today released the HITMAN 2 November 2019 Roadmap, celebrating the game’s one-year anniversary with a wide-ranging selection of free live content, including the return of some of the best legacy content, coming throughout the month. All HITMAN 2 owners will have access to a variety of Featured Contracts, Escalation Contracts, Challenge Packs, item unlocks, suit unlocks and a legacy Elusive Target. A rundown of the free content updates coming to HITMAN 2 in November is listed below.
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ARK: Genesis Videos

Studio Wildcard used the promise of new teaser videos for ARK: Genesis to inspire support during a 24-hour livestream for the ExtraLife charity. Since participants met all their goals, they now offer no fewer than six new videos showing off gadgetry for this next chapter in ARK: Survival Evolved that comes in the form of an ARK: Genesis Season Pass. Pop some corn and find yourself a good seat:
Here are the ARK: Genesis Reveals!
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Steam Cloud Gaming Plans?

A tweet from the Steam Database has a details on new code they've spotted in an update to a Steam partner site that suggests Valve may be working on their own cloud gaming service (thanks WCCFTECH). They have posted their findings to GitHub, showing code that includes the following prompt: "'Warning', 'You must agree to the terms in the Steam Cloud Gaming Addendum before continuing.'" This doesn't confirm anything, but it prompts SteamDB to pose the following speculative question: "Could this be a competitor to @GoogleStadia?"

PAYDAY 2 Free DLC Tomorrow

Starbreeze Studios expands on their recently announced plans to release new content for PAYDAY 2, their heist shooter sequel. They will begin paying off on this with free Silk Road DLC tomorrow alongside three new paid DLC packs which will also be offered in a Border Crossing bundle. Their website offers details and a Border Crossing Heist Trailer with a look at what to expect. Here's the announcement:
Starbreeze Studios and OVERKILL - a Starbreeze Studio have announced the release of the latest content for PAYDAY 2: the “Silk Road” campaign, featuring a suit customization system and six outfits added for free, as well as “Border Crossing Heist” DLC, “Tailor Pack 1” DLC, and “Cartel Optics Mod Pack” DLC, available at $6.99, $2.99 and $2.99 respectively. The content will be released on November 7 on the digital distribution platform Steam.

PAYDAY 2 is an action-packed, four-player co-op shooter that once again lets gamers don the masks of the original PAYDAY crew - Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains - as they descend on an epic crime spree. PAYDAY 2 development was halted in December 2018, but on October 25, 2019, with the introduction of the PAYDAY 2: Legacy collection, it was announced that development had been resumed.

This is the first content to be released since production resumed. The Silk Road campaign contains the following updates to be released November 7, 2019:
Continue here to read the full story.

Bridge Constructor Portal Gets Portal Proficiency DLC Next Week

Publisher Headup and developer ClockStone Software announce new DLC called Portal Proficiency will be released on November 12th for Bridge Constructor Portal, their game that combines the structural engineering of the Bridge Constructor series with the quantum physics of Valve's Portal series. This will add 30 new test chambers in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center to the game, along with the ability to place your own portals, just as Cave Johnson intended. Here's a Portal Proficiency Trailer lovingly narrated by GLaDOS, and here are more details:
Return to the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and experience a brand-new challenge. Finally, you are now able to not only construct bridges, but you can even place portals yourself! It’s just like the real thing!

Face up to 30 brain-teasing, remarkably unsafe test chambers in three chapters. Create insane constructions and decide where to place portals to show if you really are proficient in working with Portals. Only the bravest and smartest participants will succeed and receive the Golden Condolence Letter.

Portal Proficiency DLC Features:

  • New Aperture Science test series with 30 brand new, brain-teasing levels
  • Place the portals in the new test chambers yourself!
  • Create complex constructions in the Aperture Science labs

Continue here to read the full story.

The Elder Scrolls Online Free Week

The Elder Scrolls Online Website announces a free week kicks off today. This includes the base version of the MMORPG on all platforms between now and November 13th at 10:00 am EST. If you enjoy the experience and decide to purchase the full game, your progress will carry over. Here's more:
If you’ve played ESO during a previous free play event, you can continue your adventures, and all new ESO accounts created will also receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store. Note that Xbox Live Gold is required to play on Xbox One.

With access to the ESO base game, you can begin your adventure by creating characters in four of the game’s classes (Nightblade, Templar, Dragonknight, and Sorcerer), exploring 23 unique zones, and taking on the game’s main questline, Mages and Fighters Guild storylines, and much more. How you play is completely up to you—it’s your story! In addition to this, you’ll also get access to the Morrowind zone and story, allowing you to discover the home of the Dark Elves.

Stray Bombay's Co-op FPS Plans

A new co-op first-person shooter built with the Unreal Engine will be the debut release from Stray Bombay, the developer formed earlier this year by former Valve (and Old Man Murray) writer Chet Faliszek and former Riot Games AI expert Kimberly Voll. This was revealed at the Reboot Develop conference in Canada last week, and VG247 has some of what Faliszek had to say about their plans, including word that they hope to take player matchmaking to the next level:
“One of the things that my co-founder worked on at Riot was about matchmaking and how we think about it,” said Faliszek. “Some of that is about, say, you play Left 4 Dead on Thursday and you have a really good session, that game will ask you ‘hey, do you want to friend this person?’. That’s kind of like saying ‘hey, we had a first date, let’s get married’. It’s really overstepping it.

“But if you know from session to session what’s happening, you can say, ‘hey, these people play together, they’re looking for a game now on Thursday, so let’s put them in the room together and give them the opportunity to play again. For us, the metrics are about social, it’s not about skill.”

The design intentions are that once the shooter knows your habits and friends, it can then manipulate gameplay to challenge you based on data analysis.

“Then we can do cool things,” said Faliszek. “These people played four games together and they won so let’s have the game go crazy against them, let’s give them something that will kick their asses. We can make it easier and harder, because if we’re tracking them over sessions we understand them. Nobody has done social matchmaking quite to the extent that we’re doing it. When you have a normal lobby of four people you have to make that split second decision of do I like that person’s name? No. I’m going to drop out of this. Then you keep getting the empty lobby or the one person lobby problem.”

On Videogame Safety

A new study offers the latest take on the possibility of a link between playing violent videogames and aggressive behavior in real-life (thanks SciTechDaily). This focuses on adolescents, and the results fall in line with much of the previous research on the topic by finding no correlation between gaming and violence (an excerpt is included below). The other videogame safety topic that's gotten a lot of attention lately is the prospect that games are addictive. China apparently thinks so, as CNN reports that China is imposing a curfew on online gaming to fight this scourge, saying, "gamers aged under 18 will be banned from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. On weekdays, minors can only play for 90 minutes, while they may play up to three hours per day on weekends and public holidays." The World Health Organization recognizes "gaming disorder" as an actual thing, though this designation is widely disputed. Attitudes on this topic are probably influenced in part by occasional sensational headlines. The latest example is a story on the Mirror Online reporting on a Thai teen gamer who was found dead of an apparent stroke at his computer after an all-night gaming session. Back to the study mentioned above, this is chock full of tables and equations to explain their conclusion, which is right here:
The evidence presented here indicates that the positive association between video game play and violence is not causal. Prior research has established that most of the simple correlation is due to confounding factors, most notably that boys both play video games more and fight more often. Estimators that better address the confounder issue fail to find a positive association. The multivariate estimates have small enough standard errors so as to often represent a “precisely estimated zero.” The IV estimates, which should be even freer of bias, represent an imprecisely estimated negative effect. In sum, the most comprehensive study to date using the estimators that make the weakest prior assumptions about the data find no the causal link between video game playing and fighting.
Continue here to read the full story.

Galactic Rangers VR Launches

Galactic Rangers VR is now available on Steam, offering a first-person wave shooter set in space, where no one can hear you reload. This Windows game requires either an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Windows Mixed Reality headset and tracked motion controllers. This trailer shows off gameplay in all its dual-wielding glory, and the announcement has more on what this has to offer:
The very arcade game will immerse you just like an arcade cabinet, onto space battle, where you are one of the Galaxy saviours. Galactic Rangers VR reveals the story of a mysterious menace that is threating the Galaxy, as a race of robotic space pirates. It is up to the player to fight through those hordes of bad robots. The game features colourful but realistic graphics, tons of enemies, powerful weapons, and awesome music, every Galactic Ranger needs!
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The Otterman Empire Announced

Tri-Heart Interactive announces The Otterman Empire will come to Steam, Switch, and Xbox One early next year, offering a "fast-fire partly shooter" with local co-op and versus multiplayer support and an otterly punny title. They also announce an official website for this, but this is currently throwing a 403 (forbidden) error, so we're pretty sure they meant to direct us to this version of The Otterman Empire Website, which offers a Reveal Trailer and a link to their Steam Listing. Here's a bit on the game:
Choose your otter, customize your jetpack, add a weapon of spectacular power and leap into an otterly epic local multiplayer blast-fest with rapidly switching objectives and aerial antics, set across a sprawling universe where otters reign supreme.

The Otterman Empire features intense split-screen multiplayer action, blurring the lines between shooters and party games. Players are propelled by jetpacks, adding a captivating new twist to shoot ‘em up versus gameplay whilst intensifying the frenzied fun tenfold. Each two minute round demands a new objective with its own unique rules and gameplay dynamics. Randomly generated objectives and supply drops keep players on their toes and guarantees that no two games of The Otterman Empire are ever the same.
Continue here to read the full story.

Super Evil Megacorp New Game Plans

Rogue Games announces a deal to become the "publisher of record" for Vainglory, Super Evil Megacorp's cross-platform MOBA. It's not mentioned in the announcement, but VentureBeat says this is because with Super Evil Megacorp has raised over $10 million for their next project, which is codenamed Project Spellfire. "We’re longtime fans of Super Evil and Vainglory, so we’re honored to be entrusted with the game and eager to get started," said Mike DeLaet, Founder & CEO of Rogue Games. "Many people on the team have worked on MOBAs or games-as-service titles before and we appreciate how important the community is to the game itself. We’re working very closely with Super Evil and bringing along the current community managers to make the transition as smooth as possible and safeguard the quality of the Vainglory experience." Here's more of the plan:
Following a transition period working alongside the Super Evil team, Rogue Games will take over the publishing and all content creation of the game, maintaining the current content cadence and ensuring a seamless experience for Vainglory players. This transition will allow the ambitious game’s continuous evolution with new content while enabling Super Evil Megacorp to focus on new games and technology it is bringing to market.

Morning Crowdfunding

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Welcome to the responsive redesign of Blue's News, which brings proper mobile support to the site. This was inspired by a proposal by Kxmode and I cannot thank him enough for him volunteering his expertise and hard work to make this a reality. Likewise, once again I cannot express enough gratitude to Frans, as a lot of the labor for this ended up falling on him, and he did his usual amazing job of pulling the whole project together. Finally, here's a thank you to Ant, JDreyer, and j.c.f. for helping us out by beta testing. Frans made this forum post to explain some of the work that remains before this project is 100% complete and to serve as a repository for feedback and bug reports, so feel free to post there as you see fit.

Mobile Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Play: Autummry.
Links: Blizzard Adds President Xi To 'Overwatch' Roster.
Stories: A man rescued a caged dog that was floating in a freezing lake. Now he wants to adopt her. YOU'RE crying!
A drone helped archaeologists discover a lost Florida island settlement.
Baristas serve coffee naked in New York to advertise new natural creamer.
Science: More than 11,000 scientists issue fresh warning: Earth faces a climate emergency.
Interstellar space even weirder than expected, Voyager 2 reveals. "Strange Adventures in Infinite Space." Thanks David.
Ancient 70-Mile-Long Wall Found in Western Iran. But Who Built It?
Images: Bob Ross couple's costume and other Halloween night surprises in my neighborhood.
Media: Galaxy Quest Documentary - Never Surrender Trailer #2.
When Dad surprises Mum with a Gingerbread room.
I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy. Annual exercise in sadism.
Lunar Module Costume: Lunar Lander and Astronaut.
Follow-up: Emmerich Regrets "Independence Day" Sequel. As do we all.

Tuesday, Nov 05, 2019 Guy Fawkes Night

Red Dead Redemption 2 Troubleshooting Includes Launcher Patch

This post from Rockstar offers general troubleshooting tips for problems users are encountering in the newly released PC edition of Red Dead Redemption 2. This includes word on a patch for the Rockstar Games Launcher to update it to version 1.0.9.164 to address crashes when launching the western shooter sequel. Rockstar Games Customer Support offers details on the new version:
[November 5, 2019] General / Miscellaneous

  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the Rockstar Games Launcher returning the error "The Rockstar Games Launcher failed to initialize" on startup
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the Rockstar Games Launcher preload decryption getting stuck and not completing
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the Rockstar Games Launcher returning the error "The Rockstar Games Launcher exited unexpectedly" when launching Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in crashes when starting the Rockstar Games Launcher from the Epic Games Launcher
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in the Rockstar Games Launcher returning the error "Unable to launch game, please verify your game data" when launching Red Dead Redemption 2 from the Epic Games Launcher

Planet Zoo Released

Planet Zoo is now available on Steam, offering a new Windows game from Frontier Developments, who combine the titles of two of their previous games, Planet Coaster and Zoo Tycoon. Here's a the Launch Trailer, and here's word on the game:
From the creators of Planet Coaster comes a new, deeper and more powerful sim with Planet Zoo, available now. Players will travel the globe on a quest to build the most awe-inspiring zoos and learn to care for a menagerie of authentic living animals who think, feel and explore the world around them. Whether building piece by piece or upgrading an existing park, Planet Zoo’s Franchise, Career, Challenge and Sandbox Modes present endless opportunities to hone their management and building skills.

Over 70 animals will be available to create the most challenging, magnificent and diverse zoos, balancing animal welfare and conservation efforts with visitor enthusiasm. Budding entrepreneurs can finesse the balance sheet as they tackle everything from staff costs, to building maintenance, ticket sales and guest donations, while aspiring zoologists can juggle researching new facilities, enrichment items and habitat customisations on their quest to create the perfect zoo.
Continue here to read the full story.

Necro Story Announced

Belgian solo developer Rablo Games announces Necro Story, a comedic RPG "where you play as a powerful and (kind of) evil Necromancer." This is coming to PC in 2021, and the game's Steam Listing is already online. Here's a description of what to expect:
Necro Story is Comedy RPG where you play as a powerful and (kind of) evil Necromancer. Helped by the ghost of a playful white mage, you must sneak in the Underworld to save humanity.

During your quest, you’ll have to master 20 Necromancy spells. Each of them has its own skill tree. Summon dreadful and smelly skeletons, transform yourself in Demons by signing Dark Pacts and absorb life from your enemies.

But your most lethal weapon is no doubt your signature move: Possess Soul! Use it to take control of any beaten enemy, and build your own army of minions.
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Tank Maniacs Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for Tank Maniacs, a couch co-op game that's scheduled to roll out later this year. A Demo Gameplay Trailer shows off some tanks and some maniacs, though no couches. Word is: "Featuring 10 different tanks, 3 distinct maps and the “Last Tank Standing” game mode, the Tank Maniacs demo be available November 5 - 17." The game's local multiplayer also supports Steam's Remote Play Together feature. Here's word on the game:
Tank Maniacs is a chaotic couch party game for one to four players. You and your fellow pilots will battle it out in post-apocalyptic arenas reminiscent of the once beautiful landscapes of our planet. Your task is simple: eliminate the competition in any way possible. To ensure the unfairness of these encounters, the showrunner will bombard you with environmental hazards and powerful upgrades that can turn the tide of battle in a heartbeat. Engage in free-for-all or team-based combat with friends, or try beating the unforgiving AI bots. If you want to be successful in the arena, you’ll have to master the weird tanks with various gameplay mechanics and familiarize yourself with the different maps that offer a wide range of challenges. Or you can just shoot your friends to bits, that’s fine too.
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Degrees of Separation Adds Multiplayer

Publisher Modus Games and developer: Moondrop are bringing Degrees of Separation players together with a new version 1.2 patch. This is now available on Steam adding online multiplayer support to this Kevin Bacon-free 2D puzzle/adventure. Word is: "Players will be able to take their existing save files online to play with friends, and progress earned through cooperative play will be kept by each user." Here's a new Accolades Trailer with nice things people have to say about this and here's word on the game:
Using contrasting aspects of heat and cold, Degrees of Separation requires players harness their respective climates – embodied by characters Ember and Rime – in order to maneuver through the game and explore the world as a team. Together, the two use their unique powers of temperature to progress through a spectacular land of fantasy and adventure.

Degrees of Separation is playable solo or in co-op multiplayer, allowing two players to work in tandem to traverse environmental obstacles. No matter how you choose to play, Ember and Rime must rely on one another while exploring a non-linear world that at times underscores just how very different they are.
Continue here to read the full story.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Released for PC

Rockstar Games announces the release of the Windows PC edition of Red Dead Redemption 2, their wild west shooter sequel. This can be picked up through the Rockstar Games Launcher; the Epic Games Store; Green Man Gaming; The Humble Store; and GameStop, and word is it will come to Steam next month. We see a report on Polygon on some crashing issues and a post on VG247 says this may be your antivirus software. Here's the announcement of the release:
Rockstar Games® is proud to announce that Red Dead Redemption 2 is now available for the PC. Originally released on October 26, 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One was a critical and commercial success with approximately 25 million copies sold-in worldwide and remains the highest rated game of the current console generation*.

The first game in the Red Dead Redemption series to be featured on the PC platform, Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC debuts with a range of graphical and technical enhancements to bring new life and detail to the story of Arthur Morgan and the Van Der Linde gang, on the run from the law across America in the final days of the 19th Century. Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC also includes new content for Story mode, including new Bounty Hunting Missions, Gang Hideouts, Weapons and more, plus a fully-featured photo mode for players to capture and share their favorite moments from the game.

Pre-release media previews have been outstanding:

  • “The world simply looks more natural. From the way fog causes an eerie glow to cover the sky when sun shines through it, or sweatier faces boast a more noticeable reflective sheen, leafy shadows flutter about the woods, or the way lamp and torchlight flickers in someone’s eyes, the already-vibrant world manages to pull you into it just that much further.” – IGN
  • “It feels like Rockstar is showing off - it looks breathtaking…It's hard not to talk about it without sounding hyperbolic but it's one of the best looking things I've seen in recent memory.” - GameSpot
  • “The combination of 60fps performance and mouselook significantly changes the way the game feels to play, which to me matters more than visual improvements to a game that looked great already.” - PC Gamer
  • “One of the best looking games I've ever seen on a monitor.” – GamesRadar
  • “Photo mode and graphics upgrades make this the definitive version.” – VG247

Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC also includes free access to the shared living world of Red Dead Online, featuring all previously released improvements and the latest content updates for the complete online experience, including Frontier Pursuits and the specialist Roles of Bounty Hunter, Trader and Collector for players to progress through and earn unique rewards.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Released

The Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is now available, making previous editions of this action/adventure game shadows of their former selves. You can see this in action in this trailer and read on for what defines this release:
Square Enix® is proud to announce that Shadow of the Tomb Raider™: Definitive Edition is now available digitally and physically at retailers in select countries for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Windows PC/Steam®, and the Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X, with the Stadia version launching on November 19, 2019. Featuring the base game and all seven post-launch DLC, the bundle gives players the chance to experience the final chapter of Lara Croft®’s origin story with every challenge tomb, downloadable weapon, outfit and skill.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must travel through a magnificent world, filled with the largest tombs in franchise history, hidden secrets, and cunning new enemies. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will be forged into the Tomb Raider® she is destined to be.
Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new version 19.11.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Windows drivers for AMD graphic cards. These include addition Vulkan support and some fixes, but their primary purpose is to support the just-released Windows edition of Red Dead Redemption 2:
Support For

  • Red Dead: Redemption II®

Added Vulkan® Support

Continue here to read the full story.

New StarCraft II Commander Planned

On of the announcements at BlizzCon not covered here yet is the revelation of Arcturus Mengsk, a new co-op commander coming to StarCraft II later this month. This post has all the details, saying the character includes the nuclear option: "Should the need arise, Mengsk can unleash Nuclear Annihilation on his foes, raining atomic bombs on the battlefield, leaving nothing but ashes." Here's more:
Control the battle with an iron fist as Arcturus Mengsk, the newest Co-Op Commander for StarCraft II. Using conscripted laborers and troopers, Mengsk can put immediate pressure on his enemies and cement his power in the early game. Long-range artillery and “inspirational” broadcasts help Mengsk project his force across the battlefield, and his elite Royal Guard units grow in strength as they gain experience from battle, enhancing their ability to serve their emperor.

Feed an endless stream of cheap troopers into the meat grinder, softening your enemies for your Royal Guard to go in for the kill. When a fallen trooper drops their weapon upon their death, another will pick it up and resume the inexorable march toward victory.

Morning Crowdfunding

  • Void Eclipse: A Sci-Fi Strategy Game by Tau Ceti Studios — Kickstarter. "Void Eclipse is a new blend of 4X empire building and tactical card battles with an immersive sci-fi story. You take on the role of an android newly awoken with an unknown past. Search unique planets and star systems to discover your origins, while saving an alien empire faced with a mysterious threat!"

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA XPG Summoner Gaming Keyboard on Vortez.
  • CORSAIR HS60 PRO SURROUND Gaming Headset on Mad Shrimps.
  • Enermax Liqmax III 120 and Liqmax III 120 RGB Liquid Cooling on Overclocked Inside.
  • Maingear Vybe RGB Tempered Glass ATX Case on Tom's Hardware. Thanks Hypothermia.
  • noblechairs Epic Series Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Edition Chair on TechPowerUp.
  • ROCCAT Kain 120 Mouse on Vortez.
  • Surface Pro X Laptop on Engadget.
  • XPG BATTLEGROUND XL PRIME RGB Gaming Mouse Pad on TweakTown.
  • ZOTAC GTX 1660 SUPER Twin Fan Graphics Card on Vortez.

Out of the Blue

Beta testing of our new responsive redesign has gone well, so here's a thank you Frans and Kxmode, who have put in a lot of work to make it happen. Also, thank you to the handful of testers who have helped us finalize things. We are on the verge of rolling out the changes, which will probably go live tomorrow or the next day. This will cause some downtime: We're not sure how long, but it probably won't be more than 15-30 minutes. If you encounter an error because the site is unavailable, this is likely the cause. Here are some more things to know about what will change. While the site will follow the same general design for desktop users, this will now scale properly for smaller screens, and will switch to a "hamburger" style menu once it gets down to mobile size (with normal-sized headlines, no less!). This will, however, be a partial rollout, and some pages will not follow the full responsive redesign at first, most noticeably the forums. We don't yet have a time frame for when an update for these will come. Also, this comes along with some new ad units to help keep the lights on. Please feel free to offer feedback on how these affect the experience here, but also be aware that we are working on being able to accommodate the frequent requests for a way to suppress these without being haunted by your conscience (more to come). One final note, the changes include a fix for the problem that would occasionally cause the site to render white. But those of you who are using the "retro black" color scheme will have to delete their "style" cookie for the site to make this work properly. That's enough for now. We're pretty excited about the changes and are looking forward to your impressions.

Responsive Links: Thanks Ant.
Story: Star Wars Getting An Official Kabuki Adaptation. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Scientists create age-resistant mice with hyper-long telomeres. Thanks Max.
Splatter master Jackson Pollock avoided “coiling” when creating his paintings.
Media: Voting Machines- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (NSFW).
Annoying customers after closing time - In and Out.
More than a hologram: Star Wars-like tech you can buy now. Help me Obi Wan Kenobi you're my only hope.
Auctions: Man accidentally buys 1000 hens from online auction.
Follow-ups: Coffee can be good for your health.
What you need to know ahead of this year's flu season.