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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

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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.

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