Archived News:

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020 Bastille Day

Orcs Must Die! 3 Released: One of Five Google Stadia Exclusives

This video has all the action from Google's summer Stadia Connect event, revealing new content coming to their streaming service. They also reveal Click to Play, a new feature to allow players to instantly play games on Stadia, without waiting for a downloads or updates. Among their announcements are five games that are launching exclusively on the service. They reveal two of these today as Outcasters from Splash Damage and Orcs Must Die! 3 from Robot Entertainment, which is now available. They say the other three Only on Stadia games are in the works at Harmonix, Uppercut Games, and Supermassive Games. Here's word:
Stadia Games and Entertainment

  • Outcasters (Only on Stadia)
    From famed developers Splash Damage comes Outcasters, a vibrant and accessible competitive online multiplayer game​ set in a distinctly stylised vinyl world. ​Built off the incredible multiplayer experiences Splash Damage is known for players battle each other for glory, rewards and millions of customisations to make their Caster as unique as you are. Face off in matches up to eight players as you sharp-shoot, bounce and spring your way to success across colorful combat arenas.
  • Orcs Must Die! 3 (Only on Stadia; Playable in Stadia Pro once Stadia Connect is live)
    From the team at Robot Entertainment, Orcs Must Die! 3 ushers orc-slaying mayhem to a previously unimaginable scale. All new War Scenarios pit players and their friends against the largest orc armies ever assembled. Mountable War Machines give players the essential firepower to heave, stab, carbonize, and disarticulate the abominable intruders. Orcs Must Die! 3 is the long-awaited successor to the award-winning series. Orcs Must Die! 3 will be claimable for free in Stadia Pro, or $29.99 without Pro.

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New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 20.7.2 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition Windows drivers for AMD graphics cards. Word is these add support for DEATH STRANDING, F1 2020, and the Hyper Scape open beta:

Support For

  • Death Stranding™
    • With the high preset on the Radeon™ RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 8% better performance playing Death Stranding with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.7.2 than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.5.1. RS-337
  • F1 2020™
    • With the ultra-high preset on the Radeon™ RX 5700 XT, achieve up to 5% better performance playing F1® 2020 with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.7.2 than with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.7.1 Hyper Scape™ Open Beta. RS-336
  • Hyper Scape™ Open Beta

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Hearthstone Scholomance Academy Next Month

Blizzard announces Scholomance Academy, a new expansion for Hearthstone that will come to the deckbuilding game in Early August. This will introduce new Dual Class cards, a new keyword, and kick off the Year of the Phoenix Phase 2. Here's the Cinematic Announcement Video and they deal out some details: "Greetings, aspiring adept! We’re thrilled to welcome you to Scholomance Academy! Within the lofty halls of this fabled magic college, the (mostly) good Headmaster Kel’Thuzad and the rest of our faculty are here to guide the next generation of greats, from Warlocks to Warriors and everything between. We encourage the pursuit of double majors and offer a plethora of cross-over studies. Whatever flavor of major you favor, Scholomance has the training grounds to suit your needs!" They also announce today's release of a new version 17.6 patch for the game. They offer the Patch Notes along with word on how to collect two copies of a free card:
With today’s 17.6 patch all players can log in to receive two copies of the Epic Neutral minion, Transfer Student, for free!* Transfer Student has different effects based on which game board it’s played on, with 25 different effects in total, and can be slotted into your decks immediately!

*Limit two per account. Must log in by October 20 to claim.
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Neon Abyss Released

Neon Abyss is now available for Windows and consoles, and you find the PC edition of this roguelike shooter on GOG.com or Steam. Everyone who picks this up over the coming week will also receive a free copy of the Loveable Rogues DLC with two additional characters. You can see the game's cartoony style in the Launch Trailer. Though remember, if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. Also, if thou gaze long into neon, thou will still see it after closing thine eyes. Here's more:

Team17 and Veewo Games are excited to announce today’s launch of Neon Abyss on consoles and PC. In the ever-changing and fast-paced world of Neon Abyss players face off against the New Gods, monstrous bosses formed from modern day venerations and obsessions, including mobile video, plushies, and fast food. As they fight their way through the descending and dynamically generated levels of the Neon Abyss, arming themselves with some of the 400 plus items, players will lay waste to hundreds of twisted enemies, encounter rooms of mini games, and hatch and evolve pets that help them on the journey into the depths below.

Featuring deadly roguelite gameplay and an evolving environment that changes as players choose specific upgrade paths for their characters, no two dungeon runs will be the same: the layout, enemies and challenges will all be different, while players will continually be better equipped to battle against what lurks in the Abyss. For those wanting a taste of the action before they jump in with both feet, demos are available for both Steam and Nintendo Switch.

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The Sims 4 Nifty Knitting This Month

EA announces a July 28th release date for Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack, a new add-on for The Sims 4 that will allow you to knit one, purl two in the Windows and macOS lifestyle simulator. Here's the Official Trailer and here's the knitty gritty:
All your Sims need for their new hobby is a yarn basket. Sims start with knitting socks and beanies, but as they grow more skilled, they can tackle more interesting challenges like sweaters, baby onesies, toys for kids, and even mailbox cozies. Why? You mean, why not. Once you’re skilled enough, you can share the joy of knitting with other Sims, too. Just sit down together and start teaching them to knit, or give them the gift of a misshapen but well-intentioned sweater. It’s the thought that counts. Probably.
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Overwatch Challenge

Blizzard announces Sigma's Maestro Challenge for Overwatch, offering the chance to earn new cosmetics in the first-person shooter between now and July 27th. Here's a trailer and here's an overview:
It’s your turn to take the stage! Take part in Sigma’s symphony to earn limited-time rewards, including Maestro Sigma (legendary).

From now until July 27, players will be able to earn a player icon, a legendary emote, six unique sprays, and Maestro Sigma (legendary) for a total of nine new rewards.

  • THE MAESTRO - Learn how to unlock brand-new Sigma rewards
  • WATCH TO EARN - Earn special music-themed cosmetics by watching Twitch streams
  • AMP IT UP! - Learn more about the new soundtrack, Overwatch: Cities & Countries
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On Sale

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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Column Blocker in 0 Portals (World Record). What is this madness? Thanks Eurogamer.net.

PC DEATH STRANDING Released

DEATH STRANDING is no longer stranded on PlayStation 4, as the Windows edition of this action game from Kojima Productions is now available on the Epic Games Store and Steam. Neither site features a launch discount, but if you don't want to pay bust-out retail, Green Man Gaming offers Steam keys for 20% off (Blue's News may receive a commission). Here's the previously released PC Launch Trailer and here's an article from NVIDIA on GeForce features in the PC edition. Here's the announcement:
Published worldwide by 505 Games, DEATH STRANDING for PC premieres today with newly supported features and playable content exclusively available to players on PC, including ultra-wide display support, high framerate, advanced tech from NVIDIA and an exciting in-game crossover collaboration with Valve’s popular Half-Life and Portal series of games.

Selected by the British Games Academy as winner of the Technical Achievement award at the 2020 BAFTA® Games Awards, DEATH STRANDING for PC debuts with new advanced tech features including NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 technology, a deep learning neural network powered by RTX Tensor Cores that boosts frame rates and generates beautiful, sharp images. With DLSS 2.0 enabled, gamers can achieve 100+ FPS at 1440p or a smooth 60+ FPS at 4K on all NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. DEATH STRANDING is also playable on NVIDIA’s open cloud-gaming service GeForce NOW — giving gamers instant access to GeForce PC performance, on nearly any PC, Mac, SHIELD TV or Android device, without any downloads.
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PC Halo 3 Released

The Windows edition of Halo 3 is now available on Steam as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Here's word on the PC edition of the first-person shooter:
Halo 3 comes to PC as the next installment in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Now optimized for PC, witness the Master Chief’s return to finish the fight between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire Human race in this dramatic, pulse-pounding conclusion of the original Halo trilogy. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, the Master Chief returns to uncover an ancient secret hidden beneath the sands of Africa, which could hold the key to humanity’s salvation or destruction – an object that could change the tide of the Human-Covenant conflict.

Game Features:

  • PC Settings/Optimizations: Halo 3 is now optimized for PC and looking better than ever at up to 4k UHD and at 60+ FPS.* Other PC native settings include customizable mouse and keyboard support, ultrawide support, FOV customization, and more.
  • Campaign: Experience the next chapter in the Halo saga and fight your way through 11 unforgettable missions.
  • Multiplayer: Continue your Halo adventure with 24 multiplayer maps from the iconic Halo 3, featuring a completely updated progression system in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
  • Forge & Theater: Create new ways to play with the iconic Forge tool and utilize the Theater to capture and share your favorite moments with the community

*Look to system requirements for guidance on hardware minimum specs to achieve performance metrics

Rocket Arena Blasts Off

EA announces the launch of Rocket Arena for Windows and consoles, with the PC edition of the hero shooter available on Origin and Steam. Here's the Official Launch Trailer. They will celebrate the release of the game with a tournament that kicks off today at 4:00 pm EDT, and those who watch this on Twitch will have a chance at winning a free copy. Here's the deal:
Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and Seattle-based studio Final Strike Games have announced that Rocket Arena, an explosive 3v3 shooter where rockets control everything, is now available with cross-play support on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC via Origin™ and Steam. Featuring a diverse roster of 10 playable heroes, customizable playstyles and highly competitive action, Rocket Arena offers visceral fast-paced combat that breaks genre conventions to be unlike any other hero shooter in its category.

“Our game is a truly unique hero shooter that’s unlike anything players have experienced. At the surface, the fun and frantic combat is quick to grasp, but behind the curtain there is a robust, deep game that's highly competitive, full of rockets, and challenging to master,” said Kevin Franklin, Co-Founder of Final Strike Games. “Our EA partnership has allowed our team to realize an uncompromised vision of Rocket Arena. With their support, we've crafted a deep multiplayer game, rich world and IP that we are incredibly proud of. We already have tons of free post-launch content in the works and can’t wait to share what else we have in store for all our players.”
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Watch Dogs: Legion Early Access Perk Rescinded

A tweet from Daniel Ahmad has word from this Senior Analyst at Niko Partners that the three days of early access perk is being removed from the special editions of Watch Dogs: Legion (thanks GameSpot). Here's word:
Since the announcement of Watch Dogs: Legion last year we've worked to refine the content of the game's premium editions with additions and adjustments to improve the player experience.

The Season Pass has been enhanced to offer players additional story based content while still delivering the premium characters and cosmetics from the original pass. Additionally, all editions of watchdogs Legion will be released simultaneously on 10.29.2020. As a result, the "3 days early access" has been removed from the Gold, Ultimate and Collector's editions of Watch Dogs Legion.

QuakeCon at Home Starts August 7th

Bethesda announced the cancellation of the in-person version of QuakeCon in March and last month said the digital edition will be next month. Now they reveal details on the 25th installment of the gaming celebration, saying the virtual gathering will run from August 7-9. Here's word on the planned festivities and where to get your hands on QuakeCon SWAG:
This year, due to COVID-19, QuakeCon at Home will be a global, totally online event – kicking off August 7 and ending August 9 – filled with three days of livestreams from around the world, tournaments (of course!), charity fundraising, and more. And the BYOC – the heart of QuakeCon – is going virtual, using Twitch Teams to bring fans together through games in new ways.

QUAKECON AT HOME HIGHLIGHTS
Global Super Stream: QuakeCon at Home will feature a weekend packed with streamed content from around the globe, kicking off on Friday, August 7, at 11:00am AM CST with Bethesda’s QuakeCon Digital Welcome. The event schedule will feature round-the clock programming with special influencer streams, surprises, and our very own Bethesda Community teams from around the globe - all streaming from home in support of charitable causes. Stay tuned for more info, including the full stream schedule, in the coming weeks!
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Ampersat Announced

Solo developer Gaterooze, Ink announces Ampersat, "a labor of love" adventure/roguelite hybrid that's expected on Steam on September 25th. Ampersat is one of the names given to the "at" symbol (@). This reflects the game's amusing take on the ASCII artwork of old-school games, as can be seen in the Announcement Trailer. Here's more:
Gaterooze, Ink reveals Ampersat, a labor of love from a solo developer, distilling some favorite old-school gaming experiences into a handcrafted Adventure/Roguelite hybrid that sees you killing a lot of monsters, finding a lot of loot, freeing captured letters (um, what?) and growing from a world-weary warrior mage into a powerful smashing/blasting machine.

Taking the ASCII characters of the original Rogue games, giving them a highly stylized custom font for each of 52 enemy types, and then putting them into a top-down 3D world halfway between traditional 16-bit pixels and modern voxels results in a vibrant and unique look.

A similar approach is used for sound, layering Commodore 64 SID chip-emulated sound effects over more traditional real-world instrumentation for some tense atmosphere in puzzling dungeons, dizzying towers and a jaunty village environment.
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Morning Multiplex

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Gatherings & Competitions

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