Archived News:

Thursday, Oct 08, 2020

Get Rising Storm 2: Vietnam and ABZU for Free

The latest freebies are now available on the Epic Games Store, where you can pick up Rising Storm 2: Vietnam and ABZU for nothing. As per usual, these are yours to keep if you grab your copies over the next seven days. After that the new giveaways will be Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Kingdom New Lands. Those who collect Rising Storm 2: Vietnam through this offer will be able to play in multiplayer games with owners of the Steam version. Here are more details on both free games:
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is the sequel to Rising Storm, PC Gamer magazine’s 2013 ‘Multiplayer Game of the Year,’ published by Tripwire Interactive and developed by Antimatter Games. Command your team to victory in massive 64-player battles with authentic weapons, aircraft, and maps that pit conventional military forces against guerilla forces.

ABZU
Immerse yourself in a vibrant ocean world full of mystery and bursting with color and life. Perform fluid acrobatics as the Diver using graceful swimming controls. Discover hundreds of unique species based on real creatures and form a powerful connection with the abundant sea life. Interact with schools of thousands of fish that procedurally respond to you, each other, and predators. Linger in epic seascapes and explore aquatic ecosystems modeled with unprecedented detail. Descend into the heart of the ocean where ancient secrets lie forgotten. But beware, dangers lurk in the depths. "ABZÛ" is from the oldest mythologies; AB, meaning water, and ZÛ, meaning to know. ABZÛ is the ocean of wisdom.

AMD Zen 3 Announcement

Tom's Hardware summarizes today's AMD Zen 3 announcement of the Ryzen 5000, saying this promises 19% better instruction per cycle throughput and "1080p gaming dominance." In their All We Know post they say these will first be available starting November 5th: "The first four new Ryzen 5000 models come as chips for the desktop PC, and they stretch from the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X up to the $799 Ryzen 9 5950X. The chips will be on shelves on November 5th." Here's word:
Undisputed no-compromise dominance of the desktop PC market. That was AMD's long-term goal when it first began working on the Zen architecture nine years ago, and it took an unrelenting cadence of optimizations to realize that goal. AMD claims it has finally achieved that ambitious goal with the 7nm Ryzen 5000 processors that come with the Zen 3 microarchitecture. AMD says the Ryzen 5000 processors finally beat Intel in its last bastion — 1080p gaming — while maintaining Ryzen's existing lead in basically every other metric. The four new Ryzen 5000 models, which stretch from the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X up to the $799 Ryzen 9 5950X, arrive at retail on November 5th.

AMD touts its Zen 3 chips as having market-leading single-threaded performance, which comes courtesy of an overall 19% uplift to IPC (instruction per cycle) throughput. Combined with the optimized 7nm process that wrings out a 4.9 GHz boost from the flagship Ryzen 5000 'Vermeer' chips, it looks like AMD has finally swung the pendulum entirely in its favor. If AMD's benchmarks prove true in our testing, we'll have a new king at the top of the CPU benchmarks hierarchy and will be making changes to our list of Best CPUs soon.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fall Guys Season 2 Launches

Season 2 of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is now underway, offering new content and challenges in the battle royale platformer. This is live for Windows on Steam as well as for the console editions. This post has a Season 2 Trailer with a look at what to expect along with the following details:
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout catapults the world’s most memeable jelly beans into a world of Medieval mayhem with the long-awaited launch of Season 2! Starting today, players will revel among knockabout knights, pugilistic paladins and vivacious vikings in a full season of new Rounds, costumes, emotes and more as they lay siege to the Middle Ages!
Continue here to read the full story.

Blaston on Steam Next Year

Blaston is now available for Oculus Quest, offering a PvP virtual reality shooter from Resolution Games, the developer that recently bolstered their shooter cred by hiring Tom Hall (Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM, and Rise of the Triad) and Mike Booth (Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero). The game is also coming to Vive, Rift, Index, and Windows Mixed Reality via Steam, where it is currently listed with a January 1, 2021 release date (which seems like a placeholder). The Blaston Website offers a Launch Trailer, and here's a summary:
Blaston calls for a combination of skill, strategy and speed, and equips players with an incredible arsenal of futuristic, high-tech weapons to rise through the ranks and become a champion in this game of cyberpunk dueling action. Unlike other competitive multiplayer VR experiences, Blaston blends slow motion shooting with a high rate of firepower and close-range combat to create a bullet-hell experience that’s personal, tactical, and unlike anything players have experienced previously in VR.
Continue here to read the full story.

I Am Dead Lives

I Am Dead is now available for Windows and Switch, with the PC editions of this posthumous puzzle game available through both the Epic Games Store and Steam. Here's a Launch Trailer and here are the fatalistic details:
I Am Dead is a charming puzzle adventure game from the creators of Hohokum and Wilmot’s Warehouse about exploring the afterlife.

Morris Lupton is the recently-deceased museum curator of the tiny island of Shelmerston who is reunited with the ghost of his dog Sparky, only to discover that a disaster is about to destroy his beloved island.

Together, they must uncover Shelmerston’s ancient mysteries, prevent the island’s volcano from erupting, and save the place they call home.
Continue here to read the full story.

Still More Steam Demos

The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition rolls on. Tonight the tide rolls in with still more game demos for your sampling pleasure:

  • Accident
    Become a journalist who researches old car accident cases. Help victims and perform first aid, obtain evidence and reconstruct the events to discover what really happened.
  • Builders of Egypt
    Builders of Egypt is a city-building economic strategy taking place in the Nile Valley. Immerse yourself in a world full of pyramids, where you will become a part of the ancient world. Create history, be history!
  • DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
    DreadStar is a retro inspired top-down shooter that blends RPG progression elements with gorgeous pixel art, epic bosses, and six replayable sectors. With unique ship customization you’ll need to avenge your father, improve your loadouts as you go, all while taking on a variety of diverse enemies.
  • Dieselpunk Wars
    Dieselpunk Wars is a vehicle building game, focused on combat with advanced physics and damage simulation. Use over 300 elements to build a war machine of your dreams. Construct vehicles that ride on the ground, soar through the skies, or dive underwater. Prepare for combat and test your skills!
  • Dinosaur Fossil Hunter
    Dinosaur Fossil Hunter is a story telling simulator where you play as paleontologist, exploring different lands and searching for dinosaur fossil. Search, dig, study uncovered fossils and prepare the skeletons to learn about extinct species and build your own...

♫ Intermission ♪♫ Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: NYCC 2020: The Expanse Season 5 Trailer and Premiere Date. Thanks Neutronbeam.

New Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire Episode Next Week

CD PROJEKT RED tweets that a fourth installment in their Night City Wire series will come one week from today. This will reveal some hard-driving details about the vehicles in Cyberpunk 2077, their now-gold sci-fi RPG. Here's the plan:
The 4th episode of Night City Wire is coming next Thursday, October 15 at 6PM CEST! This time, we'll go into details about the looks, sounds, and specs of #Cyberpunk2077 vehicles. As usual, you can expect new gameplay footage, announcements, and more!

📺 https://twitch.tv/cdprojektred

AMD Zen 3 Livestream Today

AMD will unveil their Zen 3-powered Ryzen CPUs in a Livestream on YouTube today at noon EDT. Word is: "Join AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su as she details the highly anticipated AMD Ryzen™ desktop processor lineup powered by the groundbreaking 'Zen 3' architecture." Continue here to read the full story.

EA: No Plans for Star Wars: Squadrons DLC

The Star Wars movies are all about the sequels, but a post on Upload VR quotes EA as saying they have no plans for DLC for Star Wars: Squadrons, their newly released starfighter game (thanks VG247). Creative Director Ian Frazier also tells them there are no plans for a standalone edition for Oculus Quest:
“Never say never, so to speak, but as far as our philosophy goes we’re not trying to treat the game as a live service,” says Ian Frazier, Creative Director on Star Wars: Squadrons. “We don’t want to say, ‘It’s almost done!’ and then dribble out more of it over time, which to be honest is how most games work these days. So we’ve tried to treat it in kind of an old-school approach saying, ‘You’ve paid the $40, this is the game and it’s entirely self-contained. We’re not planning to add more content, this is the game, and we hope you understand the value proposition.'”

“From pretty early on we wanted to be a space combat game, emphasis on space,” says Frazier. “So even though we do go into the outer atmosphere of Yavin Prime, we never go anywhere truly terrestrial because we wanted to separate the game in that flavor from something like Battlefront, which we already have. “

“No plans at this time,” says Frazier. “Obviously if you have the Oculus Quest and Link with a PC that has sufficient requirements you can run a Quest off of your PC, but as a standalone thing, no plans at this time.”

RIDE 4 Rolls Out

If you smell burning rubber, it's because RIDE 4 is now available for Windows and consoles. The PC edition of the motorcycle racing simulator can be found on Steam. Publisher/developer Milestone marks the milestone with this Launch Trailer and offers the following details:
With a cutting-edge level of visual fidelity, RIDE 4 brings to life authentic and lifelike replicas of the most iconic motorcycles. All bike models in RIDE 4 have been created from the ground up using the most advanced technologies and the original CAD and 3D scans of real models, to bring to life authentic and lifelike replicas of the most iconic motorcycles, even the rarest and most exclusive ones. Every single bike detail has been carefully reproduced as in their real-life counterparts. Even the cockpit is a perfect reproduction of the real thing, both in terms of design and dynamic elements. The data on the dashboard changes in real-time, speed, temperature, traction control…even the oil bottle vibrates according to the movements of the bike! RIDE 4 is an act of love made by bike enthusiast for bike enthusiast. On track, Laser and Drone scanning enable a never seen before level of accuracy in reproducing the most beloved and iconic tracks, an adrenaline-filled journey all over the world!
Continue here to read the full story.

Panoptic Released

Panoptic is now available on Steam, offering a local multiplayer virtual reality game for Windows. This is for VR only, requiring either an Index, Rift, Vive, or Windows Mixed Reality headset. Rest assured the Launch Trailer can be viewed on a traditional monitor. Here are some details on what to expect:
Panoptic is a local multiplayer VR game that pits you against a friend, where you play as either the giant Overseer or tiny Challenger in a stealthy game of cat and mouse. Will the Challenger slip away undetected through the crowds, or will the Overseer track them down with their powerful laser eye?

Born out of a multi-award winning game jam prototype, Panoptic sees one player enter virtual reality as the Overseer, a powerful being that searches the world and its inhabitants for any signs of uprising. The other player uses the PC, and becomes one of the tiny Beings under the watchful eye of the Overseer. Tasked with destroying the Overseer’s energy sources, blending in becomes critical. A misstep, breaking away from the crowd cover of other Beings, or being spotted destroying an energy orb turns the search into a nerve-wracking hunt. Armed with a slow-charging eye laser capable of killing a Being with a single shot, the Overseer will suddenly have the advantage, as the dissident Being attempts to once again hide in plain sight.

With an unsettling, mysterious atmosphere that hints at a dark and secretive lore, Panoptic features several levels and environments, a wondrous sense of scale, and short - but constantly intense - rounds of local 1v1 competition.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Next Month

Warner Bros. Games announces Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, an update for the latest installment in the storied fighting series that will arrive on November 17th. This is primarily to help usher in the next-generation console versions of the game, but will also provide a new bundle for PC gamers who don't already own it. Here is the Reveal Trailer and here are the details:
Warner Bros. Games today announced Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, a new expanded version of Mortal Kombat 11, the fastest selling title in franchise history with more than 8 million units sold globally to date. The game was also named Fighting Game of the Year at the 23rd D.I.C.E. Awards by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and Best Fighting Game of 2019 by IGN. Developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate offers the definitive Mortal Kombat 11 experience with the addition of Kombat Pack 2 featuring new playable fighters Mileena, Rain and Rambo, along with the previously released Mortal Kombat 11 main game, Kombat Pack 1 and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Expansion.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is scheduled to release globally beginning Nov. 17 on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®4 Pro, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Nintendo Switch™, PC and Stadia. Additionally, Mortal Kombat 11 and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate owners and new buyers on PS4™ or Xbox One consoles can access free upgrades to the PS5™ or Xbox Series X|S versions of their game, delivering 4K dynamic resolution, enhanced visuals, improved loading times and more, available in conjunction with the Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate launch.
Continue here to read the full story.

More Steam Demos

Here are some more of the bazillion demos that are currently offered on Steam as part of The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition, including samples of Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice and MythBusters: The Game:

  • Aeon Drive
    Aeon Drive is a speedrun action platformer set in a Cyberpunk Barcelona. The player controls Jackelyne, a stranded space pilot on a quest to retrieve faulty pieces of dimension-bending machinery in order to preserve the space-time fabric of the universe. Jack will have to overcome a myriad obstacles using her sword, her teleportation dagger, and her unique skill to control time.
  • Ampersat
    A shooty, slashy, RPG-y game mixing retro and modern sensibilities. A blend of influences from Gauntlet & Smash TV to Zelda & Angband, Ampersat is a handcrafted adventure with appeal to Roguelite fans. Battle ASCII creatures in colorful areas & free letters to return language to the village!
  • Ashina: The Red Witch
    Get ready for adventure not like any other! This story is about Ash. An ordinary girl who takes an unexpected journey through the mysterious spirit world filled with strange creatures.
  • Cyberpunk Bar Sim
    Own and manage a futuristic bar, meet quirky customers, market, and expand!
  • Gladiator Guild Manager
    Gladiator Guild Manager is a battle sim strategy about managing your gladiator team in an epic fantasy world. Build and run your own guild, hire and develop gladiators, figure out unique tactics, manage resources, conquer arenas and test your skills.

♪♫ Intermission ♪♫ Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

The inspection and servicing of our pellet stove is now complete. The forecast calls for it to stay warm for at least the next week or so, but it's nice to be prepared for when the temperatures inevitably drop. Fire in the hole!

Fiery Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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