Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021 Anniversary of Quake's Release (1996)

Overwatch Crossplay Launches

Blizzard tweets that the promised crossplay support is now available in Overwatch. This post includes a FAQ explaining everything you need to know about multi platform support in the multiplayer shooter. Remember, "everyone who logs in to Overwatch by the end of 2021 will receive a Golden Loot Box to celebrate." Here's the announcement tweet:
Cross-Play has arrived. You can now group up with friends across the globe on PC, @xbox, @playstation and @nintendo.

Link your console to your http://Battle.net account and play with your friends!

Sea of Thieves Pirate's Life Update

Season Three is now underway in Sea of Thieves, kicking off the Pirate's Life in Rare's seafaring adventure game. This includes the chance to sail alongside Captain Jack Sparrow, so, you know, hide the rum. Xbox Wire has the details:
Like previous Seasons in Sea of Thieves, Season Three comes free of charge to all players and includes 100 levels of rewards to be earned by sailing the seas and steadily increasing your Renown. Time-limited Events can boost your Renown, as can Trials: wide-ranging sets of Deeds refreshed for Season Three as you take on incoming adversaries and Tall Tales. Season Three’s Plunder Pass is available to buy separately, adding all-new premium treasures to the Seasonal reward pool! Learn more in our Seasons Explained and Plunder Pass Explained articles.

Adventure with Jack Sparrow
At the heart of Season Three is Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life – a collection of five carefully crafted Tall Tales forming an original story where Jack Sparrow stars alongside our pirate crews. Players will journey to strange, ethereal realms and dive deep below the waves on their quest to defeat the nefarious Davy Jones, who has pursued Jack to the Sea of Thieves and threatens to destroy the pirate life unless his schemes can be stopped.

May's Top Games on Steam

A new update on the Steam Blog outlines the top releases for May 2021 on Valve's digital store. As always, there's also this page with links to purchase the various games discussed in the post. Here's part of what this has to say:
Multilingual Gaming
No matter how many times we watch these Top Release lists come together, we're amazed by the consistent representation of games from developers around the world. It's never been easier for players to find familiar themes, locales, and cultural nods that resonate with them. Rather than siloing these experiences to certain segments of the Steam audience, developers are mindful of incorporating localized interfaces and announcements, while also adding subtitles and audio tracks for a increasing number of languages. This was on full display in May, as Top Releases supported an average of 9 languages each, with more than half offering multiple audio options. So no matter where you are reading this from, check out the full list for all the details.

Making History
May also saw releases from several big name franchises that have us looking back fondly at years of unforgettable characters and thrilling stories. As one of the most recognizable names in entertainment, Resident Evil Village marks the 25th anniversary of this legendary CAPCOM horror series. Saints Row & Mass Effect have been fixtures on Steam for more than a decade, so it's only fitting that their remastered editions are Top Releases all these years later. Fans of Shin Megami Tensei & MechWarrior have to look back even further, as these franchises debuted more than 30 years ago. Take a look at the full list of May's Franchises to pick your favorite.

PULSAR: Lost Colony Launches

PULSAR: Lost Colony is now out of Early Access and officially available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam (thanks Ant). PULSAR is a starship simulation from Leafy Games that puts you in control of the various systems of your ship. It includes support for VR headsets and cooperative multiplayer. The game has been through a rigorous early access, and currently boasts over 2800 very positive reviews. Here's a Launch Trailer, a version 1.0 video blog, and the version 1.0 release notes. Here's more on this chance to boldly go:
Team up to operate a starship and explore a randomized galaxy falling into chaos. Each player assumes a role aboard the ship: Captain, Pilot, Scientist, Weapons Specialist and Engineer. Coordination between your crewmembers is essential to survive the perils that await you.

Control the various stations that run your ship. Reroute power between ship systems, operate turrets, run powerful programs, scan enemy vessels for information to give you an edge in battle, or start up the warp drive to escape a fight you cannot win. The strategies you use are up to you—or your Captain.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hello Engineer Early Access on Stadia

Early Access to Hello Engineer is now available exclusively on Google Stadia. This is a multiplayer machinery-building construction game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. Word is: "Scavenge, craft, and overcome challenges in the sandbox world of the mysterious Golden Apple amusement park, originally built by Mr. Peterson himself." There's no word on how long this Stadia exclusivity will last. Here's an Early Access Trailer and here is more:
Using frame parts, gears, engines, wheels, weapons, and even jet engines from the amusement park scrap you scavenge, you can build different vehicles that suit your ever-evolving needs.

There are several advanced features such as electrical circuits and smart modules that allow skilled engineers to build self-driven mechanical vehicles or even creatures.

The most important ingredient is your creativity. There is no right or wrong way to complete objectives and how you progress through each level is entirely up to you!
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Tech Bits

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Released

Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Is now available for PC and consoles. You can pick up the Windows edition on Steam without even needing to roll a D20. Here is the Official Launch Cinematic Trailer (accept no substitutes). The first reviews for the D&D action/RPG started rolling out yesterday, and you can find a roundup of those in this thread. Here's word on the game:
Featuring real-time combat and dynamic co-op gameplay, Dark Alliance pits Drizzt Do’Urden and his legendary companions – Catti-brie, Bruenor, and Wulfgar – against some of the most iconic monsters from the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Frost Giants, Beholders, and White Dragons roam the frozen tundra of Icewind Dale in search of the Crystal Shard— and it’s up to the companions to muster the strength to stop them from claiming and using it to destroy their home.
Continue here to read the full story.

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution Launches

Advanced Micro Devices has officially launched AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, which promises framerate boosts and high-quality high-resolution gaming experiences thanks to the use of "cutting edge" upscaling technologies. You can find all the details on what this involves in this press release and this blog post. Here's word on what this supports to start with, and plans to expand the program in the future:
Today, AMD launched FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), its cutting-edge, open-source spatial upscaling technology, designed to boost framerates and deliver a high-quality, high-resolution gaming experience.

More than 40 developers plan to support and integrate FSR into top titles and game engines. And beginning today, FSR is available in seven exciting titles: Anno 1800, Evil Genius 2, Godfall, Kingshunt, 22 Racing Series, Terminator: Resistance and The Riftbreaker, with additional games expected to provide support by the end of 2021.

FSR is supported on more than 100 AMD GPUs and processors, as well as on competitive graphics solutions, to benefit all gamers. Providing up to 2.4X higher performance at 4K across select titles compared to native resolution, FSR was designed for easy integration into new and existing titles across a wide range of platforms.
Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Drivers

Speaking of AMD, AMD Support now offers new version 21.6.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards running under Windows. The Release Notes offer complete details. Here's a handy summary:
This release adds updated support for Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance™, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) support for select titles and AMD Radeon™ RX 6800M Graphics.
This release contains stability improvements for end user reported issues.

New NVIDIA Drivers

Likewise, NVIDIA Support now offers new version 471.11 WHQL-certified Windows graphics drivers for GeForce graphics cards. These include support for raytracing and NVIDIA DLSS for Lego Builder's Journey. Word is: "LEGO Lego Builder’s Journey is the world’s first Unity game with ray tracing. LEGO Builder’s Journey is an aesthetic and atmospheric geometric puzzle game set in a completely LEGO brick-based environment. DLSS improves performance by up to 92% in the game." These drivers will also add the same support to DOOM Eternal, that will be in a week, sadly missing the 25th anniversary of Quake by that much (*holds fingers really close together*). Here's more on what it will add to latest installment in id Software's shooter series:
DOOM is a storied game franchise, and DOOM Eternal launched last year to critical acclaim and the adoration of fans. Powered by idTech, id’s incredibly fast game engine, DOOM Eternal is pushing the visual boundaries even further by adding ray-traced reflections and performance enhancing NVIDIA DLSS. This continues the winning streak for NVIDIA DLSS and ray tracing. DOOM is another huge game franchise, and DOOM Eternal is another Triple-A game that has turned to NVIDIA-pioneered gaming technologies to take their performance and image quality to new heights.

Epic Gives Developers Free Online Services

The Unreal Engine Website announces that Epic is now offering its anti-cheat software and its cross platform voice chat solution as free giveaways for developers. Here's word on how players will be able to chat with their friends on other platforms after they've been banned for cheating:
When Fortnite players are able to chat with their friends while playing, we see a huge uptick in player engagement. What if you could supercharge community engagement like this for your own game?

Now you can, with the launch of a new free cross-platform voice communication service from Epic Online Services. Voice is a platform-independent solution that connects your community with in-game voice chat across all stores and platforms.

On top of that, Epic Online Services is offering the industry-leading anti-cheat solution to all developers for free. Easy Anti-Cheat is a powerful feature necessary for the smooth running of any online game with players on PC. These services empower developers to launch, operate, and scale great games like never before.

Phantom Abyss Opens

Phantom Abyss is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering the chance to jump into this massive asynchronous multiplayer game From publisher Devolver Digital and developer Team WIBY. This allows you to raid procedurally generated dungeons like any respectable archaeologist —  armed with a whip. The twist here is that only one player will successfully complete each dungeon. And viewing phantom recordings of failed runs by other players will help clever adventurers succeed. Here's the Launch Trailer with a look and here are more details:
Phantom Abyss casts players into trap-laden, procedurally-generated temples, and tasks them with retrieving the sacred relics hidden within their walls. Dodge scores of hidden traps, leap treacherous chasms and flee relentless guardians through branching paths until one of the relics are claimed or the devices of death overwhelm them. The most cunning explorers will use the phantom runs of failed attempts from other players to their advantage and avoid the missteps and mistakes that led to their doom, but be warned - you only get one attempt at each temple, and failure or settling for a lesser relic means you will never see that temple again...
Continue here to read the full story.

Left 4 Dead Characters Join Zombie Army 4

Rebellion announces the release of Abaddon Asylum on Steam as a new Season 3, Pack 2 DLC for Zombie Army 4: Dead War. This adds a new campaign mission, a WW1 Josiah outfit, weapon bundles, and more to the zombie-infested shooter. There is now a total of $370.30 worth of DLC available for the game. But it's not all about paying for that new pool. There's also a new free DLC pack that adds the survivors from the original Left 4 Dead to the game's playable characters. Here's a new trailer and here's more:
Renowned zombie slayers Bill, Francis, Louis and Zoey from the Valve smash hit, Left 4 Dead, are tooled up and ready to take on a new horde as they join ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR as brand new playable characters in the latest free DLC in Season 3 - which is available now. In addition to the free characters, Season Pass owners can now visit the spine-chilling Abaddon Asylum in a new campaign mission which is also available as standalone DLC.

Abaddon Asylum is the second mission in the ‘Return to Hell’ campaign, following the events of Terminal Error where you uncovered information about the location of Baron Umbra, the mastermind behind the dastardly occult scheme. You will have to fight your way into the Asylum before tracking down Baron Umbra and taking him out once and for all.

Planet Zoo Africa Pack Released

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. The promised Africa DLC is now available for Planet Zoo, adding exotic new items and wildlife to the theme park simulation. You can find this on Steam, but remember it also requires the base game. Speaking of which, the DLC comes alongside a new patch that updates the base game to version 1.6. This post has all the details on the new patch. Here's an Africa Pack Launch trailer, and here's more on the updates:
Get ready to welcome five new iconic animals to Planet Zoo, including the curious Meerkat, the endearing Fennec Fox and the striking Southern White Rhino. Zookeepers can care for their latest inhabitants and welcome guests to a rich and vibrant zoo with over 180 new scenery pieces, creating a paradise for both animals and guests alike! Players can also test their zookeeping skills with a fresh new challenge: a timed scenario taking place in a picturesque oasis bazaar.

Update 1.6 brings a range of extras and improvements to the game, including behavior updates, habitat webcams, vista points and a free Timed Scenario set in gorgeous Guatemala.
Continue here to read the full story.

LEGO Builder's Journey Released

LEGO Builder's Journey is now available on Steam, offering a puzzle game based on the enduring popularity of LEGO bricks. Here's word on the joy of building with LEGO without fear of losing any pieces, much less stepping on them:
LEGO Builder’s Journey is an atmospheric, geometric puzzle game that asks us to sometimes follow the instructions… and sometimes to break the rules.

Take your time to experiment with free-form puzzle solving while immersing yourself in a poetic world of LEGO® bricks. Throughout the narrative, there will be ups and downs, challenges, and celebrations. Figuring out who we are and what we become is the Builder’s Journey.

The breathtaking LEGO brick world is brought to life with the most accurately rendered LEGO elements yet to feature on screens, including stunning ray tracing elements.

Kingshunt Open Beta

Open beta testing for Kingshunt is now underway on Steam, offering a first chance to check out this third person multiplayer action game from Vaki Games. Testing will run from now until Friday morning, and you can get in by requesting access on the game's Steam Listing. Here's the previously released Official Alpha Trailer along with what to expect:
Kingshunt combines the genres of tower defense and hack-and-slash. Join the fight and carve a path of destruction across the battlefield in a game that mixes strategy with fast-paced hero combat.

In Kingshunt play as a hero that best fits your style and utilize their own unique mastery of skills and abilities. Calculate your opponent's moves to unleash devastating counterblows.

This new beta version of Kingshunt will introduce new utilities, towers, a new hero, tutorial, map, and exciting new game mode updates.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Well, today is one of those anniversaries that is making my brain hurt. It was on this day in 1996 that Quake was first released. That's right, id Software's first-person shooter turns 25 years-old today. Just about every year I celebrate the occasion by playing the game on my current PC. Sadly, there will be none of that for me this time around, as the splint on my left arm has me on the gaming disabled list for the foreseeable future. Anyway, it certainly is hard to wrap my mind around Quake turnng 25. For perspective, it launched in 1996. At that time, a 25 year old game would have come out in 1971. The big computer game that year was Oregon Trail, which is quite a leap. On the other hand, fighting the Strogg is no picnic, but it does beat dysentery!

Quaker Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Image

Media

Follow-up

The Funnies

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