Archived News:

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 National S'mores Day (USA)

Diablo II: Resurrected Early Access This Week; Open Beta Next Week

Blizzard announces that those who pre-purchase Diablo II: Resurrected are entitled to Early Access to the open beta for the action/RPG remake on Friday. Then a week from Friday on August 20th the beta will open to everyone. The blog goes on to explain what to expect in the test: "Diablo II: Resurrected is still in-development. Game content discussed in this blog is not final and subject to change." Here's more on the plan:
The war against the Burning Hells is about to enter a new chapter on Windows® PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation®5, and PlayStation®4. Starting August 13 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, longtime fans and new players alike will have a chance to participate in the upcoming Early Access test. Players can take part by pre-purchasing Diablo® II: Resurrected™ or the Diablo® Prime Evil Collection on Windows® PC or eligible consoles. Following the Early Access weekend, on August 20 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, the Open Beta weekend will be open to everyone on a supported platform. See FAQ for details on how to gain access by platform.

Dr Disrespect Starting Game Studio

Dr Disrespect, popular streamer, influencer, and president of the Hair Club for Men, is apparently following through on long-running threats to start his own game company. This page outlines the "life changing opportunity" represented by running the new studio:
Dr Disrespect in partnership with BoomTV is taking on the game industry by storm and incubating a new AA/AAA gaming studio that has a unique twist to it. The studio plans to forge a partnership with a select list of mega influencers and then work closely with them to launch their dream gaming title. Those gaming titles will either be incubated and developed OR partner/co develop with existing indie game developers and launched as mega titles.

If you have built and run a gaming studio or publishing arm, understand what it’s like to hire, lead, motivate and support a team of gaming artists, designers and developers, love trying new and upcoming platforms and tech, can talk hours about core gaming loops, meta and are not afraid to dabble in data, then this might be the role for you.

US Lawmakers Propose COPPA Expansion

A letter sent to several game companies by three US congresspersons urges those companies to enact greater control of loot boxes and provide younger gamers enhanced privacy protection. The lead question is whether these companies intent "to comply with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) within the United States." As Kotaku points out the AADC has no mention of loot boxes at all. Here's a bit from the letter, which is signed by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA):
However, young internet users deserve a new set of requirements and prohibitions that builds on COPPA. Signers of this letter have proposed legislation to extend privacy protections to teens, amend COPPA to cover websites that should reasonably know that kids are on their platforms, and create new data minimization standards to stop websites from amassing troves of information about kids and teens.

Carrier Command 2 Released

Carrier Command 2 is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a naval real-time strategy sequel that's setting sail just 33 years after the launch of the original Carrier Command. The game was announced for Windows and macOS, but there's only a Windows edition for now, and Apple support goes unmentioned. We inquired about that, but have not yet received a reply. On the other hand, included in the release is a version of the game with virtual reality support. Revived publisher MicroProse and developer Geometa offer this Release Trailer with a look at gameplay, and the following details:
Strategize: Gather intel from your vehicles’ radars, pick your tools of the trade, and launch your attacks where the enemy is weaker. The approach you take to a situation will play a big part in the outcome.

Plan: Once you have taken an island you will need to exploit and defend the resources it provides. Ensuring these supply lines remain open will be key to your survival. Think ahead.

Teamwork: Make the most of different unit synergies and create combined arms assaults to efficiently win battles. On top of that, get into each and every vehicle and take part in the action.
Continue here to read the full story.

Black Book Opens

Black Book is now available for PC and consoles, offering an adventure/RPG from developer Morteshka based on Slavic mythology. You can find the Windows edition on your choice of the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, or Steam. Here's a Release Day Trailer dated well before the release day. This shows off the game's art-style, card-based gameplay, and more. Here's word:
Black Book is a haunting tale of a young sorceress Vasilisa seeking the power of Black Book to revive her beloved one. Fight evil forces in card-based battles and explore the world, where humans live alongside mythological creatures. Dive into the cold, yet alluring world of Slavic folktales — and uncover the secrets that hide in the darkness.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Honest Trailers - Loki.

PAX Aus 2021 Online Only

An update on the PAX Website announces the official postponement of PAX Aus 2021. With hopes dashed that the COVID-19 pandemic would have eased by October, the next edition of the Australian version of PAX will now take place next year. Word is those who've already paid for tickets will receive refunds, and that, like last year, this year's PAX AUS will be online only:
Like last year, we’re still planning to bring our community together with PAX Aus Online. Stay tuned to our social media channels over the coming days as we announce more info on that soon.

For those of you who purchased tickets to PAX Aus 2021, we’d like to remind you that you’re entitled to a full refund. You will be receiving specific information about that within the next 7 days.

The entire PAX Aus Team would like to thank you for your ongoing support and understanding during this challenging time. While we can’t all come together in person this year, we urge you all to continue to stay in touch with us, your community, and each other.
Continue here to read the full story.

Mini Amiga System Announced

Retro Games announces The A500 MINI, a compact system said to feature "perfect" emulation of the classic Amiga 500 while supporting the more advanced graphics of the Amiga 1200. The announcement includes this trailer showing off some gameplay, and the system's CRT filter that provides additional authenticity. The clip concludes saying these will officially launch next year. The original Amiga 500 was a sensation among the pioneering PC gamers of the 1980s, but of course with a 7 MHz CPU it had the horsepower to succeed. From the same folks who brought us the C64 MINI, the unit comes with an authentic mouse and gamepad, 25 preinstalled games, and the ability to load additional games via USB. Just under half the bundled games are revealed in the announcement:
Alien Breed 3D, Another World, ATR: All Terrain Racing, Battle Chess, Cadaver, Kick Off 2, Pinball Dreams, Simon The Sorcerer, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, The Chaos Engine, Worms: The Director’s Cut, Zool: Ninja Of The ”Nth” Dimension. Additional games will be announced at a later date.
Continue here to read the full story.

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

NVIDIA announces the availability of new WHQL-certified GeForce version 471.68 drivers for Windows. These are the game ready drivers designed to deliver optimal performance using GeForce graphics cards to run this week's official launch of Naraka: Bladepoint, the Back 4 Blood Open Beta, and Psychonauts 2. These also support seven new G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitors, and 20 new GeForce Experience Optimal Playable Setting profiles. Here's more on how this can help you end up as el ultimo hombre in Naraka: Bladepoint's battle royale:
Gamers playing on a GeForce RTX GPU or laptop will receive the definitive Naraka: Bladepoint experience with best-in-class performance, plus support for NVIDIA DLSS and NVIDIA Reflex. DLSS boosts performance by up to 60% at 4K in Naraka: Bladepoint. Reflex makes gamers more competitive through the reduction of system latency.

New AMD Adrenalin Drivers

AMD now offers new version 21.8.1 Adrenalin reference drivers for AMD graphics cards running under Windows. These address a game crash in The Medium while adding official support for the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GPUs that are due for a paper launch tomorrow. Here are the Release Notes:
Support For

  • AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 XT Graphics

Fixed Issues

  • The Medium™ may crash after launching the game while running FrameView™.

Continue here to read the full story.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Reviews

As mentioned above, the new AMD Adrenalin drivers include support for AMD's new Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards, which are due for release tomorrow. Of course these days a hardware release does not correlate to availability, as computer chips remain in short supply. Nevertheless, the review embargo has ended, and evaluations are now online on the off chance that someone other than a reviewer can get their hands on one of these:

Tormented Souls Demo

A playable demo for Tormented Souls is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the chance to check out this upcoming survival horror game that draws inspiration from the Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark series. A new August 27th release date is now in place for the console editions, but the ETA for PC remains simply 2021. The demo, which is also available for PlayStation 5, allows you to play through the first 40 minutes of the game. Here's a new Cinematic Trailer and a bit of the description:
Something Evil Lurks at Winterlake
While investigating the disappearance of twin girls at Winterlake - something terrible happens to Caroline Walker. Waking in the dead of night, naked in a bathtub - and hooked up to some decrepit medical equipment, Caroline must fight for her life as she explores the halls of an abandoned Mansion turned hospital.

A Nod to the Classics
Tormented Souls deliberately sets out to draw inspiration from classic survival horror. From Resident Evil and Silent Hill, to Alone in the Dark - Tormented Souls is a modern take on the fixed-perspective adventure, offering a modernised control scheme and a more dynamic camera, while retaining everything that made those games so beloved by fans.
Continue here to read the full story.

Windjammers 2 Open Beta Tomorrow

Dotemu announces open beta testing will begin tomorrow for Windjammers 2, offering the chance to get radical with this upcoming extreme sports game. This news comes as they also announce editions of the game for PlayStation 4 and 5, which will also be getting the beta. This is set to begin at 3:00 pm CEST, which is 9:00 an EDT. Here is a new How to Play Video and here are some details:
Players can join an open beta starting tomorrow August 11 at 3pm CEST, competing in electrifying matches until August 22 on PS4, PS5, and PC (via Steam) and begin their legacies in the coolest sport of all time.

The open beta offers several playable characters, each with their own advantages: the agile and newbie-friendly Steve Miller, the well-balanced Biaggi, the incredibly swift series newcomer Sophie de Lys, and the now-confirmed, tanklike returning star Gary Scott. Novices and seasoned competitors looking to warm up their throwing arms can find help from Gary in a fresh trailer outlining the mechanics and deeper strategies fueling Windjammers 2’s layered action.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Multiplex

Now with 100% more roadmap. Thanks Neutronbeam.

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

Out of the Blue

When Frans cleared up the special character bug as mentioned yesterday, I mentioned to him that this fixed the last known remaining issue with the site. The celebration that Blue's News was actually (to our knowledge) bug free didn't even last as long as the bubbles in the Champagne, however, as another bug report immediately followed. The good news is this one did not prove to be nearly as intractable as the prior one, and is also now officially cleared up. So as of 5:00 am EDT today we are once again, as far as we know, bug-free. More Champagne for everyone!

Celebratory Encore Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Story

Science

Media
Thanks RedEye9.

Follow-up

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