Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2022


The PC edition of MONSTER HUNTER RISE is now available on Steam, allowing Windows gamers to experience Capcom's action/adventure game that debuted on Switch. Word is: "The PC release of Monster Hunter Rise offers features including 4K resolution support, advanced graphics options, voice chat, ultra-wide monitor support, and more." Here's the PC Launch Trailer with a look at gameplay and PC enhancements. If you want more of a sample, the Steam listing includes a playable demo. This post on Steam discusses the launch, and the release of a free celebratory item pack. A later post includes troubleshooting guides for the game or the demo for those encountering problems. Here's a description:
Rise to the challenge and join the hunt! In Monster Hunter Rise, the latest installment in the award-winning and top-selling Monster Hunter series, you’ll become a hunter, explore brand new maps and use a variety of weapons to take down fearsome monsters as part of an all-new storyline. The PC release also comes packed with a number of additional visual and performance enhancing optimizations.

Hunt down a plethora of monsters with distinct behaviors and deadly ferocity. From classic returning monsters to all-new creatures inspired by Japanese folklore, including the flagship wyvern Magnamalo, you’ll need to think on your feet and master their unique tendencies if you hope to reap any of the rewards!
Continue here to read the full story.

When to Expect Star Citizen and Squadron 42... and Sequels?

MCV Develop 974, dated January 2022 has a profile of Cloud Imperium Games and the Star Citizen/Squadron 42 project. The title of the article on the crowdfunded space games is called "Star Citizen: Its Five Year Mission." Obviously this is a play on Star Trek, but it bears noting that development has gone on for well over five years now (as well as longer than the Apollo moon project). And as highlighted on Wccftech, the waiting will continue, as there are quotes that indicate Star Citizen is not likely to move out of the alpha stage anytime soon. Interestingly, however, COO Carl Jones is also already referencing sequels. Word on the single-player Squadron 42 project is tough to decipher. Jones is non-committal, but seems to indicate Chris Roberts relocating to the UK for a stretch means it's possibly just two years out. "I guess we'll see how long he needs to be over. But yeah, it could be one or two years more," says Jones. "He's spending more time over here with the Squadron 42 team and with our other developers, but it'll be this year when he moves over for longer periods of time. Hopefully that means we can progress Squadron 42 through to completion faster. We want to get that game finished, but it will be finished when it's ready." As for Star Citizen, we're presented with a scenario where five years from now it is operating as a "very large" MMORPG:
However, the news last November that CIG's main development studio in Cheshire would be moving to Manchester's Enterprise City, site of the old Grenada Studios, with a view to expanding operations to 1000 staff within five years, seemed to suggest that while we may never know where Star Citizen will end up or what state it will be in when it gets there, we can at least put an ETA to what that that might be: Five years from now, if our maths is correct, is the year 2027.
Continue here to read the full story.

Moon Farming - Prologue

Moon Farming - Prologue is available on Steam, offering a free sample of Moon Farming, an upcoming simulation of growing crops on the moon (the astronomical object, not your butt). We're not sure of the science behind this, but when it comes to space botany we're no Mark Whatney. Or Mark Wahlberg, for that matter. Here's a Gameplay Trailer. The description doesn't shed much light on practical questions, emphasizing the novelty of the lunar environment:
Tired from the same farming games on Earth? Now, take on the new role of a super modern farmer on the Moon! Explore new farming possibilities in a new Moon environment. Prepare land on Moon for your base and vertical farming inside of it. For sure, it will be farming like never Before!
Continue here to read the full story.

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Evening Multiplex

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl Delayed

A tweet from GSC Game World announces a delay to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. The message, in the form of an image to thwart Twitter's limits and web crawlers, says the first-person shooter sequel is now expected on December 8, 2022, though a specific time goes unmentioned. Here's the announcement:
We've made a decision to postpone the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl to December 8th, 2022.

These additional seven months of development are needed to fulfill our vision and achieve the desired state of the game. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is the biggest project in the history of GSC, and it requires thorough testing and polishing. We are convinced that development should take as long as necessary, especially in the case of such a project.

This decision is not an easy one, but we are doing the best possible to deliver you a game that can live up to the expectations. With more information, updates and showcases coming, we have an exciting and important year ahead. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Continue here to read the full story.

Riot's Five Year Plan

An update from Riot Games is a lengthy discussion of the future direction of the developer from CEO Nicolo Laurent. This takes the long view, discussing goals for the company spanning the next five years. This discusses plans to focus on core gaming strengths. It also addresses the settlement of the gender discrimination lawsuit: "While we’re proud of how far we’ve come since 2018, it’s important that we also take responsibility for our past. Given the ambitious goals we have for the future and the tens of millions of dollars we’d spend each year on lawyers to help resolve these cases—money we’d rather pay to the women in the class and to invest in Riot’s future—it became clear during these past several months that the best outcome for everyone would be to come to a final resolution." And after being involved in scandals and legal actions over its workplace culture, the company is stressing having the right people on staff. Since this will include changing roles for some staff, Riot is expanding the "Queue Dodge" program that allows a graceful exit for unhappy employees. For happy employees, the company is expanding its compensation program to give partial ownership to its staff. Here's a bit:
With our new strategic plan, evolutions to our culture, new compensation and operating models, and new teams in place, we’re confident that we’re putting Riot in the best position to hit our ambitious goals. But some Rioters might not share that same confidence. They might not be excited about our strategy, or might not be feeling great about our new operating model. They might not like the changes we’re making to our culture or our plans to return to the office on a flex schedule. Or maybe they’re looking at this transition point as an opportunity to explore something different outside of Riot.

For anyone who isn’t on board with everything above and isn’t committed to the things we want to make for players, there will be no hard feelings. We want every Rioter to feel energized, supported and excited for the next phase of our climb.

God of War PC Reviews

With the Windows edition of God of War arriving in two days, we're seeing first reviews. Here's a roundup to help decide if this game is as godlike on PC as it is on PlayStation:

New AMD Drivers

New version 22.1.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin drivers are now available from AMD Support, offering new support for running AMD graphics cards under Windows. As seen in the Release Notes, these include enhancements for the PC editions of God of War and Monster Hunter Rise:
Support For

  • Monster Hunter Rise™
  • God of War™
    • Up to 7% increase in performance in God of War™ @ 4K Ultra Settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.1.1 on the 16 GB Radeon™ RX 6900 XT graphics card, versus the previous software driver version 21.12.1.
    • Up to 7% increase in performance in God of War™ @ 4K Ultra Settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.1.1 on the 16 GB Radeon™ RX 6800 XT graphics card, versus the previous software driver version 21.12.1.
    • Up to 7% increase in performance in God of War™ @ 4K Ultra Settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.1.1 on the 12 GB Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card, versus the previous software driver version 21.12.1.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dota Pro Major Cancelled

Valve announces changes in plans for the Dota Pro Circuit. Word is the first Winter Major event is cancelled, and there will be no major tour: "While hopes were high that we could host an international LAN event, the discovery and spread of new strains of COVID-19 and the resulting increase of travel restrictions has made it unfeasible for all qualified teams to gather for a LAN tournament." The points from the first Major will be redistributed to the second and third Majors, though that presumes an easing of the COVID-19 concerns that inspired these changes in the first place. Here's more:
As there will be no major, Tour 1 will conclude after all of the regional league tournaments have ended. Players who have participated in Fantasy will receive their rewards before the start of Tour 2.

Teams participating in the DPC earn points by playing in their respective Regional Leagues as well as through international competition at the Majors. Since the first Major is no longer happening, we have decided to redistribute its points to the second and third Major. This way, the balance of points between regional and cross-region play remains the same.

Morning Patches

↑ Official patches. ↓ Unofficial games, patches, and mods.

Out of the Blue

Obviously the New York Giants ownership read my rant yesterday and made the decision to fire head coach Joe Judge after just two seasons. He may very well succeed elsewhere, but he was clearly done here, so I'm happy the process won't drag out further. The team is amid a historically bad run, and far from looking like things were turning around, Judge's coaching and statements over the course of the season managed to turn a proud franchise into a laughingstock. The Giants need a frame-off restoration, so thankfully they are moving away from the idea they're just in the shop for a tune-up. Interestingly, with new ownership and in influx of new talent, The Mets are considered actual contenders in the MLB this season. The Giants have won four Super Bowls since the last Mets World Series victory, but maybe my two favorite teams have simply swapped fates?

Fired-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.


Thanks Max.



Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022

Far Cry 6 Pagan: Control Released

Ubisoft has released Pagan: Control for PC and consoles, offering the promised new content for Far Cry 6, the latest installment in the shooter series. The Windows edition is on the Epic Games Store and it's also available to subscribers of Ubisoft+ or Luna. Here's a trailer with a look, and here's more on this chance to play as the Far Cry 4 villain:
Players will embody Pagan Min, the iconic villain from Far Cry® 4, in a brand-new experience inspired by the roguelite genre taking place in the depths of the villain’s troubled psyche. Blending intense action and storytelling, Pagan: Control will provide a unique opportunity for players to explore Pagan’s mind, learn more about his past, and face off against familiar faces as he struggles to break free from his cycle of guilt and regrets.

Joseph: Collapse, the third and final DLC to release as part of the Season Pass, will be available later this year and allow players to dive into the mind of Far Cry 5 ‘s villain.
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty Attack on Titan Content Next Week

This post outlines changes in Call of Duty: Vanguard season 1.5. which is now underway, bringing a new operator, a new weapon, new zombie content, and more. This paves the way for a major update for Vanguard and Warzone Pacific on January 20th as a collaboration with Attack on Titan. Here's an update on the Call of Duty Blog with the battle plan for the premium shooter and its free-to-play battle royale spin-off:
The iconic best-selling manga series Attack on Titan, whose award-winning anime adaption just entered the second half of its final season, is coming to Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacificas part of the games’ first major update of 2022. In this bundle to be released as part of the midseason update, Daniel Yatsu will don the legendary Survey Corps gear.

This epic collaboration will officially become available on January 20, approximately one week after a midseason update for Vanguard and Warzone Pacific that will include a new Operator, a new weapon, additional content for Zombies, various bug fixes, and more. The Vanguard update will be available to download tonight at 9 PM PT, while the Warzone Pacific update can be downloaded starting on January 12 at 9 PM PT. These will prepare both games for the first full day of Season One’s midseason update on January 13 at 9 AM PT.

Available on January 20, The Tracer Pack: Attack of Titan - Levi Edition Bundle features 10 items, including the Titan Piercer, a weapon made of ultrahard steel capable of slicing through opponents with ease.

Neverwinter Dragonbone Vale Released

Publisher Perfect World Entertainment and developer Cryptic Studios now offer Dragonbone Vale, the 22nd module for the PC edition of Neverwinter, the D&D RPG. This is available through Arc Games, the Epic Games Store, and Steam. An additional update is expected on February 8th for the PC edition, which is when the console editions of Dragonbone Vale will arrive (the additional content will come to consoles on March 8th). Here's the Official Launch Trailer and here's more:
In Dragonbone Vale, the evil lich Valindra Shadowmantle has returned to threaten the Sword Coast alongside the Cult of the Dragon, who have come to possess an ancient artifact with the potential to amplify their foul rituals of undeath. Under the leadership of famed wizard Elminster Aumar, the brave Heroes of Neverwinter will need to work with the allied factions of Protector's Enclave, to reclaim the Dragonbone Vale and put a stop to the Cult's plans.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heck Deck Released

Heck Deck is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam, as well as for Android and iOS. This is a bullet hell shooter that uses card-based mechanics to take the genre is a surprisingly turn-based direction. Here's a trailer showing off how this works. Here's the deal:
Throughout 5 different stages, Heck Deck will challenge your precision and dexterity during the bullet hell phases and your strategy when using your cards. Each card you pick up will cost you at least one life point, so you will have to be careful about which ones you pick on your way.

The abstract and minimalist world of Heck Deck is created with a cute hand-drawn art style. Each level of the game has its own universe, its own music, its own set of enemies, and of course, its own boss.
Continue here to read the full story.

Neko Ghost, Jump! Leaps Out

Early Access to Neko Ghost, Jump! is now available for Windows and macOS on the Epic Games Store and Steam. This is a puzzle/platformer that alternates between 2D and 3D with both side-scrolling and third-person perspectives. The Early Access Trailer takes a look at how that works. You can also check this out firsthand, as there's a playable demo. Here's word on the game and its Early Access roadmap:
Neko Ghost, Jump! is a puzzle-platformer in which you switch between 2D & 3D camera perspectives and between your physical & ghost forms to solve puzzles and combat enemies.

Neko Ghost, Jump! will remain in Early Access for approximately 6 months and will launch with 30+ handcrafted levels, 6 boss fights and 100+ customization options. They wish to add content to include new biomes and levels and new game modes such as an “ironcat mode” where you only have 9 lives to play through the whole campaign and with the valuable feedback of the community, create an unforgettable 1.0 release.
Continue here to read the full story.

Loot Box Lawsuits Dismissed

An article on Bloomberg Law (may require registration or subscription) describes a court victory for Valve in a class action suit over loot boxes in games, and whether they constitute gambling. Another Bloomberg Law article (may require registration or subscription) details a victory by Google in a similar case. The Google ruling was based on US state law and article 230 of the CDA: "The plaintiff’s claims failed because loot boxes are legal under state law, and even if they weren’t, the Communications Decency Act shields Google under the alleged facts, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said. Section 230 of the law immunizes internet platforms from liability for publishing content created by others." As for Valve, the case seemed to fail due to lack of evidence:
Valve Corp. beat a proposed class suit by parents alleging it failed to disclose gambling-like features in games with embedded loot boxes just a week after another federal court rejected a similar suit against Apple.

Here, a Washington federal court said the plaintiffs can’t support their claims because they didn’t see the allegedly deceptive materials.


PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS is now free-to-play on Steam, kicking off the promised new business model for the game that jumpstarted the battle royale revolution. Those who purchased the game before this change are entitled to the PUBG – SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE PACK, which includes a free upgrade to the premium BATTLEGROUNDS Plus along with other rewards. This post outlines the January 2022 shop update that supports the now F2P game, as new items and skins are now available. Here's the pitch:
Land on strategic locations, loot weapons and supplies, and survive to become the last team standing across various, diverse Battlegrounds. Squad up and join the Battlegrounds for the original Battle Royale experience that only PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS can offer.

This content download will also provide access to the BATTLEGROUNDS Test Server, which requires a separate download to play.
Optional in-game purchases available.

On FIFA 22 Account Takeovers

EA offers an Account Takeover Update following news that some high-profile players have had their FIFA 22 accounts taken over. This is attributed to social engineering and phishing. EA describes steps being taken to restore lost accounts and to better safeguard them going forward. Here's word:
Over the last few weeks we’ve been made aware of reports that high-profile player accounts are being targeted for takeover. Through our initial investigation we can confirm that a number of accounts have been compromised via phishing techniques. Utilizing threats and other “social engineering” methods, individuals acting maliciously were able to exploit human error within our customer experience team and bypass two-factor authentication to gain access to other player accounts.

At this time, we estimate that less than 50 accounts have been taken over using this method. We are currently working to identify rightful account owners to restore access to their accounts, and the content within, and players affected should expect a response from our team shortly. Our investigation is ongoing as we thoroughly examine every claim of a suspicious email change request and report of a compromised account.
Continue here to read the full story.

Forever Skies Revealed

This Steam Listing takes the wraps off of Forever Skies, a first-person survival game in development at Far From Home for PC Early Access this year. Despite the name, Spider-Man is not an employee of Far From Home. But according to IGN, the company does include some known quantities, calling it "a group of 23 individuals with credits on titles such as Dead Island, The Medium, the Dying Light series, Chernobylite, and Divinity: Original Sin." Here's a Forever Skies Reveal Teaser Trailer and here's more from Steam:
Forever Skies is a game of action, survival and discovery amongst the ruins of human civilization. A mass ecological disaster wiped out humanity, with only a few able to flee into space at the last hour. You, a lone scientist now returns to the remains of Earth. A toxic cloud of dust blankets the entire surface. Above the dust are crumbling, makeshift towers where humanity unsuccessfully made their last stand. It’s up to you to now uncover the story of humanity’s fall and witness the birth of a new world that has been evolving below the dust without us. We are no longer at the top of the food chain and surviving here is going to take a lot of skill, technology and ingenuity.
Continue here to read the full story.

HITMAN 3 Year 2 Reveal Thursday

IO Interactive is teasing a HITMAN 3 - Year 2 Reveal, which will outline the new content coming to the assassination sequel this year. There will be a prerecorded stream on the Hitman YouTube channel on Thursday at 9:00 am EST. Here's what to expect:
Join us later this week on 13 January for the reveal of our second year of post-launch content for HITMAN 3, including Elusive Target Arcade, PC VR, the reveal of a brand new game mode – plus other announcements, surprises and new footage!

Join Clemens, IOI’s Community Manager, and other developers from the Hitman team for a pre-recorded 15-minute video from our Copenhagen studio that is packed full of announcements, reveals and never-before-seen footage of new content coming to the World of Assassination in 2022.

Halo Infinite Cheating Fix Plans

An update on the Halo Waypoint Forums has details on a patch 343 Industries is working on to fix Big Team Battle (BTB) problems in Halo Infinite (thanks Game Informer). Word is that this is entering testing, but there's no ETA yet on a release. There's also word on a patch that will hopefully arrive next month to fix cheating problems in the first-person shooter. Here's a bit:
We know there are a number of other topics you’re eager to hear about - including some issues with instances of cheating. The team has been working on a patch for mid-Feb that looks to address this and other things, and we’ll have more details to come as we get closer to release. We are actively triaging and still working to get as much as we can into this Feb update while still ensuring no negative impacts or regressions to other parts of the game.

For now we are opting to slipstream the BTB fixes given the broad scope of impact on all players. That’s not to say issues like cheating or wonkiness with the ranked experience aren’t important, but they have other dependencies and are on a bit longer timeline than this BTB fix which is nearly ready to go.

Out of the Blue

Our other January birthday has rolled around as we wish a happy birthday to Ant. On this occasion last year I mentioned the first of Ant's many submissions here. That actually dated back to before we switched to a database for news, so I couldn't even link to the story at the time. Since Frans completed his marvelous HTML conversion since then, I can do so now. Thank you Ant for this story from July 21, 1997 about the resemblance between the Quake Marine and Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan died in 2004, so we can no longer follow this up with a paternity test) as well as all the pointers to interesting and relevant content since. How much content? Searching for the phrase "thanks ant" in our database yields over 24 thousand results! Happy birthday Ant!

Obituary: European Parliament President David Sassoli dies at age 65.

Annual Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links





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