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Thursday, Feb 24, 2022 Qtest Released (1996)

Get Cris Tales for Free

Cris Tales is now available completely free on the Epic Games Store as this week's regularly scheduled giveaway. This JRPG is yours to keep as long as you hit the snag it now button before the offer expires next Thursday. At that point, the process will begin anew with the giveaway of an Epic Slayer Kit for Dauntless. But that is for another day, so undaunted, let's proceed with a description of today's freebie:
Cris Tales is a gorgeous, indie love letter to classic JRPGs with a new perspective. Peer into the past, act in the present, and watch as your choices dynamically change the future -- all on one screen as you play! Beautifully hand-drawn 2D animations bring to life a world where your choices will change both the present and the future across more than 20 hours of gameplay.

Assassin's Creed Free Weekend

The promised free weekend for Assassin's Creed Valhalla is underway between now and Monday. This allows the chance to experience some Viking glory without anyone plundering your wallet. As is often the case, the game is also on sale, and any progress from the free weekend will carry over for those who choose to buy a copy. You can play through the Ubisoft Store or the Epic Games Store, though the free offer does not seem to be live on the latter as of this writing. Here's a Free Weekend Trailer and here are some details:
With development led by Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers players the captivating experience of playing as Eivor, a legendary Viking warrior, driven from Norway by endless wars and dwindling resources in ninth century AD. Players can relive the ruthless fighting style of Viking warriors with a dynamic dual-wielding combat system and experience exciting gameplay features such as raids, assaults, and the settlement, as well as a substantial progression and gear upgrade system. Political alliances, combat decisions and dialogue choices can influence the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, so players must choose wisely to protect their clan’s home and their future.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout New Vegas 2 Rumor

The GrubbSnax Podcast (may require registration or subscription) shares the rumor that early discussions are underway for Obsidian to develop Fallout New Vegas 2, a sequel to the beloved post-apocalyptic RPG. VGC has a transcript of the paywalled content:
“This is very early, but people have begun to have talks and say these words in sentences, and those words are ‘Obsidian’ and ‘New Vegas 2’,” Grubb said.

“We’re talking years and years away. There’s at least an interest and conversations happening about making something like that actually a reality.”

Grubb added: “A lot of people at Microsoft think that this could work and there’s a lot of interest to make it happen.”

New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now features new version 22.2.3 Radeon Software Adrenalin drivers for AMD graphics cards running under Windows. These include enhancements for Elden Ring, Shadow Warrior 3, and GRID Legends:
Support For

  • Elden Ring™
  • Shadow Warrior 3™
    • Up to 5% increase in performance in Shadow Warrior 3 @ 4k High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6900XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.
    • Up to 5% increase in performance in Shadow Warrior 3 @ 4k High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6800XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.
    • Up to 6% increase in performance in Shadow Warrior 3 @ 4k High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6700XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.
  • GRID™ Legends
    • Up to 7% increase in performance in Grid Legends @ 4k Ultra High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6900XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.
    • Up to 8% increase in performance in Grid Legends @ 4k Ultra High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6800XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.
    • Up to 15% increase in performance in Grid Legends @ 4k Ultra High settings, using Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 22.2.3 on the Radeon RX 6700XT, versus the previous software driver version 22.2.2.

This War of Mine Profits Donated to Ukrainian Red Cross

Polish publisher/developer 11 bit studios tweets plans to donate all profits from the next seven days of sales of This War of Mine and its DLC to the Ukrainian Red Cross. We've also received word from saying all of its end of the proceeds from those sales will be donated to the cause as well. Here's the studio's announcement:
Today Russian military forces attacked the free country of Ukraine - our neighbors. As a Polish game studio and creators of the globally recognized anti-war game, This War of Mine - one that directly speaks about the suffering and misery of civilians who are affected by war - we'd like to hereby announce our company statement: we stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Just words would be empty without a meaningful act though, and the timing is crucial, so the act is as follows: for the next seven days, all profits from this war of mine , all its DLC's, on all stores and all platforms will go to a special fund. A week from now, this money will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross to directly support victims of war in Ukraine.

Let this message resonate with everything you know about this war and how war kills people, devastates their lives and homes. Let us - players and developers together - do everything we can to support victims of war in Ukraine.
There's a roundup of other industry responses and plans for action in this IGN article.

GSC Game World on Being Invaded

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine underway, there are concerns from all over about war in the region, in Europe, and the impact it will have on everyone. For gamers, this includes an active Ukrainian game-development scene. Prominent Ukrainian developer GSC Game World tweets about what's going on, putting out a request for assistance:
The Russian Federation has declared war on Ukraine.
The future is unknown, but we are sure of our Armed Forces and country.
We ask all: do not stand aside and help those in need.

Support the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

Martha Is Dead Released

Why did you say that name? Either way, Martha Is Dead is now live, and this first-person psychological/horror game is now available for Windows on and Steam as well as for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The Launch Trailer offers some cinematic exposition, as well as a dose of creepiness. Here's the quick pitch:
Developed in Unreal® Engine 4 by LKA, the award-winning studio behind the celebrated psychological adventure The Town of Light, Martha Is Dead is a dark first-person psychological thriller set in 1944 Italy that blurs the lines between reality, superstition and the tragedy of war.

Play opens in the depths of the Italian countryside as Allied and Axis forces turn the nation into a pincered playground. On the shores of the lake lies the body of a young woman; Martha, drowned and desecrated. Now her twin sister must deal with the fallout from her murder whilst the horror of war draws ever closer.
Continue here to read the full story.

MotoGP 22 Announced

Milestone and Dorna Sports announce MotoGP 22, saying the new installment in the motorcycle racing series will hit the tarmac on April 21st for PC and consoles. An Announce Trailer provides us with a look at the high-speed action this will bring. Here's a bit on the game, and how it will attempt to better cater to newcomers as well as veteran riders:
MotoGP™22 continues the great legacy of the franchise, adding amazing new features to the game. (NINE) Season 2009 is a brand-new mode to re-live one of the most incredible seasons in the MotoGP™ history. Players will enjoy a real docu-film narrated by Mark Neale, director of the best MotoGP™ documentaries, with more than 50 minutes of original footage from the 2009 Season. But players won’t just witness history, they will be part of it too! In fact, the fate of the race will be in the player’s hands thanks to dedicated challenges to re-live and play the most iconic moments. Players will find themselves in the boots of legendary riders such as Rossi, Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo, trying to replicate history!

This year, MotoGP™22 has also added new features dedicated to the newcomers who are not familiar with the series, and to those who simply want to improve their style and master the gameplay mechanics. With the Revised Tutorial and the new MotoGP™ Academy now everyone can become a champion.
Continue here to read the full story.

Knockout City Going F2P

A post on The Future of Knockout City announces that this multiplayer game is going free-to-play. For those who have paid for the game, here is how you will be compensated for the change: "Our first priority will always be our community, and we’ve built a special Season 6 Loyalty Bundle specifically for those who have already purchased the game before Season 6 launches that’ll include exclusive legendary cosmetics, XP boosts, and 2,000 Holobux." There's also news that this will involve a break from EA, and developer Velan Studios will be self-publishing the game going forward. Here's where things stand as of now:
For starters, we have a bunch of behind-the-scenes work to do to get ready for going free-to-play, and our team is all-hands-on-deck working on that. As a result, Season 5 will have a little less content than some of our previous seasons. There won’t be a new Brawl Pass for Season 5, we’ll have fewer bundles and new cosmetics for the season, and there’s no new map or new ball. However, this shift in content is only temporary, and we’ll have a new Brawl Pass, more cosmetics, and plenty of new features coming in Season 6, with more new maps and balls coming in future seasons (sneak peek: There’ll be a new Special Ball coming in Season 6, but you’ll have to wait until we’re closer for details!). For now, you will still need an EA Account to play, and your data will be processed in-line with EA’s Privacy & Cookie Policy.

PleaseFix Bug Reporting Announced

Canadian company Turbulent unveils PleaseFix, which is described as a "next-generation bug reporting platform." This was developed in conjunction with Cloud Imperium's Star Citizen project as a way of allowing players to directly report bugs in Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Now this is being rolled out as a service to other developers and publishers, and the announcement includes praise from Ubisoft on how a version called R6Fix is helping the Rainbow Six: Siege team tackle problems in the game. Here's more:
PleaseFix empowers players to communicate directly with the development team, transforming a negative interaction into an opportunity for collaboration. QA and production teams can be automatically provided with detailed bug reports including screenshots and captures, hardware specs, and game conditions when gamers engage with the system. Reports are logged for all players to see and then prioritised, by the community, using PleaseFix’s instant ‘upvote’ button.

This leads to:

  • More informed and detailed bug reporting.
  • Bug prioritisation by the community.
  • Fewer resources required within QA teams.
  • Increased sense of ownership by players.

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday Qtest. It was 26 years ago today that we first got our hands on this Quake prototype, which turned the anticipation for the game up to 11. Eagerness for Quake was the motivation for creating this site, and Qtest was the first real payoff on that.

And speaking of this site, today is the second anniversary of the launch of the Blue's News supporter program! So in addition to the gratitude I have for all of you who visit, this is an appropriate time for a heartfelt thank you to those participating. We all have different situations, and this is a luxury not all can indulge, but those of you who can have shown remarkable generosity, and the support has made all the difference in the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Well-Supported Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links


Thanks Max.



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