Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2022 World Water Day

Far Cry 6 Getting Stranger Things Crossover and Free Weekend

Leggo my Eggo! Ubisoft announces a Stranger Things crossover mission will go live on Thursday in Far Cry 6, the first-person shooter sequel. At that time everyone who owns the game will be able to check it out. And everyone else will as well, as a free weekend will get underway. Here's the Stranger Things Announcement Teaser Trailer along with the details:
Far Cry 6 is hosting a free weekend, running March 24-27, on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC through the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. This game and its DLCs are also included in a Ubisoft+ subscription on PC, Stadia, and Amazon Luna.

New players can pre-load Far Cry 6 on March 22 at 12 PM PT on PC and PlayStation platforms, and will have access to the full game when the free weekend begins, including the upcoming Stranger Things crossover mission inspired by the Netflix series, and all free downloadable content published to date – all playable in co-op. Those who want to continue exploring the island of Yara in Far Cry 6 after the free weekend can keep their progress and purchase the game and its Season Pass at big discounts:
Continue here to read the full story.

PGA Tour Delayed Again

Just over four months ago EA announced the release of PGA Tour was being delayed until this spring. Now the other golf shoe has dropped, as EA SPORTS tweets the game is being further delayed. There's no explanation of why, but now the new PGA Tour is not going to tee-off for another year:
Experience the next generation of championship golf

Coming Spring 2023

New NVIDIA Drivers

NVIDIA announces the release of new version 512.15 WHQL-certified Windows drivers for NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. These are game ready for Ghostwire: Tokyo and Shadow Warrior 3. They also bring improvements for other games:
Our latest GeForce Game Ready driver delivers the ultimate experience in Bethesda Softworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo, thanks to out of the box support for NVIDIA DLSS. And in Chorus, Jurassic World Evolution 2 and No Man’s Sky we’re bringing you support for NVIDIA DLAA, enabling players to further improve image quality.

Plus, there’s day-0 support for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and support for 11 new G-SYNC Compatible gaming monitors.

More NVIDIA DLSS Support

An update from NVIDIA has details on game support in GeForce graphics cards. Word is ray tracing and DLSS are available now in Paradise Killer and will be included in Ghostwire: Tokyo when it launches on March 25th. Additionally, Evil Dead: The Game will include DLSS support when it arrives on May 13th. There's also a handy primer on NVIDIA's driver-based spatial upscaler:
NVIDIA also offers a driver-based spatial upscaler called NVIDIA Image Scaling (NIS) to help boost performance for all your games. It boosts performance by rendering your game at a lower resolution, and then upscales and sharpens to match your monitor’s native resolution. You can enable this feature manually in the Control Panel and then set the in-game resolution to match, or simply enable it automatically through GeForce Experience.

NVIDIA Omniverse Launches

Also from NVIDIA is the announcement of NVIDIA Omniverse for game developers, calling this "a game-changing platform built for collaboration and real-time photorealistic simulation." Here's more on what this brings to the party:
To satisfy gamers' expectations for enormous, immersive worlds, global teams of artists must build massive libraries of 3D content. This is both labor intensive and expensive, and the process becomes more challenging when incorporating realistic lighting, life-like physics, and optimal game performance with AI is taken into account.

NVIDIA Omniverse addresses these challenges and helps game developers build photorealistic, physically-accurate games with record speed by unifying artists, their assets, and software tools in one powerful platform.

Steam Chrome OS Alpha Nears

The Chromium Website announces the promised testing of Steam on Chrome OS is getting underway. Word is this will be alpha testing, and will roll out to a limited number of participants:
Beginning with Chrome OS 14583.0.0, the Dev channel will include an early, alpha-quality version of Steam on Chrome OS for a small set of recent Chromebooks. If you have one of these Chromebooks (listed below) and decide to give it a try, please send your feedback - we are in active development and want to incorporate as much user input as possible.

What do we mean by alpha?
Alpha means anything can break. Due to the inherent instability of the Dev channel and the in-progress nature of this feature, we don’t recommend trying this on a Chromebook that you rely on for work, school, or other daily activities. You will encounter crashes, performance regressions, and never-before-seen bugs - that’s part of the fun!
Continue here to read the full story.

TURBO OVERKILL Early Access Next Month

Apogee Entertainment announces that TURBO OVERKILL will come to Early Access on Steam on April 22nd. The launch will be the first of three planned episodes, and the plan is to launch out of Early Access by the end of the year, at which time the console versions will arrive. As shown in the Early Access Trailer, this is a retro-themed first-person shooter so steeped in the 90s you'd expect SpaceOrb support. Here's more of what to expect:
Welcome to Paradise, a Blade Runner-meets-DOOM hellscape. Johnny Turbo finds his crime-ridden hometown overrun by the biggest threat of all: a rogue AI named Syn, whose malicious code has thousands of augmented humans in its thrall. Guns won’t be enough—Johnny needs augments of his own, like a chainsaw leg made for stylish evisceration, to stand a chance.

Designed as a loving evolution of FPS classics like DOOM and Quake II with modern movement and player upgrades, Turbo Overkill beckons shooter diehards to lose themselves in frantic, pixel-perfect gunplay against hordes of half-robot thugs while exploring dense, intertwining levels packed with secrets. Blue keys and green keys? Nostalgic health and armor pickups? Sure, but you’ll need to wall-run, grapple, or surf a flying car to get to them. Along the way, find cleverly hidden cassette tapes and microchips to unlock obscene difficulty modifiers and ultra-hard bonus stages.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Park Baseball 23 Next Month

Com2uS announces April 22nd is opening day for Out of the Park Baseball 23 (OOTP 23). That is when the next installment in the sports strategy series will come up to bat for PC and mobile. Word is: "OOTP 23 is the next evolution of the beloved strategy series which features new 3D visuals, all-new layers of customization options, and in-game tutorials that will appeal to rookies and veterans alike." The company also announced a renewal of its Major League Baseball license to continue the series for the next five years. The PC edition will support Windows and macOS, and will come to both Epic Games Store and Steam. It's also now available for preorder from the OOTP Developments Website. Here's more:
OOTP 23 is the next evolution of the beloved strategy series which features new 3D visuals, all-new layers of customization options, and in-game tutorials that will appeal to rookies and veterans alike.

“Each year, it’s our goal to evolve and build on the legacy of OOTP’s unrivaled authentic baseball management experience, and with Out of the Park Baseball 23 we’ve pushed these enhancements further than ever before,” said Richard Grisham, Director of Business Development at Com2uS. “OOTP 23 is a love letter to all baseball fans and includes an array of new tutorial features that make it the most welcoming entry point into the series yet and adds all-new layers of customization and depth to the experience that we know our passionate community loves most about the game.”

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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Honest Trailers - The Oscars (2022). Thanks Ant.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Announced

Who you gonna call? IllFonic! That's because the developer officially announces Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, an asymmetrical multiplayer game based on the haunted movie series. This is expected to arrive by the end of this year for PC on Epic Games Store as well as for PlayStation and Xbox with crossplay support. The Announce Trailer takes a look at a new crew of Ghostbusters in action, with some helpful introductions from the virtual versions of Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson). Here's word:
Put on a Proton Pack, grab a Ghost Trap, and monitor the trusty PKE Meter as a Ghostbuster in a team of four brave souls pursuing ghastly ghosts terrorizing public locations. Work together to find the Ghost, blast them with streams from the Particle Thrower to tether the slimy foe in place, and shut the trap at the perfect moment! Keep citizens calm and corral the Ghost before the environment gets too haunted.

Play as a Ghost, scaring unsuspecting citizens at various locations. You ain’t afraid of no Ghostbuster, thanks to the ability to fly and teleport between rifts. Possess objects lying around each room to sneak by roaming Ghostbusters and frighten passersby. If that doesn’t work, sliming and summoning ghoulish minions will. Haunt each map to completion as one of multiple Ghosts with different abilities.
Continue here to read the full story.

Humanoid's New Sci-Fi Universe

The Humanoid Studios Website has first details on what's going on at this development studio formed last year by BioWare veteran Casey Hudson (thanks VGC). Word is: "Our current project is a multi platform AAA game, focusing on character-driven narrative in an all-new science-fiction universe." Here's a bit on the company: "Humanoid Studios is a Canadian company with offices in B.C. and Alberta, offering a flexible work environment combining from-home, in-office, and remote work so that developers can work where they feel happiest." There are a bunch of job openings listed that indicate the game will use the Unreal Engine. The description of the Lead Writer's role gives a sense of how the company is pursuing a Massively Effective level of storytelling:
We are looking for a Lead Writer to join a veteran team of developers creating a new sci-fi IP. As Lead Writer, you’ll work closely with Narrative, Art and Design teams to shape the game world and drive the story. You will be responsible for leading the writing team to develop the story into an immersive gaming experience and ensure collaboration with other teams in the pipeline. This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a collaborative and creative team in the early stages of a new IP.

FTC Requests Further Microsoft/Activision Merger Details

An Activision Blizzard Proxy Statement reveals that the US Federal Trade Commission has requested more information regarding Microsoft's proposed merger with Activision Blizzard (thanks Wccftech). Word is: "Under the HSR Act and the rules promulgated thereunder, the merger cannot be completed until Activision Blizzard and Microsoft file a notification and report form with the Federal Trade Commission." Word is this is holding things up, but this is a slow process to start with. Activision currently says it expects the deal to be consummated by the end of Q2 next year:
On March 3, 2022, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft each received a request for additional information and documentary material (which we refer to as a “Second Request”) from the FTC in connection with the FTC’s review of the transaction. The effect of the Second Request is to extend the waiting period imposed under the HSR Act until the 30th day after substantial compliance by Activision Blizzard and Microsoft with the Second Request, unless the waiting period is terminated earlier by the FTC or as otherwise agreed between the parties and the FTC. Completion of the transaction remains subject to the termination or expiration of the waiting period under the HSR Act and the satisfaction or waiver of the closing conditions specified in the merger agreement. The parties expect to complete the transaction in Microsoft’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

Call of Duty Season Two Reloaded This Week

Season Two Reloaded gets underway tomorrow in Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone. There's a lot to know about this, so there's a lengthy briefing on the Call of Duty Blog to get everybody up to speed. Here's the elevator pitch:
Season Two Reloaded for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone is set to reinforce the fight. From a new mode featuring vehicular combat to Rebirth Island’s biggest update since its launch, Operators may need to call for backup even with all of Task Force Yeti on the scene… and as the smoke clears, you may even find the OG known for going under “deep cover” Snoop Dogg.

The action will begin in both games following two updates: one for Vanguard at 9 AM PT on March 22, and one for Warzone at 9 AM PT March 23.

DNF Duel in June

Nexon announces the worldwide launch of DNF Duel will come on June 28th on PC and consoles. This fighting game based on Dungeon Fighter Online (aka Dungeon&Fighter), another fighting game that's already made its bones. Word is this will attempt to make its way in the competitive world of esports:
Published by Nexon Korea Corporation, DNF Duel is being co-developed by Nexon’s subsidiary, NEOPLE INC., in Korea and acclaimed Japanese studio, Arc System Works Co., Ltd., best known for the fighting games, Guilty Gear series and BlazBlue. Built on the world’s leading game engine Unreal Engine 4 provided by Epic Games, DNF Duel provides high-quality graphics that render Nexon’s beloved Dungeon & Fighter IP characters.

DNF Duel was selected as one of the official eSports titles at the upcoming ARC WORLD TOUR 2022 hosted by Arc System Works. The competition is sponsored by Nexon Korea and Sony Interactive Entertainment America.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Update Postponed

Microsoft announces that due to the China Eastern Airlines plane crash, it is postponing a planned update for Microsoft Flight Simulator until tomorrow:
In light of recent tragic aviation news, we have made the decision to postpone our release of World Update VIII: Iberia until Thursday, March 24th at 2:00 AM PDT (0900Z). We extend our deepest condolences to those affected by this event.

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Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

I suspect we may be on the crest of another flooded pond like the one we suffered in the fall due to a beaver dam. I was taking the labs on an adventure yesterday, and we came across dozens of baby turtles sunning themselves on trees that had toppled into the water. Some of the trees are just the victims of erosion. But a lot of them had telltale signs that they were felled by beavers, as the ends of the stumps and the fallen trees are sharpened like pencils. The turtles sure seem to like the furniture, but losing more trees is not going to help with the erosion, and sooner or later those clever rodent engineers are going to start in on another dam, so I'm guessing we're going to have a visit from wildlife control soon.

Out of Control Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

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