Archived News:

Monday, May 23, 2022

Raven QA Votes to Unionize

Bloomberg Law reports that game testers at Activision Blizzard subsidiary Raven Software have voted to form a union with the Communications Workers of America, calling this "a first for a US-listed game company." This comes as the National Labor Relations Board found Activision Illegally Threatened Staff (may require registration or subscription). Here's word on the outcome:
Nineteen quality assurance testers at subsidiary Raven Software, who assess the performance of games in the lucrative Call of Duty series, voted for legal recognition of the union they’d first organized in January. Three voted against.

The outcome ends a protracted battle that began when management refused voluntarily to recognize the group. Workers came together in response to layoffs at the company last December, and their push for official status at the company comes as it’s also battling explosive allegations of sexism.
Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Radeon Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 22.5.2 Adrenalin Edition Windows drivers for AMD Radeon graphics cards. As seen in the Release Notes there is a lot to know about these. They add support for Sniper Elite 5, ray tracing support for Hitman 3, additional Vulkan extensions, DirectX 11 enhancements, and more. Here's a rundown:

  • Support For
    • Sniper Elite 5™
    • Hitman 3™ Ray Tracing Update
    • Additional Vulkan® extensions. Click here for more information.
  • Radeon™ Super Resolution
    • Additional support – RSR is now compatible with AMD Ryzen™ 6000 series processors with integrated graphics.
    • New “Sharpen Effect” slider that allows you to fine-tune the sharpness effect of RSR to your own desired settings.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Racing Fest Rolls Out

The promised Steam Racing Fest is now underway. You can find the hub of all the high-speed festivities on this page. This offers links to presentations and sales. To get things off on the right foot, this blog post offers some racing trivia that can earn you a special badge. Here's word:
What do mice, lasers, tuk tuks, and wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tubemen have in common? They're all things you can race in games here on Steam (for real), and during Steam Racing Fest is the perfect time to try! Check out the official Steam Racing Fest page now.

From May 23rd - May 30th, find discounts, demos, and trivia all centered around the speedier side of Steam. We're even offering a special racing-themed badge you can unlock if you dare to get through the trivia without getting... totaled. Eh? Like a car? (Terrible car pun, you're right.)

Call of Duty Classified Arms Reloaded Update Tomorrow

The Call of Duty blog has details on the Classified Arms Reloaded update coming tomorrow to Call of Duty. Among other things, this adds a new fast travel system to the Call of Duty: Warzone that's part of an effort to shake up the meta in the battle royale. The update includes new perks, items, a new time-limited mode coming to Call of Duty: Vanguard, and more. Here's more on the fast travel system:
To travel via mine cart to another hub area, simply interact with the circular hatch and walk toward the cart. When doing so, the destination name will appear on your screen — you can also check the map to see how it interacts. After a few seconds of travel time, you’ll instantly appear at your destination . . . Hopefully with no enemies waiting on the other side.

Those in the know — like you, after reading this section — can use light and audio clues to figure out if an enemy is on the other side, or if the circle collapse will soon engulf the destination. As with most situations, when there is a green light, it means it’s safe. Anything else can mean potential danger, and if the indicator is off with gas going through the vents, then that means you cannot travel to that destination.

Mastering this system may be key to the new meta after this update, so learn it and its not-so-secret indicators well.

On Sale

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Evening Metaverse

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Baz Luhrmann's ELVIS - Official Trailer 2.

I, the Inquisitor Revealed

An Official Teaser announces development of I, the Inquisitor, an upcoming action/adventure based on the bestselling book series. This reimagines the story of Jesus so that rather than perishing on the cross, he descends as an inquisitor, bent on revenge (what would Arnold do?). Here's the description from the game's Steam Listing:
"I, the Inquisitor'' is a story-driven, dark fantasy adventure game with action elements and difficult moral choices. Based on the bestselling Inquisitor book series by Jacek Piekara, the game takes place in an alternative religious timeline. Once nailed to the cross and near death, Jesus becomes consumed by utter rage. He breaks free and unleashes violent vengeance on all the non-believers. Centuries pass and now an army of zealot Inquisitors brutally enforce the faith in this bloodsoaked Church.
Continue here to read the full story.

DRAINUS Launches

DRAINUS is now available on Steam, offering an unfortunately-titled, side-scrolling shmup that will take you on a nostalgia trip to bullet hell. The launch took place during this livestream which also celebrated the release of The Use of Life (story below). A first patch is available for DRAINUS to clear up a launch issue. Here's the pitch:
This is a side-scrolling shooting game in which the player takes control of the "Drainus", a ship that can absorb energy bullets, to take down the countless enemy ships zipping through space. Energy absorbed can be used to enhance the ship's functions, such as adding new weapons.

The Planet Halpax is located in the far reaches of space, suffering from the oppressive rule of the Kharlal Empire. One of the slaves residing there is battling an illness. He must return home to the faraway planet of Earth to be cured of the disease, known as "Planetary Compatibility Disorder". His daughter, also a slave, is both devastated by her father's illness and helpless to do anything about it.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Use of Life Early Access

As mentioned in the story above, Early Access to The Use of Life is now underway on Steam. This is a narrative JRPG featuring multiple endings. The Early Access Trailer takes a look, and you can sample this firsthand, as there's a playable demo for Windows. Here's the deal:
In this game the main character’s various “attachments” fluctuate in accordance with the choices the player makes, changing the character’s way of thinking. The ending you experience changes depending on “the use of life” you choose through your journey.

Will the main character uses their “life” for their own good, or for the benefit of others? This all depends on the decisions and choices you make as the player. The game’s ending represents the natural conclusion of the way this life was lived, and there is no “good ending” or “bad ending”.
Continue here to read the full story.

LOST EPIC Launches in July

An announcement from publisher One or Eight and developer EARTHWARS at INDIE Live Expo 2022 LOST EPIC will conclude its epic Early Access run on July 28 with its full release on Steam. A new release date trailer offers a look at the 2D soulslike action in this sidescrolling action/RPG. This post describes a new update for the Early Access edition to reward early supporters. Here's a Version 1.3.0 Trailer with a look at that. Word is the official launch will come alongside the game's release on PlayStation. Here's word:
Step into the land of Sanctum as the God Slayer and defend humanity from divine tormentors. Unleash mystical powers alongside stalwart allies, including NPCs and summoning other heroes playing LOST EPIC in the quest to defeat the Pantheon of Six. Engage in fierce 2D combat using weapons and their Divine Skills. Level up deeply-customizable characters through an expansive skill tree. Craft items and enchantments to strike fear into the hearts of the devilish deities.

Available starting today in Steam Early Access, explore the most dangerous world to date: the dark Abyss. Defeat new bosses Cecilia and The Ruling King to obtain the Eyes of God. Use them to peer through the mists to discover previously unseen paths in pre-existing areas and find the final world of LOST EPIC. These mysterious depths host three difficult new foes: the God of Everlasting Darkness, the Twin Gods, and the Ancient God itself.
Continue here to read the full story.

XEL Demo

A playable demo is now available on Steam for XEL, a sci-fi action/adventure that's expected to launch this (northern) summer (this seems to be a delay, as the game lists a Q2 2022 release window). Here's a trailer celebrating the demo, and here's more on the news:
In XEL, you’ll take the leading role as Reid, an amnesiac traveler stranded in a mysterious world where only a painfully deep dive into her subconscious will unlock the knowledge needed to find her way out. The ability to jump through space and time doesn’t hurt, either! A love letter to classic Zelda titles, XEL melds sci-fi fantasy with the familiarity of old-school dungeon exploration, creating a marvelously enigmatic world full of challenging puzzles, fiendish boss battles, and brimming with witty characters.

Presented during Steam’s Indie Live Expo 2022, the newly released demo showcases the first 30 minutes of the highly anticipated adventure, including an exciting look into the first mini boss fight against the menacing “Overseer.” Paired with Chap, her spunky and spirited sentient mechanical companion, Reid confronts armies of robotic enemies, as well as her own cryptic past. What is her connection to this perplexing world, and how can she regain the memories she’s lost?
Continue here to read the full story.

TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity Climbs Out Next Week

PLAYISM announces TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity will graduate from Early Access on Steam on June 2nd. Version 1.0 will come alongside the release of the game for Switch. Here's a Switch & STEAM Launch Trailer to celebrate the news, and here's more on how this will take this roguelike climbing platformer to the next level:
Lead one of five heroes through their trials and tribulations as they seek escape from a shifting tower constructed from the broken remains of a forgotten world. Learn each playable character’s backstory as they climb, why the structure compelled them to enter it, and what it takes to truly escape from their repeating fate.

Each hero can only protect themselves from the tower’s many foes with screen-clearing magic skills that deal significant damage to enemies for a short time but take up to 30 seconds to recharge. Find items to reduce cooldown times, grant different effects to attacks, and help provide protection. Climb up high enough, and choose to pray to an angel or a devil capable of granting branching paths toward the tower’s apex.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

To celebrate the successful launch of Evil Dead: The Game, we've updated the logo for our Desktop view. This shows off Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick, released this week back in 2003. This was a console-only game, but the topic clearly inspired ace artist Walter "2" Costinak to feature it anyway. Thank you to Dave for updating it for our current format. Groovy!

Obituary: Star Wars spacecraft designer Colin Cantwell dies aged 90. Thanks brother19.

Evil Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

Follow-up

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