Archived News:

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2022 Anniversary of First Moonwalk (1969)

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Released

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is now officially available, offering a remake of this classic Forgotten Realms RPG. The Windows edition is available from the Epic Games Store, GOG.com*, and Steam. You can take a look at some remastered gameplay in this recent trailer. Here's more on this nostalgia trip:
Based in and around the city of Baldur's Gate itself, the game features 5 playable characters and classes and spans dozens of locations. Featuring the ability to create custom weapons and armor, players can improve items by using runestones and gems while playing through the game's four difficulty levels; "Easy", "Normal", "Hard" and "Extreme".

Whether choosing the barbarian, monk, necromancer, rogue or cleric, players will have to actively fight through hordes of monsters ranging from Hobgoblins, Ghouls, Golems and dreaded Dragons while dodging attacks and evading deadly traps.
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The Quarry Trial

This post announces the availability of a new free trial of The Quarry on Steam, allowing everyone the chance to sample the multiplayer horror game. This includes a prologue chapter as well as the ability to play alongside owners of the game in its recently released, invite-only Wolf Pack Mode. For those who enjoy hunting and being hunted, the game is also currently on sale for 33% off. Here's word on the trial:
If you haven't yet experienced The Quarry for yourself, you can get a taste of the horror that awaits with the new Free Trial on Steam, available now! Simply click "Play Game" on “Free to Play” version on The Quarry Steam Store page to get access to the full Prologue chapter plus the Wolf Pack multiplayer mode.

Introduced in the July 7 update for The Quarry, Wolf Pack is an invite-only online multiplayer mode supporting up to eight players total. One host player can invite up to seven friends to help shape their run, as everyone votes together on key decisions. If you have a friend who owns a full version of The Quarry on Steam, they'll be able to invite you to their Wolf Pack even if you only own the Free Trial!

Call of Duty: Vanguard Free Trial Begins

The promised free access to Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer and Zombies modes is now underway. Here's word on this week-long sample of the World War II first-person shooter:
There’s gold for the taking, and the floodgates have opened. Invite your friends and family to join the 21st-century gold rush during the one-week Free Access period for Mercenaries of Fortune, the fourth season of Call of Duty: Vanguard.

The Free Access period begins July 20 at 10 AM PT and lasts through July 26 at 8 AM PT. Experience the full suite of Vanguard’s Multiplayer and Zombies Playlists with all maps and modes available during the Free Access period, including recent releases like USS Texas 1945, Blueprint Gun Game, and Shi No Numa.

Minecraft to Block NFTs

Mojang announces it is resisting the allure of adding NFTs to Minecraft as a way of digging more money out of its customers' wallets. Word is: "we wanted to take the opportunity to share our view that integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow." The article repeatedly makes the point that non-fungible tokens run afoul of the game's principles of fairness. Here are some details:
As such, to ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods. We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming. However, we have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.

FIFA 23 Announced

To no one's surprise, EA SPORTS announces FIFA 23, the new installment in the association football/soccer series that will be EA's last game with the official FIFA license. Here's word on the game, which is expected in Early Access on September 20th, and full release a week later:
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today revealed EA SPORTS™ FIFA 23 and the next evolution of HyperMotion2* technology, setting a new standard in realistic and immersive gameplay on the pitch. FIFA 23 will feature women’s club teams for the first time with the inclusion of the Barclays Women’s Super League and Division 1 Arkema at launch, extending its position as the world’s most authentic football experience. Players will also be able to experience the pinnacle of both men’s and women’s international football in FIFA 23 with the men’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ as post-launch updates at no additional cost. Cross-play features will also connect and engage football fans like never before, and will be available across multiple online game modes in FIFA 23.**

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: NOPE - Final Trailer. Thanks RedEye9.

Gone Gold - Saints Row

In a tweet, Deep Silver Volition announces development on Saints Row is complete, and the open-world reboot is now gold. The game is available for preorder on the Saints Row Website, and it will officially launch on August 23rd. In the meantime the Boss Factory is still available, allowing the advance creation of the character you will play in the game. Here's a Saints Row refresher:
Welcome to Santo Ileso, a vibrant fictional city in the heart of the American SouthWest. In a world rife with crime, where lawless factions fight for power, a group of young friends embark on their own criminal venture, as they rise to the top in their bid to become Self Made.

Experience the biggest and best Saints Row playground ever created; the unique sprawling world of Santo Ileso is the backdrop for a wild, larger than life sandbox of thrilling side hustles, criminal ventures and blockbuster missions, as you shoot, drive, and wingsuit your way to the top.

MultiVersus Open Beta Early Access

The promised Early Access to the open beta test for MultiVersus is now underway. This offers first crack at this fighting game that will answer the age-old question of whether Superman could beat up Velma from Scooby-Doo. The game will be free-to-play, and the beta will be open to all following a week of Early Access. But at this point it will cost you to get in unless you already played the Closed Alpha or received a Twitch drop. Here's the recent MultiVersus – Open Beta Announcement Trailer, and here are the details:
Warner Bros. Games today announced that Early Access to the MultiVersus Open Beta is now available for players who previously participated in the MultiVersus Closed Alpha, as well as those who receive a code via Twitch Drops. Players can also gain Early Access to the Open Beta by purchasing a MultiVersus Founder’s Pack, which includes different levels of in-game content via the Standard, Deluxe, and Premium Editions. For more information on the Founder’s Packs, visit MultiVersus.com/Founders-Pack.

Additionally, a MultiVersus Preseason Battle Pass is now available, allowing players to complete challenges and unlock rewards. There is a free option open for all players and a premium option requiring an in-game purchase to participate. The Preseason Battle Pass is live now through Aug. 8, followed by a full Season 1 Battle Pass beginning Aug. 9. All player progression and rewards unlocked during the Early Access period and through the Preseason Battle Pass will carry over to the Open Beta on July 26 and subsequently be available through the life of the game.
Continue here to read the full story.

No Man's Sky ENDURANCE Released

Hello Games continues its enduring support of No Man's Sky with the release of ENDURANCE, the latest in a string of free content updates for the space exploration game. Word is game's the 20th major free update is "probably" the largest of the year. This time around the developer said frig it, let's enhance the game's frigates. The changes are highlighted in this trailer. Here's word:
ENDURANCE brings a complete overhaul of freighters and fleets, allowing players to live and work aboard their home in the stars, together with their own crew. A new bridge brings a range of quality of life improvements, with instant access to warping and teleportation. Players can now build vast freighter bases on a scale not seen before, with specially themed areas and new features for growing food and manufacturing, and new technology like the ability to scan and analyse planets from space.

One of the most striking changes is to asteroids, which are now more varied and appear in vast fields, with thousands on screen at once. There are new Interstellar-style black holes, nebulae, and space atmospherics to explore. Travellers can enjoy these new incredible space vistas from windows and portholes, which they can now build on their freighters. Players can also build exterior sections to their freighters, for increased flexibility, or just to admire the universe from.
Continue here to read the full story.

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered PC Features

PlayStation.Blog has details on PC features in the upcoming Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered. This version is expected on August 12th following about a year of development at Nixxes Software. There's also a trailer with a look. Here's word:
First off, let’s touch on the graphics features newly available in the PC version of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. Our goal was to make this game a visual stunner on the PC platform and that meant opening up extensive configurability to PC users with varying hardware, as well as introducing some new techniques and tools to push things even further. To provide an abbreviated list:

  • Ray-traced reflections are available across the game for those with hardware that supports them. Reflections also have varied quality levels, one of which is a new, higher-quality ray-traced mode that offers even more city detail when web-swinging and fighting crime in Marvel’s New York.
  • NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) increases graphics performance using dedicated Tensor Core AI processors found only on GeForce RTX GPUs, boosting frame rates with uncompromised image quality.
  • NVIDIA DLAA (Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing) is an AI-based anti-aliasing mode for GeForce RTX gamers who have spare GPU headroom and want higher levels of image quality.
  • Beyond choosing output resolutions, we also support a wide range of display ratios, including ultrawide 21:9, panoramic 32:9, and NVIDIA Surround multi-monitor setups.* If you’ve got three monitors, we’ve got the game for you to show them off with!
  • Many other rendering systems are more customizable than they have been in the past, with additional quality levels and algorithmic options. These include SSAO, texture filtering, LoD quality, shadows, and more. We support windowed, full screen, and exclusive full screen rendering modes.

Continue here to read the full story.

Hazel Sky Dawns

Hazel Sky is now available for Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch, offering the chance to make your way in one of those flying cities that everyone wants to call home. The PC editions can be found hovering in the Epic Games Store and on Steam. Here's the Launch Trailer, and here's more:
Play as Shane, a young Engineer-in-training sent out to an island to partake in The Trials, which he must pass to return home as a fully-fledged Engineer or be banished forever. With his only human contact being his father’s letters and a radio to his fellow trainee Erin, Shane must swim, slide, climb, and fly to make his way back home to Gideon, a city in the sky.

Featuring a tranquil yet lonely world of rusting flying machines, illicit friendships, letters full of broken dreams, and an experimental soundtrack with original songs, Hazel Sky promises a heartfelt adventure about one boy’s coming-of-age in a world of magic and machines.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind. That's right, today is National Hot Dog day here in the US (thanks Neutronbeam). Oh yeah, it's also the anniversary of the first moon walk. Here's hoping 92 year-old Buzz Aldrin keeps up with grand tradition by punching out a moon-landing denier.

Apollo Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Science
Thanks Acleacius.

Media

Follow-up

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