Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Into the Black

I have to apologize. I have suffered compound hardware failures today. Barring a miracle, this leaves me unable to complete an update this evening. I am very unhappy, since I have no one but myself to blame for my woes (a story for another time). I'll keep working on it, but a fix is probably not happening until tomorrow.

Again, my apologies. Any patience you can muster for this situation is greatly appreciated.

Get Saints Row IV Re-Elected and Wildcat Gun Machine for Free

It's Thursday, aka Snagday, as this week's freebies are now available for the having on the Epic Games Store. The new giveaways are Saints Row IV Re-Elected and Wildcat Gun Machine, and either or both are yours to keep if you act quickly. The offer ends next Thursday, and Epic is showing "mystery game" as the new gift that will be offered at that time. The story has a history of daily mystery giveaways in the run-up to the holidays, and it seems reasonable to expect this will kick off a week from today. Here's the pitch on today's presents:
You're the President now! The Saints have gone from the Penthouse to the White House - but Earth has been invaded and it’s up to you to save it with an arsenal of superpowers and strange weapons, in the wildest open world game ever.

Wildcat Gun Machine is an explosion roller coaster ride! Enter a bullet hell dungeon crawler where you take on hordes of disgusting flesh beasts with a wide variety of guns, giant mech robots, and cute kittens.

Portal with RTX Released

Portal with RTX is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the promised graphical update for Valve's classic first-person puzzle game. If you already own the game, this is a free update. The cake may or may not be a lie, but the visual improvements from the addition of ray tracing and other advanced effect is the truth, and it can be seen in this video. The new version supports any ray tracing-capable GPU, but we've seen concerns that AMD cards will struggle due to lack of DLSS support. Here's a bit on the Portal port:
Portal with RTX is a free DLC for all Portal owners developed by NVIDIA Lightspeed Studios. Experience the critically acclaimed and award-winning Portal™ reimagined with ray tracing. Every frame of gameplay is upgraded with stunning full ray tracing, new, hand-crafted hi-res physically based textures, and new, enhanced high-poly models evocative of the originals, all in stunning 4K. In Portal with RTX, full ray tracing transforms each level, enabling light to bounce and be affected by the scene’s geometry and materials. Every light is ray-traced and casts shadows, global illumination indirect lighting naturally illuminates and darkens rooms, volumetric ray-traced lighting scatters through fog and smoke, and shadows are pixel perfect. Portal with RTX is compatible with all ray-tracing capable GPUs.
Continue here to read the full story.

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

Accompanying the Portal RTX news above come new GeForce Windows drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards. This page has a full article about this release. These are required to run the update to Valve's puzzle game. In addition, they add support for an upcoming DLSS 3 update for Jurassic World Evolution 2 and a next-gen update coming to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Here's a new The Making of Portal with RTX Video. Here's more:
Game Ready for Portal with RTX!
NVIDIA has reimagined Valve’s iconic video game Portal, widely regarded as one of the best video games of all time, with advanced graphics features such as advanced ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS 3, NVIDIA Reflex, and more, to give the game a striking new look and feel. Portal with RTX is available now as a free, official downloadable content (DLC) for the classic platformer.

Game Ready for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Next-Gen Update!
On December 14th, all The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt PC players will receive a free update that adds various gameplay changes, new quest content, and new graphics features that take full advantage of the latest PCs and laptops.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dwarf Fortress Sells Big on Steam

A tweet from Tanya X. Short of publisher Kitfox Games reveals the long-running grassroots success of Dwarf Fortress extends to the new edition on Steam. In a tweet last week she shared the discussion of whether the game would sell 160,000 copies in its first two months. A new tweet reveals it hit this milestone in the first 24 hours after launching on Tuesday. Here's word:
welp, we hit that in under 24 hours. hooray for Dwarf Fortress fans and hooray for Tarn and Zach's brilliance! (and thanks to you too, Steam algorithm!)

Chained Echoes Released

Chained Echoes is now off the chain, and available for Windows on* and Steam and for consoles, offering a new JRPG from developer Matthias Linda and publisher Deck13. The Launch Trailer is here to show off gameplay and the game's throwback pixel-art style. Here's the pitch:
The magnum opus from solo developer Matthias Linda, Chained Echoes, a traditional, all-encompassing JRPG inspired by the classics of the SNES and PSX era, is finally finished after seven years of development. Gamers from all around the world can now engage in an outstanding JRPG fantasy that is full of exciting challenges and appeal.

Players will find themselves within the continent of Valandis, which, after centuries of war, is finally at peace. However, this world they are in is marked by possible conflict, and rumors that a weapon of mass destruction is an imminent danger. Peace is fragile, conflicts lasting for centuries just won’t disappear, and a new war could break loose anytime soon… Can a group of strangers restore peace?Can the weapon be destroyed?
*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item. Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch 2 Season 2 Begins; Rank Explained

Blizzard announces that Season 2 is now underway in Overwatch 2, the competitive shooter sequel. On a related note, the company tweets an explanation for players trying to understand how the seasonal rollover affects rank in competitive play. This outlines new season rank decay and how matches are still based on your secretive MMR even if you've dropped rank. These mechanics have always seemed intentionally obtuse, but the post acknowledges a need to be clearer going forward:
At the end of every season, your final rank will be based on any matches played since your last rank update. End-of-season competitive rewards are based on your final rank.

When a season begins, we apply some rank decay to all roles, and over the course of a season players should climb back to ranks that represent their true skill level. That being said, all match-made games will still be based on your underlying MMR, ensuring we're making matches as fair as possible.

We understand that we need to do a better job making these systems more understandable and will be addressing these issues and other parts of the system in the future.

On Sale

*Blue's News may receive a commission on sales of this item.

Out of the Blue

The Game Awards air today at 7:30 pm EST. The good news is the recent indication that this will not be a three-hour slog like last year. A recent interview with Geoff Keighley indicates he's aware that premieres and announcements drive interest in this event far more than the awards, so hopefully the show will represent that. No drinking game this year, it sounds like just downing a shot for every reference to Geoff's "friend Hideo Kojima" would probably be enough to give anyone alcohol poisoning.

Hyped-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.


Breakfast Links


Thanks Acleacius.




About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!