Archived News:

Friday, Apr 19, 2024

New Intel Graphics Driver

Intel Support now offers a new version 31.0.101.5444 graphics driver for Intel Arc A-Series Graphics, Iris Xe Graphics, and Core Ultra Processors with Arc Graphics. This is a non-WHQL release, so don't go crying to the Windows Hardware Quality Labs if you run into problems. The list of games getting performance improvements is lengthy, showing DirectX 11 framerate boosts as high as 48%. There are even more details in the Release Notes. Here's a bit:
Game performance improvements on Intel® Arc™ A-Series Graphics Products versus Intel® 31.0.101.5382 software driver for:

  • Astroneer (DX11) Up to 30% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
  • Days Gone (DX11) Up to 5% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Very High settings
  • Dyson Sphere Program (DX11) Up to 15% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Default settings
  • Fortnite Performance Mode (DX11) Up to 15% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Epic settings
  • Lethal Company (DX11) Up to 14% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Default settings
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition (DX11) Up to 14% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
  • Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (DX11) Up to 8% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Very High settings
  • Need for Speed: Heat (DX11) Up to 36% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
  • Unturned (DX11) Up to 5% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Ultra settings
  • VRChat (DX11) Up to 5% average FPS uplift at 1080p with High settings
  • World of Warships (DX11) Up to 7% average FPS uplift at 1080p with Maximum settings

Arena Breakout: Infinite Beta Signups

Tencent subsidiary MoreFun Studios announces Arena Breakout: Infinite will launch soon, promising "the the most visually stunning and immersive FPS experience that isn’t in a perpetual alpha state," which is a nice cynical flourish. The game's Steam Listing is live calling this an MMO, and the official website is now accepting signups for a beta test expected to begin next month. The Closed Beta Announcement Trailer is here, chock full of cinematic random. The description of the game emphasizes realism and support for fair play:
In Arena Breakout: Infinite, enter the Dark Zone and become the deadliest soldier of fortune known to man. As a highly skilled military operative, journey into the war-torn Kamona region where high stakes equal high rewards. Pull the trigger, take cover, and move ahead. Break into combat arenas to extract high-value items and strike it rich… but be prepared to fight for survival.

Uncompromised Immersion: Breach the Dark Zone and explore combat arenas brought to life with exceptional detail, from real-time lighting to 360 spatial sound effects. Feel the pull of every trigger with an unprecedented degree of realism. Arena Breakout: Infinite delivers intensity and thrill unlike any other FPS game on PC.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: PC Evolution as told by Wing Commander (thanks Ant). This is a fun look back. Man, did I love those first two games. BlueHair approved.

Prison Architect 2 Delayed

The Paradox Interactive Forums have the news that the launch of Prison Architect 2 is being delayed, using the joke about being denied by the parole board before we could. The incarceration simulation was due on May 7th, but no longer has a release date. We're told to expect more on this during a stream next week. The news is a little confusing, since it says the launch builds are "certified on all platforms and are ready to release." But it also says "some issues regarding memory usage and minimum spec configurations experiencing more failures have emerged," leading to the delay as well as questions about the certification process. Players who rolled the dice on preordering are entitled to refunds. You can request one on Steam, while refunds on consoles will be automatic. An unintentionally comedic note adds: "Pre-orders will still be available, but you will need to purchase the game again to secure the pre-order bonus." Here's more:
In light of the memory usage issue, and minimum spec configuration failures, we therefore made the decision to postpone the game. This extra development time will make sure we can:

  • Raise the MTBF to make sure the game is more stable.
    • This includes focusing on resolving crashes, freezes, and other play-halting issues.
  • Share more of the development with you, our players, through streams and additional developer diaries.
  • Put more time into further developing some of the existing features that we know can be improved.
    • We’ll be telling you more about this in an upcoming stream on the 25th of April at 16:30 CEST /10:30 EST.

No Rest for the Wicked Early Access

No Rest for the Wicked has launched into Early Access on Steam, kicking off a new action/RPG from Private Division and Ori series developer Moon Studios. This post discusses the launch, PC specs, Twitch drops, and more, illustrated by the Official Steam Early Access Launch Trailer. A subsequent post thanks players for joining in while updating them on what's being done about known issues with performance, pausing, key binding, aspect ratios, and more. This also lists workarounds where they exist. Here's a bit on the game:
From Moon Studios, the award-winning developers of Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps comes No Rest for the Wicked, a visceral, precision Action RPG set to reinvent the genre.

The year is 841 – King Harol is dead. As word of his death echoes throughout the kingdom, the crown passes to his arrogant, yet untested son Magnus.

Even worse, the Pestilence, an unholy plague not seen for a thousand years, has returned. It sweeps across the land, corrupting everything and everyone it touches. Madrigal Seline, a ruthlessly ambitious figure in the church, sees the Pestilence as a chance to prove herself in the eyes of her god.
Continue here to read the full story.

SWORD ART ONLINE Last Recollection - Ritual of Bonds Vol. 2

Ritual of Bonds Vol. 2 is now available for Windows on Steam and for consoles, adding the latest DLC to SWORD ART ONLINE Last Recollection. This updates the action/RPG with fan-favorite characters from the source novels. For a look check out the this new trailer showing off gameplay. The narration is Japanese, but there are English subtitles. Here's word:
Based on SWORD ART ONLINE’s War of Underworld anime arc, a new story unfolds with tough challenges that await our beloved hero, Kirito, and his new friends in SWORD ART ONLINE Last Recollection. Players will unmask the Dark Knight and find out if Kirito and the crew will survive the relentless battles against the forces of the Dark Territory!

SWORD ART ONLINE Last Recollection boasts a brand new, original storyline that explores what would have happened if Kirito, Eugeo, and their allies didn’t meet their tragic end in The War of the Underworld. Experience an exciting and elevated battle system with your friends against familiar foes from the SWORD ART ONLINE series!
Continue here to read the full story.

Announcements of Announcements

Morning Mobilization

Out of the Blue

The Sci-Fi Space Classic Novel Finally Getting Adaptation Thanks To Dune Director (thanks RedEye9). I love Rendezvous with Rama. It revels in Arthur C. Clarke's ability to describe things with a scope and scale almost impossible to picture. I'm afraid that last point makes this a daunting task. But betting against Denis Villeneuve being able to succeed in adapting a sci-fi novel most thought to be impossible to film has already proven to be a fool's errand, so have at it Denis!

Obituary: 'American Idol' Star, Grammy Winner Mandisa Dead at 47.

Rendezvous Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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