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NVIDIA offfers up some tutorials and information on Minecraft with RTX

by: John -

One of the cooler things I saw at CES was NVIDIA's demo of Minecraft running with RTX. The graphical enhancements that RTX offers ups is truly amazing.

NVIDIA has been working with the likes of Blockworks, GeminiTay, and Razzleberries to showcase this tech. The three have created some worlds that will show off RTX and what it can do. The improvements are a sight to behold.

Not only is NVIDIA giving us some sneak peeks at the levels, they also posted some videos that goes into some technical details as well as providing some guides on upgrading the visuals of Minecraft. Below are two videos that go into a deeper dive for Minecraft RTX if you want more information.

For those that want to convert their world from the ole Java version to the Bedrock version in order to enable RTX, NVIDIA also has this handy guide to walk you through in doing so.

All told, a lot of nice information for Minecraft content creators who want to really bring new worlds come to life with ray tracing.

You have to finish the main story to play the new Control expansion

by: Randy -

The Board has alerted Jesse, Director of the Bureau of Control, that a situation has arisen in the Oldest House where the Monolith has been damaged and the Astral Plane is leaking into the Foundation—

—I know that's a lot of Nouns to take in at once. But anyone that's played or is playing Control knows just how exciting more Control will be. And here we have it: Control: The Foundation, the first major expansion to one of the best games of 2019. This is not to be confused with Control: The Formation, which was earlier, free DLC letting you test your get-good skills against timed attacks on hordes of enemies. This new expansion, The Foundation, is only accessible after you complete the main storyline to Control.

But please don't let that "2019" stop you if you're the type of person that only wants to play the latest and greatest video games. 2020 is having a rough go of things as it is, so don't automatically assume newer is better. When I say Control is one of the best games of 2019, think of it as one of the best games of at least the last 12 months, either direction, regardless of where New Year's Day lands on the map. Even if you see that some cowards had to dock it a point or two for really choppy gameplay performance on a vanilla PS4 (it was me), Control is a rad experience for action gamers; especially action gamers that love throwing around huge chunks of concrete at people and objects exhibiting paranormal signatures and engaged in whacked-out Astral Plane activities. It's a game I've never really been able to stop thinking about, even though I finished playing it six months ago.

Control: The Foundation is $15 standalone, or it's part of the $25 season pass. The season pass gives you further access to the second expansion, AWE, coming to Control later this summer (if all goes well).

The Control: Foundation expansion launched March 26 on PlayStation 4 and on PC from the Epic Games Store. Xbox One gets The Foundation in three months, on June 25. Even if you don't buy in, a free update on all platforms improved map readability (thank goodness), added a new Shield Rush ability, and the ability tree is revised so you can reallocate spent ability points. 

I'm listening to the full Control soundtrack on Spotify, but it's also streaming on Apple Music, Deezer, and Tidal; pick your poison. This music adds a creepy, ragged, industrial edge to my workday, I'll admit that much.

Burnout Paradise Remastered is coming to Switch

by: Carter -

Oh boy, this one really hit me with nostalgia.

Electronic Arts (EA) and Nintendo announced that Burnout Paradise Remastered will be available on Nintendo Switch this year. 

Burnout will be fully optimized and enhanced for the Nintendo Switch in 60 FPS, including pinch-and-pull map control for ease of navigation. Burnout transports players back into the world of Paradise City to tear it up in the ultimate driving playground online with friends or on-the-go. Alongside the original base game, players can also enjoy eight add-on game packs, including the extension to the drivable world with Big Surf Island.

Burnout Paradise Remastered delivers the complete original game and all additional main DLC packs ever released, including the Cops and Robbers pack, Legendary Cars, Burnout Bikes, and Big Surf Island, with new locations, challenges, and vehicles to discover. Send cars launching, spinning, and scraping through the city, and wreck friends online or join forces to demolish hundreds of online challenges.

To see the comparison between then and now, click here.

 

Warface reaches 1 million players on Nintendo Switch in a month

by: Carter -

One month after launching on Nintendo Switch, Warface has topped 1 million registered players on the platform. 

To celebrate this achievement, publisher MY.GAMES released a few in-game stats:

  • Players have completed 495,387 PvP matches
  • Total playtime for Warface on Switch is over 83,000 days
  • The most popular modes on Switch are PvE missions (1,285,309 played) and co-op Special Operations (148,507 completed)

Warface on Nintendo Switch has full content and feature parity with Xbox One and PS4 versions, with a content rotation system opening up new PvE co-op missions every week. The development team plans to simultaneously release the next big update on all three platforms.

 

Bohemia Interactive announces that Vigor is coming to Switch

by: Carter -

If you like survival games and own a Switch, you should be excited. 

Bohemia Interactive announced that their popular shoot-and-loot title, Vigor, is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Players have the opportunity to participate in the Closed Beta from 4/9 to 4/16. Enrollment to the beta will open on 4/2 on the registration page.

In a world devastated by the fallout of the last great war, Norway has become the last great bastion of humanity now known as Outlanders. You must survive as one of the only living remnants of a world in tatters — fight, loot, take shelter, and play smart to survive your new hostile landscape.

Vigor is an online, third-person, multiplayer, shoot-and-loot game with unpredictable challenges to overcome as you compete with fellow Outlanders for precious resources. Take on (or work with) other players, loot for resources, battle for airdrops, and escape to the safety of your Shelter, where you’ll build improvements and level up before stepping back into the battlefield.

If you're super pessimistic about the current pandemic, what better way to prepare for the end of the world?

 

 

It ain't cheap, but Mount & Blade II hit Steam Early Access today

by: Randy -

As promised in August of last yearMount & Blade II: Bannerlord has hit its March 2020 launch window on Steam Early Access. It ain't the cheapest early access I've ever seen ($45 right now, and that's with -10% off), but it's the most excited I've been for any game since the world went into quarantine.

In this early access trailer, we get a bird's eye view of the gameworld; one that would at least give Skyrim's map a pause. Then we head down into a rather dense urban area. Here's where it looks like a B-game, but that's because you haven't yet seen the hundreds of soldiers that are about to take over the battlefield. Not going to lie, though, things are looking mighty fine compared to the previous Mount & Blade series. While keeping a dreary medieval setting and keeping it real as far as architectural and cultural details go, you can still see some enthusiastic lighting at work, and at least not too many repeating character models within the same scene.

A look at the heroes' inventory screen, the list for arms and armament is suitably long and good looking. Sygrid in the video might would easily pass for a scale mail warrior in a Dragon Age if you weren't being too picky. I like it. These Mount & Blade characters look dope. Each piece of armor comes with a price tag, weight, armor tiers, and a specific enumeration to state just how much armor a thing is providing.

Then the fighting. Charging headlong into a throng of soldiers, a mounted warrior gets tossed to the ground. A soldier that barely had his sword drawn—practically an innocent bystander—gets run over by a horse, proving that your fancy armor tiers might help your hit points, but you still need to get out of the way. There's a good ol' gladiatorial arena when you want to go a little more one-on-one (whoops, there's an arrow to the eyeball from off screen). 

Dense forests in the open world complement the narrow ramparts of castle battlements. There are lots of arrows, lots of siege weapons, lots of double-teaming, and lots of taking advantage of height and cover. 

I've been looking forward to this one for at least three years now: at least since TaleWorlds Entertainment showed off melee combat for the first time at E3 2017.

2K bringing star studded lineup to Nintendo Switch

by: Rob -

In the most recent Nintendo Direct broadcast, publisher 2K announced three of it's biggest series - Bioshock, XCOM, and Borderlands - are all getting releases for the Nintendo Switch. 

  • Bioshock: The Collection includes the complete remastered versions of all 3 games in the series - Bioshock, Bioshock 3, and Bioshock Infinite -  as well as add-ons and DLC.
  • XCOM 2 Collection includes the base game, four DLC packs, and the War of the Chosen expansion.
  • Borderlands Legendary Collection includes the Game of the Year vision of Borderlands, as well as Borleands 2 and the Pre-Sequel. 

The three titles will release in two months, on May 29th, 2020. In an interesting twist none of the physical retail versions will include the complete content, each being limited to the first 8 or 16 GB to get you started on the base game with digital downloads required to upload the rest of the sequels and DLCs. Full details after the read more link below. 

[Read More]

The Bravely Default II demo wiped my party in the second battle

by: Eric -

Bravely Default is probably my favorite game of the 3DS era. While not officially a spin-off of the main-line Final Fantasy games, Bravely Default feels like an FF title in everything but name. With its unique battle system – which allows characters to either save up or borrow attacks from future turns – Bravely Default has its own unique identity, while still feeling like an offshoot from SNES-era Final Fantasy. The spells end in -aga (Firage, Curaga, etc.) and you resurrect characters with Phoenix Downs. Good enough for me.

Whenever Square-Enix drops a demo, they usually get my undivided attention. Their demos are extremely generous, and often they contain content that is separate from the main game. The Bravely Default II demo, for example, takes players on a mini-adventure in the Bravely Default world, but with different characters and story beats from what will be in the actual release. If it follows the same pattern as the Bravely Default and Bravely Second demos, players will get a few goodies in-game for completing the demo. Square-Enix knows how to do it.

What I had forgotten about Bravely Default is how difficult the series can be. This is not a game that hand-holds players, nor does it gate off difficult areas from exploration. I found out the hard way, it is entirely possible to wander the wrong way immediately and be faced with some enemies that will clean your clock right out of the gate.

After exploring the demo’s initial town and picking up a few quests and pieces of equipment, I assigned starter jobs to each of my characters and meandered out of the main gates into the desert. The first mobs I came across were some little goblin guys, and though I had to fumble a bit to remember how the “Brave/Default” mechanics worked, I got through the battle generally unscathed, and my dudes popped up a level.

Heartened by this success, I wandered a little Eastwards, and when I saw a snake-like enemy bouncing on the map, I didn’t hesitate to barrel straight into it. This was an error.

The snake-guys (didn’t catch the monsters’ name) had attacks that could damage and poison my entire party. Though I fought valiantly, my little wanderers were all lying dead in the sand by the second turn. With only the most basic of abilities, my guys were no match for these monsters. “Fire” doesn’t do much against a foe with thousands of hit points.

Now, here’s the kicker. I gamely restarted at my last save, and wandered in a different direction. After grinding for about an hour, I went back to face the snake-guys. At this point, I had gotten second-level fire and blizzard attacks, and had access to Curaga on my healer. My monk had started fighting bare-knuckles, and was an absolute brawler against normal baddies.

And what happened? The snake-guys spawned into a battle with a few bee-guys as back up, and wiped my party again.

Oh well, back to the grind.

Bravely Default II doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it is expected sometime in 2020. The Bravely Default II demo is now available for free from the Nintendo eShop.

Geforce NOW adds some new games with Control being the headliner

by: John -

We've been seeing news about games leaving Geforce NOW, but let's talk about games being added. That's a much better topic.

The big one is Control and if you are a paying member of GeForce NOW, you can play it with RTX on. Yup, ray tracing via streaming. It's a game that our reviewer loved and if you own it on Epic Games Store, you can access it with NVIDIA's service instantaneously. Or, if you don't have a computer that can run the game with RTX enabled, you can through this method.

New games will start to be announced every Thursday so it'll be great to see more products added to the game streaming service. And NVIDIA's calling these releases Game Ready on GeForce NOW.

The rest of the games announced are as follows:

  • Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead
  • Control (with RTX ON)
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
  • Dungeons 3
  • Headsnatchers
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad,
  • Jagged Alliance 2 – Wildfire
  • The Guild 3
[Read More]

Stadia announces two racing game; releases Lost Words

by: Eric -

In a post on the Stadia Community Blog, Google Stadia today announced two upcoming racing games for the platform. 

MotoGP 20 (Milestone S.r.l) and Monster Jam Steel Titans (Rainbow Studios and THQ Nordic) are very, very different titles, but will both soon be available on Google's growing gaming platform.

Check out this wild trailer for MotoGP 20:

Some promotional copy about MotoGP 20:

"The official video game of the most popular motorcycle championship in the world is back in 2020 with new content and features! Experience all the thrills of the more-complete-than-ever Managerial Career mode and decide whether to join a 2020 season team or join a totally brand new team. New historical challenges and a renewed game mode will let you relive the history of the motors."

Features:

  • Discover more realistic physics, improved graphics, new 3D models for the riders and face scans of official team managers, plus new animations.
  • Customize bikes and suits finding the best combination of sponsor and livery, and choose colours and materials.
  • Compete with legendary riders in the new Historic Mode.
  • Choose your path in the new Managerial Career mode!
  • Race against faster, smarter and more accurate riders thanks to the upgraded Neural AI based on machine learning.

 

And about Monster Jam Steel Titans:

"Real Trucks. Real Action. Monster Jam! Monster Jam Steel Titans delivers the complete Monster Jam experience for everybody to enjoy!

"All the trucks, stunts, stadiums, racing, and massive air in one game! Play in various game modes including Stadium and Outdoor Racing, various Stunt Challenges and Destruction modes!"

Finally, Stadia release Lost Words from Modus Games today on the Stadia Store for $14.99. I've played the first half hour or so with my kids this afternoon, and, well, this screencap pretty much captures my opinion on what I've seen so far:

Yeah, I like it. Gaming Nexus will be reviewing Lost Words in the coming week, so keep an eye out for that. So far, the game is looking excellent.