Author: Donster

battalion-1944Having made a big splash entering Early Access on Steam® earlier this year, Square Enix Collective® and Bulkhead Interactive™ are excited to announce that Battalion 1944 players will be treated to a huge, comprehensive update ahead of a four day long $50,000 tournament later this year – all as part of the ongoing commitment to support and update the game throughout its Early Access period.

The update is set to roll out on June 12, 2018, which includes a complete overhaul of the game’s main competitive mode (better known as Wartide 2.0), a new map, Savoia, set on the streets of Italy, and a new ‘BattleRank Season’ where gaining XP unlocks new skins – much like ‘battlepass’ systems in other games but, in this case, completely free.

All this comes alongside significant matchmaking improvements, new character models, a new sound system, a reworking and rebalancing of some of the game’s guns, and an extensive visual overhaul and performance upgrade, amongst various other updates and new additions.

With Battalion 1944 fully tooled up with a brand new arsenal of toys and tricks, regular players will be able to spend the following few months mastering the fresh gameplay ahead of the first official Battalion 1944 Blitzkrieg Major Tournament, heading for the Esports Game Area between September 27-30, 2018. The event will feature both open qualifiers and invited team, with a total prize pool of $50,000.

If launching Battalion 1944 has taught us anything, it’s that a game where anticipation is high offers a steep and very public learning curve – both for the studio as a whole, and myself personally,” says Joe Brammer – Studio Lead at Bulkhead Interactive. “Listening to the community has been our most powerful tool and a lot of what’s in this update is based on suggestions – from improving the graphics to making certain weapons more powerful. We’ve listened, and considered everything to try and push play forward in the way players want.

It’s as a result of a lot of this feedback, Brammer claims, that Bulkhead decided to both modify and add to Battalion 1944’s existing roadmap for the future, building on the studio’s bold plans.

Fans of the studio know I don’t tend to hold back, so I’d like to offer a genuine thanks to players who have helped to improve Battalion 1944 these last few months. We’ve been listening, and we’ve been working hard.

The huge update this June will include: 

  • New competitive game mode, Wartide 2.0, including a complete overhaul of the game’s main competitive mode;
  • Matchmaking improvements that get players in-game and firing hot-lead faster than ever;
  • A brand new ‘BattleRank Season’ to unlock new skins by gaining XP, similar to Battlepass systems in other games, but free;
  • New character models;
  • New map, Savoia, set on the streets of Italy;
  • Complete design and visual overhaul of existing maps (added ladders!);
  • New weapons – Grease Gun and the MP28;
  • Movement rework and huge gun balance gameplay changes – including sniper and jumping nerfs;
  • New sound system (gunshot sounds react to distance away from player and if walls are blocking sounds);
  • Over 60 new unlockable skins through BattleRank and the new ‘Aces High’ War Chest; and
  • Visual overhaul & performance upgrades.

Battalion 1944 is currently available on Steam on Early Access for $14.99/€14.99/£11.39. You can watch the latest teaser trailer for the update HERE.

far-cry-5TRAVEL FROM HOPE COUNTY TO VIETNAM IN FAR CRY’S FIRST DLC ADVENTURE

Today, Ubisoft announced Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness, the first post-launch adventure, will release on June 5th across all platforms. The first DLC will transport players back in time as they play Hope County’s Wendell “Red” Redler, who must find and rescue his fellow squad members from hostile forces during the Vietnam War. Hours of Darkness can be purchased as a standalone DLC or as part of the Far Cry 5 Season Pass and Gold Edition.

Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness transports players into a war-torn Vietnam as they relive the harrowing experience of Wendell Redler from the main campaign of Far Cry 5. Playable in solo or online co-op, Hours of Darkness transports players from rural Montana to a dangerous jungle where they must rescue imprisoned squad mates, wreak havoc on the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army, and fight to get back home. This first DLC adventure will feature new gear and abilities as well as two different playable modes that will be unlocked after completing Hours of Darkness: Survivor Mode, giving players a limited load out for a more challenging play through, and Action Movie Mode, where a generous load out delivers over-the-top action.

In addition to the DLC, all Far Cry 5 players will have access to new Vietnam-themed assets in Far Cry Arcade available on May 24th with the release of the Vietnam title update. Map builders will be able to integrate these assets into their existing maps or create new maps focused on the Hours of Darkness theme. All future DLCs will also include thematic assets that will be added to Far Cry Arcade for free.

Watch the Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness Teaser Trailer HERE.

Alongside today’s title update, Ubisoft released the soundtrack for Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness on: https://idol.lnk.to/FarCry5_Hours_of_Darkness. Composed by Wade MacNeil (Alexisonfire, Gallows, Black Lungs) and Andrew Gordon Macpherson. Driven by fear, confusion and violence, the music takes us on a journey into the madness of war. With the participation of renowned multi-instrumentalist Kim Uyen Le, Wade and Andrew have created a sound palette that blends traditional Vietnamese instruments with hypnotic, late 60’s psychedelic soundscapes, gritty vintage electronic textures, and pounding rhythmic patterns.

Far Cry 5 post-launch will continue with two new DLC adventures – Lost on Mars and Dead Living Zombies – which will be released this year in July and August. Two additional asset drops will give map builders more tools to create unique Far Cry Arcade experiences. The DLC adventures are available in the Season Pass, or as standalone DLC purchases, while new asset releases for Far Cry Arcade will be available for free to all players.

Set in America, a first for the franchise, Far Cry 5 offers players total freedom to navigate a serene-looking yet deeply twisted world as the new junior deputy of fictional Hope County, Montana. Players will find that their arrival accelerates a years-long silent coup by a fanatical doomsday cult, the Project at Eden’s Gate, igniting a violent takeover of the county. Under siege and cut off from the rest of the world, players will join forces with residents of Hope County and form the Resistance. Far Cry 5 will continue to receive premium DLC adventures available in the Season Pass as well as free content including new Far Cry Arcade assets and in-game live events following the launch.

For more information about Far Cry 5, please visit farcry.com

nvidia-geforce-logoSource: TechPowerUp!

NVIDIA today released the GeForce 397.93 WHQL “Game Ready” drivers. The drivers come with optimization for “The Crew” closed beta and “State of Decay 2.” SLI profiles are either added or updated for “DRG Initiative,” and “Star Wars: Battlefront II.” The drivers also introduce CUDA 9.2 support. In addition, the drivers also address a number of bugs.

You now no longer need to close Steam to enable/disable SLI. A “Wolfenstein II: TNC” bug that causes the game to freeze in the Roosevelt area, is fixed. A critical issue is fixed on machines with both “Pascal” and “Kepler” GPUs installed, in which the driver fails to load. Green flickering noticed in “Far Cry 5″ when using HDR on non-native screen-resolution, is fixed.

You can download the new GeForce 397.93 WHQL drivers from GeForce Experience and GeForce.com.

Hardware Video Cards | Donster | |

amd-radeon-software-adrenalin-editionSource: TechPowerUp!

AMD has released their new Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL drivers. These are the first WHQL-certified drivers from the company for Windows 10 April 2018 Update, complying with WDDM 2.4, and support not just AMD Radeon discrete GPUs, but also Ryzen “Raven Ridge” APUs with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. The drivers support Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 DRM on “Polaris” GPUs.

Besides these features, Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL comes with optimization for “Ancestors Legacy,” with up to 6 percent higher frame-rates at 1080p, measured with an RX Vega 56, and up to 13 percent higher frame rates on an RX 580 (8 GB) at 1080p. The update fixes HBCC not resetting to default value when “Restore Factory Defaults” option is used in Radeon Settings. It also addresses ReLive streaming to Facebook intermittently failing; Netflix users experiencing display corruption on “Polaris” multi-GPU systems, abnormally high game load times in “Destiny 2,” and fixes for screen tearing observed on FreeSync displays with performance metrics enabled.

The new Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL drivers are available online at the AMD driver download page.

Hardware Video Cards | Donster | |

battlefield-5By Vlad Savov @ The Verge

Two years after the release of Battlefield 1, EA is ready to add a new entry to its storied shooter franchise, announcing today the first details and the release date for Battlefield V. Returning to the grand and ghastly stage of World War II, this new game will focus on squad-based gameplay, eschewing the explosively popular battle royale competitive modes of games like PUBG and Fortnite. I attended a preview event for Battlefield V today, and though it isn’t quite ready to play yet, the developers from Dice provided a comprehensive overview of what’s new and different — and there’s a lot.

Watch the Battlefield V Official Reveal Trailer HERE.

Perhaps the biggest unifying theme to the changes in Battlefield V is the move away from abstraction. You no longer just move into an area and get automatically healed by a magical aura. Reviving allies is also an involved, animated, and much more personal process so that both the healer and the wounded can appreciate the intimacy of their situation (and get an up-close view of their buddy’s soldier customizations). Another example is that when you enter an area populated by enemies, you won’t be able to do a bunch of quick scans with icons revealing their locations. No more shooting at icons; in the new Battlefield, you’ll have to see and aim at the actual soldiers.

Read on…

nzxt-h500i-midtowerBy Peter Donnell @ eTeknix

We’re big fans of the NZXT chassis range here at eTeknix. Fans enough to have built, and currently be building systems of our own in their amazing H400i and H700i chassis! However, the family isn’t complete, and the new H500i looks set to take the middle spot of the two chassis, blending features from both with an aim of wider appeal. The H700i is one of the, if not the most impressive chassis we’ve reviewed in years. However, it’s pretty darn expensive too. With the H500i, you get many of the features in a slightly more affordable package. However, there are a few other nips and tucks to the design and overall improvements too, making it very appealing to us.

Read the Review Here

Cases Hardware | Donster | |

spectre-vulnerabilityBy Hilbert Hagedoorn @ Guru3D

As discussed a few weeks ago, a new Spectre vulnerability has been shared and made public today. Earlier on it was reported that there are eight new vulnerabilities, grouped and named as Spectre-ng, of which four are critical. Today the Store Bypass (SSB) vulnerability has been published and effects Intel, AMD and ARM.

Researchers from Microsoft and Googles Project Zero now published information about one of the vulnerabilities, the so-called fourth variant Spectre vulnerability, which can cause security issues. A new subclass of speculative execution side channel vulnerabilities known as Speculative Store Bypass (SSB) has been announced and assigned CVE-2018-3639. Variant 4 uses speculative execution, a feature common to most modern processor architectures, to potentially expose certain kinds of data through a side channel. An attacker who has successfully exploited this vulnerability may be able to read privileged data across trust boundaries. Vulnerable code patterns in the operating system (OS) or in applications could allow an attacker to exploit this vulnerability.

In the case of Just-in-Time (JIT) compilers, such as JavaScript JIT employed by modern web browsers, it may be possible for an attacker to supply JavaScript that produces native code that could give rise to an instance of speculative Store Bypass (SSB). However, Microsoft Edge, Chrome and other major browsers have taken steps to increase the difficulty of successfully creating a side channel. So with your latest Chrome, you should be fine and thus safe.

There are now four (published) variants of the Spectre vulnerability that can be used to read memory in processors that is not intended for that application, and thus can be abused.

Read more…

Security | Donster | |
Hardware | Donster | |

hearts-of-iron-iv-man-the-gunsChristen Your Fleet in Hearts of Iron IV: Man the Guns

New Add-On Expands the Naval Game and Democratic Options

Two thirds of the earth’s surface is covered by water, and free access to the nautical highways is essential to empire. In wartime, these highways are contested waters and you, or an ally, must be able to regulate that traffic. Carriers, convoys and battle cruisers — these are the weapons of the sea. Your enemy is over the horizon. It is time to Man the Guns!

Man the Guns is the newest expansion to the best-selling grand strategy wargame, Hearts of Iron IV. Paradox Development Studio will have more to say in coming weeks, but, for now, our intelligence agents have been cleared to forward the following information:

  • Man the Guns adds greater depth to the naval side of the war, including the ability to design your warships in more detail. Add armor or heavier guns through a modular design. You can also refit older ships so that they are more in line with the latest technology.
  • Man the Guns also introduces new options for the democratic nations, including new paths for the United States and other great free nations. Explore alternate histories or fully mobilize the arsenal of democracy.

There are many more details to reveal, but, at the moment, these are state secrets.

And, as usual, Man the Guns will accompanied by a large, free update available to everyone who owns Hearts of Iron IV.

Hearts of Iron IV: Man the Guns will be available soon for a suggested retail price of $19.99. Click here to view the Hearts of Iron IV: Man the Guns announcement trailer.

rainbowsix-siege-logoAN EXPANSIVE ITALIAN VILLA SERVES AS THE STUNNING BACKDROP FOR YEAR 3 SEASON 2

Today, Ubisoft announced the full details for Operation Para Bellum, one of the largest content updates yet for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. Operation Para Bellum introduces two new defending operators, Alibi and Maestro, alongside an all-new map, Villa, set in the Italian countryside. Year Three Season Two also brings a breath of innovation, including a new intel gadget, operator speed adjustments, various other gameplay improvements, and the all new Pick & Ban setting – a feature that evolves the way players engage with multiplayer. Operation Par Bellum will be available in June 2018.

In Operation Para Bellum, two Italian G.I.S. Operators join Rainbow as the unit raids a luxurious Tuscan villa, Rainbow Six: Siege’s 20th map. The land belongs to the Vinciguerra, a dangerous crime family known for their smuggling activities. The house is their retreat, where they lead a lavish lifestyle and collect rare art pieces. Players will arrive at Villa during a key moment: Vinciguerras are burning documents and transporting their holdings before the big raid. But they’ve got wind of Operation Para Bellum and fled, leaving everything in disarray with vital information ready for the taking.

New operator, Alibi, is an undercover infiltration specialist in the Italian Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) unit. She is a cunning adversary with a gift for infiltrating dense networks of organised crime. Alibi is notable for her deployable Hologram, a mechanism that makes it difficult for enemies to positively identify her from her incredibly realistic projections.

New Operator, Maestro, is another member of the Italian, Gruppo di Intervento Speciale (G.I.S.) and participated in joint operations in Iraq, earning a facial scar from a roadside IED. Maestro is notable for his remote access turret, which is also bulletproof, capable of seeing through smoke, and able to fire low powered-laser beams.

Operation Para Bellum will also introduce the Pick & Ban system. This feature provides an extra layer of strategy between teams, as each side tries to counter their opponents’ picks during the banning phase. Players can even anticipate a thrilling twist at the last moment, when teams swap Operators for the unexpected 6th Pick.

Additionally game updates include:

  • Deployable Bullet Proof Cameras
  • New Counter Defuser Animation
  • Dropshotting Adjustments
  • Weapon Sight Misalignment Adjustments
  • New Observation Tool Management
  • Operator Speed Adjustments
  • Echo Buff
  • Clubhouse Map Buff

The Test Server for Operation Para Bellum will go live on May 22nd. The Test Server is an alternative version of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, allowing players to test upcoming gameplay features that will make their way into the main game itself. A consistent gameplay experience is not guaranteed on the Test Server. The Test Server is exclusive to Windows PC.

For more information about Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, please visit rainbow6.com.