Here come the Monday news!
SALES & DEALS
Red Dead Redemption 2 Steam launch sales
It’s been almost three days since the launch of the Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Steam platform. Right now the game is sitting at number sixteen on Steam’s top games list with 36,528 active players, while Grand Theft Auto V is at number four with 115,357players. Furthermore, and according to SteamCharts, the game has sold between 200,000 and 500,000 copies so far.
There are several reasons that could affected the launch sales. First of all the game has been available on consoles for over a year now. The game was exclusive for a month on the Rockstar Launcher and on the Epic Store.
Humble Choice goes live with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Phantom Doctrine, and 8 more
The Humble Monthly Bundle was a subscription service with a mystery twist: For $12 a month, subscribers got a mix of games ranging from high-profile big-budget releases to obscure indie stuff nobody's every heard of. The catch was that you didn't know what most of them would be before you paid. It was still often a good way to pick up games on the cheap because there was no term commitment required, so you could, as in April, grab Assassin's Creed: Origins for $12 (one game, usually a big one, was always revealed early), and then be on your way.
I say "was," because the Humble Monthly is now officially done and gone—replaced, as announced in October, with Humble Choice. Like its predecessor, it's a subscription-based service, but there's no surprise involved. Instead, the Humble Store will put together a list of ten or more games each month, from which subscribers can choose up to nine to keep.
GOG starts the week without the regular weekly sale (Winter Sale incoming?), but that doesn't stop them from having a new Paradox weekly sale, with up to 75% discounts: https://www.gog.com/promo/20191209_weekly_sale_paradox
Steam has two new daily deals:
Fanatical has two new deals:
SOFTWARE & DRIVERS
Assassin’s Creed: Origins – Denuvo vs Denuvo-free benchmarks – Significantly less stuttering, faster loading
As we’ve already reported, a “games cracking” group was able to completely remove Denuvo and VMProtect from Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Therefore, we’ve decided to test the UPLAY and the pirated versions in order to see whether these DRMs have any negative effect on the game’s performance.
As we reported back in 2017, Assassin’s Creed: Origins suffers from major stuttering issues on quad-core CPUs (especially if your CPU does not support Hyper Threading). And as we discovered today, Ubisoft has not reduced them. Now what’s really interesting here is that the pirated version had less stutters. Do note that both of these versions had LONG stuttering issues (we’re talking about stutters that last 3-4 seconds) and made the game unplayable. Still, the pirated version had significantly less stutters; there were some but they were not as frequent as those found in the UPLAY version. Moreover, and as with most games that do not use Denuvo, the pirated version of Assassin’s Creed: Origins loads faster.
Framerate wise, we did not experience any differences between these two versions. What this means is that Denuvo and VMProtect do not bring a framerate hit in Assassin’s Creed Origins.
Halo Reach Evolved & Halo Reach Forge Collection are the first big mods for Halo: Reach PC
Last week, Microsoft and 343 Industries released Halo: Reach on the PC. As we’ve already reported, Halo: Reach supports mods from the get-go. And today, we are presenting you the first two/three big mods for it that are currently available for download.
>> Check the article for the description and links of those 3 mods.
This 4.6GB HD Texture Pack for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind adds new normal, specular & occlusion maps
Modder ‘Hasphat’ released a pretty interesting mod for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. This HD Texture Pack, which is 4.6GB in size, adds normal, specular & occlusion maps for over 2400 textures. This pack aims to overhaul the game’s visuals, therefore we highly recommend downloading it.
According to the modder, this pack is a vast improvement over Environmental Normal Maps PBR and renders it moot. Metal armors and weapons are now more shiny and the mod is compatible with Tribunal and Blood Moon. Moreover, the modder has fixed all missing ground textures.
Those interested can download this Normal Map PBR mod from here. Do note, however, that you will need MGE XE v10.1 with PBR, otherwise you won’t be able to use this HD Texture Pack.
This HD Texture Pack for Deus Ex overhauls all of its characters, decorations and items
Modder ‘BerƵerker’ has released a new HD Texture Pack for the first Deus Ex game. According to its description, the Helios Texture Overhaul mod improves the textures of all the characters, decorations and items.
This HD Texture Pack is around 890MB in size and we highly recommend downloading it. The modder tried to stay as close to the original material as possible, so I’m pretty sure that even purists will like this mod.
>> Available from ModDB.
This Red Dead Redemption 2 mod lets you spawn a flyable hot air balloon
I'm still waiting patiently for the day when the modding community figures out how to get airplanes and helicopters into Red Dead Redemption 2, but until then this hot air balloon mod by Krank will have to do. Once installed you can conjure up a balloon wherever you are and fly it around freely, getting some amazing bird's eye views of Red Dead's sprawling slice of the Wild West.
The balloon moves way faster than it realistically should. Don't expect to find an accurate simulation of a hot air balloon here. But it's a thrill being able to float around that massive world without being stuck on the back of a horse. The latest version of the mod added inertia and smoother controls, and it even has controller support if you're playing Red Dead with a gamepad.
Remember Hocus Pocus? It's back in Doom form
Hocus Pocus was a 1994 side-scrolling platformer published by 3D Realms in glorious 256-color VGA. You played a wizard's apprentice with some magic spells and a steady supply of rapid-fire potions.
For the last five years or so modder Ravage has been working on a total conversion for Doom 2 that transforms it into first-person Hocus Pocus. Shoot magic at scorpions and bats, shout "Yahoo!" in the original game's Mario-esque voice, and collect crystals while circle-strafing at Doom-speed. As the ever-vigilant Dominic Tarason points out on Twitter, "the hidden levels are recreations of other shareware-era games."
You can download Hocus Pocus Doom by heading to the ZDoom forums. Make sure you've got the latest stable version of GzDoom.
Gears 5 – Operation 2: Free For All coming on December 11th
The Coalition will be releasing a major update for Gears 5 on December 11th. Operation 2: Free For All will feature fourteen-player Free For All, Arcade Blitz, 2v2 Gnashers, two Heroes, two villains, seven maps and few more thing.
Insurgency: Sandstorm Update 1.5 brings major performance improvements, new Domination mode & more
New World Interactive has released a new major update for Insurgency: Sandstorm. Update 1.5 brings major performance improvements for both high-end and mid-tier PC systems. Furthermore, it adds a new Domination mode.
Black Mesa Beta is now complete, from start to finish, and is available for download
And the time has finally come for all Half-Life fans. No no no, Valve has not announced Half-Life 3… yet. However, Crowbar Collective has released the complete version of Black Mesa in a beta form.
Cyberpunk 2077 world map may be bigger than you think, E3 2018 demo traced in the leaked map
A few days ago, we informed you about the leaked map of Cyberpunk 2077. And while some were disappointed by its size, it appears that things may actually be better than you thought. Reddit’s members have traced the E3 2018 demo in order to get a sense of the game’s scale. They also provided a closer look at the city and compared its scale with the leaked map.
Total War: WARHAMMER II – New legendary lord Repanse de Lyonesse free DLC coming on December 12th
Total War: WARHAMMER II is coming towards the end of its DLC cycle. The Shadow and The Blade paid DLC will be releasing next week on December 12th. Just like before we will also get a free DLC, the legendary lord Repanse de Lyonesse.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is coming to the PC in February 2020
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a first-person narrative adventure-thriller game by One O One Games and Reddoll Games. The game will be available through Steam in February.
Valfaris free ‘Full Metal Mode’ update is now available for download
Big Sugar has announced that the free ‘Full Metal Mode’ update for heavy metal action-platformer Valfaris is now live on the PC. This update brings a New Game+ variant, Full Metal Mode, that remixes various aspects of gameplay.
eFootball PES 2020 Data Pack 3.0 is now available for download
Konami has released a brand new Data Pack for its latest soccer title, eFootball PES 2020. According to the team, Data Pack 3 adds new stadium updates, new National kits, player faces and other in-game content.
First screenshots and gameplay trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront 3-inspired game, Galaxy in Turmoil
Frontwire Studios has released the first screenshots and an official gameplay trailer for Galaxy in Turmoil. Galaxy in Turmoil is a massive 32v32 player maps multiplayer game. According to the devs, it will have full ground to space battles and an all new never before seen competitive mode.
2K Games has officially confirmed that a new Bioshock game is under development
2K Games today announced the founding of Cloud Chamber, the newest, wholly owned game development studio under the Company’s publishing label. According to the press release, Cloud Chamber has started to work on the next iteration of the globally acclaimed BioShock franchise. This new BioShock game will be in development for the next several years, and will target next-gen platforms.