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According to a blog post from AMD's VIP of Visual and Perceptual Computing, Raja Koduri, Mantle is done. Koduri said: "...[I]f you are a developer interested in Mantle "1.0" functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX 12 or GLnext".
Koduri said that AMD will not be releasing Mantle 1.0 as a public SDK as it originally hoped, so it will go gently into that good night. Alternatives? DirectX 12 and the new OpenGL standards. AMD wants to see developers move away from Mantle 1.0 and into DirectX or the new OpenGL. Koduri adds: "Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs".
AMD has done what it set out to achieve behind closed doors, and that is to get closer to the metal. DirectX 12 formed out of the ashes that is now Mantle 1.0, and the world is going to be a better place in just a few years when everything shifts towards these new APIs in DirectX 12 and OpenGL.
EA has officially announced Battlefield Hardline Premium, which is virtually identical to the other Premium services for the previous titles in the Battlefield franchise.
Battlefield Hardline Premium will cost $50, offering gamers four new "super features" which include: masks, gun bench, competitive play and legendary status. Not only that, but you'll get two weeks early access to the four story-themed DLC packs, as well as monthly rewards and access to "exclusive in-game events and items".
Here's a detailed list of what Battlefield Hardline Premium has on offer:
Four super features:
- Masks - New player masks with unique gameplay benefits tied to the theme of each mask.
- Gun Bench - Provides players with the ability to visually customize their weapons and track their kills per weapon.
- Competitive Play - Support for competitive play through Battlefield Hardline Premium-access only tournaments and ladders.
- Legendary Status - Provides replayability of the entire progression system.
Four digital expansion packs featuring new multiplayer maps, modes, vehicles, in-game content and a story themed throughout all four:
- Battlefield Hardline: Criminal Activity - Players have to make a name for themselves in fast-paced, highly-destructible new maps littered with small-time crime jobs. Available summer 2015.
- Battlefield Hardline: Robbery - Take down the opposition head on and progress through key locations with major cinematic action. Available summer 2015.
- Battlefield Hardline: Getaway - This is frantic, high-speed chases that immerse players deeper in the heist. Available fall 2015.
- Battlefield Hardline: Betrayal - There is a rat in every operation and players will have to find out who to trust. Available winter early 2016.
- Two weeks early access to all expansion packs
- 12 Gold Battlepacks
- New personalization options including gun camos, ammo skins, and more Battlefield Hardline Premium exclusive in-game items
- Access to double-XP, in-game missions, and more Battlefield Hardline Premium exclusive events
- Priority position in server queues
We've been writing about various uses of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, but Quixel has something unique to share with its Megascans technology. Megascans is massive, as its library contains thousands of materials scanned with the company's HDR surface capture technology. The best way to show this off, is with a video, below:
Quixel explains this well: "MEGASCANS is a new breed of material library, finally bringing full real-world surface scans to the art community. Browse, preview and download 1000+ materials scanned with Quixel's groundbreaking HDR surface capture technology and experience real diffuse, specular, normal, translucency, AO and much more".
The jungle environment demo looks impressive, but it isn't the absolute best we've seen. What it does showcase is Quixel's impressive surface capturing technology, and the power of Unreal Engine 4 and its versatile nature.
Ubisoft doesn't have much trust with gamers, especially PC gamers, but The Division is still continuing to shape up nicely - even if it looks like its graphics have been watered down over time. A closed beta of the game is currently active, with a bunch of people playing The Division and discussing specific gameplay details and more.
The participants have detailed the way players will enter 'Dark Zones' which are public combative spaces within The Division, which are both cooperative and competitive, filled with friendlies and enemies. Players must pass through a decontamination chamber when entering and leaving the Dark Zone. There are special weapons are gear that you can collect in the Dark Zones, but you must pass through the decontamination process in order to have these weapons and items become a permanent part of your kit.
These Dark Zones in The Division feature up to, or around 100 players. Other players in here can act as friendlies, but hostile players can be killed, which build up something called a reputation meter. Once your reputation meter begins to build, you become more visible on the in-game mini map. You and your team can choose to work together with another team, with alpha players saying that there have been scenarios where players hide on rooftops, scale up and down buildings with grappling hooks, and more.
With the first season of the Starcraft II World Championship Series 2015 (WCS) reaching ever closer to the finals date, ESL just announced that this event will take place during the 2015 Gamers Assembly in Poiteres, France.
With 12 players currently qualified out of the 16 total bracket, we've seen plenty of hard-fought matches including the qualification from Aussie Zerg underdog Jared "PiG" Krensel.
Although Starcraft II doesn't always have the same flair and new-age eSports feel as it once did in 2012, there's no denying that the passion and commitment is still there from the players, spectators and developers. Just take a look below at Krensel's reactions when his qualification was confirmed for this finals series.
As told to us by RagnarRox, Valve has set a press release aside for GDC at 3pm on the 3rd of march. Let me run that by you again - 3pm on 3/3.
What's even funnier? With GDC being held in San Francisco, San means three in Japanese - further adding to the madness of 3's. There has been numerous funny attempts to prove HL3's existence by the gaming public, becoming a meme-like process as seen with the popular Illuminati proof videos and articles you often see.
However this time the 3's have lined up in ridiculous fashion - could it be that Half-Life 3 is on the way?
Rise of the Tomb Raider will be a timed exclusive on the Xbox One, but what use is that tight relationship with Microsoft if you're not going to make the Xbox One version of the game stand out from the crowd?
Crystal Dynamics, the developer who rebooted the series with Tomb Raider a couple of years ago now, has said that they pushed the Xbox 360 development over to Nixxes Software, so that they could focus on "pushing the boundaries" on the Xbox One version of Rise of the Tomb Raider. During a recent interview with Game Informer, Rise of the Tomb Raider's Game Director, Brian Horton, said they outsourced the development of Rise of the Tomb Raider to Nixxes Software so that the studio could "concentrate 100% on the Xbox One version".
Horton said that the two versions of the game won't be all that different, but the Xbox 360 version of the game will obviously need to be modified as it doesn't have the graphical prowess that the Xbox One has access to. He said: "For us, of course, we are not limited at all, we are pushing the boundaries when it comes to what the Xbox One can do, and we are excited that we have such a talented group in Nixxes to bring the best 360 version to the market".
Rockstar may have crushed our souls multiple times now by delaying the #pcmasterrace version of Grand Theft Auto V, but now the developer is teasing a new slew of screenshots of the PC version of the game, at 4K. Ugh.
The developer has promised that a new trailer is coming soon, and something more exciting after that - a closer look at the PC exclusive Rockstar Editor that will let you make your own custom videos. Rockstar talked about the delay of the PC version of GTA V recently, where they said: "Our apologies to PC gamers worldwide who have been counting down the days until the launch of the game, but a bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible, and to make certain that both Heists and the GTA Online experience are ready to roll out on day one for PC".
Grand Theft Auto V will land on the PC on April 14. The new batch of screenshots can be viewed after the jump, but there's a warning: these screenshots are over 3MB each.
Joel "emilio" Mako was slapped with a Valve Anti-Cheat ban (VAC ban) whilst playing in a match against rival team HellRaisers in an online tournament match, which saw his gaming team releasing him immediately.
VAC ban's generally come in waves, with multiple players being banned in one go and this action happening often weeks after their cheating experience took place - this helps create confusion as to exactly what cheat program the hackers have used as they are not told exactly what got them banned.
Mako claimed he was not guilty and in an interview with HLTV he stated that "I am leaving this in Valve's hands. I cannot prove my innocence, but I know they can."
Now a confession has been issued by the Sweedish pro player, confirming that he used wall-hack style cheat to gain advantage in an online match-making environment (not tournament). In an interview with Aftonbladet, he confessed "me and my IRL friends were playing matchmaking together with X-ray cheat. For the moment it was fun, until the consequences blew back in my face. Even though I never cheated in an official match I realize it was wrong and I regret it every day."
Battlefield Hardline isn't too far away now, so EA is getting down and dirty with getting the game out there, with Mike Gloseski from EA taking to the official Battlefield website to talk the game up.
Glosecki concentrated on the PC side of things, addressing the 'power of PCs', 'how stable will the game be on PC' and more. When talking about the power of PCs, Gloseski said that the PC "allows you to customize the experience to your liking" and that you can set specific graphical details in the game, compared to its console counterparts. He added: "You can adjust your field of view or run higher than 60 FPS if you choose. You can even play with a three monitor setup for an immersive experience. Lastly, you get to use a mouse and keyboard which gives you the best control setup for a first person shooter".
One of the better additions to this post was that he tackled a big question: "how stable will the game be on PC". Glosecki said: "I think we can all agree that Battlefield 4's stability at launch was less than stellar. In order to address stability for our game at launch, we've had the game up and running in the multiplayer environment for the last two years with both the development and quality assurance teams playing in daily matches". Another nice change is that the developer is "also making changes to Battlelog to include a new pop-up on how to activate the plugin in your browser since this was an issue for some of our players".