Updated: Aug 18, 2022 6:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

Iron Harvest Free Weekend

Iron Harvest is free to check out all weekend on Steam, offering the chance to sample this RTS game set in an alternate-history dieselpunk version of World War I. This comes just in time to try out a new map and newly added starting scenarios. The hope is to harvest some gold from new players, as the game is on sale for 70% off for those who decide to pick it up. Here's a bit on the new content:
With the free update in June, the award-winning RTS Iron Harvest kicked off the World Map Campaign Mode. The well-balanced mix of turn-based and real-time strategy garnered praise from players thanks to its replayability with over 40 new missions to start.

Giving players even more to sink their teeth into, Iron Harvest now gets a new world campaign map, Archipelago. Set up as a small continent, some regions on the exterior are connected while those on the inside are separated by several bodies of water. The continent’s center is the key to success, making it the heart of the map.

Quake Champions Leaves Early Access

In a QuakeCon surprise, this post announces Quake Champions is out of Early Access and is now officially available on Steam. This is a free-to-play first-person shooter based on Quake III Arena. The unexpected part is that this entered Early Access five years ago almost to the day. Here's the pitch:
Developed by id Software, in conjunction with Saber Interactive, Quake® Champions is a fast-paced arena shooter that combines the dark mythos of the original Quake with the skill-based competition of Quake III Arena, and then adds a twist—Champions, each with unique attributes and abilities for you to master.

Thymesia Released

Thymesia is now available for Windows on GOG.com* and Steam as well as for consoles. This action/RPG is a new installment in the hot soulslike subgenre. The Launch Trailer provides a look at what developer OverBorder Studio and publisher Team17 have in store for us. Here's word:
The once thriving Kingdom of Hermes has fallen to an age of calamity.

Seen as the answer to all the kingdom’s ailments, alchemy became a widely used practice across the land, with denizens welcoming it into their homes, using it to enhance and heal as they saw fit. When the price of alchemy became too steep, attempts to halt its use were made, each as woefully unsuccessful as the last, with the catastrophic consequences felt across the realm. Within days, the kingdom fell to chaos, infected monsters prowling the blood-soaked streets, all hope of a cure lost.

Corvus is the kingdom’s final hope, the fate of Hermes resting in his feathered hands. The truth is buried deep in the memories Corvus left scattered throughout the punishing world, and only by collecting these lost memories can the kingdom be saved, but each time he dives back in, trying to piece together the truth, all he finds is more secrets.
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Threewave CTF Returns to Quake

Just in time for QuakeCon 2022, Threewave Capture the Flag has been (re)added to Quake, id's classic first-person shooter (thanks Bent). This modification first created by Zoid back in the day returns with updated versions of its original maps. Quake received an enhanced update from Machine Games almost exactly one year ago updating it for current systems. Likewise, CTF returns with some new enhancements. The update is available on Steam, and this post outlines what's new:
This latest version of Quake has been enhanced, with an improved flag status display showing if your flag is safely in base, team scoring, and a modern interface. The maps included have been updated with improved lighting and fog effects. All of this is included free in Update 4, and requires no additional download

Call of Duty Last Stand Next Week

Activision announces an August 24th start date for Last Stand, the final season for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone. Here's a Last Stand Cinematic Trailer that would make Custer proud. Here's word:
All good things must come to an end, but first players must face the Last Stand. Launching August 24, Last Stand features Call of Duty's most notorious villains for an epic finale, jam-packed with tons of free content for both Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone. Players can deploy as one of the four biggest villains - the charismatic Raul Menendez, the ruthless Khaled Al-Asad, the brainwashed Gabriel T. Rorke and the merciless He "Seraph" Zhen-Shen.

Last Stand is bringing major updates to all three gaming experiences. In Warzone, Caldera’s Peak is ready to rumble — players can wreak havoc or defend the island from sabotage. In Multiplayer, players will deploy to two new fast-paced maps, Beheaded and Fortress. The Zombies story continues the Dark Aether saga, where players face off against Kortifex the Deathless in Vanguard’s round-based finale, “The Archon.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

Unofficial games, patches, and mods.

Evening Mobilization

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: How the Chile Became Hot (may require registration or subscription). Thanks Neutronbeam.

Get DOOM 64 and Rumbleverse Pack for Free

As usual, Thursday brings new freebies to the Epic Games Store. The promised giveaway of the Rumbleverse - Boom Boxer Content Pack is now underway. And in honor of QuakeCon 2022, there is also the surprise giveaway of DOOM 64. Looking ahead, when these offers expire next Thursday, the new giveaway will be Ring of Pain. Here's the rundown on today's gifts:
DOOM 64 - Play the enhanced version of the original game released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. Years have passed since you stopped Hell’s invasion of Earth. Quarantined for humanity’s safety, the UAC research facilities on Mars were abandoned and forgotten...until now.

Rumbleverse - Boom Boxer Content Pack. This bundle includes the exclusive Boom Boxer set, an exclusive title card background and border, and a 120 minute gameplay Fame booster.

Embracer is Lord of the Rings

Variety announces Middle-earth Enterprises is the newest purchase for Embracer, the acquisition-crazed gaming outfit. Terms of the deal are not being revealed, but the story notes a pre-sale evaluation estimated the company was worth at least $2 billion. The story mentions a loophole in the TV rights to Tolkien's work is why Amazon is making a series with rights negotiated directly with the late author's estate. But for the most part, this gives Embracer full rights to exploit the various Middle-earth properties:
Middle Earth Enterprises, the holding company that owns all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works including “Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” and more, has been sold to Swedish gaming conglomerate Embracer.

The rights include movies, books, theatrical productions, video games, theme parks and merchandise in Tolkein’s most famous literary works – “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” – as well as “matching rights” in other literary works related to Middle-earth and authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins, primarily “The Silmarillion” and “The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth,” two compilations which were published after the writer’s death in 1973.

Embracer Acquires Tripwire and More

In addition to the Middle-earth acquisition mentioned above, Embracer announces it has "entered into five acquisition agreements alongside one unannounced acquistion [sic]." The highest profile purchase in this ongoing absorption of the game industry is the agreement to acquire Tripwire Interactive. The developer of Killing Floor, Rising Storm, Maneater, and more will operate as a subsidiary under the Saber Interactive operative group. Here's word:
Founded in 2005 in Roswell, GA, Tripwire has continually developed successful titles, with the Killing Floor series boasting over 35 million players, Rising Storm series over 14 million players and Maneater over 16 million players. Their publishing division, Tripwire Presents, continues to be a major growth area that has strong partnerships with various developers. They recently launched Chivalry 2 which has sold over 2 million units and upcoming titles include Espire 2 (VR) and Deceive Inc. The company has today grown to 113 employees in its Georgia office.

Co-founder and CEO Alan Wilson will stay on in his role and continue to run Tripwire along with Bill Munk, Co-founder and Lead Combat Designer, and David Hensley, Design Director. Co-Founder John Gibson will be pursuing opportunities outside of Tripwire.

One Million Flock to Cult of the Lamb

Devolver Digital and Massive Monster announce that over a million players have already been indoctrinated into the Cult of the Lamb just a week after the release of this action/adventure. Here's a new Accolades Trailer, and here's word on why it's going to take a lot of deprogramming to break up this cult:
Charismatic developer Massive Monster and their faithful followers at Devolver Digital are overjoyed to announce that Cult of the Lamb’s unholy congregation has swelled, with over 1 million followers converted in its first week of sale.

Critical acclaim preceded Cult of the Lamb’s arrival, the likes of which burns positive sentiment into the annals of video game history, but Lo, the faithful community hath spoken of struggles - bugs and all manner of fiendish things that must be eliminated.

Massive Monster is listening. Actively engaging with their loyal community, the developers are hard at work prepping a multitude of fixes, improvements and general housekeeping that they hope will continue to spread positivity throughout the land. Those followers wishing to provide feedback may do so via this public confession booth.
Continue here to read the full story.

Elden Ring Passes 16.6M Sales

Gematsu reports another sales milestone, saying Elden Ring has now sold more than 16.6 million units! Here's word by way of a Japanese website:
Total worldwide shipments and digital sales for Elden Ring have surpassed 16.6 million units, publisher Bandai Namco announced in its financial results report for the three months ended June 30, 2022.

Capes Announced

Spitfire Interactive announces Capes, a strategy/RPG featuring superheroes coming to Steam in Q1 of next year. Spitfire was formed by former members of the Defiant Development team that created Hand of Fate. This is set in a world where new heroes must arise years after the super villains acheived complete victory. This setting is shown off in the Reveal Trailer. Those familiar with this sub-genre may be pleased to know its pedigree. "I started my career writing on Freedom Force alongside Ken Levine, so this feels like a return to where my journey began," said Morgan Jaffit, Director of Spitfire Interactive. "My team and I want to explore the 'darker side of every coin' and we have the best people possible to do it." Here's more:
Return to the Golden Age where heroes saved the day for fame and glory and villains concocted schemes in glorified games of cops and robbers… until it wasn’t fun anymore. One dark day, the villains truly won, brutally wiping humanity’s protectors off the face of the planet. After nearly two decades of villains running the world and instilling a fear of superpowers, a new generation of heroes are ready to stop the filth of crime from spreading or die trying.

Take center stage in turn-based tactical battles, rescuing reluctant citizens trapped by dangerous debris, each in different situations best handled by specific units. Traverse the battlefield on foot or via teleportation to draw the attention of goons and create openings for teammates. Upgrade efficiencies and stats after each mission, before readying for the next bout.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ikonei Island Early Access

Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure is now in Early Access on Steam, offering, as the title suggests, a new adventure for Windows. The title also suggests something else, but Ikonei Island is unrelated to Coney Island, a Brooklyn institution since the 19th century. The game takes place in the Earthlock universe, as seen in the Early Access Release Trailer. Here's more:
Taking inspiration from titles like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure adds to compelling exploration, resource gathering, crafting and customisation systems with a host of fun gameplay ideas that give this colourful title its own twist. Befriending local wildlife and using their unique abilities to help you access new areas of the island offers a compelling exploration mechanic, unlike anything you’ve seen in the genre before. Expect to encounter perilous pirate camps and battle monsters as you uncover Ikonei Island’s secrets. Perhaps most importantly, look forward to doing all this with your friends! One of the key features that Snowcastle has added to the game is multiplayer to ensure that the fun is shared.

Set in the universe of the Earthlock RPGs, Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure takes the rich world-building and magical setting of the franchise into new territory. As you explore a diverse and intriguing landscape with secrets waiting to be uncovered, you will discover ancient ruins from a bygone civilization and unlock a host of different biomes, ranging from icy mountains and parched deserts, to dense jungles and humid swamps.
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The Ascent: Cyber Heist Climbs Out

Cyber Heist is now available on Steam as promised, offering new DLC for The Ascent, the co-op Windows RPG for Windows. The launch trailer takes a look at some of the new endgame content this brings. Here's word on the new heights this will achieve:
The Ascent: Cyber Heist is set after the base game’s main story and is accessible for those who’ve completed the main campaign and want to take on a new contract for a top-secret mission. Continue the story either solo or co-op with friends in a range of all new main missions and exciting side quests. Players can blast or smash their way through with brand new weapons, including advanced melee combat, in a new never explored before location.

In Cyber Heist, Kira, your former employer, has a new top-secret job, and as a newly independent contractor how could you refuse? Venture outside of your familiar arcology into a brand new arcology owned by the Malhorst-Gelb Group. There’s some new ground-breaking tech ripe for the taking, but you’re not the only one with their sights on the prize.
Continue here to read the full story.

HYPERVIOLENT Early Access Next Month

Fulqrum Publishing and Terminist Arcade announce Early Access to HYPERVIOLENT will begin on September 8th, offering a nostalgic trip back to the old days when shooters may or may not have been played by boomers. This is later than planned, as the game was announced with a Q1 2022 release date. When it arrives, gamers will be able to choose between the Epic Games Store, GOG.com*, or Steam. Check out this new trailer for a look at the game's old school cred. Read on for more:
HYPERVIOLENT is a true love-letter to the classical shooters of the 90s, utilizing a gorgeous hand-crafted pixel-art aesthetic with plenty of gore. Players will get to explore a labyrinthian space station as they utilize switches, computer terminals, different keycards and other interactive elements to open up new areas. The intriguing story will be unraveled by interacting with NPCs and looking for clues in computer data logs. Most importantly however, enjoy the brutal combat and extremely fun gunplay – HYPERVIOLENT’s signature feature is the option to dual-wield any combination of two single-handed weapons in the player’s inventory.

HYPERVIOLENT’s initial Early Access content will consist of 5 levels from its single-player campaign, featuring 2 bossfights and a selection of up to 12 weapons, providing estimated 4-5 hours of gameplay in total. Several Content Updates are planned, and by the game’s full release, it will include not only more levels, weapons and enemies, but even new game modes, including both PvP and coop multiplayer!
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Battling Bugs

Out of the Blue

Today marks the beginning of QuakeCon 2022. Usually I'll complain over not attending, as going to this show was always a kick in the old days. But this year is a digital-only affair, so I'm just as much of an attendee as anyone. In a funny coincidence, in a fit of nostalgia, a buddy and I recently vowed to figure out the best source-port to use to play a little DOOM deathmatch. We each are claiming to be the one whose skills have diminished the most over the years, so it will be funny to see who is right.

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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Avalanche's Cancelled Iron Man Game

Amid rumors of an Iron Man game in the works at Electronic Arts, a video excerpt from a MinnMax video interview with Christofer Sundberg formerly of Avalanche Studios reveals details about an Iron Man game that was in the works at Avalanche for two years before it was cancelled. VGC has the relevant quotes where Sundberg explains the cancellation was due to "company politics." It sounds like the pressures of the project were akin to trying to build a functional suit of armor in a cave in Afghanistan:
Disney and Marvel reportedly wanted Avalanche to staff up rapidly in order to complete the game more quickly than originally planned, but Sundberg said agreeing to do so would have “broken the studio completely”.

“It was, I was a mess by the end,” he said. “It was like, shortening development time, increasing budget, we would have to hire 70 or 80 people to the team that I would have had the responsibility to find a new project for.

“But the development time was shortened down so much so it was impossible to do. It would have broken the studio completely if we had agreed to that.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed in October

During a livestream on Twitch today, developer IllFonic announced October 18th as the release date for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. The Windows edition is up for preorder on the Epic Games Store, which includes advance access to Slimer, Ghostbusters gear and gadgets, and some cosmetics. There's a press release on Gematsu with details on plans to unleash the asymmetrical multiplayer game, but not before showing it off further at gamescom:
Form a team with up to three other Ghostbusters to track down Ghosts haunting a number of locales. Sniff out paranormal activity with the P.K.E. Meter and charge it to unleash a short-range pulse disabling Ghost movement. Unveil hidden rifts acting as the Ghost’s spawn points and teleportation portals, and destroy them. Use the powerful Particle Throwers to capture the Ghost, deploy a trap, and wrangle them into it before they escape!

Meanwhile, the Ghost works alone, roaming around stages like the Museum, an abandoned Prison, and other spooky locations, including a new one to be revealed at Gamescom. Frighten civilians to scare them away. Possess objects to raise the overall Global Haunt percentage, to regain ghost power, or just cause mass hysteria. Use slime to temporarily stun Ghostbusters. Move the rifts to keep them guessing, summon minions to make an escape, and show the Ghostbusters they should be afraid of this Ghost!
Continue here to read the full story.

Rift Sweepers Next Month

JOFSOFT announces Rift Sweepers will come to Early Access via Steam in March 2023. This is a squad-based third-person shooter where the player travels interdimensional rifts with guns blazing with up to three teammates. The Early Access Release Date Trailer shows off gameplay and Unreal Engine 4 graphics. This all seems pretty serious until you get to the point in the announcement about restoring health using pizza, fighting in the sewers, and other unusual elements that don't even have anything to do with ninja turtles. Here's word:
Collect pizza boxes falling from the sky to replenish energy and ammunition. Pass around the pie to your fellow Rift Sweepers to keep their heads in the game. Acquire licenses from the Rift Sweeper Headquarters (RSHQ) to upgrade your arsenal and eviscerate vicious bosses that lie at the end of each mission. Ride a time-traveling train and survive four treacherous missions on the subway, the sewers, a cyber restaurant, and an ancient sorcerer’s tomb. Divide and conquer wisely to complete missions and save reality… or succumb to a dragon’s flames, a clown’s insanity, or a goat wizard’s strange dark magic.

Chill at a bar sitting at the intersection of dimensionality in your downtime. In this lobby, players can select and upgrade their characters, choose a mission, socialize with friends, or buy drinks that confer increased HP, attack power, stamina recovery and more from a friendly female bartender. Being a Rift Sweeper has its perks!
Continue here to read the full story.

Catizens Early Access

Catizens is now available in Early Access for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering a colony management simulation with a decidedly feline flair. A new Early Access Launch Trailer can help decide if this is the cat's meow or just a catastrophe. This post covers the launch and lays out plans for the game, including an Early Access roadmap. Here's more on this chance to herd cats:
Your main job in Catizens is to build your town around the personality traits of its inhabitants. Just like in real life, cats require personal attention and special treatment. Combinations of different personality traits and moods affect their proficiency and obedience. Catizens form relationships with each other and will occasionally issue personal requests, so you will need to learn what makes each cat happy in order to stay on their good side.
Continue here to read the full story.

Little League World Series Baseball 2022 Released

With the actual Little League World Series getting underway today, Little League World Series Baseball 2022 is now available for Windows on Steam and for consoles, offering a game based on the games. Here's the Official Launch Trailer, and here's more:
Get in the game and become a Little League Baseball World Series CHAMP! Choose your team and showcase your skills as you compete through the bracket to see if you have what it takes to be named the Little League Baseball World Series Champion. Or, jump right into the action in an instant with Quick Play mode. Play with your friends for exciting local multiplayer tournament action for up to four players. Customize the rules, select your stadiums and teams, and see who wins it all!
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: What you need to remember (or know) before watching House of the Dragon. The correct answer is "how Game of Thrones" ended.

Gone Gold - Gotham Knights

Showing off its bilingual acumen, WB Games Montréal tweets that Gotham Knights is officially gold. Word is the superhero game is on track to arrive in October. Pardon our French:

Toute l'équipe de Gotham Knights est fière de vous annoncer que nous sommes officiellement GOLD!

On se retrouve en Octobre!

The whole Gotham Knights team is proud to announce that we're officially GOLD!
See you in October!

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary Edition Next Month

Toxic Games announces a release date for Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary Edition, the recently announced puzzle game revival. This is set to launch on PC and Xbox Series X|S on Sept 14th, barely squeezing through the summer release window originally announced for the game. The versions for PlayStation and Switch will miss the launch, and are promised "shortly after." The news is accompanied by a new Comparison Trailer showing off how the Anniversary Edition compares with the original. Here's more on that:
Aptly dubbed Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary, Toxic Games’ latest will bring refined visuals and, in some places, completely redesigned and revised sections to all of the content that launched in both the original release, and 2014’s Q.U.B.E: Director's Cut - which itself added a completely new story by award-winning writer Rob Yescombe.

Indeed, the brand new comparison trailer perfectly showcases the visual differences between the original release and Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary, though the game will also include completely new content, including an entirely brand new chapter called Sector 8, featuring an additional 4-6 hours of gameplay unlocked after the main campaign has been completed.
Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny 2 Showcase Next Week

Bungie announces it will present a DESTINY 2 SHOWCASE on August 23rd at Noon EDT. This will unveil the next expansion for the free-to-play shooter, details on Season 18, Arc 3.0, and more. This will stream on Twitch, and will offer multilingual support for English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Here's a teaser trailer and here are more details:
On Tuesday, August 23, Bungie will stream its Destiny 2 Showcase and unveil the next expansion in the Light and Darkness saga: Lightfall. Details on Season 18, the Arc 3.0 subclass update, and more will also be revealed. In anticipation of the Showcase, Bungie have released a trailer teasing what’s to come.

The Destiny 2 Showcase pre-show will begin at 8 AM PT on Tuesday, August 23, while the main show will start at 9 AM PT. Stay tuned after the Showcase for a live post-show discussion with Bungie developers and more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light 2 Bloody Ties Reveal Next Week

Techland announces plans to unveil Bloody Ties, the delayed story DLC for Dying Light 2. The news includes a Teaser Trailer to raise anticipation of a more complete reveal at gamescom next week. Here's the plan:
It's time to unveil Dying Light 2 Stay Human: Bloody Ties—the first DLC coming to the City.

What dangers await? How can you beat them? What will you get in return? One thing is certain… it will be brutal!

Click here to check out the teaser of the upcoming DLC. But this is just an appetizer for Carnage Hall's true horrors. Prepare for an even bigger rush of adrenaline and excitement when Techland uncovers more during gamescom Opening Night Live on August 23. See you there!
Continue here to read the full story.

Chasm: The Rift Revival Announced

Publisher SNEG announces a revival of Chasm: The Rift, a first-person shooter originally released by Ukrainian developer Action Forms in 1997. An enhanced version of the game is expected by the end of this year, offering visual enhancements, audio improvements, and full controller support. Here's the Official Announcement Trailer and here's more:
In Chasm: The Rift, players take on the role of a soldier in a special commando unit who defends planet Earth from “Timestrikers”, monstrous mutants invading Earth throughout history, and also destroy time channels to finally rid Earth of their threat. One against the horde, players will rely solely on their reflexes and the many weapons at their disposal to find their way through labyrinthine levels populated by fearsome creatures.

Along with a heart-pounding adventure through the Corridors of Time and the satisfaction of ripping limbs from hideous monsters with the iconic BladeGun, and an innovative weather system, the player will now be able to enjoy this late 90’s FPS classic with the comfort of modern PCs via Steam and GOG, now with full 4K support, improved sound design, achievements, and localised into twelve languages.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Out of the Blue

Diablo 2 player completes pacifist Hell run previously only theorized to be possible. I've never tried that, but recalling the game, that's really pretty boggling. I'd say impossible, but the story proves otherwise. Something about going through hell in a handbasket. It's always fun to see the unusual ways gamers come up with to enjoy the hobby.

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