Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017

Strange Brigade Announced

Rebellion announces Strange Brigade is their next game, calling this "a rip-roaring, third-person 1930s adventure full of peril, mystery and derring-do." The Sniper Elite 4 and Zombie Army Trilogy developer also says this "exotic safari into danger for 1-4 players" is "coming soon" to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This reveal trailer offers a newsreel-style look at the game, and a Strange Brigade website is also already online. They promise a global gameplay reveal next week at E3, and in the meantime, offer the following details:
There are remote corners of the British Empire where the supernatural lurks and the shadows linger, where few dare go and fewer return. In STRANGE BRIGADE™ you'll encounter fantastic and forgotten civilizations shrouded in mystery, uncover treacherous tombs and test your wits against unfathomable foes...

You'll explore the ancient world as one of four dashing explorers, each blessed with their own weapons, tactics, and special superhuman powers...

You'll fight back-to-back against a terrifying army of mythological menaces, unleashed by no less than a resurrected Egyptian witch queen! With such ungodly evil afoot, the STRANGE BRIGADE™ needs YOU!
Continue here to read the full story.

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2 Announced

Telltale and Mojang announce Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2 will debut with episode one on July 11th, offering the chance to expand upon the story they've created for the blocky sandbox game. The Telltale website now features preorders, and here's the story:
Award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games and world-renowned game developer Mojang today announced that Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2 is in development and set to premiere with Episode 1: Hero In Residence for download starting July 11, 2017 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices.

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2 continues Jesse's saga in a five-part, narrative-driven, episodic game series developed by Telltale in collaboration with Mojang and members of the Minecraft community. Though players' choices from the first season will carry over into season two, this new season will be accessible to both returning fans and newcomers alike. This second season will also include Telltale's unique multiplayer 'Crowd Play' feature, which allows friends and family to engage with the adventure together by helping to decide the direction of the story from any mobile device with an online connection.

Now that Jesse and the gang have vanquished the Wither Storm, saved the world, and become totally super famous heroes, life has gotten a bit more...complicated. With more responsibilities and less time for adventure, old friendships have started to fade - at least until Jesse's hand gets stuck in a creepy gauntlet that belongs to an ancient underwater temple. Together with old pals and new comrades alike, Jesse embarks on a brand new journey filled with tough choices, good times, and at least one temperamental llama.

Community Inc Announced

Community Inc is an upcoming city building game with micromanagement elements, and a surprising focus on profits under its pastoral veneer. This is coming this summer, and the game's Steam page is now online. This includes this post with an announcement trailer and a pointer to alpha signups on the Community Inc community website, and they say the alpha will commence next week right after E3 concludes. Here's word on the game:
As a new Manager, build a happy community and trade with other races... for profit. Yes, that's right, we need their happiness so we can power up our portals. The Lings, your workers, will obey you and help you with your village. But beware, they can cause a lot of problems too. If this is not enough, there are other creatures that will try to do the same, they can trade, fight or help you. Oh, don't forget about the weather and some unexpected events.
Continue here to read the full story.

Little Nightmares Expansion Pass Revealed

BANDAI NAMCO announces a new Secrets of the Maw "expansion pass" is now for sale on Steam for Little Nightmares. This will bring three new chapters to this whimsical game about childhood terror, starting with the release of The Depths next month. This post has all the details on what new nightmares this will bring:
The expansion pass Secrets of The Maw will add 3 new chapters to the game telling the tale of a parallel escape story. From today, the Expansion Pass as well as the Complete Edition including the base game and the Expansion Pass can be pre-purchased on Steam.

Unveil all the secrets of The Maw as The Runaway Kid, another prisoner looking for a way out of this place of misfortune. On his journey, The Kid will visit unseen areas of the Maw in 3 different chapters: The Depths, The Hideway and a last secret location offering a different perspective on Six’s adventures as well as new challenges to overcome.

In The Depths, the first chapter to be released in July, the Runaway Kid will explore the foul and murky sewers and try to escape from an insidious threat that lurks underwater. In November, you will be able to visit The Hideway, a machine-themed section where the Nomes reside. The third and final chapter to be released in January will decide the fate of The Runaway Kid.

The Escapists 2 Multiplayer Trailer

A new trailer from The Escapists 2 shows off multiplayer action from the upcoming prison break game. So bake a file into a cake, put up your Rita Hayworth poster, and take a look. Here's word:
Award-winning international games label Team17 and developer Mouldy Toof have today released a brand new multiplayer trailer for The Escapists 2, the follow up to their award-winning prison-escape game The Escapists which recently celebrated reaching over four million downloads.

Being able to plan escapes with their friends has been the fans’ most requested feature since the series’ debut in February 2015, and the team at Mouldy Toof and Team17 are thrilled to be able to deliver a seamless multiplayer experience to players in The Escapists 2. Budding escapists will be able to take part in both co-op and versus multiplayer modes, playing either locally or online, for up to four players*.

Drop-in, drop-out multiplayer capability allows you to carefully plan and execute an intricate escape from your initial incarceration with your fellow inmates either online or locally, or simply hop into an existing game already in progress to help pull off the final touches of the escape!

You can experience the entire campaign of The Escapists 2 solo or by teaming up with others but however you choose to do it, escaping won't be easy. You'll have to work around the strict prison schedule and avoid the unwanted attention of guards. Craft weapons and tools found (or stolen) from within the prison, but beware of cell shakedowns. Get a job or undertake quests to purchase vital supplies, all while scouting escape routes – you may even uncover some unique escapes that cannot be undertaken alone!

The Escapists 2 will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch™ and PC in 2017.
Continue here to read the full story.

ArcheAge: Erenor Eternal Launch

A new free Erenor Eternal expansion is now live in ArcheAge, Trion Worlds' free-to-play MMORPG. They hope this will entice new and old players alike to check it out, saying, "Offering fresh content for new and returning players alike, the expansion features new nautical-themed zones, new Ancestral Skills that add further advancement to max level characters, significant updates and changes to core gameplay systems, and much more." Here's a trailer, and here are more details:
New heroes will rise and new legends will be born in ArcheAge 3.5: Erenor Eternal!

The newest chapter in the ultimate fantasy sandbox MMORPG introduces 3 oceanic zones that feature new ways to PvP and PvE, a new tier of crafted gear, Ancestral Skills to level you past 55, and tons of improvements to crafting, regrading, and trade packs!
Continue here to read the full story.

EVE Valkyrie Price Drop

CCP announces a permanent price reduction on EVE Valkyrie, dropping the VR space game by 33% on all platforms. And now that the game has been founded, they are retiring their founder's packs:
We are excited to announce that from today, the digital download edition of EVE: Valkyrie - our virtual reality space combat shooter set in the EVE universe - will be available to purchase for $39.99/£29.99/€39.99. That’s a whopping 33% permanent reduction in the suggested retail price (SRP).

Exhilarating VR visuals and online, cross-platform competitive multiplayer action for under 40 bucks (SRP)? It would be rude not to.

The original Founder’s Pack edition of the game has now been retired, but anyone who has previously purchased a Founder’s Pack will retain all the bonus content it included. New players will still be able to unlock paint jobs, XP boosters and other optional ship customization with the currency earned in-game.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Magic: The Gathering RPG Plans

Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios announce plans for a new RPG based on Magic: The Gathering coming to PC and consoles. This completes a circle of sorts, as Magic is famously a strategy card game based on RPG conventions, so the transition seems obvious. They are holding back on details for now, but some of how this works is outlined in the announcement:
Perfect World Entertainment Inc., a leading publisher of online games, and Cryptic Studios, today announced the development of a brand new RPG based on Magic: The Gathering, the acclaimed strategic card game by Wizards of the Coast. The AAA RPG is currently being developed from the ground up for both PC and console. Additional details and the game’s official title will be revealed at a later date.

The world’s most popular strategy card game, Magic: The Gathering transforms players into Planeswalkers, powerful mages who can travel between planes, cast spells and summon mythical creatures. The beloved trading card game has over 20 million fans across more than 70 countries, and is available in 11 languages. Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios’ new RPG will allow fans of the game to fully immerse themselves in the Multiverse, the rich fantasy world in which Magic: The Gathering takes place.

“It’s Magic: The Gathering like you’ve never experienced before,” said Bryan Huang, CEO of Perfect World Entertainment. “We are ecstatic about the direction of the game Cryptic has been shaping. It’s always been a dream of ours to bring Magic’s Planeswalkers to a modern RPG.”

The upcoming game extends the licensing partnership between Perfect World Entertainment, Cryptic Studios and Wizards of the Coast – a relationship that has resulted in 15 million Neverwinter players and growing.

“This game is an exciting part of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic Digital Next initiative to extend gameplay beyond the tabletop, and we’re proud to work with the talented team at Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios to bring the Magic: The Gathering Multiverse to life,” said David Schwartz, Wizards of the Coast Vice President of Digital Publishing.

Cryptic Studios is currently ramping up production in its Los Gatos headquarters for the development of the game.

“Everything from the graphics to the gameplay is being targeted for a truly unique AAA game,” said Stephen D’Angelo, CEO of Cryptic Studios. “We’re thrilled to provide Magic fans with an opportunity to explore the game’s worlds and characters through an entirely new lens. Get ready to embark on a brand new journey.”

For more information about and opportunities at Cryptic Studios, please visit:

For more information about Perfect World Entertainment, please visit:

Writer Jay Pinkerton Leaves Valve

A Facebook timeline post by Jay Pinkerton reveals the writer has left Valve Corporation (thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun). There is no explanation for the departure, which marks the fourth writer to leave the company over the past 18 months. This exodus began with Marc Laidlaw in January 2016, Erik Wolpaw this past February, and Chet Faliszek just last month. Interestingly, the report of Wolpaw's departure also said Pinkerton was leaving at that time, but this was quickly cleared up as inaccurate (until now).

Overwatch Double XP Weekend

Blizzard announces they are capping off their Overwatch anniversary event with a double XP weekend in the multiplayer shooter beginning tomorrow. Here's the plan:
It's been an incredible year, and we're so thankful you were a part of it. To celebrate our first Overwatch Anniversary together—and the community that made it all possible (that's you!)—all players who log in this weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One will receive double experience.

This bonus will apply to nearly all sources of in-game XP, including:

  • Time spent in a match
  • Completing a match
  • Completing consecutive matches
  • Winning a match
  • Backfilling a match in progress
  • Earning medals

It will also stack multiplicatively with existing group and IGR bonuses. The only experience it will not affect is your First Win of the Day bonus—which will remain at 1500 XP.

This bonus experience period begins in all regions across all platforms on Thursday, June 8 at 5:00 p.m. PDT (or Friday, June 9 at 00:00 UTC) and ends on Monday, June 12 at 11:59 p.m. PDT (or Tuesday, June 13 at 06:59 UTC).

Fable Fortune Announced

Developers Flaming Fowl Studios and Mediatonic announce Fable Fortune, a collectible card game set in the world of Albion from Lionhead's Fable series. This is currently in closed beta, and details on that can be found on the Fable Fortune website. This will head into early access on Steam next month, which will require the purchase of a Founder's Pack, but it will be free-to-play when it officially launches later this year. This post has details on the plan, and this description of the game:
Fable Fortune combines pioneering CCG systems with some of the Fable’s most cherished moments; featuring timeless heroes, despicable villains, armies of bemused (and conveniently expendable) peasants, and some good old fashioned, family-friendly necromancy.

Choose from one of six Heroes each sporting diverse powers and cards, and set forth to crush your opponents under a hobbe-nailed boot in either classic PVP mode, or the unique and fully integrated Co-op mode. Discover how the iconic Alignment mechanic can be used to shift heroes towards a good or evil path during play; transforming their powers, altering their card effects, and turning the tide of battle in one chicken-kicking* hand.

Astro Boy: Edge of Time This Month

Astro Boy: Edge of Time is another strategy card game using a familiar property, as it helps celebrate the 90th birthday of Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka. Steam says this is coming later this month, and they offer this post with details and this description:
Dark forces beyond understanding have consumed nearly all that exists. Ripped to shreds, left for dead, those that find themselves still alive find hope in an unseen power that transports them safely to a city known as The Sprawl that exists outside the normal flow of time and space. Out of reach of evil, human and robot alike work together to survive in this harsh and strange new world.

Join Astro, Black Jack, and other characters from Osamu Tezuka's Star System, reborn in a dangerous new world.

Tactical Card Battle Redefined

  • Unique Positional Combat: players have access to two rows in combat: an offensive row where cards are able to attack the enemy, but cannot protect the player, and the defensive row where cards defend incoming attacks but are unable to initiate attacks.
  • Reimagined Characters: Fresh new redesigns of Tezuka’s most famous characters crafted by Japan’s most legendary illustrators.
  • Story Mode: Experience a whole new adventure with Astro and other famous Tezuka characters that intertwines a deep storyline with unique card-based combat.
  • Multiplayer: Battle other players in multiple ranked and unranked online modes and prove yourself as the best summoner in The Sprawl.
  • Ever-growing Ongoing Adventure: The experience is always growing! Regular updates for ASTRO BOY: EDGE OF TIME add new cards, new story mode episodes, and new multiplayer modes, so there’s always something new around the corner.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice in August

Ninja Theory announces that Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice will be released for Windows and PlayStation 4 on August 8th, saying it is now available for preorder on GOG and Steam (and the PlayStation store). This post announces a pre-purchase bonus, saying buying the action/adventure in advance includes "an exclusive digital comic short." Word is: "With words by Hellblade creative director Tameem Antoniades and art from multiple Eisner Award nominee Ben Templesmith, the comic comes from a creative collaboration between Ninja Theory and award-winning comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment." They celebrate the news with this trailer and these details:
Ninja Theory has announced that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will be released for PlayStation 4 and PC on August 8th 2017. Players can pre-order the digital-only game from today via PlayStation, Steam and for $29.99/€29.99/£24.99.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice comes from the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry. It is the story of Senua, a traumatised Celtic warrior journeying into the Viking underworld of hel. Supported by Wellcome and created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull players deep into Senua’s mind.


A Steam listing is now online for SOYF: S#!T ON YOUR FRIENDS, a brawler that allows you to live that dream. This will be released one month from today, and this trailer shows off said s#!tting. Who will be the last man squatting? Here's word on the game for you and your friends.... TO POOP ON!:
The party game nobody asked for, but everybody needs.

SOYF: S#!T ON YOUR FRIENDS is a local multiplayer competitive brawler for 2-4 players! Assume the role of adorable creatures and attempt to poop on your friends to find out who reigns aerial excrement superiority.


  • Classic, competitive and chaotic 4-player same-couch multiplayer like the good ol' days
  • Easy to pick up and play, approachable control scheme so everyone can play
  • Classic Game mode - Everyone has 3 hit points and competes for 3 rounds to crown the poop champ
  • Dinglebrawler Mode - Get heavier each time you're S#!T on. Race toward the top, try not to fall off the bottom! Last S#!TTER standing wins!
  • One S#!T Kill Mode - One shot, one kill mode. Don't play s#!tty or you'll die quick!
  • Single Player Target Challenges - Tune up your crappy aim in this single player shooting gallery.
  • Familiar Faces (Crossover Characters) - Guest appearance by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller, more reveals soon!
  • Soundtrack by Hyper Potions

Continue here to read the full story.

American Truck Simulator - Heavy Cargo Pack Rolls Out

The American Truck Simulator - Heavy Cargo Pack is now available on Steam, allowing drivers in the virtual truck game to terrorize the roads with oversized loads. This is available for the game on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and SCS Software now also offers a SCS Cargo Addict bundle with this and a couple of cargo packs for Euro Truck Simulator 2. Here's a trailer for the DLC, and here's a bit of the announcement that discusses the pack as well as an accompanying free update for the game:
All heavy cargo trailers match the real patterns used in the US. They're composed of functional parts, their order and use may vary according to the type of cargo carried. The first part which is the closest to the tractor is called the jeep and is connected to the truck via the normal fifth wheel. The second part is called the lowboy and that's where cargo is placed. It's either in the middle or it's the last part, depending on the configuration. The third part is semi-optional in relation to the cargo that is transported. It's called the spreader or axle booster. All parts have their own functional pivot point.

To handle such loads we have added new engines as part of a free update to the game. All trucks now have a 600-hp engine available and some trucks even have a stronger engine to choose from. There are of course lower power engines too for those who don't feel like they can handle such power under their foot, well actually they are still a very sensible and economical choice for most transportation scenarios. We have paid special attention to make sure all of these new engines have realistic power and torque curves to reflect their real behavior.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We've taken to dropping by the neighbors to pick up their dog Jedi to walk with me and the Gunnar-man. The family is up to their elbows with toddler twins, so it's tough for them to give their energetic pup the exercise he needs. They are far too grateful about this, as I don't mind at all: Jedi and Gunnar are besties, and I love me some doggies, so this works out fine. But yesterday they surprised us with gifts. Gunnar got himself a new stuffed dragon to torture, and I was handed a little package as well. The dog toy was fine, but I was feeling super-awkward about my present until I opened it and saw it was several rolls of poop bags to pay me back for the ones Jedi uses, which turned this around into a heartfelt laugh. We're going to miss them all quite a bit when we move away.

Moved Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Angry Gran Run: Miami.
Science: Citing costs, US Air Force turns to SpaceX for its next spy plane launch.
Feline Food Issues: ‘Whisker Fatigue’ May Be to Blame. Thanks j.c.f.
Media: VIDEO: Get To Know The Bloodthirsty (But Cuddly) Vampire Bat. Thanks RedEye9.
Bear Breaks Into Colorado Home, Plays Piano. Thanks Boing Boing.
Monaco Races Rock When The Cars Can Actually Pass Each Other. Drum brakes!
Follow-up: "Jeopardy!" Contestant Dies Before Show Airs, Tells Alex Trebek To Use Winnings In Incredible Way.
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