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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Resumes Development

A post on Facebook by Sergiy Grygorovych has an announcement from GSC Game World that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is in development (thanks Polygon). Or more correctly, back in development after a first go at the shooter sequel was put on indefinite hold back in 2012. There isn't much to go by yet, but there's a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Website offering a 2021 (2.0.2.1.) release window. Word is:
Today 15.05.2018 I officially declare:
"GSC GAME WORLD DEVELOPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2"

www.stalker2.com

RAGE 2 Announcement and Gameplay Trailer

Bethesda.net welcomes us to the "shooterverse" of RAGE 2 with an official announcement along with the promised first gameplay trailer for the first-person shooter sequel. They say this is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in 2019, and while they confirm that Avalanche Studios is contributing their "mastery of the open world sandbox," the main developer on this is still listed as id Software, just like the original RAGE. Here's word:
Mankind is in peril. In the decades following an asteroid’s devastation, most of the earth has become an unforgiving wildland where bloodthirsty factions vie for control of precious resources. Pockets of civilization have emerged to claim their space in the world, but the tentative peace they’ve established is being threatened. RAGE 2 follows Walker, the last Ranger of Vineland, as he fights to survive the chaos of the dystopian world into which he was born. With a wide array of weapons, vehicles and strange powers, Walker sets off to take down the tyrannical Authority. Get your first look at the insane action in the worldwide gameplay reveal trailer below and check out the live action teaser released on May 14 here. RAGE 2 will be launching on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in 2019.

The Open-World Shooterverse
It’s the perfect mix: id Software’s first-person shooter pedigree, Avalanche Studios’ mastery of the open world sandbox, with a healthy dose of pedal-to-the-metal vehicle combat. From the swamplands and jungles where enemies lurk among the dense foliage, to the open deserts where a passing car is more likely to mow you down than offer you a ride, the world of RAGE 2 is not a gentle, nurturing place. The people who have survived in this landscape have had to learn to protect themselves and keep their heads on a swivel, especially with the reemergence of a familiar menace.

As if the gangs and mutants aren’t enough, Walker also has to contend with the Authority, returning antagonists from the first game who threaten anything good remaining in the world. Led by General Cross, the Authority is on a renewed mission to hunt down the few remaining pureblood Arkists left in the world, and Cross is willing to slaughter everyone to achieve his goals. That’s where Walker’s wealth of unique guns and gear comes in – and he’ll need every one of his powerful weapons to defend the wild wasteland he calls home.

Walker, Vineland Ranger
A Ranger’s arsenal isn’t limited to the abundance of upgradeable weapons and toys at their disposal. Fueled by Arkist blood, these elite fighters are the only people in the world who can harness special Nanotrite abilities. However, this blood has also made them a target for the Authority, and after years of fighting, Walker is the only Ranger still standing.

Among the arrows he can choose from his Nanotrite ability quiver are the power to crush enemies into paste from above in a devastating slam attack or send them flying away from him with a lethal energy push. Walker will also learn to channel these Nanotrites into his weapons, pushing them into an awe-inspiring Overdrive, a unique skill that lets him push his guns beyond their limits and unleash absolute hell on his foes. Chain these abilities together to make Walker a powerhouse of destruction, quickly refilling his Overdrive meter. While in Overdrive, Walker’s guns do more damage, they gain new attributes, enemies drop better rewards and Walker’s health starts to regenerate. When timed correctly, Overdrive is more than enough to tip the scales in a tricky fight.

There’s a lot more to come for RAGE 2. Tune into the BE3 Showcase on Sunday, June 10, at 6:30pm PT for more gameplay and details. You can catch the stream live on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or here at Bethesda.net.
Continue here to read the full story.

Play Rainbow Six Siege Free This Weekend

Ubisoft announces a free weekend for Rainbow Six Siege gets underway on Thursday on all platforms for the tactical shooter. This page has all the details on how to participate, and there's an overview in the announcement:
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free from May 17th to 20th. Interested players can join the more than 30 million Rainbow Six Siege player community on all consoles and Windows PC.

Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted if they purchase the game. They will also benefit from a discount of up to 50% off on the Standard, Advanced, Gold, Complete Editions between May 17th and May 28th in the EMEA region.

The full details and timing of the free weekend are available via the following link: http://rainbow6.com/freeweekend

In the upcoming Operation Para Bellum, two new Italian operators and a new map, The Villa, will be introduced, alongside many gameplay improvements such as the new Pick & Ban feature. The full reveal of Year 3 Season 2 content of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege will be made on May 19th – 20th during the Pro League Finals in Atlantic City.

For more information about the game or news on the upcoming title update, please visit www.rainbow6.com

*Free Weekend discount available May 17th -21st on PC, May 17th – 23rd on PlayStation Store and May 17th – 28th on Xbox store in the EMEA region.

Forgotton Anne Released

Please remember that today is the release date for Forgotton Anne, the game that forgets that there's an "e" in forgotten. This Windows platformer is available for Windows on Steam, and you can get a look at this in action in the launch trailer. Here's word on the game:
Described by critics as an anime film you can actually play, Forgotton Anne’s story-driven action is beautifully offset with hand-crafted 2D cinematic levels focused on the mysterious Forgotton Lands: the hidden dimension where all mislaid items from the human world - the odd socks, the lost letters, the missing toys - are sent to linger.

It’s the job of the Forgotlings - creatures formed out of all of these missing items - to help the trapped Anne and Master Bonku find their way home. The end result is a tale full of emotion, and one that merges perfectly with Forgotton Anne’s 2D puzzle platforming play and the game’s focus on dialogue choices.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Piano Delayed

Developer Mistaken Visions announces the May 24th release date for The Piano they recently revealed turned out to be a mistaken vision. They now say their survival/horror game is expected on June 4th, attributing the setback to "an unexpected technical issue." Here's an official statement on the topic:
Hi everyone!

OK, we're going to cut to the chase right away: we've taken the difficult decision to delay release of The Piano just slightly. The game will now release on Monday 4th June.

Why? Because game development. At the start of the month, we thought we had a release candidate. We hit 'build', crossed our fingers, and... something broke. We found ourselves butting our heads against a last-minute technical problem that stubbornly refused to back down. By the time we finally managed to fix it, we were only a couple of weeks out from release, and with barely any time for final-stage testing.

So we were left with a tough decision: stick with the 24th May, and run the risk of shipping a product that didn't meet our high standards... or delay the release by one week to make sure we could really put the build through its paces and ensure you get the highest quality game we're capable of. In the end we decided there was only one sensible option... but then we realised that Weather Factory's excellent Cultist Simulator is coming out on 31st May, so we went with the next best thing: Monday 4th June.

We know this isn't the first time we've delayed The Piano. And we know it's dreadfully last-minute. But having worked on the game for five years, we know we would always regret rushing out a sub-par product. You deserve better, and frankly, we should demand better of ourselves. So that's what we're doing. We hope you understand, and that you're looking forward to playing The Piano at the start of next month.

Thanks to everyone for your support so far!

Mistaken Visions

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time Released

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is now available on Steam, offering a new anime action/adventure from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment. The launch trailer is Japanese, but includes English subtitles to introduce the game. Word is: "Run through the halls of Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy and tackle beasts with magical powers in this 3D action-RPG beat ‘em up featuring an original storyline from the popular anime series by Studio Trigger, now streaming on Netflix." Here's more:
Having been inspired by a famous witch named Shiny Chariot, an ordinary girl named Atsuko Kagari enrolls at Luna Nova Witchcraft Academy, a prestigious school for young girls trained to become witches. Before starting summer vacation, Akko and her new classmates find out about an inexplicable phenomenon at Luna Nova caused by the Seven Wonders. Now it’s up to Akko and her friends as they take on an adventure of a lifetime to unravel the mystery surrounding the Seven Wonders.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Yanny or Laurel: IT'S TEARING THE INTERNET APART. Bass response explanation seems accurate. I hear yanny through my monitor and laurel through my headphones.

R.I.P.: Tom Wolfe, novelist and pioneer of New Journalism, dies at 87.

F1 2018 in August

Codemasters announces an August 24th release date for F1 2018, the official videogame of the FIA Formula One World Championship for Windows and consoles. The announcement includes details about what to expect from the game:
Codemasters® and Koch Media today announced that F1™ 2018, the official videogame of the 2018 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™, will immerse players into the world of Formula 1® more than ever before. F1 2018 will release onto PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and Windows PC (DVD and via Steam) worldwide on Friday 24th August 2018, the weekend of the FORMULA 1 2018 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps Circuit.

“We were delighted by the reception that the highly-acclaimed F1 2017 game received, and are extremely excited to be able to further build on such a strong starting point with F1 2018” said Paul Jeal, F1 Franchise Director at Codemasters. “Over the past few years we have engaged heavily with our fan-base to understand what is important to them and we cannot wait to unveil more details on features we know our fans will love. Career mode has been further expanded to immerse players even deeper into the world of F1 than before, with the return of a highly requested feature back into the franchise. We are also adding more classic cars, again listening to our fans as to which of the historical F1 cars they would most like to virtually drive next. Outside of those headline additions there are many other great enhancements to be revealed before the game launches.”

The 2018 season has started in exhilarating style, with victories for Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at both the Australian and Bahrain Grand Prix™; and then for Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in China. Lewis Hamilton then won a thrilling and dramatic race at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan and most recently Hamilton was again victorious in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. The 2018 season also sees the return of the French Grand Prix for the first time since 2008, at the Circuit Paul Ricard, which last hosted the French Grand Prix in 1990. The German Grand Prix also returns to the Championship after not featuring last year, with the Hockenheimring hosting the race in July. F1 2018 will feature all of the official teams, the drivers and circuits of the 2018 season.

Phoenix Point Delayed

A post on the Phoenix Point Blog has word from Snapshot Games CEO Julian Gollop that the release of Phoenix Point is being delayed until June of 2019. The father of X-COM admits that progress on the crowdfunded strategy game is slower than he wanted, but they are committed to creating "a game with high production values that will make a huge splash on launch." Here's the announcement:
When we launched our crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point in May 2017, we hoped that the game would be well received. But what has happened since has been phenomenal, with increasingly strong pre-orders and great press coverage. People’s expectations are higher, our team is growing, and Phoenix Point has become a bigger game. In order to realise this potential we need to push back the target release date to June 2019.

I believe we can create a game with high production values that will make a huge splash on launch. In order to achieve this we need to continue to expand the team and maintain our focus on quality. To be honest, this has been a slower process than I wanted, but I felt that we needed the best talent that we could find. I am glad to say that we now have 35 great developers in our Sofia studio, and as a consequence of our recent, excellent exposure we are attracting offers of help from game developers around the world.

For our backers who have pre-ordered the luxury digital edition we will commit to a new Backer Build at least once every two months up to the point of release.

I hope you will support our decision, which I believe is in the best long term interests of the game, and on behalf of the whole team we would like to thank all our backers for their support and faith in our vision for this ambitious and exciting project.

Horizon Chase Turbo Peels Out

Aquiris Game Studio announces the release of Horizon Chase Turbo for PlayStation 4 and PC, with the Windows, Linux, and macOS editions of the throwback racer available on Steam. The launch trailer shows off gameplay and hypes the return of "couch multiplayer." Here's word:
Rev up your engines and make room on your couch as nostalgic high-octane arcade racer Horizon Chase Turbo releases today, offering the quintessential combination of retro racing and modern multiplayer matchups. Horizon Chase Turbo is available now for digital download at the PlayStation®Store and on Steam for $19.99 and is rated E for Everyone (ESRB).

Horizon Chase Turbo is standalone homage to classic 16-bit racing games that defined a generation of high-speed, frenetic arcade fun. The simple and tight controls paired with precision gameplay and detailed depth combine for a nostalgic experience for racing, arcade, retro and multiplayer fans young and old. Horizon Chase Turbo’s head-to-head split screen multiplayer and catchy contemporary chiptune-style music add to the game’s painterly aesthetic and competitive action.

“We created Horizon Chase Turbo to be the racing game we wanted to play, hitting the sweet spot between true-to-life simulators and chaotic, explosive kart racers,” said Aquiris Studio Game Designer, Felipe Dal Molin. “With Horizon Chase Turbo, we want players to feel the nostalgic tension of the simple tug-of-war of a tight turn; where players are run off-road for a split second only to return to intense high-speed action as they overtake and battle against friends playing together on the couch or via the online ghost mode.”

Aside from the modernly retro graphics, the split-screen couch multiplayer modes are among Turbo’s most defining features. All game modes, including the World Tour campaign, tournament and endurance challenges support local split screen multiplayer up to four players. Racers can compete in head-to-head races one at a time, or spend hours racing around the globe collecting coins to achieve the common goal of unlocking exotic vehicles and spinetingling tracks.

Turbo’s classic arcade gameplay and simple mechanics make the game easy to pick up and play for both casual and hardcore gamers. The simple and intuitive controls require the use of only three buttons. The game’s straightforward objectives, but in-depth learning curve, appeal to gamers who enjoy racing, but do not have the time to put in the hours to learn the complex systems required of the latest racing simulator.
Continue here to read the full story.

Animal Super Squad Released

Steam now offers the release of the Windows edition of Animal Super Squad (ASS), a physics-based adventure game. Here's the announcement trailer showing off gameplay, and here's the creative explanation of how you can create creations with this:
Animal Super Squad is a new and creative game where a big part of the gameplay is created and shared by the community. Players can create their own maps, upvote the best maps, and once a week, have a chance at being featured in the Weekly Spotlight. All gameplay assets used by the developers of the game are available for the players to use in the level editor, consisting of hundreds of assets and easy-to-use scripts. However, if you just want to play other people’s maps instead of creating your own, that’s perfectly fine too, we won’t judge you, everyone’s welcome here buddy.

Naturally, you can play the developer-made Adventure Mode as well, which feature a smooth learning curve in the beginning, and frustratingly impossible levels in the end.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've written in the past about our affection in the BlueTower for subversive sitcoms, as well as our ensuing sadness upon the cancellation of shows like Better Off Ted and Arrested Development. I figured I'd avoid placing my jinx on The Mick by keeping mum about the new Kaitlin Olson vehicle, but there's no fooling the reaper, and this has now been cancelled as well. It was a strange show for both its seasons, but loads of fun, and definitely a little edgy. Oh well, time to start hunting for another two- or three-season wonder to hit with the Malocchio.

Cursed Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Cat Simulator: Kitty Craft.
Roulette Knight.
Link: These are the top ten baby names in the US.
Stories: Chinese family shocked as pet dog turns out to be a bear.
Ex-Chipotle manager, accused of swiping $626, awarded $8 million. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: 'Lost' asteroid the size of the Statue of Liberty to buzz by Earth Tuesday.
This amazing fabric can change its color on demand.
Media: Bohemian Rhapsody - Teaser Trailer.
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Dog enjoys personal ball pit.
The Funnies: Boss Comes To Work Sick - Dilbert.
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