Archived News:

Friday, Aug 10, 2018 National S'mores Day (USA)

Quake Champions Goes Free-to-Play

At QuakeCon today id Software announced that Quake Champions is now free-to-play, bringing the multiplayer shooter full circle to its original launch price. explains they still consider the game to be in Early Access, that they are selling premium packs to help monetize the game, and what F2P players can expect in return for their no money:
Free-to-play players get access to all Quickplay, Ranked and Arcade game modes and maps currently available in Early Access, plus two free Champions: Ranger and Scalebearer. New players can unlock more Champions by completing the in-game tutorial and by earning Favor — in-game currency used to unlock Champions and Backpacks — just by playing matches!

Additionally, there’s one free Champion on rotation every week. Try them all out and see which ones fit your playstyle. Once you’ve found a new favorite, you can purchase Champions to own using Platinum, Quake Champions’ premium currency.

DOOM Eternal Gameplay Trailer also has id's reveal video for DOOM Eternal, offering over 15 minutes of gameplay footage from the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. IGN has details on the story and gameplay from the keynote. There's also a post on DSOGaming with some technical details, saying the new id Tech 7 engine can display 10X greater geometry detail than id Tech 6, and confirming Eternal will feature some destructible demons. Here's the blurb that accompanies the trailer:
With a redesigned set of armor and an arsenal of new equipment, your fight against the onslaught of Hell continues. Take on twice as many demons in DOOM Eternal, including fan favorites from classic DOOM titles like the Archvile, Pain Elemental and the Arachnotron.

In our reveal gameplay presentation, we show off Hell on Earth and Phobos, two of many vastly diverse worlds that you’ll visit in DOOM Eternal. Watch as the DOOM Slayer uses his signature weapons and powerful new tools, including the Super Shotgun’s new Meat Hook mod, the brutal new extendable blade, and his shoulder-mounted cannon with flamethrower for devastating blows toward his enemies.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fortnite Planning Controller Segregation

The cross-platform support in Fortnite allows players to play together using different systems. This can lead to some obvious controller inequities, and Epic is considering changing this by making it so that games are segregated according to controller type. Ars Technica clues the way to this Reddit post where Epic community manager JustMooney explains:
We're actually working on some matchmaking tech, on the way, that'll pair you against folks based on your choice of peripherals. More info on this coming next week, but tl;dr if you're on KB+M you'll be against KB+M.

RAGE 2 Trailer offers an Eden Assault Extended Gameplay Trailer from RAGE 2, showing the QuakeCon demonstration of the upcoming shooter sequel. The post has a detailed explanation of what this shows, and this is just a portion:
It’s got everything. A big, beautiful, seamless open world. Explosions. Vehicle combat. Explosions. Sick f---ing powers. Explosions. In addition to providing an extended look at the world of RAGE 2 (have we mentioned explosions yet?), the QuakeCon footage also showed off the game’s massive and monstrous convoys for the first time. Check out the full video and get an idea of how the game’s convoys work.

The streets of RAGE 2 are dangerous, and not in a Hitcher way, although you probably shouldn’t just pick up strangers you see on the side of the road. In addition to some of the more commonplace faction activity – random attacks, roving patrols, etc. – you’ll also encounter many of the gigantic convoys you saw in the video.
These wheeled fortresses are heavily defended and will pose a hefty challenge to anyone ballsy enough to try to take them down. But Walker isn’t too worried. With the help of his all-purpose death machine (the Phoenix), he bobs, weaves and blasts through the enemy onslaught, deftly avoiding traps and meeting fire with fire. Taking down a convoy will net you some sweet rewards, including bigger and badder vehicle weapons for future encounters on the road.
Continue here to read the full story.

We Happy Few Released

Gearbox Publishing announces We Happy Few is out for PC and consoles, with the Windows version available on and Steam, with a the game's 15% preorder discount carrying over through the weekend. Here's word on Compulsion Games' new action/adventure: "We Happy Few is a narrative-driven action-adventure game set in a retrofuturistic 1960s England. Uncover the mystery of Wellington Wells as you play through the interwoven narratives of three moderately terrible citizens trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial." This recent post discusses plans for a season pass and post-release content. You can get a look at this shagadelic dystopia in this trailer, and the description explains further:
We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial in the city of Wellington Wells. In this alternative 1960s England, conformity is key. You’ll have to fight or blend in with the drug-addled inhabitants, most of whom don’t take kindly to people who won’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.

Discover the retrofuturistic city’s dark history as you play through the intertwined narratives of three quietly rebellious citizens of Wellington Wells, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as they face their pasts, prepare for the future, and engage in activities that aren’t exactly status quo in the artificially enthused society.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Elder Scrolls Legends: Isle of Madness Announced

Bethesda also announced an expansion called Isle of Madness is in the works for The Elder Scrolls Legends. Details are scant for now, as they want us to wait for more:
Announced at QuakeCon 2018, Isle of Madness is a story expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Legends inspired by none other than Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. Wabbajack in hand, his brand of unpredictability tinges not just the quests you’ll encounter, but also the cards you earn for your Collection!

As for exactly how Isle of Madness will wreak chaos in The Elder Scrolls: Legends, you’ll just have to wait to learn more. Fret not, as Sheogorath knows the value of patience – how else do you get a fine age going on the cheese he enjoys so very much?

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Ant Stealing Diamond.

Madden NFL 19 Kicks Off

EA SPORTS announces the official release of Madden NFL 19 for all, with the new installment in the tackle football series returning to the PC for the first time in years through Origin. "This is my favorite time of year, since Madden NFL 19 serves as the unofficial kickoff to football season," said Roy Harvey, Executive Producer on Madden NFL 19. "The team has included many new features to gameplay, Franchise, Ultimate Team and more, all of which I believe our fans will enjoy for countless hours throughout the year." Get ready for kick off:
Today Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) launched EA SPORTS Madden NFL 19 on Origin for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This year’s game delivers all-new animation and some of the smoothest gameplay ever with the introduction of Real Player Motion (RPM) Tech, along with Franchise mode enhancements that allow players to solidify their strategy and build their own NFL dynasty. The new features don’t end there, as Madden Ultimate Team also offers new challenges and opportunities, while fans hoping to catch up with the lives of Devin Wade and Colt Cruise can discover the conclusion of their stories in Longshot: Homecoming. Last but not least, the Madden NFL franchise returns to PC, bringing with it unlocked frame rates, mouse and keyboard controls and more (see here for details on PC specs and requirements). Bleacher Report praises this year’s edition of the game, calling it "A must-own package for fans of the sport," and “The smoothest Madden has ever felt.” The world is also celebrating launch with the story of the Greatest Play Call Ever.

Cuphead Goes Triple Platinum

Studio MDHR announces the continuation of the phenomenal success story for Cuphead, saying the difficult 1930s-style platformer is "triple platinum" after selling more than three million copies. Here's word on the sales and giveaways they are planning to celebrate:
Hello friends! We’re barely past the halfway mark of 2018, and are humbled to announce that Cuphead has already reached over 3 million copies sold! It’s hard for us to express just how appreciative we are to everyone who has played and enjoyed our niche little run & gun game with the wacky rubber-hose characters.

To celebrate this huge milestone, we’re putting Cuphead on sale on Steam and Xbox for the next couple of days! So if you haven’t had a chance to wallop the Devil, it’s a good day for a swell battle!

We’ll also be marking the occasion here at Studio MDHR with some extra-special giveaways over the next few days. Keep an eye out on Twitter or Facebook for some fun surprises.


Yesterday's launch of MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD on Steam has proven to be a monster success. A post on Steam Charts says the game had 290K players at peak, and USgamer says this makes it the biggest Steam launch of the year, CAPCOM's most successful PC launch, and the biggest launch of a Japanese game in Steam history. In fact, it's not even close, as they say the previous record-holder was the 2016 release of Dark Souls 3 which attracted 129,831 upon launch.

Tiny Hands Adventure Released

Tiny Hands Adventure is now available on Steam, offering a Windows adventure game that may or may not have been inspired by the most recent U.S. presidential primaries. This trailer shows off gameplay, revealing a 3D platformer where you play as a young T-Rex who is on a quest to literally extend his reach. Here's word on how this "will bring back the scent of true platforming," which we're pretty sure smells like Doritos:
Tiny Hands Adventure is an old-school 3D platformer starred by a cute blue T-Rex named Borti. The game is inspired by classics such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Ratchet and Clank. Lead Borti in his quest to find larger arms throughout 20 levels packed with obstacles, enemies and huge bosses.

“Tiny Hands Adventure is the platform game every Switch and Steam user was waiting for”, says Jakub Kaleta, CEO at Funware. “Playing with Borti will bring back the scent of true platforming and item collection”.

Tiny Hands Adventure is set in Dinoburg, the town where Borti plays football with his school team. Lead this sweet dinosaur in his first adventure and try to complete the game 100%. A new star is born!


  • Beautiful 3D graphics.
  • Collect different tools for Borti and use them in game! From sticks, through compact drills to mechanical arms.
  • Fight with bosses.
  • Slide, roll or jump your way to victory.
  • Visit over 20 stages in game.
  • Try yourself in challenging mode after completing a stage and finding all collectables.
  • Find out how the story ends!

Continue here to read the full story.

Fishing: Barents Sea Line and Net Ships DLC Released

Publisher astragon Entertainment and developer Misc Games announce the release of new Line and Net Ships DLC for Fishing: Barents Sea, their Windows open-water fishing simulation. This adds five new fishing vessels to the game, adding to your fishing quotas. You can catch a look at what to expect in this release trailer, and the announcement fills in more details:
Each of the five new fishing boats comes with its own individual and authentic attributes, as well as individual fishing quotas.

The smallest boat among the new fishing vessels is the Tobie. With just 7 meters (23 feet) in length, it is a very compact vessel, which moves swiftly but steadily across the wild waves of the Barents Sea. With a length of little more than 10 meters (35 feet) another small but very modern fishing ship named Sharky will be ready to cast off from the harbor of Hammerfest to go on exciting fishing adventures. The Snarset is the third new ship of the DLC and boasts some top modern equipment inside a light aluminum hull. With a length of 14 meters (49 feet), the Snarset is one of the largest new fishing boats – only to be surpassed by the aptly named Moby D. The Moby D. is 20 meters (66 feet) long and inspired by a traditional, very popular Norwegian boat design from the 1970s. Its hull of wood and steel offers strength and durability against the rough elements of the sea.

Last but not least, Fishing: Barents Sea welcomes a special highlight of the Norwegian fishing industry in form of the Fix: The 10 meters (33 feet) long vessel has its origin in the 1920s and is today the oldest, still active fishing boat in Norway.

All five new ships will delight players with realistic designs and detailed interiors. The additional boats will allow ambitious fishermen to catch even more maritime prey and increase the yield of their fishing business.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blood Ancestors Next Week

Barely a week after launching the open alpha of Blood Ancestors on Steam, Snowpeak Studio announces August 16th is when the game will officially launch into early access. Since that open alpha is still available for free, this point is somewhat academic, but it does represent the game's current state of development. "We're thrilled with the success we've had so far with the open alpha," said David Broto, co-founder of Snowpeak Studio. "The feedback from players has been invaluable and inspires us to continue to improve the game in order to deliver the best possible experience for our players, we're excited to bring Blood Ancestors to Early Access in just a few weeks!" Here are details on the early access version:
At Early Access launch, players will be able to choose from 6 different classes with the number increasing to 18 by the game's full launch. Players can build their character around their desired playstyle by selecting from various talents in each of the three talent trees of utility, defense, and offense.

Players can download the Blood Ancestors alpha on Steam now for free and look forward to the Early Access release on August 16th.


  • Fast-paced 5v5 multiplayer action
  • High fantasy medieval world
  • Brutal fights in melee combat
  • Objective based gameplay
  • Choose between 18 classes with different gameplay styles (6 in the Early Access release)
  • Create your own build by choosing 3 styles (offensive, defensive, utility) from a pool of more than 150 varied skills
  • Extreme character customization
  • More than 6 multiplayer maps (3 in the Early Access release)
  • Fight to secure the Relic and unleash a powerful ultimate attack

Robothorium in March 2019

Goblinz Studio announces a March 2019 release window for Robothorium, their turn-based, cyberpunk RPG set during one of those robot uprisings you hear so much about these days. The game is currently in early access for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam, and they say they will be showing it off in Cologne to attendees of gamescom. They celebrate their release news with this trailer which shows off the setting and some gameplay. Word is: "Robothorium is a futuristic turn-based, rogue-like RPG, where all your choices will have a direct impact on your revolution against Humankind. Gather your team of robots, choose your allies and lead your troops to the next Robots age." Continue here to read the full story.

Iron Harvest Backer Alpha Demo

An Iron Harvest DevBlog #4 from KING Art Games announces that backers of this crowdfunded RTS game now have access to a playable alpha to check out progress on the game. They explain: "Alpha 1 features one challenge map and one skirmish map (both singleplayer). Our goal has always been to make the game available to players as early as possible in order to garner feedback. We have now reached a state where you can give constructive feedback about the UI, the controls, basic gameplay and the look & feel, and we are very much looking forward to it." They also offer a new video so everyone can see the state of the game, even if they aren't invited to participate. And for those who like what they see, they also announce how you can still make a purchase and get in on the action (or strategy, rather). Their announcement explains what to expect from the alpha demo, and lays out a roadmap for Alpha 2 and a subsequent release:
Iron Harvest, the classic RTS for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, set in the alternate reality of 1920+, which collected over $1,530,000 in its crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, now has a "First Look Alpha" demo for supporters.

The Alpha build features two game modes and 15 playable units:

A second Alpha demo, focussing on multiplayer, is scheduled for December, the release of the final game is planned near the end of 2019.

Alpha 1 is available for all backers until the release of Alpha 2. People can still get Alpha 1 and all subsequent demos by pre-ordering the game at the Iron Harvest Website.

The game features:

  • Three playable factions with over 40 units types and 9 heroes
  • Three single player campaigns with an overarching story (21 missions)
  • Singleplayer & Coop skirmish matches
  • Single player & Coop challenge maps
  • Competitive multiplayer (ranked matches, seasons)
  • Free DLC

Continue here to read the full story.

Shenmue Trailer

SEGA offers another new video to promote the upcoming release of Shenmue I & II, the remastered re-releases of the first two games in the action/adventure series. The clip offers a look at the updates, and provides a history lesson on the series from someone with firsthand experience:
On August 21st, one of the sagas that defined modern gaming is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and new players will be able to experience one of the most defining series in gaming history. In the meantime you can brush up on your Shenmue knowledge as we teamed up with Corey Marshall, the English-version voice actor of Ryo Hazuki, for a series of videos exploring the world of the Shenmue. Last week, our first episode detailed the storyline of Shenmue I & II and Ryo's quest to avenge his father. Today, we're delving deeper into the characters themselves:

From Ryo himself to Lan Di, Corey introduces us to Shenmue's key characters: the mysterious Shenhua appearing in Ryo's dreams, Ren the Heavens gang leader, and many more friends, foes, and those whom Ryo would be wise to keep an eye on. Beyond the key characters that Ryo encounters, there are hundreds of NPCs awaiting you in the world of Shenmue: love interests, enemies, neighbours and merchants... and of course, a cat.

New players will be able to meet all the fascinating characters in Shenmue I & II when it re-releases this August 21st on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

QuakeCon 2018 is underway down in Texas. As usual, I'm not there, as it's been many years since I attended, but I also have my usual regrets about missing out. Of course the nature of the event and id Software has changed a lot since my last QuakeCon, so I doubt my nostalgia for the gathering has much to do with the current reality. Either way, here's a hello to old friends who are at the show, here's hoping you have a fine-old time, and that the waits at Denny's are reasonable. Oh, and for the record, as I write these words, it is hotter in New York City than it is in Dallas.

Hot Links: Thanks Ant.
Story: Stan Lee Retires from All Public and Convention Signings. Thanks RedEye9.
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What It’s Like Living As a Diagnosed Psychopath.
Chemists discover how blue light speeds blindness. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Trapeze slowmotion.
Fearless Photographer Stands Up to Polar Bear. Giant balls despite arctic shrinkage.
Mudslide sweeps into Swiss village. Thanks Boing Boing.
Follow-up: Space Force: Pentagon announces plan to create a sixth armed service. Thanks RedEye9.
What Caused the Dinosaur Extinction? Thanks Digg.
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