Archived News:

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018

New Steam Play Expands Linux Support

Valve announces the launch of a new beta version of Steam Play for Linux users, following last week's indications that something like this was coming (thanks Bill). Steam Play is Valve's name for the program that gives customers to the Windows, macOS, and Linux editions of their games as part of a single purchase. Up until now this relied on whatever platforms developers chose to support, but now they announce Steam Play will allow Linux gamers to play Windows games using Proton, a modified version of Wine, the not emulator. Proton is free, open-source software, and it is available on GitHub. They are supporting a limited number of games with this first beta, and plan on enabling more titles in the near future. Here's word:
As a result of this work, today we are releasing the Beta of a new and improved version of Steam Play to all Linux users! It includes a modified distribution of Wine, called Proton, to provide compatibility with Windows game titles. Here are some of the improvements it brings to the table:

  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
  • Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.

Stormdivers Announced

Following a teaser trailer for the game last week, Finnish developer Housemarque officially announces Stormdivers, an upcoming battle royale game with a science fiction theme. The first full trailer for this is now online, showing off combat, vehicles, weapons, and other gadgets, and a concluding message suggesting we sign up for the beta on the Stormdivers Website. Here's the announcement:
Veteran Finnish development studio Housemarque today announced their new IP for PC, Stormdivers, and released a Gamescom trailer offering the first glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming release in 2019. Set in a near future dystopia, Stormdivers is a sci-fi themed 3rd person battle royale game, featuring chaotic battles and volatile explosions amidst a recurring nano-storm that swallows the beautiful and lush island surroundings. Following their “arcade is dead” announcement, the team is ready to take the battle royale genre by storm utilising their strengths in creating engaging gameplay and cutting edge visual effects.

“With Stormdivers we are entering new grounds as a studio that for over 20 years has been known for creating arcade coin-op inspired games,” said Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Housemarque. “We began its development when battle royale was still a niche gameplay mode, yet despite the number of BR games on the market now, Stormdivers will excite players with its fast-paced gameplay, metagame, classes and various events, all packaged with Housemarque’s trademark high-quality visual effects. Stormdivers is more than just another battle royale game, and we plan to roll out new content regularly in the future to continuously expand the experience. We invite everyone to check out the trailer to see what we have in store!”

Stormdivers, a rare breed of special operators, descend on an abandoned island where a dangerous nano-experiment-gone-wrong has created a permanent artificial storm system that devours everything in sight. Daring teams and solo operators who are brave enough to dive into the eye of the recurring nano storm are trying not only to survive the competition but also the island itself, with endless threats looming around every corner. Those who can master speed, surprise and take the high ground will reap the benefits of exotic loot. Developed in Unreal Engine and backed by Amazon GameLift, Steam, Stormdivers is planned to expand with other modes and content including PvE co-op missions, new playable areas, classes and more.
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Guacamelee! 2 Released

Guacamelee! 2 is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a return to the Mexiverse in this action/platformer sequel. This post covers the news, and offers two coupon codes which are good for the coming week. One is 10% off for all Steam users, and the other is 10% off for owners of the first Guacamelee, and the coupons stack so it's actually 20% off for those who own the original. Here's the launch trailer, and here's a description of the game:
Brawling has never been more beautiful! The long-awaited sequel to the smash hit action-platformer is here: Guacamelee! 2 brings luchador Juan Aguacate out of retirement for a stunning new Metroidvania-style adventure, where he must face his greatest challenge yet - one that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of the Mexiverse!

Explore a huge, hand-crafted world inspired by Mexican culture and folklore, filled with sassy new villains and weirdos (and a few old friends!). Learn a deep repertoire of bone-crunching wrestling moves to fend off the skeletal hordes and overcome skillful platforming challenges... and who said anything about a Chicken Illuminati? Certainly not us!
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Devil May Cry 5 in March

Capcom Unity announces a March 8, 2019 release date for Devil May Cry 5, celebrating the news with the gamescom 2018 trailer from the upcoming action/adventure sequel. They also outline a schedule of various shows where they will be demonstrating the game between now and its release. Here's a bit:
It’s been a little over two months since our initial reveal of Devil May Cry 5, and we’ve been itching to share more just as much as you’ve been wanting to know more. You may have seen we just released a brand new trailer on the latest episode of Inside Xbox… but that’s not all, so buckle up and get ready for crazy DMC5 news!

Let’s get this party started with the big news… Devil May Cry 5 now has an official release date: March 8th, 2019!

And since we know you’re salivating for more details, here’s the aforementioned trailer that you can dissect to piece together and analyze all the returning and new tricks you (and your enemies!) can do in battle:

By the way, here are some thought-starters to get your gears going:

  • Each Devil Breaker arm sports a unique look and their set of attacks may vary depending on Nero’s position and input. For example, Gerbera can be used to deflect enemy projectiles, or to propel Nero in an evasive maneuver if you add a directional input.
  • Devil Breakers can… well… break. You can see Nero do that earlier in the trailer (“Sorry, Nico!”), and you do it intentionally, as tactical move to fend off enemies that get a little too close for comfort, or as a tradeoff to each arm’s ultimate move!
  • And to formalize what you just saw at the very end of the trailer, the legendary demon hunter Dante is indeed a playable character in Devil May Cry 5! What do you think of his insane new weapon? ;)

Next up, we’re taking a playable demo of Devil May Cry 5 with us to major events in the coming weeks, which started with a global debut at gamescom today! Here’s a short list of when and where you can find us for now:

Gamescom, Xbox booth - Cologne, Germany; August 22nd through August 27th

PAX West, booth #2019 - Seattle, Washington, USA; August 31st through September 4th

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Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows Announced

Fair Weather Studios announces Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows, an all-new standalone expansion for Ancient Frontier, their sci-fi turn-based strategy game. They say this will come to Steam before the end of this year, playfully calling it an expandalone to stress how it includes the content of the original game and its DLC. "The team at Fair Weather are very excited to announce Steel Shadows," says developer Christian Mosbo. "We took a lot of feedback from Ancient Frontier and have created a more streamlined game that takes the best of Ancient Frontier and makes it even better. We are also pleased to be expanding the universe and lore of the franchise and giving players a glimpse further into the game world we have created." Here's a trailer to show things off, and here is a feature list:

  • A full campaign with over 20 story missions
  • Over 50 procedurally generated side missions
  • Dynamic initiative-based turn-based combat
  • Purchase, outfit, and control the unique pirate faction ships
  • Hire and assign crew members that gain experience and power along with your ships
  • Hire unique mercenaries and ships to add to your fleet
  • Experience over 50 random events
  • Customize your play style by unlocking technologies in an extensive Tech Tree
  • Large, detailed maps to fight across space
  • Three different strategic resources to manage
  • Dozens of different weapon systems and abilities to control
  • Includes both free DLCs; Ancient Frontier - The Crew and Ancient Frontier - Quests and Events

ACE COMBAT 7 in February

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announces the PC edition of ACE COMBAT 7 is due on February 1st in the Americas, which is about two weeks after the aerial combat sequel takes off on consoles. They also offer the gamescom trailer showing off the game and its apparently complicated story. Here's word on the release plans:
ACE COMBAT fans, this is not a drill, suit-up, strap in, and mark your calendars! BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America is excited to announce that attack sorties in ACE COMBAT 7 will commence on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 18, 2019 with the STEAM for PC version taking-off shortly after on February 1, 2019 in the Americas.

The ACE COMBAT franchise has led the way in providing unparalleled aerial combat gameplay to millions of players for over 20 years. Now utilizing Unreal® Engine 4, ACE COMBAT 7 is set to take the franchise to new heights through enhanced graphics delivering dynamic cloud cover (which affects gameplay), detailed particle effects as planes are destroyed in the air, and exclusive PlayStation®VR missions for those playing on the PlayStation 4. With all of the graphical and gameplay enhancements, combined with the deep story narrative the ACECOMBAT franchise is known for; ACE COMBAT 7 is set to be another great chapter in this storied franchise.
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For Honor Free Starter Edition Tomorrow; Arcade Details

Ubisoft announces details about an Arcade Mode they are adding to Marching Fire, the upcoming expansion coming to For Honor, their melee combat game. And to generate as much excitement as possible for the add-on, they announce that the Starter Edition of For Honor will be free on Steam starting tomorrow. This video introduces the Arcade Mode, and the announcement has more details on that, Marching Fire in general, and the Starter Edition:
Marching Fire, the biggest update to For Honor since launch, just got even bigger with the inclusion of a brand new Arcade mode. Launching on October 16, the new PvE content will allow Marching Fire owners to compete in randomly generated combat scenarios of varying difficulty, ensuring that each experience is unique. As you complete challenges, you'll unlock rewards that will allow you to level up your Heroes' gear score and Reputation level. All Hero progress made in Arcade transfers over to multiplayer, making it the perfect place to test out and rank up new Heroes. And, if you want to start preparing for Marching Fire now, you can pick up the Starter Edition of For Honor for free on Steam from August 22 to August 27, or Xbox Live Gold members can get the game for free from now until September 15 via Games With Gold.

Arcade mode focuses on micro-stories within the larger war, and each quest plays out differently. Players start out by selecting a difficulty level (Common, Rare, Heroic, Epic, and Legendary) that corresponds to their own gear score. Your gear score won't lock you out of a challenge, so if you want to tackle a Legendary quest with Common gear feel free, just be warned that a single misstep will likely result in a premature death. Once you pick a quest, you'll jump into individual combat chapters of increasing difficulty, either solo or in co-op. Players who own Marching Fire will also be able to invite any friend to join their co-op session, even if that friend doesn't own Marching Fire.
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The Division 2 Preorders

Ubisoft announces they are now accepting preorders for The Division 2, even though the open world shooter sequel is still around seven months away. The incentive here is the promise of access to a private beta, which will give 72 hours of early access before the official launch on March 15th. Also, "pre-ordering will net you the Capitol Defender Pack, which will start you off with two exclusive in-game items: 'The Lullaby,' an exotic SPAS-12 shotgun, and the Hazmat 2.0 outfit." It's also possible to get beta access without a purchase, you can sign up on this page if you're interested, but it's not clear if this is for the same test as the preorder dealie. They also try to simplify the complicated skew of SKUs for this across multiple platforms, as they have details on a Standard Edition, a Gold Edition (Physical), Gold Edition (Digital), The Digital Ultimate Edition, The Dark Zone Definitive Collector's Edition, and The Phoenix Shield Collector's Edition. They also offer The Division 2 Gamescom 2018 Official Gameplay Trailer narrated by almost George Clooney to celebrate the news. Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Frontier II Early Access Next Week

Developer Creaky Corpse announces Dead Frontier II will officially launch into Steam Early Access on August 31st, offering their MMO survival/horror game with an "ethical free-to-play" business model. Word is: "10 years have passed since the franchise began and Creaky Corpse is excited to finally bring its many loyal fans and new players an impressive feature-rich successor. You play the survivor of an outbreak and your task is to scratch a living out of the decaying ruins of society. Scavenge for supplies, improve your skills, and trade with other players. All the while, keeping your eyes peeled for the infected lurking around every corner." This disturbing trailer celebrates the news, and the announcement has more details, hopefully free of jump-scares:

KEY FEATURES

  • Old-school survival horror awaits in this dark and atmospheric world. Conserve your ammo and make every shot count.
  • Scavenge for scarce resources and rare equipment in the twisting corridors of expansive and ever-changing abandoned buildings
  • Come to the aid of the desperate survivors you encounter along the way, or leave them to their ultimate doom
  • Trade for what you need in a realistic player-driven economy
  • Create your own unique character build by selecting from a huge variety of skills, rare equipment and cosmetic items
  • Work together with other players or operate as a lone wolf
  • Take to the streets and settle scores in gripping PvP
  • Ethical free-to-play. Spending real money will never give you a gameplay advantage. Only cosmetic items and utility upgrades are available from our shop.
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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Trailers

There's a look at the gamescom presentation for Assassin's Creed Odyssey on the Ubisoft Website. This includes the Kassandra cinematic trailer and the Alexios cinematic trailer being played at the show. Here's word from Germany on how the game will transport us to ancient Greece:
At Gamescom, players will investigate a mystery known as the Writhing Dread, which skulks at the heart of a petrified forest – and if you know your Greek mythology, you've already guessed who you'll find there. Medusa is one of several Greek monsters you'll encounter throughout Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and like her, they're designed to be endgame challenges for experienced players to discover.

Even if you're not hunting monsters, challenging foes are everywhere in Ancient Greece. Inspired by the labors of Hercules, Legendary Animals prowl remote areas, and players can test their mettle against the likes of the golden-furred Nemean Lion, the cursed Lykaon Wolf, or the massive Kallisto the Bear. Additionally, stealing or killing can put a bounty on your head, at which point you'll need to contend with powerful wandering Mercenaries who carry powerful gear, wield advanced skills, and often come accompanied by bears, wolves, and other pets. These will track you relentlessly until you either defeat them, pay off your bounty yourself, or hunt down the person who put it on you.

All of these threats pale in comparison to the Cult of Kosmos, a mysterious masked group who use an ancient artifact to manipulate and influence the leaders of the ancient world. You'll have a chance to battle all of these threats on October 5, when Assassin's Creed Odyssey launches on Xbox One, PS4, and PC – and those who pre-order the Gold Edition, Digital Ultimate Edition, Medusa Edition, Spartan Edition, or Pantheon Edition will be able to play three days early, on October 2.
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Star Control: Origins Trailer

Stardock offers the gamescom 2018 trailer for Star Control: Origins, their upcoming continuation of the space strategy series. Channeling their inner Zack Snyder, this "By Any Means Necessary" trailer takes a turn towards the darker side of the story. Here's word on the game's lack of a Prime Directive:
Stardock is pleased to release a brand-new Gamescom trailer for Star Control: Origins that features all-new in-game footage along with a much different tone.

In Star Control: Origins' "By Any Means Necessary" trailer, you'll learn you don't have to be heroic to save humanity. In fact, you don't even need to be nice. Your mission has always been to save humanity by any means necessary - how you do it is up to you.

Will you make friends or enemies? Will you save others during your travels, or destroy them? Will history remember you as a hero or a villain?
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EVE Online Event & New Player Experience Launch

An announcement from EVE Online has details on a special event running from now until September 4th in CCP's outer space MMORPG. Though EVE Online is notorious for the ruthlessness of its hardcore player base, the announcement also discusses progress on their plans to improve the new player experience:
From August 21 through September 4, players of EVE Online, the deep and uniquely player-driven spaceship MMO game from CCP Games, will be able to descend even further into Abyssal Deadspace to uncover the Secrets of the Abyss, unlocking new rewards in exchange for completing treacherous challenges. The update will also bring a revamped New Player Experience (NPE) to EVE Online, with significant quality-of-life improvements to the combat path and a multitude of fixes and changes.

A mysterious group have sabotaged CONCORD's suspect flagging system, leaving the deeper tiers of Abyssal Deadspace open to exploration by all. Participation in the event will see players exploring these pockets of Deadspace across a variety of challenges that they can set by accessing The Agency via their Neocom menu. Completed challenges will see players racking up Agency points that can be exchanged for exceptional rewards. You can now also keep track of your challenge progress from the info panel, as well as claiming your challenge rewards and getting quick access to The Agency home.

The unique and exclusive, time-limited rewards Armor Repairer and Shield Booster Mutaplasmids, three exclusive Singularity Storm SKINs for Triglavian hulls and the Cerebral Accelerator will only be given out for successful completion of event challenges, and only during the Secrets of the Abyss event.

EVE Online's overhauled New Player Experience (NPE) now includes a new basic starter site for rookie pilots, as well as a new Agency UI for training tasks and combat challenges that propel new Alpha Clones into the action faster than ever before.

"The initial state of the new NPE focuses on setting the stage for much bigger things to come. The changes we've made behind the curtains in this installment will allow us to revamp the base experience as a whole, so it introduces EVE Online to new pilots better. Keep your eyes peeled for further updates soon." – said Linzi Campbell, Senior Game Designer

Farming Simulator 19 Trailer

The gamescom trailer for Farming Simulator 19 is now available. This adds a driving soundtrack so this isn't just watching the grass grow, and concludes with the claim that this allows us to "farm like never before," though it's not clear how, so they may just be flinging some fertilizer at us. They do discuss how the new game differs from its predecessors:
Germany is a landmark for the Farming Simulator franchise where it has been met with huge success for the past 10 years, gathering hundreds of thousands of German players, making up an important core of the passionate community.

Gamescom 2018 is thus a perfect opportunity for Farming Simulator 19 to meet the players, who will be free to play a preview version of the new game on the huge Farming Simulator booth (Hall 8.1 - B021), which promises to once again get the public hall rocking!

In the meantime, get a sneak peek of Farming Simulator 19, its new environments and some of its new features in the Gamescom Trailer! These new features include ridable horses, new crops to harvest on detailed new maps and the franchise’s biggest garage accompanied by a complete graphics overhaul.

Farming Simulator 19 promises to be the most complete farming experience ever as the game now brings over 300 authentic vehicles and machines from all the leading brands, now including John Deere - with Case IH, New Holland, Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson, Valtra, Krone, Deutz-Fahr, and many more.
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Ary and the Secret of Seasons Announced

Publisher Modus Games and developers eXiin and Fishing Cactus announce Ary and the Secret of Seasons is currently on display at gamescom, and is coming to Steam and consoles next year. Word is this "is an adventure game introducing the possibility to navigate between all the seasons," something we do with regularity, though the full voyage generally takes a year. The official website is online, offering details, and a teaser trailer from last year and a hyena trailer from earlier this month. Here's more:
Ary and the Secret of Seasons follows the journey of a young girl named Ary across the magnificent world of Valdi. To the surprise of many, Ary has joined the Guardians of Seasons, an old organization traditionally ruled by men. Her task: successfully restore the seasons of Valdi! With strength, determination, and self-control as her pillars, Ary will set out to accomplish a feat no other guardian has ever managed.

Ary can summon small spheres that act as tiny ecosystems for each season, changing the environment within completely. The spheres can be opened up three at a time; thus, Ary can jump from winter to summer to autumn in a single leap. This allows for an incredible range of possibility for amazing environmental puzzles and innovative gameplay.
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Op Ed

Pitts on Plagiarism - Escapist Editorials - The Escapist. Includes an interesting twist at the end.

Breach Announced

QC games announces Breach, an upcoming co-op action/RPG that will be the debut release from this developer formed by BioWare expatriates. This will launch as a free-to-play game next year, but will enter paid early access later this year. They are not going once more into the breach, as this is unrelated to the unsuccessful first-person shooter named Breach that Atomic Games released back in 2011. Word is: "Revitalizing the genre by fusing RPG-like depth, an open class system, and explosive third-person action mechanics, with ever-changing mission challenges, Breach empowers players to build up their ideal hero and battle monsters on a Modern Earth that has collided with a parallel Mythological Earth." The Breach Website is online, offering this announcement trailer. Here are the details:
In Breach, players can choose from dozens of classes with endless customization options and the ability to switch to any class at any time. From the explosive Gunslinger that mixes magic with technology, to the time-bending abilities of the Chronomancer, all the way to the aerial juggling combos of the Auros Gladiator, there’s a play style for every kind of gamer in Breach. In addition to customizing the perfect hero, players can take on the role of the main antagonist, the Veil Demon. Conjure traps, summon elite creatures, and use the power of possession to control enemies including massive boss monsters to prevent heroes from completing mission objectives!

“In Breach, a big focus was to have a constant pace of intense action for any class you want to play,” states Gabe Amatangelo, Game Director and Chief Creative Officer for QC Games. “The combinations of different classes and player styles will create various squad tactics making each play session truly unique. And if you have a human player controlling the Veil Demon, the Breach experience becomes even more dynamic and challenging.”

70,000 years ago, humanity was on the verge of extinction until a group of Immortals created the Veil, splitting Earth into two realities: one reality that features the Earth we know, and an alternate Earth where mythological creatures thrive. Now the Veil has been shattered and the two worlds are collapsing into each other with catastrophic consequences. Players take control of heroes who have been imbued with “The Spark” to master magical abilities. Travel across the world to iconic locations that have been breached by this mystical parallel Earth and clash against legendary mythological enemies as well as an unexplained malevolent spirit, the Veil Demon.
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The Settlers Reboot Announced

A reboot of The Settlers is in the works at Blue Byte in a project led by Volker Wertich, announces Ubisoft, who note that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the real-time strategy series. They also reveal plans to re-release all seven previous installments in a bundle called The Settlers History Collection coming to Uplay PC on November 25th, and that the first game in the collection is available right now. These will include all patches and expansions, as well as updates and enhancements to allow them to play properly with modern PCs and Windows 10. Here are more details on the Settlers reboot from a separate press release on the topic:
Developed by Ubisoft Blue Byte, The Settlers is a build-up strategy game that allows players to settle, explore, and conquer new islands in a medieval fantasy world. Forced to leave their homelands after a devastating cataclysm of mysterious origins, the Settlers set sail towards the unknown in hope of finding a new home. Not only will they face countless new challenges, they will also become part of an ancient mystery that will change their lives forever.

Combining the familiar gameplay mechanics of The Settlers series with new features and state-of-the-art technology, The Settlers is a reboot of the build-up strategy brand. The Settlers will combine the best, yet modernized gameplay elements from previous titles with fresh new features such as the new food system, multi-worker job system and alternative methods of victory. Powered by Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine, The Settlers will deliver stunning visuals and bring back the unique Wuselig, or bustling, feeling, specific to the brand’s DNA. Players can immerse themselves in the world of The Settlers, discovering the innumerable details of the bustling life from the different tribes that make up the colourful open world of The Settlers.

“I am absolutely thrilled about the new The Settlers and especially that Volker Wertich, the inventor of the brand, returns as Creative Director”, says Benedikt Grindel, Managing Director of the Ubisoft Blue Byte studio network, “The love for detail in the game world is fantastic and our team managed to bring the “Wuselig” feeling to new heights.”

The Crew 2 Gator Rush Next Month

Ubisoft announces a September 26th release date for Gator Rush, the first free major content update for The Crew 2. This will include a new hovercraft discipline, and this trailer shows a bunch of eel-free hovercraft being put through their paces in alligator-ridden swamps. Here's more on the plan:
Introduced in the heart of the southern swamps, the all-new hovercraft discipline in the off-road family will have players doing things no other vehicles can do in The Crew 2. With three hovercraft vehicles completely new to the line-up, racers can slide on all kinds of terrain, bump their opponents on a tight corner and land on their competitors after jumping a ramp. In addition to the Bayou, other iconic places across the US map have been redesigned with enhancements such as steep slopes and banked curves. Players can enjoy these enhancements in all-new events, a Live Xtrem Series race and free drive, with new skills available in the open world bringing new locations to explore.

For players who thrive under pressure, The Crew 2 Gator Rush will also include Ace mode, a new difficulty level. Players successful in Ace mode will earn Legendary loot, parts that award better performances, exclusive affix bonuses and new combinations to customize each ride’s performance according to their handling preference.

On September 26, season pass owners will also get seven days early access to two new additional vehicles as part of the game’s monthly vehicle drop.
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Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden in December

Funcom and The Bearded Ladies announce December 4th as the release date for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, their X-COM-inspired turn-based tactical combat game. This brief trailer celebrates the news and the miracle of life in a manner completely unrelated to the game (at least until the armed man-boar bursts in). Here's word:
Publisher Funcom and developer The Bearded Ladies are excited to finally announce the release date for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, the tactical adventure game that combines XCOM-like turn-based tactical combat with real-time stealth and exploration. Launching on December 4th 2018, the game will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 simultaneously.

Announced earlier this year, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden rustled quite a few feathers when it introduced a crossbow-wielding, bipedal, and unusually sassy duck to the otherwise bleak apocalypse genre in its unique and surprising reveal CGI. During this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, Funcom and The Bearded Ladies provided press with the first-ever hands-on demo and received several “Best of E3” awards and nominations, and this week, Funcom and The Bearded Ladies are present at GamesCom giving another updated gameplay demo to press in the business area of the show.
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Battlefield V Introduces The Company

A new trailer for Battlefield V introduces "The Company," which allows you to assemble a customized crew to take onto the battlefields of World War II in DICE's shooter sequel (thanks Don). The description from the clip explains:
Discover 'The Company' in Battlefield V. For the first time ever in Battlefield, assemble a customized collection of soldiers, weapons, and vehicles, and take them on journey through World War 2. Select specialized combat roles for each soldier in your Company, then get the gear to match. Upgrade your vehicles and aircraft – from durability to firepower, the choice is always yours.
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NBA2K19 Free Chapter Next Week

A new trailer called The Way Back from NBA2K19 shows a cinematic that's part of the experience of the upcoming hoops simulation. This comes along with word that a sample of this will be released for free next week: "Players who download the Prelude on August 31 will have the opportunity to play the first chapter of 'The Way Back' for free, in advance of NBA 2K19’s launch." The video features a full cast of Hollywood actors, though not necessarily from the a-list, who are part of your player's journey, which begins in China of all places. Word is: "'The Way Back' begins with you at the center of the experience of a hoops player with NBA dreams working to succeed in the Chinese Basketball League. As you develop your skills and gain recognition in China, the opportunity to return stateside comes when you receive an invitation to play in the G League. Through hard work and perseverance, your chance to play on the main stage in the NBA comes late in the season when a roster spot opens up." Continue here to read the full story.

GOG.com Says FCK DRM

GOG.com announces their FCK DRM initiative (I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat) expressing their opinion on digital rights management. They explain they are seeking to spread their gospel on the topic:
DRM-free approach in games has been at the heart of GOG.COM from day one. We strongly believe that if you buy a game, it should be yours, and you can play it the way it’s convenient for you, and not how others want you to use it.

The landscape has changed since 2008, and today many people don’t realize what DRM even means. And still the DRM issue in games remains – you’re never sure when and why you can be blocked from accessing them. And it’s not only games that are affected, but your favourite books, music, movies and apps as well.

To help understand what DRM means, how it influences your games and other digital media, and what benefits come with DRM-free approach, we’re launching the FCK DRM initiative. The goal is to educate people and ignite a discussion about DRM. To learn more visit https://fckdrm.com, and share your opinions and stories about DRM and how it affects you.

Desperados III Announced

Publisher THQ Nordic and developer Mimimi announce Desperados III, a third installment in this wild west tactics game coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 next year. This draws heavy inspiration from Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive, the first game in the series, where "players command a band of Desperados led by fan-favorite gunslinger John Cooper, who’s hunting down his nemesis." They say: "Desperados III will allow players to approach each mission with a wide variety of routes and solutions. As your gang will always be outnumbered, only smart use of both the environment and each Desperado’s unique character skills will guarantee a victorious outcome." This is shown off in this announcement trailer which shows branching outcomes in a gunfight that seems to involve every citizen of a dusty town. Here's The Desperados Website and here's more on the plan:
Desperados III is a modern real-time tactics game set in a harsh Wild West setting. You take control of a ragtag band as it grows into a highly functional group of unlikely heroes and heroines. These very different and strong personalities struggle to cooperate at first, but ultimately join forces to combine their distinctive specialties and challenge a seemingly superior foe. Hunted by ruthless bandits and corrupt lawmen, the Desperados need to turn the tables with every mission.

Features

  • Command up to five Desperados and use their lethal skills to stealthily thin out the enemy rows.
  • Approach each mission with a huge variety of paths and solutions.
  • Resolve large, seemingly impossible enemy setups with careful planning and perfectly timed executions.
  • Witness the glory of classic Wild West scenarios like frontier towns, desert canyons, Mississippi swamps, sprawling modern cities and many more by day and night.
  • Defeat your foes by going in guns blazing, or choose a more stealthy, non-lethal option. Further adjust the game to your playstyle with various difficulty settings and special replayability challenges.

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BATTLETECH FLASHPOINT in NOVEMBER

Developer Harebrained Schemes and publisher Paradox Interactive announce FLASHPOINT, an expansion coming to BATTLETECH in November. This will add three new mechs along with the add-on's titular flashpoints, described as "high-stakes branching short stories, comprised of procedural mercenary missions linked together with new crew conversations, special events, critical choices, and valuable rewards." They illustrate the news with an announcement trailer and offer the following outline of the project:
Paradox Interactive and Harebrained Schemes today announced that the first-ever BATTLETECH expansion, FLASHPOINT will be available in November 2018, complete with three new ‘Mechs (including the highly anticipated Hatchetman), a challenging new mission type, and a new tropical biome, along with its featured namesake, Flashpoints.

Flashpoints are high-stakes branching short stories, comprised of procedural mercenary missions linked together with new crew conversations, special events, critical choices, and valuable rewards. To ramp up the intensity, some Flashpoint stories will feature “Consecutive Deployments” in which players won’t be able to repair their ‘Mechs between missions.
FLASHPOINT Announcement Trailer

Key Features:

  • Flashpoints - Test your command skills in a series of action-packed short stories, completing extended contracts to earn big bonuses.
  • New Biome - Navigate a lush tropical beach environment, with sunny shores and just a pinch of alien flare, for good measure. Sunscreen optional.
  • New BattleMechs - Get your ‘Mech on with the armor-chopping power of the Hatchetman, the speed and versatility of the Crab, and the multi-range firepower of the Cyclops.
  • New Encounter - In “Target Acquisition”, you’ll put your light and medium ‘Mechs to good use by taking control of three territories on the map to prevail!

“Flashpoint stories give us the flexibility to design a huge variety of experiences, all with different sequences, events, challenges, decisions, rewards, etc. We’re combining core gameplay mechanics in new ways to create deeper content,” said Mitch Gitelman, BATTLETECH Game Director and co-founder of Harebrained Schemes. “These more elaborate, longer-term objectives are an awesome interactive storytelling tool, which we think BATTLETECH fans will really enjoy,” added Jordan Weisman, CEO and Creator of BattleTech.

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Shenmue III Next August

Koch Media and YS Net Inc. announce a release date for Shenmue III, saying the RPG sequel will launch for PC and PlayStation 4 on August 27, 2019. The news comes with a new trailer previewing the game's "prophecy." Here's a refresher:
Shenmue III sees the continuation of the epic story-driven saga. The player controls teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki as he investigates his father's murder.

Players must explore the game's open world, searching for clues, examining objects and talking to non-player characters for information, taking them further into enemy territory, deeper into mystery, and even closer to their destiny.

About Shenmue III
Shenmue III is the eagerly anticipated sequel to Dreamcast classics Shenmue (1999) and Shenmue II (2001). The brainchild of award-winning game director, Yu Suzuki, Shenmue set out to combine action gameplay from his arcade classic Virtua Fighter with RPG mechanics to weave a long-form epic for home consoles. Commonly known as one of the most ambitious game projects in history, Shenmue captured the imagination of players from around the world with its unique setting, intimate and cinematic character-focused story, realistic battles, and fun mini-games. Many of the features pioneered in Shenmue is now commonplace in modern games, including open world and Quick Time Event gameplay. Shenmue III was officially announced on stage at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference and simultaneously launched on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, breaking two Guinness World Records upon raising over $6 million dollars. The game is currently in development at Yu Suzuki’s independent company, Ys Net, located in Tokyo along with many original Shenmue team members.
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Shenmue I & II Released

Along with the Shenmue III news we have word that Shenmue I & II is now available for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, offering the chance to play the first two installments in this RPG series. This is a first for all three platforms, and the first time these games have appeared for PCs. The launch trailer looks at what to expect, and the announcement discusses the labor of love to rerelease both games:
The re-release of Shenmue I & II is the definitive version of these all-time classics with all the original features intact such as enthralling jujitsu combat, investigative sleuthing, real-time open worlds, RPG elements and memorable mini-games. The re-release also adds modernised features such as updated user interface and controls, the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers and on PC only, scalable screen resolution and PC graphics options.

"SEGA Europe has wanted to re-release the Shenmue series for such a long time and thanks to tireless work behind the scenes, it is our pleasure to bring these games back, laden with accolades as one of the greatest gaming series of all time, for gamers of all generations," said John Clark, Executive Vice President of Publishing at SEGA Europe. "We can't wait for gamers to jump into this piece of gaming history and experience the magic of Shenmue I & II for themselves."

Shenmue I & II is available to purchase now worldwide (excluding Japan) from participating physical retailers and digitally via first party stores for Xbox One and Playstation 4. PC players can purchase the games digitally via Steam or from a SEGA approved digital retailer*.

For all the latest information on Shenmue I & II, head over to: https://shenmue.sega.com/
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Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment Re: Leased

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is now available on Steam, offering Windows gamers the chance to play the director's cut of this "MMO-like" RPG. The PC launch trailer shows the game in action, and we have some details to share from the announcement:
Set in a MMO-like simulated world, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment features an original story based on the hit light novel and anime, Sword Art Online. In Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment, players will play as the main character, Kirito, and traverse floor after floor of Aincrad to break free from being locked within the virtual game world.

Featuring a dynamic combat system, players make direct contact with monsters and characters in the world for action-packed battles with RPG gameplay. PC players will now be able to experience the battles with flashy attacks, exhilarating combos, burst attacks and more, by purchasing the game on STEAM.
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The Sinking City Rises in March

Frogwares announces a March 21st release date for The Sinking City, their upcoming H.P. Lovecraft-inspired action game for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The accompany the news with a new cinematic trailer called Death May Die, showing one should fear the sea monsters even on dry land. There's also this gameplay video showing off over 11 minutes of The Sinking City being shown off at gamescom. The text accompanying the clip is pretty abstract, so we'll fall back on its description for more:
He believed he’d be able to rip loose the veil clouding his lost memories, and bring to light the horrors hiding inside, biding their time to submerge the world. At least, that’s how he saw things…

Dive into The Sinking City, an adventure and investigation game set in an open world inspired by the universe of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of Horror. The half-submerged city of Oakmont is gripped by supernatural forces. You are a private investigator and you have to uncover the truth of what has possessed the city… and the minds of its inhabitants.
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LEGO DC Super-Villains Trailer

Here's a story trailer from LEGO DC Super-Villains, showing off the organizational skills of all the bad-guys from the DC Comics universe who are the good guys in this game. Word is they were just being evil because all the benevolent positions were already taken:
In LEGO DC Super-Villains, the Justice League has disappeared, leaving Earth’s protection to a newcomer group of heroes from a parallel universe, proclaiming themselves as the ‘Justice Syndicate’. Renowned DC Super-Villains from the ‘Legion Of Doom’ discover Earth’s newest heroes may not be the heroes they claim to be. With each player’s completely customizable Super-Villain character in command, this team of misfit lawbreakers must join forces to discover and foil the evil plans the incognito strangers have in store.
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