Archived News:

Friday, Dec 07, 2018

Insurgency: Sandstorm Open Beta

Steam now offers open beta testing of Insurgency: Sandstorm, offering the chance to help vet the Windows version of this first-person shooter sequel. This post offers a gameplay overview trailer along with details on how this works and what developer New World Interactive hopes to accomplish:
Starting today and running through the weekend, an open beta period will invite everyone to try the game for free on Steam. This includes every map, weapon, coop & PvP game mode and all other content found in the final game.

Competitive matchmaking will be available on full release. The game is now playable totally for free to everyone on PC for this limited period between 8am PST today through 9am PST Monday. We look forward to your feedback and we hope you enjoy the beta this weekend!

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a game of team-based tactics and objective-oriented gameplay in a fictional, contemporary Middle Eastern conflict, complete with player versus player, competitive matchmaking and co-operative game modes versus AI. Your soldier’s appearance, weapons, attachments, armor, and equipment are all up to you. Call in airstrikes, use vehicles with mounted weapons, and equip a wide range of specialist weaponry from grenades to drones to C4 explosives.

Prepare for a hardcore depiction of combat with deadly ballistics, light attack vehicles, destructive artillery, and unprecedented audio design putting the fear back into the genre. Death comes fast, ammunition must be carefully managed, and the environment must be tactically navigated at every step toward victory.

We also invite you to read the latest blog [] by our CEO, Jeremy Blum where he discusses the future of Insurgency: Sandstorm and what you can look forward to as we continue to update the game!

Those who pre-order Insurgency: Sandstorm receive a 10% discount as well as an exclusive in-game tattoo cosmetic to show their veterancy in the years to come. An additional 10% loyalty discount will be given to fans that own the original Insurgency. This additional discount will be offered until the end of March 2019.

Insurgency: Sandstorm releases December 12 on PC and the free Open Beta weekend starts today. Insurgency: Sandstorm will come to consoles in 2019.
Continue here to read the full story.

Battlerite Royale Free Weekend

Steam is offering a free weekend for Battlerite Royale, offering the chance to check out this Early Access battle royale variant on their mini-MOBA. In a related note, a "Winter Mega Patch" is expected next week kicking off a Yuletide holiday event, and this page has the details on that. Back to the free weekend, it's accompanied by a 50% off sale on the game, which is described below:
Explore the fantastical Talon Island in a thrilling fusion between a MOBA and Battle Royale game. Choose your Champion and master their unique abilities, loot for treasures alone or with a friend, and rise above the competition in a top-down action-fest. Only the best survive to the end!

Tooth and Tail Free Weekend

Tooth and Tail is free to play this weekend on Steam, offering the chance to sample Pocketwatch Games' Windows, macOS, and Linux real-time strategy offering (thanks Ant). Those who enjoy the experience can pick the game up while it's on sale for 75% off. Those who don't enjoy it can do so as well, we won't judge. Here's a bit on what this involves:
Lead the revolution with an army of flamethrowing Boars, mustard gas-lobbing Skunks, and paratrooper-puking Owls. Tooth and Tail is a Real-Time-Strategy game featuring Single Player, Online Competitive Play, Split Screen, Replays, and more. Build a base, lead your army, eat your enemies!

Evening Mobilization

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: FLATLINE: How The Amiga Languished. Thanks Ant.

Path of Exile Betrayal Launches

The countdown on the Path of Exile Website has reached zero, marking the Windows launch of Betrayal, the new expansion for Path of Exile, Grinding Gear's action/RPG. Xbox One gamers don't have long to wait for their version of this, as it is due on Monday. Here is the official trailer showing off what they say is the game's largest expansion of the year, and here is the announcement:
Grinding Gear Games announced today that they have launched the largest expansion of 2018 for their award-winning RPG, Path of Exile, Path of Exile: Betrayal for the PC. The expansion will be available for the Xbox One on Monday, December 10, 2018.

In Path of Exile: Betrayal, you must accompany Jun Ortoi as she investigates a mysterious organization known as the Immortal Syndicate. With Jun's help, manipulate and influence the eighteen members of the Syndicate in order to further your investigation. Each Syndicate member has their own personality, with alliances and rivalries that can change based on your actions. You'll need to bargain, interrogate, and possibly even execute a few of them in order to progress.

Path of Exile: Betrayal New Features Include:

  • Raid Syndicate Safehouses - Pillage supplies, earn great rewards and discover the ultimate identity of the Immortal Syndicate's mastermind
  • Veiled Items - Immortal Syndicate members drop items with new Veiled Modifiers that Jun can reveal. As you unveil modifiers, you can craft these on to other items and work towards unlocking higher level versions of these properties.
  • New Masters, Familiar Faces - As the Immortal Syndicate have risen to power, the old cohort of Forsaken Masters has vanished. Einhar, Alva, Niko, Zana and Jun have ascended as a new group of Masters to aid you.
  • Streamlined Mastercrafting - Individual Mastercrafting options are now unlocked by completing specific content, such as Incursion rooms or Delve encounters. The entire process has been improved - from the user interface to the way you acquire new crafting options
  • Unified Hideout System - Hideout, favor and decorations are now shared across all leagues. Players can load and save hideout templates and share them with other PoE players.
  • New End-Game Maps - The Atlas of Worlds has expanded with four new maps - more detailed versions of fan favorites from deep in Delve's Azurite Mine.
  • New Skills and New Powerful Items - Betrayal introduces 10 new or revamped skills for three core character archetypes and 15 new unique items (many with Veiled mods), as well as 5 new Divination Cards designed by PoE community members.

Continue here to read the full story.

Anthem Demo in February

EA announces plans for demos for Anthem they will launch early next year to provide a first look at BioWare's upcoming mech action game. A VIP demo is coming on January 25th as a reward for preorder customers and Origin Access subscribers, and this will open up on February 1st to allow everyone to check this out. Here's the Game Awards trailer with a cinematic introduction to the concept for those who haven't seen Pacific Rim, and the full announcement follows:
Today Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) announced the dates for the VIP Demo of Anthem™, as well as the Open Demo. Fans who pre-order Anthem*, as well as EA Access and Origin Access subscribers**, will get access to the VIP Demo on January 25, 2019†, and all players will have a chance to step into their Javelins and experience Anthem for themselves on February 1, 2019. Both Demos will be available on Origin for PC, Xbox One and PS4. VIP Demo players will be the first Freelancers to face the dangers of the world of Anthem, and will receive an in-game item celebrating their trailblazing spirit.

“It’s time for the fans to get their hands on Anthem and experience it for themselves,” said Mike Gamble, Lead Producer for Anthem. “We truly hope they enjoy this taste of flying and fighting in this brand-new world our team has been crafting for many years.”

Last night at The Game Awards BioWare™ also unveiled the latest trailer for Anthem, providing the most in-depth look yet at the game’s villain, The Monitor, and his grand designs. The trailer also introduced some of the dangers lurking in the world that players will face as they try and quell the chaotic powers of the Anthem of Creation.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Games Store Launches

The Epic Games Store is now live. This post covers the news with a launch trailer and the following:
The Epic Games store is now open, featuring awesome high-quality games from other developers. Our goal is to bring you great games, and to give game developers a better deal: they receive 88% of the money you spend, versus only 70% elsewhere. This helps developers succeed and make more of the games you love.

The first games on the store are Hades by Supergiant Games, Ashen by Annapurna/A44, and Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek by tinyBuild, and they’re available now!

Hades is the rogue-like dungeon crawler from the creators of Bastion and Transistor. It is available in early access, with updates to come every month until full release later in 2019.

Ashen is an action RPG about a wanderer in search of a home. You can forge relationships in the game, inviting other players to join your camp - they might just help you succeed.

Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek is the prequel to Hello Neighbor, the stealth horror hit. Find out what happened right before the events of the main game.

The store will also feature one free game every two weeks throughout 2019. Epic is funding these free releases so you always have something new to come and check out. The first free game will be Subnautica, available from Dec 14th to Dec 27th, followed by Super Meat Boy from Dec 28th to Jan 10th.

The Epic Games store will be growing throughout 2019 and beyond, as it opens up more widely to other games.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age The Dread Wolf Rises Teased

A world premiere trailer from last night's Game Awards teases Dragon Age The Dread Wolf Rises, revealing the title of the next installment in the RPG series. That's about all it reveals, as it is 60 seconds of logos. In fact, it concludes by rubbing our faces in all that it does not address, saying "So, you've found me at last. I suspect you have questions." There's a follow up on the BioWare Blog that adds a little more, though not much. Here's word:
We have been working on a new Dragon Age™ game for quite a while now and I am pleased to finally tease the existence of this project!

While we won’t be sharing any details for now, I can tell you we have been building a new team around a core of Dragon Age veterans, people I’ve worked with on Dragon Age, Jade Empire™, and some of whom I’ve worked with since the Baldur’s Gate days.

While I have been focused on Anthem™, the rest of the team has been hard at work exploring ways to push BioWare’s storytelling to the next level.

I’m so excited to show you more!

Mark Darrah, Executive Producer
Continue here to read the full story.

RAGE 2 in May

A new trailer (NSFW) for RAGE 2 shows off the open-world gameplay in the upcoming first-person shooter sequel from Avalanche Studios. This is action-packed, and also shows off a more humorous approach than id Software's original Rage, suggesting more of a Borderlands vibe this time around. Word is the game will be released on May 14, 2019, almost exactly a year after the release of the first RAGE 2 gameplay trailer. Word is:
The wasteland of RAGE 2 is your playground – your very bloody playground –and in a world where there are no rules, insanity rules. Go anywhere, shoot anything, explode everything. RAGE 2 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on May 14, 2019.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blood Rerelease Plans

Publisher Atari and developer Nightdive Studios announce Blood is the next game to get the update treatment from Nightdive, who have already released updated versions of System Shock, System Shock 2, Turok, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, and Forsaken. This is not actually surprising, as they teased this announcement just five weeks ago. Released in 1997, Blood is a first-person shooter developed by Monolith with the Build engine that powered Duke Nukem 3D, and they call the rerelease "impending," and that we can expect more details "in the coming weeks." Here's the plan:
Iconic game publisher Atari® has selected Nightdive Studios – a dedicated team of industry veterans committed to restoring the classic PC game titles of the past and making them accessible to a new generation of gamers – to revamp the classic Atari-owned Adventure-Horror PC title Blood. Originally developed by Monolith Productions and released in 1997, Blood remains a fan-favorite and will receive enhancements to improve the action-packed, horrifying game experience.

The team working on the game at Nightdive Studios includes lead engine developer Samuel “Kaiser” Villarreal, whose previous work includes The Original Strife, Turok, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and, most recently, Forsaken Remastered. Additionally, developers Edward Richardson, James Haley, and producer Daniel Grayshon will be working on the project.

Regarding the upgrading effort, Daniel said: “Blood stood up extremely well over time and we are taking care to preserve all the qualities that made the game so special. It really only needs minor updates to provide a better user experience for contemporary audiences. By using some of the functions of Nightdive’s KEX engine, we’ll be able to provide compatibility with today’s video standards, with DirectX and Vulkan support.”
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Mortal Kombat 11 Announced

WBIE announces Mortal Kombat 11, a next installment in this classic fighting game series in development at NetherRealm Studios for release on April 23, 2019 for PC and consoles. They offer this announce trailer, but say a global gameplay reveal is expected on January 17th. That's not stopping them from accepting preorders, which get underway today. Here's the plan:
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced Mortal Kombat 11, the newest game in the award-winning franchise. The official Mortal Kombat 11 Announce Trailer sets the stage for an epic, time bending story and features an original music track created in collaboration with multi-platinum selling rapper 21 Savage. Mortal Kombat 11 is developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios and is scheduled for release beginning April 23, 2019 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®4 Pro computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch™ system and PC.

The official Mortal Kombat 11 Announce Trailer is viewable here:

The song by 21 Savage featured in the trailer is titled “Immortal” and overlays scenes of an epic battle between two iconic characters, Dark Raiden and Scorpion, with a tease of a new character who is at the center of Mortal Kombat 11’s story.
Continue here to read the full story.

Katamari Damacy REROLL Rolls Out

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment is on a reroll, as they announce Katamari Damacy REROLL is now available for Windows on Steam, offering updated high definition graphics for this game that penalizes you if you slow your roll. This trailer shows off what's updated as well as what's not, as the dialogue is Japanese with English subtitles. Here's word:
Leading video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announced that Katamari Damacy REROLL™ is now available digitally for Nintendo Switch® and PC via STEAM® in the Americas for $29.99. A physical version of Katamari Damacy REROLL for Nintendo Switch is also available exclusively at participating GameStop locations in the United States of America and EB Games locations in Canada. Get ready to roll your way through quirky levels and immerse yourself into the colorful and playful world of Katamari Damacy REROLL!

After a lively night in the cosmos, the King of All Cosmos has realized he has knocked out all the stars in the sky, and tasks his son, The Prince, to go to Earth and recreate the stars with his adhesive Katamari ball. As The Prince rolls his ball, he picks up items ranging in sizes, from a small paperclip to an entire continent, letting nothing stop him. Players will go through levels as The Prince and gather progressively larger items to beat each level’s ‘par’ size before the timer runs out. Katamari Damacy REROLL features remastered graphics and cut scenes as well as new motion controls optimized for the Nintendo Switch. Players will be able to easily maneuver The Prince with just a turn of their wrists using the Joy-Con® controllers.
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Kenshi Released

Kenshi is now out of Early Access with its official launch on Steam, offering a free-roaming, squad-based RPG with an emphasis on being an open-ended sandbox. This post covers the release and offers this launch trailer with a look at gameplay. Here's more on the game:
A free-roaming squad based RPG focusing on open-ended sandbox gameplay features rather than a linear story. Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a warlord, an adventurer, a farmer, a slave, or just food for the cannibals.

Research new equipment and craft new gear. Purchase and upgrade your own buildings to use as safe fortified havens when things go bad, or use them to start up a business. Aid or oppose the various factions in the world while striving for the strength and wealth necessary to simply survive in the harsh desert. Train your men up from puny victims to master warriors. Carry your wounded squad mates to safety and get them all home alive.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rust Anniversary Update

Face Punch Studios celebrates this month's fifth anniversary of the launch of Rust with the release of a new Electric Anniversary patch adding electrical components to the survival game. This video offers a quick look at how this adds a new charge to gameplay, and they offer examples of how this can be used to make a clock or timer or even build a computer. Word is: "We now have a fully functional logic gate system in Rust. It's a real game changer, in a year that's already seen Rust add cargo ships and hot air balloons." Here's more on the update: "Celebrating Rust's 5th anniversary with a huge update: electricity is here, enabling players to build elaborate defensive contraptions and other amazing devices. This patch wipes the servers. Enjoy!" This fifth anniversary is one of the topics of this post where Garry looks back on what 2018 meant to the studio as well as plans for 2019. Finally, for statisticians, they offer some lifetime stats for the game:

  • Rust has sold 7,457,075 copies
  • Most popular countries are US, Russia, China, UK, Korea - in that order
  • Rust is on the wishlist of 1,668,876 steam accounts
  • Rust had 71,801 concurrent players online in November this year - a new record high
  • 4,489,297 skins have been sold in the Rust Items Store
  • The skin creators have earned $1,903,164.70
  • Items have been sold 20,091,729 times on the marketplace
  • To date, Rust has grossed $110,313,646 (including VAT, DLC, bundles, in-game sales)

Continue here to read the full story.

Survived By Early Access

Early Access to Survived By is now available on Steam, offering a roguelite bullet-hell shooter that's free-to-play for Windows. This marks the open beta phase for the game, and word is developer "Human Head is prepared to jump into a new, larger phase of development through extensive Steam community feedback, iteration and improvement." They also promise exclusive gifts for beta participants. This trailer offers a look at what to expect, and here are more details:
Key Features in Survived By Include:

  • Approachable yet Challenging: As a new player, jumping into the battle in the Heartland is easy and rewarding. Log-in for rewards, escape into a variety of dungeons, and play around with the expanded customization options like character dyes, skins, and attachments. Survived By offers great challenges and rewards for those with hours to invest and explore, while still being fun for those who only have time for quick play sessions.
  • Permadeath is Just the Beginning: Unlike other bullet hell rougelites, players regenerate health, survive longer, and don't need to dodge everything to stay alive. But every time a player dies, they lose almost everything. With the game's unique Ancestral Legacy system, they're survived by a new descendant who carries a small part of their legacy (game DNA) with them the next time they play.
  • Building With the Community: Since Closed Beta, Survived By has updated frequently with new content and exciting features such as storyline quests, dungeons and rotating events, built with its community's voice and desires in mind. With Steam Early Access, we'll continue to grow the Heartland alongside our players.
  • Craft Weapons to Slay the Hordes: Players craft and wield powerful projectile weapons as they confront an array of Beasts on their journey. Arming themselves with magic, steel and special abilities, players craft increasing deadly weapons that provide tactical options tailored to their character class. Examples of weapon upgrades range from a single bullet that can pass through multiple enemies to a short-range blast of multiple waving projectiles, to name just a couple. There is so much more!
  • Gorgeous Pixel-Art World: Team up with friends and others to explore a huge beautifully rendered pixel-art world. Journey through imaginative, expansive landscapes that tweak familiar Western fantasy concepts with seemingly impossible situations, adorable looking miniature characters, and witty dialog, all set in a colossal living tree.
  • Fair Free-To-Play Model: Survived By is designed as a fair free-to-play experience that's fun for everyone, not just those who pay. No part of progression is locked away behind a paywall. Players are encouraged to trade items such as attachments, dyes, skins, and more with other players using Bloodstones and Electrum.

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Iris.Fall Drops

Publisher Zodiac Interactive and developer NEXT Studio announce the release of Iris.Fall, a dark puzzle game for Windows. This is available for Windows on Steam, and carries a 20% launch discount. This post covers the release, but since we can't read Chinese, this is all Greek to us. Luckily, we have a gameplay trailer which speaks for itself, and an English press release to compensate for our linguistic shortcomings. Here's that, in case you are similarly challenged:
In Iris.Fall players take on the role of a young girl, Iris, as she explores a dilapidated theatre led by an an enigmatic black cat. Along the way she discovers the ability to travel between two worlds, one of light and the other of shadow. Using this newfound power and her own wits, she must navigate puzzles and obstacles to learn the secrets of her past.

Iris.Fall Key features

  • Unique monochrome art style
    The game’s visuals use a pure black-and-white cartoon style, relying on the transition between light and shadow to create a distinct experience, both exquisite and visually impactful.
  • Fusing gameplay and the “light & shadow” system
    The concept of “light and shadow” runs throughout the design of the game’s art, story, and puzzles. By switching between light and shadow, players can pass through the two realities, experiencing the unique interlacing of black and white, light and shadow, 2D and 3D.
  • Immersive story experience
    Become fully immersed in the plot through the stylized and suspenseful atmosphere of the setting and story. Progress in the game feels more like the player’s spiritual exploration.

Continue here to read the full story.

Biomutant Sizzle Reel

A new video they call a sizzle reel for Biomutant, showing off the upcoming action/RPG. There's a lot of dancing along the way, but it does also feature some gameplay to get your bacon heated. Word is: "Combine Mutant Powers, Bionics and Weapons in this original Action RPG, coming 2019! Explore a world in turmoil and define its fate – will you be the hero and saviour or lead it to an even darker destiny?" Here's more on what this will bring:
BIOMUTANT® is an open-word, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG, with a unique martial arts styled combat system allowing you to mix melee, shooting and mutant ability action.

  • A NEW TAKE ON 3rd PERSON COMBAT: The martial arts style combat system allows you maximum freedom of movement and agility while mixing shooting, melee and powers from your mutations.
  • EVOLVE YOUR GAME-PLAY: You’ll be able to recode your genetic structure to change the way you look and play.
  • NEXT LEVEL OF CRAFTING: Mix and match parts to create your own unique single- or double-handed slash, crush and pierce melee weapons.
  • GEAR UP FOR ADVENTURE: You have full freedom when equipping your character. Not only when it comes to choosing weapons you created, but also what type of gear you wear.
  • SURVIVE IN A VIBRANT OPEN WORLD: You’ll create your own adventure as you journey explore the open world and what lies beneath its surface, by foot, mech, jet-ski, air-balloon and more.
  • AN UNUSUAL STORY WITH AN UNUSUAL END: A plague is ruining the land and the Tree-of-Life is bleeding death from its roots. The Tribes stand divided, in need of someone strong enough to unite them or bring them all down...

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming Motherboard on Play3r.
  • Creative Sound BlasterX G6 7.1 External Gaming Audio DAC on Hardware Asylum.
  • Crucial P1 NVMe 1TB and 500GB SSD on LanOC Reviews.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Graphics Card on Phoronix. Linux gaming benchmarks.
  • Ooma Smart Home Security System on Big Bruin.
  • The Seagate BarraCuda (500GB) SSD on AnandTech.
  • Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Leather Edition on PC Invasion.


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