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Friday, Apr 19, 2019

Two Worlds II: Shattered Embrace Announcement

Publisher TopWare Interactive and developer Reality Pump Studios officially announce Shattered Embrace, a final expansion for Two Worlds II that's expected in Q3 of this year. This was actually first mentioned three years ago with the announcement of Two Worlds III. Word is this conclusion to the game will be available individually, as part of the season pass, or as part of a new standalone version. Here are some screenshots, and here's word:
TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump Studios are thrilled to announce the epic conclusion to the Two Worlds II saga with this all new adventure, "Shattered Embrace", as DLC and as Stand Alone version, both set for release in Q3-2019!

A host of strange allies, vicious villains, savage beasts and a brand new, sprawling tropical island setting await you in this upcoming DLC that wraps up the events of Two Worlds II: Call Of The Tenebrae with an explosive finish!

Featuring over ten hours of gameplay, one hundred new weapons, fifteen new sets of armor, new guilds to join, destructive spells to cast and the ability to travel to new, never before seen dimensions, Two Worlds II: Shattered Embrace brings this long running Two Worlds adventure to a close!

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More Randy Pitchford on Steam and the EGS

Randy Pitchford has continued to grind his ax against Steam on Twitter, to the extent that they've been collected into a lengthy Reddit post to make it easier to understand the Gearbox boss's position (thanks Ars Technica). This includes a TL;DR of the TL;DR, saying "Competition good, Steam bad." Here's the longer TL;DR from which that is distilled:
He believes that what we are currently experiencing with EGS is only a mild annoyance towards something that is ultimately very good because Valve had a stranglehold on PC distribution and that is bad.

He believes that in a year or two, EGS will be far more developed than Steam, because Epic is not as complacent as Valve. (I would like to note that Tim Sweeney believes that Steam even has too many features, so Randy is pretty much incorrect)

He thinks that Epic will eventually beat Valve and that in about a decade Steam might be a dying platform, or at least whichever platform is the dominant it will not be Steam. Randy also thinks that the fact that Valve is privately owned is a disadvantage (lol) and compares them with Epic whose outside investors (Tencent, yup, he considers it a good thing) are insisting on constant growth and reinvestment into the business.

Finally, he believes that years from now we will look back to the day that Bl3 came to EGS as an amazing day for gaming because the ''Steam monopoly'' officially died.

Beyond the Veil Released

Beyond the Veil is now available on Steam, offering the promised bullet hell shooter/RPG for Windows that hopefully does not go beyond the pale. The news comes with new video that offer a weirdly wordy look at gameplay. Here's what you need to know about this:
Solo developer Incubator Creations is pleased to announce that their classic bullet hell and shoot ‘em up inspired debut title Beyond the Veil is now available on Steam. Combining RPG, shoot ‘em up and bullet hell elements, Beyond the Veil takes players on a cerebral story-rich journey in a post-apocalyptic world.
Taking on the role of The Wanderer players will explore the derelict tombs of the Gods in the Five Kingdoms, as they try to uncover why the Gods have abandoned humanity and how to get them back. The journey is not without peril though as players will face a variety of enemies, contend with dynamic weather and have to collect valuable resources to ensure their survival.

Combat in Beyond the Veil harkens to classic top-down shooters while the onslaught of friendly and enemy fire will appeal to bullet hell fans. RPG elements add an additional level of depth to Beyond the Veil as players will be able to develop their character’s abilities. They can choose to take on timed trials to gain powerful stats and passive abilities or earn weapons and items to help turn the tide of combat.
Every playthrough of Beyond the Veil provides players with a unique experience as procedurally generated maps and an ever-changing climate make each journey a challenge. Real-time bloody battles will keep players guessing and analyzing every enemy move, while resource management will present an additional challenging and unpredictable variable for players to contend with.
Continue here to read the full story.

ONE PIECE WORLD SEEKER: The Void Mirror Prototype This Summer

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announces The Void Mirror Prototype as the first DLC coming to ONE PIECE WORLD SEEKER with new content for the action/adventure game. The short announcement they sent along doesn't include a release window, but it did mention a new trailer, and the description of this says to expect this in early summer. It also says: "Ready to become the greatest swordsman in the world? Prepare to harness the strength and stealth of "Pirate Hunter" Zoro!" Here's the announcement:
In The Void Mirror Prototype DLC, players take on the persona of Zoro and engage in intense battles using his Santoryu battle style as he works to uncover the secrets behind a mysterious robotics factory. The Void Mirror Prototype will be available digitally on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and PC via STEAM for $9.99 or as part of the ONE PIECE WORLD SEEKER Season Pass.
Continue here to read the full story.

World of Goo Graphics Update Plans

PC Gamer follows up on the news of plans to release World of Goo for free on the Epic Games Store. Word is the game is getting a rework to better suit it to modern systems, since the ten-year old game was built with 4:3 aspect ratio 800x600 graphics. This will eventually come as a free update to the game on other platforms, but at first will only be available on the Epic Games Store. Here's more:
"The last time we built the PC version of World of Goo was ten years ago, way back in 2009. The game ran at a 4:3 aspect ratio and at a resolution of 800x600. Most computers now can't even enter that old 800x600 mode without the screen flashing or glitching. The game would also crash your computer if you had more than one monitor hooked up," World of Goo designer, artist, and composer Kyle Gabler explained.

"So over the last few months, we've rebuilt the game for Win / Mac / Linux and it should now work nicely again on everyone's modern computers. It'll run by default at a modern widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, and at whatever size you want. We also made a lot of improvements over the years for other platforms, like Nintendo Switch, so we brought over those improvements as well."

Those improvements include doubling the resolution of all graphics—800x600 does not look super-great on big, modern displays—with "high quality upscaling tools to start," and then tweaking by hand. For die-hard old-school types, an option to use the original graphics will also be available.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Mortal Kombat 11 Launch Trailer

The Official Launch Trailer (NSFW) for Mortal Kombat 11 offers a cinematic look at NetherRealm Studios' new installment in the seminal fighting series. The game is set to launch on Tuesday, and the clip focuses on the story elements of the game, which includes time-travel elements. Word is: "Kronika has signaled for a new era to begin as she tries to rewind time to its beginning and restart history." WB Games also offers this trailer to unveil Shao Kahn, a character that will be included for those who preorder the game. Unlike the launch trailer, the Shao Kahn video includes some gameplay. Continue here to read the full story.

BOSSGARD Early Access

BOSSGARD is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering a Windows multiplayer game with asymmetrical combat that allows one player to be the boss, like a boss. You can see this in action in the launch trailer. Here are the details on the game, including word on its lack of microtransactions or loot boxes:
The game explores boss-battles at its core as it holds together both fighting the Boss and fighting AS THE BOSS. “We all know how the usual boss-battle goes: the big guy comes up and you, the hero, the underdog, challenge IT - the Villain, the End. What if we played around with this idea of fighting the Boss and turned it on its head: let’s have you play the Boss.” reveals Stefan Georgescu, Game Designer at the Bucharest-based Sand Sailor Studio.

Bossgard has experimented a lot with what a Boss can be, while designing its peculiar and unique bosses. “What if instead of fighting a giant monster you fought a giant slice of bread? What if the boss can move? What if it can’t? What if it jumps all the time? What if it can’t stop moving? And so on. We took all of these questions and many others and we answered each with a different boss design.”

That being said, Sand Sailor Studio aims for boss-fights that should feel “larger than life” without losing the sense of humor.

Key Features

  • Unique Playable Bosses with distinct mechanics
    Each Boss looks, plays and feels completely different. What would you rather be? A cyclopean slice of toast? Maybe a giant evil plunger?
  • Online and Local Multiplayer with up to 6 players!
    We hope you brought company because Bossgard is best played on a crowded couch or over noisy online multiplayer sessions!
  • You're the Boss. Your rules!
    Modify the number of players and change the default hero settings to get all sorts of crazy battles. They might range from a couple of minutes 1 vs 1 brawl of hell to a 6 hours epic raid-like bossfight.
  • Couch Versus Couch support
    You and your friends can play locally against or with online players!
  • Streamer friendly!
    Are you a streamer? Great! Bossgard comes with built-in stream-specific mechanics! Let your followers join the battle, allowing them to deal damage, aid or even drop in minions to fight for whomever the audience dictates!

Other Features

Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS RoG STRIX Helios Tempered Glass PC Gaming Case on eTeknix.
  • Cooler Master MasterBox Q500L Case on
  • Digital Storm Lynx (i7 9700K + RTX 2070) PC System on TechPowerUp.
  • Periodic Audio Be (Beryllium) In Ear Monitors on Nikk Tech.
  • Scythe Kaze Flex 120 RGB Fan on TweakTown.
  • Team Group MP34 NVME SSD (512GB) SSD on Guru3D.

Out of the Blue

Today is Good Friday and sundown marks the beginning of Passover, offering a bit of holiday convergence. For the more secular among us here in the U.S., today is also National Garlic Day. Just keep your mouthwash handy if you plan on celebrating that one. If all else fails, it's still the weekend, so have a great one.

R.I.P.: Manga Suffers Second Great Loss This Month, Kazuo Koike Is Dead.

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