Archived News:

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019

Overwatch Workshop Launches

Blizzard announces the Overwatch Workshop, a new way for Overwatch players to enhance their custom games with scripted rules. They offer instructions on how to access this mode and instructions on how to make use of it. An example is offered called Molten Floor, which recreates the classic "floor is lava" childhood game. Here's an overview:
Create games in ways previously unimaginable with the Workshop! The Workshop is a simplified game scripting system that expands the customization features available in the Game Browser. Within the Workshop, you'll create a Script to add Rules and unique play Conditions on top of the established Overwatch game modes you already know and love. Rules can do many things, like change how a hero's movement and abilities work, modify how players are damaged or healed, or even display text under certain circumstances.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Getting PC Version and New Content

Ubisoft announces a new Crimson Moon update is coming to Starlink: Battle for Atlas along with the news that Starlink: Battle for Atlas is coming to PC. This is a sci-fi action/adventure that launched with an optional "toys-to-life" component, though it was recently announced that the toys were being discontinued. The new content and the PC edition will both debut on April 30th, and they also reveal plans for new paid content as well. Here's the Crimson Moon announce trailer, and here's the announcement:
Starlink: Battle for Atlas is roaring back with big news. On April 30, the open-world, interplanetary space shooter is coming to PC, and it's arriving alongside a free content update on all platforms. Adding a new area known as the Crimson Moon, the update will affect the entire Atlas system, with new faction story missions, weekly challenges, and competitive outlaw racing in single-player and split-screen coop. The update also adds new Leaderboards, letting players compare their stats with other players around the world.

There's new paid content on the way as well, with five new pilots, three new Starships, and 11 weapons available for digital purchase. Additionally, more Star Fox content will also be available for purchase on Nintendo Switch starting April 30, letting players hunt Star Wolf in new story missions, and adding three legendary Star Fox team pilots – Peppy, Slippy, and Falco, each with their own special ability and skill tree.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas' PC debut on April 30 will feature the same content as the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and will support play with physical Starships (using the DualShock and Xbox One controller mounts) as well as all-digital play. Read on for full specs and system requirements, and make sure your rig is ready to battle Outlaws and the Forgotten Legion across the Atlas system.
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The Crew 2 Gets Hot Shots Update; Free Weekend Starts Tomorrow

Ubisoft announces a new Hot Shots update is now available in The Crew 2, offering the third major content update for the hard-driving open-world action game. This comes with a new version of the LIVE Summit, "a weekly PvE competition where Icon-level players take on nine activities selected among the game’s wide range of playgrounds and fan-favorite disciplines such as Street Racing and Hypercar, to win new exclusive vehicles." This comes just in time for the game's next free weekend, which kicks off tomorrow and runs until Monday. More details on that can be found on this page. Here's a new trailer to celebrate the launch of Hot Shots, and here are more details:
The Crew® 2 Hot Shots update introduces a new version of the LIVE Summit, a weekly PvE competition where Icon-level players take on nine activities selected among the game’s wide range of playgrounds and fan-favorite disciplines such as Street Racing and Hypercar, to win new exclusive vehicles.

Debuting for the first time on consoles and PC, the new Bugatti Divo, celebrating the 110th anniversary of the brand will be part of the six new elite vehicles available for players to access on April 24.

Beginning April 24, Season Pass owners will get seven day early access to two new additional vehicles – the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X - 2014 and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – 2009 – as part of the game’s monthly vehicle drop.

The update will also feature more than 40 new customization items, including colored smoke, custom tires and text emotes, brand-new unique challenges, additional Skills and in-game activities such as photo quests.

To coincide with the The Crew® 2 Hot Shots release, The Crew® 2 will offer a free weekend from April 25 – 28. During this time, players will have access to the full game and can test their skills on all events. The game will be available for purchase at a discount of up to 70 percent off of the game and 50 percent off of the season pass. Progression from the free weekend will carry over to the full game purchase. For more information on The Crew® 2 free weekend, including the sale dates per platform, please visit:
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Transport Fever 2 Announced

Publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment and developer Urban Games have a fever, and the only cure is more transportation. Thus they announce Transport Fever 2, a new installment in their tycoon series that reflects a feverish obsession with cargo logistics. You can see this in action in the announcement trailer, and if that's not enough to raise your temperature, the game's Steam listing is also now live. This is expected later this year for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and here are details on what it will offer:
Good Shepherd Entertainment and independent developer Urban Games have announced Transport Fever 2, the new follow-up to the hit tycoon simulation and management games Transport Fever and Train Fever. Featuring three brand-new story mode campaigns and a vastly improved gameplay experience, feature set, user interface, modding capabilities and new dynamic environments, Transport Fever 2 is expected to launch later this year on Windows PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

Transport Fever 2 gives you more than 150 years of real-world transportation technology and history to design and master your own transportation empire. As a transport tycoon, you’ll build critical infrastructure like railroads and stations, purchase vehicles, and manage a network of land, sea and air routes to optimize your company’s profits. Create and customize to your heart’s desire in free game mode’s giant sandbox maps, or challenge yourself with three distinct historical campaigns featuring unique missions, stories and goals.

Invent your own strategy for success with a fleet of realistically modeled trains, trams, aircraft, ships, buses and trucks from around the world, as well as modular, upgradeable stations, ports and harbors. Your booming empire comes to life in beautiful detail with easy-to-use railroad track construction tools, plus dynamically evolving economy, environment, town and traffic simulation systems. You can even create and share your own worlds, missions, vehicles, stations, buildings and more with Transport Fever 2’s in-game map editor and extensive modding tools and support via Steam Workshop.
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Dauntless Gets Path of the Slayer Update

Dauntless now offers a new Path of the Slayer update with new content for their free-to-play action/RPG. The new patch introduces a gear- and Behemoth-focused Mastery system, an all-new Slayer progression, Hunt Pass Season 4, and weapon reworks. This all paves the way for the game's official launch this summer on the Epic Games Store and consoles. Here's a video that goes in-depth with the developers to discuss all the newness. Here's the announcement:
Phoenix Labs just released the biggest content update yet for its flagship game Dauntless, the critically acclaimed Behemoth hunting co-op action RPG. “Path Of The Slayer” introduces the Mastery system - a new way for Slayers to earn rewards for completing long-term challenges based on specific Behemoths and pieces of gear, as well as an all-new progression system that completely changes the way players advance in the game. Hunt Pass Season 4: Burndown also starts today, giving players a chance to earn new barbarian-themed rewards on both the basic and Elite tracks. “Path Of The Slayer” arrives just ahead of Dauntless’ summer launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the Epic Games store.

Phoenix Labs released a new development video that goes in-depth on everything in today’s “Path Of The Slayer” update. Check it out here.
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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Trailer

A new animated trailer introduces background and disciplines for Thinbloods, one of the clans in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, the upcoming action/RPG sequel. This clip should resonate with anyone who's ever found their appetite stimulated by the sight of a rat scurrying around their home. Here's word:
Paradox Interactive today revealed additional details about the background and disciplines for Thinbloods found in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2. Players begin the game as a newly embraced Thinblood, a second-class group of vampires with abilities weaker than those from one of the great clans. As the story progresses, players will eventually join one of the five full-blooded Kindred clans, each of which will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Thinbloods are a recent, weaker strain of vampire who face a constant struggle to survive in the World of Darkness. While they are often treated as second-class citizens by full-blood Kindred, Seattle’s leadership has been uncharacteristically tolerant of Thinbloods. As Seattle has only relatively recently come under Camarilla control, it remains a city of opportunity where Thinbloods can navigate their way into the higher circles of vampire society; however, they are rarely shown the same respect or legal standing that full-blood clan members enjoy.
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Surviving Mars: Green Planet Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces a May 16th launch date for Surviving Mars: Green Planet, the upcoming expansion that will bring terraforming and a dose of green to the red planet. This will allow you to live the dream of Mark Watney and grow potatoes on Mars while also living up to Douglas Quaid's noble goal of bringing air to the Martian colonists. Green Planet is not the only new content coming to the game that day, as it will come alongside the release of the Project Laika content pack, which will bring livestock and pets to Mars. The news comes with this trailer, which is part two of a feature breakdown for the expansion. Here are more details:
Humans aren’t the only species trying to live on Mars! The Project Laika content pack adds a variety of pets and livestock that will benefit colonies and improve life on the Red Planet. Players can breed livestock to increase food production while pets explore their new home. Keep an eye on what colonists consider pets, though, some of their companions may be a surprise.

Surviving Mars: Green Planet features include:

  • Terraforming: Terraform Mars and make the hostile planet habitable for humanity. Each decision you make while managing your colony can affect the Terraforming Parameters, which includes Atmosphere, Temperature, Water, and Vegetation, and ideally brings them closer to habitable levels. Monitor your progress on a planetary scale with the Planetary Overview UI. Once you’ve made the atmosphere breathable, open the domes and let your colonists breathe Martian air!
  • Green Mars: Seed the surface of Mars with various lichen, grass, shrubs, or trees and watch as they begin to turn the Red Planet green. Low maintenance plants like Lichen can improve the soil quality to help more complex plants grow while Trees produce high seed yields for your colony to harvest. Be sure to monitor your soil quality levels to keep your plants healthy and growing.
  • Special Projects: Take on seven challenging Special Projects like melting the polar caps, capturing ice asteroids, launching a space mirror, and more to begin shifting the Terraforming Parameters. Be careful, these projects will have a lasting impact on the planet and will trigger natural disasters!
  • 7 New Terraforming Buildings: Construct seven new buildings that can help you terraform the planet or capitalize on the changes. Use the GHG factory to release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the Forestation Plant to boost vegetation production, the Water Pump to fill a man-made lake bed, and more.
  • Climate Calamities: Terraforming a planet can have unexpected consequences. If you release too many greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere you can trigger acid rain which reduces soil quality, or if an asteroid slams into the planet it will cause a Marsquake that can disrupt your colony’s production.

Project Laika content pack includes:

  • Animal Farm: Breed up to eight different farm animals in the Martian Pastures including Cows, Chickens, Pigs, and more. Farm animals can be raised for food in the new In-Dome Ranches or Outside Ranches, depending on their size, and consume more water than crops.
  • Martian’s Best Friend: Animal Pack features 25 different pets, ranging from your usual suspects like cats, dogs, and rabbits to some unexpected critters like llamas, penguins, platypuses. Once you terraform the planet enough, pets will go outside to explore nearby bushes and trees.

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Planet Zoo Announced

Frontier Developments announces Planet Zoo, a new theme-park simulation that will take its place alongside Planet Coaster this fall. Sadly, with the demise of GameSpy, we can't look forward to a website called Planet Planet Zoo, but we'll try to bear up. Zoos can be touchy topics for animal rights activists, but they seem to have their hearts in the right place, saying: "create your own zoo where animal welfare and conservation comes first." Here's an all-singing, all dancing cinematic announcement trailer to illustrate the news, which follows:
Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV) is proud to announce Planet Zoo. From the makers of Planet Coaster (2016) and Jurassic World Evolution (2018) comes the ultimate zoo simulation, featuring authentic living animals, rich management, and limitless creativity. Build and manage a truly modern zoo where animal welfare and conservation comes first. Simulation runs wild in Planet Zoo, exclusively for PC in Autumn 2019.

Planet Zoo presents the most authentic animals in videogame history. From playful lion cubs to mighty elephants, every animal in Planet Zoo is an individual who thinks, feels and explores the world you build around them. They care about their surroundings and each other, with complex environmental and social needs. Nurture your animals throughout their lives, study and manage every species to see them thrive, and help them raise young to pass their genes onto future generations.

Manage your own zoo in an expressive world that reacts to every choice you make. Focus on the big picture or go hands-on and look after the smallest details. Thrill visitors with prestigious animals and famous exhibits, develop your zoo and research new technologies, and release animals back into the wild to repopulate the planet.

Unleash your creativity with the next evolution of Planet Coaster’s best-in-class creation mechanics. Craft stunning scenery and habitats, dig lakes and rivers, raise hills and mountains, and carve tunnels and caves as you build your own zoo. See your animals and visitors respond to your creative vision, and share your designs with friends in Planet Zoo’s online community. Bring the world’s greatest designs home to your own zoo for your animals and visitors to enjoy.

‘This is the zoo management game we’ve wanted to make for many years,’ said Jonny Watts, Chief Creative Officer of Frontier. ‘We’ve challenged ourselves to build on the games we’ve made before and to carry the great legacy of classics like the Zoo Tycoon series forward. We’re taking everything we’ve learned from our past work and focusing on modern values – incredible authenticity, rich management, limitless creativity and community sharing – to make our best-ever simulation game. We hope you’ll join us when Planet Zoo launches later this year.’
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 Revealed?

GamesRadar+ outlines rumors of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4, an unannounced new installment in the military shooter series. They link to this cellphone video from a gathering where athletes were treated to a preview of the game, though it's hard to hear some of the dialog they say reveals the new game. But there is already a subreddit for the game which examines this and other evidence. Presumably we won't have to wait too long for official news, as they note that this is the time of year they usually announce the next installment in the military shooter series. Continue here to read the full story.

Stalin vs. Martians 4 Announced

KREMLINCORP Entertainment announces Stalin vs. Martians 4, calling this "a new installment in the highly-acclaimed [sic] Stalin vs. Martians franchise." This is odd on two levels: One is that a quick look at Metacritic shows that the original Stalin vs. Martians was poorly received, and not highly acclaimed at all. The other is that we don't recall Stalin vs. Martians 2 or Stalin vs. Martians 3, so we're not sure that this was actually a franchise before this new announcement, or why it would carry the number 4. A final twist is that while the original was a simplified real-time strategy game, Stalin vs. Martians 4 is described as a "hybrid of isometric action and Stalinism." This video showing a mecha-Stalin dealing death accompanies the news, saying to expect this in 2020. Here is more:
KREMLINCORP Entertainment GmbH proudly announces a new installment in the highly-acclaimed Stalin vs. Martians franchise.

Stalin vs. Martians 4 is dynamic hybrid of isometric action and Stalinism. This kind of synergy provides unlimited possibilities for the intricacy of sophisticated ambivalence of synesthesia. Or whatever. Also there are lots of explosions and you can shoot people from the rocket launcher.

The game is very narrative-based. Kinda like Firewatch, but, you know, better. It is also very cinematic. So we intend to provide a stable, very cinematic rate of 24 frames per second... Oh, wait. Okay, maybe more if the audience expects a certain digital fidelity in this field.

Planned features for Stalin vs. Martians 4:

  • Giant Stalin riding a giant mech.
  • You can kill Martians (and they can kill you).
  • Physics-based destruction of environment. A bit like Katamari Damacy, but in reverse.
  • Lots of weapons. Like railgun that shoots... rails.
  • Our trademark intermissions.
  • The best soundtrack ever.
  • Actual gameplay.

The game may also feature nudity if we'll be able to find someone nude.

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Sea of Thieves Anniversary Update Trailer

A Tall Tales - Shores of Gold Cinematic Trailer from Sea of Thieves shows off a story-oriented quest coming with the upcoming free anniversary update for Rare's seafaring action/adventure. Here's more on the update, which is due next week:
Embark upon a story-driven adventure into long-lost legends and mysteries. Wield wondrous artefacts, pit your wits against puzzles and face down truly fearsome guardians as you follow this trail of Tall Tales. Coming to all Sea of Thieves players as part of the free Anniversary update on April 30th! Visit the official game site at
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Northgard - Svardilfari, Clan of the Horse Released

Steam now offers Northgard - Svardilfari, Clan of the Horse, the latest DLC for Northgard, the Windows, Linux, and macOS strategy game based on Norse mythology. This post has notes on the new release, and here is an overview:
Considered the best craftspeople in the known world, the new Clan of the Horse are led by the spirited siblings Brok and Eitria. As the clan’s Warchiefs, they are recruited in Völund's Forge, which replaces the normal Forge building, and offer the player a unique playstyle. Apart from combat, the Warchiefs are the only ones in the clan who can mine, forge tools, weapons and Relics. Minerals and metals are the clan’s forte, with the unique Lore Tree giving significant bonuses to mining efficiency, as well as excavating and selling resources, upgrading Watchtowers, and the ability to access an additional Relic if enough fame has been earned. Not only that, the Vikings of the Clan of the Horse can construct and repair buildings 25% quicker.


BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announces DORAEMON STORY OF SEASONS, a new farming adventure game based on anime character Doraemon coming to Steam and Switch this fall. A bucolic trailer shows this off, and the announcement has some general information about what to expect:
The popular anime character - Doraemon - makes his way into the hugely popular Story of Seasons series in a brand new farming adventure. Players will be able to enjoy traditional Story of Seasons activities like growing crops, cultivating their farm, exploring, bug hunting, and much more.

Noby and other familiar faces from the Doraemon franchise will take part in a heart-warming journey across the title’s original local town. Players will develop the town along with their own farm while interacting and forming bonds with other townspeople. Doraemon’s secret gadgets will also be featured throughout DORAEMON STORY OF SEASONS.

The game is the result of the joint efforts of Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Marvelous (Production) and Brownies (Development).
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Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Giancarlo Esposito: Better Call Saul Will End After 6 Seasons (thanks RedEye9). I love this show so much, but it's not logical to be upset about this news. Prequels begin life painted into a corner by the events they are to eventually connect with. At this point the show is getting so close to where Breaking Bad begins that more than two seasons would involve dragging things out further to avoid serious overlap. This doesn't diminish the frustration caused by the recent news that season five won't begin until next year, but this kind of delay is becoming par for the course for the top shows. Of course Game of Thrones and Westworld were both delayed by HBO, who are working from their own playbook where such delays are minor compared with the crazy hiatuses taken by shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Comeback.

R.I.P.: "Alien," "Blade Runner" Editor Rawlings Dies.

Better Call Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Traeger Ironwood 650 review: WiFi is the ultimate pitmaster.
'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' Kurt Cobain's Anti-Anthem For Generation X. Thanks RedEye9.
Stories: "Deadwood" Creator Diagonsed With Alzheimer's.
Parking Enforcers Who Chalk Tires Violate The Constitution, Court Rules. Thanks RedEye9.
Fossilized Human Poop Shows Ancient Forager Ate an Entire Rattlesnake—Fang Included. Hangry? Thanks Max.
(Thanks Max)
Could Transparent Wood Become The Way We Build And Heat Our Homes?
Engineered surface treatment developed at MIT can reduce waste and improve efficiency in many processes.
Self-powered 'pacemaker for life' in pigs unveiled.
Images: Every Building on Every Block: New York in the 1980s. Thanks Cutter.
Media: Godzilla King of the Monsters HQ 5 Minute Trailer. *Spoilers* Thanks Dark.
Compressorhead - These bots are made for rocking (NSFW). Kiss my shiny metal ass!
Where Your Recycled Plastic Ends Up.
Follow-up: The First Malaria Vaccine Rolls Out In Pilot Project; Saving Kids Is A Focus. Thanks RedEye9.
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