Archived News:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Space Ops VR Released

Space Ops VR is now available on Steam, offering a team-based first-person shooter. As the title implies, this is a virtual reality game, and requires a VR headset, and a controller is also necessary, as it does not support playing with mouse and keyboard. Here's the most recent trailer, and here's word on the game:
International VR developer and publisher FIBRUM has released their cooperative virtual reality arena shooter Space Ops VR. Players will train as members of the Space Ops, an elite cadre of first-responders tasked with protecting humanity in outer space. The game is available on Steam for $14.99 and is compatible with Vive, Oculus, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. A special 25% off discount will be available to celebrate the game’s launch.

Space Ops VR is a tournament in which Space Ops train their elite soldiers to fight for Earth against dangerous alien life around the galaxy. The Space Ops’ provide their arsenal of high-tech weapons and gadgets but the player with his custom avatar and loadouts are what will really save the day. Solo and cooperative scenarios will push players to your limits, so they will need every advantage they can get. Leaderboards will keep track of the best times and skill-based matchmade clear races will keep every competitor on their toes.

“We can't wait for players to get their hands on Space Ops VR and fight aliens alongside their friends. We’re glad we have been able to work hard on the kind of game that we like to play ourselves in co-op and happy to see it finally come to life in its Steam release”, says Yevgeniy Pidlisnyy at DevCubeStudio.

Space Ops VR Key Features

  • Extended coop experience
  • Advanced skill-based matchmaking
  • Score based PvE/PvP gameplay
  • Basic training and SANDBOX mode for the beginners
  • Unique futuristic weapons, with different damage types such as Kinetic, Beam, and Plasma.
  • Tons of grenades and gadgets to send your foes flying and make the enemies wet themselves
  • Customizable characters
  • In-Game Progression System that gives ranks and other goodies to skilled players.

Continue here to read the full story.

Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge Early Access

Steam now offers Early Access to Second Hand: Frankie's Revenge, a co-op action game featuring robots built from household appliances. This trailer shows what this means, and a launch stream is now underway. They help understand where they are taking the Early Access process by promising free upcoming content updates with new robot parts, emotes, a "revenge board" with challenges and rewards, and new game modes. Here are some details:
In Frankie’s Revenge, players can build their own Frankie-bots piece-by-piece, customizing each component — body, head, legs, main weapon, and offhand weapons — to suit their playstyles. Some parts work well together naturally to achieve classic squad roles such as tank and support, affecting a Frankie’s overall health, energy, speed, and weight. Other combinations require a bit more creativity and finesse. With dozens of wacky parts and hundreds of combinations to choose from, friends can squad up and roll out across the vast junkyard to save Frankie’s home.

Key Features:

  • Robot Crushing Combat: Frankie brings the thunder through challenging, satisfying, top-down combat. Players must master unique part skills and devise strategies to survive the onslaught of vicious enemies such as Senior Cleaners, Foremen, Boilees, or big, bad bosses, Juicy Joe, and Le Kraque.
  • Customize Machines of Carnage: With dozens of parts to choose from, each with their own distinct look, attributes, and abilities, players create robot warriors to fit their own playstyle. Wack enemies with a tennis ball launcher, repair damage quickly with a defibrillator head, tank for the team with a boiler body — anything to become the ultimate gear-crunching bot.
  • Home is Where the Microprocessor is: Strategize in The Hideout, the player’s personal headquarters. Deck it out in the finest scraps and junkyard treasures to give it that homey feel, perfect for conjuring up the most oil-thirsty revenge plots.
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Although the mass of mechanical meanies may seem daunting, local and online co-operative gameplay with up to four players helps cut them down to size with ease.

Continue here to read the full story.

Free Weekend Games on Steam

There are three games you can play for free on Steam this weekend, including the just relaunched Deathgarden: BLOODHARVEST (thanks SteamDB via Ant). They are all on sale if you get swept up in things, but you can leave your Steam Wallet in your Steam Pocket when checking out the following offerings:

Paradox Joining Xbox PC Game Pass Program

Paradox Interactive announces they will be an active participant in Microsoft's just announced Xbox Game Pass for Windows 10 PCs:
Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of games for worldwide audiences, today announced their participation in Xbox Game Pass for PC, an upcoming monthly gaming membership program from Microsoft. Xbox Game Pass for PC will offer unlimited access to new releases and classic titles on PC for members, including a selection of games from Paradox Interactive.

Xbox Game Pass for PC will launch in select markets, with titles from Paradox Interactive included on day one.

Kerbal Space Program Launches Breaking Ground Expansion

Steam News announces the release of the Breaking Ground Expansion for Kerbal Space Program, offering new DLC for this chance to design and launch your own rockets, even if you're not a James Bond villain like Sir Hugo Drax or Elon Musk. Word is:
Kerbal Space Program: Breaking Ground Expansion is the second expansion for the PC version of the critically acclaimed space flight simulator, Kerbal Space Program. This feature-rich expansion is focused on increasing the objective possibilities once celestial bodies have been reached by adding more interesting scientific endeavors and expanding the toolset.

PixARK Released

Also on Steam News is the announcement that PixARK is now available for Windows on Steam: "Enter a world of mystery, danger, ancient dinosaurs, mythical beasts, and cubes! Work by yourself or with a tribe of others to gather materials, craft useful items, tame wild creatures, and build huge bases to survive in PixARK!" This trailer shows off the game's Minecraft meets Ark concept, and here is a primer:
Welcome to PixARK, a vast, wild world filled with vicious dinosaurs, magical creatures and endless adventure! To survive in this mysterious land, you must tame creatures both ferocious and cuddly, craft high tech and magical tools, and build your own base out of cubes.

With a robust character creator, an infinite number of voxel based maps and procedurally generated quests, your PixARK adventure will be completely unique. Team up with friends to form a tribe, or play on your own. Spend your time building a towering fortress or go on a quest in a sprawling cavern. Fly on the back of a dragon and smite your enemies with a magic wand, or ride a mighty T-Rex and blast your foes with a rocket launcher. In the world of PixARK, how you play is up to you – as long as you survive!

FEATURES

  • Over 100 creatures to tame, train and ride
  • Voxel block building system
  • Procedurally generated maps
  • Procedurally generated quests
  • Creative Mode, where you can build anything you can imagine
  • Extensive character creation tools, and character progression systems with skill trees and customizable stats

Continue here to read the full story.

Free SIGIL Released for DOOM

Romero Games now offers the promised release of the free version of SIGIL, the new megawad for DOOM created by John Romero, famed for his work on the seminal first-person shooter (thanks Frans). There are a couple of ways to support this project with purchases, but the megawad is also free to download, and is a mere 3.1 MB in size and it does require ownership of a full copy of the original DOOM or Ultimate DOOM (not DOOM II) to play. The first post-release support for this is also now available, as this is version 1.1, which addresses bugs and other issues, as noted in this forum post. Here's word on the storyline from this from the official FAQ:
After killing the Spiderdemon at the end of E4M8 (Unto the Cruel), your next stop is Earth — you must save it from hellspawn that is causing unimaginable carnage. But Baphomet glitched the final teleporter with his hidden sigil whose eldritch power brings you to even darker shores of Hell. You fight through this stygian pocket of evil to confront the ultimate harbingers of Satan, then finally return to become Earth’s savior. In summary, rip and tear!

It Lurks Below Surfaces

It Lurks Below is now available on Steam, following an Early Access run for this side-scrolling action/RPG for Windows from Greybeard Games. Greybeard is a one-man development studio formed by David Brevik, who cofounded Blizzard North where he helped create legendary successes Diablo and Diablo II and cofounded Flagship Studios where he helped create legendary failure Hellgate: London. It Lurks Below is on display in this release trailer and tuning into the game's Twitch channel will give the chance to see David live-stream gameplay. Here's more on the release:
It Lurks Below is an action-oriented survival-RPG with eight character classes, deep randomization, and a retro side-view player perspective – all set in a world ravaged by a demon invasion

“It Lurks Below has been in development for several years now, and I’m delighted to put this eagerly-awaited product into hands of gamers. I wake up every day excited to be working on this game and now I get to share it with the world,” said Brevik, whose last major launch was Marvel Heroes in 2013 when he led Gazillion Entertainment.

Titles such as Brevik’s own Diablo inspired the role-playing mechanics while Terraria, Minecraft, and Starbound inspired the view and survival elements of this action-packed RPG. These aspects come together as a wholly new game experience. Players select a custom character and class, then delve deep into the mysteries of what evil lurks below; exploring subterranean levels, acquiring items and encountering deadly monsters in this highly-replayable game.

Released in Early Access last April, the game has consistently received positive early reviews and feedback, with some players in the close-knit community logging hundreds of hours of playtime. Brevik has spent the last year listening to the community and fine-tuning the game while adding more content. For him, community involvement was essential.
Continue here to read the full story.

Four Kings One War Breaks Out

Steam now offers Early Access to Four Kings One War, a strategy game for one or two players inspired by chess. This is available for Windows or macOS, and they add it's also out for virtual reality platforms Vive and Rift, which makes sense for a game developed and published by a company named StaplesVR, but we cannot actually find the VR versions anywhere. This trailer from the game's original unveiling doesn't actually show gameplay, but they outline what to expect in the announcement:
Four Kings One War, a strategy game designed to suit the modern mind, is available now on Steam for PC, Mac and Virtual Reality (HTC Vive and Oculus). A one or two-player strategy game in which each player controls two armies as though they were one and gets two moves per turn on an expanded board, the DNA of Four Kings One War is based on the classic game of chess, but it takes strategic gameplay to the next level.
In Four Kings One War, two armies each of black and white pieces face off on a board of 192 squares, set in a Colosseum style arena. The movement of pieces is similar to classic chess, but each player gets two moves per turn and the object is to capture two opposing kings. Each of the different pieces has its own individual mode of movement and both armies complement each other in both attack and defense to ensure endless combinations of tactical combat. With a variety of environments to choose from you can do battle deep in a native New Zealand bush where the battle arena is the size of a house and the pieces as tall as an average person, or face off in the smaller combat arena nestled beside a spectacular waterfall or in an underground abyss. Users can go to the glow worm cave to watch replays of their games, hone their skills against the AI, and watch strategy videos.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Early Access

Early Access to Lornsword Winter Chronicle is now available on Steam, opening a window into this Windows action/strategy game. This includes the game's prologue and first chapter, and the full version with two more chapters is expected to officially launch later this year. The reveal trailer from earlier this year shows off gameplay, which is conducted from a distant, top-down perspective. Here are some relevant details:
Winter Chronicle begins with Corun, a young Lornknight placed in command of the small fortified town of Tulza in the southern province of the Lorn Empire. Explore a desolate, harsh world of snow and ice where clashes with rival factions are commonplace in the quest for dominance. Bases will need to be built and upgraded, and resources such as food and gold will be integral to the Lornsword economy as players build their armies and military strength.

Battles are fast and frenetic as combatants clash on a dynamic battlefield that shifts with the ebb and flow of tactical decisions made in the heat of the moment. Lornsword is a world where blades and bayonets clash with the dark magic of priests and shadow weavers, and where skilled range attacks by arrow or matchlock rifle deal damage from afar. Tougher battles can be fought side by side with an ally via a drop in co-op option that allows another player to join the fray and lighten the tactical load. Players can diversify their attack strategy as they mete out battlefield justice up close and personal with their hero or summon their soldiers to attack a specific target in heated clashes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Domo Arigato Gato Roboto

Gato Roboto is now available on Steam, offering an action-packed platformer for Windows that carries a 15% launch discount. The official launch trailer shows off the game's throwback monochromatic graphics and frenetic gameplay. Would you like to know more?
Pounce inside of your cozy armored mech and set off on a dangerous trek through an alien underworld full of irritable creatures and treacherous obstacles in a valiant effort to save your stranded captain and his crashed spaceship. Tiptoe outside the friendly confines of your technological marvel and follow your feline instincts through tight tunnels and mysterious waterways to scavenge for new weapons and gear. Adventure awaits the most curious of cats in Gato Roboto!
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I could not be more excited about tonight's release of the Deadwood movie on HBO, which you could easily guess if you've noted how much I've written about it since it was first rumored. But as I confessed earlier this week, MrsBlue and I are still caught up in our rewatch of the original series. We're not even halfway there, but despite that it seems like my better half may want to watch the movie right away. This is understandable, since we've already seen the entire show, but it has been nice refreshing our memories, and it's been a wonderful confirmation of my opinion that this was about the best program in television history.

R.I.P.: Longtime Mississippi senator Thad Cochran dies at 81.

Links from the Frontier: Thanks Ant.
Stories: Eight kids just broke the 2019 National Spelling Bee in unprecedented result.
Hawaii warns tourists of parasitic worm that can burrow into human brains.
‘Deadwood’ star was a real Calamity Jane when HBO shot down her show. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: The unexpected brightness of new satellites could ruin the night sky.
Intranasal stem cell therapy restores smell in mice. I smell a rat. Thanks Acleacius.
New causes of autism found in 'junk' DNA. Thanks Acleacius.
Autism symptoms replicated in mice after faecal transplants. Thanks Max.
Media: (142) MEGA MAN- DO YOU EVEN LIFT?!.
First Trailer: Disney & Pixar's "Onwards."
Follow-up: Jeopardy! Host Says He's Seeing 'Mind-Boggling' Positive Results In Cancer Fight.
The Funnies: If You Can Dream - Dilbert.
xkcd: Diploma Legal Notes.
Brevity.
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