Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2019

Romero Games Announces Empire of Sin

Paradox Interactive and Romero Games announce Empire of Sin, a strategy game set in prohibition-era Chicago that's coming to Windows, macOS, and consoles in spring 2020. The Empire of Sin website is already online, offering screenshots and this cinematic announcement trailer. John Romero wants to make you his pitch:
Paradox Interactive and Romero Games have today announced Empire of Sin, a character-driven strategy game set in 1920s Chicago. Players build their own ruthless criminal empire as one of 14 distinct bosses vying to run the seedy underworld of organized crime in the city. With randomly generated starting conditions, players will have to adapt to survive and do whatever it takes to outsmart, out-gun and outlast their opponents. Empire of Sin will be coming to PC, Mac, Switch, Xbox and PlayStation consoles in Spring 2020.

Empire of Sin, the strategy game from Romero Games and Paradox Interactive, puts you at the heart of the ruthless criminal underworld of 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago. It’s up to you to hustle, charm and intimidate your way to the top of the pile and do whatever it takes to stay there. This character-driven, noir-inspired game puts players smack-dab in the glitz and glamor of the roaring 20s, letting them thrive in the gritty underbelly of organized crime.


  • Build A Crime Empire: Raise your criminal empire from the ground up in several seedy enterprises (be it speakeasies, union skimming, or casinos) and building a team of loyal mobsters to make your mark on the streets. Once you make a name for yourself, expand your influence by taking over rival territory and adding more ventures to your repertoire.
  • Defend and Expand Territory: If it comes to blows (hypothetically, of course) and your posse needs to send a message, face off in brutal turn-based combat. Recruit your goons strategically to build a strong chemistry within your crew to maximize combat damage and help secure your hold on the city.
  • Explore a Living, Breathing City: Explore the streets of vibrant 1920s Chicago and interact with a full cast of living, breathing characters, each with lives of their own that inform how they react to what you do (or don’t do). Schmooze, coerce, seduce, threaten, or kill them to get your way.
  • Wield Your Influence: Make and break alliances, bribe cops, and trade on the black market to gain an edge and expand the influence of your crime family. Always keep your enemies close and ensure you have a mole on the inside and eyes everywhere.
  • Pursue Multiple Victory Strategies: Whether you make it to the top with violence, business smarts, or city-wide notoriety, there are a number of ways to become King or Queen of Chicago. With various starting conditions and constantly changing crew dynamics, no two playthroughs will ever be the same.

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The classic Contra franchise is getting a new entry, as Konami announces CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS, which is coming to PC and consoles on September 26th. For those who can't bear that wait, they also announce the release of the Contra Anniversary Collection, a collection of 10 games fro the series. The Windows version is now on Steam, and this launch trailer offers a look at what to expect. Here's the CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS E3 2019 RED BAND Premier Trailer (NSFW) and here's word:
Konami Digital Entertainment, B.V. today announced the return of the Contra franchise to console and PC with CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS. On September 26th, players will experience the series that inspired countless shooting games since its 1987 debut.

Adding to the surprise of CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS’ development and upcoming launch, KONAMI is also pleased to announce the Contra Anniversary Collection, containing 10 classic games in the storied Contra franchise, is now available for purchase on all digital game stores.

CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS is a twin stick, third-person action game drawing upon its roots in fast and focused combat developed for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (STEAM). From the director of CONTRA III: THE ALIEN WARS and CONTRA: HARD CORPS, Nobuya Nakazato instills more than 25 years of franchise pedigree into CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS with enormous crazed enemies, over-the-top violence, and a cast of diverse playable characters that add to the irreverent tone of the game.

Several years after the events of the Alien Wars, CONTRA: ROGUE CORPS follows a former military group living on the fringes as bounty hunters and treasure finders in the Damned City. Survival requires fast reactions, powerful weapons and the occasional organ and cybernetic augmentation. Players will complete missions in PVE campaigns, gathering resources to upgrade their guns to stay alive in the Damned City. If all else fails… bring in a friend and mow-down enemies together in online and local multiplayer modes!

Key Game Features:

  • Action shooter with fast-paced, run & gun style gameplay
  • Choose from 4 diverse characters with their own unique skills and specialty attacks - determine weapons load out, customise and craft unique weapons and create a perfect symphony of destruction throughout the Damned City
  • Operation Room – Upgrade characters and abilities, augmenting each with improved organs and cybernetics
  • PVE – Deep single player Story campaign mode chock-full of challenging missions among hordes of enemies. Go solo or group with up to 4 friends or random players online* in multi-player
  • PVP – Create custom matches (private mode) for 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or 1vs4 players*
  • Local Couch CO-OP modes with up to 4 players**
  • Four diverse characters with their own unique skills and specialty attacks:
  • Kaiser – A soldier from the Alien Wars rebuilt after receiving massive injuries, now has a massive arm that transforms into a drill.
  • Ms Harakiri – Famed assassin specialising in stealth and infiltration, after barely escaping death during the Alien Wars, she fused together with an alien, now taking residence in her midsection.
  • Hungry Beast – Once the noted (human) scientist Kurt Steiner, he had his brain inserted into a giant cyborg panda and now spends most of his time looking for delicious snacks.
  • Gentleman – Brain Bug alien raised by humans. Feels the rest of the team are ill-mannered and vulgar, especially the Panda. Argues over table manners and the neatest and most efficient way to dispatch an enemy.

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Sniper Elite VR Announced

Rebellion announces Sniper Elite VR, a standalone installment in their shooter series that is setting its sites on virtual reality. This trailer offers developer discussion of this project as well as glimpses of what gameplay is like. This will feature all-new content, but does not yet carry a release date. Here's word:
Independent UK studio Rebellion have released a new video for SNIPER ELITE VR, revealing first details about the upcoming standalone shooter.

Developed in partnership with Just Add Water, Sniper Elite VR takes you to the incredible setting of World War 2 Italy. It’s set prior the events of Sniper Elite 4, featuring a brand new story by Tony Schumacher, author of the acclaimed John Rossett novels.

In Sniper Elite VR you’re fighting for the Italian resistance to rid Sicily of the Nazi U-boat menace. You’ll take on missions in an array of stunning new Italian maps. You’ll be able to use free movement, employ stealth and tactics to suit your play style, and use an array of authentic World War 2 weaponry to take out your targets.

Sniper Elite VR will of course feature the series’ genre-defining ballistics and long-range gunplay. The game will also see the return of the iconic X-Ray Kill Cam, completely rebuilt from the ground up for VR.

As the video reveals, Sniper Elite VR will also offer support for both Aim and Move controllers on PlayStation VR.

Sniper Elite VR is coming to PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, SteamVR and Viveport. Look out for more details at E3 2019.
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Spyro Reignited Trilogy Coming to Steam

Activision announces the Spyro Reignited Trilogy is coming this summer to Steam and Switch, saying the collection is "looking better than ever on PC." Here's word on plans to bring the game to Windows:
Spyro will also take his first ever flight on PC via Steam when Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) brings the dynamic gaming collection in fiery 4K and an uncapped framerate to delight both veteran and new franchise fans.

Immaculately remade from the ground up, Spyro Reignited Trilogy features the exciting and nostalgic gameplay that fans enjoyed years ago with over 100 levels, enhanced reward sequences, as well as the beautiful redesigns of Spyro’s hoard of zany dragons and other goofballs (including Sparx the Dragonfly, Hunter, Sheila, Agent 9 and Sgt. Byrd) and many more. The trilogy also includes enhanced environments, a remastered soundtrack, updated controls, brand-new lighting and recreated cinematics for added pizzazz in this beloved adventure. Lead developer Toys For Bob is back at it again to bring the Spyro Reignited Trilogy to Nintendo Switch, while the PC version will have the talented developers at Iron Galaxy leading the charge.

“Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a love letter to the fans. Bringing this nostalgic experience to the Nintendo Switch and Steam means that no matter what gaming platform they choose, players will have the opportunity to experience this incredibly fun and iconic game,” said Michelle Fonseca, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, Activision. “Our goal is to transport players back to their precious memories from the ‘90s, while also inviting new fans to dive into Spyro’s world on whatever platform they desire.”

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics Announced

En Masse Entertainment announces The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, a strategy/RPG coming to Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch later this year. This is a tie-in with The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a television series coming to Netflix on August 30th. The Dark Crystal website is home to this project, and it offers this trailer with a look at what to expect. Here's the announcement:
En Masse Entertainment, a player-focused publisher dedicated to delivering great games and service, announced it will publish The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, a new multiplatform strategy RPG based on the forthcoming series from Netflix. Launching in 2019 and globally licensed in partnership with Netflix, the game will offer fans the opportunity to step into the fantasy world of Thra by playing through the events of the series and beyond, experiencing new characters, story elements and environments. Currently under development at BonusXP and targeting a 2019 release, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics will release for Nintendo Switch™, the PlayStation®4 entertainment system, Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, and PC/Mac.

In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, players will return to Thra to lead the heroic Gelfling as they seek to restore light to the world and fulfill the prophecy. Over the course of 80 unique, turn-based campaign battles, players will recruit new allies and customize their forces, opposed at every step by the malevolent Skeksis.

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics will allow fans to delve further into the history and world of Thra as they conduct multi-layered and evolving tactical battles on the side of the Gelfling against the Skeksis,” said Stefan Ramirez, Director of Live Services at En Masse Entertainment. “Players will experience living, unpredictable environments that encompasses not only the events and characters of the Netflix series, but new game-exclusive characters, stories, and challenges.”

The expanded world of Thra in the game contains diverse territories, each offering the ability to learn more about the Gelfling clans and their histories. In turn-based combat, players lead the Gelfling resistance by using guile, planning, and cunning. Units can be customized for specific fights with gear, upgradeable abilities, and an expansive job system. Dynamic events on the battlefield, which can create opportunities or put the Gelflings at a disadvantage, may necessitate rapid changes in strategy to keep players on their toes. Thus, battles are highly replayable, and after completing the game players can also challenge a New Game+ mode with more difficult versions of the battles.

Fans will finally be able to re-visit the fantasy world of Thra when The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance debuts on Netflix on August 30, 2019. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics will arrive on game platforms later in 2019. More game details will be revealed in the coming months.
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DOOM Eternal Showcase

This video shows us id Software's full E3 showcase presentation for DOOM Eternal, offering the same experience as attendees without having to deal with the traffic in Los Angeles. The description sets up the clip:
DOOM Eternal’s Executive Producer, Marty Stratton, and Creative Director, Hugo Martin took the stage at this year’s Bethesda BE3 Showcase to unleash more gameplay and details about DOOM Eternal, the upcoming sequel to DOOM (2016). See the full action-packed E3 presentation, including a new Story Trailer, the reveal of BATTLEMODE multiplayer, and even more gameplay footage. DOOM Eternal launches on 11.22.19.

Pre-order DOOM Eternal to receive a DOOT Revenant Skin for use in DOOM Eternal multiplayer called BATTLEMODE, a “Cultist Base” Master Level, and a throwback Shotgun weapon skin.
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Cyberpunk 2077 Getting Ray Tracing Support

NVIDIA announces they've partnered with CD Project RED to bring Ray Tracing support to Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming sci-fi role-playing game. Here's the plan:
For Cyberpunk 2077, we’ve partnered with CD PROJEKT RED as an official technology partner to bring real-time ray tracing to the game.

“Cyberpunk 2077 is an incredibly ambitious game, mixing first person perspective and deep role-playing, while also creating an intricate and immersive world in which to tell this story. We believe the world of Cyberpunk will greatly benefit from the realistic lighting that ray tracing delivers,” said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at NVIDIA.

For a first look at real-time ray tracing in Cyberpunk 2077, check out these exclusive 4K gameplay screenshots:

“Ray tracing allows us to realistically portray how light behaves in a crowded urban environment,” said Adam Badowski, Head of Studio, CD PROJEKT RED. “Thanks to this technology, we can add another layer of depth and verticality to the already impressive megacity the game takes place in.”

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Honest Trailers - Captain Marvel. Thanks Ant.

Marvel's Avengers Announced

Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix officially announce Marvel's Avengers, the recently revealed tie-in with the comic book super team. This is a solo and co-op action/adventure in development at Crystal Dynamics in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal, Crystal Northwest, and Nixxes Software for release on PC and consoles on May 15, 2020. The Marvel’s Avengers Website is live, offering links to pre-order and promising early beta access to those who do so, though the beta is to start as a PS4 exclusive. There's also an E3 2019 trailer titled "A-Day" with a cinematic look created from in-game footage. There are some cues from the movies like magic earpiece communications, but the clip shows this isn't really a tie-in with the MCU, as the characters don't resemble or sound like their highly paid cinematic counterparts. PCGamesN notes that future new heroes and regions will come to the game for free and that the game will feature neither "random loot boxes" nor "pay-to-win scenarios." Here's the announcement:
Marvel’s Avengers invites players to live their Super Hero dreams. Outstanding storytelling and an ever-expanding universe come together in the definitive Avengers gaming experience. Master extraordinary abilities, customize a growing roster of Heroes, assemble into teams of up to four players, and defend the Earth from escalating threats.

Marvel’s Avengers begins at A-Day, where Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Thor are unveiling a hi-tech Avengers Headquarters in San Francisco — including the reveal of their own helicarrier powered by an experimental energy source. The celebration turns deadly when a catastrophic accident results in massive devastation. Blamed for the tragedy, the Avengers disband. Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, the only hope is to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
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Square Enix announces OUTRIDERS, a sci-fi shooter that will feature drop-in-drop-out co-op support for 1-3 players coming to Windows and consoles in Summer 2020. This is in the works at Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly, who recently opened a new office in New York. A first look at what to expect comes in the official announce trailer, which shows that even in a "dark and desperate sci-fi universe" you can still get a cool haircut. There's also a behind-the-scenes trailer where creative director Bartosz Kmita discusses details about the project. Here's more:
“OUTRIDERS is the game that we have been wanting to make for years,” said Sebastian Wojciechowski, Studio Head of People Can Fly. “We’re very happy to be working with Square Enix on this project, it’s a big undertaking for us and the team has grown considerably to work on the OUTRIDERS project. We now have over 200 developers at four international studios working on this project to make it our most ambitious shooter to date. We’re very excited to finally unveil OUTRIDERS to the world, and we can’t wait to show you more of the game.”

“People Can Fly is the perfect partner for us to create a game like OUTRIDERS. They have a great history of creating high-quality shooters, plus an unmatched level of experience and expertise in the Unreal game engine, unrivalled in the gaming industry,” Said Lee Singleton, Co-Head of Studio at Square Enix External Studios.

“OUTRIDERS is a very exciting project for us at Square Enix External Studios. We’re focusing on giving players a true AAA co-op shooter with a deep feature set and strong narrative,” said Jon Brooke, Co-Head of Studio at Square Enix External Studios. “The team at People Can Fly really know how to make gunplay feel tight and powerful and we can’t wait to show you more later this winter.”

Square Enix additionally revealed a behind the scenes look at the development of OUTRIDERS, along with a message from People Can Fly.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light 2 in Spring 2020

Dying Light 2 now has a listing on Steam showing a spring 2020 release window for Techland's post-apocalyptic action/RPG sequel (thanks Acleacius). This post has the news, but all it says is "This is Aiden. A survivor in an infected world. The fate of The City is in your hands," while offering a link to the game's E3 2019 trailer. Word is:
Dying Light 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning open world survival horror action game. You play as Aiden, a new hero in a world torn apart by the ravages of the infection, where every decision counts and death lurks around each corner.
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Phoenix Point in September

Snapshot Games announces a September 3rd release date for Phoenix Point, the upcoming science fiction strategy game from Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the original X-COM series. Word is the Windows and macOS editions will be offered through the Epic Games Store:
Snapshot Games announced today as part of Microsoft’s Inside Xbox presentation that Phoenix Point, the upcoming sci-fi strategy game from the creator of the original X-COM series, is expected to launch on Sept. 3, 2019, on the Microsoft Store and with Xbox Game Pass for console and PC, as well as the Epic Games store for PC and Mac.

A new cinematic trailer titled “Next Life” sets the stage for the changing face of war in Phoenix Point. Led by a massive Alien Queen, the game’s enemies transform and evolve according to the choices players make over time. Given the power to mutate their own troops to gain an advantage, Earth’s last desperate defenders will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to sacrifice to save mankind from this ever-changing extraterrestrial threat.

Phoenix Point is a new take on strategy and tactics. Plan operations, research new technologies, and build alliances to unite the planet or destroy your rivals, then customize your squad and deploy into conflict zones around the globe with dynamic objectives and destructible environments. Procedurally generated maps and branching storylines mean no two playthroughs are the same.

CODE VEIN in September

BANDAI NAMCO announces a release date for CODE VEIN, saying this action/adventure game will come to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on September 27th. A dehydrated release date trailer is a cinematic illustration of the game's anime sensibilities, and the announcement adds a little more:
The new CODE VEIN trailer highlights the thirst for vengeance the Revenants and Lost have against each other in a fight for survival against a crumbling world. The new trailer can be found at the following YouTube link:

Venture into the land of CODE VEIN and uncover its secrets. Players will be able to craft their own unique character and customize their experience by equipping numerous weapons, items, Skills, and Gifts to accommodate their favorite combat style or gain a competitive advantage against impossible odds. Various A.I. controlled partners will also be on-hand to explore the interconnected world with their own specialized attributes and personalities.
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Rebellion announces ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR will come to PC and consoles in early 2020. This will offer the chance to protect humanity by protecting against the double threat of Nazi zombies, as shown off in this trailer. You can sign up for updates on this on the Zombie Army 4: Dead War website, which includes a chance to win a free copy of the game when it's released. Here are some early details:
We’re thrilled to announce Zombie Army 4: Dead War, rising early 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Epic Games Store for PC. Check out the ghastly reveal trailer!

The year is 1946. A year ago Hitler, defeated, initiated “Plan Z” Now Europe lies in ruins. A brave band of heroes managed to cast the zombie army and the demon Führer back to hell. But little do they know… HITLER’S HORDES ARE BACK FOR MORE!


Featuring drop-in, drop-out co-op from start to finish!

Creep across corpse-riddled Venice canals! Survive a zombie zoo!

Unlock dozens of skills, special attacks, weapon upgrades, cosmetic items, emotes and more.

Harness divine devastation! Stun hordes into shock with electricity!

Upgraded for the undead and now includes traps and explosives!

…and more to be revealed at a later date! Until then, keep an eye on the Zombie Army Twitter and Facebook for more, and don’t forget to join our Discord!

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Songs of Conquest Announced

Coffee Stain Publishing announces Songs of Conquest, an "enchanting" adventure/strategy game coming to PC via the Epic Games Store. They offer an E3 2019 teaser announcement trailer with a look, and the chance to get selected for an imminent alpha test on the Songs of Conquest website. Here are the details:
Coffee Stain Publishing, the team behind Satisfactory and Deep Rock Galactic, and Lavapotion today revealed ‘Songs of Conquest,’ a beautiful turn-based adventure strategy game at the PC Gaming Show at E3. The single-player odyssey unfolds across a mystically charged, beautifully rendered pixel art world and sees players raise armies, command powerful magicians and build legendary kingdoms worthy of song. The fantasy adventure is inviting players to register for an upcoming alpha now at

Songs of Conquest is a classic adventure strategy game where players will shape the fate of their kingdom. In a land brimming with magic and opportunity, they will command armies of otherworldly beings and powerful combat magicians, ‘Wielders,’ as they undertake quests, battle monsters and dominate enemies. To raise the ultimate fantasy empire players must focus on developing war strategies using the games’ unique combat system whilst optimizing build orders, managing resources and exploring the rich and unique fantasy world.

“Songs of Conquest is our love letter to the old school adventure strategy games that we grew up playing, but with a completely fresh look and a unique combat system that adds so many new layers to the traditional formula,” said Carl Toftfelt, Game Designer at Lavapotion. “Our team is made up of games and TV industry veterans with a huge passion for fantasy so bringing this world to life is an incredibly satisfying project.”

“We've been talking about doing a game in the spirit of our beloved old-school adventure strategy titles since the very early days of Coffee Stain, so Songs of Conquest has a very special place in our hearts,” said Anton Westbergh, CEO/Co-Founder of Coffee Stain. “It’s a title that's captivating and beautiful, but at its core very gameplay focused, it offers great strategic freedom and we know fans of the genre are going to be absolutely enthralled."
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TT Isle of Man 2 Announced

Publisher Bigben and developer KT Racing announce TT Isle of Man 2, saying the motorcycle racing sequel will come to PC and consoles next year:
Bigben and development studio KT Racing are pleased to announce TT Isle of Man 2, the sequel to the official game of the Isle of Man's iconic Tourist Trophy motorcycle race. Several images have been released for the announcement. The game will be available in 2020 on consoles and PC.

This motorcycle racing sim is developed by KT Racing, a development studio specialising in racing games and known for creating the first TT Isle of Man game and other games based on the WRC franchise. The new game will recreate the Snaefell Mountain course even more accurately and offer a vastly improved riding experience so that all the thrills of racing are faithfully captured. More content and features will be shared soon.

Created in 1907, the Isle of Man TT is one of the world's most iconic races for motorcyclists.

It is certainly the most demanding and difficult motorcycle race. The course snakes through the Isle of Man's winding and narrow roads. Riders reach speeds of over 300 km/h, take off over bumps and scrape against low walls on a 60-km course with more than 250 bends to be memorised by heart: it's a breathtaking challenge!

TT Isle of Man 2 will be available in 2020 on consoles and PC.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I joked about it yesterday, but this does seem to be more PC gaming news than the usual E3. I wonder if that has to do with being near the end of the current console cycle? Whatever the cause, I'm happy about it. The occasions when the show is mostly console games can be a little depressing. It's also funny how much of the news from the show has rolled out already since it still hasn't actually begun. E3 2019 officially kicks off today at 2:00 pm EDT. Enjoy.

PC Links: Thanks Ant.
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Media: The Most Dangerous Type of Eruptions - Flood Volcanism explained.
Is Meat Bad for You? Is Meat Unhealthy?
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
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