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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Delayed

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Hardsuit Labs announce a setback for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, the upcoming RPG sequel. The game was previously expected in first quarter of 2020, but now they say to expect it later in the year. Like vampires, delays suck, but they assure is this is intended to make for a better game. This Dev Blog Post goes into detail, while the announcement has the big picture:
Over the last few months, it has become clear to Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs that hitting the original launch time frame of Q1 2020 would risk shipping a game that does not meet the ambitions that developer and publisher share. This decision has been made to ensure that Paradox and Harsuit deliver the best Bloodlines 2 experience possible.

You can learn more about this decision from Narrative Lead Brian Mitsoda’s letter to the community here: https://www.bloodlines2.com/en/dev-blog-post

Over the course of PDXCON, Paradox’s press and community conference taking place in Berlin, Germany this weekend, Hardsuit Labs and Paradox will give more insight into the development Bloodlines 2 as well as their ambitions for the game. Fans who want to learn more can tune into the Paradox Twitch channel to watch the talks and panels throughout the event at https://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive

Six Temples Beta Next Week

Developer Camel Cup Graphics announces a private beta for Six Temples will begin on October 25th. They say over 1,200 players have already signed up, but they say those interested in participating can still register on the Six Temples Website. Here's how they describe this competitive multiplayer game: "In Six Temples, players choose from 1 of 10 heroes per match, compete in robust procedurally-generated maps, and fight for territory among three teams of 36 players by capturing six of the map’s temples." Here's more on what to expect from the beta:
The title brings engaging melee combat, jaw-dropping magic abilities, incredible and diverse battle characters, competitive timed matches, and environmental destruction all in robust procedurally-generated arenas.

For the Private Beta, Six Temples offers players:

  • Three valiant heroes to choose from: The Barbarian, The Wizard, and The Mercenary
  • One full-sized dynamic map, Acropolis (tropical, semi-arid ), and a training mode, The Lookout (an arena map floating in the sky)
  • Competitive conquests in large-scale battles with three teams of 12 players
  • Temples, Shrines, and magical Artifacts hidden in the landscape for teams to locate and capture to expand their territory
  • Engaging melee and physics-based combat where you can experience real-time simulation on a mythic scale

The Watchers Beta Plans

Straight Back Games have announces a beta test for The Watchers that will run from October 31st to November 3rd on Steam. This is a co-op puzzle game not to be confused with Watchers, a top-down battle royale game that's also in beta testing. You can get in on the beta for Windows or macOS through the game's Discord where they're handing out keys in pairs so you and a friend can check out the co-op support. This trailer offers a look at the game, and here's more:
Take control of twins (brother and sister) as they search an abandoned cult headquarters for clues to the disappearance of their mother. In this unique duo co-op experience, players must combine strong communication and navigation skills to gather cursed objects and evade disturbing enemies.

"We wanted to make a game that really requires players to work together," said game designer Joe Fender. "Think Dark Souls difficulty but now you have someone else to blame. There are no jump scares here - instead, we create horror through atmosphere and challenging puzzles."
Continue here to read the full story.

Rebel Inc: Escalation Early Access

Early Access to Rebel Inc: Escalation is now underway on Steam, offering a first chance to check out this Windows political/military strategy simulation from the creator of Plague Inc. The Official Launch Trailer has a look at what to expect with some literal fake news which escalates quickly. Here's word:
In Rebel Inc: Escalation, the war is ‘over’ - but we all know that doesn't mean anything. In order to stabilise a war-torn country, you need to balance competing military and civilian priorities to win the hearts and minds of the people, whilst also stopping a deadly insurgency from seizing power!

Following on from the global mega hit 'Plague Inc.' with over 130 million players, Rebel Inc: Escalation offers a deeply engaging, strategic challenge inspired by the complexities and consequences of modern counter insurgency. It has received acclaim from international development experts and was even featured at a major international peace conference!

“Rebel Inc. lets everyone wrestle with the messy challenges of post-conflict recovery and better understand the complex realities of building peace.” - World Bank Global Lead for Stability, Peace and Security

Rebel Inc: Escalation will combine the original’s critically acclaimed gameplay with significant, all-new features for PC including a campaign, multiplayer, steam workshop support, improved graphics and lots more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Beat Hazard 2 Released

Beat Hazard 2 is now out of Early Access and available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a Windows action shooter powered by your own music collection. You can see and hear this in action in this trailer, and here's more, not to beat a dead horse:
Experience your music collection as never before with this intense music driven arcade shooter.

Each of your songs will have its own unique ebb and flow based on the music. Beat Hazard 2 seamlessly mixes the love of gaming and music. Together they become greater than the sum of their parts.

Beat Hazard 2 improves on and ramps up the awesome zen feeling of battling to your own music. Power up your spaceship and watch as the music boosts your firepower. Unleash hell on the enemy ships when you max out with weapon pickups!

Premium music streaming services will be supported via an 'Open Mic' system that can listen in to any music source. Now the music world is your oyster, play to Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, or any other provider!
Continue here to read the full story.

GRANDIA HD Remaster and GRANDIA II HD Remaster Released

GRANDIA HD Remaster is now available on Steam, and GRANDIA II HD Remaster is now out on Steam as well, offering Windows editions of these JRPGS with updated graphics for both gameplay and cinematics. Here's a quick refresher on both games:
GRANDIA tells the story of Justin, the protagonist, and his companions in a race against the evil Garlyle Forces to uncover the long-lost secrets of an ancient civilization. Experience the game that became an instant classic and is considered to be one of the most influential RPGs of all time.

Pick up your Geoblade and take up the fight against evil once more in GRANDIA II HD Remaster!

Take on the role of a hardened mercenary with a heart and go on an epic adventure filled with magic, new friendships, and surprising storyline twists in search of a weapon once weilded by a diety. Experience the classic tale of a band of adventurers destined to save the world, but things are not always as they seem...

Unsouled Announced

Publisher PQube Limited and developer MeGusta Game announce Unsouled, a top-down action/RPG coming to Steam in spring 2020. This one-man project features pixelart graphics which are shown off in the Announcement Trailer, and attendees of EGX 2019 in London will get to see the game in action beginning tomorrow. Here's more on what this will offer:
A deep and melancholic story told inbetween intense and highly-stylised combat, which is set in an atmospheric, destructible 3D pixel-art world, is coming to PC in Spring 2020.

Story
A man and a woman - both human, both with the monstrous ability to absorb the souls of the dead. Their power gives them choice. Choice to subjugate the weak or to protect them, choice to destroy or to create, choice to rule or serve.

Their choice was not the same.

Gameplay
Fighting the creatures that are trying to stop you on your journey is as challenging as it is rewarding. While it only takes a couple of hits to send you back to the last statue you rested at, one well-timed parry can lead into a devestating counter-attack that lets you chain your slashes onto nearby foes in a spectacular flurry.

Environment
Ruins, mausoleums, caves. Lifeless places. The world of Unsouled might seem dark and melancholic at first, but all the more overwhelming are the moments of silence and peace when the camera zooms out as you uncover one of the game's lookout points with a glorious panoramic view over its surpisingly lush
Continue here to read the full story.

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Honest Trailers - Zombieland.

Chernobylite Early Access

Early Access to Chernobylite is now underway on Steam, offering a first crack at this survival/horror game set in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (thanks Rhialto). You can get a look at the game in the Early Access Launch Trailer, and an update on the Official Website has a bit on the game, its crowdfunding, and what to expect from the Early Access version. Here's a full description:
Chernobylite is a science-fiction survival horror experience. The game is mixing free exploration of its disturbing world with challenging combat, unique crafting and non-linear storytelling. We will constantly challenge you to:

SURVIVE
Craft your gear and weapons to protect yourself from the supernatural threats lurking in the zone. Decide what happens in the world around you.

PLAY BY YOUR OWN RULES
Ally or compete with other stalkers of the Chernobyl zone to survive. Each day brings new challenges. Plan your strategy carefully if you want to survive.

EXPERIENCE
Maintain your resolve and keep your wits about you – the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is not what it once was. No one can foresee the horrors that may have befallen your beloved.

Chernobylite
main features

  • Explore the beautiful and horrifyingly accurate 3D-scanned recreation of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone;
  • Collaborate or compete with other stalkers you meet in the Zone. But whatever you do never fully trust them. Remember everybody has a hidden agenda. Always;
  • Face and survive the natural and supernatural threats;
  • Immerse yourself in the non-linear, thrilling, science-fiction horror story;
  • Make a good use of your character's knowledge, to craft your equipment and manage your supplies;
  • Fight against the savage creatures pouring from the alternate reality;
  • Investigate and collect data with sophisticated environment and substance analyzing tools.

Continue here to read the full story.

Riot Announces Tactical Shooter and Card Game

A Riot Pls Anniversary Edition Recap has a roundup from Riot Games of some new announcements from the League of Legends developer. Besides a roadmap for their MOBA, of particular interest are Legends of Runeterra, a strategic card game and Project A, a competitive character-based tactical shooter. Here's a Project A trailer and here's word on both games:
Legends of Runeterra
Set in the world of League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra is the strategy card game where skill, creativity, and cleverness determine your success. Choose your champions and combine cards from different regions—each with their own style and strategic advantage—then build the perfect deck to take down the rest.

Pre-register for the beta now with a chance to participate in a special preview of the game from 10/15 to 10/20. Pre-registration also unlocks the Moonstruck Poro at launch!

Project A
Project A is a stylish, competitive, character-based tactical shooter. Follow @RiotGames on Twitter for new updates.
Continue here to read the full story.

Strategic Mind: The Pacific This Month

Starni Games announces Strategic Mind: The Pacific will be officially released on Steam on October 25th with the conclusion of the Early Access run for this World War II turn-based strategy game. The news comes with a new story trailer, though this features a genuinely terrible audio mix. For a look at gameplay, the previously released Gameplay & Mechanics trailer has a look and a cleaner soundtrack. For more on the game you can wrap your strategic mind around the following details:
In Strategic Mind: The Pacific you’ll face the waging war between the USA and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Ocean – with mindblowing historical accuracy and attention to detail. The game offers an immersive experience of commanding both sides of the conflict, allowing you to gain a unique understanding of the situation through the eyes of both sides’ real-life commanders.

Build up, train and equip your troops with the newest weaponry available to maximize their efficiency and set sail for victory. The core element of the game is large scale naval battles with numerous carrier ships bringing aircraft into the battle for seizing control over the ocean. Upon overtaking the sea you will have to set foot on hostile land through a series of costly landing operations.

You will have to make your naval, aerial and amphibious forces act as one flawless mechanism - a task only a truly strategic mind can achieve.

Key features

  • Two full campaigns featuring both sides of the conflict;
  • Unreal Engine-based graphics with historically accurate models of all units;
  • Over 60 minutes of plot-driven cinematics;
  • Full English voiceover for all the characters;
  • Rich upgrades and equipment system;
  • Thought-through tactics;
  • Complex naval battles mechanics allow you to damage various ship systems – armament, hull, engine, flight deck, etc;
  • Headquarters traits system;
  • Heroes you can assign to a particular unit.

Continue here to read the full story.

CARRUMBLE Delayed; Open Beta Next Week

Italian indie developer 3DClouds announces they are still getting ready to rumble with the launch of CARRUMBLE, but that this will be a few weeks later than planned. The free-to-play car-fighting game was supposed to come to Steam today, but now this is expected on November 6th. A first chance to play the game will come sooner than that, however, as they announce an open beta test will commence on September 25th. Here's word:
"We had hoped to complete CARRUMBLE by the original date but we realized that some features where just not quite where we wanted them to be so we prefer to take the additional time and ensure the maximum gameplay experience. Carrumble is complete and ready to play but we will use this extra time to polish, balance and implement some of the closed beta feedback. We are confident that this will make CARRUMBLE an even more fun game to play and to watch.

CARRUMBLE will be supported long term after launch with lots of new content still to be created and this delay will ensure that the launch version will be the very best version possible.

We thank you for your continuous support and to reward you for patience we are preparing an Open Beta for the weekend of October 25th, where everyone will be able to judge for themselves the progress made.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Announced

SEGA announces Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, an updated version of this platformer released for Wii in 2006. This will feature update graphics and will come to consoles this month and to Steam at some point this winter. This will also include the addition of a familiar character, as Sonic the Hedgehog will roll into the new version of the game. Here's a hyperactive Announcement Trailer, and here's more on the game:
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD revitalizes this classic title with updated graphics (480p > 1080p at 60fps) and optimized controls for each platform. Motion controls from the original Banana Blitz have been removed in favor of tightened analog controls, making it a breeze to jump in and start rolling through the game's 100 levels.

About Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD:

  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz is Back in HD: Originally released on the Wii in 2006, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD reinvigorates the original game with 100 single-player stages, 10 multi-player mini-games, revamped control schemes, updated graphics, and more.
  • Online Leaderboards: A first for the series, players can now compete with others around the world through online leaderboards for single-player Time Attack and the all-new Mini-Game Decathlon Score Attack modes.
  • No Monkey Business - Play Your Way: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. With uniquely optimized control schemes for each platform, everyone from first-time rollers to world-record holders can jump right in to the fun.

Continue here to read the full story.

OUTBUDDIES Out

OUTBUDDIES is now out, and this "otherworldly non-linear Metroidvania adventure" is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam. As explained in this announcement from the game's solo developer, "this is not the end, but the beginning of my journey making this game." Here's the Launch Trailer and here's word on the game:
Enter Bahlam, a sunken city of the Old Gods, located deep in the South Atlantic Ocean. Following a shipwreck, adventurer and maritime archaeologist Nikolay Bernstein regains consciousness 36.000 feet under the sea. He's severely wounded and unwillingly connected to a supernatural Buddy-unit. Searching for answers about his displacement our main protagonist digs deep into the lost undercity, gradually realizing an ominous presence hollowing in its shadowed caverns.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hardware Reviews

  • AKiTiO Node Lite SE Thunderbolt 3 on TweakTown.
  • Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max Smartphones on AnandTech.
  • ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX-TB3 Motherboard on TechPowerUp.
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G5 Power Supply Unit on Nikk Tech.
  • GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER GAMING OC Graphics Card on TweakTown.
  • iStorage datAshur PRO2 Encrypted USB Drive on Neoseeker.
  • Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. M Wireless Keyboard on Mad Shrimps.
  • MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge WiFi Motherboard on Overclockers Club.
  • MSI Trident X 9th (Intel Core i7-9700K + NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080) Graphics Card on TechPowerUp.
  • Silverstone Lucid LD03 Case on Modders-Inc.
  • Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS Flight Pack on Overclocked Inside. German.

Out of the Blue

It's been long enough since my sciatica pain subsided that I now find myself sitting in ways that I shouldn't. Clearly I haven't learned my lesson well enough, though as soon as I notice my lapses I start to sit up straight again. Clearly old habits die hard, but hopefully I am being attentive enough that I can avoid a relapse. I certainly don't want to go through that pain again, especially if it can be avoided.

Unavoidable Links: Thanks Ant.
Stories: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 nominees are....
Dutch family 'waiting for end of time' discovered in basement. Thanks Acleacius.
Bringing in the big gun: Army paves way for “strategic cannon.” Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Humans will never leave Earth’s solar system- Nobel laureate. Thanks RedEye9.
Near-infinite specific thrust from drive that ignores physics. Thanks Neutronbeam.
CBD or THC: Common Drug Test Can’t Tell the Difference. Thanks j.c.f.
How Magic Mushrooms Can Help Smokers Kick The Habit. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: Irish man leaves funny recording for his funeral. NSFW.
Customer Service In Real Life.
Cruise Ship Passing Through Corinth Canal.