Archived News:

Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Anthem Overhaul Coming?

BioWare is not giving up on Anthem, according to an unconfirmed report on Kotaku that says that an overhaul of the mech shooter is coming that some have dubbed "Anthem 2.0" or "Anthem Next." They say they have learned this from "three people familiar with those plans," though they say an EA representative would not comment on their findings. They offer a recap of the game's troubled history, and here's a bit of what they've gleaned of plans to put things right:
But the reality is that BioWare is still putting a lot of work into Anthem. Details on Anthem Next are hazy, but among other things, the game’s developers plan to overhaul the loot, the quests, the social aspects of the game, the difficulty, the progression system, and the world map. One person on the project said they’re planning to change the game’s entire structure. Right now, the entire world of Anthem is set on a single contiguous map; separating the map into segments would allow developers to tweak and play around with those segments without worrying that they might create bugs and glitches all across the world. “We’re also looking at breaking up the need to go back to [Fort Tarsis] after every mission,” said the person, “and what a mission technically is. That was always a weird disconnect. [We’re] trying to integrate the disparate parts of the game together.”

A second person on the project told me yesterday they were still doing “lots of testing things out and experimentation but still nothing concrete.”

New Mass Effect in Development?

A note at the very end of Kotaku's Anthem story mentioned above has a quick tidbit on BioWare's plans for another Mass Effect game. They don't state the source of the information, but here is the almost off-hand mention about a continuation of their space opera that concludes their report:
BioWare, meanwhile, is still invested in role-playing games. In addition to the much-anticipated Dragon Age 4, which BioWare teased last year, a new Mass Effect game is in very early development at the Edmonton office under director Mike Gamble, a longtime BioWare producer.

Path of Exile 2 Announced

During ExileCon today Grinding Gear Games officially announced Path of Exile 2, a sequel to their free-to-play action/RPG. This does not yet carry a launch date, and they say beta testing probably won't get underway until late next year. This page offers an Official Trailer, a Gameplay Preview Trailer, and the following details:
One Game, Two Campaigns
Path of Exile 2 is a new seven-act storyline that is available alongside the original Path of Exile 1 campaign. Both the old and new storyline lead to the same shared Atlas endgame. Path of Exile 2 retains all expansion content that has been created over the last six years and introduces a new skill system, ascendancy classes, engine improvements and more.

20 Years Have Passed
Since the death of Kitava, society has been slowly rebuilding. Ambitious men rise to fill the void and their thirst for power is once again corrupting Wraeclast.

19 New Ascendancy Classes
Path of Exile 2's characters are a new set of Exiles who fall into the same class archetypes as those in the original game. As such, they can pick from a set of 19 new Ascendancy Classes that differ from the old ones that are still available in the Path of Exile 1 campaign.
Continue here to read the full story.

Path of Exile: Conquerors of the Atlas Expansion Next Month

At ExileCon Grinding Gears also announced Path of Exile: Conquerors of the Atlas, a new expansion coming to the Windows edition of their action/RPG on December 13th along with the launch of a new Metamorph League competition. Here's the Official Trailer and here are the details from this page:
Conquerors of the Atlas
The War for the Atlas has ended. The Exiles who defeated The Elder have become a danger to Wraeclast. Zana has trapped them in the Atlas but their power is growing and will soon find a way back.Path of Exile's December 3.9.0 expansion contains new Atlas mechanics, five new endgame bosses, a new powerful class of support gem, a rework of bows, new items, the Metamorph challenge league and more!

Five New Endgame Bosses
Driven insane by their constant exposure to the void, the Conquerors of the Atlas didn't notice that as they were changing the reality of the Atlas around them, they were also changing themselves.

New Atlas Mechanics
The rules of the Atlas have changed. You now start in the centre and only fifty maps are available. To unlock the rest, defeat the Conquerors and earn Watchstones that socket into the Atlas. Socket one of these Watchstones into a region of the Atlas to both level up the tier of maps in that region and reveal new maps. Eventually raise the level of the entire Atlas so that every map is between tiers 14 and 16. Customise your strategy by socketing and unsocketing these Watchstones on the fly.
Continue here to read the full story.

RAGE 2 TerrorMania Expansion Released

Bethesda announces the TerrorMania expansion is now available for RAGE 2, Avalanche and id Software's first-person shooter sequel. This can be purchased through the in-game store for 500 RAGE Coins. Here's the Official Launch Trailer and here are all the details:
RAGE 2: TerrorMania has been unleashed!
In the second expansion you’ll explore the twisted and cursed alternate reality of the wasteland, the Deadlands. Reverse the curse before the skeletal forces of darkness can break free and take over the land of the living. Sounds easy enough. Arm yourself with a brand-new weapon – a powerful sword that’s also the key to unlocking the gates between realities (but mostly it’s a sword) – and face off against a legion of skeletal enemies. RAGE 2: TerrorMania is available for download now.

When some hapless Goons tear open a gateway to an alternate dimension called the Deadlands, it’s up to Ranger Walker to find a way to close it before the inhabitants of that creepy world make their way into the real world. You’ll explore the warped versions of familiar locations like Wellspring (Hellspring) and Overgrown City (Overbone City), as well as new areas like the Floating Islands and the Hospital as you track down fragments of the shattered NecroDisc in an effort to shut the gate for good.

TerrorMania introduces:
Continue here to read the full story.

Golden Joystick Award Winners

BBC News lists all the winners of this year's Golden Joystick Awards, where Resident Evil 2 was honored as "Ultimate Game of the Year." Here goes:
The full list of winners:

  • Best Storytelling: Days Gone
  • Best Multiplayer Game: Apex Legends
  • Still Playing Award: Minecraft
  • Best Visual Design: Devil May Cry 5
  • Best Indie Game: Outer Wilds
  • Esports Game of the Year: Fortnite
  • Best Audio: Resident Evil 2
  • Best Game Expansion: GTA Online - Diamond Casino Update
  • Best VR/AR Game: Beat Saber
  • Best Gaming Hardware: Nvidia 20-series Super graphics cards
  • Best Performer: Logan Marshall-Green
  • Studio of the Year: Epic Games
  • Best New Streamer/Broadcaster: Ewok
  • Breakthrough Award: House House
  • Mobile Game of the Year: BTS World
  • Outstanding Contribution: Life is Strange
  • PC Game of the Year: World of Warcraft Classic
  • PlayStation Game of the Year: Days Gone
  • Xbox Game of the Year: Gears 5
  • Nintendo Game of the Year: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Most Wanted Game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Critics Choice Award: Control
  • Lifetime Achievement: Yu Suzuki
  • Ultimate Game of the Year: Resident Evil 2


TOKYO GHOUL: re CALL to EXIST is now available for Windows and PlayStation 4, offering a horror/action game that's the first-ever game based on the TOKYO GHOUL manga released in the Americas. You can get a look at what to expect in the Launch Trailer and you can pick up a copy of the PC edition on Steam. Here are some spooky details:
In TOKYO GHOUL: re CALL to EXIST, a war for survival is being waged between Ghouls and Investigators on the streets of Japan’s largest metropolitan city. Featuring characters from across the franchise, including TOKYO GHOUL, TOKYO GHOUL √A and TOKYO GHOUL: re, the fight for survival puts players in the roles of Ghouls or Investigators as they engage in co-op and single-player battles. Ghouls and Investigator character types each possess their own unique abilities and weapons to master, including Kagune or Quinque type items. Players can pick their sides and challenge friends to see who will reign supreme in gruesome battles to the death.

“Like a Ghoul’s insatiable appetite for human flesh, TOKYO GHOUL fans have thirsted to experience a game set in the horror-infused world of their favorite anime series. We hope that TOKYO GHOUL: re CALL to EXIST helps satiate that desire for fans to play through the intense tale of Ken Kaneki and his ghoulish cohorts,” said Abelina Villegas, Associate Brand Manager at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “With single-player and online co-op modes available, fans can relive these stories or discover them anew with friends online.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Resolutiion Announced

Publisher Deck13 Spotlight and developer Monolith of Minds announce Resolutiion, a spellcheck defying action/adventure game coming to PC and consoles in 2020. The developers are a pair of brothers: "Our goal is to combine the fun we had in our childhood with a multi layered story which hopefully will make the players thoughtful," says Richard Beyer, one of the two brothers. "And surprise them with an artistic expedition through a futuristic nightmare," adds his brother Günther. The Resolutiion Website is online, and the game also now has a Steam Listing. The Announcement Trailer shows off the game's seriously retro look, and the game's description may or may not enhance your understanding of the plan:
An old killer escorts a curious AI through chaotic combat, puzzling secrets, and unsettling calm in a dreamscape of madmen and sane animals.

Resolutiion is a fast-paced action-adventure created by two angry German brothers leading a band of vagrants who loaded it with lovely pixels, dirty jokes, deep ideas and badassemotional tunes for hours of punishing combat, rewarding exploration, and layered storytelling.

Explore a fractured future, gathering weird weapons and stories, to piece together the past: a friend betrayed, a family broken, worlds at war.

To solve the mystery of the Cradles take on a multi-cultural-mashup of cynical gods, emotional machines, zealots, luddites, and furry critters in a world that doesn’t care if it confuses or kills you — oh hey, a kitty!
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Cat Saves Toddler From Falling Down Stairs. That was pretty damned remarkable. Siamese cats are so smart. Thanks Ant.

Get Company of Heroes 2 for Free

Company of Heroes 2 is now available for free on Steam for keeps for those who grab their copy of the real-time strategy sequel over the weekend. The game's DLC is also now on sale, but there's an additional freebie for those who sign up for their newsletter, as they will get the game's Victory at Stalingrad for nothing. Here's word:
There really is no better opportunity for strategy fans to get their hands on this great historical title, engage in its thrilling tactical combat and claim victory over the Eastern Front of World War II. Newcomers to the award-winning World War II RTS series can expect countless hours of single and multiplayer gameplay, where victory on the battlefield relies on the ability to out-think the opponent. Download COH2 for free now and kick off your single player campaign, wielding the might of the Red Army marching for Berlin or dive straight into various intense online multiplayer missions.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Released

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, Origin, and Steam, offering a new single-player adventure set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Yesterday's Become a Jedi trailer accompanies the release, though this is a mostly live-action affair, while last month's Launch Trailer shows off some cinematics and gameplay. Here's what to expect:
A galaxy-spanning adventure awaits in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a new third-person action-adventure title from Respawn Entertainment. This narratively driven, single-player game puts you in the role of a Jedi Padawan who narrowly escaped the purge of Order 66 following the events of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. On a quest to rebuild the Jedi Order, you must pick up the pieces of your shattered past to complete your training, develop new powerful Force abilities and master the art of the iconic lightsaber - all while staying one step ahead of the Empire and its deadly Inquisitors.

While mastering your abilities, players will engage in cinematically charged lightsaber and Force combat designed to deliver the kind of intense Star Wars lightsaber battles as seen in the films. Players will need to approach enemies strategically, sizing up strengths and weaknesses while cleverly utilizing your Jedi training to overcome your opponents and solve the mysteries that lay in your path.

Star Wars fans will recognize iconic locations, weapons, gear and enemies while also meeting a roster of fresh characters, locations, creatures, droids and adversaries new to Star Wars. As part of this authentic Star Wars story, fans will delve into a galaxy recently seized by the Empire. As a Jedi hero-turned-fugitive, players will need to fight for survival while exploring the mysteries of a long-extinct civilization all in an effort to rebuild the remnants of the Jedi Order as the Empire seeks to erase the Jedi completely.
Continue here to read the full story.

Jedi: Fallen Order Reviews

Here's a roundup of the first reviews of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. But remember, the Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded:

Fortnite/Star Wars Crossover

Epic Games tweets that the release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order marks the beginning of a Star Wars crossover in Fortnite, their battle royale game. Word is: "These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. In case you missed it, the Imperial Stormtrooper has been scouting the Island! Grab him in the Item Shop now! #StarWars." They don't clarify whether or not wearing a stormtrooper skin negatively impacts your aim. This Announce Trailer offers a look. Continue here to read the full story.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Trailer

A new Gameplay Trailer from XO19 shows off more of the stunning 4K visuals from Microsoft Flight Simulator, the upcoming revival of the series. Here's the accompanying description:
Coming 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next generation of one of the most beloved simulation franchises. From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blacksad: Under the Skin Released

Blacksad: Under the Skin is now available for PC and consoles, offering a noir adventure game featuring anthropomorphic characters. The Windows edition is on and Steam, and while neither site offers a launch discount, those who purchase the DRM-free version from during the first week will receive a free copy of Yesterday Origins as a bonus. Here's a Story Trailer and here's a bit on the game:
New York City in the 1950s. Someone murdered a boxing club owner, Joe Dunn. At the same time one of the most promising ring stars, Bobby Yale goes missing. Are those two mysterious happenings connected? It looks like the case for private detective John Blacksad, who is hired to solve the mystery by Joe Dunn’s daughter, Sonia. As the story progresses, we uncover a major corruption scandal that involves members of the New York City underground.
Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdom Under Fire 2 Released

South Korean developer Blueside announces the battle for Bersia is at hand with the launch of Kingdom Under Fire 2, their MMORTS/RPG sequel for Windows PCs. This can be picked up through the Kingdom Under Fire 2 Website, and according to its Steam Listing, the game will be available there soon as well. Here's the game's latest trailer and here's the announcement:
Combining the massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) and real-time strategy (RTS) genres, Kingdom Under Fire 2 is the most ambitious entry yet in the popular fantasy series, which saw its last release — Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom — over a decade ago.

“Kingdom Under Fire 2 has been one of the most exciting projects Gameforge has published,” said Tomislav Perkovic, Chief Product Officer at Gameforge. “We worked closely with developer Blueside to take an already fantastic game to the finish line, transitioning gameplay balancing from a free-to-play business model to a traditional premium model where players simply buy to play and have a content-rich experience from the start. Today’s launch of Kingdom Under Fire 2 is just the start as we have future updates in the pipeline that series fans will no doubt love!”
Continue here to read the full story.

Two Worlds II: Shattered Embrace Next Month

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump Studios announce Shattered Embrace will draw gamers into its shattered embrace on December 6th with the release of this final single-player chapter for Two Worlds II. This will be offered as part of a new standalone package or as DLC, which is part of the game's Season Pass. A newly launched Shattered Embrace Website is home to this project, and the announcement has details on what this will bring to the action/RPG sequel:
Picking up immediately after the events of "Call of the Tenebrae", you and your companions are stunned when the mythical, long lost Elves suddenly resurface on a remote island! But surprise quickly turns to alarm as the Elves reemergence brings a secret from the past with sinister echoes of the Tenebrae Order’s ancient evil! Now, with evil bearing down on the land and the unity of the races broken, the Shattered Embrace may spell doom for all of Antaloor!

With Dar Pha’s troubled mind assaulted by buried memories of her Elven heritage and an elite strike force of Adramelech’s zealots bearing down on you, you and your friends race to the Elven Kingdom of Arveran, only to find that the truce between Elves, Humans and Orcs has been shattered. In the kingdom of the Elves, seeds of distrust and prejudice planted long ago have borne bitter fruit and evil now wears many unexpected faces…
Continue here to read the full story.

Heal Announced

DISTRAINT developer Jesse Makkonen announces he has begun the healing process with the announcement of Heal, a 2D point-and-click horror/puzzle/adventure that will be released on Steam and mobile devices. This trailer offers a look at gameplay and the game's distinctive artwork. "Heal has no dialogue, instead, it's driven by the strong and obscure atmosphere. Heal is a very puzzle orientated adventure game, though I aim to keep the puzzles more on the easier side, so those won't interrupt the flow of the game," explains Makkonen. "It's difficult to describe what Heal is, it's not purely puzzle nor adventure. It has some light horror elements in the mix, and the theme of the game revolves around 'old age'. It's quite experimental like that!" Here's what that boils down to in the official description:
Guide an old man through the dark and atmospheric world of Heal in this abstract 2D puzzle-adventure point-and-click game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dream Detective Next Month

Dream Detective is a puzzle game coming Steam as well as Android and iOS mobile devices on December 4th. The Windows version will be a premium purchase, while the mobile editions will be free. This trailer shows off the game's hand-drawn art style, and there are screenshots along with more information on the game's Steam Listing. Here are some details:
Detective Allie is the star investigator of Dream Detective who finds herself in Dream Land one Tuesday afternoon. This new world is in peril as its precious Time Crystal has been shattered by unknown thieves, leaving time itself to become unstable. It’s up to Allie to restore what has been lost and bring peace to the land before the realm plunges further into chaos.

In Dream Detective, players will explore over two hundred beautifully-crafted Dream scenes that bridge imagination with the real world as they guide Allie on a path of growth and discovery. With thousands of lines of dialogue, a diverse cast of characters, and nearly 100,000 interactions and texts, Dream Detective will offer the ultimate object-finding gameplay experience in a fun, cute, and creative package.

Key features for Dream Detective include:
Continue here to read the full story.

Shadows of Kepler Demo

To support their Kickstarter for Shadows of Kepler, Infinite Hole now offers a playable demo for their Windows sci-fi survival/horror game on Steam. This is probably a make-or-break moment for their crowdfunding, as the game has so far attracted less than one percent of the $180K they seek for its continued development. Here's a trailer with their pitch, and here's word on the game:
Shadows of Kepler is a Sci-Fi Horror Survival game with RPG elements which brings an unique style in first person.

In our game you will have "butterfly effects". That means, choices matter, a simple yes or no in a conversation will change the whole fate of a character and even your path. Sometimes choices will be unconscious. Small decisions, great twists.
Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

That assault in last night's Steelers/Browns game was a very ugly look. I am on record with my love of tackle football, but the league does not make it easy for me to defend that position with moments like that. Respect to Browns QB Baker Mayfield for calling this out as "inexcusable," as a lot of players would not be nearly so direct in criticizing a teammate like that.

Unsportsmanlike Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Pittsburghers Celebrate World Kindness Day By Honoring Mister Rogers. Thanks Acleacius.
Calgary named top driving city in the world in 2019 Driving Cities Index. Thanks Max.
Stories: 3 Indiana Judges Suspended After White Castle Brawl That Ended In Gunshots. Thanks Boing Boing.
LASIK eye surgery: Retired FDA adviser who voted to approve procedure says it should be taken off market.
CMA Awards 2019: Trent Reznor Wins His First Country Award. Thanks David.
Science: Drug resistance: CDC report says we’ve entered a “post-antibiotic era.”
Researchers generate terahertz laser with laughing gas.
Wanted: 10,000 dogs for the largest-ever study on aging in canines.
Media: Keanu Reeves cameos in new SpongeBob SquarePants movie trailer. Thanks Acleacius.
That's crazy talk.
Fire Air Tankers Drop Load on Car. Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?
Follow-up: Joe Rogan on The New York Times Giving Peter Luger a 0 Star Review. NSFW.
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