Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020

Ubisoft May Replace E3 With "Digital Experience"

Ubisoft announces that following today's cancellation of E3 2020 they are exploring offering a "digital experience" in its place:
The health and well-being of our teams, players and partners is our top priority, so while we’re disappointed, we fully support the ESA’s decision to cancel E3 2020. E3 is and will continue to be a moment where we come together as a community and share our love of games. We’re exploring other options for a digital experience that will allow us to share all the exciting news we have planned, stay tuned for more

Two Point Hospital Goes Off the Grid Next Week

Publisher SEGA and developer Two Point Studios announce Two Point Hospital is about to go green with the release of the Off the Grid Next DLC for Two Point Hospital, their off the rails healthcare game. This is coming to Windows, macOS, and Linux via Steam on March 18th, and carries a 10% pre-purchase discount between now and then. Here's the Announce Trailer that introduces this oddly insincere take on sustainability, and the announcement has more such cynicism:
In Two Point County, voter research has repeatedly suggested that the public's number one concern is with the environment. To secure her place in office... ahem, we mean, to support the green-minded community, Two Point County's ever-present mayor, Tabitha Windsock, founded the 'Department of Green Things'. She recently discovered it pays to go green in this time of poor voter polling, so why not join the mayor on her journey to ecological (polling) victory in Two Point Hospital – Off the Grid.

In Two Point Hospital – Off the Grid you'll explore three new regions each with its own unique characteristics. Help make Two Point County a beautiful and sustainable place to live, by researching 35 brand-new unusual illnesses (9 visual), like Green Fingers and Root Snoot, and experiencing exciting treatment rooms on your route to eco-friendly success. Get gardening to treat the region's most herbaceous afflictions, before moving on to Windsock City, the County's first eco-city, where you'll need to build green energy machines to stay switched-on and self-sufficient. Generated power can be used to open hospital rooms or allocated to the Patient Flow and Staff Applicants systems, to influence transport in and out of the city.

Continue here to read the full story.

DiRT Rally 2.0 GotY Edition This Month

Codemasters announces the DiRT Rally 2.0 Game of the Year Edition will race out on March 27th for the PC and console editions of the off-road racing sequel. They justify this by noting that it is is nominated for the BAFTA award for Best British Game, which is certainly not the lowest bar we've seen for a GotY edition. It will bundle the game and all its DLC with some new content which will be a free gift for all owners of the Deluxe Edition or a full Season pack. Here's the dirt:
DiRT Rally 2.0 GOTY is the ultimate racing package celebrating the best of rally and rallycross, including 81 cars across 26 locations. New players will experience the most authentic point to point rally game combined with the thrilling, fast-paced action of the Official FIA World Rallycross Championship: a traditional track-based race over multiple laps featuring six cars. Existing players who own the Standard Edition with no additional content can purchase the Colin McRae content as an individual pack via their platform’s digital store.

The bonus content, named the DiRT Rally 2.0, Colin McRae ‘FLAT OUT’ pack’, features new Scottish location, Perth and Kinross, with 12 routes, the SUBARU Impreza S4 Rally and SUBARU Legacy RS, and 40 scenarios spanning McRae’s legendary career from 1984 to 2006. Rally fans will test their driving acumen and take Colin’s seat with a range of challenges including time penalties, damaged equipment and mechanical failure. The scenarios take place in nine of the cars made famous throughout Colin’s career, including many iconic vehicles from previous Colin McRae Rally and DiRT games.

“After twelve months of working with our community and improving DiRT Rally 2.0, it’s great to have one complete package for both existing fans and new players to the franchise,” said Ross Gowing, DiRT Rally 2.0 Game Director at Codemasters. “Adding the Colin McRae Flat Out pack is the icing on the cake and the perfect way for the team to close the DiRT Rally 2.0 chapter and focus on the future of rally.”

Mortal Kombat 4 on GOG.com

Mortal Kombat 4 is now available on GOG.com, where they've worked things out so that this fighting game from 1997 can work on modern Windows PCs. They accompany the news with the original intro video and the following description from the original release, which marvels at the newness of the first 3D installment in the series:
A New Dimension of Kombat
Shao Kahn has been defeted at the hands of Earth's warriors, and now Shinnok has escaped to his confines in the Netherealm. The war has resumed once again. This time, the battle CAN be won by mortals!

  • REAL WEAPON KOMBAT
    Characters can pull out weapons that can be thrown, dropped or even picked up by your opponent and used against you.
  • INTERACTIVE BACKGROUNDS:
    Objects in the background can be picked up and thrown at your opponents.
  • SECRETS AND KODES:
    Mortal Kombat 4 is packed with hidden characters, kodes and other features that aren't even in the arcade game!
  • 3D FATALITIES
    Watch as brand new and classic fatalities take on a completely different meaning in 3 dimensions!
  • 3D GAMEPLAY:
    Characters can now move in 3D to dodge projectiles or pick up weapons.

Enter the sinister 3D realm of Mortal Kombat 4. Shinnok is ready... are you?

Continue here to read the full story.

E3 2020 Officially Cancelled

Following up on the story below, the E3 Website now officially announces the cancellation of E3 2020, with the ESA saying they are offering full refunds to exhibitors and attendees. They also say they are exploring their options for providing an online showcase for game industry announcements in June and promise E3 2021 will be "a reimagined event." Unsurprisingly, they confirm the cancellation is due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus:
NEWS: E3 2020 CANCELLED DUE TO GROWING CONCERNS OVER COVID-19 VIRUS
After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors, and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.

We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3Expo.com.

We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year. We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media, and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.

E3 2020 Reportedly Cancelled

There's no official confirmation yet on the E3 Website, but multiple sources are reporting that the 2020 Electronic Entertainment Expo is being cancelled, presumably due to the COVID 19 coronavirus. Devolver Digital tweets that everyone should cancel their flights and hotel reservations and Ars Technica says they've heard the news from "Multiple sources familiar with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)'s plans." This giant gaming trade gathering is scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles, and last week the ESA announced the show would go on. But several companies have already pulled out, including creative directors iam8bit. Ars says the official announcement was planned for yesterday but postponed, and Bloomberg says it should come today at 12:30 pm EDT.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps Released

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is now available for Windows on Steam and for Windows 10 and Xbox One from Microsoft as an Xbox Play Anywhere release. This video shows off a lengthy recently livestream event for this puzzle/action/adventure. Here's a description:
The little spirit Ori is no stranger to peril, but when a fateful flight puts the owlet Ku in harm’s way, it will take more than bravery to bring a family back together, heal a broken land, and discover Ori’s true destiny. From the creators of the acclaimed action-platformer Ori and the Blind Forest comes the highly anticipated sequel. Embark on an all-new adventure in a vast world filled with new friends and foes that come to life in stunning, hand-painted artwork. Set to a fully orchestrated original score, Ori and the Will of the Wisps continues the Moon Studios tradition of tightly crafted platforming action and deeply emotional storytelling.
Continue here to read the full story.

Super Mega Baseball 3 Announced

Metalhead announces Super Mega Baseball 3, saying opening day of their sports sim sequel will come next month on Steam and consoles with support for cross-platform play. This will bring new features to the series, and they say there will be a playable demo to allow everyone to check these out, and this sounds pretty generous: "What's more, there will be a Super Mega Baseball 3 free demo and trial version that allows users to play an unlimited number of games in the competitive online Pennant Race mode, promoting short matchmaking times and an active online userbase." The Announce Trailer offers a look, and the announcement has the play-by-play:
Get ready to play ball all over again as Metalhead is releasing the next iteration of its award-winning Super Mega franchise, Super Mega Baseball 3, next month! Super Mega Baseball 3 will release this April with cross-platform play on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and Steam for $44.99 USD. The game will have the deepest on-field simulation yet, comprehensive online and offline game modes including a brand new Franchise mode, and vastly refined graphics. In addition, Super Mega Baseball 3 offers a revamped user interface plus tons of new audio, team/character content, and stadiums with variable lighting conditions. All this with the same easy-to-learn gameplay that scales seamlessly from beginner to super mega levels of difficulty, as well as the continued ability to hit batters and knockout pitchers.
Continue here to read the full story.

Good Company This Month

Publisher The Irregular Corporation and developer Chasing Carrots announce a March 31st Early Access release date for Good Company, their tycoon/management simulation. The game is currently available for preorder on GOG.com and Steam, and this comes with a 10% discount and some cosmetic bonuses. A Pre-Order Trailer highlights the offer, while this Gameplay Trailer shows the mix of human and robot labor that contributes to your manufacturing efforts. Here's the business plan:
Good Company sets you up as CEO of your very own company, where hardcore tycoon fans will feel right at home with challenging and rewarding gameplay as you grow your staff, delegate tasks using the powerful Logistics mode and rake in enormous profits by inventing increasingly complex tech products that the public desperately craves.

Choose how you want to run your Good Company as the game lets you set your own pace: continue to refine your ever-expanding empire and find creative and efficient ways to maximize those profits either in single-player Campaign Mode or endless Freeplay Mode. In Campaign Mode, aspiring CEOs tackle rewarding scenario levels and bonus challenge maps, and in Freeplay Mode, the success of your empire is in your hands. Building a good company and mastering the art of invention, automation and expansion.
Continue here to read the full story.

Biped This Month

Publisher META Publishing and developer Tencent NExT Studios announce co-op puzzle/platformer Biped will walk onto GOG.com and Steam on March 27th, and consoles after that. With apologies to ATLAS and P-body, this features a pair of bipedal robots. As seen in this trailer, they feature various forms of locomotion, the most difficult of which seems to be simply walking. Here's the quick pitch on the game:
Biped is a brain-twisting puzzle platformer designed to bond players in moment-to-moment collaboration. While playable solo, Biped’s unique control scheme and intricate puzzles make it a perfect couch co-op experience for all ages.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Legend of Heroes: of Cold Steel III Demo

The Legend of Heroes: of Cold Steel III is coming on March 23rd, offering an anime RPG that debuted on consoles (thanks DSOGaming). The Steam Listing for the game is online, and this features a playable demo to check out in the meantime. Here's a Demo Trailer and here's the elevator pitch for the game:
Experience an epic story developed across three titles, and crafted for new and old fans alike. Also includes an interactive introduction to catch up new players to the ongoing story so anyone can dive right in to the world of Trails of Cold Steel.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

We've experienced mild weather in these parts for the past couple of days, and though there are a couple of colder days on the way according to the forecast, for the most part it suggests spring has indeed sprung in these parts. This actually correlates with Punxsutawney Phil's prediction last month, which hasn't always been the case in the past few years, despite all the hard science to back up groundhog weathermen.

Springy Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Links: The Best Sci-Fi Shows to Binge Right Now.
Last Meals on Death Row, a Peculiarly American Fascination. Thanks j.c.f.
Science: Scientists figure out how new coronavirus breaks into human cells.
Something strange is going on with the North Star.
Media: Looting random chests in games - Chest.
MAR10 day special on FLOPPOTRON.
Rebuilding The Worlds Biggest Forklift.
Follow-up: Coronavirus: Coachella music festival postponed.
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