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Friday, Apr 17, 2020

Free and Free-to-Play Games Roundup

Here's a roundup of some games that are free to keep and some that are free-to-play for the weekend (thanks SteamDB). One of these is a free weekend for DCS: UH-1H Huey on Steam, so we also should point out that a Sunday will mark the beginning of DCS Fly Everything for Free event (thanks Olaf). This will last for an entire month so that's your heads up to dig out your joystick if you're interested. Here's the list of freebies, including some that have already been mentioned here for completeness:

Free to keep:

Free to play for the weekend:

Gamescom 2020 Officially Digital Only

A post on Twitter concretely confirms previous indications that the physical gathering for Gamecom 2020 is definitely cancelled, and will be replaced by an online event. Word is that those who purchased tickets to attend this in person will automatically receive refunds. Here's the announcement:
It's official: unfortunately, gamescom will under no circumstances take place on site in Cologne this year. Just like many of you, we are disappointed, because, as the gamescom team, we have been working on a wonderful gamescom 2020 for months, just like the many exhibitors. However, it is also quite clear to us that, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we must stand united. This means that we must all be considerate of each other and reduce the risk of infection.

We are, however, already working at full speed on a digital gamescom. It is, after all, the world's biggest event for games, and that's what it should be again this year. You can already look forward to how we will celebrate the best games, and gamescom together with you, and millions of gamers worldwide at the end of August, even if it will only be digital and not on location this time. Because one thing us certain: this year too, gamescom is and will remain "The Heart of Gaming"!
Continue here to read the full story.

Halo 2 PC Testing Beginning

Tweets from 343 say that keys are going out for PC beta testing of Halo 2, what they call flighting. These are going out to members of their Halo Insider Program, but it's not clear if there's still time to get in on this by signing up. Word is:
Hey Folks,

We are beginning to hit buttons now. Please be patient as we roll out messages to invited participants on Halo Waypoint and an email outlining the process.

Update: We are about 35% of the way through sending out notifications. If you haven't received anything yet, we are still in the process of sending messages on Halo Waypoint.

Six Temples Early Access

Six Temples is now available in Early Access for Windows on Steam. Six Temples is a multiplayer magic slasher, as well as the answer to the question where does a three-headed monster get headaches. In this players compete in team-based arena matches using one of 12 heroes. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here are the details on the game:
Six Temples brings a diverse roster of twelve playable Heroes for players to choose from, such as the mystic Shaman, the brutal Executioner, the fire-wielding Wizard, the deadly Assassin, the cunning Huntress, and more. With a fine-tuned Directional Melee Combat System, players engage in precise skill-based battle not only against one another, but against a host of Undead and environmental minions that defend the map.

Six Temples features Abilities, providing heroes unique skills that range from simple passive effects, to devastating explosions, to complex, game-changing feats. All heroes have access to multiple abilities throughout the course of each match, including four or more basic abilities and two or more supercharged abilities, as well as magical items, which players can use to swing the tide of battle in exchange for treasure collected from fallen AI mobs.
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Total War: WARHAMMER II Free Weekend

A free-to-play weekend is now underway on Steam for Total War: WARHAMMER II for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This comes alongside a 66% off sale on the strategy sequel if you decide you want to play on after that. They also offer this post with a video for new players called 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing Total War: Warhammer II - A Newbie Guide. Here's the overview from the game's description:
Total War: WARHAMMER II is a strategy game of titanic proportions. Choose from four unique, varied factions and wage war your way – mounting a campaign of conquest to save or destroy a vast and vivid fantasy world.

This is a game of two halves – one a turn-based open-world campaign, and the other intense, tactical real-time battles across the fantastical landscapes of the New World.

Play how you choose – delve into a deep engrossing campaign, experience unlimited replayability and challenge the world in multiplayer with a custom army of your favourite units. Total War: WARHAMMER II offers hundreds of hours of gameplay and no two games are the same.
Continue here to read the full story.

Streets of Rage 4 This Month

Though many are currently restricted from being on the streets around their homes, the chance to walk the streets of rage nears, as Streets of Rage 4 will launch for PC on Steam and for consoles on April 30th. This trailer offers a look at the return to this fighting series that's been dormant for over 25 years. It also reveals plans for the game's battle pass, which is further detailed in this post on the PlayStation.Blog. Here's the game plan:
Publisher and co-developer Dotemu (publisher of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, developer of Windjammers 1 and 2) with co-developers Lizardcube (Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap) and Guard Crush Games (Streets of Fury) proudly announced today that Streets of Rage 4, the long-awaited return of SEGA’s iconic beat-em-up series, will hit PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One as well as Xbox Game Pass on April 30 for $24.99.

The news arrived alongside a trailer revealing the first look at Streets of Rage 4’s Battle Mode, a legacy experience returning from Streets of Rage 2 and 3. This feud-settling battleground is bound to help rivals recognize who truly is Wood Oak City’s finest alley-clearing ruffian, as well as settle grudges spurred by accidental friendly strikes during multiplayer sessions. Witness just a few of the ways champions will be able to dominate their allies by viewing the trailer here: https://youtu.be/TzeW6kuh6XA
Continue here to read the full story.

Oneiros Released

Oneiros is an escape room action/adventure for Windows from one-person development studio Coal Valley Games. This was recently released on Steam to a smattering of positive reviews. Here's a Gameplay Trailer showing off the game's interesting first-person visuals, and here's word on what we are seeing there:
Liam wakes up late just like any other day, but something just feels different. Doors to his room are locked, laptop's hacked, phone's broken and something just doesn't feel right.
The place definitely looks like his room, but at the same time it just doesn't feel like it is, anymore.
He just had a weirdest dream ever, feels like his head is about to explode and he doesn't remember what he did yesterday.
Find out what's going on and help Liam escape.

Summary
Oneiros is a first-person, surreal puzzle adventure game that combines escape-room, classic adventure and crafting/building mechanics into a single narrative-based, surreal experience filled with psychedelic visions.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hero Syndrome Drops Kickstarter, Adds Prototypes

Big Rook Games announces the suspension of the Kickstarter for Hero Syndrome, their upcoming puzzle/shooter hybrid, saying that this does not seem to be the right time to ask for support. But they do now offer a pair of pre-alpha prototype demos on Google Drive. One highlights the game's story the other its story mode, and they say to expect a combined demo and more news on the game in June. Here's a trailer and here's word:
Big Rook Games has a treat for those under lockdown today. While puzzle/shooter hybrid Hero Syndrome may have backed away from Kickstarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic, development hasn’t slowed one bit. As well as updates to the original Story mode pre-alpha, today you can download and play a prototype of Survival mode, a wave-based endurance sandbox featuring building, crafting, mining and (of course) blowing up thousands of deadly robots.

Survival mode features the same fast-paced combat and construction elements from the main game and the upcoming competitive team-play modes, but tasks players with a long, tough fight to the Martian surface. Starting in their deep underground (and increasingly besieged) bunker, players harvest resources from enemies, build mining facilities to fuel their operations, purchase and upgrade new guns and activate defense systems to keep pesky robots out of places they’re not meant to be. Between fighting waves of enemies, players can also delve into the fully dynamic caverns of Mars and tunnel their way to riches to fuel their subterranean war machine.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

It's something you might not notice, but the line underneath the links below now reads "Over 1.2 billion visitors since 1997." There is a counter at the very bottom of this page below the copyright notice ticking off visits. It's hidden unless you highlight the text, but if you do view it you can see we passed this milestone yesterday. I can still remember being overwhelmed when that counter first surpassed 36,000 visitors, so this just boggles my mind. It also seems like an appropriate occasion to thank all of you who come here, some for much of the 20+ years of the site's existence. I also like to think we're not just getting older, but better, as thanks to the hard work of Frans and Kxmode, we're now far more readable on mobile devices among other improvements. So I owe each of them a debt of gratitude I can never hope to repay. I can say that progress continues nicely on the remainder of the responsive update for the forums and the ad-free version for our awesome backers, but there are enough moving parts involved that I won't endeavor to attach an adjective to when these will go live just yet. Thanks again. Here's to the next 1.2 billion visits!

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Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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