Archived News:

Friday, May 15, 2020

Stronghold: Warlords

A new trailer from Firefly announces some units that will be part of Stronghold: Warlords, a new entry in their besieged real-time strategy series we must sheepishly admit we failed to mention when it was announced earlier this year. The game is due later this year, and the Stronghold Warlords Website has details on this Far East installment. This post has details on the new Samurai and Imperial troops shown off in the new video, and the game's Steam Listing has the following overview:
For the first time ever Stronghold: Warlords allows you to recruit, upgrade and command AI lords across the battlefield in the form of in-game ‘Warlords’. Each warlord under your command boosts your strategic prowess with unique perks, characteristics and upgradeable abilities. Put them to work for your industry, fortifying borders, forging weapons or team up for a pincer attack! Each campaign mission, skirmish game and multiplayer battle means a fresh set of warlords to command and new strategic depth to discover.

The next chapter in Firefly Studios' real-time strategy series, Stronghold: Warlords is Firefly's first game to recreate the castle economies of the Far East. In Warlords you take command of Mongol hordes, imperial warriors and samurai clansmen as you lay siege to Japanese castles and fortified Chinese cities. Besiege historical warlords using new gunpowder-fuelled siege weapons, classic units and a completely new way to play Stronghold.
Continue here to read the full story.

US Video Game Spending Sets New Quarterly Record

The NPD Group reports that consumer spending on video game products in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year set a new record:
According to the Q1 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from The NPD Group, overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. reached a record $10.86 billion in the first quarter of 2020 (Jan. – Mar.), an increase of 9 percent compared to the same time period last year.

Sales of video game content reached $9.58 billion in the first quarter, up 11 percent when compared to a year ago. Gains were seen across digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories.

Games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, DOOM Eternal, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, MLB The Show 20 and NBA 2K20 were among the best-performing titles of the first quarter.
Continue here to read the full story.

The "Longer Process" of Fixing Anthem

A May Anthem Update on the BioWare Blog explains that BioWare is still working towards putting Anthem on the right track. This is written by Christian Dailey, Studio Director for the BioWare Austin office in charge of what's next for the multiplayer action/RPG. He says the developers working from their homes have kicked off the Anthem "incubation team" to work on what's next. He also says they plan on more regular communication with everyone about their progress, which he admits "is going to be a longer process." Here's word on their mission:
The Anthem incubation team has kicked off and we are starting to validate our design hypotheses. Incubation is a term we use internally – it essentially means we are going back and experimenting/prototyping to improve on the areas where we believe we fell short and to leverage everything that you love currently about Anthem. We are a small team – about 30-ish, earning our way forward as we set out to hit our first major milestone goals. Spoiler – this is going to be a longer process. And yes, the team is small but the whole point of this is to take our time and go back to the drawing board. And a small team gives us the agility a larger one can’t afford.

We really want this experience to be different for the team and our players, but we know we have some tough challenges to tackle. We want to include you as we go and be open and honest with where we are at and what the expectations are with where we are going. The reality is you will see things that look awesome but end up on the cutting room floor or things that you might think suck that you feel we are spending too much time on – but in the spirit of experimentation this is all OK. We really want to provide you all the transparency we can because of your passion and interest in Anthem. But, with that comes seeing how the sausage is made – which is not always pretty by the way.

Tabletop Playground Early Access

Early Access to Tabletop Playground for Windows is now underway on Humble* and Steam in an effort to drink Tabletop Simulator under the table. This includes virtual reality support and carries a 10% launch discount. Here's a cinematic Early Access Launch Trailer and here's why you might want to roll the dice with this one:
If you are anything like us, and love trying new board games or replaying the classics, then Tabletop Playground is the game for you. The physics have been finely tuned so dice bounce over the table in a satisfying manner, and the Unreal Engine powered 3D environments means your polished mahogany gaming table has never looked better.

An incredibly easy to use but powerful editor with JavaScript support allows anyone to become a creator. Already 100 games have been shared by the community, and more are being added daily. Best of all underserved genres such as wargaming, which are tough to make in other sandboxes, are supported here with mechanics specifically made for playing with miniatures.

Today's early access release on Steam and Humble is a fully featured game, but despite that we've got a full road-map of new features and content on the way. New tools for the editor, further localizations, more VR headsets supported and a marketplace for professional board game creators are among the updates we plan to add during the early access period.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1

Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux itch.io and Steam, offering an offbeat first-person adventure that was up for an IGF Award earlier this year. This was developer by Cosmo D and uses the same setting as their previous releases, The Norwood Suite and Off-Peak. The Volume 1 indicates this kicks off a series: "Caetano’s Slice is the first game of many in the anthology of Tales. While each ‘Volume’ is its own self-contained story and experience, taken together, they build towards the larger over-arching narrative of what’s really going on at the corner of July Avenue and Yam Street and what role you ultimately play in its fate." Here's a Release Trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's more on what to expect:
Tales From Off-Peak City is a first-person adventure game series, all set on, around, and under a single street corner. Filled with memorable characters and the spaces they inhabit, the game provides an open-ended world full of secrets and hidden agendas. Building on the gameplay foundations of Off-Peak and The Norwood Suite, players will explore the streets and its surroundings, make pizzas, take photos, push buttons, open drawers they’re not supposed to, and lose themselves inside the atmospheric musical score that integrates itself directly into the game world.
Continue here to read the full story.

Get Good by Vypur Released

Get Good by Vypur is now available on Steam, offering the challenge to get good at this stylish 2.5D platformer. This trailer takes a look at gameplay, which features more rocket jumping than a Quake game. Here's word:
Get Good is a tough, rocket-jumping, platforming climb where you must use your hand rocket jumping powers to escape. Is the climb the reality? Or what's outside?, as you climb you may notice things start to change, colors, surroundings, and most of all, difficulty. The challenges here will push you to your limit. Do you have what it takes to make it back?
Continue here to read the full story.

Neverwinter Rage of Bel Released

Arc Game announces the release of Rage of Bel, a new episode for Neverwinter, their free-to-play Dungeons and Dragons game. The post explains the difference between modules and episodes and offers details on the new content, which is now available for Windows and is coming soon to consoles. Here's an overview of what has made Bel so darned angry:
Rage of Bel is an extension of the story for the latest update Infernal Descent and is a precursor leading up to the beginning of the story for the upcoming Neverwinter update. This episode has players take on a mission to defeat Bel, a menacing adversary, along with his most powerful lieutenants.

GTA5 Giveaway Back Online; Civ6 Freebie Next Week?

Late yesterday the Epic Games Store seemed to recover from the problems that knocked it offline, and the site is back in operation. This may have been caused by the crush of users trying to get their free copies of Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition, which is this week's giveaway. The premium edition includes the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, which unlocks a bunch of content worth over $10,000,000 of in-game currency and also includes a million additional spacebux. The game is yours to keep if you get it before next Thursday and you should be able to pick it up now if you were previously locked out. Like they did last week they are teasing next week's freebie as a "mystery game," leaving us to wonder if this will be another giveaway that will prove as popular as the GTA5 promotion. According to an unconfirmed report on DSOGaming it will be Sid Meier's Civilization VI, but we'll know for sure soon enough. Here's word on what you get with the premium edition of GTA5:
Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition
The Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition includes the complete Grand Theft Auto V story experience, free access to the ever evolving Grand Theft Auto Online and all existing gameplay upgrades and content including The Doomsday Heist, Gunrunning, Smuggler’s Run, Bikers and much more. You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, the fastest way to jumpstart your criminal empire in Grand Theft Auto Online.

GRAND THEFT AUTO V
When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath land themselves in trouble, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.

GRAND THEFT AUTO ONLINE
Discover an ever-evolving world of choices and ways to play as you climb the criminal ranks of Los Santos and Blaine County in the ultimate shared Online experience.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic MEGA Sale Fixed

The return of the Epic Games Store also gives everyone the chance to participate in their Epic MEGA Sale. This features prices up to 75% off as well as the return of their cascading coupon offer which gives you an additional $10.00 off of every qualifying purchase. Here's how this works:
CLAIM YOUR EPIC COUPON NOW
Sign in to your Epic Games account, then click the button to claim one $10 Epic Coupon (to use on eligible games or add-ons of $14.99 or above or local currency equivalent). The $10 Epic Coupon will be applied automatically at checkout. Note: If you make your first purchase or grab your first free game during the promotion before clicking on the button you will automatically receive your first $10 Epic Coupon. Coupons expire on November 1st, 2:59 AM EST.

WE GIVE YOU ANOTHER $10 EPIC COUPON AFTER EVERY ELIGIBLE PURCHASE
Use the $10 Epic Coupon to buy an eligible game or add-on of $14.99 or more on the store (during the promotional period) and you’ll receive another $10 Epic Coupon. Note: Coupons expire on November 1st, 2:59 AM EST.

GREAT GAMES UP TO 75% OFF
Get deals on great games like Control, Satisfactory, Borderlands 3, Anno 1800, Red Dead Redemption 2 and many more. Click through to find the full list of games!

Humble Games Launched

The Humble Bundle team announces the launch of Humble Games, a new publishing arm for indie development. The Direct Relief Charity Sale* mentioned yesterday is a celebration of the news. Here's a Launch Video and here's word:
Humble Bundle expands its partnership with brilliant indie developers by launching Humble Games, a dedicated publishing service to deliver the next generation of quality indie titles. Humble Bundle has previously partnered with top indie developers to help launch titles like A Hat in Time, Wizard of Legend, Slay the Spire, and Temtem.

To celebrate the launch of Humble Games, the Humble Games Charity Sale is now live exclusively on the Humble Store. Until 10 a.m. PDT Monday, May 18, all titles published by Humble on PC will be on sale up to 50% off with the majority of the catalog being offered in a Build Your Own Bundle sale which will allow further percentages off. Developer partners have opted to donate to specific charities focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The selected charities are Partners in Health, Doctors Without Borders, Direct Relief, and International Rescue Committee.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Smurfs Game Planned

French publisher Microïds announces a new agreement with IMPS to create a new action/adventure game based on The Smurfs, the tastefully colored Belgian comic franchise. In online gaming a fresh game account created to beat on newbs is called a Smurf, and making strong plays can also be described as Smurfing. And while it's unlikely this will include competitive play, we still hope it will so it can lead to statements like "he is really Smurfing in the Smurfs with his Smurf." Details are scant, but it does appear this will have multiplayer support, but it sounds like co-op:
The French publisher Microids and the company IMPS are announcing today the signing of a publishing deal for a video game based on «The Smurfs» IP. This new 3D action-adventure game inspired by Peyo’s comic books and developed by OSome Studio will feature a brand-new story. Alone or with friends, gamers will be able to dive in this exclusive adventure alongside the most iconic characters of this IP. To be as faithful as possible to the original material, players can expect tons of humor, thrills, friendship, suspense and of course, a lot of action.

Heroes Showdown Early Access

Early Access to Heroes Showdown is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to check out this free-to-play auto battler previously known as Epic Chess. Here's a trailer and here's word on the game:
Heroes Showdown is a new unique Auto Battler with a focus on strategic elements. Players will experience both the thrills of stunning graphics and in-depth customizable playstyle. In Heroes Showdown, players can choose their Heroes and battle plan before the match. Decide to fight their way against other players or team up with them to share the glory. The choice is always theirs.

The production involved PD Namkung Gon who was in charge with the development of Lineage II and veteran developers from Defense and RPG genre.
The team designed extended gold utilization, pre-battle planning, and the unique 4v4 team battle mode—core features that aim to reduce the element of luck and emphasize more on strategy and community.

Moreover, these unique features received excellent evaluation in the closed beta. Many enjoy the strategic mechanics in co-op play which is fresh and different to other games in the genre.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Play Next Launches

Valve announces the success of one of their Steam Labs experiments, saying they've now officially launched the Play Next feature for all users. As the name suggests, this will recommend something to try next from games already in your library:
Earlier this year, Experiment 008: Play Next entered the Steam Labs for testing. Using machine learning to make informed suggestions, the feature is designed to help users with extensive libraries decide which of their games they should play next.

Based on positive feedback from customers, Play Next has proved successful enough to graduate from the Lab. With today's Steam Client update, that functionality is now integrated into the Steam Library.

Users who have un-played (or very low playtime) games in their library, will now have a Play Next shelf available in the library view.

Out of the Blue

Since we were unable to determine why the message about use of an ad-blocker was appearing for some mobile users who aren't blocking ads, Frans removed the code that would display this message on mobiles. As far as we know, this problem is not happening for desktop users, so if you are seeing a message about an ad-blocker but you aren't using one, please drop me a line to let me know. Otherwise we will assume that this operating as intended. None of this applies to the ad-free version of the site for supporters, which also includes minimal scripting.

Unblocked Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Story

Science

Media

Follow-up

About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!