Archived News:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Get Arx Fatalis Free for Arkane's 20th Anniversary

This tweet from Bethesda celebrates the 20th anniversary of Arkane Studios (thanks Thinus). Instead of collecting birthday presents, however, the French developer is handing them out. The video in the tweet concludes with word that for a limited time you can Arx Fatalis free to keep if you sign up for their newsletter. You can do this and pick up your copy of their first game on this 20th Anniversary Website. There is also a series of articles there looking back at the studio's history, a digital art book, some wallpapers, and the promise of more in the coming weeks. Here's a refresher on Arx Fatalis from its official description:
This critically acclaimed first-person RPG takes the player on an amazing journey into the fantasy world of Arx. The game mixes intelligent story with immersive and actual medieval surroundings. Arx Fatalis allows the player to feel that all his actions have a direct consequence on those around him.
Continue here to read the full story.

Details on GOG.com's Seven Demos

GOG.com highlights more details on the seven demos they are now hosting in conjunction with their just-lanched summer sale. They also warn that you must download the demos you want to play before the summer sale ends on June 15th, because they won't be available after that:

  • Desperados III is a real-time tactics game with the story set before the events shown in Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive. In the demo released exclusively on GOG.COM, we meet Isabelle, a mysterious lady from New Orleans. She’s later joined by John Cooper, Kate O’Hara, and the rest of the band on two dangerous missions.
  • Destroy All Humans! is an open world action-adventure game about Crypto, an alien who lands in 1953 America. There, he must harvest human DNA and destroy all potential foes. In the game’s demo, released exclusively on GOG.COM, you’ll have the chance to test Crypto’s fancy weapons and even sit behind the cockpit of the flying saucer.
  • System Shock is a remake of a cyberpunk RPG masterpiece. As a hacker stuck on a space station, you must try to survive the machinations of the evil SHODAN A.I. In the 1-hour long demo you can explore the cold corridors of the space station and meet some of the SHODAN’s disgusting minions.
  • CARRION is a reverse horror game in which you become an amorphous creature of unknown origin. By consuming people around, this being evolves and becomes even more deadly. In the demo, you are tasked with escaping the research facility in which you are held.
  • Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about evanescence. You play Stella, ferry master to the deceased. The demo gives you a chance to upgrade your ferry with new elements, talk with its unusual passengers and… spend some time fishing.
  • Vagrus - The Riven Realms is a role-playing game with strategic elements. The game’s prologue serves as an introduction to the dark fantasy world of the game. It puts you in the shoes of the caravan leader leading his crew across a dangerous land to finish various missions.
  • Cris Tales is a beautiful indie game with all the best qualities of jRPG. Join Time Mage Crisbell on her journey across a world facing a grim future. In the demo, you witness the beginning of her adventure, as she’s meeting new friends and learning basics of time magic art. This version of the demo has two new characters, five new enemies, and three new time powers in the new Demo Battle mode.

Continue here to read the full story.

EA and NFL Renew Partnership

Electronic Arts, the NFL, and the NFLPA announce a multi-year renewal their partnership. Under terms of the deal Madden NFL will remain the exclusive simulation of professional tackle football games. Here's a bit:
Today, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) announced a multi-year renewal to their partnership, marking the biggest and widest-reaching gaming agreement in NFL history. Under the partnership, the EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL franchise will exclusively create authentic football simulation games, and EA SPORTS, the NFL and the NFLPA will partner to develop games in new genres, expanded esports programs, and additional experiences for fans across more platforms.

The agreement comes at a time when the world is playing and watching more Madden NFL than ever before as NFL fandom worldwide continues to grow. Madden NFL 20 is the most successful game in franchise history. Unique players have grown by 30 percent year-over-year, monthly average players have reached an all-time high, more than 330 million hours of the game have been played, and over one billion minutes watched on Twitch since launch. In just the month of April alone, player levels have nearly doubled from last year, and great community and celebrity-athlete competitions broadcast throughout the month led to the equivalent of 2,600 NFL seasons of Madden NFL 20 content watched by viewers around the world. Madden NFL esports also had its biggest year yet, with broadcasts on ESPN, ESPN2, and FS1 bringing Madden NFL competitive programming to tens of millions of fans.

Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 3 Delayed

Epic announces a slight delay to Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 3, saying this is being moved back half a fortnight:
In an effort to get everything ready for Chapter 2 - Season 3, we’re extending Season 2 by one week. The new launch day of Season 3 will be Thursday, June 11. Also make sure to check out a one-time-only live event called The Device, now scheduled for Saturday, June 6 at 2 PM ET (please show up 30 minutes early to help secure your spot, space is limited!).

Before the new Season, don’t forget to complete your Battle Pass Challenges and lock in appearance choices for Brutus, TNTina, Meowscles, Skye, Midas, and Maya. There’s still time to complete the recently-added Location Domination and Storm The Agency Challenges.

Ever Forward Demo

A playable demo for Ever Forward is now available on the Steam Listing for this upcoming adventure game from My Time at Portia developer Pathea Games. The full game is expected in July, and word is the demo includes a good portion of it: "The Ever Forward demo will let fans experience nearly 40% of the entire game content, challenging them with eight intricately designed puzzles. At the same time, players will be able to immerse themselves with the game’s dual environments and dive into the main characters (Maya) memories and secrets." Here's a Demo Trailer and here's word on the full game:
Ever Forward is an adventure puzzle game — it is the story of Maya. Maya is lost in a strange world somewhere between reality and imagination. She is alone to confront her despair on her journey of discovery, where she must unlock her memories and confront her fears to unravel the secrets of the world. Players will need to use their observational skills and intelligence to solve multiple puzzles to piece together the mystery of Maya's past and what dark secrets she has buried.
Continue here to read the full story.

Beatdown Brawler Early Access

Steam now offers Early Access to Beatdown Brawler, an offbeat wave-based fighting game for Windows. Actually offbeat is not the correct term, as this features a surprising amount of dancing as well as a rhythm mode option. You can see this in action in this trailer and read on for more details:
Beatdown Brawler is a zany 3d fighting game featuring four action packed game modes.
Continue here to read the full story.

PC Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes This Summer

Blueside announces Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes is headed to PCs this summer on Steam, a mere 15 years after the release of the action/RTS game for Xbox. This is the sequel to the Xbox cult hit Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders, updated with PC controller support and modernized graphics. Here's what to expect:
Building on the foundation laid by The Crusaders, Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes delivers another seven campaigns of challenging hybrid RTS/action, all backed by a thundering heavy metal soundtrack.

Set in parallel with the original Crusaders storyline, players control seven new generals in Heroes, including the half-vampire Leinhart, massive ogre warlord Urukubarr and the half-elf warrior Ellen. Wade into battle as your chosen leader while simultaneously commanding your army, now including powerful new elemental creatures to command.

Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes blends brutal hack n’ slash action, intense real-time tactical planning and RPG-style customisation of your hero and army. While the hero always leads the charge, players have plenty of opportunity to buy upgrades for their troops and customize what unit types are brought to the field.
Continue here to read the full story.

Resolutiion and Demo Released

Resolutiion is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on GOG.com and Steam along with a playable demo for Deck13's cyberpunk action/adventure. Here's the Release Trailer with a look some trippy gameplay, and here are some details:
The day has come. The Infinite Empire invites you all to enter the world of Resolutiion, an action adventure full of dirty jokes and punishing combat. Resolutiion is out now on Nintendo Switch™ and PC.

In Resolutiion players will slip into the role of Valor, an old killer escorting a curious AI to infiltrate a terrorist network. They will find themselves in a grim dark cyberpunk world where nothing and everything can be real and where they will need to crush a revolt against the dystopian paradise the world has become.
Continue here to read the full story.

Nordic Game Awards 2020

Nordic Game 2020 seems to have somehow managed to avoid the fate of all the other trade shows that were cancelled this year due to the pandemic. They announce that the Nordic Game Awards 2020 ceremony is now complete, and they reveal the results. Here's the list of winners:

  • The winner of Best Art is: Sayonara Wild Hearts from Simogo (Sweden)
  • The winner of this year’s Best Fun for Everyone is: What the Golf? from Triband (Denmark)
  • The winner of this year’s Best Technology is: Control from Remedy Entertainment (Finland)
  • The winner of this year’s Best Debut is: My Friend Pedro from Deadtoast (Sweden)
  • The winner of this year’s Best Audio is: Mutazione from Die Gute Fabrik (Denmark)
  • The winner of this year’s Best Design is: Baba is You from Hempuli Oy (Finland)
  • The winner of this year’s Best VR/XR is: Ghost Giant from Zoink Games (Sweden)
  • The winner of Nordic Game of the Year – Small Screen is: Sayonara Wild Hearts from Simogo (Sweden)
  • Jury’s Special Mention: Mosaic from Krillbite Studio (Norway)
  • The winner of Nordic Game of the Year 2020 is: Control from Remedy Entertainment (Finland)

Evening Patches

Get Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for Free

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is now available for free on the Epic Games Store, confirming the leak that the Borderlands combo-pack would be this week's free offering. This is yours to keep if you claim it by next Thursday when it will be supplanted by a new freebie. They once again are playing it mum about next week's giveaway, but the Reddit post that correctly predicted the last three free games says this will be Ark: Survival Evolved, so it seems like a good bet it's correct about that too. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here's what you can get for free right now:
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Shoot and loot as you explore the mayhem-filled world of Pandora in BORDERLANDS 2 and the lunar madness of BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL in BORDERLANDS: THE HANDSOME COLLECTION.

BORDERLANDS: THE HANDSOME COLLECTION includes:

  • 2 critically acclaimed BORDERLANDS games in one package
  • All bonus add-on content, adding hundreds of hours of gameplay at an incredible value*
  • Cooperative gameplay for up to four players

Get SLUDGE LIFE for Free

A tweet from the Epic Games Store reveals another freebie, noting that comedic graffiti game SLUDGE LIFE is now completely free on the Epic Games Store. The free window on this first-person vandalism simulation is much broader, as this will be yours to keep if you pick up your copy over the coming year. Here's a trailer and here's the description:
SLUDGE LIFE is a first-person / open-world / vandalism-centric stroll through a polluted island full of cranky idiots and a vibe so thick you can taste it.
Roam a tiny island stuck on a sludge covered planet as an upcoming tagger GHOST set on staking their claim amongst the graffiti elite. Traverse the corporately branded landscape, chat up other taggers, and discover secrets and idiots along the way.

Will you become the king of the island and tag every open inch, infiltrate sludge-pumping corporation GLUG to find a way out, or just take it all down in flames with you?
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Cloud Play Beta Launches

Valve announces the Steam Cloud Play Beta, confirming their plans for cloud gaming that were recently unearthed by a dataminer (thanks VG247). This also confirms a collaboration with NVIDIA's GeForce NOW, which is the first service this is connected with. They explain how to apply to participate and outline what's involved:
Steam Cloud Play is currently in Beta and features are being added over time. We are now accepting a limited amount of games into the service as we continue to build features and server capacity for players. The first service we are connecting to Steam to allow users to play games from their Steam Library from the Cloud is Nvidia GeForce NOW. There are more details below about how to opt your game(s) into the service as well as answers to a few common questions below.

Currently Nvidia GeForce NOW is available in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. Currently, Steam users will need to download the GeForce Now client and connect their Steam account to the GFN service to play their Steam Library. The user may pay a subscription cost to use the GFN service. Customers will continue to acquire games on Steam the same way they do today, and partner payouts will remain the same.

These cloud services enable Steam users to play their Steam library in the cloud, one game at a time, like they can on their local PC. Developers must manually opt-in the games they wish to make available on GeForce NOW.

GeForce NOW Boasts 2000+ Games, 200+ Publishers

Speaking of GeForce NOW, NVIDIA offers a new update on GeForce NOW, saying the library of their cloud service is "taking shape" with over 2,000 games and commitments from more than 200 publishers (thanks Hypothermia). We are less surprised that they offering so many titles than we are to learn that there are actually more than 200 game publishers in the world. This page has a complete list of games on the service, publishers who have opted-in, and games that will be leaving the service at the end of this month. They also note they are nearing the end of their trial period:
Going forward, only the games that are opted in will be available on the service, providing confidence in the GeForce NOW game library. Yet some publishers are still figuring out their cloud strategies. Those that haven’t opted in as of May 31 will be removed.

The current list of games playable on GeForce NOW, including mega-hits — like Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Destiny 2, Dota 2, Fortnite, Rocket League, Terraria and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege — can be found here, along with the list of games that will no longer be available.
Continue here to read the full story.

Brunswick Pro Billiards Beta

Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City. The Steam Listing for Brunswick Pro Billiards now includes a free playable demo for this upcoming simulation. And beta starts with "b" which rhymes with "p" which stands for pool! The full game is coming soon, but in the meantime here's a chance to check it out for free. Here's a description:
Brunswick Pro Billiards is the most realistic and immersive billiards game available for any platform. This is an officially licensed Brunswick product featuring real pool tables, pool cues, and billiard ball sets. Compete against friends or other players online for Brunswick Bucks! Use those winnings to upgrade equipment and tables. Players can also hone their skills against A.I. opponents, battle friends in local multiplayer matches, and play single player Challenge Modes offering a variety of gameplay options.

Field of Heroes Closed Alpha

Independent developer Gamieon is now running closed alpha testing of Field of Heroes, their upcoming online association football/soccer game for Windows. For those who complain this sounds boring, be aware that this take on it includes guns, so you don't need the ball to take shots. They call the result "an online medieval soccer-MOBA hybrid." This video shows off gameplay and you can apply for the alpha on this page. Word is they'll be taking on testers on a first-come, first-served basis:
Gamers will be accepted into the closed alpha on a first-come first-serve basis. Those who join will receive a free copy of Field of Heroes on Steam, access to Gamieon's Discord server, and access to pictures of the developer's adorable cat Missy (also known as Megakitty). Once all slots are filled, the closed alpha signup will close until more testers are needed.

Field of Heroes is an online medieval soccer-MOBA hybrid for the Windows desktop platform where players attempt to kick a ball into the other team's goal while fighting opponents with weapons and magic. Players may choose from one of several characters to play as; each with a unique weapon and special ability to foil enemies with. Drawing inspiration from other hit titles such as Pigskin 621 A.D., Altitude and Rocket League; Field of Heroes mixes competitive action with cartoony nonsense in a fun pick-up-and-play sports game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Those Who Remain Launches

After a couple of delays, Those Who Remain is now available for Windows and consoles, with the PC edition of this supernatural first-person adventure game available on Steam. Here is the Launch Trailer and for those who don't mind spoilers who are interested in more, there's a video on IGN showing off the first 15 minutes of gameplay. Here's word on the game:
Set in the sleepy town of Dormont – a town in a spiralling split from the fabric of reality, warped by darkness and the deeds of the citizens who reside within, Those Who Remain is a story-driven, first-person adventure thriller combining a deeply-atmospheric game world replete with tense psychological horror that delves deep into the human psyche.

Edward, a man who had previously enjoyed the perfect life, is attempting to break off an affair to put his life back on track by driving into the night, unaware of the darkness brewing below Dormont and the cause of recent disappearances. Players must confront the unknown horrors reflected by the darkness and survive the night as Edward is faced with a test of his sanity, morality and the shadows of evil that lurks below.

In development for over two years, Those Who Remain from Camel 101 presents a unique atmospheric psychological thriller experience. The game offers a suspenseful sensation throughout the story about the mysterious town of Dormont. Players can keep the darkness at bay and experience an immersive branching narrative with weighted choices and consequences and multiple endings.
Continue here to read the full story.

INDUSTRIA Announced

Publisher Headup announces INDUSTRIA, a first-person shooter set in East Berlin during the Cold War. This is in development at Bleakmill and planned for release on Steam in Q1 of next year. The Announcement Trailer shows off the game's bleak setting, and here we have more details:
Inspired by Source Engine classics like Half-Life 2 and Portal 2, INDUSTRIA is an atmospheric shooter that touches profound subjects concerning our past as well as our future. It questions our scientific responsibility, the nature of the universe's inner workings as well as how far we should go with artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms. With storytelling being a huge focus in INDUSTRIA and leaning on the work of David Lynch, the game is a surreal journey into a familiar dimension.

Berlin, 9th November 1989 - The streets are full of people. After four decades of division, thousands of cars are rolling across the inner-German border. The Wall is finally open! At the same time, a man by the name Walter seemingly disappears in a secret research facility near East Berlin. His goodbye message reaches you too late and you are forced to track him down.
Continue here to read the full story.

Stirring Abyss Announced

Slitherine announces Stirring Abyss, a squad-based roguelike from Swedish indie developer Sleepy Sentry coming "soon" to Windows via Steam. This offers an unusual set-up, as it's inspired by an H.P. Lovecraft story, but is set after the writer's death during the cold war. It also centers on the exploits of a submarine crew, but is not set aboard a sub. Word is: "A tactical squad-based game with strong RPG elements and a Lovecraftian narrative, Stirring Abyss plunges players into the deep end as they take charge of the surviving crew of the USS Salem, a submarine struck by disaster whilst on a top-secret research mission in the early years of the Cold War. They find themselves surrounded by the ruins of a forgotten civilization, their badly damaged vessel lying stranded at the bottom of the ocean." The game's Product Section is live, offering gameplay screenshots and a cinematic Story Trailer. Here's more:
Every expedition lives or dies by the strength of its crew. You have a diverse array of character traits and skills at your disposal, each opening exciting new options for both combat and story events. As you delve ever deeper, you may also subject your crew to powerful but grisly mutations; the price of survival is high, and no one escapes the abyss unchanged.

The horrors of the void hiding in the deep waters can become too much to bear, and your crew may experience episodes of exhaustion and insanity. Will their psyche get stronger, or will it be forever damaged? Only a game of dice with Fate itself will determine the outcome.

Salvaged resources can be turned into weapons, armor, or other useful supplies – or used to repair and upgrade the Salem, giving your crew a crucial edge in the fight for survival. The more you explore the abyss during the missions, the more chance you have of finding lost treasures of the deep.
Continue here to read the full story.

Solar Baron Announced

Solar Baron is a space tycoon sim for Windows that developer Preon Studio plans to launch on Steam in Q3 of this year. Word is: "Featuring a procedurally generated life-sized solar system, players will explore and exploit a variety of celestial bodies for fun and profit." The official website will cast further light on this, and it offers this Announcement Trailer. Grab your sun-block and read on for the details:
In Solar Baron’s world of dwindling resources, the government has privatized the stagnant global space agency in the desperate hope that profit-driven corporations can find a way to acquire the vast wealth available on other worlds and bring it home. As the head of one such company, players will traverse the solar system and deliver what they can extract from other planets and moons back to their home planet – at a profit.

Solar Baron combines the satisfaction of growing your company from nothing with the gratification of designing spacecraft and watching them perform real-world orbital maneuvers using realistically simulated orbital mechanics. With a range of available engines, fuel types, and components to choose from, players must tailor spacecraft to the needs of their missions. Players can extend their reach by constructing orbital spaceports and surface bases at strategic locations. Using a streamlined mission design system, players create tasks for spacecraft to perform while the game’s intuitive system works out the mission details automatically. This gives players time for more important things such as deciding their overall strategy, goals, future missions, and - of course - watching the bottom line.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Chef Announced

Team17 announces Epic Chef, a culinary life sim coming soon to Steam. If that title sounds like it will give your character a big head, never fear, as everyone in the game shares this trait, as shown in the Announcement Trailer. They say "In Epic Chef you take on the role of Zest, who must embark on a culinary journey to farm, craft and cook his way into legend, so grab your spatula and start on a journey to become Epic….Chef!" Here's what developer Infinigon Games is cooking up:
Epic Chef offers players a unique blend of cooking game and life sim. Alongside a fun and engaging narrative, the game also offers the option to farm, forage and frolic in the laid-back city of Ambrosia. From rearing animals to destroying rival chefs in surreal one-on-one duels, Epic Chef makes sure players will not be short of things to do.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blood Rage: Digital Edition Released

Blood Rage: Digital Edition is now available for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering a video game translation of the Blood Rage board game. This strategy game involves leading your Viking clan on a quest to reach Valhalla ahead of the onslaught of Ragnarök. Unfortunately your enemies are not the only obstacle you'll have to overcome here, as the initial user reviews are "very negative" with numerous complaints about bugs. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's word on the game:
In Blood Rage: Digital Edition, each player controls one of the seven ancient Viking clans: the Wolf, Bear, Serpent, Raven, Ram, Wild Boar, and Stag clan. Each one comes with its unique warriors, leader, and ship. Draft the best cards and use them to gain the advantage in battle. Raid lands, fulfill quests, and upgrade your units to lead your clan to victory! The original miniatures from the board game have been digitized into 3D-animated units using high-res photogrammetry, leveraging more than 100 pictures for each of them.

You must choose your drafted cards carefully at the beginning of each Age. Prepare your winning strategy for the game but make sure to adapt as your opponents take actions or claim allegiance to specific gods. Each god is generous with unique features: Frigga provides resources and support, Tyr strengthens your clan in battle while Loki rewards losing battles or punishes the opposing winner. Deduce their plan and play tactically to counter them. Winning battle is not the only way to victory, as you sometimes gain more victory points by sacrificing your troops!
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Brothers in Blood: WWII Co-op Announced

Publisher/developer Happy Dog Interactive announces Brothers in Blood: WWII Co-op, a first-person shooter coming to Steam Early Access in late summer/early fall of this year. They offer an Alpha Trailer that features some shooting of and by some suspiciously immobile characters. Here's the recruiting pitch:
Brothers in Blood is a unique cooperative first person shooter which will feature both well known and (in some cases) lesser known battles spanning across World War II. You and your friends will need to coordinate your efforts and rely on each other as the bombs fall and enemies engage you on all sides. Thrilling gun fights and an array of weapons to mow down your foes with are all featured in this engaging World War II cooperative experience. Fun first design is balanced out with immersive details throughout the game. We’ll be starting with Allied efforts on the western front before progressing to other areas.
Continue here to read the full story.

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