Archived News:

Thursday, Jun 25, 2020

Get AER Memories of Old and Stranger Things 3: The Game for Free

This week's new giveaways are now live on the Epic Games Store, where you can pick up AER Memories of Old and Stranger Things 3: The Game for free. As you probably well know by now, each of these can be yours to keep if you claim your copies between now and next Thursday, when two new freebies take their place. Epic also provides a heads up on that next week's giveaways will be Conan Exiles and Hue. You may recall that two weeks ago they promised The Escapists 2 as one of last week's giveaway, but when they time came they explained they were investigating an issue preventing the release. Apparently this still exists, as the game is still listed as "coming soon." Here's word on this week's free games:
AER Memories of Old
Transform into a bird and fly to explore and experience a vibrant world of floating islands in the sky. Venture down into lost ancient ruins where each step leads you closer to the end of the world.

Stranger Things 3: The Game
Stranger Things 3: The Game is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series! Play through familiar events from the series while also uncovering never-before-seen quests, character interactions, and secrets!

Online QuakeCon in August

In this tweet, Bethesda and id Software announce QuakeCon at Home, a digital version of the annual gamer gathering. This will run from August 7-9, and they promise more details in the coming weeks:
This year we’re celebrating #QuakeCon @ Home! Join us for a global online event taking place August 7-9, including livestreams, tournaments, charity fundraising, and a few fun secrets.

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!

Diablo IV Quarterly Update

A new post from Blizzard offers the second quarterly update on Diablo IV with more details on what to expect from the upcoming action/RPG sequel. This covers a team playtest, a word about Blockout, storytelling, the open world, multiplayer, items and progression, and more. Here's a portion where they explain the addition of real-time cutscenes:
The second storytelling method we are developing is real-time cutscenes (or RTCs). Here we grab your camera and treat the storytelling more like a movie, so we’re reserving this technique for the most important story moments. Having these be real-time has great advantages—we can show your character with their currently equipped armor as part of the scene, for example. But we can also display them at your current resolution and with your currently enabled graphics settings, so they end up feeling more seamless and like a part of the game.

We showed you some early work on real time in-game cinematics during the BlizzCon demo. Our cinematics and engine teams have made a lot of improvements since then, so we were excited to see a fully produced cinematic serve as the climax to the Dry Steppes experience, and the team was not disappointed. Here’s a couple screengrabs that the story and cinematics folks have given us the go ahead to share with you as it shouldn’t spoil the details of what’s to come.

Anno History Collection Released

The Anno History Collection is now available, and can be picked up on the Ubisoft Official Store. Proving the old adage that those who can't remember history are doomed to re-buy it, this collects four past installments in the Anno series, all updated to be playable on modern Windows PCs. Here's a Launch Trailer along with word on the anthology:
Today, Ubisoft announced that the Anno History Collection is available for players on Windows PC. Developed by Ubisoft Mainz, the collection includes four beloved city-building classics fully updated and optimized to work smoothly on current computers: Anno® 1602 History Edition, Anno® 1503 History Edition, Anno® 1701 History Edition, and Anno® 1404 History Edition.

With the Anno History Collection, players can relive the captivating city-building gameplay of four celebrated Anno games and their original expansions:

  • 1602 A.D. and its expansion New Islands, New Adventure
  • 1503 A.D.: The New World and its expansion Treasures, Monsters & Pirates
  • 1701 A.D. and its expansion The Sunken Dragon
  • Dawn of Discovery® and its expansion Venice

Continue here to read the full story.

Mr. DRILLER DrillLand Released

Mr. DRILLER DrillLand is now available in the West for Windows and Switch, and the PC edition of BANDAI NAMCO's and INFINITY's action puzzle game can be found on Steam. Here's a musical Launch Trailer and here are some details to dig into:
Leading interactive entertainment developer and publisher, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announced that Mr. DRILLER™ DrillLand™ is available now in the Americas in digital form for Nintendo Switch™ and PC via STEAM®. Marking the series’ debut on the Nintendo Switch platform, Mr. DRILLER DrillLand is an action-puzzle game that challenges players to “drill” their way to the bottom of the screen by destroying colorful blocks in the game field, creating combos of colorful chain reactions and avoiding enemies all the while. The new release delivers new updates to its graphics, gameplay and HD cutscenes.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Almost Gone Released

The Almost Gone is now available for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering "a contemporary tale about death, loss and mental health" from developer Happy Volcano. A playable demo is available if you want to sample this, and you can take a look at the game in the Launch Trailer. Here's word:
Poised between life and death, isolated and alone, you must unravel the poignant truths that led to your fate. Dig beneath the beautifully rendered façades and interiors of an ordinary suburban lifestyle to discover a contemporary tale crafted by an award-winning author.

From your own home to eerily deserted streets, beautiful apartment blocks to abandoned hospitals, you must search forensically for clues and the path forwards. Each new revelation takes you one step closer to understanding, and to the people and places that surrounded you, in your all too short life.

The Almost Gone has been created through a unique collaboration between Happy Volcano, Joost Vandecasteele, award-winning author, and sound designer Yves De Mey, who also worked on the Oscar nominated movie Rundskop, recently acquired by Netflix.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ur Game: The Game of Ancient Gods Released

Ur Game: The Game of Ancient Gods is now available on Steam, offering a Windows adaptation of a board game that was apparently all of the rage in Mesopotamia over four millennia ago. Here's a trailer with a look, and here's a refresher on what they did for fun in the Bronze Age:
Ur Game: The Game of Ancient Gods is a recreation of The Royal Game of Ur, a board game which became very popular in Mesopotamia in 2220 b.C.
Play online or offline as an ancient god and express your anger or delight as you gain emotion points.

Ur Game: The Game of Ancient Gods is an action packed racing game in which players need to get all of their stones to the goal. Move your pieces by throwing a tetrahedral dice and place them all in the goal before your rival to become the winner.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Energy Vampires. Thanks Ant.

Obituary: Fantastic Four inker Joe Sinnott dies at age 93.

Steam Summer Sale Underway

The annual summer sale is now underway on Steam offering discounts on thousands of games between now and July 9th. They are also offering an additional $5.00 discount on a purchase of $30.00 as a "road trop special." This year's side hustle involves points that reward gamers for games they purchase, and these points can be redeemed for avatars, frames, badges, and chat items to customize your Steam experience. You will be credited with points for past purchase, and word is: "The Points Shop is here to stay, now open all year round." Finally, they are also giving everyone a free sticker every day to encourage daily visits.

Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer Released, Anime Series Announced

A new Official Trailer called The Gig was revealed during Night City Wire, today's online Cyberpunk 2077 presentation, offering a look at cinematics and gameplay from CD PROJEKT RED's upcoming RPG. We can expect more soon, as they promised Night City Wire Episode 2 in a few weeks. During the stream they also announced CYBERPUNK: EDGERUNNERS, an all-new anime series using the game's setting. Word is this standalone story will span 10 episodes and will premiere on Netflix in 2022. An announcement video discusses the concept and introduces the animation team at Studio Trigger. Here's more on today's new trailer:
The trailer features new footage showcasing the world, characters, story, and action of Cyberpunk 2077. It gives players a fresh look into the dark future setting that is Night City, and the beginnings of the mercenary career of V — the ambitious, cyber-enhanced outlaw players will be stepping into the shoes of later this year.

Cyberpunk 2077 will release November 19th, 2020, for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with the version for Google Stadia set to launch the same year. The game will also be playable on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles when available. At a later date, a free upgrade to Cyberpunk 2077, taking full advantage of next-gen hardware, will become available for owners of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions respectively.
Continue here to read the full story.

Path of Exile 2 Beta Next Year

A Path of Exile forum post on What To Expect This Year announces that beta testing of Path of Exile 2 will not begin until next year (thanks PC Gamer). Grinding Gear previously indicated that it's possible testing of their action/RPG sequel would be pushed out of this year due to COVID-19, and now they confirm this is the case, saying:
When we announced Path of Exile 2 last year, we mentioned that the earliest an early Beta could occur might be late 2020. This is definitely not happening this year, due to significant schedule delays due to the pandemic. We have been focusing on keeping our leagues coming out as close to on time as possible, and this does mean some delays for the sequel. We are looking forward to our next announcement about its upcoming content, and we'll keep piling on any technology improvements we can make into the existing Path of Exile client.

Beyond a Steel Sky Next Month

Revolution Software announces Beyond a Steel Sky will come tomorrow to Apple Arcade and the Beneath a Steel Sky sequel will launch on Steam in July. The news is accompanied by an Apple Arcade Launch Trailer. Here's word on the dystopian cyberpunk adventure and its art pedigree:
Tapping up the talents of legendary comic book artist Dave Gibbons (co-creator and artist behind seminal graphic novel Watchmen) once more, Revolution’s Beyond a Steel Sky gives players the opportunity to take their first steps inside Union City for the first time since dystopian cyberpunk adventure Beneath a Steel Sky back in 1994.

Beyond a Steel Sky stands as a thrilling story of loyalty and redemption set in an eery and terrifying world of AI-driven social controls. As can be expected of a Revolution adventure, the tale is woven with the studio's signature humour, supported by Gibbons' acclaimed artistic style.
Continue here to read the full story.

Twitch Responds to Abuse and Harassment Allegations

Twitch Blog has an update to the community detailing the actions they are taking to recent allegations of sexual abuse and harassment involving Twitch streamers (thanks The Loadout). They say they are reviewing each case and "ensuring appropriate due diligence" in deciding how to handle the situation. They say the most severe cases will result in permanent suspensions, while other cases may require further investigation and/or the involvement of authorities:
We want to provide an update on our investigations into the recent allegations of sexual abuse and harassment involving Twitch streamers and actions we’re taking. We are reviewing each case that has come to light as quickly as possible, while ensuring appropriate due diligence as we assess these serious allegations. We’ve prioritized the most severe cases and will begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with our findings immediately. In many of the cases, the alleged incident took place off Twitch, and we need more information to make a determination. In some cases we will need to report the case to the proper authorities who are better placed to conduct a more thorough investigation. For those who’ve come forward and would like to share additional information, and to anyone who hasn’t shared their experience and wants to do so, you can report confidentially through the reporting tools on each streamer’s channel page.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tales of Arise Won't Arise This Year

BANDAI NAMCO announces Tales of Arise will not be released this year as planned, due to "the ambitious nature of the project" along with the impact of the pandemic, which they say "has affected some aspects of development." As of now the JRPG sequel no longer carries any sort of official release window:
As you may have already seen in media stories and on our social media channels, we have made the decision to delay the launch timing of “Tales of Arise”, the latest title in the “Tales of” series.

The goal for Tales of Arise is to provide a familiar but innovative gameplay experience to fans of the series, while pushing the technical envelope to deliver a high level of graphical quality to impress both long-time players and those who have never played a Tales of game. Development on the title has move steadily forward in 2020 as we overcame challenges along the way.
Continue here to read the full story.

Earth: 9000 Early Access Next Month

Secret Forest Games announces Earth: 9000, a twin-stick roguelite shooter coming to Early Access on Steam in July. This teaser trailer offers a look at the game's more methodical take on the bullet hell genre, and if you're interested in trying the beta before the release you can request a key through Discord.
Earth: 9000 a new indie Bullet Hell, Twin Stick, Rogue-Lite mashup. You take the role of the Earth defending itself against a never ending onslaught of alien invaders. You'll unlock dozens of weapons and even more upgrades as you gain research from defeating enemies. You'll certainly be defeated, but that isn't the end, our patented Reali-time-nsion technology sends your research, weapons and upgrades to a new Earth ready to defend itself once again, but this time with the advantages of everything you've unlocked before.
Continue here to read the full story.

Election Year Knockout Next Week

Election Year Knockout is coming to Steam on July 2nd, offering a Windows and macOS edition of this mobile game that takes the gloves off of politics by putting on the gloves and turning it into a boxing match. This is a game that's already available for mobile, and the Story Trailer shows off gameplay that seems inspired by Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! Here's word:
Indie game studio ExceptioNULL Games today announced the release of Election Year Knockout. Fight to become president in a ludicrous alternate reality where elections are decided exclusively through boxing.

Immediately apparent is the game’s sense of humor. Witty and playfully-animated cartoon caricatures of famous politicians from both sides of the aisle line up to defend their territories against the player’s new third party. The characters quip and joke in reaction to how well the player is performing. As each region of the United States gets conquered, players add to their increasingly absurd party names. The campaign culminates in a final boss battle against President Donald Thump in the White House.
Continue here to read the full story.

V4 Pre-Registration

Nexon announces pre-registration is now underway for V4, an upcoming MMORPG for PC and mobile with cross-platform support. Word is: "Powered by Unreal Engine, V4 invites players to experience the world of Syllunas, a once paradisal land that is now being threatened by demonic forces, as the Alliance fights to defend it from Guardian and the once-mighty Scoria Knights." You can signup for this through the V4 Website. Here's a trailer and here's more on the game:
Set in a vibrant open world, V4 features six offense-focused classes including Enchantress, Slayer and Knight, allowing each class the opportunity to deal maximum damage and destruction as they navigate through the adventure-packed environment. Players can forge powerful alliances, explore realms, and conquer the battlefield in action-filled real-time player versus player (PvP) experiences as they advance in the game.

With over 50 customization options, players can individualize their character with lustrous weapons and armor that can aid their heroes in battle to unlock their true potential. V4 also brings a player-driven marketplace through the Trading Post, which allows players to ensure efforts are rewarded with player-set prices for equipment and items.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fairy Tail Delayed

Publisher KOEI TECMO and developer GUST Studios offer a new PV2 trailer for Fairy Tail, their upcoming JRPG. We don't know what PV2 stands for, but the clip features magic abilities, special outfits, and lots of shouting in Japanese. It also reveals another delay to the game, as the PC edition is now due on July 30th after previously being expected on June 25th (once upon a time the game was due in March). Here's word:
FAIRY TAIL’s extraordinary world of magic and dragons is captured in remarkable detail throughout this all-new gaming experience, with a phenomenal focus of delivering the type of magic and mystique fans of the worldwide sensation anime and manga series have been craving. In FAIRY TAIL, characters can now combine in a Unison Raid to unleash their magic spells at once to overpower enemies. This Unison Raid ability originally premiered in the FAIRY TAIL anime and manga, but in the game, all new magic and character team-ups will be featured, introducing exciting new powers from never before seen character combinations.
Continue here to read the full story.

Get Spider Heroes - Parkour Platformer 3D for Free

Spider Heroes - Parkour Platformer 3D is currently available for free on the Microsoft Store (thanks Ant). This is free to keep if you pick up your copy within the next few days (thanks Ant). As the title suggests, this seems like a bit of a Spider-Man knock off. It also offers in-app purchases despite the fact that they claim this normally sells for an eye-watering USD$80.99, which seems to strongly factor into the game's 2.2 user rating.

Morning Crowdfunding

  • CONSCRIPT - WW1 SURVIVAL HORROR by JD — Kickstarter. "During the First World War, a lone French soldier must navigate twisted trenches, scavenge for limited supplies and solve complex puzzles - all whilst fighting for survival in the midst of mankind’s most brutal and horrifying conflict." A playable demo is available. Thanks PCGamesN.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Don't forget that Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire presentation is today. The 30 minute episode should get underway at around noon EDT, with a pre-show getting underway around 10 minutes before. You can see it on Twitch Gaming among other places.

Also, don't forget our Game Key Giveaway for Supporters. At this point some of the entrants are going to get multiple keys without a drawing, so why not toss your name in the hat?

Reminder Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science
Thanks Max.

Image

Media

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