Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

Crucible Reverting to Closed Beta

A Developer Update on the Crucible Website announces that Amazon is attempting to put the toothpaste back in the tube with Crucible by returning the first-person shooter to the closed beta phase. Word is they'll continue to follow the Crucible Roadmap they previously laid out for the project. Existing players will continue to have access, but as of noon EDT tomorrow the game will no longer be available to newcomers, so if you want to be part of the closed beta you'll need to head over to Steam to pick it up. Crucible made its free-to-play launch last month, but the first warning that it was not living up to expectations came two weeks later when they retired a couple of its game modes. Here's word on where they intend to go from here:
A few weeks ago, I told you about the steps we were taking to change and improve Crucible in response to your feedback. That plan is still the same, but we’re taking a new step that will help us focus on providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better. Starting tomorrow, Crucible is moving to closed beta. We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.

For the most part, your experience as a Crucible player will stay pretty much the same while we’re in beta. One of the biggest changes you’ll see is that we’re going to schedule dedicated time each week when we as devs will be playing with the community and soliciting feedback. The game will be accessible 24/7 so you can continue to self-organize matches with other players—we recommend joining our Discord server to find players to queue against. You’ll still launch Crucible through Steam (you don’t even need a new download), you’ll keep all the progress and customization items you’ve already earned, and the battle pass, reward tracks, and in-game store will continue to be supported.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fallout 76 Season One Begins

Bethesda announces the release of Update 20 for Fallout 76, kicking off Fallout 76 Seasons with season one, titled The Legendary Run. There's a lot to this, so what follows is just an overview of what this brings to the post-apocalyptic RPG prequel:
We’re releasing Update 20 today, which kicks off The Legendary Run, the first Season in our new progression and reward system. It also includes Public Teams, a new social system that makes teaming up easier and more beneficial than ever. This update also brings a number of additional improvements and bug fixes to Fallout 76, so be sure to read on to catch the patch notes.

UPDATE 20 HIGHLIGHTS

  • 76 Seasons: Earn S.C.O.R.E. to rank up and claim tons of stellar new rewards with our all-new progression system, which brings a major overhaul for Challenges.
  • The Legendary Run: Our first 10-week Season begins today! Race across the galaxy against the evil Dr. Zorbo and unlock unique cosmetics, in-game currencies, and much more along the way.
  • Public Teams: Use the Social Menu to easily find, join, or form a Public Teams that bring players together under shared team goals and offer themed in-game buffs.

The Division 2 Free Content

Ubisoft now offers a free content update for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 and the Warlords of New York expansion for the open-world action/RPG. This adds a second eight-player raid and sees the return of the Race to World First competition and Twitch drops for the game. There is also a level 30 version of the new raid that will launch on July 7th. Here are the details:
Today, Ubisoft announced the release of “Operation Iron Horse,” the much-anticipated second eight-player raid in the Tom Clancy’s The Division® franchise. Operation Iron Horse is a free content update for owners of Tom Clancy’s The Division® 2 and the Warlords of New York expansion.

In this raid, Division Agents will head to a foundry, where the True Sons are manufacturing weapons as they devise a plan to re-establish their grip over Washington D.C. For this challenge, teamwork and the ability of even the most experienced agents will be tested.
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Curved Space Demo and Open Beta

Only By Midnight is throwing gamers a curve as a playable demo for Curved Space is now available on Steam. For those interested in trying more of their twin-stick shooter, they are also offering open beta testing, saying you should head over to their Discord to collect an invitation. Here's a Reveal Trailer from the Switch version and here's the open beta announcement:
Only By Midnight cordially invite everyone to try out the open PC beta for their debut title, Curved Space. A dizzying blend of third-person and twin-stick arcade shooter styles, the full game is due out this Fall on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Lucky PC players can get a first taste of the synthwave-tinged neon fun to come today, and help shape its future. Players can try a demo on Steam here and collect their access code for the beta on the Only By Midnight Discord channel here.

The beta version contains the first act of the story mode, taking players through basic training, several stages of spider-wrangling action and culminating in a massive boss battle. Beta players will also have access to a content-restricted version of the endless Survival mode, for those who really want to put their ship through its paces. Lastly, beta players will be invited to vote on which of six tracks from synthwave label FiXT Neon will accompany the game’s dramatic final battle.
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GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Master Mirror Expansion Released

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Website announces the Master Mirror expansion is now available for this deck builder. Here's a Launch Trailer and here's word on what this adds:
The latest expansion for GWENT revolves around Gaunter O'Dimm, a mysterious and powerful character best known from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Hearts of Stone expansion. Master Mirror introduces over 70 new cards, including 11 neutral cards and 6 unique, legendary faction cards that change their appearance and skills throughout battle.

A number of new offensive and defensive abilities are also waiting to be mastered. One of these is ‘Veil’, which allows players to shield an allied unit from negative statuses, or prevent an enemy unit from gaining beneficial ones. ‘Devotion’, in turn, enhances the skills of a card that has that keyword, but only if the player's deck consists solely of faction-specific cards. Information about more new gameplay mechanics can be found on the dedicated page.

To celebrate the release of Master Mirror, the ‘Gaunter’s Ultimate Challenge’ event has just begun. By performing special tasks, available only during the event, players support their favorite factions and fight for unique titles and other prizes. The challenge will last from June 30th to August 5th. Details can be found here.
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Serial Cleaners Announced

Draw Distance announces Serial Cleaners, a sequel to Serial Cleaner coming to GOG.com and Steam next year. Here's word on this game set in the "carefree" 1990s where you play as four mob cleaners: "Four characters, four perspectives, four gameplay styles. Street smarts, brute force, cutting-edge tech skills, or good old-fashioned tricks of the trade: each will allow you to tackle a similar obstacle much differently." Here's a Teaser Trailer and here's more:
“That’s not how I remember it.”
New York City, New Year's Eve 1999. An unlikely team of four professional cleaners for the mob gathers to drink and reminisce about their careers at the turn of the millenium. As the details of their stories stop matching up, the ugly truth behind their cooperation begins to reveal itself. What starts as a celebration of a decade of shared history slowly turns into a tense and dangerous standoff.

Meet them at a very strange time in their lives.
An homage to 90s cinema - from Tarantino’s classics through cult crime thrillers to B-movie action favorites and more - Serial Cleaners remixes those familiar places, characters and scenes into its own unique spin on a decade full of brightly colored optimism... and the grime underneath it all. Our rich soundtrack is composed of many genres that defined the end of the 20th century, from East Coast hip hop to industrial metal and rave. Doesn’t matter if the sound of “your” nineties was defined by the clubs, the festivals, or the radio - we’ve got you covered.
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Bless Unleashed Coming to PC

Round8 Studio announces Bless Unleashed will come to Windows next year, offering PC users the chance to join this MMORPG that's already available on the Xbox One. Word is closed beta testing of the PC edition will begin this Fall. Here's a new PC Bless Unleashed Website offering a dev letter and an Official PC Announcement Trailer. Here's word:
Bless Unleashed is an action MMORPG that takes players on an epic journey across a dynamic, sprawling world and tests their mettle against vicious monsters and in perilous dungeons. Built on the Unreal 4 Engine, Bless Unleashed also features unrivaled graphics for the genre that really immerse players in the vibrant landscapes. Deeply rewarding combo-driven gameplay mechanics and a persistent progression system also add to the complexity of the game.

“We are absolutely thrilled and excited to be able to announce that we are in preparation for our Bless Unleashed PC platform launch! Bless Unleashed is a dynamic combat-driven, vast open-world MMORPG, and our players will be able to explore the world of Bless Unleashed and experience the treacherous, and menacing dungeons with other friends and foes right from your PC.” said Jason Park, Round 8 Studio’s Head of Development.
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Predator: Hunting Grounds Adds Samurai Predator DLC

A new Samurai Predator DLC Pack is now available on the Epic Games Store, offering a Samurai mashup character for Predator: Hunting Grounds, because why not? Here's what you get:
Samurai Predator DLC Pack
From the hunting grounds of feudal Japan, this demon from legend once hunted skilled warriors who protected their island nation. Now you can stalk the jungle as the Samurai Predator with the new premium Predator class. This DLC pack also includes 16 armor tints and early access* to the new melee weapon, the Predator Katana.

  • Samurai Predator Class w/ 16 armor tints
  • Predator Katana weapon

*Katana available to all from July 17.

Evening Crowdfunding

Op Ed

  • The Verge - Gaming can’t fix its abuse problem one person at a time. Thanks Neutronbeam.
    "It’s true that some individuals accused of harassment or assault have experienced consequences. But removing perpetrators one by one after they have caused harm neither undoes that harm nor prevents its wider spread in the future. Individuals create their own behavior, yet they are not the only ones responsible for it. Only a system that enables abuse can allow so many offenders to flourish across the industry. The only way to solve this problem is for the people in charge to admit the truth: that they have failed to protect their colleagues by instead protecting abusers and creating toxic workplaces. And so many of the video games on the market have an unseen feature in the trauma of those who made them."

Fortnite Leaves Early Access: Save the World Not Going Free-to-Play

In a Save the World Update - State of Development post, Epic Games announces that Fortnite no longer carries the Early Access label. The Early Access period lasted just a bit more than a fortnight, as the survival/battle royale game is approaching its third anniversary. They say the Save the World survival mode will remain a premium release, and will not go free-to-play like the Battle Royale and Creative modes. They also introduce an annual recurring seasonal structure that includes Ventures, a new seasonal progression, seasonal structure changes, and new Save the World packs that will roll out starting Thursday. Word is: "While the main story of Save the World is complete, there are still adventures to be had. Continue battling the Husks in Twine Peaks, take on each Save the World seasonal event, or evolve your collection by completing each Venture’s season… the choice is yours." Here's an overview:
Today we’re bringing Save the World out of Early Access and have decided that it will remain a premium experience rather than going free-to-play. Development of new content will slow down after this official release, but the adventure doesn’t end here for Save the World.

All paid Founders will have their Founder’s Packs upgraded to the next level and unlock all the rewards included in the upgraded pack... free, courtesy of Homebase! Ultimate Edition owners will be granted the new Metal Team Leader Pack and 8,000 V-Bucks.

The legacy Early Access label will also be removed from Battle Royale and Creative game modes, a holdover from our initial Save the World launch. Over the coming months Save the World will no longer be able to support all upcoming Fortnite Battle Royale cosmetic purchases, but your existing library of cosmetics will continue to function in both modes. We’ll let everyone know via the Homebase Status Report when this change will take place.

Crysis Remastered July Release Date and Trailer Leak

The Microsoft Store spills the beans on Crysis Remastered, saying Saber Interactive's recently announced remake of Crysis' first-person shooter will be released on July 23rd. This is apparently to be officially unveiled tomorrow, but a new Crysis Remastered Trailer has also leaked in advance (thanks Eurogamer.net). Completing the leakage are some Crysis Remastered vs Crysis PC Vanilla Comparison Screenshots on DSOGaming to compare similar scenes from the original and the remake. Continue here to read the full story.

The Catch: Carp & Coarse Released

The Catch: Carp & Coarse is now available for Windows and consoles, with the PC edition of this fishing simulation available on Steam with a 15% launch discount. This features 35 different species, 125 boss fish, and 11 "monster" boss fish, so we're not sure the title carps on one particular variety, but there it is. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's a description Dovetail Games hopes will reel you in:
Take on the hunt of a lifetime as you target and pursue monster sized fish around the world. With 35 species to hunt you’ll have to work up your strategy, skill and tactics to catch every boss fish in each venue. It’ll take both patience and adrenaline to succeed as you choose your angling spot carefully based on time of day, weather conditions and perfect equipment setup, before casting out into the water to battle and catch these elusive creatures.
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Ultimate ADOM: Caverns Of Chaos This Year

Developer Team ADOM offers a progress report on Ultimate ADOM: Caverns Of Chaos, saying this ADOM remake is due by the end of this year on multiple platforms, including Steam. An alpha version of this was released last month, and the latest version of that can be picked up here. Word is: "25 years ago, the original ADOM kicked off the franchise as a groundbreaking roguelike RPG challenging you to stop the forces of chaos from invading the world of Ancardia. Caverns Of Chaos continues the legacy in an epic quest for glory, and you must again enter the ominous caverns … " Here's the previously released Teaser Trailer and here's more on the game:
Ultimate ADOM: Caverns Of Chaos challenges you to pick up your blade, prepare your spells, check your daggers and ready your bow, for you are about to enter the ominous Caverns of Chaos. Choose your allegiance carefully, for nothing less than the fate of the world depends on your actions and your success or failure. Somewhere, deep down in an inhospitable cave, ChAoS is stirring again, and Seven very different factions vie for control.
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Road Z : The Last Drive in August

Moose Games announces Road Z : The Last Drive, saying their debut project is coming to Steam on August 21st. This is an action game where you are on a cross-country road trip to deliver a zombie vaccine to Washington. Naturally this involves hordes of zombies that you dispatch by mowing them down with your vehicle or with a variety of mounted weapons. You can also break the Interstate 76 rule and get out of the car to scavenge for supplies, which naturally involves taking out more of the walking dead along the way. This is all shown off in this teaser trailer and outlined further in the announcement:
In a world surrounded by zombies. Doctor Lactus puts in your possession a vaccine that can save the world, you must cross the United States by car to bring this vaccine to the laboratory in Washington.

Collect hardware by hitting zombies to upgrade your cars. Upgrade the motor, the fuel tank, the armor, add and upgrade a nitro bottle, a turret and flamethrower. Also, explore the surrounding to loot hardware.
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The Night Fisherman on Steam; Sequel Next Month

The Night Fisherman is now available on Steam after this debuted on itch.io for free last month. Here's word on this short narrative experience from Far Few Giants: "This is a single, film-like scene. You direct the fisherman's actions, as well as directing the camera shots between the cinematic angles available." This deals with issues of violence and racism, and was part of the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice that raised over $8 million. Word is a sequel is in the works to be released next month: "A sequel to The Night Fisherman is currently being developed by Far Few Giants and is set to release in July. You can follow the progress of the future short games on the Far Few Giants itch.io storefront or by following them on Twitter." Here's a Launch Trailer and here's word:
The Night Fisherman is the first of twelve short narrative experiences to be released by developers Far Few Giants. This short but impactful story is set upon the stunning shores of the British coastline. The tranquil backdrop contrasts starkly with this tale of eerie confrontation between man and inhumanity.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Okay, the prizes in our Game Key Giveaway have been distributed to the winners. Thanks Darks for the keys and to everyone who participated. As was feared, a couple of the keys were not valid, but I think most of them worked. We have some left that didn't go out, and a couple of folks have volunteered more, so I think we'll put together another giveaway. Maybe we'll find a way to make this a regular thing.

Obituary: Carl Reiner Dead: Comedy Legend, Dick Van Dyke Show Creator Was 98. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Regular Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links
Thanks RedEye9.

Science

Media

Auction

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