Archived News:

Tuesday, Sep 01, 2020

Crusader Kings III Released

Paradox Interactive now offers Crusader Kings III, the newest installment in their medieval grand strategy/RPG series. You can find the links to where to pick this up on the Crusader Kings III Website along with the official Release Trailer. Here's the news:
The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased for a suggested retail price of $49.99/ £41.99/ €49.99 on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.

Crusader Kings III is the newest entry in the fabled grand strategy franchise. Guide a royal house through history, governing land, culture, religion, military operations and more in this game of medieval empire and bloodline management. Scheme from the shadows or march your armies openly to expand your borders. Utilize diplomacy and family, leveraging relationships and influence, to protect your lineage. For if you do not produce a suitable heir, your line - and your game - ends.
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Vlambeer Closing

Vlambeer tweets the announcement that this indie studio is closing down after 10 years. The developer of games such as Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Ridiculous Fishing, and Nuclear Throne says they are still going to release ULTRABUGS on Steam, but that this will be their swan song. There's an interview with the team on Kotaku discussing the news. This takes a similar upbeat tone to their handful of tweets on the topic:
Today marks Vlambeer’s 10th anniversary, which is way longer than we could've ever imagined. We had a beautiful run, made incredible games, and worked with amazing people, but it is time for new things. So we're announcing the end of Vlambeer.

Before we say more: yes, ULTRABUGS is still coming out. We will have news about that soon! We are also looking into options for further support for some of our earlier games, but we just can't promise anything besides that there will be no new games.

It's not a sad day for us, but the happy conclusion to a whirlwind decade filled with screenshake. It feels like we've achieved what we set out to do - as a studio, as a voice, and as individuals, and we are extremely grateful for these past years.

To make today extra special, we're throwing one last party on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/publisher/Vlambeer/sale/vlambeer10

Celebrate ten years of Vlambeer by playing some lovely games made by us and by the incredible people we've worked with!

AT&T No Longer Selling WBIE

Bloomberg reports AT&T is experiencing seller's remorse, and is no longer shopping around Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Here's word on how they're still in the game:
A few factors may have influenced AT&T’s retreat from the sale process. Among them is the upcoming release of a potentially popular Harry Potter game that allows players to take on roles as different characters and explore the Hogwarts wizard academy. And as the Covid-19 pandemic has closed megaplexes, people are seeking out different sources of entertainment. New video-game releases are landing like blockbuster movies.

It’s also possible that AT&T realized that selling the business could be more complicated than it expected, as analysts have pointed out. The amount of licensed content in the games would come with a set of long-term strings attached.

The Dallas-based phone giant acquired the video-game maker in its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. in 2018. That deal, and an earlier acquisition of DirecTV, ballooned AT&T’s debt and the company has been looking to ways to cut costs and unload assets.

Kate Bishop is Marvel's Avengers First Post-Launch Addition

The promised Launch Week War Table for Marvel's Avengers was today. This included word on the weekly gameplay ritual, new game modes, and the reveal that Kate Bishop will be the game's first post-release character addition. We can find a summary of the news from Crystal Dynamics on the PlayStation.Blog:
The Avengers Initiative will evolve over time for years to come. Each addition combines and builds over time to a much larger series of story arcs. We’ve discussed missions in the past, but now it’s time to share some intel on Operations!

Kate Bishop is officially the first Avenger to join our roster after launch, voiced by fan-favorite Ashly Burch. In the comics, Clint – the original Hawkeye – took on Kate as a protégé. That being said, Kate is often the mature one in the face of Clint’s recklessness.

Operation Marvel’s Avengers: Kate Bishop — Taking AIM will directly advance from the conclusion of the Reassemble campaign, and includes a new villain for Kate to face off against.

Clint – voiced by TV veteran Giacomo Gianniotti – will come with his own Hero Operation, Marvel’s Avengers: Hawkeye — Future Imperfect. Considering the strong friendship and connection between Kate and Clint, we think of their Operations as a “double feature.”

Path of Exile: Heist This Month

The Path of Exile Website is counting down the seconds to the planned release of Path of Exile: Heist, the next expansion for Grinding Gear Games' free-to-play action/RPG. The PC edition will come on September 18th, while the console release is expected five days after that. This features an Official Trailer & Developer Commentary along with details on your chance at a life of crime:
In Path of Exile: Heist, you will hire skilled thieves to help you pull off risky Heists. Steal valuable artifacts to fund and train your crew as you plan towards the execution of a Grand Heist.

Our September expansion contains the Heist challenge league, nine new Skills and Support Gems, revamps of Curses, Steel Skills, and some Spells. Grand Heists offer exclusive new rewards such as Weapon and Body Armour Enchantments, Heist Trinkets, Alternate-quality Gems and Replica Unique Items.
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2020 gamescom Awards

GamesIndustry.biz offers the complete list of the 2020 gamescom awards:
Gamescom Awards:

  • Best of Gamescom - Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Best PC game - Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Best RPG - Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Best Family Game - KeyWe (Stonewheat & Sons)
  • Best Ongoing Game - Borderlands 3 (2K)
  • Best Racing Game - Dirt 5 (Codemasters)
  • Best Remaster - Mafia: Definitive Edition (2K)
  • Best Simulation - Project Cars 3 (Bandai Namco)
  • Best Sports Game - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 (Activision)
  • Best Strategy Game - Humankind (Amplitude Studios and Sega Europe)
  • Most Original Game - Voidtrain (Hypetrain Digital)
  • Most Wanted Hardware/Technology - Xbox Series X (Microsoft)
  • Best Announcement - Unknown 9: Awakening (Reflector Entertainment)
  • Best Lineup - Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Best Presentation/Trailer - Little Nightmares 2 (Tarsier Studios)
  • Best Show - World of Tanks Blitz Gamescom Stream (Wargaming)
  • Best Streamer - Erik "Gronkh" Range
  • "Most Wanted" Consumer Award - Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
  • Heart of Gaming Award - Indie Arena Booth (Super Crowd Entertainment)

Continue here to read the full story.

Poker Club Announced

Ripstone Games announces they are going all-in on Poker Club, a brand new IP launching later this year for PC and consoles to offer what they call "the most immersive and social poker simulation ever." This is being built on the Unreal Engine 4 and will raise the ante with ray tracing support. There are details and an Announce Trailer on the Poker Club Website. Here's the deal:
Poker Club is designed as a social experience. In line with the increasing online community-led nature of the gaming landscape; Poker Club will connect players with friends and poker fans around the world, featuring tournaments for over 200 players. Players can create or join a club, complete with leaderboards, exclusive tournaments, daily chip bonuses whilst working towards shared goals that unlock rewards. Some customisable gear and events are club-specific, meaning the best way to play is together, connected with others from around the world. Poker Club will also offer cross-platform and cross-generation play, meaning players will be able to play together on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox platforms.

Poker Club offers players more ways to play than ever before with a full house of Texas Hold’em online tournament modes and ring-games. Players are invited to take on the challenge of the PCC Poker Tour, an immersive online career mode that takes players on a journey from back-room games to big-money main events. From Single-Table and Multi-Table tournaments to Freezeouts, Shootouts, Turbos, Super Turbos, Bounties and more, Poker Club offers a variety of online multiplayer modes featuring customisable private games, open tables and full-scale tournaments. With an advanced Poker 101 tutorial system featuring advice for beginners and advanced players alike, Poker Club offers a jackpot of poker fun for all.
Continue here to read the full story.

PBA Basketball Slam: Arcade Edition Early Access

Early Access to PBA Basketball Slam: Arcade Edition is now underway on Steam, offering a two-on-two arcade basketball game based on the Philippine Basketball Association. Here's a trailer with a look at gameplay, and are some details to help you decide if this is a desperation heave or a slam-dunk:
Building upon the enhanced features of its popular mobile counterpart, Basketball Slam, which showcases epic moves, high-flying dunks, and exaggerated gameplay, PBA Basketball Slam: Arcade Edition will give players the opportunity to play with up to four players through local multiplayer, or play with friends online via Steam's Remote Play Together.

PBA Basketball Slam: Arcade Edition’s early access version comes with the following features:

  • PBA teams and roster
  • 2-on-2 arcade-style full court basketball gameplay
  • 6 free court locations to play
  • Full controller support
  • Option to use keyboard on single player mode
  • Local Multiplayer mode, supporting up to four players
  • Play online using Steam Remote Play
  • English, Tagalog, Spanish, and Portuguese language support

Continue here to read the full story.

Dead by Daylight Getting Free Graphics Upgrade

Behaviour Interactive announces plans to launch Dead by Daylight on the upcoming new generation console systems. As a result the asymmetrical zombie game is getting a graphical overhaul that will benefit current owners by way of a free upgrade. Here are details on the new graphics as well as plans to expand the game's cross-progression support:
A Massive Graphical Overhaul
Dead by Daylight is undergoing a major graphical update that will be available for free for all players, on all platforms. The ultimate goal is to improve the immersion tenfold, making the environments as realistic as a scary, disturbing nightmare. The lighting and VFX will be vastly upgraded, as well as the modeling, textures and animations. More props will be added to the maps, and proper functions will be given to rooms to make them more identifiable.

The development team is fully focused on this rework and visual improvements will be delivered every six weeks, following the current Chapter and Archives roadmap. Over the coming months, tens of thousands of assets will be enhanced as part of this overhaul. Common items such as lockers, generators, palettes, as well as two maps, can be expected as part of next week’s patch.
Continue here to read the full story.

NVIDIA 30 Series GPUs and New Reflex Drivers This Month

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang dusted off his leather motorcycle jacket today and announced first details about NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, which will go on sale on September 17th. The promise here is to provide up to double the performance of the current generation at almost double the power efficiency. They unveil the USD$699 RTX 3080 as their new flagship, saying this is built for 4K gaming. These have 28 billion transistors built on a custom 8N manufacturing process, and use new GDDR6X memory, "the fastest graphics memory ever made." There's also a $499 RTX 3070 that's faster than the RTX 2080 Ti at less than half the price. Finally there's the giant $1200 RTX 3090, which Huang calls a "BFGPU." This has 24GB of GDDR6X memory running at 19.5Gbps and is capable of 8K gaming at 60fps. They round out the announcements with details that this month will see the release of a new feature of their Game Ready Drivers called Reflex, which will remove some of the latency from the graphics pipeline. Here's word on that:
For the 75 percent of GeForce gamers who play esports, Huang announced the release of this month of NVIDIA Reflex with our Game Ready Driver.

In Valorant, a fast-paced action game, for example, Huang showed a scenario where an opponent, traveling at 1,500 pixels per second, is only visible for 180 milliseconds.

But a typical gamer has a reaction time of 150 ms — from photon to action. “You can only hit the opponent if your PC adds less than 30 ms,” Huang explained.

Yet right now, most gamers have latencies greater than 30 ms — many up to 100 ms, Huang noted.

NVIDIA Reflex optimizes the rendering pipeline across CPU and GPU to reduce latency by up to 50 ms, he said.

“Over 100 million GeForce gamers will instantly become more competitive,” Huang said.

Get The Division for Free

Ubisoft is giving away free copies of the Windows edition of Tom Clancy's The Division on UPlay, offering the chance to own this third-person action/RPG/shooter. The game is yours to keep provided you pick up your copy over the next week. Here's word
After a deadly pandemic sweeps through New York, it's up to Agents to save what remains. Complete missions, explore the Dark Zone, and fight back enemy factions alone or with 3 friends. Experience a full endgame offering you new PvP and PvE modes.

Ubisoft is pleased to offer you Tom Clancy's The Division. You can claim your free game from September 1st at 03:00 to September 8th at 04:00 (your local time) and you will be able to play it at any time!

One Special Day Next Month

A Fall Guys auction has raised one million dollars for the Special Effect charity thanks to the generosity of some streamers. On a related note, this year's One Special Day is planned for October 2nd as the latest iteration of this annual charitable event to benefit this charity to help disabled gamers. The One Special Day Website has details on how to get involved. Here's an overview of the news:
A Battle of the Brands auction for a character costume design in the hit video game Fall Guys has raised $1M for SpecialEffect.

The online auction, organised by the game’s creators Mediatonic and Devolver, saw a bidding war that included some of the video game community’s most popular streamers. A last-minute combined donation of $1M by @MrBeastYT, @Ninja, @G2esports and @aimlab was the highest bid.

The winners have also announced that they will be organising a livestream in support of the charity. More details will be announced in due course.

“We’re blown away,” said Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect. “A huge thank you to @MrBeastYT, @Ninja, @G2esports and @aimlab for their amazing generosity, and to Mediatonic and Devolver Digital for this unique initiative.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Iron Harvest Released

Iron Harvest is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam, offering a real-time strategy game set in an alternate-history version of the 1920s where World War I is followed by a new conflict dominated by dieselpunk mechs. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's the elevator pitch:
At the dawn of the 20th century, shortly after the end of the Great War, the world is full of secrets and mysteries, of opportunities and challenges. Tradition clashes with scientific and technological progress, while Europe is still recovering from the brutal battles of the World War. Iron Harvest is a real-time strategy game (RTS) set in the alternate reality of 1920+, just after the end of the Great War. To create the perfect RTS-experience the team has been working in close cooperation with global RTS-fans ever since the highly successful kickstarter campaign.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw on Steam This Month

Double Damage Games announces Rebel Galaxy Outlaw will launch on Steam on September 22nd, offering the Windows edition of this space combat shooter prequel that was released last year on the Epic Games Store. This will come alongside the release of the game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Here's a Gameplay Trailer from a couple of years ago, and here are the details from the announcement:
Double Damage Games is pleased to announce Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is launching on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC via Steam on September 22, 2020 for $29.99 USD. Featuring action-packed space combat, unique ships and loadouts, a killer soundtrack, and more, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw pumps up the action in this epic space adventure seeped in classic blue-collar Americana.
Continue here to read the full story.

Space Crew in Next Month

Publisher Curve Digital and developer Runner Duck announce an October 15th release date for Space Crew, their upcoming follow-up to Bomber Crew. If this story gives you deja vu, it's because it was posted here last night, which accidentally broke an embargo on the news (apologies to Curve Digital and Runner Duck). They offer a new Release Date Trailer to show off this visit to the final frontier. Somebody light a match, here's the captain's log:
It’s almost time to don your space suit and ascend to the stars as Curve Digital and Runner Duck are positively pumped to announce that Space Crew, the sci-fi sequel to the sandbox hit Bomber Crew, will launch on 15th October worldwide.

Space Crew features the same compelling gameplay loop as its beloved predecessor with players controlling the moment-to-moment actions of their carefully selected, fully customisable crew. Their mission? To boldly go where no space crew has gone before and fight off an alien menace that threatens to eradicate humanity!
Continue here to read the full story.

Marvel's Avenger's PC Improvements

With Marvel's Avengers set to begin its avenging on Friday, a new trailer from Intel shows off some of the technical improvements they've helped add to the Windows edition of the superhero game (thanks DSOGaming). Here's the description of the clip:
Throughout the Marvel’s Avengers development process, Intel and Crystal Dynamics worked closely to perfect the superhero experience for PC gamers and optimize for the best PC gameplay for those playing on Intel Core processors. As the exclusive CPU partner on Marvel’s Avengers, Intel collaborated with the game’s developers to create detailed visuals and special effects that completely immerse players, giving them a truly interactive cinematic experience.
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Evergate Leaves the Gate

Evergate is now available for PC and consoles, offering a stylish platformer adventure. The Windows edition is offered through Steam with a 15% launch discount. Here's the launch trailer and here are the details:
Take control of Evergate's unique align-to-shoot mechanic, the Soulflame, and help the child-like soul "Ki" navigate the hauntingly beautiful afterlife in 85 challenging stages. Aim and fire the Soulflame at crystals dotted around each environment. Harness their extraordinary powers to progress through the game and unravel the mysterious connection between two kindred spirits.
Check out the latest trailer: https://youtu.be/8qjs8kU13os

Get to the Gate
Slow down time, take aim and unleash the mysterious power hidden within every crystal you encounter with the unique Soulflame mechanic. Hit multiple crystals at once to experiment with how their energies combine and overcome every level according to your own play-style. Reach the gate at the end of each stage to progress - and remember to collect all the essences scattered throughout each level. Use them to unlock ancient artefacts and boost Ki’s abilities.
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Forge and Fight! Early Access This Month

Early Access to Forge and Fight! will begin on Steam on September 17th. A new Early Access Trailer shows off a gameplay from this game of crafting and online combat. Here's more on the plan:
Forge and Fight! is a wild online multiplayer crafting and fighting game where you can choose from a selection of weapon parts and then use them to forge any design you can think of and then test it in battle against other worthy adversaries with their own crazy creations. Sometimes the most absurd weapon is the most difficult to defend against, or sometimes it’s… just absurd. But either way, it means loads of hilarity, replayability and fun!

Not only is the Sandbox Mode open-ended, granting you endless creativity with 50 weapon parts to choose from to design the ultimate badass weapon, but it also features single-player capabilities. Once you’ve created your badass weapon, you can test it against a ceaselessly respawning group of bots to ensure it’s aforementioned badass-ness.

In Forge and Fight! you step into the shoes of a blacksmith gladiator. Experiment with ludicrous (or sensible, if you really want to go that route) weapon builds and engage in creative, freestyle fighting to battle your friends in multiplayer combat online. Unlock more items over the course of the game to build ever more ridiculous weapons in a frantic bid to annihilate your foes - or friends?
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Regiments Next Year

MicroProse announces they will publish Regiments, a tactical real-time strategy game from developer Bird's Eye Games. This features a hot war set during the Cold War and will come to Steam in spring 2021. Here's an Announcement Teaser and here's more on this alternate-history depiction of World War III:
It's 1989 and the flames of a New War are flaring up. Thousands of square miles of German landscape will become a stage for sweeping battles between the best NATO and Warsaw Pact has to offer.

Lead your Regiment through the inferno of a wide-scale Cold War conflict in this new Real-Time Tactics game. Break through the lines, call in artillery and air support, maneuver, feign retreats, and stage mobile defenses. Do not relent.

The Platoon Command system lets you orchestrate battles with unprecedented precision and ease. No need to micromanage every infantryman - you're a Commanding Officer, not a sergeant.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

On the one hand it seems hard to believe it's September already, and we're three-fourths through the year. On the other hand, 2020 has been such a shite-show that it feels like an endless morass. So if there's anything to the thought that a new year can bring change, then Q4 can't pass quickly enough. As the guy with all the eye make-up once sang, wake me up when September ends.

Quarterly Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Play

Stories
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