Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

SpellForce 3: Fallen God Open Beta

SpellForce 3: Fallen God is going to launch on Steam on November 3rd, but there's a chance to check out this strategy/RPG sequel right now. As announced in this post, an open beta is now underway, and will run until November 1st, and you can sign up on this page. Here's the most recent trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's more on the game and the beta:
When the gods have abandoned you, there is only one hope for salvation: Find a new god! This is the conclusion Akrog, chieftain of the Moonkin trolls, comes to. He leads his clan, struggling to survive, through the continent of Urgath. This noble race has always been pushed around, seen as monsters or cheap labor. They have been hunted, enslaved, and exploited. But a people can only take so much, before they break their chains and stop being "prey".
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Halo Infinite Project Director Steps Back

Halo Infinite has lost its second Project Director in under 15 months, as Bloomberg Reports Chris Lee has left the project. They say he remains a Microsoft employee, but he has "stepped back," as both Lee and Microsoft put it, from the shooter sequel that's in the works at Microsoft-owned 343 Industries. His predecessor in the position Tim Longo left 343 in August 2019. "I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities," Lee tells Bloomberg. "I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away." They have the following brief statement on the news from Microsoft:
Chris Lee remains a Microsoft employee and while he has stepped back from Halo: Infinite right now, we appreciate all he has done for the project to date.

Anthem Status Report

The BioWare Blog has an update on their progress in rescuing Anthem, offering detailed Javelin gameplay details and skill trees. This is all subject to change, and they do not provide any idea of when they will be relaunching the online multiplayer action/RPG. The post also introduces an Artifact system they're experimenting with to replace Components. Here's what they say about that:
We’ve heard from you that Components feel like nothing more than stat modifiers. With that in mind, we’re also experimenting with a new Artifacts system to replace them. Artifacts are pieces of super powered tech that set your Javelin and Freelancer apart. Each Javelin type would have a distinct Artifact catering towards its class fantasy. For instance, your Ranger’s rocket pod would be upgraded into the Skyfell Launcher Artifact, a pair of back-mounted pods that transform into powerful rocket launchers.

These Artifacts would change in appearance, depending on what parts you equip. There’s also an opportunity to allow for more interesting decision making. The parts you equip would contribute to a powerful passive ability generated by the Artifact.

The Ascent Delayed

Curve Digital announces that The Ascent will launch for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One in 2021. This multiplayer action/RPG was first announced with a Fall 2020 release date, but it will take longer than planned to complete its ascent, and it is no longer an Xbox Series X|S launch title. The delay goes unexplained. The news comes with a new Xbox Game Pass Trailer and the following details on the game:
The Ascent will see players dive into ‘The Ascent Group’ arcology, a self-contained corporate-run metropolis, stretching high into the sky and filled with creatures from all over the galaxy. Taking on the role of an indentured worker, the world starts to go haywire when The Ascent Group shuts down for unknown reasons. Life becomes a case of survival, with rival corporations and crime syndicates looking to fill the empty space. Players will have to take up arms and hold them off. The Ascent begins here.
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New Outward DLC in December

Deep Silver and Nine Dots Studio announce The Three Brothers, a second DLC coming to Outward, their open-world RPG. This is inbound to the PC edition of Outward in December and will come to consoles early next year. Here's the plan:
The gates are opening and the path leads to “Caldera,” an entirely new region in the world of Aurai which is full of new adventures, dangers and secrets to explore.

Play an important role in the timeline of Aurai and join the rebuilding efforts of the old Sirocco refugee camp by providing the struggling folks there a new place to call home - a new Sirocco. Filled with new quests, skills, weapons, recipes and pets, “The Three Brothers” DLC promises a slew of fresh content for the intrepid adventurer.
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Transient Released

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Stormling Studios now offer Transient, with their Windows cyberpunk horror game arriving on GOG.com and Steam just in time for Halloween. This is coming to consoles, as well, with Xbox and PlayStation editions expected next year. Here's a Launch Trailer and here's a bit on the game:
From the creators of Conarium and the Darkness Within series, Transient is a Lovecraftian Cyberpunk thriller.

In the distant, post-apocalyptic future, Randolph Carter, a member of a notorious hacker-for-hire group called ODIN, accidentally stumbles across the terrifying truth, a truth that might tear apart his own sanity and question his very existence.
Continue here to read the full story.

Q3 2020 XR Sales Data

A new SuperData XR Quarterly Update has sales data for virtual reality and augmented reality hardware and software for Q3 2020. Here's what they report:
The original Oculus Quest was the top-selling VR headset of Q3 2020, and sales are set to jump with the launch of the Quest 2. The device sold 161K units in Q3, though that number would have been higher if retailers had not run out of stock partway through the quarter as Facebook prepared to launch the Quest 2. Pent up demand, a lower price and holiday season gift-giving are all set to push Quest 2 sales up dramatically over the original at launch. Also, with Facebook now discontinuing the Rift S, many potential buyers of Oculus PC headsets are expected to shift over to the Quest 2. 2021 sales for the device are now expected to reach 3.0M, up from a prior estimate of 2.6M.

PC VR game earnings are now on track to rise 119% year-over-year from $86.1M in 2019 to $189M in 2020 thanks to the release of Half-Life: Alyx and other major titles. Since its March launch, the Valve title has earned more than what all PC VR games combined made in 2019. Another VR entry in a classic first-person shooter franchise, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, will also launch in December. Finally, the recent release of Star Wars: Squadrons is contributing to PC VR earnings.
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Billy Mitchell Defamation Lawsuit Against Twin Galaxies to Continue

Billy Mitchell announces he prevailed in court today against the anti-SLAPP motion filed earlier this year by Twin Galaxies to end his defamation lawsuit against them over their removal of his high-score records due to allegations of cheating. Here's his statement:
Today, October 28, 2020, I officially defeated Twin Galaxies in court in its misguided attempts to prevent me from having my day in court on my defamation claims. On March 30, 2020, 20 galaxies filed an anti-SLAPP motion against me, alleging that my defamation lawsuit was a "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation" meant to silence freedom of speech. To defeat the anti-SLAPP motion, I needed to prove that I had a "probability" of winning my lawsuit and hence that it should be heard in court by a jury. I did exactly that.

I achieved my high scores in public venues on arcade hardware with numerous eyewitnesses, referees, and on hardware personally verified by the Senior Engineer of Nintendo.
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AGOS - A Game Of Space Launches

AGOS - A Game Of Space is now available on Steam and Ubisoft Connect, offering a space exploration adventure for Windows virtual reality. Ubisoft says this is also coming to the Oculus Rift Store, but it does not seem to be there yet. This includes support for Rift, VIVE, VIVE Cosmos, Index, and Windows Mixed Reality. A look at gameplay can be found in the Launch Trailer. Here's word:
AGOS: A Game of Space takes players on an interstellar journey to reach a new habitable planet. Players will become the AI operating the last ship to leave a condemned Earth, guiding a group of survivors across eight unique stellar systems to find a new home.

Through innovative and realistic physics-based gameplay, players will build and pilot their space probes in order to upgrade their ship. Along the way, players will scavenge for resources, unlock new technologies and face the perils of space to maintain life on board their ship during this extraordinary voyage to save humankind.

Additionally, during their journey, players will be fully immersed in the vastness of space thanks to a unique soundtrack by award-winning composer Austin Wintory.
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Strobophagia: Rave Horror Released

Grab your glowsticks! Strobophagia: Rave Horror is now available on Steam, offering a Windows game that combines the horrors of a haunted forest with all the other horrors a rave has to offer. Here's a blacklight enhanced Launch Trailer and here's the description:
In search of the ultimate freedom of expression, players will be able to participate in wanton inebriation, wear fluorescent body paint and convulse to a range of original EDM tunes - including trance, house and techno - before the Headless Rave Festival’s organizers demand the ultimate sacrifice. Fans who buy the game during its first week will receive a 15% discount. Curious ravers can enjoy a free demo of the title before purchase.

“Our team spent years perfecting Strobophagia’s mesmerizing and gruesome personality,” says Ben Clarke, CEO of Green Tile Digital. “It’s an experience unlike anything any horror game or EDM aficionado has ever seen. We can’t wait to dance, drink and lose our minds together with fans this Halloween.”

When the carefree carnival takes a turn for the worse, players must use an in-game smartphone app mechanic to solve puzzles and connect with other ravers in order to make it out of the neon-drenched woods alive. As fans learn to maintain their sanity, they must try their best to avoid wandering into the shadows before occult forces consume their consciousness forever.
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AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Announced

AMD today announced their AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics Cards. The lineup is the RX 6800, the Radeon RX 6800 XT for enthusiasts, and the top-of-the-line RX 6900 XT. Here's an overview of the new "Big Navi" cards:
The AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series represents the forefront of extreme engineering and design, delivering ultra-high frame rates and serious levels of 4K resolution gaming. Powerful new compute units, and the all new AMD Infinity Cache along with up to 16GB of dedicated GDDR6 memory, enables the ultimate gaming experience.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Graphics AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Graphics AMD Radeon RX 6800 Graphics
Compute Units: 80
Ray Accelerators: 80
Game Frequency: Up to 2015 MHz
Infinity Cache: 128 MB
Max Memory Size: 16 GB
Memory Type (GPU): GDDR6
Compute Units: 72
Ray Accelerators: 72
Game Frequency: Up to 2015 MHz
Infinity Cache: 128 MB
Max Memory Size: 16 GB
Memory Type (GPU): GDDR6
Compute Units: 60
Ray Accelerators: 60
Game Frequency: Up to 1815 MHz
Infinity Cache: 128 MB
Max Memory Size: 16 GB
Memory Type (GPU): GDDR6

No Man's Sky Getting Free Upgrade

Next Generation Update on the No Man's Sky Website outlines the enhancements coming to No Man's Sky for the next-generation console editions of the space exploration game. The good news for owners of the PC edition is that this means they are getting a free upgrade including visual improvements and 32-player multiplayer support. Hello Games includes version 3.10 patch notes, side-by-side screenshots, and this trailer showing off what to expect. Here's a bit:
Update 3.10 brings a graphically enhanced and smoother No Man’s Sky to the next generation of consoles. All enhancements are available to PC players.

Continue your journey in a universe with bigger bases, lusher planets, more players, faster warp speeds and more – free for all existing players.

FULLER WORLDS
Wander across lusher, denser alien environments than ever before. Planetary terrain is populated with thicker grasses, flowers, fungi and rocks, rendered with higher resolution textures and more detailed geometry.

These improvements are available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and all PC players who run on Ultra settings.
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Cyberpunk 2077 Delay Triggers Death Threats

A tweet from Andrzej Zawadzki indicates that CD PROJEKT RED's announcement of an additional three-week delay to the release of Cyberpunk 2077 has had the extremely unfortunate side-effect of inspiring death threats to the developers (thanks Eurogamer). Naturally he tries to counter this lack of perspective:
I want to address one thing in regards of the @CyberpunkGame delay.
I understand you're feeling angry, disappointed and want to voice your opinion about it.
However, sending death threats to the developers is absolutely unacceptable and just wrong. We are people, just like you.

ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN Original Aircraft Series DLC

Original Aircraft Series is now available on Steam, offering new DLC for ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN. This adds three planes in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the series, which began on PlayStation in 1995 under the title Air Combat. This comes along with a new update for the base version of the aerial combat game that adds a new Casual/Easy difficulty mode. Here's a trailer for the new DLC, and here's what it offers:
This DLC includes three of the most popular aircraft from the series, the ASF-X Shinden II, XFA-27, and CFA-44 Nosferatu, along with new weapons, skins, and emblems.

Content:

  • 3 playable aircraft
    - CFA-44 Nosferatu 
    - XFA-27
    - ASF-X Shinden II
    - Special skin and special armor for each aircraft

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Golf With Your Friends Free Course (Steam Sale Tomorrow)

An update on Steam announces the release of The Deep Update for Golf With Your Friends, adding a new free underwater course for this Windows, macOS, and Linux miniature golf simulation. This also says the game will be discounted tomorrow, spilling the beans that this is when the Steam Halloween Sale begins. Here's a trailer, and here's word:
Grab your snorkels, get ya’ flippers on! We’re launching a brand new course for Golf With Your Friends, the minigolf game with zany simultaneous online gameplay for groups of up to 12 players. Available for free on Steam as part of a new update, The Deep takes players into the inky depths of the sea, where a fresh new set of 18 holes – and sea creatures – await.

Golf With Your Friends will also be taking part in the Steam Halloween Sale, which begins tomorrow, where it will feature a spooky 33% discount for a limited time!

No underwater course would be complete without sunken treasure, and players will also witness giant sea creatures, fully-functioning cannons, and even a Kraken or two, all of which may help or hinder player progress along the way.
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Chinese Empire Announced

Chinese Empire is an upcoming historical strategy/building game coming to Steam from indie developer Yeyuna. Here's a trailer showing off the game, which currently carries a TBA release date. Here's a quick description:
Take on the role of the Emperor of China and build your own great empire! Use picturesque period terrains and the resources they offer to build increasingly advanced structures. Carefully plan each path and the placement of buildings to create a great strong empire and write history again!
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

In an effort to further smooth out conflicts in our forums we will be more strictly enforcing the first of our rules, which prohibits personal attacks. We feel we can make progress on reducing toxicity by taking a more zero-tolerance approach to this. This is emphasized by new language added to the rule, saying: "Criticize the post, not the poster." Also, a comment that is deleted by a moderator will now show which of the rules it violated. No one wants the time they spend typing wasted, so this will hopefully help avoid future deletions. To all those who participate in our forums, we appreciate your passion and your contributions. We hope you see the value in this principle and will abide by it to create a more comfortable environment for everyone.

On a brighter (literally!) note, Frans also made a change to the forums to add new font color choices for those who are artistically inclined. So now if your thoughts are best expressed in magenta, you are all set. Enjoy!

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