Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 25, 2021

Get Sunless Sea for Free

Sunless Sea is now available for free on the Epic Game's Store as this week's promised giveaway. Pick this up in the next week, and it's a permanent addition to your game library. Next Thursday a new freebie will take its place, which is revealed to be Wargame: Red Dragon. Here's a little of what makes Sunless Seas so darned dark:
LOSE YOUR MIND. EAT YOUR CREW. DIE. Take the helm of your steamship and set sail for the unknown! Sunless Sea is a game of discovery, loneliness and frequent death, set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London.

Next Dragon Age Dropping Multiplayer: Report

A story on Bloomberg states that Electronic Arts is changing course on BioWare's upcoming Dragon Age game. It says "people familiar with the matter" reveal all multiplayer content is being removed from the next game in the series, which was previously planning on having a significant multiplayer component. The unconfirmed report says this decision was influenced by the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the failure of the Anthem:
The diverging trajectories of two recent games changed the minds of Wilson and other executives at EA, according to the people. One was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a single-player game released in November 2019 that won critical acclaim and outperformed EA’s sales expectations, reaching more than 10 million players in its first four months. The second was BioWare’s Anthem, a multiplayer game that was widely panned when it launched. The games showed that single-player games could still be lucrative and that BioWare, traditionally known for its single-player, role-playing games, might be better off returning to its roots. A spokesman for EA declined to comment.

EA Reportedly Cancels Codename Gaia

There's another scoop on Bloomberg from Jason Schreier, who's got the goods on Electronic Arts canceling the game codenamed Gaia after almost six years of development at its Motive studio in Montreal. This is also not officially confirmed, as it's attributed to the familiar "people familiar with the matter." Jason requested a comment from EA, but a company spokesperson just spoke about other games in the pipeline. The story says this project began when Jade Raymond joined EA in 2015 and was briefly glimpsed in the EA Play 2020 Next Gen Games Teaser. But as the six-year development cycle might suggest, apparently this was a bumpy ride:
Gaia’s development was turbulent and the game went through at least one major reboot, which may have been a factor behind its demise, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the press.

OUTRIDERS Demo

A playable demo is now available for OUTRIDERS, the sci-fi, co-op shooter for 1-3 players from publisher Square Enix and developer People Can Fly. This offers the complete opening of the game, and progress in the demo will carry over for those who buy the full game when it's released on April 1st. The Windows edition will come to both the Epic Games Store and Steam, though the demo is only on Steam. The demo is also available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and it features full crossplay co-op support. If you still need convincing, here's a 10 Reasons Why You Need To Play The Outriders Demo video, and here's more on what this offers:
Players can experience the full opening chapter of the OUTRIDERS campaign, up to around three hours of gameplay per playthrough. The demo allows multiple characters and enables players to try out all four classes in the game: Devastator, Pyromancer, Technomancer and Trickster.

Progress in the campaign will transfer to the full game for players who purchase OUTRIDERS on the same platform.

Co-op multiplayer is available in the demo and will unlock after players finish the prologue, including a beta version of the full crossplay system that will be available at launch.
Continue here to read the full story.

American McGee Reveals OZ: Adventures

A tweet from American McGee reveals the former id Designer is working on a multimedia take on the original Oz books called OZ: Adventures (thanks IGN). Apparently this will come to both games and television:
Happy to announce "OZ: Adventures" our twist on the original Oz books, is now with Radar Pictures.

They are developing the concept for TV and Games. We revealed this news and talked about the potential for this project over on our latest Twitch Stream:

http://twitch.tv/videos/927367450

Fights in Tight Spaces Early Access

Early Access is now underway on Steam for Fights in Tight Spaces, a close-quarters combat game that looks a bit like a hand-to-hand version of SUPERHOT. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here's the lowdown:
Fights in Tight Spaces blends deck-building, turn-based tactics, and thrilling animated fight sequences in classic action-movie settings. Learn to balance your hand, momentum, and positioning to overcome the odds to defeat your adversaries.

Pick from over 150 cards as you build a deck to suit your play style and your opponents’. Encounter random events, acquire enhancements (or injuries), and make critical choices about how best to upgrade your agent for the fights ahead.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hyper Scape Season 3 Next Month

Ubisoft announces Hyper Scape Season 3 gets underway on March 11th for Windows and consoles. This will bring new content to the vertically unchallenged battle royale shooter, including a revamped world map, a new hack, and new story elements. This will be supported by a new free and premium 100-tier Battle Pass and new customization items. Here's a Cinematic Trailer celebrating the news, and here's an outline of what the new season will bring:
NEW GAMEPLAY CONTENT COMING WITH SEASON 3
During this season, players will get the chance to test their speed and skill in a revamped Neo Arcadia 2.0 map, and try a new Deployable Hack, the Firewall, which creates a barrier to block incoming fire while allowing the player and their squad to shoot through.

Featuring new key landmarks, more diversified terrain, and more identifiable zones for players to traverse, Neo Arcadia 2.0 will challenge our veteran players to keep up the pace with newcomers jumping into it for the first time.
Continue here to read the full story.

Both Defiance Games Ending

An announcement on Steam says Trion Worlds is shutting down both Defiance and Defiance 2050, the two games that outlived the television show they tied into by quite a stretch (thanks Kotaku). Word is both games will wrap up on April 29th:
8 years in Defiance and another 3 years in Defiance 2050, full of peaks and valleys. Today, with a heavy heart, we are sad to announce that Defiance and Defiance 2050 will officially cease all operations on April 29, 2021.

We concluded both games could no longer sustain themselves. This decision has been a difficult one to make.

While we are discontinuing the game’s service, the journey we’ve taken together has been a valuable learning and unforgettable experience, one we will remember for a long time.

As of today, all cash purchases will be disabled. Bits already purchased before February 24, 2021 will still be usable until the end of service.
Continue here to read the full story.

Top New Steam Games for January

A post on Steam lists the bestselling new titles on Steam for January 2021, highlighting the top 20 new premium games as well as the top five free releases based on number of unique players. As usual, they list all the top sellers on a handy sales page in case you weren't part of the crowd that helped these games land on the list. Here's a summary:
Steam just wrapped up our annual Lunar New Year sale last week, and we hope that players all over the world are having an amazing New Year holiday with family and friends. If you've taken some time off for the holiday and need some inspiration for what to play next, January's Top Releases tell the story of what other players are enjoying. Roguelike fans discovered several unique and repayable experiences this month, including Skul & Home Behind 2, while players looking for the next automation & simulation hit got their new year's wish with Dyson Sphere Program. It was no surprise to see Tale of Immortal and Heroes of the Three Kingdoms 8 performing well in China, as both offer heavy doses of Chinese history and mythology, To cap it all off, Sega unveiled the PC debuts of not one but three fully remastered entries from their legendary Yakuza series, which are sure to keep fans busy and nostalgic.

Breathedge Launches Out of Early Access

Breathedge is now out of Early Access and officially available on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, Origin, and Steam, offering a sci-fi action/adventure for Windows where you and your chicken try to survive a catastrophe in outer space. The game comes with a 25% launch discount between now and March 4th on each of those stores except for Origin. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's what makes this game so clucking good: "Survive in open space! Together with your own immortal chicken, discover the truth behind your sudden spaceship crash in this ironic outer space survival-adventure game." Here's more:
Breathedge is an ironic outer space survival adventure game. Take on the role of a simple guy called the Man who is just carrying his grandpa's ashes to a galactic funeral and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a universal conspiracy.

A massive space hearse suffers a wreck in the deep space, leaving the area filled with debris, coffins, dead passengers and yourself. Survive in this interstellar dump, uncover a global conspiracy, save the princess and don’t break your fingers while tapping the keyboard as you travel around the world (keeping your display on for full immersion is advised).
Try to stay alive

Space isn’t a joke (despite us trying to prove otherwise) and not dying is a challenge. Lose your progress in spectacular ways, including but not limited to suffocation, freezing, incineration, electrocution, depression, blunt trauma, and more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fantasy General II: Evolution Released

Fantasy General II: Evolution is now available on Steam, evolving the fantasy/strategy gameplay of Fantasy General II with new DLC. This adds a new aquatic faction called the Lizardfolk to allow you to scale new heights. Here's a trailer that explains the new content in less than two minutes. Here's more:
Fantasy General II: Evolution is perhaps the largest DLC for Fantasy General II so far. It introduces a new playable faction, the Lizardfolk. They are a race of amphibians and lizards who excel at amphibious and sea warfare. They also do not have any of the normal penalties associated with movement and combat in water, receiving bonuses instead. They can also hide in deep water and swamps, making the sea their natural environment.

The Lizardfolk faction makes use of the existing lizardfolk units from the original campaign plus plenty of new units which expand their roster to equal that of the other two factions. New marine-themed neutral units have been added too, including giant crabs, huge sharks, seagulls, warships, and more.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Architect: Paris Early Access

Pop some Champagne and make a French toast, as Steam now offers Early Access to The Architect: Paris, a construction game which allows you to build any city you want, as long as it's Paris. Here's a Let's Play Trailer that shines a light on the city of lights. Here's the blueprint:
During the Early Access phase, players will have access to several Parisian districts, which will grow to include the center of Paris, alongside the Seine and perhaps even more. New features will also be added in the coming months to offer even more customization choices to players.

A roadmap of upcoming features is already available in-game to ensure as much transparency as possible. Players can learn about upcoming districts and Designs to be added, along with new Tools and other features. Among those new additions, players will be able to enjoy full Mod access, sharing their creations, multi-Design buildings and also a Photo mode.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hot Wheels Unleashed Announced

Mattel and Milestone announce Hot Wheels Unleashed, an arcade racing game based on Mattel's die-cast toy car series. This is coming to PC and consoles on September 30th, and they are already accepting preorders on the official website, though apparently not for the PC edition. Here's a cinematic trailer showing how this will try to capture the essence of Hot Wheels cars and race sets. Word is: "Gamers can get ready to drift, boost, jump and crash on Hot Wheels’ iconic orange tracks in various single player game modes. Gamers can also challenge friends in multiplayer races, both online and offline, leveraging a split screen mode." Here's more:
Hot Wheels Unleashed offers players the opportunity to drive the cars as if they were playing with the die-cast toys. The gameplay includes adrenaline-filled races, an extended choice of Hot Wheels vehicles with different attributes and rarity levels that players can customize with different skins, and jaw-dropping tracks set in everyday-life locations with special track pieces and interactive items. The game also features a revolutionary Track Editor enabling players to customize tracks in any game environment and share them with the game’s community.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Lost Cube is Found

The Lost Cube is now available for Windows and consoles, and the PC edition of this platformer can be found on Steam with a 15% launch discount. Here's the Launch Trailer, and here's word on the game and its influences:
The Lost Cube is a challenging platformer which takes inspiration from classic titles such as Super Meat Boy and Celeste. The story unravels in a small village nestled somewhere in northern Europe. Each day, a special melody is played upon a magical guitar bringing prosperity upon the land.

One day the magical red cube that holds its power goes missing and it is the quest of one brave adventurer to retrieve it and restore life to his village. You play as Ulrik, a somewhat ordinary hero on a mission. You have no weapons, so you must jump or dodge your way out of trouble. Your agility will be tested to the limit as you face a barrage of enemies over 60 levels and 2 boss fights all the while constantly avoiding unforgiving traps.
Continue here to read the full story.

Red Solstice 2: Survivors Test Next Month; Release in June

505 games announces a June 17th release date for Red Solstice 2: Survivors, the upcoming real-time tactics sequel in the works at Ironward. They also announce plans for a playtest from March 12-15, and you can request access to the test on Steam. They also say they are running a campaign that will give additional in-game items depending on how many players add the game to their wishlists. Here's an Announcement Trailer and some details:
It's the year 117 After Earth and you have a very important mission. You were awakened to lead the Cell, a secret taskforce that was assembled to counter the threat of the STROL mutant invasion. Take command of your squad to fight the mutants and find a cure to the virus that threatens to end mankind.

Across both a deep strategy layer and engaging real time combat missions, you'll need to make decisions quickly to survive in this hostile world and determine the fate of the planet. Choose your mission, select your loadout, take to the battlefield, and lead your squad to victory.

Playable in single-player or co-op with up to seven friends, Red Solstice 2: Survivors combines tense claustrophobic action with careful strategic planning to create a sci-fi experience like no other.
Continue here to read the full story.

Magic: Legends Open Beta Bonuses

Magic: Legends Website outlines bonus items players will receive if they participate in the Open Beta for this Magic: The Gathering-based action/RPG. You can sign up on that site for the beta, which kicks off on March 23rd on the ARC Website and the Epic Games Store, and each of them offers different bonuses:
Magic: Legends Open Beta is almost here! Jump into the game on March 23 on Arc or Epic Games Store and receive platform exclusive cosmetic goodies.

Arc Exclusives:

  • Ogre Mortar 'Bruiser' Skin
  • Vigilante Costume
  • 2x Drop Boosts
  • 2x Mission Reward Boosts

Epic Exclusives:

  • Moorland Ranger Costume
  • Moorland Ranger Werewolf Summon Skin
  • 2x Drop Boosts

Song of Farca: Prologue

Song of Farca: Prologue is now available on Steam, allowing a free sample of this hacker-themed puzzle/adventure game from publisher Alawar Premium and developer Wooden Monkeys. Here's a trailer and word on the full game: "Song of Farca is set in the futuristic city of Farca. Criminal gangs have carved the city up into areas of influence, leaving the corrupt government unable to help law-abiding citizens. That's where the talented cyber detective named Isabella Song comes in; she may be under house arrest, but that won't stop Isabella from investigating crimes and finding the culprits." Here's what to expect from the prologue:
In Song of Farca Prologue, players step into the shoes of cyberdetective Isabella Song to investigate the theft of a pet robodog.

Players can:

  • hack security systems, personal computers and safes
  • rebuild CCTV camera footage
  • run biometric analyses during questioning
  • uncover evidence, chase leads and draw conclusions

Don't let your guard down — victims can turn out to be criminals and suspects might be just one link in a long criminal chain.

Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Uncario Short Film - Official Trailer.

System Shock Remake Demo

Nightdive Studios is now accepting preorders for their remake of System Shock on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam in advance of the release of the updated action/RPG this summer. A playable demo is also now available on each service. You can get it from GOG.com through this link and from the other two stores from the links above. Here's a new Official Teaser Trailer, and here's more on the game:
The new System Shock is a complete remake of the groundbreaking immersive sim, first released in 1994. Players, in the space-boots of an unnamed hacker who awakes after a six-month snooze, finds Citadel Station in quite the state. Murderous robots, killer cyborgs, and malicious mutants have run amok. And the station’s AI, SHODAN, seems to have developed quite the God complex.

Nightdive has given the entirely remade System Shock the full treatment, recreating the fan-favorite title for modern players with all-new HD visuals, updated controls, revamped hacking, and a renovated Citadel Station with all sorts of new areas and secrets to uncover.
Continue here to read the full story.

GeForce RTX 3060 Reviews

NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs officially launch at noon EST today. Here's a new article covering the launch and this previous article has all the technical details. And while it's extremely likely that the GPUs will be scarce for the foreseeable future, as of this morning reviews for the new graphics cards are quite plentiful:

New NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

Related to the GeForce RTX 3060 launch mentioned above, NVIDIA now offers new GeForce Game Ready 461.72 WHQL drivers for Windows. These include game-ready support for the new GPUs as well as the Outriders demo that's expected later today. Here's more on the new drivers:
GeForce RTX 3060, the newest member of the GeForce RTX 30 Series family, is out now. Featuring 10x the ray tracing performance of the GeForce GTX 1060, and double the rasterized performance, the new GeForce RTX 3060 offers previous-gen gamers a massive upgrade that’ll get them playing the latest and greatest games with fast frame rates, high fidelity graphics, and game-changing features like ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, and Resizable BAR.

If you add the GeForce RTX 3060 to your system, download and install our new Game Ready Driver to enable full support for our technologies and experience-enhancing features.

Amazon Luna Boss Leaves

Former Xbox CPO Marc Whitten has left his post as Amazon VP of Entertainment Devices and Services to become Senior Vice President and General Manager of Unity's Create Solutions department. As noted by VGC this has been kept pretty quiet considering the high profile of Whitten's role at Amazon as head of their Luna game streaming service. Luna remains in Early Access, and users in the US can apply to participate on this page.

Dungeons and Dragons Online Turning 15

Dungeons and Dragons Online was released 15 years ago this Sunday, and the official website for the MMORPG announces how the anniversary is being celebrated (thanks Dave). These version 48.4 release notes cover the new patch that kicks off the festivities, which run from now through March 23rd. The update also brings a new raid and other changes. Here's a rundown on the celebration:
Expect lots of fun in-jokes and references to quests throughout DDO's history in our returning Anniversary Event! Find it in House Phiarlan. Running the anniversary challenge gets you Party Favors that can be turned in for great rewards with Tolero outside of the party event! This year the reward list includes a new Red Crystal Crown, a new Dretch Creature Companion, and the 13 Eberron House Cloaks given away in a prior anniversary!

Out of the Blue

It's was pretty warm here yesterday, and it's going to be in the mid-40s for the next several days. The snow has melted off my grill cover, so I'm thinking of sneaking in opening day for Manstovia, but it will probably have to be today or tomorrow, as it's supposed to be rainy all weekend. I'm not laboring under the delusion that spring is actually here, but it will be nice to have a preview of the season after what's been a pretty stormy winter.

Warmed-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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