Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021

Magic: Legends Open Beta

Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios are now running open beta testing of the Windows edition of Magic: Legends on both Arc Games and the Epic Games Store. This will allow players to see if this free-to-play, persistent-world, action/RPG captures the magic of Magic: The Gathering, the collectible card game upon which it is based. In addition to getting first crack at the game, testers are also being promised free costumes, skins, boosts, and more. The Open Beta Cinematic Launch Trailer sets the story, and here's the deal:
Magic: Legends allows longtime fans of Magic: The Gathering to explore the Multiverse like never before. After selecting from one of five Planeswalker starter classes, players will travel to different regions made famous by the celebrated card game, including Innistrad, Tazeem, Benalia and more. While exploring these planes, players will collect Artifacts, Equipment and mana-based spells, which will be used to help them build a deck of powerful, randomized attacks. A full list of the game’s key features includes:
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Watch Dogs: Legion Getting a Free Weekend

Ubisoft announces Watch Dogs: Legion is getting a free weekend starting Thursday, and those interested in taking part will be able to preload it tomorrow. Word is: "Every character in near-future London will be available to recruit and play as during the Free Trial Weekend in both single-player and online modes. Players will be able to check out all of the open-world activities such as playing darts at the local pub and participating in bareknuckle fights, as well as explore half of the eight boroughs including the City of London and Islington & Hackney. Additionally, players will be able to discover the game’s storyline up to the Skye Larsen mission." Players who choose to buy the open-world hacking game after their sample will keep their progress and will get a tidy discount. Finally, there is also new content available for all owners of the game as of today as well as some new season pass content in the works:

The post-launch content for all Watch Dogs: Legion players include:

  • Today, March 23: Leader of the Pack, the first Tactical Op which will require teamwork and efficiency, is available to play in the online mode of Watch Dogs: Legion. Working with a whistle-blower, DedSec uncovers a deadly initiative that brings the next level of hive-mind based AI on Urban Drone Warfare. They must race to stop the program at its tracks and will discover a hidden terrifying threat at the heart of it all.
  • In late-May, players will have access to two new PvP modes: Extraction and fan favorite, Invasion, and a new Tactical Op, Project Omni, in the online mode of Watch Dogs: Legion. Project Omni is intense and challenging and will need a team of four to infiltrate a secret project to find out why Londoners’ Optik devices are negatively affecting their brains.

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Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace Released

Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace is now available on GOG.com and Steam, with each site offering a 20% launch discount on this Lovecraftian horror/RPG. Set in the Cthulhu mythos, this is based on the Arkham Horror series of tabletop games. Here's a Gameplay Trailer and here's the story:
The year is 1926, and a professor of astronomy is found dead in her mansion, the apparent victim of a heinous murder. Players must pick from 12 of the most iconic protagonists from the Arkham Horror universe, each with a unique skill set, and assemble a team of investigators to uncover the secrets behind this mysterious death.

As investigators face off against occult horrors, they will descend deeper into the depths of madness, affecting their level of sanity and causing traumas that will impact the course of their investigation. Along with facing curious science, living nightmares and a sinister cult, players will combat an array of enemies in turn-based combat, all while attempting to retain their sanity. Developed by Artefacts Studio and featuring an original story, Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace plunges players into the engrossing pulp world of 1920s America to combat unseen supernatural and psychological horrors from the Cthulhu Mythos.
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Destiny 2: the Proving Grounds Launches

Bungie now offers Destiny 2: the Proving Grounds, the latest Strike in the Season of the Chosen in the first-person shooter sequel. Fulfill your destiny by checking out the this trailer and read on for more details:
As part of the Season of the Chosen, Bungie have released the newest Strike in Destiny 2: the Proving Grounds. Zavala, Commander of the Vanguard, has issued a challenge to Caiatl, who has called for Guardians to prove themselves. Guardians will battle against the champions of the Cabal, fight for glory, and emerge as Champions of Humanity.

Guardians will battle across Nessus inside the monstrous Cabal Land Tank to earn Caiatl's approval and entry into the Proving Grounds, where they will face the Champion of the Cabal and determine the Last City's fate. Let the rite of proving commence!

The Proving Grounds is the latest Strike in the Season of the Chosen, joining the Devil's Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. Strikes to rotate out of the Destiny Content Vault. In Season of the Chosen, Guardians go head-to-head with the Cabal in the Battlegrounds after Zavala rejects Empress Caiatl's offer of alliance. Season of the Chosen will run until 11th May.
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Serious Sam 4 Editor and Mod Support

Why so serious? Croteam celebrates 20 years of Serious Sam a sale on the series and the release of a version 1.08 patch for Serious Sam 4, adding editing tools and Steam Workshop support to the first-person shooter prequel. The most significant elements of the editor are highlighted in a New Features Overview Trailer. Here's a bit from the post about the editor and mod support:
Past aside, you all know why you’re here today, and that’s to read about the latest Serious Sam 4 update. The Serious Sam 4 Update 1.08 delivers on some of our promises from the past, much-needed fixes and optimizations, and an amazing roster consisting of 19 brand new playable characters including the entire AAA team, and all notable NPCs, including the almighty Naughty Nonna! Truth is, you want Nonna in your game. You need Nonna in your game. You always did.

The definite star of the show, however, is the latest version of the Serious Editor, followed by the Steam workshop support. Of course, the editor is only available on Steam and is completely free for all owners of the base game. Our veteran community member Asdolg went as far as to create a handy breakdown/guide of some of the major additions in this version of the editor, so make sure to check it out before you start modding.
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Machinika Museum Released

Machinika Museum is now available on Steam, offering an adventure game where you must solve intricate puzzles in an atmospheric museum that might make you mysty with nostalgia. As showing in this trailer, your journey will lead to a "galaxy spanning story." Here's more:
Machinika Museum invites you to become a researcher in a very special place. In a distant future, finding machines from alien civilizations is not unusual, especially in a museum dedicated to them. Your job is to receive these devices and to understand how to repair them.

But this time, something is different. You have not been given any information and this seems to be rather urgent... What are these machines? Who sent them? Why won't anyone give you any answers? You will have to find for yourself which secrets and stories are hidden behind these mechanisms.
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What's Cooking? Recipe for Disaster

Kasedo Games and Dapper Penguin Studios announce Recipe for Disaster, a restaurant sim coming to Windows PC this year. Word is: "Recipe for Disaster is a restaurant management and social simulation game that puts players in the shoes of an inexperienced, but ambitious, head chef working towards fulfilling their lifelong dream of becoming an internationally renowned restaurateur." Here's a Teaser Trailer and here's the recipe:
Serving up a different challenge to players, Recipe for Disaster explores the complex social relationships between staff and customers, as well as the disastrous and humorous consequences of poor management in the service industry.

During a typical day, serious personality clashes and major skill gaps within a restaurant’s team of staff can easily disrupt service, whilst the volatile attitudes and tastes of customers may prove to be the barrier that separates players from those all-important positive review scores.
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Inspector Waffles Released

Inspector Waffles is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a retro adventure game from publisher Hitcents and developer Goloso Games where you play as a cat detective. This trailer introduces this "tongue-in-cheek take on the classic noir mystery, combining intuitive puzzles with full cinematic cutscenes to create an adventure ready to challenge and entertain detectives of any skill level." Here's more:
Players will take up the paws of the quick-witted titular investigator as he uncovers the truth behind the suspicious death of Fluffy, beloved creator of the best cardboard boxes Cat Town has ever seen.

Inspector Waffles lovingly pays tribute to the classic detective story, tying up the cynical Waffles with his own bounding police dog sidekick to uncover a mystery that spans a diverse and colourful range of environments, each bursting with its own secrets. Rendered in beautifully simple pixel art, with a bespoke jazz soundtrack to set the tone - Inspector Waffles is ideal for mystery fans looking for a playful adventure to uncover.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Zack Snyder's Justice League Pitch Meeting.

Amazon Games Opens Montreal Studio

Amazon Games announces the opening of a new game development studio in Montreal. No specifics are offered about what game this is for, but a hint may be found in the news that it is being headed up by the core team behind Rainbow Six Siege. Here's the announcement:
Amazon Games today announced it has opened a new game development studio in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal studio, which joins Amazon Games development studios in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will focus on creating original AAA games. Amazon Games is actively hiring to build out the talented team, with a variety of roles opening.

“Montreal’s rich vein of creative talent will be a valuable asset as we continue building our development and publishing teams,” said Christoph Hartmann, VP, Amazon Games. “The highly skilled and experienced team at our new Montreal studio shares our commitment to creating best-in-class online games, and brings with them a wealth of knowledge and passion for building deep, community-focused multiplayer experiences. I look forward to watching them invent on behalf of customers as they grow their team and develop their first project.”

The studio’s founding members include industry veterans Luc Bouchard (head of production), Xavier Marquis (creative director), Alexandre Remy (head of product), and Romain Rimokh (content director), who most recently worked as the core team behind the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, which now has more than 70 million players since its launch. The studio’s first project will be an online multiplayer title based on new IP.
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SHADOW MAN: REMASTERED Next Month

Nightdive Studios announces SHADOW MAN: REMASTERED will emerge from the shadows on April 15th on the Epic Games Store, Steam, and GOG.COM. This will allow gamers the chance to party like it's 1999 in a remake of this third-person action title first released to acclaim by Acclaim back in the 20th century. For a look, the Second Teaser Trailer from September is the most recent video for this project. The release will be closely followed by a reboot of the comic book series upon which the game is based. Here are the details:
Originally released in 1999 for the PC, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast, SHADOW MAN: REMASTERED follows Michael LeRoi, the current holder of the voodoo warrior moniker “Shadow Man”, as he battles the forces of darkness attempting to cross-over from their realm into the world of the living. Join Michael as he fights his way through the swamps of Louisiana, the back alleys of New York City, and the dark and terrifying land of Deadside in his mission to keep supernatural threats from invading the land of the living.

SHADOW MAN: REMASTERED comes with a bevy of awesome new features that take advantage of modern gaming hardware, including:
4K widescreen support for the latest monitors

  • No more jaggies thanks to anti-aliasing and all sorts of other post-processing magic
  • A whole new visual experience with dynamic shadow mapping and per-pixel lighting
  • Never-before-seen content cut from the original game
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering to really take advantage of modern displays
  • Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 versions coming soon

To keep the undead party going, comics publisher and the original creator of Shadowman Valiant Entertainment will release their upcoming SHADOWMAN comic series reboot on April 28, 2021. SHADOWMAN #1 will be available for purchase from retail shops and online retailers.

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Chronicle of Innsmouth: Mountains of Madness Released

Chronicle of Innsmouth: Mountains of Madness is now available for Windows on Steam offering Psychodev's point-and-click adventure prequel based on the works of Lovecraft where you can even play as H.P. Lovecraft himself. The Launch Trailer shows off the game's LucasArts inspiration and the description explains more:
Mountains of Madness is a Lovecraftian point'n'click adventure, in the style of the classic early 90s Lucasfilm-Arts adventures. Inspired by HP Lovecraft's stories such as The Shadow over Innsmouth and The Mountains of Madness, in this game you will step in the shoes of Lone Carter, an investigator who, after surviving an encounter with the Cthulhu Mythos, has to face an even worst threat. Immerse yourself in an otherwordly spiral of occult madness, find out what lies behind a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances and dare to find the truth which lurks behind the façade. The deeper you dig, the more your sanity will be challenged.

Mountains of Madness is the second entry in the Chronicle of Innsmouth franchise, and is set 10 years before the events of the first chapter. The game completed successfully a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter on late 2018, right after the release of its predecessor, which was based in The Shadow over Innsmouth.
Written by a Lovecraft expert, the game is based on the eponymous novella, but features many references to other stories. It also includes many easter eggs that only the geekiest of Lovecraft geeks will get (like Lone Carter’s name himself), and gives you the opportunity to play as the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, author of the dreaded Necronomicon, and at some point as HP Lovecraft himself.
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Black Powder Red Earth Leaves Early Access Next Week

_Echelon Software announces Black Powder Red Earth will leave Early Access on March 30th, and officially launch on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. At that time the price of this 8-bit turn-based tactics game will rise from $14.99 to $19.99. Here's a previously released Gameplay Trailer and here's an outline of the project, which is based on a series of graphic novels:
Black Powder Red Earth is set during a proxy war between the dictatorship of a failing state and a brutal jihadist insurgency. Isolating minute-to-minute decision-making, BPRE is a laser-focused, no-frills tactical experience that follows four key principles.

  • Speed is security
  • Don’t fight the whole city
  • Never go into a fight with only one gun
  • Keep shooting until the target changes shape or catches fire

There are no tech-trees, base-building, or role-playing elements. Only fire and maneuver to fix and finish your targets. Poor planning or the application of “video game” tactics will kill every one of your assaulters. Without fail.

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Killing Floor 2 Dystopian Devastation Update

Tripwire Interactive now offers a new Dystopian Devastation content update for Killing Floor 2, continuing the tradition of season updates for the zed-hating first-person shooter sequel. This is available for PC and consoles, and the Windows edition is available on both the Epic Games Store and Steam. Dystopian Devastation includes a new map, new weapons, and new cosmetics. All the details can be found on the Tripwire Website where there's also word to keep an eye out for the game going on sale. Here's a Launch Trailer showing things off, and here's more:
Killing Floor 2: Dystopian Devastation also introduces a new community map, Dystopia 2029. While conquering waves of zeds under neon lights and in seedy city streets, players can appreciate Dystopia 2029’s bleak futuristic style in standard survival, weekly, and endless game modes.

Additionally, players can slaughter in splendor with Killing Floor 2: Dystopian Devastation’s fresh weaponry. Demolitionists can pick up the Gravity Imploder, which will blast canisters at zeds to implode their heads—or use the alternative fire to draw them closer. Sharpshooters can sing this spring with new HRG weapon: the Beluga Beat. This gun shreds sonically, with the ability to charge up a shot to destroy with greater decibels. These weapons enter the fray with even more content, like added achievements, quality of life tuning, and seasonal store bundles.
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Overcooked! All You Can Eat is Served

Team17 and Ghost Town Games are now serving Overcooked! All You Can Eat, a reheated combo platter of Overcooked! and Overcooked! 2 for PC and consoles. Lest you consider this leftovers, know it is described as a "full remake" both cooking games, remade from scratch with new features, new music, and support for 60 fps at 4K resolution (except on Switch). Here's a new Launch Trailer fresh out of the oven to show the end result. Here's the recipe:
Team17 and Ghost Town Games have today launched Overcooked! All You Can Eat on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Xbox One. Debuting in 2020 on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, this full remake of Overcooked! and Overcooked! 2 offers up all 200+ levels from both games (including their downloadable content), seven new kitchens, three new chefs, and a brand-new assist mode, all remade in up to 4K and running at a delicious 60fps (30fps on the Nintendo Switch). For the first time in the series, cross-platform multiplayer has also been introduced, allowing chefs to play all levels online with other players, regardless of platform.

Alongside the 80+ playable chefs on offer, the original calamitous food connoisseur, Disney’s The Muppets’ Swedish Chef, is also available to download for free until 30th April for all Overcooked! All You Can Eat players. Overcooked! All You Can Eat also includes new accessibility options and an assist mode, which adds the option to increase level times; boost scores awarded for each meal; lengthen recipe times, and the ability to turn off order expiration. The accessibility options include colour-blind friendly chef indicators, a scalable user interface, and the ability to enable dyslexia friendly text.
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Ashborne Games Formed

THQ Nordic introduces Ashborne Games, a new developer in the Czech republic working on an unannounced IP using the Unreal Engine. Here's word on the studio's pedigree: "The studio consists of veteran game developers, who previously worked on such fine games as the Mafia-franchise, the ArmA: Armed Assault-franchise, Silent Hill: Downpour, Vigor, or the UFO-trilogy, UFO: Aftermath, UFO: Aftershock and UFO: Afterlight. Ashborne Games is now focused on laying the groundwork for a brand-new Strategy/RPG IP while simultaneously supporting Comanche in its early access phase, along with the game preview." The Ashborne Games Website indicates it is working on a historical strategy game with RPG elements:
While we have experience with various game genres and free-to-play titles on consoles and mobile, our current focus is to deliver full-length games based on the premium business model. The team has already started laying the groundwork for a brand new IP. Since the concept is still in development, we can only give you guys a hint – it's going to be a historical Strategy with RPG elements. Before we hit full steam on the new title, we'll work on supporting Comanche in its early access phase by preparing a new single-player game mode which will roll out with Update 7. We have been working with Unreal Engine 4, and we believe that thanks to our team's expertise and the engine's advantages, we will be able to deliver products that meet and exceed our ambitions as a developer.
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Rolled Out! Rolls Out

Early Access to Rolled Out! is now available for Windows and Linux on Steam. As seen in the Early Access Trailer this is a fast-paced 3D platformer where you must overcome obstacles to maneuver a marble through over 150 levels. Here's more:
Polarbyte Games and Skymap Games are pleased to announce that indie marble roller Rolled Out! has launched into Early Access on Steam! All you need is one joystick to roll to the goal; fly through courses with speedy reflexes, plot your way through tricky puzzle levels, and stay nimble around obstacles like bumpers, switches, and gravity floors. Download the game today, to tackle over 150 hand-crafted stages in the game’s Early Access release!

Features

  • 150+ stages across a range of difficulties, for players of all skill levels
  • Unique environments, each with their own special style - including mechanics, music, and stage visuals. Roll through the candy factory, the desert ruins, the virtual reality zone, and more
  • Play through life-limited courses in Arcade Mode, or try any stage freely in Practice Mode
  • Track your personal best times and scores on each stage
  • Create custom levels using our Blender 3D plugin

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Midday Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

A simple error I made in formatting a news story here yesterday had surprising complications. By placing the "Continue here to read the full story" break in the middle of a bold text section, the bold tag was not closed on the front page view. This led to the rest of text below the break being bold. More seriously, it also caused the gentle prod for ad blocker users to consider becoming supporters to cease being gentle. The small box suddenly stretched across the front page, impeding the news. Some took this as an effort to force subscriptions, but it was purely accidental. Interestingly we did get three new subscribers in the brief time before it was fixed. Hopefully they'll continue their support now that they know it's not mandatory. On the other hand, we also lost one in that time, so even if I was tempted to try and force the issue, which I am not, it seems it would be a mixed bag. Anyway, it was all put right pretty quickly, but I wanted to explain what happened and apologize to anyone frustrated by the problem before it was solved.

Round-up Error
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