Archived News:

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021

Diablo II: Resurrected Technical Alpha Plans

Blizzard announces a western version of the recently revealed technical alpha for Diablo II: Resurrected (thanks Blizzplanet). This will run this weekend when a limited number of PC players who have pre-registered on the Diablo II: Resurrected website will be invited on Friday for a test that will run through Monday. For those who miss out, word is there will be at least one additional test before the game is released. There's an outline of what to expect, saying this will include the chance to play through portions of Acts I and II with three classes, the Amazon, the Barbarian, and the Sorceress. There's a FAQ to answer any other questions this news may raise. Here's the overview:
An acclaimed phenomenon, Diablo® II enchanted scores of gamers with addictive hack-and-slash gameplay and an immersive world. Now more than 20 years later the timeless classic is resurrected.

Our journey back to this iconic experience is about to begin. We are pleased to announce the Diablo II: Resurrected Single-player Technical Alpha, the first of multiple tests. As diehard fans, we understand that many of you are itching to return to a game so fondly remembered. Still, we are also thrilled to welcome new players to experience this iconic classic, and we look forward to the feedback you all may share. We want to know if we’re upholding the authenticity of design with our new visuals and quality of life changes.
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Resident Evil Re:Verse Open Beta Preloads

With the Resident Evil Re:Verse Open Beta Test getting underway tomorrow at 11:00 pm PDT (2:00 am EDT), you can now pre-load the Windows edition via Steam. Here's more on this chance to check out the beta of multiplayer support for Resident Evil Village:
This open beta test is available to all! Beloved Resident Evil characters clash in a fight to the death! Test your skills against other players in six-person deathmatch battles.

But don't forget the terrifying bioweapons! You'll need to master the skills of the heroes and bioweapons alike if you want to claw your way to victory!

Availability period:
4/7 23:00 - 4/10 22:59 (PDT)

Note: Capcom ID registration required. Availability period subject to change without notice. Please check the official website for further details.

Gearbox and Embracer Merger Complete

The Gearbox Entertainment Company and Embracer Group announce the consummation of the merger between the two companies first announced in February. Here's the news:
The Gearbox Entertainment Company and Embracer Group announced today that they successfully closed on their up to $1.3 billion merger agreement. Embracer and Gearbox announced in February of 2021 their intention to merge. With this, Gearbox Entertainment is the seventh operating group in the Karlstad, Sweden-headquartered Embracer Group, which has an extensive catalogue of more than 240 franchises and more than 7,000 employees around the world. The merger fuels positions Gearbox for rapid growth with its robust IP catalogue, AAA development studios, and North American publishing capabilities.

“Our team is incredibly excited about the opportunity we now have,” said Randy Pitchford, founder of The Gearbox Entertainment Company. “Far from riding off into the sunset, we are now positioned to launch new IP, do more with our existing brands, grow our base of incredibly talented team members, and capitalize on new opportunities in our mission to entertain the world. This just the start."
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition Details

A post on the EA Website offers all sorts of details on what sort of enhancements to expect in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, the upcoming remake of BioWare's space opera trilogy. Topics include combat tuning, gameplay improvements, the Mako, unifying and modernizing the trilogy, and Galaxy at War rebalancing. Here's the intro:
Ever since we announced Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition on N7 Day and revealed a first look at it earlier this year, your passion and excitement have blown us away. Today, we’d like to give you more details on what you can expect to see in this remaster. You’ll find the latest information on the Legendary Edition, from gameplay tuning to rebalancing and more. Next week, we’ll provide an additional look at the remastering process with a strong focus on the visual changes across the trilogy.

Overwatch Archives Returns

Blizzard announces the return of the Overwatch Archives event, offering story-driven co-op missions in the hero shooter. This trailer takes a look at the seasonal event, and some of the weekly awards participants can win. Here's a bit:
Find out how heroes made history as we take another trip through the Overwatch Archives from April 6 – April 27. Dive into story-driven co-op missions from pivotal moments in the past, test your mettle against new deadly new Challenge Mission modifiers, and earn historically inspired loot along the way!
Continue here to read the full story.

Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game Early Access

Early Access to Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game is now underway on GOG.com and Steam, offering a sci-fi, turn-based RPG for Windows from Iron Tower Studio. Word is this is expected to leave Early Access next year. As the title implies, this takes place on a generation ship in a story inspired by Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein. Here's an Early Access Trailer and more on what to expect:
You will never feel the sun’s warmth under a blue sky, never hear the wind in the branches of a tree, and never swim in the ocean, all because you had the misfortune to be born on the Ship, chained to a fate you didn’t choose. You have never seen Earth and you’ll never see Proxima Centauri either. You’re doomed to live and die on the Ship in the name of the Mission, like your father before you, like his father before him.

The Ship is old. She had already been twenty years in service when she was rechristened Starfarer - a pretty name for a retrofitted interplanetary freighter. No one is certain the Ship will actually reach its destination, and nobody much cares, since no one alive now will live to see it. Might as well get on with your life and try to make the best of it.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: MORTAL KOMBAT - Meet the Kast Featurette. Thanks Ant.

ESA Confirms Free All-Virtual E3; Lists Partners

The ESA reveals some details about E3 2021, which will run from June 12 through June 15. This confirms this year's edition of the game exhibition will be all virtual, and that it will be completely free for all attendees. It also notes that the plan is to return to an in-person event for E3 2022. The announcement also has a first list of companies that will be presenting during the expo:
It’s “Game On.” for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere. With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15.

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.
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Oddworld: Soulstorm Released

Oddworld: Soulstorm is now available for PC and consoles, and you can find the Windows edition on the Epic Games Store (if you can get it to load, as it's being a little cranky right now). The Launch Trailer introduces the new installment in Oddworld Inhabitants' platformer series and shows off some gameplay. Here are some odd details:
Abe's epic story explodes in this all-new adventure.

Oddworld: Soulstorm is an explosive action-adventure game complete with crafting, scavenging, platforming, and sneaking. It’s the story of an impossible flight against an opposing force that will use every means at their well-funded disposal, from propaganda to brutal force to deadly violence, to stop Abe and the uprising.
Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground Next Month

Publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Gasket Games announce a May 27th release date for Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground. This turn-based strategy game set in Games Workshop's fantasy universe will come on that date to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, and it is now available for pre-order. A new Release Date Reveal Trailer celebrates the news. Here's a bit on the video and the game:
Today’s new trailer also offers the closest look yet at one of the three factions from this action-packed, turn-based strategy adaptation of Games Workshop’s iconic fantasy IP: the Maggotkin of Nurgle. A tide of death that corrupt everything they cross, the Maggotkin create hazardous zones on the battlefield they can use against their enemies.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground lets you lead one of three highly customizable armies — the eternal Stormcasts, the ghoulish Nighthaunt and the rotting Maggotkin — to glory in rogue-like single-player campaigns or against real players in online PvP. With each new battle, you’ll collect new cards granting new units, skills, weapons and gear to strengthen your armies and let you define your own style of conquest.
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Lost Words: Beyond the Page Released

Lost Words: Beyond the Page is now available for PC and consoles, as the game has turned the page on its Stadia exclusivity. You can open a window to the Windows edition via GOG.COM, the Epic Games Store, and Steam. This narrative adventure is written by Rhianna Pratchett, the award-winning writer whose résumé includes contributions to Mirror's Edge, Prince of Persia, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider. Here are some found words:
Indie publisher Modus Games and developer Sketchbook Games are pleased to announce that Lost Words: Beyond the Page is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The title was previously available on Google Stadia exclusively.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page is an atmospheric puzzler revolving around the touching story of a young girl named Izzy coming to terms with life’s hardships by creating the adventure of a lifetime within the pages of her diary.
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Arma 3 S.O.G. Prairie Fire Announced

Bohemia Interactive announces S.O.G. Prairie Fire, new "Creator DLC" for Arma 3 that's coming to the military shooter sequel on Steam later this spring. This third-party content takes players back in time to the Vietnam War to "deliver a thrilling and historic military sandbox experience on a scale not seen before in a video game." Here's more on the DLC and its title:
The name S.O.G. Prairie Fire refers to the "Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group" (MACV-SOG), which was a United States Special Forces unit established in 1964 to conduct covert operations in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. This task force will play a central role in the DLC's multiplayer co-op campaign. To portray the soldiers' experiences in a more accurate manner, Savage Game Design has been closely collaborating with US Special Forces veterans who served in MACV-SOG until it was deactivated in 1972, as well as Vietnamese advisors.

X3: Farnham's Legacy Next Month

Egosoft announces that X3: Farnham's Legacy will arrive on Steam on May 4th as a new chapter for X3, the third installment in the space trading and combat series. Created in collaboration with community members, this will be a free expansion for all owners of X3: Albion Prelude on Steam. A look at what to expect can be found in the Reveal Trailer. Here's more, including the explanation of how this was assumed at first to be an April Fool's joke:
Ten years after the release of X3: Albion Prelude, Egosoft is revisiting the X3 universe. X3: Farnham's Legacy is a new chapter in the popular X3 series, created over the past five years by long-time community members, in close cooperation with the Egosoft team. What community members may have thought was an April Fool's joke, actually exists and will be released on May 4th, 2021. With three games released between 2006 and 2011, and over 2 million copies sold, the X3 series remains a fan favourite.

Set in the years after X3: Albion Prelude, as the chaos caused by the gate shutdown really takes hold, X3: Farnham's Legacy starts very differently to previous games in the X3 series. Trapped in an isolated area of space, players will first need to make use of the new exploration features to find their way back to civilisation. Afterwards, they'll be able to use the new diplomacy options to help shape their relationships with the factions they find.
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NVIDIA Reflex Adds Games, Improvements

An article on the NVIDIA Website announces the launch of NVIDIA Reflex support for Overwatch, Blizzard's competitive hero shooter. The article notes that Rust and Ghostrunner will soon get Reflex support (they already appear on the list of Reflex-compatible products), and that further latency reductions will soon come to both Fortnite and Valorant. Here's a separate article on how Reflex support in Overwatch cuts system latency in half and a video showing this in action. Here's more on Reflex improvements:
NVIDIA Reflex Keeps Getting Better
Other improvements to NVIDIA Reflex include:

  • A new enhancement to ‘Boost’ mode that can reduce latency in certain CPU-bound scenarios.
    • Fortnite has implemented the optimization and players can see up to a 15% latency reduction in these CPU bound scenarios.
    • Valorant will be releasing their update in the next patch. Early testing is showing a 10-15% improvement in CPU-bound scenarios.

Continue here to read the full story.

Wave War One Announced

ROOKIEZ FROM WARSAW announce Wave War One, a side-scrolling tactical tower defense game set in the harrowing trenches of World War I. This is coming on May 27th to Steam, and will invade Switch later this year. Here's an Announcement Trailer and here are some details:
Rookiez from Warsaw is thrilled to announce Wave War One, in which you can feel how it was to fight in trenches of the Great War. Bringing together deep tactical gameplay and mechanics of the tower defense genre, Wave War One lets you step into the shoes of a war commander and lead your men to glorious victory. Choose the units you need, decide when to call them to action, give orders, and break through to the next trench. But beware: the enemy and his artillery never sleep!
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Bassmaster Fishing 2022 Announced

Fire up the Super Bass-o-matic 76, as Dovetail Games announces Bassmaster Fishing 2022, a fishing simulation coming to PC and consoles this fall. This is an official partnership with B.A.S.S., so there will be a high degree of authenticity when you start slappin' da bass, err bass. The announcement trailer hopes to hook you, and the announcement explains what this is angling at:
Dovetail Games, developer and publisher of authentic simulation titles, are thrilled to announce their new partnership with B.A.S.S., the worldwide authority on bass fishing, to create the biggest bass fishing video game ever made, Bassmaster Fishing 2022. In development for the PlayStation®5, PlayStation 4 home computer entertainment system, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, and windows PC via Steam, the in-depth fishing simulation will release in North America and Europe this fall.

Scott Martin, professional angler and host of ‘The Scott Martin Challenge,’ is working closely with Dovetail Games to help create this exciting new simulation title and will be featured prominently throughout the game and its career modes. Martin’s story of joining the B.A.S.S. tour and fulfilling his family’s legacy is well known in the fishing world and soon players will be able to see if they have what it takes to become a bass master. More information about the new technology and features being added to Bassmaster Fishing 2022 to enhance immersion and deliver an authentic angling experience will be announced in the coming months.

Galactic Mining Corp Next Month

Windybeard announces Galactic Mining Corp will be released on May 18th on Steam, offering a roguelite action game it calls a spiritual successor to Geo. Here's a trailer to help you judge that comparison for yourself. Here you can dig into the details:
Galactic Mining Corp is a game about building and expanding an intergalactic mining corporation through crafting and base building mechanics. Use your ever-growing profits to expand your HQ, hire a crazy workforce, obtain new drill components and upgrade everything. Hire more than 70 crew members with unique stats from around the galaxy to pilot your drills and power up you base.

In Galactic Mining Corp everything is of value, from every bit of mud you drill to the strange space banana you hire to work in the HQ store rooms.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

I keep meaning to mention the significance of the Black & White themed logo that popped up here last week. This is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of this god game from Peter Molyneux, Steve Jackson and the rest of Lionhead Studios. It feels like one of those "where does the time go?" moments, as the game was first released on March 30, 2001. As always, hats off to Walter "2" Costinak for creating the original logo, and a thank you to Scott for fixing it to work properly with our current format.

Obituary: Paul Ritter: Friday Night Dinner star dies of brain tumour at 54.
Obituary: Alcee Hastings, Democratic congressman from Florida, dead at 84.

Black & White Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Science
Thanks Max.

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