Archived News:

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Get The Lion's Song for Free

The Lion's Song is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as this week's promised giveaway. This will be a permanent addition to the library of anyone who claims their copy between now and next Thursday. Epic usually uses the release of each week's freebie to announce the next week's giveaway. Not so this time around, as the website just lists "mystery game" as the gratis game to follow. Here's the score on The Lion's Song:
The Lion’s Song is set against the backdrop of early 20th century Austria with every episode following a different character. Each character possesses an exceptional mind & the game draws players into a story of personal struggle for creativity, human connections & inspiration: a talented composer suffering from writer's block before her breakthrough concert, an up-and-coming painter growing through his challenges & a brilliant mathematician trying to make her voice heard in a men's world. The choices players make ultimately determine if the protagonists find the success they are working for

Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids Released

Wrath of the Druids is now available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, offering the new DLC for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft Montreal's Viking action/RPG. This is available as a separate purchase for owners of the game, and it is also part of a Season Pass that also includes the Siege of Paris expansions and the Legend of Beowulf bonus quest. Here's an official trailer and here are Valhalla lot of details:
Journey to 9th-century Ireland and unravel the secrets of a mystical cult: The Children of Danu. Fight your way through cursed forests and dazzling landscapes as you come to the aid of the High King of Ireland, Flann Sinna.

Expand your Assassin's Creed® Valhalla experience with Wrath of the Druids:

  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of 9th-century Ireland.
  • Take down a dark and mysterious druidic cult.
  • Gain influence among Gaelic kings.
  • Encounter legendary characters and mythical creatures.
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty Goes Back to the 80s Next Week

Call of Duty announces plans to call in poor old John Rambo for yet another tour of duty. The image shows off the Sylvester Stallone character, the Black Ops Cold War, Warzone, and CoD Mobile logos, and word to expect the influx of the 80s action heroes one week from today. The graphic doesn't feature John McClane, but the tweet indicates someone contacted the Bruce Willis character and said "Come out to the coast, we'll have a party!":
Some heroes Die Hard. Others draw First Blood.

The action begins May 20th.

Ghostrunner 2 Announced

505 Games announces Ghostrunner 2, revealing plans for the franchise it purchased just a few weeks ago. Polish studio One More Level is returning to handle development duties on the cyberpunk first-person action sequel. Word is this will come to PC, PlayStation 5. and Xbox Series X|S, but this does not yet carry a release window. Here's more, including word that the original Ghostrunner sold over 600K copies:
In the wake of the continuous success and the most recent acquisition of the video game’s intellectual property (IP), the Group doubles its investment for the creation of Ghostrunner 2, contributing with an initial budget of Euro 5 million. Ghostrunner is a brand with a great potential, capable of contributing for a long time to the 505 Games product portfolio.

For the production of Ghostrunner 2, 505 Games renews its collaboration with the Polish studio One More Level, the developers of the first version of the video game.

Ghostrunner is a first-person cyberpunk action video game set in a grim, dystopian future. Since its launch in October 2020, it has sold over 600,000 copies proving to be a very successful video game, appreciated by players all around the world. By the end of 2021, Ghostrunner will also be available on next-gen consoles.

Destiny 2 Season of the Splicer

This Week At Bungie looks at the big news of the week for the developer, as the Season of the Splicer is now live in Destiny 2. The post includes all the details on what this adds to the shooter sequel, a Season of the Splicer Season Pass Trailer, and word that issues that impacted the launch have been cleared up:
Season of the Splicer went live this week. Killer robots channeled their inner Mr. Burns and blotted out the Sun over the Last City. Now, Guardians are strapping on power gloves and teaming up with tech-master Eliksni to fight in the shade. It’s a tale as old as time.

We had some Honeydew errors early on, but our team of experts buckled down to commune with our servers and fix the issues so you could get back to playing. Our deepest apologies to anyone who had their gameplay delayed. Check out the Player Support Report below for the latest on any ongoing issues we are tracking.

Despite some hiccups, the Season is in full swing now! Here is a quick look at everything the new Season Pass has to offer.
Continue here to read the full story.

Lumione Announced

Publisher Perfect World Games and developer Glimmer Studio announce Lumione, a puzzle/platformer set under the sea, where it turns out there is no shortage of platforms. This will come first to PC via Steam, and a Switch edition is expected to follow. The announcement trailer shows things off and offers an odd description: "The beautiful horizontal platform jumping game 'Lumione' officially opened an appointment today." The description from the announcement makes a bit more sense:
Lumione is set in a deep-sea world that is shrouded in darkness. The people of the sea struggle in fear for all they have lost. A light appears in the darkness that sends the tiny elves in search of its source as they seek to bring light into the long night.

Game Features

  • A gorgeously rendered game world built using the power of Unreal Engine 4.
  • Technology is focused on portraying a dynamic, ever-changing deep-sea landscape.
  • Players will encounter deadly traps and puzzles that must be overcome in the search for light.
  • Four chapters and hundreds of levels
  • Dozens of challenging mechanics
  • Continued development will add new features and mechanics via DLC
Continue here to read the full story.

Paradox Apologizes for "Long Trail of Low Quality" DLC for EU4

In a post to the Paradox Interactive Forums, Johan Andersson, Studio Manager of Paradox Tinto, apologizes for the recently released Leviathan expansion for Europa Universalis IV. Andersson takes responsibility for this and a deeper problem, admitting that Leviathan "follows a long trail of low quality releases starting back with Golden Century for EU4." Here's what Paradox plans to do about improving Leviathan and future content releases:
I should have delayed the start of the development of Leviathan until we had all the resources that were needed, and they had time to properly onboard on the project. We should have announced a break in the development of EU4 after the Emperor release, until we had a team ready to start designing and working early in 2021.

We are partially changing our plans for the rest of the year. We had originally planned to fix all legacy bugs before we stop developing further expansions for EU4. Now we are accelerating these plans, and also making sure that the community will be getting them frequently.

The 1.31.3 patch is planned to be out this week, and the next patch after that we aim to release either at the end of may or early june, and then we aim to release several more patches for the rest of the year.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Indie Celebration Underway

This year's Indie Celebration is now underway, offering a digital celebration of independent games from all around the world. This colorful page on Steam is home to the project offering links to games and free demos to sample. There is a Community Vote Survey to honor the best entries from this list of finalists. Here's more on the festivities:
Indie Celebration is an international competition for independent developers. It’s a great opportunity to present their games to a wider audience and win prestigious awards. For many creators, competition may become a gateway to global media, investors, and publishers. Players will be able to check free demos of the most interesting and unique indie games nominated from over 250 submitted to Indie Celebration titles. Games will be available and featured on Steam.

The jury of the contest selects Best Indie Games – the top three productions from all the finalists, while gamers are able to test games on Steam and choose Community Vote Award. Voting is open until the 13th of May, 11:59 p.m. CEST for everyone. The winners of Digital Dragons will be announced on the 14th of May.

The prizes are provided by AMD, a leader in high-performing computing, graphics and visualization technologies, that has been working with Digital Dragons for several years on events supporting indie game developers.

E3 2021 Portal and App Details

The ESA unveils details on the online presentation of E3 2021, which was recently confirmed to be an all-virtual event. There will be a dedicated app and an online portal, which will begin accepting free signups later this month for the show, which will run from June 12-15. Here's more:
Registration for access to the online E3 portal will be free and begin later this month.

Beginning on June 12, the public version of the online portal will give access to:

  • Exhibitor Booths – Featuring special events, VOD content and articles, exhibitor booths will act as hubs within the portal for key announcements and game information tied to each exhibitor
  • Lounges – Online gathering spots for all E3 attendees
  • Forums – Special boards for focused online discussion and sharing among attendees
  • Leaderboards – Gamified show elements that can be collected and displayed, encouraging fans to interact in as many ways as possible
  • Profile Creation - All attendees can create their own unique profiles within the portal and app, which can be customized

Continue here to read the full story.

Curved Space Delayed

Curved Space is now due on June 29th for Windows, Xbox, and PlayStation, with the Switch edition of this twin-stick shooter following on July 13th. The game was previously expected on June 18th, but this is not the first curve publisher Maximum Games and developer Only By Midnight have thrown us, as it was originally announced for release last (northern) autumn. No reason for the 11 day setback is provided, but understanding curved space does require understanding spacetime. Here's a refresher on the game:
Curved Space is an intense arcade-style twin-stick shooter that takes the classic formula and plunges it into the weirdest reaches of space. Battle cosmic space-invading spiders across curved landscapes where bullets hug the terrain while the horizon drops sharply out of sight. Take on battles of cosmic proportions in the Campaign Mode, become the best in the galaxy by rising to the top of the Leaderboards, or last as long as your ship can stand it in Endless Mode, and so much more.

Inspired by arcade classics, players will have to hunt for weapon power-ups and upgrades while dodging enemy fire, blasting interdimensional bugs, and wrangling some enormous boss monsters.

Truck Driver This Month

Breaker 1-9, breaker 1-9! SODESCO announces that the PC edition of Truck Driver is ready to roll out on May 27th on the Epic Games Store. Development stalled in late 2019, but just one week ago it was announced that the project was back on course. A brand-new Gameplay Trailer celebrates the news:
When you inherit a truck from your father, you decide to take your chance and move to a new city. Here, it’s up to you to make a name for yourself and earn the respect of the local community. Drive through a seamless open world, work with all kinds of people ranging from a constructor to a lumberjack and honor your father by making it as a Truck Driver!

Features

  • Enjoy a trucking experience focused on your career as a truck driver
  • Build stronger relationships with the local community with each job
  • Customize your truck with tons of parts and tune it to your liking
  • Navigate through diverse landscapes and interesting locations
Continue here to read the full story.

Hundred Days - Winemaking Simulator Uncorked

Hundred Days - Winemaking Simulator is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering the chance to get your feet wet and make your own fino vino. You can see some gameplay in this trailer. So quit your whining and start wining. Just remember the wisdom of Orson Welles and sell no wine before its time. Here's more:
In Hundred Days you will have complete control of a new Winery. First choose which vines to grow, learn how to grow them and when to harvest. Then following the entire winemaking process deciding on the type of wine you want to produce or the market requires. You will also have to sell the wine produced to allow your company to expand.

As in reality, every choice made, from the vineyard to the sales, will be able to influence the wine produced both in quantity and quality . A quality wine will increase the reputation of your company worldwide, it may have come at a higher price and will allow you to grow better and faster.
Continue here to read the full story.

Bless Unleashed Beta Testing

Publisher Neowiz and developer Round8 Studio are conducting a final round of beta testing for the PC edition of Bless Unleashed, the MMORPG that's already available for PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Testing will continue through the weekend, and those interested in participating can head over to the game's Steam Listing to request access. Here's the plan:
The in-game Lumena Shop is now working, and all playtesters will be given some “free in-game money” to use in order to make sure that making purchases and receiving items works properly. Skins, mounts, and all sorts of other beneficial items will be available during the test.

“It’s been a long road to get here,” said Jason Park, Round 8 Studio’s head of development. “But we truly believe that Bless Unleashed on PC is going to shine, and that our players will love the change we’ve made in response to their feedback.”

The many changes being made to the game are being detailed in regular blogs on the Bless Unleashed Steam Page, as well as other important testing announcements.

Of Bird and Cage Demo

Of Bird and Cage is expected on May 20th, and between now and May 18th, Steam has a playable demo from publisher All in! Games and developer Capricia Productions. This metal music-driven narrative game for Windows really cries out for a demo, as it sounds pretty unusual. Here's a trailer introducing the protagonist, and here's the offbeat concept:
Of Bird and Cage is an intense music-driven narrative adventure. This new experience, a powerful symphonic metal album and game hybrid, conveys the power of music with a dark, twisted tale based on Beauty and the Beast. The game features artists from several renowned groups like (ex) Guns N’ Roses, Epica, Within Temptation, and many others.

You play as Gitta Barbot, a 25 year-old drug addict girl who tries to escape from the physical and mental prison of her captor — a man called Bres Lupus. Experiencing Gitta’s life from her childhood to the present day, you will have to make choices that will have dire consequences, and watch how your actions reveal new paths while struggling to keep your sanity.

Follow the twisted relationship between these two characters, portrayed in a gut-wrenching way. Happy endings don't come easily here. In this first-person hybrid of a concept album and a game, your choices and actions will shape the narrative.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

With typical inexplicable fanfare, the NFL has unveiled the full schedule for the 2021/2022 football season. I heard one analyst make a very funny comment about this, apologies for not being sure I remember who said it (pretty sure it was either Peter Schrager or Kyle Brandt). This pointed out that there are a bunch of 10-6 fans who read the schedule every year and rationalize how their team will finish 10-6, regardless how bad they were the previous season. Now that the season is 17 games, will the 10-6 fans become 10-7, or 11-6? I'm guessing the latter. Anyway, I don't fall into that group, the Giants will end up at 17-0. Piece of cake.

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