Archived News:

Thursday, Jun 03, 2021

Get Frostpunk for Free

Another week, another freebie. The Epic Games Store now offers Frostpunk with a 100% discount. This frostbitten city-building survival game from 11 bit studios is yours to keep provided you snag it between now and next Thursday. Epic seems to enjoy being inscrutable, as next week's new giveaway is once again listed as a mystery game. Here are some frosty Frostpunk details:
Frostpunk, the newest title from the creators of This War of Mine, is a society survival game where heat means life and every decision comes at a price. In an entirely frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. You face the task of building the last city on Earth and securing the means necessary for your community to survive.

Tour de France 2021 and Pro Cycling Manager 21 Roll Out

Publisher NACON and Cyanide announce the release of Tour de France 2021 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and Pro Cycling Manager 21 for PC. The Windows edition of Pro Cycling Manager 2021 can be found on Steam, and the Windows version of Tour de France 2021 is on Steam as well. While Pro Cycling Manager 2021 is a strategy/management/simulation, Tour de France 2021 is an action game that requires a controller to play (recalling how this was previously only for consoles). The games are on display in the Pro Cycling Manager 2021 Launch Trailer and the Tour de France 2021 Launch Trailer, respective. Here's more on each:
Pro Cycling Manager 2021 is the only cycling simulation game that combines management and racing in real time. In the shoes of a manager, players need to recruit, train and direct the riders in their team to take them to the top of the rankings. Benefiting from Cyanide's extensive experience, this new instalment lets you participate in over 260 races, including all 21 official stages of the Tour de France 2021 – a total of 700 stages.

Cross the finish line at the Champs-Elysées with Tour de France 2021. The video game of the third most followed sporting competition in the world is back! Faithfully recreating the 21 official stages and Monuments cycling races, Tour de France 2021 thrusts players straight into the thick of the peloton as a rider in one of the top Tour de France teams.
Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper Elite VR Next Month

Rebellion announces a release date for Sniper Elite VR, saying the virtual reality installment in the sharpshooting series will hit the bullseye on July 8th. This will come to Steam VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and PlayStation VR, and a headset is required. The news is illustrated by a new Release Date Trailer and accompanied by some new details:
Built from the ground up as a virtual reality experience, Sniper Elite VR enlists you as an Italian partisan, fighting fascism in a powerful World War II story told through his harrowing memories as you protect your fellow countrymen and drive back the merciless invaders. Developed in partnership with Just Add Water and Coatsink, the game delivers a new perspective on Rebellion’s critically acclaimed sniping and stealth mechanics which marries breathtaking immersion with the authenticity for which the series is famous.
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E3 Fan Registration Underway

The ESA announces that fan registration is now underway on the E3 Website. This will allow you to "be a part of the global four-day virtual event that will feature digital presentations from major industry publishers such as Nintendo and Microsoft, panel discussions, celebrity appearances, exciting reveals and more." Fan access will begin on June 12th. Here's the schedule:
Hosted by Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez, Jacki Jing and Greg Miller, the E3 2021 broadcast will feature major publisher showcases, press conferences, industry panels, extended livestreams, special celebrity guest appearances and more.

  • Saturday, June 12, broadcast pre-show starts at 10am PT / 1pm ET
    • E3 2021 will kick off with press conferences from Ubisoft and Gearbox Entertainment, as well as a session with GamesBeat.
  • Sunday, June 13, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:45am PT / 11:45am ET
    • Microsoft’s long-awaited Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will take place starting at 10am PT / 1pm ET.
    • Fans can also look forward to special presentations from SQUARE ENIX, the PC Gaming Show and the Future Games Show.
    • Warner Bros. Games & Back4Blood and 24 Entertainment will also be featured.
  • Monday, June 14, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET
    • Alongside press conferences from several indie developers, presentations from Take-Two Interactive, Mythical Games, Freedom Games, Razer and Capcom will take place throughout the day.
    • Verizon and Intellivision will also be featured, along with a session with VENN.
  • Tuesday, June 15, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET
    • The last day of E3 will include Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse: Live programming starting at 9am PT / 12pm ET.
    • BANDAI NAMCO, Yooreka Games and GameSpot will also have focused events.
    • The broadcast will round out with the Official E3 2021 Awards Show.

Free Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat and Other Giveaways

As the stories that follow suggest, Games Workshop held a "Skulls" digital event today to roll out Warhammer news. GOG.com celebrates the news with a Warhammer Skulls Page. This offers all sorts of Warhammer games with discounts up to 80% along with a free Warhammer Skulls Digital Goodie Pack that includes a free copy of 1995's Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat and some other giveaways. Here's the deal:
All warriors rejoice! To celebrate the Warhammer Skulls event, Games Workshop and GOG.COM have teamed up to present you with this awesome Warhammer Skulls Digital Goodie Pack that is available only in our store.

This pack includes:

  • A classic strategy game Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat.
  • A batch of cool Warhammer Skulls and Adeptus Titanicus: Dominus wallpapers.
  • A World Eaters sampler from The Black Library in PDF, epub, and mobi.
  • A free Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay Adventure titled Rain of Mercy in PDF.
  • A Warhammer: Mark of Chaos – The Collected Concept Art album in PDF.
  • An original soundtrack from Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus in FLAC and WAV.
  • A 15% off discount code for Warhammer merch (valid until 31st August 2021 for use in the official store)

Total War: WARHAMMER II The Silence & The Fury Next Month

SEGA and Creative Assembly announce The Silence & The Fury, a new DLC pack for Total War: WARHAMMER II, the action/strategy collaboration for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The Steam Listing shows this will be released on July 14th. A new Teaser Trailer uses in-game footage, but is also labeled a work in progress. Here's word on the two Legendary Lords in the pack:
This Lords Pack for Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces two new Legendary Lords for the Lizardmen and the Beastmen. Each leads their own faction and features new characters, units, unique gameplay mechanics and narrative objectives.

Formed of living bronze, the rage-filled Doombull, Taurox, is nigh-on invincible – save for one area on his gargantuan neck. The Chaos gods whisper to him of a ritual that can eliminate this weakness, but the promises of the ruinous powers are seldom what they seem…
Meanwhile, Oxyotl, the revered Chameleon Skink and master of stealth, scents the machinations of Chaos and rallies his cohorts. Taurox must be stopped at all costs, lest a new tide of Chaos sweeps the world. When the Silence meets the Fury in a final confrontation, who will prevail?
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Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef Announced

Rogueside announces Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef, a 2D action/platformer set in Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K universe that's to Steam and consoles next year. This title follows a pattern, as Rogueside's previous series was Guns, Gore & Cannoli. As we well know by now, war never changes, but WAAAGH apparently does, as seen in the Announcement Trailer. Here are some details to sink your teef into:
Play as a savage warrior from the Green Tide, and become the spearhead of an Ork invasion as you bash, smash and shoot your way through the hive city of Luteus Prime on a mission to retrieve your hair squiq and claim vengeance on your warlord!

And just maybe become the warboss of a WAAAGH! along the way? Survival of the strongest has never been so violently fun! Scour the battlegrounds, defeat powerful bosses and collect teef to upgrade your arsenal and increase firepower!
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Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters Announced

The Warhammer news just keeps hitting the warnail on the warhead. Frontier Foundry announces Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters, a fast-paced, turn-based tactical RPG in development at Complex Games, Canada for release next year. The title for this recalls Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate, which Random Games released in 1998 (this can be found on GOG.com). Word is: "Daemonhunters will pitch humanity’s greatest weapon, the Grey Knights, against the corrupting forces of Chaos in a lengthy story-driven campaign written by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, Aaron Dembski-Bowden." Here's a Teaser Trailer and we're told to expect a full cinematic announcement trailer in August. Here's more:
Armoured in faith and shielded by devotion, the Grey Knights’ very existence is rooted in mystery: the possession of any unsanctioned knowledge about their secretive brotherhood is punishable by death. In Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters, players will experience the ruthless, merciless combat of the 41st millennium, following the journey of these elite warriors in a narrative penned by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters will release on PC in 2022 on Steam and the Epic Games Store, published by Frontier Foundry. This exciting new title will build on Frontier’s existing partnership with Games Workshop®: Frontier have previously announced their Warhammer® Age of Sigmar® RTS title, which is currently in development.
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Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Sister of the Thorn Released

Sister of the Thorn is now available on Steam, adding a new career to Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Fatshark's Warhammer action game. This is just available for Windows right now, the console editions are coming on June 30th. Here's an Official Trailer with a look. This is what it will get you:
The Sister of the Thorn is a new career for Kerillian that brings new abilities, weapon types, talent tree, character skin, challenges as well as a new hat and new voice lines. Kerillian will use magic in a greater way than ever before and will not pull any magical punches towards any enemies she encounters. The Sister of the Thorn is the perfect member of any team as she brings the heaviest support of all careers in the game.
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Rules of Alchemy Demo

Rules of Alchemy is a roguelike action/RPG from developer Jabari Alii to be released on Steam later this year. Those interested in the game will not have to wait for the launch, however, as a playable demo is available right now. The Official Announcement Trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement has more of what you need to know:
Taking place in a land corrupted by the machinations of a crazed alchemist, Rules of Alchemy invites players to step into the shoes of the game's hero, Asha, and master the elements to secure an ancient artefact - the only chance of salvation for this shattered world.

Rules of Alchemy encourages players to craft powerful spell combos using the intuitive Runegate system. With the ability to combine various elemental spells together, players can cast over 100 different spell combinations, to take down a huge assortment of unique and powerful enemies.
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Until We Die Live

Until We Die is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a base defense strategy game for Windows from Pixeye Games. Here's the previously released Announcement Trailer and here is the pitch:
Until We Die is a post-apocalyptic strategy game where the remaining survivors find refuge in the Moscow Underground after a global disaster. Command wards to gather supplies and turn an abandoned station into an impregnable fortress-colony capable of resisting any threat.

To win, you have to survive for roughly 30 game days, fending off a series of attacks on your base -- small packs of creatures at first, but by the end you'll be up against a sweeping horde of mutants. The game will end in defeat if our hero Ivan dies during the run; or if the power generator (the heart of the base) is destroyed.
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Evening Crowdfunding

Op Ed

  • PC Gamer - We're not getting the Battlefield sequel we deserve.
    "More than anything, though, I want to feel genuinely excited by where Battlefield goes next. Battlefield has been hesitant to let the setting truly drive play—Battlefield 1 crowbarred SMGs and assault rifles into World War 1, while the oft-maligned Hardline turned a cops 'n' robbers pitch into devastating urban warfare. Maybe a hypothetical Battlefield 2143 is too much to ask. But I'd hope whatever Battlefield comes next is able to once more give us a peek into the future."

Gatherings & Competitions

Ken and Roberta Williams' New Game This Year

We have more on the recent news that Ken and Roberta Williams are returning to the world of game development. Here's an official announcement saying Sierra cofounders are working on a single-player game codenamed The Secret, which is appropriate considering how few details are included. For now The Secret - Game by Ken Williams is the home to the project, offering the previously released teaser video and a FAQ with what there is to know. This says Roberta talked Ken into a game that's more entertaining than educational and that Windows and macOS will definitely be among the target platforms. The whole game is said to be "there" but with scratch graphics. Ken says they are targeting a November release, saying they are pushing hard while admitting this "probably isn't realistic." Here's word on what's next from the pair of adventure game design legends:
Ken and Roberta Williams, two legendary developers in the history of gaming, are set to release a new video game that the creators say will be "Sierra flavored," in the same vein as early successful franchises like Kings Quest and the Leisure Suit Larry series, but for modern gamers.

The newest entry is preliminarily titled The Secret and will be a single player game that the developers say will be beta-tested by the end of the summer.

"Roberta and I have been asked for decades whether we would ever produce another game, and we have always firmly said 'no'. This changed when Roberta had a clever idea for a game, at the same time I am having fun learning the Unity 3D development environment, and I happened to be chatting with a talented 3D artist."
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Atari VCS This Month

Atari announces a June 15th official retail launch date for the Atari VCS, which combines a retro console, a living room media machine, and a PC. And if that sort of hybrid tech appeals to you then you may also be stirred by the prospect of picking up a free Speakerhat with your order: "In celebration of launch day, customers who purchase an Atari VCS All-In bundle from GameStop.com and BestBuy.com will receive a free Atari Speakerhat ($129.99 MSRP) while supplies last. Atari VCS system and bundle purchases made from Micro Center and AtariVCS.com on June 15, 2021, will include a free digital copy of Atari’s Missile Command: Recharged." Here's the big picture:
Atari returns to the living room with the Atari VCS — a completely modern gaming and video computer system inspired by the iconic Atari 2600 Video Computer System. Blending the best of consoles and PCs to delight a whole new generation of gamers and creators, the Atari VCS offers a fully-featured multimedia experience that’s “Inspired by the past. Built for the future.” Atari VCS customers can expect unmatched versatility for gaming, entertainment, and productivity.

Partnered with PowerA, Atari also developed the all-new Wireless Classic Joystick, based on the original Atari 2600 controller, and the Atari Modern Controller for playing both yesterday’s classics and today’s latest and greatest games on the VCS. Both controllers feature rumble feedback, LED lighting, USB charging, and wireless Bluetooth compatibility with the Atari VCS and most PCs and mobile devices.

New GeForce Drivers

Though they are now theoretically available, you may not be able to get hold of an RTX 3080 Ti. But you can download the new version GeForce 466.63 WHQL drivers that support NVIDIA's new graphics cards. As noted in this article, the new drivers also have features for graphics cards people own, including support for NVIDIA DLSS in No Man's Sky, NVIDIA Reflex support for Escape From Tarkov and War Thunder, day one support for Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 and Chivalry 2, and more. Here are trailers showing off a No Man’s Sky 4K NVIDIA DLSS Comparison, NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency Mode in Escape From Tarkov, and NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency Mode in War Thunder. In case you're done crying, here's some RTX 3080 Ti pr0n and more on the scarce new cards:
This new driver adds support for the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti which is out now. Powered by the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti delivers an incredible leap in performance and fidelity with acclaimed features such as ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS performance-boosting AI, NVIDIA Reflex latency-reduction, NVIDIA Broadcast streaming features and additional memory that allows it to speed through the most popular creator applications as well. It is the new flagship gaming GPU of the RTX lineup.
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Apex Legends Fighting DDoS Attacks

A recent tweet from Respawn's Conor Ford discusses measures being taken to protect Apex Legends from ongoing DDoS attacks (thanks Charlie INTEL). Word is there is work going on behind the scenes in the battle royale shooter even as the banhammer strikes:
The DDoS situation is being addressed as we speak by our very own @ricklesauceur. It isn't the easiest fix in the world but huge steps are being made to take care of this. 31 abusers were shadow banned today in the meantime. We care and are just as frustrated as the players.

SLUDGE LIFE No Longer Free; No Longer Classified in AU

Devolver Digital announces that following a year of being free on the Epic Games Store, SLUDGE LIFE is now also available on Steam, and the "freaky artistic expression simulator" is now being sold at its full retail price. Well sort of, it actually carries a 15% launch discount on Steam for the next week. "You don’t get to enjoy the taste of success I have without taking a few risks," commented the publisher's CFO, Fork Parker. "100% markup on a one year old game isn’t one of them." At the same time, we see reports that the game has been refused classification in Australia, though this does not seem to yet be reflected on the Australian Classification Website. This technically means the game can't be purchased down under, though these online digital sales should provide an easy enough workaround for anyone really set on getting a copy. Here's an Available Now on PC and Switch Trailer and more on the game:

Roam a tiny island stuck on a sludge covered planet as upcoming tagger GHOST, a breezy bandit set on staking their claim amongst the graffiti elite. Traverse the corporately branded landscape, link up with other taggers, and steal junk and hearts along the way. Will you become the king of the island and tag every open inch, infiltrate sludge-pumping corporation GLUG or just take it all down in flames with you?

Continue here to read the full story.

Rubber Bandits: Summer Prologue Released

Steam now offers Rubber Bandits: Summer Prologue, a playable sample of Rubber Bandits, a physics-based party brawler in the works at Flashbulb Games. The full game is expected later this year on Steam. In the meantime, here's an Announcement Trailer and a bit on what to expect from the Prologue:
Enjoy the simple pleasures of a beach getaway: beautiful sun, warm sands, and bopping your friends in the face for bragging rights. Grab whatever you can get your hands on and use it as a weapon -- the first to three victories wins the summer!

Rubber Bandits: Summer Prologue features:

  • Solo and team-based gameplay: Duke it out in free-for-all or buddy up in 2v2s.
  • No hassle, four-player multiplayer: Battle online or locally, with everyone on one PC.
  • Big summer vibes: Discover holiday-themed characters, levels and items. Pick up everything from dead sharks to beach balls to water guns and more to win!

Continue here to read the full story.

The Last Spell Early Access

The Last Spell is now in Early Access on Steam, offering a crack at this roguelite tactical/RPG for Windows from developer Ishtar Games. Those who pick this up over the first two weeks can enjoy a 10% launch discount. An Early Access Release Trailer celebrates the occasion with a look at gameplay. Here's more:
The Last Spell finds overwhelming hordes closing in on the world’s last Haven, and its final defenders must fend off a relentless onslaught long enough for the Haven’s mages to banish the magic behind the mist. Watch the battle between terrifying forces and strategic, calculated bands of heroes unfold through new gameplay in today’s launch trailer: https://youtu.be/47bwRItgAjg
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PC Bless Unleashed Delayed

In a post on Steam, Round 8 Studio updates us on the PC edition of Bless Unleashed following the recent beta test for the MMORPG. This includes plans for several areas of the game based on feedback from the testing. There's also word that the game's launch is being pushed back to later this year:
Upon numerous discussions, it was decided that the release date for Bless Unleashed PC will be pushed back until necessary improvements and further in-game polishing is complete.

The studio aims to have the additional developments completed by mid-July, and have high hopes that we will be launch-ready in time for the summer season.

As always, the studio extends its thanks and support to our dedicated Bless Unleashed PC community and can't wait to share some exciting news in the near future.

Out of the Blue

Well, the Knicks' playoff run was pretty short, just one game over the minimum. It was disappointing to see them go down like that, but it still doesn't diminish the accomplishment of making the playoffs after so many years in a row as a joke. Hats off to the Hawks, and to Trae Young in particular, for playing excellent basketball. Oh well, we'll get 'em next year (did I sound convincing?).

Ice Trae Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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