Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2021

Overwatch Crossplay Beta Part of New "Global Battle.Net"

Blizzard News announces crossplay (or cross-play if you prefer) support is coming to Overwatch, the competitive hero shooter. This will soon launch in beta, allowing players from around the world to play together in the same matches regardless of platform, with the exception of those in China. Word is: "With the release of cross-play, all players will need to make a Battle.net account and link their appropriate console accounts. With the launch of Cross-Play, everyone who logs in to Overwatch by the end of 2021 will receive a Golden Loot Box to celebrate." A new Developer Update Video fills us in on the news, and fills us with sadness too, as it's the first of these to feature anyone but Jeff Kaplan, who recently left the company. This is part of a greater trend, as it's said to be part of a "new global Battle.net," which does away with the concept of "regions" and can facilitate crossplay in other titles going forward. This is all described in this update:
Starting today, friends lists from different territories will be merged into one*, so you’ll no longer need to switch regions in Battle.net to talk to your buddies on the other side of the planet. “As Global Battle.net rolls out, players around the world will be able to come together all across the larger Blizzard ecosystem without any hurdles for the first time ever,” says Diana Hubbard, Platform Design Manager. In doing so, they will be able to effortlessly expand their friendships, groups, and communities—paving the way for forging new bonds over our present and future epic gaming experiences. This is just the first step, and it will only get better from here.” To accent this new era of global gaming and social connectivity on Battle.net, we’ve also updated our logo.
Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 2042 Has Neither Campaign nor Battle Royale Modes

Here's the official press release for Battlefield 2042, the just announced new installment in DICE's military shooter series. This may fill in some more in our understanding of plans for the game. Some of that understanding can be found between the lines, as the word "multiplayer" appears four times in the announcement, while the word campaign is not to be found. This is because there is no solo campaign, bringing the series back to its roots as a purely multiplayer experience. Eurogamer.net got the chance to discuss this with design director Daniel Berlin, who explains the thinking behind dropping the campaign and why Battlefield 2042 will likewise not include a battle royale mode:
"I think that's just something that enables us to really lean into what we are best at," Battlefield 2042 design director Daniel Berlin told Eurogamer about the lack of a single-player campaign - something that's been a series mainstay since Battlefield 3. "If you look at the DNA of the studio, what we've been doing for so long, we just said you know what, we're not going to have a traditional single-player campaign this time around, but we're going to put all that emphasis and all those resources into building depth into the multiplayer. Because that is what we do best."

"Battle royale is definitely something that is exceptionally popular right now," said Berlin. "We don't have any battle royale plan at this point, but we do have other experiences within the game that we can't talk about which we are super excited for."

Dark Alliance Free Post-Launch Plans

Xbox Wire has details from Jeff Hattem, Head of Studio at Tuque Games, about post-release support plans for Dark Alliance following the launch of the Dungeons & Dragons game on June 22nd. Word is there are three content drops already in the works, two free DLC packs, followed by a full expansion called Echoes of the Blood War. Here are some details:
Free DLC 1: Wraiths
Our first planned DLC arrives this Summer (Winter for our southern hemisphere friends) and is free for everyone. This includes a new story mission over three levels, where you will battle a faction of Wraiths that are attempting to corrupt a forest spirit for their own gains.

That’s not all. We expect to add two-player split-screen play options to PC and Xbox Series X|S with this update.

Free DLC 2: Trolls
Our second planned DLC arrives this Fall (Spring in the southern hemisphere) and is also free for everyone. It will include a new story mission told over three levels. Trolls have invaded Kelvin’s Cairn and it’s up to you to eradicate them. This DLC will also add new challenge ratings to the game, giving you higher expert difficulties to overcome.
Continue here to read the full story.

PC No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Released

No More Heroes is now available for Windows on Steam, as is No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, offering PC gamers the chance to play both of these remastered assassination games from XSEED and Grasshopper Manufacture. Word is: "The PC releases have been updated to deliver HD visuals running at 60FPS and include Steam Cloud support and other PC-specific features. Grab your aviator glasses, red leather jacket and beam katana and get ready for some mayhem!" Each game carries a 10% discount for the next week. Here are the descriptions:
About No More Heroes
In No More Heroes, Travis Touchdown starts off as the #11 ranked assassin in the United Assassins Association (UAA). With his trusty beam katana, he must face off against the world’s top 10 assassins. He rides the streets of Santa Destroy on his signature motorbike, the Schpeltiger, and packs an arsenal of pro wrestling moves honed from years of watching wrestlers power bomb and body slam each other. It’s a long way to the top, but the all-American otaku won’t stop until he’s the #1 assassin in the world, baby!

About No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle takes place three years after Travis achieves his goal of becoming the #1 assassin in the UAA. He takes it a little too easy, however, and finds himself falling all the way down the ranks to #51. Adding to his problems is Skelter Helter, another assassin who has sworn revenge on Travis for the death of his brother. With his trusty beam katanas in-hand for twice the hacking and slashing and teamed up with his allies Shinobu and Henry Cooldown, Travis is on a mission to reclaim his #1 position and fend off new challengers. Always an otaku at heart, there’s also plenty of time for retro 8-bit minigames to earn some cash!

F2P Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis Launches

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis is now available for Windows and Xbox One, offering a final entry in Phantasy Star Online 2, SEGA's free-to-play online RPG. "Today is truly a monumental day for the entire team and community," said Fred White from PSO2 Team Global. "Kicking off the most exciting time of year for gamers, Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis – the newest title in the long-beloved Phantasy Star series – has just launched globally, simultaneously, on both Xbox One and PC! The entire team has put a ton of hard work getting us to this day, and we are all smiles as we unveil this massive game to our players!" Here's the New Genesis Intro Movie and here's more on the genesis of this project:
PSO2:NGS is the new online action RPG with the sci-fi anime style by SEGA. Players will explore an all-new world featuring broad, expansive playfields filled with ferocious enemies waiting for teams of up to 32. The ability to bring friends to the fight or meet up and make new teammates in large groups (and bring down gigantic monsters together) was a huge draw in closed beta tests earlier this year, and now ALL players will have the chance to experience the mayhem. Redesigned from the top down, the new and improved graphics engine in PSO2:NGS features a next gen graphical update. And it wouldn't be PSO2:NGS without the ability to create any character imaginable using the powerful creation engine; every player will be as unique as they want to be.
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Rogue Spirit Demo

Rogue Spirit is a stealthy roguelite action game in development at Kids With Sticks to be published by 505 Games later this year. The game will be showcased next week as part of the Steam Next Fest. But the game is getting a head start on that, as its time-limited demo is already available on Steam. The previously released Announcement Trailer shows off the project's anime sensibilities, and here's a description:
Rogue Spirit is a colorful and visually stunning 3D rogue-lite action game with light stealth elements developed by independent studio Kids With Sticks, a small but impressive team of industry veterans with AAA games development experience. This single player action-adventure game places players into the role of the ghost of the former Prince of Midra. Players must possess enemy characters and absorb their skills in order to free their land from a looming and ever-present evil. Inspired by Japanese and Southeast Asian cultures as well as popular anime tropes, Rogue Spirit looks to bring modern gameplay and fictional feudal Japan together in one visually compelling game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Decision: Red Daze Revealed

Developer FlyAnvil and publisher Nordcurrent announce Decision: Red Daze, an upcoming fifth installment in the Decision series that began back in the days of Flash. This action/RPG with tower defense elements is expected on Steam early next year. This teaser trailer shows off some gameplay and this video offers an extended look with developer commentary. Here are some decisive details:
Decision: Red Daze is an isometric action RPG with a unique mix of survival and tower defense mechanics. As the Red Daze engulfs the continent, leaving destruction and horribly mutated monsters in its wake, survivors are the only glimmer of hope the human race has. As the leader of a settlement, you must find these people and recruit them in order to clear the Earth from this dangerous disease. Feel the adrenaline rush fighting back hordes of horrible zombies, mutants, and other deadly creatures that will try to kill you at sight, explore the world in search of new allies, find and upgrade deadly weapons, craft increasingly powerful defense mechanisms to keep your settlements safe. Don’t low your guard, danger is never far away.
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Battlefield 2042 in October

The new Battlefield Trailer just debuted as planned, confirming Battlefield 2042 is indeed the title of the next installment in the military shooter series. This was actually revealed earlier, as a listing for the game popped-up this morning on Origin, offering some details. Since leaks and teases are all intrinsic to the marketing of this game, it's impossible to tell the mistakes from the scheming at this point. The cinematic clip shows off futuristic combat using wingsuits, roboto dogs, hovercraft, high-tech tanks, and more. Oh yeah, and a soldiernado. It concludes promising a gameplay reveal on June 13th. The game's Origin Listing is once again live, including a FAQ saying it is due on October 22nd. Here's the description:
Battlefield 2042 is a first-person shooter that marks the return to the iconic all-out warfare of the franchise. In a near-future world transformed by disorder, adapt and overcome dynamically-changing battlegrounds with the help of your squad and a cutting-edge arsenal.

With support for 128 players, Battlefield 2042 brings unprecedented scale on vast battlegrounds across the globe. Players will take on several massive experiences, from updated multiplayer modes like Conquest and Breakthrough to the all-new Hazard Zone.
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GOG.COM Summer Sale

It's not quite summer yet here in the Northern Hemisphere, but don't tell the good old gamers, as the Summer Sale is now underway on GOG.com. This will continue until June 28th, featuring over 3400 deals offering up to 90% discounts. Included are a couple of titles that have just been added to the GOG catalogue: Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, THIEF: Definitive Edition, Witchaven, and Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance. The sale will also feature 48 hour flash deals. Here are the first of those:
Start your visit on the sunny GOG.COM beaches by checking out our 48-hour exclusive game + DLC deals with one great price for base games and selected add-ons, including:

  • Cultist Simulator + The Dancer, The Priest, and The Ghoul DLCs (-33%)
  • Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition + Vintage Gunslinger Bundle (-70%)
  • Greedfall + Adventurer’s Gear DLC (-66%)
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III + Consumable Starter Set (-40%)
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence + Coats of Arms DLC (-75%)
  • The Surge 2 + URBN Gear Pack (-70%)
  • Talisman: Digital Edition + The Reaper Expansion (-85%)
  • This War of Mine + Father’s Promise DLC (-75%)

Game + DLC deals are available only until June 11th, 2021, 1 PM UTC and more flash deals will be back this Friday and later during the sale!

RTX 3070 Ti Reviews

The review embargo for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics cards ends this morning. Here's a roundup of evaluations showing how one of these could help improve your gaming rig if you can find a cryptominer to sell you one:

Going Medieval Sells Over 175K

Going Medieval was number one on last week's Steam Top 10. Now publisher The Irregular Corporation and developer Foxy Voxel announce this is because the colony building and survival sim sold over 175,000 units in its opening week. "We’re absolutely thrilled with the response for Going Medieval," says Nino Rajacic, Co-Founder and Developer at Foxy Voxel. "We felt like we had a great reception from the betas we conducted prior to launch, but the success of the game has surpassed our expectations in the best way possible, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the fans for supporting us. From here on, we’re focused on improving the game even further." Here are the details:
Hold onto your buttresses - publisher The Irregular Corporation and developer Foxy Voxel are proud to reveal that their colony building and survival sim Going Medieval has flown out of the gates and sold over 175,000 units in its opening week while also securing the top spot in the weekly Steam sales charts for the week ending June 6.

For those who may have missed last week’s launch discounts, Going Medieval is still available at 10% off in the Epic Mega Sale on Epic Games Store. Customers can also redeem a $10/£10/€10 coupon and grab a monument-al saving on the hit strategy game.

Hell Architect: Prologue

The Hell Architect: Prologue is now available on Steam, offering a Windows sample of Hell Architect, an upcoming strategy/sim from developer Woodland Games and publisher Leonardo Interactive. The prologue has its own Official Release Trailer with a look at what to expect. Here's more on this chance to live in a hell of your own making:
In Hell Architect you're playing as, you guessed it, an architect of Hell. Your task here is to craft new prisons for the lost souls and sinners who have found themselves ‘downstairs’. Just like all good (or bad) big corporations, Hell is a tightly run ship and under the watchful eye of Lilith from the HR department, you must devise the most creative ways to squeeze as much suffering as you can out of the sinners who will be spending eternity in this hot spot. That’s not all. To climb down the corporate ladder, you must gain the approval of the greatest and most feared devils in Hell, including the head honcho, Lucifer himself, as they evaluate your hard work as well as your sense of aesthetics and thriftiness!
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Edge of Eternity Edges Out

Don't push me, 'cause I'm close to the edge. I'm trying not to lose my head. Attention all edgelords and edgladies, Edge of Eternity has edged out of Early Access and is now officially available on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. This Windows JRPG from developer Midgar Studio and publisher Dear Villagers is now set to take us to the edge of glory to hang on a moment of truth. Console gamers will have to remain on the edges of their seats for a while longer, as this will come to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Game Pass in Q4 of this year. Here's a Launch Trailer and more:
In a world torn asunder, the people of Heryon pursue a desperate war against a mysterious invader. As this conflict opposing magic and technology grows to cataclysmic proportions, a new threat emerges from the battlefield: “The Corrosion,” a dreadful, lethal disease. You control Daryon, a forlorn soldier who will risk everything and become a deserter, for the slim hope of finding a cure for a loved one.

The player will wage epic turn-based battles as they follow Daryon and his sister Selene in a quest to find this impossible cure. Only by mastering the tactical art of combat and the mystical language of crystals will the player be able to overcome the terrible odds stacked against them.
Continue here to read the full story.

Backbone Shows Some Spine

Developer EggNut and publisher Raw Fury now offer Backbone, a "post-noir" detective RPG for Windows. It shouldn't take a detective to track this down, as it's available on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, the Microsoft Store, and Steam as well as through the Xbox Game Pass for PC. As shown off in the stylish pixel-art Launch Trailer, the game puts the player in the role of a hard-boiled detective who happens to be a raccoon. Here's more:
Backbone puts you in the shoes of raccoon private investigator Howard Lotor in a dystopian Vancouver, British Columbia, beautifully rendered in high-resolution pixel art. After years of small-time cases, lonely evenings, and just barely scraping by, Howard is swept up in a job quite unlike any other. But what starts as a menial case slowly unravels into something much darker, pitting Howard against the oppressive, systemic power hierarchies of the city itself.
Continue here to read the full story.

Genshin Impact on the Epic Games Store

Genshin Impact is now available on the Epic Games Store as promised, offering another way to pick up miHoYo Limited's open-world gacha RPG. This comes right as the game gets its new version 1.6 midsummer update, which is detailed in this announcement. Here's a bit on the game and the update:
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that brings players to the visually stunning world of Teyvat. The player takes on the role of the mysterious "Traveler," who sets off on a journey to discover the fate of the lost sibling and unveils the mysterious secrets of Teyvat along the way. Currently, players can explore both Mondstadt and Liyue Harbor, two of the seven major cities in Teyvat, each with unique cultures, stories, and vast surrounding landscapes, and offering a diversity of creatures, monsters, secrets, and hidden treasures for players to discover. Further cities, stories, characters, and seasonal events will be released as the game progresses.

As the world of Teyvat enters the hot summer season, in this update we've prepared for you tailor-made summer outfits and a brand-new series of sea and island adventures to refresh everyone from the heat. Meanwhile, Kaedehara Kazuha, the first new playable character from Inazuma, is added to the game, leading the Archon Quest to a new chapter.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Unless I'm being deceived by the God of Mischief, today is the launch day for Loki, the MCU's third Disney+ series. I enjoyed WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier (and all the MCU films, for that matter), and I'll be shocked if I don't like this as well. So I'm looking forward to further Phase 3 wrap-up, further Phase 4 setup, as well as loads of mischief. Oh yeah, and dodging newsfeed spoilers on Wednesday instead of Friday. I've seen a lot of chatter on the decision to move the series two days earlier in the week, but I haven't seen anyone nail the logic. Wednesday is Woden's day, or Odin's day. So the change is in honor of Loki's adopted father from the comics (and his blood-brother from mythology).

Mischievous Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

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