Archived News:

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2021 Bastille Day

Battlefield 2042 Online Only; Playtest Delayed; Crossplay Support Detailed

A post on Answer HQ has more from Electronic Arts on Battlefield 2042, as it addresses questions raised by the reveal of the shooter sequel. This includes a confirmation that the game is online only: "Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer-only experience. So while you can play Solo against AI Soldiers if you’d like to practice, it will be in an online setting." The post also includes details on gameplay, plans to move the Technical Playtest to later in the summer, and crossplay support. Here's the overview:
We’ve since read your feedback and sat down with Daniel Berlin, Senior Design Director for Battlefield™2042 to answer your questions.

In this post, you can expect to learn more about the following topics:

  • A closer look at Specialists, Maps, Vehicles and AI Soldiers
  • Why we’re moving the Technical Playtest to later this summer
  • How we’re building cross-play and cross-progression functionality for Battlefield 2042

And as a bonus, we added an interview about how the much beloved penguins of the map Breakaway came to life.

NFS Pushed to 2023 as Criterion Gets Drafted by Battlefield

There's more on Battlefield 2042 in a post on the Electronic Arts Website discussing plans for the military shooter sequel. Written by Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele, the update says that Criterion is now assisting DICE and DICE LA (are we not all-in on the Ripple Effect Studios name yet?) with development. As a result, the launch of the new Need for Speed game is being pushed back a year to 2023. Here's a portion:
Our upcoming Battlefield™ game is coming together to be an exceptional game, not just for this year but also for the future of this powerful brand. The project is tracking towards the franchise’s earliest Alpha, the gameplay is at an unprecedented scale, and we are taking full advantage of the technology in the next-gen consoles. The team has done an incredible job despite the challenges of working from home. We want to build on our position of strength, focus on the opportunity in front of us, and set our game makers up for success to deliver the best experience possible to our players this fall. So, we are making a bold move - Criterion is joining DICE and DICE L.A. to focus on Battlefield. Criterion and DICE have a strong history of working together, and we’re confident this partnership will make a great game even better.

With the addition of Codemasters, we also have a massive opportunity to expand EA’s racing strategy. Codemasters has several launches coming in the next year, bringing players some outstanding new racing games in our FY22. Criterion is one of the strongest racing studios in the industry, and the work they have accomplished on the next Need For Speed™ is truly inspired and will breathe new life into one of our most storied brands. We’re going to give Criterion the time to reach the game's full promise and deliver it in FY23.

Netflix Hires Video Game Vet

Bloomberg has a follow-up to long-time indications that Netflix has ambitions to enter the video game space. The report says Netflix is showing no chill in this area, as it has hired an industry veteran to help guide the way:
Netflix Inc., marking its first big move beyond TV shows and films, is planning an expansion into video games and has hired a former Electronic Arts Inc. and Facebook Inc. executive to lead the effort, Bloomberg News reports.

Mike Verdu will join Netflix as vice president of game development, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters, the company said on Wednesday. Verdu was previously Facebook’s vice president in charge of working with developers to bring games and other content to Oculus virtual-reality headsets.

Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Silence and the Fury Released

What's that we hear? It's the sound of The Silence and the Fury, as this DLC is now available for Total War: WARHAMMER II, the fantasy strategy sequel. Word is: "In the final Lords pack for Total War: WARHAMMER II the clamorous horde of Taurox's Beastmen meet the stealthy ranks of Oxyotl's Lizardmen in a clash that will determine the fate of the New World." There's good news for all owners of the game, even if they don't get the DLC, as the release is accompanied by some new free content for them too. Here's the Release Trailer and here's more on what's packed into the pack:
Legendary Lords
Taurox is a nigh-invulnerable Doombull with but one weakspot at his neck, the only part of his body not covered in brass. Taunted and beguiled by the Chaos Gods, he believes he can finish his ascendence and become unstoppable if he simply completes a ritual to Chaos and lets it flood into the world. True or not, he gathers the herd to find the Heart of the Dark, completing other, minor rituals to locate it and begin his work.

Oxyotl is a Chameleon Skink and Lizardmen lord, stealthy and with the ability to sense Chaos. Taurox's rituals and plan has garnered Oxyotl's attention, and he knows he must stop the Beastmen if the world is to remain, relatively, peaceful. With his focus on stealth, Oxyotl must revive Silent Sanctums in the secret places of the world and gain the power needed to stop Taurox.

New Units
Nine new units will be joining the death-dealing ranks of the Beastmen and Lizardmen races. Standout units include the repugnant Jabberslythe which is an unholy fusion of multiple monsters, the gargantuan multi-limbed Ghorgon, and the ferocious twin-tailed Troglodon.
Continue here to read the full story.

SUPER ROBOT WARS 30 Announced

Caps-locked developer/publisher BANDAI NAMCO announces SUPER ROBOT WARS 30, an upcoming celebration of the 30th anniversary of the giant robot combat series. The game is a celebration of a bunch of preceding anime games, including lots of Gundam titles. The strategy/RPG is set to stomp its way onto Steam on October 28th. Here's a First Look Trailer and here are some first read words:
SUPER ROBOT WARS 30 is a tactical RPG that brings an assortment of robot anime series together to battle for the future of a unique cross-over universe. Featuring 22 iconic anime series, players can command and upgrade their favorite machines and pilots before taking them into battle. Additionally, SUPER ROBOT WARS 30 will debut five additional anime which were never included in prior chapters of the videogame series, including The King of Kings: GaoGaiGar VS Betterman, The Brave Police J-Decker, Majestic Prince Knight’s & Magic, Mazinkaiser (INFINITISM), and SSSS.GRIDMAN.

In addition, SUPER ROBOT WARS 30 will featuring a new gameplay system titled ‘Tactical・Area・Select’, ‘AUTO Battle’ which will provide an easier playthrough for those who want to focus on and enjoy the high-quality graphics and powerful cut-in animations during battle. With a plethora of classic and modern super robot anime series mechs to control and an immersive crossover storyline, SUPER ROBOT WARS 30 is set to provide a captivating experience for anime and super robot fans alike.
Continue here to read the full story.

Ashes of Creation Alpha One Begins

Intrepid Studios is now offering Alpha One access to Ashes of Creation, the upcoming crowdfunded MMORPG. Testing will run for a month, and you can check out this post for details on who qualifies (for the most part a purchase is required). Here's an Alpha One Teaser and here's more on the plan:
Alpha One will run from Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific to Friday, August 13, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific and will allow players to play and test a number of systems in their core state including:

  • Server deployment and performance
  • System functionalities and behavior testing
  • Player characters and races
  • Combat systems
  • Character progression
  • Player-based economy
  • Node features
  • Sieges and Raid bosses
  • Ancillary systems including: caravans, drop, spawn, and reward table adaptations, player trading, mount and vehicle systems, raid and party functionality, guild progression and persistence, guild hierarchy, and chat systems
  • ...and more!
Continue here to read the full story.

Syberia and Syberia II Giveaway

The good old gamers at GOG.com announce a giveaway to celebrate the life and career of Benoît Sokal, the comic book artist and video game developer who passed away in May. Between now and Saturday you can head over to the front page on GOG.com and claim your complimentary copies of both Syberia and Syberia II, which will be yours to keep. This is part of a special sale that's underway to celebrate the creativity of French video game developers. This is just in time for Bastille Day, and seems a more peaceful way to celebrate the occasion than breaking out the old guillotine for more retribution. You do need to subscribe to the GOG.com newsletter for the giveaways. If your already signed up, then all you have to do is claim your free games. Here's the quick pitch on both games:
Syberia I & II is a pack of two award-winning classic adventure games that combine elaborate puzzles with a breathtaking story and poetic atmosphere. Created by comic book artist Benoît Sokal at the beginning of XXI century, they remain milestones in the point‘n’click genre to this day

Battlefield 1 Free Next Week?

Leaker deluxe Tom Henderson tweets a PSA for those interested in Battlefield 1. This is not confirmed, but Tom says buying the World War I first-person shooter this week would be a mistake, since it will be free-to-own next week:
If you're looking to buy Battlefield 1, don't.

It will be free to download next week.

Tencent Crysis Crisis?

A story on Bild.de reports that Chinese internet giant Tencent is showing interest in acquiring the Crysis franchise and developer Crytek (thanks Gamasutra). The article is in German, but a series of tweets from author Julian Röpcke sums up the situation in English. This includes concerns some are expressing that this represents a military security concern:
According to information, exclusively obtained by @BILD, Chinese internet company #Tencent is trying to buy German games developer #Crytek for more than 300 Million Euros via a European subsidiary. Crytek supplies several western armies with military simulation programs.

Multiple employees of Crytek, based in Frankfurt, are afraid, that if their company is sold to China, their software will be used for military purpose by the PLA or China will use its ownership of the company to spy on western militaries and arms manufacturers, using CryEngine.

According to our investigation, Tencent - claiming to be an independent company - is highly pro-CCP and already in 2017 promised to the Chinese leadership that it will raise its party member share sharply from 23% at this time - especially in leading company positions.
Continue here to read the full story.

"Undetectable Cheat" Development Ending

A post from USER101 announces that the "undetectable cheat" for first-person shooter games revealed last week is being discontinued (for Activision games, at least). The author of the cheat explains:
This statement was not required.

However, at the request of Activision Publishing, Inc (“Activision”), I will no longer be developing or providing access to software that could be used to exploit their games. My intent was never to do anything illegal. At the end of the video that brought so much attention to this project, it stated “coming soon”. The software was never published.

This type of technology has other actual assistive benefits, for example, by pointing a webcam at yourself you could control movement without the use of limbs. Unfortunately, because of its potential negative impact I will not be developing it further.

NBA 2K22 in September

2K games unveils details about NBA 2K22, saying the next installment in the pro basketball simulation series is due on September 10th. This will feature a crowded list of cover athletes from the past and present: Luka Dončić, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant. Word is there are two different editions for PC and consoles as well as an edition with a console upgrade path:
This year, NBA 2K22 will offer three editions of the game available on digital and physical formats: Standard Edition, a Cross-Gen Digital Bundle and a special NBA 75th Anniversary Edition:

  • The Standard Edition will be available for $59.99** on previous-gen platforms (PlayStation 4, Xbox One consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC) and $69.99** on new-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S);
  • The Cross-Gen Digital Bundle will be available for $79.99** and grant players access to the Standard Edition across previous- and new-gen within the same PlayStation and Xbox consoles;
  • NBA 2K22 NBA 75th Anniversary Edition will be available for $99.99** for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Dual-gen access is included for both the Cross-Gen Digital Bundle and NBA 75th Anniversary Edition for the PS4/PS5 and Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S platforms and provides a version of the game on each console generation within the same console family. The NBA 75th Anniversary Edition for Nintendo Switch will only be available on digital format in the EMEA region.

* Online Account (varies 13+) required to access online features. See www.take2games.com/legal and www.take2games.com/privacy for additional details.
** Based on 2K’s suggested retail price. Actual retail price may vary. See local store for info.

World War 3 "In Active Development"

A new Development Update from The Farm 51 announces World War 3 is now in active development, and work is underway on some new features for the multiplayer military shooter. This seems an odd announcement, since the game has been in Steam Early Access going on three years now. The post includes a Development Update Video to show off improvements and changes inspired by player feedback. Here's word:
Take a look at the latest version of the game in this brand-new gameplay trailer, consisting entirely of footage captured by testers!

World War 3 is a tactical online multiplayer FPS where the world is your battleground. Outgun the enemy in thrilling, team-based skirmishes with a huge arsenal of weapons, vehicles, gadgets, and drones at your disposal. Stay tuned to Steam and our social media pages for the latest news about the game!
Continue here to read the full story.

Truck Driver Heading North in September

Pack your long underwear, as SOEDESCO announces the new Heading North DLC for Truck Driver is set to roll out in September. This will offer the chance to take your big rig through some Nordic-inspired scenery as you ply your trade as a professional driver. Here's a Welcome to Mangefjell Teaser with a look, and here's more:
Today, SOEDESCO® announces the upcoming map DLC called ‘Heading North' for trucking experience Truck Driver in September 2021. The DLC will feature a new map called Mangefjell, a lush scenic island with Nordic inspired landscape. The new map teaser reveals some of the locations in this upcoming DLC and more teasers will be released in the near future. To play ‘Heading North’, players would need to have the base game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hanako: Honor & Blade in September

+Mpact Games announces the official release date for Hanako: Honor & Blade, saying this multiplayer melee combat game will officially launch on Steam on September 15th. Earlier this year it was announced that the game would arrive this summer, so this will fulfill that promise with a week to spare. A new Release Date Trailer shows off more of the game's medieval Japanese setting with a look at its final map. More follows:
Hanako: Honor and Blade is a passion project that has been in development for over a decade. The game’s art and backstory of the game serve as a symbolic tribute to the late mother of team lead, Matt Canei, an industry veteran currently at ILMxLAB. The lore represents an everlasting struggle of life and death, as embodied by the game’s two warrior clans. The Hanako clan represents health and goodness in the spirit of Matt’s mother, and the Yamai clan symbolize the opposition to life inherent in cancer and other diseases. The natural balance of the opposing forces metaphorically represents real-life tragedies while seeking to honor those lost.

Hanako: Honor & Blade takes players online for immersive battles in a beautiful recreation of Feudal Japan between up to 24 players. Players can help decide the future of a nation by playing as one of four distinct warrior classes including the capable swordsman, powerful spearman, eagle-eyed archer, or nimble ninja. Each class has different build/skill options and features directionally driven combat, abilities, and spirit-based skills to get an extra edge. Players will play as one of two clans and seek to defeat opponents through multiple game modes and maps, with each game level presenting unique obstacles and mechanics that will require strategy and teamwork to defeat enemies.
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Triversal Released

In a triversal of fortune, Triversal is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a spatial puzzle game from indie developer Phantom Compass. Word is this is already an award-winning project: "Triversal recently won the Silver Award In PC Puzzle Games at the 2021 NYX Game Awards and it’s easy to see why." The Launch Trailer shows off vector graphics and gameplay, as you solve puzzles to traverse Triversal. There's also a playable demo so you can try before you buy. Here's more:
In Triversal, the goal is simple: place the glowing orb over the black hole by connecting it to stretchy tethers in just the right way. While this seems straightforward at first, the challenges become progressively more difficult as the levels become more complex and additional modifiers — like flexible tethers — are added to the mix. However, Triversal keeps things relaxing and groovy with a lush neon palette, warm and cozy sound effects, and a spaced-out, super-chill soundtrack.
Continue here to read the full story.

Blon in September

Publisher PID Games and developer Lazy Kiwi announce 2D endless runner/platformer Blon is coming to PC and mobile on September 7th. The Blon Trailer shows off pixel-art graphics and serene settings, belying gameplay described as "fast and challenging." Here's more to help you decide if blons have more fun:
Today, the publisher PID Games and the development studio Lazy Kiwi reveal the release date of Blon, which will land on PC and mobile on September 7th, 2021! The game will be available on PC from the Steam platform and on iOS and Google Play for mobile players.

Who has never dreamed of playing a physarum polycephalum? Or rather… a blob? Blon is the adventure of a brave little blob pursuing his spiteful older brother. As Blon, your objective is to neutralize your brother in order to recover the stolen family treasure. Catch the leaves your brother left on his path over the different levels to rebuild the family nest, improve your agility, your skills, and unlock new characters coming as reinforcements.
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Out of the Blue

Happy Bastille Day! Today I learned that in French the occasion is not only known as Fête Nationale, but also as Le 14 Juillet, or, the 14th of July. I always thought it seemed odd to call the US Independence day the Fourth of July, but I guess this approach to naming is by no means uniquely American. Vive la no différence!

Revolutionary Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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