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Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022

Max Payne 1 & 2 Remakes Planned

Remedy Entertainment announces an agreement with Rockstar Games to create updated versions of Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. The announcement talks about a relationship between the two companies that dates back to Rockstar publishing the two third-person shooters back in the day. Now word is the band is getting back together to modernize the games for modern systems. "Max Payne has always held a special place in the hearts of everyone at Remedy, and we know the millions of fans worldwide feel the same," said Remedy CEO, Tero Virtala. "We’re hugely excited to be working with our partners at Rockstar Games once again for the chance to bring the story, action and atmosphere of the original Max Payne games back to players in new ways." Here's what's being revealed about the project(s) for now:
Under the development agreement signed today, Remedy will develop the games as a single title for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S using its proprietary Northlight game engine. The game’s development budget will be financed by Rockstar Games, the size of which will be in line with a typical Remedy AAA-game production. Under the agreement, Remedy has a royalty opportunity after Rockstar Games has recouped its development, marketing, and other costs for distributing and publishing the game.

The project is currently in the concept development stage.

Humble's 2021 Social Impact

A post on the Humble Bundle Blog talks about the difference made in 2021 by charity donations stemming from sales of Humble Bundles throughout 2021. For a deep dive, there's a Social Impact  Report with all the details. Here's the intro:
At the heart of Humble’s identity is the belief that together with our community—you, our industry colleagues, and our charity partners—we can be a force for good in the world.

Today we released Humble’s 2021 Social Impact Report, chronicling just some of the ways your contributions last year helped support our five key focus areas: crisis & disaster relief, health & wellbeing, quality education, equity & inclusion, and climate change & sustainability. It’s filled with tangible stats and examples of how our charity partners were able to use the funds raised through December 2021 to help fulfill their missions.

New LEGO Star Wars Sets User Record

SteamDB estimates that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga had a peak of 82,517 players online at once yesterday. This may just be Bantha poop to some higher profile games, but VGC notes this is light years beyond the previous concurrent user peak for a LEGO game on Steam:
This completely eclipses the previous peak for concurrent Steam users on a Lego game, which was achieved by Lego Marvel Super Heroes when it hit 5,953 users eight years ago.

This new peak for The Skywalker Saga marks an increase of more than 1200% over that previous record.

Dying Light 2 Getting New Game+

Techland tweets about plans for the next patch for Dying Light 2: Stay Human (thanks Game Informer). Word is this will add a New Game+ mode to the action/RPG sequel when it's released later this month:
Our team is working hard on patch 3 for DL2 Stay Human.
It will be one of the biggest patches we've released so far. Apart from many fixes for both multi and single-player mode, it will also introduce a New Game+ mode, giving you more reasons to re-visit The City.

We're planning to release patch 3 on all platforms by the end of this month. Full notes will be available once the update is live.

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Dune: Spice Wars Early Access This Month

Funcom announces April 26th is when Dune: Spice Wars will enter Early Access, offering gamers first crack at this new 4X/RTS game based on the science fiction classic. The notice also reveals the Fremen will be the game's fourth playable faction for those who want to sip a little pee as they play. Here's more:
Publishers Funcom and Developers Shiro Games are thrilled to announce that on April 26, Dune: Spice Wars enters Early Access. Marking the first time in two decades that players will be able to set foot on Dune in a game, Dune: Spice Wars has shot up the Steam wishlists chart since its recent announcement at The Game Awards 2021 in December.

This union between real-time strategy and 4X elements, based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece, Dune, pits four factions against each other on the desert planet of Arrakis, the only source of the most valuable resource in the universe: spice.

Along with the Early Access release, the fourth playable faction has also been revealed today as the Fremen. With a greater capacity to move across and withstand the open desert, less chance to attract colossal sandworms, and an improved ability to ally with hidden Sietches (neutral native settlements), the Fremen are uniquely poised to expand their area of influence in order to control the planet. Discover everything about the native desert survivors in today’s new Fremen reveal.

The Wheel of Time Re-Released

The Wheel of Time has rolled back around, as Night Dive Studios announces the re-launch of The Wheel of Time, the first-person shooter originally released back in 1999. This is available for Windows exclusively on GOG.com*, carrying a 10% launch discount. Word is: "This latest offering from GOG provides players the most direct route to experiencing the iconic titles of yesteryear and is the only place to play one of GameSpy's 'most underrated games of all time' and a game fans of both the books and Amazon’s hit series won’t want to miss." This is said to be "remastered," but there are no details on that. A look at the graphics would be welcome, but the trailer accompanying the release is the introductory cinematic, and includes no gameplay. Here's word:
Originally developed by Legend Entertainment and released in 1999, The Wheel of Time is a fantasy-themed first-person shooter set 150 years before the events of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series and the hit Amazon TV show. The game follows Elayna Sedai, the Keeper of the Chronicles of the White Tower, as she embarks on a perilous quest to retrieve one of the four lost seals keeping the terrifying and mysterious Dark One imprisoned. Explore familiar locations like the crumbling city of Shadar Logoth, the Mountains of Mist, and the White Tower while engaging in a glorious quest to ensure the safety of the realm.

A first-person shooter with no guns and a fantasy game with no swords, players will instead utilize a variety of more than 40 ter'angreal — magical artifacts that grant incredible powers. These spells range from simple offensive attacks like fireballs and magic darts to more complex effects such as swapping locations with an enemy and short-range teleportation. These artifacts can also be combined and chained together for devastating effects.
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Two Point Campus Delayed

Get ready for some summer school, as SEGA and Two Point Studios announce that the release of Two Point Campus is being pushed back from next month to August 9th. "Our ambition from the start has been to release Two Point Campus across all PC and console platforms simultaneously to the quality and standard that our community expects from us. This means we will need a little bit more time with Two Point Campus to make sure we deliver the best possible game that can be enjoyed equally on all platforms," said Mark Webley, Game Director at Two Point Studios. "We will use these additional three months to optimize Two Point Campus for all platforms." The setback is explored in further detail in this blog post. There's also a new Developer Vision Video showing the team's typically offbeat take on higher education. Here's the news:
Two Point Campus is a charming management sim where players will be able to create the university of their dreams, shape the lives of their students, and manage everything in between. While the decision has been made to delay the release of Two Point Campus by a few months, the vision for the game has remained the same. In this brand-new video, the developers from Two Point Studios explain why they wanted to make Two Point Campus and discuss some of the exciting new features that players can expect in the game. They also describe how Two Point Campus has evolved from their previous game, Two Point Hospital. Check out the video to find out what the game is all about, while also enjoying some brand-new gameplay footage!
Continue here to read the full story.

THQ Nordic Showcase in August

THQ Nordic announces plans to show off its upcoming wares at a digital showcase on August 12th. This will include "several, brand new games," but it's not clear if any of these are not yet announced. But Outcast 2 – A New Beginning and Jagged Alliance 3 are two offerings that will definitely be on display. A Save The Date 2022 Video provides an idea of what to expect. Here's the plan in case you need to block out your calendar in advance:
Brace yourselves! THQ Nordic is hosting its second annual digital showcase event on the 12th of August, 2022. The company will present several, brand new games, expanding the company’s portfolio into new genres with both licensed and original gaming experiences. Gamers can look forward to everything from intense, dark and gritty to light, colorful and just plain fun! In addition to loads of announcements and first looks, we will be providing updates on games like Outcast 2 – A New Beginning and Jagged Alliance 3!

The showcase takes place Friday, August 12th, 2022 at 12 PM PDT / 3 PM EDT / 8 PM BST / 21:00 CEST / 10 PM EEST. Following the good tradition that started last year, prior to the showcase is a pre-show where our friends from HandyGames will show what they´ve got, so make sure to tune in early!
Continue here to read the full story.

Stadia Trials

A post on the Stadia Community Website reveals game trials now available on Stadia for Super Animal Royale, HUMANKIND, and World War Z: Aftermath. These do not require a Stadia Account, so it's a painless way to evaluate how well Stadia serves up games streamed from the cloud. Here's more:
Today, anyone can jump into the action of Super Animal Royale, HUMANKIND, and World War Z: Aftermath with new trials of these full games at Stadia.com/games. Invite your friends or family to join in on the fun, at no cost and without a Stadia account – just click and be playing a time-limited trial in seconds.

  • Super Animal Royale (60-minute trial) – Party up, find the best gear and get ready for instant, adorable animal action in this 64-player, top-down battle royale now featuring Season 3! Even better, play this trial with multiplayer cross-platform matchmaking! After the trial, it’s available to continue playing at no cost on the Stadia store.
  • HUMANKIND (120-minute trial) – Rewrite the entire narrative of humankind in this historical turn-based strategy game. After the trial, it’s available for $49.99 on the Stadia store.
  • World War Z: Aftermath (60-minute trial) – Join up to three friends or play on your own with AI teammates against hordes of ravenous zombies in the ultimate co-op zombie shooter inspired by the Paramount Pictures blockbuster. After the trial, claim it with a Pro subscription or purchase for $39.99 on the Stadia store.

GOG.com Going Back to the Past

GOG 2022 update #3 is a new update discussing the direction of GOG.com. That name stands for Good Old Games, which were the sole focus of the storefront when it first launched. Over the years the shop evolved to cover current releases as well. Now word is the roots of the site will be getting a touch-up, as there will be renewed attention on the classics from yesteryear. Here's a bit:
To help those classic games shine again, and get discovered by more people, we also do our best to support our releases with initiatives like Throwback Thursday, interviews with developers and other ways to look behind the scenes. If you like to collect the extra goodies connected to the games, such as guidebooks, wallpapers, concept arts and much more, there is a good chance that some of the ones you’ve gotten on GOG are thanks to our cooperation with The Video Game History Foundation.

But you know most of this already – so what’s next?! The newest development in the area of classics’ visibility and discoverability is the revival of Good Old Games concept. We’re starting with adding the “Good Old Game” tag, which will showcase over 500 games that our Team has deemed iconic classics – games that are older than 10 years and are critically acclaimed, stand the test of time, defined certain mechanics, or simply created new genres. You’ll find there games like Bioshock, Baldur’s Gate, Fallout or Gothic. Of course, this is in part our subjective choice, but we hope to inspire you to check them out for yourselves, have fun with them, and see if you agree with our assessment.

Trigon: Space Story This Month

Publisher Gameforge and developer Sernur.tech announce a release date for Trigon: Space Story, saying the FTL-inspired roguelike strategy game will launch on April 28th. The news is celebrated with a sonorous new Cinematic Trailer. Also, the demo on Steam has been updated with a macOS and Linux support, a new tutorial, an updated UI, and more. This post has all the news:
Today, we are pleased to announce an April 28, 2022 PC launch date for the single-player, roguelike strategy game, Trigon: Space Story.

Inspired by FTL: Faster Than Light, Trigon: Space Story has drawn the attention of roguelike and strategy game fans.

To celebrate the upcoming release of the game a new demo for Trigon: Space Story will be available on April 6 via Steam with an entirely new tutorial. The demo now includes an updated UI, and minor balance changes, and support for additional languages, including English, French, Spanish (Spain and Latin American), Polish, Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, German, and Russian. The demo also brings access to players on new platforms, which will include macOS and Linux, in addition to Microsoft Windows.

Outbreak: Contagious Memories Breaks Out

Outbreak: Contagious Memories is now available on Steam and consoles, offering a survival/horror game set in one of those zombie outbreaks that seem so common these days. Here's a previously released gameplay trailer with a look at what's described as "a true zombie B-movie." Here's more:
Inspired by classics of the survival horror genre like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and like a brain burger with extra cheese, Outbreak: Contagious Memories is a true zombie B-movie game for the modern era.

The end of the world is nigh, and surviving it is going to take brains. In Outbreak: Contagious Memories, players step into the shoes of Lydia, one of the leftovers following a contagious virus that leaves the infected with an insatiable hunger for - you guessed it - human flesh. After being knocked unconscious, Lydia awakens in an abandoned warehouse as fellow survivors debate leaving her behind. Not one to be left helpless, Lydia takes charge, forging a path through crafty environmental puzzles and hordes of the undead to figure out a way for her and her fellow survivors to escape the city.
Continue here to read the full story.

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Morning Multiplex

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

Out of the Blue

I have an email problem. More specifically an inbox problem. This is an embarrassing admission considering how long I've been at this, but it's true. Details on how this happens are uninteresting, but it's inevitable I end up with an overstuffed inbox at some point. This is a combination of things I intended to return to and things that are no longer important, but it ends up deep. On a few occasions in years past corrupted files cleared my inbox for me (I'm looking at you Eudora and Outlook). But it's been quite some time since the fates conspired to provide what I once heard cleverly referred to as "email amnesty." That is, until now. Modern mail clients tend to be much more careful these days, but they can't protect from errors that occur between the monitor and the chair. Yesterday I accidentally activated a keyboard macro while my email client was the focused window. I got to watch in horror as the macro (which is not intended for email) highlighted my entire inbox and, yup, deleted everything. So now I have an empty inbox again. This seemed like a disaster, but in paging through my trash I realized a vast majority of this stuff was not important. I recently sorted through the most recent months of mail, so I was basically caught up. I'm sure some things are falling through the cracks as a result, but I'm definitely considering this a net positive. The weird thing is it always seems easy to keep it empty at first, but somewhere along the way things get out of hand. Wish me luck in trying to avoid repeating that pattern.

Amnesty Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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