Archived News:

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Stellaris Free Weekend

Paradox Interactive announces that a free weekend is underway for Stellaris to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the launch of the space game. You can sample the game between now and Monday, and if you get hooked, you can pick it up on sale for 80% off. Here's a 6 Year Anniversary + Free Weekend Trailer and a quick outline of what to expect:
Get ready to explore, discover and interact with a multitude of species as you journey among the stars. Forge a galactic empire by sending out science ships to survey and explore, while construction ships build stations around newly discovered planets. Discover buried treasures and galactic wonders as you spin a direction for your society, creating limitations and evolutions for your explorers. Alliances will form and wars will be declared.

Like all our Grand Strategy games, the adventure evolves with time. Because free updates are a part of any active Paradox game, you can continue to grow and expand your empire with new technologies and capabilities. What will you find beyond the stars? Only you can answer that.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - Glutton's Gamble Released

The Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Website now offers the release of Glutton's Gamble, the latest DLC for the first-person dungeon crawler. This requires the base game, and is available individually, as part of the Chaotic Great Edition, or as part of the Season Pass. This kicks off an event where the difficulty level will scale up every week for the next month. The Launch Trailer provides a look at some culinary-themed action, and here we have some details:
As with the other Mirrors of Mystery, Glutton's Gamble can give you a chance to face a more difficult dungeon and farm higher-tier loot to help you complete the main story. By gaining access to Glutton's Gamble, either through individual purchase or owning the Season Pass (sold separately and as part of the Chaotic Great Edition), you can test your mettle with this challenging, replayable gauntlet while Vesper shares the self-contained story of Imelda's origins.

Vesper and her Mirrors of Mystery are located in the Dreamveil Overlook, just outside of Brighthoof in the Overworld. The enemies within have a baseline level of 13, and will scale to your Fatemaker's level beyond that, making the Mirrors of Mystery a worthy, repeatable endeavor whether you're still early on in your Fatemaker's quest or you've forged yourself in the flames of the most difficult Chaos Levels. But tread carefully, because dying within a Mirror of Mystery will kick you out of the looking glass; you'll have to start over if you want to show Imelda who's boss.
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Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong Released

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is now available for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, offering developer Big Bad Wolf's narrative RPG based on the World of Darkness horror series. The Windows edition can be found lurking in the shadows of the Epic Games Store. The Launch Trailer sets up the story where the vampires of Boston must recover from a large-scale ambush. Are Yankees fans right? Does Boston suck? Read on for more:
Mysterious assassins have attacked the Boston Camarilla - a secret society comprising most of the vampires in the city. Galeb Bazory, Emem Louis, and Leysha are tasked by the Prince of the city’s Kindred with learning the identity of the attackers as well as the motives underlying the large-scale attack. The orders are simple: infiltrate, investigate and get answers, using supernatural powers if necessary.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong offers a new approach to narrative RPG games:
Continue here to read the full story.

Free Game: ROG CITADEL XV - SCAR Runner

ASUS announces the release of ROG CITADEL XV - SCAR Runner on Steam, offering a free first-person parkour game for Windows. This is presented as free DLC for ROG CITADEL XV, the free first-person shooter. This includes the opportunity to participate in a competition to win a brand new ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE laptop. For that you need to sign up here. Read on for more on the game:
An expansion of ROG Citadel XV, SCAR Runner follows the story of ‘X’, our mysterious hero engaged in a race against time to recover critical information. A unique blend of high-octane gameplay and real-world puzzle solving, the launch of the game ties in with the shipping of the ROG Strix SCAR 17 SE gaming laptop where resourceful gamers can locate hidden clues embedded on the chassis of the laptop, aiding them in the progression of the game.

Set within the sprawling Goeman City, a thriving metropolis with a criminal underbelly, gamers must traverse this urban landscape to discover what PKD so desperately needs to share with the Republic of Gamers. Players will require razer-sharp reflexes to safely traverse the rooftops and industrial zones of the city before time closes in and disaster prevails. A series of fiendish puzzles await gamers brave enough to discover the truth, holding the true key to reaching PKD before he disappears forever.

Simon the Sorcerer - Origins Announced

Publisher Leonardo Interactive and developer Smallthing Studios announce Simon the Sorcerer - Origins in coming to PC and consoles early next year. This point-and-click adventure will be a prequel to the original Simon the Sorcerer, a pioneering game in the genre from 1993. The Official Announcement Trailer takes a look after lowering expectations by saying it does not represent the expected visual quality of the finished game. The PC edition will come to Steam, and you can head over there and wishlist it right now. Steam offers a March 28, 2023 release date not mentioned in the announcement. Here are some details:
Paving the way for many of the beloved point and click graphic adventures that have been entertaining fans for almost 30 years, Simon the Sorcerer stole the hearts of gamers when it was released on MS DOS and Amiga computers. Applying modern visuals and cutting edge gameplay mechanics to the development of Simon the Sorcerer - Origins will be highly appealing to fans of the original titles as well as engaging a new generation of gamers excited for the current revival of these classic franchises.

Simon the Sorcerer - Origins is the official prequel to the original Simon the Sorcerer game and transports players back to a few weeks before the events of the first episode. The game world is crafted with a modern visual style filled with seamless realtime sequences, magic and puzzle solving tied together with an engrossing storyline that will finally answer some important questions raised by fans from the first game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Racing Fest Next Week

Valve announces the Steam Racing Fest will start its engines on Monday, kicking off a week long celebrations of games about motorsports and other competitions of speed. Here's an outline of the festivities:
Steam Racing Fest is zooming your way from May 23 - May 30 (next week!), when you can check out discounts, demos, and trivia all centered around the speedy things of Steam. If you can race it, you can (probably) race it in a game on Steam, and this is a great week to find deals on classic racers and unique subgenres (ever race a mouse before?)

We've even put together a fun game of racing trivia that can lead you to a cool badge.

Get Borderlands 3 for Free

In addition to the MEGA Sale mentioned below, Borderlands 3 is now available completely free on the Epic Games Store as this week's planned giveaway. Gearbox's action/RPG sequel is yours to keep if you claim it by next Thursday, when it will be replaced by another "mystery game" giveaway. In addition to the free game, most of its DLC is now on sale. Here's a refresher on the looter-shooter sequel:
The original shooter-looter returns, packing bazillions of guns and an all-new mayhem-fueled adventure! Blast through new worlds and enemies as one of four brand new Vault Hunters – the ultimate treasure-seeking badasses of the Borderlands, each with deep skill trees, abilities and customization. Play solo or join with friends to take on insane enemies, score loads of loot and save your home from the most ruthless cult leaders in the galaxy.

Epic Games MEGA Sale 2022 Begins

More from Epic, as the Epic Games MEGA Sale 2022 is now underway, offering discounts of up to 75% off PC games in what the company calls its biggest sale of the year. And beyond the discounts on all those games, there is also a renewing Epic Store Mega Coupon, which will now apply an additional 25% discount to all games priced higher than USD$14.99 in your order (instead of a flat $10.00 off like before). This coupon is limited to 50 games, however, so it's doubtful it can be used to save more than 500 bucks. All the deals are listed here. Here's more on the sale and the mega coupons:
The 25% Epic Coupon for Epic MEGA Sale is automatically applied to eligible transactions at checkout. The discount will apply to each eligible product purchased either individually or within the shopping cart AND you’ll get another coupon each time you complete an eligible transaction. Epic Coupons apply to single or multiple eligible games priced at, or combining to, $14.99 or above (or local currency equivalent), see the FAQ below for more details.

The Epic Games Store MEGA Sale is live from May 19, 2022 at 11am EDT to June 16 2022 at 11am EDT. Coupons expire on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 11:00AM Eastern Daylight Time.

Embracer Results Show Gearbox Plans Nine "AAA" Games

Embracer Group Q4 Report 2021-2022 has the latest financials from the publisher. The company's Katmari Damacy approach to acquisitions takes a lot of cash, so it shouldn't be a shock that the company lost $431 million last year. But of course you can't make an omelet without killing a few chefs, so all this activity goes along with the news that Gearbox Has 9 AAA Games in Development. Here's an attempt to parse this:
"Gearbox continues to scale the organization to deliver on its ambitious growth plan, and there are currently nine AAA games under development," it said.

We currently know of five games being published by Gearbox - Homeworld 3, Hyper Light Breaker, Relic Hunters Legends, Have a Nice Death, and Eyes in the Dark: The Curious Case of One Victoria Bloom - but despite the "AAA" term being slightly subjective, most people likely wouldn't refer to the latter two or three of these as AAA games.

We also know that Tales From The Borderlands 2 is on its way from Gearbox itself, but again, this smaller, narrative led game may not be considered a AAA title by some.

Old World on Steam and GOG.com

The Epic Games Store exclusivity period for Old World has ended, and this 4X turn-based strategy game from publisher Hooded Horse and developer Mohawk Games is now also available on GOG.com* and Steam. To celebrate the news, the Heroes of the Aegean DLC is being given away to all players on all platforms for the next two weeks. Here's more on that: "Heroes of the Aegean focuses on the greatest events of Ancient Greece, including the campaigns of Alexander the Great and the epic showdown of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans versus the Persian army in the Battle of Thermopylae. The DLC also adds a brand-new civilization playable in the main game – the Hittites, represented by warrior king Ḫattušili I." The release is accompanied by a new Hittites Faction Trailer and a new Release Day Trailer. Here's word on the game:
Old World is a historical strategy game where you lead your empire through multiple generations, building a grand legacy to last beyond your own years. This is an era of great leaders, from the revered to the feared. Which will you be?

Marry for politics, raise your heirs, and manage your relationship with the families of your kingdom. In the fast and furious world of kings and queens, family matters.
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Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition on Steam Next Month

Oddworld Inhabitants announces a Steam release date for Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition, saying this will arrive on June 21st. Here's the previously released Steam Trailer for the action/platformer. There are rewards just for putting this one on your wishlist: "For those that wishlist that game, you will receive wallpapers, Steam digital trading cards, in-game music, and there is the potential to unlock the digital Employee Handbook, copy of the cinematic script, an outgoing VM message from Abe, and more." Here's a refresher on the game:
Soulstorm is the story of hope, even in the face of insurmountable odds. Prized for their strength, the tasty meat on their bones, and their susceptibility to Brew, Mudokons like our hero Abe, are an enslaved race by a profiteering class. But the time for change has come, the time for a revolution is now.

Picking up right after the explosive conclusion of New ‘n’ Tasty, you will be called upon to help Abe on his journey to free more than 1,000 fellow Mudokons from the physical chains that bind them. Will you help Abe confront an uncertain future and a forgotten past or let him and his kind die?
Continue here to read the full story.

EVE Online Launches EVE Anywhere

CCP Game announces the launch of EVE Anywhere for EVE Online Alpha Pilots in the US and parts of Europe. This is a cloud-based service that allows everyone to play the sci-fi MMORPG through a browser. This is said to require a connection speed of 25Mbps or higher for a reliable experience. Word is this program will continue to roll out to additional territories:
EVE Anywhere has been developed in close collaboration with our trusted partner Intel, and allows you to play EVE on the go through Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge - whether you’re on a PC or tablet.

This partnership provides EVE pilots with access to high-capacity computing power - via the cloud - as and when it’s needed. Whether you’re fighting, mining, or building an industrial empire, EVE Anywhere can help you switch seamlessly between client and browser-based play.

Alpha players can enjoy 24 hours of EVE Anywhere in exchange for 30 PLEX. The service will also be rolled out into more territories later on this year, as we work towards our ultimate goal of releasing EVE Anywhere…everywhere!

Field of Glory II: Medieval - Rise of the Swiss Rises

Rise of the Swiss is now available on Steam, offering new DLC for Field of Glory II: Medieval, the turn-based strategy sequel. As the title states, this adds a pre-neutrality Switzerland to the mix, highlighted by the Swiss soldiers' use of the long pike. For a refresher on the game, here's the handy Field of Glory II Medieval in 2 minutes video. Here's more on the add-on to help you see if you'll be able to thwart your opponents with some Swiss cheese:
Showcasing one of the most revolutionary changes in battlefield tactics, Rise of the Swiss focuses on the introduction of the long pike. This long thrusting weapon became a dominant part of the Swiss’ weaponry back in the Fifteenth Century, due to its devastatingly long reach, and the DLC represents the first time players will be able to take advantage of its lethal range.

This fourth main DLC for Field of Glory II: Medieval also expands upon the intense turn-based action of the base game by adding four more historically-based campaigns, eight more historical scenarios, and many more features: 22 new units, 60 more army lists, 41 more historical matchups added to Quick Battle mode, increasing the total to 239, most playable from either side.
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Curious Expedition 2 - Shores of Taishi Released

Shores of Taishi is now available on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com*, and Steam, offering new DLC for Curious Expedition 2, the colorful roguelike adventure inspired by the works of Jules Verne. You can get a sense of what to expect in the Launch Trailer, though anyone on hallucinogenics is advised to wait until you come down before giving this a look. Here's word:
Shores of Taishi adds a bounty of new content to the mysterious lands of Curious Expedition 2. A new island type, Celestial Shores, comes with a completely new set of tiles, a new game mechanic related to teleporting between islets and the new Peacock Tribe. Shores of Taishi allows players to recruit six new characters to their party, including Red Panda, Tanuki, Ghost Catcher and Warrior Peacock. That’s not all: with six new enemy types, four new locations, six new pieces of equipment, seven new Sanity Items, six new Trophies and four new club levels to unlock, there’s plenty of new content to get stuck into.
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Gundam Game Fest Next Week

BANDAI NAMCO announces plans for a Gundam Game Fest, sure to be of interest to sci-fi anime fans as well as those who enjoy bulky mechanical outfits. This will take place a week from today on May 26th at 6:00 pm EDT on the BANDAI NAMCO Twitch and YouTube channels. Here's the plan:
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. is inviting all fans of games, sci-fi, and anime to take part in Gundam Game Fest. The livestream event is a celebration of upcoming Gundam games with exclusive news and reveals for SD GUNDAM BATTLE ALLIANCE, GUNDAM EVOLUTION, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM BATTLE OPERATION 2.

Decision: Red Daze Released

Get ready for some red days, as Decision: Red Daze is now available for Windows on GOG.com* and Steam, offering a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic action/RPG. Despite how familiar that sounds, developer Nordcurrent Labs says this represents "a unique blend of genres." The Launch Trailer shows off gameplay. Here's how this is intended to stand out in a pretty crowded field:
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. Protect and lead a group of survivors in the infamous Dust Bowl, where the Red Daze is most prevalent; resist the onslaught of the infected while looking for other survivors to expand your base, and trying to find a way to escape the pandemic – and, hopefully, find a cure for it. 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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Morning Postmortems

Out of the Blue

A post in our news forum by fujiJuice that was helpfully reposted to the General Forum by RedEye9 requested that we consider a new feature. He asked: "Can you please make the logo in the footer either link back to the homepage or to the top of the current page. I would prefer homepage." Well, ask and ye shall receive, as Frans noted in his reply. In fact, the way this is implemented covers both suggestions. Clicking on the footer logo on any content page on the site will now return you to the front news page. And if you click on the footer on the front page, it will scroll back to the top. This can make navigation a little more convenient, so hopefully some of you find it an improvement. Thanks to Frans for getting this implemented, and for coming up with the cool JavaScript to scroll back to the top of the front page rather than reloading it, which is downright elegant.

Elegant Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links

Stories

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

Follow-ups
Happy POS Freedom Day. Thanks RedEye9.

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