Archived News:

Thursday, Mar 16, 2023

Steam Spring Sale Includes Steam Deck

Valve announces its first-ever Spring Sale on Steam is now underway, as scheduled, even if it's a few days until the actual change of seasons. This is the annual sale that was the Lunar New Year Sale before it was renamed. This happens to fall right around the first anniversary of the launch of the Steam Deck, and the sale includes a discount on the Steam Deck and popular Steam Deck Games. Here's a Spring Sale Trailer and here's more:
For the first time ever, Steam is bringing the seasonal sale fun to SPRING! The Steam Spring Sale is on now: From March 16th - March 23rd at 10am Pacific, enjoy discounts on games of all kinds!

And... also for the first time ever, Steam Deck is on sale! All three versions are 10% off throughout the duration of the Spring Sale in regions where Steam Deck is shipping. It's all part of our celebration of one whole year of Steam Deck, which you can read more about (and purchase) HERE.

While you explore the sale, take a look in your favorite store category page to get a free sticker each day. If you are looking for a good place to start, check out the ever-popular Open World page.
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Get Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep for Free

2K announces that for the next week Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-shot Adventure is available for free on Steam. You may already have a copy of this, as it was also a 2021 giveaway on the Epic Games Store. Here's word on the game, which is yours to keep if you claim it by 1:00 pm EDT on March 23rd:
If you haven't yet played the full-fledged, chaotic great adventure that is Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, Assault on Dragon Keep is the perfect way to familiarize yourself with the fantasy world of Bunkers & Badasses, with Tiny Tina acting as your unpredictable Bunker Master. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-Shot Adventure is a self-contained campaign, with six playable characters and added features for plenty of replayability.

Far Cry 5 Free Weekend Plans

Far Cry 5 was first released on March 27, 2018, and Ubisoft unveils plans to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first-person shooter. A post on the Ubisoft Website discusses today's launch of a new 60 FPS patch for the console editions and announces a free weekend. Word is the game will be free to try on all platforms from March 23-27 and will be on sale with a discount as big as all Montana:
Celebrate the 5th anniversary of one of the most acclaimed games in the Far Cry franchise, now available at 60 FPS on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Play also Far Cry 5 FOR FREE during the Free Weekend on all platforms from March 23-27 and get up to 85% OFF on all editions! Your progression will be saved.

Hearthstone: Festival of Legends Next Month

Blizzard announces Festival of Legends, a new expansion for Hearthstone coming on April 10th to the collectible card game. This is centered around E.T.C., as the Elite Tauran Cow is preparing "to put on the biggest music festival in history." Such hype has historically led to disasters in real life, but a video game music festival is not as prone to problems. Just don't take the brown acid. Here's a Cinematic Trailer and here's more:
E.T.C. is gathering the greatest musicians from all over Azeroth to put on the biggest music festival in history. From rock to hip-hop, and from metal to pop, every class is putting on a show. Start tuning your instruments and working on your harmonies, the next act is the Festival of Legends!

Festival of Legends will launch worldwide this April, with 145 new cards! You can find the full Festival of Legends reveal schedule, and all cards that have already been revealed, by visiting the official Card Library. Check back frequently so you don’t miss a beat—the page will be updated with new cards as they’re revealed!
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Stray Souls Announced

Developer Jukai Studio and publisher Versus Evil announce Stray Souls, a mystery-driven psychological/horror game coming to PC and consoles this year. A first attempt to put some fear into us comes in the Official Announce Trailer. For more, the game also already has a Steam Listing. It includes this post with a good overview of the project and its goals:
Enter a world of nightmares in this third person, action-horror, inspired by the classics of the genre. Explore the sleepy town of Aspen Falls, as you fight terrifying creatures, solve mind-bending puzzles, and unravel a dark family secret to expose the chilling truth behind your existence.

The gameplay elements inspired by classic horror combat with soulslike precision, put a fresh spin on the modern action-horror genre.

Experience sheer terror like never before with the raw combined power of the Unreal 5 Engine and Metahuman technology. Advanced facial animations capture a wide range of human emotion, creating a whole new level of photorealism! Dynamic lighting and weather bring Aspen Falls to life in eerie detail, from the peeling wallpaper of Grandma’s house to the dense reaches of a fog-covered forest and beyond!
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: At least 67 people got botulism after trying to paralyze their stomachs. The Darwin Diet? In fairness, botulism tends to cause weight loss.

Get Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War for Free

Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as its latest giveaway. This is yours to keep as long as you get your snag on by next Thursday at 11:00 am EDT. Epic typically also takes the opportunity to announce next week's freebie, but they have not done so in this case. The company did recently confirm the free game program will continue through 2023, so it seems safe to think something will be given away next week. In the meantime, here's the store's one-sentence description of today's giveaway:
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War is the first turn-based 4X strategy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Four factions will engage in a brutal war for dominance over the planet’s resources.

Video Game Hall of Fame Nominees Include Quake

The Strong National Museum of Play continues its strong play to be part of the history of gaming, announcing the 2023 Finalists for its World Video Hall of Fame. There is a Player's Choice Ballot allowing the public to serve as one of the members of the committee selecting the honorees. Final inductees will be revealed on May 4th. As in the past, it's hard to dispute the shortlist. Here are all the nominees:

  • Age of Empires
  • Angry Birds
  • Barbie Fashion Designer
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Computer Space
  • FIFA International Soccer
  • Goldeneye 007
  • The Last of Us
  • NBA 2K
  • Quake
  • Wii Sports
  • Wizardry

Atari Acquires Stern IPs and Launches Investment Platform

Revived publisher Atari announces it is expanding its nostalgic reach with acquisition of a dozen classic arcade properties from Stern Electronics. These include titles already associated with the Atari brand from past licenses, such as Berserk and Frenzy. Okay, those two titles aren't random, they're actually the only ones specified in the announcement, so it seems safe to imagine the other 10 games are not quite as prominent. Word is: "Atari® — one of the world's most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers — announced today the acquisition of a dozen retro arcade games, including the '80s classics Berzerk and Frenzy. Atari will seek to expand digital and physical distribution of the classic titles, create new games based on the IPs, and explore brand and merchandising collaborations." There's no mention of this on the Atari Website, where the current news is the launch of Atari Game Pool, an Atari-specific crowdfunding platform launched in cooperation with Fig. This is looking to raise a million dollars to further exploit the Atari catalog for future game projects:
Fig is raising funds to deploy into prospective Atari games. Using the funds raised from this offering, as determined by the mutual agreement of Fig and Atari, Atari will partner with developers to create innovative new games based on Atari owned IP. The final size of the fund will determine the quantity and scope of games produced.

Upon the release of a game, Fig will collect a percentage of the gross receipts from game sales. From these collections, investors will be paid out dividends twice a year, if any dividends are distributable.

Redfall Bite Back Edition NVIDIA Bundle

NVIDIA announces a new bundle, saying qualifying purchases of one of its 40-series graphics cards will come with Redfall Bite Back Edition. This is a fancy version of Bethesda's upcoming first-person shooter said to be a $100 value. The post includes the Redfall Official Story Trailer and the following details:
To celebrate our technical partnership, we’re introducing the new Redfall Bite Back Edition GeForce RTX 40 Series Bundle, available now until April 11th. Buyers of eligible GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, 4080 and 4090 graphics cards, desktop PCs, or GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 Laptops from select retailers and etailers will receive Redfall Bite Back Edition, a $99.99 value.

Venture into the darkness and overcome the vampire legion with AI-powered NVIDIA DLSS 3 for maximum performance, and NVIDIA Reflex for enhanced responsiveness. And enjoy immersive ray-traced effects, arriving alongside a post-launch update.
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Diablo IV and More Getting NVIDIA Support

Speaking of NVIDIA, the company also announces more titles that will support NVIDIA Reflex and DLSS 3. Word is the headline game is Diablo IV: "Previously, Blizzard announced that ray tracing will be added to Diablo IV post-launch to enhance your endless battles. Today, we can reveal that Diablo IV will feature support for NVIDIA DLSS 3 and Reflex when it launches June 6th!" Check out the Diablo IV - NVIDIA DLSS 3 Announce Trailer for a look. Here are more games that will support special features of GeForce graphics cards:

  • Atomic Heart: Mundfish’s madcap first-person shooter reduces system latency by up to 59% with NVIDIA Reflex, and using NVIDIA DLSS 3 players can multiply performance.
  • THE FINALS: Embark Studios’ innovative free-to-play shooter is available in closed beta until March 22nd, before officially launching later this year. In the beta, you can reduce system latency by up to 55% with Reflex, accelerate performance with DLSS 3, and enhance the game’s RTXGI global illumination lighting with ray tracing. For more details and an RTX video, head on over to our dedicated THE FINALS Closed Beta article.
  • Forza Horizon 5: Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best-rated open-world racing games of all time, enabling players to blast through a highly-detailed and authentic Mexico setting, in everything from everyday vehicles to the world’s greatest hypercars. On March 28th, a new update races onto PCs everywhere, bringing with it support for NVIDIA DLSS 3 and NVIDIA Reflex. When activated, DLSS 3 enables GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs to break the 120 FPS barrier at 4K.
  • Redfall: NVIDIA and Bethesda have partnered to bring our full slate of game-changing technologies to Redfall, an open-world, co-op FPS from Arkane Austin, the award-winning team behind Prey and Dishonored. Reduce system latency with Reflex, accelerate performance with DLSS 3, and marvel at ray-traced effects arriving post-launch.
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Unreal Editor For Fortnite Next Week

The Epic Games Store is promising the release of the Unreal Editor For Fortnite on March 22nd. As the title suggests, this is a special version of the Unreal Engine editor that will allow players to develop and publish their own maps directly in Fortnite. Here's more on this chance to exercise your creativity:
Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) is a new PC application for designing, developing, and publishing games and experiences directly into Fortnite. With many of Unreal Engine 5’s powerful tools and workflows at your fingertips, including custom asset import, modeling, materials and VFX, Sequencer and Control Rig, you’ll have a whole new world of options for producing and publishing games and experiences for Fortnite that can be enjoyed by millions of players.

UEFN works side-by-side with Fortnite’s existing Creative toolset, and teams of creators can work together across PC and console to develop and test islands in real-time.

Also included is the new programming language Verse. It offers powerful customization capabilities such as manipulating or chaining together devices and the ability to easily create new game logic.

Goons: Legends & Mayhem Announced

Firestoke and RageCure Games announce Goons: Legends & Mayhem a hockey game coming to PC and consoles this year. The title reflects the game's focus on the rougher aspects of the sport, though it doesn't reflect that the game is about hockey, which seems like an odd choice. The Announce Trailer shows this is a 3v3 variation on the sport, but it also shows downhill skiing hockey, Zamboni demolition derby, and other imaginative modes that will have you asking Gordie Howe did we get here? Word is: "Following in the footsteps of titles like Mario Strikers and Windjammers, Goons: Legends & Mayhem brings cartoon brawling action to the sport of hockey, delivering fun multiplayer matches where outrageous special abilities are key to your goal of getting the puck into the net." Here's more:
Supporting 1-6 players, Goons: Legends & Mayhem is a 3 vs 3 hockey action game with a variety of PvE and PvP modes, including a full story campaign. Players can choose from one of eight characters divided into 3 classes - the attack focused sharpshooter, the defense oriented enforcer and the wingman, a wildcard that can either focus on supporting their team, or act as a constant pain in the neck of the opponents. Each character has their own special ability, including explosive mines, freezing opponents in a cube of ice and teleportation, adding an element of cartoony brawling to this hockey title where teamwork is the key to success.

Goons: Legends & Mayhem story campaign takes players on a varied journey across ice rinks nestled in forests, to floating ice rinks sailing the sea on pirate ships as they try to stop the Great Mascoteer’s mission to ruin hockey for everyone. On this adventure, players will encounter bosses to defeat, collectibles, character upgrades, and cool cosmetic unlockables.
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Surviving the Aftermath - Rebirth

Surviving the Aftermath - Rebirth is now available on Steam and consoles, adding DLC with more of the aftermath of Surviving the Aftermath, the apocalyptic colony-builder for Windows. A new developer diary digs deep into all that went into this and all that it brings to the game. This includes terraforming and a fungal infection that might spell the last of us. The Release Trailer takes a look. Here's more:
For the longest time, you strived to survive the aftermath on planet Earth. Now, thanks to your knowledge, skills, and leadership, you can finally look forward to a new chapter for humankind. “Rebirth” is your mantra, your goal, the dream that will make you overcome old and new challenges, for your survivors and all humanity.

After decades of exposure to radioactive pollution, a new infestation called Blight has emerged. Mutated fungi have started to infect the animals, causing them to become aggressive and dangerous. This infection has spread through the wasteland and is threatening to take over. You will need to find a cure for the Blight to defend against it. Gather Blight samples, study them in a new research building and make discoveries to unlock new buildings, resources, and upgrades.
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Penny Larceny: Gig Economy Supervillain Announced

Fiction Factory Games announces Penny Larceny: Gig Economy Supervillain, a comic book-style adventure based on modern economics coming "soon" to Steam. Here's an Announcement Trailer showing the game in action, especially if you consider reading to be action. Here's more on the game, which one can only presume was made by gig economy freelancers:
In Penny Larceny, players take on the role of a voice inside the head of a master thief who must navigate a criminal underworld using a new app named Crimr, designed to make it easier for villains to contract henchmen and women. That voice's influence on Penny's decisions may lead to a wide range of outcomes. Will Penny rule the world, or will they save it?

Penny Larceny takes the player on a thrilling journey through the world of capes and masks, where they'll encounter a wide range of interesting characters, from a computer filled with hate to cult leaders and their very own feline companion.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Out of the Blue

I Love Coffee, but I Gave It Up for MudWtr. Don’t Make My Mistake (thanks Neutronbeam). Holy cow, that was painful to read. I'm not a big fan of mushrooms to start with, so this holds that much less appeal for me than for most. I suspect these 'shrooms may be hallucinogenic too, as the end of the article includes a recommendation for decaffeinated coffee. I hope the author eventually makes a full recovery.

Trippy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links


Thanks Max.



Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 Beware the Ides of March

Ghostwire: Tokyo Spider's Thread Next Month

A post on Xbox Wire from Bethesda Softworks announces Ghostwire: Tokyo is coming to Xbox on April 12th. This will come along with a new update called Spider's Thread that will also come to the Windows and PlayStation editions of Tango Gameworks' action/adventure. What to expect from this is hinted in a brief, but intense Teaser Trailer. Here's more on what's being called the "definitive Ghostwire: Tokyo experience":
Available as a free update, the Spider’s Thread update adds more to explore in haunted streets of Tokyo, including new content, improvements and an all-new game mode!

Take on the Spider’s Thread mode and test your skills as well as play new quests in the main game, capture a souvenir with an enhanced Photo Mode, explore the all-new Middle School area, pull out new combat moves like the Quick Dodge or Charge Rush attack, and so much more! With the Spider’s Thread update, players will get to have the definitive Ghostwire: Tokyo experience.
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The Wreck Released

The Wreck is now available for PC and consoles, and the Windows/macOS edition can be found on Steam. This 3D visual novel from Pixel Hunt is about trauma and grief. Word is: "In this 3D visual novel, follow failed screenwriter Junon as she attempts to make it through the most pivotal day in her life. Relive the past, alter the present, and embrace the future, or without your help, Junon’s story might end in a wreck." These serious topics are introduced in the Launch Trailer. Here's more:
At 36, Junon’s life is in pieces: her career has stalled, she’s emotionally numb, and her personal life is falling apart. Things come to a head when she’s called to the ER to find her estranged mother in a critical condition. This is the most important day of Junon’s life, and unless something changes, it might be her last.
Continue here to read the full story.

Google Play Games on PC Expanding

The Android Developers Blog has details on the expansion of Google Play Games on PC program. It's good to expand the games ecosystem, though we'd be more excited about ways to put PC games on mobile devices, rather than vice versa. Here's a bit:

  • Google Play Games on PC is expanding to more regions and including more games loved by billions of users worldwide. The program will be expanding to Japan and countries in Europe in the next couple of months and adding several new games including Garena Free Fire, Ludo King, and MapleStory M.
  • Through our partnership with Intel, we’re making it easier to join Google Play Games on PC with an existing mobile build. While fully optimized games still offer the best experience for users and qualify for unique cross-platform marketing and promotion, we now offer the option to submit your existing mobile build in the meantime to reach players faster. So if your mobile game already plays well on desktop, you can express interest now to join Google Play Games.

F1 2020 Delisted

The Steam Listing for F1 2020 indicates this Formula One racing game is no longer for sale. The game's DLC is still available, but the game seems to have been delisted. There's no further explanation beyond this brusque note:
Notice: F1® 2020 is no longer available on the Steam store.

Cities: Skylines Final DLC Plans

Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order lay out plans for the final bits of DLC for Cities: Skylines. A set of content packs and radio stations are coming on March 22nd and a second set of content packs and a "mini expansion" will follow in May. This comes amid the celebration of the eighth anniversary of the release of the city-builder and the preparations to launch its sequel. Cities: Skylines II is expected later this year, but support for the first game is expected to continue throughout 2023 as well. The Last Stops I Announcement Trailer illustrates the news. This post has the details. Here's an overview:
Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order today announced the roadmap for the last content packs and Radio Stations coming to Cities: Skylines as the team prepares for its highly-anticipated sequel. The final countdown starts with three Content Creator Packs and Radio Stations releasing on March 22 , followed by a second set of content packs and a mini expansion from Colossal Order in May. While the final expansion, Content Creator Packs, and Radio Stations are on their way, Colossal Order intends to continue general support for Cities: Skylines through the rest of the year.

“These eight years of Cities: Skylines have been incredible. It’s truly an amazing journey filled with heartfelt stories from our community and evolving the game into the genre-defining title it is today,” Mariina Hallikainen, CEO of Colossal Order, said. “As we look forward to the future, we are preparing to say our final farewells to Cities: Skylines with a strong line up of content throughout the Spring. Cities players have a lot to be excited about in the coming months with a lot of free content expanding upon existing content and a final expansion from us at Colossal Order.”
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Rightfully, Beary Arms Demo

Rightfully, Beary Arms is a bullet hell shooter coming later this year from Daylight Basement Studio. This is being shown off next week at PAX East, but there's also a playable Windows demo right now on Steam. The PAX East 2023 shows off the game's retro graphics and the kind of carnage a bear with a gun can wreak. Here's word:
Honey, we're home and we brought plenty of ammunition! Guide Beary, a gun-toting teddy on a mission to purge waves of wacky alien scum. Navigate the open cosmos in true dungeon-crawling fashion. Cock a weapon of choice to obliterate mobs of sneaky space spiders, pistol-wielding bumble bees, and fierce Yellow Jacket bosses, each with unique traits in this lively 2D top-down adventure.

Strategically plan a path to success fursomely clearing rooms of mobs, in cute fuzzy style. Unleash a bearrage of lead and lasers, eliminating waves of aggressively quirky creatures to the beat of an original chiptune nu-metal soundtrack. When the dust settles, pawcure random loot drops carrying honey money, barbearic buffs, weapons, and other helpful items.
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Touhou: New World Announced

XSEED Games announces Touhou: New World, a bullet hell shooter coming to PC and Switch this (northern) summer, and to PlayStation at some point after that. The Announcement Trailer starts off looking like a serene walk in the park before the bullets start flying. Word is this is a fan-created follow up to Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. Here's a bit:
Touhou: New World returns players to Gensokyo, a supernatural world that both humans and the spirits known as youkai call home. While far from idyllic, life for residents is relatively uneventful; that is until the mystical barrier protecting it is breached by an outsider harboring an obsession with the supernatural realm, bringing chaos to both Gensokyo and the world beyond. It’s up to shrine maiden Reimu and her magician friend Marisa to uncover the true source of the chaos and restore peace to both worlds, dodging magical bullet barrages and battling a menagerie of mystical creatures along the way!
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Beware the Ides of March! And, of course, beware the one-hit wonder. So I completed my campaign in DOOM (2016) yesterday. It's been great getting my game on again. I'm very pleased at the recovery of my hand and elbow, as I can now withstand lengthy play sessions once again with little difficulty. I had a really great time with the game throughout. It had a lot of the original DOOM to it without that being a burden. In keeping with the original concept, if not execution, I especially appreciated the setups for combat that forced you to go Rambo instead of being able to kite monsters around to kill them individually. And the environments were incredible. The vast Martian foundry complex and the Hell levels were amazing. But I will say it is frustrating that the game doesn't always follow its own navigation rules since a key element is hunting for secrets. There are plenty of objects and barriers you should be able to access or traverse, only to encounter invisible walls. On the other hand I loved the ability to go back and scour for secrets you missed as part of your ongoing campaign. It gave a clever diversion from progressing the main campaign at times. I played the whole way on Ultra-Violence, stubbornly fighting through the fact that my reflexes are not what they once were (not that I was never a very exceptional player to begin with). I'm not a big achievement chaser, but I was disappointed there wasn't one for the difficulty level. In the end I would have gotten the same achievement for completing the campaign on the easy mode. The whole experience was great enough that I am disappointed there is no DLC, which I guess is an outgrowth of the whole SnapMap dealie. DOOM Eternal seems like an entirely different game, so I'm trying to decide if I'll play that next.

Obituary: Model Jeff Thomas Dead By Suspected Suicide at 35.

Doomed Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link






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