Archived News:

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Unreal Engine 5 Videos

A couple of new videos from Epic's State of Unreal Technical Showcase show off new features in upcoming games powered by Unreal Engine 5. The trailer for Lords of the Fallen highlights advanced character customization, real time lighting of complex environments, and other advances. There's also a State of Unreal Trailer for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II looking at next-level real-time facial animation that jumps clean over the uncanny valley. Word is:
We're pushing the boundaries of realtime facial animation in Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, as showcased at GDC 2023 with Unreal Engine.
Continue here to read the full story.

Unreal Editor For Fortnite and Creator Economy 2.0 Launch

A blog post from Epic announces the first beta of the promised Unreal Editor For Fortnite is now available for free on the Epic Games Store (Fortnite, which is also free, is required). The post also explains this marks the launch of Creator Economy 2.0, a way for Fortnite content creators to share in the revenue generated by their creations. Here's a new trailer with a look at how this will allow you to exercise your creativity in the battle royale/survival shooter. Here's more:
Engagement payouts proportionally distribute 40% of the net revenue from Fortnite’s Item Shop and most real-money Fortnite purchases to all island publishers on a monthly basis. Payouts are based on what players enjoy in Fortnite and account for things like island popularity, engagement, and attracting new players.

Engagement payout funds are separate from Support-A-Creator, and are designed to reward island creators who publish content in Fortnite. We’ve removed the Support-A-Creator device from the game entirely, which means creators can focus on developing fun and engaging experiences without asking you to use their Creator Code. Every time you play your favorite island or game in Fortnite, you are supporting its creator monetarily, no code required!

To learn more about Creator Economy 2.0 and engagement payouts, or to join the Island Creator program, please visit the Creator Portal.
Continue here to read the full story.

King Arthur: Legends Rise Announced

Kabam Games announces King Arthur: Legends Rise, a squad-based RPG coming to PC via Steam and to mobiles with crossplay support. This doesn't yet have a release date, but one will be announced later this year. This will be set in a version of Camelot reimagined using the Unreal Engine 5, and as the title suggests, will feature the adventures of a younger Arthur. An Early Preview Trailer accompanies the announcement with a first look. Here's more:
Embark on an action-packed, turn-based RPG adventure that takes you on a dark and mysterious journey inspired by the perilous adventures of a young King Arthur. Gather a party of loyal knights and warriors to defeat the fearsome enemies that threaten the kingdom. Explore a vast, interactive world and collect powerful Arthurian heroes to build an unbeatable team. Equip your heroes with the best weapons and gear, and upgrade them to face even greater challenges. Prepare to engage in visually stunning squad battles against epic bosses and mythical monsters. Will you be able to vanquish your enemies and restore the kingdom to its former glory?
Continue here to read the full story.

Bat Boy in May

X PLUS and Sonzai Games announce Bat Boy, a throwback platformer coming to Windows and consoles on May 25th. This trailer shows off the game's 8-bit style and reveals that the bat in question is Louisville Slugger, rather than a flying mammal. But you don't have to wait in the on-deck circle, as there's a playable demo right now on Steam. The description reminds us that it's all fun and games until your teammates are brainwashed into participating in the Trials of Darkness:
Ryosuke isn't just your regular high-school kid — Ryosuke is Bat Boy! He and his fellow sports-star friends secretly battle against the evil invading forces of interdimensional mage Lord Vicious, hellbent on hosting sinister athletic events for his own amusement. When Lord Vicious brainwashes Bat Boy’s fellow squad in order to participate in the Trials of Darkness, it’s up to Bat Boy to traverse a hostile world on his quest to free the minds of his sports-hero squad before they fall victim to the Trials. Along the way, Bat Boy will encounter all manner of allies and goons as he fights his way to the final confrontation with Lord Vicious.
Continue here to read the full story.

Counter-Strike 2 Announced

Valve announces Counter-Strike 2, officially taking the lid off of what has become a poorly-kept secret of late, though all the leaks may have just been viral marketing. This new era for the multiplayer first-person shooter will officially begin this summer, but limited playtesting is underway right now. Check out this FAQ for details on how to join the test. Key takeaways are that the game is being remade using the Source 2 engine, and players will retain all the items they've earned playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The new version will also include new features, which will be announced closer to the launch. But the Counter-Strike Website has first details and videos showing off some of what's new. Here's a summary:
CS2 is a free upgrade to CS:GO, marking the start a new era of Counter-Strike on Valve's Source 2 engine. The game's full range of new features will be announced at launch, but during the limited testing period we'll be evaluating a subset of those features to get it ready for the worldwide release.

Here's some of what CS2 will mean for players:

  • Upgraded and overhauled maps
  • Game-changing dynamic smoke grenades
  • Tick-rate-independent gameplay
  • Redesigned visual effects and audio
  • All of a player's CS:GO items go with them to CS2

Redfall Online Requirement May Be Removed

Developer Arkane says "we listen" in response to complaints following the recent reveleation that Redfall will require an online connection, even for the single-player campaign. Game director Harvey Smith discusses the controversy with Eurogamer, saying he's "not supposed to promise anything," but that the company is "looking into" the online requirement, and is "working actively toward fixing that in the future." The conversation addresses accusations that this was to sell more stuff, but Harvey says the game will have no store and no microtransactions. He explains the online requirement is intended to collect metrics on the player experience:
So why be online if you're not with other people? Smith said the game was designed that way to better help Arkane understand how people were playing it, and when they got into difficulty.

"It allows us to do some accessibility stuff," Smith said. "It allows us for telemetry, like - if everybody's falling off ladders and dying, holy shit that shows up. And so we can go and tweak the ladder code. There are reasons we set out to do that that are not insidious."

Amazon Luna Expands

Amazon announces the chance for more gamers to become lunatics, saying Amazon Luna has expanded beyond the United States. The Luna Blog says the cloud gaming service is now also available in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. Word is: "Amazon Prime members can play a rotating selection of games on Luna at no additional cost. Prime members can also link their Ubisoft Connect account to Luna, and play select Ubisoft PC games they already own on their Fire TV or other compatible devices." Here's more:
Starting today, we’re excited to bring Amazon Luna to everyone in Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, making it easy to instantly start gaming on select devices that you already own, including Fire TV. Gamers in the U.S. have been enjoying Luna for the past year and we’re thrilled to expand the service, giving more customers the opportunity to play high-quality, immersive games without expensive gaming hardware or lengthy downloads.

The Luna Controller is designed and optimized for Luna, connecting directly to the cloud via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to effortlessly control your game and reduce gameplay latency. Thanks to Luna Controller’s technology, gamers can seamlessly switch between compatible screens — such as Fire TV to mobile phone — without additional pairing or configuration changes. The Luna Controller is now available in Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Morning Multiplex

Official trailer.

Morning Legal Briefs

Out of the Blue

I have to hand it to Acleacius, who immediately came up with the theory that the brain fog I mentioned yesterday could be allergy-related. I don't have severe allergies, but I do have problems every spring, so I believe he's correct. I'm not completely clogged, but now that I'm thinking about it, I'm aware of my scratchy eyes/throat and slightly stuffy ears/eyes. I'm pretty sensitive to OTC antihistamines, so it will have to get pretty bad to get me to the point where I pop one of those, but it is still helpful to understand why I've been feeling a bit impaired.

Scratchy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.




Creature Features


Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Ending This Year

Electronic Arts announces the sun is setting on three Battlefield games on December 8th, so they will be removed from sale on April 28th. One of these, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is available for PC, while the others, Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield 1943, were only released on consoles. An early version of the announcement also said Mirror's Edge would be delisted next month, but a subsequent tweet clarifies this was an error: "An earlier version of this announcement included Mirror's Edge. That was an error. We currently have no plans to remove Mirror’s Edge from digital storefronts." Here's word:
As we close in on 15 years since the release of Battlefield 1943, and Bad Company™ 1 & 2, we are announcing that their journey is coming to an end.

Starting April 28 2023, Battlefield 1943, Battlefield: Bad Company 1 & 2 will be removed from digital storefronts and you will no longer be able to purchase them. This is in preparation for the retirement of the online services for these titles which will happen on December 8 2023. For Bad Company 1 & 2, you can still continue playing them and use their respective offline features, such as the single player campaign. You can also read our FAQ and Service Updates for further information on the retirement of online services.

While these titles hold a special place in our heart, we’re now looking forward to creating new memories alongside you as we shift our focus towards our current and future Battlefield experiences.

Marvel's Midnight Suns: The Hunger Released

The Hunger is now available on Steam, offering new DLC for Marvel's Midnight Suns, the superhero strategy game. This brings Morbius to the game, where hopefully the living vampire (vampyre?) will be more welcome than he was in movie theaters. This new DLC Trailer shows Morbius in action, though this is mostly angry cat poses and zero neck-biting. Here's word:
Morbius slinks into the Abbey as a brand new playable character in Marvel’s Midnight Suns! Available as the third of four releases in the Season Pass, Morbius comes with 11 new Hero Abilities, the Laboratory upgrade, new Hero Skins and Abbey Outfits, and plenty of exciting new team synergies to discover.

Slaking Morbius’ bloodlust in his new story missions won’t come easy—the vampyre outbreak that began with Deadpool and Venom was just the beginning. Now Hydra is infusing undead DNA into its toughest troops to create a squadron of transformed supersoldiers. Morbius hoped to reverse-engineer their traits to create a serum that would let him withstand sunlight—but in the wrong hands, his research could make all of vampyre-kind unstoppable.
Continue here to read the full story.

Edge of Sanity Announced

Publisher Daedalic Entertainment and developer Vixa Games announce Edge of Sanity, a survival/horror adventure coming to Steam later this year. The setting in Alaska during the cold war sounds a bit like The Thing, though H.P. Lovecraft is cited as the project's main influence. The Announcement Trailer is here to axe if you're losing your mind. Here's more:
Edge of Sanity is a survival horror adventure that takes players on numerous story-filled expeditions in the nightmarish wilderness of Alaska during the Cold War. Explore the unexplainable but don´t lose your sanity, while trying to scrounge up food and supplies to survive another day in a remote mountain valley. Protect yourself from vicious Lovecraftian beasts with anything you can find. Try to uncover the secrets of the mysterious local cult, find out what happened to a missing crew of scientists and hang on to your humanity.
Continue here to read the full story.

Candle Knight in May

Developer Dracma Studios announces May 31st is the new release date for Candle Knight, a metroidvania set in a derelict castle. The game was supposed to arrive in January, but the delay is not acknowledged or explained. Word is: "Having started development back in 2019, the launch is the culmination of Dracma’s hard work refining and polishing their labor of love over the past three years." This is no John Wick, but the most recent trailer shows off some fast-paced combat. Here's word:
Set against the backdrop of a dark, foreboding castle, players control Candle Knight, a unique hero driven by the power of a powerful flame. With a candle atop their helmet, Candle Knight will illuminate even the darkest corners of the castle, as they fight the dangerous monsters lurking within. Wielding the unique power of the flame, players must discover secrets scattered throughout the castle and overcome the darkness lying at its heart.

Candle Knight mixes action, platforming and puzzle-solving in an riveting adventure inspired by classic metroidvania titles. The game’s unique Ignis dynamic difficulty system provides a distinctive take on the genre by shifting the experience around the player, adapting the challenge level as they progress through the castle.
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On Sale

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Aliens: Dark Descent in June

We haven't heard much about Aliens: Dark Descent since the squad-based action game was announced last June. But now a new Official Gameplay Release Date Trailer offers a look at it in action. It also unveils a release date, saying the game will launch on PC and consoles on June 20th. Here's the description of the clip:
Here's your first look at Aliens: Dark Descent! Check out the first Aliens: Dark Descent gameplay trailer, announcing that the real-time tactical action game will launch on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 20, 2023. Get a look at the upcoming strategy game, which will feature an original story set in the Alien universe. In this gameplay trailer we learn that our ship has crashed onto Planet Lethe, and you'll be investigating a Xenomorph outbreak.

Aliens: Dark Descent challenges us to recruit and level up a squad of Colonial Marines as we explore the dangerous planet. Deploy your team strategically to safely make your way through the zone, but tread carefully as death is permanent.
Continue here to read the full story.

Deceive Inc. Released

We're not going to lie. Deceive Inc. is now available for PC and consoles, offering a multiplayer game of subterfuge set in the deceptively misleading world of espionage. The Windows edition can be found skulking around on the Epic Games Store and Steam, and there are also versions for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 with full crossplay support. Spy the Launch Trailer for an introduction to the game's cast of characters and their frantic pursuit of the game's MacGuffin. Here's an honest assessment of what to expect:
DECEIVE INC. deploys players into the world of high-stakes subterfuge, working for a private corporation with a complete monopoly over the international espionage market. Disguise yourself as anyone you meet in an instant, access state-of-the-art gadgets the rest of the world can only dream of, and possess skills that would make Hollywood super spies jealous. But you are not alone. Rival spies are after the same objective and every single one of them is as skilled, cunning, and well-equipped as you are. Blend in, alone or with your team, grab the objective, and break out. In the end, only the right actions and skills will get you that paycheck.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tchia Released

Tchia is now available for PC and consoles, and you can find the Windows version of this open-world adventure game on the Epic Games Store. There's also a customization pack and an Oléti Edition bundle that includes the DLC. Here's the recent Release Date Trailer with a look, and here's word on this chance to explore the tropics:
Join Tchia on her tropical open-world adventure as she sets off to rescue her father from the cruel tyrant, Meavora, ruler of the archipelago. Climb, glide, swim, and sail your boat around beautiful islands as you explore a physics-driven sandbox. Face the fabric soldiers created by Meavora in open encounters where your creativity gives you the edge. Take control of any animal or object you can find, make new friends and jam on your fully playable Ukulele. A poetic coming-of-age story inspired by New Caledonia.
Continue here to read the full story.

Henry Halfhead Announced

Lululu Entertainment announces Henry Halfhead, an offbeat sandbox adventure that's coming to Steam, though it does not yet have a release date. This puts the player in the role of the game's half-headed hero who has the ability to possess and control any object within reach. It may sound like David Cronenberg level of body-horror, but the Reveal Trailer is less nightmarish than that. At least a bit. Here's more:
Become a knife to slice your morning toast, water your beloved plants as a watering can, and experience how much fun making your bed as bouncy wobbly pillows can be. Unlock new rooms and objects as you progress and grow your surroundings into a joyful playground. Explore each level and try alternative solutions to challenges to discover additional objects and story bits.

Play through a wholesome story, fully voiced by a humorous narrator. Confronted with rules and obligations, Henry loses their playfulness and curiosity for the world while growing up. Overworked and unhappy with their life, Henry decides that it’s time for change. Help Henry to rediscover their playfulness: Experiment, explore and make everyday life fun again!
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Out of the Blue

Ugh with the clock changes! These are always hard on me, but this one has felt particularly rough. I'm only now starting to feel like I'm coming out of a brain fog. Apologies for the couple of careless errors I've made lately that are evidence of my struggles. But spring has sprung, and I feel like I'm snapping out of it. I had a second spring experience yesterday to celebrate, too. I mentioned a mourning dove investigating me as I made coffee in the morning. Later on, in the afternoon, I noticed the heron in the shallows of the pond right near my office patio doors. I went over to check him out, and he ducked below the shoreline. Then took a peek, then ducked, then repeated. Apparently we were playing peek-a-boo! Then he cautiously walked up on shore and walked over to within a couple of feet of the glass to check me out. He hung out there for about 30 seconds as we looked each other over. I didn't want to spoil the moment by scaring him off, so I didn't attempt to capture a photo or video, but it was a pretty magical experience while it lasted.

Foggy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link


Thanks Acleacius.


Creature Features

The Funnies

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