Archived News:

Thursday, Mar 21, 2024

Dragon's Dogma 2 Released

The Windows edition of Dragon's Dogma 2 is now available on Steam. The official release date for the action/RPG sequel is March 22nd, but it's already tomorrow (not to mention five o'clock) somewhere. Here's the recent trailer narrated by Ian McShane, here's a review roundup, and here's word on the highly anticipated release:
Dragon’s Dogma is a single player, narrative driven action-RPG series that challenges the players to choose their own experience – from the appearance of their Arisen, their vocation, their party, how to approach different situations and more. Now, in this long-awaited sequel, the deep, explorable fantasy world of Dragon’s Dogma 2 awaits.

On your journey, you’ll be joined by Pawns, mysterious otherworldly beings, in an adventure so unique you will feel as if accompanied by other players while on your own adventure.

All of these elements are elevated further through physics technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and the latest in graphics, to create a truly immersive fantasy world in Dragon’s Dogma 2.
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INDUSTRIA 2 Announced

GOG.com has the announcement of INDUSTRIA 2, a sequel to the Cold War shooter, which also has listings on the Epic Games Store and Steam. This will feature a return to a parallel dimension East Berlin when it arrives (its current release date is TBA). A first trailer is here with a look, and here's word on how it relates to the previous game (which is not what a prequel is):
Years after the events of the prequel INDUSTRIA, Nora is stuck in a parallel dimension, far away from home. Surviving alone on a peaceful island, an empty apartment building in a vast sea of hostile solitude, she constructs a machine to return to her home dimension: 1989 East Berlin. Just before she completes the year-long project, a chain of unforeseen consequences pulls her back into the pulsating heart of the artificial intelligence ATLAS. Nora soon comes to the realization that she cannot evade her past and must face the haunting responsibility that lies within it – her involvement in the creation of the uncontrollable A.I.
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BATTLE CRUSH Beta Underway

The promised second global beta test is underway for BATTLE CRUSH, NCSOFT's upcoming action brawler for PC, Switch, and mobile. You can request access to the PC testing on Steam. Here's a trailer and here's what to expect:
In this second global beta test, players will be able to experience the enhanced gameplay of BATTLE CRUSH, now significantly improved thanks to your feedback from the first beta. Key upgrades include an enhanced PC control using keyboard and mouse, redesigned lobby UI for seamless interaction, added rewards system that makes defeating enemies even more satisfying and eased the difficulty of stamina management.

BATTLE CRUSH offers a thrilling action battle brawler where players fight to be the last one standing on ever-shrinking battlefields, filled with enemies. You will be able to pick characters of your choice from various gods and mythological creatures, called Calixers, to dominate the arena and overwhelm your enemies. Put your skill set to the test through a diverse array of Calixers, each offering unique play styles to explore. Strike down your foes and be crowned victorious in the heat of an epic battle!
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Dead Island 2 SoLa Expansion Next Month

Deep Silver announces SoLa is coming to Dead Island 2, the zombie sequel that taught us Los Angeles is an island. But just because LA is now HELL-A after being overrun by zombies doesn't mean you can't rock out, so this centers on the SoLa music festival. And to be fair, simply being infested with undead probably won't be enough to break into any worst music festival lists. Here's word:
Dead Island 2’s second story expansion – SoLA – is bringing deadly beats to Xbox and PlayStation – and on PC via the Epic Games Store – on April 17.

Stage dive into the heart of SoLA, the ultimate Californian music festival, built upon ancient grounds. Stalking the pulsating heart of LA's final rave is a psychedelic beat that has unleashed total chaos, leaving nothing but a rotting crater of gore and a malevolent presence haunting the shadows. Something is out there and it’s still hungry.

Renamed Stellaris Nexus Next Month

Paradox Interactive and Whatboy Games announce Nexus 5X will launch on Steam on April 18th, offering the official release of the game that entered Early Access late last year under the title Stellaris Nexus. There's no explanation of why the Stellaris branding was dropped, as the main focus of the announcement is to stress how this game is designed to allow groups of eight to complete multiplayer matches in about an hour. That's remarkably fast for a 4X strategy game, which explains the claim of being the world’s first 5X game: Explore, Exploit, Expand, Exterminate, EXPRESS (4E and 5E apparently just don't have the same ring). Here's more:
Paradox Interactive and Whatboy Games today announced at the Future Games Show that Nexus 5X will launch for PC via Steam on April 18, 2024. This fast-paced, competitive, social-strategy title challenges players to ascend victorious as the new Galactic Emperor in single or multiplayer matches playable from start to finish in around one hour, making Nexus 5X the world’s first 5X game: Explore, Exploit, Expand, Exterminate, EXPRESS.

Originally announced as Stellaris Nexus, the title launched into Steam Early Access on Dec. 12, 2023. Nexus 5X is focused on taking all of the deep strategy, tense diplomatic drama, and epic military encounters that typify the 4X single-player scene and concentrates those gameplay elements into a competitive, short-run format perfect for game night, allowing groups of up to eight players to complete a full playthrough together in only about 60 minutes.
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Panzer Corps 2: Frontlines - Bulge DLC Released

New Bulge DLC is now available for Windows on GOG.com* and Steam, adding new content to Panzer Corps 2: Frontlines, the World War 2 strategy sequel from Flashback Games and Slitherine. Braving all the "or are you just happy to see me" jokes, Bulge takes players to the Ardennes Forest for the famed Battle of the Bulge. For a look at what to expect we have a 2 Minutes Trailer that's even shorter than its title suggests, appropriate since it focuses on the "shorter, yet intense campaigns" in this "brand new chapter in the saga." Here's more on this chance to dig in with the battered bastards of Bastogne:
The Bulge DLC is the first expansion within Panzer Corps 2’s all-new Frontlines chapter. This thrilling new saga will feature short, but intense, scenarios that showcase some of World War II’s most pivotal battles in greater detail. This approach grants players can unprecedented level of detail, allowing them to vividly relive key moments of history.

Starting a few days before the fateful date of 16th December 1944, the Bulge DLC begins with a smaller-scale US attack on the border between Belgium and Germany. This introductory battle serves as a manageable, yet thrilling experience, allowing players to acclimate to the game's mechanics and storyline. As the campaign progresses, it sets the stage for a dramatic turn of events—a surprise German offensive that adds layers of complexity and excitement to the gameplay.
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New Intel Arc Graphics Driver

An Intel Arc & Iris Xe Graphics Update brings new version 31.0.101.5379 Intel Graphics Driver for running Intel Arc A-Series Graphics, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and Processors with Intel Arc Graphics under Windows. There is an extensive list of gaming performance improvements these provide, along with this list of newly supported games:
GAMING HIGHLIGHTS:

Intel® Game On Driver support on Intel® Arc™ A-series Graphics GPUs for:

  • Diablo IV Ray Tracing Update
  • Dragon’s Dogma 2
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Legend of the Condor Heroes

2024 GDC Awards

The winners of this year's Game Developers Choice Awards are now listed on the Game Developers Conference Website. In news that will not shock many, Baldur's Gate 3 was declared Game of the Year, which is not the only GotY honor for Larian's RPG sequel. All the winners are highlighted in this video. Here are all the honorees:

  • Best Debut - Venba (Visai Games)
  • Best Visual Art - Alan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment / Epic Games)
  • Best Audio - Hi-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks / Bethesda Softworks)
  • Best Narrative - Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Social Impact Award - Venba (Visai Games)
  • Innovation Award - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo)
  • Best Technology - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo)
  • Best Design - Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Audience Award - Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Game of the Year - Baldur's Gate 3 (Larian Studios)
  • Ambassador Award - Fawzi Mesmar
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Yoko Shimomura
Continue here to read the full story.

2024 IGF Awards

The Game Developers Conference Website also has a rundown on all the winners at the 2024 Independent Games Festival Awards. Visai Games' narrative cooking game Venba took home the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game. Word is: "Venba is a narrative cooking game in which players experience life as an Indian mom who has immigrated to Canada with her family in the 1980s. Players cook various dishes and restore lost recipes, hold branching conversations and explore in this story about family, love, loss and more. In addition to the Grand Prize, Venba was also nominated in the Excellence in Audio, Narrative and Visual Art categories." Here's an Awards Winners Montage Video and the list of winners:

  • Excellence in Visual Art ($2,000) - Phonopolis (Amanita Design)
  • Excellence in Audio ($2,000) - Rhythm Doctor (7th Beat Games)
  • Excellence in Design ($2,000) - Cryptmaster (Paul Hart & Lee Williams)
  • Excellence in Narrative ($2,000) - Mediterranea Inferno (EYEGUYS)
  • Nuovo Award ($2,000) - Anthology of the Killer (Thecatamites, Tommy Tone, A. Degen)
  • Best Student Game ($2,000) - Once Upon a Jester (Bonte Avond)
  • Audience Award ($2,000) - RAM: Random Access Mayhem (Xylem Studios)
  • alt.ctrl.gdc Award ($2,000) - Chú Mó by The Chú Mó Team @ ArtCenter
  • Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($10,000) - Venba (Visai Games)
Continue here to read the full story.

BattleJuice Alchemist Early Access

Early Access to BattleJuice Alchemist is now underway for Windows on the Epic Games Store and Steam, offering an action/RPG that will test your reflexes and your alchemy. The Early Access Trailer has a look at what to expect, and there's also a playable demo on Steam to check out. Here's the juice:
Join our protagonist, Juice, the Alchemist, on a journey through the wilds of New England, battling demonic hordes and uncovering the secrets of the Crossroads. This exciting Early Access launch unveils a host of new features and mechanics for players to conquer. Build your alchemical tower, a bastion of light amidst the encroaching darkness, and harness its power to turn the tide of battle in your favour. Explore new lands around the new story locations and uncover their hidden treasures and dangers. Dynamic day-night cycles will affect enemy behaviour, and an array of new items, perks, magic rituals and abilities wait to be discovered.

During the Early Access journey, Alchemical Works will work with the community to gather feedback to support their ongoing development roadmap and introduce additional content and updates to fully bring the wonderful world of BattleJuice Alchemist to life.

Enotria: The Last Song in August

Enotria: The Last Song now has a release date, as Jyamma Games says its soulslike action/RPG will arrive on August 21st on the Epic Games Store and Steam for PC and for PlayStation 5. An Xbox version will be considered after the launch as there's an odd note saying it is an afterthought "in the interest of ensuring a superior experience for PC and PS5 players." A new Gameplay Trailer is here to celebrate the news, and word is a playable demo is "coming soon." Here's the description of the game:
Enotria: The Last Song is an Action RPG Soulslike, inspired off Italian folklore and culture, set in a fantasy world that invites players to wear role-altering masks and wield the power of Ardore to unravel the secrets of a land stuck in an endless play. As the Mask of Change, players will face formidable foes and alter reality to free unwilling actors from a twisted eternal script not of their making.

FEATURES

  • Wield Ardore to alter the world around you
  • Stay on the offensive with quicksteps and chainable parries
  • Strike foes to charge powerful magical Lines
  • Strategically swap between up to three Loadouts at any time
  • Break an enemies posture for a devastating attack, granting you a mighty Awakened buff
  • Reveal the secrets of Enotria to gain Inspiration & unlock new perks in the Path of Innovators

Broken Roads Next Month

Broken Roads has a new release date, as tinyBuild announces that after a delay, this party-based RPG will hit the road for Windows on April 10th on the Epic Game Store, GOG.com, and Steam, as well as for PlayStation, and Xbox. A new Release Date Trailer celebrates the news with a look at gameplay. Here's word on this game where Western Australia is as dangerous as the outback:
Born of a love for traditional computer role-playing from franchises such as Pillars of Eternity, Disco Elysium, Fallout, Wasteland, Tyranny, Pathfinder, and Baldur's Gate, Broken Roads provides a rich, engaging narrative in which players make their way across a desolated future Australia. Blending together traditional and all-new role-playing elements on top of a classless system offering nearly unlimited character development options, Broken Roads presents players with an original morality system: the Moral Compass. This novel design sees dialogue options and questing decisions influence, and be influenced by, a character's philosophical leaning.
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Gas Station Simulator: Tidal Wave DLC Released

New Tidal Wave DLC is now available on Steam for the Windows and macOS edition of Gas Station Simulator, the, you know, gas station simulator. Since the three keys to business are location, location, location, in this you use your business acumen to make a go of a gas station on nearly abandoned tropical island. Here's the Launch Trailer, and here's an attempt to make sense of this:
Oversee a prospective gas station and transform a nearly abandoned tropical island into a flourishing destination for locals and tourists. Manage building expansion and renovations to establish a fuel-driven empire. Earn the trust of temperamental god Chunchumachu through various tasks and by making offerings with coconuts, seashells, and other items. Anger Chunchumachu or neglect responsibilities to face the god’s wrathful flames.

Keep the island clean, maintain a thriving business, and minimize danger. Expand the scope of business with exploration services such as scuba diving and surfboard rentals. Protect patrons from a massive megalodon roaming the nearby waters by taking potshots with a hand cannon. Set sail for a tropical paradise and breathe new life into the island’s community.
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On Sale

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Issues & Activism

Get Call of the Wild: The Angler and Atom Eve for Free

It's Thursday, so it's time for the Epic Games Store to cycle in the new offerings in its seemingly never-ending weekly game giveaway campaign. As of now everyone is entitled to snag free copies of Call of the Wild: The Angler and Invincible Presents: Atom Eve. These will be permanent additions to your hopefully permanent Epic library as long as you act by next week. That's when Islets will become the next giveaway. Here's a refresher on today's freebies:
From the creators of theHunter: Call of the Wild comes an open world fishing experience! Relax and unwind at your favorite spot or explore the beautiful great outdoors with friends as you embark on the journey to become a master angler.

Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is the first original Invincible game from Skybound Games, the creator-led company behind Invincible and The Walking Dead. Experience an original story with striking art directed by Rossi Gifford and creative direction by award-winning writer Jill Murray, and explore the life of Atom Eve in a world filled with beloved characters. Based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley.

Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition Released

PlayStation.Blog announces the launch of Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition for PC, offering Windows gamers the chance to play the previously PlayStation-exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn sequel. This can be picked up on the Epic Games Store and Steam. There's no launch discount, but Steam is offering a reward for linking your Steam and PlayStation accounts. This page outlines the PC enhancements in this edition, and a Launch Trailer takes a look. Here's more:
Horizon Forbidden West continues six months after the events of the critically acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn. Vicious superstorms rage. The land is dying. Machine hunter Aloy has traveled west to investigate the source of a mysterious blight that ravages the remnants of humanity. In these uncharted lands, she will meet strange new tribes and face ever more deadly colossal machines. Together with old friends and new companions, she must brave this awe-inspiring frontier to find the answers she needs, halt the biosphere’s imminent collapse, and save life on Earth.

Unlocked frame rates, ultra-wide support up to 48:9 resolutions and performance-enhancing technologies including NVIDIA DLSS 3 AI-powered upscaling and frame generation allow PC players to experience Aloy’s journey in its full glory on compatible hardware. NVIDIA DLAA is available to help maximize image quality. The game also comes with NVIDIA Reflex, reducing system latency and improving gameplay responsiveness. Intel XeSS and AMD FSR 2.2 upscaling is also supported. The team at Nixxes is working on an update to add AMD FSR 3 with frame generation.
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US Files Apple Antitrust Lawsuit

The US Justice Department is going after Apple in a landmark antitrust lawsuit. If you're hearing cheering from Cary, NC, that's because this is pretty similar to Epic Games' 2020 lawsuit. It accuses Apple of anticompetitive practices to maintain its position in the smartphone market, citing both App Store policy and third-party access to iPhone hardware as primary concerns. Here's what the Feds say Apple is doing wrong, along with Apple's explanation that it's all part of its "magical experience":
“By stifling these technologies, and many others,” Thursday’s complaint says, “Apple reinforces the moat around its smartphone monopoly not by making its products more attractive to users, but by discouraging innovation that threatens Apple’s smartphone monopoly.”

Apple, in a statement, said the lawsuit would hinder its ability to make the compelling and consumer-friendly technology that have made the company one of the most valuable in the world.

“At Apple, we innovate every day to make technology people love – designing products that work seamlessly together, protect people’s privacy and security, and create a magical experience for our users,” the company said in its statement. “This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets.”
Continue here to read the full story.

AFK Journey Next Week

Lilith Games and Farlight Games announce AFK Journey, a free-to-play fantasy RPG sequel to AFK Arena coming to PC and mobiles on March 27th. This will be global with the following exceptions: "This official release of AFK Journey is temporarily not open to players in the following regions: China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam." The game is being shown off this weekend at PAX East, but for those not attending, there's also an Official Release Trailer with a musical cinematic introduction to the sequel. Here's word:
Developed by Lilith Games and published by Farlight Games (the studios behind hit titles AFK Arena, Call of Dragons, Rise of Kingdoms, and Dislyte), AFK Journey combines the best of casual open-world RPGs, strategic gacha battle games, and idle games. Set in the familiar world of the popular AFK Arena, the sequel is bigger and better than its predecessor in every way — offering fans and new players alike an approachable yet deeply satisfying RPG experience with gorgeous visuals.
Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Adrenalin Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new version 24.3.1 AMD Software Adrenalin Edition Windows drivers. As seen in the Release Notes, these add new game support for three games and expanded HYPR-Tune support for four more:
New Feature Highlights

  • New Game Support
    • Dragon's Dogma 2
    • Horizon Forbidden West™ Complete Edition
    • Outpost: Infinity Siege
  • Expanded HYPR-Tune Support
    • Dragon's Dogma 2
    • Diablo® IV
    • Ghostrunner 2
    • Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Age of Water Demo

Things are starting to heat up for Age of Water, as Three Whales Studio announces Age of Water is turning to Steam on April 18th, offering an online adventure set on a postapocalyptic Earth covered in water. A sea-world, for lack of a better term that doesn't require any additional licensing. Here's the previous Steam Announcement Trailer with a look. But you can get your feet wet with this in Age of Water: The First Voyage, a playable prologue that's now available for Windows. Word is this starts you off right at your humble beginnings:
The First Voyage begins with the main character arriving in a small inflatable boat in the sector where the main events of Age of Water take place. In the prologue, you will meet the first members of your crew, try out several gunboats and weapon systems, fight a huge boss and retrieve valuable artifacts from the bottom of the sea. Your game progress in the prologue will be saved - you will be able to continue your journey from the same point in the full version of Age of Water.
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Revival: Recolonization Demo

A new playable demo for Revival: Recolonization is now available on Steam. This 4X strategy game is due to leave Early Access on April 11th and the new demo is here to give a taste of version 1.0. You can play this up to turn 40, but those who already own the game can play this as a beta without limitations. There's also a Full Release Date Trailer with a look. Here's more:
Set in a post-apoc version of Earth, Revival is a 4x strategy game where the world and its rules can change at key moments, creating a deep and highly replayable experience. Explore a transformed planet, negotiate or conquer new territories and bring the light of civilization to regressing human colonies in order to prepare mankind for war with a despotic entity.

Revival generates a vast possibility space for you to play around with. From sudden weather changes to zombie infestations and bans on certain weapon types – boy, you are in for a surprise.
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Lord Ambermaze Demo

Steam now offers a playable Windows demo for Lord Ambermaze, an adventure game with turn-based combat and time manipulation in the works at Potata Company and HeroCraft PC. The Announcement Trailer has a look at gameplay, and the description braces us for what to expect:
Lord Ambermaze has frozen the flow of time to keep his rule over the world, and only the legendary Sword of Motion him. Embark on a long and arduous journey as Zeyn, the young hero who wields the sword, to save the world and free the princess.

Time only moves when the hero does, and it is both your greatest strength and weakness. Use strength and cunning to overcome the challenges that await the hero. Be warned, only well-executed plans will ensure victory over the lord and his minions.
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Union of Gnomes Demo

Another new demo on Steam offers Windows gamers the chance to check out Union of Gnomes, an upcoming narrative adventure. This checks a lot of boxes, as its a deckbuilder, a roguelike, and it subverts a public domain IP by featuring an evil Snow White. Here's the New Demo Trailer and here's more:
The Revolution is nigh! Gnomes are about to break the chains and destroy the oppressive regime. Yet they need a proper leader to excel. Will you be the one?

Behold the flip side of a fairy tale, lead the gnome’s rebellion, stand out against Snow White’s tyranny, defeat her followers, and bring freedom to this land.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Fridge failures: LG says angry owners can't sue, company points to cardboard box is a recent video with a pretty self-explanatory title (thanks RedEye9). We spent some time looking at refrigerators last year after a problem with our ice maker, but bailed on the process when the crappiness of all the choices became overwhelming. It turns out icemakers and other special features are just additional reliability issues, and our fridge is still cold, so we're standing pat. But even in that context, what we saw about those LG units was shocking, as they seem to be trying to solve a problem with its compressors with lawyers rather than engineers. But as I say, they are just the worst of a completely failing product segment. Reading reviews of refrigerators today is depressing, especially when considering how long old-time units used to last. Here's some perspective from Consumer Reports: "Our results reveal that about a third of all refrigerators require repairs by the end of their fifth year of ownership, making them one of the least reliable appliances we analyze in our member surveys. The two most commonly reported problem areas for refrigerators were icemakers and dispensers." It's a sad state of affairs.

Obituary: M. Emmet Walsh Dead: 'Blade Runner' Actor Was 88.

Chilly Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science

Images

Media
Thanks RedEye9.

Creature Features

Follow-up

The Funnies

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