Archived News:

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

Play Assassin's Creed Mirage for Free

Ubisoft has kicked off a two-week free trial for Assassin's Creed Mirage, allowing PC and console gamers the chance to sample the latest installment in the stealth/action series between now and April 30th. The trial version includes the first two hours of the game, and your progress will carry over if you end up buying the full game. Here's a trailer celebrating the news. PC users can play through the Ubisoft Store or the Epic Games Store. Word is the trial period also includes the chance to pick up a reward by viewing streams and some very specific discounts:
During the Free Trial, players will have access to the first 2 hours of the game and their progression will carry over if they purchase the game.* Players streaming the game during the Trial period will be able to get and offer to their viewers an exclusive reward: the Basim Valhalla Sword. This unique sword is Basim’s weapon from his later years in England. Discounts will also be available on PC via Ubisoft Connect only. From April 17th to April 24th, Assassin's Creed Mirage Standard Edition and Deluxe Edition will be 40% off.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage provides an immersive story in which players embody Basim Ibn Is’haq, a street thief who joins the Hidden Ones on a quest for answers, evolving in the Golden Age of ninth-century Baghdad. Assassin’s Creed Mirage offers a narrative driven action-adventure experience with a focus on parkour, stealth and assassinations gameplay elements that represent the core of the franchise.
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Hades II Technical Test Signups

A post on Steam announces signups are now underway for technical testing of Hades II, the upcoming sequel to Supergiant Games' surprise smash-hit action/RPG. The test will run on Steam, and you can request access there if you want to participate. Word is a small group will be invited to start and more players will be added as it goes on. Here are some details:
The Technical Test contains the first major area of the game, and other early-game characters, systems, and content. (If you played the original game, imagine a version where you couldn't get past Tartarus even if you vanquished its guardian.) If you end up clearing the first major area a number of times, the game will gently suggest that you discontinue play, as Early Access shouldn't be far behind!

Note that due to structural differences with the Early Access version of the game, save data from the Technical Test will not transfer.

Take-Two Interactive Cutting Staff and Games

Take-Two Interactive is planning on laying off approximately 5% of its workforce, reports Reuters, saying that "several" unidentified projects are being cancelled as part of a cost-reduction plan expected to save $165 million annually. Word is: "The company will also scrap several projects in development as part of a cost-reduction plan, which is expected to result in total charges of up to $200 million. It declined to name the projects that have been canceled." Here's how this breaks down:
Canceled projects will account for as much as $140 million of the total charges, while severance and employee-related costs are expected to be up to $35 million, it said. Take-Two will also reduce some office space as part of the move.

Europa Universalis IV: Winds of Change Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces the winds of change will blow through Europa Universalis IV on May 8th with the release of the Winds of Change expansion for the grand strategy sequel. Word is this adds dramatic historical changes: "Winds of Change includes new historical content for major American and trading nations, gunpowder empires, and more. Players can expect new mission trees, government reforms, and national mechanics." The Announcement Trailer takes a look, and here are more details from the official website:
This expansion pack for Europa Universalis IV focuses on three regions of the world that are dramatically transformed by the rapid changes of the early modern world. In the Americas, regional empires are solidifying their position as a new threat prepares to overwhelm their societies. In Europe, the Reformation, new trading routes and the rise of a proto-nationalist spirit challenge old nations to reform and present lucrative opportunities for the financially astute. In Central Asia, the erosion of Mongol power has left a number of nations scrambling to fill the power vacuum.

Winds of Change makes wide-ranging changes to twenty nations stretching from the Andean highlands to the vast steppes of Mongolia. There are many new branching missions, government reforms, events, estate privileges and more, including dramatic game-changing options like returning the Timurid Empire to a nomadic society, pursuing the Glorious Revolution to unite the Dutch and English thrones, or leading an indigenous American invasion of Europe.
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SolForge Fusion Early Access

SolForge Fusion has entered Early Access on Steam, offering a single-player and PvP card-battling game designed by Justin Gary (Ascension: Deckbuilding Game) and Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering). The results of this collaboration can be seen in the this new trailer and there's a playable demo for a firsthand experience. Here's what to expect if you play your cards right:
Created by Justin Gary (Ascension) and Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering), SolForge Fusion is a collectible card-battling game with thousands of cards and near-endless deck possibilities. Algorithmically-generated and printed half-decks can be fused together to create countless strategies, with more deck combinations than atoms in the universe!

Each one-of-a-kind faction deck comes with a unique QR code that can be scanned to add to the player’s online collection. Decks in the online collection can also be used to register for tournaments and other community events. Now, with the Steam version of SolForge Fusion, players can scan their decks into the game and play through the new roguelite campaign or against players worldwide.
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BioGun Early Access

Early Access to BioGun is now underway on Steam, kicking off this action/platformer for Windows and Linux. This is a take on the Fantastic Voyage formula where you play as a "smart vaccine" doing combat inside a stricken dog. The Early Access Trailer shows this in action. Here's the super dooper news:
We're excited to announce a major breakthrough in the development of the Dooper Virus vaccine. Today marks a pivotal moment as we transition to the next phase in the battle against the Dooper Virus with the commencement of trials to evaluate its efficacy.

Join Bek on his journey to save the entire canine species from extinction brought on by the sinister Dooper Virus. In your journey, you’ll be injected into the zany, hand-drawn microscopic world of a dog suffering from the Dooper Virus, where you’ll encounter germs, cells, winding passages full of vibrant characters, a race against time, and ferocious bosses that will test your gaming skills to the max.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: XKCD: What if everyone jumped at once? Thanks RedEye9.

FREE STARS: Children of Infinity Kickstarter

A Kickstarter is now live for FREE STARS: Children of Infinity, the upcoming sequel to Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters, the revived version of Star Control 2 that recently came to Steam. Crowdfunding was promised when the game was announced earlier this month by Pistol Shrimp, a studio formed by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, who created the original Star Control games under the name Toys for Bob. Thus, this unofficial continuation of the beloved Star Control series is being called a "sequel 30 years in the making." The Kickstarter seeks $100,000 and includes stretch goals that go up to $670K for English voice-overs of alien conversations before jumping to a $4.4M goal that will lead to the open-source release of the game's code two years after its launch. Here's the previously released Official Announcement Trailer and more:
Free Stars: Children of Infinity is an action-adventure game inspired by the golden age of science fiction, defined by its hopeful future, wondrous technology, and a grandiose galaxy filled with eclectic stories.

You are the captain of a mission to the farthest reaches of space, where you'll discover thousands of exotic worlds and dozens of alien denizens. Some are friendly, some are terrifying, and some are just plain weird.

It’s up to you to decide how to acquire allies, confront threats, and ultimately protect a universe still recovering from the onslaught of the terrible Ur-Quan overlords.
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New NVIDIA Graphics Driver

NVIDIA announces the availability of a new version 552.22 WHQL-certified Windows driver for GeForce graphics cards. The new release is game ready for Manor Lords well ahead of its planned April 26th release and for No Rest for the Wicked, which enters Early Access this week. Here's what these will do for Manor Lords when what's described as Steam's most wishlisted game arrives:
When Manor Lords launches into Early Access on April 26th, GeForce RTX gamers can instantly increase frame rates thanks to day-one support for DLSS 2. At 4K, a 47% average boost to performance enables owners of the GeForce RTX 4070, and faster cards, to exceed 60 FPS, and enables owners of faster GPUs to increase performance.

SMITE 2 Founders Editions Preorders

SMITE 2 Founders Editions are now available, offering the chance to buy the MOBA sequel while it's still under development. The game isn't due for another few months, so the incentive for taking a flier is the chance to participate in closed alpha testing weekends in May. Here's a previously released Founder's Editions Overview Trailer and here are some details:
With a Founder’s Edition, you gain access to SMITE 2 during Closed Alpha weekends this May. That guarantees you to be among the first players to take part in the SMITE 2 saga and to help build the game from its very inception.

Founder’s Editions also unlock all the SMITE 2 Gods that will ever be released and provide a ton of in-game loot including Cross-Gen Skins in SMITE 1 and 2, Avatars, and Badges. It also doubles the SMITE 2 Legacy Gems that you are owed from the Gems spent in SMITE 1.
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Kill It With Fire 2 Early Access

Early Access to Kill It With Fire 2 is now underway on Steam, offering Windows gamers the chance to once again indulge their arachnophobia in the most ill-advised ways. The Early Access Launch Trailer is a live-action trailer some "comedy" for the occasion, and here's more on this chance to take your obsessive war into spider-infested outer space:
The one good thing about spiders was that once you left Earth, you didn’t have to deal with them very much. Now they’ve invaded the ENTIRE multiverse.

But wherever there exist spiders, there exist those destined to face them down: The Exterminators. That's you, by the way. So strap in, take a deep breath and plunge headlong into one of these interdimensional portals.

That's what we pay you for! You are being paid, right?
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Tennis Manager 2024 Next Month

Rebound announces it will begin serving Tennis Manager 2024 on May 23rd, saying that's the release date for this sports management game for Windows and macOS. This timing almost coincides with this year's Roland-Garros French Open tournament, which seems like a deliberate move from the French developer. Here's an Announce Teaser Trailer and the Steam Listing is here with more on what to expect. This includes an AI disclaimer: "Some graphic elements, such as faces and logos, were created with the help of AI, then retouched by our team to fit in with the game." Nobody tell LL Cool J, because they are flat-out calling this a comeback:
The courts have missed you, it’s time to sign your comeback and prove yourself as the greatest tennis manager. Tennis Manager 2024 is back and better than ever! Get ready to strategize, train your new wonderkids, and conquer the courts in the most immersive tennis management experience yet!
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Athenian Rhapsody Next Month

Top Hat Studios and solo developer Nico Papalia announce Athenian Rhapsody, which is neither real-life, nor fantasy, but rather an action/RPG that will allow you to choose your own adventure when it arrives this quarter for Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox, Switch, and mobiles. This includes the ability to save and share your runs with other players as storybooks. The Release Date Reveal Trailer features a little silhouette-o of a man, and there's a playable demo to sample on Steam as well as Athenian Rhapsody: Thunder Goober's Personality Dungeon a free-to-play predecessor. Will you do the fandango? Here's more to help you decide:
Made by solo developer Nico Papalia with a focus on tongue-in-cheek storytelling and vibrancy, you'll explore the colourful world of Athens as you make friends (or not), engage in rambunctious mini-games ranging from weight-lifting, shooting bugs, or drawing your own bosses to fight, and partake in excruciating challenges such as "Carry A Feather" as you travel from town-to-town. All this in the name of writing your own Rhapsody - a special, unique memento/token of your exact playthrough (PLEASE NOTE: THIS HAS NO RELATION TO NFTs OR WEB 3.0). The trials and tribulations of your journey make up this individualised story, which can then be shared online with other players to let everybody know how much of a psychopath you are!
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Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse Ep2: Caged

Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse Ep2: Caged is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a follow-up to 2018's Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning. This has been a journey, as the Teaser Trailer from four years ago notes: "Episode 2 development is officially back on track!" This carries a 10% launch discount and includes a playable demo to sample. Here's word:
Continue the adventure with Hank and Larry, two small, defenseless animals caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Hank is an old salesman, and their best chance of surviving the apocalypse is by doing what he's good at: manipulating others into working for them.

Meet various characters and bargain with them to convince them to do the scavenging for you while you guide them from the safety of your van.
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