At the end of it latest extended critique of marketing and consumerism disguised as a videogame press conference, Devolver Digital simultaneously announced and released a new game. It's called Devolverland Expo and you can get it on Steam for free right now.Set in an empty convention center after a big videogame hype event has been canceled, it's apparently a first-person marketing simulator. It looks like you get to explore spaces styled after Devolver games like Weird West, Carrion, Shadow Warrior 3, and Disc Room (complete with changes in art style to suit) as well as shooting up some Fall Guys, the cartoon stars of their forthcoming Gang Beasts-esque battle royale thing. Plus, there's a power glove and a t-shirt you can use against floating security robots. It's all very strange, which I suppose is what you'd expect. Given that we recently saw the Oregon County Fair turned into an MMO and the EEK3 showcase gave us a haunted virtual showfloor to explore, Devolverland Expo seems pretty timely. I am excited for surreal public space simulators to become their own microgenre.Download it here.
Today's Devolver Direct livestream did not nail down a specific release date for Serious Sam 4, which is expected to be out in August. It did serve up a new gameplay trailer, however, showing off familiar Sam-style FPS action, but also an out-of-nowhere narrative twist that casts the hero of the series as a starship captain.The trailer opens with Serious Sam briefly describing his "awesome" life long ago in command of a starship, the Surveyor, as it lands on a very unpleasant-looking alien world. Instead of exploring that interesting new aspect of the character, though, it immediately cuts to an array of ridiculous weapons being deployed against an array of ridiculous monsters.I have no idea what the significance of the story is, but the gameplay looks to be exactly what you'd expect from a Serious Sam game. Serious Sam 4 promises to be much bigger than previous games, though: Croteam said in May that its new "Legion System" will enable hundreds of thousand of enemies to be rendered simultaneously, which sounds perfectly appropriate for the series. There will also be new weapons and enemies, and obviously plenty of returning favorites, too.I have to admit that I'm curious about the interstellar exploration angle (humanity had traveled to the stars in Serious Sam lore, such as it is, but it's not exactly a focal point of the game), and also that big, Doomsday-looking guy at the end. What really caught my attention, though, was the logo that appeared just after the trailer in the Devolver Direct livestream, referring to it as Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. Devolver confirmed in May that it had dropped that most marvelous subtitle, which I thought was genuinely sad, and while it doesn't appear in the trailer itself, its presence in the Devolver Direct livestream gives me hope that someone saw fit to put it back.
Persona 4 Golden is "the most significant PC port of a Japanese game since Dark Souls in 2012" as Wes put it when he tested that port for us (he was impressed, though he had a few issues like the use of Denuvo DRM). Persona 4 being on Steam is an important test case for the Persona series as a whole, so it's a good sign that it's sold half a million copies.Atlus tweeted the information with a sketch by character designer Shigenori Soejima and noted in a follow-up tweet that it was the 12-year anniversary of the original version's PlayStation 2 release. "We hope you're enjoying #P4G and welcome back to the Midnight Channel!"Persona 4 Golden selling well on PC makes it more likely we'll eventually see a PC version of Persona 5, and Persona 3 as well. Fingers crossed.
Gory wall-crawling horror game Carrion is set to release on July 23rd, as announced in today's Devolver Digital presentation. Billed as a 'reverse horror game' since its announcement a few years ago, Carrion has you playing as an amorphous amalgamation of tentacles and flesh sliding through air ducts and hallways devouring the hapless humans who unleashed you upon their unfortunate world.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is coming out next month, on August 4th, and looks to be completely ridiculous. Imagine a 60-player battle royale where everyone is a wobbly potato person and you survive by winning a candy-colored ultimate ninja warrior obstacle course and/or absurd mario party minigames against others. All of this while you wear ridiculous costumes and hats, because this is a videogame.
Japanese developer Skeleton Crew announced new game Olija today, to be published by Devolver Digital and released this year. Olija is a 2D action-adventure platformer where hero Faraday attempts to use his "legendary harpoon" to escape a strange country of Terraphage where he has been marooned. It's a game with an indie aesthetic, using minimalist graphics paired with sharp action to set its visual scene.Here's an official plot description: "Through adventurous exploration, narration and razor sharp combat, the player will discover a strange world and its inhabitants, including Olija, an enigmatic lady that Faraday finds himself bound to over time. Inspired by swashbuckling tales and cinematic adventure games, Olija is a story about facing the unknown in adversity."
The Gujian games are singleplayer RPGs set in a fantasy version of ancient China, developed by Shanghai-based studio Aurogon. The original was the first Chinese videogame to have fully voiced main characters, and the whole series is quite popular in its home country. It was even adapted into a TV series called Swords of Legend, and was one of the 40 launch games announced for Steam China last year.As industry analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out on Twitter, Gujian 3 sold 1.3 million copies, more than any other game in the series. It's also the only one with English subtitles, which were patched into the Steam version in November of 2019. Since then it's racked up a substantial amount of customer reviews in English, and is currently sitting on a user rating of Very Positive.Apparently it stands alone from the rest of the series, with new protagonists in a shared setting. Characters from the earlier Gujian games have cameos and show up in a card-based minigame called Lost Tales, but otherwise it doesn't rely on knowledge of the first two. There's more info on the Steam page.
Ubisoft has announced that several of the company's executives have stepped down amid a scandal involving allegations of workplace misconduct and harassment. Chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, the managing director of Ubisoft's Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and global head of human resources Cécile Cornet have all stepped down from their positions as part of what a press release calls "the comprehensive work the Company is doing to improve and strengthen its workplace culture." "These departures come following the initiation of a rigorous review that the Company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior," it says. There will also be a "restructuring and strengthening" of Ubisoft's HR policies and structure.The statement follows the resignation of Ubisoft vice president Maxime Beland amidst allegations of workplace abuse, as well as the publication of a report by French newspaper Libération claiming to expose a toxic working culture at Ubisoft. You can read a partial translation of that report at Eurogamer. It describes multiple instances of verbal and physical abuse.According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Hascoët "was the man in charge of ALL of [Ubisoft's] games," and "with one word he could greenlight or cancel a project."
We found Superhot: Mind Control Delete to be very good, although it won't actually be out on Steam until next week. The good news for owners of the original Superhot is that when it arrives, you'll get it for free.Superhot: Mind Control Delete was originally envisioned as free DLC when it was announced in 2017, but has grown over the years into its own thing: Four times larger than the original game, according to developer Superhot Team, and with the core "time only moves when you do" mechanic expanded with new weapons, skills, and roguelike elements in the form of "practically endless, procedurally-generated temporal skirmishes."It can be "bloody repetitive," we said in our 82/100 review (I told you it was very good), "but if you finished Superhot wanting more, Mind Control Delete offers just that. It's great for popping in and out of a handful of brawls during a lunch break, knowing that each gauntlet survived ensures more tools and more challenges for the next day´s run."And, as mentioned, you can grab it free as long as you own the original. There are some restrictions, as detailed in this FAQ—the giveaway only applies to purchased copies of the game, not freebies, so if you picked it up through something like Twitch Prime or the Xbox Game Pass, you're not eligible. Superhot VR isn't eligible either, as they're "different games."On the upside, the giveaway applies to all purchases of Superhot prior to July 17, so if you're interested, you've still got a week to snag it and set yourself up for the freebie. (Superhot is currently on sale on Steam, GOG, and Epic Games Store, by the way.)"We´re incredibly lucky and privileged thanks to you. The support of you and all of those customers like you allows us to keep the studio independent. You let us run it however we please, without care about bottom lines and profit margins," Superhot Team said. "You´re allowing us to continue to do weird and wonderful things with our lives. It only seems fair that we try to return the favor. As a tiny token of our gratitude, we hope that coordinating this massive, complicated giveaway scheme helps bring a bit more joy into your life."Superhot: Mind Control Delete comes out on July 16.Thanks, Eurogamer.
Nearly every summer for more than 50 years, thousands of people have gathered in Veneta, Oregon, a little town 13 miles west of Eugene, to party. The Oregon Country Fair is an annual art and music festival with an eye to the region's history of counter-culture movements and environmental activism, staged as a non-profit, family friendly affair. But, as with most public events, the Oregon Country Fair was cancelled this year due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Cancelled in person, at least. The Oregon Country Fair in the Clouds is the festival's first virtual showing, but it's not just some simple webcast. The entire outdoor venue, multiple stages and walkways strewn about the Oregon forest, have been recreated in glorious low-poly—a wholly volunteer effort. We're talking bulky cauliflower trees and blurred swatches of grass and dirt that look straight out of Everquest. And you can explore the whole thing in first-person.
Xbox Game Pass is a subscription-based service from Microsoft that offers unlimited access to more than 100 games for a mere $5 per month. It debuted on PC last year after a couple of years as a console-exclusive service, and it's a pretty great deal: I can't buy a decent burger for five bucks, and the list of games it includes is impressive.One game it won't include, at least for awhile, is Cyberpunk 2077. Earlier this week, Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat was musing on Twitter about third-party console exclusives, noting that Microsoft could throw a wrench into competitors' plans by, for instance, paying CD Projekt to have Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox Game Pass at launch.It's an interesting idea, and one I could see Microsoft pursuing—there was actually a rumor in May that Cyberpunk 2077 would be on Xbox Game Pass at launch, although Microsoft quickly shot it down—but it's not going to happen. So says Radek Grabowski, lead PR manager at developer CD Projekt Red:
Devolver Digital, publisher of such games as Shadow Warrior 3, Serious Sam 4, and Carrion, has been putting on E3 shows for a few years now. Or, really, it's been dramatizing its satirical corporate mythology with buckets of stage blood while sometimes showing some trailers, too. This year's Devolver Direct, embedded above, continues the tradition.There's no use trying to summarize Devolver's incoherent multi-year plot—better to just watch for yourself—but I can point to the trailers that were shown:
As promised, Shadow Warrior 3 gameplay was revealed today during the Devolver Direct livestream, showcasing the return of Lo Wang, who's got a few new tricks up his sleeve.The setting and enemies are broadly familiar, although there will clearly be some new forces of evil to combat, including tunnelers and what looks to be a demonic clown attached to an accordion. The trailer also revealed some of our hero's new moves in action, including his grappling hook, wall-running skills, and executions, all additions to the third game in the series.Unfortunately, the trailer doesn't get into either the story or why Lo Wang was wearing Hoji's mask in earlier teasers. The back-and-forth banter between the two was one of my favorite parts of the Shadow Warrior reboot (Lo Wang makes a great straight man) and I'd love to see more of that in the new game. The voice in the trailer and the Steam listing both indicate that his sidekick this time around is Orochi Zilla, his employer/nemesis from the reboot, but there's no ignoring the presence of that mask, so I remain hopeful. Here's what Steam has to say about it, by the way:"Fallen corporate shogun Lo Wang and his former employer turned nemesis turned sidekick Orochi Zilla embark on an improbable mission to recapture an ancient dragon they unwillingly unleashed from its eternal prison. Armed with a punishing mix of blades and bullets, Lo Wang must traverse uncharted parts of the world to track down the dark beast and push the apocalypse back yet again. All it will take is the mask of a dead god, a dragon's egg, a touch of magic, and enough firepower to hold off the impending cataclysm."That sure sounds like Shadow Warrior, alright. Shadow Warrior 3 expected to be out sometime in 2021.
Updated: Following the notice that it had temporarily ceased trading on the Hong Kong Limited Stock Exchange, Leyou Technologies has confirmed that it's entered into an exclusive agreement with Tencent over a possible acquisition and privatisation. Original story: Leyou Technologies, the holding company that owns Warframe developer Digital Extremes and Gears Tactics developer Splash Damage, has stopped trading shares on the Hong Kong Limited stock exchange ahead of an announcement regarding a buyout. The notice (cheers, ResetEra) does not mention specifics, but Leyou has been looking to sell since last year, with iDreamsky and Sony being among the companies interested in adding it to their roster. According to a Bloomberg report, Tencent has also joined the gang and has entered an agreement with the holding company, though this does not guarantee that the deal will go through. With trading halted, however, and the "pending release of an announcement," it does seem likely that news of a buyout is imminent. It was halted this morning, but there's no word on when the announcement will actually appear. Tencent's reach is becoming increasing vast, with big stakes in the likes of Epic, Supercell, Fatshark, Funcom, Grinding Gear Games, Paradox Interactive and Riot, which it owns completely. It's also made investments in PUBG's Bluehole, Ubisoft, Activison and Frontier.
At this rate, Ubisoft isn't going to have any surprises left to show off this weekend—yes, it's time for another leak. Today it's Far Cry 6, which just appeared on the Hong Kong PlayStation Store. The page itself has been taken down, but you can still see it in the list of upcoming PS4 games (Scratch that, it's gone too). And, of course, it's already been screencapped and shared for posterity on Twitter.
Nimbus Data launched its 100TB ExaDrive DC100 a little over two years ago and it remains the largest capacity solid state drive on the planet. It's also the most expensive—while not revealed at the time, Nimbus Data has finally let the public in on pricing, and sure enough it's expensive. As in, $40,000 kind of expensive (via TechRadar), which is a tick higher than the base price for a 2020 Lexus ES luxury sedan.That works out to $0.40 per gigabyte, or higher if calculating the cost based on actual usable space. You lose around 7 percent of advertised storage in Windows due to over-provisioning (reserved space for various features and firmware updates) and how storage space is calculated. In binary, a kilobyte is 1,024 bytes, but driver makers use whole numbers to keep things neat and tidy... and more attractive to buyers.If you don't want to crunch the numbers, there's a handy online calculator that coverts claimed capacity into recognized capacity. For a 100TB SSD, you're looking at roughly 93TB of usable space.No matter how you slice it, $40,000 is a lot of scratch for a single storage drive, even a 100TB model. To put it into perspective, take a 1TB Corsair Force MP600, the best SSD if you're looking for a PCIe 4.0 model. It costs $194.99 on Newegg, or less that $0.20 per gigabyte. Or if you want to go in the opposite direction, $40,000 is precisely what the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine charged for a single Ruby Rose cocktail during its 40th anniversary (it came with a 4-carat ruby, though).Nimbus Data also revealed pricing on its 50TB model, which offers a better bang-for-buck at $12,500. That works out to $250 per terabyte, versus $400 per terabyte on the 100TB model.
Snowrunner is getting stuck into a bit of archaeology next week. The cold, muddy sim is about to get its first big update, accompanied by the first season pass offering, sending hardy off-roading types in search of a downed World War 2 bomber plane. If you own the season pass or Snowrunner Premium Edition, you'll be able to head to a new Russian region, containing two snow maps, where you'll begin your archeological adventure. It's a nice change from lugging around cargo and helping lorries get unstuck. You'll also be able to get your hands on a pair of new vehicles and more skins, and you'll be able to start customising interiors. For those still making their way through the base game—it's pretty big—you'll still be able to enjoy some new stuff without shelling out for the DLC. Along with new missions, you'll get your hands extra modding tools that will help you create your own maps and cosmetic items for your vehicle's interior. Some of the DLC additions will be available to you, as well, but only while in a group with a friend who already owns it. Snowrunner Season 1: Search and Rescue is due out on July 15, and while you wait you can gawk at some fetching screenshots. For a game about going to war against mud and ice in big, squat vehicles, it sure is pretty.
There is a new AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition driver available, and with it comes more than two dozen bug fixes, a new bug reporting tool, and optimizations for Disintegration.The integrated bug reporting tool appears to be in response to ongoing black screen issues that continue to plague some Radeon GPU owners. In light of complaints popping up on Reddit over the past several months, AMD had previously implored users to submit bug reports directly to the company. Then more recently, it began testing an integrated bug reporting tool in the Windows Insider program. That feature is now available to everyone."AMD will continue to monitor and investigate any new reports of black screen or system hang issues during extended periods of gameplay closely. Users are encouraged to use the new bug reporting tool for any issues they may encounter," AMD states in the 20.7.1 release notes.Before this driver release, the Radeon Software utility offered an option to report bugs to AMD, but invoking it would send users to AMD's website to both spell out the problem and input system specifications. The new integrated tool makes things easier by extracting the relevant specs, leaving the user to simply outline the problem. Whether this results in more stable releases and faster responses to issues remains to be seen.In the meantime, the 20.7.1 driver fixes squashes a whole bunch of bugs. They include:
Last year, Microsoft snatched up Double Fine, adding it to Xbox Game Studios' growing roster of developers. Whenever a big publisher gobbles up an indie developer, there are well-founded concerns about creative compromises and meddling, but in this case it's apparently the only reason Psychonauts 2 still has boss fights. Last year, Tim Schafer explained why the deal happened, saying that it saved Double Fine from having to pitch to lots of publishers, and that the money was pretty nice too. In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Schafer goes into a bit more detail about the changes that are now possible. Before the acquisition, Double Fine was running out of cash and making cuts to Psychonauts 2, but partnering up with Xbox Game Studios meant it could put away its shears."With Psychonauts 2, we could see the end of our budget coming up, and so we had cut a lot of stuff," Schafer says. "We had cut our boss fights. Now we are able to put those back in, and we're like 'we think people would have noticed if we didn't have those boss fights.'"Schafer's now "looking forward to doing things for the right reasons," instead of moving onto part of a game too early or working on the art before the design is ready. Other than that, things are supposedly unchanged, just "without the terror of going out of business all the time." Other developers also share their experience, and the message Xbox Game Studios clearly wants to get across is that it lets its devs just get on with things, while supporting them with all that cash and plenty of resources. "The only really different aspect of my day-to-day is not having to be the guy getting the money from the publishers," says Obsidian boss Feargus Urquhart. "That has also changed how we approach development. A lot of times as an independent, how you develop games is dictated by the partner, because it's their money and they have a way they want you to make a game. It's been cool to apply those years of experience, and say 'hey, we can make the games the way we want to make them.'"The relationship is being pitched as the best of both worlds, though you'd hardly expect a developer who's getting a truckload of that Microsoft money to drop any critical comments into an interview that was set up by the publisher. It does sound like a better arrangement than a lot of studios have had to make in the past, however, and we'll get to see the products of these acquisitions soon. Psychonauts 2, Grounded and Wasteland 3 are all due out this year.
One of the greatest scenes in Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher is, of course, Henry Cavill soaking in the tub. PC Gamer's favourite meme reached new heights, and getting to see Cavill with his kit off was a nice bonus. It seems like he desperately needed that bath, too, because he had a penchant for purposefully getting utterly filthy. Chatting with Vanity Fair, Cavill detailed his journey from some regular dude who plays Superman into the witcher, which apparently involved rolling around in puddles to make Geralt look the right level of dirty. "The costumers were, towards the end, quite horrified with me," Cavill says. "Before takes I would look at myself and say, 'We need more dirt on me.' They´d come up to me with this tiny little—it's like a pair of tights rolled up into a ball, with some dust in, and they´d sort of pat it on me. And I´d say, 'Yeah, guys, that's not enough.' So I´d go stand out in the rain. Sometimes I´d roll around in puddles. I would just try and get as much of the world on me, so this character looked like he had lived within it."I'm just trying to imagine this big, buff dude in his ridiculous tight trousers and lovely flowing locks rolling around in the mud while costume designers look on with tears in their eyes—it's too good. Someone must have filmed it. I've got a socially distanced high five and a 2 litre bottle of Irn Bru I just bought with your name on it if you can provide me with this footage. He seems pretty dedicated to getting Geralt right, to the extent that he was willing to risk damaging his eyes by keeping in his witcher contact lenses. They were fine at first, apparently, but when filming started in the Canary Islands, the volcanic dust started irritating his eyes, which was exacerbated by the lenses. "I would literally have to go hide in the shade before each take, and then force my eyes to stay open for scenes because they were burning. I just thought I needed to toughen up a little bit."An eye technician eventually had to demand that he remove them, and he took a bit of prodding. Instead of worrying about his eyes, he was more concerned about looking different and putting off the other actors, somehow, which seems wild. You've gotta protect those peepers, man. The Witcher season 2 is set to restart production on August 17 after it was halted for several months due to the coronavirus. Netflix announced the return to work with a ditty from chatty bard Jaskier. Cheers, Eurogamer.
Romino Games' co-op dungeon crawler Blightbound will be coming to Steam Early Access on July 29. Publishers Devolver Digital announced the Early Access date alongside a gameplay trailer that was initially shown at the PC Gaming Show, showing Blightbound's bombastic brawls and hand-crafted dungeons. In Blightbound, three players are tasked with battling their way through a realm corrupted by an evil fog called The Blight, an unfortunate result of the death of a Shadow Titan. Players choose between a warrior, assassin, or mage, and must fight through blight-ridden lands, cleansing the world of the dark force. Your journey will be filled with plenty of monster-infested dungeons complete with loot to gather and puzzles to solve. You'll also be able to recruit heroes, adding them to your roster of available warriors. With 20 heroes to collect and hundreds of lootable items, you'll be able to craft the perfect character and synchronise better with the rest of your group. When released into Early Access, Blightbound will be sold at a 10 percent discount from its full launch price of $20 / £16. There's currently no word of when Romino Games will fully release Blightbound, but I hope it's soon because I can't get enough of its hand-drawn visuals. I'm getting major vibes of Darkest Dungeon mixed with Trine's cop-op.
The customizable News Hub added to Steam in March has been expanded ahead of its full rollout, with layout changes, updated hubs for individual games, a dedicated section for upcoming events, and the addition of a new "Featured" section that, for now, includes posts from the top 100 best-selling games on Steam.The most visible changes are in the menu bar on the left, previously "a long list of checkboxes," which now focuses on preset views for personalized news, upcoming events, and featured news from top sellers. There's also an option to search for specific games, and to select what sort of news you'll see—events, livestreams, content updates, that sort of thing—and from what sources.The section dedicated to upcoming events has been added to make it easier to stay on top of things that are going to happen, rather than just things that have already happened, but some upcoming events will continue to appear in the default feed as well. The featured section will also continue to be tweaked, Valve said, "to include popular events from a broader variety of games as well as hand-picked events that our curation team here at Valve selects to highlight."The overall layout of the News Hub has also been changed to be more accessible, and now includes links to each game's store and community page. "This also cleans up the individual news items in this view so you don't have to see the game name listed again on every single post," Valve said.Valve hasn't said when the News Hub will exit the Steam Labs and be fully integrated as a Steam feature, but it looks pretty well finished to me so I'd expect something to happen soon. Then again, we all know how much Valve loves to fiddle with things, so who knows? In the meantime, you can take it for a test drive yourself at steampowered.com.
From uncapped frames to Mouse and Keyboard support, Death Stranding on PC is a standout title that has incredible beauty in a dark dystopian future where humanity has been disconnected.You play as Sam Bridges as you reconnect America in hopes to restore what was lost to the past from the original Death Stranding event. Along your journey, you´ll witness beautiful vistas, rocky volcanic beds, grasslands, snow-capped mountains, and more.You´ll meet people that have been disconnected from society. Some of them will resist reconnecting to society, some of them will be surprised to see you.As you reconnect people, you expand the chiral network, allowing more infrastructure to be rebuilt throughout your gameplay. You also acquire new and upgraded tools that expand the sandbox of options for deliveries, dealing with BTs (Beach Things), and avoiding the archaic MULE´s.The PC version fully supports Mouse and Keyboard controls and complements the gameplay experience wonderfully. You get deeper graphical controls, including ultra-wide monitor support, and a new photo mode to capture unique moments during your journey.Pre-Order DEATH STRANDING to receive free bonus content including a digital art book, the DEATH STRANDING Original Score digital soundtrack, and additional cosmetic items including Chiral Gold and Omni reflector colored Bridges Caps, Ludens Mask sunglasses and many more!Death Stranding is officially out on Steam and the Epic store, July 14th.
New World, the fantasy MMO from Amazon, has been delayed again. The game had been set to come out on August 25 but the studio announced today that, based on feedback received from alpha testers, it has decided to push the release into the spring of 2021."We want to ensure that the most dedicated players have plenty of middle and endgame experiences as they venture through Aeternum. We want our players to feel completely immersed in the game, and know that our studio stands for quality and lasting gameplay you can trust—and that means added time to get things where we want them before we fully release," studio director Rich Lawrence wrote."As a result, we will be changing our launch date—and correspondingly, our final beta test—to spring 2021. We don't make the decision lightly, and we have urgency about getting the game to you as quickly as possible at the best quality—with some additions that will make the experience even better."Instead of a full release, alpha testers, and people who have pre-purchased New World or signed up for the beta, will be given the chance to play the full game as it stands on August 25, "for a limited period of time." It's not clear whether everyone who signs up for the beta will be invited or only a limited number, but eligible participants will provided instructions on how to take part via email.This is actually the second time that New World has been delayed. It was originally slated to launch in May 2020, but in April the release was pushed to August because of development slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It's also the second big walkback for Amazon Games: On July 1 it "un-released" its PvP shooter Crucible and returned it to closed beta testing.
The Witcher season 2 is going back into production soon, but with delays from COVID-19 it feels like it's going to be a long wait for the show to return to Netflix. Modders, meanwhile, are putting the Netflix cast back to work before the show itself resumes. A new mod released this week, Netflix Triss Merigold, remodels The Witcher 3's Triss after actor Anna Shaffer. It's a surprisingly good likeness for a mod.Shaffer looks quite different from CD Projekt Red's interpretation of Triss, which was apparently a small controversy when the show came out. You can see some of that whining echoed in the mod's comments, but there's also praise. "I think this is the best face texture mod I've ever seen for this game, absolutely amazing," wrote one user.
Epic Games announced yesterday that Sony has invested $250 million in the company (pending regulatory approval, of course), a move that it said would open the door to greater collaboration between the two companies in videogames and beyond. It also opened the door to some expressions of suspicion, on Reddit and elsewhere, that the deal was somehow connected to the Epic CEO's effusive praise of the PlayStation 5 when it was announced earlier this year.One of the PlayStation 5's biggest selling points is its fast SSD storage: We called it a potential "secret weapon" when the PS5's otherwise underwhelming specs were revealed in March, and Sweeney seemed even more enthusiastic about it during the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo in May. He described the PS5's storage technology as "god-tier," and said that its speed will enable levels of graphical fidelity that conventional hard drives simply can't keep up with.The timing of the investment has some people wondering if he was playing up the PlayStation 5 so much in order to encourage Sony's investment, but Sweeney said in response to one such suggestion on Twitter that serious talks with Sony didn't begin until after the Unreal Engine 5 demonstration.
World of Warcraft will be dropping the $15/£13 charge to change your character's gender in the upcoming Shadowlands expansion.Despite being able to change pretty much every other aspect of your physical appearance at the barbershop for a small amount of in-game currency relative to your character's level, the only way to change your character's gender is to pay $15/£13 through Battle.net. If you change your mind later on, you have to pay the full price once again.That's set to change in Shadowlands though, as executive producer John Hight told Eurogamer that requiring players to pay to change their gender was "not the right message" Blizzard wanted to put out. Especially when you can change everything from skin colour to facial features in-game already. Instead, gender will become another feature you can adjust in the barbershop.The news comes after players discovered an NPC in Shadowlands called Pelagos, who many consider to be the first canonically transgender character in World of Warcraft. The character was spotted after Blizzard put out a statement explaining why his in-game pronouns were changing to he/his from they/them, following feedback that argued the use of neutral pronouns for a trans man character felt noncommittal to a vital piece of representation.MMOs have always been ways for people to explore their identities in a safe way, so offering this feature for free is a great way of encouraging that further. Blizzard still has a very long way to go with LGBTQ+ representation, but this is a nice step in the right direction.Shadowlands is set to launch later this year, although an open beta is set to start next week. The beta is said to be "feature complete" and will let you level all the way up to the cap, although Hight suggests the ability to change gender will come slightly later on.
A new Thursday is upon us, this one delivering not one, not two, but three—three!— free games from the Epic Games Store. The headliner this week is Killing Floor 2, the co-op FPS about massacring endless waves of zombies—called Zeds in this particular undead setting—who are rampaging across Europe.KF2 has actually been out for several years now—it debuted in Early Access in 2015—but Tripwire Interactive has been actively updating it with new weapons, enemies, maps, and events throughout. There's still a solid base of players on Steam, and crossplay between the Epic and Steam releases will be supported, so newcomers will be able to hop into the action with the existing crew of Zed-killers.Also up this week is Lifeless Planet, an exploration-adventure about an international team of astronauts that crash-lands on a distant planet and discovers a small Russian town. Weird, right? The second half of the game doesn't support the promise of the first, but the setting is like a Golden Age sci-fi novel cover come to life and that's good enough for me.And finally, we have The Escapists 2, a game about living in—and, more to the point, busting out of—the toughest prisons in the world. It was actually supposed to be free a few weeks ago, but something went wrong with the Epic Games Store release, so here it is now.Killing Floor 2, Lifeless Planet, and The Escapists 2 are free on the Epic Games Store until July 16, when Runic's hit action-RPG Torchlight 2 will take their place on the freebie block. For more free stuff, be sure to keep an eye on our running list of all the free games you can grab right now.
Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours, Geoff Keighley's "multimedia experience" on the making of Valve's big VR shooter, is now live on Steam. The documentary promises "an unprecedented and unvarnished look at the past decade inside Valve," including a look at multiple cancelled projects—one of them actually named Half-Life 3—plus concept art from Alyx and interactive features including a "Valve Time" timeline and a headcrab SFX mixer.The big eye-catcher is that a full-on Half-Life 3 was in development, briefly, between 2013-14. Valve wanted to blend procedural generation with "crafted experience" to make it more replayable, an idea inspired in part by Left 4 Dead. It was ultimately halted, though, because the Source 2 engine it was initially created in wasn't finished. A couple of Half-Life-themed VR projects, including one that sounds rather like the Episode 3 synopsis that former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw shared a few years ago, were also toyed with but ultimately cancelled, according to an IGN report on the documentary, which says that at least five Half-Life projects were proposed and dropped between Episde 2 and Alyx.Other cancelled projects include an open-world go at Left 4 Dead 3, an Elder Scrolls/Dark Souls-inspired RPG codenamed "RPG," a Minecraft-style voxel game, and "Vader," Valve's original VR headset design, which the developers estimated would have sold for around $5000 each.Most of the team wants to make a new, full Half-Life, but there's some doubt about whether Valve wants to take on a project of that magnitude, or if it's going to continue to focus on VR for the forseeable future. But the possibility is at least on the table. "The ice has been broken, now we're hoping to smash through the ice completely," Valve's Phil Co says. "We're not afraid of Half-Life no more."Half-Life: Alyx – Final Hours is available now for $10/£7/€8 on Steam, and to be clear it does not require a VR headset.
In late 2018, the US Army put together its own esports team as part of a marketing push to encourage young people to consider a career in the military. As part of that effort, the Army also recently launched its own official Twitch channel to "share the Army's passion for gaming, showcase competitions, and connect with our viewers."But as reported by Vice, its big PR push has recently run into some issues with the Twitch community. During a Call of Duty: Warzone stream last night, players began asking about war crimes committed by the Army—inquiries that were quickly deleted by moderators.The heightened interest in the Army's esports activities was spurred at least in part by a recent Twitter conversation between its esports team and Discord. The exchange concluded with the Army tweeting "UwU" which a large number of viewers found to be in bad taste, given the source.
Remothered: Broken Porcelain, the sequel to the very-oddly-named psychological horror game Remothered: Tormented Fathers, is going to take a little longer than expected to arrive. Publisher Modus Games said in June at the Future Games Show that it would be out on August 25, but announced today that it's been pushed back to October 20.A specific reason for the delay wasn't given. "After much consideration, we have reached a decision with Darril Arts and Stormind Games to delay Remothered: Broken Porcelain's release to October 20th this year," said Modus."We are incredibly excited to invite you into this wonderfully realized chapter of the Remothered story, but it´s important that we deliver the experience you deserve. Having additional time for polish and to accommodate unanticipated longer timeframes due to the current global situation will help us do exactly that."This also means that you´ll be able to explore the Ashmann Inn for the very first time during the spookiest time of the year, Halloween!"Remothered: Broken Porcelain tells the tale of a young woman attempting to escape the supernatural forces within the Ashmann Inn, a place of mysteries, secrets, and danger. The Steam listing promises "realistic survival horror" and "intense stealth gameplay," with puzzles to solve, expanded lore to discover, and "new gameplay and storytelling elements." And while it's a sequel, Modus said it's also "the perfect entry point for new fans discovering the franchise." To learn more about the game, hit up remothered.com.
After nine months in alpha, Microsoft Flight Simulator will graduate to a closed beta on July 30. Access to the beta follows the same rules as the alpha: you'll need to sign up to the Xbox Insider Program in order to have a chance to receive an invite, though thankfully it's free. Everyone with current access to the alpha will automatically gain access to the forthcoming beta.If you've been biting your nails awaiting access to the alpha, check your inbox – a new wave of invitations were sent out today. Finally, for those lucky enough to have access to the current closed alpha, Asobo Studios rolled out a new version with a wide range of tweaks and fixes. Chief among the improvements are "polish and tuning" to all planes, though most of the changes are fairly iterative and won't excite anyone except the lucky few in the alpha. See the full notes here.Microsoft Flight Simulator is still officially scheduled to release in 2020.
Quake Champions is still kicking on, long after the predicted arena shooter revival failed to eventuate. Its latest update looks like a meaty one: it introduces a new map, a handful of new weapon skins, and a swathe of tweaks and fixes.The new map is called the Tower of Koth. It's a "Ithagnal-themed" map that's playable in a bunch of modes including Team Deathmatch and Instagib. "Rising from its viridian morass," the description reads, "a row of skyward teeth speak to the chosen a singular truth: come to know this key and you will open any lock."There's some new Season 7 Battle Pass rewards, too in the form of weapon skins based on Quake 4 weapons:
EA Sports is about to announce the first ratings for Madden NFL 21--check out a teaser now while you wait.
The director of the original Street Fighter has reflected on where the idea for Street Fighter came from--he was bored in a meeting and thinking about another game.
Original star Fred Savage is coming back to direct some episodes of the new show set in the '60s.
WayForward's scrolling beat-em-up is coming back for another round, the developer has announced, and it won't just be DLC for the first game.
Here's where to find all 50 Eyes of Savathun across the solar system to complete your Ruinous Effigy catalyst and amp up the Exotic trace rifle's power.
Netflix pulls the plug on the magical show.
The Spider-Man actor gets a mouth swab as he prepares to start filming something--but is it the Uncharted movie?
You can play Vigor on Switch now, as long as you grab the time-limited Founder's Pack.
Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is currently being planned, and Samberg has talked about the difficulties of making "a comedy show about police" right now.
Two executives from CD Projekt Red talk about diversity and say Cyberpunk 2077 will offer "mature" stories.
The Elderflame line is Valorant's first "Ultra Edition" series of skins.
The Nimbus Exadrive has put a public price on the biggest SSD commercially available, and we definitely can't afford it.
One of the original creators of the NES has revealed some interesting facts about Nintendo during the production of their first home console.
Here's an 8 second video of a dog in a mo-cap suit jumping through the air to brighten your day.
The prequel to the main trilogy of games features all-new characters and expansive story.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run takes the familiar character to a new platform, and we talk with creative lead Stephen Jarrett about the transition.
Power Rangers: The Ultimate Visual History is on sale for more than 50% off at Amazon.