March 2020

Pop the kettle on for some Great British Railway Journeys this week

2 years 3 months ago

If there’s a niche games haven’t really filled, it’s lazy Sunday morning telly. Something for when your gran’s round, with a hot cuppa and the gentle patter of a light shower tapping against the windows. This week, Dovetail Games are flicking the channel over to Great British Railway Journeys, a Train Simulator spin-off that’s delivering Michael Portillo’s frightfully English BBC Two series to Steam on March 5th.

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Author
Natalie Clayton

Here's a new-old peek at the next Dark Pictures Anthology interactive horror, Little Hope

2 years 3 months ago

Bandai Namco has dropped a new teaser for the next instalment of its Dark Pictures Anthology, Little Hope.

Well. I say teaser, but three-quarters of the trailer shows off predecessor Man of Medan's spookier moments, including clips of jumping YouTubers and influencers. Then we get mostly the same teaser we've seen before.

If you were hoping for a little more by way of the video description, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed there, too. All it states is: "You've survived the raging South Pacific Seas, but a new nightmare is looming". Sadly, we didn't get a precise release date, either; "2020" is as much as Bandai's prepared to confirm right now.

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Part one of Ark Genesis' monstrous expansion is out now

2 years 3 months ago

Dinosaur survive ’em up Ark: Survival Evolved has always had one problem. Exactly, and only, one single game-breaking issue. Until now, you couldn’t build a castle on the back of a colossal sea turtle. Shameful, really. But after numerous delays, Ark: Genesis‘s sea-bound houses finally arrived earlier this week. Now it’s just a matter of finding someone to lend you planning permission for that shell.

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Author
Natalie Clayton

DF Retro: Revisiting the notorious Batman Forever on PC

2 years 3 months ago

When we first set-up Digital Foundry Retro, the idea was to revisit some of the most important titles in gaming history, telling their stories and using today's analysis techniques to reveal new insights about the games of yesteryear. However, obviously, not every game is a stone-cold classic and in the process of building a retro gaming library, sometimes I end up picking up some less-than-impressive titles - which can still hold a certain fascination. So it is with Acclaim's Batman Forever, a 1995 title that builds upon developer Probe Software's Mortal Kombat codebase to develop a co-op side-scrolling beat 'em up with some of the most baffling design decisions I've ever seen in a PC game.

In all honesty, it's possibly best to watch the embedded video below to see how this particular experience plays out because to begin with, Batman Forever seems to be a pretty typical example of the era. The neon-infused Val Kilmer incarnation of the Dark(ish) Knight patrols various side-scrolling levels, punching Final Fight-style individually named enemies until they're down. Optionally, the Chris O'Donnell-skinned Robin can join the fray for simultaneous two-player action, where the less dynamic duo seem to spend a lot of the time getting in each other's way. Everything plays out with the kind of digitised sprite work we saw in Mortal Kombat, which looked fairly impressive back in the day. We're hardly looking at cutting-edge fighting game mechanics, but we do get to enjoy a soundtrack from Tim and Geoff Follin and it doesn't look disastrous. Not to begin with anyway.

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Riot Games' secret FPS "Project A" might be called Valorant

2 years 3 months ago

Riot Games' next game - codenamed Project A - is reportedly a tactical FPS called Valorant.

Riot revealed the game's existence back in October and since then it's been pretty quiet, but now Polygon reports that a fan Twitter account, ProjectAOnline, has revealed Project A's official name is Valorant.

So far, so what, right? Anyone can set up a Twitter account and photoshop some images. What makes this rumour seem credible, however, it that Riot fans have discovered a number of additional coincidences, including confirmation that Riot has registered a Valorant website in the same name, and is possibly behind the Twitter handle PlayValorant, which has stacked up almost 40,000 followers even though it's yet to post and was only registered earlier this month.

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Sora and Dante lead third party poll for most-requested Smash Ultimate DLC

2 years 3 months ago

Look, if Bayonetta can make it in, the tamer Dante can too.

There's been rumblings of Dante in Smash for a very long time. One of the key producers of the series even said that he's game for it once Devil May Cry hit Switch: and it did, thrice, with the re-releases of the original trilogy. With the new Fighter's Pass in the mix, anything is possible. But thanks to a new poll from Japanese publication Inside Games, we have a better idea of who people want to be part of that pass. Dante, of course, is included.

Coming in first with 290 votes (second place is 91) is Sora of Kingdom Hearts fame. Dante is second, then Hunter from Monster Hunter (who already got their own crossover in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite with 80, followed by Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with 74 and 2B from NieR: Automata with 70.

From there things get a little wackier with Crash, Waddle Dee, Sepiroth, Arle (Puyo Puyo), Steve (Minecraft), Saber (Fate), Kirito (SAO - let's not go crazy here), Hakurei Reimu (Touhou), Goku (the ever-popular years-long meme) and the popular Geno.

This is all of course, unofficial. It's just been a while since we've talked about who you, the community, want in Smash. Obviously this particular poll is Japan-centric, hence the esoteric picks like Touhou series representation (though that franchise rules). Sound off with your own!

Smash Ultimate DLC [Inside Games via Yahoo Japan]

Author
Chris Carter

A year since its last trailer, here's a peek at Soviet shooter Atomic Heart

2 years 3 months ago

Developer Mundfish last shared a snippet of its upcoming, wonderfully atmospheric Soviet-era shooter Atomic Heart over a year ago now, and that was a full year after the game - which is due to release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC at some currently unspecified future point - was first debuted in one hell of an arresting trailer, as Matt reported at the time.

Since then, a 45-minute segment popped up on a Russian-language gaming website, but other than that it's been eerily quiet... until now.

"Take a closer look at the laboratory of the USSR, which is used to carry out experiments on people and construct robots," teases the video description, which also confirms the trailer is created in Unreal Engine 4.

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Here's 15 minutes of The Wonderful 101: Remastered gameplay

2 years 3 months ago

There's still five days to go on The Wonderful 101: Remastered Kickstarter campaign, but visitors to PAX East have already been treated to 15 minutes of the game in action.

As captured by Gamespot (thanks, VGC), this mega-teaser shows the game running on Nintendo Switch. Check it out below:

The Wonderful 101: Remastered's Kickstarter campaign was so successful, it smashed its £1.16 million ($1.5m) stretch goal, prompting Platinum Games to add even more goals. At the time of writing, it looks like the crowdfunding effort will smash £1.5 million before the campaign finishes.

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Here's how Star Citizen's survival mechanic "Actor Status" will work

2 years 3 months ago

Cloud Imperium has outlined how survival mechanics will be implemented in Star Citizen.

In the latest instalment of Inside Star Citizen - a behind-the-scenes dev diary that details the current, and future, plans for the sci-fi game - developers take us through Actor Status, a survival system that requires you to regulate your system by eating, drinking, and controlling your temperature.

Players can be affected by both hypothermia and hyperthermia, and be improved - or hampered - by their choices of food and clothing.

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Dynasty Warriors 9 Getting Legend of the Galactic Heroes Crossover Costumes and Horses

2 years 3 months ago

Koei Tecmo has been collaborating with the Legend of the Galactic Heroes anime for Romance of the Three Kingdom XIV, but now Dynasty Warriors 9 is joining the party.

While the Musou game has been released over two years ago, Koei Tecmo is still actively supporting it with DLC, and on March 5, another package will turn famous officers into sci-fi heroes from the recent LOTGH remake Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These.

The DLC will include a “Reinhard Costume” for Cao Cao a “Kircheis Costume” for Xiahou Dun, a “Yang Costume” for Zhuge Liang, and a
“Julian Costume” for Jiang Wei.

On top of the costumes, horses with barding portraying battleships Brunhilde and Hyperion will be distributed for free.

You can check out what they look like in the gallery below.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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Here's how Fallout 76's new NPC dialogue system works

2 years 3 months ago

Dialogue? In a Fallout game? Well I'd never!

Human NPCs? In a Fallout game? Well...you get the point.

It's still insane to me, a year and a half later, that Fallout 76 didn't launch with a proper NPC-led story mode, but now that the free Wastelanders expansion is fully confirmed and dated, it is coming. We've gotten a good look at it over the past few months (and the test program members have gotten a real good look at it), and the next preview on the docket is the dialogue system.

Here's how the team puts it: "Whenever you’re chatting up your favorite Ally, a Faction leader, or one of the many other characters you will meet during your adventures, you will be able to choose from a variety of response options. The words you employ during your conversations with others can, at times, be even more powerful than your favorite weapons."

You don't say? So it's like...a Fallout game?! All of these choices will impact alliances and reputation, in a bid to provide a real RPG for solo players and multiplayer prospects alike. The very few existing NPCs are getting upgrades too to feel more RPG-appropriate, and will become quest-givers. You'll also get a "history" option so you can read all of the text thus far, and naturally, the attribute-altering S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system can impact some choices.

Is it enough to feel like a "Realm Reborn" treatment? So far, it doesn't seem so. But it looks a lot better already.

Inside the Vault [Bethesda.net]

Author
Chris Carter

Viral nipples don't sell games, one developer sadly discovers

2 years 3 months ago

Have you ever wondered what the engagement value is on posting a banger? Have you ever read the exact words: “damn, this went viral, check out my Soundcloud,” and wondered how many people actually checked out that Soundcloud? Paradigm and The Dungeon Experience developer Jacob Janerka wondered too. Following the surprise success of a topless tweet, Janerka decisively proved one of two things – either Twitter isn’t driving wishlist engagement, or bare nipples just ain’t the marketing gold they used to be.

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Author
Natalie Clayton

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has broken its all-time concurrent peak on Steam. Again

2 years 3 months ago

It's true: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has once again smashed its own all-time player concurrent peak on Steam.

Valve's competitive first-person shooter, which launched in 2012, hit an impressive peak of 876,575 concurrent players earlier this month, beating the previous peak of 850,485 players, set in April 2016 amid the MLG Columbus major tournament.

Now, courtesy of Steam Charts (thanks PCGN), we've learned that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's concurrent new record is 924,045 players, beating its own concurrent record set only a few weeks ago.

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Granblue Fantasy Versus for PS4 and PC Gets RPG Mode Trailer and Narmaya Artwork

2 years 3 months ago

Today Xseed Games and Cygames released new assets about the fighting game Granblue Fantasy Versus developed by Arc System Works.

First of all, we get to see a trailer about the RPG mode of the game, which is basically a story mode born as a hybrid between the original narration style of the mobile game and fighting gameplay, with RPG elements sprinkled on top.

You can watch it below.

Secondly, the official Twitter account showcased artwork for the DLC character Narmaya, also comparing her size with Gran. We also hear that she comes with both her Genji and Dawnfly stances, so she has more animations than other characters.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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There's a new Final Fantasy VII Remake Tifa PS4 theme, but it's wrapped up in a candy marketing scheme

2 years 3 months ago

So it has come to this.

Remember the Butterfinger "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" Simpsons promotion? This is kind of like that, but for Final Fantasy. We've reached the point where video games are just as much of a part of popular culture as other mediums, so they can have their Butterfinger promo too. 

This one actually involves a Tifa PS4 dynamic theme, showcasing just Tifa (though Cloud is present too in the game) in a scene that's frequently referred to as "Promise at the Water Tower." To get it, you'll need to buy "any two Butterfinger, Baby Ruth or Crunch Bars," then register them online. There's also promos for "five different pieces of in-game armor and accessories that boost stats and abilities," which is probably marketing lingo for "stuff you'll replace in 30 minutes."

As a note, the promo will start on March 3, then smartly run through May 14, roughly a month after the game's April 10 release date. So you have plenty of time.

Final Fantasy VII Remake [Butterfinger]

There's a new Final Fantasy VII Remake Tifa PS4 theme, but it's wrapped up in a candy marketing scheme screenshot

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Author
Chris Carter

'Shop Contest: Pokemon Of The Year

2 years 3 months ago

As has been documented many, many times on this very website, I don’t know much about Pokemon. The games, the shows, the movies, the creatures. But even with my limited knowledge of Pokemon, it seems odd that Greninja is the Pokemon Of The Year.

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Author
Zack Zwiezen

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Marvel Future Revolution Announced: It’s an AAA Mobile Multiplayer Open-World RPG

2 years 3 months ago

Today Marvel Games and Netmarble hosted a panel at PAX East in Boston and announced Marvel Future Revolution.

The game is a mobile multiplayer open-world RPG for iOS and Android.

The gam’s story is about the “Convergence,” a multiverse catastrophe in which universes collide, which means that we’ll be able to play plenty of versions of beloved superheroes. 

The players become members of Omega Flight based in New Stark City, which is the universe’s last line of defense. Basically, it’s a group of heroes that came together from multiple realities to defend the universe.

The game includes plenty of customization for your heroes and it’s being developed both for hardcore and casual games according to Netmarble. We also hear that it’s going to be triple-A in quality. 

Here’s the announcement trailer.

A second trailer showcases the villains that we’ll have to fight. 

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Reveals Shaman Class and Companion, and Videos About Music

2 years 3 months ago

Today Owlcat Games had more updates to share about its upcoming RPG Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

First of all, we get word about a new class that will be introduced to the game, the Shaman. 

Shamans can interact with the spirits and take advantage of their power. Here’s how Owlcat describes them:

“A person becomes a full-fledged shaman after bonding with one of the spirits and forging a special permanent connection with it. This bond takes the form of a spirit animal, the living embodiment of the chosen spirit. Through it, the shaman not only becomes a divine spellcaster, with the ability to use the forces of nature similar to that of a druid, but also gains the power to channel their bonded spirit’s power into supernatural phenomena.

A shaman who has bonded with a bone spirit can kill enemies with a bone-shattering touch, or even temporarily become incorporeal, shedding their physical form. A wind shaman gains control over lightning, making it strike enemies, and can even become a huge wind elemental, unleashing their power as a tornado. Or, if you like a more personal approach, you can be a battle shaman, bolstering your allies with your rallying cries, making your weapon a bane to enemies, and even turning yourself into an avatar of war with supernatural battle prowess.

That’s not the only thing shamans get through their spirits: they also gain access to hexes similar to those of a witch, such as cursing an enemy with only a glance, making an ally lucky beyond measure, or growing powerful claws. While some of the hexes are available to any shaman, some of them are unique to the shaman’s bonded spirit.

Author
Giuseppe Nelva

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Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Ending His Lengthy Run Writing Black Panther

2 years 3 months ago

Since 2016, Ta-Nehisi Coates has been Marvel’s flagship writer for Black Panther, a run that has encompassed 68 issues across several series, including two different runs of Black Panther. In that time, the Wakandan king has gone from royal intrigue to space opera. Now, Coates is stepping away from the character that…

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Author
Julie Muncy on io9, shared by Zack Zwiezen to Kotaku

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