So, what are you playing?

by: Randy -

The Outer Worlds writing team beat out Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium to take home a Nebula Award. You'll have to read further than the headline, but Venture Beat says, "We overestimate the value of the console exclusive." And one NPR writer was an abject failure in school, until stuff she'd learned while playing video games had her suddenly start passing tests.

So, what are you playing?

Sean Colleli
I've been playing a fun mod for Don't Starve called AC is Broken, Don't Die of Heat Exhaustion. So I've had very little energy to do anything but my day job this week. AC is fixed now. The most I've played was like an hour of Deus Ex last night once the glorious coolness had returned.

Eric Hauter
I've finished up with Maneater for review, which should now be live on Gaming Nexus. Though this innovative game has some technical problems, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm currently resisting jumping back in to try to 100% it, as it would be a lot of time spent for no real reward beyond a platinum trophy (which I have never really cared about). My shark is maximum level, and I have every bit of gear that I want for my build, so I can't see much motivation to dive back in now that the story is beaten. Still...the ocean calls.

I've also been picking at the XCOM 2 Collection on Switch. I figure I'm around halfway through the base game, but I haven't touched the DLCs yet. There is a ton of content in these games, so that one might be a bit longer. 

And of course, I've been dipping into The Elder Scrolls Online once a day to just cruise around and keep my head in that space. Elder Scrolls Online drops on Stadia on the 16th of June, and I want to be ready to jump right in. I've completed the opening island 100%, and I have a horse now. When I automatically got my horse at level 10, I spent a moment remembering everything I went through to get a mount in old school World of Warcraft. Good lord, that game made you work for it.

Randy Kalista
In Fallout: New Vegas—a 10-year-old classic that I hadn't given the time of day to, at least until quarantine started lifting on a global pandemic, if that makes any sense—I'm having fun. Never thought it would happen to me. 

I resented a lot of things about New Vegas compared to Fallouts 3 and 4. I resented that New Vegas didn't let me "go anywhere and do anything," which is a hallmark of Bethesda open world design, but not Obsidian's. I resented that critics allow New Vegas to write its way out of bugs that crash my entire computer almost hourly. And I especially resented the inclusion of a convoluted card game that was indecipherable at best, and still gave me a "Caravan Master" Steam Achievement for 30 wins when I still don't understand the game 100 percent. 

But man, something flipped the switch. Now I appreciate the slow narrative buildup as I'm routed in a horseshoe shape around the southern half of the map, then coming up to toss a ringer around the Lucky 38 tower. Now I appreciate the complete tonal flip between my companions, with Boone being the tight-lipped sniper that keeps his physical and emotional distance in all things, versus Veronica who's the loose-lipped brawler, closing in on enemies and disclosing faction and family secrets with reckless abandon. And hey, did I mention that only 1.5 percent of Steam users get that achievement for 30 wins in Caravan? Even if it took me 10 years to turn around, the hook brings you back. Thanks, Blues Traveler.

Necromunda: Underhive Wars explores a dark corner of Warmhammer 40K

by: Sean Colleli -

The Warhammer 40,000 universe is one of the most lore-dense, sprawling and expansive fictional realities going. There's always some new faction or corner of the universe from the series' long and storied tabletop history. Now Focus Home Interactive and studio Games Workshop are diving into the legendary Hive World with Necromunda: Underhive Wars.

This new cinematic trailer will bring you up to speed on the incredibly harsh, hardscrabble existence in the Underhive, a place where all air and water are recycled and food is more precious than platinum. The Orlock, Escher and Goliath Houses all vie for supremacy in this dank hell world, which you can explore when the game comes to Steam, PS4 and Xbox One this summer.

25 EA games make their way to Steam

by: Nathan -

EA game has announced that a lot of their games, which previously have been exclusive to their Origin's launcher, will be making their way to Steam. There are more than 25 games available today with more coming in the future. 

Some of the games include...

  • Dragon Age 2
  • Dragon Age Inquisition
  • Mirror's Edge Catalyst 
  • Need For Speed Heat
  • Need For Speed Rivals
  • Need For Speed (2016)
  • Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • Unravel
  • Unravel 2
  • Fe
  • Sea of Solitude 

EA have also announced that games released on PC in the future will release on Steam alongside other platforms including the new Command and Conquer Remastered Collection which launches tomorrow. 

 

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is more than happy to let you die in a fire

by: Randy -

In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, so much of your workaday life is going to be nothing but steel geometry. You'll get your work orders, head out to a job site, and start cutting—cutting up salvage at the decommissioned spacecraft and orbital structures, and cutting down the insurmountable number of zeroes in your debt to the company you work for. It's all tackled with the hyper-corporate deadpan sense of humor that worked in games like The Outer Worlds, too. Here, the cold voice of the company is all the more detached-sounding since the tutorial, basically, is being delivered by female Speak & Spell auto-operator voice.

This video's topic covers fire. Fire is bad in your job. And Hardspace even does an interesting job of depicting how fire behaves in space. In zero gravity, the stuff kind of burns in a ball, consuming its fuel load in every direction; not just having flames lick upwards like they do here on Earth. Either way, since Hardspace hasn't introduced some Geiger-esque alien enemy for your to xeno-blast into smithereens, you may consider this your formal introduction to the bad guy. I mean, aside from the corporation you had to sell your soul to for nothing but the acquisition of more debt. But besides the corporation, fire is probably going to be the number one reason you die and have to get cloned and sent out to the job site again, costing the company more time, energy, and resources. Just a guess, but that'll probably come out of your paycheck, too.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker goes into Steam Early Access on June 16.

The Last of Us Part II

by: Rob -

With The Last of US Part II hitting its release in about two weeks time, Naughty Dog has released an Inside the World video to whet your appetite. The video focuses on more than just the locales presented in the game, but also the way the different factions are using the locales and resources available to them to prevent distinct challenges for the player to overcome. There's a real sense in this video that the game is going to try and. present you with tough choices on limited resources and leave it to the player to wriggle out of the sticky situations. I'm certainly hoping they pull it off with a worthy successor to the original which will always be near and dear to me.

 

Project Cars 3 announced

by: Nathan -

Well it's June and while there won't be a traditional E3 event this year, there will still be lot's of gaming announcements coming in the next month or so. Of course one of those is the yearly racing sim announcement. Project Cars is returning with Project Cars 3 coming out later this year. The game will include a fully fleshed out Career Mode, new online options and an expansion of the customizable sandbox experience.  

Project Cars 3 launches this summer for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

The Last of Us Part II only weeks away

by: Rob -

After its initial February release was pushed back amongst a global pandemic, it looks like we're finally going to get to step into Ellie's shoes in about two weeks time, June 19th, for The Last of Us Part II. Review copies are being slowly pushed out to press outlets and this time it seems like it's really for real. 

There's not a ton to be gleaned from the latest Official Extended Commercial. Ellie sings along wistfully to an acoustic rendition of New Order's True Faith as she runs towards freedom, bouncing back and forth between both the Infected and some hostile survivors. The flashback intermission briefly focuses on newcomer Dina before shifting forward via the Hamsa she once wore that now adorned Ellie's wrist. 

It's non-gameplay footage, but begins to paint the tale of love and loss that will inevitably unfold in the game itself, action amidst emotion. Take a look below.

The next Elite Dangerous DLC will finally put boots on the moon

by: Randy -

Elite Dangerous, a game about internet spaceships, is about to become a game about internet space boots, too. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is arriving early 2021, and it will let you leave your first-person cockpit to enter a first-person shooter point of view. Walk around! Go on foot! As Steve Carell repeats over and over in Space Force, "Boots on the Moon!"

Elite Dangerous, however, has a few more planetary bodies to land on than just the Moon. An entire Milky Way's worth of procedurally generated planetary bodies, in fact. That may not seem like a big deal, especially when there are other space games out there that let you both fly ships and walk around on planets. No Man's Sky certainly comes to mind. But most sci-fi games typically do one or the other, not both. And most certainly don't let you do it in a sandbox the size of our actual galaxy.

Now, walking around wouldn't look so good in Elite Dangerous, except these up-close looks will be "powered by stunning new tech." Which will be great to see, because currently, even flying over the surface at hundreds of miles per hour, there isn't a lot to see down on the majoritively rocky, barren, icy planets. Even this trailer indicates you'll still be seeing a whole lot of lifeless desert. 

Mission structure is going to get shooty in first-person, too. You see our pilots dressed in stuff that looks more armor-plated than a typical flight suit, and both are packing rifles. So, expect combat to be part and parcel with the new mission variety. The tactical landscape will have commanders, surface rovers, and spaceships converging. If Odyssey can pull this off, it'll do what the developers of EVE Online and DUST 514 had hoped to pull off: Create a game where air superiority and boots on the ground come together.

I've got a soft spot for Elite Dangerous. It single-handedly brought me back to PC gaming after a console-generation-long hiatus. Frontier Developers make questionable decisions, especially when it comes to balancing grind vs. reward in a game where you're just flying around space, grinding for space bucks in order to buy spaceships. But again, cruising through the only full-bodied model of our entire galaxy (that I've seen, anyway) was enough to earn it a spot on my 10 Favorite Games of the Decade.

Codemasters announces next circuit destination for F1 2020

by: Carter -

Goooooood morning, Vietnam!

Codemasters recently announced Hanoi, Vietnam as the next circuit destination for F1 2020. This city location fuses a street circuit’s characteristics with a permanent track layout. The lap, recorded by the F1 2020 development team, features Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. 

 
Hanoi Circuit is 5.613km long, features 23 turns, and takes inspiration from iconic F1 circuits such as Suzuka, Monaco and Nürburgring. Designed for action and overtaking, with two incredibly long straights, it promises to be one of the fastest circuits in the F1 calendar. With one of the shortest pit lanes, which removes both the final and first corners, pit-stop strategy could play a pivotal role in staying ahead of the competition.
 
F1 2020 will release on Friday, July 10, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox One X, Steam (PC), and Google Stadia (MSRP $59.99). Players who purchase the F1 2020 Michael Schumacher Deluxe Edition (MSRP $69.99) will receive exclusive content and three days early access.

A Total War Saga: Troy will launch exclusively on Epics Games Store

by: Carter -

Remember that scene in Troy where Achilles (Brad Pitt) defeats Boagrius in a single blow? That was a cool scene. 

Earlier today, Sega Europe and The Creative Assembly announced that A Total War Saga: Troy will launch exclusively via the Epic Games Store on, and it will be free to keep for players who download the title within the first 24 hours.

Troy plunges players into the legendary Bronze-Age conflict of the Trojan War, where they assume the roles of Achilles, Hector, and many other legendary heroes as they fight to defend the great city of Troy... or raze it to the ground.

"Thanks to Epic, we're able to offer a Total War title for free on its launch day. It's a hugely exciting thing for us to be able to do for our players," says Tim Heaton, Chief Studios Officer at Sega Europe. "Not only does this mean that we can bring the tales and legends of Troy to a wide audience through Epic's massive platform, but it also means new players will get to try Total War for the first time, experiencing the unique gameplay that the series is famous for."