News

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."

 

Confessions of a New Vegas hater

by: Randy -

We can all change our minds, right? We're all entitled to being wrong, recognizing our mistake, and then correcting that, aren't we? Having the ability to reposition ourselves and our opinions after new information has come to light is, for one thing, a badge of honor in the scientific community. I don't necessarily have that excuse when it comes to Fallout: New Vegas. In the nearly 10 years since it launched, the game hasn't changed. I have. You can watch some of my gameplay above. I mean, it certainly sounds like I'm having a good time.

My reasons ("reasons") for disliking New Vegas ever since it launched are manifold and questionable. Some had to do with persistent bugs that, unmodded, exist to this day. My current playthrough basically crashes to desktop once every hour to two hours without explanation or apology. I've run across NPCs, both friendly and hostile, frozen in place in the desert, either staring unblinkingly across the sand, or flying into the sky—Skyrim style—after taking my lead pipe across their forehead. Those are all fair criticisms.

The less-fair criticisms come from my playstyle not coalescing with the gameplay. You see, when it comes to the Bartle taxonomy of player types, I'm an Explorer. Almost 100 percent. That's as opposed to Killers, Achievers, and Socializers. I don't remember what my "Bartle Quotient" was. It's been some years. All I remember is that when it comes to Acting vs. Interacting, and Players vs. World, I spiked hard on World and Interacting side of things. That's what firmly put me into the Explorer archetype.

Well, of all the things New Vegas does well, it doesn't give an explorer much to chew on. At least not in an Elder Scrolls sense. Exploration is worthless in New Vegas compared to a Morrowind, or Oblivion, or Skyrim. And by saying, "Exploration is worthless," I mean that it's not rewarded. You won't stumble across much of anything that's not in the script. And there's no room for emergent gameplay unless you count Caesar's Legion elite assassins coming after you as "emergent." Which it's not. That's just something you get to deal with forever, as soon as you make Caesar mad enough—which I manage to do rather quickly in-game.

You can already see how I'm comparing two unalike quantities here. Bethesda is the parent company of The Elder Scrolls. And Bethesda is also the parent company of Fallout. But Fallout: New Vegas, specifically, was made by Obsidian Entertainment, makers of highly regarded games like Neverwinter Nights 2, Pillars of Eternity, and most recently, The Outer Worlds. The Outer Worlds just won a Nebula Award for Best Game Writing, for crying out loud. It's obvious Obsidian knows how to write its way out of anything.

It can write its way out of relentless game-crashing bugs, write its way out of little to no payoff for those of us with wanderlust, and it certainly writes its way out of emergent gameplay. You can't hardly out-write Obsidian, which means there's nothing left for a player like me—a player that craves subtext and environmental storytelling in video games more than the kind of writing that nets you a Nebula Award.

But then something changed. No, this isn't where I earned that scientific badge of honor by examining new info and changing my stance with New Vegas. It's more of like when a politician changes their mind but is labeled a "flip-flopper." New Vegas is still bug-ridden. It's script is still king and has nothing subtle to convey that the writers aren't already telling you. And there's no reason to go 10 feet off to the left or right of the highway when you're moving from point A to point B, because the most you're going to explore and find is a prickly pear and a handful of cigarettes. Hey, maybe there's subtext to be found in that, but if so, it's too subtextual for me.

So, like I said, the game hasn't changed: I have. Right now, for this potentially very narrow window of time, I've shifted somewhere up or down, left or right, on the Bartle taxonomy of players. I'm normally an Explorer, but this time I'm not chasing waterfalls. I'm not an Achiever, but this time I learned how to play Caravan, an in-game game of cards, and snagged 30 wins against NPCs across multiple townships; only 1.5 percent of players on Steam have that one. I'm no Killer, but I'm running around with Boone and ED-E to make it so we wipe any opposition off the map within seconds of encountering them. And I'm no Socializer, but chatting incessantly about New Vegas with our own John Yan has propelled me to think about, write down, and expound on the changes I've experienced between 10 years ago and today.

I may still be an Explorer, but muffling that need gave me the ability to walk just a little bit towards those other three sections of my Bartle Quotient. I'm less upset at the maze-like floor plans of every single indoor structure; REPCONN hallways are as samey as they are labyrinthine. I'm less annoyed that I walked around the entirety of McCarran Airport and was rewarded with nothing but boxy construction and slightly varying mounds of dirt. And I'm less disappointed that Black Mountain looks nothing like Black Mountain and more like a dark pile of rocks stacked in a ziggurat shape.

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. And I know I can't go anywhere and do anything because signs are posted up from the beginning warning me away from herds of Deathclaws blocking the way from the starter town of Goodsprings to the city of New Vegas. I resented that critics allow New Vegas to write its way out of bugs that crash my entire computer almost hourly. Yes, I know there are mods to patch the worst offenders, but I'm playing vanilla, bugs be damned. 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 I was giving myself the runaround, the hook brings you back; thanks, Blues Traveler. 
 
Now (now!) I can walk a lonely highway where the lights of the city burn with the same amber glow of the UI. And now I can enjoy changing in and out of Caesar's Legion skirts and wolf hats as I cut a path destruction through his encampments. There's a lot to love out here in Fallout: New Vegas. I'm just glad it didn't take me another 10 needless years of hate to get here.

 

Nintendo Download for 5/31/2020: So, you want to hear a story, eh?

by: Russell -

This past weekend saw several new releases including a few huge collections hitting the Switch with three of them hitting a Nintendo system for the first time. Those three include Borderlands Legendary Collection, Bioshock: The Collection, and XCOM 2 Collection, all of which launched on May 29th. Borderlands Legendary Collection is the first three games in the Borderlands series: Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Ultimate Edition, with all three games containing their DLC campaigns as well as their base campaigns. Bioshock: The Collection cointains Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite, each with all of their single-player add-on content.

Then there's the XCOM 2 Collection which contains XCOM 2, four DLC packs (Resistance Warrior Pack, Anarchy's Children, Alien Hunters, and Shen's Last Gift) and the War of the Chosen expansion. Finally, Xenoblade Chronicles:Definitive Edition lets you discover the origins of Shulk as he and his companions taken on a seemingly unstoppable menace using real-time combat and strategy as you journey across a massive world.  If you're a fan of any of these four games and want to play them on the go, this is a good way to check them out.

Outside of collections we also have the next game in the Shantae series with Shantae and the Seven Sirens. This time around Shantae gains new Fusion Magic abilities while exploring a vast sunken city and taking on the titular Seven Sirens. Then there's Liberated, where you have to use your wits, hack the system, sneak around, and solve puzzles in a noir cyberpunk story.  Liberated will be available on June 2nd but you can check out the demo now on the eShop.

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