Ready Steady Splat: Carmageddon Leaves Early Access

I have a soft spot for Carmageddon and I fear that the Kickstarted Reincarnation [official site] is going to steamroll over that soft spot and turn it into a gloopy red mess at the side of the road. After a prolonged stint as an Early Access title, Stainless Games’ rebooted Deathracer launched yesterday. I’ve only played briefly – although I spent a few hours with earlier versions – and while I’m not hindered by the performance issues that continue to affect many, Reincarnation hasn’t reignited my love for the series. Maybe my tastes have changed since my teenage years and maybe Carmageddon hasn’t changed enough.

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Wot I Think: NEON STRUCT

NEON STRUCT is a first-person stealth game from the makers of the excellent Eldritch. You play as a federal agent who falls foul of high-level conspiracy when an apparently routine mission goes wrong. It’s out now.

It might have lacked much of what made later stages of Ion Storm’s game so beloved, but first level Liberty Island was also the freeform Deus Ex promise writ largest: a wide-open playground for action and most especially evasion. While what followed introduced more ways to kill, people to talk to, secrets to find and decisions to agonise over, it downscaled the sandbox, live by your wits promise. What if Deus Ex had been like Liberty Island throughout?

NEON STRUCT.
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Cracked: Roguelike [encrypted] Launching Next Weekend

If you want everything explained to you in a game, [encrypted] [official site] is probably not for you. Roguelikes have traditionally been a genre rife with curiosity and uncertainty, but that’s faded somewhat in modern roguelikes and roguelikelikes. [encrypted] won’t even let you read its text unless you do a little code-cracking, yet is intended to be intuitive for the curious.

It’ll launch on Saturday, May 30th, developer Niall Moody announced today. Come have a look.

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Wot I Think: Loop

Previously released on itch.io, puzzle game Loop arrives on Steam today. I’ve been creating order from chaos, to tell you wot I think.

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Travel to Hong Kong With First Shadowrun Screens

Now that some Shadowrun: Hong Kong [official site] screenshots have finally been released,¬†we’re allowed a first glimpse at what life for our Runners will be like in the Far East. In short, pretty similar to what we’ve encountered so far in Seattle and Berlin, but with a more Eastern twang. Shanty street markets, dimly lit docks and rooftop hideaways all scream Shadowrun. As does the now familiar art style, which looks like Harebrained Schemes have taken an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach. And rightly so.

There’s a teaser trailer too, but it shows absolutely nothing and gives us no clearer indication of when we’ll get our hands on the game beyond “summer 2015″.

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Procedural Horror Monstrum Leaves Early Access

An escape-o-survive-a-horror game where not only does the world change shape every time you play, you’re not even sure which ‘orrible monster you’re facing either is an interesting idea. That’s Monstrum [official site], made by Team Junkfish, which Marsh wasn’t wholly enamoured with when he played the version on Steam Early Access. Wasn’t his cup of tea, y’ken?

But you, maybe you like scuttling around corridors, scavenging for supplies, and squeezing into lockers as horrible, horrible monsters pace outside. If you do, but only in finished games, hey: Monstrum hit version 1.0 and launched out of Early Access this week.

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Gotta Catch All Of Them: Moonrise

The headline is just one of several catchphrase suggestions for Undead Labs’ upcoming Moonrise. They could also go with “You Simply Must Capture ‘Em All” or “Cram yer pockets with pure tiny monsters, aye?”

The game, coming to Early Access on May 27th, might be the one to fill the enormous Pokemon-shaped hole in PC (and Mac) gaming. I swear there have been several attempts to Kickstart some kind of Pokemon-like but I can’t remember a single one and I’m always slightly surprised that Nintendo’s franchise hasn’t spawned a genre of imitators, as appears to be the case on tablets and cleverphones. The trailer for Moonrise is below.

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The Flare Path: Eras Of Judgement

Last week while I was busy snubbing Stock Car Extreme, Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator, Deer Hunter: The 2005 Season, and countless other quality simulations, Australian developers N3V were busy outshopping Trainz: A New Era. According to their cock-a-hoop copywriter it’s ‘the best Train Simulation experience ever’! Unfortunately, the laptop that I’m toting round the West Country at present, begs to differ/dither. Flare Path’s TANE verdict will have to wait until I’m reunited with a more muscular rig. The best I can do right now is mull over what others are saying about this aspiring TS2015 toppler and recommend for a second time rapidly maturing roguelike Armoured Commander. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital Distributor Desura Late With Dev Payments

Desura is one of the lesser-known digital distributors, but for a fair while it was a fine way for small developers to sell their games without struggling through the gatekeeping of Steam or other stores. It’s behind the Indie Royale bundles too. In recent months, though, it’s been less kind for developers. Some have been waiting months for payment for sales, and many who asked what was up didn’t receive replies. Which is worrying.

Now Desura’s owners have come out saying there are “delays” and “issues” they need to correct but they really honestly will pay everyone.

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Fast & Furiosa: Games Workshop’s Mad Maxy Dark Future

‘Can we make a game like Mad Max: Fury Road before everyone forgets about it or a massive backlash starts up?’ is probably a question on a lot of developers’ lips right now. Pure momentum, minimal exposition, a whirlwind of wordless world-building: this is the stuff digital dreams are made of. Avalanche are working on an official game, but I think it’s the games which react to the finished film rather than were made contemporaneously which are more likely to evoke some of the George Miller film’s breakneck ferocity and backstory-by-implication. We’ll see. In the meantime, while we’re still thirsty for more, here’s another latter-day adaptation of the 1980s concept of the post-apocalypse. Games Workshop’s road combat boardgame Dark Future. Witness it:
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Cyberpunk First-Person Sneaker Neon Struct Released

Minor Key Games went Lovecraftian with their first game, Eldritch (one of Alec’s favourite FPSs, don’t you know), and their latest goes for another theme I’m always happy to see more of: espionage and conspiracy in that dear old dystopian cyberpunk future.

Neon Struct [official site] sees a spy on the run after being framed for treason, delving into intrigue and trying to clear her name as she sneaks around. It launched this week, and has a demo with the first two missions.

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Full Steam Ahead For The Curious Expedition

In the six months since I wrote about The Curious Expedition [official site], a great deal has changed. The shiny new trailer below shows some of those changes, including dicey combat, a world map, yawning great chasms that swallow expeditions whole, and a victory screen. It’s possible that the victory screen was in the build I played last year but I certainly never saw it. I was too busy pondering the strange appeal of cannibalism and befriending a donkey.

The latest version is now available via Steam Early Access as well as direct from the devs.

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Can AMD Make Gaming CPUs A Two-Horse Race Again?

This. Is. Zen. Probably

The roulette wheel of rumours that is PC hardware news is usually pretty pointless, unless bun fights over shader specs or clock speeds are your bag. But, occasionally, something really significant for the future moves into view. This is one of those times. AMD has been talking about its upcoming PC products and technologies in the last week or two, including a completely new CPU core and some fancy memory technology that might dramatically change the way we all think about integrated graphics and gaming. Is Intel’s stranglehold about to be loosened?
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