Plans for Plunkbat include planning for more plans

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This morning, the PUBG dev team put out an elaborate letter to update the community about coming changes, priorities, plans for what comes next for the game, and how they plan to make their plans better known. You know, plans for planning plans. Some of this is probably related to recent server crashes, but there’s also an extensive list of upcoming changes for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds that need to be taken into account and I’ll try to break down everything of note. We’ve already covered Ghillie Crossing and Sanhok previously. Oh, and those real world arrests for cheating.

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Explore a technicolor forest in Shape of the World demo

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Shape of the World is a new explore ’em up game that has all the colors and shapes you might want, if you’re a big fan of colors and shapes that make you feel things. Way back in 2014, Hollow Tree Games ran a successful Kickstarter to get SotW off the ground. Now it’s a reality. Or whatever we should call the trippy world made manifest here. Reality probably isn’t the term.

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Horror survival driving game Beware drifts into a demo

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You know that feeling of being really excited that a survival game coming out but that also means that you have to play that survival game and now you can taste acid in the back of your throat along with a little bit of the Caesar salad you had for lunch? Well. That’s where we are. And I’m certainly thrilled about the whole ordeal, because Beware — the indie survival horror driving experience — is something I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. Now, with our small glimpses of development in the rear-view, I can finally accelerate(? eh.) into a full demo. So park yourself– you know what, I’m not going to do this. You don’t want it, I don’t want it. Let’s reverse.

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Video Game History Foundation explores early names for “video games”

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Video games, by any other name, would smell as sweet. Which is to say, I dunno, they smell like whatever you smell like while playing them? (Recently, my replay of the Dead Space series has lead to some very sweaty moments. Yes, I’m sweating over video games and I need to go for a walk.) But when did the term get… coined? The folks over at The Video Game History Foundation looked into that question, and watching 1970s journalists trying to agree on terminology is both fascinating and infuriating.

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The Wolf Among Us 2 will not be among us until 2019

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Like a lot of Telltale stuff, I got really excited for The Wolf Among Us because I adored Bill Willingham’s Vertigo comic book series. I played the first episode of season one and was like “Hell yeah, check out that hot wolfdadbod. Rawr!” And then I failed to see it through for way too long. Never fear, dear reader, for I finally finished season one back in March. It is… so good. Few things in recent games have simply oozed that level of style, and I am here for it. Unfortunately, today we’ve been told that Telltale is pushing back the release of The Wolf Among Us 2 into 2019.

This is the result of “fundamental changes” around Telltale Games. Changes like laying off a quarter of your staff and potentially switching game engines. Ch-ch-ch-changes.

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Free games of the week

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A mix of the fun and serious is what I am bringing to you in this week’s roundup of great free games. We have wacky games about boxing and surgery, games requiring quick and precise movement, and a lovely adventure about someone looking to find a lost artifact. We then move into two more serious games: one about a girl trapped in a broken home, and the other about the effects of an eating disorder on an individual. Sometimes, sombering games are exactly what you’re looking for… Read the rest of this entry »

What are we all playing this weekend?

Another long weekend? What a treat! We’re off on Monday then will be back in full force on Tuesday. Bank holidays are traditionally times to visit the seaside, or sit in honking motorway queues headed towards the seaside at least, so I assume that’s what we’re all up to. But bookending that, video games, yeah?

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on!

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Overlordy: Turn 15

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Your requests for turn reports incorporating moving images have been noted. While Overlordy will remain an exclusively words and jpegs affair, reportage for next year’s communal CM marathon will, touch wood, incorporate some video highlights. If I’d had a cine camera during the complicated, chaotic turn recounted below, I suspect it would have spent most of its time ogling the action swirling around Larcher, our doughty, seemingly indestructible pioneer leader.

(Overlordy is an open-to-all game of Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord in which German forces are orchestrated by commenters while British units are computer controlled. For a scenario outline and summaries of earlier turns, click here). Read the rest of this entry »

Cute platformer The Forestale is secretly… Doom, kinda?

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Taken at face value The Forestale by solo indie dev Yorzh Aleksey isn’t a particularly noteworthy game. A fairly standard 2.5D platformer, currently slated for release on Steam. It seems decent enough in a early 2000’s kinda way, but the game itself isn’t the interesting bit.

No, what makes The Forestale fascinating is that it’s a full indie platformer developed entirely in the GZDoom engine. Yes, that GZDoom engine. The one that powers the likes of The Adventures Of Square, Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny and, yes, even Brutal Doom. I’ve said it before, but Doom really is everything now.

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Pillars of Eternity II’s free sidekick brings her own booze

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While Rear Admiral Walker of the good ship RoPapSho wasn’t entirely enamoured with Pillars of Eternity II‘s blend of Baldur’s Gate-ish CRPG’ing and fantasy Caribbean piratical adventuring, the game has certainly found its niche, and the chanting from the crowd is loud and clear. People want more Pirate Stuff to do, and more pirates to hang out with. A little chunk of free DLC released today – the Rum Runner’s Pack – adds a bit of both, if your idea of Pirate Stuff is getting blind drunk on delicious dark rum with a new buddy.

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Wot I Think: Unforeseen Incidents

Oh my! Oh what an actual proper treat. Ladies, gentlemen, humans of Earth, I have for you a really good point-and-click adventure game! It’s Unforeseen Incidents, and here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset

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I’ve spent the past few days in a sadly cider-free Summerset, the High Elven setting of The Elder Scrolls Online‘s latest expansion pack. Like the Morrowind DLC before it, Summerset functions as both a big, fat barrel of new things to do/kill/collect for established players and a clean entry-point for newcomers.

I’m somewhere in the middle of that, as someone who stopped by for a nostalgic return to Morrowind – The Elder Scrolls III being one of the best RPGs ever, to my mind- last year, but otherwise feels that his days with traditional MMOs are behind him. Another way of putting that is “someone who fancies some more Elder Scrolls while waiting for whenever and whatever the next mainline Elder Scrolls is.” An oddball mix of tranquil solo adventures and extreme MMO noise, Summerset is surprisingly good at scratching that itch, despite also replicating the sins of a hundred other games.
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Yume Nikki’s version 2.0 update takes the dream deeper

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It’s no secret that recent 3D reboot/sequel Yume Nikki: Dream Diary (an impressively redundant title) left fans of the quiet indie cult-hit exploration original disappointed, as well as our resident dream-delver Adam. A combination of mechanical missteps, technical problems and a much narrower range of environments and things to do with them left many cold.

Development of the game doesn’t seem to have slowed or stopped since its original release, however. Today, version 2.0 of the game rolled out, a major free update adding several more dream-worlds to explore, new things to do in them and apparently some new secrets to dig deep into.

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The Overwatch League must take burnout seriously

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The Shanghai Dragons are still yet to win an Overwatch League game.

In response to some fan’s concerns about this record, their manager, Yang Van, released a statement on the subject – but it ended up being less than reassuring. He explained that the Dragons “have the most intensive training scheme among all the teams… Our daily schedule starts at 10:30am as we leave for training facilities and return to our houses around 10:30 to 11:00pm, with a possible training extension to 12:00am; we train six days a week with one day off.”

To get the obvious out of the way: it’s not working. What’s worse, the overwork is likely hurting – just as it’s hurting other Overwatch League teams. Read the rest of this entry »

Roof Rage puts Smash, Samurai Gunn and martial arts movies in a blender

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Any kind of competitive multiplayer game walks the narrowest of tightropes. Maintaining balance, pace and visual readability is a challenge few smaller studios can pull off, but I reckon Roof Rage from indie outfit Early Melon might be in with a chance, with a blend of familiar elements served up with its own distinct style. It’s due out this June, and there’s a debut trailer full of brutal pixel charm within.

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Wot I Think – Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time

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The past few years have been good for TV and film-licensed games, especially anime tie-ins. What used to be a dumping ground now contains a growing stable of games blending compelling mechanics with 3D art that captures the look of the original 2D animation.

Based on the popular Netflix-backed anime series, Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is sadly not one of those, but not for lack of trying. It’s a game with grand ambitions that go unfulfilled.

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Fortnite Battle Royale mulls permanent big-squad mode

Ever since Fortnite Battle Royale first introduced 50v50 as a time-limited event mode last year, some folks–including Fraser Brown on this very site–have called for it to become a permanent fixture. Welll developers Epic Games haven’t confirmed that yet, but they have talked about keeping some sort of “larger squad mode” around at all times. They’ve been gabbing about what they’re working on right now, see, including improving performance and connections as well as adding a ‘Playground’ event mode for players to lark about. Read the rest of this entry »

Best PC gaming deals of the week

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While I’ve still got Frostpunk, Dark Souls Remastered and State of Decay 2 sitting in my current backlog, it’s a comfort to know that no matter how far removed in time we get from FMV games, just the sight of one will make me want to instantly drop everything and go play them instead. Case in point, this week’s batch of the best PC gaming deals of the week includes multiple FMV adventure games from the mid-to-late nineties in all their campy goodness.

As usual, we’ve also got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.

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Age of Wonders: Planetfall makes a great case for leaving fantasy behind

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For nearly two decades, the Age of Wonders series has been firmly entrenched in a fantasy realm, with all the tropes that accompany it: Orcs, Halflings, meddling wizards and flying lizards. Triumph Studios’ latest 4X outing, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, does away with all of that. It swaps magic for mechs, pitting alien races against each other in a galaxy reeling from the collapse of the last great space empire, the Star Union.

“We’ve been working on fantasy games all our lives, but we also had the fantasy of making a sci-fi game,” says Lennart Sas, Triumph Studios’ CEO. “It gives us more opportunities than a direct sequel would ever give us. It’s a good middle-ground between doing something that’s close to our hearts, but also something that allows us to experiment.”

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The Sims 4 Seasons blasts Simlish Steal My Sunshine

A Simlish version of Len’s red-hot summer jam Steal My Sunshine accompanies the announcement of the ‘Seasons’ expansion for The Sims 4, and it’s twisting my melon, man. If you’re going cruising this long weekend, lash this one out in your car and enjoy confusion spreading across the faces of people next to you at the traffic lights. Sims 2 and 3 both received Seasons expansions, so it’s no surprise that it’s coming again to add special seasonal shenanigans across the Simyear. But look, really this post is all about Steal My Sunshine: Read the rest of this entry »