Bizarro strategy-RPG Pit People launches next week

Pit People

The Behemoth have charted a very strange course through the games industry. A small studio established by Flash-hub Newgrounds’ founders, they followed up their Metal Slug-esque Alien Hominid with Castle Crashers, a bright and breezy brawler. Next up was co-op platformer Battleblock Theater, a logical enough progression. I’m still not sure why they opted to make the direct sequel a hex-grid, turn-based strategy RPG, but I’m glad that they did.

After over a year in Early Access, Pit People is due for release, and will officially be 100% complete and ready to consume on March 2nd.

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Heroes of The Storm’s latest patch adds voice comms

RAAAARRRGH!

It has been said that if you ever want to learn to swear in every language known to man (especially Russian), you merely have to play a few rounds of Dota 2 without disabling voice chat. Knowing this, Blizzard’s decision to include this as the latest standard feature of their softer, milder take on the MOBA genre comes as a bit of a surprise.

As of today’s patch, Heroes of The Storm now allows your team to share their exact and unfiltered thoughts on your performance without having to go through the trouble of typing them.

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The ESA rejects proposed DMCA exceptions to allow the non-profit and unofficial revival of dead online games

Battlefield Heroes, previously revived, then un-revived after EA objected.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that games are a legal minefield, and so much of what we take for granted – mods cheekily using repurposed art assets, or fan-games bringing joy to the masses – are often technically illegal, at least under current American copyright law.

Recently, several groups including the Museum Of Art & Digital Entertainment (MADE to their friends), put forward the argument to the US Copyright Office that existing game preservation exceptions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) be widened as part of regularly scheduled legal revisions. This would allow for ‘dead’ online games to be more easily revived by entities other than their rights-holders.

Unsurprisingly, the ESA, representing a great number of major gaming publishers has spoken out against this.

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Rocket League’s Tournaments beta test kicked off today

Quick! Round up the team! Round up your mate’s team! Round up everyone you know and lock them inside virtual cars to play football, because you only have a few days to officially prove which lot of you are the best at Rocket League. Psyonix today launched an open beta test of their sports car game’s new Tournament system, which will handily handle all the brackets and bits of running a tournament in-game. So no, your boy Reg cannot complain that the organiser is fiddling the seeds or lying about scores or… the game will handle everything. Tournaments will officially launch later this year but right now they’re in public beta testing until Friday night. Read the rest of this entry »

Paladins Battlegrounds mode now battling royale in beta

The thing about battle royale modes, right, is that the broad principle can be bent to many different games across different genres. They needn’t be ‘Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds but with…’ (Plunkbuts, as I’m sure you already know ’em). Robocraft doing battle royale with weird warbots is pretty decent and certainly different, and now battle royale is meeting class-based fantasy action in Paladins‘ Battlegrounds mode. Yes, that name is gobsmackingly cheeky. But while the name is a rip-off, the game might offer something different. We can see for ourselves now, as Hi-Rez Studios today launched Paladins Battlegrounds into public alpha testing and it’s free to play. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield 1’s final expansion, Apocalypse, is out now

Battlefield 1: Apocalypse

Some people just want to see the world burn, but there’s enough smoke and hellfire in Battlefield 1‘s final chunk of DLC to make even the hardiest of soldiers want to pack up and go home. Fittingly wrapping up the pesudo-historical shooter’s tour of World War 1 with its grimmest battles, Apocalypse is live for anyone with the Premium pass, or the complete ‘Revolution’ edition of the game.

Within, the bombastic yet fittingly dark launch trailer for the DLC.

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Out-rock the apocalypse in Double Kick Heroes

Double Kick Heroes

In Mad Max: Fury Road, one character was clearly having more fun than the rest: Coma, the Doof Warrior. You know, the guy with the flaming guitar and massive wall of speakers providing growling musical accompaniment to the carnage unfolding around him. Double Kick Heroes takes that concept and runs with it; what if the power of metal itself was the one thing keeping you alive on the irradiated roads of the apocalypse?

Originally debuting in the 34th Ludum Dare dev-jam, that particular one limiting designs to the concepts of ‘Two Button controls’ and ‘Growing’, the rhythm shooter Double Kick Heroes hits Early Access this April, now free of its old restrictions.

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Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus is XCOM with machine-worshipping cyborg nutters

mechanicus

In the grim darkness of the…

[HIDDEN MOVEMENT]

…far future, there is only…

[HIDDEN MOVEMENT]

…war.

Given the number of Warhammer 40K videogames clogging up Steam’s arteries these days, it’s surprising how few of ’em take an XCOMmy, turn-based squad tactics approach. There’s 1998’s Chaos Gate, and 2015’s slightly too straightforward and more RPGy Deathwatch, and that’s about it. Perhaps the newly-announced Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus will fill that hole, seeing as it’s also doing the whole out-of-mission squad management thing and well as having what looks suspiciously like a Geoscape.
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Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Discovery Tour censors all the nudey statues

We’ve only just started exploring the newly released Discovery Tour for Assassin’s Creed Origins, but there’s something we thought you should know. Gone entirely are all the marble boobies and winkies. For what we can only assume are “educational purposes”, the game’s many statues have been rather daftly covered up by a plague of seashells. Read the rest of this entry »

Way Of The Passive Fist is a parrylicious beat ’em up

Duffing up baddies in a side-scrolling beat ’em up usually involves chainwhips, repeated blows by a blur of fists, jumpkicks, and at least one special move that’s basically just shouting. Way Of The Passive Fist is not that sort of beat ’em up. Instead, it wants us to carefully dodge, parry blows, and tire enemies out until we can knock them down with a single cheeky poke. Having button-mashed through a fair few beat ’em ups, I’m well up for a little more caution and thought. I don’t have long to wait, as the developers have announced Way Of The Passive Fist will arrive on March 6. Here, watch this: Read the rest of this entry »

The Station is a first-person alien mystery with an intriguing premise

stationheader

How would you react to the discovery of an advanced but violent alien civilisation in the midst of a civil war? That’s the question that opens the pitch for sci-fi explore-o-puzzler The Station, and it’s intriguing enough for me to want to check out the game based on that alone. You play as a recon specialist sent to investigate a supposedly undetectable surveillance station that’s cut off communication, where you’ll uncover what went down via the crew’s AR logs. It’s out now.

So, Tacoma with a focus on a inter-species ethics and questions about surveillance and the limits of moral authority? Yep, I’m on board.

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MotorStorm team’s new racer Onrush looks smashing

Codemasters tend to frown upon carfights, urging people to drive responsibly through their F1 and Dirt games, but their next race ’em up certainly looks smash-happy. Onrush is its name, and driving fast while smashing other vehicles is its game. It’s made by the Codies studio formerly known as Evolution Studios, who made PlayStation racers MotorStorm and Driveclub before Sony closed the studio and Codies snapped up the team. Though Codies announced Onrush last year, they’ve been weirdly quiet about the fact that it’s coming to PC too; I’d entirely missed that fact until this new trailer. Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Electric green man Blanka finally returns to Street Fighter

Blanka

It’s better to be fashionably late than a total no-show. Blanka’s absence from Street Fighter V at launch was a bitter pill to swallow, but everyone’s favourite weird Brazillian jungle-monster-man is back today and on form.

Rejoining the likes of Ryu and Dhalsim and a few other frenemies from the good old days of Street Fighter 2, Blanka has picked up a few new tricks and some impressive costumes on the way, including one very, very silly one..

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Hand of The Gods: Smite Tactics is out today

Hand of The Gods

It seems that Fable Fortune isn’t the only lesser-known CCG leaving Early Access this week. While a little more timely than it’s genre-cousin due to Smite still being a regular favourite on the competitive MOBA circuit, Hand Of The Gods: Smite Tactics looks like it may be struggling a bit already with its launch today into a very crowded genre as it leaves Early Access.

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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is out now

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

In another time and place, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition would be the easiest game to recommend. A lovingly crafted, highly polished update of a truly classic RTS, putting Blizzard’s recent efforts to polish up Starcraft to shame. Boasting proper 4k art, a smoothly zoomable camera and major interface enhancements, it looks like an excellent upgrade.

Unfortunately, this just seems an ill-timed and ill-positioned launch. For die-hard fans of the Age of Empires series who need to have the most polished version of each game in the series, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is out now and available to buy, assuming you have Windows 10. As for the rest of you, there may be better options.

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Warhammer: Vermintide downs one more for the road

Vermintide

We may be just two weeks from the release of Warhammer: Vermintide 2, but studio Fatshark are supporting the original game right up until the bitter end. In fact, the latest update for the game adds that bitter end for you to experience first-hand.

Released as part of a free update, yesterday’s Patch 1.11 adds one final mission to the game, entitled Waylaid, which sets things up for the sequel in surprisingly dramatic fashion. Lohnar has a job for you, so it’s back to the Red Moon Inn for one last round.

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Robocraft Royale’s public alpha test is live, and good fun

Robocraft Royale

I’m not good at Battle Royale shooters. Most of my time spent playing usually involves crawling through long grass or hiding in bathtubs, hoping desperately to make it to the final 15-20 players simply by being a no-show to combat encounters.

My second round of Robocraft Royale (a spinoff of Freejam’s construction-combat sandbox Robocraft) saw me taking control of a railgun-equipped giant robot catgirl maid, ferociously bullying a rocket-equipped truck (which escaped, albeit totally disarmed) and later switching up to pilot a WW2 bomber to defeat a rival mecha-catgirl that had cheekily blown a hole clean through my pretty robot head.

What I’m saying is that Robocraft Royale might just be on to something special, and you can try it right now, free.

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The Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter 1 expansion has a long name and a release date

elite-dangerous-beyond

Elite Dangerous is now four years old somehow, or five if you count the various betas. In that time, it’s gone from impossible promise (ah, those halcyon 2012 Kickstarter days) to absolute bedrock of modern PC gaming, what with its blend of solo noodling about, lethal PVP sandbox and slow-burn, community-driven storytelling. Whether it’s quite what we expected a new Elite game to be half a decade ago is an enduring question, but by this point it’s very much its own game, including embracing the ‘Seasons’ concept that’s so hot right now (er, again for about five years). Season 3, ‘Beyond‘ is kicking off at the end of this month, with a headline wordcount-challenging update named Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter One.

It introduces a whole mess of changes, including new types of ship and traders, revisions to crime and the punishment thereof and an overhauled mission system.
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Burnout Paradise Remastered will finally bring Big Surf Island to PC

Criterion’s fab open-world racer Burnout Paradise is getting fancied up for a re-release later this year, Electronic Arts announced today, ten years after its original launch. Burnout Paradise Remastered, as it’s named, is prettified and whatnot, and will include most of the DLC – including the Big Surf Island expansion that skipped PC the first time. Burnout Paradise is good. This new is good. Sadly our version is coming after the console release, but I am still well up for this. Here, look at this announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Mod support was “essential” for Final Fantasy XV’s PC outing

FFXV Cactuar mod

Last August, Square Enix finally confirmed that the upcoming PC version of royal roadtrip Final Fantasy XV would indeed come with full mod support when it launches on March 6. At the time, though, the developers kept schtum about exactly what that might entail. Indeed, it was only over the weekend that we got our first glimpse of what a potential Final Fantasy XV mod might look like. Fancy the idea of turning everyone in party town Lestallum into adorable cactuars? Then you’re in luck.

Cactuar skins are all well and good, of course, but what else does the team have in store for budding modders? To find out, I sat down with director Hajime Tabata, technical director and lead programmer Takeshi Aramaki and game design and development manager Kenichi Shida and quizzed them (and their translator) about exactly that.

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