Lurid rooftop rampage High Hell is out now

Pew pew

High Hell is a game that just screams Devolver. While the indie publisher may not produce much directly, they have curated a house style that is unmistakable. Lurid colours, offbeat (and often crude) humor, low-fi graphics and deep, bassy beats. Developed by Terri Vellmann of Heavy Bullets and with a soundtrack from rapper Doseone (Enter The Gungeon, Gun Godz, Samurai Gunn – he likes guns), High Hell is out now.

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Here are Wolfenstein 2’s system requirements

wolfenstein-2-specs

Popular nazi-killer B.J. Blazkowicz will be back to his old shooty-shooty ways this Friday with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Today publisher Bethesda have taken a break from their piggy-backing marketing long enough to post the PC system requirements along with details of uncapped framerates and aspect ratios. Here they are.
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15 minutes of grim cyberpunk RPG Radio The Universe

Radio The Universe

Radio The Universe is not a high-profile game. Until it surfaced on Kickstarter five years ago (raising only $81k, but in excess of all stretch goals), nobody knew it existed, nor of its developer, the enigmatic solo artist 6e6e6e. All we’ve seen of it since is an old trailer and some brief animated GIFs and clips, posted intermittently to the developer’s Twitter feed and YouTube channel.

Until yesterday.

After watching fifteen minutes of nearly uncut Radio The Universe footage, I find myself both thrilled and filled with regret at not chipping in on the Kickstarter back in 2012. Read on, and take a look for yourself.

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In Tartarus you play a cook on a broken spaceship

Hey good lookin', what you got coo-- oh I see the ship is about to explode

Let me inspect my compare-o-chart. Ah yes, I can see that upcoming sci-fi puzzler Tartarus [official site] looks like: part Alien, part Hackers and part… Under Siege!?

You play as the cook of a spaceship on which all the retro-futuristic devices are breaking down, and you have to fix them by using the “antiquated” command-driven computers. There’s no monster or otherworldly nightmare to fight or avoid – the ship’s security protocol has simply glitched, locking everyone in their rooms, resulting in a perilous decaying orbit into Neptune. As a chef, you’ve no idea about engineering, electronics or computing. Good luck.
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Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates

Pun Crime

Octemberweenmas is the most magical time of the year, filled with skeletons, imported turkeys and jolly fat men in chimneys. For us videogame-appreciating sorts, it’s also the season for dark forces to align and savagely maul our wallets until there is nothing left but tattered receipts, regrets and a swelling backlog of games to play.

At least this year we’ve been forewarned. Through a combination of dates leaked on reddit and journalists poking developers, we now have dates for Steam’s upcoming Halloween, Black Friday/Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday sales.

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A brief chat with the creator of Dust 2 on Valve’s recent map overhaul

counter-strike-global-offensive-new-de-dust-2

It’s hard to think of a map in a multiplayer FPS that’s more famous or popular than De_Dust2. Dave Johnston created the original version of Dust for Counter-Strike 1.0 way back in 2000, with Dust 2 coming out the following year. How many other levels are worthy of a sequel?

Valve recently gave the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive version of the map an overhaul, their goals being to improve readability, refine player movement and update the visuals. I had a quick chat with Dave to get his opinion on the changes.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2’s voice acting credits include “pile of corpses”

“Hello, do you think you’d be able to perform the voice of a pile of corpses, a bull, a deer and a painting?”

When the decision was made to have Divinity: Original Sin 2’s dialogue fully voiced, the sheer quantity of text seemed like the biggest hurdle but I hadn’t considered the difficulty that casting some roles would involve. Voice actor Jay Britton, who has worked on TV and radio as well as games, including Elite Dangerous and The Journey Down, revealed the full list of 35 characters that he played in Larian’s RPG. It ranges from apparent fantasy staples such as Pilgrim and Lizard Skeleton all the way to Pile of Corpses, Dead Civilian, Bull and Deer. It’s as good a brief summary of the weirdness threaded through this wonderful RPG as anything I’ve seen and I asked Jay which was the most memorable character of the lot.

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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds blue zone of death is now even deathlier

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds

It’s easy to forget that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is in early access, given its current position as industry-baffling overlord ascendant of all things multiplayer and shooty, but we’re still some ways off from its official release. In a Steam community update on Saturday, developers PUBG Corp outlined their plans for the game between now and its version 1.0 launch, as well as detailing some tweaks in the latest patch.

The good news: Armour is now more consistent, where previously it would fail to stop bullets from time to time due to bugs.

The bad news: The all-consuming blue zone of death does not care about your pathetic human armour, bug-ridden or otherwise, and is now even more damaging than before.

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Duelyst gets 100 card expansion in mid-November

Cardwards and onwards

I’ll always remember Duelyst for its spectacularly dumb monster fights. Following a recent takeover from Bandai Namco, the collectible card game is continuing on, eggs-a-poppin’ and minions-a-marching. Next month there’ll be an expansion of 100 cards, including six new generals with which to lead your beasts into battle,  one new leader for each faction. One of them is called “Ragnora the Relentless” which is a perfect name for any small pet.
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The Evil Within 2 is even spookier in first-person mode

The Evil Within 2

I liked the original The Evil Within, but I can’t deny that it was flawed, so I was very pleasantly surprised when the sequel was well received among horror fans. Our own Spookologist Olivia White called it an “extremely fitting follow-up”, and it seems that the PC version of the game might have one gruesome last trick up its sleeve.

While monkeying around with the developer console (easily unlocked, thanks to the game’s Idtech-variant engine), various eagle-eyed players have noticed a command to lock the game into a near-permanent first person perspective, and it works better than you’d think. Just to add some icing to an already deliciously scary cake (it has little chocolate spiders on, I’m sure), this isn’t flagged as cheating, so achievements are still tracked in full.

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Try first-person fishman-botherer Fish’s demo

Fish

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Doom-era FPS design. The combination of speed, simplicity and scalability is a heady mix that holds strong to this day, as demonstrated by the multitude of recent attempts to recapture that feel through the likes of Devil Daggers, Dusk, Strafe and Overload, as well as Doom’s own undying modding scene.

When a game comes along that gets my Doom Senses tingling (Rip and tear!), but also makes me giggle, I figure it’s worth sharing. So come and take a look at Fish, a new ‘Fish Person Shooter’ from Brazil currently seeking funding to help it to completion. Hit the jump for some video and a playable demo.

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Black Future ’88 promises excessive synthcore roguery

Black Future '88

Not too long ago, I’d while away many an idle afternoon crunching my way through arcade games via emulation. Nowadays, that niche in my life is filled by a seemingly endless procession of action-roguelikes, offering that twitch action fix with the promise of a fresh set of challenges each time.

The latest to catch my eye is Black Future ’88 from SuperScarySnakes, a platform shooter with an in-vogue grungy ’80s sci-fi aesthetic, some delectable music and some gorgeous looking laser and plasma effects. Hit the jump for the impressively well cut trailer.

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Skulldash brings high-pressure arcade thrills to Doom

Skulldash

This is Doom. You know this. The rhythms have been burnt into your DNA by this point: Gun, demons, maze, exit. Now add a ticking time limit forcing careful target prioritisation and precise movement and a level full of floating tokens which require collection (most of them, at least) before the exit will reveal itself. This is Skulldash: Expanded Edition, a massive mod re-released for the GZDoom engine today, and it’s really quite brilliant so long as you don’t mind being a little hurried.

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Shin Megami Tensei comes to PC as a free Metroidvania

SMT Synchronicity

The long-running Shin Megami Tensei series has worn many strange hats over the years. From singular (and now defunct) PC MMO to handheld dungeon crawlers and even spinning off into the mega-popular multi-genre Persona line, there are few unifying elements behind the series outside of adorable snow-sprite Jack Frost.

To promote the upcoming 3DS re-release of SMT: Strange Journey, Atlus pushed out a fake trailer for a platform adventure starring the little snowman and his fiery brother Jack ‘O Lantern. It did look like a nice game, though.

One double-fakeout later, and Atlus confirmed that not only was the the ‘fake’ game shown real, but free, on PC, and out now. Better still for us english-speaking types, there’s a (partial and fan-made) translation patch, so hit the jump for the trailer that started it all, the game, and the translation.

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Party Hard Tycoon replaces murder with management

Party Hard Tycoon

2015’s Party Hard was a decent little distraction, and the ultimate excuse to crank up Andrew W.K’s Ready to Die to obnoxious levels. A light, stealthy-puzzle game where you play as a disgruntled serial killer trying to very permanently break up overly loud parties that have been interrupting your sleep. So it only stands to reason that the second game in the series is a tycoon-style party management sim.

Wait, what?

Strange as it sounds, Party Hard Tycoon is real and out now, albeit in Early Access form. Hit the jump for an enthusiastically lurid trailer.

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Spelunker Party puts a friendly face on ’80s masocore

Spelunker

Look at that picture above. It’s inviting. It’s bright. It features charming, bouncy kid-friendly characters and a variety of adorable pets including a multitude of kitties and puppers. This is the very image of a casual, easygoing family game. It’s even coming to Switch, backed up by the exact same marketing.

Spelunker Party must have murdered that sweet, innocent game to wear its skin like some kind of retro-gaming Leatherface. Spelunker has been the cold, unfeeling soul of cruel and unusual masocore platforming incarnate since 1983, and now it’s out on PC. Run, hide and be very careful not to fall more than three feet at a time.

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Daggerfall for Unity: Now with a beginning, middle & end

Daggerfall Unity

My earliest memories of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall were of fear and excitement at the boundless possibilities of a true fantasy sandbox. Of amazement at the most comprehensive character creation screen I’d ever seen, and of deep annoyance when I managed to fall through the floor and into an endless void in the first minute of the game.

I’ve spent over twenty years waiting for someone to fix Daggerfall, and that dream seems tantalisingly close to being realised. Daggerfall Unity (Daggerfall ported to the Unity engine, shockingly, and something we’d briefly covered years ago) can now be played to completion, and with greatly reduced risk of falling through a crack in the world.

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Hyakki Castle is Japan’s answer to Legend Of Grimrock

Hyakki Castle

It’s always nice to see a familiar concept filtered through another culture’s lens, and the recently announced Hyakki Castle seems just what the doctor ordered for Legend of Grimrock fans wanting another fix of dungeon exploration, party-building and monster-mashing, and it’s less than a month away.

Coming from new Japanese outfit Asakusa Studios, Hyakki Castle is almost exactly what you’d imagine a Japanese Grimrock would look like. Familiar grid-based, real-time movement, party-based combat and your usual assortment of puzzles and traps refreshed through a new environment and a gallery of weird monsters, spirits and fiends to bother. Check out this trailer:

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Black Panther, Monster Hunter & Sigma hit Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is a maddening game. At heart, it’s a solid addition to the classic Capcom tag-team fighting series. A festival of explosions, colours, superheroic excess and Capcom’s forgotten characters dusted off for a cameo. Unfortunately, it’s also a mess of questionable design decisions and bizarre corner-cutting, letting down an otherwise excellent core experience.

The latest of these questionable decisions is the choice to sell three characters featured in the main story of the game as paid DLC shortly after release. This week on Tuesday, Black Panther, Monster Hunter and Sigma arrived for the price of £6.49/$8 each, on top of the £40 you’ve already paid. Ouch.

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Hollow Knight’s second free expansion out next week

Grimm

One of my greatest gaming regrets of this year is getting about halfway through Team Cherry’s excellent metroidvania Hollow Knight, then getting sidetracked by a pile of work. In order to get properly back up to speed, I reckon that I’ll have to start fresh, although with the rate at which they’re pumping out free DLC I might just wait a little while longer.

We have previously mentioned upcoming expansion The Grimm Troupe, but now it has an official release date: October 26th, and it’s bringing a lot of exciting new stuff to the already densely-packed game.

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