Wonder Boy-inspired metroid’y platformer Aggelos is out

Aggelos

Typical, really; you wait decades for a Wonder Boy revival, and three turn up at the same time. Aggelos is the second in a trio of games from different studios heavily inspired by (or just plain remaking) entries from the Master System/Mega Drive cult hits Wonder Boy and Monster World. While Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap was a pure remake, and the upcoming Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom looks to build on the later games in the series, Aggelos is shooting for charming old-school aesthetics paired with modern Metroidvania level design. It’s also out today.

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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is heading to sunny Sanhok this week

sanhok

Sanhok, Plunkbat’s third battleground, is set to launch on Friday. It’ll be accompanied by an update that will make performance tweaks, throw new weapons into the mix and update the UI. The map’s the smallest of the trio, so matches should shorter, but since you’ll still be duking it out with 99 other players, expect the actual battles to be larger.

Take a gander at the trailer below.

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Escape From Monkey Island is rubber, DRM is glue

monkey-island-4

Nobody of even 10% sound mind would argue that Escape From Monkey Island, the fourth in Lucasarts’ gaggle of madcap, piratical use x on y 90s/00s adventures, is the highlight of the series. Some people of at least partially sound mind, including our John, might argue that it’s not the worst either. In any case, the collector urge is a powerful one – Escape has for some time been exclusively available via GOG, but perhaps the news that it has all of a sudden gone DRM-free will sway the minds of the Steam-or-bust crowd. And perhaps the news that the entire Lucas-Monkey family is currently discounted by over 50% will lure in those seeking a bath of calm nostalgia after the sound and fury and E3. Read the rest of this entry »

OK/NORMAL is a PlayStation-era vaporwave nightmare

OK/NORMAL

Have you ever dreamt about games? Fragmented memories, mashed together into a semi-coherent whole that evaporates moments after waking? OK/NORMAL feels like someone’s fevered dream of early PlayStation-era 3D gaming, condensed, bottled and ready to drink deep from. The first game from prolific YouTube demake artist 98Demake, it’s a short and sweet little interactive nightmare that channels fuzzy memories of blurry CRT screens, early polygon graphics, warped textures and early CD audio, spiced with a dash of vaporwave weirdness.

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ARK’s third expansion, Extinction, likes its critters large

ARK: Extinction

Sure, you might have tamed yourself an entire stable full of T-Rexes, but humans aren’t the apex predators in ARK: Survival Evolved anymore.  At least, that’s the only conclusion I can reach when looking at a beastie with claws as big as your enormous dinosaur steed. Announced just today and due for launch this November is the third (and possibly final) expansion to the game, ARK: Extinction, featuring new environments, new tech and some very large monsters.

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Hop on your (beetle) bike for Guild Wars 2’s next episode

Guild Wars 2

The star of Guild Wars 2‘s latest expansion – Path of Fire – was undoubtedly its mounts. The best I’ve seen in an MMO, with a real sense of weight and inertia and with reason to exist beyond getting you quickly from point A to B. On top of the now-standard new zone and story quests, next week’s big update (Season 4, Episode 3: Long Live the Lich) is introducing a ridiculous new mount, and it looks like an absolute joy to ride around on, as you can see in the trailer within.

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Frostpunk’s Survivor Mode is icing hopeful players today

Frostpunk

Okay, which of you asked for this? Survival-management game Frostpunk was already bad enough, turning innocent and mild-mannered RPS writers into tyrannical despots desperate to eke out just one more day in the frozen apocalyptic wastes. Today’s update threatens to push them over the edge with a new difficulty level – Survivor Mode – for those who figured even Hard was too forgiving. The new mode removes active pause mode, and limits you to a single rolling save slot. In short, it’s Ironman mode, and they’ve not solved the icing problem.

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Fancy creator homepages come to Steam

creator pages

I’m not sure how many new features Valve will need to bolt onto Steam to aid in the discovery of games before it actually works, but today we see another one arrive. It’s actually a good one this time, though! Creator Homepages are custom hubs attached to developers and publishers, essentially working in the same way as Curator pages. You can follow them and get notifications about new games, while they can create lists and collections, or shine a spotlight on specific games.

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The Culling 2 won’t be mucking around in early access

like this but more sequely

Too soon? Last week’s announcement that The Culling 2 was in development came as a bit of a surprise, not least because the first game only left early access last October, before being left fallow a couple of months later. Though it grew popular in the pre-Plunkbat early access killing fields, the players drifted off, leaving the finished product bereft of contestants.

Developer Xaviant argues that it’s not too soon, however, because two years have passed since The Culling first hit early access back in 2016 – something that proved to be a process that didn’t work out at all well for them. Which is why The Culling 2 will not be going down the same path. Read the rest of this entry »

Modding tools will inject new life into Dead Cells

dead cells

Roguey romp Dead Cells – one of the best games of 2017 – is getting mod support, possibly as soon as this month. It’s been requested frequently, so the announcement still comes as a pleasant surprise, mentioned at the end of a brief update post yesterday. The early access game is also now available on Linux and Mac – just pick those versions in the beta branch. Read the rest of this entry »

Not including a tutorial in Cultist Simulator was “the most contentious decision of the whole project”

cultist-simulator

I’m still not sure if I actually like Cultist Simulator, but I’m definitely fascinated by it. For now at least, I’ve finished reading Alexis Kennedy’s marvellous in-game words, but I’m not done reading about the game, and enjoying picking over Lottie Bevan’s retrospective on the game. She’s the other half of dev team Weather Factory, and there’s one bit in particular about how she and the publishers felt uneasy about there not being a tutorial – but “Alexis was dead set against it”. Read the rest of this entry »

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries delayed until 2019

mechwarrior delay

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and BattleTech launching in the same year was obviously just too much mech for this world. The latter came out in April, giving us control over a bunch of planet-hopping mercs, but its first-person cousin, originally slated for December this year, is now stomp stomp stomping its way into 2019. Read the rest of this entry »

Cyberpunk 2077 PC specs revealed for its incredi-E3 2018 demo

cyberpunk-2077-trailer-still-4

I didn’t even go to E3 last week, but the sound of the games media’s collective jaws dropping over CD Projekt Red’s astounding Cyberpunk 2077 demo traveled so far across the globe that it was almost like I was in the room there with them – especially after reading Brendan’s exhaustive preview on the subject, his interview with lead cinematic animator Maciej Pietras and Dave’s in-depth Cyberpunk 2077 guide on everything we know so far.

Indeed, some jaws were so badly damaged by Cyberpunk 2077’s behind-closed-doors demo that they claimed it couldn’t possibly be running on any kind of current gen hardware – that this futuristic world of neo-noir, drug-addled cybernetic mercenaries had, in fact, been beamed in from the year 2077 itself. But thanks to CD Projekt Red’s official Cyberpunk 2077 Discord channel and this handy list of official CD Projekt Red responses to the game, we now know otherwise.

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Quake Champions extends its free giveaway to June 25th

Quake Champions

It’s been heartening to see Quake Champions doing so well. After the likes of LawBreakers failed to draw the crowds even during free beta events, was there even room in the market for an old-school arena shooter? Apparently so, as when Bethesda announced at E3 that the game was going free-to-play early (for a limited time), the servers filled up fast, and stayed full. They reckon they’re on to a good thing, clearly, as they’re extending the giveaway for another week. Tag the game now at Bethesda.net or on Steam and keep access forever.

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Warriors Orochi 4 set to mangle history on PC in October

Warriors Orochi 4

Let us all forget, for a moment, the unmitigated disaster that was Dynasty Warriors 9 and remember a better time. A time when musou games (as they’re known) were simple, cathartic affairs where one hero gets to beat up hundreds (if not thousands) of foes in a single brawl, all without any of that tedious open-world fluff. Well, Warriors Orochi 4 looks to be going back to those good old days, and for the first time since 2008 is bringing this particular mash-up crossover series to PC.

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Cuisine Royale is battle royale about wearing a kitchen

Cuisine Royale

We’ve all thought it: what if we could cover our entire body in Plunkbat’s stalwart frying pan? Why should we be limited to covering just our posterior, when surely the rest of us is just as in need of protection. That’s the premise behind Darkflow Software’s April Fools’ gag, which has since been transformed into a proper game, Cuisine Royale. Hunt down 99 other people, all while wearing a kitchen.

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Platform roguelike Noita’s pixel sorcery still impresses

Noita

I’ve always loved the concept of completely physics-driven worlds in games, but so few have gotten it right. While others have tried and failed, I’ve got high hopes for upcoming platformy roguelike Noita, especially after its appearance at E3’s PC Gaming Show. Within, an exciting little trailer showing off enormously detailed environmental destruction, pixel-on-pixel violence, some impressive lighting effects and all silky smooth to boot, despite every single pixel being its own physically defined object.

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Brigador adds new pilots & units to raise hell all day long

Brigador

Gleeful synthwave mech-warcrime shooter Brigador got just that little bit better today, and it was already good enough to keep me coming back for the occasional spin well over a year from its launch. In what developers Stellar Jockeys are calling the ‘Nĭ Hăo a Tutti’ update (on account of adding Chinese & Italian localisations), the lighting engine has been overhauled, and a bunch of new pilots & vehicles have been added to Freelance mode, along with the option to play completed campaign missions with any loadout you like.

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Rhythm hit Groove Coaster drops the beat on PC in July

Groove Coaster

Taito’s Groove Coaster series has been a mainstay in both arcades and on mobile for yonks now. A one or two-button rhythm game with simple sprites and vector graphics paired with a broad range of Japanese electronica, often featuring Taito’s quirky in-house band Zuntata. An unusual pick for a PC port, but as someone with it constantly installed on their phone I’m certainly not complaining that Degica and Taito are set to launch it on PC this July 17th.

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