We are taking a break until mid-summer


Hello, people reading my blog.
I am sorry to say this but I am forced to stop posting for quite a long period of time. About 3 months, more exactly.
The reason ? School.
Right now I'm in my last highschool year and I have to study a lot for my finals. I have many exams ahead that will probably decide the way my life will follow.
After finals, I'll have to study for my university admittance, and that will eat my time as well.
I will probably be back in August.
Thanks for reading and I hope that you understand me.

Have a good day and I'll see you in 3 months.

Watch Killing Floor: Incursion's dev talk from the PC Gamer Weekender

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Born from an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod in 2005, Tripwire's Killing Floor created a splash when it launched in full in 2009. By 2014, the zombie-slaughtering FPS had shifted close to three million copies.

The in-development Killing Floor: Incursion offers familiar Zed-slashing fare but with an up close and personal VR twist. At the PC Gamer Weekender, Tom invited Tripwire president John Gibson to the Dev Stage to talk all things Killing Floor, not least its incoming virtual reality-inspired iteration.

Expect trailers, in-game footage and questions from the presentation's live audience. Over to Tom and John:

Planet Coaster cheat lets you drive go-karts in first person

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Apparently a new holiday has been christened today, as Frontier Developments declared it Planet Coaster Cheat Day and took the opportunity to reveal some previously undiscovered cheats hidden in its theme park builder. There's a whole slew of them, but the one in the video above is easily the coolest. Name a go-kart track in your park "Bollard" and you'll be able to take direct control of a go-kart in first person.

WASD steers the kart, Shift honks the horn, and there you go: it's no Mario Kart, but you can drive around a course of your own design at ground level. For an extra boost, name an NPC "Andy Chappell" and take control of their kart. If you can avoid spinning out, you'll rocket past the other racers in their pathetic, normal speed go-karts. Hopefully the modding community will find a way to make this multiplayer, and we'll give it a week before horrific first person go-kart accidents start showing up on YouTube.

Some highlights from the other revealed cheats include being able to take control of a park guest in first person as they walk around your park by renaming them "TegidCam", turning off roller coaster friction by renaming a guest "Andy Fletcher", and giving security guards the ability to plow through guests like a bulldozer by renaming them "Lockettman". You can also make all of your guests simultaneously vomit by renaming a shop "MCLINTHE" if that's the sort of thing you are into.

You can see a full list of all the cheats Frontier showed off today on Planet Coaster's official forums, though it's safe to assume there's more where those came from waiting to be found. I thought cheats were nearly extinct nowadays, so it's nice to see a game keep the unscrupulous torch lit.

Stardew Valley adds six new languages, improves controller support

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After months of murmurs within the farming role-player's forums, Stardew Valley now has localisation in six new languages. Update 1.2 also brings with it improvements to controller support as well as a host of bug fixes.

Surplus to its default English option, players can now sow and socialise in German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Brazilian-Portuguese.

Publisher Chucklefish bills this as the latest update's "biggest" new feature, however controller support has been improved across a couple of key areas—such as snapping between menu buttons as default, and accelerating faster in the event this function is disabled.

On the bug fixes front, the following points have been resolved/adjusted:

  • Fixed lighting shader not covering the whole screen on Mac and Linux.
  • Switching from 'Windowed Borderless' to 'Fullscreen' should now go straight to fullscreen instead of Windowed mode.
  • Wallpapers and floors no longer have a tile placement indicator showing a random object.
  • Increased stability of preference-saving code. This should fix infrequent crashes that require the player to delete startup_preferences.
  • Fixed a crash that can happen when a pig tries to spawn a truffle but there’s no space for it.
  • Fixed a couple of rare crashes that could have occurred at any time during the game.
  • Fixed a typo of the word ‘pronounce’ in the marriage event.
  • Fixed the player not getting the recipe for Cookies if they skip Evelyn’s event.
  • Farming level now affects crop yield prior to level 10.

Chucklefish also notes that update 1.2 is for now exclusive to PC and that while Steam players should see the update installed immediately, GOG players may notice a slight delay in its implementation.

Prison Architect developer's next game is coming out later this week

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After developing Prison Architect for six years, three of which were in Early Access, developer Introversion Software's next game is getting a much quicker turnaround. In fact, the first-person exploration game called Scanner Sombre will be coming out this Wednesday, April 26. No Early Access, no beta, just a full launch later this week for what Introversion's lead designer Chris Delay tells us is a "palate cleanser" after Prison Architect.

Scanner Sombre uses a unique visual mechanic that mimics a real-life LIDAR scanner. The game's world is completely invisible, but you can send out thousands of points of light to cover the landscape and slowly reveal the space around you. Delay told us the whole game is essentially one giant particle cloud with no limit to the number of LIDAR dots you can create, and every dot's position is saved exactly where you put them. A rainbow color scheme indicates distance and depth as you slowly work your way through the game's mysterious cave system.

Scanner Sombre is a shorter game compared to ones Introversion has made in the past, obviously with a much shorter development cycle than Prison Architect, and Delay said that was the goal from the very beginning. "We've actually spent longer on it than we initially intended. We wanted it to be a really quick turnaround, nice breath of fresh air, nice palate cleanser as we called it internally."

It was also apparently no small task to get this particle effect working. "It was really hard," Delay said. "It took us ages. We started out using a particle system that stopped working after about 10,000 particles, and then ended up [restarting] basically entirely from scratch just so that we could have enough particles on screen to make it look as dense as it does."

The Witness designer shows off prototype of new game

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The Witness designer Jonathan Blow has shown off an early prototype of a new game. While not official in any capacity, the unveiling happened during his talk at the Reboot Develop conference in Croatia. Thankfully, it was livestreamed on Twitch, so we're able to get a look at it as well—it's been uploaded to YouTube by Daniel Bross, and you can see it in the embed above.

It looks like it's a puzzle game that consists of pushing blocks around. According to Blow, it's still very early on in development, as most of the work has been focused on creating the level editor and engine, which will be made available to other developers for free. He said that he "should make and ship" a game on this engine, so we could could end up seeing it come to fruition. And apparently, he's already thrown together more than 25 hours of single-player gameplay, but he noted that it's unpolished and the visuals aren't final.

It might be a while before we see or hear anything else about this untitled game, but we'll be sure to report back when something is revealed. Blow's last two games, Braid and The Witness, were both puzzle games that garnered many positive reviews.

Call of Duty: WWII's first images leak, include a guy with a gun

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Activision announced Call of Duty: WWII with nothing but an image of a lone soldier. The company's plan was to make the actual big reveal on April 26, but for a short period of time, people could get a look at three separate, very small images of the upcoming first-person shooter.

Reddit user Braderz_12 noticed the images on the Call of Duty website's login page. There isn't much to them, but it sure is nice to see a Thompson submachine gun again. However, if you're hoping to get a look at them on the site itself, the images appear to have been replaced.

On top of this, Amazon has put up boxart for Call of Duty: WWII, and it features the same image of the soldier from the announcement. However, we can't be sure that this is the final artwork, and personally, I hope it's not.

Call of Duty: WWII's reveal is set for April 26 at 10 AM PT. There's no word on what will be shown, but if history is any indicator, we'll likely get a trailer that highlights the campaign. We do know that Sledgehammer Games is developing it.

Free N++ Ultimate Edition update adds another 2000 levels

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Today's launch of the free N++ Ultimate Edition update doubles its size to a ridiculous 4340 "hand-crafted, finely-tuned levels."

And in case the game wasn't hard enough for you, the update also brings a new Hardcore mode, "which changes the rules of the game and lets the player see Solo in a whole new light," developer Metanet Software said. "Hardcore mode is all about skill, so it's a true challenge for the Ultimate ninja!"

The Ultimate Edition update also includes 60 new color schemes, new ninja headbands, secrets, and at least one new achievement. And, as mentioned, it is free, while N++ itself is on sale for half-price—that's $8/£6/€8—on Steam.

GTA Online goes old-school with top-down Tiny Racers mode

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Grand Theft Auto didn't always look like it does today. The original, released in 1997, was built around not-entirely-dissimilar over-the-top crime spree action, but featured top-down, arcade style gameplay. It's a look that Rockstar is reaching back to for Tiny Racers, a new stunt racing mode coming to GTA Online next week.

Rockstar didn't have much to say about the mode except that it puts "a new spin on classic Grand Theft Auto action," but the trailer shows groups of four cars racing along narrow tracks, DMA Design style (that was the name of the original GTA studio), battling for powerups including weapons, mines, and parachutes—which look like they'll come in handy, given elevations (and lack of guardrails) involved.

GTA Online: Tiny Racers is set to go live on April 25.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

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Everybody knows those scenes from the movies where the hero is trapped in a room with a bomb and he is given instructions through the phone on how to disarm that bomb, while it slowly ticks down. Have you ever thought how it feels to be that guy ?

Think no more. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will make you feel just like him.

If you often have gatherings with your friends and you enjoy playing games that will make your brain explode, this game is just perfect for you. You will find yourself disarming a suitcase bomb with multiple modules that only you can see, while trying to describe these modules to other players who have a manual which gives instructions on how to disarm them.

The player defusing the bomb is placed in a room where he can rotate the briefcase with the bomb to see the modules and look for important details that may give hints on how to disarm them. The modules can range from pressing buttons, cutting colored wires to memorization and Morse code reading. The main game includes 33 bombs to disarm, each harder than the last one, but you can choose to try free play mode which has an infinite number of bombs with random modules attached.

The difficulty of the game depends on how familiar you become with the modules. The earlier bombs will not be too difficult to beat, even for a first-timer, but the later ones will require experienced players. Sometimes you will need more than one person to help you with instructions from the manual, so I recommend gathering a group of friends and keep some pens and paper close as you go through the bombs.

The manual can be used in many ways: you can read it on a different computer, making sure that the bomb defuser doesn't see it, or you can swipe through it on your phone. For a more authentic experience and more adrenaline, I recommend printing it.

The game can also be played on Oculus Rift. The most noticeable difference is that playing on the Rift makes it easier for those reading the manual to keep from looking at the screen to see the bomb, while also the same computer to read it.

I recommend trying Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes together with your friends, you will constantly feel adrenaline rush through your veins and you will be sweating bullets. Your mind will be blown.

Name: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Developer: Steel Crate Games
Publisher: Steel Crate Games
Released: October 8, 2015
MSRP: $14.99

Cities: Skylines Mass Transit expansion gets a release date

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On May 18 the Cities: Skylines gets more syklines in the Mass Transit expansion. Monorails, cable-cars, ferries and blimps are included in the $12.99 / £9.99 pack, which also adds new types of landmarks, and roads, and massive transport hubs to link all these things together. No mention of an Elon Musk style Hyperloop yet, though.

The update also includes new scenarios that challenge you to solve traffic problems. "Become an expert in traffic flow," says the blurb on the official Mass Transit update page, "use that knowledge to improve your city!" There are also new hats for Chirper the definitely-not-Twitter social media bird.

AMD Ryzen 5 smashes records at nearly 6GHz

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AMD this week announced its Ryzen 5 series of processors with fewer cores and lower prices than its Ryzen 7 lineup. Arguably the most intriguing one of the bunch is the Ryzen 5 1600X, a 6-core chip that is clocked the same as the Ryzen 7 1800X. Turns out it's also a pretty good overclocker, at least when liquid nitrogen is involved.

Renowned overclocker "Der8auer" was able to crank a Ryzen 5 1600X to just over 5.9GHz (5,905.64MHz, to be exact). He managed the feat without disabling any of the cores, and in the process set a record for the highest overclock on a 6-core part, beating out a Core i7-5820K for the top spot.

Other hardware involved the record-setting overclock included an Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero X370 motherboard, 2GB of G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 RAM, and a 128GB Samsung SSD. On the software side, he was running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

With a full pot of LN2, temps dropped to around -170C. Der8auer was then able to run the chip at a base clockspeed of 129.79MHz with a 45.5X multiplier. It is not clear what he set the voltage at.

While overclocked, Der8auer ran a few benchmarks, achieving record breaking scores in Cinebench (R15 and 11.5), GPU Pi, and Geekbench 3.

Check it out:

Crawl out of the dungeon while murdering your friends

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This review is coming later than it should, because Crawl has been around for quite a while already. If you're reading this and you're surfing Twitter often, there is a great chance you have heard of Crawl already, or at least you've seen some of it's wonderful pixel art and GIFs all over Twitter.

Crawl is that game you might remember having played a few months or years ago, with your friends, at some party or on some random night out. The game has been around in a pre-release state since 2014, but its "full release" version has been around for less than a week.

Crawl is a local multiplayer dungeon-crawler where you and your friends take turns playing as either the hero or the monsters. Not in a pass-the-controller-to-the-next-one kind of way, but in a kill-the-hero-and-become-him-and-then-try-not-to-get-killed-yourself kind of way.

The atmosphere in Crawl is filled with murder, betrayal and madness. After the narrator finishes his speech during the intro, the four human players are left to fight each other with knifes and clubs until only one emerges glorious from the fight. He will be the hero who will wander the dungeon alone.

As the hero, you do the same dungeon-crawler things you do in other games of this genre: explore rooms, dodge traps, loot gold which you can use to buy new equipment, spells, and items. You level up as you gain experience by defeating monsters, you can drink strange potions to get stronger, and you can do many other things that you can also find in other games of this genre.

But wait a bit. I said "four human players" earlier, but there is only one hero. Something is strange here. What happens to your three friends if you manage to beat them ? What happens to you if one of them beats you ? Well, you become a ghost.

Yes, you've read it well. You become a ghost. That's where Crawl overtakes the other games of this genre: while one of you and your friends becomes a hero, the others have to stop him from becoming stronger and from going deeper in the dungeon.

Ghosts can not directly harm the hero, as in hitting him, but they can do other things to do so. They can possess any random trap and trigger it at the right moment to harm the hero. Or they can haunt some random chair or pot to hurl at him. If you're the fighter kind, ghosts can possess summoning sigils found throughout the dungeon and reincarnate as a random monster predetermined by whatever deity you selected at the beginning. From a slimy slug to a fiery dragon, there are lots of creatures you can reincarnate as. Kill the hero and you will have your humanity restored. But, only if you deal the last hit.

This is what makes Crawl one of the best games to stay up late yelling at your friends. The constant rotation of your teammates as the monsters working together to bring the hero down and the competition to get that last hit, and then the mad hunt for the new hero.

In addition to the gold you gain while being a hero, there is a secondary currency in the game, called Wrath. You gain Wrath while playing as a monster, according to how much damage you dealt to the hero on every floor. You then use it to upgrade your monsters after the current floor ends. This way, the person who played as the hero the least will always have access to the strongest monsters, and the player who got an early lead as the hero will face hard times after the other players catch up and upgrade their monsters.

Each monster has two defining moves. They are usually some kind of direct attack combined with either a dodge move (bat demons will fly away, retreating, while slugs will dive into the earth and reappear elsewhere), or some kind of obstacle or hazard (pools of acid vomit, walls of flame, etc.).

The balance doesn't always seem right between the monsters, though, and that's something you might expect from a cast of 60+ creatures with unique skills. There are some monsters that are just too powerful and easy to use that they completely overshadow the others.

However, heroes are not completely powerless. The variety of weapons and items you can find and use is insane. Ranged weapons such as bows and slings can help against the most annoying monsters, at the cost of damage. Spells like floating lasers or cursed blades that summon giant swords from the sky can ruin a monster's day immediately. Yet, even some items seem underpowered compared to others.

All this fighting leads to the final confrontation: the boss fight. When a hero reaches level 10 or higher, they can activate a portal and face the boss in order to escape victorious from the dungeon. Or not.

The bosses in Crawl are giant creatures that can be controlled by each of the three ghosts. Or at least parts of them. One player will take control of an arm, a head, a tentacle or a giant eye and use it to bite, crush or burn the hero. Survivors who make it out will unlock extra items and evolutions for their monsters. Losers who have the courage to challenge the boss three times and still fail will have their humanity removed from them and their three-initial name deleted from the recorded history.

Even if you are playing alone, without your friends trying to kill you, you can still choose to play with A.I. players. The game allows for A.I. players and they do a great job at trying to make your run as hard as possible. There are challenge modes to unlock and compete for every monster, achievements to undertake, a massive vault of items and Easter Eggs to search for. Have you found the Gaben statue ? If you have the bad luck to be the hero and one ghosts decides to possess it, you're gonna have a bad time. Good luck killing him.

Good things take time, and so Crawl's full version did. After spending a long time in pre-release state, the results speak for themselves. Crawl is probably the best dungeon-crawler game to play with your friends if you want a competitive atmosphere, defined by betrayal and murder.

Name: Crawl
Developer: Powerhoof
Publisher: Powerhoof
Released: April 11, 2017
MSRP: $14.99

Bandai Namco teases new project with the tagline: 'Prepare to Dine'

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Bandai Namco has dropped a teaser trailer for an unnamed "new project" which flaunts the tagline: 'Prepare to Dine'.

As I'm sure most of you are aware, the Bandai Namco-published Dark Souls series' axiom is Prepare to Die, and the following animated short does echo the gothic architecture and towering adversaries of Hidetaka Miyazaki's twisted games. That said, Miyazaki has said the Souls series is finished for now and there is no mention of developer From Software here. It's most likely the use of this slogan is purposefully tongue-in-cheek, however what does could it mean?

"Enjoy this original animation inspired by a new title in development by Bandai Namco Entertainment," reads a statement on the Bandai Namco website, "due to be announced on April 20th, 2017".

There's no mention of platforms either—for whatever this mystery project may be—however here's the ultra-stylish animated teaser nevertheless:

The Long Dark launches countdown that probably relates to long-awaited Story Mode

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Open world survival game The Long Dark entered Steam's Early Access initiative in 2014. It first teased its much-anticipated Story Mode in late 2015, and set a provisional due date of spring 2016. That slipped, forcing Hinterland Studio to post a lengthy community update in December explaining it didn't want to rush something that wouldn't meet both it and players' expectations.

The developer has now launched a mysterious countdown which, at the time of writing, stands at 21 days, and 23 hours. Besides the game's logo and iconic axe moniker there's nothing else to go on beyond that, except the option to sign up for further updates.

The folks over at The Long Dark's corner of Reddit are convinced this is it, and, against the delays and Hinterland's previous updates, I struggle to imagine they're wrong. As part of the December update, Hinterland quoted Shigeru Miyamoto's philosophy on delayed games saying "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

Here's an excerpt from that update, posted by Raphael van Lierop:

"2016 has been a challenging year for me, and for Hinterland. We opened the year with the plan of launching Story Mode this past Spring, but I just didn’t feel good about where things were at, given the compromises I felt we were making to do that. I wanted to push further, do more, with the game, knowing that after all this time of you waiting for Story Mode, it would have to be something truly groundbreaking to really live up to your expectations. And to live up to our expectations."

"It’s been a constant balancing act between keeping our Sandbox players engaged and happy with updates, and also having the majority of the team working away on Story mode. Since it’s difficult to share Story progress without spoiling it, people sometimes feel as though we’re not working on it, which is frustrating for them, and for us. We deal with this by trying to stay focused on our launch and remember Miyamoto’s adage: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” We appreciate all of you who continue to support us patiently."

When The Long Dark's Story Mode finally arrives, it promises new regions which will serve to flesh out the background of the game's end-of-days scenario, and will let players see how the Aurora affects the world. New hazards are planned too, which we'll  have the chance to see in detail come May 4.

Smite now has a limited kart-racing mode

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Smite, the third-person MOBA which pits a motley crew of gods and deities against once another in brutal hand-to-hand combat, now has a cute kart-racing mode. Or at least, it does for a little while: Apollo's Racer Rumble is a limited game mode which is available from now until May 9.

As far as seasonal novelties go, it's a neat one, and as a palette cleanser it looks like a lot of fun. There are two tracks – one set on Elysium Beach and another in the doomy depths of Molten Pass – and the mode supports up to eight players online. Oh, and you won't have to press a button in order to accelerate, which is nice.

Each of the tracks is strewn with relics (or Mario Kart-esque powerups), so there will no doubt be lots of raging about "fairness" and "rubber banding".

Mass Effect: Andromeda update locks pirates out of eye-fixing patch

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Despite being protected by both its Origin platform and Denuvo, Mass Effect: Andromeda was cracked by pirates less than two weeks after its release. The space-faring role-player's latest patch—which, among other things, targets the vanilla game's questionable eye design—comes packing the newest version of Denuvo, which comes with its latest, as yet uncrackable anti-tamper tech.

As reported by DSO Gaming, Mass Effect: Andromeda's 1.05 update patch notes don't mention the newly installed version of Denuvo, however what this means is that those playing on illicit copies of the game won't benefit from last week's quality of life improvements.

DSO notes that evidence of the change can be found in the game's executable file which supposedly contains strings found in other games powered by the anti-tamper tech's most up-to-date iteration—a list which includes Nier: Automata, Dead Rising 4 and 2Dark.

Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age will take you back to the '80s

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Set in an '80s-inspired world where magic is commonplace, Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age is a bright, vibrant RPG, where people got magic powers thanks to a strange meteor that crashed thousands of years prior. Matters of magic are governed more or less by The Order, which also trains up-and-coming wizards like Phoban, the young protagonist, and his brother, Deimos.

The game ensues a save-the-world kind of adventure fit for a Saturday morning cartoon, with the goofy humour that goes with it. It's not deep nor innovative, it may have some pacing issues, but it's a whole lot of fun - and that's something I think devs often fail to give thanks to their rush to have their video games "taken seriously".

That sense of fun flows through the whole game, from its delightful synthpop soundtrack to its colourful and cartoony aesthetic, which will appeal a lot to the children of the '80s (or at least to people familia with the '80s pop culture). Just like Far Cry: Blood Dragon, Hotline Miami, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Megamagic celebrates that era, but with perhaps a bit more referential humour than some would like.

You start out in Grove Valley, a quiet little suburban town with a weird number of parked DeLoreans, and you are soon summoned by your scientist friend, Zemec. Your journey will take you through a Mad-Max inspired desert wasteland to Camp Miller, home to a clan of punks, and a clear homage to Tron. There you will encounter a swordsman who believes that you are his father's killer, and insists that you should prepare to die.

Armed with a staff, the ability to summon creatures called Grims, and a growing number of magic spells, you'll fight against zombies, rodents of unusual size, punks, temple guards and techno rangers, and the key to not getting torn to pieces is to never stop moving. Stand still and you'll soon get swarmed and die.

At the beginning you're armed with a simple projectile spell, but as the game advances, you will learn more things, which will open your tactical options dramatically: a black hole that sucks your enemies in; a cone of wind that knocks them back; a pool of mud that slows them, and exploding skulls that work as landmines.

There's a lot of synergy between your spells, and success in this game means learning to make the most of this synergy, in order to deal maximum damage. One very useful combo is using a black hole to trap enemies inside an electromagnetic field, while you are your army of Grims throw magic projectiles, while staying at a safe distance.

However, it is very easy to lose track of what's happening and get lost in the chaos. The respawn rates of your enemies are very fast, and you will often find yourself fighting multiple similar groups back to back. Sometimes enemies will even attack you from off-screen, so you should expect to die randomly and frequently - and this is just the Easy difficulty.

Even though the game is an RPG, it is fairly light, with no leveling or stat management to deal with. Instead, the game focuses on learning new spells, which involves finding scrolls with said spell somewhere in the world and then gathering the required magical items - dropped by enemies or found in chests - to craft it.

Summoning spells for Grims work differently - these spells mirror the monsters you'll encounter in the wild, and you need to kill a set amount of the enemy in question, while also witnessing all its special moves, all before you'll be able to craft it in the same manner as the standard spells.

Visually, Megamagic is stunning. The art style matches the ’80s theme very well. The colours are bright and pop out at you. The level design varies nicely; with bright blue cubic levels, to the dusty desert – there are plenty of beautiful and varying levels to stare at.

As well as the great visual style Megamagic has, you are treated to some great tunes to join you on your adventure. From Hotline Miami 2 and Kung Fury soundtrack composer, Mitch Murder, the soundtrack only magnifies the whole ‘80s experience.

While being a bit rough around the edges, the game is still charming and special nonetheless. It's a nostalgic trip through a magical '80s world, fueled by a wonderful soundtrack, bright colours, and great humour, that will certainly make you feel like being part of that era.

Name: Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age
Developer: BeautiFun Games
Publisher: BeautiFun Games
Released: April 20, 2016
MSRP: $9.99

Far Cry 4 director leaves Ubisoft, starts new studio

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After seven years, Far Cry 4 director Alex Hutchinson has left Ubisoft. The veteran developer announced his departure on Twitter, while simultaneously revealing the name of a new studio he's founded with some fellow developers including former Warner Bros. and EA executive producer Reid Schneider.

"Extremely proud of all we achieved on Far Cry and Assassin's, but very excited to build something new," Hutchinson wrote. "Myself, [Reid Schneider], and some other wonderful people have founded a brand new company: Typhoon Studios."

"Probably won't have much to announce in the near future as we hire, build our studio, buy a coffee machine, and build Ikea furniture, but... we are hard at work imagining a brand new world to inflict on all of you, so stay tuned."

You can check out Typhoon Studios' logo on its official website, and it looks quite a bit like Ubisoft's logo. Far Cry 4 is one of the best action games from the past few years, so I'm excited to see what Hutchinson and his new studio are up to.

At Ubisoft, Hutchinson also directed Assassin's Creed III, but prior to that, he worked at EA on games such as Spore, The Sims 2, and Army of Two: The 40th Day.

Besiege update to add multiplayer and a level editor

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Medieval build-'em-up Besiege offers a lot of physics-based shenanigans for not very much money, letting you build vaguely Robot Wars-esque siege engines, before letting them loose on Medieval villages and fortresses. Released at the start of January 2015, it's still in early access—however, there's a big update coming that should breathe new life into the game.

The update's named, rather grandly, the Besiege Multiverse, and it will add co-operative and competitive multiplayer, a level editor, and an open sandbox you can mess around in to your heart's delight.

Excitingly, you'll be able to build levels while your friends are in there playing them. You'll also be able to fine-tune things like the physics and stats of units placed in the world.

There's no date yet for the Multiverse update, but developer Spiderling Studios hopes to have it released to the public by the third quarter of this year. It'll be free if you already own Besiege, while the price of the game will increase by $2 to accommodate the new features, when Besiege Multiverse arrives.

Valve is now selling a real-life Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 'Five Year Veteran Coin'

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Are you a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive veteran with an urge to blow a few bucks on silly swag? If so, then allow me to direct your attention the Valve Store on WeLoveFine, where a real-life version of the Five Year Veteran Coin is now available for preorder for $45.

The offer isn't open to everyone, though. As the FAQ explains, if you haven't earned the coin in the game, then you're not allowed to buy this physical rendition. And yes, they check: In order to preorder, you have to log in with your Steam account, and if there's no coin in your inventory, you're out of luck.

If it's simply a matter of timing—say, you're a four-year CS:GO vet—then "stay tuned," because the FAQ notes that "more purchasing opportunities" will be coming in the future. If your account is straight-up ineligible for some other reason, however, that's the end of it. "We have no way of allowing ineligible users to purchase the Coin, nor can we bypass any VAC bans or ownership checks to allow users to purchase," it says. For those who are eligible, purchases are limited to one, and only one, per account.

The coin, made from die cast zinc alloy with the "5" up front in copper, is 63mm in diameter and 3mm thick, and weighs just a hair under 56 grams. It arrives in a box with an acrylic cover that can be hung on a wall, and also includes an acrylic coin stand if a shelf display is more to your tastes. Worldwide shipping is included in the price, except to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Burma, Syria and Sudan, although you may have to cover VAT or other region-specific taxes.

Paradox sale discounts Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Tyranny, Crusader Kings 2

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Paradox' varied, frequently excellent catalogue of sims and strategy games is on sale on Steam this weekend.

Highlights include the superb Cities: Skylines, true heir to SimCity's throne, which is 68 percent off. The gorgeous, evolving space 4X Stellaris is 40 percent off. Crusader Kings 2, actually one of the best games in the world, is 75 percent off. Glorious co-op wizard-'em'-up, Magicka, is also 75 percent off.

If you want to dig into Paradox' back catalogue you can grab Hearts of Iron 3 and the complete Crusader Kings 1 pack for cheap too.

Great sale. If you were short of something to sink your teeth into this weekend, any of the above will serve you well.

All aboard! We're going to Train Valley

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Train Valley is a nice indie game that's easy to learn but hard to master. The early levels are extremely simple, but the difficulty goes up really quick and you will soon find yourself struggling to complete all the objectives. You will use the Pause button more than you'd think.

The game has two modes: a classic mode, which is a series of objective-based scenarios that take place in the United States, Japan, Russia, and Europe, throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and a sandbox mode. The levels do not actually take place in those locations exactly, but in geographical approximations of these places.

For example, Florida, which is the third level of the second area, is represented as a coastal environment that offers unique challenges for your design due to the bottleneck effect of the map's terrain. You will be forced to map your design around two tunnels and a bridge in order to travel across the landscape.

The first level plays the role of a tutorial, it tells you the basics, how to build rails and how to move your trains, and it tricks you into a false sense of security about how relaxing and easy this game will be. Don't be fooled though.

As you make money, existing stations will expand and form cities around them, and new stations will pop up on the map. Connect these stations to your existing rail systems and you will have the oportunity of sending more trains around the map at any given time. Diverging rail lines need to have their tracks manually switched by the player before the train reaches the exchange.

However, misaligning just one track switch can have hazardous results: your train will end up in the wrong station (which will cost you precious money), or even worse, it could end up hitting a different train, ending in an explosion that will destroy the tracks nearby. If you don't have the money to repair the track, this can lead to isolated stations, which will also cost you serious money if your trains can't reach their destination.

Terrain is the only obstacle at the moment. Some terrain features are impassable, such as volcanoes, hills, rivers, while others can be built through at a cost (villages, forests). While you have directional control over where your tracks go, the game lacks elevation.

For instance, if you have a body of water in your way, your only escape is to path your tracks around it, because there are no options for bridge-building, tunneling or any form of elevated construction. This may make the game seem a little poor in content, but it's not a game-breaking thing.

The second mode is an open sandbox mode which lets players build train networks across the same maps as in the classic mode, but without the loss conditions or resource management (money is gone). This mode is only available for every map that is completed in classic mode and mirrors the set-up of each map.

The Germany DLC adds new levels to the game, adding a new area to the campaign. The game becomes even more challenging, since the DLC adds new unexpected conditions to the game, like biplane bombing or a super-train express moving across the map.

Train Valley is a perfect game for those evenings when all you want to do is lay down on the couch and play a quick game. It's not very expensive, and for $9.99 you can't really go wrong. If you are into challenging puzzle games witch nice graphics, this is certainly the game for you.

P.S. The devs announced a sequel.

Name: Train Valley
Developer: Flazm
Publisher: Flazm
Released: September 16, 2015
MSRP: $9.99

Nvidia Titan Xp introduced as 'the world's most powerful graphics card'

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Nvidia has revealed its new Titan, the Xp. It features 3840 Cuda cores running at 1.6GHz, and 12GB of DDR5X memory. The card runs on Nvidia's Pascal architecture and comes with a suitably titanic price tag of $1200 / £1,159. It's available now on the Nvidia site.

"They made 1080 Ti so fast that they need a new top-tier Titan," says PC Gamer hardware expert Jarred Walton. "It's the full GP102 chip, so just like we had GTX 780, the Titan, the 780 Ti and the Titan Black, we're getting the 1080, Titan X (Pascal), 1080 Ti, and Titan Xp."

GPU Engine Specs

NVIDIA CUDA® Cores 3840 Base Clock (MHz)1582
Memory Specs: Memory Speed 11.4 Gbps
Standard Memory Config: 12 GB GDDR5X
Memory Interface Width: 384-Bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec): 547.7 GB/s

Technology Support:

Simultaneous Multi-Projection: Yes
VR Ready: Yes
NVIDIA Ansel: Yes
NVIDIA SLI Ready: Yes - SLI HB Bridge Supported
NVIDIA G-Sync-Ready: Yes
NVIDIA GameStream-Ready: Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost: 3.0
Microsoft DirectX: 12 API with feature level 12_1
Vulkan API: Yes
OpenGL: 4.5
Bus Support PCIe: 3.0
OS Certificates: Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86

Display Support:

Maximum Digital Resolution: 27680x4320 @ 60Hz
Standard Display Connectors: DP 1.43, HDMI 2.0b
Multi Monitor: Yes
HDCP: 2.2

Graphics Card Dimensions:

Height: 4.376"
Length: 10.5"
Width: 2 Slot

Thermal Power Specs:

Maximum GPU Temperature (in C): 96
Graphics Card Power (W): 250 W
Recommended System Power(W): 600 W
Supplementary Power Connectors: One 6-pin, One 8-pin

Game sales on Twitch are now live, offering free "Twitch Crate" rewards and more

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Twitch has announced that the ability to buy games directly through its platform, a new feature that was first revealed back in February, is now live. The option will enable developers to make special offers to fans who are watching their games being played on the platform, and will also let partnered streamers earn money off of purchases made through their channel pages. Buyers will also be rewarded with free "Twitch Crates," which will contain randomized drops of items for Twitch including emotes, chat badges, and Cheer bits.

Beginning today and continuing over the next week, roughly 50 games and "related in-game content" will be made available for purchase through Twitch, with titles including For Honor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Smite, Tyranny, Atlas Reactor, Broken Age, Firewatch, and Warframe. Purchases can be made from live Twitch channels or a game's 'details' page, and can be downloaded and played through either the Twitch Desktop App or publisher-run services like Uplay.

A Twitch Crate will be awarded with every purchase of $5 or more, and Twitch will hold a weekly "Twitch Crates Gear Giveaway" draw throughout April as well, with a grand prize of more than $500 worth of streaming equipment. (You can also go for a "no purchase required" entry right here.) Games available through Twitch are currently only priced in US dollars, but Twitch aims to bring in "localized purchase experiences" soon.

Purchases made through Twitch are fulfilled by Amazon, and it seems to work smoothly enough once your accounts are connected appropriately; to buy For Honor, for instance, you'll need to connect both your Twitch and your Uplay accounts to your Amazon account.

More information about buying games on Twitch can be found on the Twitch Blog.

Terraria: Otherworld update reveals a new 'development partner'

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It's been a couple of years since the announcement of Terraria: Otherworld, the followup that is not a sequel to the 2011 crafting-and-survival game Terraria. Developer Re-Logic hasn't had much to say about it since, but today it took to its forums to share some "important news." The good news is that the game is still in the works; the bad news is that co-developer Engine Software has been dropped from the project for reasons unknown, and that means it may take a little (or maybe a lot) longer than expected to get things done.

"Our team had a clear vision for this game—one that we shared with all of you with much shared excitement—and, as much as we hate to say it (and in spite of all of the reforms we tried last year) the current state of the game is still equal parts far from that vision and well behind schedule," Re-Logic wrote.

"As a result, we have made the decision to move on from having Engine Software continue development of Terraria: Otherworld. Re-Logic has possession of the game (code, art, sounds, etc.) as it exists today, and we have been examining the array of options available to us to get TOW to a place to where we can confidently deliver on the vision and expectations we all have for this game. After taking a good hard look at everything, we feel that a new and fresh start/direction is the only way Otherworld will ever reach its full potential at this point."

Pipeworks, which has been working since last year on the console and mobile version of Terraria, has now been brought on as the "development partner" on Otherworld. The two studios will "examine the entire game, from top to bottom, to see how it fits with our high expectations and core vision for this project," and while Re-Logic didn't commit to updated release timing, it did warn that the "quiet period" will likely go on for awhile longer while Pipeworks gets brought up to speed. It also promised that "a full refresh of all of the Otherworld public-facing locations" is on the way—even the Terraria: Otherworld logo is changing.

"Come whatever may, quality is simply not something we are willing to compromise on to make a quick buck. It may be painful in the short term, but our sincere hope is that it will pay off for everyone in the long term," the studio said. "Clearly, had we known this would be the scenario way back then, we would have held off on announcing the game until a later time—but such is game development. That said, we are really happy and confident with the new team and new plan—and cannot wait to get back on track."

Re-Logic said it would share more "very soon," but added that it "will not delve into some areas out of either respect or confidence or the unknown."

Overwatch cheat maker ordered to pay $8.6 million in damages to Blizzard

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Last summer, Blizzard filed a lawsuit against German cheat programme maker Bossland for "copyright infringement, unfair competition and violation of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision". Last month, we learned that the Overwatch developer was seeking upwards of $8.5 million in damages, despite Bossland's resistance, and now it appears a California court has ordered the latter to pay $8.6 million.

As reported by Torrentfreak (via the BBC), Blizzard argued that Bossland had "reverse-engineered and otherwise altered its games without permission". While attempting to have the case dismissed, Bossland did not defend itself in court but was nevertheless found guilty of 42,818 counts of copyright infringement—a case which follows similar court rulings in the UK and Germany. According to Torrentfreak, Bossland also faces around $177,000 in legal costs beyond the substantial court-ordered charge.

Despite the ruling, the BBC reports that the Bossland website is still active—and still boasting the tagline "botting is not against any law"—however, having tried to access it just now, UK browsers are met with the following message:

"On 16th March 2017, Bossland GmbH, and its directors Mr Zwetan Letschew and Mr Patrick Kirk admitted, in and for the purposes of proceedings before the High Court of England and Wales, that the sale of its software which it sells as Honorbuddy, Gatherbuddy, Demonbuddy, Hearthbuddy, Stormbuddy and Watchover Tyrant, to any person resident in the United Kingdom, constitutes an infringement of Blizzard’s intellectual property rights and an inducement to players of Blizzard’s games to breach their agreements with Blizzard."

"Accordingly, Bossland and its directors are no longer permitted to advertise or offer for sale such software to UK residents."

MSI taps Corsair to liquid cool its GTX 1080 Ti Sea Hawk cards

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All-in-one liquid coolers have become popular alternatives to air cooling because they're relatively easy to install, sometimes offer better performance, and require zero maintenance (unlike regular liquid cooling). They're not just for CPUs, either—MSI announced a pair of new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Sea Hawk cards that have been outfitted with AIO liquid coolers from Corsair.

The GTX 1080 Ti Sea Hawk and Sea Hawk X are the same except for the clockspeeds, with the latter sporting faster frequencies in both Gaming and OC modes.

Here is a look at the Sea Hawk X's clocks:

OC Mode: 1,569MHz base, 1,683MHz boost
Gaming Mode: 1,544MHz base, 1,657MHz boost
Silent Mode: 1,480MHz base, 1,582MHz boost

And here are the clocks on the regular Sea Hawk:

OC Mode: 1,506MHz base, 1,620MHz boost
Gaming Mode: 1,493MHz base, 1,607MHz boost
Silent Mode: 1,480MHz base, 1,582MHz boost

Both cards sport a full-coverage cooler attached to an AIO kit based on Corsair's Hydro Series H55 design. It consists of a 120mm aluminum radiator with a quiet fan attached. This is what keeps the GPU cool, while the memory and VRM are both air cooled in each card.

There's also a solid metal backplate on both Sea Hawk cards. This provides rigidity, if that's something you're concerned about.

Both cards also stick with Nvidia's reference power requirements, requiring 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe connectors. And as for display outputs, they come with HDMI 2.0, dual-link DVI-D, and three DisplayPort 1.4 plugins.

MSI did not say when these cards will be available or for how much.

HTC unveils Viveport monthly subscription service

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The HTC Vive virtual reality headset marks its first year anniversary this week, on April 5, and is set to mark the occasion by launching the "first-ever subscription model for a VR app store"—named Viveport Subscription.

Billed as "a new way to navigate the burgeoning VR app marketplace", Viveport will cost users £6.99/regional equivalent per month, and will run a one month free trial for newbies. For that, you'll get unlimited access to your apps of choice—Viveport Subscription will launch with over 50 apps—with the ability to rotate out selections each month and try apps prior to purchase.

"VR is changing every industry imaginable, from gaming and entertainment, to art, design, engineering and education," says HTC Vive's VP of sales Peter Frolund. "The fact that we can offer a subscription model just shows the sheer amount of developers that have already engaged with Vive. This celebration and these offers are a chance for us to thank the people that have been on this journey with us from the start, as well as invite new people to the party as we look ahead to even more exciting developments going forward."

Furthering the festivities, HTC is also giving away a free copy of Vive Studios' VR action game Arcade Saga and is also offering new customers £100 off Vive headsets on April 5. More information on the Viveport Subscription service can be found on the Vive Blog.

Batman: Arkham VR announced for PC, release date set

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The game Louise Blaine dubbed "the ultimate in heroic wish fulfilment" on GamesRadar, Batman: Arkham VR is breaking from its PlayStation exclusivity and is heading to PC. Due April 25, the Dark Knight will star on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive devices.

Supporting both Oculus Touch and Vive controllers, Batman: Arkham VR weaves another Arkham-set mystery for the Bat to solve—one which is said to "threaten the lives of his closest allies."

"Bringing Batman to VR was a very rewarding experience for us here at Rocksteady," says Rocksteady's creative director Sefton Hill. "The Dark Knight has always been an incredible character to work with due to his psychological depth, so it’s really exciting to use this immersive medium to delve deeper into his psyche than ever before. We’re thrilled that PC players can finally wear the cowl for themselves and take on the role of the World’s Greatest Detective with the addition of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift versions."

And here's an excerpt from Louise's review:

"It’s completely understandable that there’s no brawling or Batmobile action, but hearing the roar of your favourite vehicle between scenes is a tantalising tease of what a full Batman VR game could be. Cleverly adding a sense of movement without any actual flight, you use the grapnel gun to fire yourself from scene to scene and from each area in the Batcave. It’s just like the Move teleporting but the added sense of bringing a gun from your belt and firing it layers in an extra sense of depth. I did this by firing my grapnel, it doesn’t matter that I’m not whizzing through the air."

"The implementation of Move controls is also quietly, understatedly brilliant. The fact that you can just look down, see the gadgets and take one from your (height adjustable!) belt is incredible. One particularly nasty crime scene requires you to rewind the action using your forensic scanner. Rotating the controller slowly speeds through the action and the result is masterfully immersive. Add in a story conclusion that I won’t spoil, but makes the most of just how terrifying VR can be, and this isn’t just a brilliant experience but a glimpse at just how the long term future of gaming could feel if the industry gets VR right."

Besides the Touch and Vive controllers, Batman: Arkham VR's PC iteration will support PS4 Dual Shock 4 controllers, Xbox One controllers and the Steam controller. It's due April 25, 2017.

Dungeon Rushers, a light-hearted adventure

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A young boy named Elian dreams of more than serving drinks and heads out for a life raiding dungeons and getting sweet loot. He meets a few friends along the way, including an accountant dwarf and a sneaky minstrel, and they form a band to go on adventures and find more loot.

The gameplay consists in exploring a dungeon and fighting in it while doing missions. The exploring takes place on a top-down “board”. Each room is a single square and every turn your party moves to the next square chosen out of up to four directions.

You reveal the map as you explore but unless you use special powers, like Elian revealing two squares in each direction or Thorgrim identifying a treasure or event spot, you have no idea which way heads to treasure or leads into certain doom.

Every move is a risk, and that’s both stressful and exhilarating. It’s basically exactly what Dark Souls taps into to keep people playing, except Dungeon Rushers does it with a smile. Traps can be overcome but only if you have the finite resource that is stamina, event locations can either be a blessing or a curse, and there could be enemies waiting on the very next square but you’ll never know until you move.

The combat is very classically turn-based, the order decided by what level a character’s Speed is. Each character takes a go with a straight attack, a special attack that uses Mana, an item, or Guard. Heroes and Enemies each get two rows, and only ranged weapons or magic attacks can reach the second row until one enemy in the front row gets defeated.

There is no avoiding getting hit so winning just involves outlasting the enemy. This wouldn’t be so bad except that health potions, like all other items in the game, are finite. You can only buy one from the shop between missions and if you’re lucky you might either be able to craft one or find a healing event in the dungeon, but otherwise you can only face a certain amount of battles in a level before you die and have to play the whole thing again.

One remarkable part of the game is the easy-to-use level editor, which is rather neatly built into the main game. After a few levels a short dialogue plays where Thorgrim suggests that building their own dungeon would be a good way to earn some extra coins. I can’t say I ever got any money for my creations, but making a dungeon was strangely addictive.

Secret doors, red herrings, different types of loot, keys, password-encrypted doors, even different types of dead end are available for you to customize. Then, at a click, you can upload it to Steam Workshop or easily overwrite it if you tweak it later.

The game also has DLC available, which adds skins to the game, letting you change the appearance of your heroes. At the moment of writing this review, there are two skin packs: the Veterans and the Dark Warriors, and a third one has been announced for May 2017, the Pirates Skins Pack.

Dungeon Rushers is the type of game where you want to continually press on and find the new exciting thing in the next dungeon, not to mention some more excellent funny conversations. That’s fun. You do not want to make all the right moves then find yourself up against an unbeatable group of foes.

Name: Dungeon Rushers
Developer: Goblinz Studio
Publisher: Goblinz Studio, WhisperGames
Released: September 6, 2016
MSRP: $14.99

Play God of War developer's bizarre PC arena combat game for free this weekend

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Have you ever want to play a game where you were a stack of pancakes, a pug, or a cheeseburger, rolling around and knocking other players off of a platform? Well, this weekend you can because Ready at Dawn is holding a Steam open beta for its bizarre arena combat game Deformers.

Deformers puts you in control of ball-shaped creatures called Forms. They look like food, animals, and other creatures, and you control them in multiple different modes, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Form Ball, which looks a lot like Rocket League. The two deathmatch modes have you shooting objects at your opponents and rolling into them to knock them off a giant floating platform. The Rocket League-like Form Ball, on the other hand, tasks you with knocking a ball into a net and scoring goals.

The rolling action game looks quite a bit different from Ready at Dawn's previous work, which has consisted of two God of War games and The Order: 1886.

The open beta lasts from now until 12 AM PT/3 AM ET on April 3. It's a 2.5 GB download, so it shouldn't take long to download if you have a decent connection. It's worth noting that the beta is experiencing some server issues, so your ability to play may be postponed for a bit depending on when you start.

If you aren't able to jump in this weekend, then you don't have to worry. Ready at Dawn has said that it plans to have at least one more beta before launch to give more people the opportunity to jump in.

Hearthstone's Journey to Un'Goro expansion launches on April 6

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Hearthstone's new expansion, Journey to Un'Goro, launches on April 6, 2017. The date was revealed today during a livestream this morning in which game director Ben Brode showed off the remaining cards in the set.

Journey to Un'Goro brings a number of new features to Hearthstone. Chief among them is a new Quest card type—one for each class—that cost 1 mana and offer big rewards for fulfilling a set of conditions. The set as a whole will contain 135 new cards, and its introduction also heralds the next Standard rotation.

Rocket League is getting 'Fate of the Furious' DLC next week

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The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in The Fast and the Furious series, will be out next month. Also coming next month is new Rocket League DLC featuring Dom Toretto's "Ice Charger" as a premium Battle-Car. The package will also include exclusive Wheels and six unique Decals: Clean Cut, Crazy Sandwich, Flames, Rakugaki, Rally, and CCCXL.

Given the proximity to the first of April, I should clarify that this is not (as far as I can tell) an April Fool thing. The press release includes two paragraphs about the DLC followed by seven about the film, Dodge and SRT brands ("the ultimate performance halo"), and Universal, and the trailer, brief as it is, hits all the appropriate promotional notes. And it's not as though Psyonix hasn't done this before: Previous car-related licensed DLC has included Hot Wheels, Batman, and Back to the Future.

The Rocket League: Fate of the Furious DLC will be available on Steam on April 4 and sell for $2.

Total War: Warhammer 2 announced with epic three-way battle trailer

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After revealing work was well underway last month, Sega and Creative Assembly have now officially announced Total War: Warhammer 2. Naturally, they've marked the occasion with an announcement trailer.

Typically stylish, that there flaunts the game's three currently revealed races in the High Elves, Dark Elves and Lizardmen who will do battle "across enchanted isles, bleak hinterlands, treacherous swamps and perilous jungles", so says Sega. Across four continents—Ulthuan, Naggaroth, The Southlands, and Lustria—players will strive to conquer a new world where victory is hinged upon more than simple territorial dominance.

"Players will struggle for dominion over the ailing Great Vortex that has swirled for millennia above the elven homeland of Ulthuan," continues Sega. "Performing a series of arcane rituals, each race must save or disrupt the Vortex according to their motivations—a struggle culminating in a cataclysmic endgame."

Speaking to PC Gamer at EGX Rezzed, Creative Assembly made clear its desire to push players well into each campaign's endgame where "territorial conquest is no longer enough."

Further to the new playing field, Sega says a "vast combined campaign map", covering areas from both the original game and Total War: Warhammer 2, will be made available for free shortly after release for owners of both games. Should they desire, players will in turn be able to delve into the new campaign with any owned playable race from the series.

No launch date just yet, but Total War: Warhammer 2 is due at some stage later this year.

Turmoil: the fever of the black gold

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Picture the setting, you're a newly turned oil hunter in the early US Western frontiers, with money on the brain and a need to get in on the rush. To fulfill this need, you travel out to the virgin ground near one of the fledgling towns and decide that there is just as good a place as any to start getting rich. Of course, becoming a successful, loaded oil baron isn't as easy as other people made it out to be.

Turmoil is all about mining for oil, just in case you hadn't got that yet, and trying to make more money over the course of the campaign than any of your three rivals. It's brilliantly simple in its execution, very easy to pick up and actually incredibly addictive once you get into the swing of things.

You'll start off with ten thousand dollars to use for your operations, as will your competitors, at the beginning of the campaign. Every level requires three thousand dollars to play because you spend a minimum of one thousand actually buying the land in an auction before the level starts, then an additional two thousand on actually going to the site and digging.

Before even starting to drill down, a dowser is needed to 'locate' the oil. These guys are diligent, I'll give them that, however, they take their sweet time finding any oil spots when you've only got four months (ten minutes) to get as much money as possible. Also, there's a serious issue with them finding oil on top of a structure, because you can't build on stuff that's already there, nor can you destroy buildings.

But when you find your supply of black gold, you can finally get things under way. Using a combination of multiple silo's and wagons, you move the oil from either the drill pump to storage, or from storage to the Left and Right Inc merchants. Just avoid spillages, as they cost $600 a pop.

This is one of the more interesting mechanics, the additional of two opposing houses means you're able to weight their prices against each other, forcing you to constantly switch from one to the other in order to gain more profit.

Basically, it's pretty intense in the earlier stages because you need to break even to continue properly. Once you begin completing each dig site, which lasts about five to ten minutes in real time, you'll start to see that other people have set up shops back in your hometown. These townsfolk offer a variety of upgrades for your operations.

For example, the inventor gives you access to faster dowsing or deeper dowsing scans, which allow them to detect oil at greater levels. All in all, these upgrades are a sure way of making your oil harvesting way more efficient in the long run.

After you've unlocked the Saloon and you've got a few upgrades under your belt, you will probably start to hit big money. It helps if you are smart too, as each site will be graded from one, being terrible, to fifty, meaning amazing, after a person has dug there. Try to pick one that may have a higher number, without attracting the attention of the other players.

If you've got the knack for managing three separate drills with twenty wagons all moving round to sell your oil at the highest prices at the nearby Left or Right factories, then you can make ridiculous amounts during a single round.

Turmoil succeeds brilliantly at being a unique, engaging title that really envelops players once they start to hit it big. Aside from the smaller flaws surrounding the repetitive nature of tasks given and the fact that you can't destroy your own structures in place of new ones, its design and creative ambience is undeniable.

Name: Turmoil
Developer: Gamious
Publisher: Gamious
Released: June 2, 2016
MSRP: $9.99

Fallout Shelter is now on Steam

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Good news for Fallout fans who thought that Bethesda's free-to-play post-nuclear underground colony management sim Fallout Shelter looked like it might be fun, but ultimately decided that they needed another standalone game launcher like they needed a hole in the head: It is finally available on Steam.

The Steam version of Fallout Shelter will support Steam Achievements and cloud saves, and pricing remains unchanged. The base game is free, and if you're so inclined you can spring for Lunchboxes, Pet Carriers, Mr. Handys, and other optional items that will make your in-game life easier.

Along with the move to another platform, the game also got more than 30 new quests by way of a major, all-platforms update released today, among them a time-limited Easter Quest that rewards players with a Legendary Pet, a free lunchbox, and other swell stuff.

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