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

Labels: 0 comments

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

Labels: 0 comments

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

Labels: 0 comments

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

Labels: 0 comments

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

Labels: 0 comments

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.

Watch Dogs 2 is getting four-player co-op later this year

Labels: 0 comments

Watch Dogs 2 has lots of forthcoming add-on content, and Ubisoft has been kind enough to lay it out for us in the form of a "content roadmap". There's stuff coming as soon as April, including a new PvP team-based mode called Showdown, as well as multiplayer motocross, eKart and drone races.

Meanwhile, in May, the No Compromise DLC pack will release, which adds a new single-player mission in the form of Moscow Gambit, as well as six single-player race time trials (with leaderboards) and a bunch of clothing sets.

It's the June stuff that's most interesting though, in particular support for 4-player parties "to explore the city and play activities together". That presumably doesn't include single-player missions, but instead all the side-quests and races.

The full rundown is available over on the Watch Dogs 2 blog.

MSI shows off GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Armor and Aero graphics cards

Labels: 0 comments

Over on its global website, MSI has added some new additions to its GeForce GTX 1080 Ti lineup. They include the GTX 1080 Ti Armor and Aero, both of which come in stock clocked and overclocked variants.

MSI's GeForce GTX Ti Aero 11G is similar to Nvidia's Founders Edition but with a more colorful cooler. It has green stripes that line the top and bottom of the card's face, along with a green section on the side with the "GeForce GTX" branding.

Underneath the hood is likely a reference PCB. The non-OC model sticks to Nvidia's default clocks—1,480MHz base and 1,582MHz boost. It also has the same display output configuration and power connectors (8-pin + 6-pin).

There's also an overclocked model with the same cooler and likely the same PCB. It comes from the factory with a 1,506MHz base clock and 1,620MHz boost clock.

According to TechPowerUp, the stock clocked Aero card will be MSI's least expensive GTX 1080 Ti, though not cheap—buyers are looking at about $700, same as Nvidia's MSRP for its Founders Edition.

MSI's Armor cards come with a little more visual bling. They also feature a different style cooler—instead of the single-fan blower type, the Armor cards use a pair of MSI Torx fans to blow cool air onto the card's aluminum heatsink.

Like the Aero variant, the non-OC Armor model sticks to Nvidia's reference clockspeeds—1,480MHz base and 1,582MHz boost.

For the overclocked version, MSI goosed the GPU to 1,531MHz for its base clockspeed and 1,645MHz for its turbo frequency.

Both cards have two DisplayPorts, two HDMI ports, and a dual-link DVI-D connector. They also require two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

There's no word yet on when these cards will be available or precise pricing across the board. However, there's a listing on Newegg for MSI's overclocked Armor card. It shows a price of $710 plus $10 shipping. It's currently out of stock.

Ark: Survival Evolved's next patch will feature a 'total inventory menu redesign'

Labels: 0 comments

Ark's next patch, v256, will among other things apparently provide a long, long overdue 'total inventory menu redesign' according to recently added notes to the Steam discussion post and this tweet from Studio Wildcard's Jeremy Stieglitz:
Seriously, Ark's menus and UI are kind of the pits, and while I understand Early Access provides games in an unfinished state and while I'm sure there were better things to do during the development process, a redesign of the menu is quite welcome, late as it may be.

For the record, here's a list of what else planned for the update, which is estimated to reach us on Thursday, March 30:

  • New Mechanic: Aquatic & Amphibious Creature Breeding 
  • New Dino: Equus! 
  • New Dino: Leedsichthys! 
  • New Dino: Ichthyornis! 
  • New Dino: Iguanodon! 
  • New Structures & Mechanic: Tek Underwater Bases 
  • New Structure: TEK Teleporter 
  • New Structure: TEK Mosa Saddle 
  • New Structure: Tek Power Generator 
  • Total Inventory Menu redesign (other UI's coming soon!) 
  • Flyer Nerf

Outlast 2 is coming to Australia after all

Labels: 0 comments

The Australian Classification Board raised the ire of Australians earlier this month when it ruled that forthcoming survival horror game Outlast 2 should not be sold or distributed in the country. Implied sexual violence was cited as the reason, but the board has now revised its classification to an R18+ rating. That means the game is effectively unbanned.

Interestingly enough, the change of heart is not a result of studio Red Barrels amending the game for Australia, which has happened in the past (most notably with Fallout 3 and South Park: The Stick of Truth). In a statement provided to Press Start, the studio confirms as much.

"Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released 26th April 2017. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide."

It's unclear what prompted the revised ruling, though it's doubtful people getting angry about it on the internet was much of an influence. Whatever the case, Australians can rest assured that they'll have the freedom to walk across charred baby pits come April.

Today's weather forecast: Risk of Rain

Labels: 0 comments

The basic premise behind Risk of Rain is simple: explore a randomly selected level, find the exit teleporter, fight off a huge wave of aliens, and then repeat until death inevitably shows up. Killing enemies along the way nets money and experience, the former of which can be used to purchase a random smattering of the hundred or so items available.

What throws a wrench into it all, and really sets the tone for the whole experience is a timer in the top right corner of the screen, constantly counting up. As time passes, the monsters that spawn become more powerful, able to take and deal more damage. The timer sets up a risk/reward scenario in which the player can be cautious and thorough, gaining as many items and as much experience as possible before taking on the boss and moving on, at the cost of having to face more formidable enemies.

The result is an environment that rewards a balance of exploration and speed, causing the player to be in a frenzy at all times. Even when no aliens are on screen and actively threatening murder, there is an aura of tenseness in knowing that dawdling too much will cause the eventual monster spawns to be insurmountable.

This all takes place in environments that are kind-of-sort-of randomly generated. The levels themselves are pre-built, with several possible levels available to be randomly selected for each stage. Within those randomly selected levels, the entrance, exit, item locations, and monster spawns are all randomized, so no two plays on any given level are identical, and runs can vary widely in which levels are selected.

Somewhat ironically, the constant variation makes individual runs with a given character feel quite similar to one another. Since the player can never know where exactly to go, it is always a frantic search that can be fraught with the bad luck of having chosen to explore in the wrong direction, or the fortune of stumbling upon the teleporter early.

Though each run with a given character feels similar to previous runs with that character, gameplay changes drastically depending on which character is in play. The default is a Commando, who is highly mobile and has good range on his attacks, but can typically only affect one enemy at a time. In contrast, the Enforcer is much slower and focuses on crowd control, able to knock aliens back and attack with a small area of effect. In total, there are ten different classes to choose from, but only after unlocking each.

Risk of Rain includes online multiplayer for up to four players, or local multiplayer for two. In some ways, the multiplayer is easier, increasing base firepower right from the beginning. As the game progresses, it becomes even more difficult, as neither experience nor items are shared between players. As with the single player, once a character is dead, he's out for good. So while playing with friends is potentially more entertaining than going it alone, sitting and waiting while your friends have all the fun is not quite so good.

Graphically, Risk of Rain delivers above average pixel art, although the tiny player models take some getting used to. The aliens are the real stars, and they are well drawn and animated. The sound design is excellent, with the soundtrack portraying the antagonistic alien worlds fantastically. During one emergent instance, I was killed and thrown off a tall tower, falling several screens just as a musical crescendo hit, creating an incredibly dramatic scene that I will remember for a long time.

All things considered, Risk of Rain is a lot of fun. It has the right stuff to elicit the "just one more run" response that roguelike games are known for. With a little more polish, it could be truly great, but as it is now, it's still totally worth checking out.

Name: Risk of Rain
Developer: Hopoo Games
Publisher: Chucklefish Games
Released: November 8, 2013
MSRP: $9.99

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ gets its first 'mod booster'

Labels: 0 comments

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth was ushered into the world a few months ago, and if you're not up to date with the roguelike action game and its various incarnations, know that it's basically The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth but with a load of additional tweaks and content, and modding tools layered over the top.

Before release, developer Edmund McMillen said that the game would receive monthly 'booster packs', adding select fan mods into the game via official patches, and while it's taken a little longer than expected, the first pack just went live a couple of days ago.

McMillen details the free update here, revealing that it adds new items and trinkets, including a few by the Isaac creator himself. These include Buddy in a Box, which grants Isaac a randomised baby buddy, and Lil' Delirium, which randomly swaps your familiar every 10 seconds.

For the next booster pack, which McMillen hopes will be out late next month, he's looking for new challenges, Angel Room items, enemies and bosses. So if you're interested in Isaac modding, get creating, as there's a chance your mods will be included in the game.

Blizzard reveals StarCraft: Remastered, set for release this summer

Labels: 0 comments

Finally confirming that the rumor that surfaced in the summer of 2016 is true, Blizzard announced tonight that StarCraft: Remastered, a complete graphical overhaul of the original StarCraft and the Brood War expansion, is in the works and expected to be released this summer. The remade game will featured 4K graphics and 1080p cinematics, upgraded audio, and new comic-book-style mission interludes and introductions, while the gameplay and balance will be "precisely preserved" from the originals.

"StarCraft remains very popular, especially in Korea. It’s doing so despite legacy Battle.net’s aging infrastructure, and from the client perspective, graphics, compatibility, and online features that are not up to modern standards," Classic Games senior producer Pete Stilwell explained. "We decided this was going to be our love letter to the SC diehards. So while the team dusted off the repos, rebuilt the pipeline, and rediscovered the codebase, we also spent hundreds of hours connecting with passionate and proactive folks all over the globe: The ones who have been keeping this game going. They gave us insight into the add-ons, game servers, and defined what made Brood War, Brood War."

Along with the dramatically improved visuals, StarCraft: Remastered will also bring modern connectivity to the game, including full Battle.net (now Blizzard App) support for matchmaking and chat, enhanced ladder functionality, and support for friends lists, streaming, and cloud saves. The new matchmaking feature will automatically connect players of equal skill based on their chosen race, but the game will also continue to support the original matchmaking system—which is to say, no matchmaking at all.

"If you remember, the original StarCraft didn’t have a button like Warcraft III," Stilwell said. "Players threw down a gauntlet in chat channels or hosted open game lobbies for other players to join and discuss terms. We’re retaining that style of interaction as an option. That is an essential element of the game’s culture."

The one aspect of StarCraft that's not being touched is the actual gameplay, which Blizzard said will be left exactly as it was. "Updated graphics, modern amenities, and other new features won’t matter if we ruin gameplay. Replays from 1.16 still work in SC Remastered. That’s how true we’ve been," Stilwell continued. "Whether players are continuing to play daily in an IGR, coming back after a long time away, or discovering the game that started the war for the Koprulu sector, this is the game the original developers intended you to play."

It sounds like Blizzard is doing everything right with StarCraft: Remastered, but that's not all its doing. At the end of March, it will also roll out a new patch for StarCraft: Brood War, updating it to version 1.18. Once that goes live, StarCraft and the Brood War expansion will both be made free for everyone—not free-to-play, as Blizzard emphasized, but straight-up free. StarCraft: Remastered will not be free, but it will be multiplayer-compatible with the original, so you can upgrade at any time without losing your progress in the campaign or having to give up any of your multiplayer buddies.

As for the future, and the obvious question about other Blizzard classics that may be due for an update, the short answer is to keep your expectations in check. "Now that StarCraft: Remastered is announced, we want to think about classic Blizzard games as a service, and to that end we’re primarily focused on StarCraft for now," Stilwell said. "We don’t have announcements to make about other classic games at this time."

StarCraft: Remastered is expected to be out this summer. For more information, hit up the new starcraft.com site.

George's Corner © 2012 | Designed by Meingames and Bubble shooter