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Kingdom: New Lands Developer Announces Cloud Gardens

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 23:26

Cloud Gardens is a game about cultivating seeds to overgrow a post-industrial wasteland. It was announced today by Thomas van den Berg and his small studio Noio, known for developing the IGF-nominated Kingdom: New Lands.

"In Cloud Gardens players must harness the power of nature to overgrow lo-fi scenes of urban decay and manufactured landscapes," explains the game's newly launched Steam page. "By planting seeds in the right places, they’re able to create small overgrown dioramas of brutalism and beauty, salvaging and repurposing hundreds of discarded objects to create unique structures for nature to reclaim."

We've seen plenty of post-apocalyptic games where nature has retaken urban environments. The Last of Us Part II is a recent and prominent example. Yet Cloud Gardens differs by putting the onus on you to create a delicate balance between natural life and metropolitan erosion.

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Umbrella Academy Season 2: Watch The Opening Scene Now

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 23:00

Netflix's Umbrella Academy Season 2 is set to premiere on July 31, but in case even that wait feels too long, we've got a special sneak peek at the new season's opening scene for you right here, right now.

The scene really sets up just how well and truly out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire the Hargreeves siblings' plight is after their cliffhanger ending back in Season 1. In case you need a brief refresher of exactly what went down, we've got you covered--but the extra abbreviated version is that they avoided the apocalypse by time traveling. Or, well, they attempted to avoid the apocalypse by time traveling. As it turns out, jumping back in time tends to create more problems than it solves, and the clip shows Five (Aidan Gallgher) living those repercussions. In this version of history, the Cold War has escalated into an actual armed conflict and the Soviets have invaded Dallas in the 1960s.

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New Pac-Man Monopoly Game Comes With A Tiny Arcade Cabinet

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 23:00

In celebration of Pac-Man's 40th anniversary, Hasbro is releasing a new version of Monopoly that sounds pretty darn cool. The Monopoly Arcade Pac-Man Game comes with a tiny arcade cabinet that serves as the central mechanic for this new spin on Monopoly. And you won't have to wait long to pick up Pac-Man Monopoly; it releases this Saturday, August 1 at major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target for $30.

This version of Monopoly fittingly revolves around points rather than money. Each turn, two to four competitors move their player icon and the Ghost Token, with each movement tied to a die. The objective is to rack up points as you race around the board and accumulate Levels, all the while avoiding the Ghost.

Monopoly Arcade Pac-Man Game

This new take on Monopoly releases August 1 for $30.

See at Amazon See at Target

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Grounded Is Already A Hit On Steam

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 19:42

Grounded has had a strong debut, shooting to the top of Steam's top sellers list after yesterday's launch. The Honey I Shrunk the Kids-inspired survival game is an experiment of sorts for developer Obsidian Entertainment. The studio is known for its story-heavy RPGs with the likes of The Outer Worlds, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II filling out its expansive catalogue.

Grounded quickly became the top-selling game on Steam after launching in Early Access yesterday, despite being freely available as part of Xbox Game Pass for PC as well. SteamDB shows a concurrent player peak of 12,543 players, which puts it near the bottom of Steam's top 100 most played games. However, this doesn't take into account those playing on Game Pass or via the Windows Store.

These numbers jump up in terms of Twitch views, too, with the survival game reaching the top three spots in terms of viewers on the streaming platform.

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Killjoy Is Valorant's New Agent, Officially Announced After Leak

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 14:57

Following a leak, Riot Games has now officially announced the next Agent for its free-to-play shooter, Valorant. As suspected, the character is called Killjoy, and she looks deadly.

One of Killjoy's abilities is called Alarmbot, and using it deploys a bot that hunts down enemies who get within range and detonates when it reaches its target. Killjoy also has a Turret ability that deploys a sentry capable of shooting enemies across a 180-degree cone. There is also a Nanoswarm grenade that "goes covert" when it hits the ground.

Killjoy's ultimate ability is called Lockdown. This ability deploys a device on the battlefield that "detains all enemies caught in the radius." It won't last forever, however, as enemies can destroy it. You can see an overview of Killjoy's abilities in the video below.

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Psychonauts Is Free On Xbox One And Xbox 360 Right Now

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 14:56

Psychonauts, one of the most iconic and original games on the original Xbox, is currently free to download for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Whether through promotion or pricing error, you can nab the quirky 2005 platformer without spending a cent right now.

The game casts you as Raz, a psychic kid sent away on camp who has to travel into people's minds and untangle their issues. It's great.

The game's publisher, Double Fine, is now owned by Microsoft, which might be why the game is free. This is not a Game Pass deal, so you can get the game for free without the subscription service.

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Marvel's Avengers Hides Iconic Series Landmarks Hidden In Real World Locations

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 14:15

While Marvel's Avengers is looking to carve out its own unique place in the Marvel mythos, it will also lean on some familiar sights for longtime fans--not just in terms of the heroes or their various outfits, but also the locations peppered throughout the world.

With the game's format allowing missions to take place in pretty much any real-world location--with more able to be added in post-release updates--the Crystal Dynamics team has a lot to work with. In an interview with IGN, art director Brenoch Adams talked about the team's approach to world design, and how it would mix the real world with iconic fictional Marvel locations.

"There are a number of important Marvel landmarks nested in real world locations that were must-haves," Adams said, though he warned that the game versions may not be exactly the same as their regular iterations. "Some of these locations have been augmented to fit the world state in our story. In New York, Avengers tower is reclaimed by AIM after the catastrophic events of A-day. In Jersey City, we have a location that Kamala Kahn fans will most certainly recognize. In San Francisco, Avengers West Coast Headquarters dominates the city skyline on Treasure Island."

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Take-Two's Indie Division Signs Three More Studios, Including Ori Developers

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 14:13

After finding big success with its partnership with Obsidian for The Outer Worlds, Take-Two's indie game label Private Division has announced which developers it's partnering with next.

Private Division has signed new publishing deals with Ori and the Blind Forest developer Moon Studios, the Australian studio League of Geeks which makes the hit digital board game Armello, and OlliOlli studio Roll7.

"Our partnerships with Moon Studios, League of Geeks, and Roll7 continue to enhance Private Division's roster with more of the game industry' best creative talent from around the world," Private Division boss Michael Worosz said in a statement. "We are thrilled to work alongside these experienced developers to provide them with the support needed to propel their creative visions to the next level."

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New Zealand's Latest Tourist Ad Is A Video Game… Sort Of

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:33

New Zealand is looking to the world of video games to invite virtual visitors to its shores while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The #PlayNZ campaign isn't exactly a video game, but it's borrowing heavily from them, promising the "world’s first gameplay walkthrough of a real country."

New Zealand Tourism has partnered with Australian streamer Loserfruit to explore "the world’s most exciting open world… in the world," with a ten-minute video showing some of New Zealand's most popular tourist attractions in the form of a game walkthrough.

Sadly #PlayNZ isn't a real video game, but it's got some cute easter eggs that gamers would enjoy--including a hawk-bearing main character with a passing resemblance to a certain Uncharted protagonist. The faux-game has collectables named with the te reo Māori words "kaha" meaning strength, "aroha" meaning love, and "wairua" meaning spirit.

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Uncharted Movie: Tom Holland Posts Videos From The Set

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:19

With the Uncharted movie finally set to begin filming soon, lead actor Tom Holland--who plays Nathan Drake--has shared a video that appears to show a glimpse behind the scenes of the Sony action movie.

Posting to his Instagram story, Holland shared multiple videos from what definitely looks like a movie set (complete with crew members wearing masks to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines). In one of the videos, he tagged Anthony Drewett, who is Holland's costume assistant. The videos don't offer much, but they do seem to suggest that filming may soon finally begin.

The videos are not tagged with anything pertaining to Uncharted, but it seems a safe bet that he's on the set of the film given his previous post. Earlier in July, Holland posted a photo of his chair for the Uncharted movie, with the caption "day one." However, Sony Pictures later clarified that filming had not actually begun, but that should happen very soon.

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Emmy Nominations 2020 By The Numbers: Watchmen And Netflix Lead The Way With Huge Figures

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 12:17

The 2020 Emmy nominees have been announced, and you can check out the full list now. Between the acting, technical, and overall awards, there's a whole heap of data on offer here, but when you break it all down, some clear frontrunners emerge.

Variety has rounded up the numbers to identify which companies and shows picked up the most nominations, and the results are pretty definitive--GameSpot was right about what the best show of 2019 was.

Watchmen (HBO) comfortably leads on TV with a whopping 26 nominations. These included multiple technical awards, plus three directing nods, lead actor (Jeremy Irons), lead actress (Regina King), supporting actress (Jean Smart) and three supporting actors (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jovan Adepo, Louis Gossett Jr). This makes it a likely front-runner for "best limited series".

In the Comedy catergory, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Amazon) leads with a huge 20 nominations. The drama nominees are led by Succession (HBO, 18 nominations) and Ozark (Netflix, 18 nominations), both of which gained a lot of traction with their most recent seasons.

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Halo Infinite Nerf Gun Comes With In-Game DLC

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 11:57

Halo's MA40 AR weapon is being turned into a Nerf gun to promote the release of Halo Infinite, and now Microsoft has shared some new images of it and more.

The Halo Twitter account announced that the Nerf blaster is now in production, and pre-orders are now open. Amazon has posted a product page for the toy, revealing new details about the toy itself and a related DLC offer.

The #HaloInfinite MA40 AR is starting production! Get your #Nerf pre-order in now, and make sure you're ready for the frontlines:

— Halo (@Halo) July 28, 2020

The MA40 AR blaster features a "motorized" system that allows users to hold down an "acceleration button" and then squeeze the trigger to fire. It comes with a 10-dart clip and 10 darts, while it also includes a "rail riser" that can be attached to the weapon to customize it.

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Fable For Xbox Series X Is Being Worked On By Batman: Arkham Knight Writers

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 11:37

Fable for Xbox Series X was announced during the company's July showcase, and while the game is still a long way off we're starting to get a clearer picture of the team working on it. Fable is being developed by Forza Horizon studio Playground Games, and they've brought in some new talent for the game.

Video Games Chronicle has dived deep into the current team working on Fable, and has found that there are numerous industry veterans at the studio right now, working on the iconic RPG series. Notably, an earlier report from the site that much of the Batman: Arkham Knight writing team is now working on Fable has turned out to be accurate.

The game's narrative director is Martin Lancaster, who was the lead scriptwriter for Arkham Knight. Craig Owens, also a former script writer for Batman developer Rocksteady, has joined Playground too. The cinematic director, Mark Tan, is also a veteran of Rocksteady.

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Cheaters And Hackers Have Hit Hyper Scape, Here's How Ubisoft Is Responding

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 11:16

Like other battle royale game before it, Ubisoft's Hyper Scape has been targeted by hackers and cheaters. In a forum post, Ubisoft said its own data, and the feedback from the community, has shown that cheaters and hackers are "popping up more and more" in the game.

Ubisoft is treating the issue with the "highest priority," and the company has now outlined some of its plans to thwart the offending players.

Hyper Scape uses the BattlEye technology for anti-cheat. Ubisoft said it has "direct lines of communication" with the developers of the anti-cheat tools to help find and remove bad actors.

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Noah Cyrus Has A New Music Video Made Inside PS4 Exclusive Dreams

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 10:56

Dreams, Media Molecule's creation tool/game, can be used to create games, assets, and videos--and it's such a powerful tool that a major musician has used it to craft her new video. Noah Cyrus has worked with the developer and community to create a video for her song July, and it's a pretty strong effort.

The video, below, is artistic and cinematic, showing the creation of a world around a crying statue of a huddled woman. It looks very professional, and holds up against the (very different) live-action video for the song.

The track, July, comes from the artist's EP The End of Everything. You can watch the Dreams video for it below.

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Ubisoft Canceled A King Arthur Game That Was A "Big-Budget Adventure," Report Says

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 10:32

A new report from Bloomberg Businessweek has some new details on a King Arthur game that was in the works at Ubisoft Quebec led by former Dragon Age boss Mike Laidlaw. The game was said to have been canceled because chief creative officer Serge Hascoet--who recently left Ubisoft amid workplace allegations--did not like the setting.

The report says the untitled King Arthur game was a "big-budget adventure involving stories of King Arthur and his Round Table in a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world full of knights and legends." The game was said to be in development under the codename Avalon.

The game featured a "cooperative multiplayer world" that was likened in the report to the Monster Hunter series. Developer Jordan Mychal Lemos said on Twitter that he worked on the project twice for short periods of time. "I loved the narrative of the game and we had a super strong writing team early on. The entire team was great and driven by passion which was then crushed by Serge."

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Metal Gear Solid 5 PS3 Players Have Achieved Total Nuclear Disarmament, 5 Years After Release

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 10:10

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there's a cutscene that only triggers if your server achieves total nuclear disarmament--that is, no one on your gaming platform has or is developing any nuclear weapons on their Forward Operating Base. It's a cutscene that requires global cooperation to unlock--and now, five years later, one group of players has managed it.

Reddit user LoneQuacker highlighted the achievement, posting the cutscene that played for PS3 players when total disarmament was achieved. The video, posted by user "Steff", is "brought to you by anti nuke gang," according to its video description.

You can watch the cutscene below, and see if it stirs up any feelings of hope inside you. "I thought this day would never come," Kiefer Sutherland's Snake intones early in the cutscene. At this point, neither did we.

The cutscene has actually triggered once before in the PC version of the game, but this should not have been the case, as the prerequisite was not met. The PS3 version of the game would have a much smaller install base than most other versions--the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions far outpaced the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, sales-wise.

The Phantom Pain would ultimately be the final Metal Gear Solid game from series creator Hideo Kojima. His latest game, Death Stranding, recently released on PC after a 2019 launch on PS4.

All The Games Coming Out In August 2020 On PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 10:00

With the impending launch of Xbox Series X and PS5 this holiday season and the surrounding buzz likely to dominate industry talk for the foreseeable future, August seems like a calm before the storm. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing noteworthy coming out in August. There's actually several exciting new games on the horizon, one of which is a PC port of former PS4-exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn (See what I did there?). You can also expect games like Madden NFL Football 21, Wasteland 3, A Total War Saga: Troy, and much more.

To give you a proper look at what games are coming out for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch, we've rounded up all the biggest ones of August 2020 below. For a wider look at the titles still to come this year, look at our list of game release dates in 2020. Otherwise, check this article often for the latest during this month, as we'll be sure to update it with more new release dates that get announced.

Horizon Zero Dawn (PC) -- August 7

In what still seems like a surprising move, Sony is finally bringing some of its biggest games to PC. While Death Stranding launched on PC in July, Horizon Zero Dawn is the first that Sony is personally bringing to the platform. Originally released exclusively for PS4, the upcoming port is sports numerous graphical enhancements, including ultra-wide support, an unlocked frame rate, improved foliage physics, and enhanced reflection details. There's also graphical options for further optimization, controller remapping, and an in-game benchmarking tool. If you're keen to try Horizon Zero Dawn on PC, then be sure to grab it on Steam and the Epic Games Store when it launches August 7.

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PlayStation Or Xbox? Valve Boss Gabe Newell Reveals His Choice

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 09:41

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are launching this holiday, and many might be wondering which one to buy. Valve boss Gabe Newell has now chimed in with his own thoughts on the matter. If he had to choose (which he doesn't because he is a billionaire), Newell would go with the Xbox Series X, he said on a recent TV show in New Zealand.

"I don't have a stake in that race. Obviously we do most of our development on personal computers. But of the two, I would definitely go with an Xbox," Newell told The Project. He did not elaborate on why he thinks Xbox is better than PlayStation, however.

You can watch the clip below. Newell initially came to New Zealand in early 2020 for a 10-day vacation, but he became stuck in the country due to the global pandemic. As a thank you for the kindness and generosity of the people of New Zealand, Newell is paying for a giant party in Auckland called "We Love Aotearoa," which is to be held on August 15.

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Halo Infinite-Themed Xbox And PC Peripherals Coming From Razer

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 09:37

Halo Infinite releases later this year for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC, and Razer has announced that it plans to bring a number of licensed products and peripherals to those platforms. The Halo Infinite-themed accessories are planned for a September release, but unfortunately, Razer hasn't revealed any of them as of yet. When reached for comment, Razer said that its previous Gears 5 line is a good example of what to expect from the upcoming Halo Infinite series.

Looking at Razer's Gears 5 collaboration, the company created Gears of War-themed keyboards, mice, headsets, and mousepads. Of course, as we said, it's not confirmed those are the same types of products that will receive the Halo Infinite branding. We'll report back when we learn more.

Halo Infinite's first gameplay footage was revealed during the recent Xbox Series X showcase. It received some ire from fans for looking flat in some ways--it even produced a 343 Studios-approved meme called Craig. Microsoft addressed the concerns about Halo Infinite, saying its graphics will get "better and better" leading up to the game's launch. Unfortunately, we don't have an official release date, as it's launching alongside the Series X.

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