PlayStation VR horror-stealth exclusive The Persistence launches on July 24

by: Eric - - 0 Comments

Something has gone very wrong aboard The Persistence. After investigating a collapsing star, an experiment goes awry, mutating most of the wayward spaceship’s crew into hulking monstrosities. Only those crew members that were in cryo-sleep have been unaffected. And now the ships computer is waking those slumbering innocents up, one by one, and sending them into The Persistence to investigate. As one of these sleepy crew members, players should get ready to die. A lot.

Players are awakened from their slumber and set out into the malfunctioning vessel in search of answers to the many questions revolving around the listing ship. The Persistence is procedurally generated, so each trip into the bowels of the ship plays out differently than the ones before. The nice part is, some of the weapons, money and power-ups that you earn in one life will carry over into the next. When you are killed, you wake up in a resuscitation chamber with some of your stuff intact. Through this dynamic, subsequent runs become a little more manageable.

I tried The Persistence when a rather large chunk of it was released on the PlayStation VR Demo Disc 2.0 late last year. I really enjoyed the refined control scheme, which allowed for teleportation while still enabling the Duel Shock thumb-sticks for fine-tuning your position. This combination of control styles allows for some precision stealth gameplay, which works really well when creeping around the corridors of The Persistence.

The visuals and sound in The Persistence are top notch, pushing Sony’s VR hardware to deliver some pretty high-end effects. The ship (and the monsters aboard it) is depicted with a high level of realism, and tip-toeing through its interiors can be heart-stopping. If you are at all interested in rogue-like horror games, The Persistence is well worth a look.

The Persistence releases on July 24 for $29.99, and can be pre-ordered here. Folks that pre-order get access to a number of Persistence-themed avatars, which is kinda fun.

Heed the call this Halloween…Call of Cthulhu launches October 30th

by: Eric - - 0 Comments

Really, if there was any call that you definitely should NOT heed, it’s the call of Cthulhu. I’m not referring to the game, I am talking about the actual call of Cthulhu. If you hear it, you should not heed it. Cthulhu seems bad, and you should definitely not respond to its call.

But playing Call of Cthulhu the video game, on the other hand…totally okay. No problems there.

Call of Cthulhu, the pen and paper RPG that explores the depths of insanity in the realm of Lovecraft’s Old Gods, is making the leap to video games this October.  Developed by Cyanide and billed as a “Narrative RPG”, Call of Cthulhu follows “private investigator Edward Pierce as he scours the island of Darkwater for answers regarding the mysterious deaths of the Hawkins family. Lead him along the razor’s edge of madness, as he’s confronted with a terrifying web of conspiracies, cultists, and cosmic horrors…”

But wait, there’s more. The press release is full of delights. It’s too good not to include:

“Nothing is as it seems. Sanity is an irregular bedfellow, all too often replaced by whisperings in the dark. Strange creatures, weird science, and shadowy cults dominate the Cthulhu Mythos, intent on realizing their mad schemes to bring about the end of all. Your mind will suffer - balancing a razor-thin line between sanity and madness, your senses will be disrupted until you question the reality of everything around you. Trust no one. Creeping shadows hide lurking figures… and all the while, the Great Dreamer prepares for his awakening.”

There is also this:

“Call of Cthulhu will offer a dark and oppressive ambiance that shall pay tribute to Lovecraft’s work and universe. This banal investigation might indeed lead you to more sinister forces and darker secrets buried deep within Darkwater Island.”

That’s the game description! 

“Dark and oppressive ambiance”.

“Sanity is an irregular bedfellow”.

“Strange creatures, weird science and shadowy cults”.

 I’m totally playing this game.

Call of Cthulhu releases on October 30th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.


So, what are you playing?

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Horizon Zero Dawn

EA invited 10 girls to a week long workshop, designed to encourage more women into video game development. A spelling mistake is at least one reason why 2013's Aliens: Colonial Marines has a 40-something Metacritic. And here's a completely unofficial Uncharted short film starring Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake.

So, what are you playing?

Zachary Atwood
I have to be almost done with The Witcher 3. Honestly, I thought my most recent full day of play was wrapping it up, but there's somehow still more. I've taken a few days off from that, but I'm sure I'll be back into this weekend to try and finish it off. In other areas, I enjoyed the Overwatch League playoffs enough last week to reinstall Overwatch and give it another shot. Unfortunately, I still find the game almost impossible to play casually, so it dropped off my radar after a couple hours.

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 still has my attention, but I've been saving it for the weekend so I can get some longer sessions in with the buds. Other than that, I just started my playthrough of Stifled for my review, and should be wrapping it up this weekend. While I'm not playing games, I'll be tuning into a bunch of different esports events this weekend. Between Overwatch League playoffs and Fortnite tournaments, I'll have no shortage of competitive gaming content to keep me occupied.

Kinsey Danzis
In the few days left before I enter a period in which I both am a full-time student and have four jobs, I'm enjoying my latest irresponsible purchase—my gold PS4—by way of Horizon Zero Dawn. It's stunning. Amazing. I've had a couple days off in a row, which was a rare treat in and of itself, so I've already sunk hours into this game with no signs of being bored. The visuals and soundtrack are incredible. Aloy is gorgeous, and she's portrayed (mostly) like a real woman instead of a Photoshopped model.

I know I'm late to the party, but I have exactly one complaint about this game, and it's one I noticed right off the bat: cultural appropriation, especially with Native Americans. Come on, Guerrilla Games; you could have found another way to execute your amazing vision for the Nora without using terms like "braves," "savages," and "tribes," or making the Nora terrified of and disgusted by technology. You could have accomplished the latter without the former, easily. The Nora even seem more primitive in comparison to the other regions in the game, in part because they refuse to embrace these foreign technologies and practices. Sound familiar? There's no way you guys didn't notice the parallels. Game developers can't forget the impact that every little bit of their product has on their audiences, and how crucial it is to do appropriate and thorough research.

I'll stick by my guns on this one; Horizon Zero Dawn, like a number of acclaimed video games, is an interactive work of art. But as art, it's subject to the same critique and criticism as art hanging in a gallery, and it's up to the creators to respond appropriately—and preferably before the game releases. More research could have subverted this issue entirely, making the game almost perfect.

Dave Gamble
One of the things I like the most about my semi-retirement job is that I am as far from having to make any kind of meaningful decisions as I am from having any responsibility for results (or lack thereof), something that I haven't been able to say for nigh on two decades now. I welcome being told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and when not to do it. As an aside, there's your secret to making it to your silver anniversary. I like that almost as much as having work that is done when it's done, and knowing precisely what needs to be done before the job is done. Which is a long way of saying that I have made amends with Far Cry 5. The reason for this rapprochement is simple: I started playing Arcade mode instead. No more tromping around a massive world looking for trouble of the sort I can handle and, more often that not, finding trouble that I can't. It's all right there: kill six guards. When that's done, you're done. Quick and easy. Well... not too easy.

When I'm not slinking through the deep weeds of the south with a recurve bow and the morose-yet-hostile attitude of a three-legged dog with a persistent lisp, I can be found flying the unfriendly skies of the Caucasus, primarily around Sochi, in my well-equipped and dangerous to the core DCS AV-8B Harrier. Dangerous to whom, you ask? Well, a couple of weeks of practice in the jet has made me far better at blowing stuff up with various and sundry explosive devices, but it has hardly made a dent in my lamentable inability to land the thing, so I would say it's dangerous to all involved. It sure is fun, though!

Eric Hauter
With summertime in full swing, and the kids wanting to go to the pool every day, I have been focusing on playing Switch games more than ever.

While I won't bore everyone with an update about my Fallout Shelter—super rich, ultra-powerful—I have to admit that I am still logging into the game several times a day. I have also been spending some time getting my bearings in VSR: Void Space Racing. VSR is a racer that takes place in a zero gravity environment. And unlike "gamey"-style space racers, things like momentum and inertia matter deeply in VSR. I pretty much spend all of my time flying off the course, bumping into things and flying in the wrong direction. It's a sad state of affairs.

I have also been taking a look at Salary Man VR, a VR block-based puzzle game. While I am not yet sold on the puzzle design, I am enjoying the weird 60's vibe and Japanese pop soundtrack. Even if I end up not enjoying the game in its entirety, I am really digging its aesthetic.

Randy Kalista
Stated simply, I don't require authenticity in either my fast food or my video games. Except when it comes to tacos and naval combat. Long story short, both of those requirements came about during my time ported in Naval Base San Diego. Suffice it to say, I really need a slow-boat ship-to-ship combat sim right now. But $40 to get into Naval Action's Early Access is a tad steep for its mixed reviews. Instead, World of Warships and its free-to-play on boarding sounds just about right. I'd given it a shot a few years ago. It didn't stick at the time because its ships still moved too fast to fulfill my legitimacy prerequisites for naval combat simulations. But I'm over that, for the moment.

The Banner Saga 3 launches next week. My review will simul-launch with it. Once I wrap that, there's a new bailiff in town as I direct a ruined town to rise From the Ashes in Kingdom Come: Deliverance's DLC. Oh yeah, and I've got some opinions about the VRidge by RiftCat, an app that turns my smartphone and Google Cardboard into a magical device that makes Steam think I've got something closer to an HTC Vive. Never mind; with all my overdue assignments there's no time for slow-as-molasses naval combat. Maybe next week.

Nicholas Leon
I just realized that I've spent nearly two weeks away from my PS4. Most of my game time has been occupied by either playing Fallout Shelter or Far Cry 2, and the rest of my time has been spent interviewing and applying for jobs, watching movies, reading books, and, most recently, practicing for the GRE.

Well, I'd really like to get back on the longform single-player video game train that does more than offer up the same stuff over and over again. Here, I announce my intentions to make my best effort to return to either Persona 5, or Nier: Automata.

That's really it, I can't remember where exactly I am in either game, but I miss them. I miss them so very, very much.

Kevin O’Connell
This has been a very busy two weeks—car purchase, trip to Amish country, and Foo Fighters—but I am still managing to stomp through Earthfall. Not quite a Fortnite or Overwatch copy and different enough from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the game is set as a 1-4 vs. aliens in a campaign setup. It isn't the standard run-an-fetch-it though. Running at some times, retreating at others, the game requires you to scrap your way through some differing baddies to get to the end of each area. No checkpoints. No pausing. Just a rush to get where you need to without being ground into dust. So far, so good, but the verdict is still out. Should have the review early next week.

I have also run into a server issue with Titan Quest that has made continuing the game impossible. There have been glitches and boots here and there, but the game has gotten to the point of kicking every 5-15 minutes and we cannot beat the end the second way through because of it. Between the porting to XBox and the recent update to make it prettier, THQ has made the game unplayable. It is happening more even with the single-player campaign. They need to fix it soon before their fan base goes the way of the Gorgons.

Fortnite Season 5 is now live

by: Kinsey - - 0 Comments

"Worlds collide!" exclaims Fortnite's press release, heralding the launch of Season 5. If you hop into the Battle Royale map right now, you'll find that it doesn't quite look the same; features from other worlds have appeared on the island, ranging from ancient statues to a Viking ship. There's even a whole new desert outpost, since Moisty Mire has become...not so moist anymore.

Not only that, but after much ado, the game's first four-person vehicle has arrived! Called an All Terrain Kart, or ATK, players can zip around with their squad to discover the new areas and mysteries that the update has in store for them.

The patch is live right now, along with an all new Battle Pass (including over 100 rewards and costing 950 V-bucks). Go ahead and jump in if you want to find these new changes for yourself, or check out the patch notes here.


Stardew Valley's multiplayer update has a release date on PC, Mac, and Linux

by: Zach - - 0 Comments

Stardew Valley, the much beloved 'farming and country life simulator' RPG, has announced the release date of its long-awaited multiplayer update. PC, Mac, and Linux players can mark their calendars down for August 1st, just 12 days away. Unfortunately, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch players will have to hold out a little longer, as no date has been announced yet.

As sad as I am for console players having to wait, I'm overjoyed this is finally happening. The multiplayer beta has been out for a couple months, but I've patiently held off for the full release just to make sure I can avoid any game-breaking bugs. Stardew Valley is easily one of my top games of all time and multiplayer should only serve to enhance the experience.

The Light Keeps Us Safe is more robot horror from makers of Sir, You Are Being Hunted

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

The Light Keeps Us Safe is the latest wonderfully titled game from Big Robot, makers of Sir, You Are Being Hunted and The Signal From Tolva. I'm definitely getting some Inside [GN score: Perfect] vibes mixed with a little Zombies, Run!, if you happen to be familiar with that mobile exercise game.

The camera only moves left and right, forward and backward in this trailer—which, I'll admit, is what hinted at the look and feel of Playdead's Inside. But the environments in The Light Keeps Us Safe are very much three-dimensional, not 2D sidescrolling. As with Big Robot's previous games, The Light Keeps Us Safe utilizes procedural generation to toss a little randomness into the equation. This is a stealth and evasion game. You're not going to be going toe-to-toe with these terrifying machines, no sir. No sense of what the main character looks like yet, but if Big Robot follows its own throughline, you'll be in first-person. 

So there's pervasive darkness. We see that much. And while the light certainly keeps us safe, that doesn't appear to include red light. Red light is bad. Every gamer instinctively knows that. The voice on the radio is perhaps a tad poetic as it urges you to "wake up the light." But doing that and getting back to the voice on the radio, back to safety, all makes sense. They probably could've left out the name of the game in the trailer. You never heard Master Chief say, "That thing is shaped kinda like a Halo," and Nathan Fillion never outright said, "We're fulfilling our Destiny!" But whatever, I'm kind of okay with them laying it on a little thick. The atmosphere in The Light Keeps Us Safe is doing good things otherwise. This one's going on my Wishlist.

The Light Keeps Us Safe is going the Early Access route on Steam. It has an October 11 release on PC.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands continues year two with Special Operation 2 update

by: Zach - - 0 Comments

Ghost Recon: Wildlands will be continuing their promise of year 2 content with their Special Operations 2 update on July 24th. The new release comes jam-packed with new content for a variety of different experiences. The first Special Operation had a Splinter Cell theme, bringing Sam Fisher out of the woodwork and offering a variety of customization items and stealth missions. 

The Special Operations 2 update will bring with it a whole new theme, although it seems Ubisoft Paris has opted to keep the theme under wraps for the time being. That being said, there's still plenty of content they have brought to light. The first and probably most anticipated addition is Ghost Mode. In Ghost Mode, you can create a 'hardcore' style character to play with. You can only carry one primary weapon, your guns will lose what's in the clip when you reload, and friendly fire will be turned on. Last and certainly not least, death is permanent, so taking a fall will force you to make an entirely new character.

In addition to Ghost Mode, the Ghost War PvP mode will be getting some changes. There are two new maps coming to the game, including a snow map. There's now a victory screen at the end of Ghost War matches, as well as an observer mode to allow spectating of games. Lastly, Ghost War will feature new daily challenges and a revamp of the Prestige economy, so players will be able to earn Prestige Credits to buy new Ghost War classes and customization options.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to Ghost Mode. That hardcore style of play feels like a great match for Ghost Recon, and it should be a ton of fun (and a little frustrating) to drop in and play a permadeath mode. I haven't spent much time with Ghost War, but it definitely seems interesting enough to check out. Plus, the addition of an observer mode might be an indication that Ghost War could be developing a more competitive agenda.

Overall, this is a solid looking update, even before the theme has been revealed. It definitely stays in line with Ubisoft's recent commitment to improving their existing games rather than abandoning them when they under perform. Based on the trailer, there could be even more coming that may be revealed in the next few days, so keep your eyes open if you're interested in what's to come.

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Enter the Gungeon drops a big expansion and a big sale today

by: Zach - - 0 Comments

Enter the Gungeon released a new expansion today, called Advanced Gungeons & Draguns. The expansion adds a bunch of new content, outlined by DodgeRoll Games in the tweet below:

As if the expansion wasn't enough, the game is 50% off on all platforms (about $7.50) for a limited time. If you've been eyeballing the game at any point, now would be a great time to pick it up.

For any who haven't heard of Enter the Gungeon, it's a bullet hell dungeon crawler with some rogue-like elements. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of guns in this game, and players will navigate the Gungeon in hopes of finding all the different guns the game has to offer. If you're into dungeon crawlers, bullet hells, pixel graphics, ridiculously awesome guns, or dodge rolling, this could be the game for you.

Snakebyte announces the aptly named Tough:Case for Nintendo Switch

by: Zach - - 0 Comments

Snakebyte, a creator of gaming hardware and accessories, have announced a new case for the Nintendo Switch. The case, called the Tough:Case, is designed to to surround the Switch tablet as well as the attached joy-cons. As you may have guessed from it's name, the Tough:Case's primary purpose is to protect the Switch from any unfortunate incidents it may encounter while you're out and about.

The case's design uses a rubber shell as the base, with the back being covered by a scratch-resistant polycarbonate cover. Despite the strength it provides, the case is light enough to not prove unwieldy for those trying to play on the go.

From the images, this case definitely looks like it provides good support to the Switch, and the components seem light enough to avoid being too invasive. Plus, I like the way the case wraps around the joy-cons, providing good support and helping hold the sometimes flimsy joy-cons in place. One potential concern to keep an eye out for is that the case will have to be removed to dock the Switch, so players who dock their Switch often will have to be prepared for this, or buy an adapter to allow them to dock their switch from an external hub.

The Tough:Case is expected to ship this August, and will be available in two colors: Strawberry Pink and Black. 

HyperX teams up with AbleGamers to provide gaming equipment to Children's Hospital in New Orleans

by: Zach - - 0 Comments

HyperX, an industry leader in gaming peripherals and accessories, have teamed up with the AbleGamers Charity to provide $10,000 of gaming equipment and training to the Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The AbleGamers Charity is a charitable organization focused on bringing the joy of video games to everyone. They work to improve the lives of gamers with disabilities by providing them the opportunity to enjoy video games as well as integrating them into the their treatment plans.

This donation is part of AbleGamers monthly Expansion Pass program, which seeks to provide a customized package of accessibility-related gaming supplies to facilities with special needs patients. This is the 6th Expansion Pass AbleGamers has delivered, totaling over $100,000 in equipment donated.

This particular expansion pass included donations from HyperX, Microsoft, and Humble Bundle. The donations should allow hundreds of patients with disabilities to find joy in video games and improve their treatment plans. If you'd like to learn more about the AbleGamers Charity, you can find them here.

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