Genital Jousting

Genital Jousting, developer Free Lives' delightfully puerile multiplayer cock-'em-up, has finally released on PC after 14 months in Early Access development.

For those unfamiliar with Genital Jousting, it's described as an "online and local multiplayer party game about flaccid penises and wiggly anuses". Consider yourself warned.

Last time I spent a few happy hours Genital Jousting, the focus was undoubtedly on its hilariously raucous Classic and Party modes. Here, up to eight human-controlled wangs can battle it out across a surprisingly diverse range of maps and mini-games (with names like Double Delight, Obstacle Intercourse, and Weiner Round Up) for ultimate sausage supremacy, usually by frantically attempting to consensually penetrate their peers.

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Eurogamer

Epic Games has thrown doubt on the future of Paragon, its free-to-play MOBA, in a surprisingly frank Reddit post from community coordinator Edgar Diaz.

The post, titled "An Open Discussion On Where We're At", sought to give some background (if not any reassurances) on the increasingly slow development updates that Paragon has received in recent times. "We know you have a lot of questions about the future of Paragon," said Diaz, "We care deeply about this community and we know this is important to you, so here's a summary of where we are."

Every update that Epic has released since Paragon's Early Access launch last March, explained Diaz, has been focussed on growing the game. However, while many of the changes have been well-received by the existing community, "none has been large enough to achieve mainstream success".

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Square Enix has announced that Life is Strange: Before the Storm's special bonus episode, titled Farewell, will release on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, on March 6th.

Farewell is an entirely standalone episode (only available to owners of the digital Deluxe Edition of Before the Storm) and marks the return of first series protagonist Max Caulfield. It's the only time that Max is the lead playable character in prequel Before the Storm, with previous episode's having centred around her Season One best friend Chloe Price.

Equally notable is the fact that Farewell sees actor Ashly Burch resume the role of Chloe Price for the first time since the original series. Rhianna DeVries voiced the character in Before the Storm's three main episodes, as Burch was unable to participate due to the now-resolved SAG-AFTRA strike. Hannah Telle, who played Max in the original series, also returns.

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They Are Billions

How long can you survive? It's so simple and so effective: build a base and protect it from the enemy zombie hordes. Not the ones milling about on the map, although they do trickle towards your base and sometimes with proper intent, but the actual hordes. When they approach they get a special announcement and a clock ticks down to their arrival, and a big skull represents them marching across the map. So much drama! When they turn up, you'll know why.

Zombies that are harmless in ones or twos are devastating in their hundreds, and if your walls and traps and troops aren't strong enough, and the zombies reach your vulnerable workers, they will infect them and the wave will get stronger. If you don't patch the hole quickly, zombies will sweep through your base like sea through a sandcastle. Dying in They Are Billions is an inevitability, and death comes quick.

But the difficulty is a masterstroke, as is the speed at which The End comes. Keeping you on the back foot compels you to do better, and dying quickly means you don't lose much, attempts are brisk, and you aren't overwhelmed by wiping the board clean and starting again. It also naturally breaks the learning into digestible chunks.

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Darkest Dungeon®

Heroes aren't born, forged, plucked from obscure, charming villages or raised from centuries of slumber in Darkest Dungeon - they are broken in. Or at least, broken. Out on Switch today, Red Hook's festering roguelike sees you battling to reclaim a cliffside manor from the cosmic terrors unleashed by your dead, yet mysteriously talkative Ancestor, sending quartets of procedurally generated adventurers into the estate to slay eldritch creatures and gather the resources and experience you need for an assault on the mansion itself. Besides the usual stats, unlockable abilities and gear slots, each adventurer has a stress bar, which fills up as they weather punishments both tangible and intangible. The mouldering hush of a crypt might fill it up a little. A clash with a screaming pigman the size of a house will probably fill it up a lot.

Max out the gauge, and the adventurer will undergo a "resolve check" that usually results in an Affliction - the effects may include spurning medical attention while at death's door, or berating the rest of the party for missed attacks, raising their stress levels in turn. There's a small chance that the hero will discover hidden reserves of strength and acquire a Virtue instead, the effects of which range from massive stat buffs to random self-healing, but in general, such meltdowns are to be avoided. You won't always be able to avoid them, however. When not wading into the filth, characters can be left to recuperate at the local tavern and chapel, or treated of stress-inducing "Quirks" such as claustrophobia at the sanitarium, but the expense of such therapies, coupled with the unpredictability of the dungeons, make it impossible to keep everybody's blood pressure down for long.

Accordingly, the thrill of Darkest Dungeon lies not, as in other turn-based RPGs, with the delicate arranging and toppling of variables whose effects can largely be relied upon, but in rolling with the punches when somebody's morale gives way. It's a game about bending souls and bodies out of shape, then dealing with - and taking a certain morbid pleasure in - the fallout. This is a gamble your adventurers have no choice but to endure. Oh, they might slip your clutches for a turn or two, going AWOL after an all-night drinking session or departing on some grotty/mystic errand. They might refuse to serve with ungodly character classes like the Abomination, or beg you not to send them on quests above their level. But the one thing they can't do is up and quit. For all their warped predilections and frailties, their resentment and gibbering outbursts, they make perfect employees - and if all else fails, they are easy enough to replace, with new recruits carted to the Hamlet every turn.

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Eurogamer


A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Green Man Gaming is currently insisting that not only is Blue Monday a thing, but it continues to rage on, despite the fact that it is, in fact, Thursday now.

The site is offering 25 per cent off all PC games right now when you enter the code BLUE25 at checkout. This offer was originally set to finish earlier this week but has reportedly proven so popular, it's been extended until the end of Friday 19th January at 9:30 am UTC, so fill your boots while you can.

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Black Annex

Black, the first-person shooter from Burnout studio Criterion, is now available as part of the EA Access games vault.

If you're an EA Access subscriber on Xbox One you can now download and play the 2006 shooter at no extra charge. (Black was never released for PC, just PS2 and Xbox, so don't expect to see it on the PC service Origin Access.)

What is Black? "It's just shooting and buildings falling down," Aoife, who played it very recently, told me. "But it's great." In fact, you can watch Aoife and Ian play the game together just below:

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Full Metal Furies

Full Metal Furies, a new "action RPG with a twist" from Rogue Legacy developer Cellar Door Games, has launched on Xbox One and PC.

The vaguely greek-mythology-themed Full Metal Furies is the first game to come from Cellar Door since its wonderful, Castlevania-esque procedurally generated platformer Rogue Legacy, which released all the way back in 2013.

Full Metal Furies is described as a team-based brawler (and also "an abstruse allegorical action adventure about atonement, allusions, and alliteration awaits all at an alternate age around Athens' ashes") in which up to four players can fight co-operatively in a bid to "defend the free world from tyrannical titans".

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Eurogamer

FoxNext Games, the interactive arm of entertainment giant 20th Century Fox, has acquired developer Cold Iron Studios, which will soon begin work on a new Alien shooter.

Although there's little in the way of concrete information regarding the studio's new Alien project, intended for release on PC and consoles, it will apparently "explore areas of the universe that fans haven't gotten to experience".

If you're unfamiliar with Cold Iron Studios, that's likely because the studio has yet to release a game under its own moniker. It does, however, have a strong pedigree; it was established in 2015 by a number of ex-Cryptic Studios veterans (responsible for the likes of City of Heroes and Star Trek Online), and has slowly amassed development talent with experience working on BioShock Infinite, Doom, Borderlands, and Metroid Prime 3, among other games.

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Eurogamer


Game engine Unity continues to shake off its humble origins with a new interactive demo designed to demonstrate exactly what it can do.

This technical showcase is the work of the team behind 2016's Adam short film, which told the story of a humanoid robot awaking from a Matrix-like pod before being put to work by evil human overlords.

This is Book of the Dead:

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