Eurogamer

UPDATE: And just like that, it's actually happening. A handful of days into its crowdfunding campaign, and R-Type Final 2 has been successfully funded, soaring past its initial goal and confirming that this is a game that we will actually be able to play at some point in the near future. What a world! Of course, there are still plenty of stretch goals to be met - most notably offering the potential of levels returning from classic R-Type games - but for now let's radiate in the glory of the moment.

ORIGINAL STORY: The somewhat implausible notion of R-Type Final getting a sequel has come a step closer to becoming a reality, with the crowdfunding campaign for R-Type Final 2 kicking off late this coming Monday (June 3rd), with Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC all being target platforms.

It's in development from Granzella, with permission from original developer Irem and with key staff members from the R-Type series involved. The design comes courtesy of Kazuma Kujo, who worked on R-Type Delta, R-Type Tactics and, of course, R-Type Final. Some new detail on R-Type Final 2 was revealed ahead of the campaign, with a 'real-time level function' that dynamically changes difficulty on the fly depending on the player's abilities.

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Obduction

If you're in the market for a good, solid freebie - and I assume you are, given that you've already read the headline - then you've come to the right place. Myst developer Cyan Worlds' enjoyable sci-fi mystery adventure Obduction is currently free on GOG until tomorrow, 1st June.

Obduction released back in 2016, and is very much a spiritual successor to Cyan Worlds' seminal Myst and Riven series, featuring the same kind of low-key, open-ended meandering and oblique puzzle solving, in a surreal, strikingly designed alien world.

And the good news is that it does a lot of stuff right, with a strong story premise (which I won't spoil), a pitch-perfect atmosphere - absolutely nailing the sense of wonder and isolation - and conundrums that are, for the most part, logical and immensely satisfying once you finally tease out a solution from the subtle environmental clues. Do be warned, however, that the whole thing comes to a crashing halt about two thirds of the way through with a truly godawful sequence of trial-and-error puzzles that constantly force you between locations, leading to endless loading screens and an increasing sense of despair.

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Darksiders Warmastered Edition

Darksiders 3 has only been out six months, but further evidence has surfaced pointing to a new entry in the apocalyptic action series being revealed at this year's E3.

Hints of a new Darksiders first emerged during THQ Nordic's ill-fated 8Chan AMA via an image supposedly leaking the publisher's E3 lineup. And now further mention has been spotted on an official schedule for this year's E3 Coliseum - a three-day series of panels by publishers and developers for all show attendees.

Head over to the event calendar, hop to Thursday, 14th June, and cast your eyes downward to the 10:30am slot - where a panel titled Darksiders: Action Adventure Evolved is set to unfold.

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Eurogamer

Sigil, legendary designer John Romero's "unofficial spiritual successor to The Ultimate Doom's fourth episode", has, after a few minor setbacks, finally been released into the world.

Romero initially unveiled Sigil last December, to mark Doom's 25th anniversary, promising a completely free episode with nine single-player and nine death match levels. It was originally expected to launch in February, but a few "snags" with Limited Run Games' fancy, retro-themed physical release forced a delay, given that Romero was keen to ensure paying customers got to play Sigil at the same time as everyone else.

With those issues now sorted, Sigil can be downloaded for free on Romero's website (and there's a version with a soundtrack by Buckethead for 6.66/$6.66 USD). However, do note that Sigil is being distributed as a megawad - the same special asset-bundling file format used by Doom back in 1993 - meaning that players will require the original game to play it.

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Fallout: New Vegas

After hours trekking across the wasteland, swatting away bloatflies and squashing hordes of ghouls, the end is in sight. Or at least Hoover Dam is. It's the intimidating final stage
of Fallout New Vegas, and no matter your path until this point, you'll have to pick a side and fight an explosive battle to irrevocably change the fate of the Mojave.

A fate that is reported, rather than told, through a series of end slides - before you're taken to a save from before the battle. Ah.

It's a slightly frustrating ending, particularly when post-game content is so often used in RPGs to display the impact of a player's decisions. Even in Red Dead Redemption 2 (not an RPG), you can still find special encounters in the epilogue depending on whether you helped certain people in the past. It's possible to leave a tangible mark on the world, and it shows your decisions went beyond the moment to have long-term repercussions.

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Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition

Larian is teasing something with a 3 in it - and it looks like Baldur's Gate 3.

The Larian homepage has the number 3 emblazoned on it. The first thought this conjures is Divinity: Original Sin 3, although it feels a little early for that game. But someone had a dig around the code underpinning Larian's website, and it very much looks like this tease relates to Baldur's Gate 3 instead.

Twitter user kunkken went down the HTML rabbit hole and unearthed Baldur's Gate and Forgotten Realms licence holder Wizards of the Coast, which make this one something of a sure bet.

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Eurogamer

EA has taken the unusual step of revealing key gameplay changes coming to FIFA 20 before it's even announced the game.

In a blog post, EA Sports discussed a raft of gameplay improvements coming to the "next product iteration", aka FIFA 20.

On the list are welcome improvements to AI defending, 1v1 shooting consistency, timed finishing, volley crossing and shooting, chained skill moves, set-piece positioning, manual goalkeeper movement, passing, and player switching.

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Gato Roboto

Metroidvanias are an inherently clever genre, and the cleverness can sometimes sap a little of the energy. I've played plenty of Metroidvanias that were very easy to admire but a bit of a drag to play. It can be slightly enervating, being blinded by all that brilliance. I can appreciate how ingenious it is that a certain area works differently depending on whether it's on fire or filled with toxic gas, but it can take something truly special to shake me out of quiet reverence for someone's design smarts.

Gato Roboto does two things that immediately shook the formula up for me. And tellingly, neither of them has much to do with nuts and bolts design. The first thing is you play through the game as a cat, crashlanded on an alien planet and trying to save his human owner who's trapped back at the spaceship. The cat soon has a mech-suit - I can attest to the fact that cats are like this - and the game has a lot of fun switching between sections where you're suited and tooled up and deadly and bulky, and sections where you jump out of the suit and scamper up walls and through pipes and underwater, but have to avoid direct confrontation.

Yes, I appreciate in this way the cat has quite a lot to do with nuts and bolts design, but none of that matters, I think, quite as much as this: it's unexpected and delightful to play as a cat in a game, particularly one who's animated with such character and economy.

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Eurogamer

Despite being loudly trumpeted as the cornerstone of BioWare's post-launch content plans for Anthem, the long-awaited Cataclysm update has, to date, largely remained a mystery. With tonight's Cataclysm livestream over, however, a whole lot more is now known.

According to BioWare, Cataclysm will run for a total of eight weeks when it finally arrives after a bout of public testing. The first two weeks will take the form of a "pre-event", designed to set up the narrative for Cataclysm proper. This will consist of three new missions, each featuring their own "high quality cinematic scenes" and a range of Vanity item rewards.

For those that don't mind very light spoilers, the gist of the story is that a new faction, lead by someone called Vara, manages to trigger the Cataclysm in an act of desperation. As you might imagine, it's up to the Freelancers to find out what caused it and how it can be resolved.

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Eurogamer

Respawn Entertainment has offered first details on Season 2 of its well-received battle royale shooter Apex Legends, and there are signs that the developer has addressed many of the complaints levied against Season 1's "dull" Battle Pass.

Although Respawn says it will be saving the meatiest reveals for Apex Legends' EA Play livestream presentation, which kicks off at 6pm in the UK/10am PST on Saturday 8th June, its latest blog post details a few of Season 2's "high-level" improvements, "so y'all can know that we're headed in the right direction."

The main takeaway right now is that the time from start to level 100 of Apex Legends' Season 2 Battle Pass will be much reduced compared to Season 1. Eurogamer's Emma Kent called last season's grind "a joyless slog", so this is welcome news indeed.

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