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For the next eight days, you can nab a raft of big bad strategy games from as low as under a quid at the Humble Store, including cosmically vast titles Stellaris and Civilisation 6. This year's Humble Strategy 2019 bundle features the above titles and more for the princely sum of 11.33, or $15.
From the one dollar band, we have three games. Firstly, there's Niche - genetics survival game, which entails shaping your own species of beast and keeping them alive in the brutal wilds.
As you'd expect this includes different biomes and predators, plus flora and prey. As a bonus, the actual scientific mechanics of genetics are interwoven into the game - meaning you can learn as you play. As Niche is currently 13.59 on Steam, this makes for one top-tier deal too!
If you've been on the Fallout 76 subreddit over the past few months, you've probably seen them. Huge, grandiose and utterly outrageous; these are player traps which seem to hoodwink dozens despite their sinister facades.
They're the work of Vault101manguy, also known as Mike: a Canadian Fallout 76 player who by day works in IT, but at night terrifies the citizens of Flatwoods. So far he's created three traps, including a murder church, player oven and his latest masterpiece: a Deathclaw maze.
The posts have gained significant traction on Reddit, even inviting comment from a Bethesda dev, and Mike has plans to make even more traps in future. I had a chat with Mike to ask him a bit about his work and the process behind constructing the devices. Oh - and how he got that Deathclaw into the maze.
Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek has co-founded new games studio Stray Bombay with Riot Games designer Kimberly Voll.
Faliszek is best known for his work on Valve classics such as Half-Life 2's episodes, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Portal 2 - several of which have a big focus on co-operative storytelling.
And it's this focus Stray Bombay will build upon as Faliszek and Voll seek to make games with shared experiences.
Bethesda will have a media briefing at E3 2019, it's announced.
The company's E3 showcase is set for Monday, 10th June at 1.30am UK time. It'll be a late one!
So, what do we expect? Bethesda has said Doom Eternal will get an in-depth look, so that's guaranteed. But what else? How about something from Arkane, the developer of Dishonored and Prey, more on Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a big expansion for Fallout 76 and another glimpse at Bethesda Game Studio's Starfield?
There are a few things you can count on me to be embarrassed by on any given day - my beer gut, for example, or the time I called my teacher 'mum' when I was six. One of the things embarrassing me most at the moment is how much I like The Division 2, because it is a game that manages to be both great and repugnant.
Let's start with the good stuff - The Division 2 is a very well made cover shooter. The core experience introduced in the first game is still gripping, offering countless busy set pieces with just enough of a challenge to make its players feel like part of a well oiled machine.
Skills remain a big part of the game, offering a wide array of sophisticated, deadly and very often daft gadgets to help agents get an edge on their opponents. The range of core skills - and variants of those skills - has been greatly expanded for the sequel, which now boasts a drone that can fix your armour, chemical launchers that can stick people to the spot, and a silly device that zips around the screen attaching magnetic grenades to pre-selected targets before quite often flying into the nearest wall. The gear system has also undergone some changes. Items of gear now have manufacturers - effectively gear sets - adding a layer of complexity to your equipment loadout that can offer some useful perks. Weapon mods, meanwhile, now feature one negative trait along with a positive one, making customisation more of a challenge.
The Division 2 sold far fewer physical copies during its launch week than the series' first entry, back in 2016.
Ubisoft's latest Tom Clancy-'em-up shifted just 20 per cent of the boxed copies of its predecessor. As ever, UK numbers do not include digital sales.
So why the huge plummet? Well, Division 1 launched on a Tuesday in the UK, compared to Division 2's Friday arrival. The first game had a little longer to rack up numbers.
If this is mud that's falling from the cavern above, having pooled in divots and then lapped and slopped over the edges, then why does it settle on top of the water in this beautiful subterranean lake? And why is that guy with flames for hands and feet and flames for a head walking towards me?
Oh, it's not mud at all. It must be oil. Because now everything is ablaze, fire arcing over the surface of the lake, boiling the lake dry, racing upwards to the cavern above and the overflowing divots. Now I'm on fire. Now the ground's giving way. Now I'm landing in fresh green water. Except it's acid rather than water. At least I'm not on fire anymore!
At least I'm not on fire anymore. Noita - I think it's a Finnish word for 'witch' - is the kind of game that has you counting your blessings, however small. It's a 2D procedural exploration game in which you play a robed adventurer heading deep underground with a bundle of magic wands for company. You can aim in any direction and you can levitate for a bit and you can kick things around if they're light enough. Secrets and enemies lurk all about.
A developer from Obsidian is remaking Star Wars Dark Forces in Unreal Engine 4.
Jason Lewis - who works as a professional senior environment artist at Obsidian - has been working on this passion project for a few years now, starting out with plans to simply recreate A New Hope's Mos Eisley spaceport as a Dark Forces "art project". Now, however, the project has expanded to a fan-made recreation of Dark Forces, complete with a newly released playable work-in-progress demo.
If you're too young to remember it the first time around (i.e. you're not as old as I am), Star Wars: Dark Forces was a 1995 first-person shooter developed by Lucasarts. Sadly, this remake doesn't feature any shootable bad dudes, but you can experiment with the blaster, take a tour of the Millennium Falcon, and spend some quality time with R2-D2.
EA has confirmed that it's made "some notable changes to the loot drop rate" in Anthem.
Whilst only divulging that the changes were coming to "specific scenarios", the short-n-sweet update on the official website confirmed the server-side update (which means you don't have to download or apply it to your local system) would immediately boost the chances of top-tier gear drops at the game's highest difficulty levels... as well as some improvements for the hardest enemies on any difficulty setting, too.
"In the latest server-side update, we've made some notable changes to the loot drop rate in specific scenarios, which will take effect immediately in a server-side tuning update," EA said. "These changes include: Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for Grandmaster 2 and Grandmaster 3 difficulty levels, and Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for harder enemies at all difficulty levels. This includes: Legendary Ancient Ash Titan, Elite Ancient Ash Titan, Legendary Fury, Legendary Ursix and Legendary Luminary."
A dataminer believes they've uncovered what's coming up in The Division 2's first eight-man raid, Operation Dark Hours.
In a post on reddit (thanks, PCGN), kevindavid40 believes they have "managed to decrypt the game asset file" and lists, in astonishing detail, what they believe the raid will include. While we often see nefarious attempts to convince players of false "leaks", kevindavid40's claims are interesting given the astonishing detail they provide.
"Morning Agents!" kevindavid40 said. "I managed to decrypt the game asset file, and got more interesting info on the upcoming Raid. I'm just going to say it looks true hardcore end-game activity based on the size of the map, and the objectives involved in this Raid."