Prey

Raphael Colantonio, director and co-writer of Arkane's 2017 game Prey, has been interviewed by Kotaku about his game's famously divisive final act. As well as the ending itself, the build-up to it has come under criticism for being drawn-out, and introducing too many security bots. Colantonio told Kotaku that, "In this case, yeah there was definitely too much at the end, it was too intense, not only the security bots but there was some other stuff. In general, I think it was too intense, we were trying to ask the players to backtrack, and do some stuff. It was just too much. We should have cut it short."

As for why the ending turned out that way, he offered this explanation: "I think we did our best as far as planning — we thought on paper it'd be a nice change of pace toward the end, so it feels more intense and more like an acceleration as opposed to 'Here is more story.' So on paper it seemed right.

"The problem is when you implement those things, even the designers can only see so much of it, because they don't see the rest of the game, they only see their part. And it’s only, believe it or not, it's only around alpha, like three months before the game ships basically that you can see the entirety of the game in a state where you can fully comprehend it."

You can listen to the full interview on Kotaku's podcast. A funny thing about immersive sims is that giving players freedom to choose their own approach means it's hard to pace them for everyone. I'd maxed out the hacking ability, and so I stunned the security bots then turned them to my side. I didn't think it was badly paced at all, and loved the ending. So there you go.

GROUND BRANCH

On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done. 

Flotilla 2

Steam pageReleased: August 17Developer: Blendo GamesPrice: $10

Blendo Games is responsible for Gravity Bone, Atom Zombie Smasher, 30 Flights of Loving and a variety of other indie games. Among the ones you might not have heard of is Flotilla, a 2010 game of spaceship battles in 3D. Now there's Flotilla 2, which takes that same concept and puts it in VR. (I love the bit in the trailer showing how goofy you'll look in those goggles). A game that embraces the fact there's no "up" in space seems like it'll be a heck of an experience in VR.

Lingotopia

Steam page Released: August 15 Developer: Lingo LudoPrice: $20

Language-learning games and apps won't actually teach you a language, but things like Influent and Duolingo can be fun ways of adding to your vocabulary. Lingotopia's the same kind of deal—you're lost in a city where you don't speak the language, but you can click on objects to find out what they're called. When locals speak, you're invited to guess the meaning of one word until you get it right, from which point it'll be highlighted with a translation in the text. You can choose from a variety of languages, whether Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French, or several others. The camera's a bit swingy and if you're not into tank controls they might bug you, but I learned a few new words of German from Lingotopia and that's the whole point.

Dad Quest

Steam pageReleased: 17 AugustDeveloper: Sundae MonthPrice: $13

Plenty of games are about being a dad these days, and yet too few of them let you use your child as an actual weapon. Dad Quest is a 2D action-platformer where you carry a baby around to bash enemies with. Those enemies include pigeons, pigs, and weird helicopter snow beasts. And yes, you can play as a lady dad.

Ground Branch

Steam pageReleased: August 13Developer: BlackFoot StudiosPrice: $20

Ground Branch is a first-person shooter that's aiming for realism. It's not just the kind of game where you look down and see your body, it's the kind of game where you have to do that to make sure your feet aren't poking out from behind cover where another player can shoot them. It's in Early Access now, and boasts "Accurate ballistics with penetration, bullet drop and stopping power simulation." The focus is on multiplayer, but they're planning to add squad AI so you can play alone.

Destination Primus Vita

Steam pageReleased: August 16Developer: Epsilon GamesPrice: $8

Each of the six episodes of Destination Primus Vita, a first-person puzzle/adventure game, will be told from the point of view of a different crew member on board a spaceship traveling to, you guessed it, Primus Vita. Aliens have stolen Earth's water and you have to go get it back. During the journey the crew goes into cryosleep and then is tested by the ship's AI, which is where the puzzles come in. So far only the first episode, in which you play the ship's quantum physicist, is available.

These games were released in the week prior to August 12, 2018. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The latest trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider is subtitled 'Know Your Enemy' and its 40 seconds depict the varieties of bad guy you'll be fighting in the new game. There are Trinity troops who pronounce Lara in the American way, tribal warriors, and of course a variety of animals who will dismember her in brutal close-ups: eels, piranhas, and a jaguar.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is due on September 14. Our James Davenport had a play of the early hours, and he says its custom difficulty settings are its best feature.

The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

To get the obvious question out of the way, no, these aren't the working scripts for the show. These are scripts used in auditions, showing off isolated character moments, and won't be part of the series when it finally airs.

Two casting scripts from Netlix's show based on The Witcher series have shown up on Reddit, and been confirmed as legit by showrunner Lauren Hissrich. One depicts Yennefer talking Geralt into going to a ball, and in the other she interacts with a king begging her for a favor. You can read them on the Witcher subreddit.

Fans are already fussing over the minutiae because of course they are, like Yennefer using the phrase "power couple". But this is a series where people talk about genetics and discuss their relationships in very modern psychological terms. In the third game, sex workers quote Madonna lyrics. Even if this was a final script and not one written specifically for auditions, it wouldn't be anything to worry about. Some of the dialogue's pretty funny, and the core of the characters are definitely there.

Here's everything we know about The Witcher on Netflix so far.

Thanks, IGN.

The Long Dark

Hinterland Games is hoping to wrap up development on The Long Dark's story mode by the end of 2019, the studio's creative director Raphael van Lierop explained on the studio's forums on Friday

Earlier this month, Shaun wrote about how the first two episodes of its Wintermute story mode were getting the 'Redux' treatment, while episode three is destined for a December 2018 release. The new editions of the first two episodes should offer a more open-ended experience, among a bunch of other tweaks. 

"Redux has been a long year of reflecting on what didn't work, gutting tech and systems to replace them with ones that work better for our intended experience, listening to player feedback on what they liked and didn't like, and establishing the strongest foundation we can for WINTERMUTE," van Lierop explains in a response to a community question. 

"All that said, we want to bring the story to a conclusion for our players. It's been a long enough wait, for you and for us. I don't anticipate making major tech overhauls—on the scale of Redux—for Episode Four or Five. That's not to say we won't add new content or mechanics in those episodes—we will—but I feel that Redux points us and the game in the right direction, and so we'll continue in that direction."

He says that he'd "like to wrap up development of WINTERMUTE by the end of 2019", but that this won't mean the end of The Long Dark. 

Andy really rated The Long Dark when it left Early Access last year. "Deep, brutal, and hauntingly atmospheric, The Long Dark is a survival game done right."

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

You can pick up a bunch of great visual novel games like Danganronpa and the Zero Escape trilogy in the Spike Chunsoft sale on Steam, but only until tomorrow. 

Every entry in each series is discounted. Last year's Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is 50% off, at a more reasonable $30/£25, while the first two entries are just $8/£6 each. The entire Zero Escape trilogy is also available in a bundle for 51% off, while 2016's Zero Time Dilemma is 50% off. On a non-visual novel note, you can also pick up Fire Pro Wrestling World for 20% less, a game which was the subject of this excellent diary feature by Matt Elliott.

Both Zero Escape and Danganronpa figure into Hannah Dwan's list of the best visual novel games on PC. "Zero Escape is grim, but the story is fascinating and well told. Choices you make result in different endings, and the games play into it in a way no other visual novel really has." Katharine Byrne gave the first two games a 90% in her review last year, in case you needed more convincing. 

Danganronpa, meanwhile, got this endorsement in our best-of list. "All of the writing and character designs are funny, a contrast to the grim atmosphere of a game about students murdering each other in fits of desperation, with the mysterious and antagonistic Monobear egging them on in crueler and crueler ways." Andy Kelly also gave the first game a strong 86% in his review.

Check out the full list of discounts here

Jagged Alliance 2 - Wildfire

Great moments in PC gaming are short, bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

It's the little things that often get the biggest smiles. Jagged Alliance 2 is a game of wonderful details. You don’t assemble your team via a boring menu, but a series of fake internet pages that pretend to be respectable organisations, but are actually a darkweb-style affair for spies and military contractors. Every mercenary you hire for your mission to free a small island from its tyrannical dictator Deidranna has their own personality and relationships in addition to their skills…

…and even that flower shop has a purpose. Not, as you might think, because it’s covering for some high-tech weapons plant or top secret Illuminati-style organisation. No, it sends flowers. And you can order flowers. And more specifically, you can send them to the villain.

Ah. You don’t get high-class trolling like that in many games. 

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Siege

Earlier this month, Ubisoft shared the first details of Operation Grim Sky, Rainbow Six Siege’s next season. Today, full details of its third campaign have been revealed from this weekend's Paris Major—including more on its new operators Maverick and Clash, and its reworked Hereford Base training camp map

As outlined in the five-minute short above, Maverick is known as the American spook who "went native". A hard-breacher and member of The Unit, his Suri Torch blow lamp lets him burn through surfaces "at an almost inaudible level", says Ubisoft, including reinforced walls. Which is surely great news for those players keen on horizontal shooting.  

Clash, as we learned earlier this week, is an ex-Scotland Yard officer. She can look a wee bit like System Shock's Shodan, and is the first defender to come equipped with a shield. During my short hands-on time with the new operatives—more on that this coming week—I struggled to work out a strategy for taking Clash on. Her shield not only nullifies head-on offence, you see, but also emits bolts of electricity which prevent you closing in from the wings. Needless to say, I copped a few fatal charges along the way.  

With this in mind, I reckon Clash marks a good starter operative for players learning the ropes. Siege now has 40 playable characters, each with their own respective repertoires of special abilities. There's therefore more scope to get overwhelmed than ever. Tooling yourself up with an electro-shield, however, is sure to help reduce newb anxiety.  

Elsewhere, Grim Sky implements modifications to address weapon sights misalignment, and includes adjustments to Operator Idle Pick. 

Expect Grim Sky to feature on PC test servers tomorrow, August 20. No concrete live date as yet, but Ubi says it's "available in September". If the developer follows previous Siege season launches, that might be September 3 or 4. Watch this space. 

They Are Billions

While Numantian Games continue work on the singleplayer campaign for Early Access RTS hit They Are Billions, they've also been sliding bonus stuff into the survival mode that's currently available. The latest patch adds a new zombie type called the Infected Giant, a behemoth so big they're marked on the minimap so you know not to expand in their direction until you're ready to take them on.

The giants only appear if you're playing on Challenging difficulty or above, but for those players who've already mastered their build queues there's also a new difficulty called Nightmare that adds three giants to the map and 30% more zombies than Brutal mode already has. A few tweaks to armor, new map features, and other bits of balancing have also taken place and you can read about that on their blog.

This brings They Are Billions up to version 0.9. It's available on Steam.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, a turn-based RPG being developed by 6 Eyes, is in Early Access now. After its successful Kickstarter, our writer Lauren Morton checked out how it was coming along back in March. She said, "Fell Seal's current demo includes 11 story missions and the option to replay most of the maps as random encounters. In true JRPG style, it also features fantasy monsters, bumbling henchmen, and a haughty antagonist with a terrible haircut. The protagonists, by way of contrast, stray a good deal from the plucky heroes of the coming-of-age tale I expected to find."

Since then it's been added to, and if you pick up the current version you'll get 21 story encounters and 30 optional encounters to play through, and you'll have access to over 25 playable classes and 200 abilities.

Fell Seal should be leaving Early Access in about six months. Head to Steam for more details.

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