I guess the first order of business should be to establish that Star Trek Online is in fact still online. It's been awhile since we last talked about it—May 2013, actually—but the Star Trek-based MMO is still boldly going, albeit to where no one seems to notice. Today, however, Arc Games announced some pretty big news: It's getting the band back together.
Veteran game designer Jane Jensen and her indie studio, Pinkerton Road, have been working on a 20th anniversary remake of the classic Sierra point-and-click adventure Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers since last year. After co-designing King's Quest VI in 1992, Jensen got her first shoot at designing and directing her own project. That game was Gabriel Knight, the story of a New Orleans writer who investigates a series of ritualistic voodoo murders and discovers he’s the descendant of a long line of monster hunters. Pinkerton Road plans to launch the Gabriel Knight remake in early fall.
Jane Jensen recently spoke to PC Gamer about what's changing in the Gabriel Knight remake, the revival of the Sierra brand, and her hopes for a new game starring everyone’s favorite N’awlins Schattenjäger.
The Sims 4 launched today, and you know what that means: The day-one patch is here! The first update to the new Sims game fixes a number of oddball issues including problems with Glitter and Abs, hibernating babies, and a Grim Reaper who really just isn't that into you.
In case you missed it: Obsidian are making a F2P game about tanks called Armored Warfare, and no, we didn't make that up. The game was briefly shown at E3 with a not-very-revealing trailer, but now 27 minutes of footage has appeared online, thanks a Twitch stream recorded at PAX.
I’ve been regularly strapping the office Oculus Rift to my head for a few months now, and I’m convinced virtual reality is something special, and not just a daft gimmick we’ll all laugh at in a decade. But there are still a lot of problems with the hardware as it exists today—including the recently released DK2 version—that will have to be ironed out before the thing is ready to appear in peoples’ living rooms. If, indeed, that ever happens.
Wargame: Red Dragon is set in an alternate 1980s where everyone's a bit more warry and Twin Peaks was probably never invented. It sounds, obviously, like a bit of a horrible place, but one ripe for real-time strategy gaming. Eugen Systems clearly agree, as they've just expanded their wargame with a new, free chunk of downloadable content. The Second Korean War updates the action to 1992, adding "12 new units and an additional full-length story campaign".
We basically live in Minecraft now, so in a sense, Britain is about to be flooded with new underwater block types, cute wickle bunny rabbits, less cute killer bunny rabbits, and mutton by the blockload. Which is to say: Minecraft has a big ol' update launching today, featuring quite a few changes and a lot of added content, including those things I just said, a bunch of new world types and more.
What do you call a game of Titanfall without any titans? It's a question worthy of Bishop Berkeley, who was quite the fan of mech-based multiplayer shooters, as you may recall. Whatever you call it—'Fall', maybe?—Titanfall sans titans is now a thing, at least in the game's new Pilot Skirmish mode, added today. Wonderfully, Update 6 also adds colourblind options and new burn cards to Respawn's game, while removing the penalties for joining a match late.
I haven't played Maia, maybe I will never play Maia, but I enjoy watching videos of Simon Roth explaining new and changed features, particularly when his game looks so relaxing and atmospheric. Update 0.44, among other things, rethinks the research component, while adding earthquakes, loads of new haikus, and "creepy herbivorous underground dwellers", like what your mum is. Sorry, sorry—they're a new lifeform that will "destroy your solar panels and ruin your day". There aren't too many hilarious patch notes to take out of context, but "Amnesia issue fixed. Colonists will try to remember what they are doing when the world changes" did made me chuckle a bit. Full changelist, and that video, below.
One of the saddest things about the last few, hugely depressing weeks is the silence from a lot of high-profile game developers and publishers on the matter—that's why it was so notable when figures including Tim Schafer, Joss Whedon, Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann and Saints Row 4 developer Steve Jaros stood up in support of critic Anita Sarkeesian and the importance of self-examination, and against hateful campaigns of online harassment.
Now, a new open letter created by Andreas Zecher of Spaces of Play has attracted 1382 signatures and counting from developers and publishers working for Ubisoft, Bungie, Sony, Harmonix, 2K, Infinity Ward, BioWare, Blizzard, Microsoft, Riot, Splash Damage, Trion Worlds, Double Fine, Epic, Paradox, Mojang and look, I'm going to run out of space here. It's an enormous list, including a lot of independent developers and publishers, critics and press too.
If you live in Australia and play video games you probably visit the Australian Classification Board website occasionally. You do this because a) you want to make sure a new game isn't banned, and b) to see if the notoriously leaky website has revealed, say, Half-Life 3. As for the former, many will remember the rage back in 2010 when the Office of Film and Literature Classification denied Left 4 Dead 2 classification in Australia, which forced Valve to release a censored version in that region. The censored version sucked, to put it kindly.
If you like bright colours and large scale interplanetary warfare then Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is probably right up your alley. Positech Games has released the first gameplay footage for the strategy sequel, and while its ostensibly a demonstration of some fancy new graphics tech, you'll also get an idea of how the new installment will play.
You are probably at least peripherally aware of the furor that followed the release of the latest Tropes vs. Women in Videogames video, which got so bad that creator Anita Sarkeesian was actually compelled to leave her home because of threats made against her and her family. It's an appalling state of affairs by any measure, but while some gamers seem determined to prove that Sarkeesian is "wrong" (or at least shut her up), Steve Jaros, the creative director of Saints Row studio Volition, says she's right.
Gearbox has announced, to nobody's great surprise, that it plans to release four DLC packs for its upcoming shooter Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. You will no doubt be just as shocked, which is to say not shocked at all, to learn that all four packs will be available collectively in a discounted Season Pass, and further, that if you preorder the game, you'll get some free bonus content.
Paris was a pretty happening place during the French Revolution, with all kinds of places to go and things to do, especially if you happened to be an elite operative of the Assassin Brotherhood. But how will you go about deciding the best way to spend your free time in the open world of Assassin's Creed Unity? Well, you might try reading a newspaper.
You may have heard a rumor last week that Rockstar had decided to cancel the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V. The word came from a site called Fox Weekly, which quoted the chairman of the marketing firm Rantic as saying that Rockstar never wanted to make a PC version of the game in the first place, but was "forced to do it" because of public demand. The statement carried weight, so the story went, because Rantic was founded by a guy named Brad, who also happens to be a marketing director for Rockstar North.
Flockers is already out on Steam Early Access, but if you prefer to wait for developers to brand their games as 'finished' before you dive in, you might be pleased to hear that Team17's sheepish puzzle game will be releasing for realsies on September 19th. If you're not intrigued, perhaps you should be: Team17 made Worms, and Flockers seems pretty reminiscent of DMA Design's Lemmings, a style of real-time puzzle game that hasn't reared its head for quite some time.
My experience with arcade games comprises a few goes on Time Crisis, Bust-a-Move or House of the Dead while holidaying at the seaside, but I'm assured by the plot of Tron that arcade gaming was once a pretty big thing. Short of a time machine or a sudden windfall of cash, it might be hard to recreate that bygone era, but thanks to Facepunch there's a chance of it living on in virtual form. The Garry's Mod/Rust developers have just announced their next prototype, named Arcade. Arcade is a game about being in an arcade, with a novel multiplayer mode and potential VR support.
If you were hoping for Godus to become the saviour of god games, you might have spent the last few months in a disappointed funk. But maybe Reprisal Universe can reignite your deific designs. The Populous-inspired retro god-'em-up will release later this month, on 15 September.
The Behemoth's fourth game doesn't have a name, but it does have hexes, co-op, and (seemingly) the narrator from Battleblock Theater, which Chris Thursten liked to the tune of 86%. It's being described by The Behemoth as a "turn-based co-op adventure", though that hardly sells the wit, exuberance and charm apparent in the first, 44-second-long trailer. See the first glimpse of Game 4 after the break, then join me in my seething jealousy of everyone who got to play the game at PAX.