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Monthly Archives: October 2020

P.T.’s been remade in Doom, still absolutely terrifying

Since nobody on PC has had access to P.T., the playable teaser for Hideo Kojima’s since-cancelled Silent Hills, modders have been filling the demand. The latest version of P.T. to grace your screen – in a manner of speaking – is a total conversion mod of Doom that captures the whole thing.

Named GZ P.T., the mod transforms the FPS game into the haunted house psychological nightmare of Kojima’s short horror game. In P.T., you completed laps of a single hallway amid disturbing sounds and visions, doing small tasks and puzzles that unlocked the next section. Each stage, as it were, is the same hallways redecorated, giving you more clues as to whose house it is, and slowly hear about the family that lived there. It’s a dark, sordid, miserable horror game, fitting that it was designed as the prelude to Silent Hills, a new Silent hill from hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro.

This version by Andrea Gori is almost creepier, trading realism for a discomforting 2.5D aesthetic. As the name implies, this is done using GZDoom, which it needs to run. All the main stuff is here, from the crying baby and endless radio chatter, to the morbid contents of the sink, and the phantom, Lisa, that angrily pursues you. Some puzzles, like the bit where you’ve to breathe into a microphone, have been changed to a more conventional control scheme. The way the lo-fi textures and assets turn everything into pixelated distortions up close makes it seem like the whole place is turning into a fuzzy mess in real-time, a Lynchian breakdown in slow motion.

Someone’s built the Stranger Things shopping mall in Minecraft

Remember when we could visit malls and shopping centers, and just hang around, browsing all the stores? Grab some food, catch a movie in the cinema – good times. Someone’s built the Starcourt Mall from Stranger Things in Minecraft, to deliver some Halloween nostalgia for loitering and buying branded goods.

Made by Reddit user NesquickBBboi, they’ve put up a series of screenshots to show off the urban mecca of consumerism. You’ve the entrance and carpark, going right into the main foyer, stairs and walkways leading to the various outlets, eventually leading to the loading bay out the back. The movie theater oversees one corner, up on the first floor. A neat touch is the wood finishing on the ground floor, then the red carpet above, captures that slightly fancy feel having the carpeting around the movies gave.

In the comments, the builder says they made this is just two days, to which someone replies that it makes them feel like they “just started Minecraft”. They aren’t wrong, this creator has some skills in the building game. Another commenter suggests doing to this what happens to the real version in Stranger Things Season 3, and, no spoilers, but that would be something very fun to watch, if it happens.

BuzzFeed’s making a comedy film about esports with Ellen Page

BuzzFeed is moving into filmmaking, and its debut feature will be about videogames. Ellen Page will star in 1UP, a comedy about esports and GamerGate.

The news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, where it’s revealed the movie is to be the first production from BuzzFeed Studios. Kyle Newman, who made Fanboys, will direct, with a script from Julia York, generally a TV writer, with credits in The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Skylanders Academy. According to the report, the flick will be “in the vein of Pitch Perfect, but set in the world of esports with a GamerGate backdrop”.

The premise involves a college student, Vivian Lee, played by Paris Berelc, leaving the college esports team due to sexism, but then having to form her own team in order to retain her scholarship. Luckily, Ellen Page’s former gaming professional, a previous victim of GamerGate, is around to assist Lee and coach the all-female group to victory against the male-dominated Varsity league. There’s positives and negatives here – Pitch Perfect is a good touchstone for a female-centric comedy about Varsity competition, and Ellen Page is generally great, but movies about videogames are far more miss than hit, and esports and GamerGate together makes difficult subject matter.

Ruined King, the League of Legends single-player RPG, will arrive early 2021

Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, that single-player League of Legends RPG, has a release window. League of Legends fans can expect to begin questing in the realm of Runeterra in early 2021.

Announced during The Game Awards last year, Ruined King is a party-based RPG game that involves bringing together a group of LoL champions to battle a common enemy. Action will take place across two specific corners of Runeterra: the port of Bilgewater, rife with sea monsters and smuggles, and the Shadow Isles, an island covered in the Black Mist.

Combat is turn-based, and it’ll be the first time League ventures into multi-platform territory, published under the Riot Forge label for League of Legends spin-offs. “Ruined King will be the first single-player game to bring the LoL universe to both consoles and PC,” Leanne Loombe, head of Riot Forge at Riot Games, says in a press release. “We are excited to take this plunge into exploring stories and champions that players have enjoyed over the years, and can’t wait for our players to embark on this new adventure with us.”

The Sims 4 has a free weekend on Steam, sale on DLC

You can try The Sims 4 for free this weekend on Steam, and pick up most of The Sims 4 DLC for cheap. The free offer started yesterday, Friday October 30, and will run through to the end of Sunday, November 1.

For the next two days, The Sims 4 is completely free-to-play on Valve’s store. That’s the full game, without caveat. If you like what you play, you’ll then have until November 11 to pick it up at a deep discount of 75% off, putting it at a quarter of the regular retail price. All the expansion packs have been reduced by half, too, and many of the smaller bits of DLC. Others, like the Star Wars: Journey to Batuu pack that came out in September, and the Parenthood pack from June, are at 25% off.

If you want to get immediately seasonal, a Halloween bundle of the Vampires, Strangerville, Realms of Magic, and Spooky Stuff add-ons has been put together, with a combined discount of 63% off for the lot. Another cats-and-dogs-themed bundle is also available, if wizards and bloodsuckers aren’t your vibe. Otherwise, you can mix-and-match between expansions, game packs, and stuff packs at your leisure.

Terra Invicta, from the modders behind XCOM Long War, raises $216k on Kickstarter

Long War is one of the best XCOM mods (Long War 2 is also one of the best XCOM 2 mods, while we’re on the topic), and the folks behind those projects are now bringing their experience to bear on something original: Terra Invicta. The game’s Kickstarter has just concluded, bringing in a total of $216,065 from 4,278 backers.

Terra Invicta hit its modest initial funding goal of $20,000 in its first day, and ended up bringing over ten times that amount in its month-long campaign – just enough to hit all of its stretch goals. The game already has a publisher in the Texas-based Hooded Horse, which will be increasing its own funding for the title as a result of the Kickstarter’s success.

As in XCOM, Terra Invicta has you defending earth from an alien invasion, but it expands the scope to that of full grand strategy and 4X games. You manage the campaign across the entire solar system, commanding your assets to do battle on your behalf. There are pausable real-time space battles that you directly control, but don’t expect boots-on-the-ground tactical strategy here.

Godzilla meets Streets of Rage in Dawn of the Monsters

Somehow, despite the success of Pacific Rim and the continued march of Godzilla films on both sides of the Pacific, the kaiju boom has not really stomped its way into videogames – no, it’s more like tentative rubber footfalls here. One of the indie games trying to turn things around is Dawn of the Monsters, and the devs have picked up a load of support from their new publisher: WayForward.

Dawn of the Monsters is a co-op brawler in the vein of Streets of Rage or Final Fight, in which up to four players control giant monsters on a path to prevent other giant monsters from destroying Earth. The developers at 13AM Games haven’t shown much just yet, but the single pre-alpha gameplay video has a striking visual style, and it looks like there’s a pretty slick combat system underneath the visuals, too.

You’ll find Dawn of the Monsters on PC in “late 2021” – as well as on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. The devs say we’re getting more info at “a later date”.

WoW: Shadowlands pre-sales are “well ahead of any prior expansion”

World of Warcraft has been running since 2004, and while there are certainly MMORPGs that have been on the market longer, few have maintained the sort of consistent popularity that WoW has managed. We’re now just a month away from the WoW: Shadowlands release date, and early sales have been huge – bigger than any other expansion in the game’s history, in fact.

For WoW, “franchise engagement is at its highest level for this stage ahead of an expansion in a decade, with pre-sales well ahead of any prior expansion,” Activision Blizzard COO Daniel Alegre says as part of the company’s latest financial earnings report. Alegre says that WoW has “seen unprecedented engagement trends since the subscriber base doubled following the launch of Classic last year.”

Blizzard’s games – including both WoW and the rest of the catalogue – had an average of 30 million monthly active users for the most recent quarter. 10 million of those users are Overwatch players, but the company doesn’t say how much WoW contributed to the full figure – just that WoW’s player count is “stable” after the dramatic increase last year caused by Classic.

World of Horror gets more horror in its Halloween update

World of Horror, the Apple IIe-style horror game based on the artwork of manga artist Junji Ito, has a well-timed update out that adds some Halloween goodies. The update adds new outfits for the main characters, as well as new endings for all the currently available missions.

While World of Horror is still in development, it’s available in Steam Early Access (where it’s currently discounted 13%) and Xbox Game Pass Game Preview form at the moment, and there’s already plenty of unsettling cosmic horror to find. Each investigation in the game has randomised roguelike encounters, so you’ll never be able to chart a consistent path through. Now, with the Halloween update, there are new endings to discover for each mystery, and you can be sure they’ll be suitably gruesome – even with the lo-fi ’80s manga graphics.

You’ll also notice new costumes for each of the game’s playable characters – which is a funny thing to add to a game so dedicated to a visual style that predates downloadable horse armour by a few decades. Hey, this is cosmic horror – time has no real meaning in World of Horror.

Our favourite gaming mouse with adjustable weights is currently 17% cheaper

Unless you’ve found the perfect weight for you, buying a new mouse can be a chore. What if you sink money into the best gaming mouse and it’s a little too light? Conversely, not everyone wants to go for a mouse that’s been stripped for parts, giving it that honeycomb-like look to make it as light as possible. No, sometimes you need to be able to tinker and adjust things until they suit you.

Whether you want something more substantial in your hand as you’re tearing through enemies or a featherweight pointer that glides across your mouse pad, the Corsair M65 RGB Elite is our top pick for a gaming mouse with custom weights. You can fine-tune things to your liking between 97 and 115 grams, meaning you won’t be forking over for just another paperweight.

Right now, buying the M65 RGB Elite is even kinder on your wallet, too. Over on Amazon US, you can grab the mouse for 17% ($10.39) less at $49.60. And in the UK, you can save 12% (£7) on the same clicker, costing you just £52.99.

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