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    THIS WEEK IN GAMING 6-16-20 (PART 2)


    Legolas_Katarn

    Sony's PS5 event, IGN's Summer of Gaming expo, The Guerrilla Collective, and PCGamer's PC Gaming Show all reveal new trailers, previews, interviews, and announcements. Game Assist's essay on the representation of racism in Life Is Strange 2 and how it is woven into all our lives, reviews that show very different takes on The Last of Us 2, Dia Lacina highlights overlooked black composers, itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality ends having raises over eight million, Kevin Cortez interviews James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) discussing remaining a classic over time and maintaining a private life, Elizabeth Henges on the art of the blindfolded speedrun, PAX Australia cancelled, George Yang speaks to voice actors about the challenges facing Asian-Americans in casting, Jess Cogswell's history of immersing herself in the worlds of loved ones and how Animal Crossing allows her to do that, Gearbox suing over Duke Nukem again, and more.

     

    Too many new videos and previews to have one post this week, find part one here.

     

    Gaming News Continued

     

    Weird West has the “same spirit” as Arkane’s immersive sims

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    During this year’s PC Gaming Show, we got a new trailer for Weird West, the first game from Wolfeye Studios, the team created and led by veterans of Arkane Studios. After the trailer, Raphael Colantonio, founder and former president of Arkane, now head of Wolfeye, did a brief interview in which he explained the essence of the immersive sim is still alive in the weird, wild west.

    Weird West is a dark RPG made up of five interconnected stories

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    An appropriately weird blend of classic RPGs, immersive sims like Dishonored, and twin-stick shooting action.

     

    Almighty: Kill Your Gods - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming

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    An action RPG where players join up in online co-op to attack and dethrone false gods.

     

    Cartel Tycoon trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020

     

    Mafia: Definitive Edition - Official Story Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Check out the official story trailer for the upcoming remaster of Mafia: Definitive Edition.

     

    Minute of Islands is an oddly beautiful game about dead giants and their mysterious machines

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    Mo is a tinkerer who lives on a chain of islands that was once inhabited by an ancient race of giants, whose strange, dilapidated machines must be kept running in order to keep a ancient, mysterious threat at bay. She sets off on a quest to restore them all, to ensure the protection of her people and her home—but there may be more to the task than she fully realizes.

     

    Yakuza: Like a Dragon: 14 Minutes of Gameplay & Dev Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Yakuza: Like a Dragon turns the long-running beat-'em-up into a turn-based JRPG. Senior Localization Producer Scott Strichart shows us around the new setting of Yokohama, introduces us to the new protagonist Kasuga Ichiban, shows off the party-based battle system, some fun side activities, and the new wardrobe tied to the job system.

     

    Haven trailer|PC Gaming Show 2020

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    New trailer for Haven, revealed at PC Gaming Show 2020

     

    Pull Stay - Reveal Trailer

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    Pull Stay is a wacky Beat 'em up game with Tower Defense mechanics. Use your fists or set crazy traps to repel enemies from rushing into your house! Defend your buddy Susumu, who goes out of his house only once in every two months for his haircut!

     

    Wasteland 3: Factions of Colorado - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Get a bigger look at the crazy factions that make up the violent wastelands of Colorado in Wasteland 3 - including the Patriarch's Marshals, The Gippers, The Hundred Families, The Refugees, and many more.

     

    Oddworld: Soulstorm Coming To The PS5

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    Oddworld is back! Oddworld: Soulstorm is coming to the PlayStation 5, starring everyone’s favorite Mudokan, Abe.

     

    Urban Trial Tricky - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Urban Trial Tricky is a trials-style bike game only you're tearing your way through the city.

     

    Kena: Bridge of Spirits is coming to PC later this year

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    One of the games announced during yesterday's big PlayStation 5 presentation was a "story-driven action adventure" called Kena: Bridge of Spirits. My initial impression, maybe because of the Pixar-like visual style, was that it would likely be a PS5 exclusive, but that's actually not the case. Kena is also coming to PC, and in fact is listed on the Epic Games Store right now.

     

    Balacera Brothers is a run-and-gun shooter from the maker of TMNT Rescue-Palooza!

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    Last year we told you about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rescue-Palooza!, a radical, tubular, and generally gnarly fan game featuring 60 characters from the Ninja Turtles catalogue (plus Usagi Yojimbo). Its creator, Merso-X, has now taken the step into commercial development and released an original game called Balacera Brothers.

     

    Shadows of Doubt is an ambitious murder mystery set in a fully simulated sci-fi city

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    Every citizen has a routine, every building interior is completely modeled, and you even get a conspiracy cork board for tracking clues.

     

    Avengers Game Twitter Assembles, Then Deletes Extremely Bad Tweet About Defaced Statue

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    Today, the official Avengers video game Twitter account posted a short video featuring a monument of Captain America and said that the area around it had been “defaced.” It’s the kind of atrociously poor timing that, itself, deserves some kind of historical monument.

     

    Stronghold: Warlords – Official Multiplayer and Release Date Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    The latest in Firefly Studios' castle sim series, Stronghold: Warlords has players besieging Great Khans, Imperial Warlords, and Shogun Commanders as they command AI warlords across the battlefield.

     

    Say No! More - Dev Gameplay Walkthrough | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    From Guerilla Collective, join developer Fizbin as they walk you through a gameplay demo of the "One-Button-Game" that's all about gaining confidence and learning to say No! More!

     

    The Forgotten City - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    The Forgotten City is a brand new standalone narrative adventure game set in ancient Rome, based on the award-winning mod to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

     

    XIII Remake - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming

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    The cult classic cel-shaded FPS game XIII returns, remade for Xbox One, PS4, Switch and PC - and features music and voice work from the original game.

     

    JETT: The Far Shore - Reveal Trailer | PS4

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    JETT: The Far Shore invites you on an interstellar trip to carve out a future for a people haunted by oblivion in this cinematic action adventure coming Holiday 2020 on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

     

    Beyond a Steel Sky - Official Story Trailer

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    Check out the story trailer for Beyond a Steel Sky, the long-awaited sequel to the 1994 adventure classic, Beneath a Steel Sky.

     

    Pragmata - Announcement Trailer | PS5

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    Announcing #Pragmata, a brand new game from Capcom, now in development for PlayStation 5 launching in 2022.

     

    15 Minutes of Corepunk Alpha Gameplay | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Watch 15 minutes of exclusive alpha gameplay from Corepunk, the stylish top-down open-world MMORPG from Artificial Core.

     

    Solasta: Crown of the Magister - Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    We chat with Mathieu Girard, CEO and Creative Director of Tactical Adventures about Solasta: Crown of the Magister, a D&D RPG licensed by Wizards of the Coast. This is a classic tabletop RPG in video game form, and trying to give players the same amount of freedom they would have in a tabletop version can be a nightmare.

     

    Crusader Kings 3 Gameplay Walkthrough | Summer of Gaming

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    The developers of Crusader Kings 3 walks players through what to expect in the newest game of European kingdom conquest from the Guerilla Collective showcase.

     

    Empire of Sin Gameplay Demo | Summer of Gaming

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    Romero Games shows off more gameplay details for its gangster RPG Empire of Sin, including combat details and specific characters.

     

    Guilty Gear Strive: Ramlethal - Official Reveal Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Ramlethal's back and ready to rock! Check out the character reveal trailer for the latest returning character in Guilty Gear Strive: Ramlethal

     

    Everspace 2 - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Take the fight planetside in this new trailer for Everspace 2 that covers planetary combat. Picking up where the first game left off, Everspace 2 is a fast-paced single-player space shooter featuring RPG elements, along with a focus on deep exploration, lots of loot, and a persistent open world.

    Everspace 2 - Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Everspace 2 is bigger, badder, and deeper than its predecessor and surviving the depths of space has never been so awesome.

     

    Mortal Shell - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Seek out absolution in Mortal Shell, as you take control of a vessel who can inhabit the bodies of forgotten warriors with incredible abilities in this tough-as-nails action RPG.

     

    Voidtrain - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Become a crew member of an interdimensional express as you build, explore, and defend in this new gameplay trailer for Voidtrain.

     

    Here's goat arms dealers and cute vegetable people from action village-builder Drake Hollow

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    Campaign gameplay from the action village-builder by The Molasses Flood.

     

    Chivalry 2 - Official Console Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Wage total warfare on PC or console in Chivalry 2 - now coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and will have crossplay enabled across all platforms.

     

    Outlast goes co-op with The Outlast Trials, coming in 2021 to Steam and Epic

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    With a new trailer revealed at the tail end of the PC Gaming Show Saturday, The Outlast Trials is the next game on the way from Red Barrels. It’s set sometime during the Cold War, and the idea is that the Murkoff Corporation is involved in human testing – trials, you might say – of various brainwashing and mind control methods. Project MKUltra stuff, in other words – long-time fodder for conspiracy theorists and the producers of spooky podcasts.

     

    In Sound Mind - Official Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    The creators of Nightmare House 2 present In Sound Mind, a new first-person psychological horror game for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC due to be released in early 2021.

     

    Twin Mirror Trailer | Summer of Gaming

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    Dontnod's latest mystery game is called Twin Mirror. The studio revealed the first story trailer during the PC Gaming Show.

     

    9 Minutes of Surgeon Simulator 2 Gameplay

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    Check out nine minutes of co-op limb chopping action with this Surgeon Simulator 2 gameplay!

     

    CastleStorm 2 - Official Announcement Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Check out the launch announcement for CastleStorm 2, a genre mashup that combines tower defense, real time strategy, and resource management as you try to defend your castle against invaders.

     

    Gloomwood Trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020

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    Gloomwood trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020

     

    Phantasy Star Online 2 - Official Update Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Phantasy Star Online 2 is the free-to-play sequel Sega's acclaimed online RPG, available now on Xbox One and PC.

     

    Spellbreak - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    See how you can become a master of earth, fire, ice, and storms in Spellbreak, a magically infused battle royale game.

     

    Solar Ash - Introduction Trailer | PS5

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    Journey through a surreal, vivid and highly stylized world filled with mystery, wild high-speed traversal, endearing characters, and massive enemy encounters. The Void beckons…

     

    L.A. Noire Meets Bojack Horseman in Chicken Police

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    Chicken Police is a narrative-driven hard-boiled detective adventure game that happens to be about poultry. The game takes inspiration from classic film noir and detective pulp fiction, animal comedies like Bojack Horseman, and adventure games like Policenauts and Snatcher, but it's clearly doing its own thing. Plus, why bother with performance capture when you can just go to the zoo and take pictures of animals?

     

    Little Devil Inside devs apologise for "racist" character designs, promise to change them

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    At Sony’s PS5 showcase last week, we got another look at Little Devil Inside, an upcoming action-adventure RPG about a little dude investigating monsters for his eccentric boss. Unfortunately, a couple of scenes in its reveal trailer showed some characters that the creators have acknowledged look like “racist stereotypes”. Some viewers were quick to call out the devs at Neostream on it though, and now they’ve made an apology, promising to fix it.

     

    Star Renegades - 8 Minutes of Gameplay

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    Check out this exclusive gameplay of Star Renegades, a strategy RPG with an extremely cool art style from developer Massive Damage, debuted during IGN's Summer of Gaming.

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    Star Renegades is a gorgeous, squad-based, hard-as-heck roguelite that seamlessly melds JRPG-inspired, turn-based combat with tactical strategy. Coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in 2020.

     

    Returnal, A New PS5 Game That's A Horrific Groundhog Day In Space

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    As part of today’s PlayStation 5 reveal event, Sony showed off a Groundhog Day-esque game about repeatedly dying and reawakening called Returnal.

     

    You probably shouldn't pet the dog in the cinematic trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse—Earthblood

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    IGN's Summer of Gaming kicked off with more of an autumn feel, as we got a look at a new cinematic trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse—Earthblood from Cyanide Studio.

     

    Paper Mario: The Origami King - Official Gameplay Trailer | Summer of Gaming

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    Watch the latest trailer for Paper Mario: The Origami King for a look at the characters and to learn more about what you can expect in the upcoming game.

     

    Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time - Exclusive Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is the first Samurai Jack game in 16 years. Creator Genndy Tartakovsky walks us through some gameplay showing off combat, weapon variety, and familiar areas while discussing how licensed games have changed since the days of Toonami and PlayStation 2.

     

    Destruction AllStars - Announcement Trailer | PS5

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    Dominate the glittering global phenomenon of Destruction AllStars – the spectacular prime-time sport for dangerous drivers! Master the art of intense vehicle-based combat through timing, tactics and skills to cause colossal amounts of damage, destruction and devastation in vibrant arenas across the globe.

     

    GhostWire: Tokyo – Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5

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    "Tokyo is overrun by deadly supernatural forces after 99% of the city's population vanished. Use a powerful arsenal of spectral abilities to fight the paranormal threat and unravel the mystery behind the mass disappearance. FACE THE UNKNOWN, discover the truth and save the city whenGhostWire: Tokyo arrives in 2021, exclusively on PlayStation 5.

     

    NBA 2K21 - Announcement Trailer | PS5

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    NBA 2K21 is built from the ground up for PS5. Get ready for Next Gen graphics, load times, and power.

     

    Liberated - Guerilla Collective PC Release Reveal Trailer

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    Liberated, a noir cyberpunk action game, is coming to PC in July. The PC version will launch with a variety of new features and improvements. A free upgrade for the Switch version will be available after the PC launch.

     

    Fights in Tight Spaces - Guerilla Collective Trailer

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    Take a tactical approach to close quarters fighting in Fights in Tight Spaces.

     

    QUANTUM ERROR - Official PS5 4K Gameplay Teaser Trailer

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    Take a look at Quantum Terror an upcoming first person cosmic horror game for PS5 from Teamkill Media!

     

    Paradise Lost sends you to explore a spooky old bunker

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    Twenty years after the Nazis destroy Germany and eastern Europe with a nuclear bomb, a young Polish boy explores one of their abandoned bunkers outside Kraków. Paradise Lost sends you underground to uncover the mysteries of this spooky fortress in a narrative adventure game. This new trailer gives a closer look at some of the bunker bits you’ll go exploring beneath the wasteland and background on its history.

     

    Godfall - Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5

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    "Take your first look at PlayStation 5 gameplay of Godfall and the world of Aperion—a world on the precipice of ruin. You are the last of the Valorian knights, god-like warriors able to equip Valorplates, legendary armor sets that transform wielders into unstoppable masters of melee combat. Tear through foes as you climb through each of the elemental realms and challenge the mad god, Macros who awaits you at the top. Ascend in Godfall, the first-of-its-kind, looter-slasher, melee action-RPG. Learn more at Godfall.com Godfall arrives on PlayStation 5 and the Epic Games Store in holiday 2020."

     

    DEATHLOOP - Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer | PS5

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    DEATHLOOP is an innovative first person shooter launching for PlayStation 5 and PC from Arkane Lyon, the award-winning studio behind the critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise. Launching Holiday 2020!

     

    Bugsnax - Announcement Trailer | PS5

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    "From the minds behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch comes Bugsnax, a whimsical adventure game coming to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 holiday 2020. www.Bugsnax.com

     

    Total War: Troy Gameplay Interview | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    The latest in the Total War series introduces new terrain types and has its own take on mythological creatures. Senior Game Designer Milcho Vasilev walks up through a gameplay demo.

     

    Astro's Playroom - Announcement Trailer | PS5

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    Astro and his crew lead you on a magical introduction through PS5 in this fun platformer that comes pre-loaded on PS5. Explore four worlds, each based on PS5’s console components. Each area showcases innovative gameplay that taps into the new features of the PS5's DualSense wireless controller. Astro's Playroom is coming to PlayStation 5.

     

    Grand Theft Auto V Is Coming To PS5

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    The trailer’s YouTube description includes some information about Grand Theft Auto V’s PS5 port, including a “second half of 2021" release date. This new version will include “visual upgrades and performance enhancements to take full advantage of the console’s powerful new hardware, making the game more beautiful and more responsive than ever.” Grand Theft Auto Online will also be part of the package, and it will include “content exclusive to the latest generation hardware.”

    GTA Online will go standalone and free-to-play on PS5

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    Rockstar Games also confirms GTA 5 for Xbox Series X

     

    Dragon Age successor The Waylanders can be confusing

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    The Waylanders, a spiritual successor to Dragon Age: Origins, is heading into Steam Early Access next week. I’ve played a preview version of the build that will become available on June 16, and which everyone will be able to buy and try out. While some games arrive in early access as essentially finished products, The Waylanders is still very much a work in progress – and that ‘early access’ tag should be taken seriously.

     

    Ratchet & Clank Return In New PS5 Game

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    A new Ratchet & Clank game is coming to the PS5. Titled Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the new game focuses on interdimensional travel.

     

    Metal: Hellsinger - Official Reveal Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

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    "Metal Hellsinger combines an FPS, a rhythm game, and some face-melting metal riffs into a truly unique gaming experience as you battle your way through hell to a beat.

    Metal Hellsinger segment | PC Gaming Show 2020

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    Metal Hellsinger trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020

     

    Among Trees trailer | PC Gaming Show 2020

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    Among Trees trailer, revealed at the PC Gaming Show 2020

     

    Sega’s classic Alex Kidd returns with a remake of the original game

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    Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is part-remake, part new game from Merge Games and developer Jankenteam. As the name suggests, the project is based on the very first Alex Kidd game, which released all the way back in 1986 for the Sega Master System.

     

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker comes to consoles! Turn based option for both consoles and PC.

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    On August 18th 2020 Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition will launch on PLaySation®4 and the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X as well as PC. The classic RPG will take adventurers to the Stolen lands featuring all previously released content packs as well as a brand new turn-based mode, bringing the game even closer to its tabletop roots. And, yes, turn-base is coming to PC as well!

     

    Divinity: Original Sin 2 just got new quests, new loot, and a new boss

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    "The Four Relics of Rivellon" is the latest in a year-long series of "Gift Bag" updates.

     

    Frostpunk: On The Edge | Official Teaser

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    On The Edge — the third and final expansion from Frostpunk’s Season Pass — is set after the vicious Great Storm as the expedition is sent from New London with a special assignment. On The Edge not only opens a brand new chapter set in the Frostpunk universe but also further enriches the core experience by pitting players against new challenges, and offering new unique mechanics both in the city and on the Frostland map.

     

    Gearbox sues 3D Realms over Duke Nukem, again

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    This lawsuit is actually the result of the lawsuit filed by Duke Nukem composer Bobby Prince last year.

     

    AT&T puts Warner Bros. Interactive up for sale

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    Take-Two, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard have all expressed an interest.

     

    PAX Australia 2020 is cancelled

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    A 2021 event is still planned, and the convention is exporing 'new and exciting ways' to connect in the meantime.

    PAX West Is The Latest Gaming Event To Go Online Due To Covid-19

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    This year’s PAX West and PAX Australia gaming conventions are cancelled and will be replaced by PAX Online, a series of live-streamed shows, panel discussions, and video game demos taking place from September 12-20, the show’s organizers announced today.

     

    Riot Games Investigating Exec Who Blamed George Floyd’s Murder on His ‘Lifestyle’

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    Riot Games Global Head of Consumer Products Ron Johnson shared a Facebook post that downplays George Floyd's murder because of his criminal record.

     

    Don't Starve studio Klei donates $1 million to the ACLU and NAACP

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    Indie studio Klei, the developer of games including Don't Starve and Oxygen Not Included, has joined the ranks of game companies supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, announcing today that it will donate $1 million to the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

     

    Devolver Direct conference being planned for mid-Jul

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    In the neverending wave of virtual announce-o-ramas that have replaced E3 this year, one significant name has been missing. No, not Nintendo. Devolver Digital, the indie label whose annual show has been a parade of surrealness and gore, with a few trailers about videogames squeezed in.

     

    Fortnite Breaks Twitch's All-Time Concurrent Viewer Record After Locking Tons Of Players Out Of Event

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    Today, Fortnite’s oft-delayed season-ending “Device” event finally took place, dotting the map with explosions before submerging it beneath the ocean. Over two million viewers tuned in on Twitch to watch the sea consume all, a grim preview of the future that also awaits the popular game map we call “Earth.” This means that Fortnite now once again holds the all-time record for most concurrent viewers on Twitch—but with an asterisk.

     

    Esports

     

    How esports photographers are using in-game capture in place of live events

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    This year was supposed to be the Overwatch League’s big leap into local homesteads, and while no one was quite clear how well it would work, they certainly weren’t expecting a global pandemic to move the whole thing back online again. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but they’ve mostly managed to pull it off.

     

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, recommendations, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

     

    Voice Actors From Ghost of Tsushima to Persona 5 On the Challenges Facing Asian-Americans in Games

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    Stephanie Sheh has experience with casting for roles herself, and has also voiced characters in games such as Indivisible, Devil May Cry 5, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Sheh explains that authentic casting can provide many benefits. "You are creating opportunities for minority performers who suffer from the same problems of systematic racism that all minorities do," she says. "So by making an effort to cast authentically, you are helping to balance out the opportunities."

     

    In Celebration of Black Videogame Composers, Part 1

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    They’re out here. They’ve been out here.

    The overwhelming volume of Black composer excellence that’s been sent my way this week is undeniable, from chiptune jams to electrifying RPG battle tracks and the chilliest of songs about magical girls and cats.

     

    As the Internet Changes, James Rolfe Remains a Classic Man

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    James Rolfe is a darling, despite his resting grouch face. To his fans, he carries himself as a kind soul, calm while he’s interacting with others and eager to carry small talk through a multitude of “mhms” and “yeps” and a bright smile. To me, he spoke thoughtfully, carefully choosing his words when answering questions about his career and personal life, but also deeply reminiscing about his family in real-time. Somewhat cautious without being completely on edge, James Rolfe is a sweetheart.

     

    Can Exploring the World of Virtual Reality Treat Phobias?

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    Dr. Spitalnick has been in the space of virtual reality, technology, and anxiety treatment for the last 15 years. He was the director of research and the clinical director of the virtual reality company Virtually Better. They are credited for inventing the first applications used for VRET.

     

    The Art of the Blindfolded Speedrun

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    Blindfolded Punch-Out!! runs have been featured at practically every Awesome Games Done Quick event since 2012, and they always attract a lot of attention both at the event and on Twitch. However, the blindfolded speedrunning community extends beyond a few showstopping annual runs.

     

    Company PR

     

    Whiny self important studio leads

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    Itch.io’s Anti-Racism Bundle Gave Me Space To Reflect, Rather Than Look Away

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    Games need not always be escapes. Given how many larger titles rely on realism as a key selling point, many games don’t feel like much of an escape at all. It’s important, then, that games can also help us express how we’re feeling, or confront us with difficult dilemmas we must face and accept.

     

    Heart Container – Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Environmental Intimacy

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    After this realization, I made a conscious effort to examine the environments of all my friends, family, and partners. I took note of their interests and values- used the knowledge gained to know just how to spark conversation, or be what they sought after when they needed comfort. A person’s room helps to give them context- it contains the parts of themselves they cannot put into words. It’s the items in the background of a photograph, the props hidden about a set. These things could go unnoticed, but to some of us, examination is enthralling. Through examination, we see both how a person wants to be seen, and how they see themselves, and I think that’s what’s so incredibly compelling to me about Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

     

    Abandonware: Preserving the Now for Tomorrow

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    Over the last decade or so, sites with abandonware—video games that have become impossible to buy or download commercially—have become increasingly popular as more games become defunct. While initially driven by the simple desire to play games that are otherwise unavailable, abandonware sites have become one of the main ways to preserve video game history.

     

    Video Games Have To Reckon With How They Depict The Police

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    No one ever asks for the responsibility of making a better world, but it is a tragedy to let that burden fall to our shoulders and ignore it. A Spider-Man sequel should reckon with the fact that police would treat Miles Morales differently from Peter Parker. Whether this ends up being a transformative step or not, it is still a step, and one that is worth taking. There’s something about great power and responsibility that applies here, that maybe the video game industry will pick up on.

     

    The Last of Us Part II Lets Love In

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    For a game ostensibly about hate, The Last of Us Part II revolves around the complexities of love. It shows love at its most positive, between two people whose love is rarely normalized in media; as the driving force behind a powerful, overwhelming, all-consuming quest of anger, murder and retribution; as a means of defining identity and community, where we belong and where we are dehumanized. It conveys how love — in its equal potential to be merciful and violent — is intrinsically tied with survival.

    The Last of Us: Part 2 — Deaf/HoH Review

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    The Last of Us 2 is the game of a generation. Not in its narrative and artistic beauty–though both leave quite an impression–but in its accessibility. In discussing the game’s level of accessibility, Steve Saylor said it best: “There will be before The Last of Us 2 and after The Last of Us 2.”

    The Last of Us Part 2 review: We’re better than this

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    Ellie embraces the role of antihero, just as Joel did, and Naughty Dog makes its queer woman protagonist act just as violent and self-involved as the legions of grizzled straight-white-dude video game protagonists who have preceded her. There’s something that feels off about that straightforward swap here; it’s a missed opportunity to explore how the rage of a marginalized character might take on a different form, and what that form may look and sound like. I felt so much hope at the idea of embodying Ellie instead of Joel in this game, but the entire arc she follows was an arc that I easily could have imagined Joel taking instead of her.

    Last of Us Part II Is Great, but Can't Escape Its Father's Shadow

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    The Last of Us was the quintessential dad game. Its sequel is destined to be the archetype of something else: the daughter game.

    Attaching Real World Guilt to The Last of Us: Part II’s Violence is Bullshit

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    With the launch of The Last of Us: Part II a few days away, there’s been a discussion around the game and its violence and how it can cause certain emotional reactions. Generally, the game is very effective at making its carnage uncomfortable, and a lot of that comes from watching main character Ellie carry out gruesome acts at the press of a button. Playing through Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic tragedy made me feel a lot of things, but responsibility for what happened wasn’t one of them, but for some reason, Naughty Dog thinks I should have felt something along those lines.

    The Last of Us Part 2's Overly Limiting Embargo Only Hurts Critical Discourse

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    For those who aren't aware, Sony Interactive Entertainment laid out notably strict guidelines when providing The Last of Us Part 2 early review code, including specifically forbidding journalists from talking about large areas of the game. Suffice it to say, these elements are hugely important for understanding The Last of Us Part 2 as a whole, and it's very difficult to have a meaningful discussion without them. That didn't stop many journalists from trying, and some excellent reviews were the result, most notably from Vice Games, Wired, Paste, and Polygon.

     

    A Travel Guide to the Town With No Name

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    The setting of Pathologic 2 was falling apart long before the plague showed up. The Town-on-Gorkhon, a settlement of a few thousand people on the Russian steppe, is a carefully built explosive device well on its way to detonation. Cobbled together through the work of Simon Kain, an old-beyond-old utopian patriarch who drew in architects, mathematicians, and whatever brilliant people he could find, the Town is, by design, a battlefield for a series of competing ideologies and mystical understandings. On the one end, there is the rationalistic, humanistic approach to growth and progress evinced by Kain and the people he's recruited to live in this isolated place. On the other, there are the Steppe people who already lived here, who now represent an oppressed underclass ready to revolt. By the time Artemy Burakh shows up, summoned by a letter from his father, the settlement of his childhood is already in the process of changing forever.

    Difficult Stress

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    During one of the interstitial scenes that take place whenever your character, Artemy Burakh, dies in Pathologic 2, the puckish theater director, Mark Immortell, raises the topic of exhaustion. “Tell yourself, 'I’m exhausted, I can’t take it anymore,'” he admonishes. "Take pity on yourself and stop in time.” He continues: “Such a paradox! To admit you’re tired—is that a step toward death? A surrender? An admission of your natural limits? Or is it a step back to whatever happens before death?”

     

    Let’s not throw the vampire baby out with the bath water, eh?

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    Oh look it’s the (other) bad Castlevania, the one stuffed up to its gothic bat-filled rafters with instant death water, a terrible lock-on system, and that hellish section involving backtracking, very sensitive explosives, and a run through an almost comically lethal gauntlet of crushing spikes and narrow walkways. Yay. Yes, yes… everybody knows this game got all of those things wrong – but let’s not be so quick to forget everything it did right.

     

    Simple pleasures

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    Sometimes I love sitting down with a good old shmup like Batsugun; scouring the internet for the best scoring techniques and all the secret tricks they don’t mention on the little arcade cabinet control panel strip, practising day and night until I know where enemies are coming from before they’re even on the screen while squeezing through the tiniest gap in a haze of bullets and eventually basking in the glory of a hard-earned high score with “-ALL CLEAR!-” proudly displayed next to my gleaming initials at the top of the leaderboard.

     

    "Everything is Political" | Institutional Racism in Life is Strange 2

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    Life is Strange 2 stands out for being an overtly political game, explicitly tackling racism in a post Trump America. But racism isn’t just an isolated act of violence, it’s woven into our institutions and our everyday lives. Especially in light of current events, it’s time to take a deeper look at how racism is represented in Life is Strange 2.

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GameAssistYT

     

    Who's Commanding Shepard in Mass Effect?

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    When Mass Effect launched in 2007, the heroes of western RPGs were typically blank-slate nobodies. But Commander Shepard is different. What does it mean to have a character whose personality and identity is shared between the player and the character?

    Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit

     

    Children of DOOM Episode 3: DOOM

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    Support! www.patreon.com/errantsignal

    Children of DOOM finally reaches... well, DOOM.  From here on out, we'll *actually* be talking about the games impacted by this one!  Cool, huh?

    Anyways, this one's a little different.  It's hard to cover a game that's been covered to death.  So I kind of go all subjective on this one, much to the chagrin of... pretty much everyone, including me.

     

    30 Indie Game Hidden Gems in Itch.io's Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

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    Having this type of new access to over 1,500 video games is overwhelming and in this video, we suggest 30 rare hard to find indie game hidden gems you might like to play.

     

    The Secret to Streets of Rage 4's Awesomeness

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    Lizardcube, Guard Crush and Dotemu have done a splendid job with Streets of Rage 4.

     

    SMASH TV: The Complete History - SGR (Arcade's greatest twin-stick)

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    This is the COMPLETE HISTORY of Smash TV



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