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Twitch funds chat-driven game Choice Chamber

Twitch matched funds pledged to Studio Bean's chat-driven Kickstarter project, Choice Chamber. The developer's crowdfunding campaign ends Sunday evening and raised nearly half of its $30,000 goal, and Twitch's contributions put it near the finish line. According to the project's reward tiers, the game is expected to launch in December.

Following up the success of Twitch Plays Pokemon, Choice Chamber is a PC and Mac game that is designed to be played while streaming live on Twitch. Described as a "real-time, crowdsourced, procedurally generated game," it allows stream viewers to use Twitch's chat functionality to either aid or hinder the progress of the game's primary player by voting on game-changing polls.

The player, who can choose to go the single-player-only route with offline mode, navigates an "endless series of dangerous chambers" while wielding a variety of weaponry with which to defeat enemies. In the prototype version of Choice Chamber, viewers vote on said weapons in addition to powerups, abilities and special maneuvers, though Studio Bean plans to add many more modifiable elements.
[Image: Studio Bean]

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Trials Fusion review: Lean to live

We've all had our secret victories in the war against wobble: freely standing in the shower on one foot while washing the other, or rejecting the easy-mode handrails of a jostling train. Trials Fusion is about those quick, instinctual corrections you make – or fail to make – when there's a bump in the road.

Balance is divine in Trials Fusion, and mastering it makes you a god on a motorcycle. But that's jumping ahead to the conclusion of the journey; this story of a tenacious man driving with abandon over hills and valleys, trying not to fall his little face off.

There's a lot to think about as you constantly fiddle with your speed and your driver's posture in a world of steep angles and dangerous pits, and yet it feels thoughtless in the moment. You just know it in your gut: You need to lean forward to keep the bike on this incline. Almost there, almost - oh that's too much acceleration, you're lifting up front. You can get out of this, you can bring it back, just wiggle a bit and – nope. You've gone and done the banana peel again. Now your bike is upside down and crushing your bones.

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Wasteland 2 beta update fleshes out Arizona

While "less than half" of Wasteland 2 is currently available in beta via Steam Early Access, an update coming next week will add another major area. After the update, Wasteland 2's beta will feature "most of the Arizona portion of the game."

According to "beta testing metrics and feedback," InXile estimates Wasteland 2 will take about 50 hours to complete for a regular playthough.

Developer InXile Entertainment is also teasing the location for the second portion of the game, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles (also known to residents simply as Los Angeles). The Los Angeles areas in Wasteland 2, teased above, will feature "the ruins of familiar landmarks overgrown with wild plant life, crawling with weird creatures, and dangerous mad cults." So, it's just like the real Los Angeles.

Wasteland 2 is the official sequel to the 1988 classic isometric role-playing game from developer Interplay. Its Kickstarter campaign, which sought a total of $900,000 to bring the series back from the dead, eventually accrued over $2.9 million.
[Images: InXile Entertainment]

MechRunner coming to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac in July

MechRunner, an endless runner/action game featuring mechs and a wonderfully suitable name, is coming to the PS4, Vita, PC and Mac in July, developer Spark Plug Games has announced. To help add additional polish to the game, Spark Plug is turning to Kickstarter with a campaign targeting $25,000. A $10 pledge will net Kickstarter users a copy of the game for either PC/Mac via Steam or a cross-play version for the PS4 and Vita.

"The game is feature complete, fully playable, and in its final stages before we launch in July 2014," the Kickstarter campaign page says, indicating that regardless of the crowdfunding effort's outcome, MechRunner will be released.

MechRunner is a video game adaptation of Jane Austen's seminal work, Pride and Prejudice. Wait, no... the story follows a giant mech that can also turn into a tank with an affinity for destroying just about anything that stands in its way, which sounds more like the story in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

MechRunner is the North Carolina-based developer's second attempt at Kickstarter success. In 2012, the developer canceled a project called Steampunk Bullet Train, which sought the same funding total before the end of its campaign.
[Image: Spark Plug Games]

Reprogram your surroundings in Glitchspace, now on Early Access

First-person puzzler Glitchspace is now available through Steam's Early Access service for PC, Mac and Linux. The alpha version of the game from developer Space Budgie is available for $6.99 on Early Access and $6.49 through the game's official site.

Described as a "first-person programming" game, Glitchspace has players navigating a cyberspace-style world to locate a place that is a "by-product of cyberspace and its various glitches" known, appropriately enough, as Glitchspace. Space Budgie focused on emergent mechanics for the game, as players can identify glitches in the game and "exploit them in various different ways." Objects in the game are both programmable and non-programmable thanks to the "Null" programming system in the game created by the developer. Programmable objects include a "canvas" in which players can add functions to affect them, such as forces to move them, scale them, duplicate them and a myriad of other possibilities.

The game includes a sandbox mode for players to toy around with as well as Oculus Rift support for those that want to immerse themselves in the matrix-like world. Space Budgie expects to launch the full version of Glitchspace in Q2 2014.
[Image: Space Budgie]

Half-Life world record speed run is fluid, frightening

Image I considered myself a pretty good Half-Life player, until now. This speed run video, which reportedly took four years of planning to execute correctly, proves I was completely wrong and should stop thinking so highly of myself. [Image: Valve]... Continue Reading

Respawn to increase frequency of Titanfall updates

Respawn plans to improve its "update tempo" for future improvements to Titanfall, upping the frequency of announcements related to updates as well as the patches themselves. Game Director Steve Fukuda broke down the developer's update plans in a recent blog, noting that one part of the game's updates will "tend the garden and keep the weeds out," such as last week's changes to the game's Gooser Challenge.

Fukuda also discussed both convenience and infrastructural features, the former making "life more pleasant" for players in the game. Future convenience feature additions to Titanfall include the ability to rename custom loadouts and set custom loadouts specific to each of the game's mode. Infrastructural additions include items like the private online match mode that arrived last week.

"Whenever possible, we want to get these kinds of features out early in beta form, in order to get your feedback and arrive at the best possible result through multiple iterations," Fukuda wrote of the infrastructural features. He added that "tangible" content for Titanfall is on the way, including new maps, game modes, a new burn card set and "Nose Art" insignias for those that want to customize their titans.
[Image: EA Games]

Battlefield 4: Naval Strike now available to non-Premium masses

It looks like the Megalodon has a whole new batch of victims incoming. After being released an exclusive for Premium members, Battlefield 4's Naval Strike DLC is now available for purchase for all. The content is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Naval Strike adds four new maps; a hovercraft vehicle; new Carrier Assault mode, which is inspired by Battlefield 2142's Titan Mode; and the aforementioned giant shark attack.

Battlefield 4's Naval Strike DLC is priced at $15.
[Images: DICE]

Crysis and Crysis 2 to lose PC multiplayer with GameSpy shutdown

The PC versions of Crysis and Crysis 2 will lose multiplayer functionality when GameSpy's matchmaking services go dark on May 31. The single-player campaigns as well as the multiplayer modes for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of both games will remain playable.

"As of May 31 this year, the multiplayer modes in Crysis and Crysis 2 for PC will no longer be playable," Crytek wrote on its forums. "The conclusion of online multiplayer support comes as a result of GameSpy Technology shutting down all their hosting services. GameSpy have been providing multiplayer functionality for Crysis and Crysis 2 since they launched."

GameSpy announced plans to shut down its middleware servers earlier this month, over a year after it ceased editorial production. The service began as a Quake server search program in 1996 before hosting online multiplayer for hundreds of games. EA said it will shift multiplayer for its older Battlefield games from GameSpy to Origin last week.
[Image: Crytek]

UK boxed copies of Dark Souls 2 PC delayed by a week

Bandai Namco UK revealed it's pushed back the PC disc version of Dark Souls 2 to May 2, but the action-RPG will remain available to download in the territory starting April 25. In a statement provided to Joystiq, the publisher made it clear the delay only affects physical copies in the UK - don't worry, PC players elsewhere, you'll get to praise all the suns you want next week.

"It will be delayed unfortunately and we apologize to UK customers," a Bandai Namco rep told Joystiq. "This is due to a manufacturing issue with packaging. To confirm, this will only affect the UK boxed launch."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Trials Fusion day-one update increases resolution on Xbox One

The Xbox One version of Trials Fusion will require a day-one patch to increase the game's resolution to 900p, Ubisoft has confirmed.

Prior to the application of the patch, Trials Fusion on Xbox One will run at 800p at 60fps. Ubisoft also confirmed developer RedLynx had originally targeted a resolution of 1080p for both the Xbox One and PS4, but the team was still optimizing its game for each platform. The PlayStation 4 version of Trials Fusion will run at 1080p at 60fps at launch.

Trials Fusion from developer RedLynx launches tomorrow for the Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Blood Bowl 2 resurfaces with new teaser

Orcs and humans battle it out in an in-game teaser for developer Cyanide Studios' Blood Bowl 2, coming to PC from publisher Focus Home Interactive. The brief footage is the first look at the game, which features a "brand new graphic engine," since being announced in June 2013.

Blood Bowl, a video game series based on the Games Workshop board game property of the same name, is a comical spoof of American football featuring fantasy characters. Cyanide says the upcoming sequel is "more ambitious" than its previous efforts, adding a new single-player campaign and a multiplayer-based League mode, which gives players managerial control over their team, club and stadium. What are hotdogs in an orc-run stadium made of, do you suppose? Actually, never tell me the answer to that.

Cyanide promises more information and footage of Blood Bowl 2 in the coming months.
[Image: Cyanide Studios]

Humble Store Nordic sale discounts Red Faction, Darksiders series and more

Up to 80 percent off is on offer at The Humble Store this week on a large collection of Nordic Games-owned franchises, including old THQ-published favorites Red Faction and Darksiders.

The Red Faction Collection is available for $9.99 (down from $60) and bundles each game in the series from developer Volition Inc., including DLC for Armageddon. Darksiders 2 is available for $7.49, while the original has been reduced to $4.99 during the limited time sale. Other franchises discounted in the deal include SpellForce, Gothic, Arcana, and Titan Quest.

Ten percent of sales at The Humble Store are given to charity. Humble supports multiple charities from its store, including the American Red Cross, Child's Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Charity: Water and World Land Trust. The Nordic Games 'Revolutionary Sale' ends early on Friday, April 18.
[Image: The Humble Store]

Stick out your arms and fly in pretend dogfighter Cult of the Wind

Sometimes you see a game and you immediately wonder why no-one had come up with it sooner. Cult of the Wind from Alex Allen's North of Earth is one of those games. Simply put in the words of the developer, it's "a game about people who pretend to be airplanes."

If you've never turned your arms into wings and pew-pew-pewed your friends in an epic dogfight, chances are you were doing childhood/adulthood wrong. That's the spirit that Cult of the Wind wants its players to channel, complete with "imaginary weapons, pretend explosions, and airplane noises made with their mouths."

North of Earth has some experience with completely bonkers multiplayer games, having already brought Godzilla-style deathmatches to Steam in Omegalodon. For Cult of the Wind, the studio promises a level editor, character customization and plenty of different weapons and abilities, albeit make-believe ones.

Cult of the Wind is currently on Steam Greenlight, and North of Earth expects to deliver it on PC and Mac in "mid-2014." Responding to queries, the studio said it's planning on an "early access beta," and when the game does take to the skies North of Earth estimates a regular price of $15, reduced to $10 on launch day.
[Image: North of Earth]

Dark Souls 2 players aren't dog people, 110 million 'stray hound' kills

The "Stray Hound" is the foe Dark Souls 2 players are murdering the most, as revealed by the new Enemy page on the game's Beyond the Bonfire stats site. Between them, Xbox 360 and PS3 players have to date felled just over 110 million of the vicious canines, while the various varieties of hollow and royal soldiers also rank highly on the Most Dead-ed list. If the soldiers were grouped together they'd no doubt place higher, but they're differentiated by the weapons they're wielding.

The question is, who's died more: Stray Hounds or Dark Souls 2 players? It's not even a contest. Players deaths are now past the 248 million mark, just over a month after From's devilish action-RPG hit PS3 and Xbox 360. With the PC port due to arrive on April 25, the billion milestone for combined deaths can't be far away. So, who are the real stray hounds in Dark Souls 2: the dogs or the players, hmmmmmm?

Well, it's the dogs. 'Cos they're dogs.

Turn the lights on and tune into these new Daylight trailers

Daylight is the opposite of nightlight. Nightlights are meant to keep you safe while tucked into bed in a dark, silent house. They're the glimmer of assurance that no, there's nothing hiding in your closet, under the bed or behind that door.

Daylight's purpose is to drive you to paranoia, anxiety and fear. It's meant to make you think that yes, there is something behind that door – and that wall. And under that scaffolding. And down that hallway. Everywhere, really.

If the first trailer doesn't spook you, try the second one below. And tonight, maybe leave the lights on.

Daylight is due out on April 29 for PC and PS4.
[Image: Atlus]

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The globe stops spinning in RPG Earthlock for PC, next-gen

Snowcastle Games recently achieved its funding goals on Kickstarter for Earthlock: Festival of Magic, the developer's turn-based RPG for PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One. As the first of three chapters planned for the JRPG-inspired saga, Snowcastle earned $178,193 on the funding platform and will continue to accept donations for the game on its website to achieve its numerous stretch goals.

The game is set on the planet Umbra, which "mysteriously stopped spinning ages ago." Players guide a scavenger known as Amon as he tracks down a warlock's army, stopping regularly at Amon's home Plumpet Island to farm for magical items used during battles. The turn-based battles also feature a pairing system in which attackers are directly matched with healing specialists known as protectors.

Previously known only as Festival of Magic, the game turned up on Kickstarter in November before Snowcastle canceled the campaign in December. It was also shown off by Nintendo in a Wii U montage video in August. Snowcastle is planning to launch the game in Q1 2015 on PC, Mac and Linux with console launches planned for the following quarter.
[Image: Snowcastle Games]

Georgia passes law giving $25 million in video game tax breaks

Georgia governor Nathan Deal today signed a bill that will grant local video game developers $25 million in tax credits, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The legislation, part of House Bill 958, will give tax breaks to Hi-Rez Studios, Tripwire Interactive, and other Georgia-native development studios. The state previously courted developers in 2008 with the similar Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which provided a 20% tax credit to local film, TV and game development studios.

[Image: City of Atlanta]

Titanfall Mythbusters: A falling titan can destroy an evac ship

Titanfall isn't just the name of Respawn's popular online shooter, it's also one of the most satisfying attacks in said game. Drop a titan on a pilot and the pilot becomes bloody goo. Drop one on another titan, and that titan becomes burning scrap. But what if you were to drop a titan on an enemy evac ship?

That idea is put to the test at the 1:52 mark of the above clip. While you can destroy an evac ship with a falling titan, it's not as simple as it sounds. They key problem is that a titan will fall right through an evac ship as if it weren't there. However, on certain maps, when the evac ship arrives to pick up its would-be passengers, it may fly low enough to make itself vulnerable. In such a situation, if you drop a titan right next to the ship, the splash damage from the giant robot's earthshaking impact will blow the transport to pieces, along with anyone who happens to be comfortably relaxing inside. Difficult? Yes. Totally worth it? Clearly.
[Image: Respawn Entertainment]

GOG puts daily sale to a vote, discounts The Witcher games

GOG.com started its "Battle of the Games" promotion today, in which players can vote on which games they'd rather purchase at a cheaper rate. The sale offers two sets of three games every morning at 7:00 a.m. ET, accumulating votes throughout the day to determine which set receives a 75 percent discount and which is 60 percent off the next day.

Currently, the digital retailer is pitting the trio of Red Faction and Red Faction 2 as well as Chaser against Unreal Gold, Unreal Tournament and Unreal 2: The Awakening. To get the sale started, GOG.com is also offering discounts on six games for the day: The first three games in the Heroes of Might and Magic series for $2.49 each, Blackguards Special Edition ($22.49) and the enhanced editions of The Witcher ($1.99) and The Witcher 2 ($3.99). The Battle of the Games sale ends April 21.
[Image: CD Projekt Red]

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