Project LLL is an MMO shooter from NCSoft with mechs and a swirling arm vortex
Timelines and robots collide
Newly announced MMO shooter Project LLL is doing several unusual things. For one, it's set in a science fiction world in which post-apocalyptic South Korea, the 10th century Byzantine Empire, and a 23rd century future are all somehow colliding. For two, it was revealed yesterday not with a brief logo or a show-nothing cinematic trailer, but with a nine minute video comprehensively depicting the actual game. Watch it below.
Soccer Story's football RPG adventure will kick off on November 29th
Football Fable, I call it
Football has been banned and only one person can save it. No, it's not the self-important fantasy Cristiano Ronaldo dreams every night, it's the setup for adventure RPG Soccer Story. You need to travel around its colourful, Nintendo-inspired world, cajole people into kicking balls once more, and then defeat them on the pitch. Soccer Story also now has a release date: November 29th.
November's remaining Game Pass games ought to sate you until Christmas
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is surely enough
If you have a Game Pass subscription, I don't see why you would buy a game between now and the end of the year. Earlier this month, Football Manager 2023 came to the service, a game so all-consuming it barely leaves time to sleep. Now Microsoft have announced the remaining games to arrive in November, and as expected it includes the year's remaining big release, co-op shooter Warhammer 40K: Darktide, as well as several indie darlings.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is a paid expansion, says CD Projekt Red
In case you thought expansions grew on trees
Cyberpunk 2077's Phantom Liberty expansion will cost you real monies, CD Projekt Red have confirmed. Was there ever any doubt about this? I've no idea, but if you were previously living with the belief that substantial story additions to blockbuster games with voice acting by Keanu Reeves might be free, then I apologise for bursting your bubble.
Feature: Have you played... Painkiller: Black Edition?
Portable pain killing
Like so many games buried deep within my Steam library, I am unsure when I bought Painkiller: Black Edition or my exact reasons for doing so. I expect it was cheap in some kind of daily sale. Perhaps I was hungover, and hoped a small treat would ease my aching head. I vaguely recall booting it up once, perhaps a decade ago, and getting no further than its main menu. Painkiller was destined to rot in a digital purgatory of my own design forever, an unassuming icon that I would scroll past on my way to reinstall Destiny 2 for the 12th time without giving it a single thought. That is, until Valve finally sent me my Steam Deck.
MultiVersus season 2 begins with a reworked battle pass and Big Head Mode
There’s a central in-game store now, too
Season 1 of Warner Bros. licensed brawler MultiVersus is over, and Season 2 has begun today with an update that adds more reward tiers to the battle pass. There’s also a new Big Head Mode for the game’s recently added Silly Queue, and an in-game store that brings all MultiVersus’ skins and characters into one place for the first time. Weirdly, but appropriately, the game now keeps score of baskets on the Space Jam map and tracks how far away you shoot from too, so have some fun netting three-pointers with that.
Review: Pentiment review: a captivating murder mystery spanning 25 years of rich medieval history
A real page-turner
Just when I thought I had my top 10 games of 2022 sorted, Obsidian release Pentiment, forcing me to shred my former list and grab my quill and ink for a rewrite. It’s an odd pairing on paper - a detective thriller about a string of grisly murders set in the quaint countryside of 16th-century Bavaria - but, surprisingly, this coupling is a match made in heaven.
Its captivating story of conspiracy and murder is as rich and dense as its setting, and it's clearly made by a passionate team who have a deep love for the period. Playing Pentiment feels like riffling through the painterly pages of a medieval manuscript, but instead of finding the written gospel of saints and sinners, there are tales of angry farmers, greedy landowners, church scandals, religious turmoil, and murder. Fundamentally though, it's a historical tale about faith and truth, and the lengths that people are willing to go to preserve them.
Feature: Brotato scratches that Vampire Survivors itch, faster and bloodier
If Vampire Survivors has limbered up your fingers, try this
After finishing the full version of Vampire Survivors, my fingers are limbered up for a livelier arcade walk-o-shooter. I've turned to Brotato, a game whose demo I enjoyed in the Steam Next Fest, and which launched into early access in September. I say with great affection: it feels (and looks) like it could have been a Flash game on Newgrounds. Plus it's only £4.
Somerville developers Jumpship are being bought by Thunderful
They're the tenth studio Thunderful's acquired
Jumpship are only just releasing their first game today, alien invasion dad-venture Somerville, but they’ve been snapped up by publishers Thunderful. The small studio based in Guildford will still be free to pursue its own creative projects, continuing to focus on story-driven games such as Somerville. Co-founder of Jumpship and former CEO of Playdead Dino Patti will become Thunderful’s Strategic Advisor, but remains with the studio.
Supporters only: I will miss the good Twitter bots after Twitter bursts
Here are some of my favourite artistic and silly bots
We are witnessing a three-horse race to the death of Twitter. Will Twitter's technical infrastructure collapse after the staff who know how to maintain it are fired, leaving the would-be God Emperor of mankind rotting upon his failing Cobalt Throne? Will Twitter shut down due to financial collapse? Will people simply leave Twitter? All I know is, I'll miss the Twitter bots which go down to collateral damage, the automated machines which tirelessly post art, poetry, jokes, stories, and probably dog photos. Here are some of my favourites!
Warzone 2.0 is giving Call Of Duty players preload issues again
The battle royale goes live tomorrow
Warzone 2 drops tomorrow, November 16th, bringing a DMZ extraction mode, Al Mazrah map, and an all-new map-based battle pass. Some Call Of Duty players looking forward to getting their itchy trigger fingers on the free-to-play battle royale have been struggling to sort out their preloads, though. This confusion echoes what happened with Modern Warfare 2019 when Warzone 1.0 launched back in 2020. If you’re bemused by the current preload sitch then watch the Warzone 2.0 launch trailer below, and let Freebird chill you out.
American Truck Simulator heads to Oklahoma for its next DLC
Texas expansion out today
Straighten up your big rig’s neon signs and make sure you’re sitting comfortably, because American Truck Simulator devs SCS Software have sneakily revealed Oklahoma as the game’s next DLC. A store page for the Oklahoma expansion has popped up on Steam, although there hasn’t been an official announcement just yet. That’s most likely because today sees the launch of American Truck Simulator’s Texas DLC, so you expect to hear more about Oklahoma after that's out of the way.
Deals: Best early Black Friday SSD deals
Our picks of the best NVMe and SSD deals, across the UK and US
November is probably the best time of the year to pick up some new PC storage; I’ve only been gathering up the best early Black Friday SSD deals, and there are already multiple discounts on some of the best gaming SSDs on the market. There’s sure to be more, especially on Black Friday itself – November 25th – but these early offers are a good start. Anything that encourages sluggish hard drives into the history books, eh?
Creature collectathon DokeV delayed into 2024
Devs Pearl Abyss had targeted 2023 for launch
Remember Gamescom last year, and the peppy trailer for open-world creature collecting RPG DokeV? Well, the game’s slipped out of its 2023 release window and into the distant reaches of 2024, devs Pearl Abyss have revealed. DokeV.Club report that Pearl Abyss CEO Heo Jin-young acknowledged that the game would overshoot 2023 during the company’s earnings conference call last week. Pearl Abyss also delayed their upcoming action adventure Crimson Desert.
Overwatch 2 will add a support hero after tank Ramattra
Adding more support heroes is a long-term focus for Blizzard
Overwatch 2's commercial lead Jon Spector has revealed the free-to-play hero shooter's next new character will bolster the ranks of its support heroes. Spector dropped the hint about Overwatch 2’s next hero in a Q&A session with Korean site Inven. Spector said that the next hero would be a “more solid support”. We can expect them to arrive in Overwatch 2 when Season 3 of the game begins in early February 2023.
Review: Somerville review: an intimate look at the apocalypse
The sound of Somer.
It’s late evening. A family is dozing in front of the TV, their dog at their feet. Suddenly the TV turns to static, the ground shakes. While the parents peacefully sleep on, the toddler stirs. Oh no. I instantly expect nothing but the worst for the toddler, seeing whose game I’m playing – developer Jumpship was co-founded by Dino Patti, himself co-founder of Playdead, the studio behind Limbo and Inside. Both aren’t exactly known for treating their child protagonists well.
Somerville has clear stylistic parallels to Playdead’s work. Its 3D sidescrolling and light puzzle mechanics are similar, and the beautiful lighting effects and minimalist environments have led a lot of people to initially confuse Somerville as a Playdead game.
Deals: MSI's RX 6650 XT graphics card is down to £300 with two free games
A faster card than the RTX 3060, while costing £80 less.
MSI's RX 6650 XT is a capable graphics card for 1440p gaming, and it's down from £380 to £299.99 at Overclockers after a healthy discount.
It also comes with AMD's Raise the Game Bundle, which includes copies of two upcoming games: Dead Island 2 and The Callisto Protocol (confusingly titled 'The Callisto Project' by a potentially short-sighted Overclockers staffer). This is a pretty solid deal for three hundred of your Great British Pounds, especially as GTX 16-series cards were selling for this much recently and offer far worse performance.
Deals: This 512GB Integral Micro SD is just £42 right now and ideal for Steam Deck
Integral make some great value memory cards, including this Ultima Pro model.
Micro SD cards are getting increasingly affordable, with even high-capacity 512GB models breaching the £50 barrier. Today we've seen one better though, as this 51GB Integral Ultima Pro model has dropped to £42 at Amazon UK.
Feature: Have You Played... Factorio?
1,000 hours played, and I'm still a beginner
It takes a very special game to give you so much to learn, so many ways to do everything, that even after 1000 hours of playtime you still feel like a beginner. Factorio is daunting in the extreme, and I remember bouncing off it the first time I tried. Thank goodness I gave it a second chance. Building up a gigantic world-spanning, atmosphere-destroying factory slowly and methodically over dozens of hours is probably my favourite singleplayer experience in games.
Forever Skies has delayed the launch of its airships into 2023
The airborne survival sim was originally due to enter early access before the end of 2022
Post-apocalyptic survival sim Forever Skies has floated its release date straight out of this year and into the first half of 2023, developers Far From Home have announced. Their reasons for the delay have been detailed in a lengthy Steam post, but it's mainly good news: after receiving tons of feedback from their recent demo, the devs are now looking to expand the game's scope and spend more time working on its futuristic dirigibles and such. They also released a new teaser trailer showing some customisable airships from the game, too.
Deals: Best early Black Friday PC deals
All the best Black Friday deals on PC gaming components, peripherals, laptops and more
Another week, another few notches off the calendar until Black Friday. We’re still a few sleeps away from November 25th but there are already loads of early Black Friday deals on PC gaming hardware of all stripes, so I’ll be rounding up the highest of highlights here. SSDs, CPUs, graphics cards, peripherals, even the occasional motherboard – someone, somewhere, decided to make these cheaper for a few days in November, so let’s see if we can’t find some nice savings on PC gear that’s actually good.
Review: Sonic Frontiers review: a patchwork playground that veers between fun and frustration
And it's a solid foundation for the future
I shouldn't enjoy Sonic Frontiers as much as I do, but I do? The game brings out the worst in me on the regular, as I turn into a spittle slinger who screams into their fist after hitting the tiniest ledge or fighting an awful, awful boss. Frontiers is a janky beast - a mess. Yet, it's a lot of fun when you're mindlessly collecting stuff and sliding on rails and listening to excellent drum and bass tracks. It's a playground of the best and worst kind, so if you'd like a test of patience with your precious spare time, then you simply can't get any better than this.
The Witcher 3’s ray tracing update finally arrives in December
Call off the Wild Hunt, they'll be here soon enough
CD Projekt Red have confirmed the release date for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt’s ray tracing-enabling Complete Edition update as December 14th. The update will also bring a number of other visual and technical improvements, as well as integrate a number of mods into the fantasy RPG, originally released in 2015. Gameplay from the Complete Edition of The Witcher 3 is due to be shown off in a REDstreams event on Twitch next week, along with some new stuff for the game based on Netflix’s version of Geralt Of Rivia’s adventures.
You can now play the original Microsoft Flight Simulator inside Microsoft Flight Simulator
Yo dawg, I heard you like flight sims in your flight sim
Eagle-eyed Microsoft Flight Simulator players have uncovered a secret that lets you play the first four games in the long-running series inside the cockpit of one the game’s planes. The Easter egg was introduced along with the game’s 40th Anniversary update, which went live on Friday. Activating the secret games will let you play them in your aircraft’s cockpit, using the keys on the screen to control the plane-within-a-plane.
Supporters only: I'm playing God Of War Ragnarök and I need Atreus to shut up, just shut up, please stop talking
Like everyone else
Supporter posts mean I can talk about things that aren't PC games - at least that aren't PC games yet - and this weekend I used a giftcard to get God Of War Ragnarök, the hacktion-dadventure sequel to the God Of War soft reboot. So far I am finding it, you know, fine, by which I mean it is good and fun but also almost exactly the same as 2018 one, right down to the tension between Kratos and his son Atreus. Their dynamic seems to have largely pressed the reset button so they can do a character growth again, with the differences so far being that Atreus is now taller and his voice has broken, Kratos doesn't call him "Boy!", and also he won't shut up under any circumstances.
New Warhammer 40,000: Darktide gameplay shows the explosive Psyker class in action
Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Set aside your Vermintides, because there’s not too long to go until Fatshark’s next co-op action game, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, strikes out onto PC on November 30th. To gear players up ahead of time, some more details about one of the game’s four classes have been revealed in a new gameplay video. Watch below to find out why you don’t want to mess with the Psyker class.
Skyrim modders are adding DLSS, FSR2, and XeSS support
Upscale your Dragonborn
Canny members of the Skyrim modding community are working on a plugin to enable support for DLSS, FSR2, and XeSS upscaling in the Special and Anniversary Editions of Bethesda's sprawling RPG. Modder PureDark is working together with a small team on the unofficial plugin, called Skyrim-Upscaler, and it should help bump up those frame rates somewhat. It's available to download now from Github if you want to give it a go yourself, but there’s no plan to release the plugin publicly until the modders sort out VR compatibility.
Review: Flat Eye review: a petrol station management sim powered by the same dark fuel as Black Mirror
The future has arrived in Monkey Moon's new narrative management game, and you can see it all the next time you go and fill up your car. At EyeLife's Flat Eye stations, why stop at getting milk and snacks when you can also pick up a whole new stomach, liver and other assorted organs? You'll find them on aisle five, right next to the surgery booths. Perhaps you'd prefer a quick medical checkup instead, though? After all, your tailored biometric predictions for the day looked a bit dodgy earlier, and goodness knows you're not going to wait to see an actual doctor about it.
Afterwards, why not escape for a bit and treat yourself to an immersive VR experience? They've got everything from hour-long fantasies to ones that last days, or even weeks. Your choice. And if you're short on time, you could always just give yourself those happy memories by sitting in their mind-altering MemoryMachines for a couple of minutes. Just don't forget to steer clear of the big recycle chambers. I heard something terrible happened to a dog who wandered into one recently, and the owner went absolutely ballistic. And watch out for the GentleSleep pods, too. I've only ever seen the clerk take long black sacks out of there and stick them in the incinerator, and the smell was awful.
Feature: DLSS 3: how it works, how it performs, and when you should use it
Nvidia’s next-gen upscaler, explainified
Nvidia DLSS 3 is arguably the single most interesting thing to emerge from the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 GPU launches. Even with, I’ll concede, some limits: whereas previous DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) versions have been available to any GeForce RTX graphics card, DLSS 3 is currently only usable on these RTX 40 series models. Or will be, once the RTX 4080 goes on sale on November 16th. Yet having tested it out on the RTX 4090, I’m convinced it could be as big a deal as the cards themselves, especially if you have a high-refresh-rate gaming monitor.
Feature: Screenshot Saturday Mondays: a dinosaur pizza chef, and giant beasts to climb
Admiring indie games from Twitter's weekend screenshot-o-rama
Every weekend, indie devs show off current work on Twitter's #screenshotsaturday tag. And every Monday, I bring you a selection of these snaps and clips. This past weekend was particularly fruitful, so enjoy a bumper-sized edition of Screenshot Saturday Mondays with all manner of cute frogs, stylish ultraviolence, dinosaurs cooking pizza, giant beasts to climb, and chill landscapes to roam.