Nighthaw-X3000's Protagonist Has a Message for Aliens

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AAG Studio's forthcoming vertical scrolling shoot 'em up, Nighthaw-X3000, definitely has an '80s inspired feel to it, with its synthwave music to its neon visuals. However, its the game's protagonist, James Pilecki, that we're focusing on for the moment as he's got a message for the aliens invading Earth (and no, it's not "Welcome").There's a certain Duke Nukem vibe coming off James in that video. I half-expected him to say that those fatherless aliens would have to make amends for dispatching his means of conveyance.Nighthaw-X3000 will arrive on PC via Steam on April 14, 2017 and will support two players locally throughout the main story campaign and the (as yet to be revealed) other game modes.

Dauntless Hands-On Impressions and Interview (PAX East 2017)

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Dauntless Hands-On Impressions and Interview (PAX East 2017)

The final game I got to go hands-on with at PAX East 2017 was Dauntless, the upcoming co-op action RPG from Phoenix Labs. Dauntless only debuted at PAX South in January, so this was the first time that Co-Optimus was able to get a good look at the game.Prior to my hands-on demo of the game, I had the chance to sit down with Phoenix Labs President and Co-Founder, Jesse Houston. Phoenix Labs was founded in 2014 and is composed of 40 close-knit developers who have career histories together. Many of these devs have had previous positions are big name studios like Riot, Bioware, and Blizzard, so this certainly isn’t their first rodeo.Jesse described Dauntless as a Monster Hunter-like experience for PC that is “unapologetically co-op.” By this he means that while the game technically supports a solo experience, the game is designed to be played and enjoyed with friends (much like the Borderlands series). The game will have a Destiny-style hub (a Central City Island) where players can craft, customize their gear, and engage in matchmaking. From there, players will embark on missions, which are intended for a 4-player experience (specifically “balanced for 3.5 players,” as Jesse told me). If you have less than 4 players, however, the missions will scale down in difficulty.

Dauntless Alpha Accepting Applications

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The upcoming PC co-op RPG Dauntless is opening up for Alpha testing.Applicants will be chosen based on what the developers are looking for in previous experience (a common practice) but anyone can fill out an application to try the Alpha, here.While the game does not have a set release besides '2017', it is a highly anticipated title, with a team assembled from ex Bioware, Blizzard, Capcom and RIOT developers. 

Sonic Mania Delayed

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Sonic Mania, the upcoming game from Sega and Christian Whitehead, has been delayed for an undisclosed amount of time.While the game still holds a ' Summer 2017' listing on the official website, news broke recently that the game, before having an official release date, was to be pushed back, to a different date. The game, set to be released this year, has spoken very little about gameplay or different modes, with those who have played the game having stated that the game features something of a '1.5' player experience, much like older Sonic games. This means that, while two players would be in co-op, one would be playing Tails, with minimal responsibility or impact in the game.

Our Weekend In Gaming: Nier Death Experience

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Our Weekend In Gaming: Nier Death Experience

Mmm, smell that fresh weekend air.  Let it wash over you and dissolve all that stress you accumulated since Monday.  There, feel better?  Let's dig into the Co-Opticrew's gaming plans this weekend.We're getting every last dreg out of the Zelda experience, and with good reason, but it's definitely time to move onto other ventures, like sad robot drama, phone D&D, and Japanese real estate epics.  Check it out:Nick Puleo (@NickPuleo) - "Started to dig into Mass Effect. Perhaps some more Ghost Recon Wildlands."

Tackle New Threats in Mass Effect: Andromeda Weekend Event

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Mass Effect: Andromeda finally arrived earlier this week and the reception thus far has been... mixed. We're still checking it out ourselves and putting together our own thoughts on the co-op aspects of it, but if you've already procured it then there's a little good news for you. There's a special weekend event going on right now that adds a new co-op map to play through as well as a new character kit.The first APEX Mission, titled "Drack's Missing Scouts," lasts until 1:00 PM EDT on Monday, March 27. The event features the "Firebase Paradox" map, which will only be available during the event, and tasks your squad with tracking down some missing Krogan scouts on the kett-infested world. Alongside the map, a new kit (the Krogan Gladiator) and a new weapon (the Ruzad Shotgun) have been added to the in-game Store packs. Fortunately, those are permanent additions and won't disappear next week.This weekend event is now live for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 versions of the game, so get out there and save the galaxy or something.

Funky 16-bit Duo Returning in ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove

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Remember the good old days when Sega and Nintendo were well-sporting rivals? While Sonic vs. Mario might have gotten all the attention, a little duo known as ToeJam and Earl provided another reason to give Sega consoles a second look. After more than a decade's absence, we finally get our chance to enjoy the aliens' funky platform stylings again in ToeJam and Earl: Back In The Groove.The 2017 reboot of the franchise looks to capture what made the original games so unique while knocking things up a notch for the modern crowd. The duo hits Earth once again and must retrieve parts of their ship so they can fly home in peace. Naturally, all sorts of things hinder their progress, from dancing hula girls to invisible boogeymen.Back In The Groove's world is filled with presents, enemies, and nooks and crannies to explore. The highlight of the experience is a two player local co-op mode that lets you and a pal sift through the stuff of Earth as a pair. Details are pretty scarce at the moment, we just know that HumaNature Studios is developing with the original ToeJam creator Greg Johnson at the helm. Look for a tidy PC and console release by the end of 2017.

New Free Content Added to Killing Floor 2

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Tripwire's FPS horror shooter, Killing Floor 2, has gotten its second round of free content this week with "The Descent" DLC. Not only are there new maps, new guns, and a new gameplay mode, but you can enjoy that stuff even if you don't own the game! Until 1:00 PM EST Monday, March 27, 2017, you can play Killing Floor 2 for free on Steam, or you can enjoy it until March 28 for free on the PlayStation 4.Here's all the new content you'll get in "The Descent" DLC:If you enjoy your time with the game over the next couple days, then it's currently 50% off on Steam and 33% off on PSN. Just be sure to pick it up before the free weekends are over, as those sales become null and void at the same time.