Giveaway: We've got 69 (nice) keys to give away for helicopter shooter Comanche

about X hours ago from
Giveaway: We've got 69 (nice) keys to give away for helicopter shooter Comanche

We've got a Steam giveaway going for helicopter shooter Comanche!

Well, this is an unexpected surprise: THQ Nordic has brought back Comanche as a modern chopper battler. It's got online multiplayer, some single player missions, drone, killer helicopters -- it's got pretty much everything you'd expect from the series.

We've got 69 (nice) Early Access keys to give away so you can give it a shot for yourself. Take one before they're gone!

Dragon Marked for Death is headed to PC later this month

about X hours ago from
Dragon Marked for Death is headed to PC later this month

Inti Creates has announced that it will be bringing mystical adventure Dragon Marked for Death to PC (via Steam) on April 21, following on from its previous release on Nintendo Switch.Dragon Marked for Death is an action-platformer which tells the tale of a quartet of heroes - the last surviving members of the fabled Dragonblood Clan - who set out on a quest to rescue their oracle from the oppressive Kingdom of Medius. Selecting from one of four classes, (Empress, Witch, Warrior, or Shinobi), players will battle through enemy territory, while completing a list of side-quests to help out their kin. Four-player co-op allows you and friends to battle against the forces of evil together.

The Witcher 3 sold nearly as well in 2019 as it did in its launch year

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The Witcher 3 sold nearly as well in 2019 as it did in its launch year

In its fifth year on the market, CD Projekt's Witcher 3 came within a few million sales of replicating its launch numbers. Geralt just refuses to slow down in his old age.

CD Projekt's 2019 financial report shows sales of approximately 7 million copies of The Witcher 3 last year. That's its second best year so far, as only 2015 did better when it sold approximately 9.5 million upon release. Sure, an estimated 2.5 million sales is still a sizable gulf, but it's still pretty impressive considering how high the annual figures are and how far past launch it is.

Interestingly, it wasn't the 2019 Witcher 3 Switch port that really pushed the numbers higher. The breakdown provided by this chart (found on page 52 of the financial report) shows that the PC version did most of the heavy lifting, and that Switch accounted for something like 770,000 copies:

The eternal influence of Twin Peaks

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The eternal influence of Twin Peaks

Thirty years ago today, peak television was born.

ABC, a second-place network at the time mostly known for family-friendly dramas and comedies, took a gamble on an unusual crime drama about murder and secrets in the Pacific Northwest. Mark Lynch was best known as a writer for Hill Street Blues. David Lynch had two Oscar nominations under his belt and a penchant for the unusual. They were brought together for a biopic that never happened, but it was in this partnership that Lynch first had the mental image of a dead woman washed ashore; a picture that would eventually spiral into the pilot episode of Twin Peaks. Months of planning and a bit of reluctance to move into television on Lynch's part culminated in what is possibly the most influential television program since Dragnet. The movie-length premiere was a hit with critics and audiences. It was unlike anything else seen on television, and perhaps more importantly, it managed to package Lynch's idiosyncrasies in a format easily digestible by the masses. Basically, he made a soap opera.

The Gears Tactics developer loves making Pulp Fiction references

about X hours ago from
The Gears Tactics developer loves making Pulp Fiction references

It isn't rare for developers to pack achievement names with pop culture references. That has been happening ever since the invention of achievements, all the way back to the launch of the Xbox 360 when Microsoft mandated that each retail game include 1000 Gamerscore and each Xbox Live Arcade game include 200 Gamerscore. (Hilarious-in-hindsight footnote: Remember when XBLA capped its games at 50MB file sizes, and then kept pushing it upward when they realized games like Portal: Still Alive would make a bajillion dollars?)

It is, however, rare for a developer to lean into one single source of inspiration as heavily as Splash Damage does with Pulp Fiction. The Gears Tactics achievement list is just lousy with Pulp Fiction references. "The path of the righteous man," "Great vengeance and furious anger," "Everyone stay cool, this is a robbery!" (which is actually a slight misquote), "Aw man, I shot Marvin in the face." The list goes on and on. My favorite? Obviously "Check out the big brain on Brett."

Hotline Miami Collection comes sleazin' onto Xbox One

about X hours ago from
Hotline Miami Collection comes sleazin' onto Xbox One

Developer Dennaton Games, alongside publisher Devolver Digital, has released its sickening, sun-splashed Hotline Miami Collection on the Xbox One platform, bringing all of its nihilistic violence and hazy, lurid atmosphere to the Microsoft console.It's difficult for me to imagine there's anybody unaware of these twitchy top-down shooters, but for those of you yet to overdose on the 2012 indie release and its 2015 sequel, now is the perfect time to ride the rancid rainbow. With this release, both games are now readily available on all current platforms.

You'll want room for banana trees in Stardew Valley's 1.5 update

about X hours ago from
You'll want room for banana trees in Stardew Valley's 1.5 update

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone is letting fans influence the direction of update 1.5 – a tiny part of it, anyway. The game designer recently held a Twitter poll asking fans if they'd rather have an avocado, banana, mango, or passionfruit tree in the "next update." Stardew players went bananas.

Thanks for voting... Banana is the winner! Looks like mango is the runner up... pic.twitter.com/eQqiZ4Gf6Z

— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) April 8, 2020

Thanks for voting... Banana is the winner! Looks like mango is the runner up... pic.twitter.com/eQqiZ4Gf6Z

Black Bird physical edition headed to Switch from Limited Run Games

about X hours ago from
Black Bird physical edition headed to Switch from Limited Run Games

Physical Media fans Limited Run Games are at it again, and have announced a physical edition for Onion Games' strange and disquieting shmup, Black Bird. This release is exclusive to Nintendo Switch and will be made available to pre-order on April 10 at the LRG website.Released back in 2018, Black Bird blends classic horizontal shmup gameplay with a bleak and unnerving aesthetic, comprised of sombre tones, washed-out colours, and strange grinning enemies. Despite this odd look, Black Bird is an exciting and engaging shmup. It certainly won over our own CJ Andriessen, whose review you can check out right here.

Celeste composer Lena Raine is doing music for Minecraft

about X hours ago from
Celeste composer Lena Raine is doing music for Minecraft

When I think of Minecraft, its music comes to mind just as readily as its blocky world and characters. The game wouldn't be what it is without C418's soothing soundtrack backing you up while you carve through caverns or peacefully stroll into the sunset. So many elements and features and things were added over countless updates, and Minecraft is a better, longer-lasting experience for it, but to this day, those original tunes evoke the "feeling" of Minecraft for me – that sense of calm exploration.

The same can be said for Celeste, a mechanically spot-on platformer made even more brilliant by its emotionally resonant soundtrack. The composer of Celeste, Lena Raine, worked wonders. What's next? Minecraft of all games. Raine is composing three tracks for the upcoming Nether update.

"I wanted each piece to feel like a progression of emotions, or a journey from place to place within this other world," she said in a Minecraft blog post. "There's a degree of beauty to the Nether, but it is also terrifying in both its details and scale."