Mike Bithell’s Quarantine Circular is a fantastic conversation with an alien

about X hours ago from
Mike Bithell’s Quarantine Circular is a fantastic conversation with an alien

Text adventures like Quarantine Circular, the latest from indie developer Mike Bithell, present a tantalizing future for video games. It presents dialogue as a genuine plaything, a tremendously exciting notion. Sure, we are still a long way from rendering the possibilities of speech in terms of believable simulation, and Quarantine Circular demonstrates the current limitations of the form. But, oh boy, I’m excited about what this game may signal for things to come.

Mike Bithell’s series of short games seeks to push conversational gaming onward, within the testing constraints of tight budgets and limited development time. Like his superb Subsurface Circular, released last year, Quarantine Circular is a series of dialogue trees, peppered with simple puzzles, climaxing in a big moral choice. While Subsurface Circular offered two alternate endings, this game has six. I played through three of those endings. Game time for a first playthrough is about 2.5 hours.

Epic added a new item to Fortnite on accident

about X hours ago from
Epic added a new item to Fortnite on accident

Fortnite’s newest patch was released on Tuesday morning and players quickly noticed there was an addition to the game that wasn’t in the patch notes: a new backpack called, Eye of the Storm Tracker.

As it turns out, the reason the item wasn’t in the patch notes is because it wasn’t supposed to be in the patch at all, according to a comment on the Fortnite subreddit by Sean “MrPopoTFS” Hamilton, the community coordinator for Epic Games.

PS4 heading into end of its life cycle, PlayStation CEO says

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PS4 heading into end of its life cycle, PlayStation CEO says

The PlayStation 4 is still going strong, but as hardware sales begin to decline, Sony is focusing more on the online services and subscriptions that are tied to the platform, the company said today during its annual Investor Relations Day.

Three years ago, Andrew House, then-CEO of the PlayStation division, said that 2015 was “the beginning of a harvest period” for the PS4. (In a business sense, the “harvest period” refers to the phase of a product’s life cycle when a company reduces investment to reap maximum profits, although House noted that Sony still planned to invest for the future during that year.) Today, PlayStation CEO John Kodera said the PS4 is entering the final phase of its life cycle, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.

Warhammer 40,000 is launching a line of young adult fiction and fans are confused

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Warhammer 40,000 is launching a line of young adult fiction and fans are confused

Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 is known for being a grimdark tabletop miniatures game. But its fiction imprint, called Black Library, goes a bit deeper to tell the story of one of the darkest, most violent universes in pop culture today. Now the UK-based hobby games company is launching a line of young adult fiction, one that promises stories that “are perfect for bookworms aged 8-12 who want to read about heroes, aliens and monsters.”

Some fans are understandably confused.

Your guide to Fortnite’s jetpacks

about X hours ago from
Your guide to Fortnite’s jetpacks

Epic Games has finally added the long-rumored jetpacks to Fortnite with the v4.2 content update. They’re only limited-time items, and they’re kind of a big deal. I jumped online to see what the jetpacks are like in action, and yep, they’re going to change things pretty significantly while they’re around.

The jetpacks are Legendary items found in treasure chests. They’re not going to be all over the place, and you may have to play a few rounds to get one.

Overwatch anniversary event is live, with new skins, items and more

about X hours ago from
Overwatch anniversary event is live, with new skins, items and more

Overwatch is turning two this month, and Blizzard is celebrating with another massive anniversary campaign. The special event begins today at 11 a.m. — a.k.a. right now — and with it comes a ton of new skins, a new re-release of the game and more.

The Overwatch second anniversary event will run until June 11, according to Blizzard. There’s a total of 190 new anniversary items, 60 of which are new this year. These range from eight original legendary skins, new dance emotes and more; we’ve got a full gallery below. Among the items available during the event are several pieces of older seasonal content from 2017’s limited-time modes, alongside skins from more recent brawls. Everyone gets a Legendary Anniversary Loot Box for logging into the game as well, which includes all of this older contnet.

The rest of the Yakuza saga’s heading to PS4

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The rest of the Yakuza saga’s heading to PS4

The remaining core games in the Yakuza franchise are heading to PlayStation 4 starting this summer, according to Japan’s Weekly Famitsu magazine. Kicking off with Yakuza 3 in August, Sega is remastering three more entries in the Kazuma Kiryu saga — introducing more fans to the series, as well as ensuring that the complete collection is playable on a single console.

Yakuza 4 is expected to arrive this fall, followed by Yakuza 5 in spring 2019. None of them have been announced for Western release yet, but considering the action-RPG franchise’s recent resurgence in popularity, it’s likely they’ll make it over here eventually. Each one will be upgraded to 60 fps and run at 1080p, big steps up from the original versions.

Amazon in talks for The Expanse season 4, but writers tell fans to ‘keep up the fight’

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Amazon in talks for The Expanse season 4, but writers tell fans to ‘keep up the fight’

Less than two weeks ago, Syfy announced that it had canceled The Expanse, a spacefaring drama that premiered in 2015, rather than pick it up for a fourth season. Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter said that Amazon is in talks to bring the show over to its streaming service. But the deal’s not done, and the show’s writers are encouraging fans to keep the pressure on.

Our colleagues at The Verge once called The Expanse the best space opera since Battlestar Galactica, and we’re inclined to agree. Based on a series of novels by James S.A. Corey, a pseudonym for authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the space opera tells the story of a far future where humanity is strung out across the solar system and on the brink of civil war. The first season was well received by fans and critics alike, but viewership flagged in its second and third seasons. That’s why Syfy made the decision to cut it loose.

A home repair simulator is one of Steam’s best-sellers

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A home repair simulator is one of Steam’s best-sellers

Upon opening up Steam’s best-sellers list this morning, I was surprised to see an unlikely newcomer. It’s called House Flipper, and it claims to be a sort of home repair simulation. Believe it or not, this is an incredibly earnest take on a viable business strategy that has come to dominate reality television, especially on networks like HGTV and TLC.

In House Flipper, you buy a distressed property, fix it up and then try to sell it. Through a combination of demolition, renovation and good old-fashioned sweat equity, the goal is to make the best use of your time and money to turn a profit. Everything is done from the first-person perspective, from picking up trash to putting a new island in the kitchen.