Amazon Gamescom, PlayStation store, QuakeCon, and more of the best sales

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Amazon Gamescom, PlayStation store, QuakeCon, and more of the best sales

Earlier this week we mentioned the $200 price cut on the HTC Vive system, which is still available for $599 at Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy. Other highlights of the week’s game deals include Gamescom, QuakeCon, and PlayStation Store sales. Also the PlayStation VR headset is back down to $350 ($50 off) if you’re in the market for one.

Looking for tech deals? Check out The Verge’s roundup here.

Star Citizen’s facial recognition tech is horrifyingly realistic

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Star Citizen’s facial recognition tech is horrifyingly realistic

Star Citizen’s most ambitious new feature is something called Face Over Internet Protocol (FOIP), which uses motion capture to mirror players’ expressions and facial movements in-game. A demo shown to Polygon at Gamescom proves that not only is this technology impressive, but it’s also ... fairly disturbing.

Cloud Imperium Games’ CEO Chris Roberts debuted the tech to the masses during a presentation held tonight in Germany, and he previewed it for us personally behind closed doors earlier in the week. Produced in collaboration with Faceware Technologies, FOIP uses webcams to detect and animate players’ actual faces within the game. It’s an advanced feature that Roberts referred to as novel in a press release.

Crypt of the NecroDancer team’s next game is a building sim set on Saturn’s moon

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Crypt of the NecroDancer team’s next game is a building sim set on Saturn’s moon

How do you follow up a wildly successful dungeon-dancing roguelike? With a strategic city-building simulation set on the Saturn moon of Titan, naturally. Crypt of the NecroDancer developer Brace Yourself Games announced its next project, Industries of Titan, today, and it looks every bit as stylish and intriguing as its previous project.

Industries of Titan will task players with designing their own cities, building factories, managing production lines and balancing their economy. Players will also need to protect their cities of industry by designing battleships with weapons, shields and thrusters in order to fend off hostiles.

Indie dev provides torrent, asks that you ‘pirate’ game before buying from key reseller

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Indie dev provides torrent, asks that you ‘pirate’ game before buying from key reseller

Acid Wizard Studio made common mistakes during development of its first game. The team had a “simple” idea and set out to make a game quickly. The scope got away from them a bit and the final game took much more time than they expected. But the result, Darkwood, was released in July and is selling well on Steam while earning positive reviews from players.

Which means they began to get scam emails from people claiming to be press or YouTubers, asking for Steam keys to “review” the game.

Half-Life writer posts possible Episode 3 plot

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Half-Life writer posts possible Episode 3 plot

Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw, who left Valve in 2016, may have just revealed the proposed plot of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 on his personal website. In a post titled “Epistle 3,” Laidlaw presents what appears to be a thinly-veiled summary of Gordon Freeman’s long-missing adventure in the form of correspondence from someone named “Gertrude Fremont.”

“I hope this letter finds you well,” the letter begins. “I can hear your complaint already, ‘Gertie Fremont, we have not heard from you in ages!’ Well, if you care to hear excuses, I have plenty, the greatest of them being I’ve been in other dimensions and whatnot, unable to reach you by the usual means. This was the case until eighteen months ago, when I experienced a critical change in my circumstances, and was redeposited on these shores. In the time since, I have been able to think occasionally about how best to describe the intervening years, my years of silence.”

Secret of Mana remake hits PS4, Vita and PC next year

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Secret of Mana remake hits PS4, Vita and PC next year

A complete remake of Secret of Mana is coming stateside next February, Square Enix announced Friday morning. PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC versions are all in the works, and the game will come with a full set of new features.

These include online multiplayer for up to three people; fully redone 3D graphics; new musical arrangements; and voice acting, although Square Enix hasn’t said if the Western release will have English voices or just Japanese audio.

Xbox exec: Announcing Crackdown 3 too early was ‘a mistake’

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Xbox exec: Announcing Crackdown 3 too early was ‘a mistake’

The decision to announce Crackdown 3 at E3 2014 — four years before the game launches at last on Xbox One — is something Shannon Loftis, general manager for Microsoft Studios Publishing, said she regrets in hindsight.

“I think we probably announced Crackdown too early,” Loftis told Polygon during a Gamescom interview in Cologne, Germany, this week.

Final Fantasy 15's female hero deserves the spotlight, says director

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Final Fantasy 15's female hero deserves the spotlight, says director

Hajime Tabata has never met a woman who was anything less than “strong.” But the director of Final Fantasy 15 — arguably the series’ most guy-heavy installment — hasn’t done much to prove that as he continues to expand the game’s universe.

It may be up to outspoken fans for that to change, he told me at Gamescom. I asked him why the Square Enix team has yet to focus on cast members like Lunafreya in its episodic content and other Final Fantasy 15 expansions, something he sounded remorseful about himself.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has a $20 Season Pass

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Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has a $20 Season Pass

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle now offers a Season Pass. The $19.99 add-on will get you a few trinkets at launch, with the promise of more game content later on.

The XCOM-inspired, turn-based role-playing game puts guns in the hands of Nintendo’s cuddly cast of characters for the first time. They’re joined by Ubisoft’s Rabbids, and will have to fight to restore order to their respective worlds.

Blizzard’s radically changing Overwatch’s Mercy

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Blizzard’s radically changing Overwatch’s Mercy

Overwatch healer Mercy is getting a massive overhaul, game director Jeff Kaplan revealed today in a developer update video. The most radical change — “and it’s going to seem a little bit shocking at first,” Kaplan said — is that Mercy’s ultimate ability will no longer be Resurrect.

Instead, Resurrect will now be a secondary common ability for Mercy, Kaplan said, explaining that she’ll no longer have the ability to resurrect multiple teammates at once as part of her revision. Resurrect is now single target only ability, Kaplan said, and will be on a “rather long cooldown” so you won’t see Mercy players constantly reviving their teammates.