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H1Z1, the open-world multiplayer zombie survival game is splitting in half. Daybreak Game Company has announced that beginning on February 17th, H1Z1 will become two separate games. H1Z1: Just Survive will retain the persistent zombie survival and crafting experience, while H1Z1: King of the Hill will focus on the player vs. player battle royale mode. Each game will be sold for $19.99 and will contain the usual assortment of in-game microtransaction offers. According to Daybreak, the split will allow the developers to give each title dedicated resources.

Gamers that own H1Z1 before February 16th will get both new games for free, and their current in-game purchases will be duplicated and carry over to each title where appropriate. Survival-specific items will only be valid in H1Z1: Just Survive.

The original plan for H1Z1 was that it would eventually become a free-to-play game. The purchase price was supposed to be only for the early access period to fund development. Daybreak has confirmed that both H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Hill will retain their $19.99 price even after they leave early access.

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Peter Molyneaux and 22Cans is back with another ill-advised boondoggle. Godus, the unfinished crowd-funded public relations nightmare, was an unqualified failure. Between disgruntled customers, disappointed contest winners, and scathing reviews, the real-time god game was a lost cause. Enter Godus Wars. It turns out that the real-time combat promised but never implemented in Godus needed its own program. (Luckily, this also allows the developers a chance to start over!) Peter Molyneaux himself explains it in-game via cartoon avatar.

“I always imagined Godus being two games, one tranquil, one war like. With this build we introduce the warlike element.”

Sure, Peter. The olive branch for backers of the first game is that they all got a “free” copy of Godus Wars. That’s in quotes because it turned out that Godus Wars, even in an early access state, had in-app purchases after the first island area. 22Cans has since removed those charges based on overwhelming negative feedback, but you can be sure that the developers are hard at work figuring out another way to anger their reluctant customers.

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I’m delighted to discuss The Witness with Matt Peckham from Time.com and Stephen Totilo from Kotaku, both of whom loved The Witness, a game I didn’t like. The model for our discussion is the latest Republican debates. I’ll be playing the role of Donald Trump. Peckham plays Jeb Bush and Totilo plays Marco Rubio. None of us was willing to play Ted Cruz.

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Speedruns are all about finding the optimal path in a game, even if that means making a mockery of a game’s mechanics. Spelunky in under two minutes was impressive, but Benjamin Thomas is able to take Stalingrad in Unity of Command in two turns. With the timescale used in the game, this is equivalent to Germany conquering the city by August 1942, a feat that most students of World War II would agree is impossible. The trick to this feat? Ignore history and go for it.

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Petroglyph’s Grey Goo didn’t knock our socks off at launch, but the throwback real-time strategy game had a lot of moxie. It took on the traditional three-way faction setup and mixed it with Petroglyph’s unique sensibilities, leading to an in-game race made up of amorphous blobs, and a campaign animated by Weta Digital. Unfortunately, the game didn’t click with the intended audience and the player numbers have remained woefully low.

Petroglyph hasn’t given up on Grey Goo. The Descent of the Shroud DLC adds an entirely new fourth faction to the game for free. The Shroud’s units are built around disrupting the other race’s normal build orders. In fact, according to the DLC trailer, The Shroud are powerful enough to make the Goo flee! Dropping a new faction into an RTS in’t possible without some disruption, so the game is also getting a balance update to account for the newest gooey enemies. Perhaps it’s time to give this game another look?

Grey Goo is available on Steam.

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Need for Speed’s newest update features community sharing of custom wraps. The Showcase Update for Ghost Games’ surprising racer has added the ability to share custom livery designs, (called “wraps” in the ultra-bro world of Need for Speed) like in more recent Forza games. Forza, of course, is the game that proved if you give people a canvas, some of them will inevitably create the most detailed offensive content imaginable. It’s like the internet itself, writ small!

If you’re tired of old-fashioned stock stickers like Red Bull and Penzoil lamely adorning your Need for Speed ride, you can now browse other people’s hand-crafted anime princesses and curse words to download and use. The update also add more customization parts and a photo mode so you can capture the epic grandeur of Sailor Moon spread-eagle on your Nissan Skyline.

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, | Game reviews
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I’m looking at a puzzle. I’m considering how to solve it. I’m pretty sure there’s no way to solve it. Literally no way to solve it. It simply can’t work. It’s nonsense. It’s clearly impossible. You might as well ask me to make two plus two equal five. But then something clicks, suddenly and decisively. A Copernican shift introduces itself into a simple set of inviolable rules. The center has moved and now everything turns into something else entirely. It feels like a miracle of geometry, of logic, like oh, hey, a fourth dimension has opened up where a wall used to be. Maybe Newtonain shift is a better way to put it. What seemed impossible is now as simple as letting gravity take an apple.

These are the best parts of The Witness. And, to be fair, they’re fairly frequent. Regular even. But to what end?

After the jump, ssentiW ehT, dnalsi na, nalp a, man a. Continue reading →

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I’m a sucker for Euro Truck Simulator. I’m also American, which means I’m probably going to be a sucker for American Truck Simulator, despite the fact that it was scaled down from American Truck Simulator to West Side of America Only Truck Simulator. But even I have a hard time taking the above launch trailer seriously. It’s like a beer commercial that never gets around to mentioning the beer it’s supposed to be about.

American Truck Simulator comes out February 3rd.

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Far Cry Primal’s stone age characters converse using a made-up language called Wenja. Speaking to IGN in normal English, the game’s writer, Kevin Shortt, revealed that the in-game language is a fictional construct based on proto-European speech. Thankfully, the dialogue is subtitled, so players won’t be scratching their heads when someone grunts “klaatu barada nikto” at them.

“So we created the setting, the flora, the megafauna and then when it came to actually telling the story it just felt wrong to say ‘ok we’re going to do it in modern language.’ Because it was going to pop. You were going to feel it. So we did some tests, and it did pop. It wasn’t right. So we thought, ‘hell, let’s make a language.'”

Far Cry Primal will release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 23rd, but PC players will have to wait until March.

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Really, the main reasons I’m writing this is so I can use that headline. It’s not even that good of a headline. It’s certainly not accurate. But I couldn’t resist. Today’s patch just makes Boba Fett’s wrist rocket less powerful. But his mobility still gives him an enormous advantage. Have you tried to hit a flying Boba Fett? I have and it’s not easy, let me tell you. And don’t get me started on Slave One in the fighter squadron matches! To be fair, the patch did strip Boba Fett’s ship of 30% its hit points. And the Millennium Falcon. Now they’re only 70% of the bullet sponges they used to be.

The more relevant changes in the patch are nerfs to the DL-44, aka Han Solo’s pistol; the bowcaster, aka Chewbacca’s crossbow thing that Han Solo apparently didn’t notice until Force Awakened; the ION anti-vehicle torpedo, aka the thing that makes AT-STs one of the quickest ways to give the other team points; and the homing shot and smart rocket, aka the things that always kill you from out of nowhere.

The patch also adds daily challenges, which is all I need. Yet another reason to keep playing what turned out to be last year’s best shooter. Electronic Arts has even announced the upcoming content will add more support for the excellent split-screen and single player challenges. How much was that season pass again?

Read the full notes here.

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Gliding, a feature previously limited to the new areas introduced in the Heart of Thorns expansion, is now enabled in Guild Wars 2’s original base game areas. The Winter 2016 update makes gliding possible for owners of the Heart of Thorns content throughout the world map, except in player versus player areas and instanced dungeons. The patch brings a host of balance fixes and user interface enhancements as well, but the most important change is that players can now stretch their wings and wobble clumsily from the highest point in Lion’s Arch to eventually lawn dart straight into the ground if they so wish thanks to the update. Fly! Be free!

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Remember the epic moment when Ryu betrayed Ken? Or that time when Chun Li finally got revenge for her father’s death? Apparently there are Street Fighter fans that love the convoluted soap opera stories that go with the Street Fighter games. It’s not all hundred-hand-slaps and whirlwind kicks. There’s drama! For all the players that look forward to more exposition and histrionics, Sony and Capcom have some good news. They’ve announced that Street Fighter V will get a free story expansion post-launch. Confusingly, he storyline will take place between the events of Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter III.

M. Bison and Shadaloo will be a main focus of the story…and I can’t say much more than that right now.

Will anything in the game be better than Raul Julia’s portrayal of M. Bison? “For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.” Street Fighter V launches on PlayStation 4 and PC on February 16th.

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