March 2020

InXile's post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland 3 delayed until August

Wasteland 3, the post-apocalypse-tinged squad-based RPG from developer InXile, will no longer release in May as originally announced, and is now due to arrive in August.

InXile had originally set a 19th May release date for Wasteland 3 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but the developer today announced a new launch date of 28th August, citing the "logistical challenges" arising from coronavirus-related home-working as the reason for the delay.

"As with most companies, we moved to a work-from-home environment some weeks ago," explained studio head Brian Fargo in a statement posted to Twitter, "and that of course introduced challenges that many of us throughout the world have been learning to manage. We've been excited to see the Wasteland 3 Beta so well received, but the reality is that with these new logistical challenges our release was going to be impacted".

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Risk of Rain 2 is free to play on Steam this weekend to celebrate a year of early access

Risk of Rain 2, developer Hopoo Games' enormously well-received co-operative rogue-like shooter sequel, will be free to play this weekend on Steam, in celebration of its first anniversary and newly released Artifacts 2.0 update.

Risk of Rain 2 initially entered Steam early access in March last year (a 1.0 release is expected this spring), and Hopoo has been steadily ploughing through its extensive early access roadmap ever since. Artifacts 2.0, one of the key milestones on that roadmap, focusses on "long-term content, replayability, and flexibility in the way you play", reintroducing the Artifacts system seen in the original Risk of Rain, albeit with a bit of an additional kick up the bum.

As you might already be aware, Risk of Rain 2 follows a similar formula to its wonderful predecessor, featuring gloriously chaotic shooting action (this time in full 3D) that grows ever fiercer - bringing tougher, more plentiful enemies - the longer players manage to stay alive. Artifacts serve as a way to amplify that chaos even further, acting as modifiers that can be toggled on or off at the start of each run.

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Valve says Artifact's reboot will no longer let players buy cards or decks

It would be fair to say that Valve's digital card game, Artifact, failed to make much of an impact following its high-profile launch at the end of 2018. Mere weeks after its arrival, user numbers had tumbled - and now, after a year of silence, Valve has finally announced a radical overhaul for the game, one that even ditches its fundamental monetisation model of selling cards.

Designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, who left Valve last March, Artifact struggled from the off, with players rejecting everything from the game's perceived complexity to balance issues and even its pricing model, which - unlike free-to-play competitors Hearthstone and Gwent - included an upfront cost, alongside payment for additional cards. By the time July came around, Artifact was barely seeing 100 players online in a 24-hour period.

Valve said little about Artifact for almost year, but suddenly, earlier this month, it began to tease new activity for the game, saying it would reveal "more news after the launch of Half-Life: Alyx". Now, with Alyx out the door and basking in the light of rave reviews, Valve has kept its promise, outlining some early changes for what it's calling Artifact 2.0.

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This year's 25th anniversary QuakeCon is cancelled due to coronavirus

Bethesda and id Software have "made the difficult decision" to cancel this year's QuakeCon, which would have marked the 25th anniversary of the event, as a result of the ongoing upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"In recent weeks, we have spent a lot of time discussing how we might still move forward with QuakeCon this year," the companies wrote in a joint statement, "However, with all of the logistical challenges and uncertainties we currently face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year's QuakeCon."

"The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and players will always be our top priority, "the statement continued, "and in these times it felt wrong to be talking about a gathering when gathering is the last thing any of us should be doing right now".

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