“Dune: Spice Wars” Expands Its Horizons with “House Corrino” Faction Update

Dune: Spice Wars, the 4X real-time strategy game set on Dune, is set to expand once again following the major Multiplayer Update. Publisher Funcom and developer Shiro Games now reveal a brand-new faction coming to the game: The Imperial House Corrino, rulers of the Known Universe for the last ten millennia. This update will follow the Multiplayer Update as the second major milestone in the Early Access Roadmap.

The Houses on Dune have become unruly, so the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV is bringing his feared Sardaukar to remind them of his dominion. While he holds a lot of power, he must also preserve certain essential relationships, most crucially with the Spacing Guild.

Playing as House Corrino, players will experience a very different kind of economy to balance. Tip the scales of spice in your favor by receiving spice taxes or bribes from other factions while paying the Spacing Guild’s fees to maintain interstellar travel at affordable rates and hold the empire together.

By the emperor’s side stand his loyal councilors, each of whom lends unique benefits, be it on the battlefield, in the Landsraad politics, for raw production, or otherwise.

As with previous updates, this one will also include a series of other improvements and minor features. Plenty more details will be revealed about the Imperial House Corrino at Gamescom, including the full list of councilors, unique units, and more.

Dune: Spice Wars is currently 20% off on Steam. Play with or against your friends to see who the desert claims first.

POSTAL 4: No Regerts Review – PC

The Postal Dude and Champ, his devoted dog partner, are back in Postal 4. The two are left abandoned at the side of the road without a place to call home after stopping for gas and failing to lock their car. Their automobile, trailer home, and all of their earthly belongings are all taken. The fictitious Arizona community of Edensin is just over the horizon, so the unusual pair go on a journey there to find work and their stolen goods.

You are given a different set of tasks to finish every day, from Monday through Friday, just like in previous games in the series. The majority of these are mundane jobs like encouraging people to sign a petition, changing lightbulbs in the sewer, and acting as a rent to hire prison guard for the day. Some are a little stranger, like one where you must use an improvised catapult to fling disillusioned Americans across the border into Mexico. The one thing that all of these goals have in common is that they aren’t enjoyable to work for. In certain circumstances, this is probably deliberate, but why? Postal 4 doesn’t offer a satirical critique of capitalism or anything like that; the game is just designed around dull busywork that proves more effective than any sleeping pills.

The weapon selection and AI behavior can lead to very underwhelming experiences. The Postal Dude’s collection of pistols, shotguns, and rifles are lacking in credibility minus the revolver as it is the only gratifying weapon since it allows you to quickly take down a number of foes. Due in part to the weak sound design, all of the weapon types lack the punch and sensation of contact you would expect and looking down sights feels excessively awkward and stiff in a way that not many shooters experience. The only weapons other than your typical weaponry are the pigeon mine and boomerang machete. The former lets you slash off limbs with a blade that returns to you, while the latter releases a flock of pigeons that will tear any enemies in their path apart in a storm of feathers. Although the Fornicator sounds bizarre, it’s really simply a shotgun with four barrels.

The major obstacle to first-person shooting in Postal 4 is enemy AI, although it is by no means the only one. Your adversaries have a propensity to either clump together in a group, unmoving, waiting to be slain, or dash straight at you before suddenly forgetting that you even exist. Along with being occasionally stupid and downright broken, the AI also absorbs bullets, making the majority of the weaponry seem distinctly subpar. Guns like the M16 help to some extent, but it’s very impossible to get ammunition unless the foes you’re fighting also have the same weapon. The game makes it difficult to identify the vending machines that sell ammunition, yet they are scattered around Edensin. The in-game map is terrible; it’s difficult to use and contains no useful information. The map doesn’t show where the vending machines are; in fact, the only icons that are shown are for stores that frequently serve no purpose other than as set decoration. Additionally, you almost never find yourself flush with cash, so even buying a tiny quantity of ammunition will quickly drain your bank account.

Thanks to all of the above, players found themselves employing pistols rather than anything stronger for most of the game, and Postal 4’s penchant for artificially inflating the difficulty by tossing dozens of foes at you at once only serves to accentuate each handgun’s meager effectiveness. Although dying isn’t a big deal because you don’t lose any progress and can just revive and resume where you left off, patiently eliminating every enemy in the game is still a grind.

Players will spend the remaining time exploring Edensin’s town, in between conducting errands and shooting people. The map is big enough that it takes a while to get somewhere, and Postal 4 makes it purposely difficult to navigate. If you want to move a little more quickly than the Postal Dude can run, you can get on a mobility scooter, but it’s harder to find one than you may think. There are several mobility scooter rental locations scattered across the map, but renting one will set you back $50, which isn’t a small sum of money. You’ll spend most of your time merely searching for an abandoned scooter you can seize for free because charging for these vehicles is especially aggravating considering that they typically disappear if you enter a cutscene or leave them alone for too long.

Even worse, Postal 4 has numerous technical problems, especially while navigating the vast world. Even on a powerful PC, the frame rate of this unattractive and dated-looking game struggles to keep up. Additionally, because it frequently crashes on the desktop, quick saving is essential. Several of these crashes are entirely random, but players can easily duplicate some of them. The problem of entering a new area in the open world is one of the more frequent ones. Between these places, there are loading screens, and when you pass through them, the game frequently drops you within a mountain. Reloading a prior checkpoint is the only way to get out, however even this doesn’t always function as planned. Players can repeatedly be spawned into a damaged version of the world where the majority of the surroundings had disappeared. In this situation, your only option is to keep reloading until it finally decides to start working.

Postal 4’s terrible attempts at humor will have you hitting your head against the keyboard whenever you’re not doing so due to the game’s numerous crashes. Here is a brief summary of the primary subjects that Postal 4 finds amusing: Mexicans, feces, sex, violence towards animals, and male and female genitalia. Some players enjoy dark comedy, and there’s plenty of toilet humor that makes you laugh, but this is C-tier material meant to appeal to the widest possible audience. For example, one task entails hosing away heaps of feces to prevent certain Mexicans from incorporating them clandestinely into their taco filling. Even the most contemporary pop culture allusions in the game to shows like Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, and Twin Peaks remain quite archaic.

Postal 4: No Regerts lacks humor and mechanics that even somewhat resemble being enjoyable or captivating. The only thing it consistently has are technological problems, which add to the game’s long list of other serious flaws. Given that the game’s flaws seem to be intended as part of the joke, Running With Scissors may take this review as a badge of honor, but don’t even believe for a second that Postal 4 approaches the “So awful, it’s good” category. I would highly recommend looking past this one until updates are made.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Eidos-Montréal and The Monster Factory Release New Video Highlighting Aliens!

Recently, Eidos-Montréal and The Monster Factory released an in-depth behind the scenes look at creating the vibrant alien voices for the critically acclaimed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy!

To craft alien languages and creature sounds for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Steve Szczepkowski (Senior Audio Director at Eidos-Montréal) teamed up with The Monster Factory and their metal vocalists. Join Steve and Sébastien Croteau (CEO of The Monster Factory) as they reflect on their journey to create memorable cosmic voices, from the many travelers of Knowhere to the terrifying Wendigo.

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Review – PC

Self-disclosure: I am a huge fan of the Blade Runner franchise. Ever since I was a young teen and saw the original movie, I have been a fan. There is something unique about the atmosphere of a Blade Runner story. There is a certain pace, the eerie darkness, the rain-slicked streets, the hopelessness, the existential questions it raises about humanity. I love it all. I even loved the book by Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which the movie is based upon.

Shortly after falling in love with the original movie (and watching it in all its different iterations), I was introduced to the 1997 video game. At the time, I remember being completely blown away by its unique voxel-based characters and the intricate, unique, and utterly Blade Runner-esque environments. The story, as well, was engaging; familiar enough that fans would feel like they were living a life parallel to the movie, but different enough to feel new. Plus, the game boasted several unique endings depending on various choices that you could make along the way. It is one of the few games that I ever bothered to complete multiple times just to experience the various endings.

Things happened with Westwood Studios, the company that developed the original game. I’m not going to go into the details, because they’re easy enough to find with a quick google search. Suffice it to say that because of several factors, including corporate dealings and decisions making ownership of the IP, as well as the way that the original game was programmed to begin with, it quickly became impossible to re-release in its original form. The original game, likewise, was impossible to play on modern machines, so, for people who were not fortunate enough to play the game when it was first released, there was no real feasible way for them to experience it.

Now, 25 years after the original game was released, Nightdive Studios has released the Enhanced Edition version of the game, allowing new and old players to experience Blade Runner with enhanced graphics and interfaces, including a higher framerate capability over the original.

That all sounds great, right? Yeah. It did to me too.

Then, I played the game.

In the Los Angeles of 2019, the Nexus 6 replicants have a five-year lifespan. Naturally, the replicants want more life and fight, tooth and nail, to try and achieve that goal, usually with dire consequences. I feel that the game, in all its efforts to achieve a new life, succumbed to the same fate as the replicants within its narrative.

Why? It’s essentially the same game as the original, with a new coat of paint, right?  Not quite.

In upgrading the game’s graphics to a new high-definition standard, a discrepancy that was not apparent in the original version became much more obvious. The thing is that the environment art was done in two-dimensional graphics, while the characters that populated the environment were modeled in three-dimensional voxel-based sprites. With the fidelity of the original environment art, the voxel characters felt like they belonged in the scenes. They fit. But, with the upgraded high-fidelity background art, the voxel-based characters look completely awful and disjointed with the environments in which they occupy. It’s almost like they fell deep down into the uncanny valley and were unable to claw their way back out the other side.

This jarring visual discrepancy seems to only serve to underscore other weaknesses in the game that were easier to overlook before, such as the stiff voice-acting, the extremely dated ‘90’s CGI cutscenes, and the awkwardly derivative script that, in today’s light, seems to pale in comparison to the stories presented in the movies.

But all is not lost. I am by no means alone in my dissatisfaction with the enhanced edition of the game. Seemingly in response to the negative response to the new version of the game, the developers also released a playable version of the original release of the game along with the enhanced version, as well. So, now people can re-experience the original game, or experience it for the first time in its original format, rather than the newer version.

I am still a huge fan of Blade Runner, and I am thankful for the opportunity to relive the memories of such a key gaming experience from my childhood, but I would say that if the enhanced version was a new release today, it would not be impressive on its own. Looking at it through the lens of being a kind of strange time capsule of late ‘90’s video game history, it can be appreciated in a much better way. I wish I could say better things about it, but unfortunately it does not deserve it.

MORE SCREENS

Quintus and the Absent Truth Coming July 6

Alan Shaw’s daughter is missing, and the only one capable of helping him locate her may be a small mouse named Quintus. Join this odd pairing on their search for answers, using the differences in their size as an advantage.

Features:

  • Experience a narrative-rich horror adventure in first person!
  • Alternate between man and mouse to navigate riddling environments.
  • Solve puzzles across 4 main chapters!
  • Immerse yourself in a unique 3D visual style.
  • Discover a museum of secrets upon completing the story!

Quintus and the Absent Truth is a horror-themed adventure told in first-person perspective. Puzzles that Alan and Quintus encounter often require you to work out which character to use for the task at hand. Do you need Alan’s height to reach buttons, switches and items that are out of Quintus’ reach, or is a hole simply too tight for Alan to fit through? Only by working together can they discover the truth that they seek.

  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: July 6, 2022
  • Price: US$9.99 / €9.99

Get Hitched with “The Machine™: Bride of Pin·Bot™” Table, Out Now in Pinball FX

Here comes the bride! The classic 1991 Williams™ pinball table “The Machine™: Bride of Pin·Bot™” is now available in the new Pinball FX for 60 in-game tickets, or free for Pinball Pass subscribers. Bring your bionic betrothed to life in this all-time great from the legendary PIN-BOT trilogy, faithfully captured in digital form down to the last circuit.

But what’s a wedding without a party? Three previously released tables from the Williams™ Pinball: Volume 6 collection make their Pinball FX debut today: “Funhouse”, “Space Station”, and “Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray.” Playable in both their original forms as well as remastered with updated graphics and features, these tables are available to purchase individually and are free for Pinball Pass subscribers.

Today’s update also adds in-game achievements and support for user-generated tournaments to Pinball FX, giving players even more exciting challenges to take on.

Pinball FX is free to download in early access for PC on the Epic Games Store. It is expected to officially launch on PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later this year.

Keep up with the latest updates, weekly challenges and grand tournaments by visiting www.PinballFX.com and following the team on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Kicks-Off Hunting Season on Nintendo Switch and PC Today!

Hunters, it’s time to get your blood pumping! Monster Hunter™ Rise: Sunbreak, the highly anticipated monstrous expansion to Capcom’s critically acclaimed Monster Hunter™ Rise, is now available globally for Nintendo Switch™ and PC via Steam. This expansion builds on every aspect of Monster Hunter Rise, transporting players to the faraway Kingdom where they will journey through a new storyline, battle new monsters, master new combat options, explore new locales, conquer the Master Rank quest difficulty, and experience other exciting features!

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak takes place following the heroic defense of Kamura Village in Monster Hunter Rise. News of the village’s survival inspires the gallant knight Dame Fiorayne to travel from the distant Kingdom seeking aid. Hunters brave enough to answer the call set out for the port of Elgado Outpost. This research center and Command Post is responsible for stopping the threat befalling the Kingdom. The top of the target list includes powerful creatures inspired by staples of Western horror, known as the Three Lords. This cadre includes the conjoined elemental powerhouse Garangolm, the chilling Fanged Wyvern Lunagaron, and the vampiric Elder Dragon Malzeno. In addition to these nightmarish foes, other new monster variants and returning fan-favorites including Scorned Magnamalo, Espinas, and Shagaru Magala emerge to challenge hunters in the added Master Rank quest difficulty.

In order to meet these calamitous forces head-on, hunters who arrive at Elgado Outpost must find new ways to approach combat. While Kamura Village is renowned for its unique Wirebug techniques, including Silkbind Attacks and Wyvern Riding, hunters summoned to the Kingdom will learn new Switch Skills and the new Switch Skill Swap ability. Switch Skill Swap enables hunters to assign Switch Skills to two different loadouts which can be changed on the fly during hunts. The added flexibility of choosing which skills are best for any situation allows a practiced hunter to overcome almost any obstacle. Hunters who find themselves under attack while performing a Switch Skill Swap can also perform a Swap Evade in any direction to avoid danger or reposition for a continued assault.

Researching the behavior of the Three Lords takes hunters across the Kingdom to exciting new and reimagined locales, including the newly unveiled Citadel and the returning Jungle. The Citadel boasts snow-swept peaks cascading down to lush forests teeming with new forms of endemic life. At the center of this vast region sits a long-abandoned fortress serving as a bastion for the very monsters it was built to keep out. Meanwhile, the Jungle locale returns from the second generation of Monster Hunter™ titles and boasts a warm climate with abundant rainfall, making it a paradise for the monsters and plant life that make their home there.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak also introduces new ways for players to bond with the game’s charming cast of characters through new Follower Quests. These single player hunts allow players to accept and complete quests with their favorite story characters. Each Follower has their own specialization and will even assist players by recovering their health, placing traps, and even riding monsters to turn the tide of battle. Members of Elgado Outpost, such as Fiorayne, Luchika, Jae, Admiral Galleus, and Master Arlow will be accessible as Followers, alongside members of Kamura Village including Hinoa and Minoto. Players will unlock Followers as they progress through the story and can even earn exclusive rewards for completing Follower Quests.

Hunters eager to track down the next content update can anticipate Lucent Nargacuga the Moon Swift Wyvern and Seething Bazelgeuse returning in August with the iconic Forlorn Arena. Beyond that, more content is planned for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak this fall, winter, and into next year.

Devolver Digital: Sermons from the Lamb: Starting Your Cult

Our most dedicated flock,

You ever just want to DIY a cult? A new Cult of the Lamb video from Devolver Digital today teaches you just how to do that. Introducing Sermons from the Lamb: Starting Your Cult!

You are the Mighty Lamb in Massive Monster and Devolver Digital’s Cult of the Lamb. Saved from sacrifice by The One Who Waits, you are compelled to build a loyal following in his name.

Today’s new features trailer delves into how you can manipulate your followers into being more productive cult members – whether it’s marrying a cult follower (OR SEVERAL, this is a cult, after all) and providing them with bigtime PDA (be careful, some cult members might get jealous!) or providing and encouraging use of mushrooms for your cultists’ pleasure (has anyone seen Midsommar? Heyyyooooo!) or (and I say this as casually as possible) command some cultists to, you know, display cannibalism in order to intimidate other members, there’s always fun and uniquely horrible ways to make your cult members more loyal.

And yes, you can choose to marry anyone you want in your cult. It’s your cult and you are in charge.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to start your cult. 

Pre-order now to unlock the Cthulhu follower skin. Cult of the Lamb Releases August 11. Keep the faith and dial in for future sermons that shed more light on the game. 

Welcome to Redfall!

After the official gameplay reveal at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, the team at Arkane Austin presents a more focused look at what the Redfall experience provides players with the Welcome to Redfall trailer.

Redfall is an open world, story-driven shooter that gives players the option to go it alone or play with up to three other friends as they unravel the mysterious appearance of Vampires on the island town of Redfall, Massachusetts. With a diverse team of heroes to choose from, players can collect an arsenal of specialized weaponry and customize their character with unique abilities and upgrades as they take back Redfall.