Paradox Interactive has announced grand strategy sequel Victoria 3, a sequel that fans of the Victoria series have been requesting for years. Victoria 2, the last entry in the series, released in 2010. Victoria 3 will release on PC and on Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch. No release date was announced.
"After years of community requests and curiosity about the future of one of the company's iconic games, Victoria 3 is instantly one of the most highly anticipated grand strategy games in Paradox's history," according to Paradox Interactive. "Victoria 3 is a society simulator set in a time of great change. Track the needs and desires of national populations, each group with its own political and material preferences. Conservative factions may resist political reform as growing numbers of tradespeople and intellectuals push for a greater say in how the nation is run. Trade a wide range of goods on a global scale to make sure that needs are met at home, because if people are hungry and disenfranchised, revolution beckons."
The game promises a deep societal simulation that will allow players to improve the lives of citizens in their country, see the wonders of the Victorian Age, and engage in deep diplomatic, political, and economic systems. Players will be able to choose from one of 183 countries to play as.
You can watch the announcement trailer below:
Developer Romero Games and publisher Paradox Interactive announced Make It Count, the first expansion for Empire of Sin. Make It Count will release on all platforms alongside the free Precinct update. The Precinct update introduces a Precinct management mechanic, adds new ways to win, and introduces mod support. Mods will be available to play at launch.
"After all the work we put into patching the game in the past few months, we're ready to explore new aspects of the game to give players more content to sink their teeth into," said Brenda Romero, co-founder of Romero Games, in a press release. "Make it Count, alongside the free Precinct update, brings new ways for players to play, manage and win as they build up their own Empire of Sin!"
According to Paradox, "the expansion will introduce a new boss, Meyer "the Accountant" Lansky, new gangsters, "the Fixers," and their Loan Sharking Racket." Lanksy "excels at economics and creates synergy in combat," and can make peace using his money and connections. Five gangsters known as "The Fixers" are also up for hire. The Fixers come with loan sharking Racket and combat abilities, which allows player to Blackmail other characters and factions.
The expansion will also include several story missions based around Lansky and the Fixers, and several other additions, including "new rackets, new abilities, new gangsters and new missions." Further details will be revealed later.
Empire of Sin is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC and Mac. You can watch a trailer for the expansion below.
Paradox Interactive has announced The Royal Court, the first major expansion for Crusader Kings 3. A release date for the expansion was not announced, though there is an announcement trailer.
According to Paradox, the Royal Court will allow "powerful rulers can establish the kind of court that inspires troubadours, decorating it with relics from family history and favoring subjects with the answers to their many problems."
Establishing a court will allow players to "interact with vassals and courtiers as they come to you with their problems, seeking a royal judgment." Players can also increase the quality of life at their own court by upgrading the quality of their food and the trappings of their thrones rooms, which will attract higher quality guests. "Talented artists, craftspeople and thinkers can work on new projects," which will be added to the player's court. Players will also be able to create hybrid cultures and split from their traditional cultures, as well.
All told, The Royal Court sounds like a good addition to Paradox's strategy title. You can watch a trailer for the expansion below:
Developer Team WIBY and publisher Developer Digital have announced Phantom Abyss, a massive asynchronous multiplayer title that drops boot into the boots of adventurers exploring procedural generated temples and retrieving their sacred relics. Phantom Abyss will launch in Early Access in June. The game will be updated with new chambers, traps, whips, zones, and additional gameplay features as time goes on.
According to the official description, "Intrepid adventurers will dodge scores of hidden traps, leap treacherous chasms, and flee relentless guardians through branching paths until one of the relics are claimed or the devices of death overwhelm them. Be warned, you only get one attempt at each temple and failure or settling for a lesser relic means you will never see that temple again…"
That doesn't mean you'll be going in completely unprepared, though. "The cleverest players will use the phantom runs of failed attempts from other players to their advantage and avoid the missteps and mistakes that led to their doom. Once the legendary relic at the bottom of each temple is found, the temple goes away forever and becomes the priceless trophy of the skilled adventurer."
Players will also be able to offer their collected treasures to the gods to claim a double jump, glide jump, extended slide, damage protection, and other abilities. They will also be able to upgrade their whip and share "Temple Codes for their failed runs allowing friends to attempt the same temple or share their Adventure Code which yields a playlist of temples that player has attempted in the past."
Honestly, the whole thing looks and sounds very cool, and I'll definitely be checking it out when the game comes to Early Access next month. You can watch a trailer for the game, complete with some gameplay, below:
File this one under "unsurprising, but newsworthy anyway": the Nintendo Switch sold more than both the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 combined over the same period. That's according to a report from Ampere Analysis, who report that the Switch sold 5.86 million units during Q1 2021, which is a 12% increase from the same period lat year.
By comparison, the Xbox Series X|S sold 1.31 million units during the same period. The PS5, while still behind the Switch, doubled the Xbox Series X|S numbers, coming in 2.83 million units in the same period. It should be noted that people want to buy both the Xbox Series X|S and the PS5. They just can't.
Both consoles are suffering from stock shortages and unpredictable availability, largely due to the semiconductor shortage caused by the OCVID-19 pandemic. Scalping has also become a huge issue. Foxconn CEO Young Liu believes the shortage will last until mid-2022. Sony also doesn't believe that they will meet demand this year. That said, Sony and Microsoft are not the only ones suffering from the only from chip shortages. Nintendo has also confirmed that the shortages have impacted Switch production, so the accomplishment is still impressive.
Information about Sega's new Virtua Fighter title has been leaking out for a while now. The company first revealed a teaser trailer for the game at Tokyo Game Show last month, but didn't provide much information about what it was, or if it was even a game at all. At the time, Sega CEO Haruki Satomi described described it as "a project commemorating the 60th year anniversary of [Sega]" that would begin in Japan and would be a "restart" focused on eSports and competitive play."
Then official art appeared on PSN. Now, however, we might finally get some answers about what the future of Virtua Fighter entails. Swega has officially announced the Virtua Fighter x eSports Project Official Announcement livestream on May 27th at 8:00 PM JST (4 AM PST). The livestream will take place on Sega's new Virtua Fighter YouTube channel, which currently shows a teaser for the livestream. Sega also launched a teaser website counting down to the livesteam.
Previous leaks referred to the game as Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, though it's simply known as Virtua Fighter eSports in Japan. The last game in the series was Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, which released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2012. It's reasonable to assume that Ultimate Showdown might be an updated version of that game.
Whatever it is, it would be good to have Virtua Fighter back, even if it is just an alternate version of Final Showdown. The brainchild of legendary OutRun and Shenmue designer Yu Suzuki, who recently suggested he might return to the series, Virtua Fighter was the first 3D fighting game. The series is renowned for its incredible technical depth and excellent design. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is widely considered one of the greatest fighting games ever made.
The demo for Bandai Namco's upcoming hack and slash title Scarlet Nexus is now available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. It can be downloaded for free and allows for playing as Yuito or Kasane, each with their own unique stages and battles. Check out the release trailer to see them in action.
The demo also provides a tutorial to educate one about Psychokinesis, Rush Attacks and Struggle Arms System. Though both protagonists can toss items with Psychokinesis, Yuito is more of a close range fighter. As such, his teammates' SAS abilities range from nullifying damage to teleporting through obstacles. Kasane, on the other hand, can fight from mid-range with her knives.
Her teammates' abilities include duplicating items thrown by Psychokinesis, slowing down time and so on. Each of the featured bosses also showcases how you'll use the environment to gain the upper hand (like dropping a water truck on the boss as Kasane and then imbuing attacks with Electricity). Scarlet Nexus is currently slated to release on June 25th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. The demo will go live on May 28th for PS4 and PS5.
The Starfield release date rumors continue with Bloomberg's Jason Schreier tweeting yesterday about how Bethesda would "tease" a release date at E3. He noted that the date is in "late 2022" and that one should keep their expectations in check. This led to a reply from Direct-Feed Games who was told the plan was to "slap a '2022' window on it at E3."
However, this could mean a release window that's as late as Q3/Q4 2022. "Initially I heard first half of 2022; but, I was shown & given better information in recent days," said the user. Schreier responded that this was not correct and the plan was to announce a "specific" date at E3 2021.
Recently, Schreier tweeted that the planned release date for Starfield was "way later" than most people were expecting and that it was "nowhere near done." The majority of Bethesda Game Studios had reportedly been working on Fallout 76 till 2019 while a smaller team was on Starfield. From a logistical standpoint, it's definitely hard to believe that it could arrive this year.
However, this is the first time that a credible source is suggesting a late 2022 release. Stay tuned for more details when E3 2021 rolls around on June 12th to 15th especially with Microsoft and Bethesda combining their conferences this year.
Let me make this very clear: Bethesda's plan is to tease a release date for Starfield at E3. That date is in *late* 2022. I'll leave the specifics to them. But please keep your expectations in check and refrain from sending death threats when the other rumors turn out to be false
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 20, 2021
All of this matches information I have heard this week.
The plan is to slap a '2022' window on it at E3 but the release window for Starfield could be as late as Q3/Q4 of 2022.
Initially I heard first half of 2022; but, I was shown & given better information in recent days. https://t.co/Tk0VIQxe3g
— Direct-Feed Games (@DirectFeedGames) May 20, 2021
To be clear, this is not correct. The plan is to announce a specific date at E3
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 21, 2021
Among all the publishers hosting showcases in the Summer, Devolver Digital is perhaps the most infamous due to the antics of the fictional Nina Struthers. Whether there will be a Devolver Direct or not, the publisher has confirmed the reveal of four new titles for the Summer Game Fest. The event is currently slated to kick off on June 10th.
Along with the new reveals will be updates on Death's Door, Shadow Warrior 3 and the recently revealed Phantom Abyss. With Phantom Abyss having a June release date for Steam Early Access, it's highly likely that it launches on the day of the event. Death's Door is slated for release this Summer on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S so perhaps a release date will be revealed.
As for Shadow Warrior 3, it's received numerous trailers and sneak peeks showcasing its arena kills and weapons. It's currently in development for Xbox One, PS4 and PC so that's one more title that could see a release date announced. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) May 21, 2021
Double Fine Productions has released a new 33 minute long video for Psychonauts 2 going over its accessibility features. The usual brightness slider and text language options can be expected along with an option for toggling font legibility. Check it out below.
Along with subtitles comes the option to increase their size. Players can also enable "narrative combat" and invincibility or switch off elements like fall damage. Camera shake intensity can also be adjusted and there are options for color blindness as well. If that weren't enough, the controls are completely remappable and even support overlapping. One feature that should be useful for all players is Camera Assist which will actually try to guide one to the next objective.
Psychonauts 2 is currently in development for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Xbox Series X/S while launching on day one for Xbox Game Pass. Though a release date hasn't been provided, Double Fine has assured fans (again) that it will be launching this year. Head here to see some new gameplay showcasing the new Psi-Power "Mental Connection."