Steam’s Lunar New Year Sale Begins

PC gaming powerhouse Steam has officially launched their Lunar New Year sale, running from February 15th through the end of the 19th. With thousands of games on sale from 10% off up to as much as 90% off, this is a great time to grab that game you’ve been eyeing or gift your friends a copy of your favorite multiplayer game!

Steam’s Lunar New Year sale includes hot games such as Tekken 7 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at a staggering 50% off, as well as cult favorites including Stardew Valley and Undertale at 20% and 50% off, respectively.

This is a great opportunity to branch out and try genres of gaming you’re unfamiliar with, or really dig deep in your gaming style of choice! Whatever your interests are, Steam has you covered this New Lunar Year. Here are three suggestions to start of the Lunar New Year right!

1: They Are Billions

They Are Billions is a trending game from developer Numantian Games that showcases the ever popular zombie survival setting with spectacular strategy gameplay.

2: Nioh: The Complete Edition

Nioh: The Complete Edition is a brutal action game that contains the full game, it’s three expansions, and three additional story chapters. This is for the hardcore among us.

3: This War of Mine

This War of Mine is a beautiful game dripping with meaningful narrative. You play the roles of a group of survivors in a besieged city, and shows a side of war often left untold.

The company’s extensive sales help both consumers and developers. Consumers get access to games that may have originally been out of their budget or wildcards they were uncertain of. Developers, on the other hand, gain increased exposure and revenue due to the aforementioned consumer benefits. It’s a win-win situation and with so many great titles discounted, you can’t go wrong taking advantage of this great sale!

Eve Online Continues to Innovate MMO World.

We can comfortably say that there is easily no game more divisive in the MMO world than ‘Eve Online’. Eve Online has been called everything from the greatest MMO ever to a functional spreadsheet simulator and very few people end up taking a stance anywhere in between those two extremes. With that being said, Eve Online continues plugging away and this February we saw the infamous title release its new Valentine’s Day update along with a host of re-balancing tweaks and fixes that’ll leave half of their fans happy and the other half annoyed.

Let’s start off by talking about the Valentine’s Day event: Guardians Gala. Fans who have been playing Eve will recognize the game from last Valentine’s Day and they’ll be pretty much expecting the same experience. During the time that this event is live, players will be able to track down gatherings of NPC’s throughout New Eden in order to crash their party and reap some rewards. The fights are easy but the rewards are worth grinding for as you can collect a variety of special ship skins and implants. The event isn’t game-changing but at this point, nothing really is going to be.

The V-Day event update takes a backseat to more functional notes as EVE’s team released their Upwell Structures 2.0 intro and Assault Frigate balancing update. Citadels in the game have been dramatically altered, changing the way that they handle which means that they are stronger on offense, worse on defense, and much more likely to end up as space debris when in low power mode. Defenders in EVE will now be urged to pay attention to their resources while attackers have more of an incentive to take on these massive ships.

There are a host of other technical updates to a variety of different ships and it is well worth booting up the patch notes in order to keep ahead of schedule and in order to know what modifications you need to make going forward.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Releases New Footage

With everything that happened at Disney’s D23 Expo recently, especially surrounding both Marvel and Star Wars movie announcements, it was easy to miss some of their video game news. One of the most impressive things they showed was new footage from the single player version of the upcoming “Star Wars: Battlefront II”, due out in November of 2017, just a month before the much awaited “Last Jedi” hits the theaters. The video is not only impressive in its graphical beauty and immersion, but it also gives us a much bigger picture of where the story takes us.

In this new story, you are a soldier in the Empire, a member of the Imperial special forces to be exact. Your first mission is to help the Imperial legion stationed on Endor, and in one of the cut scenes, you see the second Death Star explode far overhead. With the Emperor dead and the Empire crumbling, the story then follows your hero as she copes with the ensuing chaos and the failure of her superiors.

One thing that may bode well for the story quality of this single player is the fact that your character’s father is an admiral, and in the video Disney shows that there is a strong relationship with your immediate superior officer. The producers claim the entire point of their story line was to show humanity within the mostly faceless and fearsome Galactic Empire. Each of the characters have backstories, histories, and reasons for their loyalty that should succeed in the single player story line.

They also made it clear that this story plugs completely into the Star Wars universe as part of the new Disney canon. A momentary shot of a post “Return of the Jedi” Luke Skywalker confronting your character seems to promise that in a very enticing way.

“Zombie” Game Mode Footage Revealed for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds at E3

In an interesting clip shown in an interview at E3, we see the developers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds are already planning a new custom game mode, zombie survival, for the game.


While there are many other zombie survival games out there, most notably H1Z1 and DayZ, Battlegrounds producer Chang-han Kim stated that the PUBG zombie mode was a fan inspired addition, suggested by a popular South Korean Twitch streamer on their channel. In addition, Kim said this new mode was created to “inspire players to create their own content” for the game. Many people, such as the Youtubers Node, have already created custom Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds games that featured users playing as zombies.


The new E3 video features zombies twitching out, biting the necks of uninfected players in various positions and parkouring over walls. There was no indication in the video as to whether or not the zombies were player controlled, but a tweet by Bluehole Lead Community Manager poopieQueen confirmed that the zombies will, in fact, be controlled by players. It will be exciting to see how this is implemented, and if players are able to convert the normal players into zombies or become reanimated once they die.


Not many details were given about this new game mode, however, and Kim made it clear that optimization of the core game would continue to be the major focus of the developers. According to another tweet by poopieQueen, the game mode will not be apart of the base game mode, and it will likely be added only once the core game is fully completed.


That said, Chang-han Kim announced that content additions are planned for each new update, even after the game is fully released. Many players on the Battlegrounds forums and Reddit have expressed their happiness with the rate at which Bluehole is releasing content and listening to players’ concerns. Only time will tell if this developer responsiveness will continue as the game heads out of early access.



Mario Hackers Continue to Thrive Despite Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker

Mario has been a platforming mascot for nearly four decades thanks to its constant innovation and ability to bring players joy. However, as Mario has changed to accommodate a wider range of markets, some have sought to revive the game’s status as being “Nintendo hard” by creating their own level plans through tools that allow users to take a game’s ROM and treat it like a box of Lego, building whatever they want out of the parts and tools provided. Despite Nintendo’s release of “Super Mario Maker,” an innovative title that allows players to build their own levels with a drag-and-drop interface, the “Mario hack” community continues to thrive.


2006 saw the establishment of SMW Central, an online community dedicated to ROM hacks of “Super Mario World.” “S.N.N.,” head administrator for SMW Central, remarked that activity in the community surged in 2010. Much of this boom can be attributed to a YouTube video uploaded in 2010 that claimed to have discovered a new power up in Super Mario World through exploits performed within the game. While one user believed the item was made with “Lunar Magic,” a level-editing program; the truth was that this power up, a “laser suit,” was created in a hack by user “KPhoenix.”


The aforementioned Lunar Magic program, designed by “fusoya” and released to the public a decade before Super Mario Maker, uses a drag-and-drop interface similar enough to Super Mario Maker’s that some people believe Nintendo took inspiration from the former in making the latter. One of the recurring events that have kept SMW Central alive in a post-Super Mario Maker world is its “Vanilla Level Design Contest.” The premise of this annual contest, which routinely sees over 100 submissions, is to make the best level possible using only Super Mario World’s base resources. Camaraderie is also fostered through the many collaborative submissions, where two or more level designers will combine their tastes and skills to create something truly special.


Most Anticipated PC Games Featured at E3

Gamers worldwide are experiencing elation now that the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, has concluded. E3 is a premier event for gaming fans where many video game developers and accessory manufacturers reveal trailers, demos, and product prototypes to usher in the next generation of gaming entertainment. In this list, I will briefly introduce you to the games which received the most enthusiasm at E3.


Call of Duty: WWII


Call of Duty is the king of first-person shooters and is being developed by Sledgehammer Games. It is promising to revolutionize multiplayer gaming by introducing a “War” mode. It is rumored to be set during the time of the Vietnam War, giving this game a futuristic return to a historic period of time.


Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite


In a clash for the ages, this game brings together two universes in epic battles to protect their universe from an enemy known as Ultron Sigma. Taking iconic characters from the Marvel Universe such as Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye, and Iron Man, this game puts them against legendary characters developed by Capcom such as Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, Megan Man X, and Chun-Li. Battle another player, the computer, or use a specific Infinity Stone to alter the outcome of your battle. The possibilities are infinite!


State of Decay 2


State of Decay was a dark horse in the zombie survival genre. We’d seen zombie survival done many times before, but this brought a different element to a common theme where instead of just making sure one character survived, you were in charge of multiple characters, very similar to the Sims games. The biggest thing missing from the first game was co-op play. Now, in State of Decay 2, fans will finally get the chance to team up to survive together or die alone. Coming out exclusively for the Xbox and Windows 10, it will be part of Xbox Play Anywhere meaning you can buy it once and play it on both machines.


Total War: Warhammer II Gets Its Release Date

At the highly regarded video and gaming expo in Los Angeles known as E3 2017, Creative Assembly released a great deal of new information, including game play footage, of the next chapter in their franchise rejuvenating saga, Total War: Warhammer. They also set the final release date as September 28, 2017, something fans of the game have been waiting to hear since the first information on the sequel was released several months ago.


The game takes place in the same world as the first Warhammer, but on another continent. It introduces races from the classic RPG game that we have yet to see in the Total War offering, including the lizardmen, high elves, and dark elves, as well as an unannounced fourth race. The challenge will also be more story driven than some other Total War offerings, with a central mission to the game as much as a goal of just conquering territory from your enemies.


Another great promise for this franchise is a post release add-on which Creative Assembly is putting together that will tie the original Warhammer game into this new map, creating a super campaign that involves both parts of the world. The Total War franchise did something similar with the theaters in Empire, but this is the first time two different generations of a game will be directly tied together.


And the in-game footage looks great. Not only does it show the pristine armies of the high elves, but also the awesome monsters at your command with the lizardmen. One of the heroes rides to battle on a tyrannosaur. There are several copies of the footage released from E3. One of the coolest is right here.


More updates are to come, especially on this mysterious fourth race promised as an add-on for those who pre-order. The developers have also promised an eventual third installation, which will again tie all three games together.


Catching Up to Korea

It is well known that Korea is the most dominant region in League of Legends. With multiple world championships and international titles to their name, other regions such as Europe and North America are far behind. However, it is important to make a distinction. Three of their world championships belong to SK Telecom T1. Within Korea, SKT is easily the most dominant team. Therefore, it is difficult to compare Western teams to Korea in general. We must acknowledge that SKT is on a completely different level than their counterparts. In this sense, top Western teams such as Team Solo Mid and G2 Esports might not be as far behind as previously imagined. They have superstar players that can carry games alone, and if left unattended, other players have the potential to pick up the slack. When we talk about gaps between regions, it is important to make these distinctions that bias each argument. Players, coaches, and meta all contribute to the holistic strength of a team.


Different analysts have different views on this issue. Some analysts such as MonteCristo argue that the majority of Korea is still vastly ahead of everybody else. Their macro and micro play have noticeable advantages that other teams simply cannot replicate. However, EULCS caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge believes otherwise. Because we don’t see too much international play to begin with, it is irresponsible to make blind judgments about relative strengths. Each region has their own playstyle, and until we see competition to make comparisons, we must abstain from these rankings. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on, there is no question that SKT is a powerhouse that is feared by even top Korean teams themselves. Armed with a lineup of Faker, Peanut, and Bang, they are ready to take the world by storm and secure another championship.


Destiny 2 Will Reportedly Be Able To Use Unlimited CPU Cores

Upcoming game Destiny 2, developed by Bungie and published by Activision, will reportedly be able to utilize all of the cores of your PC’s CPU, no matter how many you’ve got.


One of the problems with PC gaming is the lack of the ability to fully utilize all of the cores of your CPU, so those with quad-core or higher CPUs haven’t been getting the full benefit of your powerful PC brain when gaming. Until recent DirectX updates, this was just a fact of life. But now games seem to be taking advantage of the new features and becoming more multi-core capable.


It’s an interesting claim, as the first incarnation of the game was only available on console, and it’s somewhat difficult to imagine they would’ve put all this extra work into developing the PC version to take full advantage of PC hardware, but maybe they did. And maybe such an act will serve to spur PC gamer confidence in the game and increase sales.


From what’s been seen of the PC version so far, it seems to be a solid port. The framerates are unlocked, it runs at ultrawide resolutions and 4K resolution. It seems that they really are putting the effort into it, so hopefully gamer trust won’t be misplaced.


With the new 18-core Core i9 CPU and the new AMD Ryzen line of CPUs boasting insane amounts of cores, a feature like this is ideal for using all those precious cores effectively. It’s also good news for streamers, who often have issues with performance due to their streaming setup and game both hogging precious resources. For the true heavy-hitting PC gamer or streamer, this is exactly the kind of feature they’ve been waiting for.


Ark: Survival Evolved Set to Leave Early Access

Ark: Survival Evolved has been out on Steam Early Access for quite some time now on PC, but it hasn’t received an official release date. Well, at least not until E3, where developer Studio Wildcard announced the game will officially release across all platforms on August 8.


The game has been out in early access since 2015 with various DLC and updates being released since then, so for many PC gamers this won’t seem like news, but for console players this news is big because Ark is finally coming to you.


The studio has announced that the official release will come with some surprise updates and new features that will continue rolling out even after the launch. There will be a great amount of now gameplay, creatures, and story elements, according to Studio Wildcard.


The studio remarked, “For those players who were excited with every update during Early Access, Ark’s going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch & beyond, as we will continue to have a staggering amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works.”


Coming along with the release will be the modder-made map Ragnarok, released through the game’s sponsored mod program as the game’s first official expansion. Ragnarok is a 144 sq km map with tons of exploration and a dangerous active volcano, its own ocean ecosystem, and some of the most challenging dungeons to date. There will also be new content coming to Ragnarok that holds the keys to unlocking the map’s history and secrets.


The game will also launch with Oculus Rift and Playstation VR support. Those wanting to get in on the fun early should jump on it while its pricing is still low for early access. You can run over to Steam now and grab it for $30.