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Elden Ring revealed, launches January 2022

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:46

Elden Ring will launch on 21st January 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Both PlayStation and Xbox will offer free upgrades between console generations.

The hugely-anticipated collaboration between Souls developer FromSoftware, creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin was shown properly for the first time at the end of tonight's Summer Games Fest event, closing the show.

The game's website has revealed further information, including the fact you'll be able to "traverse the breathtaking world on foot or on horseback, alone or online with other players".

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Journey dev's sumptuous Sky: Children of the Light gets June release date on Switch

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:41

Sky: Children of the Light, the acclaimed "social adventure" from Journey and Flower developer ThatGameCompany, will be making its way to Switch on 29th June.

Sky, which debuted on iOS in 2019 before heading to Android, unfolds across the seven realms of a beautiful kingdom of billowing clouds, which players can explore as their whims take them.

There are puzzley-platformy elements alongside delicate story vignettes, and it's all build around a gently collaborative multiplayer aspect, where co-operation is integral to progression, designed to encourage "compassion, friendship, and altruism".

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Samsung Pushes Pixel Size Even Further With New Camera Sensor

Slashdot - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:29
Samsung has announced a new image sensor for smartphone cameras that it says has the smallest pixels in the industry. From a report: The ISOCELL JN1 is a 50-megapixel sensor with a relatively tiny 1/2.76-inch format, meaning its pixels are just 0.64um in size. For comparison, Samsung already broke records in 2019 with the slightly larger ISOCELL Slim GH1, another 50-megapixel sensor with 0.7um pixels. Conventional camera wisdom says that smaller pixels usually result in worse image quality with higher noise, so why is Samsung doing this? According to the company, it's about form factor versatility. The sensor's smaller size means it can be used in ultrawide or telephoto camera modules -- which are challenging to design when size is at a premium -- or as a way to reduce the height of the primary camera bump. As with other high-resolution camera sensors, the JN1 will make use of pixel-binning technology that combines multiple pixels into one for higher light sensitivity. In this case, Samsung says the sensor will capture 12.5-megapixel photos with the equivalent of 1.28um pixels, and the company is also claiming a 16 percent boost to light sensitivity with its ISOCELL 2.0 tech.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Planet of Lana is a lovely hand-painted side-scroller

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:18

One indie game which caught my eye during tonight's Summer Game Fest stream was Planet of Lana, a beautiful side-scrolling platformer coming in 2022.

It's the work of new outfit Wishfully, and has a Limbo-esque vibe to it. While more colourful, there's definitely something eerie about watching Planet of Lana's protagonist and her little friend see rockets falling from the sky.

"Planet of Lana is a cinematic puzzle adventure framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies," Wishfully describes.

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Former Left 4 Dead and Portal writer's new game is four-player sci-fi romp The Anacrusis

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:17

Stray Bombay, the studio formed by Left 4 Dead and Portal writer Chet Faliszek, and Riot Games designer Kimberley Voll, has revealed its new game The Anacrusis.

It's - like Left 4 Dead - a co-operative shooter for four people, and it takes place on an abandoned starship on the edge of explored space. There you'll fight seemingly endless hordes of aliens in an "infinitely replayable fight", according to Summer Games Fest host Geoff Keighley, who announced the game. You'll unlock perks and weapons and "new ways to play you can share with your team", said Keighley.

Despite the theme, Anacrusis looks like a very bright and upbeat game. It's not dissimilar to the Portal series, actually, with brightly lit, clean sci-fi scenery, and some arty splashes of turquoise and orangey-red here and there. Very pleasant.

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Among Us is getting a hide and seek mode

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:16

UPDATE 13/06/2021: We now have a release date for the Among Us player limit increase, and it's set to arrive on 15th June.

Announced during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, 15-player lobbies will arrive on all platforms in an update next week. A tweet from the official Among Us account suggests that the new colours, kill screen menu and mobile controller support will also arrive with this update. Oh, and also "horn honking on the Airship". That's important.

ORIGINAL STORY 10/06/2021: It seems there's a whole lot of content on the horizon for social deduction game Among Us, as developer InnerSloth has detailed its upcoming plans for 2021 - and it's looking like a busy schedule.

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Painkiller is coming back

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:07

Koch Media has announced a new publishing label called Prime Matter - and a new Painkiller game.

The Deep Silver parent company announced Prime Matter alongside a dozen games it's set to publish, including Payday 3 from Starbreeze and a real-time strategy Crossfire game from Hardspace: Shipbreaker and Homeworld 3 developer Blackbird Interactive.

The first Painkiller game was developed by Outriders studio People Can Fly and came out in 2004. Painkiller: Hell & Damnation, a partial remake of and sequel to the original, launched in 2012. We haven't had a new Painkiller since.

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Ska Studios unveils Salt and Sanctuary follow-up Salt and Sacrifice

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 21:01

Fans of Ska Studios' stupendous 2D Souls-like Salt and Sanctuary should prepare to do a tiny cheer; the developer has announced that a follow-up, Salt and Sacrifice, is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC early next year.

Salt and Sacrifice, much like its predecessor, sports side-scrolling exploratory platforming and measured combat. This time, however, players, in the role of a Marked Inquisitor, can choose from one of eight classes - Highblade, Paladin, Assassin, Cleric, Dualist, Fighter, Ranger, and Sage - as they battle their way through the world of Alterstone Kingdom.

"Track down over 20 types of Mages in abandoned villages, dungeons, tomb-temples, and more," explains Ska in its announcement. "Ransack their remains to forge new weapons and armour with Runic Arts and become even stronger for the battles ahead."

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Uber Offers To Pay For Drivers' Health Insurance, and Then Yanks it Away

Slashdot - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:54
Uber mistakenly sent out an email to some of its drivers and delivery workers last month offering to cover some of their health insurance costs -- only to revoke the offer two weeks later. From a report: On May 26th, an email from Uber with the enticing subject line "It's a great time to get health coverage" appeared in the inbox of an unspecified number of the company's drivers and delivery workers. When they opened the email, they were greeted by an even more alluring proposition: "Uber can help cover your healthcare costs." Drivers and couriers for Uber are classified as independent contractors, making them ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance plans. For years, many of these workers have lobbied for more benefits and protections, only to face vicious opposition from Uber. So one can only imagine the shock from drivers who opened this email and saw an offer for subsidies ranging from $613.77 to $1,277.54, depending on the type of insurance plan they had and the amount of hours they worked each week. That kind of money could be transformative for drivers, many of whom subsist on poverty-level wages and are struggling to find work amid a steep drop in demand during the pandemic. What could account for this radical change in position by Uber? As it turns out, nothing has changed. Uber intended only to send the email to drivers and delivery workers in California, and not any other state.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hospital follow-up Two Point Campus launches in 2022

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:47

Two Point Studio's recently-leaked Two Point Campus has now been officially confirmed by publisher Sega.

A university-building sim and successor to Two Point Hospital, Two Point Campus will launch for PC and unspecified consoles in 2022.

New to this game is the ability to build outdoors. There's also what sounds like a deeper relationship with your student populace, versus the get-fixed-quick mentality of dealing with hospital patients.

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Sci-fi desert adventure Sable gets September release date

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:44

Coming-of-age title Sable is due to arrive on September 23rd, it's been revealed during tonight's Summer Game Fest.

The game was first announced back at E3 2018, but a series of delays saw its release date pushed back to 2021. Players take on the role of Sable, and embark on a rite of passage that sees her leave her tribe to explore the world on her hoverbike. It's got a gorgeous art style that's inspired by French artist Mobieus, and a sci-fi open world that feels very reminiscent of some of the wrecks seen in Star Wars. Oh, and it's set to launch on PC and Xbox.

Sable is being developed by a small team in the UK called Shedworks, who - you guessed it - work out of a garden shed. I visited Shedworks back in 2018 to learn about Sable's story - and also check out the shed for myself.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War gets Black Ops 2 map Hijacked with Season 4

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:44

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War gets a number of new multiplayer maps with the launch of Season 4 next week.

The highlight is Hijacked, the much-loved super yacht map from Black Ops 2.

The Season 4 teaser trailer is below:

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Dino-park management sim Jurassic World Evolution is getting a sequel later this year

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:33

Frontier Developments' dinosaur-infused theme park management sim Jurassic World Evolution is getting a sequel, and it's coming to PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam later this year.

As in the original Jurassic World Evolution, which released back in 2018, players will be tasked with building and maintaining their own dinosaur theme park - laying out exhibits, tending to visitors needs, and, of course, making sure the attractions don't eat the guests.

Moving away from Muertes Archipelago, Jurassic World Evolution 2 will let players build parks across a diverse range of new environments - including dense forests and scorched deserts - utilising "deeper management tools and creative options", including new building types.

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Metal Slug Tactics announced for PC

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:27

Dotemu and Leikir Studio have announced Metal Slug Tactics.

Publisher Dotemu and French developer Leikir Studio (Isbarah, Wondershot) are partnering with SNK to adapt Metal Slug into a grid-based tactical warfare game for PC via Steam. There's no release date.

The trailer is below:

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Death Stranding: Director's Cut coming to PlayStation 5

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:20

Death Stranding is coming to the PlayStation 5 in the form of a Director's Cut.

Creator Hideo Kojima revealed the news this evening during the Summer Game Fest, after an extended Zoom call with best buddy Geoff Keighley.

Footage of the Director's Cut showed a bizarre scene where protagonist Sam Bridges picked up a Metal Gear Solid-esque cardboard box, emptied it of oranges, and then climbed inside. Bizarre, but we'd have hoped for nothing less.

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Categories: Video Games

Netflix Opens an Online Shop To Hawk Items From Popular Shows

Slashdot - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:10
Netflix is branching into toys, games and clothing based on its popular shows, looking to mine popular characters for added revenue much like Walt Disney. From a report: The streaming service is launching Netflix.shop, a retail arm that will sell curated products from its catalog of shows and movies. As part of the launch, Netflix is introducing a collection of anime-inspired products, according to a statement Thursday. Products from other programs are in the works, too. The move into merchandising is a logical extension for Netflix. Other major studios generate billions of dollars in revenue from toys, collectibles and other goods based on popular characters and shows. [...] The shop will open in the U.S. before expanding to other countries, Netflix said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is Borderlands meets Dungeons & Dragons

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 20:08

Gearbox has announced Borderlands fantasy spin-off Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

It's due out early 2022 on Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. 2K is publishing.

The trailer is below:

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House Democrats About To Uncork 5-Pronged Assault on Tech

Slashdot - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 19:24
House Democrats are set to introduce a package of five bills as soon as this week that would prohibit tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google from discriminating against rivals or buying potential competitors, two individuals familiar with the discussions told POLITICO -- the most serious effort yet to rein in Silicon Valley's power after years of complaints from Congress. From a report: The most controversial bill would let prosecutors sue to break up major tech companies by forcing the platforms to sell off lines of business if they represent a conflict of interest. POLITICO obtained drafts of all five bills. The legislation aims to enact the recommendations from a blockbuster House Judiciary Committee report last fall on competition in digital markets, which found that the four tech giants have monopolized various aspects of the online economy. It also represents a major test for Congress: Can the lawmakers of both parties who have condemned the tech companies as abusive monopolists come together to do something about it? Democrats on the House Judiciary antitrust panel circulated the draft bills to potential co-sponsors this week. They hope to lure at least some GOP members into supporting the bills, particularly Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a critic of the large tech companies and the top Republican on the panel.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Hackers Steal Wealth of Data from Game Giant EA

Slashdot - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 18:40
Hackers have broken into gaming giant Electronic Arts, the publisher of Battlefield, FIFA, and The Sims, and stole a wealth of game source code and related internal tools, Motherboard reported Thursday. From the report: "You have full capability of exploiting on all EA services," the hackers claimed in various posts on underground hacking forums viewed by Motherboard. A source with access to the forums, some of which are locked from public view, provided Motherboard with screenshots of the messages. In those forum posts the hackers said they have taken the source code for FIFA 21, as well as code for its matchmaking server. The hackers also said they have obtained source code and tools for the Frostbite engine, which powers a number of EA games including Battlefield. Other stolen information includes proprietary EA frameworks and software development kits (SDKs), bundles of code that can make game development more streamlined. In all, the hackers say they have 780gb of data, and are advertising it for sale in various underground hacking forum posts viewed by Motherboard. EA confirmed to Motherboard that it had suffered a data breach and that the information listed by the hackers was the data that was stolen.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Unreal Engine 5: hands-on with Epic's next-gen technology

Eurogamer - Thu, 10/06/2021 - 18:18

Last week, Epic released Unreal Engine 5 for early access, along with a sample demo project - Valley of the Ancient - for developers to explore. Crucial to UE5 are two fundamental new technologies: Nanite, which aims to deliver something akin to 'infinite detail' and Lumen, a state of the art global illumination solution. At its maximum 'epic' settings, the demo targets 1080p at 30 frames per second on PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, another new technology - Temporal Super Resolution (TSR) uses smart upscaling to deliver a convincing 4K presentation. This is cutting-edge stuff and having now spent some time with UE5 on PC, we have some impressions and initial performance numbers.

First of all, there's nothing to stop anybody downloading this initial early access version of UE5, and you can do so for free. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this is far from the complete rendition of the code and key features and optimisations are missing. Over and above the engine download itself, the Valley of the Ancient demo project is a separate 100GB download. This is using raw assets though - a compiled build clocks in at around 25GB. As for the demo content itself, it's pretty simple, and we've got a sample run-through shown operating on an RTX 3080 further on down the page. Essentially, you get some exploration elements allowing you to appreciate the enormous quality of the presentation (and how Nanite can deliver a vast open world) plus a boss battle to show off more interactivity.

The notion of this being a 1080p30 demonstration has raised some eyebrows, but this is UE5 running at epic settings and the Lumen global illumination solution is around twice as heavy on performance as the initial PS5 demo we saw last year (which operated at circa 1400p). Also, object stacking of multiple discrete Nanite meshes to create the world also presents additional overhead. However, TSR really delivers an impressive upscaling solution - not quite as clean and crisp at a native 4K output, but certainly comparable, and far beyond actual 1080p native. There has been some conjecture that this new demo is a multi-platform 'downgrade' compared to last year's PS5 demo, but this has been shot down by Epic's engineering fellow (graphics) Brian Karis, who has confirmed in a live stream that the last demo runs just fine on PCs and Xbox Series X too.

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