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    Mini-review: No, I don’t want to play Dying Light 2 for 500 hours

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 2 February, 2022 - 15:04 · 1 minute

Every image in this review was captured while playing the near-final retail version on a Windows 10 PC. That includes a shot of this underwhelming mini-boss zombie, who does little more than wave around an oversized weapon while slowly stumbling. The same issue applies to most of the game

Enlarge / Every image in this review was captured while playing the near-final retail version on a Windows 10 PC. That includes a shot of this underwhelming mini-boss zombie, who does little more than wave around an oversized weapon while slowly stumbling. The same issue applies to most of the game's ho-hum zombie cast. (credit: Techland)

Eventually, Dying Light 2 opens up and becomes an OK game. I needed to play this sequel for roughly 12 hours to see the premise of the original 2015 game—"run away from zombies in a first-person view, and combine parkour with rusty machetes for bloody combat"—go somewhere satisfying.

But Dying Light 2 's early segments are boring and repetitive. The tutorials are overlong, and the first zone is claustrophobic. And its plot setup and dialogue feel like they've been stitched together at the last minute—with a pinch of weird English translations tossed in.

If you mash the "skip dialogue" button every chance you get and ignore any zombie-game fatigue you may have, you might cut DL2 's shoulder shrug of an opening down to eight hours of adequate, repetitive first-person action. Only then will you find yourself in a sprawling, fun-filled megacity. By that point, however, I was too worn out to keep playing. I wasn't remotely close to developer Techland's lofty estimate of 500 hours of play .

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    Survival game Vintage Story gets another huge upgrade with improved combat

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 11 January, 2022 - 11:00 · 1 minute

Vintage Story continues to impress with not just the rate they can churn out updates, but also how much they manage to stuff into each of them. The "Homesteading part 2 & Combat update" is out now, bringing some pretty fancy new features and so if you've been on the fence about it, perhaps it's time to try it out if you're after a different open-world survival experience. The price will also slightly increase soon.

For this update you can expect to see a server-wide auction house (multiplayer only), new storage options, fruit trees, 34 new types of mushrooms, rifts that appear in the world, an update to the combat to include shields, a rework of the wind shader, a rework of the liquid system, a new optional permadeath mode and the list just keeps going. Check out the new update trailer below:

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Not just big additions though, there's plenty of smaller bits to make playing it easier like WASD scrolling on the world map, lots of gameplay balancing, bug fixes and more.

The release announcement has all the specifics.

You can buy it from Humble Store , itch.io and the official site .

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    Project Zomboid has big plans for 2022 and beyond, with NPCs on the way

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 11 January, 2022 - 10:49 · 1 minute

After a great many years in Early Access, Project Zomboid has finally hit the big time with it regularly seeing multiple tens of thousands of players and they have some big plans . The latest release (Build 41) took a long time, as it reworked so much of the game but it's done and they're moving onto the next big chunk of features and it all sounds rather exciting.

One big addition that has been talked about for years is the addition of NPCs, and they're finally coming - for reals this time. They've split into different teams to work on different things, one team being focused on getting NPCs all hooked up and working.

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NPCs being the most requested feature of the game, they decided to do them before pets and hunting because "a big reason for not being comfortable with hunting and pets being first, is they are still NPCs and would necessarily leverage all the technology we’ve being working on for years at this point". To get there, another team will be working alongside them on normal content patches for Build 42 but they're trying to get NPCs actually release as soon as they can.

Until NPCs arrive, Build 42 sounds like it's going to be pretty impressive too, greatly expanding the "tech tree" for crafting as they say: "our ultimate goal is to provide significantly extra crafting potential to allow players to effectively create a post-apocalypse nu medieval community, to provide plausable alternatives to any of the lootable items in the game that would logically be plausable with the correct skills and resources so players don’t feel pressured to restart the early game repeatedly to get long term fun out of the game".

Sounds fancy. We're going to need to take a properly look at the modern Project Zomboid soon.

Project Zomboid is available on GOG and Steam .


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    Project Zomboid is finally getting the player recognition it deserves

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 4 January, 2022 - 12:33 · 1 minute

Project Zomboid has been hanging around in Early Access on Steam since the first year that Early Access was even thing, and after a long development period it seems it's finally seeing its popularity explode.

Going from an average of around 5-6 thousand players online, since the recent huge overhaul release it has skyrocketed upwards into Steam's top 100 list with it now regularly seeing over 50,000 players online. That's an astronomical increase and it seems it's been doing just as well on Twitch too with tends of thousands of viewers, which puts it in Twitch's top 20 constantly now beating the likes of Dead by Daylight and World of Warcraft. It's similar in a way to what happened with Among Us, for a game to suddenly become massively popular.

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It's not just seeing lots of players though - it's also reviewing very nicely. On Steam it has a Very Positive score for both the recent score (nearly 9,000 reviews) and overall (nearly 50,000 reviews). We wholeheartedly recommend it too. PZ works great on Linux and it's worthy of the current popularity for sure.

You have little over a day left to get it 33% off from GOG and Steam during their sales.

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    The classic Naev, a free and open source space sim version 0.9 released

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 23 December, 2021 - 09:50

Time to explore space once again? Naev is an absolute classic. It's free, open source and it continues to mature with some more modern features available in the new 0.9 release. A space trading, combat and exploration game inspired by the likes of the Escape Velocity series.

Check out their new trailer:

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Release 0.9 highlights include:

  • Electronic warfare revamp with stealth and illegal cargo and outfits
  • Systems have patrol routes for dominating factions
  • Visual novel system for new missions with support for mini-games
  • Complete rebalance and overhaul of most outfits that can have complex behaviours now
  • Rehauled backgrounds, new trails, and other graphical improvements
  • Lots of new content including 40 new missions

You can grab Naev free from itch.io , Steam the official site as an AppImage and Flathub (outdated at the moment).

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    2D open-world sandbox action-adventure Necesse released for Linux

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 22 December, 2021 - 16:04 · 1 minute

A weird love-child mixture of games like Minecraft, Stardew Valley and Terraria we have Necesse that's currently in Early Access and a Linux version is now available. On Monday, December 20 the next major update of the game landed which overhauled and improved many parts of the game and gave us a surprise with support for both Linux and macOS.

Developed by Mads Skovgaard who goes under the alias Fair, Necesse originally started off as a hobby game but eventually progressed into something that Skovgaard was able to work full time on and it is yet another impressive example of what a solo developer / tiny team can do. Looks like it will scratch a good itch for crafting and exploration fans. Check out the trailer:

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Game Features:

  • Play alone or with friends – Necese can be played solo or with multiple players with scaled bosses.
  • Change up your build any time – your character is never locked to one build, allowing you to mix and match and find the best setup for the situation.
  • Explore the infinite procedurally generated world of Necesse with many different bosses, biomes, cave systems and dungeons. Go underground, find treasure and trade with villages.
  • Craft armor, weapons, potions, food and more to prepare your character for the next challenge.
  • Start your settlement and recruit settlers to work for you. Keep them happy and fight off threats that want to invade your settlement.
  • Build a farm, go fishing and supply yourself with food and powerful potions and buffs that will help you progress through the game.
  • Tons of quality of life features like inventory sorting/managing, vicinity crafting, smart mining, auto door and more.
  • Find, collect and style up with cosmetics, pets and mounts.
  • Create circuit networks and traps to kill incoming enemies.
  • Host a dedicated server for you and your friends to play on.

Picking up a copy for myself today, I can at least confirm for now it all works as expected and it does seems quite sweet. May have more thoughts on it as it's further developed and when I can spend more time with it.

Available to buy on Steam . It's 50% off until January 3, 2022.

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    Death Stranding absolutely sold me and you should play it

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 22 December, 2021 - 12:56 · 6 minutes

I don't actually often play the big AAA games but for Death Stranding, I finally took the plunge and thanks to Steam Play Proton running it on Linux was a fantastic experience overall. Note : spoilers, personal purchase.

With my ancient PlayStation 4 on its last legs, I'm glad I sat on this and waited a little while for any patches and then eventually the Windows release on Steam so it worked out all quite nicely. I'm certainly no stranger to Hideo Kojima, having played through various Metal Gear games and always liked the production value Kojima puts in and Death Stranding delivers constantly. It certainly helps that it has an all-star cast with the likes of Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and Lindsay Wagner.

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"Sam Bridges must brave a world utterly transformed by the Death Stranding. Carrying the disconnected remnants of our future in his hands, he embarks on a journey to reconnect the shattered world one step at a time."

The official description of it does it absolutely no justice. Then again, going into any sort of detail on the store page would probably give away too much - that's what reviews are for (sometimes - I try never to overly spoil). Not that you would understand a lot of it even with a longer and slightly more detailed look into what the game actually is. Here's the thing, even in the first 10 hours, you're probably still going to be thoroughly confused, but that's okay — it's all about the journey and looking completely ridiculous while carrying an insane amount of cargo on your back.

You run around with a strange baby in a container strapped to your chest called BB, this little one helps alert you to dangers appearing in the form of what they call BTs. Does BB start whining and your little spinning light starts going wild? BTs are near. BB also tends to get a bit annoyed if you keep falling over, so you need to detach them and rock them to sleep too. It's so thoroughly weird but kinda sweet at the same time.

At its core, Death Stranding is an open-world delivery sim set in the post-apocalyptic USA. You travel around between buildings, taking on delivery jobs and completing them gives you Likes. As you explore, you will also find missing packages you can pick up and deliver to gain some extra Likes. These missing packages you find do form quite a big part of the gameplay. You can choose to deliver them in full to their original destination for maximum Likes, or deposit them somewhere else for safety and get a few less.

These Likes form as part of the character statistics system, allowing you to level up your porter grade eventually boosting your abilities to help you push forwards. There's a lot more to the Likes system, as you can also give out Likes to various things in the world that other players put down. While it's a single-player game, there are online elements with you seeing objects from other players like a helpful ladder, a sign and more. There's some lore around the Likes system too, as it serves another purpose. With everything going on, people started getting depressed and some went mad due to all the stress. Scientists discovered what they called "Likecin", a hormone that basically restores your mental state but the body only makes it in response to external stimuli - hence why Likes are everywhere.

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Enjoy slow games? Good. Death Stranding is certainly that. I even spoke to friends about the game, finding myself uncontrollably smiling when talking about just how unique an experience it is. A walking simulator? In many ways yes, but unlike anything else. Even just the basic walking mechanics are darn clever and keep you on your toes, or face-first in the mud if you're not paying enough attention. You can choose to hold the straps on your backpack to keep your balance but reduce your speed, or YOLO it and constantly tap between the straps to keep it centred so you don't trip and fall. It's a simple idea that doesn't sound like much but Death Stranding does it so exceptionally well.

Death Stranding also becomes quite a different game a good few hours in once you get vehicles and weapons, it's not so frightening once you get to that stage. You even get the opportunity to eventually fast-travel too. The thing is, even though you can go faster, you don't always want to and that goes back to why it's a slow game.

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If you want to understand more, and you should, you get a constant trickle of mail sent to you by various NPCs you meet. You also get sent various interview texts to read over too. This helps form the lore of the world, with you getting various scientific reports on the history preceding the start of the game. This plays into the whole slowness of the game. It wants you to take a break and look around a bit, and so taking a break in a private room you get in each major building gives you ample time to read through it all. You might also find you need to give Sam a little rest out in the wilds, which also saves the game and restores stamina.

There's a frankly ridiculous amount of info you're supposed to absorb in such a short time in the first 10 or so hours. BB, BTs, people who suffer with DOOMS giving them abilities, rain that accelerates time for anything it touches and a brain-overloading amount more of things to remember.

A lot of things about the game mechanics are quite surprising, especially when it comes to your cargo. Getting the right weight distribution can mean the difference between running a lot and constantly holding your straps. I remember one specific point really made me stop in my tracks, because it was such a surprise where I was running to deliver cargo, with a hilariously high stack of boxes and I ran underneath some sort of little array tower. While running under it, the dishes sticking out of the tower just clipped a single box on my back and knocked it off. It's these little details that really make you appreciate how thought-out it is.

Death Stranding is equal parts depressive, as it is optimistic in many ways. Practically everything is in ruins, humanity is on the edge and yet, through your gameplay, you're helping to reconnect the world. Perhaps it's as a result of all the issues COVID caused as playing Death Stranding now felt very close to home. I felt like I needed this experience.

Honestly, I thought I wouldn't like it but I was sold pretty quickly on it. Not without faults though. The UI feels like a hot mess and is often confusing, vehicle movement is nowhere near as good as walking and feels a little cheap and other more minor things but overall it's worth it. Do check it out.

Played with Proton Experimental, the Linux experience was practically flawless. It's such a wonderfully weird experience that it has really gotten me to firmly enjoy hours of gaming in my own free time again.

You can buy Death Stranding on Humble Store and Steam .

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    Alpha 20 goes live for survival game 7 Days to Die

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 21 December, 2021 - 23:23 · 1 minute

The Fun Pimps have promoted Alpha 20 of 7 Days to Die to the stable release builds making in the new official update and it's a big one again. Players are clearly enjoying it, with it still remaining at a higher player count than it had been seeing months prior to the experimental version.

11405376301640128884gol1.jpg Hard to believe this is the same game I funded on Kickstarter back in 2013. It sure has come a long way, both in terms of game mechanics and graphics. Still quite some ways to go on the optimization though, it's still real heavy.

Some of what's new in Alpha 20 includes:

  • A brand-new version of Random Gen World creation with new cities, city tiles and a part system spawner. You will be blown away by it!
  • Over 200 new POI’s and updates to many of the older POI’s. Over 550 Explorable locations total
  • Navezgane has many city improvements, terrain improvements and new rural and wilderness communities
  • Nearly 25 new HD characters with a couple with improved shaders
  • 6 New weapons and 13 HD remakes with the addition of new primitive pipe weapons
  • Overhauled shape menu with hundreds of new shapes organized and buildable from a simple frame with in-game, creative and level design support
  • Block Placement Improvements
  • We have added a Robotic Drone Companion to carry your extra gear, heal you and more
  • Dynamic Imposter System renders accurate changes to POI’s and player bases at far distances
  • Rendering improvements with 100s of new PBR models
  • Quest Improvements including new restore power night Quests
  • AI Enemy Improvements including city spawning, ducking, obstacle attacks, head tracking and burst attacks.
  • Feral Sense Game options for a completely new game experience
  • Vehicle Improvements with coop passenger support and mods to improve and customize your Vehicles

The developer also mentioned recently that they plan to start removing older versions of the game, a bunch of which are available as opt-in Betas. They said it's due to limitations with Steam, so if you do have a game on the 19.x series you might want to make it go out with a bang.

You can pick it up on Humble Store and Steam . Full Alpha 20 release notes here .

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