American Truck Simulator is adding on another state as the game continues expanding across the continental map of the United States. Coming in the future DLC, players will venture across the state of Utah to further build their trucking portfolio, and experience larger variety in shipping destinations. With this design direction, we can expect the game to cover the entire map of the US, similar to what one can find in this driving sim’s European counterpart. The latter continues to grow 7 years past initial release, and is set to receive yet another expansion with the Road to the Black Sea.
In a brief blog post, the developers released a short visual trailer for the Utah region, though was extremely light on detail in regards to the upcoming map expansion. There’s no release date confirmed, and it could be ways out, given the Washington state map just released not too long ago on June 11th. As with past DLC packs, expect to see a close to life representation of the location’s environment and drive through most notable urban centres.
SCS Software has built a solid development framework for its trucking sims, where they can easily slot new map packs into existing progression. And further focusing on one state at a time, the developers are able to deliver expansive shipping routes with all features you’d expect in the real world. Players will seamlessly transition into Utah once the map is available to purchase, and should expect to pay $12 like for past expansion packs. For subsequent updates, stay tuned in to SCS Software’sblog.
I’m a sucker for sporty yet fashionable wrist watches, so seeing Bulova release a new variant of its Marine Star range, I simply could not resist getting my hands on one. This stunning automatic timepiece expands the conservative design of Bulova’s diving watch line with an open aperture and some vivid colours, especially if you go with the reference reviewed here. While not a true diving watch in that it lacks a rotating bezel with minute marker – a handy feature for scuba divers – the Marine Star’s visuals closely mimic a nautical design theme. Though with a clever choice of colour contrast and exceptional detail of the dial in the price range, Bulova made this watch to be just as fashionable with a business suit as it is with casual outfits.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider tasks you with killing a god, which outright doesn’t look like an easy task. Following Billie Lurk, one of Daud’s assassins and also one known as Meagan Foster in Dishonored 2, the standalone expansion brings players back into the city of Karnaca on a path to kill the Outsider himself. Death of the Outsider plays very much like any Dishonored, although avoids the binary choice system of previous titles by removing the impact of city chaos on the ending. I appreciated this feature, as the game no longer forces you to pick a play style to get a certain ending, but instead, you play whichever way you feel like. Apart from it, Death of the Outsider plays very familiar and I could always go for more Dishonored, with open level exploration and a multitude of approaches to select from. Being a standalone expansion, Death of the Outsider is done fairly quickly, yet playing as a different character with new powers doesn’t get boring by any extent. The game carries similar elements to other Dishonored titles, although there is always something new to discover in this universe, and Death of the Outsider fleshes more about Karnaca with its numerous side contracts. With even more supernatural elements than before, the game really stands out as an excellent standalone title, and for anyone who thoroughly enjoyed previous titles, is well worth playing.
Remember when you paid for a game and got to enjoy 100% of its content at launch? Those days have long gone, with publishers seeking to drain you of hard-earned money as much as they can. The explosion of DLC packs created for games after launch was the culprit at first, following most major IPs through their life cycles. Not everyone liked that push, though gamers were never forced to pay in most cases. A bunch of games didn’t follow that, but you always get a few of those greedy oddballs in the industry. More so, we’ve got to experience some brilliant stories added the games post launch, with likes of Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker and The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine providing quality entertainment once you’ve finished the main storyiine. Now, however, the industry has adopted a mass trend of throwing microtransactions in every pot, with publishers like EA and Activision being worst offenders of the bunch. The former seems to take up a new headline each year, with no end in sight for slowing its greedy momentum. You pay for a game, then buy some DLC (which doesn’t seem to be that widespread these days), and maybe you’d also want to spend extra cash on useless cosmetics or worst case – pay to win the game. Costs of a new release now suddenly spike to over $100 from initial $60, with especially EA known to be most aggressive with its premium currency.
Since revealing their own storefront in 2018, Epic Games have been busy snagging titles from under Steam’s nose, whether be it smaller indie projects, or the few bigger guns in upcoming releases. One can’t deny Fortnite’s success played a huge role here, giving Epic loads of cash to spend on luring developers away from PC’s biggest distribution platform. It doesn’t even care for the rather simplistic platform it built, which yet lacks cloud saving out of all things that Steam gave us as quality of life improvements. Despite that, developers shift to it without much thought, and one could see the reasons here; Epic takes a 12% cut from publishers, whereas Steam has always remained at consistent 30% demand of revenue.
As I explore a strange steampunk island I’ve just arrived on, the earth begins to rumble, my senses disoriented for a few seconds. Getting back to my submarine, I seal the doors behind me in preparation for inevitable danger, looking out of a handy periscope, only to see the island suffer gigantic volcano explosion, and my vision gets blocked. With the smoke gone, the once green environment is now concealed under a layer of ash, though I’m capable of venturing out yet again. From there on, Volcanoids asks to construct a ship core, setting you up for what you’ll be spending much of your time playing with. An open-world, base building survival game, it sends you out on a quest to reclaim this land for the people once more, and somehow figure out how you’re going to silence the volcano all by yourself.
Playing Just Cause 4, I can’t escape the notion that something went wrong in Avalanche’s open-world series, with a slightly new design direction that doesn’t fit quite as well as fans would hope. I’m still having a blast destroying the multitude of enemy bases scattered across the huge map of Solis, which I traverse with Rico’s trusty grappling hook, paired with weirdly unlimited parachute, and a jet-powered wingsuit you can now use. Blowing up explosive barrels and enemy structures is a usual display of unlimited chaos, which you can now further facilitate by sending a tornado towards an enemy base. Weather effects have a convoluted plot around them, and Just Cause never aimed to have complex exposition, but utilizing them leads to spectacular results. Yet in many ways, the revamped mission structure here feels too restrictive, taking away much of the freedom to do your own thing, where you’d normally be able to progress in the game simply by engaging with its open world. In Just Cause 4, repetitive objective design is now more apparent than ever, and so is its serious lack of improvement over predecessors, though let’s not write the game off just yet.