Think the first week of January is a sluggish one for news? Think again. A 13-year-old Tetris prodigy has bravely gone where no one has gone before, conquering the NES version of the famous puzzler by reaching a “kill screen” on level 157. Steam unveiled the sometimes puzzling results of its annual players’ choice awards, while The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall earned a free-to-play, fan-made restoration.
Bethesda’s Biggest Game Ever is Free and Remastered
Before Starfield, before Skyrim, before Fallout 3 and Oblivion, and before your parents even knew how to produce you, there existed The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It was, and is, Bethesda’s biggest-ever game, and now a fan-made recreation of the whole massive globe in Unity has achieved its 1.0 release. Oh, and it’s fully free and won’t be ruined by lawyers! This new Daggerfall is an incredible accomplishment and just the reason you needed to return to Tamriel. John Walker from Rock, Paper, Shotgun states,
The restoration of Daggerfall is a testament to the passion and dedication of the fan community. It not only brings back the nostalgia of exploring the vast world of Tamriel but also improves upon the original game in many ways. With its 1.0 release, players can now experience this classic RPG in all its remastered glory, and best of all, it’s completely free and legal. So whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the series, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
So, uh, what’s up with the Steam Awards?
The results of 2023’s Steam Awards are in. Each year, Steam looks to the community to vote for the year’s finest games across a broad range of categories. This year saw Larian Studios’ RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 snag game of the year, while Lethal Company, a first-person cooperative horror game, earned the “Better With Friends Award” for its co-op gameplay. The Last of Us Part I nabbed Best Soundtrack, which is unusual given it was released in 2013, but it officially wasn’t uploaded to Steam until 2023.
Claire Jackson was crowned Best Indie Game Developer for her work on the critically acclaimed puzzle-platformer “The Forgotten Garden.” In addition, the highly anticipated action-adventure game “Eternal Odyssey” took home the award for Best Visual Design, showcasing its stunning graphics and immersive world. Overall, the Steam Awards of 2023 showcased a diverse range of outstanding games and talented developers, highlighting the ever-evolving landscape of the gaming industry.
Horror Game Studio Shuts Down Due To Cyberattacks, Poor Sales
Just two months after the third-person action-horror game Stray Souls was released, developer Jukai Studio unexpectedly closed its doors, claiming many concerns, including low game sales and several cyberattacks from an unknown attacker. The developer turned to X/Twitter on December 22 to announce the unexpected shutdown.
Part of the difficulty, Jukai Studio noted, was Stray Souls’ poor response and revenues, which left the crew “completely unable to sustain the company.” Levi Winslow, an industry analyst, commented on the closure, stating that the combination of low sales and cyberattacks is becoming a growing issue for smaller game studios. Winslow believes that as the gaming industry continues to evolve, developers need to prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect their intellectual property and ensure the financial stability of their companies. He also emphasized the importance of marketing and creating a strong fan base to drive sales and avoid such unfortunate closures in the future.
Three Decades Later, Someone Has Finally Beat Tetris on NES
The classic puzzle game Tetris has been around for nearly three decades, and in that time, lots of players have achieved its numerous endings, generally by removing four rows of bricks at once like a digital demolitioner. That’s a challenge in and of itself, but now someone has pushed the notion of “beating Tetris” to the extreme by playing the NES game so hard that it straight-up crashed, a phenomenon sometimes known as the “kill screen.
Levin Winslow, a 30-year-old video game enthusiast from New York, managed to reach this elusive kill screen after months of dedicated practice and countless failed attempts. While many gamers may view this achievement as simply a display of skill, it also highlights the enduring popularity and enduring legacy of Tetris. Despite its age, Tetris continues to captivate and challenge players, proving that classic games can still hold their own in a world dominated by cutting-edge graphics and advanced gameplay.
Star Citizen ‘Everything Pack’ Costs $48,000
Forever-in-development space sim Star Citizen may not be done despite over a decade of development effort and announcements, but it already has a lot of pricey spacecraft you can purchase and fly around in. And if you want all of those ships in one large DLC bundle, Star Citizen provides an option for you. Just be prepared to pay over $48,000.
Zack Zwiezen of Kotaku reported that the game offers an “Everything Pack” that includes every ship available in the game, totaling a staggering $48,000. While this may seem like an exorbitant price for virtual spaceships, it highlights the dedication and enthusiasm of Star Citizen’s fan base. It’s clear that for some players, the allure of exploring the vastness of space in a meticulously crafted universe is worth the steep investment.
Baldur’s Gate 3 contains a beautiful tribute you’ll see through misted eyes.
Here’s something unironically great. Via a tweet by Larian Studios writer Rachel Quirke, we’ve now heard about a truly emotional memorial to a player’s father that occurs in the studio’s award-winning RPG Baldur’s Gate 3. In October 2020, a member of the Larian forums commented to praise the developer for releasing the first act of the game in Early Access, since it enabled them to experience one final journey with their father, who had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
John Walker, the author of the comment, shared that playing Baldur’s Gate 3 alongside his father was an incredibly meaningful experience. The game served as a way for them to bond and create lasting memories during a difficult time. This heartfelt tribute demonstrates the power of video games to provide comfort and connection, making the investment in Baldur’s Gate 3 even more worthwhile.
Star Wars Outlaws, Ubisoft’s new action-adventure game that follows scoundrel Kay Vess
between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, previously had no release date outside a very wide “2024” range. Today, however, a Disney Parks blog post discreetly disclosed that it will debut in “late 2024.” This didn’t last long, as Ubisoft swiftly rushed in to rectify the record and reassert the broad 2024 timeline.
Levi Winslow, a gaming journalist, expressed his excitement for Baldur’s Gate 3 and how it showcases the emotional impact that video games can have on players. He praised the game for its ability to provide comfort and connection during difficult times, making it a worthwhile investment for gamers. In addition to Baldur’s Gate 3, Winslow also mentioned his anticipation for the release of Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi.
He expressed his disappointment at the lack of a specific release date for the game but was thrilled to learn from the Disney Parks blog post that it would be debuting in “late 2024.” However, Ubisoft quickly clarified the release timeline, stating that it would still fall within the broad 2024 range. Despite the confusion, Winslow remains excited for both games and believes they have the potential to make a significant impact on the gaming community.
Fan-Revived MMO Given Official License To Continue
Ubisoft Swiftly Corrects Star Wars Outlaws ‘Late 2024’ Release Window
City of Heroes was a popular MMORPG that began in April 2004 and lasted a little over eight years. In that time, it earned a loyal community of players who, even after the game ended, remained playing the MMO via secret servers that existed in a bizarre legal gray area. But now, the creators of City of Heroes have granted one private server the official thumbs-up to keep on carrying on. Zack Zwiezen
Baldur’s Gate 3 Actors Share Their Most-Flubbed Lines
The second half of our chat with Baldur’s Gate 3 actors Devora Wilde and Jennifer English
Baldur’s Gate 3 Actors: Intimacy Coordinators Should Be ‘Industry Standard’ This official approval is a significant development for the City of Heroes community, as it brings a sense of legitimacy to their continued gameplay. It also serves as a testament to the enduring popularity and impact of the MMO, even years after its official closure. The decision to grant the private server the official thumbs-up is likely to be met with excitement and relief from the devoted players who have kept the game alive against all odds.