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No Man’s Sky release date officially delayed to August 9

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I guess you can take the sky from me. Developer Hello Games has confirmed that No Man’s Sky won’t be released for the PC and PS4 on June 21 as planned. Instead, the game has been pushed back to August 9 for further polishing.

Writing on the PlayStation Blog, Hello’s Sean Murray has this to say about the delay:

[A]s we approached our final deadlines, we realized that some key moments needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards. I have had to make the tough choice to delay the game for a few weeks to allow us to deliver something special.

We understand that this news is disappointing. Making this game is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but we are so close now, and we’re prepared to make the tough choices to get it right.

Murray closed by offering his sincerest apologies to fans for the No Man’s Sky’s delay.

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Minecraft’s Console Edition is getting a PvP arena in June with Battle Mini Game update

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Minecraft‘s Console Edition is about to get a little more interesting with the launch of the Battle Mini Game update in June. Available as a free download for the PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, the Battle Mini Game will add a competitive multiplayer battle arena to the game.

Here’s what Marsh Davies, Mojang’s Community Manger, had to say about the update on the company’s official website:

Battle pits players against one another in a fight for survival, as they race to snatch weapons and resources from chests, dance over each arena’s unique perils and stave off hunger pangs. We’ve made the mini game specifically with console players and couch-based competition in mind: it supports up to four players in splitscreen and eight players online, either by invitation or using the in-game matchmaking system. We wanted it to be super-accessible and fast-paced, so we’ve tried to keep the focus on rapid tactical thinking and combat: there’s no need to craft anything here, and you can loot inventories and equip armour with the tap of a button.

The Battle Mini Game update will include three maps, but Mojang and 4J Studios have plans to produce more Map Packs or the mode, which will be available later this year for $2.99 apiece. For now, you can head over to Mojang.com for a look at the first screenshots from the Battle Mini Game.

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Minecraft-like Dragon Quest Builders will be released in North America this October

As part of Dragon Quest’s 30th anniversary celebration, Square Enix has announced that Dragon Quest Builders will be released in North America this Fall. Starring a mysterious character known only as the Legendary Builder, players will set out to rebuild the kingdom of Alefgard after a cataclysmic attack by the Dragonlord:

A long time ago, the realm of Alefgard was engulfed in an ongoing battle between the humans and the monsters. A celebrated hero stood up and confronted the Dragonlord, the wicked king of the monsters, to try to put an end to the conflict. Through his vile trickery, the Dragonlord deceived the hero into a false deal, and Alefgard was destroyed in the process. The few survivors were robbed of the power to build and scattered around the world to live out their lives in despair and apathy. The very idea of creativity and imagination became mere legend, and mankind was reduced to a meager existence, surviving only by scavenging what remained among the ruins for centuries to come.

Until one day, a new hero is awoken by the spirit of the land – one who will become the Legendary Builder, within whose fingertips dwells the long-lost power of creation. Rebuild the ruined realm in your own image and bring an end to the Dragonlord’s reign of evil once and for all.

The Minecraft-like game is certainly getting into the anniversary spirit, as it seems to take place during the aftermath of the “bad ending” from the first Dragon Quest game. And in a way, Dragon Quest Builders might be the closest thing we’ll ever get to a sequel to the NES classic.

In development for the PS4 and Vita, Dragon Quest Builders will be released this October.

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Codemasters announces F1 2016 for PC, PS4, Xbox One

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Codemasters gave the green light to F1 2016 this morning, and publisher Deep Silver confirmed the racing game will be available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One this Summer. Once again, the developer is pumping even more realism into the game, and F1 2016 will feature an expanded Career Mode with the option to create your own racer for the first time.

Principal Game Designer Lee Mather had a bit to say about the team’s vision for F1 2016 at the Codies Blog:

“F1 2016 is a massive step forward for the franchise. The new Career Mode sits at the heart of the game and allows gamers to create their own legend over a career that can span for up to a massive ten seasons. Beyond improving upon the fastest and most thrilling on-track racing experience in gaming, F1 2016 uniquely offers the drama and vehicle development that goes on behind the scenes. A rich car upgrade system is fully integrated into a new and deep practice development programme which mirrors the tests carried out by the teams in real life.”

The Create-A-Racer option in Career Mode will give F1 2016 players the chance to build their own avatar in the game’s world. This includes choosing a number for your car, as well as a custom helmet and the ability to jump between teams in search of a new contract. Of course, players can also stick with the same team and develop it into a championship contender after upgrading their car with new the Research and Development system.

Codemasters will reveal more about F1 2016 at this year’s E3 Expo, but a handful of screenshots and additional details about the Career Mode are available now at the Codies Blog.

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SteamWorld Heist’s PS4/Vita launch has been delayed by a week

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Image & Form has some bad news this morning… SteamWorld Heist‘s PS4 and Vita debut has been delayed. Originally scheduled to launch on May 31, the game will now be available a week later, on June 7. According to the developer’s Community Manager, Julius Guldbog, the delay is due to a few bugs they found at the last minute:

The reasons for the delay are related to publishing, localisation and quality assurance. We basically encountered a few scattered problems with the PlayStation versions that we have to fix before releasing the game. The extra week will hopefully give us enough time to fix these issues.

Image & Form is working with Sony to get the bugs ironed out as quickly as possible, but to fill the next seven days, they suggest taking a shot at the SteamWorld Dig speedrun record, which is an astounding 22 minutes and 57 seconds.

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Theatrical “swamp noir” Knee Deep will be released for PS4 and Xbox One this Summer

Prologue Games closed the book on their Florida-set episodic adventure, Knee Deep, earlier this Spring. But PS4 and Xbox One owners who missed out on it will get their own chance to try it out when Knee Deep launches for the consoles this Summer

Currently available for the PC through Steam, Knee Deep is classified as a “swamp noir” by the developer, who also looked at David Lynch’s surreal TV production, Twin Peaks, for inspiration. But rather than re-explore the rainy corners of the Pacific Northwest, Knee Deep drags three different characters into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a washed-up actor in the Sunshine State:

When a washed-up actor hangs himself on location, a spotlight is cast on the backwater Florida town of Cypress Knee. Your screen becomes a stage on which you investigate this mysterious suicide as three distinct characters: cheeky blogger Romana Teague, down-and-out local reporter Jack Bellet, and cynical private investigator K.C. Gaddis.

With a story that unfolds like a three-act play, Knee Deep’s characters are transported between scenes as if they were delivering their lines from the world’s largest stage. You can see just how big the game’s world gets in the trailer embedded above.

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Nintendo Download: StarTropics, StarTropics II, Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice, more

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Two NES classics, and an RPG that just looks like an NES classic, are now available to download through the Nintendo eShop.

When fans reminisce about Nintendo’s great franchises, they often leave the StarTropics series off the list. But I’m quite fond of these NES action RPGs and they’re both now available to download for the Wii U. StarTropics and Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II both star adventurer Mike Jones, who has come to the tropics to save his missing uncle. But the action moves far beyond blue water and palm trees after the aliens show up.

Also available to download this week for the Wii U and 3DS is Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice, a game built from the ground up to honor the JRPGs that were popular in the 80s and 90s (Captain a pirate ship! Battle giant bosses! No random encounters!).

More information on all of these games (as well as a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

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Hitman Episode 3: Marrakesh will be available on May 31

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IO Interactive’s episodic Hitman adventure will continue next week with a trip to Morocco. In Episode 3, Agent 47 will be heading to the mysterious city of Marrakesh in search of two new targets:

The mission, titled “A Gilded Cage,” enlists Agent 47 to take out two targets, private investment banker Claus Strandberg and Army General Reza Zaydan.

In a city teaming with life on the brink of a full-scale riot, these are the moments before a coup d’état, where the visible military presence exacerbates a situation where tensions are running high. Bustling Berber markets, alleyways crammed with stalls and shops, a clinical Swedish consulate and shaded rooftop terraces are just some of the areas that players can explore in Marrakesh.

IO is also planning more live content for Hitman, and the Marrakesh map will serve as the location for future Escalation Contracts and Elusive Targets. But for now, fans can scope out three screenshots from Hitman: Episode 3 at the game’s official website, alongside a few details about the episode’s new Challenges and Opportunities. As always, Episode 3 will be a free download for owners of Hitman’s Full Experience Pack, or it can be purchased individually for $10.

Agent 47 will star in three additional episodes of Hitman, which will all be released by the end of the year. The assassination will next travel to Thailand, before heading to the United States and Japan later in 2016.

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