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Games with Gold: Darksiders III and Lost Planet 3 are now free
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Microsoft announced the August Games with Gold titles earlier this week, revealing an exciting selection of incoming experiences, and already the first wave is available for claiming. Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can now grab Darksiders III and Lost Planet 3 as their latest bonus games.
As for who can get what, Darksiders III is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, while Lost Planet 3 is up for grabs across the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S generations.
The Microsoft Store links listed below can be used to directly add the games to a Gold activated account:
Darksiders III (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
Lost Planet 3 (Xbox 360, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)
For those who missed it, Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break from the last Games with Gold wave still has two weeks left on its counter before it leaves the program. The strategy game will be replaced by Yooka-Laylee on August 16.
As always, games claimed through a Games with Gold promotion are attached to accounts in different ways depending on their launch platforms. Xbox 360 titles will continue being playable even after the Gold subscription is discontinued, but Xbox One games are only playable while the account has an active subscription.
Weekend PC Game Deals: It's raining franchise sales
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Weekend PC Game Deals is where the hottest gaming deals from all over the internet are gathered into one place, every week, for your consumption. So kick back, relax, and hold on to your wallets.
The bundle space expanded this week with Humble's Early Access All-Stars Bundle. As evident by the name, this collection focuses on still in-development games, offering a variety of experiences from the indie side.
The three tier bundle begins with a copy of Retrowave for $1. Going up to the average price tier will currently set you back around $10, and it gets you copies of Golf It and The Infected. Lastly, joining the final tier for $12 adds on the Snowtopia: Ski Resort Tycoon, Warpips, and Luck be a Landlord.
Humble's bundles don't stop there, as there is also an RPG Heroes collection available that offers a copy of Delver for $1, followed by Swords & Souls: Neverseen and Tower of Time in the average price tier, which is currently around 8.70. The final $10 tier has Quest Hunter, Slasher's Keep, and Dreadlands being added to the whole package.
Both bundles will last for about two weeks. Keep in mind this is also the final week of the July Choice selection, with the games, which include Yakuza 3 and Surge 2, refreshing on Tuesday.
Now 200 freebies in, Epic Games is showing no signs of stopping its giveaways. This week, it has brought copies of Mothergunship and Train Sim World 2 for claiming.
Mothergunship is a bullet-hell FPS touting an intricate gun customization system with nutty combinations, massive boss battles, and cooperative play. On the other side of the platform is Train Sim World 2, offering authentic locomotives and routes to experience while tackling problems such as rush hours and harsh cargo schedules.
This double giveaway is slated to last until August 5, and it's a big week coming up, with A Plague Tale: Innocence and Speed Brawl arriving as the next freebies.
The free events of this weekend will pull you in a whole lot of directions, from superhero duties and being ant-sized to managing loony hospitals.
Starting things off, you can try out Marvel's Avengers this weekend, with the complete action hero experience, including campaign and multiplayer modes, available for free as Crystal Dynamics celebrates recent updates and the upcoming arrival of Black Panther.
Obsidian Entertainment also has a game available to try out this weekend: its miniaturized survival game set in the back yard Grounded. Two Point Hospital, the humorous hospital management title that now features Sonic, as well as the multiplayer arcade golfing title Golf with Your Friends are the final two games with free events running at this moment.
Franchise sales are the main highlight of this weekend as you'll witness when browsing the below highlights list, with multiple series like Grand Theft Auto, Mass Effect, Borderlands, Need for Speed, Sonic, and others getting hefty cuts to their prices:
Mass Effect Legendary Edition – $44.99 on Steam Outriders – $38.99 on Steam Grounded - Early Access – $29.99 on Steam DayZ – $26.99 on Steam Marvel's Avengers – $23.99 on Steam Planet Zoo – $20.24 on Steam Halo: The Master Chief Collection – $19.99 on Microsoft Store Borderlands 3 – $19.79 on Steam Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered – $19.49 on Steam Need for Speed Heat Deluxe Edition – $17.49 on Steam Death Stranding – $17.28 on GreenManGaming Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey – $15.99 on Steam Outer Wilds – $14.99 on Steam Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition – $14.8 on Steam Streets of Rogue – $13.99 on Steam Manifold Garden – $13.99 on Steam Wingspan – $13.39 on Steam Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – $13.05 on Steam The Deus Ex Collection – $10.60 on Steam ABZU – $9.99 on Steam Due Process - Early Access – $9.99 on Steam Forza Motorsport 7 – $9.99 on Microsoft Store Untitled Goose Game – $9.99 on Steam Quantum Break – $9.99 on Microsoft Store ARK: Survival Evolved – $9.89 on Steam FINAL FANTASY – $9.59 on Steam Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – $8.99 on Steam Röki – $7.99 on Steam Clustertruck – $7.49 on Steam Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice – $7.49 on Microsoft Store Journey – $7.49 on Epic Store Burnout Paradise Remastered – $6.99 on Steam Need for Speed Payback - Deluxe Edition – $6.89 on Steam Call of Juarez: Gunslinger – $5.99 on Steam Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition – $5.99 on Steam A Short Hike – $5.19 on Steam SpeedRunners – $4.99 on Steam DiRT Rally 2.0 – $4.99 on Steam Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection – $4.99 on Steam Sonic Generations Collection – $4.99 on Steam Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition – $2.99 on Steam Islanders – $2.49 on Steam Sonic Mania – $1.99 on Steam Sonic Adventure 2 – $1.49 on Steam Mountain – $0.49 on Steam Train Sim World 2 – $0 on Epic Store Mothergunship – $0 on Epic Store DRM-free Goodness
GOG is also in a freebie mood this weekend, so you can claim a copy of Wanderlust: Transsiberian from the front page until August 2. There are quite a few DRM-free games on sale this weekend, including a villain-focused deals range. Find our highlights below:
Carto - $13.99 on GOG Warcraft I & II Bundle - $12.74 on GOG Void Bastards - $11.99 on GOG Crying Suns - $11.24 on GOG Mafia - $10.04 on GOG Forager - $8.99 on GOG Diablo + Hellfire - $8.49 on GOG Blade Runner - $6.69 on GOG Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition - $5.99 on GOG S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster - $4.99 on GOG Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition - $3.99 on GOG King of Dragon Pass - $3.59 on GOG King's Bounty: Dark Side - $3.24 on GOG Myst Masterpiece Edition - $2.99 on GOG Overlord + Raising Hell - $2.49 on GOG System Shock 2 - $2.49 on GOG Dungeon Keeper 2 - $1.49 on GOG Wing Commander 1+2 - $1.49 on GOG Zombie Night Terror - $1.29 on GOG POSTAL 2 - $0.99 on GOG Deus Ex GOTY Edition - $0.97 on GOG Wanderlust: Transsiberian - $0 on GOG Keep in mind that availability and pricing for some deals could vary depending on the region.
That's it for our pick of this weekend's PC game deals, and hopefully, some of you have enough self-restraint not to keep adding to your ever-growing backlogs. As always, there's an enormous number of other deals ready and waiting all over the interwebs as well as in services you may already subscribe to if you comb through them, so keep your eyes open for those, and have a great weekend.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft accidentally leaked Halo Infinite campaign details, so beware of spoilers
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's highly-anticipated AAA title Halo Infinite is scheduled for a release this fall, but a technical preview for the multiplayer component was made available for Halo Insiders just a couple of days ago. While the feedback regarding multiplayer gameplay - albeit, with bots - has been fairly positive so far, those interested in the campaign might be in for a unpleasant surprise.
Following some leaks on the internet, Joseph Staten, the project lead for the campaign in Halo Infinite, has confirmed that Microsoft inadvertently included some campaign files in the tech preview of the multiplayer release. He tweeted that:
Naturally, data miners who don't mind the game being spoiled for them have extracted the campaign files in question, and information has leaked on to the web. The Verge has discovered a plaintext dump containing 800 lines of text from the campaign. According to the outlet, the strings describe some quests, plot points, and unfortunately, even a major plot twist that likely takes places towards the end of the game.
Needless to say, we won't be linking to or reporting about the spoilers themselves, but those interested in the Halo Infinite campaign need to keep their guard up when browsing the web.
By Usama Jawad96
Forza Motorsport 7 is being removed from storefronts in September
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios released Forza Motorsport 7 back in October 2017, to high praise. We awarded it a 9/10 rating in our review, praising the dynamic weather system, multiplayer capabilities, and the wide assortment of cars and tracks on offer. However, the developer has now announced that the game is being delisted from storefront in September.
In a blog post, the company mentioned that Forza Motorsport 7 will hit its end of life status on September 15, 2021. This essentially means that the title and its DLC will be delisted from the Microsoft Store and won't be available on Game Pass either. That said, players who already own the game will still be able to re-download it and play as usual, including online services.
Game Pass players who purchased DLC but not the title itself will also be given a token for the full game through the Xbox Message Center. This token will be provided by August 2, and is redeemable up until September 15, 2023. Additionally, Forza Motorsport 7 is up for a massive discount until September 15, 2021. The Standard Edition can now be purchased for $9.99 (previously $39.99), Deluxe costs $14.99 (previously $59.99), and Ultimate can be yours for $19.99 (previously $79.99).
The reason for the game being delisted just four years after launch is quite simple, albeit unfortunate. All Forza titles utilize licenses to use real names of cars, tracks, and brands. Once these third-party licenses expire, these games have to depart from storefronts. The in-engine trailer for the next Forza Motorsport was already shown a year ago while Forza Horizon 5 is scheduled for a launch this November as well.
Steam is getting a fancy new Downloads page, beta available now
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Valve has been trickling out Steam UI overhauls to specific components in recent years, and the company's latest target is the client's Downloads page. The newly overhauled section can be accessed by switching to Steam's beta client, though in this initial public version, some bugs are to be expected. See how the new Downloads page looks in the screenshot above.
At first glance, the biggest change is happening to the header, with the download status information being moved to the right while the currently downloading game's key art and name are visible on the left. Disk usage is now more visible than before as well, which should alleviate situations where it looks like the download has stalled, even though space is being allocated in the background.
Instead of fiddling with the "to the top" button like before for individual downloads, users can drag and drop the available updates to change the queue order now. If an update being downloaded is not solely game content, a tooltip can also be triggered that shows if it's DLC, workshop, or shader cache that's incoming. A clear all button for completed downloads and a shortcut to quickly access Steam download settings are available too.
Moreover, relevant patch notes will be easily accessible via a button next to downloads when the corresponding update is available. However, this will only be for games where the developer is using Steam Events to publish patch notes.
Updates have also arrived to the Library section in this beta build, with the brand-new Storage Manager being the biggest change, as seen above. Other than moving games, which currently has an issue, the new storage options and information displayed should be extremely useful for Steam users.
Find the complete patch notes for the beta update here. To join the beta, head to the Steam Settings menu, then in the Accounts tab, use the CHANGE button in the Beta participation section and select the "Steam Beta Update" from the dropdown. Once Valve is happy with the implementation and bugs have been squashed, the Downloads revamp will roll out to all Steam users.