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The Utopia expansion is the first major addition to Paradox’s awesome space Grand Strategy game is going to hit our digital shelves on the 6th of April. As is tradition for Paradox, the DLC will be accompanied by a free patch that will also include some pretty hefty changes in its own right. Paradox have previously released some smallish DLC, including the awesome Leviathans, that added ancient space horrors and orders to the game.

Lets start with the Utopia expansion. One of the more talked about features is the ability to build vast orbital habitats and structures, including Dyson spheres. This will hopefully go some way to mitigating the expansion problems pacifist empires face when boxed in and will give more scope to building “tall” crowded empires, as opposed to vast sprawling ones.

The Utopia expansion will also improve the slavery feature. No more will your slaves be condemned to simply work the mines, now you can be far more… Inventive. You can chose the kind of enslavement for a population; you can turn them into domestic servants, battle thralls, or into livestock to produce food to fill the bellies of your people. It will also add in a number of new purge options. You can choose to simply wipe a peoples off the map if you so wish, but now you can also force unwanted pops from your border or place them into labor camps or turn them into burgers… Paradox really went in for the whole cannibalism thing this time.

The real star of the Utopia expansion is the Ascension perks. These are special traits that your empire can acquire that will help you with different play-styles and goals. These perks will really help define the feel of your empire and will give you access to three new “paths” in the end-game. Will you shed your weak flesh and become truly cyborg? Perhaps you wish to master your mind and develop your species latent psionic abilities? Or will you bend your own flesh to your will, twisting and warping evolution to suit your needs or desires?

Have you ever wanted to be the all consuming horror of the universe? Well Utopia will also let you do that. You can turn your species into a hive-mind. Your species will be one, posses a single unshakable will, there will be no dissent or unrest. The down side? Other species really don’t trust you and your pops can only survive on hive-mind worlds. That and if you have any non-hivemind pops in your empire then your species will… well… Eat them alive…. So much cannibalism Paradox.

The Banks expansion will be released alongside this DLC, providing a number of features for everyone who owns Stellaris, regardless of whether they own Utopia or not.

The tradition trees are similar to the Ascension perks in that they offer ways for you to customize your empire to your liking and play-style, they’ll help you research tech faster or build a better navy, it should help give individual empires more character.

Ethics are also getting a major rework. In the past ethics drift was pretty random and led to some somewhat odd results. Now it is tied to an “attraction” value that dictates how likely a population is to adopt a specific ethic. If you fight a lot of wars then your people are naturally going to become more militaristic. This is great because it also ties heavily into the new faction system. New factions will form around ethics and lobby your government to pass policies that suit their world-view. If you fail to satisfy these demands, it will lead to unrest that could result in rebellion.

You will also have new ways to approach the species in your empire. You’ll be able to define specific rights, give them automatic citizenship, military citizenship define whether they are allowed to migrate around your empire or join the military. You can even say how many children you will allow them to have.

All these changes will allow players to build the harmonious Utopia of the future. I mean, it will also let them build dystopian nightmares, but whatever works… Right?

Utopia releases on the 6th of April and will cost $19.99.

You'll find me wandering around the Science sections mostly, excitedly waving my arms around while jumping up and down about the latest science and tech news. I am also occasionally found in the gaming section, trying to convince everyone else that linux is the future of the computer gaming.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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