Darktide Path of Redemption new character artwork

While originally scheduled to launch in late April, Darktide studio Fatshark has now decided to surprise everyone by suddenly releasing the Path of Redemption update! The new content patch brings with it a free Battle Pass filled with all sorts of new cosmetics, the Dreg Tox Bomber as a brand new enemy, as well as a variety of new puzzles and challenges to seek out in missions.

First things first, the Battle Pass, which I'm happy to say is a pretty good one! There is no paid version, the objectives are all relatively simple, and given how fast I've managed to push through the tiers just off previous achievements alone, I have a feeling it's going to be an easy one to complete. [Update]: I may have spoken too soon on that one. While the early levels go by quick, maxing it out is going to take quite a while!

Songs of Conquest is a Heroes of Might and Magic 3 inspired turn-based strategy

After two years of Early Access and a plethora of updates, the Heroes of Might and Magic inspired strategy Songs of Conquest is now finally getting ready to launch in full. Best of all, we don't even have to wait all that long as Songs of Conquest's Version 1.0 will be arriving in a mere month, on May 20th!

As you would expect, Version 1.0 will launch alongside a sizable update that will bring with it a variety of new features and improvements, including a brand new singleplayer campaign exploring the mercantile nation of Barya. While not explicitly mentioned, I'm also expecting a sizable balance patch to shake everything up as right now balance seems to be Songs of Conquest's weakest aspect.

MTG Arena Alchemy: Thunder Junction official artwork for Silent Extraction

Continuing with the usual tradition, MTG Arena will getting the Alchemy: Thunder Junction mini-expansion this May 7th with 30 new cards to toy around with in Alchemy, Historic, Timeless and Brawl formats. However, this release will be a bit different than usual as the new cards won't just be focused around beefing up the themes and concepts found in Thunder Junction, but also the ones found in previous sets.

Whether this is a one-and-done sort of thing or if we can look forward to more cross-pollination from future Alchemy sets, nobody outside of Wizards of the Coast currently knows, but I do like the idea. There's plenty of interesting mechanics released each year that just don't get the support they need to truly shine, so adding a couple of new cards here and there can do a great deal of good.

Helldivers 2 official artwork and logo

I an announcement that has garnered them a massive amount of criticism, Sony and Arrowhead have revealed that Helldivers 2 will soon require a PlayStation Network account regardless of platform or crossplay options. In other words, all PC players will be required to link their Steam and PSN accounts by June 4th in order to continue playing the game.

Usually these sort of account requirements are annoying and there's a fair bit of grumbling about them, but they're innocuous enough that most people just go through with it and move on with their day. This time it's a bit special, however, as not only is Helldivers 2 bringing this up many months after launch, but PSN also has two major issues that are unique to it.

Helldivers 2 screenshot of the explosive crossbow weapon

[Update]: The Helldivers 2 playerbase, in a dazzling display of democracy, is rallying against the new requirements.

Unlike some of the previous patches that added either new toys for the players or enemies to clobber, the freshly released Update 1.000.3 is entirely about tweaking what we already have. As such, you can look forward to an avalanche of balance changes, both positive and negative, as well as some much-needed bug fixes.

In terms of nerfs, the LAS-99 Quasar Cannon now recharges 5 seconds slower, the LAS-98 Laser Cannon has lost some of its anti-armor damage in exchange for being better against weaker enemies, the laser guard dog AX/AR-23 has lost a solid 30% of its damage, and most puzzling of all, the already mediocre CB-9 Exploding Crossbow has lost a good chunk of its splash damage in exchange for faster projectile velocity. Everything else I can understand, but the crossbow nerf just feels like kicking someone when they're already face-first in the mud. Not a fan.

Total War: Warhammer 3 artwork for the Nurgle armies

To say that the launch of Total War: Warhammer 3's Shadows of Change DLC was messy would be quite an understatement. Creative Assembly tried to charge more for it than previous DLCs while simultaneously offering less unique content per faction, to which the community response was about as negative as you'd expect.

In order to salvage the DLC, as well as to regain some favor with the playerbase, Creative Assembly recently released an update that added a whole bunch of new units to the Shadows of Change DLC - and pretty good ones too! So while DLC is still heavily overpriced in my humble opinion, it now at least offers a sizable amount of quality content.

Dota 2 artwork for the new Crownfall update starring Skywrath and Vengeful Spirit

After multiple cryptic teasers and even a lengthy delay, Dota 2's much-anticipated Crownfall update has now finally arrived. However, instead of massive gameplay changes or even the previously announced Ringmaster hero, the freshly released Crownfall update is almost centered around cosmetics - both paid and free.

The highlight of the update is definitely the interactive world map that serves as both a story-telling tool and a Battle Pass. By collecting tokens gained from playing certain types of heroes (for example mounted, nuker or crawling ones) you can unlock new pathways and with them cosmetic rewards, small story bits, as well as silly stuff like a fishing mini-game or a reverse candy shop that will take your candy and give you a plethora of goodies in trade.

Helldivers 2 official artwork and logo

[Update]: The Helldivers 2 playerbase, in a dazzling display of democracy, is rallying against the new requirements.

While Helldivers 2's rapid release of new content is quite impressive, that sort of blazing speed does come at a cost, and that cost is stability. Almost like clockwork, every time a major update arrives a whole bunch of new crashes appear alongside it. This, needless to say, is not exactly ideal as nothing takes the fun out of your democracy-induced rampage faster than crashing at the very end of a difficult mission!

So in order to sort out the latest batch of problems, as well as spice things up on the gameplay front, The Helldivers 2 team has just launched Patch 01.000.203. Besides the crash fixes, the update has also made it so the CE-27 Ground Breaker armor now has the correct Engineer Kit passive instead of some random perks.

Steam FPS Fest 2024 official artwork and logo

If you've got a bit of free time and an urge to explode all sorts of baddies into colorful giblets, you'll be happy to hear that Steam's FPS Fest 2024 has now arrived. Much like the previous festivals, FPS Fest 2024 brings with it a variety of discounts on all sorts of first-person shooters, as well as a plethora of free demos for upcoming games.

The whole thing will last until 10am PT on April 22nd, so should have plenty of time to peruse the games and see if there's anything that interests you. And if you're not sure where to even start, allow me to share with you Valve's trailer showcasing a bunch of different games:

Magic: The Gathering Outlaws of Thunder Junction artwork showing off Rakdos having fun

[Update #2]: MTG Arena's next mini-expansion, Alchemy: Thunder Junction, will be launching on May 7th.

[Update]: Thunder Junction has now arrived, and it's quite an interesting draft format. It's insanely high-powered, but there's also a lot of decisions to make throughout each match. This could be one of the good ones!

These days Magic: The Gathering sets usually come with some sort of a bonus set - a collection of extra cards that might not be Standard legal, but are either powerful or interesting enough to warrant reprinting. However, the upcoming Outlaws of Thunder Junction set which is coming to MTG Arena on April 16th has taken this concept of bonus cards to an extreme!

Instead of having a single bonus set, or even two, Outlaws of Thunder Junction has opted for three! The first and most common of these are the Breaking News cards which are all themed after some sort of crime. Then there's the The Big Score set which was originally going to be Outlaws of Thunder Junction: Aftermath, but due to the poor reception of that idea the cards have been collapsed into the main set, though all were upshifted to Mythic rarity for some reason! And then you have the Special Guests cards which are reprints of ten powerful cards that all come with their own fancy new art.