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‘Doom’ co-creator John Romero is making a new first-person shooter

John Romero, one of the brains behind Doom, is working on another first-person shooter, Romero Games announced today. In a tweet, the independent studio founded by Romero and his wife Brenda Romero said it will be teaming up with a major publisher to develop the game and will be using an “original, new IP.” 

Few other details were revealed about the upcoming title, which will be the first title from Romero Games since Brenda’s 2020 strategy game Empire of Sin. We do know that it will be powered by Unreal Engine 5. The studio mentioned that it is recruiting staff at all levels to help build the game, particularly people with UE5 experience.

The Galway-based studio isn’t revealing much else about the game. In the FAQ section of its website, the question “What can you tell us about the new shooter?” appears first. “We can confirm that it’s new, that it’s a shooter and that we’re making it with a major publisher. Otherwise, it’s way too early to share any other information on it. We’re grateful for your interest, though,” the studio writes in response.

It’s only been a few months since Epic Games released UE5 to developers, and we’ve already seen a number of new, promising game announcements — though we won’t see most of them until later on in 2022 or 2023. Fans of Romero’s work will likely have to remain patient for this latest title, and it’s unclear where whether it will take precedence over Sigil 2, which Romero Games announced last year but which still lacks a release date.

Correction 7/19/22 5:51pm: Empire of Sin has now been appropriately attributed to Brenda Romero.

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Game

Microsoft is giving Xbox Insiders free access to classic Bethesda first-person shooters

Microsoft is giving select PC gamers free access to four classic games by Bethesda and id Software, which it acquired as part of its $7.5 billion ZeniMax purchase in 2020. And three of them wouldn’t have been released if the tech giant isn’t acquiring Activision Blizzard, as well. In a post on the Xbox blog, Microsoft has revealed that Xbox Insiders on Windows PC can now preview Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, HeXen: Beyond Heretic, HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, The Elder Scrolls: Arena and Quake Champions

It’s not surprising that the offer is only available for PC users part of Microsoft’s Insider program — as Ars Technica notes, the first four games in the list were originally released in the mid-90s and run via DOSBox emulation. DOSBox runs software for MS-DOS compatible games, but it’s a pretty inelegant solution for making old titles playable. 

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is an open-world action RPG published by Bethesda, with a first person perspective and features melee combat and magic. Meanwhile, Heretic, its sequel HeXen: Beyond Heretic and the latter’s expansion pack, HeXen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel, are all first-person dark fantasy shooters. They were built using a modified version of the Doom engine, and though they were published by id Software, they were developed by Raven Software. Activision acquired the rights to those games when it purchased Raven in 1997.

Microsoft first announced that it’s purchasing Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in January this year and expects the deal to close no later than June 2023 if regulators give it their approval. It’s an all-cash deal that values Activision at $95 a share. Microsoft plans to add Activision Blizzard games to the Xbox Game Pass as part of the acquisition, and some of those games may be like the Heretic-HeXen series, which Activision doesn’t fully own.

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Scuf’s first PS5 controllers include one built for first-person shooters

Scuf Gaming is finally diving into PS5 controllers, and its first offerings might be noteworthy if you thrive on titles like Call of Duty. The Corsair brand has launched its first PS5 gamepad line, Reflex, with a variant specifically tuned for first-person shooters. The appropriately named Reflex FPS adds instant bumpers and triggers, includes grippier surfaces and even ditches haptic feedback — in theory, you’ll a lighter control that won’t disrupt your aim.

The FPS, the regular Reflex and the Reflex Pro all have four remappable paddles, a profile switch, removable faceplates and interchangeable thumbsticks. The Pro adds the improved grip of the FPS while preserving the adaptive triggers you might need for some PS5 titles.

Scuf’s pricing shows these controllers are meant for enthusiasts and competitive players. The base Reflex is available now for $200, while the Reflex Pro and Reflex FPS respectively sell for $230 and $260. That’s difficult to rationalize if you just want an alternative to the official DualSense pad, but might be justifiable if you’re determined to emerge triumphant in a battle royale.

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