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E3 2018 PC Gaming Show Wrap Up: Quality and Quantity



PC Gaming Show E3

E3 2018 has been a bit of a roller coaster (to say the least). Whether it was EA’s embarrassingly out of touch presentation or Devolver’s insane performances, E3 has been a series of one extreme after another. By the time PC Gaming Show rolled around I wasn’t sure what to expect. Color me surprised when hosts day9 and Frankie led a conference that was fun, informative, and (most of all) human. The PC Gaming Show boasted a lineup that led the audience through neon synth and dreary eldritch horrors.

While AAA titles may be the face of gaming, there’s no doubt that indies are its heart.

“Satisfactory” (Coffeestained Studios)

Somewhere between Factorio and MinecraftSatisfactory promises a factory-management game of grand proportions. Where similar games have tackled the base-building aspect of the genre, very few have approached it from the production side of things. Production lines, alien lifeforms, and buggies for you and your friends are just some of the things awaiting you on this expansive world. Get the thinky-planny part of your brain ready, because Satisfactory is ready to scratch that base-building itch.

“Neo Cab” (Chance Agency)

The last few years have seen a trend of coll neon blue tones in games and cinema, but I’m far from complaining. The effervescent synth glows of the 80s are well and alive in the modern era and for good reason. Its ability to set a tone is incredible, and Neo Cab is cashing in hard on that appeal. A heavy bass rumbles as electronic beeps blip into the nighttime cityscape. You, a cab driver, explore the world through your diverse clientele. While the themes may be ones we’ve seen before, Neo Cab‘s distinct flavor may be enough to set it apart.

“Mavericks” (Automaton Games)

You know them. You probably don’t love them. They’re Battle Royale games. Ever since PUBG and Fortnite exploded onto the scene, game developers everywhere have been clamoring for a piece of the BR pie. Mavericks is no exception. While the game ostensibly looks and feels like another PUBGMavericks sets itself apart in one distinct way: game size. In lieu of the 100 player maximum that’s become the standard for BR games, Mavericks promises games with upwards of 1000 concurrent players. That’s definitely a tall order, but one intriguing enough for the BR fatigue to wear off just a little.

“Star Control: Origins” (Stardock)

Without saying as much, Star Control: Origins screams “mobile game”. From its flat art style to low-res bare bones gameplay, Star Control does not promise much. Gameplay seems to be something along the lines of Spore, where you expand your specie’s influence across the stars. How exactly you’re to do that is unclear, but what we’ve seen so far leaves little to the imagination.

Stardock asserts that the whole universe of Star Control will be constantly running at all times. Ostensibly, the game is meant to function as a space simulator of sorts, regardless of wherever or whatever the player is doing. Whether that’s a clever mechanic or a tired gimmick remains to be seen.

“The Forgotten City” (Modern Storyteller)

Originally a mod for SkyrimThe Forgotten City is now a standalone game in which players must explore a mysterious Ancient Roman city. A group of 26 explorers are trapped here and doomed to die, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get yourselves out. Fortunately, within the city lies a mysterious portal that allows you to reset Groundhog Day-style and try your best to prevent that from happening. The mystery lies in the exploration, and thankfully there looks to be ample amounts of both.

“Hunt: Showdown” (Crytek)

Despite being in Early Access, Hunt: Showdown boasts an impressive amount of polish. A strange mix of Left 4 Dead, Dying Light, and Battle Royale games has resulted in a hunt-or-be-hunted deathmatch in a Southern turn-of-the-century swamp. As the game chugs along in development, Crytek has dropped a minute-long teaser of goodies to come.

“Archangel” (Skydance Interactive)

Another title currently in Early Access, Archangel: Hellfire dropped a teaser that also promises more upcoming content. Strap into your mech and get ready for high-octane VR action (for those of you that have VR headsets…).

“The Sinking City” (Frogwares Studio)

For all of the influence that Lovecraft’s work has had on modern horror, there’s depressingly little in the way of proper Lovecraftian narratives. In steps The Sinking City, a game reminiscent of the 2005 classic Call of Cthulhu. As a proper period piece, The Sinking City puts players in the role of a detective who’s in way over his head. Fight back the encroaching tentacles of insanity as you delve deep into the terrors of what lies beneath.

“Warframe” (Digital Extremes)

Now in its fifth year, Warframe has revealed a new expansion dubbed “The Sacrifice”. Where Destiny 2 may be on unsure footing, Warframe has never had a more solid playerbase. If this expansion continues in the trend of its previous installments, the game is sure to be around for a good deal longer.


It’s 2018 and Japanese games have never been hotter in the US market. With big hitters like Valkyria ChroniclesYakuzaShenmue, and more coming to PC, SEGA is delivering where it counts. While they’ve got some newer titles coming down the pipeline (e.g. Shining Resonance and Valkyria Chronicles 4), it’s encouraging to see that they’re focusing on what they do best: making games and getting them to their players. You may not be rolling with the console dogs anymore SEGA, but you’re still a winner in our hearts.

“Maneater” (Blindside Interactive)

YOU’RE A SHARK. WHY? FUCK IT, THAT’S WHY. In self-proclaimed SharkPG, Maneater puts players in the bloody role of a fucking shark whose goal it is to terrorize humankind. Because he’s a fucking sharkManeater has no illusions about what it is, but that’s all the better. Sometimes, it’s fun to just let loose and get stupid with it.

“Killing Floor 2” (Tripwire Interactive)

Another in the list of games-getting-content, Killing Floor 2 is unabashedly violent and campy. Some might say excessively so, but those people wrong. “The Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies” brings a bloody good steampunk time to the world of KF2. Pick up your Doomstick and get ready: it’s about to get messy.

“Bravery Network Online” (Gloam Collective)

What do you get when you mix cartoons, Pokemon, and stylishly rad aesthetic? Bravery Network Online! BNO will be focusing on online battles, so Pokemon Showdown fans keep an eye out for this one.

“Morningstar” (Metkis)

Morningstar is a self-described “post-cyberpunk” farming sim, where computers are the soil and data are the crops. That probably made things even more confusing but hey, a little mystery is part of the fun, right?

“Overwhelm” (Ruari O’Sullivan)

Despite the gorgeously stylized cover art, Overwhelm is a starkly simplistic 2D run-and-gun platformer. The unique gimmick here is that as you progress and defeat bosses, the enemies around you get powered up (instead of the other way around). Drenched in a blood red color palette, Overwhelm looks to be as oppressive as its name.

“Jurassic World Evolution” (Frontier Development)

Games… uh… Find a way onto your hard drive. Releasing tomorrow, Jurassic World Evolution puts you at the helm of your very own Jurassic Park. Build, research, and expand your base of operations as you bring creatures from the murky depths of history out into the modern era. Evolution is sure to capture the fantasy (or nightmare) of managing a dino-park. Players must quickly respond to emergency threats, such as power failures, unpredictable weather, and unruly dinosaurs.

And of course, along for the ride is the ever luminous Jeff Goldblum.

“Stormland” (Insomniac)

Now that VR has settled into the gaming world, big name developers are starting to explore what the technology has to offer. Developed by Insomniac Games, Stormland looks to be somewhere between hardcore parkour and combat Wall-E. Players take on the role of robots as they explore a lush, overgrown world riddled with technology. Insomniac’s excellent track record with platformers show that the understand level design. With games like Edge of Nowhere they’ve certainly begun experimenting with the VR platform. However, it remains to be seen just how these veteran developers will push the boundaries of what we know as fun.

“Sable” (Shedworks)

From the moment I glimpsed this game I had become entranced. The muted, cel-shaded palette, the fluid motion, and nostalgic fantasy plunged me into a world that I desperately wanted to explore. Inspired by the likes of Journey and Studio Ghibli, Sable promises free-roaming exploration gameplay in a gorgeous post-apocalyptic setting. With music by Japanese BreakfastSable hopes to transport its players to another world of wonder.

“Star Citizen” (Cloud Imperium Games)

The only definitive thing we can say about Star Citizen at this point is that it certainly looks great. One can’t help but wonder if Cloud Imperium would benefit from showing less, a la CD Projekt Red. Well it’s definitely a game and it’s definitely in space. More to come soon?

“Genesis: Alpha One” (Radiation Blue)

Gamers may joke about the prevalence of Battle Royale games, but space building sims certainly outnumber them by a hefty margin. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but it’s hard to stand out in a crowd. Genesis: Alpha One promises to be different by way of adding roguelike mechanics to the mix of base building. Hopefully that will be enough to set it apart.

“Don’t Starve” (Klei Entertainment)

Don’t Starve‘s third DLC expansion, “Hamlet”, is set to release December 2018. The past two, “Reign of Giants” and “Shipwrecked”, introduced a bevy of seasons, monsters, and locations to the already hefty game. “Hamlet” looks to do much the same and expand into a curious world of shops, jungles, and what’s sure to be creepy-crawlies out for your eyes.

“Overkill’s The Walking Dead” (Overkill)

It’s honestly surprising that it took this long for The Walking Dead to get a proper zombie FPS, but here we are. Described as a “4-player co-op” game, Overkill’s The Walking Dead (clever title) may be along the lines of Left 4 Dead and Vermintide. Which begs the question: What exactly does this bring to the table?

“Two Point Hospital” (Two Point Studios)

Despite a rocky start with malfunctioning mics, a bit of dry wit saved the day. Rather appropriate, as Two Point Hospital takes on the sim genre with its own brand of darkly dry humor. Patients of all ailments come to you seeking help, whether it’s their depressing Turtle Head or raging monobrow. It’ll be interesting to see how the humor plays into it and whether or not it fades into the background as gameplay progresses.

“Ooblets” (Glumberland)

Indies have a reputation for the cute and simplistic. While the obvious answer as to why that is may be “it’s easy”, it’s also incredibly fun.  Y’know, fun? That thing where you just enjoy something because it’s appealing? Ooblets oozes that sense of cute fun, with bright visuals, poppy music, and what’s sure to be comfy-cozy gameplay.

“Anno 1800” (Blue Byte Studio)

I’m far from the demographic for this game, but you’ve gotta give credit where credit is due: Blue Byte Studios knows the deep strategy genre. However, with the advent of Anno 1800 they’ve put out an open call to the playerbase to help make the game even better. As soon as I have dozens of hours to dump into a game, I’ll get right on that.

“Rapture Rejects” (tinyBuild)

What would the PC Gaming Show be without another Battle Royale game. Thankfully, tinyBuild has a good sense of humor about it all and takes the piss out of the genre with a hilarious preview for their upcoming title, Rapture Rejects. Rampant debauchery abounds in this top-down free-for-all Battle Royale where everybody’s gone to the rapture. Except you. You were an asshole. Go shoot somebody now. Asshole.

While some segments consisted of games that were previously announced, like Realm Royale, Just Cause 4, and Hitman 2, the PC Gaming Show still managed to impress. Even with the Battle Royale and sim/management games taking up a good chunk, there were still more than a few standout titles that were just plain weird. Between the PC Gaming Show, Devolver, and other indie devs smattered throughout E3, it’s safe to say it’s not just the big boys anymore. Indies are here to stay.

Kyle grew up with a controller in one hand and a book in the other. He would've put something else in a third hand, but science isn't quite there yet. In the meantime, he makes do with watching things like television, film, and anime. He can be found posting ramblings on or trying to hop on the social media bandwagon @LikeTheRogue

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PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.



Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.


Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.



Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.


Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.



Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

Animated GIF

Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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PAX Online: ‘Inkulinati’ and ‘Pumpkin Jack’

The PAX Online celebrations continue with the strategy game, Inkulinati, and spooky Halloween themed Pumpkin Jack.



Inkulinati and Pumpkin Jack

The PAX Online celebrations continue with a strategy game whose tales are writ in ink and a game sure to put you in an early Halloween mood.



Platforms: Switch and Steam
Release: 2021

Preview in new tab(opens in a new tab)

Competitive strategy games stress me out. Chess? Stresses me out. Checkers? Stresses me out. Star Craft? Stresses me out. Managing that stress as a form of stimulation is what makes the best strategy games shine, though, and Inkulinati is so far demonstrating all the facets of such a game.

The titular Inkulinati are masters of a craft that brings their inked creatures to life on parchment, including a caricature of themselves. The two Inkulinati do written battle with each other until only one is left standing. The battles are carried out in a charming medieval art style that looks like it was taken straight out of a manuscript you’d find carefully stored in a library. These aren’t the masterpieces of Da Vinci or Van Gogh, but the kinds of scribbles you’d find the layman making on the edges of pages either out of boredom or mischievousness. The playful art makes for a playful tone and jolly times.

The core thrust of the gameplay is that each Inkulinati utilizes ink points to conjure units, or “creatures”, onto the parchment in a turn-based manner and sends them into the fray. There were a fair amount of creatures available in the demo — ranging from a simple swordsdog with well-rounded stats to a donkey capable of stunning foes with its trusty butt trumpet. Many many more creature types are promised in the full game, but I found even with the limited selection of the demo the gameplay was still able to be showcased well.

Your primary Inkulinati also has some tricks up its depending on the type you’ve chosen to take into battle. Instant damage to or healing a unit were the two shown off in the demo, as well as being able to shove units. Shoving is particularly useful as you can push enemies into the hellfires that encroach the battlefield as the battle wages on, instantly defeating them.

Doing battle with an opponent it all well and good, but what’s the point if it’s not immortalized for generations to experience down the line? Inkulimati understands this need and will record every single action of the battlefield in written word. It’s infinitely charming, and the amount of variations in how to say what amounts to just “X unit attacked Y enemy” is astonishing. How can you not chuckle at, “Powerful Morpheus killed the enemy and may those who failed to witness this live in constant pain and regret”?

Pumpkin Jack

Pumpkin Jack

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam
Release: Q4 2020

Halloween may be a little over a month away but that didn’t stop the 3D action platformer Pumpkin Jack getting me in the spookyween mood. The human realm is suffering from the Devil’s curse and have elected the aid of a wizarding champion to save them from it. Not to be outdone, the Devil also chooses his own champion to stop the wizard, choosing the despicable spirit Jack. With the tasty reward of being able to pass on from hell, Jack dons his pumpkin head and a wooden & straw body on his quest to keep the world ruined. The premise sounds slightly grim but make no mistake that this is a goofy game through and through, a fact only emphasized by a brilliant opening narration dripping with sarcasm and morbid glee.

The demo took us through Pumpkin Jack‘s first stage, a dilapidated farmland full of ambient lanterns abandoned storehouses. The visuals are compliments by a wonderfully corny soundtrack full of all the tubas, xylophones, and ghost whistles one would expect a title that is eternally in the Halloween mood.

We got the basics of traversal, like dodge rolling and double jumps, before coming upon a terrified murder of crows. Turns out their favorite field has been occupied by a dastardly living scarecrow and they want Jack to take care of it. One crow joins Jack on his quest, taking the form of a projectile attack that he can sic on enemies. Jack also obtains a shovel he can use to whack on the animated skeletons with a simple three-hit combo. There’s nothing particularly standout about the combat, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be this early on. More weapons such as a rifle and scythe are promised in the full game and should go a way towards developing the combat along with more enemy variety.

Pumpkin Jack

Collectible crow skulls also dot the map and seem to be cleverly hidden as even when I felt like I was carefully searching the whole stage I had only found 12 out of 20 by the end. Their purpose is unknown in the demo, so here’s hopping they amount to something making me want to find those last eight in the full version.

After accidentally lighting a barn ablaze and escaping in a dramatic sequence we came across the scarecrow in question. Defeating it was a rather simple affair that was just a matter of shooting it out of the air with the crow then wailing on it with Jack’s shovel. We were awarded a new glaive-type weapon as a reward but unable to give it a whirl in the demo, unfortunately. All-in-all, Pumpkin Jack shows promise as a follow-up to action 3D platformers of yore like Jak & Daxter, so here’s hoping to a solid haunting when it releases later this year.

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