We've talked about Paragon a lot lately. It's got impressive visuals and promising gameplay; we're curious about how it'll do against other MOBAs in the (overly) saturated market. The first free open beta is near closing – it ends on the 30th – and for some of us, the first open beta wasn't enough. There's a paid early access for those people, granting more access to the TPS-MOBA-action-twitch-shooter amalgam. Starting on May 31st, early access buyers will be granted control over the next playable character: “Riktor,” the 17th hero to join the cast.

Epic’s Paragon is getting ready for a free beta weekend later this month -- from May 26th to the 30th. Anyone interested can sign-up here to participate, but you must sign up before the 25th.

Paragon is Epic’s take on the MOBA genre; however, the gameplay in Paragon is more like a third-person shooter than a traditional MOBA game. Also unlike other MOBAs, Paragon’s visuals are nothing to smirk at -- nVidia even brought Epic CEO Tim Sweeney out to their recent media event to use Paragon to show off the GTX 1080.

Our East Coast Game Conference coverage kicks-off with Epic Games' rendering technology, specifically as it pertains to implementation within upcoming MOBA “Paragon.” Epic Games artist Zak Parrish covered topics relating to hair, skin, eyes, and cloth, providing a top-level look at game graphics rendering techniques and pipelines.

The subject was Sparrow, a Braid-like playable archer hero with intensely detailed hair and lighting. Parrish used Sparrow to demonstrate each of his rendering points – but we'll start with sub-surface scattering, which may be a bit of a throwback for readers of our past screen-space subsurface scattering article (more recently in Black Ops III graphics guide).

Cars, spaceships, and a metal band star in this week’s game news recap -- actually, two metal bands, and they’ve both got forthcoming games. In the past week, Epic Games pushed critical announcement regarding its new Paragon MOBA: The game will be entirely free-to-play -- access to all heroes included -- with only monetized cosmetic items. Early beta access costs $20, but will be waived at launch (similar to the successful Dota 2 model). Time will tell how financially viable “cosmetic items only” is for yet another game on the market, but it’s been working out well for Dota 2 so far. Not a bad model to follow.

Other news includes No Man’s Sky, a game we think is well worth a follow, and Dream Theater’s new The Astonishing game and album. Maiden’s in there, too, because Steve Harris has decided to bring Eddie to mobile devices. More in the recap video below. Script follows.

Last week's game news was primarily dominated by actual, emergent games -- a good thing, given the abundance of lawsuits and industry items over the past few weeks. Granted, we haven't been able to escape the legal side of the industry: Palmer Luckey of Oculus VR is still being sued by Total Recall, and that lawsuit has been allowed to proceed (barring some of the more poignant and critical points of the plaintiff).

As for the more fun, gaming-oriented content, we saw major moves for Black Desert Online as it has continued a push into the public eye, Epic Games' Paragon released an alpha gameplay trailer, Minecraft: Education Edition was announced, and Humble Bundle has more sales.

Written and video content below -- take your pick of consumption!

Epic Games today unveiled its second trailer for upcoming MOBA “Paragon,” featuring alpha gameplay of the vertically-inspired title. Titled “Mid-Lane Push,” this trailer shows significantly more in-game action than previous videos (and initial, info-devoid teasers).

Several new characters are on display in the trailer: Gadget and Feng Mao aggressively assault a tower defended by Rampage and Kallari. So far, Paragon is most interesting for its addition of vertical gameplay elements in a genre dominated by flat, single-map arenas. The trailer also shows a couple abilities for each of the new characters.

This week's game news looks to the worlds of Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher, Overwatch, Elite: Dangerous, Paragon, and Steam's account theft.

An interview with CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski went live on Polish site Money.pl, where the CEO – who openly discusses his company's financial efficiency – talks about the White Wolf's future adventures. The company hopes to continue its devotion to the Witcher series, despite initial plans to conclude the story with Wild Hunt. Geralt's story is done, Kicinski told the site, but that doesn't mean The Witcher is. This has been the major delay to Cyberpunk 2077, a game that has internal, unannounced deadlines, but Kicinski said to expect Cyberpunk news in 2016.

Our hardware news recap is over here.

That and all the other week's news items are recapped in the below video:

This is one of those “announcements of an announcement” – there's almost no information available at present aside from the fact that “Paragon” exists. That, and a trailer (below).

Epic Games released the below teaser trailer and Play Paragon website earlier today, indicating a 2016 release target for the enigmatic title. From a first glance, it looks as if Paragon is either a team shooter or a MOBA, strictly based on the fact that (1) it's got guns and (2) the characters are being called Heroes.

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