Game Releases

Notable game releases this week include:

13th February

  • Dynasty Warriors 9 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
  • Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4)
  • Owlboy (Switch, Xbox One, PS4)
  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)

14th February

  • Florence (iOS)

15th February

  • Secret of Mana (PC, PS4, Vita)

16th February

  • Bayonetta (Switch)
  • Bayonetta 2 (Switch)
  • Fe (PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4)

Whilst the developers behind Epistory have been teasing a new typing game, they’ve also been working on a programming based puzzle game named Algo Bot and revealed it will be available on 14th February for PC. [link]

Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition was released a day earlier than expected last week when it landed on the App Store on 9th February. The pocket edition is a complete port of the main Final Fantasy 15 game that hit consoles at the end of 2016 (and is coming to PC this March) just with a condensed world and lower-res chibi-style visuals. It takes up 1.5GB of space. [link]

Both of Tencent’s mobile PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds games have launched on the App Store in China. Both games have instantly jumped to the top of the download charts on iOS and had 75 million pre-registrations! [link]

Planetoid Pioneers, the self-styled “Physicsvania” has just left Early Access. The developers have made a huge array of planets to get stuck into but the game also lets you design your own planets, weapons, characters and vehicles. With Steam Workshop support it is likely going to be a similar experience to that of Planet Coaster where the community content far exceeds that of the base game. [link]

Dapper Penguin Studios (awesome name) have placed Rise of Industry into Early Access after a year long alpha on Itch. It’s a tycoon game about building factories, making products, running transportation networks for supply and delivery, and generally exploiting labour for fun and profit in the early 20th Century. [link]

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is arriving this week but has a fairly meaty day one patch weighing in at 23GB. This is due to the game being broken into 2GB ISO files that require re-uploading if anything is altered and basically all of them were touched. There are bug fixes, rebalances, improvements, and new events so it is probably well worth the download frustrating though it is. [link]

Tabletopia, the free-to-play virtual tabletop simulator, released an iPad version last week although it is limited to only 6 games out of the 500 or so licensed titles available on PC. It’s an interesting development but I much prefer Tabletop Simulator and its legally dubious collection of assets on Steam Workshop. [link]

Upcoming Games

Alto’s Odyssey, the sequel to endless snowboarding and llama game Alto’s Adventure, is finally available for pre-order on the App Store after a lengthy delay in development. The title releases on 22nd February for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with iCloud save syncing and a photo mode. [link

An interesting online game is launching shortly titled One Hour Life. You start the game as a baby with your survival being entirely dependent on the help of a random stranger online. Every minute that passes adds a year to your life up to a maximum of 60. It’ll be an interesting one as the collaboration and societal mechanics mean that even the developer doesn’t know how it will ultimately pan out. [link]

London-based studio Solar Sail games has announced a survival RPG for consoles and PC heavily based on modern survival titles and blending them with RPG traditions. Smoke and Sacrifice (coming later in 2018) sees players take on the role of Sachi, a mother on a quest to discover the fate of her child. The game’s developers boast that the title has a complex ecosystem, with flora and fauna populations dynamically reacting to the rise and fall of food and predators. [link]

Manga and anime distributor VIZ Media is partnering with Portland-based studio Rose City Games to launch a new publishing program dedicated to original indie games. The pair announced their first game, The World Next Door, as the first of three currently in the works. It will be a narrative-driven supernatural action-adventure game full of emotional storytelling although no release date has been announced. [link]

Subset Games, the developers behind famously successful spaceship simulator FTL: Faster Than Light, have announced that their new game Into the Breach will be released on PC on 27th February. The game is set in the far future where giant monsters have invaded Earth and the only way to stop them is with mechs offering high degrees of modability. Throw in some time travel and you have a recipe for an interesting new take on the tactical RPG genre. [link]

The Surge 2, the sequel to 2017’s solid sci-fi Soulslike, has been announced. Publisher Focus Home Interactive and Deck13 are once again working together with a view to releasing the action RPG in 2019 on consoles and PC. The Surge 2 takes place in a brand new environment: a sprawling, devastated city with larger and more ambitious level design, made possible by Deck13’s upgraded and improved engine. [link]

Vostok Games, the studio formed from the ashes of STALKER developer GSC, have announced a battle royale game titled Fear the Wolves. The one interesting twist it adds on the 1v99 formula is that there are NPCs out to hurt you as well. It will be free to play and available at some point towards the end of the year. It is very different to the other title they are working on, Survarium, which is a spiritual successor to STALKER that is currently available in Early Access. [link]

I hate to bring up the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay again but do so only to note that Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has said he is “confident” that the game won’t be delayed again. Let’s hope so! [link]

ARK Park, a “stunningly realistic dinosaur theme park simulation” and spin-off from Ark: Survival Evolved now has a release date of 22nd March. Relatively little is known about the game but I get the feeling it will be better to wait for Jurassic World Evolution when that launches later this year. [link]

A second round of the Metal Gear Survive beta will take place this week and it’s going to include PC for the first time. Starting on 16th February, the beta includes three missions across two maps, all playable in co-op for up to four players. The full game launches on 20th February. [link]

Sprawling role-playing sequel Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire had been confirmed for Xbox One and PS4 but it is now also getting a port to the Switch. All console versions will launch later in the year after the PC version which debuts on 3rd April. [link]

After several delays, the eagerly awaited RPG Vampyr has finally been given a release date of 5th June for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. [link]

More details on Kingdom Hearts 3 have been revealed at the Disney D23 conference in Japan thanks to a new trailer. It shows a Monsters Inc. themed world as well as characters from Tangled and The Little Mermaid. Seeing Donald Duck with a single eye à la Mike Wazowski is quite something! [link]

Re-Releases

After a flurry of not-very-subtle teasing, Sega has now confirmed that Puyo Puyo Tetris is coming to PC later this month. The desktop variation promises scalable resolutions, fully customisable controls and mouse-driven menus. [link]

Capcom are finally porting the Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition from iOS to Android as well as bringing an exclusive fighter in the form of Dan Hibiki. It is also using a slightly different payment model with a small amount of free-to-play content and a single $5 IAP to unlock the full game (whereas iOS is just a “pay $5 for this game” model). [link]

Hello Neighbor is coming to the Nintendo Switch by the end of the year, along with five other games that showcase publisher Tiny Build’s indie games catalog on the console. Five of the six games are $14.99, with Hello Neighbor at $39.99. [link]

Armature, the developer of the Vita version of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, currently lists “PS4” under the list of platforms it’s developed the port on. This might hint at a future announcement of a PS4 version of the game. Then again, it might be a typo. [link]

DLC and Updates

The Blade Of Galadriel expansion is now available for Middle-earth: Shadow of War in which you play as Eltariel, one of Talion’s sidekicks from the main game. There is also a free update that adds a number of new traits to the orc captains which the nemesis system can take advantage of. [link]

Rocket League may be about to get competitive playlists for some of their alternative modes such as Snow Day, Hoops, Dropshot, and Rumble. [link]

Kerbal Space Program will launch its first expansion on 13th March. Titled the History Expansion, it’s the first add-on for the PC version of the game since it entered Steam Early Access in 2013. The expansion will include a new Mission Builder that will allow players to create and edit missions as well as a History Pack which will include a set of missions “Inspired by humankind’s own space exploration”.[link]

The world of Jurassic Park and its dinosaurs are the next three tables coming to Pinball FX3, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the blockbuster dino series. The new tables will arrive on 20th February on PC, mobile, and every current console. [link]

A v1.2 update for Pokémon Ultra Sun / Moon arrived last week and resolves an issue that required in Curse, String Shot, Forest’s Curse and Power Trick being temporarily blocked from the Video Games Championships. [link]

Switch rhythm game Voez has received an update adding another 14 free songs to its already expansive track roster so that it now features 174 genre-spanning Japanese and Korean pop tracks. You may remember Voez as the first Switch game to be touch-screen only. [link]

Injustice 2 is welcoming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to its roster either as a standalone DLC pack on 20th February (priced at around £12) or for free as part of the Ultimate Edition on 13th February. [link]

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is getting a free update this week that adds a Game Plus mode which allows you to add more blades / drivers to your team, send them off on merc missions, and adds news skills to the affinity charts. There are also a number of bug fixes and quality of life improvements. [link]

Epic has posted a huge update on the state of development for Fortnite, highlighting some of the major improvements and new features planned for the coming months. Starting with a statement of intent for future development, Epic commented on their server issues and buggy v2.3.0 release and said they are working on both as a priority. [link]

After a less-than-stellar release, Friday the 13th has slowly been making amends by adding new content, characters, modes, and more. The latest content is a new set of single-player challenges. [link]

Marina and Pearl, the Splatfest hosts of Splatoon 2, are getting amiibo and the game is getting a new stage in the form of the Goby Arena. [link]

Hardware

Microsoft has announced limited-edition companion accessories to match the Sea of Thieves wireless Xbox One controller which ties in with the game. There’s a 2TB game drive from Seagate, and two controller stands (one powered, one not) from Controller Gear. [link]

Asus has made available BIOS updates for its complete lineup of AM4 motherboards in preparation for the launch of their new Ryzen processors featuring integrated graphics. [link]

Software

PS4 firmware 5.50 was released to the beta programme last week and adds several new features such as an updated library UI, improvements to the Quick Menu and notifications, and a new feature called Play Time Management which is essentially parental controls. The big feature though is supersampling mode for PS4 Pro users so those with 1080p screens can get some benefit from those games that updated for the Pro but didn’t include supersampling. [link]

The Xbox One has also received a minor UI update all about ease of access, making small changes to game hubs, do not disturb and inactivity options, and next achievements. [link]

Developers

Apple will be hosting a session at this year’s Game Developers Conference for the first time, offering an introduction to ARKit, its augmented reality platform. [link]

AMD has teamed up with Valve to bring its TrueAudio Next technology to Steam games and VR applications. Valve announced that its Steam Audio 2.0 beta release now supports TrueAudio Next, which allows developers to use a reserved portion of a support GPU to generate spatial audio. [link]

Business

Capcom Vancouver employees have been hit with layoffs after a studio restructuring affected 30 percent of the studio. The studio is best known for developing Capcom’s Dead Rising games. [link]

A report reveals the Switch already has sold three times the number of games the Wii U did at this same time in its lifecycle. [link]

A reference to a Nintendo Switch-exclusive first-person shooter on the LinkedIn profile of a Bandai Namco Singapore developer has seemingly confirmed that studio will be developing Metroid Prime 4. It also referenced Ridge Racer 8 which is alleged to be a Switch exclusive. Whoops.[link]

The player numbers for PUBG haven’t stopped growing since the game launched on early access (a rare feat) but this month they have finally registered a decline of just over 1%. [link]

GTA 5 has passed 90 million sales but the online component has also just set a record for what Take-Two likes to call “recurrent consumer spending”. They have no plans to slow down on the microtransactions as it is leading to massive profitability especially when used in tandem with one of the best selling games in history. [link]

Sweden has become the latest country to suggest that it could implement some sort of restriction on loot boxes in videogames with them potentially being classified as a form of gambling in 2019. [link]

Nintendo Switch owners will finally be able to redeem My Nintendo Gold Points against eShop purchases, starting in early March. It is essentially a 5% rewards scheme that can be used against future purchases. [link]

Fortnite surpassed 3.4 million concurrent players this past weekend, roughly six months since the game initially released into early access and just over four months since its significantly popular Battle Royale mode hit. [link]

I commented last week that Mario Kart Tour was likely to be full of micro-transactions due to the perceived failure from Nintendo over the business model they chose for Super Mario Run. It looks like they may be trying the same thing again though as they have commented that the game will be “free to start” which sounds like a free game in which you pay a single unlock price. [link]

Developer Relic says it will no longer support Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 3 with additional content due to lower-than-expected sales. [link]

Cool Shit

Modder Chant has devised an exceedingly clever Planet Coaster park on a giant Monopoly game board, and it’s not just for looks. It’s an actual functioning Monopoly game scenario with custom rules you can play while you build your park and it is available in the Steam Workshop[link]

Dishonored 2 is the latest videogame to get the graphic novel treatment with ‘The Peeress and the Price’ being released later this month. [link]

A new game for the Sega Mega Drive console has been developed using the original tools, 20 years after the games console was discontinued. [link]

Wii Sports Resort Golf has speedrunners and the world record was beaten by an up-and-comer in the competitive landscape. [link]

And Finally…

Miyamoto has said that Nintendo and Illumination might decide to back away from making a Mario movie if the script doesn’t live up to their standards. [link]

A PUBG streamer is spending the entire month eating only roast chickens; the catch, he can only have one for every match he wins. I’d literally starve to death trying this. [link]

Would you like a mouse which functions as a joystick? Probably not. [link]


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