Game Releases

Notable game releases this week include:

6th March

  • Final Fantasy XV (PC)
  • Scribblenauts Showdown (Switch, Xbox One, PS4)

7th March

  • Bravo Team (PSVR)
  • Frantics (PS4)

HAL Laboratory, the developers behind Nintendo franchises such as Kirby, have released their previously Japan only mobile game Part Time UFO in multiple countries worldwide including the UK and USA. [link]

Outlast has performed a jump scare and suddenly appeared on the Nintendo Switch eShop bundled with its Whistleblower prequel DLC. The 2017 sequel is due out on the Switch at some point this summer. [link]

Re-Releases

The Trail, Peter Molyneux’s chilled out hiking game from 2016, has been released on Nintendo Switch. [link]

Square Enix has performed another sudden PC release of a classic game with Chrono Trigger appearing on Steam last week. It is described as the “definitive version” with updated controls and revamped graphics and audio. [link]

Upcoming Games

A Way Out, the mandatory co-op game from the creator of single-player co-op game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (which we’ve been playing recently on Shy Guys), has been given a way out to launch (sorry) on 23rd March. It will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. [link]

Atari announced that they’re resurrecting their 1976 arcade racer Night Driver as a “free-to-play, fast-paced endless driver” launching for both iOS and Android devices. There’s no release date yet but it is soft-launched in Canada on both platforms. [link]

A Planet of the Apes VR game is coming to PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive on 3rd April. Titled Crisis on the Planet of the Apes, the VR adventure is experienced from the perspective of an ape trying to escape a “heavily guarded scientific facility”. [link]

Funcom has officially unveiled Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a tactical adventure game that blends the turn-based combat of XCOM with free-form, real-time exploration. The game is in development at The Bearded Ladies, a new outfit made up of former Hitman and PAYDAY developers, and is due for release this year on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. [link]

Question, a team made up of industry veterans behind games like Bioshock Infinite, Bioshock 2, and Dishonored, has announced The Blackout Club for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 with a launch window of Q1 2019. The paranormal co-op game is set in a small town where a group of teens wakes up with no memory of what happened when they were unconscious. [link]

WarGames, the interactive video series from Her Story creator Sam Barlow based on the 1983 film, will launch on 14th March on iOS and Steam as well as online at vudo.com and HelloEko.com. The game will take place over a six-episode series. [link]

Detroit: Become Human has an official release date set for 25th May on PS4. [link]

Chucklefish, the publisher of Stardew Valley, has provided a few more details about their next project titled Spellbound which takes place in a magic school. Chucklefish founder Finn Brice said “the game revolves around your path through school, the relationships you build, and your mastery of the several schools of magic at your disposal” and the released screenshots definitely evoke a Stardew feeling. It has only been announced for PC thus far (and that is a way off yet) but I’m sure this will find itself on the Switch shortly afterwards. [link]

Happy Birthdays, the upcoming world-creation game by Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada that is an updated version of Birthdays the Beginning, has an official release date for the Nintendo Switch of 5th June. [link]

Early Access Graduatations

H1Z1 has left Early Access and tried to get back into the spotlight by promoting a new battle royale mode that is vehicle based. It is priced at around $20 but the developers are apparently looking at a freemium model in the future similar to Fortnite. [link]

DLC and Updates

Rocket League has announced it is to continue its partnership with the WWE (which sees the game promoted in a lot of WWE locations) with wrestling themed items appearing at some point in April. [link]

Thimbleweed Park has received some new DLC that lets you remove the swear filter from Ransome the *beeping* Clown. If I hadn’t replayed it fairly recently I’d definitely pick this up as I imagine the language is fairly colourful (especially when climbing the radio tower). [link]

Escape from Tarkov developer Battlestate has revealed its 2018 roadmap including a beta that moves to the latest version of the Unity engine with the upcoming Interchange map, new weapons and quests, and various balancing tweaks to push it further into the hardcore realistic shooter sub-genre. [link]

Rumours

A well-placed source in the graphics card business says that the next generation of GeForce GTX cards could be here as early as April. It is rumoured that they won’t be numbered as an 11-series (i.e. GTX 1180) but instead jump to 20-series. They will allegedly use a refreshed version of the Ampere architecture rather than the high-end Volta or the rumoured upcoming Turing. [link]

However, in the interest of balance, multiple independent sources have told Tom’s Hardware that apart from a possible announcement and a rather vague “appetizer”, nothing concrete regarding Nvidia’s next-gen gaming graphics products is likely to be revealed at either GTC or GDC this month. Their sources say Turing-based cards will come at Gamescom in August. [link]

A third entry in the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare series appears to have leaked by a comic book. The description for Amazon’s listing of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Volume 2 says “Paul Tobin returns to write the official comic book bridge between video games PvZ: GW2 and PvZ: GW3 with Tim Lattie returning to deliver artwork”. Whoops! [link]

Blizzard have released a pretty blatant teaser that Diablo will be coming to Nintendo Switch, most likely with Diablo 3 and its expansions. [link]

Super Mario Odyssey’s February update has been datamined to reveal costumes and hats for Mario based on the game’s Broodal bosses. Previously datamined references to a Link costume have disappeared though. [link]

If a recent tease from Bethesda is any indication, new downloadable content for Prey might be on the horizon. [link]

Software

Nvidia has released their latest Game Ready drivers (391.01) which add improved support for Final Fantasy XV, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, and War of Tanks 1.0 along with a 7% performance boost for PUBG. There are also a number of bug fixes as per usual. [link]

A bug was recently discovered in Monster Hunter World that crashes the game if the player has more than 200 Decorations. Capcom is aware of the issue and working on a fix. [link]

There’s a new update for Xbox One users in the Insider Program that adds a form of Remote Play with PC. It works through Mixer, Xbox’s baked in streaming service, and lets you pass control to anyone watching on PC via Mixer.com. Other new features in the update include support for 1440p video output, an improved version of Edge, and UI updates to the games library section. [link]

Nintendo users are finding that their logged playtime data from one year ago, when the console launched, is gone. [link]

Developers

Apple has thus far shown no interest in offering the modern Vulkan API and instead has pushed its own proprietary API – Metal – preventing developers from a cross-platform solution. This has been resolved by the open source, royalty-free release of MoltenVK, a runtime for macOS and iOS that offers an almost complete subset of the Vulkan API implemented using Metal. [link]

Indie dev Matt Thorson has shared a link to a GitHub repo containing the Player class code (all ~5400 lines of it) for Celeste, the mountainous platformer he and some collaborators released in January. The dev team plans to release a few of the Celeste class files “as a learning resource and for general interest”. [link]

Business

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) will begin labelling video games that contain in-game purchases. This would cover lootboxes and any transactions that are offered from within a game. [link]

In typical fashion, Nintendo have removed the review section they added to their website within a few days of it going live. Nintendo commented that it was just a trial. [link]

Ubisoft has announced its acquisition of Brawlhalla developer, Blue Mammoth Games, for an undisclosed amount. Brawlhalla is currently the most-played fighting game on Steam based on concurrent users and is apparently one of the top free-to-play titles on the PlayStation store, according to Ubisoft. [link]

Oculus Rift is, for the first time, the most popular VR headset among Steam users according to the latest Steam hardware survey. The HTC Vive has slipped into second place with just over 45% whilst the Rift accounts for just over 47% of the Steam market. [link]

Cool Shit

Ubisoft has announced Inside Eden’s Gate, a live-action short film set in the world of Far Cry 5 and starring many of the cast. The short will be available via Amazon Prime Video starting today. link]

A box set of CDs featuring the music from Breath of the Wild has been announced in Japan with a regular and special edition. The five-disc set contains all of the music from the game, the DLC, and even the pre-release music trailer and releases on 25th April. [link]

Good Smile Company will release a toy version of the Guardian from Breath of the Wild later this year replete with an eye beam accessory, Ancient Bow, and a transparent “Game Over” screen. Pre-orders close on 18th April with shipping expected in August. Good Smile is also re-releasing its Breath of the Wild Link figures.[link]

A game of Fortnite is won by a guy taking a ridiculously quick and accurate shot from a sniper rifle… whilst standing on top of a speeding missile. This is an incredible must watch video. [link]

And Finally…

Lara Croft is once again advertising Lucozade although it isn’t being renamed Larazade as it was in 2001. [link]

Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart devices can now speak to you with Pikachu’s voice courtesy of the free Pikachu Talk app. [link]

Just £350 and a bit of DIY can help you build a “portable” Switch XL. [link]


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