Notable game releases this week include:
- The Lost Child (Switch, PS4, Vita)
- Mario Tennis Aces (Switch)
- New Gundam Breaker (PC, PS4)
Sky Noon, an interesting wild west game launched into Early Access last week. Seems a bit Smash Bros or Deformers with a lack of health bars or ammo and a focus on smacking people out of an arena. I’m intrigued so may pick this one up! [link]
Release Date Announcements
- Overkill’s The Walking Dead (4th-6th Nov: PC, Xbox One, PS4) [link]
I’ll generally link to any firm release dates for major games that have been announced for the first time unless they are covered by another section (i.e. Nintendo at E3). However, as so many games have been announced in the past week, I’ll just let you view this wonderful list from Polygon containing the release dates of every game announced at E3 2018. [link]
DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive has announced a new multiplayer game called Vigor, and it’s coming exclusively to Xbox One via Xbox Game Preview later this summer. It takes place in a post-war Norway after a nuclear bomb has devastated most of Europe and will be an 8-16 player online survival game. [link]
Yoshi for Nintendo Switch was conspicuously absent during Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year and the company has now made the game’s delay into 2019 official. Further updates on the title will be given later this year. [link]
It appears Netflix is partnering with Telltale Games for an interactive game based off of Stranger Things. Though TechRadar initially indicated that the potential Stranger Things game would be coming to the streaming service, Netflix issued a response declaring that it would be a more traditional Telltale series on standard gaming platforms. [link]
Hello Neighbor is getting a sequel in the form of Secret Neighbor, an asymmetrical multiplayer game set between chapters one and two of the original where you’ll play as one of a group of kids trying to rescue their friend. However, one of you will be a secret betrayer whilst someone else gets to control the neighbour himself. Sounds interesting! Warning: the linked article has the phrase “Hello Neighbor was one of my favorite games of 2017” so take it with a pinch of salt (or a shot of something strong). [link]
Grim Fandango Remastered and Broken Age are both coming to Nintendo Switch “in the coming months”. [link]
Divinity: Original Sin 2 will be heading to Xbox One and PS4 on 31st August. As previously revealed, the console versions will have a number of changes which are allegedly “about 45 pages long” although they’ve yet to be detailed in any specific fashion. [link]
DLC and Updates
Gun Media, the studio behind Friday the 13th: The Game, issued a statement last week announcing that all future DLC has been canceled due to an ongoing legal claim regarding the movie franchise. Thankfully they had the sense not to sell a season pass so nobody has lost out on this. [link]
Don’t Starve developers Klei Entertainment have delayed the launch of the “Hamlet” expansion from June to December 2018 saying “we’re not quite where we want Hamlet to be yet”. Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t. [link]
The first paid expansion for Splatoon 2 launched last week after being announced hours before at the end of the Splatoon 2 World Championships. The “Octo Expansion” is a new single-player adventure that packs in more than 80 missions. I’ve not played Splatoon 2 since it launched but this might make me dip back in for a while. [link]
E3 2018: Ubisoft
Ubisoft had a fairly good E3 despite having several of its announcements leaked in advance. Of course the focus was on Assassin’s Creed and its seven different pre-orders but Skull & Bones was also very well received. News included:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was showcased and sees you playing as either the son or daughter of King Leonidas of “SPARTA!!!” fame. It will have branching dialogue choices which is a first for the series along with 7 different versions of the game which give you varying levels of early access and other bonus bullshit. It launches this October.
- Beyond Good & Evil 2 got a new trailer and the news that they are partnering with Joseph Gorden Levitt’s company HitRecord to do some weird music collaboration thing which I don’t fully understand.
- The Division 2 will get three DLC updates in the first year which will all be free. There is also going to be more end game content in the form of raids and specialisations.
- For Honor is getting a new faction, the Wu Lin, along with a new 4v4 mode called Breach.
- Just Dance 2019 was announced, just in case you were worried there wouldn’t be a new entry in the series.
- Skull & Bones got another trailer and some gameplay demos that seem to have been well received despite being compared to ship-to-ship combat in Assassin’s Creed which I always thought was a bit rubbish. It is launching in 2019.
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the toys-to-life game that shocked everyone as we all thought the genre was dead, gained a release date of 16th October for Switch, Xbox One, and PS4 along with the news that Star Fox would appear in the game.
- Transference shit me right up. It is due later this year and is clearly meant to be a VR game with support for Rift, Vive, and PSVR but can be played in non-VR on Xbox One and PS4.
- Trials Rising was announced in bizarre fashion with creative director Antti Ilvessuo appearing on stage, crashing through a piece of furniture, and then proclaiming himself the prime minister of Finland…
E3 2018: Square Enix
This was probably one of the weaker showings mainly because nearly everything good had already been shown at other presentations, namely Kingdom Hearts 3 and Just Cause 4. Still, there were a few surprises with The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit and The Quiet Man balancing out the AAA trailers we’d already seen. News included:
- The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a free download on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 coming next week which will seed clues for Life is Strange 2.
- Dragon Quest XI showed off some of the English voice acting. It launches on 14th September on PC and PS4 although the Switch version doesn’t have a release date yet.
- Final Fantasy XIV is getting a Monster Hunter World cross over because [answers on a postcard].
- Just Cause 4 was demoed in more detail than we saw in Microsoft’s presentation but is essentially just more of the same (which is a good thing).
- Kingdom Hearts 3 showed the same trailer they showed at Microsoft’s presentation but with the inclusion of Ratatouille. It launches on 29th January.
- The Quiet Man was announced as an “immersive story-driven cinematic action experience” that can be completed in one sitting. It will be digital only and is coming to PC and PS4 this August.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider got another showing but didn’t really add anything we hadn’t seen before.
E3 2018: Sony
Rather than spraying out a load of trailers Sony decided to go into detail on a few of its exclusives this year. Unfortunately the majority had already been shown last year so there was a distinct lack of wow factor or surprise and paired with the Fortnite Switch kerfuffle it is safe to say Sony didn’t have the best time at E3. News on the Final Fantasy VII Remaster was also nowhere to be found. News included:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will have a live season of content rather than four separate expansions.
- Control was announced as a new game from Remedy that was previously codenamed P7. It has a release date of 2019 and is a sandbox-style game which sees you using supernatural abilities.
- Death Stranding was shown in more detail but still has more questions than answers. There is still no release date as yet.
- Deracine is a new PS4/PSVR exclusive from the developers behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Not much detail on gameplay or a release date.
- God of War is getting a game plus mode for those without other games to play.
- Kingdom Hearts 3 is getting a special edition PS4 Pro and Sony got to show a trailer announcing Pirates of the Caribbean within the game.
- The Last Of Us: Part II got an interesting trailer thanks to a combination of lesbian kissing and throat slitting violence.
- Nioh 2 was revealed as being in development although very few details were revealed beyond that.
- Resident Evil 2 Remake was revealed and looks very impressive. It’ll be launching on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on 20th January.
- Spider-Man is undoubtedly the jewel in the PS4 exclusive line up at the moment and so it was shown in a fair amount of detail. it launches on 7th September (at which point hopefully Insomniac will get to to make a Sunset Overdrive PC version…)
E3 2018: Nintendo
Nintendo is always a bit of an oddball and again decided to eschew a formal presentation for a direct video. Unfortunately they don’t have much to announce at the moment so they went all in with Super Smash Bros Ultimate, a tactic that worked well with Zelda and Mario in previous years but doesn’t quite have the same broad appeal so fell short for many viewers. I expect the same tactic to be used next year using Pokemon. News included:
- Daemon X Machina, a new game that sees giant mechs battling. Not much detail beyond that really but we should hear more soon as it is set to release next year.
- Fire Emblem: Three Heroes was announced for spring 2019 and seems to be what you’d expect although with a full 3D world rather than a top-down style.
- Fortnite was announced and then released. It has done well.
- Octopath Traveler is launching on 13th July but a new demo was released last week.
- Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee was shown in more detail and it was announced that the Poke Ball Plus accessory would have Mew in it.
- Super Mario Party was announced for Switch and will be available on 8th October. It has all the components you would expect of a Mario Party game including a mini-game where you fry a cube of spam.
- Super Smash Bros Ultimate was the big title taking up half the presentation. It is a completely new game (not a remaster) and will contain every single character from previous games, even the weird ones like Sonic, Pac-man, and Solid Snake. They also added Ridley from Metroid.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is getting some more story in DLC available in September.
Leaks & Rumours
At E3, Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft is “deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to deliver the benchmark of console gaming”. Multiple sources have since claimed those consoles are codenamed “Scarlet”. [link]
A remarkable story has emerged claiming that AMD’s upcoming Navi graphics architecture was created for Sony’s PlayStation 5. Apparently up to two thirds of the engineering staff was diverted to the project, with a negative knock-on effect on the development of AMD’s Vega GPU technology against the wishes of the firm’s then Chief Architect who has since moved to Intel. [link]
The Steam Summer Sale will (allegedly) start on Thursday 21st June. [link]
Intel is planning to launch its first discrete GPU in 2020. [link]
Valve has released a brand new chat system for Steam with a bevy of new features including a customisable friends list, group chat options, more seamless voice chatting, an invisible mode, shareable friend request links, and more. It is essentially Discord as rumoured last week.[link]
AMD has some new drivers (18.6.1) which boosts performance in Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and fixes some issues with Subnautica and Sea of Thieves. [link]
Valve has partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam to China. This makes sense as Perfect World have been responsible for bringing Dota 2 and CS:GO to China since 2012. [link]
Fortnite had a surprise (it really wasn’t) release on Switch last week but the real surprise is that you couldn’t use your account on Switch if you’d previously used it on PS4. This has not gone down well and has thrown up a bunch of “for the players” based sarcasm. The response from Sony is also pretty poor. [link]
Despite that issue, Fortnite has seen 2 million downloads on Switch in under a week. Not bad for a clone of a game that was a clone of a film. [link]
Valve has been tweaking the Steam Link iOS app on TestFlight to remove links to game purchasing in an effort to get approval from Apple. Hopefully this has been submitted and we’ll see a release at some point in the near future. [link]
Cultist Simulator has beaten internal sales expectations by selling 40,000 copies in its first two weeks. It was expecting to sell 30,000 in the first year! [link]
An HD remaster mod for Resident Evil 4 is coming next month. [link]
Alexa has a new skill called Jurassic World Revealed that is essentially a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book set around the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. [link]
“How a troubled game starring Bruce Willis led to the skateboarding revolution”. [link]
People are talking about Solid Snake’s butt in Super Smash Bros Ultimate because of course they are. [link]
Have you ever wanted to burn an image of Sonic the Hedgehog on your toast? [link]
“It has a shark skill tree for goodness sake”. [link]
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