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Gaming Roundup – Local Esports Take the Lead

Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!

This week, the world is gearing up for next gen consoles, so there’s basically no news.

So here’s Mat with some esports news, and I’ll provide a summary of the scraps of other news after that, along with the latest releases. Take it away, Mat!

Warwick Esports Society Secures Commercial Partnership

Thanks Leigh!

I’ve got two bits of local news for our Geeky Brummie esports round-up this week. First up, University of Warwick’s esports society has announced a partnership with gaming brand Hyper X. This means Hyper X will now provide prizes for Warwick’s esports events, such as keyboard or headsets in return for advertisement and brand placement.

Warwick’s esports society is one of the most successful, being home to some of the best teams in British esports. They were also crowned the NSE Esports University of the Year for the second consecutive year back in May.

The partnership with Hyper X means Warwick can continue to charge no signup or admission fees to its members, which will likely make it more attractive to aspiring esports athletes within the university.

Here at Geeky Brummie we think the announcement is big news for grassroots esports in the UK. The agreement demonstrates the legitimacy of university esports teams which will hopefully not only encourage more Universities to invest in esports but bring in more big-name brands into the university leagues.

Wolves Football Club Enter Rocket League

Local football club Wolverhampton Wolves have become the first English Premier League team to enter the Rocket League Championship Series. Wolves have had an esports division for a few years but has made a breakout move by forming a team to compete in the Rocket League Championship Series X (RLCS) Winter Split.

Rocket League has a growing base of UK talent, with teams including Endpoint, David Beckham’s Guild Esports, Barrage, Team Liquid and others featuring players or coaches from the UK. Wolves’ team is made up of a trio of players: Luis Puente Peña, Ole Van Doorn and headed up by team captain Rix Ronday.

The move is quite interesting as it shows Wolves are expanding their esports arsenal, adding to the likes of PUBG and FIFA 21. For anyone interested in watching, the RLCSX Winter Split will kick off on November 12th at 4pm GMT.

News Summary

Thanks for that, Mat!

With next gen just around the corner, it seems like we’re getting mainly bits and pieces of news as opposed to any major stories, so here is what is currently going on outside of the new console cycle.

Following last week’s Cyberpunk 2077 delay, a couple of other developers have decided to delay their own games rather than compete with CDPR’s juggernaut in December. Everspace 2’s Early Access launch was originally scheduled for 11th December, one day after Cyberpunk’s new date, and is now January. Meanwhile the latest expansion for Path of Exile has also been pushed back to January for the exact same reason. Other titles, including horror title The Medium, seem more willing to try their chances as they are.

The latest Call of Duty will be 250GB on PC, while next gen console releases will be 40GB larger than their equivalent PS4/X-One releases, which will be great for their smaller capacity SSDs, I’m sure. One day Activision will learn how to optimise their games better, but clearly it’s not today.

There’s going to be a Vampire the Masquerade battle royale. An odd choice, since a huge chunk of the RPG’s appeal is the social hierarchy and subterfuge, not combat, but here we are.

Speaking of terrible ideas, the questionable Gears of War x Funko Pop mobile game will be shutting down in April, which comes as a surprise because I didn’t even realise it had launched in the first place.

Bloodrayne 1 and 2 are getting remasters despite no one asking for them. Not really sure Bloodrayne has much to make it notable enough for a major re-release aside from being Laura Bailey’s first major video game role, but here we are.

And Gabe Newell is going to launch a gnome into space for…reasons.

New Releases

Two management games got ported to Switch this week. Jurassic World Evolution sees you running the titular park and trying to keep the dinosaurs under control. Or using them to murder your entire customer base. Whatever works for you, I can’t tell you what to do with your life. Meanwhile, Tropico 6 lets you control a banana republic as its benevolent dictator trying to keep their population happy. Or let them starve. Whatever works for you, I can’t tell you what to do with your life.

Café Enchanté is a visual novel about serving coffee to demons. But don’t confuse this with past Game of the Week Coffee Talk because this one is significantly sexier in its tone and (I assume) will involve you as the player character romancing the cast of anime demon boys.

If you’re not interested in sexy demon boys and more into minds immeasurably superior to ours regarding this Earth with envious eyes, Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story is a game set in the world of H.G. Wells’ classic Victorian novel about Martian invasion. Despite the chances of anything coming from Mars being a million to one, they still come and you have to fight back. Not against them because you can’t win, instead you’ve got to fight for survival in a stealth horror fashion. I’m not sure of the quality of this one, but as a fan of both the book and the 1970s Jeff Wayne concept album I’m certainly interested to see that someone made a War of the Worlds horror game.

Dirt 5, the latest in Codemasters’ beloved rally series, comes to PC, PS4 and Xbox One this week, just ahead of its next-gen launches. Just like its predecessors it features a variety of different race types, including rallycross and ice racing, and features a story mode featuring the voices of up and coming actors Troy Baker and Nolan North. I hear those two are destined for big things, keep an eye out for them.

Game of the Week

Game of the Week this week is Chicken Police, a game with a surprisingly literal title. A hard-boiled detective duo, one a fallen star and the other a raging alcoholic (of course) are forced to work together on a new case despite their relationship being torn to shreds in the past. They are also both giant chickens.

The game, which is a point and click adventure with visual novel elements, promises a gritty yet hilarious murder mystery with all the noir trappings, with more animals than is usual for the genre. Think Grim Fandango in tone but the femme fatale is a cat.

The whole thing looks very silly and a suitably weird addition to the adventure genre, so I reckon it’ll be worth checking out.

Before we go, I want to announce that things are going to look a little different in the next few weeks. Next week will be focused entirely on the launch of the Xbox Series X, as the console launches worldwide on the 10th, while the week after will focus entirely on the launch of the PS5, since its UK launch is the 19th, with releases continuing as normal. The week after that I will be taking a week off due to a great abundance of nothing coming up release-wise that week. Normally service will resume (for a bit) in December!