Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
This week, Rocksteady, Remedy, Naughty Dog and Capcom are all in the news, plus all the latest releases!
Rocksteady Confirm Suicide Squad, Warner Sale Concluded
Rocksteady have confirmed that they will be making a Suicide Squad game, as has been rumoured. The Arkham developer confirmed the game’s existence in a tweet that also confirmed a full reveal is coming at DC Fandome on 22nd August. (For more on that event, take a look at Keith’s post earlier in the week)
This news comes in the same week as the latest developments of what’s happening to Warner Bros’ various developers, as AT&T, parent company of Warner Bros, have been seeking a buyer for their interactive properties.
Surprise! Nothing will change, as AT&T have now decided they will no longer be selling the interactive properties and will instead be restructuring. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean the studios are all safe, and certainly not all jobs are safe, but it does mean some stability. It’s not clear what caused the sudden change of heart, but here we are.
Control Meets Alan Wake
Control was the best game of 2019, so it’s important that I cover this story. No, don’t argue, that only makes me talk about it more.
It’s getting its final DLC expansion later this month, and it’s bringing together the Remedy universe much more explicitly than ever before. It’s titled AWE, which is the in-game acronym for an Altered World Event, an incident where paranormal activity has happened, but this DLC has decided that it also means Alan Wake Experience, as 2019’s best game is merging with 2010’s survival horror about an author whose creation came to life.
It’s not entirely out of left field for a crossover, though, as evidence the two games exist in the same universe already exists. Alan Wake is mentioned by name in one of Control’s files, along with the town of Bright Falls where his game was set, and they both feature songs by a fictional band called Old Gods of Asgard. One of the songs from the Alan Wake DLC, American Nightmare, features a message referencing Ordinary, the hometown of Control’s protagonist Jesse, a whole seven years before Control’s release.
The DLC comes out at the end of the month, aligning with the game’s one-year anniversary, which gives me just enough time to catch up and play Alan Wake before it comes out so I’m not horrendously confused by all the references.
Less exciting news is the reveal of the Ultimate Edition of the game, releasing for Steam on that same anniversary when the Epic exclusivity runs out. This edition, which includes all DLC as well as the base game, will be released shortly afterwards for the Epic Store, PS4 and Xbox One, and this is where the problems begin.
If you’re looking to get a PS5 or Xbox Series X at the end of the year, and want to upgrade Control to the shiny new version for that system, you’re going to have to own the Ultimate Edition. If you own the base game, like I do, then there’s no free upgrade for you. It’s not a great thing to do to those who supported the game on day one. Admittedly, I’m not too fussed about upgrading it to the PS5 version, but I can see why it would annoy other console players. It’s possible this is based on a technical issue rather than an exploitative one, but it’s not a good look all the same.
Anyway, with the Ultimate Edition coming out, I don’t want to hear any excuses and I do expect all of you to go out and play it because otherwise you’re missing out on the best game of last year. Have I mentioned that yet? It’s essential/mandatory.
The Last of Us 2 Will Now Feature Permadeath
The Last of Us 2 is getting a major update adding the special Grounded mode, which existed in the first game. It basically removes the game’s HUD and listen mode, making it more realistic but also much harder. In addition to this, a new Permadeath mode is also being added. And while there’s plenty of narrative permadeath in the game as it stands, this is gameplay permadeath. If you die in the game, you die in real li…I mean, you have to start the whole game over again. Both of these modes sound like devious challenges to test the toughest players and I will absolutely never touch them.
The update will also add a bunch of special filters, similar to those seen in previous Naughty Dog titles, such as bleepy 8-bit audio or a cel-shaded look. It’s all purely superficial but it’s fun.
In other Last of Us news, the upcoming HBO TV series promises to feature a “jaw-drop” moment that was left out of the original game. Hopefully this won’t be a moment cut for good reason, and actually something that serves the story well, because people are upset enough as it is.
Yoshinori Ono Leaves Capcom
Yoshinori Ono is stepping down from Capcom after 30 years, leaving his role as executive producer on the Street Fighter franchise. Rumours abound about his departure, citing possible creative disagreements around the future of the iconic fighting game series, although nothing in Ono’s leaving message confirmed this for sure.
While Ono is best known for his work on Street Fighter, he’s also had a hand in various other Capcom franchises during his time with the company, including Mega Man, Resident Evil, Dino Crisis and Monster Hunter, usually in a producer role.
It’s not clear what his next plans will be, but hopefully the split with Capcom was relatively amicable.
Two Major Delays
Delays are pretty commonplace at the moment, what with the coronavirus shaking up development schedules across the board. So it’s not surprising that two major games on the horizon have moved a little further back than expected.
First of all, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 has been pushed back to 2021. It’s not the first delay for the vampire RPG, which was originally scheduled for a Spring release this year, but it’s perhaps not surprising as very little gameplay has surfaced for the project despite it being mere months away.
A bigger delay is Halo Infinite, which is also being pushed back to 2021. This one is a major delay because it was set to be the big killer app for the Xbox Series X, and now it’s going to be missing the console launch. There was discussion about an episodic release, as confirmed by Phil Spencer on Gary Whitta’s Animal Talking show (yes, really) but ultimately a full delay was deemed a better option. There is suggestion that some of this may be down to the negative reception the game’s graphics received at Microsoft’s recent showcase, but this is pure speculation.
Dirt 5 has also announced a delay, but it’s exactly a week so it barely feels worth mentioning. Not sure why it’s being pushed back by only seven days, as there’s not much you can change there, but there it is!
Sadly, Mat isn’t able to join us this week for esports news, so here’s the rest of the week’s news in roundup.
After annoying everyone with PS4 exclusivity for Spider-Man, the upcoming Avengers game is now promising exclusive in-game items only available if you’re a Virgin Media customer. In other words, the game is rapidly shaping up to be a money-grabbing, sponsorship-heavy mess that probably won’t give you the Avengers experience you’re hoping for.
Rockstar managed to break Red Dead Online with their latest update. As you’d expect, people aren’t too happy with this development.
Hitman VR has been confirmed, and not only will it support the upcoming Hitman 3, but also the previous two titles.
Rebellion will be releasing a Sniper Elite board game, and it features a model of Hitler being shot in the testicles because, really, what else do you need?
Daybreak Games, the developers of Planetside 2, have bought out Cold Iron Studios, who are currently working on an Alien title.
In new releases this week, we have Popup Dungeon on Steam, which is a dungeon crawler based around paper people you can fully customise, and it promises…ugh…memes. Elsewhere, Bite the Bullet for PC, Switch and Xbox is a Contra-esque shooter where you have to eat your downed foes to continue the rampage. Sure, why not?
Ubisoft have jumped on the battle royale bandwagon with Hyper Scape, which launched on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s set in a futuristic virtual city that may or may not contain reused Assassin’s Creed assets, and the city deletes itself during a match. It’s a battle royale shooter, what more can I really say? It’s Fortnite with Mirror’s Edge graphics made by a company that covered up sexual abuses for years.
A Total War Saga: Troy is the latest edition of the huge Total War franchise, and unsurprisingly takes place during the Trojan War. The game promises a more narrative-driven experience, giving the perspective of both sides of the conflict, with the same strategy gameplay fans have come to love. If you’re reading this roundup within the first two hours of its release, then if you’re quick, you can nab this for free from the Epic Store. If you’re reading this after 2pm on the 14th, however, you sadly missed out on the freebie.
Dreamscaper launches in Early Access on Steam this week, and it’s an intriguing little game. I played the demo a little while back, and while it’s a roguelike, it’s one that I…didn’t hate? It’s about a girl who fights off her nightmares in a dungeon crawler, then tries to build up relationships with those around her in the real world. It’s an intriguing concept that almost made Game of the Week, so consider it an honourable mention.
Game of the Week
My actual Game of the Week this week is Metamorphosis, which just snuck its way into the position.
You play a bug! No, that’s not all, because if you know your literature, you may recognise the title and the premise of being a bug as similar to Franz Kafka’s surrealist short story The Metamorphosis. And that’s probably a good place to start, as both that and his novel The Trial seem to be the game’s main inspirations.
You play as a man transformed into an insect, exploring a surreal tiny world to try escaping your predicament, and hopefully saving your friend Joseph from an inexplicable arrest. It’s such a unique setting with really interesting visuals, so I have to make it Game of the Week.
It’s out now for Steam, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.
And that’s it for this week! Thank you for joining me and I’ll see you again next week with more gaming news and releases!