Hello! It’s time for the Geeky Brummie gaming roundup, where this week we mostly talk about what a week the industry’s had.
Xbox Live goes down and Anthem has a rough beta, but hey, Kingdom Hearts finally came out. Let’s take a closer look.
ANTHEM’S ROCKY WEEKEND
Anthem is getting close to launch, and Bioware’s multiplayer shooter is already surrounded by issues. Over the weekend, they held an open beta that was riddled with connection problems, with many finding they couldn’t access a game, or encountering an infinite load bug when selecting a mission.
Obviously, this is a beta so things like this are expected, and Bioware have promised major improvements to the final game based on what’s been learned over the weekend. It’s still easy to see how such a major event that many were looking forward to has been struggling so much in its initial phase.
But a wonky beta weekend is one thing, it’s another to confuse the basic premise of purchasing a game so much a chart is required. EA released a “helpful” chart to explain how and when you can play the full game based on when and where you pre-ordered, and what level of EA Access subscription you pay for, which in turn is affected by what system you’re playing on.
Fans weren’t particularly pleased, especially as the chart revealed things such as Origin Access on PC allowing subscribers to obtain the full game on launch day. While Xbox players are restricted to a 10-hour trial and have to buy the game separately.
I remember the days when the process of buying a game was as simple as seeing a game, buying a game and playing the game, but it seems like those days are over (at least where EA are concerned).
METRO EXODUS HAS ITS OWN EXODUS FROM STEAM
There’s been some mixed discussion on Epic’s new storefront, particularly when it comes to Epic using that sweet Fortnite cash to buy up a ton of exclusivity deals. We’ve already mentioned The Division 2 going Epic-exclusive on PC, and now it’s the turn of Metro Exodus.
The problem with this deal, however, comes from the fact that Metro Exodus was on Steam and available for pre-order prior to this announcement.
That means a lot of people who’d previously pre-ordered on Steam are now very unhappy. It was enough of an issue that Valve issued a statement directly referencing their new competition, the first time they’ve done so.
Anyone visiting the Metro Exodus page on Steam right now will be greeted by a statement explaining why the game is no longer available. This includes Valve’s statement that they think the exclusivity is unfair to customers, especially with the long time Metro had been up for pre-orders.
We’re probably going to see quite a bit of this over the next few months as Epic tries to carve out its space next to Steam in the market. It’s a divisive issue. What do you think of Epic’s strategy? Let us know!
XBOX GOES BLACK
In yet another story that shows games companies weren’t having a good week this week, Xbox players found they couldn’t play their Xbox. Users reported widespread outages on Wednesday night, seemingly without reason. Instead of booting up, the system would hang on a black screen.
The issue seemed to be tied to Xbox Live sign-in issues, as forcing the system to start in offline mode solved the power-on issue, but users then found themselves unable to load games or services.
While Microsoft were quick to pick up on the major black screen issue, issues persisted for a day or two afterwards. Users reported sign-in issues with certain games, authentication glitches and problems buying or downloading from the store. These issues have persisted into the early weekend although things are now looking a little bit more stable now.
It’s not known what caused Xbox Live to crash so badly for several days, but Microsoft have stated that they’re actively investigating the cause. Hopefully these issues will be cleared soon.
QUANTIC DREAM GOES MULTI-PLATFORM
Heavy Rain developers Quantic Dream have announced that they will no longer be releasing games exclusively for PlayStation systems, ending a nearly 10-year partnership. This doesn’t mean David Cage’s interactive movies will never see the light of day again on PS4, it just means that now everyone else will be able to play them too.
It’s not known if this means that Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human will see releases elsewhere, or if Sony still holds the right to the IPs behind them. But we can guarantee the developer want to branch out to new audiences with future games.
Limited release week this week, with only three titles to talk about. First up is Praey for the Gods (blame a ZeniMax lawsuit for that weird spelling), which has entered Early Access on Steam this week. It’s a grand adventure clearly inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, and promises epic fights against some massive lads. Good stuff.
Then there’s Wargroove, which received a surprise release date announcement during Nintendo’s indie showcase last week. Released for PC and Switch, Wargroove is another game that wears its influences on its sleeve. Essentially, this is Advance Wars made by an indie studio, so if you’ve been frustrated by Nintendo’s inability to release a new Wars game, this is for you.
And of course, this week saw the release of Kingdom Hearts 3. Yes, it’s actually out. I know, I’m shocked too. You know the drill. Worlds based on Disney movies are in danger of being consumed by a mysterious darkness, you team up with Donald Duck and Goofy to save them, and occasionally a Final Fantasy character or two will show up.
If you’re a fan of the series your life is probably being consumed by this game already. If you’re new to the series, this game probably isn’t the best place to jump in – that’s what all the remasters are for! But if you like Disney and you like weird Square Enix storylines, then this is for you.
Also, Piranha Plant was released as a fighter for Smash Bros Ultimate this week. I found this out when I loaded up the game and the toothy plant was just there ready for battle. He’s a little tricky to get used to, but seems like a lot of fun as a goofy troll character.
And that’s it for this week! We will be back next week with more news and releases from the world of video games.
Find Leigh on Twitter at @TheCheapFerret