The football world was shocked this weekend when the Republic of Ireland were beaten by part-timers Luxembourg. The FIFA world however has been suffering numerous shocks in recent weeks with various investigations by the team at Eurogamer exploring issues with racist content, accusations of dodgy selling of Ultimate Team items. This week they are back with an investigation into the claims from EA that you can assemble a truly ultimate team without spending your hard earned money. The sums that some players spend on an annual basis are astonishing. Take a read of that deep dive here.
I’ve been working my way through Control on and off for a few weeks now. It’s a deeply unnerving game as you explore the weirdness of The Oldest House, but for the most part the missions themselves are fairly generic “go here and meet person x”, there are some really enjoyable moments in those missions, but the narrative drive isn’t as strong as it should be. However, this week I stumbled across the A Matter of Time side-mission, one which starts when you find a wounded trooper called Horrowitz who needs help from a medic stuck in a locked portion of The Oldest House.
The nature of receiving a mission from someone other than a senior manager of the Federal Bureau of Control, or the mysterious Ahti was welcome, with an understandable tale of someone needing medical help, and you being in a position to help out. The mission itself had all of the elements that you would expect from Control with wild combat and weirdness. But I really did appreciate the natural story telling of this one.
When you read this, it will be a Sunday, and hopefully Wales will yet again be Grand Slam Champions., but that’s a by-the-by as you’re here for the games. It has been another big week for games industry happenings with the soft launch of Super Nintendo World, and confirmation that the UK games industry generated £7bn last year. Gaming is well and truly mainstream, but yet it doesn’t always feel like the politicians treat it that way.
If you want a low-down on these topics, there ever reliable GI.biz has you covered. Rob Fahey takes a look at why the opening of Super Nintendo World indicates the famour developer has targets set beyond just the video games industry, and James Batchelor bring the low-down on the record breaking £7bn figure.
For the first time in a few weeks, we don’t have any industry headlines to editorialise on. You can put the blame for that on our current Our Week in Games ghostwriter (hint, it’s Chris – Ed) having a massively busy week at work and not keeping track of gaming events at all.
But it’s a Sunday, so on with Our Week in Games.
It was all set to be a fairly quiet week in the gaming world, but then further leaks about an enhanced version of the Nintendo Swich emerged. A larger, better quality screen (still at 720p) and support for 4K output are some of the headlines. An improved version of Nintendo’s all conquering handheld is undoubtedly good news as fans expect news of Breath of the Wild 2 to emerge at some point this year. Many key questions are outstanding though, namely how will devs support both flavours of the Switch moving forward, and will any older releases (especially the third-party ports) be updated to make use of the new console. More details are essential, but Nintendo will share news of this in their own way.
Back in Week 128 we touched on an excellent Eurogamer deep-dive into Xbox Game Pass. This week, Rob Fahey on GI.biz wrote a fine opinion piece which explores how Microsoft are continuing to establish Game Pass as the leading selling point of the Xbox family of consoles. It then highlight the many deficiencies of the PlayStation Plus offering, ranging from the limited number of games available and the foibles of having to download them each month to add them to your account. If you’re thinking about purchasing one of the new consoles at some point this year, it’s an article that might influence your buying decisions.
Pokemon to the left of me,
Pokemon to the right of me,
Here I am stuck in the middle of Pikachu
With that, our ode to the news that there will be remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is complete. The more impressive news from this week was Sony announcing that a next-generation VR headset will be coming, presumably next year. There’s an article on GI.biz which explores the need for Sony to ensure PSVR2 comes with a great range of software, as just providing a shiny piece of new tech is unlikely to lead PSVR2 to breaking beyond the 5-million units sold barrier of the original tech.
It’s an announcement that confirms there is plenty of life left in this console cycle. While you ponder that though, hit the break to check out Our Week in Games.
What a week it has been in the land of video games. Nintendo snuck out with a Direct, the first full length on since the closing months of 2019. With Covid-19 impacting on Nintendo as much as any company, their 2020 range of Directs were of the Mini variety. The full 50-minute Direct led to much expectation of Bayonetta or Metroid news, but most principally people were expecting news of the next Breath of the Wild. All we got was an acknolwedgement that we’d hear more about Link’s next adventure later this year, and confirmation of an HD release of Skyward Sword. Safe to say fans were left disappointed, but for me I was more than happy to see a new Splatoon announced.
The other big news came from BlizzCononline at the end of the week, with more details of Dibalo 4 unveileved with the confirmation that The Rogue class will be returning to the series. That wasn’t all as Blizzard also revealed their HD remaster of Diablo II, an announcement sure to send fans wild.
If you’ve kept on top of the news, then you might want to satisfy your Sunday reading by taking a look at this deep-dive into Xbox Game Pass. It’s a brilliant piece from Chris Tapsell that debunks some of the myths that exist around Game Pass with plenty of developers chipping in with their own thoughts. If you have any interest in the industry as a whole, not just in playing games, it’s a worthwhile read.
We’re in the depths of winter with snow flurries aplenty, the Six Nations underway and another inevitable saga around CD Projekt Red and continuing fallout from the release of Cyberpunk 2077. The events of the past week have seen claims of a massive hack of CD Projekt Red servers, and the potential sale of the stolen data. While the release of Cyberpunk was undoubtedly bungled, the hate and vitriol that has ensued casts the entire games industry in a negative light.
All is not lost though, and hopefully the tales of Our Week in Games offers some entertainment on this Valentine’s Sunday afternoon. …
The big news this week was the big unveiling of the Mass Effect remaster. It is a series which defined a generation, and is going to be returning with plenty of lens flare and a bit less sexualisation of FemShep. There’s a lengthy interview on Eurogamer which is very much worth a read.
If you want some other Sunday reading, I’d point you in the direction of this GI.biz article which looks into the broader consequences of Google’s decision to close their internal Stadia development teams. Streaming certainly has a future, but what it looks like is still very much up for debate.
And now, on with Our Week in Games.
While we here at Reticule Towers have had a snoozy week, the world has gone wild with plucky Redditors taking on the Wall Street giants (and Robinhood) over shares in GameStop. It is a bonkers situation to see this bricks and mortar shop dominate the business and financial news the world over, but is a sign of how technology and improved communication tools can have a tangible effect on the real world. Check this GamingBible piece for more.