PlayStation’s State of Play, Trump Targets Tencent

TODAY: Ubisoft narrative director defends publisher against accusations of sexism — Trump is not bringing politics into games with sanctions against Tencent — Nowhere Prophet shows what a Switch port should be

Highlights from Sony’s State of Play

Sony broadcast their latest State of Play event yesterday, focusing on third-party games for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PSVR – as well as showing some quick glimpses of PlayStation 5.

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time by Toys for Bob – State of Play Trailer – October 2, 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • Hitman 3 by IO Interactive – VR Announcement Trailer – January 2021 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation VR
  • Braid, Anniversary Edition by Number None – Announcement Trailer – Early 2021 for PlayStation 4
  • Spelunky 2 by Mossmouth – Release Date Trailer – September 15, 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • Genshin Impact by miHoYo – Gameplay Trailer – Fall 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • Bugsnax by Young Horses – Gameplay Trailer – Holiday 2020 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • Control: AWE Expansion by Remedy Entertainment – Announcement Trailer – August 27, 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • Temtem by Crema – Announce Trailer – TBA 2021 for PlayStation 5
  • The Pathless by Giant Squid – Gameplay Walkthrough – Holiday 2020 for PlayStation 5
  • ANNO: Mutationem by ThinkingStars – State of Play Trailer – December 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • Aeon Must Die by Limestone Games/Focus Home Interactive – World Premiere Trailer – TBA 2021 for PlayStation 4
  • Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series by ILMxLAB – Launch Trailer – August 25, 2020 for PlayStation VR
  • Auto Chess by Dragonest – State of Play Trailer – October 31, 2020 for PlayStation 4
  • The Pedestrian by Skookum Arts – State Of Play Trailer – January 2021 for PlayStation 4
  • Hood: Outlaws & Legends by Focus Home Interactive – World Premiere Trailer – TBA 2021 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • Godfall by Counterplay Games/Gearbox Publishing – Gameplay Walkthrough – Holiday 2020 for PlayStation 5

What was the name of the engine powering the original Serious Sam?

  • Serious Engine
  • Unreal Engine 2
  • id Tech 3
  • CryEngine 1

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Tonic Trouble was a Rayman 2 test

The action adventure Tonic Trouble for PC and Nintendo 64 was designed and conceived by Rayman creator Michel Ancel as a 3D engine test for Rayman 2.

Like Rayman, the hero has free-floating extremities and no limbs. Rayman even makes a little cameo appearance in the end credits: Someone with hair and clothing very similar to Rayman’s is running around with a funnel on their head. The two games had a lot in common, but ultimately Rayman’s more action-oriented brand of platforming stole the spotlight.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

More controversy about female leads

The story of how senior Ubisoft executives intervened to stop Assassin’s Creed Valhalla from having a female protagonist isn’t exactly true according to narrative director Derby McDevitt.

“I will say this once: this is not wholly accurate,” declared McDevitt on Reddit in response to reported leaks.

“ACVs story was conceived from the beginning with both female and male in mind. When you play the game you will understand that there is no way the male could have been added at the last minute, or whatever version of this story you have heard.”

Your choice: “Obviously there is more nuance to all this, but to go deeper would spoil lots of the mysteries at the heart of the game,” he continued. “But understand this, that we started ACV knowing full well that Ubi wanted to give players the ability to select characters, and we worked hard to make sure that it honoured our lore.”

Toxic fallout: If this is true, then it seems like Ubisoft was planning to follow the model introduced in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which let you pick between siblings and adjusted the story. Ubisoft is still facing accusations of a ‘toxic’ work environment and has shed several high-ranking figures, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s creative director Ashraf Ismail.

Today’s Gaming Deal Highlights

There are so many great deals now that it felt wrong not to share some of them ahead of the weekend’s bargain extravaganza.

Sony XBR65X900F 65-Inch 4K LED (TV) $898.00 @ Amazon US

Death Stranding (PS4) $19.99 @ Amazon US

Dreams (PS4) $19.99 @ Amazon US

Desperados 3 (PS4) $39.82 @ Amazon US

Nintendo Switch Lite – Turquoise (Console Bundle) $199.99 @ Amazon US

Humble Bohemia Interactive Bundle 2020 (PC) $1 @ Humble Store

Ubisoft Hits Sale (PC) Up to 80% off @ Humble Store

Better Together Sale (PC) 80% off @ Humble Store

Pokemon – Flocked Bulbasaur, Spring Convention Exclusive (Funko Pop!) $11.60 @ Amazon US

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 (Board Games) $56.60 @ Amazon US

If you buy any of these games by following our links, DailyBits will earn a small commission, so thanks in advance! Saturday will bring even more amazing video game deals, so stay tuned.

Trump’s executive order ‘won’t target games industry’, just mobile apps

President Donald Trump has issued an executive order targeting the apps TikTok and WeChat, both owned and operated by Chinese tech giant Tencent.

This effectively bars TikTok and WeChat transactions from the United States and since Tencent owns parts of a wide range of video game companies, there were worries that games like League of Legends might be affected.

Just WeChat: “Video game companies owned by Tencent will NOT be affected by this executive order! White House official confirmed to the LA Times that the EO only blocks transactions related to WeChat”, according to Sam Dean, a tech reporter for the LA Times. “So Riot Games (League of Legends), Epic Games (Fortnite), et al are safe”.

CCP GTFO: Many game companies including Epic Games, Supercell, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Platinum Games, Marvelous and Paradox Interactive have a relationship with Tencent, as do Discord and Reddit. The executive order is another shot fired in the US trade war against China.

Super Rare to release 4,000 physical copies of Chroma Squad for Switch

If you’re into mechas, colourful jumpsuits and tactical turn-based games then you might want to pick up a physical copy of Chroma Squad. You play a team of stunt actors who produce and star in their own TV show inspired by Power Rangers and other tokusatsu classics.

Between takes, you can cast actors and upgrade your set with new weapons, cardboard mechas and rubber-suit monsters then roll the cameras and act out dramatic battles with your colour-coordinated warriors. Use teamwork manoeuvres, special abilities – and of course giant mechas to create the finest saturday morning entertainment.

Super Rare Games will stock 4,000 units and pre-orders open on August 13th at 6pm BST. The physical release includes a full-colour manual, interior artwork, an exclusive sticker, and 3 of the 5 possible trading cards. Chroma Squad! will cost around £27, and the physical edition is Switch exclusive.

Nowhere Prophet

Developer: Sharkbomb Studios

Version played: Switch

Wander the wastes, vanquish foes and build your deck in Nowhere Prophet. Featuring randomly generated maps and gameplay inspired by Hearthstone and Slay the Spire, Sharkbomb Studios deck-building rogue-lite challenges you to lead a group of refugees through a broken world.

It’s easy to get into Nowhere Prophet if you’ve played any similar card games. Each turn you have a number of action points to spend on convoy and action cards that help you control the board and damage your opponent. As you progress through the map, you unlock new cards and level up your hero to brave greater dangers. The more battles you engage in, the more rewards you earn – but don’t forget that your followers need rest, or you might find yourself overwhelmed.

Your followers can also die if they are wounded too many times. If they are defeated in battle, you need to heal them as soon as possible or they will die the next time they are defeated. There’s plenty of places to rest, but there’s no guarantee that you can reach one without a fight – Nowhere Prophet is fair, but merciless.

The Switch port is great, featuring full touch screen input support that is just as intuitive as you might hope. In docked mode, Nowhere Prophet plays much like the Xbox One version at a solid 60FPS. Controller input works well, but handheld mode feels like the natural way to play Nowhere Prophet.

Nowhere Prophet is a perfect game to play on the go: You can complete a few battles when you have some minutes to spare, but you can also spend hours poring over your deck and figuring out the best combinations and strategies.
The Steam version is 25% off for £14.61, or you could play it on Xbox Game Pass for both PC and console.

Score: 8/10

Thumbs up

  • Lots of content and replayability
  • Great mix of card game mechanics
  • Excellent touchscreen support

Thumbs down

  • Story can get in the way of the game
  • The AI can get suspiciously good late in the game

What was the name of the engine powering the original Serious Sam?

Answer: The Serious Engine!

It’s not really Serious Sam unless you have a bunch of headless dudes screaming at you before they explode.

You might not have heard about the Serious Engine, but you probably know the gloriously stupid Serious Sam series. The engine was able to render huge areas and tons of enemies for its time, and featured sophisticated features like dynamic lighting and foliage. It was even pretty fast, throwing tons of enemies and effects at you if you had the right hardware.

Developer Croteam originally intended to license the technology to other developers, like the Unreal and Quake engines, but there wasn’t a lot of interest. Fortunately, Serious Sam was a success and spawned several sequels, allowing Croteam to live on to this day – and they still make crazy, stupid games with their own high-tech engine!

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Matthew Ralphson, Simon Priest, Christian Vaz, and Jamie Davey.