Pokemon Abra Day, What is Star Wars: Project Maverick?

TODAY: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon divides critical opinion — Head of Asian out-sourcing studio thinks COVID-19 will keep causing delays — Valve promises the Index will be back in stock soon

Top Gun + Star Wars?

EA’s “smaller, more unusual” Star Wars: Project Maverick leaked on PSN

EA has two new Star Wars games in the works. The first is, unsurprisingly, the sequel to Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, while the second one is something called Project Maverick.

PSN releases spotted the game when it showed up on the European PlayStation Network and Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier confirmed that he had heard about the project and that it is in development at Motive Studios.

Cancellations: Reports recently revealed that EA cancelled an open-world Star Wars Battlfront spin-off codenamed Viking because of its unrealistic release schedule.

EA previously cancelled two other Star Wars projects: Ragtag by Visceral games, and Orca by Uncharted writer and director Amy Hennig.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

How many polygons make up Kratos’ face in God of War from 2018?

  • 5,000
  • 10,000
  • 32,000
  • 50,000

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.

Daily Fact

Lost master tracks? Have a new solo!

Guitar Hero 3 features no less than 73 amazing rock classics, but did you know two of them had to be completely re-recorded from scratch?

To create a Guitar Hero stage, the developers need a master track – an original multitrack recording that hasn’t been mixed down yet. Unfortunately, no master tracks were available for Cult of Personality by Living Colour and Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols.

Living Colour rose to the challenge, and even added a new and much harder guitar solo for their Guitar Hero appearance. If you still have a copy of Guitar Hero 3 lying around, you can unlock and watch some videos about the re-recording process from the in-game store.

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

Review Roundup

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Review Roundup

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is out on Switch tomorrow, and the first reviews of the remaster have started trickling in. The Metacritic rating is currently 67, based on 24 reviews. Here’s what some of them had to say:

USgamer (Score 80/100) – “Though still imperfect, Mystery Dungeon more than makes up for its stumblings through one of the most sweet-hearted stories in the Pokemon franchise, backed by a solid dungeoneering system and a gorgeous aesthetic.”

RPG Site (Score 80/100) – “Although it has its share of annoying faults, the entertaining story, the huge amount of content to complete, and the fun, simplistic gameplay makes it a great choice for Pokemon fans and dungeon-crawler fans alike.”

Trusted Reviews (Score 70/100) – “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is an excellent remake which improves upon the original duo of games in myriad ways, yet still remains woefully underbaked when it comes to meaningful mechanics with enough depth to keep you going.”

Games Radar (Score 60/100) – “A gorgeous and charming game that unfortunately doesn’t improve on enough of the original gameplay aspects to keep fans engrossed.”

Metro (Score 40/100) – “A thoroughly uninteresting roguelike that undermines the most compelling elements of both the genre and the Pokémon universe.”

COVID-19 Delays

Streamline Studios CEO claims COVID-19 will delay both games and consoles

GamesIndustry.biz talked to Streamline Studios CEO Alexander Fernandez, who believes the ongoing COVID-19 panic will have a considerable impact on the games business over the next year. Fernandez believes both the upcoming next-generation consoles and a number of games could be delayed.

Streamline Studios is an outsourcing firm in Southeast Asia, with clients like Microsoft, Sony and Capcom.

“Those working in development are already seeing or feeling it,” says Fernandez. “I believe it will take a quarter or two for the extent to become glaringly obvious through missed dates or development delays.”

  • Outsourcing game development to China is extremely popular these days as players expect constant content updates
  • COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe at a rapid pace, though it is expected to slow down as the seasons change

Fernandez believes the effect on game development is underestimated: “Equivalent to about two-thirds of the external development outsourcing supply is located in China – and they’ve been thrown completely out of whack.”

Some of the biggest games of the year have already been delayed for a variety of reasons, but have yet to see anyone explicitly blame coronavirus. If more delays are announced, we expect to see fingers pointing at the unpopular microbe as companies explain impatient investors why they are missing their earning targets next quarter.

VR Bits

Valve will get Index back in stock soon

Index has been out of stock for three months, and Valve has finally confirmed that new shipments are on the way and will be available to purchase on Monday 9th of March at 10:00 AM (5:00 PM UTC).

Stock is expected to sell out within the first day, so you had better be vigilant and keep refreshing that store page once the stock arrives. You might not get another chance for several months!

Modder releases Quake VR v0.0.2

Vittorio Romeo and a clutch of other contributors from the Quake community has released a trailer and playable version of Quake VR. Quake VR does exactly what it says on the tin: The original Quake from 1996 is now playable on your favorite virtual reality headsets. The experience is still not exactly perfect, but it’s still an impressive feat and will most likely only keep getting better. Get the mod here!

Half-Life: Alyx Preview Locations avilable for Index owners

If you pre-ordered Valve Index, then you can have a sneak-peek at Half-Life: Alyx in Steam VR Home. Two preview locations are available: One showing off City 17 with the still incomplete Citadel looming over it, and the other is Russell’s laboratory. If you don’t have an index, you can still check it out if you have a friend who can host a session and invite you to it.

What Else Happened Today?

  • Capcom TV showed off Resident Evil 3 Remake gameplay on their most recent livestream, broadcasting 13 minutes of brand new footage.
  • Google opens a Stadia games studio led by Shannon Studstill, the former head of Sony Santa Monica
  • Niantic reveals Pokemon Go Abra Community Day will take place on March 15th. The event will last for three hours – check out their blog post to see when it starts in your region
  • Harry Potter-inspired Broomstick League launches on Steam later today, offering a Quidditch experience like no other
  • A new Test Drive Unlimited game is in development according to an interview with Benoit Clerc, Nacon’s head of publishing.

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Broomstick League Early Acess Code on Steam

You could be in with a chance to receive a Steam early access code for Broomstick League, if you refer DailyBits to a friend! You can use our widget to start earning your referrals.

Broomstick League is entering into early access on Steam today for $5 or £5, and we’ve got codes to hand out today; note that there’s no region restrictions for this one.

Broomstick League is a fast paced, high-flying online sports game where players divide into teams and streak across massive arenas atop their trusty broomsticks. Take possession of the ball and rush it through the stadium as you outmaneuver other players in an effort to score.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

How many polygons make up Kratos’ face in God of War from 2018?

Answer: 32,000!

If you need an example of the progress in video game graphical fidelity over the past 15 years, look no further than Kratos’ exquisitely detailed mug.

The angry Spartan’s face consisted of 1,200 polygons in his first foray on PlayStation 2. When he returned to battle on the PlayStation 3, his lovely visage was allotted 5,700 polygons – but that’s nothing compared to the 32,000 polygons spent bringing the frowny god-slayer to life on PlayStation 4. The entirety of his imposing physique is made up of around 80,000 polygons, so his face chews up a considerable part of that budget.

The official PlayStation blog made some comparisons between characters throughout the ages, and not everyone’s faces get as much attention as Kratos. For instance, Sir Daniel Fortesque of MediEvil fame had 62 polygons for a face on PlayStation, and 1,734 on PlayStation 4. Check out the blog post for more.

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