#55: Saints Row, TimeSplitters, And More Metro

TODAY: THQ Nordic’s IPs bring all the investors to the yard — Leaked concept art from cancelled dark and gritty sci-fi Batman — Massive DOTA2 tournament The International features eye-watering prize pool

Top Story

Saints Row 5, TimeSplitters 4, and Metro Exodus sequel on the way

THQ Nordic had a big investor meeting this week and released their financial report, and between the two the publisher revealed at least three of the games they have in development right now – specifically, new games in the Saints Row, TimeSplitters, and Metro franchises.

The report notes that developer Volition – who made Saints Row, Red Faction, and Agents of Mayhem – are “deep in development” of Saints Row 5, a “full entry” in the series rather than a Gat Out of Hell-style spin-off. After the negative critical reaction to Agents of Mayhem and considering that it’s been six years since the insane, super-powered Saints Row IV, a brand-new, full-blooded stir-crazy new Saints game sounds great.

Dumb Ways to Die

THQ Nordic CEO Lars Wingefors also confirmed that 4A Games is working on a Metro Exodus sequel, their fourth Metro title. The announcement comes surprisingly early, given that Exodus came out earlier this year – but Wingefors notes that “the continued strength of Metro Exodus” is the reason THQ’s subsidiary Deep Silver did so well last quarter. It’s not exactly a surprise that they want more.

On the other hand, there hasn’t been a new TimeSplitters game since 2005’s Future Perfect. THQ Nordic acquired the property in 2018 and essentially announced a sequel. It now appears series co-creator Steve Ellis – who also worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark – has been brought on board to “plot the future course” of TimeSplitters 4.

In short, THQ Nordic’s managed to excite more than just their investors!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

How long has the Shantae series from WayForward been going?

  • 20 Years
  • 17 Years
  • 15 Years
  • 9 Years

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is a Switch-exclusive sequel

Remember Bubble Bobble? Classic arcade game with two bubble-blowing dinosaurs and an ear-wormy theme tune? There’s a Switch-exclusive sequel named Bubble Bobble 4 Friends in the works, which – surprise, surprise – features a four-player co-op mode.

It will launch first in Europe, where it is apparently “extremely popular” according to publisher Taito on November 19th, while US fans will have to wait until 2020. You can check out the first trailer here.

Daily Fact

WayForward once made a tie-in game to Aliens: Colonial Marines

WayForward has been very visible lately, thanks to the sad demise of DuckTales Remastered and their announcement of Shantae and the Seven Sirens.

So it’s a good time to reminisce about what’s possibly their weirdest project yet: Aliens: Infestation. Released for Nintendo DS in 2011 to good reviews, it’s actually a tie-in to the catastrophically bad Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Colonial Marines was a troubled and oft-delayed first-person shooter by Borderlands developer Gearbox, which finally released in 2013 – and received a thorough mauling by critics. It was supposed to be released at the same time as Infestation, but Colonial Marines kept slipping.

Infestation tells the story of the first group of marines sent to the Sulaco – the ship where Aliens starts – following the events Colonial Marines and Alien 3. Of course, no-one remembers this, since Colonial Marines got swept under the rug pretty fast and the whole sad attempt to expand the canon buried and forgotten – a bit unfair to Infestation.

Daily News

Concept art leaks for Batman: Arkham Knight sequel

It has already been four years since Batman: Arkham Knight, the last game in the Arkham series, and we’ve hardly heard a peep about it since then – other than rumours, of course!

One of those rumours suggest that Arkham Origins developer WB Montreal is working on a new Batman game, and that it was supposed to star Bruce Wayne’s son Damian as a bad-ass future Batman – but that idea apparently got canned.

Other than vague outlines like that, there’s not much trace of any new Arkham game – but just now, a bunch of concept art from the Damian Wayne Batman game has been published online and essentially confirmed the rumours. There are a couple of location concepts showing a dystopian, future Gotham that has been ravaged by crime without Batman to protect it. Oh, and there are some cool character designs too!

I’m real when it’s useful

There are concepts for several futuristic incarnations of iconic Batman characters. An aging Two-Face appears to be some kind of judge, while a resurrected Poison Ivy is sporting Scarecrow’s fear gas. Dick Grayson seems to have grown out of his Nightwing costume, a female Black Mask and – hold onto your bat hats – the psychic Gorilla Grodd from The Flash who, as his name implies, is indeed a gorilla.

If you completed Batman: Arkham Knight 100%, you could actually see a teaser for the cancelled game, featuring a darker and scarier Batman in a future Gotham. While the project was ultimately cancelled, WB Montreal has been teasing a new Batman game based on the comic Court of Owls – and guess what, there’s leaked concept art from that too!

Asterix & Obelix XXL3 revealed for November release

The Asterix comic book series is still popular – particularly in Europe – so it’s a bit surprising that there haven’t been more games about the adventures of the indomitable gauls. While there has been a few mobile and handheld titles plus a weird Olympic Games tie-in, there hasn’t been a a proper big-budget PC and console Asterix game since Asterix & Obelix XXL2: Mission Las Vegum in 2006.

Now the time has finally come, and publisher Microids – who published a remastered version of XXL2 last year – has announced Asterix & Obelix XXL3: The Crystal Menhir for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch, which will launch simultaneously for all platforms on November the 21st.

These Romans are crazy

There’s a bit of gameplay footage at the end of the teaser trailer, and it looks a bit different from the earlier XXL games. Looks like it’s still an arcade-style beat’em-up at heart, but while previous games were fully 3D with free-roaming camera, the new game appears to feature a fixed camera and a bird’s-eye view of the action. The gameplay seems more complex this time around, with the titular crystal menhir bestowing new abilities on the Gallic duo.

Perhaps most importantly – and it’s pretty wild that this is new to the series – there’s now co-op play! Two players can control Asterix and Obelix at the same time – which sounds like jolly good fun, by Toutatis!

eSports Roundup

Street Fighter player, ‘Gllty’, banned from Capcom Pro Tour

Professional Street Fighter player Leah ‘Gllty’ Hayes has been suspended from the Capcom Pro Tour following violations of their code of conduct for an extended period of time. Capcom Fighters shared a full statement on Twitter.

The suspension will last “until further notice” and bans her from participating in any tournaments across the world, including the Capcom Pro Tour and Street Fighter League. Hayes has also published a series of tweets where she admits to inappropriate behaviour, stating that “I’ve flirted with a lot of women, and in more than one instance I’ve made them feel uncomfortable.” Hayes also believes that “taking an exit is a necessary choice”.

PUBG Mobile amateur league soon

Super League Gaming and Tencent have partnered to create an amateur esports competition for PUBG Mobile. Super League Gaming are known for their success with local esports tournaments for games like Minecraft and Clash Online. Working alongside Tencent, Super League Gaming will bring PUBG Mobile amateur leagues to the U.S.

PUBG Mobile has been downloaded over 400 million times and has 50 million daily users, so the league has the potential to become very popular. “PUBG Mobile fits perfectly within Super League’s expanding offerings for more than 100 million enthusiastic gamers across the country,” according to Super League’s CEO, Ann Hand.

The International, the biggest DOTA 2 tournament, begins today

Valve’s annual DOTA2 tournament, The International, starts today. Spanning ten days and featuring 90 of the best DOTA2 players in the world, the tournament is the largest esports event ever. With a whopping $33,000,000 (yes, that’s thirty-three million bucks) in prize money and winners taking home over $3,000,000 each, DOTA2 is now the most lucrative game in esports history.

The group stages kick off on the 15th and last until the 18th, and you can tune into the stream on Twitch right now for over 12 hours of esport goodness every day of the event.

News Bits

Shantae 5 becomes Shantae and the Seven Sirens

Shantae and the Seven Sirens, the latest instalment in WayForward’s long-running Shantae series of Metroidvania games has just been announced. Once again, Shantae will use her powers of transformation to explore the game’s island location, and will for the first time encounter other half-genies like herself. There’s no release date yet, but the game will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and Apple Arcade.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

How long has the Shantae series from WayForward been going?

Answer: 17 Years!

The fifth game in the Shantae series was just revealed, and it’s WayForward’s longest-running game series. It started all the way back in 2002 with Shantae for GameBoy Color! It didn’t do particularly well since it released after the GameBoy Advance was launched, but it gained a cult following.

The next game in the series, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, came out 8 years later and the series has slowly but surely been gaining in popularity since then. The fourth game, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was kickstarted to the tune of $900,000 – over twice what WayForward asked for – and launched on all platforms to considerable acclaim in 2016. We can’t wait for the next one!

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