The Last of Us 2 leaks, Gears Tactics Thoughts

TODAY: Bizarre Creations wanted to blow up the charts but blew up everything else instead — Stomp some locust in turn-based strategy game Gears Tactics — The Last of Us 2 story details might have leaked

The Future of WWE Games

2K announces WWE 2K Battlegrounds

There has been a bit of shake-up at 2K Games since the catastrophic WWE 2K20 launch last year. Patrick Gilmore has taken over as executive producer for the series, and there won’t be a numbered WWE game this year.

Instead, WWE fans will be treated to WWE 2K Battlegrounds, which will offer an even more exaggerated spin on the already rather over-the-top sport. Developed by Saber Interactive, 2K claims WWE 2K Battlegrounds offers a “completely new WWE gaming experience that will feature arcade-style action and over-the-top Superstar designs,” with more pick-up-and-play appeal.

Admit mistakes: 2K Games have acknowledged WWE 2K20’s many problems and have addressed their fans with an open letter: “…we hear you and we know you want more from the franchise,” says 2K, confirming earlier reports that they “will not be releasing a WWE 2K simulation game in 2020”.

Series refresher: There won’t be a new full entry in the series until next year, but the open letter closes by saying 2K is “reaffirming a long-term commitment to expand the WWE Games family in ways that directly benefit you, the fans.” The servers for WWE 2K20 will “remain active for the time being.”

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which N64 accessory was required to play Perfect Dark’s campaign?

  • The Expansion Pak
  • The Controller Pak
  • The Nintendo Mouse
  • The Wide-Boy64

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

Bizarre Creations blew up both their game’s launch and a Mercedes SLK

Bizarre Creations’ Metropolis Street Racer was the precursor to the hugely successful Project Gotham Racing series, but only barely made it to Dreamcast after an arduous development process. It was delayed from 1999 until 2000, and the Japanese launch was scrapped altogether.

After it finally made it to the market, the European run of game discs had to be recalled because of bugs and publisher Sega was forced to issue replacements.

That wasn’t the only thing Sega had to replace: Bizarre Creations had hired a Mercedes SLK to record engine sounds, and managed to blow the engine. The owners checked the engine sensor reports, concluded the accident was a result of negligence and sent Sega the bill.

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

Pokemon News and Events

Pokémon Masters’ updated ahead of next Legendary event

Pokémon Masters just got updated to v1.9, adding a bunch of new features in time for the next Legendary Event.

The Pure Hearts & Rainbow Wings event focuses on Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, and adds the Sync Pair Silver & Ho-Oh.

Highlights

  • Eggs hatch after completing series of battles in different areas
    • Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle available
    • Form Sync Pairs when hatched after 5 battles
    • More Eggs planned for the future
  • Berry Tart item will power up Pokémon hatched from eggs
  • New Daily Scout feature awards items and Sync Pairs
    • No cost, but limited daily uses
    • Sync Pairs reset periodically
  • Switch the order in which enemies target team members
  • Move Candy levels up Sync moves of Sync Pairs
    • No need to reacquire through Sync Pair Scout
    • Star Ratings require different Star Move Candy
    • Egg Move Candy needed to hatch Pokémon

The Battle Villa in Pokémon Masters has also changed, enabling you to do a certain number of daily co-op battles with a chance of earning Lucky Cookies.

Game Spotlight

Turn-based or real-time: Curb-stomping is always fun

Version tested: PC

Gears Tactics is a prequel to the first Gears of War, and adapts the cover-based action the series is famous for into a turn-based strategy game. The story takes place 12 years before Marcus Fenix and his merry men first revved their chainsaws and started stomping locusts.

This time you’re put in the steel-plated boots of Gabe Diaz as he hunts Ukkon, the leader of the Locust invasion force. The cackling villain is responsible for vile creations like the Brumak and Corpser, and it’s up to you to give him a firm stomping.

While Gears Tactics is a dramatic departure from the earlier games, it remains a chunky, gory delight. It features a range of difficulties to ensure the game is as enjoyable for series fans tempted into trying out a new genre as it is for seasoned turn-based strategy grognards.

The game system is based on action points much like the recent XCOM games, but still feels a lot like Gears of War. When you execute actions, the camera swoops down to show a more dramatic perspective of the battlefield, so you won’t miss out on any chainsaw melee kills or perfectly executed sniper headshots.

You have a lot of choices for customizing your units: Legs, torso and helmet armor slots and a range of weapon modifications plus skill trees for each of the five classes. It can get a bit overwhelming for a turn-based strategy novice, especially as your crew grows and you need to start making hard choices about their specialization and synergies. This kind of granularity is like catnip for turn-based strategy fans, but if you find yourself overwhelmed or realize you’ve made bad choices, you can always adjust the difficulty.

Overall, Gears Tactics feels like a real entry to the series rather than a spin-off: It’s just as big, bold and cinematic as the rest of the series and an impressive strategy game to boot, so if you’re a Gears of War fan you’ll feel right at home. If you’re worried about the price point, Gears Tactics is launching straight to Xbox Game Pass for PC.

8/10

This Week In Gaming

Gear up for some tactics or crack your knuckles and kick some punk ass

Gears Tactics missed its launch date last week, but is out for really-reals this week. If you’re more in the mood for colorful arcade action than turn-based strategy, you can crack some cartoon skulls in Streets of Rage 4 instead.

Tuesday – April 28

  • Gears Tactics launches for PC
  • Moving Out launches for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch
  • Sakura Wars launches for PlayStation 4
  • SnowRunner launches for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • Telling Lies launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Thursday – April 30

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered launches for PC and Xbox One
  • Streets of Rage 4 launches for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch

What Else Happened Today?

Esports Bits

The Madrid Open Virtual begins today

Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association players from around the world will compete for the virtual Madrid Open title this week. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova are among the 32 players participating in the knockout singles tournaments.

The tournament will use the PlayStation 4 version of Tennis World Tour, and the winners of each tournament will distribute €150,000 to the charity of their choice. You can catch the matches live from April 27th until 30th on Madrid Open’s Facebook page.

Windigo still waiting for WESG prize

The Bulgarian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Windigo won the WESG 2018 Finals in March 2019, but has still not received their $500,000 prize money. As a result, Windigo ran out of cash and had to disband in late 2019.

The WESG is owned and operated by Chinese technology giant Alibaba, who claims the money had been transferred but that the payment was declined by Windigo’s bank. Windigo’s CEO is considering legal action if the prize money is not paid out.

Doublelift is back on Team SoloMid

After months of rumours, it has finally been confirmed that Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has rejoined TSM’s League of Legends roster. LCS Commissioner Christ Greeley has posted a statement confirming the League worked with Team Liquid and TSM to ensure compliance with the LCS ruleset.

That means the seven-time LCS champion is playing with Vincent “Biofrost” Wang and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg once more. If you want to know more about the deal, TSM’s has posted a video about it.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which N64 accessory was required to play Perfect Dark’s campaign?

Answer: The Expansion Pak!

The Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak is a great example of how fast technology evolves.

It doubled the console’s RAM from 4 to 8 megabytes, which may sound like a big deal but hardly any games used it and only two required it: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Donkey Kong 64. Other games, like Perfect Dark, unlocked better graphics or new game modes.

Without the Expansion Pak, you could only play a basic 2-player multiplayer mode. If you wanted to enjoy Perfect Dark’s campaign and the full range of multiplayer modes, you needed an Expansion Pak – or you could just wait 10 years for the Xbox 360 release!

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