What to expect from Sony’s State of Play
Sony continues their State of Play video series with a new presentation airing layer today at 9pm BST/10pm CEST. There will apparently be new games revealed, as well as brand-new content from PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios. Don’t go in expecting any PlayStation 5 news, though – Sony already made it clear in a blog post that they’re not ready to talk about it yet.
So what will we see? Well, we know that Naughty Dog is going to announce something big about The Last Of Us Part II, since the developer has been releasing short, cryptic teasers online for a while now. VP, writer and director Neil Druckmann at Naughty Dog has tweeted that “We’ve been silent for too long, it’s time to put an end to that.” Maybe we’ll finally see some gameplay, and maybe even a release date?
Then there’s Batman’s 80th anniversary and WB Games Montreal’s less-than-subtle teasing: The developer tweeted a short animation last night, along with the words “Capture the Knight / Cape sur la nuit”. The four insignia from the animation represent the Court of Owls, an organised crime group and secret society that wreak havoc in Gotham. At this point, we’d be more surprised if a new Batman game isn’t announced tonight.
Which game will steal the show?
Then there’s Wattam, the anticipated collaboration between Keita Takahashi (of Katamari Damacy fame) and Funomena (founded by thatgamecompany alumni who worked on Journey). The game was announced a while ago, but there hasn’t been much news since then. Judging by this mysterious chain of quote-tweets, there will probably be some kind of announcement tonight.
Finally, the Japanese PlayStation Store posted and then immediately removed a MediEvil demo, so it’s pretty safe to assume someone just pressed the button too early and that it will reappear during the event. The demo reportedly weighed in at 11.6GB and supposedly features two stages: ‘Dan’s Crypt’ and ‘The Graveyard’. MediEvil is scheduled to launch on October 25th, so this seems like a good time to start the hype.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
What is the name of the kingdom where MediEvil takes place?
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
World of Warcraft Classic sees revenue from WoW subscriptions rise by 223%
The eagerly anticipated release of the back-to-basics World of WarCraft Classic has earned a lot of attention: According to Superdata’s latest report, the subscription revenue has increased by an estimated 223% from July to August.
As a result, World of WarCraft is back in the analyst’s list of highest-earning PC games, landing in third place behind Dungeon Fighter Online and League of Legends. However, Superdata’s report shows that the increase is still smaller than that caused by the release of the Battle for Azeroth expansion last year.
Star Wars Battlefront II Community Update – a new planet and new modes
Star Wars Battlefront II continues to win back goodwill by adding new content. In the latest community update video, the developers talk about the new planet they are adding – Felucia, featured in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – and two new modes, Instant Action and Co-Op, as well as the new Clone Commando hero.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom: Latest in one of SEGA’s oldest series
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a fun platformer that’s almost a year old now, and the interesting thing about it is that it’s actually the latest game in the ancient Wonder Boy series. It was developed with the help of Wonder Boy creator Ryuichi Nishizawa, and acts as a follow-up to the recently remade Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap.
The Wonder Boy series is made up of the Wonder Boy and Monster World games, and the latest title is a mash-up of the two. Whatever it’s called, the series is one of Sega’s oldest properties: It predates Sonic the Hedgehog by half a decade! Wonder Boy first appeared in 1986, while Sonic made his debut in 1991.
While Sonic is admittedly more popular – we won’t be seeing a Wonder Boy movie starring Jim Carrey any time soon – it is still pretty impressive that the series is still going strong after 33 years. There’s even another game out this year, Wonder Boy Returns Remix, which is a remake of the very first game. Definitely worth a look if you enjoyed The Cursed Kingdom and Dragon’s Trap.
Koji Igarashi has plans to make Bloodstained into a series
Koji Igarashi, more commonly known as ‘Iga’, showed that he’s still got the magic touch with the brilliant Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night earlier this year. In an interview published in the latest issue of Game Informer, Iga talked about the pros and cons of funding a game through Kickstarter rather than a more traditional publisher.
For example, quality control was a difficult chapter in Bloodstained’s development: “When you’re working with an outsourced studio, it can be difficult to match the quality line when things changed,” said Iga. “With Bloodstained, we would first share our goal with the outsourced studio and make sure we both agree and determine the necessities, but even with proper planning it’s difficult to reach.”
Iga breaks down what makes Kickstarter different
Iga noted that entire portions of Bloodstained had to be scrapped and remade, which might explain some of the problems the developers faced and why the game kept getting delayed. Bloodstained was originally scheduled to release in March 2017, but was delayed by over two years before finally hitting the market in June this year.
It also appears that Iga wasn’t fully involved in the Nintendo Switch port: “I didn’t expect [the Switch port] to be as bad when it was released”. He confirmed that WayForward is working towards fixing the Switch port through incremental updates.
Most tantalizingly, Iga revealed that Ritual of the Night is just the “starting ground for the next step,” and that there are plans to turn Bloodstained into a big series
A review roundup for The Surge 2
The Surge 2 is out today, and will let players loose in Jericho City. The Action-RPG boasts “hardcore, brutal melee combat” against “deadly foes and colossal bosses”. Its 2017 predecessor, The Surge earned an average of 73 on Opencritic. Reviews are now live and here’s what games critics have to say about the sequel.
IGN (Score 7.6/10) – “The Surge 2 checks many of the boxes for a successful sequel, but this sci-fi action RPG falls just short or recapturing the full dismembering joy of the original.”
GamesRadar (Score 3.5/5) – “The Surge 2 offers the hard-earned pleasures of Souls-style combat, with less of genre’s signature sting.”
GameSpot (Score 8/10) – “Deep, varied, and punchy combat make The Surge 2 worth the effort, even if you have to bear through its lifeless story.”
Polygon (Unscored) – “Familiar isn’t always bad, and in the case of The Surge 2, familiar is just aggressively fine.”
Destructoid (Score 7.5/10) – “While Deck13 still has some work to do, The Surge 2 is a massive step up from its predecessor in just about every respect. For the first time, I’m actually excited to see what the studio is working on next.”
Rock Paper Shotgun (Unscored) – “If you missed the first Surge, but always meant to take a look, hop into this one instead. Think of it as a shortcut to a better game.”
PC Gamer (Score 79/100) – “The steely smash-and-crunch of the combat merrily pushed me through its 20-hour campaign and beyond into New Game +, compelling me to ignore the rudimentary world and focus on those glorious moments where sparks, limbs and scrap metal fly with brutal abandon. Deck13 has come a long way, welding together a solid, structurally sound Soulslike that adeptly showcases what makes this genre special.”