#69: Warfare, In Your Garden?!

TODAY: Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer confirmed, yet remains mysterious — Ubisoft finally putting their weight behind VR with two new AAA games — Dave Bautista’s Gears of War dream is closer to coming true.

Top Story

Plants vs. Zombies revealed, get ready “to kick some grass”

There’s a new Plants vs Zombies on the way, and the series’ official YouTube channel just started a countdown ahead of the announcement, which takes place at 5.00pm BST.

The original Plants vs Zombies was a tower defense variant pitting – you guessed it – sentient plant life against brain-nibbling undead. It was developed by PopCap Games, and released in May 2009. Since then, the franchise was acquired by Electronic Arts and expanded into a third-person team-based shooter.

PopCap Games was founded in 2000, and acquired by EA in 2011

The last big Plants vs Zombies game was Garden Warfare 2, released for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in February 2016. The new game has not exactly been kept secret – we know it’s codenamed ‘Picnic’ and that there was a closed alpha playtest in early August. It’s pretty likely that this is the third game in the Garden Warfare spin-off series, since Plants vs Zombies 3 is already available on Android as a free-to-play pre-alpha.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Including expansions, episodes, and spin-offs, how many games have been set in the Half-Life universe?

  • 6
  • 8
  • 10
  • 12

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

News Bits

The Long Journey Home arrives for Switch today

Daedalic Entertainment’s rogue-lite-flavored space adventure The Long Journey Home is out today for Nintendo Switch. The Long Journey Home follows a crew that accidentally travels to the other side of the galaxy and must make their way home. It’s already out for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and now it’s up to you to be a good captain and make those hard choices on Switch.

Steampunk adventure 80 Days coming to Nintendo Switch this October

80 Days is finally arriving on Nintendo Switch in October, only 5 years, 2 months, 4 weeks and a day since Inkle’s 80 Days launched on iOS back in July 2014. By my count, that’s over 1900 days, so it’s safe to say they lost that wager – but better late than never! In 80 Days, you choose your own route around a steampunk-inspired world full of walking cities, sapient means of transport and other oddities.

Daily Fact

Unreal Tournament III was the first major title supporting console mods

There’s been a real push for more community-made mod content for big games on consoles, like Bethesda Softworks introducing the controversial and curated Creation Club for Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

It was Epic Games’ 2007 title Unreal Tournament III however that was the first game to actually introduce supporting mod content for a console game. This only became available for the PlayStation 3 version, not Xbox 360, and let people download mod content to the PS3’s HDD or external drives.

It turns out the biggest reason Epic would veto a mod’s content was “intellectual property/copyright issues,” project lead Steve Polge revealed. They didn’t have many issues with nudity or obscenity going on, and overall not much was ever restricted anyway. In the end Epic passed the responsibilities for curation to a ‘trusted’ member of the community.

Game Spotlight

Get rekt with Wreckfest

(Bugbear Entertainment – PC) Also available on PlayStation 4 & Xbox One

Wreckfest is a racing game that encourages you to break the rules of traditional racing and drive dirty on your way to the top. Released last year on PC, and very recently on PS4 and Xbox One, Wreckfest features a variety of modes that suit whatever style of driving you’re looking for. Fancy smashing your way through a sea of old bangers, or maybe taking on driving challenges with lawnmowers, combine harvesters or school buses? Maybe zooming around on a sofa is more your speed? Whether you’re just looking for a good, clean race, or absolute mayhem where you can just obliterate cars to smithereens, Wreckfest has you covered.

Interestingly, the feel of the racing is more akin to Driveclub or Gran Turismo than more destruction-based series like Burnout. Every vehicle is weighty in just the right way for pushing vehicles off the road, though you’ll need to be careful when pressing that accelerate pedal as holding it for a little too long will see you spinning off the track in no time. Most racing games that emphasize destruction go for an arcade-like rather than realistic approach, so it’s refreshing to see Bugbear Entertainment go for a more realistic feel.

We would’ve liked to see local multiplayer in any form, whether split-screen support or even a pass-the-controller turn-based approach. It looks like the developers saved all the multiplayer features for online, which does support LAN if you and your mates happen to own multiple copies of the game. It’s understandable why split-screen support have been left out of the console versions due to hardware limitations, but we feel it should’ve been an option for powerful computers that have no issues running the game.

Smash your way into the lead

Wreckfest features a career mode that will last most players around 18-20 hours. The career mode is not only a great place to find your bearings on the race track, it also features a number of wacky races that we have never seen before in any racing game. One of the highlights of the career mode has to be the challenge race that pits sixteen racers against each other on a figure eight track. The catch? Fifteen of those players (including you) are driving lawn mowers, with the last person driving a massive combine harvester. By the end of the race, the track was littered with burning lawn mowers and the rag dolls of the drivers.

The online mode is where most of the hardcore players reside, at least in the PC version, so new players may want to shy away from multiplayer until they’ve learnt the ropes. The general etiquette for most Wreckfest servers is to avoid wrecking cars entirely, instead players are advised to drive cleanly in order to avoid ruining the experience for other players. Failure to adhere to these rules will grant you a swift ban from the server moderators. There are plenty of ‘dirty’ servers out there, so avoid ruining the fun for players who prefer themselves a nice clean drive.

Overall, Wreckfest is a fun racer to jump into, even if you’re not the best driver out there. It has a number of servers dedicated to those that want to race properly, as well as having fun modes for those who want to joke around and wreak havoc. We found plenty of servers, making waiting times nice and short and there’s no waste of time if you just want a quick online race. The PC community appears quite well-established since the game has been available on Steam for a while, and finding a race on console was just as easy. In short: Wreckfest is certainly worth a try if you’re a fan of casual racing titles.

Wreckfest is already available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Daily News

Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer “in the works”, but due after free DLCs

CD Projekt RED has officially upgraded multiplayer plans for Cyberpunk 2077 from the initial “in R&D” to the more definitive “in the works!” However, it won’t be available at launch and will arrive after a batch of single-player free content goodies.

This news comes as CD Projekt RED begins hiring experienced developers to work on the multiplayer side of things at their Wroclaw offices in western Poland, and right now they’re looking for least 8 new employees. Let’s all hope the studio steers clear of any micro-transaction ‘surprise mechanics’.

Netrunning now actually a thing for Cybepunk 2077, eventually

“The plan for now is to deliver Cyberpunk 2077 in April, then follow up with DLCs (free!) and single player content, and – once we’re done – invite you for some multiplayer action,” the studio tweeted. There’s no information about how the online features will play, but it’s probably going to involve either our single-player character accepting some odd jobs with player matchmaking in specific environments, or let us create purely online characters like in GTA Online.

CD Projekt RED intends to sprinkle in plenty of free DLC goodies post-launch, much like they did with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, in addition to major paid expansions. Multiplayer could launch as early as summer 2020, but they could hold off until the fall. Right now all eyes are on Cyberpunk 2077 releasing for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Google Stadia April 16, 2020.

Ubisoft confirms “new AAA VR” game

Ubisoft is staffing up in preparation for work on a “new AAA VR project” that appears to be yet another multi-studio project. The publisher has a long track-record of going global with their projects, spreading development across several studios in different locations.

What exactly is this new major VR project? Apparently they have two projects underway, the first being “the next VR Escape Room for 2020,” while the second one remains a secret. There is speculation it could be a new Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell since Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said to expect it on “different devices” in the future. There is also a possibility that the humongous Assassin’s Creed franchise could be going VR.

2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist was the last game in the series

The job listings are hiring for positions in Dusseldorf, Germany, where Ubisoft’s Blue Byte acts as umbrella for Ubisoft Dusseldorf, Ubisoft Mainz and Ubisoft Berlin. When not working on the Anno or Settlers series, the three studios assist other Ubisoft developers with projects like For Honor and the upcoming Beyond Good And Evil.

News Bits

Actor and WWE star Dave Bautista appears in Gears of War 5 as… himself!

While Dave Bautista’s dream of playing Marcus in a big Hollywood Gears of War movie might never see the light of day, Microsoft has given him a role in Gears of War 5 in a partnership between Xbox and WWE, starting with the Clash of Champions September 15 on the WWE Network. To unlock Dave Bautista in Gears of War 5, simply play the game between then and October 28.

Valve’s update to The Lab also contains ‘Half-Life VR prototype’ code

Valve has been rumoured to be working on, or at least playing around with, a VR instalment of Half-Life. The company has kept silent on the matter but a new update to the SteamVR mini-game The Lab contains some code from the rumoured Half-Life prototype. It appears to be a shooter against waves of enemies in a holographic City 17, where players teleport between set locations. Thanks data miners!

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Including expansions, episodes, and spin-offs, how many games have been set in the Half-Life universe?

Answer: 12!

You probably don’t believe us, so here’s the list:

  • Half-Life
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force – expansion by Gearbox
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift – expansion by Gearbox
  • Half-Life: Decay – PS2 exclusive expansion by Gearbox
  • Half-Life 2
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 1
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2
  • Portal – part of the same universe
  • Portal 2
  • The Lab – Valve’s VR games, set in Portal’s Aperture Science
  • Bridge Constructor: Portal – third-party, but officially set in Aperture Science
  • LEGO Dimensions: Portal – a proper Portal game, even has a new song

This lot doesn’t even include the Counter-Strike series, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, or GLaDOS’s many appearances outside the Portal series, such as in Telltale’s Poker Night in the Inventory 2. There may be a new game to add to the list soon, with Half-Life VR – but what we really want is Half-Life 3, of course…

Weekly Giveaway

Iconoclasts on PS4

It’s time to save the world in another DailyBits giveaway! We have 5 PS4 keys to give away for amazing platformer-adventure Iconoclasts. All you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to follow us on Twitter and on our Facebook page, and we will choose five random followers who will each receive a Iconoclasts PSN code to play on PS4! It couldn’t be any easier.

DailyBits Feedback

Please send in your Feedback!

Please feel free to send any feedback over to team@dailybits.news. Thank you for all your suggestions, it really does help us improve each issue of DailyBits.