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10 video game stories you might have missed – May 12, 2019

Here’s our quick round-up of some video game news you might have missed.

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Kratos - God of War

Here’s our quick round-up of some video game news you might have missed.

It’s been another packed week in the world of video games, with a new Ghost Recon game announced by Ubisoft, and an impressive new trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake closing the latest PlayStation State of Play.

As ever, there were a few stories that we missed. Here are ten worth knowing.

The video game cartoons we didn’t get

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, another glorious piece of video game ephemera is unearthed. Twitter user Tanooki Joe discovered an Ebay auction listing promotional art for unmade cartoons based on Castlevania, Double Dragon, Metroid, and California Games. The concepts feature a male Samus, and a rather Scooby-Doo-like take on Castlevania. It’s probably for the best these were never made.

Metroid and Castlevania video game cartoons
Images: Lance Cannon

Trouble at the top for the ESA

Variety has published a report detailing “a toxic environment rife with internal politics” at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The association – which runs the annual E3 games event – has recently found itself on the wrong side of the arguments against workplace crunch and exploitative monetization practices. The problem, it seems, starts at the top.

Nintendo confirms E3 2019 plans

Nintendo has officially announced its plans for E3 2019 with the news that a new Nintendo Direct will air on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. It will be followed by three days of content from the Nintendo Treehouse. There will also be tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 held on June 8, 2019.

Xbox Game Pass Quests expand to new regions

Major Nelson has announced that Xbox Game Pass Quests are now available in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, France, Germany, and Mexico. Quests encourage players to complete activities within eligible titles in return for Microsoft Reward points. The points can be redeemed for Xbox gift cards, in-game content, and digital media.

IDW launches a new Gears of War comic

Gears of War: Hivebusters is a new five-part Gears of War comic books series from IDW featuring art by Alan Quah and Pierre Droal, and a script by Kurtis Wiebe. The story is set after the events of Gears of War 4 and follows a tactical COG unit’s attempt to destroy a swarm hive from within.

EA Access is coming to PlayStation 4

Games subscription service EA Access is coming to PlayStation 4 five years after it debuted on Xbox One. The PS4 service will launch in July, and include early trials on new game releases, access to a library of EA titles, and 10% discounts on digital purchases. We assume it won’t include many of the last-generation titles that are available on Xbox One via Backward Compatibility.

The Division 2 loot plans shelved

Ubisoft has backtracked on plans to add higher level weapons and gear to The Division 2. The ‘515 gear’ was planned to drop in the game’s third update but following an outcry from players, developer Massive Entertainment said they had decided “not increase Gear Score beyond 500”.

God of War documentary released

Sony has released Raising Kratos, a two-hour-long documentary that follows the development of Playstation 4 game, God of War. The film was assembled from over 400 hours of raw footage and took two years to complete. It’s a fascinating look at the creation of one of this generation’s defining video games. Grab a coffee and watch it right here.

Monster Hunter World gets a free trial on PS4

PlayStation 4 owners can download and play the opening section of Monster Hunter World for free until May 20, 2019. The free trial includes the Ancient Forest and Wildspire Waste locations and eight assignments to complete. Online multiplayer is included, and all progress can be carried over to the full game.

Two points for Sega

Sega Europe has acquired Two Point Studios, the company behind the well-received simulation game, Two Point Hospital. The game will continue to receive support and updates as the studio works on new, unannounced projects. Speaking about the acquisition, Sega Europe president, Gary Dale, says:

“We’re delighted to welcome Two Point Studios officially in to the Sega family. As a relatively new, British-based developer with a global hit already under their belts, we knew we had to move quickly on this deal because they are an extremely attractive investment proposition with a great deal of talent.”

New game releases

Rage 2 and the Castlevania Anniversary Collection are the highlights from this week’s lineup of new video game releases for the Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.


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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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State of Play announced for this Thursday

State of Play returns this week, but be warned: It will contain no new PS5 announcements.

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playstation state of play august 2020

State of Play returns this week, but be warned: It will contain no new PS5 announcements.

Eager to set expectations early, Sony’s announcement that a State of Play is coming this week also included the warning that it will contain no next-gen news.

“Just to be super clear – there will be no PlayStation Studios updates in Thursday’s episode. There won’t be any updates around hardware, business, preorders, or dates either,” Sid Shuman, Senior Director of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Content Strategies, wrote today on the PlayStation Blog.

“On Thursday, our focus is squarely on showcasing some cool upcoming games coming to the broader PlayStation ecosystem. Should be fun!”

“The broader PlayStation ecosystem,” specifically, means PS4 and PSVR. Don’t expect any news about what Sony’s first-party studios are working on. But, this could, potentially, be a great time to find out what’s coming from third-party studios this fall. Given that we got release dates for a bunch of Ubisoft’s upcoming games – Watch Dogs: LegionAssassin’s Creed ValhallaFar Cry 6 –  at last month’s Forward event, the next Call of Duty game is one of this fall’s few remaining AAA question marks.

Will we find out, as Doritos foretold, that it is in fact called Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War? Is that one too many colons? Why has it taken so long to find out anything about this year’s Call of Duty? We don’t know, and we may not find out anything new this Thursday.

But, Shuman stated that the show is 40+ minutes long, so we will learn something.

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DualShock 4 will work with the PS5 (but not with PS5 games)

Hoping to keep using your DualShock 4 on the PS5? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.

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PlayStation 5 - DualShock 4 and DualSense
Sony / Thumbsticks

Hoping to keep using your DualShock 4 on the PS5? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is, you can! If you want to use the PlayStation 4 controller to play the PlayStation 5 versions of Horizon Zero Dawn, Spider-Man or God of War, you’re in luck.

But, if you want to use the DualShock 4 to play Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales or Godfall, you’re out of luck. The PS4 stalwart won’t be compatible with PS5 games, Sony announced today.

DualShock 4 on PS5?

Isabelle Tomatis, who oversees marketing for peripherals and PSVR at Sony Interactive Entertainment, made the announcement in a short Q+A on the PlayStation Blog.

“We believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller,” Tomatis wrote.

Those features include the ability to blow on the built-in microphone like it’s 2005 again and you’re playing WarioWare Touched! It also swaps out the Share button for a Create button and ups the haptic feedback you can feel from pressing or holding the triggers.

While saying goodbye to the DualShock 4 is a little bit of a let down, many PS4 peripherals will carry over to the PS5. Namely (again, according to the PlayStation Blog):

  • Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.
  • The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5 (the headset companion app is not compatible with PS5).
  • Both the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5.

Additionally, the PlayStation Camera will work with compatible PS5 games, but will require an adaptor. Per Sony, this will be provided at no extra cost.

Given how expensive a DualShock 4 is — typically $60 a pop — it’s disappointing that the investment won’t carry over, especially given the extent to which competitor Microsoft is blurring generational lines. But, not altogether surprising given Sony’s insistence that they “believe in generations.”


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Transformers roll out to World of Warships in upcoming event

Wargaming and Hasbro are bringing the Transformers to popular naval combat game World of Warships in a new crossover event.

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Transformers and World of Warships

Wargaming and Hasbro are bringing the Transformers to the popular naval combat game World of Warships in a new crossover event.

The Autobots and Deceptions will engage in a new theatre of war later this year as part of a Transformers crossover event with World of Warships on PC and World of Warships: Legends on mobile.

Both Transformers factions will be added the hit naval combat games as themed ship skins and commanders this September. At launch, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will represent the Autobots, and Megatron and Rumble will fly the flag for the evil Decepticons.

Optimus Prime - World of Warships

Speaking about the crossover, World of Warships producer Philip Molodkovets says:

“Generations were raised with the Transformers franchise. Starting from the 1980’s animated series all the way to the latest movies, we instantly fell in love with the robot characters that captivated our imagination. Having the chance to feature them in World of Warships is a dream come true for many of us. Our love for big, epic metal warriors is mutual! Therefore we paid special attention to bring Transformers characters to life in details and true scale, side by side with legendary warships.”

The event will feature additional Transformers content, including themed containers, dedicated game tasks and combat missions, expendable camouflages, and commemorative flags and patches.

Watch the warships in disguise in the new event trailer.

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Ghost of Tsushima holds No.1 in the UK video game chart

Destroy All Humans! and Skater XL debut in the top ten of the UK video game chart, but this week’s No.1 is a familiar sight.

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Ghost of Tsushima PS4 release date
Sucker Punch Productions

Destroy All Humans! and Skater XL debut in the top ten of the UK video game chart, but this week’s No.1 is a familiar sight.

Ghost of Tsushima holds No.1 in the latest chart of boxed software sales in the UK. The game’s three-week residence at the top is an impressive run for Sucker Punch’s open-world samurai game, but in truth, it hasn’t had much competition.

Last week’s big new release was THQ Nordic’s remaster of the 2005 cult favourite, Destroy All Humans!, which entered the chart at No.3. The humans may have been obliterated, but the animals remained steadfast at No.2 with Animal Crossing: New Horizons continuing to do the business for Nintendo. Paper Mario: The Origami King and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe complete this week’s Switch top ten presence.

Easy Day Studios’ Skater XL has also done well, landing at No.7. Its popularity bodes well for the upcoming onslaught of skateboarding games.

Further down the chart, anime RPG Fairy Tail debuts at No.15, and there are re-entires for EA’s Rocket Arena and Anthem at No.39 and No.40 respectively.

GfK All formats Software Chart – WE: August 1, 2020

  1. Ghost of Tsushima
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. Destroy All Humans! (NE)
  4. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  5. F1 2020
  6. Paper Mario: The Origami King
  7. Skater XL (NE)
  8. The Last of Us Part II
  9. Grand Theft Auto V
  10. Minecraft

To find out which games might appear on next week’s chart, visit our new releases page. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard for daily gaming updates.

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Microsoft confirms Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play

With Halo Infinite multiplayer going free-to-play, will Halo once again be a console shifter, two decades on?

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halo infinite multiplayer free-to-play
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With Halo Infinite multiplayer going free-to-play, will Halo once again be a console shifter, two decades on?

Earlier this week, rumours were swirling that Halo Infinite would be free-to-play. Or that it’s multiplayer would be, at least. We don’t tend to report on unsubstantiated leaks at Thumbsticks, but as soon as they’ve got some substance to them? We’ll let you know.

And now we’ve had confirmation – via the official Xbox Twitter account –  that the free-to-play rumours about Halo Infinite multiplayer are in fact true.

The tweet also confirms another detail that was floating about, that Halo Infinite will support 120 frames per second on the Xbox Series X.

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t trouble ourselves too much with frame rates, but it’s interesting to note that it specifies “on Xbox Series X” – presumably, that means frame rates will be lower on other platforms, like the Xbox One, Xbox One X, and the rumoured, lower-powered “Xbox Series S” console? That could potentially lead to an unfair advantage for players on Xbox Series X because, as Nvidia’s marketing puts it, “frames win games“.

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer being free-to-play also raises questions about Xbox Live Gold. It’s obvious that games can make good money while being free-to-play – hello, Fortnite Battle Royale – but you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to play an Xbox game online without an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

In recent years, Microsoft has bundled Xbox Live Gold in with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. That means you get all the benefits of Gold with a massive library of games included for only a few quid more. It makes sense that Xbox Game Pass might replace Xbox Live Gold entirely in the future.

And we know that Microsoft has also been including its titles in Xbox Game Pass at launch. So if Halo Infinite is included in Xbox Game Pass, and you need Game Pass (rather than Xbox Live Gold) to play online, will that truly be free-to-play if you’re getting the entitlement as part of another package? Or will Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer be exempt from online subscription costs, like Fortnite, or even a separate package like Call of Duty’s battle royale mode?

There’s still clarification needed from Microsoft on this one, but to make Halo Infinite’s multiplayer free-to-play – even if that does come with some small print – is still a bold move. It’s been a long time since Halo was the main selling point for Xbox, but those days could be back.


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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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