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Days Gone looks like The Last of Us meets Sons of Anarchy – what’s not to like?

Days Gone didn’t blow us away at E3 2016, looking a bit like a zombie Benny Hill chase at times, but how is it shaping up at E3 2017?

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Days Gone trailer

Days Gone didn’t blow us away at E3 2016, looking a bit like a zombie Benny Hill chase at times, but how is it shaping up at E3 2017?

Upon first impression, you might feel nonplussed: greys, browns, greens, a Pacific Northwest vibe that’s got to be reaching saturation (Alan Wake, the Fall chapter in The Last of Us, Life is Strange), a gruff Sons of Anarchy-esque protagonist with a hesitant bad-ass lilt.

After a closer inspection, however, there is more to Days Gone than first meets the eye. There’s plenty to like here, and let’s give credit where it’s long overdue: Sony’s Oregon-based Bend Studio is a group of skilled, hard-working mercenaries that consistently deliver mostly overlooked, quality games under IPs they have to jump into like moving cars.

Days Gone looks to showcase a well-oiled hinge between open-world exploration and set-piece-sultry enclosed environments. This is something that Uncharted and The Last of Us didn’t do; delivering the kind of rich, curated level-design Naughty Dog is known for comes at the cost of shuttered linearity. From splashy power-slides on a beefy hog through damp canyon forests, to disembarking into intricate, more personal spaces, the transition looks seamless.

From what’s there in the trailer, Days Gone irrigates the flow of action into several possible outcomes, all of them bristling with popcorn pulp action: a bear snarled in barbed wire with knives jutting from its back, a literal opening of the flood gates to a wave of zombies, an impasse with a hostage and a hair-trigger standoff (pop-quiz hot shot!). Bend Studio has played The Last of Us, but they’ve most definitely seen Mad Max: Fury Road as well.

There are reasons, too, to be weary and wary: QTE fisticuffs, genre ground stampeded over enough to wake the dead, a thoroughly uncompelling protagonist. But Bend has a proven track-record of injecting existing franchises (Uncharted, Resistance) with fresh blood and new ideas, and it’s been far too long (Syphon Filter in 1999!) since they last struck out on their own. It’s perhaps odd then, and a little ironic, that they’re treading such familiar ground with Days Gone.

Still, what’s there, despite the familiar touches, could bring new life to a shuffling, tired genre.

Enjoyed this article?

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.

Josh is a freelance writer. You’ll find him banging on about the vertices between games and film and music and poetry and books, but don’t let that put you off. He likes games. He likes writing. He also gets the biscuits in.

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Save up to 80% in the PS4 Games of a Generation sale

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Ghost of Tsushima - PS4 Store Sale
Sucker Punch Productions / Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony is celebrating some of the best video games of the generation with a new sale of PS4 and PS VR games.

With the release of the PlayStation 5 rapidly approaching, Sony is highlighting some of the best games of the PlayStation 4 era in a brand new PSN sale.

Many of the PS4’s best exclusives are reduced, including a 25% discount on Ghost of Tsushima, the well-received feudal Japan epic from Sucker Punch Productions. Other discounted games to make Xbox One owners jealous include Marvel’s Spider-Man, Bloodborne, and Horizon Zero Dawn. But probably not Days Gone.

Third-party picks include Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Monster Hunter: World, and Red Dead Redemption 2. PS VR owners should also ensure they don’t miss out on Astro Bot: Rescue Mission or Blood & Truth. If you are upgrading to a PS5, most of these titles should be playable via backwards compatibility.

Somewhat amusingly, several older games are also on offer in remastered form. Bluepoint’s thoughtful update of Shadow of the Colossus comes recommended, as does the Batman: Arkham Collection, and L.A. Noire.

Here’s a selection of the games on offer from the North American and European sales. Visit the PlayStation Store in your country for the complete lineup of discounts. The promotion ends on October 14, 2020.

PS4 Games of a Generation Sale Highlights

  • A Way Out
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered
  • Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
  • Batman: Arkham Collection
  • Blasphemous
  • Bloodborne
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
  • Cities: Skylines – PlayStation 4 Edition
  • Conan Exiles
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Dying Light
  • F1 2020
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hello Neighbor
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Journey to the Savage Planet
  • L.A. Noire
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Deluxe Edition
  • The Last Guardian
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite – Standard Edition
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
  • Overwatch: Legendary Edition
  • Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Sniper Elite 4 – Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Tekken 7 – Ultimate Edition
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Tropico 6
  • TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2
  • Unravel
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War – Deluxe Edition

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. And stay up to date with the latest gaming new by following Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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October’s Xbox Games with Gold are scarily average

Get ready for some Halloween scares with the Xbox Games with Gold lineup for October 2020.

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Xbox Games with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Stifle those yawns and prepare yourself for some Halloween scares with October’s Xbox Games with Gold lineup.

October’s Xbox Games with Gold freebies are entirely average, but there’s more quality on offer than you might think at first glance.

Headlining the Xbox One selection is Maid of Sker, the 2018 first-person survival horror set in a remote hotel. The game plucks its scares from Welsh folklore, and although it doesn’t rank among the best in the genre, it’s an effective and spooky experience.

Likewise, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut is not the best puzzle game you’ll ever play, but it has some visual style and pays homage to the ’80s horror movie genre with lots of comic moments.

Octobers Xbox 360 games are Eurocom’s 2003 action-adventure game Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and Double Fine’s fine tale of childhood trick-or-treating, Costume Quest. Both titles are also playable on Xbox One via Back Compat.

The latest Games with Gold titles will be available to download and keep for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from the following dates.

Xbox Games With Gold – October 2020

Xbox One

  • Maid of Sker – October 16 – November 15
  • Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut – October 1 -31

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – October 1 – 15
  • Costume Quest – October 16 – 31

Of last month’s games, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is free until October 15.


More video games from Thumbsticks

Get updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 video games from our new releases page. And follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

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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Last chance to save on classic Final Fantasy games in a Nintendo Switch sale

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

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Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch sale
Nintendo / Square Enix / Thumbsticks

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch does feature new games – every week! Bookmark our new releases page to stay up to date on that front – but it’s the console’s credibility as a retro machine that gets people excited.

Everything is getting ported to Nintendo Switch. Everything. Even PC games at both ends of the joke – Doom at the low-end, to Crysis at the high – are getting a run-out on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.

It’s a combination of that lovely form factor and the ease of portability, with a little help from a lovely 720p screen, that makes the Switch feel so good as a remaster-wielding retro machine. (And of course, Nintendo’s stellar back catalogue, from a raft of NES and SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online to the recently-released Super Mario 3D All-Stars.)

At the top of my list of things I wanted to see on the Nintendo Switch was “every Final Fantasy game ever, please,” and, sure enough, Square Enix and Nintendo are obliging. But they’re rarely cheap. You’d think for all the times I’ve bought and re-bought Final Fantasy VI, VII or IX over the years, I might get some sort of loyalty discount. Maybe a Final Fantasy equivalent of Nectar points? But no. They cost quite a lot, even if Square’s ports aren’t always that hot.

Which is why a Square Enix sale on the Nintendo eShop – featuring a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but also, more! – at discounted prices is so exciting. There’s up to 50% off, as well, which is a cracking discount.

Here’s everything included in the Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale.

Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale

  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD
  • Final Fantasy Explorers (Nintendo 3DS)
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Lost Sphear
  • Oninaki
  • Romancing SaGa 2
  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
  • Spelunker Party!
  • Star Ocean: First Departure R
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima

The picks of the litter are obviously the mainline Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is obviously brilliant; the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is splendid; Final Fantasy IX is secretly the best one; Final Fantasy X/X-2 is another excellent remaster; Final Fantasy XII isn’t great (but the Zodiac Age remaster makes it much more bearable); and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is… also on sale. There’s a reason the Final Fantasy VII Remake is so great, and it’s because it steals its best ideas from these earlier iterations.

The recent remake of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon – subtitled EVERY BUDDY!, their emphasis, not ours – is also well worth checking out, even if it is a bit of a peculiar curio. Romancing SaGa 2 is also well worth checking out, while I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear are modern-developed indie games published by Square Enix.

These deals are only available until September 30, so you’d better get on that.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

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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A fifth of the 1TB Xbox Series X storage is for the OS

An almighty 198GB of Xbox Series X is earmarked away from your game storage purposes.

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Xbox Series X console
Microsoft

An almighty 198GB of Xbox Series X is earmarked away from your game storage purposes.

If there was ever a doubt in your mind that new consoles are PCs at heart, then look at the storage space reserved for the operating system and system files on the Xbox Series X in IGN’s preview.

Whilst you expect a Windows 10 storage requirement of around 32 GB at most, expect the Xbox Series X to reserve a positively eye-watering 198GB. This is an increase on the Xbox One’s sizeable consumption by its OS of 138GB. This encapsulates the OS, first-party apps, and space for updates, but why in the name of Phil Spencer is it so much?

It’s for the best, then, that director of project management for the console, Jason Ronald, stated in an IGN interview that they were going to keep Xbox Series X game file sizes “as small as possible”. We’ll have to see if this becomes a differentiating factor between the consoles, since it was recently revealed that PS5 install sizes were going to be sizeable.

Many players might need an expanded storage solution, then. You can currently buy a Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series X that offers an additional 1 TB of external memory whilst promising no decrease in “peak speed and performance” compared to the internal SSD. The price of that speed-boosting shared Velocity architecture is a hefty £220 in the UK.

Alternatively, VentureBeat ran some transfer speed tests and found that transferring Assassin’s Creed: Origins from a much cheaper (and larger) external USB 3.0 HDD to the internal SSD took 7:46.03 minutes and seconds compared to  2:18.53 for an external SSD. As an infamous install juggler myself, this seems to be a good compromise. Certainly better than outright redownloading games.

It’s rumoured that within those 200GB is the lost city of Atlantis, the holy grail, and the meaning of life. At least, that’s the only justification I can see for its size.


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Enjoyed this article?

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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Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra DLC dated

The Pokémon Company reveals more details – and a release date – for the second part of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield - The Crown Tundra
The Pokémon Company / Thumbsticks

The Pokémon Company reveals more details – and a release date – for the second part of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass.

In a video broadcast released today, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara confirmed that the second part of Sword and Shield’s Expansion Pass will be released on October 22, 2020.

The Crown Tundra takes players to a new area of the Galar region and introduces a new character, Peony, who will guide players as they explore its wind-swept wastes and snow-capped peaks. The story will also include a trip to a mysterious Pokémon Den, previously only seen in the game’s Max Raid Battles.

Even more exciting for fans than the new story content is the announcement that every Legendary Pokémon from past mainline games is included in the DLC. The Legendaries will be obtainable by embarking on the new Dynamax Adventures raids. The expansion also adds the Galarian Star Tournament, in which players can buddy together and take on the Galar region’s cast of elite trainers.

Watch today’s presentation right here.

In other news, Pokémon Home will be updated before the end of the year to allow Pokémon from Pokémon Go to be transferred into Pokémon Sword or Shield. Finally, new retail editions of Sword and Shield that include all expansion pass content will come to the Nintendo Switch on November 6, 2020.


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Enjoyed this article?

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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