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God of War wins Game of the Year at the GDC Awards

God of War and Nintendo Labo were among the winners at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards.

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GDC Awards 2019

God of War, Florence, and Nintendo Labo were among the winners at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards.

PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War capped off a year of accolades by picking up Game of Year at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards. The game fought off competition from Red Dead Redemption 2, Celeste, Spider-Man, and Return of the Obra Dinn.

It was an excellent night all round for Return of the Obra Dinn. Lucas Pope’s atmospheric adventure puzzle game added to its haul of IGF awards by winning the Best Narrative category.

It was also a good night for Mountains, the studio behind Florence. The game won the Best Mobile Game category, and the studio itself picked up the award for Best Debut.

The biggest surprise of the night perhaps went to Nintendo, who won the Innovation Award for Nintendo Labo.

Well done to every nominated studio and game. Here is the full list of winners and nominees.

2019 Game Developers Choice Awards winners

Game of the Year

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Audio

  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)

Best Debut

  • Polyarc (Moss)
  • Mountains (Florence)
  • Nomada Studio (Gris)
  • Villa Gorilla (Yoku’s Island Express)
  • Sabotage (The Messenger)

Best Design

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Mobile Game

  • Alto’s Odyssey (Snowman)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones (Nerial / Devolver Digital)
  • Holedown (Grapefrukt Games)
  • Donut County (Ben Esposito / Annapurna Interactive)

Innovation Award

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
  • Florence (Mountains / Annapurna Interactive)
  • Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)

Best Narrative

  • Florence (Mountains/Annapurna Interactive)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Best Technology

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey  (Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Best Visual Art

  • Gris (Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Best VR/AR Game

  • Budget Cuts (Neat Corporation)
  • Beat Saber (Beat Games)
  • Tetris Effect (Monstars and Resonair / Enhance)
  • Moss (Polyarc)
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission (SIE Japan Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Return of the Obra Dinn and Florence were also among the winners at this year’s Independent Games Festival Awards.

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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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Littlewood is a cosy RPG set after the battle is over

Littlewood knows there’s nothing finer than a game that gives you a nice little epilogue.

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littlewood cosy RPG
SmashGames

Littlewood knows there’s nothing finer than a game that gives you a nice little epilogue. (No, not yours, The Last of Us Part II.)

But those games that let you go back to the world after the battle is over, to visit with the townsfolk, and just generally chill out are something special. The first game I really remember it from is Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap where, once restored to human form, you get to wander the village, chatting with the locals, before going to bed. That’s literally how the epilogue ends; you go back home for a well-earned rest.

It’s just so wholesome. Which is why Littlewood, a new RPG from Sean Wood and SmashGames, is so appealing.

“The world has already been saved. Now it’s time to rebuild your town, learn new hobbies, and forge lifelong friendships in this peaceful and relaxing RPG.”

It’s like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing, then, but set in a world that was in peril – until the player character saved it. But the trick is, you can’t remember anything about your life before or what happened in the great battle to save the world. In order to restore your memories, you need to build up a welcoming town, encourage people to live there, and hope that spurs your recall.

But a game like Littlewood isn’t about the destination. There is an overall plot, of course, but cosy management RPGs are all about the micro-activities. And in Littlewood, you’ll be gathering, crafting, building, fishing, farming, bug catching, cooking, trading, and more – everything that people love about the genre.

Littlewood is out now on Steam.

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Pikmin 3 Deluxe is coming to Nintendo Switch this fall

Pikmin 3, one of the last remaining Wii U exclusives, is coming to Switch in October.

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Pikmin 3 Deluxe - Nintendo Switch
Nintendo

Pikmin 3, one of the last remaining Wii U exclusives, is coming to Switch in October.

The Nintendo Wii U was a meh system with some fantastic exclusives. The console itself was a bit of a half-step. It was still tied, by name and nunchuck compatibility to the Wii. But, it experimented with the handheld hybridisation that later defined the Switch. Growing pains aside, iit had a great roster of Nintendo-developed games.

But, the Wii U died so that the Switch might live. And Nintendo, more aware than anyone that few people bought its last console, has thankfully brought most of the Wii U’s library to Switch. This article, outlining the dearth of Wii U games remaining without a Switch port was published less than a year ago. In the time since, half of the games have either received a Switch version or will receive a Switch version in the near future.

Pikmin 3 is the latest Wii U classic to get the Switch update, Nintendo announced today. The Deluxe version will include all of the original game’s DLC. Plus it will add new missions and the option to play the entire Story mode in co-op. Head-to-head multiplayer mode, Bingo Battle, will also return.

The RTS hybrid arrives on Switch on October 30. Notably, it is the only announced Nintendo game with a 2020 release date following the release of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Fingers crossed we hear more about those rumoured Mario remasters soon.


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New games added to the big PlayStation Store Summer Sale

New PS4 games join the PlayStation Store Summer Sale, including some of the year’s biggest releases.

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PlayStation Store Summer Sal
Sony / Thumbsticks

New PS4 games join the PlayStation Store Summer Sale, including some of the year’s biggest releases.

Sony has added a new batch of PS4 games to this year’s PlayStation Store summer sale. The headline additions are the acclaimed Final Fantasy VII Remake, the reimagined Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the fun enough World War Z, and the not as fun as it wants to be Doom Eternal.

The EA-published 3v3 shooter Rocket Arena is slashed in price by a massive 83%, just three weeks after release. And if you’ve been following the moderate buzz around sci-fi FPS Disintegration, it’s now reduced by a tempting 40%.

Other AAA games still on offer include Marvel’s Spider-Man, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age, and Red Dead Redemption 2.

The PSN Summer Sale now runs through to August 19, 2020, which should give you enough time to pick through the mountain of titles on offer. Head over to the PlayStation Store in your region to see the full lineup. Here are some more recommendations from your friends at Thumbsticks.

PlayStation Store Summer Sale Highlights

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Abzû
  • Alien: Isolation
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
  • Anthem
  • Bad North
  • Bayonetta
  • Borderlands 3
  • Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Dead Island Definitive Edition
  • Death Stranding
  • Doom Eternal
  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age
  • Dreams
  • FIFA 20
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • For Honor Standard Edition
  • Grid
  • Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition
  • Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition
  • Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
  • Maneater
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Need For Speed Heat
  • Ni No Kuni Ii: Revenant Kingdom
  • Nioh 2
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Saints Row: The Third Remastered
  • Secret Of Mana
  • Shenmue III
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Superhot
  • Tetris Effect
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III
  • The Outer Worlds
  • The Sims 4
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Complete Edition
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Digital Edition
  • World War Z
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered
  • Yakuza Kiwami

For more video game deals – including news of this week’s Xbox One bargains – visit our dedicated sales page. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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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Release date revealed for Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service

xCloud will come to Android on September 15, 2020. There’s no news on a release date for an iOS version of Xbox’s game streaming service, however.

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Microsoft / Thumbsticks

xCloud will come to Android on September 15, 2020. There’s no news on a release date for an iOS version of Xbox’s game streaming service, however.

We’ve been hearing about the “Netflix of video games” for years now. But for all the promise, we’re yet to see anyone actually nail that value proposition.

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service – that allows you to play hundreds of PC and Xbox One games for a low monthly subscription fee – is the closest we’ve come thus far. But that still requires on you having some associated hardware to play the games, either an Xbox One console or a Windows PC.

Well, it did require you to have some associated hardware. As of September 15, 2020, all you’ll need is an Android phone.

That’s because Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service, which has been going through testing in the last year, is getting a full release on Android phones. Even better, xCloud access will be bundled in with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription level, meaning you’ll get “more than 100 games” available to play on your phone or tablet with no console or PC hardware. (There’s no sign of an iOS release date for xCloud yet, but that’s not unusual. It took Steam a very long time to get its in-home streaming app certified on the App Store, for instance.)

xCloud will launch in 22 countries on September 15, 2020. Those countries, at the time of writing, are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

As usual, it’s primarily Europe and North America that’s catered for, with South Korea and its incredible internet infrastructure in there, too. More countries (and, presumably, that elusive iOS version) will follow in due course.

You’ll need a compatible controller to use xCloud, but the good news is any Xbox One controller – which can connect to Android via Bluetooth – will do the trick. The likes of Razer, PowerA and 8Bitdo will be producing accessories, like the Android-specialist Razer Kishi controller, but you might prefer to get a cheap controller clip. It might be worth buying one quick before they stick “xCloud” in the listing title and jack up the price.


We may receive a small commission on purchases made from online stores.

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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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Most important feature confirmed for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Well, maybe the second most important feature.

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pet the cat assassins creed valhalla
Ubisoft / Thumbsticks

Well, maybe the second most important feature.

Yes, you can pet the cat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

That’s it. That’s the news.

Also, have you seen how big that cat is? That is clearly an ancient ancestor of the Norwegian Forest Cat, a very large, hairy Scandinavian breed. (Like cat Vikings, really.)

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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