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NieR: Automata gameplay trailer reveal

It’s a NieR: Automata gameplay trailer. Pretty self-explanatory.

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NieR: Automata gameplay trailer

You could be forgiven for missing NieR the first time around, when it aired on PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010. A game that did well in its native Japan, Square Enix’s action-RPG fared less favourably with Western audiences and, tellingly, Western critics.

NieR was a solid game, though – like someone took Kingdom Hearts or The Legend of Zelda and wrapped it in a grim future-Earth setting – and it’s not surprising that Square Enix are giving it another punt with the upcoming sequel, NieR: Automata.

As the name suggests, NieR: Automata is about clockwork-looking robots and even our protagonist is an android, fighting for the dwindling human population against all manner of other robot nasties that have beset the world for some reason or another. It looks fast, it looks fun, but – other than the visuals getting a massive PS4 facelift – it doesn’t look like it’s going to particularly address any of the Western concerns that saw it under-perform outside of Japan.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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Nab System Shock and Destroy All Humans! demos in GOG Summer Sale

System Shock and Destroy All Humans! are old games. They’re also new games, and you grab their demos now on GOG.com.

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GOG Summer Sale - System Shock, Destroy all Humans!
GOG

System Shock and Destroy All Humans! are old games. They’re also new games, and you grab their demos now on GOG.com.

GOG.com’s Summer Sale began today, and runs through June 15. During that time, you can grab stellar PC games like Prey and A Plague Tale: Innocence at massive discounts.

But, if you don’t have the cash to spare, the website is also offering free glimpses of upcoming games. Desperados 3, Cris Tales, Carrion, Spiritfarer, and Vagrus – The Riven Realms are all entirely new, and GOG’s got demos for those, as well.

I have no takes to offer on most of these games. But, I dabbled with the System Shock remake and Carrion a bit last year when Steam offered demos for both games as part of The Game Awards tie-in event The Game Festival.

I haven’t had a chance to check out these demos yet, but you can read my thoughts on last year’s slices here and here. I’m also interested in checking out the Destroy All Humans! demo. I never played the game as a kid, but I remain a fan of the “cause as much chaos as possible” sub-genre of early aughts open-world games. THQ Nodic’s remaster looks like a pretty faithful recreation.

With most of this summer’s physical events canceled, expect more online events like this. I’m calling it now. This is the Summer of the Demo.


For more video game bargains, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily gaming news updates.

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Save up to 70% in the PlayStation Store Double Discounts sale

PlayStation Plus members can get double discounts in the latest worldwide PlayStation Store sale.

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Playstation Store Double Discounts Sale
Sony / Thumbsticks

PlayStation Plus members can get double discounts in the latest worldwide PlayStation Store sale.

The new PS Store Double Discounts sale serves up an intriguing menu of PS4 savings. The promotion features an impressive crop of AAA hits, with games from the Assassin’s Creed, Batman, and Watch Dogs games all on offer.

There are some deeper cuts, too. So, if you’ve been mulling over the likes of Hatoful Boyfriend, Gravel, or Felix The Reaper, now’s your chance. And we’re sure that someone out there has been waiting for Handball 17 get that magic price cut. PS4 console exclusives include the idiosyncratic Shenmue III and the vanilla edition of Persona 5.

There’s DLC too, with the Call of Duty: WWII season pass a highlight considering the game’s addition to June’s PS Plus free games lineup.

Price cuts range up to 35%, and you can double that (70% math fans) if you have a PS Plus membership. To see the full lineup of discounts, make your way to the PlayStation Store in your region.

PlayStation Store Double Discounts Highlights

  • Assassin’s Creed Triple Pack: Black Flag, Unity, Syndicate
  • Assassin’s Creed III Remastered
  • Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition
  • Batman: Return to Arkham
  • Call of Duty: WWII Season Pass
  • Conan Exiles
  • Felix The Reaper
  • Gravel
  • Handball 17
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • MotoGP19
  • Need for Speed Payback
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Persona 5
  • PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate
  • Ride 3
  • Shenmue III
  • Sniper Elite 3 Season Pass
  • The Crew 2 – Deluxe Edition
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Trials Rising
  • Uno
  • V-Rally 4 Ultimate Edition
  • Watch Dogs 2 – Gold Edition
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War

For more video game bargains, including new of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily gaming news updates and related whimsy.

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June’s Xbox Games with Gold lineup is thoroughly reasonable

Microsoft has announced the four games coming to Xbox Games with Gold in June 2020.

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Xbox Games with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Microsoft has announced the four games coming to Xbox Games with Gold in June 2020.

We can’t decide if the first of June’s Xbox Games with Gold is well-timed or not. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a colourful exploratory adventure from WayForward full of vim and vigour. The problem is, so is Shantae and the Seven Sirens, the latest game in the series which comes to Xbox One this week. If you haven’t played either, and you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, we’d recommend starting your adventures by taking on the Pirate’s Curse.

The month’s second Xbox One title is Toge Productions’s Coffee Talk. It’s an engrossing tale of coffee, conversation, and counselling set in Seattle populated by aliens, elves, mermaids and orcs. It’s a heartwarming and thought-provoking game.

June’s Xbox 360 games – also playable on Xbox One via Back Compat – are Pandemic’s Destroy All Humans! and the cult shoot ’em up, Sine Mora.

The latest crop of Xbox Games with Gold titles are available to download and keep during the following dates.

Xbox Games With Gold – June 2020

Xbox One

  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse – June 1 – 30, 2020
  • Coffee Talk – June 16 – July 15, 2020

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

  • Destroy All Humans! – June 1 – 30, 2020
  • Sine Mora – June 16 – July 15, 2020

Meanwhile, two of last month’s free Xbox gamesV-Rally 4 and Overlord II –  remain available to download until Sunday. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr is available until June 15, 2020.


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.

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Every game featured in the Wholesome Direct 2020 video presentation

After the cancellation of E3, it’s the summer of the alternative video game conference, and we couldn’t be happier.

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every game wholesome direct 2020
Wholesome Games

After the cancellation of E3, it’s the summer of the alternative video game conference, and we couldn’t be happier.

No, wait, that’s not right. That’s not right at all. We are not at all happy about it. It’s not that we miss cramming into the LA Convention Center, full of sweaty nerds, working 18-hour days and doing the game journo equivalent of crunch. But there’s just too much of it, spread over too long a period of time? At least E3 just got it all over and done with in a week, like ripping off a really big plaster, or severe food poisoning.

For starters, Geoff Keighley needs to knock it off for a bit. Nobody needs four months of reveals. Nobody. Seriously, Geoff, mate, give it a rest. And there are the publisher-specific events, which are coming out in dribs and drabs, but not really showing us anything at all? And really weird tech reveals masquerading as new console exclusives? And then there are all of the collections and collectives of games; it never ends.

Seriously. Look at this list of every E3 replacement event this summer. It. Never Ends.

Anyway, with all that said, here’s every game that was featured during the Wholesome Direct 2020 video presentation:

  • Button City
  • Errand Boy
  • Ooblets
  • Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to)
  • Snacko
  • Chicory
  • The Spirit and the Mouse
  • Spiritfarer
  • Sayri: The Beginning
  • Mondo Museum
  • Bird Alone
  • Little Witch in the Woods
  • TOEM
  • Winding Worlds
  • Tokotoko: Hako & Friends
  • When the Past was Around
  • A Space for the Unbound
  • Book of Travels
  • Garden Story
  • Depanneur Nocturne
  • Calico
  • Rainy Season
  • Wayward Strand
  • Hoa
  • KeyWe
  • Tracks of Thought
  • Melon Journey 2
  • Weaving Tides
  • A Fold Apart
  • Skatebird
  • Unpacking
  • Sylvan Meadows
  • Haven
  • Tracks – The Train Set Game
  • Frogsong
  • Later Daters
  • Clouzy!
  • Creative Resort
  • Pushy and Pully in Blockland
  • Onsen Master
  • Old Friends Dog Sanctuary
  • Critter Cove
  • Roots of Pacha
  • The Other Side
  • BattleCakes: A Snack-Sized RPG
  • Alchemic Cutie
  • Pekoe
  • Ollie Oop
  • To the Rescue!
  • Rolling Hills
  • Himig
  • Orange Island
  • Misc.
  • Elliot & Ko

And here’s the Wholesome Direct 2020 video, if you haven’t had enough of digital game events and want to watch the whole thing:

Grouching aside for a moment, there’s actually lots of lovely stuff in Wholesome Direct 2020. That’s kind of the idea.

What’s particularly pleasing is how many games on that list aren’t actually unknown. Maybe it just reflects the little indie game pond we swim in socially, but that we’re already aware of so many games in the presentation is definitely a positive for indie games.

From games that have already made waves – like Ooblets, Spiritfarer, Chicory, Skatebird, and Kind Words – to games you might not have heard of – like Rainy Season, Mondo Museum, Garden Story, KeyWe, A Fold Apart, Unpacking, Later Daters – there’s something on this list for pretty much everyone.

It’s nice to see so many lovely games together, and it’s really heartening to see the spotlight shone on the more pleasant aspects of indie gaming. It’s just really unfortunate that it’s happened in the middle of Geoff Keighley season, where the non-stop, round-the-clock, ever-present Geoff Keighley publicity machine is giving people horrific fatigue for online video presentations about video games.

We’re really sorry, Wholesome Direct – it’s not you, it’s us. (And when we say it’s “us” what we really mean “it’s Geoff”. It’s definitely Geoff.)


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for more video game news dressed up as snark snark dressed up as video game news.

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Surprise! Dead by Daylight is adding Silent Hill DLC

Famously protective Konami is lending a couple of Silent Hill characters to Dead by Daylight’s patchwork quilt of horror.

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Dead by Daylight Silent Hill logo
Behaviour / Konami

Famously protective Konami is lending a couple of Silent Hill characters to Dead by Daylight’s patchwork quilt of horror.

Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical survival horror game, where a group of very average people try to escape one of horror’s most famous cinematic killers. Or rather, it is now. When it originally released, Dead by Daylight was populated by a small number of killers who were sort-of-recognisable-but-not-copyright-infringing facsimiles of famous cinematic killers.

They might have had a mask, or a melty face, or a butcher’s apron, but they absolutely were not, for legal reasons, Michael Myers, Freddie Kreuger, or Bubba “Leatherface” Sawyer. Well, they weren’t, past tense. Then a really weird thing happened: Dead by Daylight became popular, and licensing deals started to happen.

Before long, Halloween’s Michael Myers was actually in the game as a playable killer, with his counterpart, Laurie Strode, a playable survivor. They were patched into the game in DLC Chapter II: Halloween, and once that happened? All bets were off.

Soon Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Kreuger and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface were lining up alongside their cheap knock-offs, while Ash from The Evil Dead and Bill Overbeck from Left 4 Dead joined the survivors’ ranks. Netflix favourite Stranger Things even got in on the act, with the Demogorgon facing off against Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington.

One thing we didn’t expect, though? Famously protective licensee Konami has lent its Silent Hill franchise to the Dead by Daylight DLC jamboree. (Especially with Dead by Daylight’s original “nurse” killer being so obviously lifted from Silent Hill’s bandage-strapped nurses.)

In a new update, coming to Dead by Daylight in June 2020, Pyramid Head – referred to as “The Executioner” here – will become a playable killer, while Cheryl Mason will be a new playable survivor. And of course, it all takes place on a new map: Midwich Elementary School, a classic Silent Hill location.


You should follow FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter. In a nice way. Not a murdery way, obviously.

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