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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (March 9-13, 2020)

Action RPG Nioh 2 is our pick of next week’s new PS Store releases for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Action RPG Nioh 2 is our pick of this week’s new PS Store releases for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

The recent lull of new PlayStation 4 releases comes to a violent end with the arrival of supernatural samurai game, Nioh 2. Set in the 1555 Japan, Nioh 2 serves as a prequel to Team Ninja’s acclaimed and inventive 2017 original. Previews indicate a refinement of combat, but essentially it looks likes more of the same. And we’re not going to grumble about that.

The long-awaited remakes of strategy RPGs Langrisser I & II also drop this week. Both games include new HD visuals, re-orchestrated music, and a wealth of quality of life tweaks.

Other new PS4 releases include Neon City Riders and My Hero’s One’s Justice 2. Bandai Namco’s arena fighter brings 40 playable characters together for a tour of the anime’s most iconic battles.

Here is this week’s confirmed lineup of new PlayStation Store releases for the PS4, PS VR, and PS Vita.

New PlayStation 4 releases – March 9-13, 2020

Monday, March 9, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

  • ACA Neo Geo King of the Monsters 2
  • Arcade Archives P.O.W. -Prisoner of War-
  • Color Slayer
  • Covert
  • Cuisine Royale – Biker Queen Bundle
  • Super Destronaut: Land Wars (+ PS Vita)
  • War Thunder – Apache Bundle
  • WatchVR

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

  • Apocalypse Rider
  • Jump, Step, Step
  • Monster Viator

Thursday, March 12, 2020

  • ACA NeoGeo Metal Slug 5
  • Hidden Through Time
  • Memories of Mars
  • Neon City Riders

Friday, March 13, 2020

  • Dead or School
  • Langrisser I & II
  • My Hero One’s Justice 2
  • Nioh 2
  • Overpass
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV

More from Thumbsticks

Visit our new releases page for regular updates on the latest PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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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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Left 4 Dead 2 is having a free-to-play weekend

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

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Left 4 Dead 2 free-to-play weekend
Valve / Thumbsticks

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

Valve, the company that famously does not make threequels, released Left 4 Dead 2 almost 11 years ago, in November 2009. It’s a co-op zombie first-person shooter and, well, it’s really good.

Unsurprisingly, Valve stopped releasing content updates for it years ago – the last one was the addition of the first Left 4 Dead’s campaign to the sequel in 2010, if memory serves? – but that doesn’t mean Left 4 Dead 2 has been left fallow.

Thanks to Valve’s famously open Source engine (that’s a “famously open engine called Source”, not “Open Source” in the licensing sense), however, fans of Left 4 Dead 2 have been able to keep the updates coming. One of the biggest was Cold Stream, released for PC in 2012 and Xbox 360 in 2013.

Then, just this week, another community-created update – called The Last Stand – was released for Left 4 Dead 2. Once again, Valve gave the community creation its blessing and, as a result, The Last Stand is a very official unofficial update.

To celebrate, Valve is hosting a free-to-play weekend for Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam. The game, including all single- and multi-player modes, will available to play for free all this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy it, you’ll be able to pick up Left 4 Dead 2 for the princely sum of $1.99 / £1.43 until September 28, 2020.


You like free stuff, right? Bookmark our free games page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular free stuff updates.

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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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Rocket League goes free-to-play, promptly breaks concurrency records, servers

Rocket League shows the perils and potential of going free to play with its server issues and huge player numbers.

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Rocket League free to play concurrency records
Psyonix

Rocket League shows the perils and potential of going free to play with its server issues and huge player numbers.

September 23, 2020, marked a shift in the life of the multiplayer hit, Rocket League. As well as making the move from Steam to the Epic Game Store, it made its football-with-cars antics free-to-play on every platform. Existing Steam players can still use the Steam version, however, and updates will continue.

Rocket League’s move from mid-priced game to free-to-play inevitably disrupted the servers in a big way, however.

It was exacerbated by the shift coinciding with a “new competitive season”. Rocket League took to Twitter to announce that “Tournaments, Challenges, and other Rocket League features are impacted by this degradation”. Whilst they managed to get the servers stable that day, it might have concerned regulars about the game long-term.

It’s been mere days, but the future now looks even brighter for the already beaming game. 

Corey Davis, the co-studio head of Psyonix Studios, took to Twitter to announce that the game had reached a new milestone of 1 million concurrent players. Commenters claim it went as high as 1.4 million. That comes with the caveat that all platforms are being counted given its crossplay support. It encapsulates the PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, Steam and Epic Game Store populations. If you support cross-play, I think you can be permitted the boast.

It’s a big boost in player population for a game that’s mostly averaged 60,000 to 80,000 on Steam since it was released five years ago. Even on Steam, Rocket League has now hit an all-time player high of 129,060 within the last 24 hours. 

For those who somehow have never partaken or just like a good deal, as we reported yesterday you can now secure yourself a £10 coupon if you redeem the game on the Epic Game Store.


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Surprise! Classic Metal Gear games are now available on GOG

The Metal Gear classics on GOG are looking exactly like they did when they first released. (Which is great, if that’s what you want?)

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Metal Gear Solid available GOG

The Metal Gear classics on GOG are looking exactly like they did when they first released. (Which is great, if that’s what you want?)

GOG like their surprise rereleases of classic games. Today marks the first time Metal Gear, Metal Gear Solid, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance have seen a release on digital storefronts. 

Additionally, GOG sees the launch of the Konami Collector’s Series, which packs in Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Contra and Super C.

The releases of Metal Gear games are as complicated as its timeline, so I’ll happily bow down to experts on this. The two Metal Gear Solid releases are early 2000s ports that might require some fan patch TLC

It’s also not the best shape you’ll have ever seen the games. As The Verge recommends, if you’re looking for better-looking versions, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a remake of Metal Gear Solid that was made for the Nintendo GameCube in early 2004. Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is actually an updated version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, but only Sons of Liberty saw HD updates on the Xbox 360 and PS3. 

(And if you’re looking for a primer on what makes Metal Gear Solid 2 so flipping cool, you could do a lot worse than this piece from the Cut Scenes archives, comparing its cinematography to The Terminator.)

Provided you can stomach their raw visuals and a fan patch or two, then, these will be some popular releases.

Who knows? Maybe this paves the road to some Silent Hill digital re-issues.


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Among Us 2 cancelled as devs prioritise original game

Among Us 2 is dead, long live Among Us!

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Among Us 2 cancelled
Innersloth / Thumbsticks

Among Us 2 is dead, long live Among Us!

It’s been an odd year. It wasn’t enough for 2020 to have one indie mega-hit in Fall Guys, which recently joined Overwatch as the highest-earning digital launch of a PC title since 2016. Within three months, Twitch propelled the successful 2018 game Among Us from 10 million downloads on Android’s Google Play store to 100 million, and it now has somewhere between 4 million or 10 million owners on Steam depending on your estimate.

As of the time of writing, the 24-hour peak of 357,074 more or less reaches the all-time concurrent player peak of 388,385. It shows no signs of slowing down.

Whatever the true numbers, they’re big. It’s understandable, then, that Innersloth has decided to throw caution to the wind and not disrupt this momentum with a community split. Among Us 2, announced just a month ago, is cancelled. Don’t fret, though: all the intended Among Us 2 content is coming to the existing game. 

It seems like a great pro-consumer move, but Innersloth’s intentions with the sequel were positive, too. In the Steam announcement, Innersloth clarified, “The main reason we were shooting for a sequel is because the codebase of Among Us 1 is so outdated and not built to support adding so much new content.”

In a former post they stated, “frankly, it’s terrifying to add in more things because the game is so fragile. Fixing this would require recreating core sections of Among Us, then making sure everything else still works on top. It’s actually even harder than just making a new game.”

Despite this, Innersloth is going for it. “All of the content we had planned for Among Us 2 will instead go into Among Us 1. This is probably the more difficult choice because it means going deep into the core code of the game and reworking several parts of it.”

Shed a tear for and offer a hearty pat on the back to Innersloth who now face the more difficult job of developing their unexpected success into a workable long-term platform. It feels more than reminiscent of Bungie’s decision to focus on Destiny 2 as a platform over developing Destiny 3.

Among the promised new content are an end to server issues, colourblind support, a  friends/account system, and a new stage.

Does 2020 have room for one more runaway indie success, I wonder?


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Large PS5 game install sizes revealed, but will it matter?

PS5 game installs are getting big, just like the console itself, but at least there’s that fast SSD to rely on.

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PlayStation 5 consoles
Sony / Thumbsticks

PS5 game installs are getting big, just like the console itself, but at least there’s that fast SSD to rely on.

Some PlayStation 5 launch game install sizes have been revealed. Among them we see that Bluepoint’s remaster of Demons Souls will consume 66 GB, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales alone will eat up 50 GB, and with an additional remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man in the game’s Ultimate Edition you will reach an ungodly 105 GB. That’s more or less spot-on the install size of Red Dead Redemption 2 last gen. Just about as large as it ever got.

So does it matter? I’m an infamous install juggler myself. Whilst the logical thing as a PC player has always been to have a large HDD for storage and an SSD for performance, I’ve always opted for a lone SSD of only 500 GB or even as low as 250 GB!

The PS5 will have a peculiarly specific 825 GB of SSD storage space. That’s lower than some might be used to from the previous generation, but those 1 TB consoles were all mechanical drives. The PlayStation 5’s custom solid-state storage will be capable of reading up to 5.5 GB a second of raw data. That puts my 530 MB/s or 0.52 GB/s SSD to shame. Even the very top-end PC SSDs only reach a raw bandwidth of around 5 GB/s, with faster speeds reserved for enterprise drives used in data centre applications. As far as console players are concerned, it’s 100x faster than the PS4’s current mechanical hard drives.

Part of the promise of Sony’s next-gen console, then, is an elimination of “long patch installs” and, presumably, long game installs with it. A fast write-speed is all well and good, but fast downloads and installs of a game juggler like myself will need a fast internet speed to take advantage.

We’ll have to see just how these speeds affect the install process when the console arrives on November 19. (In the UK. We’re not still sore about that. Honest.)


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