Connect with us

News

Remedy gives incredible prize to Control photo mode contest winner

The winner, a talented video game photographer, received a very special bundle from the Federal Bureau of Control.

Published

on

Steffi McMaken Control Remedy winning photo
@StefanieMcMaken

The winner, a talented video game photographer, received a very special bundle from the Federal Bureau of Control.

Photo modes have become a popular addition to games. They’re not always in at release – developers have to prioritise bug fixing and polish in the run-in to release – but they tend to get patched in fairly quickly.

Why? Because people absolutely love them.

It makes sense for developers, too. Giving your fans an easy way to not only share your game, but make it look brilliant? It’s a marketing no-brainer. And there are some very talented virtual photographers out there, making games look very pretty indeed. (They’re certainly far better at capturing the beauty of video games than a reviewer trying to hit a deadline, that’s for sure.)

Remedy, developer of the brilliant Control, added a photo mode soon after release (after performance and bug fixing). It was the first piece of post-release content for the game. And why wouldn’t you when your game is as visually striking as Control?

Remedy also ran a photo mode contest, with prizes on offer for the top three, including t-shirts, posters, and other cool contraband from the Federal Bureau of Control. The overall winner, Stefanie McMaken, has now received her prize. It’s a bit special.

https://twitter.com/StefanieMcMaken/status/1220892760691167232?s=20

(That’s a framed print of her winning entry, signed on the back by over 50 of the crew at Remedy, plus a letter from the Federal Bureau of Control. Suitably redacted, naturally.)

This might be Steffi’s first competition win, but she’s no stranger to virtual photography.

“I’ve always liked to take screenshots before – to me, it’s like taking pictures on your journey through a video game,” Stefanie told Thumbsticks via direct message. “I like to look at them later, remembering a certain mission perhaps, a really emotional moment or an epic boss fight. But Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the first game I’ve played that had an actual Photo Mode. That’s what also made me go back to check out Twitter, and, to my pleasant surprise, there really was such a thing as virtual photography! I was delighted to see people sharing what amazing moments they managed to capture!”

Steffi also hosts #PhotoModeMonday, a Twitter hashtag (like #AdventureGameFriday or #ScreenshotSaturday) that celebrates the best of virtual photography. On Mondays, obviously.

“Strictly speaking, I am just temporarily hosting it,” she said. Stefanie is minding the store while the hashtag’s originator, Twitter user @PhotoModeAddict, is out of action through illness. “I promised I would keep it alive until he returns.”

“With Control, what fascinated me immediately was the different genre. As wonderful as it is, we’ve all ridden horses through beautiful landscapes by now, we’ve raced cars through numerous cities and travelled through space (not that any of that ever gets old) but being in a… basically, possessed house? Where all kinds of crazy sh*t can happen? Now that sounded intriguing! Plus – big bonus – it came with a photo mode!”

“So, when Remedy held that #CaptureControl contest, it was a no brainer,” Steffi said. “The photo mode they put in is also so nice and simple to navigate and manoeuvre! It also comes with some really sweet filters – that’s how I got my shot to look like that.”

“I am still psyched over it, they certainly put in an effort to frame it so nicely, too,” she continued. “I am utterly impressed with Remedy!”

We always had our suspicions that Remedy was one of the good guys. Talking to Steffi about how much this very personal package means to her, we couldn’t be surer of our instincts.


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter for the best video game stories. Got something you’d like to share with us? Our DMs are open.

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.

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

News

Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

Published

on

Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming 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.

Continue Reading

News

Surprise! The Long Dark is out now on Nintendo Switch

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Published

on

The Long Dark Nintendo Switch
Hinterland / Thumbsticks

Another Nintendo Direct, another raft of surprise Nintendo Switch releases. One of today’s picks is The Long Dark.

Nintendo has developed a habit of doing the old “and it’s available on the eShop right now” trick during its Direct presentations. In a summer of interminable video press conferences and wall-to-wall Geoff Keighley and 15-minute trailers for games we won’t see again for a couple of years, it’s a lovely little trait, an instant dopamine hit.

And Nintendo used it again, a few times, during its September 2020 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase. There were games we knew were coming at some point, like Hades, and games we didn’t, like Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But they were still a nice surprise.

Then there was The Long Dark, the brilliant, wintry survival epic from Hinterland Games. That, too, got a surprise launch on the Nintendo Switch today. This is a lovely turn of events for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Long Dark is really rather good.
  2. The last we heard, the game’s performance on Switch was quite poor, so it’s excellent that it’s now in a state good enough to release.

There’s also an excellent launch trailer to mark the occasion:

Meanwhile, Hinterland head honcho and The Long Dark director Raph van Lierop took to Twitter to address some players’ confusion that, uncharacteristically, the trailer wasn’t particularly bleak.

We’re looking to heading out into the wilderness and playing The Long Dark later this year. You know, when it gets really cold.


Check out everything else announced in this month’s Nintendo Direct, or follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter.

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.

Continue Reading

News

Prepare for Watch Dogs: Legion with this Epic freebie

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

Published

on

Watch Dogs 2 - Marcus Holloway
Ubisoft

Watch Dogs: Legion is out in a month, which means you have just enough time to play through its fantastic predecessor.

In Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world game Watch Dogs: Legion, you can play as anyone. In this week’s Epic Games Store freebie, Watch Dogs 2, you play as a very specific person who I like an awful lot. Marcus Holloway, the game’s protagonist, is a genuinely likable, cool, chill dude. He’s also one of the few Black leads in video games.

The game around Marcus is also very cool. Set in modern day San Francisco, Watch Dogs 2 is a slice of sunshine-y fun that hands you a tonne of cool hacker superpowers. If you want to know more, I wrote about it as one of the best (and least realistic) hacking video games on the market here.

The Other Freebies

Also free: Football Manager 2020. This one ain’t for Yanks, like me; it’s about the other kind of football. From my experience playing the sport as a 10-year-old, managing a football team mostly involves keeping the team stocked with Capri Suns and helping them choose a cool name. Our uniforms were blue and white and we called ourselves the Blizzards. Very cool stuff. The beautiful game, indeed.

And, the final freebie is an indie platformer called Stick It to the Man, which has a cool pop-up book aesthetic. Worth a look for the low, low price of free.

And, here’s your friendly reminder that all five episodes of 3 Out of 10 are still free. I’ve played the first two episodes of the “interactive sitcom” about life at the world’s worst game developer and I’m becoming increasingly invested in the story. The minigames have a surprisingly good hit-to-miss ratio, as well.

All of this is free until next Thursday when Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition will be up for grabs.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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.

Continue Reading

News

The future of VR is wireless as Facebook goes all in on the Oculus Quest 2

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021.

Published

on

Oculus Quest 2
Facebook / Oculus

RIP Oculus Rift.

With specifics for the Oculus Quest 2 finally here, it’s also been revealed that the PC-only Oculus Rift headsets will be discontinued in 2021. Sales of the original Quest will also cease. It’s another clarifying move in Facebook’s vision for the future of VR. It comes alongside the recent announcement that a Facebook account will be required to use any Oculus headset by 2023. Indeed, a Facebook account is required to use the Quest 2.

Facebook has reassured users that they will continue to support PC VR via Quest and Oculus Link. The Rift platform of PC software certainly isn’t facing a shut down any time soon.

That said, Facebook seems to be betting big on wireless, mobile experiences being the key to VR reaching mass audience appeal. Whilst the Quest 2 does fold both the wireless and PC-fidelity VR worlds into one headset with a fibre-optic Oculus Link cable – available to preorder separately – it’s telling that this cable isn’t included with the headset itself.

Other USB-C cables should be capable of the PC tethering too via Oculus Link but might provide an inferior performance. Either way, Quest 2 users will be able to access games on the Rift platform that haven’t been adapted especially for its wireless capabilities. These include highly-acclaimed releases like Asgard’s Wrath, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, and Lone Echo. It seems a shame this is slightly deemphasised.

The Quest 2 is launching on October 10 and undercuts the original Quest significantly with a price tag of £299. Despite this, it boasts better specs all-round: a higher resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, higher refresh rate support of  72 Hz (and 90 Hz promised via software update), a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, and 6 GB RAM. Other features like controller-less navigation bring back Kinect memories.

It’s a major shift towards affordable VR and many early reviews signal very positive impressions. Equally, not everyone is sold on the new VR system.


Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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.

Continue Reading

News

Everything announced in today’s Nintendo Direct showcase

Today’s Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase revealed a crop of new titles heading to the Nintendo Switch.

Published

on

September Nintendo Direct Partner Showcase
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Today’s Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase revealed a crop of new titles heading to the Nintendo Switch, including a brand new Monster Hunter game from Capcom.

The fifteen-minute presentation was short on ceremony but packed with details on upcoming Nintendo Switch games from third-parties.

Opening the Direct was Monster Hunter Rise, a new Switch-exclusive entry in Capcom’s long-running action RPG series. Other highlights included a new trailer for Empire of Sin and a surprise Switch release for Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

Here’s a quick roundup of everything announced on today’s stream. Nintendo has also confirmed that another Partner Showcase will be broadcast later this year.

Monster Hunter Rise

Capcom kicked off the Direct with a first look at a new Switch-exclusive entry in the Monster Hunter franchise. Rather than following in the footsteps of Monster Hunter World, it takes its lead from earlier numbered entries in the series. The game looks impressive nonetheless and is due for release on March 26, 2021.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

More from Capcom. This time it’s a sequel to the excellent Pokémon-like RPG that debuted on the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. It’s due next summer.

Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise

Imagineer’s sequel to the fantastic Fitness Boxing includes new workout regimes, dance moves, and more visual pizazz. It probably won’t trouble Ring Fit Adventure but if it builds on the first game, it will be worth a look for gamers with a few extra pounds to shed, ahem. Enter the ring on December 4, 2020.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

The latest game in the cult tactical RPG series will arrive on Nintendo Switch in Summer 2021. In the meantime, Disgaea 5 is getting a limited-time free trial for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers beginning on September 23.

Empire of Sin

A new trailer for Romero Games Prohibition-era strategy game. Pop open a bottle to celebrate its release on December 1.

Sniper Elite 4

Rebellion’s acclaimed Italian vacation simulator arrives on Nintendo Switch this holiday season.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Surprise! Moon Studios’ sumptuous exploratory platformer is out today on Switch. A lovely looking collector’s edition – which includes both games in the series – is also being released by iam8bit.

Other announcements

Also confirmed in today broadcast were release windows for Rune Factory 5 and Square Enix’s Balan Wonderworld. Set an alarm for sometime in 2021. Coming sooner is Hinterland Studio’s stunning survival game, The Long Dark, and Supergiant’s Greek mythology-inspired roguelike, Hades. They’re out today in fact.

Watch the Nintendo Direct Mini again, right here.

And for more on Monster Hunter, here’s a special Direct broadcast from Capcom.

Follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for the latest video game news.

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.

Continue Reading