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The Last of Us Part II delayed to ensure ‘Naughty Dog quality’

Following last month’s release date announcement, The Last of Us Part II has been delayed by a few months.

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The Last of Us Part II release date delayed

Following last month’s release date announcement, The Last of Us Part II has been delayed by a few months.

The Last of Us Part II is one of the most anticipated games of this generation. Hell, it’s one of the most anticipated games of any generation. Then last month, as part of a reveal that featured a trailer confirming Joel’s whereabouts, the game’s release date was set for February 21, 2020. (We also learned that the game’s originally-planned multiplayer has been cut, too.)

Today, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann has announced on the PlayStation Blog that the release date for The Last of Us Part II has been delayed.

“It was during the last few weeks, as we were closing out sections of the game,” Druckmann begins, “that we realised we simply didn’t have enough time to bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality.”

“At this point,” he continues, “we were faced with two options: compromise parts of the game or get more time. We went with the latter, and this new release date allows us to finish everything to our level of satisfaction while also reducing stress on the team.”

What’s heartening is that, based on the reaction we’ve seen across social media, nobody has pilloried Naughty Dog for this decision. People have been generally very supportive that Druckmann and the team want to take extra time to make The Last of Us Part II as good as it can be. Cast your mind back to the hate and bile towards Hello Games (and, weirdly, Kotaku’s Jason Scheier) for the delay of No Man’s Sky and it feels very different.

It’s also encouraging to see publisher Sony trusting Naughty Dog to make this decision. In the year of the PlayStation 5 – and with Ghosts of Tsushima to also fit in between The Last of Us Part II and the PS5’s holiday release – it shows a commitment to both the quality of its first-party games, and to the wellbeing of the staff at its studios. In previous years, hellish crunch would have always been favoured over delaying a high profile release. How times have changed.

“We hope you understand that this additional time ensures that The Last of Us Part II lives up to our collective ambition as well as our commitment to the highest level of quality,” Druckmann says, in closing. “We know the extra few months will add to what may already be an excruciating wait for all of us. We are grateful for your patience and continued support.”

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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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Wasteland Remastered gets a release date

Wasteland Remastered will upgrade the 1988 RPG’s look just in time for Wasteland 3.

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Wasteland Remastered release date
inXile

Wasteland Remastered will upgrade the 1988 RPG’s look just in time for Wasteland 3.

inXile Entertainment announced the remaster back in 2018, with a scheduled 2019 release. But with release dates prone to slipping, instead, Wasteland Remastered will launch on February 25 2020. That’s my birthday if you’ve been wondering what to get me. [Duly noted – Ed.]

The game will simultaneously launch on Steam, the Windows Store and GOG, inXile said. Additionally, Wasteland Remastered will be available via the console and PC versions of Xbox Game Pass.

“Wasteland Remastered is an overhaul of the 1988 title that brought the post-apocalypse to video games,” inXile said in a post on its website. “The Remastered title brings new graphics, audio, music, and digitizes the physical paragraphs book from the original with brand new artwork.”

Here are the before and after pictures. It’s like weirdly-specific time travel.

Wasteland remastered

The remaster is being handled by Krome Studios. That’s a name I haven’t heard in years. Krome developed the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games in the PS2 era and rebooted the Spyro franchise in 2006. It also remastered the Bard’s Tale games.

Wasteland 3 is set to launch on May 19. Its predecessors were recently free on GOG.


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Pick up The Bridge, an Escher-inspired puzzler, for free

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

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The Bridge - Epic Games Store
The Quantum Astrophysics Guild

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

According to its Epic description, The Bridge “forces the player to reevaluate their preconceptions of physics and perspective.” And, its black-and-white, pencil-drawn graphics certainly make it look like a brain-breaking M.C. Escher drawing. But, with a bearded suit-wearing guy – who wouldn’t look out of place in Braid – exploring it.

I missed this one back in 2013. When it came out, I was in the middle of my freshman year of college and taking a break from video games. But, if I had been playing games at the time, this one’s mash-up of Fez mechanics and philosophical self-importance absolutely would have appealed to me.

Make of that what you will.

The Bridge screenshot

Now that The Bridge is free, Epic has unveiled next week’s freebie. Get ready to simulate some farming. That’s right Farming Simulator 19 will be up for grabs next Thursday.


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This week’s best Nintendo eShop bargains

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop discounts.

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Nintendo eShop Sale - VVVVVV

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop video game discounts.

This week’s crop of Nintendo Switch digital discounts in Europe includes a range of classic indie games published by Nicalis.

We’ll never stop recommending Terry Cavanagh’s masterful platformer VVVVVV, even if he is a little sheepish about its qualities these days. Likewise, Daisuke Amaya’s timeless Metroid-style adventure game, Cave Story+. Classic shmup Ikaruga also comes highly recommended, particularly as it can be played on Switch in Tate Mode.

Other discounted games include sports sim Football Manager 2020, futuristic stunt racer FutureGrind, and no less than five titles from the Jackbox Party series.

We’ll also highlight Super Life of Pixel. It’s a simple and charming platform game that takes players on a trip through various console generations. Originally released on Wii U, the Switch version includes six new vintage consoles. It’s a neat idea, delightfully executed.

Here are some more sale recommendations. Visit the Nintendo eShop in your country for the full lineup of discounted games.

Nintendo Switch sale highlights

  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • The End is Nigh
  • Ikaruga
  • VVVVVV
  • Cave Story +
  • Toki Tori
  • Toki Tori 2+: Nintendo Switch Edition
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Super Burger Time
  • FutureGrind
  • Crystal Crisis
  • RemiLore
  • Umihara Kawase Fresh!
  • Blade Strangers
  • Redout
  • Code of Princess EX
  • Tiny Barbarian DX
  • Swords & Soldiers
  • The Jackbox Party Packs 2-6
  • Gear.Club Unlimited 2

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Bookmark our sales page for the latest Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offer. You can also get regular gaming news updates by following Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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Stardew Valley passes huge sales milestone

Eric Barone confirms that Stardew Valley has passed another sales milestone.

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Stardew Valley logo
ConcernedApe

ConcernedApe confirms that Stardew Valley has chalked off another sales milestone.

Eric Barone – also known as ConcernedApe – has revealed that small-town farming RPG Stardew Valley has now sold over 10 million copies.

Tweeting the news, Barone said:

Stardew Valley has sold over 10 million copies. It’s strange & amazing to think back to when I was making this game in my bedroom w/ no clue if anyone would like it. Only 4 years ago! To everyone who has played this game, supported it, and made all of this possible: Thank you!!”

Stardew Valley –  which began life as a tribute to Harvest Moon – was first released on PC in 2016. If you’ve read Jason Schreier’s excellent book on game development, Blood, Sweat and Pixels, you’ll know that the game’s journey to release was not easy, and involved a lot of, well, blood, sweat and pixels. Fortunately, it was an instant hit, selling over 400,000 copies in two weeks.

Following its PC launch, Stardew Valley was ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Mac, mobile, and even Tesla Arcade. Yup, players can tend to their carrots from the comfort of an electric car. Modern life truly is reasonable.

Barone is planning to support the game for a while yet, so it’s not too late to move to the country and live the life you’ve always dreamed about.


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Cyberpunk horror game Observer looks to be getting a sequel

Bloober Team is teasing a sequel to Observer, its cyberpunk horror walking sim.

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Observer sequel
Bloober Team

Bloober Team is teasing a sequel to Observer, its cyberpunk horror walking sim.

Games as dripping with atmosphere as Observer don’t come around very often. Confined within a crumbling tenement building in an oppressive future, the game managed to capture the big mood of cyberpunk without losing its soul among all the neon lights and body mods.

Now, Bloober Team is almost certainly hoping to catch V I B E lightning in a bottle again. While they haven’t officially announced a sequel, the Polish studio tweeted a short, glitchy video today. It showed a rundown city and was captioned with the tags “#cyberpunk #blooberteam #horrrorgame.”

More definitive, though, is the logo at the video’s center. The cube, composed of Cs, will likely look familiar for fans of the original game: it’s the icon used by Chiron Incorporated, Observer’s all-powerful corporation.

Further, Bloody Disgusting reported that fans had translated the binary in the video, with the results reading: “Daniel, are you there?” That’s almost certainly a reference to Detective Daniel Lazarski, the lead character of the original game.

Cyberpunk icon Rutger Hauer played Lazarski in the original game. But, the Blade Runner actor sadly passed last year. That fact leaves some questions open about how exactly the next game will tie-in to the original.

Questions aside, after last year’s lackluster Blair Witch, it’s exciting to see Bloober return to its most interesting IP.


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We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you like what we do and want to support free, quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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