This week in video games: Battlefield V revealed, H1Z1 returns from the dead, and Nintendo releases a Switch without a dock. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top gaming news stories.
The Week in PUBG
It’s been a quiet week for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The Miramar desert map was finally released for Xbox One, so there’s that.
Of more interest was this week’s new PC game mode, Ghillie Crossing. Featuring just melee weapons and crossbows, the limited time mode – which ends today or tomorrow, depending on your time zone – looks to have been a big hit with the playing community.
Fortnite Battle Royale esports
Epic Games has announced a $100 million prize pool for the first year of Fortnite‘s esports competition. That’s an eye-watering number for a game that doesn’t appear to be completely tuned as an esport. Perhaps recognising this, Epic says:
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different – we plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”
EA reveals Battlefield V
EA’s lifted the lid on Battlefield V this week. In a nutshell: back to World War II, a focus on squad gameplay, no battle royale, more environmental destruction, and a scarcity of ammunition and resources. The game will also feature two major new game modes: the multimatch, multiplayer Grand Operations mode, and Tides of War, a continuous online campaign.
DICE general manager, Oskar Gabrielso, also responded to dum dums who are upset that you can play as a female character:
“First, let me be clear about one thing. Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay.”
Battlefield V will be released on October 16, 2018
H1Z1: Battle Royale is a bit of a hit
The oft-forgotten H1Z1 has catapulted itself back into relevance by going free-to-play on PS4 with H1Z1: Battle Royale. Within three days of entering open beta, the game has amassed a massive 4.5 million players. It seems players aren’t tired of battle royale just yet…
…which is good news for the makers of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 who have had to spend the past week explaining the absence of a single-player campaign, and trying avoiding revealing concrete details of their own battle royale mode, Blackout.
Sony doesn’t announce the PlayStation 5
New PlayStation chief John Kodera let loose some choice comments this week. In a company strategy meeting he indicated that the PlayStation 4 is entering the “final phase” of it’s lifecycle. And in an interview with Bloomberg, he suggested that Sony remains interested in portable gaming.
Nintendo releases a dock-free Switch
Just in case Sony do decide to release their own Switch competitor, Nintendo has upped its game in attempting to get multiple Switch consoles into homes. A new ‘Second Set’ console SKU has been released in Japan that doesn’t include a dock, HMDI cable, or Joy-Con grip.
Resident Evil 7 is out now on Switch
Capcom has released a cloud streaming version of Resident Evil 7 in Japan. The game has a free demo to help players determine if their internet connection is up to speed. Early reports suggest that if you are based in Japan, the playing experience is surprising solid. If you’re in Europe or the US, be prepared fo r som e lag.
Kojima tweet gets people excited
Hideo Kojima entertained people with time on their hands this week by tweeting a picture of some moss. Aside from showing off the capabilities of Guerrilla’s Decima engine, it appears there’s a message hidden in there, or not. And it means Death Stranding might take place in Iceland, or not. With E3 two short weeks away there’s not long to go until we get some real answers, or not.
Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 are heading PlayStation 4
The most recent issue of Japan’s Famitsu magazine says that Sega will port the remaining games in the Yakuza franchise to PlayStation 4. Yakuza 3 will arrive in August, with Yakuza 4 due by the end of the year, and Yakuza 5 set for release in spring 2019. Expect all three to receive modest technical upgrades with 1080p resolution and 60 fps gameplay as a minimum.
Minecraft reaches 100 million in China
Minecraft has amassed over 100 million registered users in China within 12 months of its release. The free-to-play release takes Minecraft to nearly 250 million worldwide downloads across all platforms.
PlayStation 4 to get Elite-like premium controller
PlayStation fans who have been quietly jealous of the Xbox One’s superb Elite controller can now get their hands on their own premium PS4 controller. The SCUF Vantage is officially licensed, and includes customisable control inputs, side-mounted SAX buttons, and four back-mounted paddles. The wireless edition on is yours for a mere $200.
Detroit: Become Human review roundup
Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human has arrived to a decidedly mixed response from video game critics.
Kirk Hamilton, writing at Kotaku, says:
“…for all their flaws, even Quantic Dream’s own Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls were more engaging and experimental than this. Detroit feels blunted and conservative by comparison, just a collection of pretty faces with little to say.”
Oli Welsh at Eurogamer is more positive:
“With this glib, rabble-rousing and admittedly enjoyable thriller, Quantic Dream has finally delivered on the promise of its interactive storytelling format, and resolved its difficult relationship with cinema.”
And Kyle Orland at Ars Technica, says:
“The game’s practically endless narrative possibilities don’t excuse the fact that the bulk of those plotlines are delivered completely artlessly, with a lack of self-awareness and genre savvy that would make a high school creative writing student blush.:
PES 19 gets rights to seven new leagues
Konami has softened the blow of losing the UEFA Champion’s League by announcing that PES 2019 will feature seven new officially licenced leagues. The game will now include the Danish, Portuguese, Belgian, Swiss, Scottish, Argentine, and Russian, top flights. Two more leagues will be announced before the game’s late-August release.
Mario + Rabbids expansion detailed
Ubisoft has announced more details on the Mario + Rabbids Donkey Kong Adventure expansion. The 10-hour long add-on features four new zones, and is set in a Rabbid-fied version of Donkey Kong country. It’s set for release next month.
New Far Cry 5 DLC coming soon
Ubisoft has also released a new trailer for the first expansion for Far Cry 5. Hours of Darkness is set in during the Vietnam war, and is due for release on June 5, 2018.
Ted Dabney, who co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell, has died at the age of 81. Kotaku looks back at his impact on the video games industry.
We also say goodbye to game critic and YouTuber, John “Totalbiscuit” Bain, who has passed away at the age of 33.
Some Sunday reading
Josh Wise continues his series exploring the intersection of film and video games. In this week’s Cut Scenes, he looks at Manhunt and Halloween. I also spoke with Alex Neuse of Choice Provisions to discuss the return of CommanderVideo in Runner3.
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Video games news from Thumbsticks
- The latest Acer Nitro monitors feature AMD FreeSync
- PlayStation Store releases for May 29, 2018
- New PlayStation Store weekend discounts are live
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