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What’s worse, Watch Dogs 2’s meme-heavy presentation or its checkpoint system?

The worst thing about Watch Dogs 2 is not the walking talking emoji man, it’s the checkpoint system.

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Watch_Dogs 2 season pass

The worst thing about Watch Dogs 2 is not the walking talking emoji man, it’s the checkpoint system.

Or rather, the lack of one.

We’ve not been particularly kind about Watch Dogs 2 here at Thumbsticks. Tom was not at all impressed by the game’s E3 reveal, and its Anonymous-aping approach overwhelmed subsequent press coverage much to the detriment of the genuine improvements Ubisoft were making elsewhere.

Secretly, I was a little more enthusiastic. I have a penchant for open world games – even Ubisoft ones, especially Ubisoft ones – and there’s also a place in my heart for San Francisco, a city I have visited many times and know well. It was always going to be hard for me to resist a game set in the Bay Area – albeit a more compressed version of the place I know –  even if I have to wear a baseball cap and wield a yo-yo to experience it.

And it looks like I’m in the minority. Watch Dogs 2 has limped out of the gates, with estimates indicating sales of 80,000 copies in its first week, some distance short of the 380,000 units achieved by its predecessor.

It’s a real shame, as Watch Dogs 2 is a huge improvement. Its hackertude, as it turns out, is naively charming. Lead protagonist Marcus Holloway is an incredibly likeable chap, and the game’s mission design – after five hours played, at least – is full of opportunities for expression and ingenuity.

Of particular note are the remote controlled Jumper and Drone gadgets. They are brilliant gameplay devices that encourage experimentation and, in a surprising and welcome way, allow the game to be played non-violently.

But there’s a but, and it’s a big one: Watch Dogs 2 has a really crappy checkpoint system.

It’s cruel. Really cruel. Grand Theft Auto 3 levels of cruel. Despite all the advances made in game design over the past decade – many of which have come from Ubisoft – the mission checkpointing in Watch Dogs 2 is just terrible.

In part it’s a side effect of just how well the jumper and drone perform their tasks. They allow you to scout a location, hack devices, control other vehicles, and set traps. This encourages the you to take a methodical approach in completing objectives, switching between the two gadgets and Marcus on the fly as missions progress. The effect is akin to playing a miniaturised version of Hitman or one of Grand Theft Auto 5’s multi-character heists; episodes of slow-paced, strategic planning of the sort rarely found in open-world action games.

However, if Marcus gets spotted and put down – which can take all of five seconds – the game is not afraid of putting you riiiiiiiight back to the start of the mission. And that start might have been 20 minutes ago in a location far from where you died.

Perhaps it’s just the way I play. I don’t want to rush through Watch Dogs 2‘s missions but I also don’t want to be punished if I take 15 minutes to formulate a game plan, only for a small mistake to undo all of that work. It’s the one really rough edge in a game that has so far exceeded my expectations with its scope and easy going charm.

So Ubisoft, never mind fixing the seamless multiplayer – patch in some soft checkpoints, please.

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.

Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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Save up to 80% in the PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale

PS4 games from Japan receive big discounts in this week’s big new PlayStation Store sale.

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Resident Evil 2 - PlayStation Store Sale
Capcom / Sony / Thumbsticks

PS4 games from Japan receive big discounts in this week’s big new PlayStation Store sale.

A new PlayStation Store sale is now live across Europe and North America that discounts a slew of games from Japanese studios and publishers.

Highlights include half-price reductions on Capcom’s superb remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, as well as the high-definition update to the franchise’s sublime fourth entry. The Yakuza Remastered Collection is also reduced by 50%, and there’s a massive 58% saving on its acclaimed detective spin-off, Judgment.

Other recommendations from the Thumbsticks team include Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!, the Zero Escape: The Nonary Games collection, and Persona 5 Royal.

The PSN Big in Japan promotion ends on October 7, 2020. Head over to the PlayStation Store in your country for the full list of discounted games. Here are some more picks from titles on sale in Europe.

PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale Highlights

  • Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle – 40% off
  • Catherine: Full Body Deluxe Edition – 44% off
  • Code Vein – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy XV – 50% off
  • God Eater 3 – 67% off
  • Gravity Rush 2 – 63% off
  • Judgment – 58% off
  • Kingdom Hearts III – 70% off
  • The Lost Child – 60% off
  • NieR: Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition – 50% off
  • Nioh 2 – 43% off
  • Persona 5 Royal – 25% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 56% off
  • Sakura Wars Digital Deluxe Edition – 40% off
  • Soulcalibur VI – 75% off
  • Star Ocean First Departure R – 33% off
  • Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – 50% off
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session! – 80% off
  • Tales of Berseria – 80% off
  • Tekken 7 – 80% off
  • The Yakuza Remastered Collection – 50% off
  • Zero Escape: The Nonary Games – 70% off

Check out this week’s new PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch releases.


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 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.

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Nintendo reveals a new Kirby game, seemingly by mistake

Nintendo website mistakenly outs a new Kirby game for the Switch.

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Kirby Fighters 2 - Nintendo Switch
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The Nintendo website mistakenly outs a new Kirby game for the Switch.

Nintendo’s often ad-hoc method of announcing new games has reached new heights today with the seemingly inadvertent reveal of Kirby Fighters 2 for the Nintendo Switch.

The listing appears on the Play Nintendo website, under the Gamer Finder section. A click on the Switch filter reveals the following game title and description.

Kirby Fighters 2

“Choose from a cast of Kirby’s most iconic copy abilities—including the brand-new Wrestler ability—and duke it out to be the last Kirby standing. Familiar friends and foes like Bandana Waddle Dee and King Dedede also make an appearance as playable characters in the Kirby Fighters 2 game, available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch™ system.”

And just in case the listing is removed, here’s a screengrab for our big scrapbook of video game leaks.

Kirby Fighters 2 - Nintendo Switch listing

Kirby Fighters 2 is priced at USD 19.99 and looks to be a follow-up to the Nintendo 3DS eShop exclusive Kirby Fighters Deluxe, which was itself spun-off from a bonus mode in the excellent 2014 platformer Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

Hal Laboratory developed the first game, which includes a single-player boss rush campaign and various multiplayer team-battle modes. It’s reminiscent of Super Smash Bros., for obvious reasons, but no worse for it. It will be interesting to see how the format might be fleshed out in the move to Switch. If indeed the game actually exists.

Thanks to Wario64 for the eagle-eyed spot.


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Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest Switch, PS4, and Xbox One games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

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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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Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PS5 is digital only, won’t feature cross-save

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

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Marvels Spider-Man
Sony

The upgrade path for the Marvel’s Spider-Man remaster on PlayStation 5 is nearly as messy as Control’s.

Next-gen remasters like the PS5 Remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man are becoming a complicated business. We’ve already seen controversy spring up over limited eligibility in accessing the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 “free upgrade” of Remedy’s Control.

After a session responding to queries on Twitter, Insomniac has confirmed some of the limitations of the PS5 version of their acclaimed game.

On free upgrades to the original for PS4 players…

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered likely has no free upgrade for PS4 owners, since physical media for the former version will play the original via backwards compatibility and it has its own trophy list.

On cross-generational saves…

Insomniac confirmed that there will be no cross-gen saves for the remaster.

On a physical release for the Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition…

The remaster will be digital-only and currently the only way to get your hands on it will be to get the pricier PS5-only Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition for £70. No other route or upgrade for now.

Where you will get a free upgrade…

The yet to be released Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales will allow for a free upgrade to a PS5 version. However, since the Ultimate Edition isn’t available for PS4, there’s currently no way to access Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered without (re)purchasing Spider-Man Miles Morales on PS5.

It’s a fair number of caveats, then, but unlike the Control next-gen version – which will be replicating the existing PC version – the Spider-Man remaster is a more significant endeavour.

“The remaster for the PS5 is no simple up-res,” details the Playstation Blog. “Many of the game’s art assets have been completely updated to take advantage of the PS5 console’s horsepower. You’ll see better-looking characters with improved skin, eyes, hair, and facial animation (including our new, next-generation Peter Parker).”

“You’ll also see ray-traced reflections and ambient shadows, improved lighting, more pedestrians and vehicles stretching further into the distance, and the same optional performance mode offered on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, allowing you to finally play the game at a targeted 60FPS frame rate. We’ll be supporting near-instant loading, 3D audio, and the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback. Lastly, we’re adding three amazing new Spider-Man suits, new photo mode features, and even new trophies for those of you looking to Platinum the game all over again.”

That kind of overhaul does help to justify the lack of a free upgrade. Still, it’s hard to see how Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered isn’t going to spark something similar to Control’s controversy with limited access and the above limitations. It’s just another chapter in the increasingly confusing saga of next-gen upgrade announcements.

Ray-traced reflections, though? That should make for some pretty puddles.


Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for further demystification of the next-gen upgrades.

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.

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Save up to 85% in four new Xbox One video game sales

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on video games from Activision.

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Xbox One - Resident Evil 2

This week’s Xbox One Deals with Gold and Spotlight sales are joined by discounts on games from Rockstar and Capcom.

If you didn’t manage to pick up an Xbox Series X pre-order, console yourself with some discounts on a range of excellent Xbox One titles.

This week’s Deals with Gold includes cuts on some recent(ish) AAA games like Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind, and Devil May Cry 4. The remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is also a favourite in the Thumbsticks office.

Publisher Rockstar is also offering decent savings on titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, and L.A. Noire. And Capcom has slashed up to 75% off games from the Resident Evil franchise.

A 25% reduction on the bill for Untitled Goose Game is our pick from this week’s Spotlight selection.

This week’s Xbox One deals are available until September 28, 2020. Here’s a quick rundown of the best bargains on offer. Each game is available from the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft web store.

Xbox One Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise – 75% off
  • Almost There: The Platformer – 85% off
  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition – 70% off
  • Devil May Cry 5 – 20% off
  • Devil May Cry HD Collection – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster – 50% off
  • Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – 50% off
  • GreedFall – 75% off
  • Headspun – 33% off
  • Hover – 67% off
  • Hunt: Showdown – 60% off
  • Kingdom Hearts Ⅲ Re Mind – 25% off
  • Monster Energy Supercross 2 – Special Edition – 75% off
  • MudRunner – American Wilds Edition – 70% off
  • Othercide – 25% off
  • Romancing SaGa 2 – 50% off
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – 85% off
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane – 65% off
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima – 50% off
  • XenoRaptor – 40% off

Xbox One Spotlight Highlights

  • Crashbots – 60% off
  • Crimson Keep – 75% off
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ – FighterZ Edition – 85% off
  • Ikaruga – 50% off
  • Metaloid: Origin – 30% off
  • Minesweeper Genius – 67% off
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – 40% off
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – 40% off
  • Radiant Silvergun – 50% off
  • SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell – 70% off
  • Storm Boy – 80% off
  • Stranded Sails – Explorers Of The Cursed Islands – 40% off
  • Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition – 80% off
  • Tumblestone – 85% off
  • Uncanny Valley – 80% off
  • Untitled Goose Game – 25% off
  • Yet Another Zombie Defense HD – 75% off

Rockstar Publisher Sale Highlights

  • Bully Scholarship Edition – 60% off
  • Grand Theft Auto IV – 65% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition – 50% off
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Great White Shark Card Bundle – 35% off
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 33% off
  • L.A. Noire – 50% off
  • Red Dead Redemption – 67% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 – 50% off
  • Rockstar Table Tennis – 60% off

Resident Evil Franchise Sale Highlights

  • Resident Evil – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 0 – 75% off
  • Resident Evil 2 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 5 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 6 – 60% off
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard – 50% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations – 60% off
  • Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2 Bundle – 60% off

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

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Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is still coming

Panic Button Games’ port of id software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming to Nintendo Switch.

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Doom Eternal system requirements
Bethesda / id Software

Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is “very close” according to its developer.

Panic Button Games’ port of id Software’s acclaimed demon shooter is still coming, and work on it is almost done. The news comes via Digital Foundry’s interview with the game’s executive producer Marty Stratton for PAX x EGX.

“I know people are anxious,” said Stratton.

In an interview with Eurogamer in 2018, the studio expressed their desire to launch alongside all other platforms. This faced complications, not least the global pandemic.

“We’re trying to make it the best version of the game it possibly can be. So we’ve been working with Panic Button, they’re also – like everybody – work from home, so it’s taking a little bit longer to get there…we want it to be everything it possibly can be. It’s very close, and we’re trying to be very uncompromising with what it needs to be, because there’s a high demand for it.”

“We will be talking about it again, in the not-to-distant future. It is close, but I can’t say exactly how close.”

Panic Button are responsible for many high-quality Switch ports including Doom 2016, Rocket League, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Like these, the Doom Eternal port will aim for 30 fps and should hopefully see a return of gyro/motion controls.

It remains to be seen whether the Switch will bundle in DLC as was done for the Doom 2016 port, since the recently revealed first campaign expansion, The Ancient Gods – Part One, is both more substantial and a standalone release.

The expansion is due 20th October, 2020 and it sounds like we aren’t too far off hearing a release date for the Switch port.

Our editor, Tom Baines, wasn’t too enamoured with the sequel, calling it ‘technically solid, blistering in parts, but lacking in soul.’


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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.

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