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The Week in Video Games – April 15, 2018

This week in video games: PUBG improvements, downtime for Fortnite, and the triumphant return of God of War. Here’s our digest of the week’s top gaming news stories.

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God of War - Kratos

This week in video games: PUBG improvements, downtime for Fortnite, and the triumphant return of God of War. Here’s our digest of the week’s top gaming news stories.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

PUBG‘s new War event mode is going down a storm, with players – and critics – enjoying the game’s take on the traditional death-match. War pits three teams of 10 players against each other on a restricted section of the Erangel map, with the first team to score 200 points taking home the chicken dinner.

Elsewhere, changes to the speed of the PUBG‘s blue circle have also been well received. Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasio looks at how it makes the game more tactical.

PUBG‘s new Savage map gets another round of testing this week, with a second beta running between April 16-18. (If you’re lucky enough to grab a beta key, you can redeem it here.) Although the map is still very early in development, we think it could be one of the game’s most important additions yet. We examine how PUBG‘s Savage map can potentially make us all better players.

Meanwhile on console, the Xbox One version of PUBG will be free to play next weekend for Xbox Gold members. The console edition has also received its twelfth patch, which implements a range of gameplay and UI tweaks, squashes some bugs, and adds a brand new crate.

Fortnite Battle-Royale news

Fortnite faced its first major outage this week as the game was crippled by the failure of an account service database. The game was affected for around 12 hours, leading Epic to apologise, and offer players a free Back Bling gift. Every cloud, we suppose.

In happier news, Fortnite received its regularly scheduled update on time. The update adds the new Port-a-Fort grenade, the Thunder Route 99 area for Save the World mode, plus the usual collection of cosmetics and bug fixes. The most exciting new addition is the remarkably full-featured Replay system.

Sega brings back the Genesis, and Shenmue too

There were some big announcements at this week’s Sega Fes fan event, including news of HD remasters for the first two Shenmue games. Also revealed was the Sega MegaDrive Mini, a new micro-console set for release, initially, in Japan later in 2018.

And if you’d rather play MegaDrive/Genesis games on a console, fifteen titles – converted by the talented Studio M2 – will be coming to the Nintendo Switch later this year under the Sega Ages banner.

Xbox One grows backwards compatible library

Microsoft has a revealed a new batch of backwards compatible games coming to the Xbox One on Tuesday. Titles include Jade Empire, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and SSX 3. A bunch of titles have also received Xbox One X 4K upgrades, including the last-gen classics Portal 2, and Red Dead Redemption.

Billy Mitchell is no longer the King of Kong

Billy Mitchell’s Donkey Kong high scores have been removed from Twin Galaxies’ leaderboards following a review of his submitted gameplay footage. The dispute is centred around allegations that Mitchell used an emulator, rather than an original Donkey Kong motherboard, to achieve his record-breaking scores. In a statement, Twin Galaxies said:

“Based on the complete body of evidence presented in this official dispute thread, Twin Galaxies administrative staff has unanimously decided to remove all of Billy Mitchell’s’ scores as well as ban him from participating in our competitive leaderboards.”

God of War review round-up

The return of God of War has been universal praised, with critics wowed by the game’s graphics, narrative, axe flinging, and treatment of fatherhood.

Chris Plante, writing for Polygon, says:

“God of War is, in a single word, holistic. Every aspect is excellent on its own, but more importantly, it all serves and accentuates the larger vision.”

Dan Ryckert,at Giant Bomb, is just as enthused:

“This new entry proves that it can provide all of the positive qualities of the franchise’s past while expanding on and evolving them in every conceivable way.”

Writing in The Guardian, Keza McDonald adds:

“It is rare to play a game so accomplished in everything it sets out to do. God of War is a standard-setter both technologically and narratively.”

Destiny 2 expansion announced

Hey, remember Destiny 2? Bungie’s online shooter is getting a series of new updates, beginning its second major expansion, Warmind, in May. The game’s updated content roadmap also details some returning features from the original Destiny.

Running out of Steam

Changes to Steam’s privacy settings have had a knock-on effect on the popular stats tracking service, Steam Spy. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Steam Spy creator, Sergey Galyonkin, says the service will continue:

“I was always able to adapt, and even in this case I still have enough information to extrapolate the data, but with less precision and a higher margin for error.”

More indies reveal Nintendo Switch sales success

Two indie studios have revealed how their games have performed on the Nintendo Switch. Vertex Pop, creators of Graceful Explosion Machine, say they have sold around 50,000 copies of the game in the past year. And in a detailed post that covers all gaming platforms, YachtClub Games say they have sold around 370,000 copies of Shovel Knight on Nintendo’s console. Both studios seem very happy indeed.

The Witness devs launch grant scheme

Thekla Inc – developers of the mind-crushing puzzle adventure, The Witness – have announced a programme of grants to support independent game designers working on grid-based puzzle games. The grants range between $3,000-$20,000, and are intended for creators from groups underrepresented within the industry.

Radical Heights enters Early Access

If you’re bored with PUBG and Fortnite – and are prepared to try a game that is extremely rough around the edges – Cliff Blezinski’s Boss Key has launched a new battle-royale game, Radical Heights. The game takes its cue from The Running Man, and taps into the current, exhausting trend for all things 1980s. That said, there’s potential here. If you’re interested in the playing Radical Heights, here are the PC system specs you need.

Warren Spector’s Underworld Ascendant teased

The first trailer has been released for Underworld Ascendant, the new game from legendary game designer, Warren Spector. OtherSide’s gloomy sim is set to be published by 505 Games before the end of the year.

Some Sunday reading…

In this week’s Cut Scenes – our ongoing series that examines the intersection of film and video games – Josh Wise casts his thoughtful eye over Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and Wild at Heart.

The meditative and immersive Gorogoa is a game that’s easy to recommend, if not quite as easy to understand. Discover how developer Jason Roberts approached its in our report of his recent talk at the Game Developers Conference.

And speaking of immersion, Tom Baines relives his childhood Lawnmower Man dreams is his review of the Acer Mixed Reality headset.


Video games news from Thumbsticks

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New Nintendo Switch releases: February 17-21, 2020

This week’s lineup of new eShop games for the Nintendo Switch includes an impressive collection of retro classics.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

This week’s lineup of new eShop games for the Nintendo Switch includes an impressive collection of retro classics.

Not a week goes by without the Nintendo Switch eshop getting at least one retro game or remake. This week we have 27. Gulp!

The fun starts on Wednesday with four new games added to the list of NES and SNES classics available through Nintendo Switch Online. Smash Tennis and Pop ‘n TwinBee are our picks from the new additions.

Even more impressive is the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle from Arc System Works. The collection features no fewer than 18 titles, including arcade classics Double Dragon and Renegade, plus 11 NES games never before released in the West.

We also have nothing but good things to say about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Puyo Puyo 2. Both games come to the Sega Ages range with some cool new features and game modes. Hamster Corporation also continues its good work with Arcade Archives VS. Mahjong.

Finally, Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition is the latest entry in Capcom’s popular action series to get a Switch outing.

Brand new releases include Blood Will Be Spilled, Last Encounter, and the curiously titled sci-fi adventure, Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator. Gulp, again!

Here’s the current roster of new Nintendo Switch releases. We’ll keep the list updated throughout the week.

Nintendo Switch releases – February 17-21, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo – US

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  • 3000th Duel
  • Eliminator Boat Duel – NES
  • Pop ‘n TwinBee – SNES
  • Shadow of the Ninja – NES
  • Smash Tennis – SNES

Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Blood Will Be Spilled
  • Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition
  • Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle
  • Fred3ric
  • Georifters
  • Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story
  • Lines XL
  • Oddmar
  • A Sound Plan
  • Sudoku Relax 4 Winter Snow
  • Sega Ages Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sega Ages Puyo Puyo 2
  • Sudoku Relax 4 Winter Snow
  • Tower of Babel – no mercy
  • Uncharted Tides: Port Royal
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] – EU
  • Vitamin Connection

Friday, February 21, 2020

  • Arcade Archives VS. Mahjong
  • Blood Breed
  • Brief Battles
  • Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator
  • Dark Tower
  • Ego Protocol: Remastered
  • Fishing Adventure
  • King Lucas
  • Knightin’+
  • Last Encounter
  • Otherworldly
  • Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo – EU
  • Ubermosh:Omega
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] – US

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Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest Switch, Xbox and PlayStation games. You can also follow us on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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The Epic exodus is over – Metro Exodus is now on Steam

One year after its release on the Epic Games Store, Metro Exodus is now available to purchase on Steam.

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Metro Exodus out now on Steam
Deep Silver

One year after its release on the Epic Games Store, Metro Exodus is now available to purchase on Steam.

Over the past year or so, the Epic Games Store has been ruffling some feathers. The digital storefront, buoyed by big bucks from Fortnite Battle Royale cosmetics, has been buying PC exclusivity left, right and centre.

This has upset fans of Steam. Tribalism among video game fans is weird – we’ve seen it in the console world for years – but it’s especially weird when it extends to which free PC launcher you use. We don’t get it, frankly. But games being unavailable to buy on Steam has upset people, nonetheless.

And when Metro Exodus was announced as an Epic Games Store exclusive in January 2019, Steam was a little upset, too. Or at least, the note they left on the Steam Store page (that had previously allowed players to pre-purchase Metro Exodus) made it seem like they were.

Now, the year of Epic Games Store exclusivity is over. Metro Exodus is now available to purchase from Steam.

To celebrate Metro Exodus riding back onto Steam, publisher Deep Silver is offering the game at a 40% discount for this weekend only.

Metro Exodus Steam Store discounts

  • Metro Exodus – 40% off
  • Metro Exodus: Gold Edition – 40% off
  • Metro Exodus: Season pass – 25% off
  • Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels DLC – 40% off
  • Metro Exodus: Sam’s Story DLC – full price
  • Metro: Franchise sale – 51% off

Given that the season pass is offered at just a 25% discount, and the Sam’s Story DLC – released just a few days ago – is being sold at full price, then the Metro Exodus: Gold Edition is looking like the best deal. If you’ve not played any of the other games then the franchise sale – with a whopping 51% off – includes the first two games, Metro Exodus, and the season pass.

These discounts will end on February 18, 2020. But don’t worry: Metro Exodus will be available to purchase from Steam forevermore. (We presume.)


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New PlayStation 4 releases: February 17-18, 2020

The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary bundle and a new collection arcade classics are among next week’s new PlayStation releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
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The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary bundle and a new collection arcade classics are among next week’s new PlayStation 4, PSVR, and PS Vita releases.

The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle is our pick from next week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 releases. Both games are remastered at 4K and 60 fps on PS4 Pro, and if you buy the bundle before March 3, you’ll also get a free dynamic theme. A limited-edition steel-book release is also available from Amazon and other retailers.

If we’re playing the numbers game, however, the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle takes top prize. The collection includes no fewer than 18 arcade and NES classics, many of which are getting a Western release for the first time.

Let’s also give a shout-out to players eagerly anticipating the release of Autobahn Police Simulator 2. You must be out there somewhere and we’re super-pleased to tell you that the game is racing onto PS4 this week.

Other new games include Nordic noir adventure Dragen, and FPS VR shooter, Bullet Sorrow.

Here’s the complete lineup of this week’s new PlayStation Store releases. We’ll update this list throughout the week with any last minute additions.

New PlayStation 4 releases – February 17-18, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary
  • DCL – The Game
  • Knightin’+ (and PS Vita)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  • No releases

Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Autobahn Police Simulator 2
  • Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle
  • Katana Kami
  • Townsmen — A Kingdom Rebuilt

Friday, February 21, 2020

  • Bullet Sorrow VR
  • Draugen

We may receive a small commission on purchases made from online stores.

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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New Xbox One releases: February 17-21, 2020

The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle headlines next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
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The Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle headlines this week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

Can it really be ten years? Crikey, we feel old, but we’re looking forward to revisiting Bayonetta and Vanquish nonetheless. PlatinumGames’ pair of action classics are reissued this week in a double-pack of remasters. Both games get a visual bump and run at 4K resolution and 60 fps on Xbox One X. A limited-edition physical steel-book release is also available from various retailers, including Amazon.

Also heading to Xbox One is Reigns: Game of Thrones. The game is a fun twist on Nerial’s acclaimed monarch simulator and is definitely worth getting if you’re a fan of George R. R. Martin’s books or the hit HBO series.

Other new games include Bunny Parking, Thief Simulator, and Draugen, which its developer describes as “a single-player, first-person Fjord Noir mystery set in 1920.” Sign us up.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the confirmed lineup.

New Xbox One games – February 17-21, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • DCL – The Game
  • Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  • Bunny Parking
  • Knightin’+
  • Lost Artifacts
  • Thief Simulator

Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Reigns: Game of Thrones

Friday, February 21, 2020

  • Ailment
  • Draugen
  • Uncharted Tides: Port Royal

We may receive a small commission on purchases made from online stores.

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for news of the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 games. Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for more video game news headlines.

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Control creator Remedy has four projects in the works

Control DLC is on the way, but Remedy is also working on three other games.

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Control

Control DLC is on the way, but Remedy is also working on three other games.

Today, Remedy released a lengthy financial statement explicating its performance from January 1 through December 31, 2019. Nestled within the broader breakdown? The revelation that the Finnish company is currently working on four projects.

Control fans likely already know that Remedy is working on a pair of paid expansions for the third-person shooter. Remedy has also previously revealed that the company is handling the campaign for CrossFire X – a new take on CrossFire, an FPS with a massive player base in Asia. It’s scheduled to launch on Xbox One this year.

The new news is that Remedy is currently in pre-production on an unannounced game. We know basically nothing about that, but it might be the project that lead writer Sam Lake indicated he was beginning work on last November.

The statement also revealed that the company is gearing up to get in the service games arm race. Vanguard is a small multiplayer-focused team within Remedy, which the company’s website describes as having “a startup mentality within the stability of a large company.”

Vanguard also seems to be the working title for the project the team is working on.

All in all, there’s a lot to be excited about. We ranked Control as one of the best games of 2019, so it’s exciting to see the team branching out as they head into the future.


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