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The Week in Video Games – May 20, 2018

This week in video games: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 revealed, multiplayer comes to No Man’s Sky, and Halo comes to the arcades. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top gaming news stories.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

This week in video games: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 revealed, multiplayer comes to No Man’s Sky, and Halo comes to the arcades. Here’s our roundup of the week’s top gaming news stories.

PUBG Miramar map heading to Xbox One

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ desert-themed Miramar map is coming to Xbox One on May 24, 2018. The map is currently available for one last round of testing, should players wish to jump on the test server. Addition tweaks and fixes are detailed in the latest patch notes. The Miramar map was also released for PUBG Mobile this week.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 release date

The rumours were true. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will not include a single player campaign, but it will be offering its own battle royale mode, called Blackout. The multiplayer-centric game will also include a significantly expanded zombie mode.

The wonderfully named Dan Bunting, co-studio head at Treyarch, said:

“At its core Black Ops has always been about challenging convention and boldly taking our gameplay in new directions. With Black Ops 4, we’ve designed an experience for all play styles and skill levels from casual to competitive. It brings a layer of tactical depth that rewards players for mastery, and just feels so good to play.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on October 12, 2018.

Fortnite Battle Royale coming to Android

In a blog post, Epic Games has confirmed that Fortnite Battle Royale is planned for release on Android this summer. The post also outlines plans to add voice chat, and a customisable UI.

And in case you missed it… Fortnite Battle Royale now has an in-game Fork Knife food truck. Love it.

No Man’s Sky gets full multiplayer

Hello Games’ space exploration game, No Man’s Sky, will be getting full online multiplayer this summer. The ‘Next’ update coincides with the release of the Xbox One version of the game.

Skull & Bones and Metro Exodus delayed

Two anticipated games have had their release dates push back. Ubisoft’s seafaring Skull & Bones will now release in financial year 2019/2020. And Deep Silver has confirmed that 4A Games’ Metro Exodus will now be released in Q1 2019. Both titles will still make an appearance at next month’s E3.

Introducing the Xbox One Adaptive Controller

Microsoft has revealed the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a new programmable game controller designed for players with limited mobility. It’s a beautiful piece of design and is fully compatible with Xbox One and Windows 10. It will launch later this year, priced $99.99 USD. Hats off to Microsoft on this one.

State of Decay 2 review roundup

Undead Labs’ zombie survival game, State of Decay 2, was released this week on Xbox One and Windows. Unfortunately if appears that any innovation found in its gameplay systems is let down by a multitude of performance problems.

Alessandro Barbosa, writing at GameSpot, says:

State of Decay 2 runs extremely poorly, even on Xbox One X. Despite not standing out graphically in any regard, the framerate will frequently dip well below its 30 frames per second target, sometimes locking up momentarily when the action is thick on screen.”

Stacie Ponder at Kotaku warns of the perils of ladders:

“For as much fun as I had with the game, I expected a bit more polish. Ladders were generally a bigger threat to my survival than the zombies, as wonky controls sent me plummeting to the ground as I tried to descend.”

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell at Eurogamer says:

“It tantalises with the thought of raggedy everyday heroes pooling their myriad talents to survive, only to quantify and busywork all that out of existence. Its resource and scavenging elements are as suffocating as its social elements are underplayed.”

GTA V sales continue to rocket

Take Two’s financial earnings call revealed that Grand Theft Auto V has sold 95 million copies to date. It was only in February that the publisher reported 90 million copies shipped.

PS Vita game cards end production

Kotaku reports that Sony’s American and European arms “plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018.” Production looks set to continue in Japan, for a short while at least, according to a report from GameSpark (via Siliconera).

The Division 2 gets a release window

During this week’s Ubisoft earnings call, CEO Yves Guillemot revealed that The Division 2 will be released before the end of April 2019. He also spoke about the steps being taken to improve the sequel’s end game.

Cliff Bleszinski shares game concepts following Boss Key closure

Following the closure of Boss Key Productions, Cliff Bleszinski has released a slew of game concepts and design documents from titles that never got off the ground.

The next Halo game is revealed

The next Halo game, is an arcade cabinetHalo: Fireteam Raven supports up to four-players, and features four turret-mounted machine guns, and a 130-inch, 4k screen. The game – which is produced by Play Mechanix and Eugene Jarvis’ Raw Thrills – will debut at Dave & Busters in the United States and Canada this summer.

What the heck is this Nintendo Labo rip-off?

Unofficial Nintendo Labo Guitar

This is one of the best unofficial gaming products we’ve seen in while. A completely unlicensed Nintendo Labo guitar kit that promises origami fun (it looks like it will take 30 seconds to build) complete with the promise of a ‘game incoming’. Don’t hold your breath. Colourful string though…

Video game sales and promotions

It’s another busy week for sales and promotions. If you’re quick there’s still time to pick up a game in this weekend’s PlayStation Store Flash sale, Ubisoft are cutting prices over on the Nintendo eShop, and there a few days left on the Humble Store’s spring sale.

Sunday reading

Josh Wise continues his series of features that examine the intersection of film and video games. In this week’s Cut Scenes he looks at Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Josh has also penned some thoughts on Detroit: Become Human, the latest game from David Cage and Quantic Dream.

And finally, if you’ve ever been interested in the design of Pokémon, check out Kotaku’s report on concept art shared by Game Freak designer, James Turner.

A note from the Thumbsticks editorial team

If you like what we do, then please consider supporting us via Patreon. Every penny we earn is poured back into the site, into giving new and aspiring writers an opportunity, and into bringing you more quality content to enjoy. And if you are an aspiring new writer, read this.


Video games news from Thumbsticks

Another note: We may receive a small commission for purchases made through third-party sites.

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

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Peter Parker has been ‘recast’ in the Marvel’s Spider-Man PS5 remaster

You might have noticed something a little… different about Peter Parker in the PS5 remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man.

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Peter Parker recast Marvel's Spider-Man remaster PS5
Sony / Insomniac Games

You might have noticed something a little… different about Peter Parker in the PS5 remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man.

The narrative around the remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 5 has been confusing, to say the least. Now, it’s gotten weird.

If you own the base game on PS4, for instance, you don’t get a free upgrade on PS5. Nor will you get to carry over your saves between generations. But if you buy Spider-Man: Miles Morales for PlayStation 4, then you will get a free upgrade to PS5 for that. But you can’t buy the ultimate edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man – that includes both the remaster of the original game and the Miles Morales expandalone – for PS4, so yeah, you’ll basically have to buy it again in some form to get the remaster.

Got that? Good. Except it just got weirder.

Remember Peter Parker, AKA title character Spider-Man, in the PS4 game? Well, he’s looking a little… different in the PS5 remaster.

What appears to have happened, here, is that Insomniac has recast Peter Parker, like Aunt Viv’s sudden change after the third season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But that happened because (reportedly) Will Smith fell out with original Aunt Viv actor Janet Hubert. That can’t have happened with an already-modelled digital character, right?

Here’s the explanation, from Insomniac community director James Stevenson, on the official PlayStation Blog:

“In order to bring the best performances to players with our next-generation Marvel’s Spider-Man games, we have recast the face of Peter Parker. We loved working with John Bubniak on the original game; however, to get a better match to Peter Parker/Spider-Man actor Yuri Lowenthal’s facial capture, we have cast Ben Jordan to be the face model for Peter Parker on the PS5 console. He looks incredible in-game, and Yuri’s moving performances take on a new life.”

Which… is technically an “explanation” but it’s still weird, right?

Fans of the game are making fun of the changes on Twitter, with many speculating that it’s to make the video game character resemble his big-screen counterpart, Tom Holland.

You can see why people are thinking that. What’s also weird is that, for an “older” portrayal of Spider-Man – 23, according to the game’s marketing – he now looks significantly younger; far closer to the high school-aged Parker of the current Marvel movies.

And it’s still weird.


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Elite Dangerous paid expansion, Horizons, will soon be free for all players

The 2015 Horizons expansion is being added to Elite Dangerous in anticipation of its major Odyssey expansion in 2021.

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Elite Dangerous - Horizons
Frontier Developments

The 2015 Horizons expansion is being added to Elite Dangerous in anticipation of its major Odyssey expansion in 2021.

Frontier Developments has announced that Elite Dangerous, its space (trucker) simulator and competitor to Star Citizen, will have its only paid expansion, the 2015-released Horizons, folded into the main game on October 27 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The expansion added planetary landing, weapon crafting, ship-launched fighters, multi-crew co-op, and exploration with the SRV Scarab ground vehicle, among other things.

For those who invested early – perhaps five years early – they will be granted an exclusive “Azure ship paint job” compatible with all ships. Get in there quick, then, and it could still be yours.

It all comes in anticipation of the game’s major add-on coming in 2021, Odyssey. The major expansion will add on-foot exploration of planets, first-person combat, refreshed visuals, social hubs, NPC missions, thousands of new settlements, and more. There will be no VR on launch, but perhaps you can forgive them that?

The game is already a bottomless pit of sheer space given that less than 1% of its galaxy has even been explored according to Frontier. These expansions should do a lot to add colour to the void.


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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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EA Play joins Xbox Game Pass Ultimate this November, PC in December

Microsoft’s Game Pass service gets bigger in November.

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EA Play games
Electronic Arts

Microsoft’s Game Pass service gets bigger in November by assimilating the basic version of EA’s rebranded subscription service, EA Play.

The news was announced earlier this month, but EA Play’s inclusion with an Xbox Game Pass subscription Ultimate at no additional cost has been confirmed for November 10. (There’s something else important happening on that date, right?)

The PC variant of Game Pass has slightly longer to wait with a final December date to be confirmed.

The Microsoft’s FAQ clarifies that this complimentary EA Play subscription can’t be upgraded to EA Play Pro. This is the PC-only tier of the service that offers access to brand new releases, all additional/season pass content, and early access to games.

Additionally, the FAQ clarifies that:

“If you’ve purchased both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play through the Microsoft Store when the EA Play member benefit unlocks for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, your EA Play subscription will be cancelled, and any remaining time over 50 days will be rounded up and converted to the nearest month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at a ratio of three to one.”

You needn’t worry about your active EA Play subscription, then.

Microsoft is betting big on Game Pass with their recent purchase of ZeniMax Media and Bethesda committing all future Bethesda releases to the service and adding previous blockbusters like Doom Eternal on October 1.

Game pass surpassed 15 million subscribers this month. That’s up from 10 million in April. It shows the sheer momentum the service is getting, which will likely only now increase with recent announcements.

It’s easy to imagine a subscription-only future wherein every other service has been folded into Microsoft’s. Whether that’s a veritable gaming apocalypse or utopia is up to you!


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Save up to 80% in the PS4 Games of a Generation sale

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Ghost of Tsushima - PS4 Store Sale
Sucker Punch Productions / Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony is celebrating some of the best video games of the generation with a new sale of PS4 and PS VR games.

With the release of the PlayStation 5 rapidly approaching, Sony is highlighting some of the best games of the PlayStation 4 era in a brand new PSN sale.

Many of the PS4’s best exclusives are reduced, including a 25% discount on Ghost of Tsushima, the well-received feudal Japan epic from Sucker Punch Productions. Other discounted games to make Xbox One owners jealous include Marvel’s Spider-Man, Bloodborne, and Horizon Zero Dawn. But probably not Days Gone.

Third-party picks include Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Monster Hunter: World, and Red Dead Redemption 2. PS VR owners should also ensure they don’t miss out on Astro Bot: Rescue Mission or Blood & Truth. If you are upgrading to a PS5, most of these titles should be playable via backwards compatibility.

Somewhat amusingly, several older games are also on offer in remastered form. Bluepoint’s thoughtful update of Shadow of the Colossus comes recommended, as does the Batman: Arkham Collection, and L.A. Noire.

Here’s a selection of the games on offer from the North American and European sales. Visit the PlayStation Store in your country for the complete lineup of discounts. The promotion ends on October 14, 2020.

PS4 Games of a Generation Sale Highlights

  • A Way Out
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered
  • Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
  • Batman: Arkham Collection
  • Blasphemous
  • Bloodborne
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
  • Cities: Skylines – PlayStation 4 Edition
  • Conan Exiles
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Dying Light
  • F1 2020
  • Far Cry New Dawn
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hello Neighbor
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Journey to the Savage Planet
  • L.A. Noire
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Deluxe Edition
  • The Last Guardian
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite – Standard Edition
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
  • Overwatch: Legendary Edition
  • Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Sniper Elite 4 – Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Tekken 7 – Ultimate Edition
  • Totally Reliable Delivery Service
  • Tropico 6
  • TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2
  • Unravel
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War – Deluxe Edition

For more video game savings, visit our dedicated sales page. And stay up to date with the latest gaming new by following Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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October’s Xbox Games with Gold are scarily average

Get ready for some Halloween scares with the Xbox Games with Gold lineup for October 2020.

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Xbox Games with Gold
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Stifle those yawns and prepare yourself for some Halloween scares with October’s Xbox Games with Gold lineup.

October’s Xbox Games with Gold freebies are entirely average, but there’s more quality on offer than you might think at first glance.

Headlining the Xbox One selection is Maid of Sker, the 2018 first-person survival horror set in a remote hotel. The game plucks its scares from Welsh folklore, and although it doesn’t rank among the best in the genre, it’s an effective and spooky experience.

Likewise, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut is not the best puzzle game you’ll ever play, but it has some visual style and pays homage to the ’80s horror movie genre with lots of comic moments.

Octobers Xbox 360 games are Eurocom’s 2003 action-adventure game Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and Double Fine’s fine tale of childhood trick-or-treating, Costume Quest. Both titles are also playable on Xbox One via Back Compat.

The latest Games with Gold titles will be available to download and keep for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from the following dates.

Xbox Games With Gold – October 2020

Xbox One

  • Maid of Sker – October 16 – November 15
  • Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut – October 1 -31

Xbox 360 and Xbox One

  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy – October 1 – 15
  • Costume Quest – October 16 – 31

Of last month’s games, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is free until October 15.


More video games from Thumbsticks

Get updates on the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 video games from our new releases page. And follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook for daily news updates.

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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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