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The Week in Video Games – March 4, 2018

This week in gaming: Overwatch gets a new character, Far Cry 5 gets a movie, and the Switch doesn’t get Diablo. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

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Far Cry 5 short film

This week in gaming: Overwatch gets a new character, Far Cry 5 gets a movie, and the Switch doesn’t get Diablo. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

It’s been a relatively quiet week on the PUBG news desk. The biggest story relates to the Xbox One version of the game, which received a host of improvements with its ninth update. Patch highlights include the addition of multiple pre-match starting locations, the removal of weapons from the island prior to a match starting, and a number of UI tweaks. Support for Game DVR is also included, and can be switched on in the Options/Settings menu.

The line item “Updated the design of the energy drink” also means that Hot Bull has now become PUBG Brand Energy Drink, a name less likely to infringe on the trademark of a popular canned caffeine brew.

In other news, Polygon reports on Ma Huateng – founder of Tencent, and PUBG’s publishing partner in China – being named the richest man in China in the latest edition of the Hurun Report.

Far Cry 5 film comes to Amazon Prime

A live-action short film based on Far Cry 5 will be released on Amazon Prime on Monday March 5, 2018. Inside Eden’s Gate follows three vloggers investigating the disappearance of missing locals in game’s Hope County location. The film stars Greg Bryk, as Eden’s Gate leader Joseph Seed, and American Sniper’s Kyle Gallner.

Ubisoft have also released a new live-action Far Cry 5 trailer. The game is set for release on March 27, 2018.

Is Diablo III coming to Nintendo Switch?

Yes, says the internet. No, says Blizzard. Boo, says the internet.

Horizon Zero Dawn sells over 7.6m copies

Sony has confirmed that Horizon Zero Dawn has become the best-selling new first-party franchise to launch on PlayStation 4. The game has sold over 7.6 million copies since its release in February 2017.

“From the makers of Killzone Shadow Fall…” Who’d have thunk?

Sega accidentally released Yakuza 6 for free

Talk about having a bad day at the office. You have to feel for the poor soul who signed-off the PlayStation Store demo of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, which mistakenly allowed players to purchase and unlock the full game. Sega swiftly removed the demo from the PlayStation Store, and have since revoked access for anyone who opened up the full game.

Chrono Trigger flops on Steam

Square Enix’s self-proclaimed ‘definitive edition’ Chrono Trigger arrived on Steam this week. Alas, there seems to be nothing definitive about it, with players disappointed at the PC version being little more than a rough port of 2011’s iOS release. The game currently has a Mostly Negative rating on Steam from over 300 reviews. The humble Nintendo DS version remains king in our eyes.

ESRB to introduce ‘In-Game Purchases’ label

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is to introduce advisory labels for all digital and retail games that “offer the ability to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency.” The new label will be separate from the already familiar ESRB content ratings. All together now, “M-for-Mature!”

A new website has also been launched to assist parents in understanding the murky world of in-game purchases and micro-transactions.

Xbox One gets PC remote play

A new update for members of the Xbox One Insider program adds PC Remote Play, of a sort. Using the Mixer streaming platform, the new feature lets players pass control of a game to anyone viewing on a PC via Mixer.com. The viewer can then take over the game using a controller, or an on-screen gamepad.

Brigitte comes to Overwatch

The latest Overwatch patch is now available for testing, and introduces Brigitte, a new support-class hero. Her primary weapon is a “heavy-hitting Rocket Flail,” and she also wields a barrier shield that can absorb a limited amount of damage, and offer protection to allies directly behind her.

Battlefield to return to World War II

According to a report by Gamesbeat, the next Battlefield game will be released by Electronic Arts later this year, and will be titled Battlefield V. The game looks set to continue the franchise’s back-to-basics approach and will follow the most recent Call of Duty by taking place during the Second World War.

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Bethesda confirm E3 press conference time

There’s only three months to go until the gaming industry – and some lucky paying customers – descend on to the LA Convention Center for E3 2018. Bethesda are the first publisher to mark some time in the diary by confirming that the ‘BE3’ 2018 press conference will be held on Sunday, June 10 at 6:30 pm PT. The event will be open to press and fans, with ticketing details to be confirmed at a later date. It will also be streamed live on YouTube and Twitch.

Twitch rolls out new community guidelines

Twitch has released a detailed breakdown of its new community guidelines ahead of their enforcement this week. The new policies cover community moderation, harmful behaviour, and dress code. The onus is firmly on streamers to use Twitch’s automatic moderation tools – or employ a moderation team – to combat hateful behavior while they’re offline or AFK.

PS Plus to lose PS3 and PS Vita games

The PlayStation Plus free games lineup for March is one of the best in some time. This months titles include the amazing Bloodborne, the brilliant Ratchet and Clank, and the, erm, not-so mighty, Mighty No. 9. There was also some sad, if unsurprising, news. PlayStation Plus support for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games will end in February 2019.

A Way Out escapes development

Hazelight’s Josef Fares has confirmed that upcoming prison break game A Way Out, has gone gold. The co-op only adventure will be released on March 23, 2018, and includes a free trial feature so that two people can play together using just one copy of the game.

Detroit: Become Human release date confirmed

The dreary looking Detroit: Become Human will be released worldwide on May 25, 2018. In blog post, game director David Cage says of the game: “Your actions have real and spectacular consequences.” Never a truer word spoken, David.

And finally…

We have two articles for you to read on this lazy Sunday morning. First up is a new piece on Thumbsticks from Daniel Lipson. Grief, loss, and the healing power of Final Fantasy XV looks at how games intertwine with our personal lives, and can help us through difficult times.

And check out the latest edition of Cut Scenes, the new column from Josh Wise that explores the intersection between films and video games. This week it’s Mafia III vs. Unforgiven.


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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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Final Fantasy VII Remake smashes another massive sales milestone

Nearly half as many people who bought the original have already bought the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake 5 million sales
Square Enix

Nearly half as many people who bought the original have already bought the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

It’s no secret that Final Fantasy VII has always been one of the biggest sellers for Square Enix, then Squaresoft. No single game in the series has sold more units, either upon original release, or when you include re-releases and remasters.

There is one modern Final Fantasy game that’s coming up fast on the rails of Final Fantasy VII, though – its own remake.

Where the original game has sold over 13 million copies, the Final Fantasy VII Remake sold 3.5 million in its first three days, and in the following four months, has now sailed past 5 million sales overall. It’s an impressive achievement for something we were genuinely very worried about prior to release.

It’s even more impressive when you remember that the Final Fantasy VII Remake has only (thus far) released on PS4. Final Fantasy XV, for instance, which launched on PS4, Xbox One and PC, has sold nearly 9 million units. When the Final Fantasy VII Remake inevitably releases on Xbox One and PC – and presumably with a graphical bump on PS5 and Xbox Series X at a later date – those figures will only increase.

And then remember that we’ve only seen a fraction of the story. The scope of the Final Fantasy VII Remake only covers the first eight hours or so of the original game. If each segment of the Remake – and we’re assuming there’ll be at least three parts – sells 5 million copies, then it could very well surpass the original and become the best-selling Final Fantasy game ever.

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Everything revealed on the PlayStation State of Play for August 2020

August’s PlayStation State of Play included a detailed look at Crash Bandicoot 4, more information on Spelunky 2, and a deep dive into the PS5’s Godfall.

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PlayStation State of Play - August 2020
Sony / Thumbsticks

August’s PlayStation State of Play included a detailed look at Crash Bandicoot 4, more information on Spelunky 2, and a deep dive into the PS5’s Godfall.

Of all the games on last night’s broadcast, it was the indie titles that caught our attention. Derek Yu’s tantalising walkthrough of Spelunky 2 was the highlight, but we’re also excited for the remaster of Braid, and the more we see of Bugsnax, the more we want to move to Snaktooth Island.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the announcements from August’s PlayStation State of Play. You rewatch the broadcast in full at the bottom of the page.

PlayStation State of Play – August 2020

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Developer Toys For Bob promise precise platforming action that builds on the original trilogy with new abilities and wide-open environments. The game includes cosmetics to unlock and playable characters including Dingodile and Doctor Neo Cortex. The cool-looking N’ Verted mode changes the camera perspective and adds varied new gameplay and art styles existing levels. Bend the laws of time and space on October 2, 2020.

Hitman III

IO interactive give the acclaimed stealth series the full VR treatment as part of the upcoming Hitman III. Sneaking onto consoles in January 2021.

Braid Anniversary Edition

Jonathan Blow’s subversive platformer receives a subtle but sumptuous makeover to celebrate its, erm, thirteenth anniversary. Improved graphics and audio are accompanied by a comprehensive developer commentary. Scratching heads in early 2021.

The Pathless

New PlayStation 5 footage from Giant Squid’s open-world adventure game. The demo includes traversal and Eagle cleaning gameplay. We expect the pleasure will come in the playing for this one. Soaring onto PS5 in 2020

Spelunky 2

Derek Yu, we love you! Spelunky 2 will include online multiplayer, a raft of new items and an expanded, more intricate world. And ridable turkeys. Ridable. Turkeys. Saddle up on September 15, 2020.

Bugsnax

More offbeat PS5 gameplay footage from Young Horse’s curious and quirky trip to Snaktooth Island. Starting singing that song this holiday

Vadar Immortal – August 25, 2020

The hit virtual reality Star Wars experience is coming to PlayStation VR. Be as clumsy as you are stupid on August 25, 2020.

Auto Chess – October 31 PS4

The popular online competitive multiplayer strategy game is coming to PlayStation 4. Make your move on October 31, 2020.

The Pedestrian – January 2021

Skookum Arts’ inventive 2.5D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is PS4 bound. All signs point to a January 2021 release.

Hood: Outlaws and Legends

It looks like Robin Hood is finally getting a AAA – or perhaps AA – game. Rob from the rich and give to the poor on PS5 sometime in 2021.

Godfall

New combat gameplay from Counterplay’s upcoming looter slasher. Looks okay we suppose. Godfall drops on PS5 this holiday.

And also

  • Genshin Impact  – A new trailer for the game of the manga that we know little about. Shriek hysterically in Autumn 2020.
  • TemTem – A popular Pokélike appears on PlayStation 5 consoles in 2021.
  • AEON Must Die! – A new trailer for the upcoming tactical beat-em-up RPG.
  • Anno Mutationem – There’s neon aplenty in the new trailer for Lightening Games’ blend of action and role play. Light up in December 2020.
  • Control – Remedy’s sublime third-person action adventure receives its second expansion. Alan wakes on August 27.


Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 games. You can also follow us on Flipboard or Twitter.

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Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds pledges support for Able Gamers charity

Steven Spohn teams up with that bloke from Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to raise awareness for the Able Gamers charity.

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Ryan Reynolds Aviation Gin
Aviation Gin

Steven Spohn teams up with that bloke from Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to raise awareness for the Able Gamers charity.

You may not know Steven Spohn – though you absolutely should, and we’ll get to that in a minute – but you probably do know Ryan Reynolds. He’s a big Hollywood superstar. You’ve probably seen him hawking Aviation Gin and in such movies as The In-Laws, Green Lantern, and playing Wade ‘Deadpool’ Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

(We’re kidding, Ryan. We think you’re great. You totally redeemed Deadpool and you’re easily the second-best actor to ever voice Pikachu.)

Right, anyway, that’s the Hollywood bloke out the way. Now let’s get onto the really interesting guy: Steven Spohn.

Steven is the founder and chief operating officer of Able Gamers, a global charity that champions accessible gaming. He’s won prestigious awards for his positive contribution to the video game industry, developed numerous accessible controller options and contributed to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and has consulted on accessibility options for numerous games. He’s a powerful voice in this industry and you really need to know who he is. He’s brilliant, and we need more people like Steven.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Steven tweeted the following:

And to be honest, we forgot about it. The only “famous” people we know are game developers, and we had a feeling that wasn’t exactly what Steven had in mind for extended outreach for Able Gamers, so we didn’t really give it any more thought.

Then today, imagine our surprise when we saw the following tweet on Steven’s account:

That is big Hollywood celebrity actor man Ryan Reynolds going into bat for Steven Spohn and Able Gamers, which is amazing to see. Well done to everyone involved, it’s quite the collaboration. (We’re also reliably informed that Ryan still hasn’t blinked.)

You can find out more about Able Gamers – and, of course, donate to the cause – on the Able Gamers website.

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Four more games added to the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle

There’s over $300 of cool stuff in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle.

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humble double fine 20th anniversary bundle
Double Fine / Humble

Update: August 6, 2020

Four additional games have been added to the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle. They’re in the “pay more than the average” tier and we’ve added them into the list below.

Original story: July 30, 2020

There’s over $300 of cool stuff in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle.

We love Double Fine. Don’t you? Everybody does. They just seem like a really good bunch, so it’s heartening to see the developer and publisher celebrating its 20th anniversary.

In order to help you all get in a celebratory mood, Double Fine has teamed up with charity bundle flinger Humble to bring you the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle. In it, you’ll get games (and more) from Double Fine’s 20-year history. Yes, it’s exactly as the name suggests.

Highlights include, of course, the wonderful Psychonauts, and Double Fine’s classic remastered adventures, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Those four games are worth the price of admission alone.

But there’s more: Brütal Legend! Massive Chalice! Gang Beasts! Costume Chest! Gnog! Everything! (That’s the game, Everything, not literally everything. Though you do get quite a lot in this bundle.) Plus a whole bunch of soundtracks and the three Amnesia Fortnight events, which include videos recounting Double Fine’s legendary game jams, and all of the prototypes that were produced.

Here’s everything (including Everything) that’s included in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle.

Everything in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle

Pay £0.79 or more to unlock

  • Psychonauts
  • Double Fine Adventure! Complete Series – Deluxe Edition
  • Amnesia Fortnight 2012
  • Amnesia Fortnight 2014
  • Amnesia Fortnight 2017

Bonuses in £0.79 tier

  • Gnog Soundtrack
  • 140 Soundtrack
  • Thoth Soundtrack
  • Everything Soundtrack
  • Escape Goat 2 Soundtrack
  • Gang Beasts Soundtrack
  • Grim Fandango Remastered Soundtrack

Pay more than the average (currently around £6.22) to also unlock

  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • Broken Age
  • Brütal Legend
  • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
  • Massive Chalice
  • Costume Quest
  • Iron Brigade – new!
  • Stacking – new!
  • Hack ‘n’ Slash – new!
  • Spacebase DF9 – new!

Pay £7 or more to also unlock

  • Rad
  • Gnog
  • 140
  • Thoth
  • Mountain
  • Everything
  • Escape Goat 2
  • Gang Beasts
  • Kids
  • Full Throttle Remastered
  • Grim Fandango Remastered
  • Headlander

Bonuses in £7 tier

  • 1 Month Free of Humble Choice for New Subscribers

The Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle is on sale right now and runs for the next fortnight. It ends on Thursday, August 13, at 7pm BST. And as ever with Humble bundles, the money raised all goes to worthwhile charities.


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

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Wilmot’s Warehouse is free on the Epic Games Store

Wilmot’s Warehouse and game dev-focused “playable sitcom,” 3 out of 10, are free on the Epic Games store.

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Wilmot’s Warehouse - Epic Game Store

Wilmot’s Warehouse and game dev-focused “playable sitcom,” 3 out of 10, are free on the Epic Games store.

Wilmot’s Warehouse is this week’s headliner as people have played it and know what it is. The puzzle game, which tasks players with “keeping a warehouse running in tip-top shape,” released last summer to positive reviews. So, check that out if you haven’t.

Wilmot’s Warehouse - Epic Game Store

But, what I’m personally intrigued by is 3 Out of 10. This is the first episode, titled “Welcome to Shovelworks,” of a series that plans to release new, free installments each week through September 3. It’s a wacky workplace comedy that splits its runtime between animated story-focused sections and varied gameplay. The action follows a team at a game studio who, you guessed it, aren’t that great at making games. It just vaulted to the top of my list of games I want to check out in 2020.

What seems smartest about this release is the planned launch schedule. Episodic games often get bogged down in protracted development cycles. For example, I loved Life is Strange 2, but had to wait over a year to see the story’s conclusion. If developer Terrible Posture Games, Inc. — creators of Mothergunship — really manage to get all five episodes out in under a month, they’ll be blazing new trails in the episodic games space.

Both Wilmot’s Warehouse and 3 Out of 10 are featured through next Thursday, August 13. And, now that these games are up for grabs, Epic has lifted the curtain on next week’s freebies. Remnant from the Ashes, a Soulslike with Gears-style third-person shooting, and The Alto Collection, which includes Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey, will be free next Thursday.

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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