New Games & Hardware

Edition 31 - July 5th to July 11th

Good morning gamers. Add that to the list of weekends that simply weren’t long enough. 

Last week, PlayStation showed off some awesome new games at their state of play event. Meanwhile, Ubisoft has restructured their Assassin’s Creed studios and have an exciting new project in development. Let’s also see if the new Nintendo Switch OLED is worth it. Sit down for this one, you’re not going to want to miss it.

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PlayStation - State of Play 

Last week's PlayStation State of Play event didn’t include any new details on the highly anticipated God of War: Ragnarok of Horizon Forbidden West games but it did give fans more information on some other amazing titles making their way to PlayStation in the near future. Here’s what you missed. 

Deathloop was the forefront of the event despite being the last game showed. Fans got a brand new trailer and 9-minutes of never-before-seen gameplay. This upcoming action-adventure shooter developed by Arkane Studios is finally launching on September 14 exclusively for PS5 and PC. 

Death Stranding is getting a “Director’s Cut” release on September 24. The updated Hideo Kojima title will include a performance mode to support 60 FPS and ultra-wide displays in HDR. The new and additional content was built from the ground up and includes new battle mechanics (a firing range, cargo catapult etc.), new campaign missions and a racing mode. Existing PS4 copy owners can upgrade for $10. 

Sifu, the new kung-fu game by Sloclap got a brand-new trailer but the release date was also delayed until early 2022. The gameplay trailer revealed a new “aging mechanic” where your character gets older everytime he is defeated in combat. Players keep their strength as they age but will have to restart their mission once their character dies.

Lost Judgement, the upcoming addition to the Yakuza spin-off series will offer free next-gen upgrades for PS4 and Xbox One owners. The new “investigative action trailer” focused on the game’s investigative gameplay showing action scenes filled with crazy movements, multiple fighting scenes and some skateboard racing. The game is set to release on September 24, and the Digital Ultimate Version comes with a story expansion.

Arcadegeddon is a loot-driven, cooperative shooter where players can either play horde or pvp game modes. The game can be played solo or with up to three friends on PS5 and PC. Arcadegeddon is set to release in 2022 but early access is available now. 

Those were the biggest updates from the event but some other notable announcements include Moss Book 2 coming to PSVR, Tribes of Midgard Season 1: The Wolf Saga launching July 27, Hunter’s Arena Legends coming to PS4 and PS5 next month and Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles coming to North America later this year. 

Ubisoft - Assassin’s Creed Infinity

Ubisoft announced last week that a live-service Assassin’s Creed game codenamed “Assassin’s Creed Infinity” is in the early development stages and has a projected release date after 2024.

Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec will now function within a cross-studio structure that will collaborate on Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Ubisoft said that working from home during the pandemic allowed them to reflect on how they produce games.

According to Jason Schreier of Bloomberg, the game will be set in a massive world with multiple historical settings that will expand and evolve over time, and it will connect future games. It is inspired by games such as GTA Online and Fortnite, where everything is connected while simultaneously feeling and looking different.

Ubisoft closed out their announcement by saying "rather than continuing to pass the baton from game to game, we profoundly believe this is an opportunity for one of Ubisoft’s most beloved franchises to evolve in a more integrated and collaborative manner".

Nintendo - Switch OLED

Nintendo has officially revealed the Switch OLED model which will be launching on October 8. Unfortunately, this was not the hardware upgrade that Switch fans were hoping for. We all expected the release of the Nintendo Switch Pro. 

Nintendo Switch OLED model will cost $349.99 (MSRP). The OLED model is an upgraded Switch version which includes a vibrant 7-inch OLED screen, 64GB of internal storage, a wide adjustable stand, a dock with a wired LAN port and enhanced audio. The upgraded Switch comes in both a white and neon red/blue set, and is compatible with all existing joy-con controllers and Nintendo Switch games. The Negative part of this upgrade is that the Nintendo Switch OLED model has the same internals and battery life of existing models. 

Metroid Dread is set to be released on the same day as the Nintendo Switch OLED model. According to Benji-Sales, the Metroid franchise is not considered a big seller for Nintendo, but the game seems to be the focus of the marketing for the OLED.

Esports Corner

Crypto and Esports 

Esports tournament organizer ESL Gaming has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to become the official crypto partner for key ESL events for the rest of the 2021 season and in 2022. ESL Director of Global Brand Partnerships Eli McCarrel said that it’s a partnership “between two like-minded companies at the forefront of technology” while Coinbase Brand Director Eryn Alexander thinks that the crypto economy is on a “similar trajectory” to that of the ESL. The partnership will also see them both collaborate on unique content activations across CS:GO, StarCraft 2 and Warcraft 3.  

Super Records

The Smash Bros. competitive scene has had its ups and downs over the last few years but Beyond the Summit just set a new Smash Esports prize pool record by officially announcing that the Smash Summit 11 prize pool has surpassed $140,000. This is the first time that a Super Smash Bros. event has broken the $100,000 threshold and it’s because of a crowdfunding effort by tournament organizers. The community was able to vote for their favorite player and streamer by spending money on merch and special side events. 

Event Overload

Summer is usually quite a busy time for major Esport events and last week’s updates did not disappoint.

  • The International 10 will now be hosted in Bucharest, Romania between October 7 and October 17 in the Arena Nationala. This change comes just weeks after the Swedish Tourism Board rejected the previously scheduled plans.

  • The Call of Duty League announced that they will be returning to LAN for this month’s Stage 5 Major. Fans will be permitted to attend the event, but masks are required.

  • Eight Valorant teams have qualified for the first NA VCT Stage 3: Challengers One event. The 8 teams are, 100 Thieves, Envy, Gen.G, Kansas City Pioneers, Rise, Sentinels, Version1 and XSET.

This Week in Esports

Game Review - Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III is an action role playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco. It is the final instalment in the Dark Souls trilogy and it originally released in 2016 but has since had a 60 FPS upgrade on next-gen consoles with Xbox publishing the upgrade just a few days ago. This gave the game a much needed performance boost and it looks phenomenal.  This game is meant to be frustrating, it is designed to be challenging. Dying a lot is what makes Dark Souls III so good.  It makes you want to keep trying until you beat the boss, and especially now with the better graphics, it’s even more addicting. We give Dark Souls III a score of A.

Gaming Roundup

  • According to VGC’s Andy Robinson, Konami is reportedly set to make PES 2022 “properly free-to-play”. PES did not release a game this year while migrating to Unreal Engine. PES 2022 will release on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S later this year.

  • At Nacon Connect, Teyon the developer behind Terminator Resistance released the trailer for RoboCop: Rogue City. The GPS game is based on the original RoboCop Trilogy and is coming to consoles and PC in 2023.

  • Last week, Niantic Labs celebrated the 5th anniversary of Pokémon Go, it was released on July 6, 2016. Everyone’s favourite mobile augmented reality game has now surpassed $5 billion in lifetime revenue.

  • The Pokémon Company has announced that they’re opening a Pokémon-themed nature park in Japan called Pokémon Wonder. Visitors will be able to search for Pokémon in real-world forest settings similar to Pokémon Snap.

  • The animated Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness series is now streaming on Netflix. The 4-part series has Leon and Claire find themselves consumed by a dark conspiracy when a viral attacker ravages the White House.

  • The Witcher 3 is getting a next generation update for the PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC later this year. The update will feature some free DLCs inspired by the Netflix series. Netflix’s The Witcher Season 2 will premiere on December 17.

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