We’re about one month away from E3 right now, and while most companies will inevitably be on lockdown for some of their biggest reveals, there’s still a smorgasbord of key news to tuck into before the main course. This week, zombies are still officially a thing in Call of Duty, Overwatch embraces its charitable side, and the SNES gets an actual new game.
Here are 13 of the biggest gaming stories of the week!
Ninty is jumping on the whole paid-for online bandwagon later this year for Switch, with part of the package now confirmed to include Cloud saves. Frankly it’s a bit baffling that we have to pay for something that should have been included since day one, but obviously that didn’t stop Sony. Sadly, there’s no Virtual Console either; instead, the Big N is offering a bunch of classic NES games (20 in total) for launch, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda. It’ll cost $20 per month.
Zombies are a thing for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, although frankly that’s to be expected by now. After all, Treyarch are the ones responsible for ushering in the undead apocalypse for the multi-million selling shooter franchise, so they’re hardly going to dump it -- not when it continues to prove a major stomping ground for players. Presumably they’ll be pushing the narrative envelope this time around, as past games have made more of an effort to integrate some sort of story into the mix.
It turns out that reports of The Witcher TV show’s death were greatly exaggerated. While there’s no casting details yet, a bunch of writers recently got together for a good knees up, chatted about the project, hired some new talent, and most probably got wasted on copious amounts of champagne. Now it’s time to start thinking about who would make a decent Geralt, right?
While DICE is keeping quiet on that rumoured Battle Royale mode, it’s at least good to know that Battlefield 5 isn’t going to be making any controversial decisions regarding its campaign. Unlike Call of Duty 4: Black Ops 4, apparently….
Having been delayed to a vague early 2019 slot, EA confirmed this week that Anthem has been nudged into Mass Effect’s usual March release window. Apart from giving us another reason to dip into our wallets in Q1 next year, this basically means the game is in time to fill the publisher’s coffers for the tail-end of its current financial year. No pressure, then.
We’re getting the annual PES a little earlier this year, with 2019’s edition -- featuring Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho on the cover -- arriving in late August. David Beckham graces the special edition cover, and Konami’s promising a pitch full of new features for its footy follow-up, including enhanced visuals, new physics, and a revamped myClub mode.
Microsoft has been keeping mum on Xbox One figures for a while now, but EA’s shed a little light on why that possibly is: it’s apparently not sold all that great. In fact, the publisher claims it’s moved less than half the number of PS4s as of late 2017, putting it at just under 30 million. What’s going on, Microsoft?
Walmart reckons there’s going to be a Rage 2. In fact, while we’re at it, Walmart thinks there’s a Forza Horizon 5 (because why not just skip 4 for the hell of it?). Bethesda isn’t saying yay or nay to the sequel, but did respond in the best possible way by giving the retail giant some tips on how to display a listing for an unannounced game. They even revamped their Rage Twitter account in the process. It’s pure gold. Something does appear to be happening though, as evidenced by further tweets the following day.
Battlefield 1 players are pretty tenacious buggers, and just a bit talented to boot. They’ve cracked a particularly tricky Easter egg hidden by DICE in the depths of the WW1 shooter, which involved listening to morse code from the sound of dripping water. In short? It all points to a website featuring the expected reveal date for Battlefield 5 -- May 23/
This could have been a great move. Google has revised its policies for those intrusive autoplaying ads, so that while they will still be a thing, they won’t feature any sound. Unfortunately, the update also buggered up the sound in a host of web-based game, and needless to say the creators are suitably miffed. Here’s hoping it gets fixed pretty sharpish.
Someone in the US bought a copy of Sonic 2 brand new on Game Gear last month, so why shouldn’t the SNES get a new game in 2018? Mega Cat Studios’ latest effort is just that. It’s actually pretty cool, as it not only revolves around the crunch of development, but all profits will go to Take This: a charity that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues within the gaming industry.
Sony’s annual E3 festivities will be taking place around the same time as always, although this year the hardware giant will be giving things a bit of an overhaul. Rather than a barrage of announcements, the console maker is instead focusing on four major games: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man, and The Last of us Part 2. We’re still expecting third-party bombshells, although it’s clear things will be a little different for 2018.
Anthem is pretty much BioWare’s own version of Destiny in the sense it’s a massive connected world where players are encouraged to team up to tackle objectives and shoot things in the face. Having said that, the studio is still keen to point out that those who prefer doing stuff on their lonesome won’t be forced into multiplayer experiences, though we probably all know that, like Destiny, it’s going not going to be anywhere near as fun going solo.