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Digital Outburst Reload | Gaming SitRep 18/12/16

Digital Outburst Reload | Gaming SitRep 18/12/16
Carl 'Malkaurai' Phillips

It’s time for another episode of the Digital Outburst Reload, your weekly round-up of the latest gaming news – be it the exciting, the ridiculous, or the completely irrelevant – and a heads-up of the upcoming releases along with incoming content here on Digital Outburst.

If something we covered has piqued your interested you can find links providing more information in the headlines below!

Featured News

Yooka-Laylee gets a release date, but not for the Wii U

After months of development and a small delay, Yooka-Laylee finally has a release date. The spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie will be available from April 11th on PS4, Xbox One and PC, but we’ve got some bad news for those who were looking forward to playing it on the Wii U – that version has been canned. Completely. In a statement made on their official website, Playtonic Games explained that “unforeseen technical issues” meant that the game couldn’t be released “as initially planned.”

Backers of last year’s Kickstarter who were hoping to play Yooka-Laylee on Ninty’s home console now have three choices – change their platform of choice, email Playtonic for a full refund, or wait for announcement regarding the Nintendo Switch. Details of the move to Nintendo’s next device will arrive in “early 2017.”

Hmmm. “Unforeseen technical issues.” That sure is a funny way of saying “it’s a dead console, let it rest in peace already.”

The early bird gets the Nintendo Switch details

Speaking of the Switch, Nintendo’s next console had already set the date of January 13th for the next influx of (intended) details. We now have a time, though – 4AM GMT. Ugh. It’s certainly not what UK fans were hoping for, but no doubt the hardcore fans (and gaming press) will be ready to jump all over every single morsel of confirmed info they can get their hands on.

And who can blame them – it’s all every exciting.

Turtle Rock’s next game to be a “dark fantasy” co-op title

It looks like Turtle Rock Studios have wasted no time in moving on from Evolve, having spilled a few beans on their next project. In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, Turtle Rock co-founder Phil Robb mentioned that his team are currently working on a “heart-pounding moment-to-moment online co-op FPS” game. Sounds familiar so far, but Robb goes on to clarify that it won’t be another Left 4 Dead.

“There will be plenty of baddies to shoot up, but it’s not a ‘zombie game’ or anything post apocalyptic,” he said before giving the only clue on what the game will be about – “What we can say right now is there’s a strong dark fantasy element to it.”

So, Vermintide then. Gotcha.

The only other important detail from the interview is that the game will be published by Perfect World, the publisher currently handling Neverwinter Online and Star Trek Online. Robb also sings the praises of the Free-To-Play business model, so it looks increasingly likely that their next game will be F2P as well.

Improbable partner with Google to bring SpacialOS to the world

It’s one of the single most exciting developments in large scale multiplayer development, and last week it got an even bigger push. SpacialOS – the platform that allows thousands of players to play together in a persistent game world with true-to-life physics and advanced AI routines – will be made more readily available to qualified developers. It’s all thanks to a new partnership between SpacialOS’ creators at UK-based start-up company Improbable and something called Google, which allows most if not all the costs for the cloud computing needed to be subsidized.

SpacialOS is already being used with a few in-development games, including Worlds Adrift and ambitious crowd-funded MMORPG Chronicles of Elyria, but this new partnership should open the doors to smaller developers to give the technology a whirl. More importantly, it should allow larger companies a chance to do something utterly ridiculous with their gaming worlds.

DualShock 4 API support now native to Steam

It’s only been a few months since it was announced, but the DualShock 4 controller now officially works with Steam. This means that PC gamers will be able to customise the mapping options for the PlayStation 4 input device, including its trackpad and gyro sensors. This is only the first step in Valve’s plan to get everything compatible with Steam, but it’s a huge move considering the popularity of the latest DualShock controller.

And by that I mean “just be glad it isn’t the DualShock 3.”

Battlezone gets a classic makeover in free update

PlayStation VR owners with a copy of Battlezone are in for a bit of a festive treat. Rebellion have announced that on December 20th Battlezone will be getting a free update with Classic Mode. An homage to the original game of the 1980’s, the tanks and environments are once again in neon green wireframes, but that’s not the only throwback. The “twin track” controls are also back, allowing gamers to recreate the classic experience, although you can use the modern controls if you prefer.

Not that we would judge you for taking the easy way out. No sir,

New Game Plus heading to Dishonored…

Those of you itching to replay Dishonored 2 and start the supernatural slaying all over again will be able to do so in style from next week. Bethesda and Arkane Studios have announced that New Game Plus will be added from December 19th, but it’s not just a case of being able to play through with all your acquire powers. The new mode will also allow you to pick and choose between both Corvo and Emily’s abilities. So, if you much preferred Blink to Far Reach but feel life isn’t worth living with Domino, you’re now in luck.

… and New Game Plus ALSO heading to Final Fantasy XV!

That’s not all, as those with Final Fantasy XV looking to go through it all again (for Prompto’s photos, obviously – the story, not so much) will be able to do so from December 22nd. In addition to starting over with all their Ascension board progress, players will also get some freebies thrown in as part of the Holiday Pack. This includes some items that alter the gameplay in a few interesting ways, but the clear highlight is the Carnival Passport that “whisks the bearer away to a fun-filled carnival for a limited time.”

I am so all over that.

Season Pass holders will also get some extra times to ease up on the AP grind, extra photo frames for Prompto to use, and an item that increases the drop rate of rare items.

Requiescat in pace, weird-face

And finally, it’s time to say farewell to the stupidest video gaming viral of the year. A randomly generated face that could appear in the Sequence 1, Memory 1 of Assassin’s Creed 2 has been patched out of the Ezio Collection on PS4 and Xbox One. It should mean he will no longer haunt your dreams, unless you decide to replay the game on PS3 and Xbox 360, in which case there’s a chance he might pop up again in all his buggy-eyed glory.

Upcoming Releases

Wild Guns Reloaded – PS4
20/12/16

The week kicks off with one hell of a blast from the past, as Wild Guns gets a re-release on the PlayStation 4. It’s not just a simple graphical upgrade for modern resolutions, though, as new characters, enemies, and stages are being developed by the original team that made the game back in 1994. Best of all, the co-op mode returns for up to 4 players. Hopefully it plays just as well as the original did, making it a worthwhile consideration if you want a co-op title to play over Christmas (provided you have the controllers, of course.)

The Walking Dead Season 3 – PC, PS4, XO, PS3, X360, iOS, Droid
20/12/16

The long awaited third season of The Walking Dead arrives just in time for Christmas, meaning players can enjoy the feelings of suffering and anguish over the season of goodwill. Clementine is joined by newcomer Javier to provide two playable perspectives this season, which is reportedly nearing the current timeline of the comics. There’s even word of familiar faces popping up throughout as well. Hopefully, Telltale will have sorted out the issues with its revamped game engine’s performance on PC to match the polished visuals.

Freebies

Resident Evil 7 demo – PC
19/12/16

PC gamers finally get to sample the absolutely terrifying world of Resident Evil 7 next week. The demo gives a taste of the first person gameplay of the full game, setting up the events of the storyline which promises to return to the series’ roots. It’s a great way of deciding if the horror-filed rural mansion is where you want to be going when the full game releases next month.

NieR: Automata demo – PS4
22/12/16

Finally, PlayStation 4 gamers can sample the upcoming NieR: Automata next week. The collaboration between Square Enix and Platinum Games has looked increasingly promising ever since it was announced last year. There are high expectations of this one, as it looks to blend the action combat Platinum are known for along with the RPG elements of its previous instalment. So, if fighting as a combat android to reclaim Earth piques your interest you may as well give the demo a whirl.

ICYMI…

And that’s it for this week’s Reload, and for our weekly updates in 2017! As always, if you have any questions or feedback be sure to let us know in the comments below. We’ll be back next year with more (and a return to video, hopefully) so stay tuned!