Hello and welcome to The Reload, your weekly recap of the big video games stories from the last seven days, along with a head-up of what’s happening over the coming week.
Unfortunately, there’s no video version this week thanks to a catastrophic hard drive failure. Fear not, though – I’ve managed to put together a text-based version so you’re not left high and dry on the latest gaming happenings. As always, you can hit the links in the titles to find out more about the featured news if anything has piqued your interest. So, without any further ado, here’s what happened…
The release of Final Fantasy XV saw the Square Enix publicity machine go into overdrive last week, and that included a special livestream for the Japanese audience. While it gave one last look at the game before it finally reached the hands of long-waiting fans, it also did something special by adding Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda in as a secret Lvl. 99 boss. The sequence even included specially recorded dialogue from main character Noctis, as well as the Squeenix supremo harnessing a magical blade, a tommy gun, and lazer eyes. Best of all, it’s since been confirmed that he will be making his way to the full game as DLC in the future.
So, the next time Squeenix do something stupid prepare yourselves for thousands of YouTube videos of people screaming abuse at their TV screens whilst they fight him. Yeah, you know I’m right, and it will be horrendous.
Darksiders Warmastered Edition released on PC last week, but those of you with a copy of the original game in your library are in for a special treat – you’ve got access to the remastered version free of charge! The news was confirmed by publisher THQ Nordic on Tuesday, giving those who have previously played the game a reason to take War through his battle against heaven and hell once more.
It also means that the £4 I paid for the THQ Humble Bundle back in 2012 just got even more packed with value. Mmmmm delicious.
If you were looking for a reason to never log off Facebook, we’ve just found one. Facebook have started rolling out an update where classic arcade games are playable through its Messenger app. It’s all thanks to the HTML5 tech that’s now included, and means users can compete over high scores in titles like Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
You know what’s depressing? This officially makes Facebook Messenger, with its 1 billion users, the most popular gaming platform. But hey, there’s stop hope for blockbuster AAA titles, right? Right?!
After nearly a two-month-long investigation, the Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that No Man’s Sky did not mislead consumers with the screenshots and trailers used on the Steam Store page. As explained in the full report, Hello Games’ defence was that all of the content featured in the images, such as gigantic dinosaurs and large-scale space battles, were possible to find but were rate because of the procedurally generated nature of its game. Evidence of it all occurring in-game was presented to the ASA, and thus the investigation was closed. As you might expect, complainants on the internet are not happy with the ruling, with some already planning to take the issue further up the chain at the ASA.
Oh Hello Games. You’ll never win, because this is the internet and people are too easily swayed by hype and the thirst to play everything first. Idiots… ooh, that reminds me I need to put down a pre-order for Persona 5 RIGHT NOW.
After months of great giveaways of classic games on PC, Ubisoft is ending its Ubi30 promotion by offering Assassin’s Creed 3. All you need to do is head over to the Ubisoft Club website from December 7th to claim you copy. Of course, there have been cries that the giveaway is ending with a whimper because of how divisive the game was, but seeing as it’s free I think we can all relax a little and get on with our lives.
Not to mention that it’s a great way to remind ourselves how wonderful Haytham Kenway is. Mmmm. He’s just the most delightful gentleman, isn’t he?
In not-so-surprising news, Ninja Theory have announced that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will miss its intended 2017 release window and has now slipped into next year. In a development diary posted on YouTube, it was explained that the team had suffered setbacks after another project was cancelled, and their development timeline shifted when they began working with Epic Games on improving motion capture techniques. It was also noted that a lack of publisher meant that things were going slower, but that their action game, that deals with mental illness, will be a much more intimate, personal project as a result.
And I for one have faith in them because – and I don’t care who knows – I rate Heavenly Sword. There, I said it. Boo-yah. (Yes, I realise nobody says boo-yah these days NO YOU’RE NOT COOL ANYMORE.)
Fresh from his cameo in the absolutely bonkers Death Stranding trailer which debuted at The Game Awards, famed director Guillermo Del Toro got rather blunt on Twitter. His post immediately after the video aired contained an embed of the trailer with the quote “F**K KONAMI” added by the man himself. He later explained his outburst in a second tweet, stating that “Konami cancelling [Silent Hills] after [the] PT [demo] is one of the most moronic things I’ve ever witnessed.”
[Whilst clapping] Oh bravo, Mr Del Toro. Show those Konami mofos where to go… oh no, I’m freestyle rapping again. This can only end badly…
Speaking of The Game Awards, the show was the usual blend of great and terrible trying to imitate a legitimate awards show, but there were some stand-out highlights.
- Hideo Kojima finally got his Industry Icon award after being barred from attending last year’s event (because F**k Konami)
- Developer Ryan Green delivered an absolutely heartfelt acceptance speech after winning the Games for Impact award for That Dragon, Cancer (which was immediately followed by a live advert for a bloody shaving razer. Yeah, great timing there, Keighley)
- Nolan North’s acceptance speech for Best Performance heaped praise on game developers who he felt were more deserving than him (only for certain parts of the internet to call him right-wing because they’re f**king morons who completely missed his point.)
However, the Game of the Year award was deservedly won by team-based shooter Overwatch, having gone from strength to strength since its launch earlier this year. Hopefully you can watch the entire thing on YouTube now, providing the copyright strike on it – which removed the audio from the 2-hour-long show – has now been lifted. Oh, YouTube, you ridiculous and unreliable scamp.
The Last Guardian – PS4
After a nine year wait, The Last Guardian finally hits the shelves this week. The puzzle-platformer from Team ICO is the PS4’s big marquee release for the Christmas season, in which players assume the role of a young boy who has a giant flying dog-like creature as a companion. Early previews have been somewhat mixed, with a few even stating that it feels like a PS2-era game. That said, considering how beloved ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are, maybe that’s not such a bad thing? We’ll know for sure next week.
Dead Rising 4 – XO, PC
Meanwhile, Xbox One and PC owners are getting a game that’s pretty much the exact opposite in tone. Dead Rising 4 sees the return of Frank West, this time stomping and photographing his way through a Christmas-themed mall full of the undead. Unlike previous games in the series there’s no timer to worry about, but the co-op now has its own separate mode away from the main campaign. Chances are it will be more of the same, so provided fans can get over the fact Frank’s voice is completely different they’ll be right at home with this one.
Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One X-Wing VR Mission – PSVR
PS4 owners with a PlayStation VR and a copy of Battlefront will be getting a second exclusive X-Wing VR mission, this time based on the upcoming Rogue One movie. Word is that it’s a substantial piece of content, so it’s definitely one to check out if you own the hardware and want live out one of the most critical missions in the Star Wars saga.
Space Hulk: Deathwing – PC, PS4, XO
Finally, those of you after some horde-based co-op might want to take a look at Space Hulk: Deathwing. Based on the popular Warhammer 40K board game, players take the role of Space Marines sent to explore and scavenge one of the gargantuan floating graveyards for precious loot… provided they aren’t ripped to shreds by Genestealers. Unfortunately, word from the beta is that there’s still plenty of work to be done on this one, with many of the game’s features feeling dates or unbalanced, along with the fact there isn’t any persistent progression system. In other words, it might be best to hold off until the developers drop a much needed patch.
- Back of the net | The genius of FIFA 17’s Free Weekend
- Uncharted Worlds | Why I’m finally ready to be hyped for Mass Effect Andromeda
And that’s it for this week’s Reload!
If you have any feedback or questions for me regarding anything, do be sure to post a comment below (and who knows, I might respond to it when the videos are back up and running next week!)