Weekly

Kylo Ben Weekly #1746

#weekly

Game Releases

Notable game releases coming this week include:

14th November

  • L.A. Noire (Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
  • Rime (Switch)
  • Rocket League (Switch)

17th November

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Switch) (for a ridiculous £50)
  • Pokémon Ultra Sun / Moon (3DS)
  • Star Wars Battlefront II (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

Watch Dogs is available for free on PC until 13th November if you register with the UPlay service. [link]

Upcoming Games

The VR version of L.A. Noire has been delayed from an unspecified date in November (likely to be with the console releases this week) to an unspecified date in December. [link]

In "well of course they are" news, IO Interactive confirmed that it is working on a new Hitman game (likely a season 2 to the recent game) but there are no details except that they'll begin talking about it at some point in 2018. [link]

Kickstarter nostalgia game ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove has been delayed from 2017 to 2018. The announcement was made in a pretty decent trailer voiced by the "Honest Trailers" guy. [link]

I'm a big fan of the Railroad Tycoon games so was excited to hear that Railway Empire will be ready to leave the development station on 26th January on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. It's from the same developers as the popular Dungeons and Tropico series. If you purchase it now on Steam (where it is discounted by 15%) then you get access to a beta version now along with the soundtrack. [link]

DLC and Updates

The season pass content for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus unlocked this week with the first of four episodic releases becoming available. The first is titled 'The Zero Chronicles' and is a prequel of sorts to the remaining 3 episodes which all focus on superhero-like characters. In the same update, multiple PC bugs were fixed and the Xbox One X gained support for native 4K visuals via a dynamic scaler but alas no HDR. [link]

The three-part season pass for Little Nightmares received its second piece of content this week with 'The Hideaway'. You'll play as the Runaway Kid from the first expansion and be looking to rescue and uncover the secrets of the Nomes. There is apparently a central hub-like area allowing you to "have more freedom for exploration". [link]

5th December will see console patches land for Destiny 2 that add HDR along with "adaptive 4K" for the PS4 Pro and "4K" for the Xbox One X. This coincides with the release of the 'Curse of Osiris' DLC and the start of the second quarterly season. I hope that these "pro" consoles aren't always going to have to wait several months for patches to unlock their higher frame rates and textures, especially when there is already a PC version of the game. [link]

Nintendo have added a new quest to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which unlocks a set of armour in order to promote Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The same free update also adds support for the Champion's Ballard amiibo which are now available although there is still no release date beyond "this year" for the highly anticipated expansion. [link]

Four years after its release, Total War: Rome 2 is getting a "grand-scale" campaign pack named 'Empire Divided'. It includes 10 playable factions across five different cultures. It'll be available on 30th November along with a free patch that overhauls the game's political system. [link]

Rocket League are continuing to add new goal explosions with the release of a Batman-themed one, only available to Batmobile DLC owners, on 14th November to coincide with the Switch release of the game. It was originally used in the trailer for the Batmobile pack but was just a special effect; now that they support custom explosions they decided to add it to the game properly. Sadly, you can only equip the explosion to the Batmobile. [link]

Reviews

I reviewed South Park: The Fractured But Whole last week. One of my conclusions was "this is definitely not just an expansion to the first game but it doesn't quite feel like it has grown enough to be a true sequel either". [link]

Hardware

Intel and AMD are teaming up for the first time in over 30 years to produce a laptop chip to try and stop Nvidia's lead. The chips are aimed squarely at gamers but AMD will continue to produce its Ryzen chips aimed at all laptop use cases. [link]

Samsung has revealed that its previously announced GDDR6 memory is running faster than expected. Designed to compete against 10Gbps GDDR5, the version revealed last year ran at 14Gbps but is now running at an impressive 16Gbps. As a basic example, that means it can transfer 12 DVDs of information per second all whilst using less power! It'll begin arriving next year. [link]

Once again Nintendo is planning on increasing production on the Switch as it continues to sell out as quickly as it is produced. They are now aiming for 25-30 million consoles to be produced next year but they may increase that further depending on sales during the Christmas period. [link]

There was a lot of excitement last week when the support page on Nintendo's European website suddenly had manuals for 19 of arguably some of the best games on the Nintendo 64 continuing speculation that an N64 classic edition might be coming soon. Turns out they are just the list of N64 games released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in Europe. [link]

Nvidia are set to release two Star Wars branded versions of the Titan Xp on 17th November. You can choose between a Jedi Order card with green lighting and a corroded aluminium shroud (I quite like it) or a polished black card with red lighting for the Galactic Empire. They cost $1200, the same as the Collector's Edition Titan Xp. [link]

Amazon UK had some issues with the Xbox One X launch when a number of customers who pre-ordered back in August (including me) were notified on the morning of the launch that they weren't getting their console that day (whlist some who ordered a few days prior to release got theirs). Cue a lot of very annoyed customers on Twitter, many of whom had taken the day off work. I received my Project Scorpio version the next day and got an unexpected £20 Amazon credit a few days later by way of apology - I hadn't complained so assume this is just happening to everyone who had a console delay. [link]

Once my Xbox One X arrived, I ran some tests against my Xbox One S to see how the HDD has improved for loading times but also to compare it to an external SSD. As expected, the internal HDD has got faster (in most cases) but more unexpectedly my same external SSD was around 30% quicker than it was when used with the Xbox One S. [link]

Elgato is now taking pre-orders for its previously announced 4K60 Pro that can, as the name suggests, capture content at 60fps in 4K. It costs $400/£360 and will be fully released on 21st November. [link]

Business

Electronic Arts has acquired Respawn Entertainment for $151 million in cash and $164 million in long-term equity. Respawn are currently working on a new Titanfall game, an untitled game in the Star Wars universe, and a FPS for the Oculus Rift. They will allegedly maintain their culture and creative freedom whilst gaining resources for long term success. Hopefully they'll also learn not to release an FPS on the same date as 2 other bigger franchises next time. [link]

Take Two Interactive, the publisher of GTA V and many other games, have said they want to put "recurrent consumer spending" (read "microtransactions") in all of their titles going forward. This isn't surprising, but it is frustrating. I hope this kind of bullshit doesn't ruin Red Dead Redemption 2. [link]

Telltale Games, the studio behind episodic story-based quick time event games The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and more have announced a 25% staff layoff that will affect 90 employees. It is not expected to affect the release date of any previously announced titles. [link]

Meanwhile, Ubisoft have seen sales for Assassin's Creed: Origins go up 100% over the previous title, Syndicate. It seems that the strategy of having a years break between releases in the series has paid off. I'm certainly enjoying my time with the game currently. [link]

And Finally...

Twitch is partnering with Chess.com to grow chess as an "online spectator sport". [link]

The Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account is famous for its snark but it went a step further this week by wading into the loot box controversy with Sonic Horses, "a series of RNG lockboxes". [link]

In a similar vein, the recently released South Park: Phone Destroyer mobile game (with IAP up to £80) has a disclaimer at the start telling you not to play it due to the IAP. [link]