By: Ryan Jenkins & Imran Chaudhry
To keep our readers up to date on the latest news, we’ve rounded up this weeks’ top gaming articles (listed below), for your viewing pleasure. These include the latest releases, downloadable content on existing games and recent developments on long awaited titles.
1. PS Plus June Free Games
PlayStation has had an interestingly mixed line up for it’s monthly free games for PS Plus subscribers, from new games like Drawn To Death, indie classics like Abzu and some other obscure and questionable titles. However, June’s line up seems to be a game changer, with two critically acclaimed titles taking the lead; Life is Strange and Killing Floor 2.
Other games in June’s line up include Abyss Odessy, World Rally Championship 5 for PS3, Neon Chrome and Spy Chameleon for PS Vita/PS4 cross buy.
Even if you aren’t a fan of FPS or narrative games, if you are a PS Plus member, Life is Strange and Killing Floor 2 for nothing is a steal and well worth downloading, what’s there to loose?
2. Life Was Strange
Life is Strange is probably the biggest narrative driven game in the last decade, storming past Telltale’s popular licensed stories to become one of the more critically acclaimed games of our generation, and it wasn’t long ago that Dontnod Entertainment announced that Life is Strange 2 was on its way.
Well now, according the Kotaku, a Life is Strange prequel game images have leaked, and it’s presumed to be completely separate to the sequel penned by Dontnod Entertainment. Deck Nine games have reportedly signed a deal with Square Enix to develop a new game for a AAA narrative franchise, assumed to be Life is Strange. The following images are reportedly leaked from Deck Nine’s website and are for a prequel to Life is Strange, probably starring Chloe and Rachel’s story before Max returned to Arcadia Bay.
3. Nintendo Switch Online
The long awaited paid online membership feature for the Nintendo Switch has been announced, and it takes a different approach to the now popular online subscription service that is commonly used by its competition.
Firstly and foremost, Nintendo have kindly made the service free until 2018, which almost makes up for the £300 price tag of the Switch itself. Oddly, the UK website displays the pricing post new year in euros, none the less it is much cheaper than its Sony and Microsoft counterparts. €3.99 for a month, €7.99 for 3 months and a very low price of €19.99 for 12 months. Whilst this may appear a bargain, unlike PS Plus and Games with Gold, there will not be monthly free games. Instead there will be a Classic Game Selection, which will include classics such as ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ for free. Considering no new games will be free as part of the subscription, this may explain the cheaper price of membership. Other features include online lobby and voice chat and exclusive promotions.
4. Overwatch Horizon Lunar Colony
It’s fair to say that the Overwatch community has been spoilt rotten this anniversary event, with some incredible legendary skins, the new season, lots more loot and new arcade maps. However Blizzard haven’t stopped there, announcing a new map, Horizon Lunar Colony. Read more on the subject in our article here.
5. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Delayed Until Autumn
It has been announced by a representative for the Middle-earth development team, that the release date for their upcoming game Middle-earth: Shadow of War has been delayed until autumn, now releasing on October 10th. The medieval RPG was initially due to release on the 22nd August (North America) and 25th August (Europe).
According to their official post, the sequel will includes significant improvements, expanding in all dimension and building upon the great qualities that made the first game so immersive and enjoyable. The post goes on to say that “In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise”. They apologies for the delay, stating that the studio are working hard to deliver an amazing game; luckily, we’ll only have to wait an addition couple of months to delve into the alluring and enchanting environment that is Mordor.
Confirmation has been given that more information about the game will be disclosed at E3 in a couple of weeks, so we’ll keep you posted once we hear more.
6. Ubisoft Unveils New Logo
It looks like Ubisoft, the game studio behind titles such as Watch Dogs, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and the Tom Clancy series, have unveiled their brand spanking new logo. The new logo incorporates the swirl of its predecessor, with a minimalist colour pallet; the new design is a minor deviation from its 2003 design, with Ubisoft noting on their blog that “The new swirl is an evolution of our existing logo that marks a new era for Ubisoft, one with an increased focus on live and digital games as well as a player-centric approach to creating immersive worlds”.
We can’t wait to see how they will incorporate this design into later titles, though in the meantime, checkout how their company logo has evolved from their first design in 1986.
7. Xbox Live: Games With Gold Lineup
Microsoft has a truly impressive lineup of free games this month, which probably correlates with the biggest gaming event of the year (E3). Xbox owners who have access to gold membership will be able to install the following titles for free:
Xbox 360 (Backwards compatible)
Assassin’s Creed III (1st June – 15th June)
Dragon Age: Origins (16th June – 30th June)
Phantom Dust DLC (June 1 – 30)
SpeedRunners (1st June – 30th June)
Watch Dogs (16th June – 15th July)
If you’ve missed playing any of these games, now is a good a time as any to catch up on some brilliant current generation titles, along with a couple of cult classics thrown in the mix.
With the release of Watch Dogs 2 back in November, the first Watch Dogs game is a great addition to this list; ideal for gamers that would like to play the games in chronological order, following the exploits of a Chicago hacktivist who takes on the big city.
Assassin’s Creed III however, will see you traverse colonial America, with its first introduction to naval combat in series. Not the best game of the franchise, but a brilliant game all the same.
8. Hitman Down
Sadly, the future of Agent 47 is uncertain, as Square Enix are hoping to sell off IO Interactive, the studio responsible for the game Hitman. Fortunately, for the time being at least, this has yet to deter the studio from releasing new content for the game, with the studio announcing a new lineup of additional side quests for June. This will include new Escalation Contracts and a new Elusive Target. The game will also feature ten additional contracts that will require the player to assassinate a chosen target under specific restrictions.
In addition to this, the developers have teased that we can expect a full game update, though they have yet to disclose any information. Regarding this, IO Interactive stated “This update will be mandatory for all players and we’re very excited to talk about what it includes. Full release notes and exact timings for this update will also be shared as we get closer to its release date”.
As of this writing, Square Enix are trying to find a new home for the developers, along with with the rights to the game. IO are currently deep in development of Hitman: season two, so it would be advantageous for the game rights and developers to acquired together.
Here’s hoping that IO manage to get back on their feet, along with the beloved Agent 47.
Keep a lookout every Friday for our ‘8-Bits of News’ articles, so that you don’t miss out on the week’s latest news. We would love to hear from you, so if you have any thoughts on these stories or would like us to tackle a game or film related topic that you find interesting, head on over to twitter and tweet us @JenChauMedia.