On Zed Games this week we lock it down, Cage style. Firstly chatting this weeks gaming news brought to us by Maylee, then taking the zen moment with a parrot in Zahra’s review of Bird Alone, and lastly a going toe to toe in a discussion on the PlayStation Showcase and locking down Q!
More Murder, Less Loot-boxes
New Games announced in the world of Dead by Daylight
Behaviour Interactive’s asymmetric horror Dead by Daylight is one of the most popular horror games around. It recently celebrated its 7th anniversary with a stream where they announced a huge amount of content for the future, including two new games set in the same world as Dead by Daylight.
The first new game will be a single player story-focused experience developed by Supermassive Games who are known for creating gripping narrative games like The Quarry or Until Dawn. More information on this game will be coming out later this year.
The second new game will be “a multiplayer PvE experience where instead of facing off against each other, up to four players can team up, enter another one of the Entity’s realms, and take on a host of deadly enemies that occupy it”. This is being developed by Midwinter Entertainment and is not as far along in development as the first, so we don’t know yet when we will hear more about it.
The anniversary stream also featured announcements for new content coming to the base game. A new chapter “End Transmission” will take Dead by Daylight to the stars on June 13. New cosmetic packs inspired by the bands Iron Maiden and Slipknot are coming soon. And, strangest of all, Nicholas Cage is becoming a survivor and joining the game on July 5th. He even does his own voice over, as discussed by the game director:
“He’s got such an iconic voice and delivery. We couldn’t do this without him…In some cases, for the screams and grunts, we have used different people sometimes because these are extremely strenuous exertions, and they can take a toll on people. But in this case, Mr. Cage told us there has never been a voice sound-alike for Nic Cage, and we will not have one now. So, he was generous enough to record every single grunt, scream, and exertion that you will hear in Dead by Daylight.”
Kid sues Nintendo over loot boxes, after spending $170 on dad’s credit card.
An unnamed kid has filed a lawsuit against Nintendo over the “immoral” loot boxes within Mario Kart Tour. This mobile game came out in 2019 equipped with loot box microtransactions, and while this is fairly standard for mobile games it does seem egregious coming from a company like Nintendo. While Nintendo did remove microtransactions from the game in later 2022, lawsuits like this one are only now making it to the courts.
With a single draw costing a few dollars, the child who filed the lawsuit spent 170 USD through a card linked to the game. In that lawsuit they now claim that Nintendo used “dark patterns” to trick players into spending more money on the game’s microtransactions, and that “Minors are especially susceptible to these addiction-enhancing elements of game design.”
Public perception of loot boxes and similar microtransactions has soured greatly in the last few years, and lawsuits like this are popping up more and more often, but it’s still hard to predict what way they will go.
Playstation Showcase 2023:
In the early hours of the 25th of May, the Playstation Showcase took place, announcing a huge number of upcoming game titles and new hardware. Here are some of the highlights from the show:
Playstation is going handheld with a new piece of hardware coming later this year that will allow you to stream any game from your PS5 console using remote play over Wi-Fi. The device, known as Project Q, sports an 8-inch HD screen and all the features of the dual-sense controller.
In addition to this they announced they will be launching their own pair of Bluetooth-enabled earbuds. They promise lossless audio with low latency and will be compatible with Playstation 5, PC, and the new Project Q device.
Bungee, the studio that gave us Halo and Destiny, has announced Marathon – a revival of one of their earliest titles which released for Mac in 1994. The new Marathon is said to be a PVP extraction shooter and is also multiplatform with full cross play and cross-save coming to PS5, Xbox S/X and PC.
Revenant Hill is the latest game from the studio that created Night in the Woods. The announcement trailer showed off a very similar art style to Night in the Woods, but the games are not connected in any way. Revenant Hill takes place in 1919 and you play as Twig, a cat who has fallen on hard times and is working odd jobs to make ends meet until they can reach their dream of becoming a familiar.
After Months of rumors we finally got confirmation that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is getting a remake as Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater. In addition, we’ll see a rerelease of the first three MGS games as part of the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection which will be coming later this year to PS5.
Square Enix is bringing us Foamstars, a 4v4 shooter coming to PS4 and PS5. The gameplay is very similar to Splatoon except instead of paint players will shoot foam at each other. Teams aren’t racing to cover the map in their paint but instead the foam is used to both attack and change the layout of the map.
The showcase concluded with a 12-minute gameplay reveal of Spiderman 2 showing off many of the games most exciting features. We saw more from our villain Kraven the Hunter, we saw the black symbiote suit in action, and we saw action from both playable spider-heroes Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Although we weren’t given a date for the game’s release, we were given a window of fall 2023 – or spring for us.
Upcoming Game Releases:
On 26th May
- Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue coming to PlayStation VR, PlayStation VR2.
- Sheepy: A Short Adventure is coming to PC.
On 30th May
- System Shock coming to PC.
- Company of Heroes 3 is coming to PS5, XSX/S.
and that’s all, this week, in gaming news.
In Tears/Teirs/Tears: it’s one of those…
This week Paul leads the team with Zahra and the disembodied voice of Maylee, to talk gaming news, english pronunciation, and reviews! With Zahra sprinkling the magic on a review of farming simulation in Homestead Arcana, and Paul loses his head in a review of the puppeteering sequel Another Fisherman’s Tale.
Zelda Tumbles, Amazon Doubles Down, & Activision-Blizzard Again?
More in Activision-Blizzard-Microsoft News
The EU Commission into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has been approved after an extensive investigation. Microsoft has agreed to provide free licenses for the next 10 years to cloud streaming services allowing residents in the European Economic Area to stream Activision-Blizzard games on any cloud platform, addressing the competition concerns identified by the Commission. However, the merger still faces challenges with the FTC filing in the US and continues to be blocked pending appeal in the UK. 1-4
In other Activision Blizzard News, the company has abandoned its original plans for Overwatch 2’s separate co-op PvE mode… a major selling point that got players to move somewhat objective free from Overwatch 1 to 2. Now the game will incorporate co-op gameplay and experiences into the live-service model, disappointing fans who had been eagerly anticipating the depth and progression of the original vision.5-7 These views have been best summarised by user Uchihagod53,
“The f**k was the point of [Overwatch 2] then?”
Zelda: The Good, Bad and … ooo look at the pretty colours…
Fans have been disappointed at the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, with a player finishing the game in just over an hour and a half (speed runner gymnast86),8 the inability to pet dogs,9 and lack of unlimited bombs.10
Despite this, Tears of the Kingdom has received overwhelmingly positive reviews with around 97 on Metacritic and OpenCritic, making it the highest-rated game of 2023 and the highest-rated Switch game to date. The critical success of Tears of the Kingdom has made it the biggest Zelda game launch in the UK and is expected to be one of the biggest and best-selling games of the year worldwide.11, 12 Players can also look forward to more in the future with Eiji Aonuma (the series manager and producer of Tears of the Kingdom) stating that future Zelda series games will continue to embrace the open-world format introduced in Breath of the Wild. Aonuma compares this shift to how Ocarina of Time established a format for subsequent Zelda games in the late 90s.13
Amazon Doubles Down on Lord of the Rings MMO
After talks broke down between Tencent and Amazon in 2021, Amazon decided to abandon their stake in a Lord of the Rings MMORPG.14 However, the rights for the franchise recently reverted to Middle-Earth Enterprises leading to new discussions with Amazon and the eventual partnership between Amazon’s New World team and the Embracer Group. The game is currently being pitched as an MMO separate from the Lord of the Rings projects, rather aiming for gameplay experiences over faithful adaptation with an over 10-year lifespan.15-17
However Lord of the Rings Online fans are not worried about this game taking over the franchise even in the face of potential server shutdowns and resource allocation, instead pointing to the lacklustre performance of Amazon’s MMO New World.18
And Here’s Some Tasty Gaming Bytes
- You can finally 100% The Burning Shores DLC of Horizon Forbidden West, now that they’ve added the ONE Brimshine Sliver so that you can finally buy and upgrade everything.19
- In a new acquisition to the gaming community Sea Lions have become gamers, with US Navy’s Spike traversing mazes WITHOUT fishy bribery and showing delight when winning games.20
- And finally the relaxing, co-op-able game Powerwash Simulator has hit 7 million users,21, 22 making us ask the question,
“Why meditate when you can simulate?”
And now for some upcoming games.
On Friday 19th, build your own racer in Lego 2K Drive coming to everything.
Monday May 22nd, multiplayer tactical roguelike Inkbound comes to PC.
Tuesday May 23rd, save the post-apocalyptic world in the tactical RPG in Miasma Chronicles or save it as a platforming pixie preservationist in After Us, both coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles. Or lighten up with a cartoonish platform shooter Glitch Busters: Stuck on You coming to PC, PS4 and Switch. Explore the hand-painted puzzle platformer Planet of Lana coming to PC and Xbox. Hit the nostalgia nerve with Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! on the Switch. And Star Trek: Resurgence is coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
And next week on Thursday May 25th, the sequel to Do Not Feed the Monkeys, Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 is coming to PC and Switch. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. And lastly Tennis Manager 2023 is coming to PC.
Mainlining Zelda Zelda
News of the week that Zelda TotK comes out
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Silksong’ the follow up to 2017’s ‘Hollow Knight’ you’re not alone. Previously all we’ve heard is that it would release in the first half of 2023. Thankfully the games publisher has taken to twitter to address the situation and let us know that the game will no longer be launching in the first half of 2023. Expect more details closer to release which is anytime between now and the heat death of the universe.
Street Fighter 6 Final Open Beta
‘Street Fighter’ fans will have the opportunity for a good look at the upcoming sixth iteration of the legendary series in one last public beta before the game releases officially on June 2nd. This isn’t just a small taste though as it includes 8 playable characters, 6 stages, 8 game modes, character creation along with several other features as well as full crossplay support between Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S and Steam. It will be available in May from Friday the 19th to Monday the 22nd. To take part simply go to the Open Beta sign up page on streetfighter.com
Doom II RPG ported to PC
Did you know there is an official RPG of Doom II? ‘Doom II RPG’ was released in 2009 for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the Apple iTunes phone, the Motorola ROKR E1. Since it was based on iOS2 you’ll have a hard time getting it to run nowadays. Thankfully the resourceful team of enthusiasts at GEC Entertainment Inc have reverse engineered the game and released it on PC. You can find all the info you need to play the game at the Doomworld forums.
Activision enlists her majesty’s finest
After last week’s decision by the UK’s Competition and Market Authority to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision/Blizzard/King, Activision is gearing up for a fight by hiring Lord David Pannick KC to lead their appeal. Lord Pannicks previous clients include Queen Elizabeth II, Boris Johnson and Manchester City FC. Microsoft has hired Daniel Beard KC who, while not a Lord, has previously won massive appeal cases for both Apple and Intel.
‘Life is Strange True Colors’ has received a win at this year’s Peabody Awards. The Peabody Awards are a prestigious set of annual awards that recognize excellence in broadcasting and digital media content that has made a significant impact on society.
Another video game related winner was ‘The Uncensored Library’ which is a beautifully crafted virtual library that runs in minecraft.
“Leveraging Minecraft’s availability in countries while other media is blocked, over 20 million gamers in 165 countries have been able to access censored articles, available in English and the original language, from acclaimed independent journalists under threat by the authoritative regimes of places such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, and Vietnam.[snip] the library has become a teaching tool in K-12 schools and universities around the world. For turning one of the largest digital platforms for youth into a global movement to fight censorship, The Uncensored Library wins a Peabody Award.”
Upcoming game releases
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) – May 12
Humanity (PlayStation 5, PlayStation VR2, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, PC) – May 16
Firmament (PC, Mac) – May 18
Vampire BBQ, Soccer Scans, and Other Vampire and Sport News
Fire Up The BBQ!
Redfall, the co-op first person shooter that has you fighting off legions of vampires, has teamed up with Smokey Q, an Australian business that specialises in all things BBQ seasoning, to bring the ‘Bite Back Spice Rub’, a unique blend of spices and seasonings to celebrate the game’s release.
The spice rub is supposed to capture the taste of slain vampires, with ingredients such as charcoal powder for added smoke, paprika, and a touch of heat from chipotle. It is gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
The founder of Smokey Q, Paul Lange, described the challenge of making vampire ash sound delicious as exciting, so if you have a very specific craving, it may be worth checking out. In addition, all net proceeds will be going towards Cure Cancer’s blood cancer research. Very appropriate!
In more vampire news, Vampire Survivors, a game that is heavily influenced by the choices you make, has an animated show on the way! The studio will be teaming up with Story Kitchen, who has members that have worked on John Wick, and the Sonic movies.
The studio has said “… the most important thing in Vampire Survivors has always been the story, so we are very excited for this and we hope you are too! It’s still early days for the show, but I can already say that we will be involved so that we can ensure it doesn’t have any vampires (probably)… This won’t affect game development in any way.”
FIFA’s Iffy Body Scans
Sydney Leroux, an olympic gold medalist, and a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, isn’t thrilled with her character’s appearance in the newest FIFA release.
She’s not alone, in that many other footballers are criticising their characters’ appearance in FIFA ‘23.
“Please tell me I did not do an entire body scan for that…” Leroux tweeted, before looking back at FIFA ‘16 where her appearance was significantly more accurate. “They had the headband, the braid, the neck tattoo, the overly plucked brows… deflate my boobs a bit and put a different jersey on. I’ll keep the brows at this point.”
Introducing to the Court of Duty…
Rumor has it that Kevin Durant, NBA champion and a former MVP, will be slam-dunking into the operators lineup for Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare. The official Call of Duty twitter posted a little clip showing an operator parachuting down, mid-dunk, with ‘Easy Money Sniper’ spray painted on the side of a building in the image, notable for being Kevin Durant’s Instagram handle.
Nothing is confirmed yet, but internet sleuths have dissected the few details and the profile of the operator, and it would hardly be the first time an NBA crossover happened.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Jected – Rivals (PC)
- Mia and the Dragon Princess (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Propagation: Paradise Hotel (PC VR, Quest)
- Space Gladiators (PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Duru – About Mole Rats and Depression (PC)
- Hometopia (PC)
- These Doomed Isles: The First God (PC)
- Another Fisherman’s Tale (PC VR, PSVR 2, Quest 2)
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
That’s it this week in gaming news!
Everything’s Better With a Kazoo
No Such Thing As Bad Press
Here’s this week’s roundup of gaming news:
Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Blocked by UK.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has blocked Microsoft’s $104 billion (aus dollars) takeover of Activision Blizzard. They claimed that allowing the deal to go through would alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market and therefore lead to reduced innovation and less choice. Despite a strong response from the panel of experts that lead the analysis, Microsoft vows to appeal the decision and fight for their acquisition to go through.
Even if it can succeed in the UK, Microsoft still needs to gain approval in Europe and the United States before the deal can go through and neither seem close to a yes!
Metacritic Issues Statement On ‘Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores’ Review Bombing
Just a headsup! There will be some spoilers for Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores in the following section.
The Burning Shores DLC for Horizon Forbidden West released last week and was met with an onslaught of negative reviews on Metacritic. The reviews aren’t complaining about technical issues or bad gameplay, these don’t seem to be issues the game has, but rather about the “woke agenda” being forced upon players. During the events of Burning Shore, Aloy builds a relationship with new character Seyka. A relationship that can turn romantic, with the two sharing a kiss, if a specific dialogue option is selected. Some players found this optional scene truly offensive and review-bombed the DLC to a current score of 4.0 and a low of 2.7.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my favourites: “Metacritic delete my 0/10 review!!! Freedom of speech! DLC look amazing but is boring as hell. It’s unnecessary DLC just to convert that Aloy into girls!!! that it. But nope I completely disagree with that cause in the USA you have to do that, with popular entertainment names. Otherwise, you will be cancelled for freedom of speech and facts”.
They also promised they would be making changes to their moderation processes in the coming months, but it’s not clear yet what that will look like.
Wizards of the Coast sends mercenaries after leaker.
A YouTuber called Oldschoolmtg managed to get their hands on the cards from Magic: The Gathering’s latest set, “March of the Machine: The Aftermath” which was not expected to hit stores until May 12th and revealed most of them in an unboxing video. WotC was quick to act, tracking the youtuber down, confiscating the cards, and having the video pulled.
In a new video “The Aftermath of The Aftermath” Oldschoolmtg claimed that the cards were not stolen but had been given to him by a friend who had believed they were part of an already published set and revealed that Wizards of the Coast send the Pinkertons to retrieve the cards from him. You may recognise the Pinkertons as antagonists in Read Dead Redemption 2, but they are a very real private security firm with a reputation for being ruthless. Cannon claimed they intimidated him with threats such as a $200,000 fine and up to a decade of jail time if he did not cooperate.
In response to the situation WotC says they sent the Pinkertons as “part of their investigation”, and only after several attempts to call him went unanswered. After getting in touch with Wizards directly they were far more understanding, and the two parties seem to have sorted out the situation.
Regardless of how it all played out in the end, it is still alarming that Wizards of the Coast took the actions it did. It is a clear overstep to send armed guards to intimidate a youtuber, who at the time had around 4000 subscribers, and there are a hundred better ways they could have handled it.
Upcoming Game Releases:
- Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
- Star Wars Jedi Survivor (PC, PS5, XSX)
- Welcome to Goodland (PC)
- Age Of Wonders 4 (PC, PS5, XSX)
- Redfall (PC, XSX)