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!
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
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
This week the Zed Games team unhinges their lower jaw and sanity to bring you the week in gaming news, and a run down on the new “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”… all while sending mind control rays to invite you to the Video Game Trivia Night.
With A Friend
Games podcast, where Paul, Hazel, and Tobi talk gaming news.
However, it doesn’t stop there… In an exclusive double reviewer special Hazel and Paul rejuvenate destroyed ecosystems in the game Terra Nil, then Paul risks his sanity by fishing for a review of Dredge.
No Squad, No Fortnite, New Second Life, and More Last of Us?
Suicide Squad isn’t Squadding Just Yet
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be taking a little while longer than originally anticipated, with the May release being pushed back to ‘later this year’. Why? Well, after the release of new gameplay footage just last month, the game has been hit with criticism, even by fans who have been looking forward to the Rocksteady game since it was first revealed in August 2020.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has traditionally villanious characters such as Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerange ganging up to take care of some more… ethically murky missions. It wasn’t stated that the reason for the delay was the criticism, but fans have been warned that it’s unlikely to revamp the game, but rather make some tweaks to hopefully make it more enjoyable for players.
This isn’t the first delay for this game, with the originally early 2022 release being pushed back to May this year.
No More Fortnite
… if you use Windows 7 or 8. Future seasons of Fortnite, the massively popular battle royale, will no longer be natively supported on older operating systems. Live service games, examples including Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and Genshin Impact, tend to require a lot of maintenance and constant updates, a task that just isn’t feasible anymore for older operating systems.
This change has been attributed to Epic wanting to ‘grow our technology and expand the game to fulfill our vision of Fortnite’s future’, which prompted Chapter 4 to be launched on Unreal Engine 5.
It is recommended that players upgrade their operating system, however it is possible to stream it via NVIDIA’s GeForce Now cloud service.
Second Life, New (Mobile) Life
Remember Second Life? The web browser game that allowed users to host rooms and spaces that were fully customisable, using online avatars that were also fully customisable. VRChat before VRChat if you will. It’s no secret that Second Life is responsible for relationships, marriages, break ups, thousands of hours of joy and heartbreak. And now it’s coming to mobile, with the life simulator currently in development.
The Last of Us Influence
With the TV series, The Last of Us, based off the video games by Naughty Dog, there is more interest than ever in the universe, especially as the show introduced new elements that didn’t feature in the games. And now it appears that some of those elements will make their way into future games! This of course depends on whether another game in the series will be introduced, but Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog, has found some inspiration in the show, which may introduce some new levels of horror or lore to the universe!
And now for some upcoming games!
- The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR (PSVR 2)
- River Tails: Stronger Together (PC)
- Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Switch)
- The Guise (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Peppa Pig: World Adventures (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- WWE 2K23 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
- Deceive Inc. (PC, PS5, XSX)
- Remnant: From the Ashes (Switch)
- Tchia (PC, PS5, PS4)
- The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution (PSVR 2)
- Have a Nice Death (Switch)
Cats & Music
This week Hazel is in control, taking Rani and The Temporarily Returned Tobi on a journey through the musical influence video games had on their lives, while Zahra tells us about the cuddly cat game Calico, and Maylee delivers the freshest of video game news.
SEASON of C64
This week in Zed Games Zahra is in control with Maylee and Cam as crew, guiding us through the relaxing and interesting world of SEASON: A letter to the future in their review, Cameron tells us all about the Commodore 64 and it’s very vibrant and inventive community who still love this piece of gaming history, and Paul keeps us all up to date with the news.