Microsoft has revealed what Xbox Live Gold members can access for free next month. In February 2023, the Xbox Games With Gold service will add two new offerings for subscribers to enjoy. These are For the King and Guts N Goals. These games have a combined retail price of $40 making this month’s offering decent value.
From February 1 to February 28 Games With gold will introduce For the King. For The King is an open-world strategy game that was first released in April 2018. It is developed by IronOak Games and published by Curve Games. For The King is a popular game having ‘Very Positive’ reviews on Steam as well as an impressive 79% on Metacritic. Although given it often goes on sale for less than $5 the listed retail price of $25 is misleading.
Joining For The King is Guts N Goals. Guts N Goals is an arcade-style soccer game that was first released in August 2021. It will join For The King as one of the Xbox Games With Gold for February 2023 on February 16. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to pick it up for free until March 15. It’s worth checking it out as its unique gameplay can offer a lot of fun, especially with friends and family.
It’s worth keeping in mind that it isn’t only Xbox Live Gold subscribers who can access these games. Those who have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will also receive the same benefits. That’s in addition to access to the entirety of the Xbox Game Pass library which features over 300 games.
An okay month
All in all, February doesn’t look to be the best month. When compared to some other months Xbox Games With Gold has had February 2023 isn’t anything special. Even so, both games being offered have been well received and are generally considered worth playing. Hopefully, March steps things up and we get some better offerings.
Another day another big leak in the games industry. This time around data miners have discovered leaks for The Crew 3, an upcoming sequel to Ubisoft’s popular open world racing game. However, the next The Crew game won’t follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and will instead look to rebrand.
The leak was first shared by Twitter user ScriptLeaksR6. According to this post, Ubisoft’s new racing game will be called The Crew Motorfest. This new The Crew game will shift its focus to becoming more of a direct competitor for the Forza Horizon series. This means a shift in focus from open-world exploration to open-world racing is expected.
This new approach isn’t overly surprising given who is responsible for The Crew Motorfest. According to the leaks, The Crew 3 will once again be developed by none other than Ivory Tower. Made up of primarily ex-Eden Games employees, Ivory Tower is best known for the Test Drive Unlimited series. Unlike The Crew, Test Drive Unlimited was always just as much about the racing as it was about its open-world exploration and progression.
Speaking of Test Drive Unlimited, much like Eden Games’ most iconic project The Crew Motorfest is rumored to be set on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. This hasn’t been confirmed yet but it does make sense. After all, Ivory Tower has already had success with the setting in its past life.
The Crew 3 is not DLC
When leaks of The Crew 3 first surfaced it was thought to be a DLC for The Crew 2. However, that is no longer the case. Even though The Crew Motorfest began life as a DLC it has since been expanded into its own thing. Unfortunately, a release date for Motorfest is still unknown and likely some way off. Although if rumors of an official announcement as early as next week are to be believed that could change soon.
Forspoken is the big release of January 2023. Square Enix’s new action RPG is set to launch tomorrow and reviews of it are starting to pop up. In general, the reviews are mixed but it’s the lack of PC reviews that has fans confused. It turns out that Square Enix hasn’t sent out any PC review codes for Forspoken.
A publisher choosing to not send out review codes is a worrying sign. It usually means that it is hiding something or isn’t confident about the state the game is in. If a specific platform doesn’t receive review codes it likely means that the platform’s port is in a bad state. A bad port can be a dealbreaker for many and so it’s in the publisher’s best interest to not bring attention to it.
Critics not receiving PC review codes for Forspoken is not a first of its kind. Most infamously, in 2020 CD Projekt Red chose to not send out review codes for the past console generation versions of Cyberpunk 2077. When players finally got their hands on Cyberpunk, they were shocked at how poorly optimized it was. On Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Cyberpunk 2077 would regularly dip as low as 10 FPS which just isn’t playable.
Forspoken following the same pattern on PC is worrying. Especially given the PC requirements that were revealed last week. For just 30 frames per second at 1440p Forspoken recommends an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. Meanwhile, a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB will only manage 30 FPS at 720p. That’s a video resolution that was created in the 1990s.
Will Forspoken suck?
Truthfully, we don’t know exactly how bad Forspoken’s PC port will be. However, it is rare that a situation like this happens and the end product doesn’t have some fatal flaws. Tomorrow, we find out why Square Enix wasn’t willing to send out PC review codes for Forsaken. In the meantime, all we can do is wait and hope that we’re all overthinking things.
Thanks to Valve’s introduction of the Steam Deck handheld PCs are growing increasingly popular. But Valve doesn’t have a monopoly on the industry and more competitors are popping up. Most recently the AYANEO Slide was formally revealed following a crowdfunding campaign in May 2022 that raised over $3 million.
The Slide was technically first announced alongside its crowdfunding campaign but the specifics weren’t clear. In a YouTube hosted presentation, AYANEO went into further detail breaking down its future plans and overall strategy. Within this presentation was some vital information on what fans can expect from the Slide.
One key difference between the Slide and the Steam Deck is that the former will have a full QWERTY keyboard. This allows for tactile typing which simply isn’t possible with a strictly digital keyboard as is on the Steam Deck. Also, as its name would suggest the AYANEO Slide comes with a slidable screen which is fantastic for ergonomics.
When the screen is slid down the Slide acts a lot like its competitors. However, it can be partially slid up to reveal a keyboard and even slid up further to become a notebook of sorts. This versatility helps it be more than just a gaming PC on the go. The Slide will also function perfectly well as an all-purpose computer suitable for work and browsing the web.
AYANEO’s other offerings
The AYANEO Slide wasn’t the only product announced in the presentation. There was also the Air Plus, a Windows-based machine that will be available for pre-order on February 5. Unlike the Slide, the Air Plus is expected to use an Intel CPU whilst the Slide will use a Ryzen 7000 mobile APU. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know when the Slide will release or its price. More information on pricing is expected in the near future.
Racing game developer Motorsport Games has had a rough week. After allegations of unpaid staff and the Formula 1 champion speaking out against them, it now has to deal with threats from its employees. These events combined have caused Motorsport Games stock to plummet.
The most recent development in the ongoing crisis is related to the studio’s failure to pay its staff. Allegedly, Motorsport Games has failed to compensate several members of its team. This has led to one employee blackmailing the rFactor 2 developer. This employee has threatened to leak the source code for four of its games online for everyone to see.
Although this is bad it isn’t what caused the studio’s stock value to plummet. Instead, that was triggered by Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen labeling the recent Le Mans Virtual event a “clown show”. It’s not exactly a good look to have the most influential man in motorsport criticize your sim racing event. Naturally, this caused investors to panic and the stock value of Motorsport Games to collapse.
A leaked source code is about the worst thing that can happen to a game studio. When a game’s source code is leaked it becomes extremely easy for hackers to infiltrate the code and prepare cheat software ahead of time. Even worse, those with malicious intent can use the code to create malware copies of it. Distribute this copies in the right place and some real harm can be done.
Those stocks aren’t looking healthy
The stock value of Motorsport Games is extremely low right now. Over the last few months, it has varied between $2.70 and $5.51. Neither of these is a good sign. To put those numbers into context in February 2021 the studio’s stock value was $326.50. That’s just over 80 times higher than what it’s currently valued at!
Last year it was leaked that a Gears of War Remastered Collection was in the works. The collection was leaked to feature four games: Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War Judgment. News of the remaster had since gone quiet but now a reputable insider is doubling down on it still being a thing.
Nick “Schpeshal” Baker has reassured fans that the collection is still in development. The co-founder of Xbox Era is a well-known insider who has broken countless stories. Baker did not break the original story of there being a collection but he’s convinced that story was and is still true. He posted on his personal Twitter account that he “won’t back down,” and insists the collection is still happening.
The Gears of War Remastered Collection was leaked via 4Chan in May 2022. The leak detailed an upcoming collection that would feature four Gears of War games. The fan favourite Gears of War 2 would receive a full remaster build from scratch. Meanwhile the other games would be updated with new controls, better frame rates, and more content.
Xbox fans may have noticed that this leaked collection sounds similar to something else. Back in 2014 Xbox Game Studios release Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This collection featured four Halo games with one being fully remastered. It was later ported to PC and is available on Steam for $39.99.
Assuming that Baker is correct it would appear as though Microsoft was happy with how The Master Chief Collection performed. It is looking to repeat that success with the Gears of War Remastered Collection. Given that Gears of War is arguably the second most iconic first party Xbox franchise it has been a long time coming. Hopefully, this leak ends up being true and we get the opportunity to play some these classics.
Call of Duty: Warzone 2 is by no means a bug free game and we can see this on Warzone 2 truck glitch . Activision’s latest battle royale has had a variety of bugs since release with several still being present. Even so, few are quite as hilarious as the latest discovery. A newly discovered glitch in Warzone 2 is transforming cargo trucks into submarines.
There is a spot in Al Mazrah near Port where you can drive a truck off the edge into the water. This alone isn’t particularly interesting or unique but what happens after certainly is. Normally, the truck would breakdown and you’d begin to drown. However, in this particular spot your truck will continue functioning allowing you to drive on the seafloor.
This hilarious bug is quite strange and the cause of it is completely unknown. Nothing like this was present in the original Warzone and the trucks in Warzone 2 are largely identical. How Warzone 2 has birthed a new glitch that lets trucks go underwater is beyond anyone’s understanding.
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this glitch. With certain circles it is going to be fairly easy to exploit and potentially even ruin games with. Just drive the truck to where you think the final zone will be and sit underwater where nobody can kill you. On the bright side, Warzone 2’s new fuel mechanic does limit how long you can drive vehicles for until they stop moving.
Will this bug be fixed?
Call of Duty developers don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to fixing bugs quickly. This has some players worried that the Warzone 2 underwater trucks glitch won’t be fixed. It’s difficult to say when it will be fixed and how big of a problem it will be. Either way, all we can do is hope it doesn’t end up being game breaking and developer Raven Software addresses it soon.
A planned PlayStation 2 emulator has been cancelled due to its developer being harassed. Project AetherSX2 was a PS2 emulator for Android that allowed people to play their favorite PS2 classics on Android devices. However, developer Tahlreth has stepped away from the project and “indefinitely suspended,” it.
Their reasoning behind the suspension is revealed on the emulator’s official web page. What was previously a website detailing all of its features is now a text entry announcing the end of the project. The opening line reads “Due to never-ending impersonating, complaints, demands, and now death threats, I’m done”. This is followed by the explanation that Tahlreth no longer wants to work on AetherSX2 as it just isn’t fun anymore.
The announcement closes by linking users to the current build and warns everyone about the risk of installing APKs from random sources. This warning is linked to how this project’s end came about in the first place. A lot of third-party sources have been attempting to impersonate AetherSX2. This has led to the victims of said APKs wrongfully blaming Tahlreth believing that they were using the official product.
Unfortunately, misunderstandings like this are pretty common in the mobile emulation space. Unlike PC gamers, mobile gamers aren’t particularly knowledgeable about emulation or technology as a whole. This can lead to them being easily deceived and getting upset. Combine that with the standard internet trolling and you can imagine how stressful the situation can be for developers.
With the development of AetherSX2 now stopped it’s not surprising to see its Discord channel gone too. According to Tahlreth, the Discord channel was disabled because of some people complaining that his emulator wasn’t available on ioS. It may seem like a small thing to get annoyed over but you can imagine how frustrating it is to receive hundreds of naïve complaints like this every day.
In November Sega released the latest instalment in its signature series, Sonic the Hedgehog. This time around it was Sonic Frontiers which brings an open world spin to the Sonic franchise. It launched to mixed reviews but a lot of fans believe that it could become great with the right additions. The recent reveal of the Sonic Frontiers roadmap shows us exactly what Sega has planned.
There will be three big updates coming to Sonic Frontiers. The opening update will focus on adding quality of life features that are missing at launch. This includes a Juke Box to play you favorite tunes, Photo Mode, and new challenge modes.
The second update will shift the focus to celebration and adding further side content. For the former Sega will run an event celebrating Sonic’c birthday. The blue hedgehog’s birthday is on June 23 with this year’s marking his 32nd anniversary since the original Sonic the Hedgehog was released. Unfortunately, the Sonic Frontiers roadmap doesn’t detail the specifics as to how Sonic’s birthday will be celebrated.
Also coming in the second update is a new Open Zone Challenge and new Kocos. These side activities will give players who have completed everything more to do. It’s a nice addition but it isn’t what most people are looking forward to. The best upcoming update is undoubtedly update three which has fans very excited.
Sonic Frontier’s third update will be huge. Sega intends to add a whole new story for players to playthrough which in itself is impressive. Even better the Sonic Frontiers roadmap reveals plans to add three more playable characters. These are Sonic’s faithful sidekick Tails, the guardian of the Chaos Emeralds Knuckles, and Amy Rose. All of the announced content will be free and not require any additional purchases, DLC, or microtransactions to access.
When talking about game development greats certain names come to mind. Be it Sid Meier or Gabe Newell, the industry has produced a lot of incredible minds that will stand the test of time. However, none have been quite as influential on the fighting game genre as Masahiro Sakurai. But Samurai has now announced that he is officially semi retired.
In an interview with Japanese outlet Denfaminicogamer, the Nintendo employee spoke on several topics. Amongst these topics was his plans to make future games and how he wants to do something else. As translated by Twitter user PushDustin, Sakurai states that he feels as though he needs to try something new before his life is over.
The Smash legend acknowledges that his legacy working on the fighting game series is important to him. Even so, he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life just making Smash. By going into a state of being semi retired Sakurai will free up time to explore other adventures.
One of these planned adventures is a possible jump into content creation. Sakurai states in the interview that he wants to make a YouTube channel whilst he has the chance. Exactly what kind of content he would create is unclear but there’s no doubt fans would be interested. After all, who wouldn’t want the chance to learn more about one of the industry’s greatest developers?
A stressful job
It’s no secret that game development can be one of the most stressful jobs in the world. This is doubly the case for someone in a prominent position such as a studio head. After several years of active development on Smash Sakurai becoming semi retired isn’t too surprising. Hopefully, this transition pushes other developers to take better care of themselves. It’s not uncommon for developers to push themselves too hard and trigger health issues.