Last month Deep Silver confirmed that both a new Saints Row and Time Splitters were in the works. Ever since fans have been looking forward to seeing what Deep Silver had in store for E3. However, earlier today the German publisher tweeted that none of its big-name franchises will be making an appearance.
The news was posted on Deep Silver’s official Twitter account. The tweet reads: “Our parent company is making an announcement as part of #SummerGamesFest on June 11th. To give you a head’s up, you won’t see Dead Island, Saints Row, Metro or TimeSplitters there. We’ll let you know when we have news to share.”
Not much to show
A look through the publisher’s game library suggest that it will have very little to show at E3. The four named series are by far its most well-known. The absence of Saints Row in particular is disappointing given that it hasn’t received a new instalment since Saints Row IV, released in 2013.
So, what should you expect from Deep Silver at E3? There’s little doubt that Chivalry 2 will make some kind of appearance. The medieval battle simulator is coming out this month and E3 will be a great opportunity to market it.
Otherwise, the only other expect game is King’s Bounty II. The turn-based strategy game was previously delayed but now looks to be ready for an August 2021 release. It is the direct sequel of the original released way back in 1990 on MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Amiga.
Truth be told, Deep Silver being transparent about its lack of E3 announcements is a good thing. In the past we’ve seen gamers lose their minds over underwhelming events. At least this way expectations are managed and there’s no reason for consumers to get overly upset. Besides, it’s not like there won’t be plenty to get excited about at E3 anyway.
Throughout the 2000s Need for Speed became recognised as one of the most iconic racing game franchises ever made. In recent years it has continued to sell well but it’s those older titles that fans love most. However, soon fans of the franchise will not be able to access these games at all. EA announced earlier today that it will delist several Need for Speed games for good.
Five NFS games have been named for delisting: Carbon, Undercover, Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed, and The Run. Some of these were available on Steam but have already been removed. All five of them are still obtainable on Origin but won’t be available much longer.
After today none of these aforementioned games will be purchasable on Origin. The developers took to Reddit to explain the decision. According to them, the online services for older Need for Speed games were set to be cut at the end of next month.
In preparation for the servers closing, EA has taken the difficult decision to delist the Need for Speed games from sale. Players who already own the relevant products will still be able to play them both online and offline until August 31.
“Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed. But the number of players has come to a point where it’s no longer feasible to continue the work behind the scenes required to keep Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run up and running.”
Seeing Carbon and Shift go will be particularly upsetting for racing game fans due to their legacy. For many, these were considered some of the last great NFS games ever produced. However, Need for Speed has improved as of late so perhaps EA’s decision to delist these games isn’t without merit. Hopefully it and developer Criterion Games can produce something worthy of taking their place.
Recently, Jess Margera guested on the Behind Closed Doors podcast. Margera is best known as the drummer of rock band CKY. However, it’s not his drumming that has caught the attention of gamers. Whilst on the podcast Jess Margera may have accidentally leaked a new Tony Hawk game.
Around 39:00 into the podcast, Margera begins to talk about the Tony Hawk’s series. More specifically, about how his band’s music has featured in several video games and that it has been a good source of income. What’s interesting is that he claims to believe that CKY will feature in the “new one coming out.”
What new one?
Tony Hawk fans will know that the new game that Jess Margera mentions hasn’t been announced. He even goes on to clarify that he isn’t speaking about the Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake. So this is a reference to an upcoming, unannounced Tony Hawk’s game.
As for what Tony Hawk’s game we can expect, Margera does provide some hints. Throughout this section of the podcast, he discusses how the remasters are great. They take the iconic design of the older games whilst cleaning up their technical limitations.
Given how well Pro Skater 1 + 2 was received plus Margera’s comments, another remaster seems likely. Furthermore, the original Pro Skater 3 and Pro Skater 4 are some of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time. Between them they have an incredible average Metascore of 95%.
All thing considered a Pro Skater 3 + 4 remaster seems perfectly feasible. It would even offer Activision an opportunity to get its hit skateboarding series on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Of course, Jess Margera is by no means an Activision director and therefore, his words on Tony Hawk should be taken with caution. It’s possible that the publisher’s plans will change in the future.
We’ve known for some time that a Destiny 2 crossplay beta has been in the works. However, until now an exact release date had remained a secret. In an official post on the Bungie website, the former Halo developer confirmed that a crossplay beta is coming next week.
The beta will begin on May 25 and end on May 27. It will be available for all players regardless of platform. That means that PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, and even Stadia players will all be able to team up. The crossplay enabled playlist will have Vanguard Strikes as a playable mode. Strikes is a co-op activity already available in Destiny 2.
Crossplay has become an important multiplayer matchmaking tool in many games. It enables players of differing platforms to play together. Although this has become more common in recent years, it was by no means always the case. The first game to see crossplay support on all major platforms was Fortnite in 2019.
An interesting challenge for Destiny 2 regarding crossplay is that it is a competitive PvP shooter. This beta will only cover one co-op activity, but plans for PvP crossplay are expected in the future. Having both controller and mouse and keyboard players face each other can be difficult from a gameplay balance perspective.
Mouse and keyboard inputs offer superior levels of precision. This is the main reason that the majority of FPS esports revolve around PC gaming. Not only are there more keys for custom key binds, but a mouse is significantly easier to aim with than an analogue stick.
However, it has been done before in some capacity. Activision’s popular battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone has had crossplay enabled ever since it launched. It isn’t perfect but it allows friends to team up and enjoy games together regardless of platform. Hopefully, Bungie gathers the required data from this beta to integrate crossplay properly into Destiny 2 once Season 15 releases.
Overwatch isn’t receiving too many updates currently with Blizzard focused on its sequel. However, it has continued to release the annual events. The next event for Overwatch is the Anniversary Event, celebrating five years since the hero shooter first launched.
Ahead of its launch Blizzard has been unveiling various skins that will be coming with the event. The tweets started with Baptiste’s ‘Funky’ skin, a throwback to 80’s Disco culture. After this Moira’s ‘Venus’ plant skin was revealed. Finally, Sombra’s ‘Black Cat’ skin is the last we know as of writing this. If previous events are anything to go by, a further four skins should be announced before the event goes live.
What’s in the Anniversary Event?
Outside of skins, the Overwatch Anniversary Event usually features the return of old game modes. This includes the Archives story missions, holiday specific modes like Lucio Ball, and a one-off competitive game mode. In 2018, Blizzard released competitive 6v6 Elimination as a temporary mode whilst the event was live.
Throughout the event you can expect various game modes to rotate in and out. Newer players should watch out for these as playing certain modes for the first-time rewards free loot boxes. They are usually quick to play through and are a great way of unlocking skins and cosmetics.
Unfortunately, outside of the new skins, no new content should be expected for this event. Blizzard is focused on the development of Overwatch 2. The side effect of that is that the original has not received any substantial new content since the release of Echo in April 2020.
Although this Anniversary Event won’t change that, a recent announcement does at least reassure us that Overwatch 2 is coming. A full showcase of its multiplayer PvP gameplay is planned for May 20. Be sure to tune into the official Overwatch Youtube or Twitch accounts for further details.
Call of Duty: Warzone is no stranger to game breaking exploits. From the infinite stim glitch to the various areas you can clip into, glitches are commonplace. But developer Raven Software has at least patched out one of the battle royale’s biggest exploits. As of today, the Warzone gas mask glitch no longer works.
The gas mask is a purchasable item. When equipped it prevents a player taking damage from the gas. It lasts a total of ten seconds before breaking, causing players to once again take damage from the gas. However, the gas mask glitch made it so that it was possible to extend the duration of the gas mask indefinitely.
There’s work to be done
The gas mask glitch has been one of the biggest causes of player frustration in Warzone over the last month or so. Because it made gas masks indestructible, team’s exploiting it could spend the whole game outside of the zone. This effectively made them invincible as opposing teams couldn’t get close enough to down them.
Now that the gas mask glitch is patched Activision’s hit battle royale should be easier to enjoy. However, there are still other major exploits that need to dealt with. Currently, the exploit plaguing Warzone the most is no clipping.
No clipping is when a player manages to pass through a wall. By no clipping it is possible to reach areas of the map that provide massive advantages over your opposition. Some areas that it is possible to clip into allow you to see enemies through walls even though they cannot see you.
The good news is that Activision has recently confirmed that it is expanding the Warzone dev team. Hopefully, more staff working on Warzone will reduce the likelihood of exploits like the gas mask glitch appearing in the future.
For esport fans there are fewer names more well-known than sinatraa. The former Overwatch League MVP moved to Valorant after getting bored of Overwatch. However, just over a year into his Valorant career he was suspended after evidence of potential sexual assault surfaced. The evidence was shared by his ex-girlfriend @cle0h on Twitter.
Some may have assumed that was the end but sinatraa has recently reappeared on his current girlfriend’s stream. A member of her Twitch chat asked if he was looking to return to pro play. The former San Francisco Shock player replied was saying: “”I don’t know if I’m going to return pro but I’m going to be back streaming no matter what.”
A likely return?
Truth be told, sinatraa isn’t the one who gets to decide if he returns or not. The allegations against him were supported by damning evidence. At the very least, the evidence was serious enough for the Sentinels to cancel his contract.
A return to the Overwatch League seems even less likely given Blizzard’s strict stance. Following the allegations Blizzard revoked his MVP title as well as removing his MVP skin from Overwatch. Players who had previous purchased the skin were refunded. It therefore seems unlikely that the US-based publisher would even allow him to re-enter the league.
For teams it’s going to be a question of risk versus reward. Certainly, sinatraa is one of the most talented esports players of all time. His varied skillset covers mechanical skill, adaptability, and game sense, making him an incredible asset for just any team.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth signing him. There’s the possibility of a huge backlash against any organisation that shows sinatraa support. After all, if the allegations are true than supporting him is the same as supporting sexual assault. If any organisation will take the risk is yet to be seen.
On Friday Activision announced that it was reassigning one of its leading studios. Toys for Bob, developers of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, will be operating as a Warzone support developer going forward. This raised some concerns after rumours started suggesting that some Toys for Bob employees had been let go.
However, in a response posted on Gamesindustry.biz today the American AAA publisher has confirmed that these reports are not true. Every employee of Toys for Bob will remain under contract after the transition. Some employees may have chosen to walk out for creative reasons, but Activision itself has not fired any of the studios’ talent.
False allegations against Activision
According to Activision: “Reports of layoffs at Toys for Bob are incorrect. The development team is operating fully and has a number of full-time job openings at this time.” Furthermore, the statement details that Toys for Bob will continue working on Crash Bandicoot 4 alongside Call of Duty: Warzone.
This won’t please everyone as some gamers are still annoyed about the switch of focus. At the very least though, it reassures everyone involved that they still have work waiting for them. Activision has been guilty in the past of shutting down studios unethically, but this isn’t one of those cases.
Perhaps the most well-known studio that Activision shutdown was Radical Entertainment. Responsible for the Crash Bandicoot series in the late 2000s as well as The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Radical Entertainment had an impressive portfolio. Unfortunately, Activision deemed the failure of Prototype 2 a good enough reason to shut them down.
Call of Duty: Warzone has suffered from bugs and a general lack of quality control as of late. Numerous glitches and exploits have entered the game, because main developer Raven Software isn’t a big enough studio to handle such a large project. Bringing in an experienced support developer like Toys for Bob should help Warzone overcome these issues.
Many video games have received film adaptations over the years. Some popular examples include Pokémon Detective Pikachu and 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog. One of the upcoming films to add to this list is the Borderlands Movie. Since the Borderlands Movie was first revealed in 2015, Lionheart has been announcing what actors will be involved with Gina Gershon being the latest addition.
In case you are unfamiliar with her works, Gina Gershon has been an established actor since the 1980s. Some of her most iconic roles include Cristal Connors in Showgirls and Riverdale’s Gladys Jones. In the Borderlands Movie she will be playing Mad Moxxi.
Who is Mad Moxxi?
Mad Moxxi is a reoccurring character in the Borderlands games. She first appeared in the original and has since played a role in all three mainline games. Moxxi even appears in the spin-off, The Pre-sequel, where she is responsible for the destruction of the Eye of Helios.
Moxxi is a sadistic and lustful character best known for her many innuendos. She also runs several bars across Pandora under the brand “Moxxi’s.” These provide a space where the player can use slot machines to try and earn various rewards including legendary weapons.
Gina Gershon joins a large list of popular actors that have already been cast in other roles. The full list can be found on the Borderlands Movie IMDB page. The list includes some well-known name like Kevin Hart as Roland, Jack Black as Claptrap, and Cate Blanchett as Lilith.
At this stage it’s difficult to say how good the Borderlands Movie will be. At their worst, video game movie adaptations end up as some of the worst products in the industry. But the likes of Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat exist so who knows. Maybe it’ll end up being better than expected.
Earlier this year Japanese games publisher Capcom gave us Capcom Arcade Stadium. It was originally released only on Nintendo Switch but that will be changing soon. A new announcement has confirmed that Arcade Stadium will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC later this year.
Set for a May 25 release, Capcom Arcade Stadium is a title that features a collection of Capcom’s best games. Totalling 32 different games from Capcom’s past, some highlights include Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Street Fighter II, and 1942. The games in the collection range from 80’s classics to Capcom’s early 2000s efforts.
A classic collection
The idea of selling a classic games collection is nothing new. Nintendo and Sony even went as far as to repackage old consoles in the form of mini re-releases. In many ways, it’s surprising that it took Capcom this long given the obvious demand.
Capcom Arcade Stadium can be considered a celebration of the publisher’s best years. In recent years it has dropped off a little and only owns a handful of notable franchises. However, in the past Capcom were one of the biggest game publishers in the industry. It had a particular dominance in arcades which peaked in the 1980s.
As the name would suggest, Arcade Stadium will only feature games that were playable in arcades around the world. This means that certain Capcom classics that were released on home consoles instead won’t feature. An example of this is Demon’s Crest, a popular side scroller released on the NES.
Although an exact price hasn’t been confirmed yet, we can speculate as to what it will likely be. Currently, Capcom Arcade Stadium is available on Switch for free. But to get access to all of the games you need to buy the extra passes. These are available for $14.99 each. Alternatively, there is a complete pack which features all of the games for $39.99.