Third time’s the charm.
First off: happy belated Valentine’s Day to ya’ll. Whether you celebrated with a partner or by yourself, I hope you took the time to love yourself and the people around you.
Secondly, we got a crap ton of stuff to cover, so let’s just dive right in.
Cyberpunk 2077 update 1.5 is here
Cyberpunk 2077‘s biggest update to date (at least I think that’s correct) was going to be the long awaited 1.5 patch. I’ve covered the rumors for weeks as it was reported we’d see a bunch of new additions to the game, reworks and the long rumored next-gen update.
On Tuesday, developer CD Projekt Red took to Twitch to address the long rumored patch, show off new features and additions (which there are a ton) and announce that it was dropping the same day as the event. Some of the highlights included:
- Apartments and the ability to customize any of the four apartments you purchase.
- A major rework to a lot of the skill trees. Some skills that were useless were replaced with new skills.
- Crowd improvements such as more density and improved reaction to your actions.
- Raytracing (improved lighting and shadow rendering at 30fps with 4K dynamic scaling) or Performance mode (60fps with 4K dynamic scaling) graphical settings for consoles.
- Reworking the horrid driving.
- Faster loading times.
- The PS5 version got additional features such as haptic feedback which is pretty neat.
I actually sat down and spent my time messing around with the PS5 version of the game, and it’s so damn good. I chose to run the game with the Performance Mode for 60fps, and it’s crispy. Here are just a few of my initial thoughts after about 3 hours playing:
- Raytracing Mode is either bugged or really bad. You get improved lighting and shadows but the game chugs hard.
- The driving is so much better now, I actually drove everywhere because it’s so good.
- Reworking the skill trees forced the developers to refund all of your spent points which kind of bugged me because I forgot how I invested my points into my character. However, the changes they made are meaningful.
- Apartment shopping is cool. There’s only 4 places to chose from, but they’re so beautiful and have little secrets to them which makes it feel real.
- No New Game Plus which is a bummer for me.
- Game does load way faster. We like that.
The community seems to be rejoicing as Cyberpunk 2077 is clearly heading in the right direction, and I am with them on this. I cannot wait to see what new story content we received and what future quality of life updates bring to this game. While this is a phenomenal update, I just wished this was the game we received back at launch not almost two years later.
Now’s the perfect time to get back in or experience this game for the first time as there is a free five hour trial on PS5, and it’s also on sale I believe. In case you know nothing about it, check out my piece on it as I talked about one of my favorite gaming experiences to date despite the technical state of the game.
Resident Evil 4 Remake details are emerging
If you’re anything like me, the remake of Resident Evil 3 has made you weary for the fate of the rumored Resident Evil 4 remake. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t a bad game by any means. It just was way too short and almost all of it was you traveling through the same spaces you saw in the Resident Evil 2 remake. Not to mention, Resident Evil 4 is the pinnacle of the series and still plays very well 17 years later.
More details on the rumored remake have dropped detailing a bit of what we can see. Popular insider, Nibel (@Nibellion on Twitter) dropped info regarding how we could see reworks to the village scene (the beginning of the game) and other parts of the game to have them take place at night to create a scarier feeling. We could also see Ada Wong’s campaign fleshed out more, side characters having bigger roles and a possibly early 2022 reveal for the remake.
This all sounds really good, but again, does Resident Evil 4 really need a remake? I don’t know, but since they seem to be going through it with, I will give it a go and hope they don’t mess it up!
Here’s fingers crossed that Ashley is cool.
Dead Island 2 is still very alive… (get it?)
It’s been 8 years since this game was announced…
but it’s supposedly still coming with reports saying we could see it as early as this year.
Industry insider Tom Henderson has spoken to sources at the studio who say the game is in a “good state”, and that we could see it come late 2022 or early 2023 if there are any problems with development.
I sat and thought about this one for a second because it’s been 8 years since this was announced. The first Dead Island released back in 2011 by Techland, and I honestly did not like it. Techland then dropped the banger known as Dying Light which significantly changed the zombie formula, and I think to myself…
Will Dead Island 2 be able to rival Dying Light?
Will it be able to innovate and reinvigorate this genre?
I’m genuinely interested in what they have been working on whenever this game is revealed, but I’m also holding my breath. Remember, there still is the pre alpha footage from Gamescom 2014 up on the internet. Will it look anything like that or will it be different? Also, I don’t want to make this some type of competition, it’s just the formula and standards for gaming have evolved since 2011.
As always, time will tell, but for all of those who pre-ordered it back when it was announced, your time is coming soldier.
Lost Ark is popping off
I mentioned it last week, but the reason why my Dying Light 2 review is behind is because I lost my co-op partner to Lost Ark.
Unless you were unaware, the newest MMO craze launched in the states last week after years of being already released out west (which I did not know). Now I have to yet to play it, but that hasn’t stopped the rest of the US from playing it. It is on my list though, and needless to say, boy has it popped off.
According to The Print, Lost Ark became the second most played game in Steam history surpassing CS:GO and DOTA 2 with a player count over 1 million concurrent players 24 hours after launch.
As you can imagine, the servers struggled to keep up with the popular demand. I do hope this game manages to build off of that success unlike that other MMO game New World.
Studio execs are lost in the sauce
As I mentioned in previous recaps, Ubisoft and EA have been completely blind to consumer wants and have just turned themselves into villains. I don’t think I’ve seen any good news come from these studios in quite some time, and this week it got a bit worse.
Ubisoft first. Ubisoft has been pushing NFT’s to consumers and gifting them to their devs as part of a special thank you for Ghost Recon‘s 20th anniversary. Ubisoft’s devs have gone on record voicing their concerns and took to an internal forum to further voice their concerns. Needless to say, this is the internet we’re talking about so those comments have come out in a report from Bloomberg (here’s a Kotaku link in case the Bloomberg one doesn’t work).
- “Are we competing with EA for the ‘Most hated Game Studio by the public’ title? Because this is how you do it.”
- “I think the kids call this entire comment section ‘being ratioed,’”
- “You know what else makes a lot of money? Making fun spectacular groundbreaking blockbusters. Why don’t we focus on that instead?”
Ubisoft has since found out about this forum and isn’t very happy… well neither are your fans and developers.
EA’s up next. Battlefield 2042 is a dumpster fire, lets just be honest. Well, according to Tom Henderson’s report on an EA held Town Hall on the state of 2042, it’s Halo Infinite‘s fault.
Here’s the full quote:
Following the game’s launch, DICE rolled out its Day 1 and Day 0 patches to get the bug count down further. On this, Miele continued and said that Battlefield 2042’s launch and patches meant “the game was stable” and “the early critical reception was good”. However, according to EA, things took a turn, and that turn was clears throat, the surprise release of Halo: Infinite multiplayer (I wish I was joking). According to [Laura] Miele [EA’s Chief Studios Officer], the comparison between both games was not favourable because Halo Infinite was a very polished title whereas Battlefield 2042 contained bugs and wasn’t as polished.Tom Henderson
I think the worst part of Tom’s report is that EA acknowledges that DICE games have had a history of launching buggy, and while that is true, I feel like that acknowledgment is a slap in the face. Making games is a two team effort with the publisher and the developer having to be on the same page. Clearly something was missing here, and Battlefield fans have suffered immensely.
Nintendo is making gamers unhappy
Nintendo announced that they will be shutting down the 3DS and Wii U eShops in 2023, and gamers are not happy.
Although the end will come in 2023, this is a multi step shutdown: On May 23rd, gamers will no longer be able to add funds to the eShop with a credit card, and August 29 it will no longer be possible to use a Nintendo eShop Card to add funds to an account in Nintendo eShop on Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
Now I’m no expert on Nintendo products, but as I mentioned, a lot of fans have been unhappy due to the fact that the games and products they purchased will essentially be gone (from my understanding). I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos on the subject, and other big words like “emulators” came up and how Nintendo doesn’t support services like that so when something’s gone, it’s gone forever. Nintendo tried promoting the subscription service for classic games in the forum, but the service doesn’t have all of the games across both the 3DS and Wii U especially the digital only titles.
The best way I can think of this is when Sony announced they were shutting down the store support for the PS3 and PS Vita last year. After much fan outcry, they reversed their decision which I hope is decision Nintendo decide to follow.
Horizon Forbidden West is almost here
It’s been 5 years, and while this still doesn’t feel real, Horizon Forbidden West hits PS5 and PS4 this Friday.
While I didn’t enjoy every aspect of the first game, I will be playing through this one with a fresh mindset. Reviews have been coming out, and they seem to be high so kudos to Guerilla Games for their hard work. As always, reserve your opinions for your playthrough and don’t let the media brainwash you.
Sarcastic conspiracy theory aside, PlayStation has put out a cool challenge for players. For each player that earns the “Reached the Daunt” trophy by March 25th, they’ll plant a tree in one of three reforestation areas in a partnership effort with the Arbor Day Foundation. So go get those trophies homies and save the world.
Okay I didn’t notice much for trailers this week, but I did see this. I got a good chuckle out of it because I thought this was going to be related to Wanted the bullet bending shooter from 2008. Small disappointment aside, Wanted: Dead looks crazy and has piqued my interest.
Nadeshot with the pep talk of a lifetime
In case you haven’t been following, CEO of 100 Thieves and former Call of Duty pro player, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag has been spending his free time grinding competitive VALORANT as he looked to achieve the Immortal rank (which he ended up doing sometime last week).
After a tough performance with his duo feeling down, Nadeshot gave him a pep talk that was actually motivating and wholesome. Quick recap; he tells his duo that stats don’t mean everything and to keep his head up high. This was some good stuff and when a former pro tells you that, you better listen to him.
GG Nadeshot. GG.
Envy’s VALORANT team goes green
After the OpTic Gaming and Envy merger back in November 2021, many fans wondered what would happen to Envy’s VALORANT team. Envy owner Mike “Hastr0” Rufail was coy to answer how this would impact the team back in November, but even the deflecting/coy answers have hidden meanings to them.
Fast forward to last week, and the internet was quick to uncover the details of a possible rebrand. Scrims with OpTc players, sample jerseys being up on the site (and selling out????), and the Main Stage event changing Envy’s name to OPTC all but gave us the answers we needed. With the writing on the wall, OpTic dropped the juice.
To summarize, all of this is just Envy’s VAL team rebranding which is pretty darn cool. Regardless of what you think of OpTic, the name holds a lot of weight in the scene and that weight will bring in a whole new fanbase to the growing VALORANT scene while giving their team a ton of recognition. Also, it’ll hopefully get the team to be more consistent with content creation because they’re good.
I just hope we get to see Yay in that Championship white jersey. Dude’s a beast.
I won’t lie, I’m disappointed that the in game name for the boys is OPTC rather OG. I believe the reasoning behind that is because there is a team who already has OG which is fair. OPTC just looks weird.
Riot Games looking to boost the collegiate scene
This is pretty sick.
Riot Games and the Riot Scholastic Association of America (RSAA for short) is looking to boost the collegiate VALORANT scene in Fall of 2022.
Now I’m going to be a complete boomer for this, but from my point of view, this is a great thing for multiple reasons.
- Talent discovery. Pretty self explanatory, but it’ll bring a lot of eyes to those who deserve it.
- Safety net. Most parents probably won’t like the idea of their children saying they want to become professional gamers. The proper collegiate system will help provide a safety net of getting an education if the pro path doesn’t work out.
- Career paths. Similar to the last point, if a pro path doesn’t work out, the experience gained from participating in a collegiate team can be helpful and develop future coaches, analysts, managers, commentators, etc.
Aside from Rito doing some good things, esports insider and light mode advocate, Jake Lucky, has been receiving DMs from colleges looking to recruit athletes and has been composing a list for those interested. I’m a bit jealous as I wish this was a thing during my schooling, but I am stoked for the development of a new scene and progressing esports as a whole.
Super Bowl shenanigans
FaZe clan’s VALORANT manager has been doing the Lord’s work. During the Super Bowl, he would enter streams with the game on and tell people to show a controller so it looks like they’re playing the game. I ain’t a snitch, and I find this hilarious as heck.
The Houston Rockets hate Freedom
Okay this a rare sports reference, but I just thought this was hilarious. At last Thursday’s trade deadline, the Houston Rockets traded for Enes Freedom (formerly known as Enes Kanter). Shortly after, they waived him, and this was how I received the news on my phone.
- Capcom launched a teaser website that is hosting a countdown to a possible reveal of either a new Street Fighter or maybe a new Resident Evil?
- Until Dawn could be receiving a remake… why?
- The Bioshock movie is a real thing as Netflix, 2K and Take-Two are teaming up to make a live action adaptation. I’d much rather it be a tv series, but fingers crossed it turns out good.
- Popular streamer, xQc has only taken 85 days off from streaming since 2017. Absolutely absurd, and if you’re thinking about picking up streaming, do it at your pace not his.
- PlatinumGames wants to resurrect canceled Xbox exclusive RPG Scalebound.
- The Halo tv series has already been renewed for a second season even though the first hasn’t dropped yet…. It must be great then!
- The new season of the Overwatch League has been detailed with a start date of May 5th. No info on Overwatch 2 was announced.