Gaming News Episode 5

Holy smokes; it’s March.

Alright, we’ve now made it up to 5 posts of weekly news. By this point, you know the deal. I recap what’s been going on in the past week from Thursday to Thursday. This week was mild, but I still found a bevy of good content to cover in what will be a pretty balanced post.

Gaming

The next Dragon Age is in production

Image from BioWare’s Twitter.

This should’ve been in last week’s post, but I missed it due to a ton of esports news going on.

BioWare put out a blog post on February 23rd announcing that the next Dragon Age (we’ll just call it Dragon Age 4 for now) is in the production stage, the stage where they are putting everything together. Having been announced back at The Game Awards in 2018, the game has been pretty quiet especially in the wake of the debacle known as Anthem. The blog post goes on to talk about the steps and staff members working on the project, describing that more information will come later this year, and how work on the next Mass Effect is still coming along.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been 8 years since Dragon Age: Inquisition came out. I played the game before I started this blog, and for it being my first game of the series, I adored it. I have high hopes for the next game in the series, but my faith was shaken a lit bit by the release of Anthem and even Mass Effect Andromeda. BioWare has a lot of work to do, and after reading the post, I do feel like they understand that.

Here’s hoping they accomplish that.

New Pokémon inbound

New starters!

On the 26th anniversary of Pokémon, Nintendo announced that a two new games would be dropping alter this year: Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. Here’s a link to the full reveal trailer since it’s not working for this post.

Not going to lie; I haven’t played a Pokémon game in 4 years or so. I was interested in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but I don’t think the changes looked that good to warrant me getting invested in the series again. Also, I’m so far behind on every video game that’s out, finding a minute to sit and play Pokémon isn’t even on my mind. I will say this is extremely cool, and a bit shocking seeing how Arceus released earlier this year, but I might give this new entry a chance.

Fallout New Vegas 2??

A sequel could be happening sometime in the far away future.

VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb took to his show, Grubsnax (link to a summary article), to talk about a couple of interesting gaming pieces the first of which happens to be a potential sequel to 2010’s Fallout: New Vegas. For those unaware, New Vegas was developed by Obsidian (the team that went on to develop The Outer Worlds which I really enjoyed) and was heralded as one of the best Fallout games to ever release. Grubb goes on to reference that their are whispers of this happening in Microsoft, but we’re like years away from this happening.

I played New Vegas for 2 minutes and hated it because I just completed my playthrough of Fallout 3 at the time, and I thought it was the same exact thing. Now that I am a mature adult, the thought of this is exciting although disappointing since it’s something that has been in high demand for quite some time. Microsoft does own Bethesda now so maybe they grab them by the balls and tell them to do it. If they do, hopefully they finagle a way to get Obsidian to do it.

PlayStation “Game Pass” details break

Piece number two of Jeff Grubb’s talk show involved details on the rumored PlayStation rival to Xbox’s Game Pass.

The rumored Project Spartacus will compose of 3 tiers according to Grubb. Here are a few of the key talk points from an article put together by VGC:

  • “Right now they are called ‘essential’, ‘extra’ and ‘premium’,” Grubb claimed (link to the full article). “The pricing, again could be a placeholder, but the pricing is $10 a month for essential, $13 a month for extra and $16 a month for premium.”
  • “For premium, $16 a month… do you get full games? Not really, kinda… it’s like EA Play. You get full game trials. I don’t know if that’s for every single game that comes out, but it seems like that.” Grubb said. While PlayStation has offered game trials in the past for certain titles, Grubb implies that all PlayStation first-party titles could offer these trials are part of the premium tier.
  • “You also get classic games and streaming, none of the other tiers will have cloud streaming, you also get classic games.”
  • “I don’t know what classic games means, but I do know that it’s a major part of this premium tier. So you have game trials, classic games and streaming on this premium tier”.
  • For the extra tier, you get a ‘downloadable game catalogue’ anything on PSNow that was downloadable, seems like it would be in here” which Grubb has heard includes over “250, 300 games, something like that. You don’t get cloud streaming, but you do get 300 games you can download”.
  • “Essential is PS Plus with the monthly games, just like you know it today.”

From what I’ve read so far, I’m not really sure how I feel about this. It sounds like a combination of PlayStation Now and PS Plus, but not as good as Xbox Game Pass. Sony’s been pretty behind when it comes to playing older titles, and each generation they seem to take a step backwards as you can only play older titles through PS Now. So seeing a possibility that we’d have to pay to play those older titles seems kind of wrong especially when Xbox lets you play a certain games from the original Xbox. Also, paying $16 a month to only “trial” a game rubs me the wrong way for some reason.

I will say take this with a grain of salt, as this is what Grubb has heard. Come release, it could be totally different.

Ukraine

Last week, I brought up the conflict going on in Ukraine and how it has impacted many worldwide. This week, the gaming industry and more are unifying to stand with Ukraine.

Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine calling Xbox and PlayStation to take action.

Many more companies have released statements and have banded together to support Ukraine.

Again, I won’t sit here and pretend to understand the full nature of the conflict going on. What I do know is it’s affecting every aspect of the world with movies being paused from releasing, to teams being barred from competing in gaming tournaments (more on this portion down below). It’s sad to see how Putin’s actions have not only affected the people involved (directly and indirectly), but the whole world as a whole.

Trailer(s)

Okay I only found one trailer that was interesting. I’m slacking, I know.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

I almost forgot this was happening. Previews have been released by major players in the industry, and they seem to be pretty high on this game. Fingers crossed!

Esports

The affects of war

A big piece of news over the past week has been the affects the Russian Invasion of Ukraine has caused in the esports scene. Esports is pretty big in the West as it houses many of the big teams such as Gambit Esports, Team Spirit and many more.

Due to the nature of the conflict, many tournament organizers have been stepping forward to either postpone events or to bar teams from participating as a whole with BLAST Premier and ESL being some big names that are following in the latter steps.

Blast Premier, a tournament organizer for CS:GO, will bar Russian teams from participating for the foreseeable future.
ESL, another huge organizer, has done the same as BLAST but will allow Russian players to compete under a neutral name.

My first thought when I saw this news was “Holy cow, I can’t believe it’s gone this far”. Like I mentioned above, it’s sad how Putin’s actions have trickled down and affected so many different aspects of the world we live in.

FaZe Clan win IEM Katowice 2022

Image courtesy of ESL’s Twitter account.

IEM Katowice 2022 concluded last weekend and saw FaZe Clan take home first place defeating G2 Esports 3-0.

I’m a VALORANT player, but whenever CS:GO is on, I stop and watch it. I happened to tune in during the end of regulation of map 2 on Mirage, and boy was I entertained. Five OT’s in, FaZe secure Mirage 31-27. What a map, and what a series.

Definitely one of the best highlights of this crazy map 2.

Congrats FaZe Clan, and thank you for putting NA on top for now!

The goats return

The Call of Duty League has drawn a ton of flak since its inception, most of it deserved, but things started looking even worse when legendary Call of Duty casters Clint “Maven” Evans and Joe “Merk” DeLuca were MIA for the beginning of the third season. Following the culmination of the Cold War season, the duo had no idea on whether their contracts were going to be extended which many people will say is normal, but something felt off this time. New talent was hired, days turned to months, events came and went and memes were created as no news was made public as to whether we would ever see them on air again.

That is until yesterday when Maven announced they would be back just in time for Major 1 this weekend and will be casting future Majors and Champs.

I’m gonna play the bad guy here, but if we were to never see them casting CoD again, I don’t think it would’ve been a bad thing as both casters have been finding success streaming during the offseason. However, for a league looking to reverse its plentiful errors, I love to see this for the guys.

Also the redditor who kept posting everyday until Merk and Maven returned in the CoD competitive subreddit can rest easy now. Your work is done, the kings have returned.

Memes

Gaben, aka Gabe Newell, went through and delivered the new Steam Deck to a few people. The responses were varied but still so cool to see.
Post Malone took to Twitch last week to play Apex Legends, and he felt the struggle.
He also clearly has money as his in game currency is through the roof.
OWL teams going at it is what the esports world needs.
Battlefield 2042 is going through and asking gamers for feedback on core maps, and these are some of the questions… Kudos for having the courage to do this.
Astra got nerfed in the newest VAL update, and all of us Astra players are crying right now. Shoutout to the person on Twitter who made this; you made my day.
Big Snoop knew FaZe was winning IEM 2022.

Other News

  • Stop the presses, Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy is coming to GamePass on March 10th. I don’t know how many more times I have to tell you; play the dang game.
  • For the 2 people who asked for this, a Beyblade movie is in the works, as well as the live action adaptation of Twisted Metal starring Anthony Mackie lands on Peacock.
  • Resident Evil 2, 3, and 7 are coming to next gen consoles with visual enhancements this year. If you own them on last gen, you can digitally upgrade at no cost!
  • Housemarque is working on their next IP following the success of Returnal, Valve is working on “multiple titles” and is interested in future revisions of the Steam Deck.
  • Legendary CoD player Patrick “ACHES” Price is joining Ubisoft to work on Tom Clancy’s XDefiant which absolutely blew my mind. I’m interested to see what he brings to that team, and I’d really like this game to pop off. However, it doesn’t look that good so far from what I’ve seen.
  • Speaking of Call of Duty, Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto announced he will be starting his own team for the Call of Duty Challengers scene. He won’t be covering salaries, but he will fully funding competing and travel costs.

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