Well, June was an absolute hive of activity, wasn’t it! My dog celebrated being one year cancer-free, there’s a football thing happening... apparently and E3 came back swinging. With the exception of Sony and EA, who will host their own events in the near future (more information on EA’s Play Live below), everyone came together to show off upcoming titles and updates. Rather than go into detail here, which would take forever and send me way over my word count, simply check out our E3 Rundown. Don’t worry, the video game news and I will wait.
Welcome back! There sure was a lot to cover wasn’t there, except for Bandai Namco so really phoned it in. The video game team here at Zatu still hasn’t forgiven them for that, Dan still refuses to talk about it. I think he’s having the same meltdown I had over Star Wars Episode I.
Usually, this is where I’d say “for all your Nintendo news you’ll need to head over to James Holden’s Nintendo Round-up. But sadly James has stepped down from being our resident Nintendo News Hound. I’m not sure if it’s Bandai Namco meltdown related or not, but the mantle has been passed onto me. So, much like Thanos, I now have all of the (video game-related) Infinity Stones, but fear not, I can’t click my fingers.
I’m currently playing: Mass Effect Legendary Edition on PlayStation 4 (going for my Insanity difficulty runs). While on Switch I’m playing Mario Golf: Super Rush. I’ve also dusted off my PlayStation 1 and am revisiting Vagrant Story, Colony Wars: Vengeance and Heart of Darkness.
June saw the release of Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts 2 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The excellent Final Fantasy Remake hit PlayStation 5 on June 10th. And the latest instalment in the hilarious Ratchet & Clank Series - Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart arrived on June 11th, also exclusively on PlayStation 5.
Coming up in July we’ve HAD the glorious return of everyone’s favourite Mudoken - Abe - in Oddworld: Soulstorm, which is now available on PlayStation 4 & 5. Worms Rumble, the first real-time combat entry for the series wriggles onto PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch (ooh, it feels good to mention Switch releases) on the 13th. The 16th sees F1 2021 arriving in pole position on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The Song of Horror and Necromunda: Hired Gun are both out on July 23rd.
But most importantly, on July 16th we have The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD releasing exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Although not my favourite entry in the long-running series (controversially it’s Wind Waker if you’re wondering) it deserves its own separate mention and its own paragraph to celebrate me being able to freely discuss Nintendo Switch releases and news! The power! THE POWER! Yep, still can’t click my fingers.
River, the Dog who Inspired Fallout 4’s Dogmeat, has Passed Away
Joel Burgess, studio director at Capybara Games and former developer on Fallout 3, 4 and 76 at Bethesda, took to Twitter to look back at River’s impact on Fallout 4. Dogmeat is a recurring dog NPC in the Fallout series who acts as a possible companion to the player. Dogmeat is understandably one of the most popular companions in the series and was even in trailers made to promote Fallout 4.
Rest in peace, big girl.
Here’s when EA Play Live will Take Place
EA has now put a time on EA Play Live, its big upcoming summer announcements show coming a month later than E3. The pre-show will start at 6 pm UK time (10 am Pacific) on 22nd July. When will the actual show start? No idea.
It’s expected we’ll be given a detailed look at Battlefield 2042. FIFA and other sports titles will no doubt be given time in the spotlight. It was recently revealed that EA Motive was working on a fan-favourite franchise revival. I’m willing to bet a ton of biscuits it’s Dead Space.
Stick with Zatu as we’ll be covering the event.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite Release Date
Aliens: Fireteam Elite comes out on the 24th of August for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox One.
This is a cooperative third-person survival shooter in which you play take on the role of a marine against the Xenomorph threat.
There’s a three-player co-op with the option of AI teammates to fill in any open spots. The story is set 23 years after the original Alien trilogy. The four campaigns introduce new storylines and you’ll get to create and customise your own marine.
Godfall Coming to PlayStation 4, Alongside New Expansion
It has now been confirmed that Godfall, the PC and PlayStation 5 fantasy looter published by Gearbox, will also launch for PS4.
It’s rather surprising to see the visually impressive title getting a last-gen port. But it’ll open up the game to a much wider audience.
A new expansion for Godfall was also announced. Titled Fire & Darkness, it will add in a new realm, new story and, most importantly, new loot.
Both the PS4 version of Godfall and Fire & Darkness will arrive on 10th August.
PlayStation’s July State of Play
PlayStation’s July State of Play broadcast was a fast, 30-minute showcase. It kicked off with a look at Moss: Book 2, the sequel to the extremely cute virtual reality mouse adventuring coming to PlayStation VR.
This was followed by Arcadegeddon, a PS5 and PC multiplayer shooter out in early access now (I shudder just typing “early access”). And is being developed by Illfonic, the team behind Predator: Hunting Grounds.
We were then given a brief look at Hunter’s Arena. This battle royale will be headed to both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
There then a series of quick updates for a bunch of titles. Sifu, the hand-to-hand combat game from Absolver developer Sloclap, revealed a delay to “early 2022”. Jett: The Far Shore, a space adventure from Superbrothers, was given a vague “2021” release. FIST: Forged In Shadow Torch launches for PS4 and PS5 on 7th September. Sega’s The Demon Slayer arrives for PS4 and PS5 on 15th October. We got an extended look at Yakuza spin-off - Lost Judgment - also from Sega, with its English voice acting.
Death Stranding: Directors Cut is coming to PlayStation 5 on September 24th. It includes new story missions and a racing mode... for some reason only Hideo Kojima will know. Players will also get to play with new combat, gadgets and other bits and bobs. Sadly it doesn’t come with anything to prepare you for the two-and-a-half-hour ending... which will no doubt also be extended for this version.
The show concluded with a deep dive into Deathloop, Arcane’s stylish-looking PlayStation console timed-exclusive. With almost 10 minutes of gameplay, there’s too much to cover here, but it’s out there on the interwebs.
New Switch Console On the Way
To celebrate me being able to cover all things Mario, Nintendo has unveiled its long-rumoured upgraded Switch model. Due to launch on 8th October alongside Metroid Dread. It has a 7-inch OLED screen, 64GB of internal storage, a wide adjustable stand plus improved speakers. There’s a new dock, too, with a wired LAN port.
The screen remains at 1280x720p resolution, though is now 7 inches, up from the base Switch model’s 6.2 inches. Battery life remains listed at “4.5-9 hours”, depending on usage, the same as the base Switch.
The new model measures 102mm x 242mm x 13.9mm with Joy-Con attached, compared to the ever-so-slightly thinner 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm original version. The OLED model weighs in at 320g, or 420g with Joy-Con attached. That compares to 297g, or 398g with Joy-Con attached, for the original Switch model.
Okay, chances are Nintendo aren’t launching it to celebrate my new appointment, but I can dream.