Barely a week since our last discussion of new handheld hardware, Valve surprised us with the reveal of its Steam Deck. Not to be confused with Elgato’s Stream Deck, Valve’s handheld is a powerhouse designed to give gamers AAA gaming experiences on the go.
While Valve has toyed with hardware in the past, they’re best known as the company behind the Steam PC gaming storefront and a handful of games, most notably the Half-Life series.
The Deck itself comes in three increasingly pricey setups, each boasting more storage than the last. These range from 64GB at £349 through to 512GB at a hefty £569, though they all have microSD card support to accommodate further storage expansion.
With launch set for this December, should the Steam Deck be on your Christmas list? We have our own thoughts, but let us know yours in the comments.
Considering these three titles are also available on Switch in some form, perhaps they were highlighted to showcase the difference in performance.
Steam Deck is a really impressive bit of kit. The base model doesn’t cost much more than the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), yet is far more powerful and compatible.
As an open PC system, users are free to ditch its Steam OS and install Windows - this allows access to the Epic Games Store (including its tasty suite of free games) and the Xbox app, accommodating Game Pass compatibility. Steam already has a bigger library than Nintendo Switch, but these three powers combined arguably trounce it.
Steam sales will make building a library far cheaper than paying the infamous “Switch tax” on games, though that’s assuming most people don’t already have one. Arguably, the Steam Deck will feature the biggest and best launch line-up ever. With the integrated track pads and full control remapping via Valve’s Steam Input software, it doesn’t even matter if they don’t feature controller support.
Lots of people are excited about emulation, too. There are (questionable, depending who’s asked) means to emulate console games on a PC. Everyone seems keen for the Nintendo Switch to get classic N64 and GameCube titles, but there’s a very real chance that Steam Deck will first.
Never mind the emulation possibilities, just look at those ergonomic grips, Sam!
There’s certainly a desirability about the Steam Deck, not least because of its relatively low price point, but also the ability to play top tier games on the go or away from a TV or monitor.
That being said, I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy one. I’ve seen the Steam Deck being compared to a mid-range gaming laptop or an Xbox One or PS4 in terms of performance, which doesn’t make it sound very future proof.
My mid-range 2017 gaming laptop could just about run AAA games when I bought it, but the scope and requirements of later titles soon outstripped its capabilities, and I can see the same thing happening with the Steam Deck.
Yes, there’s a deluge of current and older titles that it will always be able to play, but how long before newer games start becoming incompatible? The Switch, while massively underpowered, at least has a guaranteed stream of top tier first-party releases to prop it up.
If I didn’t have my eye on a Series X I’d probably still get one, because they do look like very cool pieces of kit. But would I still be playing it five years from now as I do the Switch? Hard to say.
It also has proper control sticks, which the Switch sorely lacks.
What do you think of the Steam Deck? Will you be picking one up? Let us know below.
Gamers across the world thought that the long-rumoured “Switch Pro” was finally here with the recent Nintendo Switch OLED reveal. Instead, the new console brings just a few small improvements instead of a boost to horsepower and 4K image output.
But, what specs would’ve made for a hardware revision worthy of its rumoured “Pro” moniker? What games would make the most of some added power? We’ve answered those very questions, so be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The Nintendo Switch OLED model is rather underwhelming. It gets rid of those ugly screen bezels, but other than that, there isn’t much to write home about. Existing owners don’t need to rush out and upgrade, though it could’ve been a different story with a few tweaks.
Firstly, the remodel would benefit greatly from an improved graphics chip. Nintendo Switch is weaker than even the last-generation PlayStation and Xbox machines; it needs to close the gap sooner rather than later to keep receiving strong third-party support.
More ergonomic Joy-Con would’ve been nice to see, too. The current Nintendo Switch controllers aren’t all that comfortable, due to the lack of any form-fitting ergonomics. A true “Pro” model should be comfortable as standard, rather than requiring an add-on grip.
Bafflingly, the Nintendo Switch OLED also features the same old internal battery. Giving players more game time per charge would be an obvious win, plus help to offset the increased power consumption accompanying any notable hardware upgrades.
What game would benefit most? Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which debuted at E3 last month. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch as a streaming title, but that tech isn’t quite there yet, so being able to play natively would be a huge benefit.
I’m actually a bit relieved the Switch OLED is an underwhelming upgrade, as it means I can continue to use my 2017 Switch without feeling like I’m missing out. A brighter, bezel-less screen (sort of) would be nice to have, but without any extra power lurking within I don’t really see the point, particularly as I mostly use my Switch docked these days.
Sam’s covered my main gripe with the Switch – the uncomfortable Joy-Cons – but there’s another aspect of the detachable controllers that I was disappointed not to see addressed in the revamp, the control sticks. I’m not talking about the well-documented drift issues, but rather how cheap and inaccurate they feel when playing games such as Splatoon 2, or any other shooter or platformer that requires precision aiming, for that matter.
The tiny sticks just don’t feel up to scratch most of the time, and though I understand their size and functionality is probably limited by the console’s need to be portable, I still think there’s room for a more premium stick without requiring bulkier Joy-Con housing and compromising the handheld nature of the Switch.
Hopefully it’s something Nintendo addresses in any future Switch revisions or their next hybrid console.
What 'pro' feature would you like to have seen added to the Switch OLED?
The gaming world’s seasonal hype fest is almost upon us, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3.
There’s no in-person events once again, but a slew of digital get-togethers have been announced from the likes of Ubisoft, Square Enix and Microsoft, with the latter now also including the gaming juggernaut, Bethesda.
The show is more of a collection of smaller showcases than ever before, with Koch Media, among others, kicking things off with their Primetime presentation on 11 June at 8pm.
All of this means there will definitely be announcements over the next week or so, and we have a few ideas of what we can expect – first realistically and then our wildest hopes and dreams. Leave your own rampant speculation in the comments.
The cat’s already out of the bag where Elden Ring is concerned. Many people, myself included, have seen the leaked gameplay footage. It looks great, though FromSoftware and Bandai Namco claim it isn’t representative of quality. What better way to prove that than with an official first look at E3?
Based on the blurry and reportedly outdated leak, Elden Ring looks to be channelling FromSoftware’s past work heavily. Considering that the Japanese developer is responsible for several of my all-time favorites, that’s quite alright with me. Throw in lore from Game of Thrones’ George R. R. Martin and it could easily prove to be a showstopper!
Dragon Age Legendary Edition
I’m still working my way through Mass Effect Legendary Edition at the moment. It’s a good time, though more than anything it’s making me nostalgic for another BioWare classic - Dragon Age: Origins.
DA: Origins trades blows with Dark Souls as my favourite RPG, and with the former having launched first, it doesn’t seem fitting that only the latter has a remaster. Since the Mass Effect remasters are performing well, here’s hoping that Dragon Age will step up to the plate next. It’d certainly be a step in the right direction where winning gamers’ favour back is concerned, for both BioWare and EA.
Rumours of an upgraded Switch have been intensifying over the last few months, but it’s looking increasingly likely that the hype could be justified. Lots of industry insiders are pointing to a Switch Pro or Super Switch (personally, I like the moniker ‘New’ Nintendo Switch) getting a reveal either during or just before E3, and I’m leaning towards agreeing with them.
As much as I adore my 2017 Switch, I think I would be tempted to upgrade should a new and improved model become available, but it has to be a significant improvement: I’m talking a framerate boost and improved visual fidelity for all games, not just a bezel-less OLED screen and even better battery.
Titanfall 3 & Battlefront 3
We already know Battlefield 2042 has received a new reveal trailer this week, but I’d like to see EA show some love to some of their other FPS series. It would be great to hear something about Titanfall 3, even if it’s just an announcement, and the same goes for Star Wars Battlefront 3.
While this will of course be Battlefield’s year in the spotlight, I think there’s still room to show Battlefront and Titanfall fans something, even if it’s just a teaser, without stealing any thunder.
Since the game was originally due to shop with the new Xbox Series X|S, there’s little doubt we’ll see more of Master Chief’s return at Microsoft’s showcase. Surely it will be a “Holiday 2021” release window, but what might we see beyond a date in the diary?
Perhaps developers 343 Industries will give us an in-depth look at a level of the campaign, or, in a break from convention, maybe there’ll be a glimpse at the free-to-play multiplayer element, which no doubt MS hopes will be their next big money-spinner. How will it show off the Series X’s power?
While one strategy reveal has already been leaked, in the form of a Marvel-themed XCOM from Firaxis, the upcoming return of Age of Empires has got me keen to return to more new real-time strategy.
The Red Alert series may have ended on an odd note, with its camp presentation and unmissable live-action cutscenes slightly getting the better of it, the core of the game is solid – Allied and Soviet armies destroying each other with opposing armies filled with bombastic characters.
While it might not be best-placed for the console crowd (though with keyboard and mouse support, who knows?), this is a series ripe for resurrection.
What are your E3 predictions? Let us know.
Everybody’s favourite plumber has tried an awful lot of sports over the years – kart racing easily being the most popular – and although he’s heading back to the fairway for Mario Golf: Super Rush, we say why stop there?
We’ve had main games encompassing the likes of tennis, baseball and even football (well, they call it soccer). Then there’s Mario Sports Mix and the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series that give players access to a wide range of sports and events. But still, there are plenty more sports which Mario and co. could yet turn their hands to.
What would you go for? Maybe something obscure that hasn’t been done justice before? Perhaps something totally off-the-wall (like squash)?! Let us know in the comments.
You know it's not a proper Mario sports game when they can't be bothered to wear the appropriate attire.
Pro Wrestling | Sam
Mario sports titles are all about taking a sport and dialling it up to eleven by injecting an over-the-top, arcadey presentation. Professional wrestling in its base form fits that description already, so the Mario cast could get really crazy on this occasion.
Although not a “real” sport in many peoples’ eyes, the game could settle beef in hilarious fashion. Mario and Luigi battle Wario and Waluigi in a volatile tag team match, observed by a baying crowd of Mushroom People. Picture the titular plumber’s nipples returning to screens as he and his brother head to the ring in colourful speedos, then Wario emerges in a leotard flanked by Waluigi rocking a mankini.
Characters could pull power-ups out from under the ring, in place of weapons, emerging in new costumes to inflict extra damage on opponents for a limited time. Settings from throughout the entire franchise could appear as nostalgic arenas, each with crowds befitting the location. Bonkers finishing maneuvers, slow motion replays and all manner of overly indulgent pomp would add to the experience instead of annoying.
Nintendo would also have the perfect means to justify this more “violent” take on the Mario property - it’s just simulated violence. The roster of rasslers collaborate to put on a show without hurting one another, though, disclaimer, kiddies shouldn’t try it at home. Problem solved!
We didn't fancy googling 'Waluigi + mankini' so this will have to do.
Skateboarding | Liam
There’s a skateboarding event in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but it looks rather simple and I think a full-fledged Mario skateboarding game could be a lot more exciting, especially if it took some inspiration from the Mario Kart series.
For example, while a Mario skateboarding game would of course have a free roam mode with levels based on some of the Mario games’ most iconic locations (Peach’s Castle, Donut Plains, New Donk City, etc.) it could also have its very own race mode, complete with skateboard-based obstacles, such as ramps and stair sets.
Imagine weaving through traffic in the classic Mario Kart 64 track Toad’s Turnpike, but instead of simply dodging the trucks and cars in a race to the finish line, you could grind along them, chaining tricks together as you hop from one vehicle to the next to boost your score and ranking. The verticality and competitiveness of Mario Kart’s Balloon Battle mode would also lend itself well to a skateboard game.
To keep things interesting, it wouldn’t have to be an entirely 3D affair, either – you could easily have 2D levels inspired by classic Super Mario Bros. titles, complete with a grindable flagpole at the end of each level.
All the character assets already exist, they just need their own proper game.
What sport would you like to see Mario take on next?
As the Legendary Edition of the Mass Effect trilogy has been released, daring us to venture into the stars once more (keep your eyes peeled for our review soon), we decided it was time to talk about the crew of the Normandy SR1.
Throughout the three games, your protagonist Shepard is accompanied by a cast of colourful characters, and series fans will all have their favourite that they will protect through thick and thin, despite, in some cases, multiple opportunities for them to fall on the field of battle.
Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments. Perhaps you favour one of the supporting characters you don’t get a chance to tag along with you, like the mysterious Illusive Man, who looks oddly like Martin Sheen or that reporter Al-Jilani, who turns out to be more vindictive than an early 2000s Piers Morgan.
Feelings are good, but Wrex's best feature is his tank-like strength: send him into a room of enemies and watch the carnage unfold.
James | Mordin
The obvious choice would be Garrus, given he gets some of the series most memorable lines and (minor spoiler) has an outstanding turn as Archangel in ME2, but in fact the companion I enjoyed chit chatting with the most was eccentric scientist Mordin.
As the only character with a musical number to his name, Mordin Solus was introduced in the second game, but his work on the genophage, an artificial fertility modification programme, links him back to one of your most lasting decisions in the first game - the fate of the Krogans.
The Salarian’s approach to his work is that the ends always justify the means, he is far from callous for a scientist, and has an arc of his own and, ultimately, one of the most meaningful climaxes for any of the supporting characters.
In combat he’s not to be sniffed at either, with significant tech powers and able to hold his own fairly consistently – though no doubt his true value is in the lab.
While his relationships with the other characters can portray him as single-minded as far as his work is concerned, there’s no doubting his capabilities and the value and variety he adds to the team introduces some variety to what can otherwise otherwise be a very human-centric squad.
Mordin's omni-tool doubled as a harmonica.
Liam | Ashley
Of all the many crew members that accompanied my Shepherd in the campaign against the Reapers, it’s Ashley that stands out the most, even though she was missing for large parts of the sequels. Alongside Garrus, she was ever-present as I made my way through the first game (watch out for spoilers below).
Her absence from ME2 hit hard when I realised she wasn’t going to be part of the crew, which is why I’m ranking her above everyone’s favourite turian. As well as being a solid side kick, she also plays a major role in the battle of Virmire, a mission that lives long in the memory.
I did once leave her to die on a recent replay, but it wasn’t quite the same having Kaidan knocking about the ship instead. It might be easy to dismiss her as just another soldier type, but her backstory and motivations are actually quite interesting, particularly when it comes to her family history.
ME2 and 3 might be considered better titles in terms of gameplay, but the original’s atmosphere, missions and story made it the superior experience for me, and Ashely and the original crew were a big part of what made that game so enjoyable.
Also the companion to have around if you like poetry.
Who was your favourite companion? Let us know below.
With Returnal experiencing a few teething problems due to its lack of save functionality and more, we’ve been thinking about other games that have benefitted from a few patches to make them fighting fit after launch.
Do you have a favourite that began life as a fumble? Maybe something you were burned by early and never bothered to revisit? Let us know in the comments.
Plenty of new ways to earn loot, and then lose it all to these guys.
Liam | Star Wars Battlefront 2
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2015 Star Wars Battlefront reboot. Despite the lack of content, I thought it was a great looking/sounding game that had really solid arcade-style combat and some decent multiplayer modes.
I was super hyped for the sequel, Battlefront 2, so it was incredibly disappointing to see it being slated by press and users alike upon release in 2017 due to its dodgy loot box implementation. It was enough to turn me off completely – I didn’t buy the game and never even completed my 10-hour EA Access trial.
It wasn’t until the game hit the EA Access Vault that I eventually got the chance to give it a proper try and found that a year and a bit of work had put the game in a much better place than it had been at launch. There were exciting new game modes, plenty of cosmetic items to unlock (seemingly outside of loot boxes), plus a robust and healthy playerbase.
I almost regret not taking a chance on Battlefront 2 earlier, as the gameplay is excellent, and it’s now one of my go-to multiplayer titles. While people were quite rightly angered by the game’s shambolic launch, it’s in a much better place now and has plenty to offer, for both Star Wars and multiplayer fans.
Make sure you give the Starfighter Assault mode a try if you're heading back to BF2, it's tucked away behind the 'More' tab.
Sam | Returnal
Returnal is sitting on the naughty shelf right now. It’s misbehaved terribly, though the developers at Housemarque are already putting things right.
The game is ambitious, which is great, don’t get me wrong, though treading new ground can also cause problems. Returnal is all about its cyclical gameplay loop - playing and learning, then dying and improving. Many flat out take issue with the concept, but its the implementation that occasionally stinks.
There’s no saving during runs and runs can last hours. Currently, suspending the game by putting the PS5 into Rest Mode is the only workaround. Ignoring the environmental and financial impact of all that needless power consumption, the feature is plain unreliable. When I came back to a run suspended in the final area, I found that everything was lost due to the game automatically closing to install an update…
Needless to say, I haven’t played Returnal since. However, it is stellar when it works and Housemarque have been quick to acknowledge and address all of the shortcomings. They’re even considering the implementation of a save feature based on community feedback.
Returnal will overcome its launch woes in time, at which point it’ll be a must-play for PS5 owners. That’s also when I’ll be back to break Selene from her cycle and finish what we started.
Plenty of players will return(al) once the teething issues are sorted.
What game do you think deserves a second chance? Let us know below.
Capcom’s recent Resident Evil 25th anniversary celebrations got us thinking about the long-running survival horror series’ best moments, which, naturally, immediately set our skin crawling. There are tons of games, but just one iconic moment to choose.
What stands out to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Things don't end well for Steve.
Resident Evil is one of my all-time favourite franchises and picking just one highlight from a lifetime of fandom is incredibly hard. As such, I’ve settled on a bit of a cop out.
I have fond memories of playing my older brother’s copies of the original trilogy, then commandeering RE4 to complete countless playthroughs. I was far too young, but it was almost unavoidable while sharing a bedroom with my years-older sibling and his teenage tastes.
Although the series has gone somewhat off the rails at times, recently, Resident Evil is back at its best. RE7 and the upcoming Village (based on its playable demo) both offer a great new take on the franchise, though it’s reliving those old memories in the excellent remakes that’s most special to me.
Resident Evil 2 (2019) is an exceptional remake of a classic entry. Yes, I’m choosing an entire game rather than a specific moment - there are too many highlights to pick between in that game alone! The introductory zombie in the petrol station, battling lickers inside the police department, evading the Tyrant’s constant pursuits. There’s never a dull moment during the perfectly-paced campaign.
Leon's first day at work is pretty rough, he even misses his own welcome party.
I have a complicated relationship with the Resident Evil series, so I have mixed feelings when it comes to celebrating its anniversary. The original game, which I first encountered around 7, absolutely terrified me and probably led to my irrational fear of zombie games.
Having grown up in a Nintendo household, I thought I was safe from the series until RE2 somehow ended up on N64. Still not brave enough to play myself, but a little bit older and tad more curious, I would watch (from a safe distance, of course) as my older brother tackled Raccoon City’s zombie problem and almost, almost, found myself enjoying it.
There were other missteps; a brief dabble with RE3 on a borrowed PlayStation, and years later I bought and quickly returned a copy Resident Evil 0 on GameCube after incorrectly thinking I had matured enough to brave its content.
It wasn’t until Resident Evil 4 that I played and enjoyed a Resident Evil game. The focus on action over horror definitely helped, but it was the Chicago Typewriter unlock that made things really fun.
Watching my brother blitz his way through enemies and bosses with the ridiculously overpowered submachine gun was both hugely entertaining and cathartic and is definitely my best memory of the series.
"Stranger, Stranger! Now that's a weapon."
What's your favourite Resident Evil memory? Let us know below.
With Microsoft beefing up framerates on some of the Bethesda games it’s adding to Game Pass, we’ve been thinking about the difference a good FPS can make.
As the console experience continues to diverge, a reliable framerate is harder to come by than you might expect – sometimes even if you have been lucky enough to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S.
We’ve got a few ideas, but what game would you like to revisit with a lightning-fast framerate? Let us know in the comments.
A BF3 mini revival ahead of the next Battlefield would be very cool.
Sam | Deadly Premonition 2
Last year’s sequel to Deadly Premonition wasn’t particularly well received due to some social and technical mishaps. While updates have altered the offending scenes and (ever so slightly) improved the low frame-rate, FPS Boost would make for a great final push.
The original Deadly Premonition is a glorious mess, and the sequel is no different. DP2: A Blessing in Disguise understandably wasn’t afforded as many free passes as its predecessor, however. Now an established cult classic franchise with the backing of Nintendo, a lot of players seemed to skip the Switch-based sequel on principle.
Skateboarding around the fictional town of Le Carré, Louisiana is like watching a slideshow. Francis York Morgan is no Tony Hawk to begin with, but he moves at a crawl set to a music track that sounds as if the developers typed “radical” into a stock library.
Now don’t get me wrong, I find that juxtaposition hysterical, but it immediately puts a lot of people off. Although FPS Boost is an Xbox feature, applying it to Deadly Premonition 2 would open the underrated title up to a whole new audience. Arguably, there’s far more value in that than refining games that already run at a steady 30 frames per second.
Even Francis got a headache from the dodgy framerate.
James | Borderlands 3
While it only suffered a few performance issues, as I noted when I tackled Borderlands 3 for our review, they turned out to be consistent enough for me to put the game down and not jump back in.
It’s difficult to get a consistent framerate in an open world of course, but there’s so much that draws me back to the colourful world of Pandora, and I think a framerate jump would do the trick.
Mayhem might be Borderlands’ middle name – if it had one – but when you’ve got a bandit in your sights, or you’ve unlocked a mountain of loot, raining down around you from a felled boss, it brings the whole experience down if you encounter stuttering.
There’s plenty of visual effects which would benefit from a more consistent FPS as well, since the technicolour wares of the various gun makes, as well as ammunition itself in some cases, tend to make a point of filling the screen with as many particles and visual noise as possible.
Even better, some of the hard work has already been done to get the game spruced up for next (soon to be current) gen consoles, so there must be a way to crunch the data, or perhaps sacrifice some resolution, to give those on Xbox One and PS4 just as shiny an experience.
Rob | GoldenEye
I'm sure you've all taken a sneak-peak at the recently leaked (def, eh?) Xbox remaster footage, yeah? If not, you really should: it'll have your nostalgia juices flowing in no time.
As I've mentioned many times before, the N64 era was/still is my most memorable time in gaming. There were several reasons for that, but none drove my love for the platform more than GoldenEye. I have endless memories of all-night multiplayer sessions with friends; of the hours I ploughed into the incredibly challenging single-player campaign; and the cast of characters with those wondrous cardboard Brosnan/Bean/Coltrane faces.
GoldenEye will forever be in my personal top-10 list, unquestionably. What was always questionable, mind, was the tendency for the action to dip into the 9-frames-per-year mould - Jungle, we're looking at you... The opportunity to play the game with remastered graphics and a stable 60 FPS - the original was around the 15/20 mark - would be a dream-y come true-y.
Picture it now, chums: slip-sliding down from that infamous vent to bash the guard on the can in Facility; running from shotgun-wielding Cossacks in Statue; dying endlessly attempting to best 00 difficulty on Control; or the cat-and-mouse runaround of Cradle. That's just the single-player, too: imagine just how wonderful a consistent 60FPS online experience could be.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll ever be officially released. Boo Microsoft. Boo Nintendo. Boo MGM and the Broccoli's.
There were no images of the original GoldenEye on Gamespress, only the Daniel Craig remake. Boo Gamespress.
What game would you like to see receive an FPS boost? Let us know below.
With last week’s announcement of Aliens: Fireteam re-igniting our love for the co-operative shooter and more media being streamed into our eyes than you can shake a TV Licence at, we wondered what other shows or films might make for a half-decent game tie-in.
It’s a delicate balance of course, as you need characters you can latch onto, but none that are clearly overpowered, since that would upset the team dynamic. Do you have any ideas? Leave them in the comments.
There's a Starship Troopers RTS currently in development, but no co-op shooter.
James | The Boys
While the recent track record with superhero games isn’t great (Marvel’s Avengers left me a little lukewarm) there’s another way to go about it, enter The Boys.
There’s still a hint of superhero magic, but not so much that you get overwhelmed by it, as in The Boys the superpowers are on the opposing team. Not to mention, they are actually a team, albeit a dysfunctional one (like most online co-op games I’ve played, honestly).
The best co-op shooters manage to give the individual characters just enough character, without everyone wanting to be one. Take Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, he might be a crack shot with a shotgun, but perhaps he lets his temper get the better of him now and again, making him unreliable, so using him is a bit of a gamble.
There’s certainly some balance issues to bear in mind. A flat out fight between a ragged band of ne'er-do-wells with the odd baseball bat isn’t going to do much when there’s superpowers to contend with, so perhaps a bit of Hitman-inspired infiltration will be the name of the game. Imagine sneaking into Vought Tower and pulling off a synchronised attack...
Every fight's a boss fight when you're going up against superheroes.
Sam | Creepshow
There’s a definite trend for bringing back old horror franchises as multiplayer and/or co-op games right now. An ideal candidate to join the growing roster would be Creepshow, the 1980s anthology series recently revived by AMC streaming service Shudder.
Every episode features two standalone, tongue-in-cheek tales of terror. Its constantly rotating cast, locations and antagonists would make for a completely bonkers and incredibly varied gaming experience spread across separate levels.
One minute players would be battling suburban ghosts at Halloween, next werewolves and Nazis in occupied France, then shrinking down to battle murderous miniatures in a doll’s house. The madness wouldn’t end there, either, with regenerating aliens, trickster genies, a world-eating blob and more left to eliminate.
It’d be an excellent candidate for DLC expansions, too. The developers could be endlessly creative and run with almost any idea they had. As levels would be standalone, there’d be no need to worry about how to sustain the seed of something special. Lots of promising plans end up on the cutting room floor because they don’t fit a conventional story arc, which wouldn’t be an issue here.
A miniature co-op shooter actually sounds quite fun.
What franchise do you think would make a good co-op shooter? Let us know below.
It was 2013 when EA triumphantly announced its 10-year exclusive deal with the Star Wars licence and now it seems all that may be coming to an end.
Last week's news brought us the Lucasfilm Games brand, a new Ubisoft Star Wars game from the creator of The Division series and, perhaps most excitingly, a teaser trailer for an Indiana Jones game from Bethesda.
As we ponder what it all means, leave your own musings in the comments.
Throw Indy's hat on him and we're pretty much there.
I’m slightly more optimistic than Sam when it comes to Ubisoft’s and Lucasfilm Games’ untitled Star Wars project. I’m happy to acknowledge that the former does tend to recycle a familiar set of features in their games, but I don’t find it so much of an issue if I’m enjoying the overall story and gameplay.
The fact that it’s being developed by The Division makers Massive also gives me hope. While I wasn’t a huge fan of bullet-sponge bosses and loot grinding, I did thoroughly enjoy exploring the in-game world and hunting down snippets of surprisingly decent story.
Even if it turns out good rather than great, I still think it’ll be fun to play just because I enjoy Star Wars. EA’s Battlefront reboot took, quite rightly, a bit of flak for lacking content, but that didn’t stop me from having fun using iconic blasters and running around as a Stormtrooper.
As for the Indiana Jones game, we’ll just have to wait and see. I expect we’ll be getting something similar to the Tomb Raider reboot and the Uncharted games, which is no bad thing. Its iconic hero and (hopefully) 1930s setting would certainly give it a unique selling point.
The Division also had a lot of snow. Hoth setting confirmed!
However much you like or loathe The Division, the Snowdrop engine that powers it is a marvel to behold, especially when it comes to snow. A third-person, more Splinter Cell-inspired espionage outing or perhaps one where you explore one of Star Wars' many sprawling locales seems very much in Ubisoft's wheelhouse.
The track record may not be...ahem...stellar...but a bit of lightsaber magic here and a "maclunkey" there could push the experience from a good game to a great game.
Indiana Jones is a different kettle of fish. Comparisons to both Uncharted and Tomb Raider will be difficult to avoid, but we know Machine Games can deliver an action-based narrative, so that's what's got me most excited.
The future of other notable franchises is even more exciting. Surely ideas for a game based on The Mandalorian must already be in development as we speak, and who could resist the chance to be the Galaxy's hottest gunslinger?
Don't know what 'maclunkey' means? This guy gets it.
What are your thoughts on the newly announced Lucasfilm games? Let us know below.