Tag: News

The best games of 2019 so far, ranked

25 Aug 19
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It hasn’t been a great year for blockbuster games, but dig around and there are some absolute belters, including Apex Legends, Outer Wilds and Tetris 9

 

Original source = wired

Apex Legends
Any casual observer, skimming through lists of blockbuster releases, might conclude that 2019 hasn’t been a great year for games. At a certain level, they’d be right: the dearth of real must-have titles is most likely down to the fact that we are reaching the end of every console’s life-cycle.

Fear not, however – if you venture deeper into 2019’s murky depths, you can find a panoply of shining gems. (The trick is not being afraid to go indie). Speaking of which, we have a handy guide to the best indie games if you’re interested, and try our guide the new games in 2019 for what’s coming soon. But, without further ado, here’s our list of the best games of 2019 so far.

1. Resident Evil 2

 

This is the best kind of remake. Rather than lightly remaster 1998’s version with new textures and effects, Capcom has re-made the game entirely for today’s hardware. The result is a terrifying delight that looks incredible and plays better than ever thanks to a switch to the over-the-shoulder viewpoint first seen in Resident Evil 4. For anyone who loved the original but didn’t enjoy its awkward fixed camera angles, it’s a great chance to revisit a genuine classic.

 

2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

 

From Software, of Bloodborne and Dark Souls fame, give us yet another ridiculously punishing action-adventure, but this time set in an ancient samurai mythos. There’s also less role-playing and levelling up: this is stealthier, story-driven quest. A grappling hook lets you zip around and sneak up on your kills. Single-player only, you won’t be able to summon buddies to help you in a game some reviewers have said is the hardest From Software release of all time. Depending on your relationship to the Souls series, this news may excite or terrify you.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

3. Devil May Cry 5

 

Much like Mortal Kombat, Devil May Cry is an old series, and this latest version is the best entry. The series focuses on Dante, (named after the Italian poet), who must avenge his murdered mother by killing legions of demons. The game is combat heavy: players must string chains of attacks into special moves and eliminate hundreds of enemies. Reviewers are pretty much unanimous: “the question of which Devil May Cry game is the best has gotten much easier with Devil May Cry 5”, says Mitchell Saltzman over at IGN.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

4. Outer Wilds

 

An action-adventure game set in a magical-looking solar system, with an emphasis on exploration. You play as a member of a four-eyed race of purple aliens, on a mission to find out where they come from, and whether life existed in the solar system before them. Plot twist: every 22 minutes, the sun implodes and you start again. The game is currently generating massive acclaim as well as much discussion around its deep, moving story and extraordinary vistas. A lot of this is down to the game’s central conceit: much like Majora’s Mask, the sun ends all life, which adds both an interesting gameplay trope and a moving theme to proceedings.

Platforms: Xbox One and PC

5. Mortal Kombat 11

 

More heart-ripping, acid-dissolving, scorpion-biting fun from one of the most beloved and controversial series in gaming. As Wesley Yin-Poole explains over at Eurogamer, this is the superior Mortal Kombat offering: “a kind of Mortal Kombat greatest hits package and certainly NetherRealm’s best-playing fighting game ever.” The gameplay caters to old hands while providing entertainment for the large, amateur section of the game’s audience who just want to button bash and pull off their friends’ heads. Playing online, as with any fighter, is still a harrowing experience. You will get destroyed.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

6. Tetris 99

 

It’s Tetris, but battle royale: it sounds impossible, but it’s incredible fun. The clue is in the title: you and 98 other players play a fast-paced game of Tetris until one player is left standing. You get upgrades to attack other players. Mayhem ensues. Extremely addictive and extremely popular, this has been a coup for Nintendo as a Switch exclusive. It’s free-to-play, but you need a Switch Online subscription to play. Unless you really like NES games, Tetris 99 is the best reason to get one.

Platforms: Switch

7. Hypnospace Outlaw

 

A gorgeously animated detective game, which draws on the aesthetic of the late 90s and early 2000s internet pages (think Myspace and Geocities). You surf this exciting looking web, trying to stop illegal activities such as copyright infringement. If you were around during this era of the internet, the game will bring you back to a time before Facebook and the iPhone changed the web. The puzzles themselves are also fiendishly constructed and rewarding.

Platforms: PC

8. Metro Exodus

 

 

The Metro series, based on a series of books by Dmitry Glukhovsky, are broadly set in post-apocalyptic Russia. These survival horror games are known for their claustrophobic atmosphere, stunning graphics, and mix of stealth and FPS shooting action against desperate humans and irradiated monsters. Metro Exodus, the fourth entry in the series, takes place in more sandbox-like open-world levels, as opposed to the linear offerings of the older games. Be warned, it’s scary!

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

9. Void Bastards

 

Void Bastards is an indie FPS with some of the most stunning comic-book inspired graphics we’ve ever seen. If you are at all into cel-shading art styles, Void Bastards is a must play. Luckily, the gameplay is also excellent: a thoughtful shooter inspired by Bioshock and System Shock 2. Why the name? Well you’re a convict sent into space to repair the ‘Void Ark’ and it’s full of alien bastards. As Samuel Roberts at PC Gamer explains, “While there is a stealth element to Void Bastards, it’s mostly about shooting weird, British aliens in tight corridors and rooms.“

Platforms: PC, Xbox One

10. Wargroove

 

This turn-based tactics game is a must-buy for all Advance Wars fans. Imagine Nintendo’s classic reinvented with a fantasy theme, and you’ll be pretty close to what Wargroove offers. Choose between four factions, take turns to build up your armies and guide them across a top-down map into battle against the opposition. Solid multiplayer and an in-depth level editor will keep you coming back for more.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Switch

11. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

 

Fire Emblem is one of those series, now at sixteen main games and three spin-offs, that’s absolutely massive and seminal in Japan but reaches more of a niche market in the West. (Players may know its characters best from the introduction of Marth and Roy to Super Smash Bros Melee). The games are famous for their permanent death feature – if your character dies, that’s it. The latest release is a tactical roleplayer, where you move your characters across grid-based environments but also level them up like a more traditional role-playing game – it’s a Nintendo exclusive, and a high point in the series long history.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

12. Blood and Truth

 

Playstation VR hasn’t had many great games – Blood and Truth is one of the better ones, and it was in fact the first ever virtual reality game to top the UK charts. It’s an expanded version of the “London Heist” level from VR Worlds – you’re an army veteran pushed into a murky London criminal underworld. Expect lots of shooting, explosions and bad cockney accents.

Platforms: Playstation VR

13. Pikuniku

 

 

A loveable 2D puzzle platformer where you play a small being called Pikuniku, trying to save his cartoon town from corporate interference. Animated in a children’s book style, the visuals in Pikuniku are beautiful and charming; the title character reminds you of a child’s drawing of themselves, where they draw only legs and head, forgetting their body. You use these long legs to solve puzzles and kick objects, including many of the game’s characters.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

14. My Friend Pedro

 

An absolutely chaotic shoot ’em up where your goal is to create as much cinematic mayhem as possible. Careen off walls and bullet-time spin through the air to mow down your prey. You’re also best friends with a talking banana. The shooting action is addictively frenetic. There are tons of different ways to finish your enemies: throw a frying pan in the air and use it to spray bullets at unlucky foes; swing through the air from a bungee rope and chuck dead enemy’s body parts at their allies.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch

15. Apex Legends

 

A challenger to Fornite’s dominance approaches. Apex Legends hit one million, ten million and 50m players faster than Epic’s cultural phenomenon. It offers the now-standard battle royale formula – players skydive onto an island and try to kill each other. Innovations, like a character class system akin to Overwatch, keep Legends from feeling stale. And just like Fortnite, it’s free-to-play, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

16. Sunless Skies

 

The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sunless Skies is a top-down steampunk space adventure set in a universe where the British “Victorian Empire” has gone interplanetary. It’s as much a literary experience as a gaming one, filled as it is with bizarre, intriguing vignettes. The gameplay leans heavily on the survival and rogue-lite genres, forcing you to make hard decisions to survive as you battle space pirates and monsters. It’ll leave you with memorable tales of surviving by your wits and absorb you for forty hours or more.

Platforms: PC

17. Observation

 

In Observation, you control a space station AI trying to recover after the crew disappears. It’s a neat reversal of the trapped in space trope and the limitations of controlling an AI, as opposed to a mobile protagonist, creates an interesting dynamic for this story-driven adventure. Echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey are writ large throughout and it’s short enough to be completed in a day.

Platforms: PS4 and PC

18. Super Mario Maker 2

The original Super Mario Maker was a brilliant idea sadly marooned on the colossal failure that was the Wii U. But it’s back and it’s on the Switch, where many a Wii U game has found a second life. As the name suggests, it’s all about building your own Mario levels based on assets from numerous previous games, and playing those made by others. It includes local and online competitive modes, a co-op level making mode for two players, and a Story Mode with 100 levels to complete.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Call Of Duty Modern Warefare

Here’s why Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s weapons may feel a little different than you’re used to

13 Aug 19
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Infinity Ward discusses bullet drop and weapon archetype changes

(Image credit: Activision)

In a lot of ways, Activision and Infinity Ward are going back to basics with the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot. Returning characters, classic guns, and none (or way, way less) of the new-age sci-fi nuttiness that’s defined the most recent games. But as Infinity Ward explained in a recent blog post, the new Modern Warfare is also making fundamental changes to the way weapons handle. 

“We were a little less precious with these [weapons] systems,” said multiplayer design director Geoff Smith. “We looked to see what still made sense, and pulled stuff out that we feel didn’t work, even if it made the team uncomfortable. Everybody on the team had pre-conceived notions on what ‘Call of Duty’ is and we had to shake people out of that mindset.” 

Some longstanding weapon types are also receiving a bit of a shake-up. SMGs, for instance, have been high-recoil close-range weapons for years, but as Smith noted, “in reality, they are low-calibre weapons and are easier to control; they’re lower damage, they’re fairly accurate, so we’ve shifted the role of that weapon around.”

At the same time, some of the customisation options coming in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Gunsmith system will give weapons a huge range of, well, ranges. Smith teased that “we have a shotgun that you can make by adding a long-barrel and a sniper scope, making it a sniper shotgun. Or you can modify that same weapon by removing the barrel and stock, and get this snub-nose, super-fast weapon that’s completely different than how you started out.”

Speaking of the multiplayer skill ceiling: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will thankfully have dedicated servers on all platforms.

 

Call of Duty fans, you can finally rest easy: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will have dedicated servers and support crossplay at launch. According to a Game Informer cover story (via Charlie Intel), Infinity Ward and Activision are confirming that alongside full cross-play support for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Modern Warfare will feature dedicated servers to ideally help ensure stability at launch and beyond.

Dedicated servers aren’t anything new to Call of Duty, but with the introduction of crossplay support to the franchise with the upcoming Modern Warfare, it’s even more crucial to ensure stable server performance by forking out for dedicated servers. With the pervasive issue of server instability in online competitive gaming, it’s a big relief to hear it’s quickly becoming commonplace for AAA developers to address the issue before it becomes an issue.

As for cross-play, it’ll work similar to Fortnite, where matchmaking is input-based. That means players using controllers will be paired with other controller-users, and mouse & keyboard players will be paired up likewise. As for PC players looking to play with console-based friends, Infinity Ward has come up with a seemingly workable solution; in these situations, teams of mixed input players will be matched with other teams comprised of both mouse & keyboard players and controller players.

 
 

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The Big O

Every Console In One Box

28 Jul 19
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Every Console In One Box – The Origin Big O

A first look from Unbox therapy

 

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Twitch.TV

Some Streamers Are Boycotting Twitch To Show Support Of The Amazon Prime Day Strike

16 Jul 19
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Nathan GrasonOriginal source by Nathan Grayson

Unless you’ve got the world’s most powerful ad blocker, you’re probably painfully aware that it’s Prime Day, a holiday that Amazon made up because it could. Deals parade naked in the streets and the company hosts glitzy concerts, all to encourage Amazon Prime subscribers to stick around. For the second year in a row, however, some Amazon warehouse workers are striking in the midst of all this; workers in Germany are striking over unfair pay, whereas workers in Minnesota are striking over unsafe working conditions. Amazon owns Twitch, and some streamers are boycotting the streaming platform for the next two days as a show of solidarity. For other streamers, though, the situation isn’t so black and white.

Last year, warehouse workers in Germany, Poland, and Spain chose to strike during Prime Day. Again, this year, Amazon workers in Germany are striking again, and now also, workers at a fulfillment center in Minnesota are joining the strike. “Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful,” said William Stolz, a Minnesota-based Amazon employee and strike organiser, to Bloomberg. “We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs.”

Amazon, which is run by the single wealthiest man in the world, finally increased its minimum payment for warehouse workers in the United States to $15 late last year, after painstaking campaigns from workers and pressure from politicians like Bernie Sanders. However, many still feel that the company’s focus on productivity quotas often comes to blows with basic standards of workplace safety. In addition, workers hope to see more temp gigs turn into full-time employment. In addition to the strikes in Minnesota and Germany, protests are taking place in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and locations in Europe.

[Update 7/15/2019, 8:20 PM ET: In an email to Kotaku, an Amazon spokesperson defended the company’s current practices, saying that employee safety is “our number one priority” and that “training is constant, both in making sure employees know how best to work with the technology in the facility and also how to prevent injuries.” The spokesperson also said that “more than 75 percent of associates are already exceeding rate expectations before any changes are considered” and the company supports “people who are not performing to the levels expected with dedicated coaching to help them improve.” As for the Minnesota facility specifically, the company says that 90 percent of workers are full-time employees, and over 100 temp workers have been offered full-time jobs this year.]

Meanwhile, on social media platforms, people are encouraging others to steer clear of Amazon-owned products and platforms like Kindle, Audible, Goodreads, IMDB, Whole Foods, Comixology, Amazon Web Services, and Twitch. During this time period, however, Twitch is also running its own Prime Day event titled “Twitch Sells Out,” which may not have been the most amazing naming choice in light of the whole strike thing. Twitch describes Twitch Sells Out as a “shoppertainment-style program” in which popular streamers talk up deals in the ever-fertile fields of gaming, electronics, and of course, “related products.” All of this has sparked a debate about what exactly it means to cross a picket line when the company in question has its fingers in innumerable pies and you’re a contractor on a platform where a couple days of radio silence can be ruinous.

For some Twitch streamers, going dark for the next two days is a no-brainer.

“I think it’s really simple to show solidarity to people who have it hard,” said Adam “Yoman5” Hernandez, a competitive Magic: The Gathering streamer who won’t be streaming for the next two days, in a Twitter DM to Kotaku. “A two-day strike did wonders already over at Polygon, and while that’s a much smaller affair, a strike is really disruptive to the company’s production and can force the company to actually address concerns. A boycott in solidarity with the strike can hit Amazon in the only place they care: sales numbers.”

Josh Boykin, a video game critic who regularly streams on Twitch and who’s planning to host a Tacoma-themed discussion about mega-corporations on his first day back on Twitch later this week, agreed. “Amazon workers have striked many times beyond Prime Day, but taking these two days off in particular helps give more attention to their collective action and is a small way I can help raise awareness to their efforts,” he said to Kotaku in a DM. “I’ve benefited from being on Twitch, but Twitch and Amazon have both taken steps that seem to negatively affect the health and safety of the people that power their ecosystems. Whether it’s streamers experiencing harassment or workers in unfair labour conditions, I think, for those of us who have the ability, it’s worthwhile to take some time and make sure we’re all thinking about these issues and the many others that come with our work.”

“Whether it’s streamers experiencing harassment or workers in unfair labour conditions, I think, for those of us who have the ability, it’s worthwhile to take some time and make sure we’re all thinking about these issues and the many others that come with our work.”
But for some streamers, it’s not so simple. Twitch is a platform designed to funnel people down rabbit holes of near-infinite content by way of pages full of algorithmic recommendations, tags, browsing features that encourage you to look around even while watching other streamers, and more. Twitch viewers can be fickle, seemingly prone to seeking out new entertainment (and retracting valuable subscriptions) when streamers aren’t rigorously sticking to a regular schedule. Two days off may not seem like a lot, but for some streamers who are trying to maintain sustainable viewership’s or even just push for them via things like Twitch’s partner program—which requires an average of 75 concurrent viewers per stream—it’s a bridge too far.

Even though Hernandez is striking himself, he says he gets why not everyone would. “Twitch streamers are independent contractors under Amazon with no guaranteed income,” said Hernandez. “There are drastic negative consequences on that income from taking days off streaming. Even a day or two can really hurt someone’s ability to maintain a following and I don’t think it’s fair to ‘make’ them join the strike. Streaming is not my primary income so I can personally take that step and just delay my usual Monday stream to not coincide with the strike and boycott, but I know the harsh realities of streaming and the compounding effects of a day or two off compared to other jobs.”

It’s worth noting that few top streamers are supporting the boycott, despite almost certainly having the means and bandwidth to do so. A whole host of bigger streamers, meanwhile, are participating in the Twitch Sells Out event. Kotaku reached out to a handful of them to ask if business obligations compelled them to do so in spite of the strike, but did not hear back as of this publishing.

There’s been no small amount of discontent directed at streamers who’ve opted to go live despite the strike. This has led to calls for people to understand where some streamers are coming from.

“If you are participating in the Amazon strike, please please do not punish Twitch streamers for working,” said PinkuShika, an artist who’s streaming today, on Twitter. “Many use it as a platform to earn income to pay rent, bills, and buy food. Most don’t have other sources of steady income, like artists! Taking a break is not an option for some.”

Adam Koebel, a tabletop-focused streamer who often speaks up about workers’ rights, initially expressed this viewpoint in even stronger terms, saying on Twitter that people should “buy shit for cheap today if it makes you happy, or boycott Amazon altogether” and apply a similar approach to Twitch, because ultimately “when we eat our comrades alive for not being left enough,” corporations and other powerful entities win. In a Twitter DM to Kotaku, however, Koebel said that he’d deleted his initial tweet because he realised it came across as flippant. What he was trying to convey, he said, was how Amazon has wormed its way into countless elements of our lives both on- and offline and how that makes expressing solidarity more complex than it might initially seem.

“I think what’s happening is this deep, weird problem where we want to fight back against bad corporate practice (in this case, warehouse worker treatment) and if this were a simpler world, it’d be a case of just supporting the strike directly,” he said. “Because Amazon is so deeply ingrained in our entire internet experience, we’re seeing secondary Amazon services like Twitch, and the independent folks who use those services for a living, being assigned solidarity violations by association.”

Amazon’s domination and the disembowelment of workers ensnared in its many tendrils, Koebel explained, puts everybody involved in a position of precarity, to the point that even a simple strike can be a tenuous proposition. This is good for the company and bad for workers who want more. Solidarity in times of protest is meant to get around these sorts of practices—thus people’s distaste for scabs—but Twitch’s structure makes it uniquely difficult.

“I don’t have an answer about whether it’s ethical or not for any given person to broadcast on Twitch during Prime Day,” Koebel said. “I think it’s a reasonable thing for people to avoid services provided by Amazon in solidarity. I don’t know that it’s the right choice for every broadcaster to risk their livelihood during that same period. I hope people will consider how they criticise one another over it. I made a badly-expressed point, and I’m thankful for the response I got to it and to have the chance to come at it from another angle. Is broadcasting the same as crossing a picket line or buying a new TV during Prime Day? I don’t know that I have a concrete answer.”

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Google is doing an awful job selling Stadia to gamers

10 Jul 19
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You can now pre-order Google’s game-streaming platform Stadia but the launch titles and pricing leaves a lot of questions unanswered

 

 

Getting its announcements in just before the madness of E3 kicks off, Google has finally revealed more information on its upcoming streaming platform, Stadia. In a live stream on Thursday, Google’s Phil Harrison, leading the Stadia project, detailed the launch window, pricing and hardware options.
The announcements gave us more insight into how the game-streaming platform would work, but do they convince that cloud gaming is the future of the medium? My main concern remains the viability of the service. Harrison claimed Stadia can deliver a 4K HDR gaming experience at 60fps with 5.1 surround sound, with only a 35Mbps connection. Despite Google having tested the backbone of the service in October 2018 as ‘Project Stream’ with a 1080p Assassin’s Creed Odyssey accessible via Chrome browsers, I’m skeptical.

I was watching the YouTube stream on a 100Mbps connection, set to fixed 1080p, and even then could still see artefacting. That’s with YouTube only being a video site, too – it doesn’t need to transmit controller inputs to and from a cloud-sourced game without any perceptible lag. That’s to say nothing of how Stadia might cope with periods of high demand, or exceedingly popular games which might exert added pressure. Perhaps there is some special sauce for Stadia that means it will work more smoothly – we’ll have to see.
When it comes to pricing structures, Google’s messaging for Stadia came across as muddled. There will be, essentially, two versions – Stadia Pro and Stadia Base. The former launches in November, and is a subscription service which will set you back £8.99 per month. That’s actually slightly less than the £10-£15 we estimated it would cost when Stadia was first announced back in March – and crucially undercuts Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass by a quid – but you’ll currently only be able to sign up if you pre-order the Founder’s Edition. This is the closest that the ethereal Stadia gets to a hardware bundle, packing in a limited edition “Night Blue” controller, a Chromecast Ultra, three month’s Stadia Pro access, a three-month “Buddy Pass” to gift Pro access to a friend, and first dibs on a user name. That will set you back £119.
Then there’s Stadia Base – a lower spec offering, delivering only 1080p/60fps video and stereo sound, but without the monthly subscription commitment – you simply buy the games you want on an ad hoc basis. This version of Stadia isn’t set to launch until 2020.
However, Stadia Pro isn’t quite a “Netflix of games”, with an all-you-can-eat buffet of titles. Instead, your monthly £8.99 is buying you access to the platform, with its 4K quality. While there will be a selection of freely accessible titles – starting with Destiny 2, which will offer the base game plus all expansions and DLC to date – these won’t permanently be accessible. If you want to play a game in perpetuity, you’ll still need to buy a copy to own.
This is confusing. A cursory glance of social media sees plenty of people thinking that Pro is a subscription to a gaming library; we had to confirm with a Google representative exactly what you’re getting from a Pro subscription. We were told “Stadia Pro is closer to an Amazon Prime subscription than a Netflix one – it’s the access to a service, playing across screens in up to 4K/60fps/HDR with 5.1 surround sound. You have to pay for the items you want [to keep].”

Which raises the matter of what people will be playing on Stadia. Google has confirmed more than 30 games set to come to the platform. Announced titles include shooters such as Metro Exodus, Rage 2 and DOOM, adventure games including the rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy, fighting titles Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and Mortal Kombat 11, RPGs both online and off – The Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XV, respectively – and even the sedate delights of Farming Simulator 19. Games from Capcom, EA, and Rockstar are also set to be available but these publishers will reveal their titles at a later date.
It’s a diverse selection, but these are mostly games players will have already experienced elsewhere, and while the stream landed one major reveal – Larian Studios’ upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3 – it isn’t exclusive to the platform and won’t launch alongside Stadia. Two exclusives that were shown were Coatsink Games’ Get Packed, a multiplayer, physics-based action game with shades of Overcooked, and Tequila Works’ Gylt, an eerie adventure through a nightmarish world of shadows. Both games look great – but will they be enough to bring in subscribers? Plus, there’s no word yet on which, if any, of the announced titles will be part of Stadia’s cycling library for Pro subscribers, and which will only be available for distinct purchase.
A real “wow” moment appeared to be missing from the announcement, which leaves me wondering if Stadia might struggle to entice consumers approaching subscription fatigue. Sure, £8.99 per month is a bargain at a glance, but will people be satisfied in paying merely for platform access, while still having to buy games on top – games that, given they’re in the cloud, they never truly own? Pro subscribers will get “exclusive discounts on select game purchases”, but is that enough to take the sting out of the tail? Or will Stadia’s rotating library of games satisfy people’s gaming needs?
For some it will, but more realistically we seem to be entering an era where you’ll need as many subs for gaming as you do for streaming video – especially if you want to get every big game regardless of platform exclusivity. Add Stadia’s £8.99 to the monthly fees for Xbox Game Pass (useful as a comparison for now, until Microsoft reveals its own streaming plans), PlayStation Now, and maybe even Humble Monthly Bundle, and your monthly gaming bill begins to look pricey. Factor in how disparate video platforms are getting as well – you already need Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Now TV to get access to most exclusive content, and the impending launch of Disney’s new platform will add another must-have – and there’s a risk people are going to start feeling driven to entertainment bankruptcy; death by a thousand subs. Stadia needs something big to stand out.
All that said, Google is one of only a few companies that could conceivably deliver game streaming in a manner that mechanically works, potentially erasing the choppy experience of past attempts such as OnLive. If the final experience matches the company’s claims of flawless lagless gaming in 4K HDR, it will have achieved something very special.

 

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