I am aware of all the E3 news as well as the news about the Atari VCS, but I will cover them on the next Ten After Ten.
According to a Reddit post by Need for Speed Community Manager Max Myrus, several older Need for Speed titles have been delisted from digital storefronts, and their online services will be turned off on August 31st. The titles listed include Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed The Run, Need for Speed Shift, and Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed. The games will still be playable offline after August 31st.
According to Myrus, the games being delisted and taken offline was the result of low player counts. “The development teams and operational staff have put a lot of time and passion into the development, creation, release and upkeep of the game over the years, and we love to see you play. But the number of players has come to a point where it's no longer feasible to continue the work behind the scenes required to keep Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run up and running.”
Designer Judy A. Juracek has filed a complaint to Connecticut court alleging that Capcom used photos from her copyrighted book Surfaces for multiple Capcom titles including Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 4. The book was originally published in 1996, and Juracek states any commercial use of her photos requires licensing, something she alleges Capcom did not do. Juracek had over 200 instances of Capcom using her images, including the Resident Evil 4 logo. A few of the alleged files even had the same file names as the CD-ROM version of her book.
Shortly before this incident, director of the film Frankenstein’s Army accused Capcom of stealing a monster design. One of the bosses in Resident Evil Village is a large, human-like creature with a propeller head, something the film also has. The director, Richard Raaphorst, also said Capcom didn’t approach him.
Three long-time veterans of Giant Bomb—Alex Navarro, Brad Shoemaker, and Vincent Caravella—recently left the company which two of them helped start. Recently, the three of them announced a new project they are working on together called ‘Nextlander.’ Their current plan is to make a weekly podcast and Twitch streams, as well as exclusive content for Patreon backers, which they already have over 11,000 of.
According to Tencent’s official website and translated by Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad, Call of Duty Online will be no more. The Chinese free-to-play PC game originally launched in 2015, and will be shuttered at the end of August due to declining revenue. Users will be offered free items in Call of Duty: Mobile as an incentive to push the remaining users to their mobile title. Call of Duty Online was notable for being the first Call of Duty title that catered to Chinese markets as well as the first free-to-play title in the franchise.
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Necromunda: Hired Gun is a fast-paced first-person shooter set in the Warhammer 40k universe about a bounty hunter chasing down a high-level reward. I actually picked up and played this game to its entirety (which is why I decided to skip on the last section of this Ten After Ten), and while it certainly has some jank to it, I quite enjoyed my time with the game. The combat is fast-paced, the combat and traversal abilities are fun, and the universe the game takes place in is really cool. I won’t put out a review of this game for quite some time because I need to catch up on other writings, but I think this game is a diamond in the rough, except with a whole lot of rough. Necromunda: Hired Gun released on the 1st for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Operation: Tango is a cooperative espionage game about an agent and a hacker partaking on spy missions. I think forced co-op games like this one or like the recent It Takes Two are fascinating, and I think mixing that with a light-hearted spy thriller sounds like a lot of fun. Plus, the Friend Pass makes it easier to play with others, and I think having the two players separate similar to Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes allows for more interesting cooperation and dialogue. Operation: Tango released on the 1st for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts 2
Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts 2 is the first-person shooter follow-up to the first game about taking on contracts to eliminate high-value targets, but this time in the desert. I’m a fan of the first Contracts title and the direction they took with their level design and replayability, so having more of that is fine by me. While it may not stray far from the core mechanics and gameplay loop of the first Contracts game, I believe the fun sniping and replayable levels will carry the experience. Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts 2 released on the 4th for PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.
It’s strange to think this is my 48th monthly anticipated releases blog, but that just means it’s close to fifty. Usually in the month of June, everything goes to the wayside for “E3” or whatever we call it now, but I still found some releases to get excited about. I’m excited to see what people will do with Game Builder Garage, Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts 2 looks like follow-up to the first game which I certainly don’t mind, Operation: Tango may be my first venture into forced co-op games, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart looks to be another stellar Sony release, and Necromunda: Hired Gun took my top spot.
Thanks to the fine folks at Terminals.io, I was able to play Biomutant for the PC. It has been a long road since I first tried the game at Gamestop Expo back in 2017, but I unfortunately don’t believe the game lives up to the hype. While it excels in a few areas like combat and crafting, a lot of major parts of this game like story and RPG elements fall short. In the end I gave the game a 3/5, and while it’s hard for me to recommend purchasing it at full price, I do think it is a unique world with some redeeming gameplay qualities.
This is now my sixth entry into my Criterion Collection style list of video games, adding four more wonderful games worth playing. Far Cry 3 is the franchise’s defining title, popularizing both the franchise itself as well as a new style of open-world game seen throughout releases since then. Dying Light combines parkour and zombies to satisfying effect while also including other great elements like a day-night cycle that goes beyond aesthetic and fun weapons. Tales from the Borderlands shows that even the goofiest franchises can have great stories if given the time and effort. Finally, The Beginner’s Guide is a short but meaningful exploration into the works of another in the hopes of figuring out who this person truly is.