When I first started looking back at the happenings of July I just about threw myself off a bridge in a fit of sorrow. Ukraine and Russia continued their feud, a large and deadly earthquake in Mexico killed several people, typhoons in the Pacific were wreaking havoc, and the ebola outbreak in West Africa continued to claim lives. Thankfully, an Editor who shall not be named told me that if I didn’t finish this piece I wouldn’t have to worry about tossing myself off a tall structure because he’d be there to give me a push. So with that in mind, I’ll continue.
Even the weather was cause for concern with a dry and hot month across most of the UK. There were a few areas that did see substantial rainfall but that, of course, led to some nasty flooding so there are no real positives to be taken from there. While it would be easy to fold our tent and assume July was a bad month not worth reviewing, fret not, for sports and video games will save us. I’m sure many Argentinians will disagree with me but July did see a fantastic game of football, with Germany defeating Argentina in the final game of the FIFA World Cup, 1-0. Germany received another solid goaltending performance from Manuel Neuer and their lone goal off the left foot of Mario Götze in extra time was a thing of beauty.
So how about those video games? Well it turns out that the rainfall totals, the general sanity of world, and video game releases for July all had something in common: there wasn’t much to speak of. The most popular article on the site in July was the Destiny beta code sharing thread where the TSA community did what it does best, pleasantly sharing codes, experiences and opinions with other gamers while partying up to go cause some mayhem. Speaking of the Destiny beta, in the midst of a long summer with very few major releases, the beta was a welcome distraction from a lack of content on the new platforms and most of you seemed to enjoy it, as did the majority of us in the TSA towers.
Elsewhere in July, we saw a nasty bug on Xbox Live result in gamers being mistakenly charged for a couple of game demos, which subsequently resulted in the internet’s collective head exploding. 3D bluray support finally made its way to the PS4 via firmware update 1.75, as did another round of the mega-awesome stability Sony keeps adding to the console. And finally the debate over EA Access, its value (or lack thereof), and Sony’s decision to keep the program off their newest platform all contributed to a very polarizing month of game news.
So with world events and gaming news out of the way, we turn to the actual releases. As noted above, it wasn’t a fantastic month for new games but there were a few worth noting, starting with Sniper Elite III. While we weren’t exactly thrilled with all the bugs we encountered during our time with it, the solid sniping mechanics and the ability to shoot enemies in the yam bag ultimately provided more fun than frustration. Some of you weren’t a fan of it, as seen in the WeView, but it did well enough to take the top billing on the UK charts for a week before Watch Dogs reclaimed the spot for the remainder of the month.
Telltale had a very big month in July with the final episode of the Wolf Among Us releasing on multiple platforms just shortly before the fourth episode in season two of the Walking Dead. Blair thought highly of episode four, noting a strong second half of the episode and an fantastic finish. Oddworld: New ’n’ Tasty also found its way to the PS4 in July and we were pretty happy with this remaster of the original PlayStation classic, which is a safe bet for just about any platforming fan, even if you never played the original.
Last but certainly not least we got The Last of Us Remastered, which applied a very spiffy new coat of paint to what is now widely considered one of the greatest games of all time. Naughty Dog also put their hounds on upping the frame rate to a solid 60fps, which resulted in one of the better looking games we’ve had this generation, even though it originated on last-gen hardware. We didn’t take the time to re-review the game since the only thing that changed were the visuals and performance, but we did put together a little piece describing some of our favorite moments in the game, which many of you added to in the comments. The Last of Us made its way to the top of the American charts, as did the PS4 for the seventh straight month.
So that’s the short version of what happened in July. There was some other drama going on behind the scenes here at TSA but our lawyer made it very clear we’re not to mention our failed attempt to kidnap Jack Tretton to make him work for us. So since we’re not going to talk about that at all, what are your best memories from July?