It’s been a week for both reflection and action, with the truths of inequality within society have been brought starkly back into view, both through the anti-racism protests in the US and around the world and how they’ve often been met by a shocking amount of force.
It’s yet another wake up call about how representation and attitudes need to shift, but what’s good to see is just how many people and companies aren’t content to just hit snooze and wait for it to blow over. That’s extended to video games companies, not only posting their support on social media, but also starting to make positive changes within some of the biggest companies and some of the biggest games out there.
In the News This Week
The irony isn’t particularly lost on me that many of our news stories this week were that events and reveals were being cancelled to let Black Lives Matter dominate this week’s discussion, but even that has the effect of raising awareness of the issues at hand.
- Here’s how video games companies have taken a stand with the Black Lives Matter movement
- The PlayStation 5 reveal event has been delayed, as Sony stand in solidarity with US protests
- Infinity Ward toughen anti-racism measures in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare & Warzone
- Epic Games delays Fortnite’s The Device event and Chapter 2 Season 3 launch for US protests
- GTA Online & Red Dead Online servers will go offline to honour George Floyd
- Guerrilla Collective postponed until next week in support of Black Lives Matter
- EA Play Live postponed for a week to make way for more important conversations
- Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire stream delayed to let “more important discussions” be heard
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 4 and CoD: Mobile Season 7 launches postponed in light of US protests
Of course, there was also other gaming news, and we’ll start with one that was meant to be postponed out of respect for the protests, before the trailer was dropped online by Sony. Oops.
- The Project Cars 3 reveal trailer has dropped, and it’s coming out this summer
- Codemasters snatch the official World Rally Championship license starting in 2023
- Cancelled Avengers FPS gameplay footage has been recovered
- Sega’s Game Gear Micro is so tiny it needs a magnifying glass accessory
- A Total War Saga: Troy will be free for 24 hours upon its exclusive launch on Epic Games Store
Another week, another big old giveaway. This time around we’ll be upgrading one lucky person’s ears with the EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 300. Get your entries in by the end of Monday 8th June.
Games in Review
There were quite a mix of games in the review pool this week, with a lot of games dropping onto Nintendo Switch in particular.
- Song of Horror Complete – PS4, XBO, PC – 9/10
- Skelattack – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC – 8/10
- 51 Worldwide Game – NSW – 8/10
- Borderlands Legendary Collection – NSW – 8/10
- XCOM 2 Collection – NSW – 8/10
- Spirit of the North – PS4, NSW, PC – 7/10
- Liberated – NSW, PC – 6/10
- Red Wings: Aces of the Sky – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC – 6/10
- Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC, Stadia – DLC
And we also had a clutch of hardware reviews>
- EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 300 Gaming Headset – 9/10
- EKSA E900 Stereo Gaming Headset– 8/10
- Creative Soundblaster G3 Portable Gaming DAC – 8/10
The biggest hands on preview of the week came from Jim’s time spent with The Last of Us Part II, sharing some spoiler free thoughts about the highly anticipated sequel.
Though intended to be delayed, the announcement of Project Cars 3 did come this week. It’s a big shift for the series, going from rough and ready sim racing to something more streamlined that’s making a real push for the mainstream. Can it please both audiences?
And I also got to go hands on with the second small scale Total War spin-off, A Total War Saga: Troy. There’s a really interesting blend of the mythological elements of the Iliad, from realistic takes on Minotaurs and hero characters like Achilles and Hector, with the series’ typical approach to large scale warfare.
With the start of the KartRider: Drift beta for Xbox One and PC, Jim spoke with Nexon about KartRider’s ambitions as it comes to the west.
Finally, What We Played featured Terraria, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath & 51 Worldwide Games.
Just two of our most ardent regulars checked in this week:
- Crazy_Del “finally” got the platinum for Call of Duty: WWII, having done so after two years of effort thanks to the surge of new players from PS Plus into the game’s Zombies mode. After that, he decided to dig even deeper into his back catalogue to play GTA III.
- It was COD:WWII for MrYd as well, finding a bit of narrative dissonance in the story. He won’t be bothering with the platinum, so he’s switched back on over to RDR2, finished off Mafia 3 and its DLC, and then sampled 11-11 Memories Retold, Metro Exodus and God Eater 2 from PS Now.
Another week done, stay safe (especially if you’re attending protests amid this pandemic) and we’ll see you again next week.