Most of this week’s news came from The Game Awards, and so we’ve spun all those trailers off into their own article. Head over there if you want footage of Metro: Exodus, Death Stranding, and the director of A Way Out mocking his own publisher EA.
It’s been a surprisingly news-heavy week though. Aside from The Gaming Awards, we also got word of a new Tomb Raider, a new Portal (sort-of), a new Mega Man, a set of Devil May Cry remasters, and more. Oh, also somebody streamed a UFC pay-per-view match on Twitch while pretending to play UFC 3.
This is gaming news for December 4 through 8.
At least it’s free
Homefront isn’t very good. At best it’s a Call of Duty knock-off from the Modern Warfare era, at worst it’s the game that spawned the “Press X to jump in the mass grave” meme. Nevertheless, it’s free for a short time (until Saturday) as part of Humble’s Deep Silver sale. Enjoy.
Tom Clancy's The Division is also holding a try-before-you-buy free weekend to show off the massive 1.8 update that released this week. The update added a whole new area to the map as well as new PvE and PvP modes. We weren't a big fan of The Division's grind when it launched, but Ubisoft's addressed a lot of the major issues over the past year and a half. You might want to give it another whirl while it's free.
Bridge to nowhere
Valve may never make another game again, but Portal at least seems destined to live on as a tie-in for other games. Case in point: This “New Portal Game,” a.k.a. ClockStone’s Bridge Constructor Portal, an upcoming mash-up of the bridge constructor genre with an Aperture Labs aesthetic.
2018: Year of the Tomb Raider
Usually this would be the part where I’d say “Hey, Square announced a new Tomb Raider” and then play you the trailer but...there is no trailer. Instead there’s just a tweet that says “A new Tomb Raider game is coming” and “Our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018.”
So uh...that’s cool I guess.
Overwatch keeps running through repeat events, and as you might expect the “Winter Wonderland” event is next up on the docket. That means the return of Mei’s Creepy Snowball Hellscape (I think the official term is “Snowball Offensive”), a new snowball-themed mode called “Mei’s Yeti Hunt,” as well as character skins both new and returning. Look for it December 12.
Turn it up to 11
Mega Man turns 30 this month if you can believe it, and to celebrate Capcom announced a cadre of upcoming games, old and new. First up: All the Mega Man X games are getting re-released in 2018, though it’s unknown at the moment whether they’ll be bundled (like the recent Mega Man Legacy Collections) or sold separately.
The bigger news is probably Mega Man 11, arriving late 2018. Ditching the NES-throwback look of Mega Man 9 and 10, the latest iteration adopts a 2.5D aesthetic. It looks...surprisingly similar to Mighty No. 9. Or unsurprisingly, I guess.
A different Dante’s inferno
Also coming from Capcom this week: The announcement of Devil May Cry HD Collection. It’s due for PC in March, and features updated versions ofDevil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3. 3 is already on Steam but the PC version is mostly busted, so hopefully the re-release sorts out those issues—Capcom promises 60 frames per second, which I’ll take to mean they worked out the technical issues.
It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Unavowed, the first Dave Gilbert-helmed Wadjet Eye game since 2014’s Blackwell Epiphany. It’s finally close enough for an actual teaser though, and the lengthy development cycle’s been worth it—just look at this pixel art.
Will they, won’t they
When EA turned off the microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II, the cynics said “Well sure, but they’re just going to turn them back on in a few months.” And maybe they will. You never know, and it pays to be cynical about these things occasionally.
EA’s at least acting like the future’s undetermined though, with CFO Blake Jorgensen saying this week “We turned the MTX off as an opportunity to work on the progression system inside the game. We're continuing to do that. Over time we’ll address how we will want to bring the MTX either into the game or not, and what form we will decide to bring it into.” (Via Glixel)
That throwaway “or not” is your light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. It could be salvation. It could be an oncoming train.
Ubisoft delayed two of its spring 2018 games this week. Far Cry 5 only slipped a month, from February 27 to March 27. The Crew 2 is more ambiguous though—originally supposed to release on March 16, it’s now timed “between April/September 2018.” That’s a pretty huge window.
Even further away is Beyond Good & Evil 2, though Ubisoft did air its first dev update this week.
Back in October CCP announced an update for EVE Online’s fledgling free-to-play system, the “Alpha” tier (as opposed to paying “Omega” subscribers). Free-to-play EVE sounded great in theory, but players were incredibly limited and could only experience the barest corner of what EVE has to offer.
That changed somewhat this week with the release of the “Arms Race” update, which lets free-to-play users dig into EVE’s systems a bit more, fly more powerful ships, and attain a wider variety of skills. If you’ve ever wanted to try out EVE’s space-politics sim without paying a subscription, now might be a good time.
Lastly I leave you with the cautionary tale of AJ Lester, known on Twitch as Lester_Gaming, who live-streamed a UFC pay-per-view match last week under the guise of playing EA’s UFC 3, complete with controller, exaggerated commentary, and the requisite gaming headset. Somebody’s been aggressively removing videos of it from the internet, but here’s a mirror that (hopefully) still exists when you read this. Legendary.