I think it’s time to start betting on whether Red Dead Redemption II ever comes to PC. I feel like we’re all hoping it does, of course, but will it? Ever? I just don’t know, and with every new trailer I get a little more worried it won’t, and that I’ll be stuck playing it on the PS4 at the usual “cinematic” frame rate, and with no mod support. Oof.
Anyway, there’s another one of those trailers this week, plus Valve added support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, Techland reclaimed the rights to Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, BattleTech laid out a road map for future updates, Overwatch killed Hanzo mains, and the usual selection of free games for the weekend.
This is gaming news for April 30 to May 4. And hey, don’t forget to call your mother this weekend, if you can.
Lots of freebie games this weekend, if you’re looking to fill up some time. The first’s a bit of deja vu, as Call of Duty: WWII’s multiplayer component is free for the weekend. Activision did a similar free weekend back in February, so there’s a chance you already know whether or not you’re interested—but hey, free’s free, at least through May 6.
Then there’s For Honor, Ubisoft’s medieval brawler/fighting game...thing. It had a rocky start but Ubisoft finally integrated dedicated servers earlier this year and has (to my knowledge) fixed most of the egregious balance issues, though matchmaking is still apparently hit-or-miss. Might be a good time to jump in? If you’re interested, that one’s also running through May 6.
And this is less “free,” but Battlefield 1’s first map pack, They Shall Not Pass, is now free to anyone who owns the base game. Provided you’re still playing Battlefield 1 a year and a half after release (and didn’t pay for Premium) this should liven up your map rotation a bit. We’ll see whether DICE makes the rest of the maps free after the new Battlefield releases this fall.
The Elder Scrolls Online has another expansion coming up on May 21, Summerset, and while I’m not nearly as interested in the titular Summerset Isles as I was in last year’s Morrowind expansion, I will admit this week’s trailer piqued my interest—if only because of some cool-looking architecture in the background.
Check out our Summerset preview once you're done watching it.
This is a pleasant surprise: Techland reacquired the rights to Call of Juarez from Ubisoft this week, or maybe just the rights to Call of Juarez: Gunslinger? That’s the best game in the series anyway, and the upshot is it’s now back on Steam after disappearing in March. Featuring a cantankerous narrator who exaggerates his own outlaw exploits in the Wild West, Gunslinger’s maybe one of my all-time favorite shooters, so I’m hoping this paves the way for a full-on sequel.
Approaching good and evil
Beyond Good & Evil 2 has mostly lain low since its E3 reveal last year, but this week we got the shortest of short glimpses of in-game footage, courtesy of a developer stream. Perhaps the biggest news for fans of the original: Jade is no longer the main character. Instead there's a character creator, which is...well, a very 2018 approach, I guess. I'll miss Jade though.
In any case, check out the footage. Some great-looking movement animations here.
BattleTech released last week and I’m still playing with my mech mercenaries off-and-on. I’m tempted to wait for some patches though before finishing it off—Harebrained Schemes announced far-reaching changes, including options to speed up combat, additional customization for pilots and mechs alike, interface tweaks, and more. That should go a long way to sanding off some of BattleTech’s rough edges. Look for a stability patch at the end of May, and hopefully some of these improvements in June or July.
No more Hanzos
I haven’t touched the new Overwatch map, “Rialto,” but future-Venice looks like a nice place to visit—cute canals, self-piloted gondolas, a classy opera house. But the bigger news this week is probably the Hanzo rework. The archer’s famed (and hated) scatter arrow is gone, replaced with “Storm Arrows,” a six-shot rapidfire mode. Aw, him and McCree can be best buds.
Solo farming is out, communal farming is in—which is to say, Stardew Valley’s long-awaited multiplayer mode released this week, at least in beta form. The new 1.3 update adds support for up to four players in a single world, each with their own cabin and plot of land to farm. You’ll have to opt in to a beta build of the game, and it’s recommended you back up your existing save files. Details here, if you want them.
As for when the feature will go live for real? That’s still listed as “TBD.” We’ll keep an eye out.
After weeks spent theorizing about impending doom, the comet that’s been flying over Fortnite’s map finally crash-landed this week to kick off Season Four. Dusty Depot’s been destroyed, replaced by a crater full of moon rocks or something. Here’s a fun little flavor trailer:
Switch it up
Another cool bit of news: Steam now officially supports the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. As with the Steam controller, Xbox One, DualShock 4, and so on, compatibility is built straight into the Steam client itself, and even allows you to access the Pro Controller’s gyro functionality. For now, you’ll need to opt into the beta Steam client and tinker with some controller settings, but expect this to go live to everyone after the kinks are worked out. We've got a guide on how to use your Nintendo Switch Pro controller with Steam.
We’re finally starting to hear rumbles about Destiny 2’s fall expansion. Activision’s earnings call this week mentioned there will be a “new mode” arriving alongside whatever else comes this year, and...that’s basically all they’ve said, except “It’ll be at E3.” Safe to say, it better be damned good if Bungie’s hoping for a Taken King style comeback on Destiny 2.
Red Dead Redemption II still hasn’t been announced for PC but its latest trailer is probably the week’s biggest gaming news so I’d feel remiss not including it here at the end. Game still looks pretty...but imagine how much prettier it could look on PC. Right? Right?