Welcome to the weekly Thumbstix “Best Of” news for the week of 27th September 2019. This week saw us get updates from both Xbox and Sony, including a release date for The Last Of Us 2, and details on how you can get involved with the xCloud game streaming beta. There were also sneaky reveals from Respawn and Warner Bros on their current projects. Whittling these down to just five news stories has been hard, so there may be a few sneaky tidbits at the end!

We know the release date for The Last Of Us 2

February 21st 2020 is when we will get to continue the adventures of Joel and Ellie. The Sony State of Play delivered on our expectations and also gave us a brand new trailer to devour. Tuesday 24th September also saw a media event taking place in LA, and the embargo of that lifted on Thursday 26th, so we now know a lot more of what to expect in this long-awaited sequel. This Eurogamer article conveys just how the opening two hours are paced, and has definitely made me hungry for more!

There are a number of editions of the game released, from the standard edition, all the way up to the “Ellie” edition which features both a statue and a replica of Ellie’s rucksack. I’m a sucker for both bags and statues so I am really going to have to rely on willpower to not purchase one of these!

There were also game reveals of a number of new titles coming to Playstation, including Humanity, LA Noire: VR Case Files and Arise: A Simple Story. More details were also shown about Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare which launches on October 25th 2019, including a limited time mode which is exclusive to the PS4 for a whole year! Personally, with the continuing trend towards cross play I think these kind of deals are detrimental to the industry. I understand the need for console exclusives, but launching a game on multiple consoles and then including multiplayer cross play, only to lock a game mode exclusively to one console for a year, is going to attract a whole lot of criticism!

We also had a limited edition Death Stranding PS4 announced, however despite first impressions the controller does not contain a baby!

Game Streaming coming to Xbox in October

The beta for xCloud, the Xbox game streaming service is now open for registration for residents of the USA, UK and Korea, and will be starting in October 2019. Four games will be available on the beta, with Gears 5, Halo 5, Sea of Thieves and Killer Instinct all included. Participants will need an Android 6.0 device, an internet connection download speed of 10Mbps, and a bluetooth enabled Xbox controller to make full use of the service. I have already registered, as this service will be perfect for my lifestyle, whether it be travelling for work or waiting around for my son at his swimming training, the ability to connect up and play an hour or two of Sea of Thieves will be fantastic! More details can be found on the Xbox Game Streaming website.

Also announced on the Inside Xbox show were more details of XO19, DayZ, Hitman 2, Afterparty, Code Vein, Felix the Reaper, Children of Morta and the announcement that Atlas is arriving into Xbox Game Preview on October 8th. Check out the official post on Xbox Wire detailing all the news.

The Xbox Games with Gold for October were also announced this week, with Xbox One getting Tembo the Badass Elephant and Friday the 13th: The Game. Whilst on 360 and Xbox One via Backward Compatibility, play Disney Bolt and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.

Is there a new Batman game on the way?

Both Warner Bros Montreal and Rock Steady have been far too quiet of late, with rumours of new game announcements expected at the last two E3 conferences, but never materialising. But this week, Warner Bros Montreals Twitter feed sparked into life with a couple of teasers, the first on September 22nd, followed by the second a day later, which featured the phrase “Capture the Knight” and a series of rotating symbols which experts believe match those found in the Batman comic series of Court of Owls. Was it also a coincidence that the first teaser came on Batman Day, which this year was the 80th anniversary? No further announcements have been made, so watch this space.

 

Respawn working on a VR Medal of Honor game

Back in 2017 Respawn announced that one of its projects was a Triple-A VR game exclusive to the Occulus devices. This week that project was announced to be Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Set in World War 2, the game is set to have three main acts. Act 1 pits you as the resistance in  Nazi-occupied France prior to the invasion of Normandy. Act 2 is the invasion, beginning with an Omaha Beach level. Act 3 sets you off to destroy the Nazis’ secret weapons, such as the hydroelectric plant in Norway.

The game is being shown off at the Occulus Connect conference and is due for release in 2020.

 

Apex Legends Season 3 gets a New Map

Hot off the press news, coming in on the afternoon of Friday 27th, is that Season 3 of Apex Legends will be set in a new location. We wave goodbye to Kings Canyon and say hello to Worlds Edge “where molten heat and chemical ice collide”! Thats all we know for now, but expect more news before the season kicks off on October 1st.

 

So, loads of news this week, and narrowly missing the Top Five were the following;

Hitman goes to the Maldives

The latest update to Hitman 2 sees Agent 47 pulling on his Speedos and heading to Haven Island in the Maldives. Our hero has to assasinate three new targets, and the update also comes with new achievements and trophies, challenges, mastery levels and new gadget unlocks.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Open Beta Weekend

The Open Beta of the upcoming Ghost Recon: Breakpoint will take place from Thursday September 26th through to Monday September 29th and will feature; Solo or four player co-op exploration, Six regions to explore (Smuggler Coves, Mount Hodgson, Sinking Country, Fen Bog, New Argyll and Infinity), Five main story missions (three new to the open beta) and several side missions, 12 Faction missions available, with two Faction missions playable every day in each region and PvP (competitive multiplayer) on four maps – Skell Port, PMC Camp, Cold War Bunker and Deserted Harbor.

So, loads to test out ahead of the full game release on October 4th, however your progress will not carry over.

 

New Releases

Only two notable titles to mention this week, with October 4th seeing the release of the aforementioned Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, and October 1st being the big day for all you Destiny fans out there, with the release of the latest game update, Shadowkeep. This date will see Destiny 2 go free-to-play as Destiny 2: New Light. For those of you who are confused, New Light is all the Destiny 2 year one content for free. It does not include any of the Year 2 content, including the Forsaken expansion. The handy graphic below should make things clearer?

 

Thats it for this week – Catch you all in another seven days!