Plus Apple reveals their new VR headset and RING OF PAIN dev announces creepy Winnie the Pooh game
NEWS THIS WEEK
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER.
FIONA: Hi I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
OMI: and I’m Omi Koulas
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
OMI: This week we wrap our favourite triple A titles from Summer Games Fest, indies from Day of the Devs and Guerilla Collective, and new hardware for VR and AR gamers as well.
Here is the news for Sunday 11th of June. Let’s go!
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
FIONA: Summer Games Fest, Geoff Keighley’s E3-killer, was held on Friday and with it was a stack of new games and release dates.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is out in early 2024 for PS5, looking much more like the original game with playable Red XIII chocobo riding and gameplay that takes us up until at least Nibelheim. There was also an update on the mobile remakes of the original FFVII and Crisis Core, Ever Crisis which features both those games and new storylines for mobile players.
Speaking of PlayStation, the long rumoured October release date for Spider-Man 2 has been confirmed as 20th October, which lets you switch between Miles and Peter as you swing around New York.
It’s been 10 years since we had a new Prince of Persia game and next year Prince of Persia The Lost Crown arrives, returning to the series roots with a side scrolling adventure that continues that original 1989 storyline.
Sonic races along with up to 4 friends in classic inspired Sonic Superstars featuring playable Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, and Amy, with a 3D art style that looks a bit like Sonic Generations and it’ll be out later this year.
OMI: Alan Wake 2 is out on the 17th of October and has two playable characters this time with 50% of the spooks shared between them.
Trekkies and strategy fans, Star Trek Infinite is a new game published by Paradox, with more news coming next week on the 16th.
In the grim future of the 41st millennium there is only war, but hey this time you get to bring a pal as third person action game Warhammer 40k: Space Marine 2 announces co-op on Playstation, Xbox and PC.
And finally keep an eye out for Lysfanga: The Time Shift Warrior, which looks a bit like Hades, but you can split yourself in parts and put enemies where you want them, before rewinding and exploiting that weakness when it comes to PC later this year.
What are you keen to check out? If you’re listening on YouTube to this episode drop a comment.
OMI: Indies got their own time in the sun with Day of the Devs and Guerilla collective showcases and it was packed too.
Mars First Logistics scratches that Zelda building itch in a big way where you construct lego-like vehicles to complete tasks on the red planet. This game looks so cool with a cell-shaded art style and it’s made right here in Australia, you can pick it up in Early Access on the 22nd of June and head back into our Lightmap archives for an interview with developer Ian Maclarty.
Sheep herding puzzler Summerhill is the new game from Alto’s Adventure developers Land & Sea Games, as your working dog moves sheep through different gorgeous environments.
Speaking of puzzlers, Viewfinder is a game where you snap pictures and then step into them to traverse a weird dreamy world, this one is hard to explain so do yourself a favour and check out the trailer before it launches on the 18th of July.
Beastieball from the makers of Chicory: A Colorful Tale is like if Pokemon met volleyball and your critters compete to be the best in sports. It’s got a cute bunch of characters to collect and will be out next year.
FIONA: Hyper Light Breaker will be out in early access this year, and we got to see how this 3D roguelike gameplay worked in single player and coop in what developer Heart Machine is calling “endless open worlds.”
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is out on the 25th of August a sci-fi narrative game with a bit of life sim, a bit of card game mechanics, and what promises to be a really interesting story.
Signalis will have its full release, the moody classic Resident Evil inspired horror game is coming to Switch, Xbox, PlayStation and PC on the 27th of October.
And if you ever wondered, what if astronauts didn’t work together to progress humanity’s goals of science and harmony, but instead had guns and fought in space…well Boundary is here to boldly go when it arrives in beta in a couple of months.
FIONA: Apple’s long rumoured headset is coming next year, the super incredible holy moly that costs a lot of money, Apple Vision Pro.
Apple has slowly put their toes in the water when it comes to games, and is promising 100 Apple Arcade games playable at launch including games like NBA 2K23 on the headset.
The price… well it’s US$3499 which is probably close to five thousand Australian dollars which means, start saving now for the release next year.
OMI: You might want to take the Meta Quest 3 path instead if you like games on your face, this new headset has much more emphasis on gaming and will start at around US$500 which was also announced this week.
Assassin’s Creed, post-apocalyptic Arizona Sunshine, Stranger Things VR and NFL Pro are just a few of the titles coming to Meta’s replacement to their extremely popular standalone headset the Quest 2.
OMI: Ring of Pain developer Twice Different has announced their next game, as creepy strategy adventure game called Winnie’s Hole based on the now public domain Winnie the Pooh who is infected by an evil virus.
Here is Simon Boxer from Twice Different to explain
"You play as a virus inside the body of Winnie the Pooh. It's kind of like a building exploration game where you are navigating your virus through and spreading it and evolving it and capturing cells to grow mutations and equip your, you know, soft pudgy Winnie the Pooh into a more survival ready beast, I would say." "He is still a wholesome character in our game, but he's like naive and he's infected, so he's not kind of fully cognizant of what's happening to him and the other animals are trying to cure him." "But yeah, I think there's a nice kind of comedy dynamic between this virus, which is, you know, you manipulating him and him being kind of like the, you know, joyful bear that he is."
FIONA: If you liked Ring of Pain this looks like it’d be right up your alley, but it’s not for the faint of heart as it tests the limits of public domain, look forward to an interview with Simon on our podcast Lightmap in the coming months.
FIONA: Sad news this week as it’s expected a bunch of Australian devs might lose their jobs at Melbourne based Firemonkeys.
Makers of popular mobile games like Real Racing 3, Need for Speed: No Limits and The Sims Freeplay, which is the last game that the studio will be concentrating on going forward according to reports.
OMI: In 2019 the studio faced another round of firings when development for Real Racing 4 was ceased, but it sounds like it’ll be another tough time for the devs there when they lose the other titles they are developing.
It’s a real shame when people lose their jobs and we’ve got our fingers crossed they pick up new work soon.
FIONA: Microsoft is in hot water with the US Federal Trade Commission after illegally collecting personal information from children on Xbox which violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Microsoft has admitted that this issue was in fact a technical glitch and was fixed in late 2021 and any data that was collected was deleted, but according to the FTC complaint from 2015 to 2020 some children’s data was still retained for years.
OMI: Microsoft has agreed to pay the FTC a $20 million fine and in a statement on the Xbox website, the CVP of Xbox Play Services Dave McCarthy said in reference to the technical glitch, the data was never used, shared or monetised.
OMI: Diablo IV fans rejoice as more content is already in the works, with Blizzard claiming it was one of their fastest selling titles ever.
There are two expansions already in development, which is on top of seasonal content which launches around mid to late July.
FIONA: Adam loved the story and gameplay changes in Diablo IV, and has been smashing this one pretty hard so check out our review on sifter.com.au to learn more if you’re keen to dive into Sanctuary.
FIONA: And in news I wish was here, the European Union countries will get a price history for games on Steam, showing the cheapest it’s been in the last 30 days so you know if you’re getting a good deal.
OMI: It came into place on the 28th of May and is aimed at tackling unethical sellers who jack up the price before discounting during the many sales, something that’s already illegal here in Australia.
FIONA: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out this week.
OMI: Dubium is a 3D Among Us-like for five players where you use social deduction to work out who is the traitor all the while trying to complete sci-fi tasks. How can anyone be expected to complete tasks when there is a traitor on the loose?! That’s out on PC on the 14th of June.
FIONA: Keeping it spooky, Layers of Fear is a psychological horror game from those Polish legends at Bloober Team, and the third game in the series. Pick it up if you’re into changing your dacks often on PC, PlayStation and Xbox on the 15th.
OMI: Fall of Porcupine is 2D platforming game set around the challenges of working in the healthcare system. With cute animal protagonists, it definitely looks like a game for Night in the Woods fans. That’s also out on the 15th on everything.
FIONA: On the brighter side, Park Beyond is a fun theme park management game harkening back to the cheerful days of Thrillville, coming to you on PC, PlayStation and Xbox on the 15th.
OMI: Strap in for more Formula 1 racing with the next entry in the long running series, F1 23. Join your favourite drivers and teams in another season of close finishes, speeding into your home on PC, PlayStation and Xbox on the 16th.
PROMO: Articles to read, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to on sifter.com.au
FIONA: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus.
OMI: And my name is Omi Koulas. Thank you so much for listening.
FIONA: We know you love our podcasts, so why not become a monthly backer on Ko-Fi? Your support lets us keep making our shows so why not show the love and sign up to be a monthly backer. It’s easy, head to sifter.com.au/support where support starts from just $1 a month that address again is sifter.com.au/support
OMI: SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, myself, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Fiona Bartholomaeus. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer.
FIONA: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune.
Thanks to both Audio Technica Australia and Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.
OMI: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.