Plus Knights of the Old Republic is off the table for 2023 and developers reveals why we got Left 4 Dead
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Courtney Borrett, Daniel Ang, Adam Christou and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER.
COURTNEY: Hi I’m Courtney Borrett,
FIONA: and I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus,
COURTNEY: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
FIONA: This week Rocksteady reveals more about upcoming Suicide Squad, Fortnite rolls back unpopular skin age restrictions, and we learn why the sequel to Left 4 Dead 2 was launched just a year after the first game.
Here is the news for Sunday 26th of November. Let’s go!
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COURTNEY: Rocksteady have just given us an updated look at upcoming action-adventure game, Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League.
A new trailer features some action packed third person shooter gameplay and you’ll play as DC’s Harley Quinn running around Metropolis wreaking havoc.
You might remember that this game copped a lot of flak when it was revealed…and then immediately delayed… originally looking like a live service hellscape with a messy amount of currencies, so here’s hoping it’s now got a bit more focus.
In addition to the trailer, a closed alpha test was announced and will take place from November 30 to December 4. Fans can sign up via the website to participate.
The game is set to release on PC, Xbox and PlayStation on February 2nd.
FIONA: Speaking of DC, Warner Bros has confirmed that Wonder Woman won’t be a live-service game either. Looks like they really learnt their lesson.
In a statement to IGN, it denied rumours that the game would have a battle pass and seasonal updates – thank god.
Instead, the game has been described as “a single-player action-adventure game set in a dynamic open-world”.
FIONA: Good news Nier fans, producer Yosuke Saito has confirmed at the G-Star gaming convention in Korea that the heart-wrenching stories of this beloved series will continue “as long as Yoko Taro lives”.
Saito also said that Nier: Automata has sold over 7.5 million copies, and trying to replicate that level of success would be “impossible”... the series was intended to remain within a niche, Japanese market… which it obviously exploded out of.
COURTNEY: Saito and Yoko Taro aren’t chasing that same success though, they’ll keep creating more stories within the Nier universe even if they aren’t blockbusters like Automata.
And it might not even be a new game, Nier has multiple novels, musicals, an anime and manga series, and a mobile game within its universe.
So fingers crossed for more Nier next year.
COURTNEY: Do you remember last week Fiona when Epic Games said that some Fortnite cosmetics would all have age restrictions, like immediately?
FIONA: Yeah certain skins and gear just wouldn’t be available for use in specific game modes, goodbye all the guns and weapons or really scary characters like Venom and Carnage.
COURTNEY: Well The Fortnite developer has now backtracked on this decision, citing negative player feedback and its reviews of cosmetics being overly “conservative” when it came to age ratings and the islands they could be used on.
There will still be some restrictions…The company has said that “a small number of cosmetics and less than ten outfits will remain playable in only in T-rated islands (which is like M in Australia) because of their obvious fear or violence elements”
FIONA: It’s clear that Epic Games wants to revisit the issue in the future, as they are currently re-evaluating in-game cosmetics in a bid to assist parents make informed decisions for their children.
COURTNEY: Left 4 Dead 2 celebrated its fourteenth anniversary this week and we finally know why the sequel was released soo quickly after the first game launched.
It was only a year between games, and it turns out, the original game was completely gaffer taped together; they couldn’t do DLC even if they wanted to.
Speaking with Game Developer, Chet Faliszek, the former Left 4 Dead lead said that the game engine was so broken that no one at Valve wanted to touch it.
Apparently when you loaded a map, the game loaded it two or three times in the background and when they tried to fix it, player characters would randomly disappear.
So because they couldn’t fix the problem, a year on they released Left 4 Dead 2.
FIONA: Clearly some of the content could have just been a DLC, but they ended up going with a hard reset, creating a whole new game instead.
While fans were pretty miffed at the time, it definitely worked out for the best as the entirety of the first game was ported into the sequel, so Left 4 Dead 2 ended up being a pretty good deal.
FIONA: It’s been a big year for Warhammer 40k fans with Rogue Trader and Darktide but there is one game you can cross off the release list for 2023.
Warhammer 40k: Space Marine 2 was due to release sometime this year but in a business update from publishers Focus Entertainment, it was announced that it would be delayed until the second half 2024, in order for them to polish the game.
COURTNEY: It’s not completely unexpected seeing as up until this point there wasn’t a release date besides ‘2023’ and we’re incredibly close to the end of the year.
However, the publisher has confirmed that we will get a release date in early December, so that will be good news for fans eagerly awaiting the game.
COURTNEY: Sad news for Star Wars fans holding out for a remake of Knights of the Old Republic, it’s been reported that it’s no longer in active development.
Industry reporter Jeff Grub revealed on Twitch that he’s looked into the game and could 100% confirm that the project has been put on hold and no studio was working on it.
FIONA: In 2021 it was announced that the game was in development by Embracer’s Aspyr but since it moved to Saber Interactive we’ve heard nothing, even Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors refused to comment on its status.
The Knights of the Old Republic games are some of Bioware and Obsidian’s best games… they feel a little dated gameplay wise now but the story is still great.
You can pick up both for under $20 Australian on Steam so if you’re desperate to visit the Ebon Hawk just do that hey?
FIONA: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out over the next week
COURTNEY: Gangs of Sherwood is a co-op action game for up to four players that’s set in a dystopian reimagining of the story of Robin Hood. The game officially releases on November 30, but those who have preordered the Digital Lionheart Edition can access it now. It’ll be available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
FIONA: Collect cards, build your deck, find powerful synergies and defeat your opponents in the card game RPG, Cross Blitz. The game promises a heartfelt story with strategic gameplay and a charming pixel art style. It will be released on PC on November 30.
COURTNEY: We can’t get enough of visual novels set in cafes, and Pixel Cafe is another one we’re excited for. The pixel-art world of Karstok is full of customers to serve and stories to uncover. The game releases on November 30 for PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.
FIONA: The SteamWorld franchise is pretty varied with platformers, turn-based shooters, and fantasy RPGs, and this week we get to add city builder to the list. In SteamWorld Build you’ll make a steampunk western town as you search for lost tech in the mines to escape a dying planet. It’s out on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch on the 1st.
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COURTNEY: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Courtney Borrett
FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus, thank you so much for listening.
COURTNEY: If you’ve ever been curious about how games are made, you should check out Lightmap… SIFTER’s award winning video game interview show. We’ve had incredible guests like Tunic’s Andrew Shouldice, Slay the Princess’ Abby Howard & Tony Howard-Arias, and Immortality’s Sam Barlow. Incredible conversations are yours for free on the Lightmap podcast. Search for Lightmap and SIFTER in your podcast player now, that’s Lightmap and SIFTER.
FIONA: SIFTER is produced by Courtney Borrett, myself, Kyle Pauletto, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode, and Gianni Di Giovanni is the Walkthrough script editor, and SIFTER’s executive producer.
COURTNEY: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune, and Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.
FIONA: We’ll be back with more news next Sunday, see you then.