Plus Nintendo announces first-ever in-person event and DEAD SPACE gets a demake
NEWS THIS WEEK
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FIONA: Hi I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: and I’m Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
KYLE: This week Portal writer says no Portal 3 anytime soon, PlayStation game making app Dreams is shutting down, and Nintendo announces their own fan event later this year
Here is the news for Sunday 16 of April. Let’s go!
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FIONA: Despite the success of the original Portal game and its 2011 sequel, a third instalment in Valve's popular puzzle series may not be in the cards, according to one of the franchise's main writers.
Writer Erik Wolpaw explained that Valve's "flat structure" requires projects to be voluntary and have enough interested team members to warrant their development.
“I mean the real reason is, in a ‘flat structure’ like Valve, there is an opportunity cost to doing anything, and you know whatever is going on at Valve right now requires the dedication and participation of the people working on it and it’s voluntary. So to some extent I would like to make a Portal 3 but I understand that, other than the fact that I’m largely joking when I say it, just to give Valve and the other people I work with some crap, it is to really go out and advocate for something like that, could it be destructive? Just in the sense that you don’t want to cause internal strife. Which I guess I am doing but I think people understand that it’s…or the people who could be disturbed by it internally understand that it’s just me joking around. ”
This difficulty in getting new projects off the ground is not unique to Portal, as other Valve franchises like Half-Life and Left 4 Dead have also struggled to continue despite their success.
Valve's focus in recent years has primarily been on managing Steam, and maintaining live games like Dota 2 and CS:GO as well as the Steam Deck. But until Portal 3 inspiration strikes it’s worth checking out the free Aperture Desk Job tech demo on steam to revisit that world.
KYLE: Speaking of Valve, there’s a new mod that’s making the VR game, Half-Life Alyx, playable for people without headsets.
The “NoVR”mod was launched on GitHub almost a month ago before hitting early access on ModDB in late March, and now this week due to a recent update, the mod has made the game playable from start to finish without a headset.
According to its creators the mod has attracted thousands of players already.
KYLE: Hot off the news that E3 won’t be going ahead this year, Nintendo has announced its first-ever in-person event in the West, called 'Nintendo Live 2023.'
Set to take place in Seattle in September 2023. The event offers attendees an immersive experience of gameplay, live stage performances, gaming tournaments, and photo opportunities.
FIONA: As a Nintendo fan I’m so excited for this and hey it would be the perfect opportunity to announce a Switch 2.
FIONA: Hey now hey now, for Dreams it’s over.
Media Molecule’s game-making platform is winding down on September 1st.
There will be no more updates or events after that date, but players will still be able to play, create, and share their creations within Dreams for the foreseeable future with a reduced project storage size.
According to Media Molecule, the decision to end support for Dreams was difficult, but the team will shift their focus to a new project.
KYLE: Thankfully, despite the discontinuation of regular updates, Dreams will still be accessible, installable, and available for purchase and there are some incredible fan made games to enjoy on there.
KYLE: Earlier this year we got a Dead Space remake, much to people’s excitement. Well, Dead Space fans can now enjoy a fan-made retro tribute to the beloved original game.
Created by Australian game designer Fraser Brumley, Dead Space Demake plays like a PlayStation 1 game and looks like one too, with very blocky art style and limited textures, but that’s what makes it so great.
Sadly it’s not the full game but still there’s about 15 minutes of gameplay here. It works with a mouse and keyboard as well as a controller and the best thing is, it’s completely free via itch.io. We’ll pop the link in the show notes so you can check it out.
FIONA: I love the idea of ‘demakes’ of popular games. I would absolutely love to see more of the newer games get this treatment.
FIONA: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been hit with another delay, with developers Rocksteady now pushing it back to 2 February 2024, almost a year from its previous launch date.
Announced via Twitter, the team said they needed more time to work on ensuring the best quality experience for players.
After a gameplay showcase in February there was a lot of backlash around the use of microtransactions, battle pass elements and requiring an always online connection even in single player mode, and it’s thought that this has contributed to the delay, but the company has not given any other reason in the announcement besides making “the best quality experience”.
KYLE: What an absolute mess. Who knows if the microtransactions, battle pass and live service elements will be in the final game when it eventually releases next year, but we’ll keep you updated as the story progresses.
FIONA: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out this week
KYLE: First up we have a game I have somehow never heard of, Disney Speedstorm. It’s a combat racing game featuring Disney and Pixar characters complete with different multiplayer modes and themed tracks. Grab it on all platforms on April 18th.
FIONA: God of Rock is out this week, the rhythm-based fighting game where you play as legendary musicians battling for supremacy. Choose from 12 unique fighters and engage in 1v1 matches, using beat-driven attacks to dominate your opponents. God of Rock is out on all platforms on April 18th.
KYLE: Minecraft Legends arrives this week, bringing action strategy gameplay to the Minecraft universe. With both cooperative and competitive multiplayer, you'll defend the Overworld from a piglin invasion. Out on all platforms this Tuesday.
FIONA: Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, a remake of the classic turn-based strategy games, launches on the Switch this week. Command the Orange Star Army to defend your homeland in the story campaigns or battle in local and online multiplayer with the Versus mode. Out on April 21st.
KYLE: After more than a decade since the first game released, Dead Island 2 is finally here. Experience intense combat as you fight to survive in a zombie riddled California. Dead Island 2 is out on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC this Friday.
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KYLE: This has been Walkthrough by Sifter, my name is Kyle Pauletto.
FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus. Thank you so much for listening.
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KYLE: SIFTER is produced by myself, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. 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 three podcasts.
KYLE: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.