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Monday, May 11, 2020

The catch-up coffee: Monday, May 11, 2020


News by Matt S.

Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!

Just in case you missed the big Xbox event last week, we've got a couple of the key announcements to catch you up on this week, and most amusingly, the one Japanese game of note that was announced at the event has already been confirmed for other platforms...

Scarlet Nexus coming to PlayStation and PC too


Scarlet Nexus was the big Japanese game announcement for the Xbox Series X. It's being created by former Tales Of staffers within Namco, and has a gorgeously dark aesthetic. It is worth getting excited for. Thankfully you won't need to buy a Series X to play it, because it's also coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.


Look. Microsoft's biggest problem going into the next generation is that it really struggles to engage with game developers and the community in any way that isn't flying a giant American flag. While the company did go on a big acquisition spree not long ago, everything that it snapped up was decidedly western in specialty and while that stuff undoubtedly sells well and accounts for the bulk of the market today, it is simply unacceptable for a console - and company - to be this aggressive at pushing a single type of content and cultural position.

So, thank goodness for Bandai Namco. I can enjoy their games without the guilt of supporting Microsoft's approach to this entire industry.

Your first look at Assassin's Creed Valhalla


I am - or at least was - one of the biggest fans of the Assassin's Creed series out there. Of all the blockbusters, this historical context of Ubisoft's series was able to pull me in and keep me interested. They are at risk of losing me now, though, because while Assassin's Creed Valhalla is undoubtedly pretty... really, Ubisoft? Norse? Really?


Of all the ancient through dark ages cultures out there the Norse are undoubtedly the best known to video games because there are so many damned games that cover it. It's easy to see the appeal to dudebro culture - big beards, rampant violence and little need to engage with anything else to do with the culture (the Vikings did, in fact, have culture beyond the raping and pillaging, but games never seem to deal with that side of things). But it's all so exhausting now.

No doubt I'll play this and enjoy it for what it is. Ubisoft might want to consider moving the series to a more interesting setting next time, though. Because while I'm sure Valhalla will treat the setting better than most, I'm just very much over it.

Bloober Team are back and... yep, it's more horror


Bloober Team is rapidly establishing itself as a narrative horror standout. Between Layers of Fear, Observer, and Blair Witch, the studio has found its sweet spot, and now it's back with The Medium, which at this stage is only coming to Xbox and PC


Featuring music from the Silent Hill series' Akira Yamaoka, The Medium is aiming to be very much psychological horror. As the CEO, Piotr Babieno, said in a press release: "we focus on perspective and perception. When you change your point of view, you discover that things are more complicated and nuanced than you initially thought."

I'm pretty certain that this game will be very much my kind of horror too. I like the kind of horror that digs down into your brain like this.

Deep Silver's new sci-fi space ship game looks good


Finally, last week Deep Silver announced Chorus for Xbox Series X, PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's a single player, narrative-driven space flight (and fight) sim, and the early reveal trailer looks very good indeed:


The way the game is being described is what really catches me, as it sounds both intense and pretty intelligent. From the press release: "Take control of Nara, once the Circle’s deadliest warrior, now their most wanted fugitive, on a quest to destroy the dark cult that created her. Unlock devastating weapons and mind-bending abilities in a true evolution of the space-combat shooter. Along with Forsaken, her sentient starfighter, explore ancient temples, engage in exhilarating zero-g combat, and venture beyond our waking reality."

Of course, who knows how the game will actually turn out, and I'm not the best at this kinds of "zero-g shooters" so I'm going to need that narrative to be really good to draw me in, but I do have hope for this one. There's no firm release date just yet. Just that it will launch in "2021."
The catch-up coffee: Monday, May 11, 2020
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