News by Lindsay M., News Editor
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. Today’s a special edition, focused solely on the Microsoft Games Showcase from late last week. 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)!
We finally know the release date for Tell Me Why!
Dontnod’s next game is Tell Me Why, a narrative adventure (Dontnod is great at those, after all) that will be a Microsoft Exclusive, available on Xbox One and PC via Steam and the Microsoft Store. We already knew it would be episodic, but that’s been made clearer via the Games Showcase as we learned there will be three episodes, one released per week for three weeks. The first will drop on August 27. The gap is explained as giving players time to discuss what went down and truly reflect on the chapter before the next arrives (love it). Here’s the latest trailer:
Tell Me Why follows two twins as they reunite for the first time in a decade when their mother dies. They return to their secluded home in Alaska, and realize that the past may not be quite as they remember it to be. Their supernatural bond comes into play here, and the choices they make with and about it will effect their relationship and the game’s dialogue, actions, and outcome.
Dontnod is treading gently here while discussing some incredibly important topics, namely issues surrounding transphobia and trans rights. It revealed via an extensive FAQ, for example, that Tyler will never be dead named; in memories, he’s called Ollie, a nickname he gave to himself as a child. He will never be deadnamed. Ever. Another topic of importance is that of Alaskan culture, more specifically Tlingit culture. It’s a key part of the story and setting, and the developer partnered with Huna Heritage Foundation in order to portray these elements (customs, language, funeral rights, art) as respectfully as possible.
As Dusk Falls certainly has our attention
If you didn’t have enough time on the open road in Life Is Strange 2, you’re in luck: there’s more road ahead, this time from developer Interior/Night in the form of As Dusk Falls. The studio was founded around the idea of telling relatable, inclusive stories, and the idea of bringing in new players that didn’t necessarily touch video games before. It will be available for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Here’s the announcement trailer:
As Dusk Falls starts in the middle of a story, slowly widening to encompass over thirty years. It explores the past, present, and future of a single night in 1999 with two families whose trajectories collide in the Arizona desert. Can you break free of a toxic family situation? Can you start over? Can you overcome your past? And if so, what will need to be sacrificed?
I can really appreciate what Interior/Night is trying to do. In a post via Xbox Wire, studio founder Caroline Marchal states, “Why do we love stories? Because, when done well, they help us navigate a chaotic world that is sometimes hard to make sense of. They reveal universal truths about life. The fascinating thing about interactive stories is that they go even further than traditional, linear stories; they give us insights about ourselves. When we play as a character, we experience their emotions and dilemmas from their point of view. But the choices we make for them remain very personal. By stepping into someone else’s shoes, we understand them better, and we learn about our true nature in the process. We grow, thanks to empathy.”
Tetris Effect coming to PC, Xbox
Following its success on PlayStation 4, Tetris Effect is set to take on the world again, this time as Tetris Effect: Connected. It will launch this holiday season (so around the Xbox Series X launch) for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Yes, it too is included with Xbox Game Pass! It’s worth noting how much Microsoft is putting into the program that delivers unlimited games from a rather large library for a subscription fee. Anyway, the trailer:
Tetris Effect: Connected adds a lot of multiplayer goodness to the puzzle game. The official press release describes it as “addictive” to which I say, I better hope it’s not, and I’m really tired of developers and publishers and players saying “addictive” like it’s a good thing. “Hard to put down” is good. Addiction is not. Anyway, I digress.The Connected mode allows three players to connect their playfields and play as a single person. Prior to the expansion, there were already ten ways to play, but I suppose the more the merrier?
This version of Tetris Effect will be a timed exclusive, meaning it will appear only on PC and Xbox until mid-2021 when the multiplayer expansion will be available as a free update to other versions (PlayStation 4, Epic Games Store, Oculus Quest). Cross-play will be available across Xbox platforms (so PCs and Xbox consoles).
New Fable! New Fable! New Fable!
If you can’t tell, the new game that popped up during the stream that I’m most excited for is State of Decay 3. I kid, I kid; Fable is where it’s at. I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m so excited since it’s been a hot minute since I’ve played any of the titles, but it generates a warm fuzzy pit of nostalgia in my stomach that I’m quite good with. Without further ado, the briefest of teaser trailers:
This title seems specifically aimed to be a reboot, as the teaser description states, “Fable returns with a new beginning for the legendary franchise.” That’s super vague, thanks Microsoft. Wonder what else the company had to say about it? Not much, other than: ” Explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places.” Like all games featured on the Showcase, Fable will be available game on with Xbox Game Pass. However, it likely won’t see the light of day on the Xbox One, meaning we are several years away from its release on the Xbox One X and PC.
The Fable titles are all basically the same, where the hero/heroine need to deal with the fallout of their familiar lineage, as well as any choices they may make along the way. It’s an RPG that always features loads of story quests and main quests, so pick any of the three mainstream titles and you’ll be set for awhile. Fable first launched in 2004, while Fable 2 launched 2008 and Fable 3 soon after in 2010. That’s right, it’s already been a decade since Fable III, and since then all we’ve gotten are rather weak spin-offs.