Checkpoint #13: A Halo of Disintegration

A Disintegration trailer, Grand Theft Auto 6 omens, World of Warcraft Classic queue problems, an indie Switch title avalanche, and a Pokémon Go multiboxer

Welcome back to Checkpoint!

There’s plenty to cover this week: news has poured out of Gamescom’s opening night, a Nintendo indie games event, a Stadia update, and even a highway-dwelling Pokémon Go addict.

You’re here because you want it straight, so let's get into it.

A Halo of Disintegration

PC gaming and cross-platform titles

The first look at Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto’s new IP, Disintegration, is here, and it’s well worth a look. This is a cyberpunk world that’ll feature a singleplayer campaign and a multiplayer mode.

We’ve also learned about Humankind, Sega’s answer to Civilization, and it seems like a very promising take on the 4X genre.

Will we hear some Grand Theft Auto 6 news soon? Looks like Rockstar has something to announce: they’ve removed the Read Dead Redemption 2 banner from Rockstar North — traditionally a sign that an announcement is coming.

You can play the latest game from Yager (Spec Ops: The Line) right now — The Cycle is a shooter and the free alpha is currently available on the Epic Games Store.

If you’ve reserved a character on World of Warcraft Classic’s Herod realm, you’re not the only one — and Blizzard is asking you to switch or suffer five-figure login queues.

Nvidia demonstrated ray tracing in a number of major upcoming titles this week, including Modern WarfareWatch Dogs Legion, and Dying Light 2. And even though Minecraft’s Super Duper Graphics Pack has been canned, the game is getting a visual upgrade in the form of ray tracing support — and it looks surprisingly good.

The Epic Games Store has received some welcome updates. Another batch of games supports cloud saves, but more interestingly, a Humble Bundle integration means you can add games to your library with a single click. No more fluffing about with keys.

An indie open-world role-playing game, The Falconeer, has been announced for PC and it involves dogfighting falcons. Are we in or are we in?

Remember ComancheIt’s getting a reboot in the form of an online multiplayer helicopter shooter. That’s another big yes from me.

Here’s a bit of Burst Fire, which is just my fancy way of saying odds and ends:

Finally, don’t forget to grab Mutant Year Zero and Hyper Light Drifter from the Epic Games Store while they’re still available for free.

Hot as Hell

Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch news

Nintendo held a huge Indie World Showcase at Gamescom, announcing a heap of titles coming over to the Switch. A few of the highlights: Ori and the Blind Forest, the Hotline Miami collection, and SuperhotSee all 29 releases here.

Microsoft is contradicting last week’s story that more of its first-party titles would become cross-platform. Sony has noticed the opportunity, and is suggesting that some of its own first-party titles may not be PlayStation exclusives in the future. Speaking of: a Death Stranding trailer and new game details were announced at Gamescom.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is getting crossplay between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and it launches in early October.

Oh, and a bunch of excellent titles are hitting your Xbox Game Pass subscription this month, including Age of Empires: Definitive EditionDevil May Cry 5StellarisKingdom Come: Deliverance, and Blair Witch.

Cloud 9 or 2029?

VR, AR, streaming, and other emerging tech

Xbox chief Phil Spencer says game streaming via the cloud is years and years away from becoming mainstream.

But that’s not stopping Google, who have signed up a Stadia timed exclusiveOrcs Must Die 3 — a game that apparently wouldn’t be getting made were it not for Google, before you get up in exclusivity arms.

Google also announced a raft of not-so-exclusive games coming to Stadia, including Cyberpunk 2077Watch Dogs LegionSuperhot and the Destroy All Humans remake.

Meanwhile, Crytek have integrated full-body haptics features into CRYENGINE. Given the number of people who own a Teslasuit, this is more theoretically interesting than anything, but it’s exciting to think about what gaming could look like ten years from now.

You Grind My Gears

Mobile gaming news

Gears PopClash Royale-style mobile game using Gears of War Funko Pop characters, will be free on iOS, Android and Windows 10 mobile devices from August 22.

An update to PUBG Mobilehas added a new Infection Mode, playable zombies, a new character system, and more.

Hotline Bling

Gaming culture, industry, and miscellanea

Hot on the heels of Marshmello’s Fortnite concert a few months back, Korn is playing a free in-game concert in AdventureQuest 3D.

After Bohemia Interactive sanitized the presence of marijuana from DayZ’s unused files, the terrible people of the Australian Classifications Board have unbanned the game. But they’ve just refused classification — an effective ban — for a Rockstar Games title called ‘Bonaire’, which seems like it could be Red Dead Online content.

A Washington State man was found parked on a highway shoulder playing Pokémon Go with eight phones at once. This guy even had a foam holder for his phones. He was prepared.

Finally, here’s a great retrospective about what made one of my favorite childhood games, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, such a hit.

That’s it for this edition.

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- Flob

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