Checkpoint #15: It’s a Witch Hunt
Blair Witch is here, World of Warcraft Classic speedrunning, Red Dead Online’s patch Tuesday, and more
Welcome back to Checkpoint!
It’s a short one this week: if there’s any indicator of World of Warcraft’s enduring sway over us gamers, it’s that nobody in the industry seems willing to make critical announcements while we’re all enraptured.
But that doesn’t mean the world stopped, so there’s still news to cover. Let's get into it.
It’s a Witch Hunt
PC gaming and cross-platform titles
Blair Witch was released on PC and Xbox One this week. Here’s a roundup of all the reviews, which suggest that it’s a pretty good (but not amazing) horror game. Good thing you probably have it as part of your Game Pass subscription.
Players are chewing through World of Warcraft Classic’s content. It took 79 hours for a Gnome mage to reach the level 60 cap, and only 6 days before European guild APES beat endgame bosses Onyxia and Ragnaros. But if you’ve been stuck in the multi-hour queues, you may not be so far along. Blizzard has taken a few steps over the past week to alleviate queue times, including raising maximum realm capacity, and announcing upcoming free server transfers earlier today.
You’ll either love this or you’ll hate it: Epic has announced eight new Epic Games Store exclusives: Ooblets, No Straight Roads, Manifold Garden, Superliminal, Wattam, The Alto Collection, Airborne Kingdom, and The Eternal Cylinder.
Untitled Goose Game has been given a September 20 release date, and it turns out that working title is actually the game’s real title. The trailer is great and you’ll be able to make goosey dreams come true on the Epic Games Store and Switch.
If you’re a big fan of sci-fi RTS franchise Homeworld, you’ll be glad to know that a follow-up is in the works — if you want to help ensure that it happens, the developers are raising money via a crowdfunding campaign.
Borderlands 2 VR is coming to PC sometime between September and November, while a massive free PSVR update is due out next week.
Ubisoft’s Uplay+ subscription service released this week, with a free trial running through the end of September. It’s US$14.99 per month, but won’t be getting it from me.
Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch news
Red Dead Online’s specialist roles system is nearly here, with a Tuesday, 10 September release date now confirmed.
Yakuza 7 for PlayStation 4 will feature a major departure from previous games in the series: it’s a turn-based RPG now.
The Bulletstorm Switch port made a surprise appearance on the Switch eShop this week. It comes in at US$29.99 and the ported gameplay has been well-received.
Finally, Nintendo has announced a Nintendo Direct for today at 3pm PST. That’s after our go-live time for this edition, so you can either check that out yourself or come back for the Checkpoint summary next week.
A Whole New World
Mobile gaming news
Part of the Homeworld revival is a Homeworld Mobile game, which is now in early access on iOS and Android. You can sign up for the waitlist on the official site, but contributors to the Homeworld 3crowdfunding campaign will get priority access.
Hot & Steamy
Gaming culture, industry, and miscellanea
Ubisoft says the current Steam business model is unrealistic, and doesn’t reflect where the world is today. When you consider a 30% take for mere distribution versus the massive costs involved in game development, it’s not hard to see why. Apple is another offender in this basket, also taking a 30% cut of all App Store sales.
Telltale Games is back from the dead, sort of: LCG Entertainment has announced that it’ll acquire the company and its intellectual property, and revive game production.
That’s it for this edition.
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