Checkpoint #7: Are We Exclusive?

A Stranger Things 3 game, Apex Legends season 2, Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum is coming, Sony chases exclusives, and more

Welcome back to Checkpoint!

Stranger Things 3 dropped with an accompanying game, Warframe's next expansion is going to be exciting and ambitious, the end of Assassin's Creed Odyssey is right around the corner, Sony's feeling self-conscious, and the Overwatch League is reportedly planning to squash GOATS once and for all.

Let's get into it.


Strangely Enough…

PC gaming and cross-platform titles

Alongside the launch of Stranger Things 3 for televisions, Stranger Things 3: The Game was also released. It's a SNES-style action RPG with a retro look. It reportedly covers most of season 3's storyline, so go binge first.

Apex Legends has had one of its biggest updates yet with season 2. Here's an analysis of the patch notes.

Warframe developer Digital Extremes revealed a wealth of information about the game's next expansion, Empyrean, at TennoCon 2019. There'll be a customizable battleship, new enemies, a better matchmaking system, and more.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey's final DLC episode, Judgment of Atlantis, arrives on July 16. The only information we have comes in the form of a screenshot that depicts some kind of sea-based city.

Put on your anticipation aprons, because a reference to Read Dead Redemption 2for PC has been found in Rockstar's Social Club website source.

The player character's lightsaber in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has been changed after fans complained that too many liberties had been taken with the design.

EA executives have been feeling the consequences of the company's poor reputation, and part of EA Originals' purpose is to demonstrate that the publisher can be relevant and get invested in good indie game development. We'll see!

Rainbow Six Siege is channeling a bit of Red Dead at the moment with a western-themed event — it involves a 3v3 cowboy shootout and will remain live until July 16.

The Grid reboot's launch has been delayed by a month, now arriving on October 11, for marketing reasons. Meanwhile in delay newsCuphead's final DLC will be delayed to 2020 — developer Studio MDHR wants to avoid crunch, and this is the timeline it'll need to make that commitment.

Total War: Three Kingdoms players can now build and play mods, with support launching this week. Mods can be found on the Steam Workshop, and it's not quite a free-for-all — antagonistic or sexualized mods are not permitted.

Do you like fleet carriers? Because Elite Dangerous is getting them this December. They look very large.

The next Fallout 76 patch will try and make the game a little less difficult for new players to figure out, with lower fast-traveling costs for players under level 25, higher disease resistance under level 15, and more.

Former Paradox CEO and current chairman says that the 30% cut Steam takes from developers is too large. He did not mention anything about the hue of the sky, but I'm sure he could've.


Play the Goat

Blizzard news, rumors and reviews

The Overwatch League is looking to put an end to the endless GOATS meta, and it's using a hammer, not a scalpel. Games in the League will institute a 2-2-2 role lock, starting July 25. This is an unconfirmed 'multiple reports' situation, so it may or may not come to pass.

Saviors of Uldum, the next Hearthstone expansion, is coming on August 6 and is set to deliver a number of game-changing mechanics, such as area-of-effect spells. There was also some controversy about censorship in a preparatory patch that replaced some artwork on older cards.

StarCraft: Mass Recall is available to playMass Recall is a fan-made mod that remakes the original StarCraft's campaign and expansion in StarCraft 2.


Are We Exclusive?

Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch news

Looks like Sony's getting a little spooked by Microsoft's major efforts to shore up its capacity to produce Xbox exclusives. The company says it is gearing up to acquire new studios of its own.

In a previous issue it was reported that Microsoft was now planning to focus on just one console for the Scarlett generation, not two. New reports are suggesting that a low-cost Xbox is still in the works, one that's focused on streaming games.

Back in this generation, Xbox Game Pass now has a bunch of new titles available, including Dead Rising 4 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

The upcoming Iceborne expansion for Monster Hunter World will be the game's only expansion, its producer told Game Informer in an interview.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is out for Switch on July 26, and Nintendo has filled in details about its season pass with DLC that will run through April 2020

In gamers still finding easter eggs in two year-old game news, a replication of a village from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker has been found in Breath of the Wild.


Trust Fund Extra Terrestrials

Gaming culture, industry, and miscellanea

Extra Terrestrials, a rare Atari 2600 game, is up on eBay for $90,000. Some hoarders have all the fun… nobody's knocking down my door for my SimCity 2000 manual (poor condition, $91k minimum bid, enquire within).

My kids all play very different kinds of games. My teenage son is into realistic milsims, and my daughter plays Sims 4 with the odd side of Overwatch. Meanwhile, my youngest son plays Roblox and Fortnite, and I always know which one he's playing based on how often I hear sounds of frustration. Here are some interesting insights from Roblox's Laura Higgins, head of digital civility, on how they keep a lighthearted spirit in their game, and toxicity out of it.

This is interesting: researchers are using rats to work out whether there's a link between VR and dementia. While they look for the answer, uh, does anyone want my Rift?


That’s it for this edition.

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- Flob