Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Written by Mary Joaquin
Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!
Every week, we cover the latest in the gaming world. Crawling along slowly yet eventfully were the weekend announcement of Minecraft’s Caves and Cliffs update timeframe and the Japanese press getting up close and personal with the PS5.
Heavy-hitter Genshin Impact and indie newcomers Phasmophobia, Hades, and Ikenfell dominated the weekdays, with the reveal of Watch Dogs Legion’s Bloodline season pass in-between.
Let's get right into it!
On Saturday, Oct 3, Minecraft announced The Caves and Cliffs Update, set for a Summer 2021 release.
As far as the “Caves” part in the title goes, Mojang described the update “comes with improved cave generation [featuring] lush caves and dripstone caves”.
It features a new archeology system that lets players excavate, new blocks (the Sculk Sensor, a movement-sensitive block that emits a redstone signal; and stalactites/stalagmites, blocks that inflict damage upon contact), and new mobs (the hostile Warden and the peaceful Axolotl).
Its “Cliffs” part introduces a similarly improved mountain generation, snow traps, and mountain goats.
On Sunday, Oct 4, Sony showcased the PS5 to the Japanese press, offering the first up-close look at the system.
Though attendees were not allowed to share the PS5’s UI, several commentators lauded its reduced noise—a long-time issue with the PS4, according to VG247. 4gamer released photos of the console supported by the stand either vertically or horizontally, also showing how the system cools itself, according to The Verge.
No other major changes had been reported though Japanese PS5 players will have to deal with a button switch, going from O to X to confirm.
On Monday, Oct 5, Genshin Impact reached 17M mobile downloads four days after its release.
App Annie, a site that publishes mobile performance stats, tweeted the feat, also making record numbers in revenue. IGN had been informed that the game grossed $50M in its first week from players in China, Japan, and the US.
The South China Morning Post also reported that games industry consultancy CEO Serkan Toto called the game the biggest international launch of a Chinese game to date.
On Tuesday, Oct 6, Watch Dogs Legion announced its season pass content, Bloodline, featuring a playable Wrench and Darcy, an Assassin’s Creed tie-in character.
Wrench had been playable for the final mission on Watch Dogs 2, and Bloodline gives him “new gameplay abilities”, according to PC Gamer. IGN reported that Legion live producer Lathiesshe Thillainathan confirmed Darcy, a member of the Assassin brotherhood, to be non-canon.
“[It’s] purely a fan service from our side and also the [Assassin’s Creed] side,” said Thillainathan. Thillainathan confirmed, however, that Darcy’s gameplay and backstory incorporated AC lore.
On Wednesday, Oct 7, Phasmophobia reached a weekly average of 80K viewers on Twitch merely a little over a week after its release.
Currently ranking at #7 on TwitchTracker, the psychological horror co-op by Kinetic Games appeared on the gaming radar just in time for Halloween. PCGamer notes the innovativeness of its built-in voice recognition among its other features of location and ghost variety.
As part of the evidence collection objective, the player can speak different phrases the ghosts can react to. Its VR-compatibility ups the ante, enabling players to be fully immersed in the experience and the scare.
On Thursday, Oct 8, Humble Games released Ikenfell, Happy Ray Games’s magical turn-based tactical RPG.
The game features a “heartwarming and twist-filled story about friendship, trust, love and loss” in a world full of exploration and discovery. According to IndieGamesPlus, Ikenfell poises its fights to focus more on tactical advantages rather than grinding, with timing especially important when using spells.
The game comes alive with a soundtrack from Steven Universe composers and a diverse cast of characters, with CBR lauding their three-dimensionality and its two non-binary characters.
On Friday, Oct 9, Supergiant Games’ Hades announced a test branch, previewing the game’s post-launch patches.
“It’ll have balance changes, a new decorative theme, new voice lines for several characters, fixes, and more,” tweeted the developers. According to PC Gamer, the game’s Discord channel released an FAQ stating that the team “will be taking a break to recharge, and plan what’s next” after the release of the new patches.
The test branch will be available on Steam and the Epic Store and will be discontinued after the official patch goes live.
EGD’s Weekly Round-Up gives a quick look into the newest in the games industry. From triple-A games and indie titles to events and gamer tech, the Weekly Round-Up covers all and more every week. Join the EGD Community Server to discuss the latest news!