June 6 - 12

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IMAGE(https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/pictures/pictures/picture-13445.jpg)   Felix “Uncut Gem” Threepaper

Welcome folks, and happy “178th Anniversary of the founding of the YMCA” week!

In 1844, a London draper by the name of George Williams noticed that the Industrial Revolution had drawn young men to cities for work, but didn’t offer much else for them besides taverns and brothels. He and 11 of his bestest pals decided that young men shouldn’t need to feel down, just ‘cause (young men) they were in a new town. Originally founded just for men in the drapery and embroidery trades, the YMCA had the aim of promoting wholesome recreation for spiritual and physical upliftment. Its first president was the Earl of Shaftesbury. You may all celebrate by playing a game that winks at you.

I have emerged from the COVID stronger, fitter and … who am I kidding? It was no joke, even for the vaxxed. I spent the last 2 weeks sweating it out on a mattress in the study, while my non-infected son enjoyed a splendid isolation in the room that has the PS5. Free of both COVID and school, he mainlined Elden Ring and managed to beat it 3 times. When I got back to my save on the weekend, he was perched over my shoulder, saying “I got that already. Yeah, I’ve been there. Killed her. There’s a secret door over there. Haha, noob!” Every child has a moment when they realise their parents are not giants, merely mortal, and this is his. He’s only 9 years old, FFS.

A big thanks to Antichulius for filling in while I was away, and he is, of course, always welcome to chime in here whenever he likes (he can anyway; he has ninja editing powers).

Anyhoo, games! For many years, June was traditionally E3 time, but no more; even the digital version has been cancelled this year. Instead, many devs and studios will be doing their own showcases throughout the month. Sony’s already shown off its State of Play with a heavy focus on its upcoming VR platform.

Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge is also being called Roots of Dread. This DLC marks the 6th anniversary and 24th chapter of this asymmetrical-multiplayer survival horror game. As with most previous DLC, there’s a new survivor, a new killer, and a new map on offer. The devs have also made that typical move for multiplayer games of advancing age: streamlining a lot of progression. New players can get up to speed with less grind, while long-haulers get a couple of bones thrown their way to keep them from complaining.

The Elder Scrolls Online is another multiplayer game that keeps on truckin’. We’re 8 years in now, and this week sees the PC release of High Isle, which gives the TESO Chapter treatment to High Rock, homeland of the Bretons. In light of the general oddity of Morrowind and the demonic flavour of Blackwood, this expansion is more straight-up high medieval fantasy. It’s got heavy Arthurian vibes, with knightly orders, chivalry, and feuding houses. The architecture and aesthetic look like Oblivion on steroids. Some star power has been added, with Laura Bailey voicing a knightly companion. TESO is also getting an in-game collectible card game: Tales of Tribute. Will it be like Gwent, keeping players in the tavern while factional wars, quests, and excitement rage outside?

SpellForce III is a 2017 game that also has a high-medieval fantasy aesthetic. Its gameplay is a unique blend of RTS and RPG that you can’t really find anywhere else—Warcraft III comes close, but it hasn’t had new content in nearly 20 years. You spend half your time taking your party around, with its stats, skills, and loot, and the other half doing the RTS base-building thing. Reforced gives Spellforce III a graphical glow-up and polishes a lot of the UI and mechanics for console release. It looks really pretty, but RTS has a troubled history on consoles. It doesn’t help that it is impossible to describe RTS mechanics in an interesting way. Whenever I watch preview videos, as soon as the narrator says “resources”, I fall asleep. A lot of the missions look like you’re smooshing two groups together and waiting to see who’s left standing, which is probably a more realistic portrayal of medieval battles than you’d think. This looks like a game whose appeal lies in the interesting blend of elements rather than executing any one element super well.

The Quarry is the latest teen horror game from Supermassive Games, who have carved out a niche in the horror genre with the Dark Pictures Anthology and Until Dawn. The Quarry is similar in gameplay to Until Dawn: it’s an action/adventure game where you can play as any of 9 different characters through the story, with a cinematic presentation that makes you feel like you are playing through an homage to classic horror movies, right down to the setting: a spooky summer camp. The homage extends to the excellent casting, with heavy “hey it’s THAT person” vibes and the fantastic facial animations.The choice’n’consequence gameplay is an evolution of the Telltale Games formula, with even seemingly minor choices (like whether to climb a ladder) warning you that a path has been chosen.

On the Switch, Mario Strikers: Battle League is soccer, Nintendo-style. The pitch is surrounded by an electric fence, the tackles would get you red-carded IRL, you can even kick your teammates to give them a boost. Plus, there’s hyperstrikes: powered-up supershots that count for 2 goals, like Mario’s flaming corkscrew shot. There’s also powerups and other items that drop during games to cause the required amount of chaos and rubber-banding. The roster of characters to fill your 5-person team is pretty small—only 10. They will probably sell more characters to you later. Plus there’s a whole bunch of stadium customisation, and when you play another team, the stadium is half your design and half the other team’s.

The Switch also gets Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords. In 2003, Bioware wowed everyone with the first KOTOR, then went off to work on Jade Empire. LucasArts turned to Obsidian, giving it about a year to to make a sequel to an acclaimed game. This was to become an all-too-common brief for the studio, setting it up to make a series of flawed gems. Chris Avellone was the lead designer, and the story and mechanics had a lot more shades of grey than the more binary Jedi/Sith choices of the original. It also fleshed out lightsaber combat and the amount of interaction and choice you could have with your companions; you could even influence them to be Jedi or Sith. Because of the tight production deadline, a lot of content was cut, and it therefore didn’t get the degree of accolades that the first KOTOR did. The Switch version will include most of this previously-cut content as DLC down the road, including a whole new, unseen ending. This will be a restored, better-than-ever edition of the game that may do justice to Obsidian’s original vision, a mere 17 years later.

It’s another hard week to pick a GOTW. There’s a lot of good stuff, just not in genres that I usually go for. The Quarry looks like the best new game. High Isle is high fantasy done really well, inside the already-solid TESO experience. Spellforce III also looks interesting, but it’s RTS on a console. If I’m honest about which game I’d actually play, I have to give it to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords. The romantic history nerd in me loves the idea of dusting off a forgotten gem and polishing in the unreleased content to make it whole. Sure, it won’t be in that state for a few more months, but that’s about when I’ll be ready to play it. Plus, it’s nice to see Star Wars stories that aren’t wedged in between the movie timelines. GOTW.

Here's the list, now in release-date AND alphabetical order!

PC

  • 06-06

  • Aim God
  • canVERSE
  • Coding Learn
  • Falling Elevator
  • Flora and Sauna
  • For The Fatherland
  • Just a SHMUP?
  • Mida's Adventure
  • My Little Dictator
  • Picture story -kaiwa-
  • ROB
  • Rogue Arrows
  • Run Build Pew!
  • The Butcher
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle
  • The Journey - Episode 2: Words of Wisdom
  • Zephyr
  • 06-07

  • Acorn City: Tropical!
  • Attack at Dawn: North Africa
  • Breath of Ghosts
  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • DEAD ZONE (TheLea Games)
  • Justice.exe
  • Logica Emotica
  • Pacifish
  • Spacelines from the Far Out
  • TDS - War Games
  • The Last Taxi
  • Treats Please!
  • 06-08

  • 20 Minutes Till Dawn
  • Chaotic Loop
  • Erin Psalm
  • Hardcore Trivia
  • How to be a Dragon Trainer
  • My Lovely Wife
  • of pawns & kings
  • Raconteur
  • Spacewing War
  • Speedway Challenge 2022
  • The First Generation
  • 06-09

  • Builder Simulator
  • Far Sector
  • Fray Fight
  • Green Hell VR
  • Heavenly Love
  • Imperium BCE
  • Incursion
  • Isolate ME!
  • Madshot
  • Meteor World Actor: Badge & Dagger
  • Nevergrind Online
  • POSTAL: Brain Damaged
  • Pro Cycling Manager 2022
  • Russian Hunter
  • Square Keeper
  • Synthwave FURY
  • The Dragon and the Djinn
  • Tour de France 2022
  • Twilight bride :VORMSLEGEND
  • 06-10

  • AISZplus
  • Blickel
  • CrushBorgs
  • Date Ariane Remastered
  • Duks
  • Exorcist Charlotte
  • Jester's Theater Museum
  • L'Avancee du desert
  • Mebula
  • Metal Max Xeno Reborn
  • NFT Museum
  • One Last Memory - Reimagined
  • Please Fix The Road
  • Ragdoll Funhouse
  • Shark Assault Simulator
  • Summer Photo Album
  • The Quarry
  • Ultimate Fighters
  • 06-11

  • Arruyo
  • 06-12

  • Bee: The Knight

Xbox Series X

  • 06-07

  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • SpellForce III Reforced
  • 06-08

  • Nummels
  • Super Impossible Road
  • 06-09

  • Square Keeper
  • 06-10

  • The Quarry

Xbox One

  • 06-07

  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • Spacelines from the Far Out
  • SpellForce III Reforced
  • True Fear: Forsaken Souls - Part 2
  • 06-08

  • Nummels
  • Super Impossible Road
  • 06-09

  • Square Keeper
  • 06-10

  • The Quarry

PlayStation 5

  • 06-07

  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • SpellForce III Reforced
  • 06-09

  • Square Keeper
  • 06-10

  • The Quarry

PlayStation 4

  • 06-07

  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • SpellForce III Reforced
  • 06-08

  • Noel The Mortal Fate
  • 06-09

  • Arcade Archives: Motos
  • Square Keeper
  • 06-10

  • Metal Max Xeno Reborn
  • The Quarry

Switch

  • 06-07

  • Dead by Daylight: Roots of Dredge
  • 06-08

  • My Lovely Wife
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
  • 06-09

  • Arcade Archives: Motos
  • Delivery from the Pain
  • Square Keeper
  • 06-10

  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Hinokami Chronicles
  • Mario Strikers: Battle League
  • Metal Max Xeno Reborn
  • Mysteries Under Lake Ophelia
  • Pro Gymnast Simulator
  • The Wizard and The Slug

Comments

Glad your feeling better Covid is not fun! Interesting week, I keep meaning to get to Until Dawn and as the Quarry sounds good I might dig it out the PS Plus collection to see if i should jump into the new hotness.

Every child has a moment when they realise their parents are not giants, merely mortal, and this is his. He’s only 9 years old, FFS.

At 9 my daughter helped me finish Guacamelee! She went on to take on Sekiro and she beat Elden Ring weeks before I did. Now she's relaxing with some Europa Universalis IV.

Welcome to the olds.