We’ve prepared a smorgasbord of news items from the past week to fill your video game appetite!

Gamescom 2019 is about to wrap up a week of festivities in Cologne, Germany. Throughout the week, we were treated to a slew of announcements and reveals from Nintendo, Xbox, Google and Geoff Keighley himself. Sony also caught our attention like a fly in a web with a certain studio acquisition. Let’s dive right in!

Ori and the Blind Forest is coming to Nintendo Switch

New title for Switch

Kicking off a jam-packed Gamescom week, Nintendo held their “Indie World” showcase. Throughout the 30-minute presentation, Superhot and a collection of the cult-favourite Hotline Miami were announced to be available now on Nintendo’s eShop. The real showstopper was Nintendo revealing that Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition will be making its way to Nintendo Switch on September 27th. Ori’s arrival marks the third Microsoft-published title landing on Switch alongside Cuphead and Minecraft.

Nintendo’s Indie World also announced many other delightful titles such as Skellboy, Risk of Rain 2, Torchlight 2, Youropa and Best Friend Forever are set to launch on Switch throughout 2019.

Screenshot from Ori and the Blind Forest video game

Google Stadia shows off a lot more games but withholds the launch date

In the cloud

Google held its second Stadia Connect presentation during Gamescom. Instead of focusing on the Stadia’s logistics, Google’s presentation centred on showcasing games.

The announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 would arrive on Stadia is arguably the biggest from the show. The console and PC release are set for April 16th, 2020, although it appears Stadia players may have to wait. CD Projekt Red stated: “The Google Stadia version will launch the same year — additional details will be made available at a later date.”

Other announcements included Kine, Orcs Must Die 3, Windjammers 2, Superhot (it’s been a big week for Superhot Team) and Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle.

Unfortunately, Google did not divulge any additional information about Stadia’s expected launch date. As Stadia’s Founders Edition hasn’t been given a concrete release date outside of the November window, most aforementioned titles were listed only as “Coming Soon”.

Four video game controllers, charcoal, light turquoise, white and black

Sony acquires Insomniac Games

Number 14

We’ve all been wondering when and if it would happen! Insomniac Games, one of the most successful independent development studios has finally been acquired by Sony. The studio house behind Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, Spyro the Dragon and Spider-Man is now the 14th first-party studio under SIE’s banner. Sony broke the news on Monday.

Insomniac Games later followed up with a blog post written by CEO Ted Price saying:

As we look ahead to our future, we know that joining the WWS family gives us the best opportunities to fully achieve that vision on a much larger scale. Further, we believe that Sony shares a similar vision to positively impact players’ lives, their employees’ lives and the games industry at large.

The development of a Spider-Man sequel is almost a guarantee and we’re also likely to see Insomniac return to Ratchet and Clank sometime in the future. In addition, Sony now owns the Sunset Overdrive IP, opening up the possibility of a sequel.

Xbox wants us bowing down to Gears 5

A new campaign

Information leading up to the arrival of The Coalition’s new game had been fairly sparse. Aside from a small cinematic trailer in 2018, and an in-depth look at Escape mode during E3 2019, we haven’t seen too much. That all changed during Gamescom.

Microsoft’s Inside Xbox show finally got around to bringing us some gameplay from Gears 5’s Horde mode, which has been revamped. The Coalition’s Rod Ferguson touched on accessibility and class-based mechanics, such as Ultimate abilities. We also received the exciting announcement that Gears 5 is crossing over with Halo. Game Pass Ultimate subscribers and those that purchase Gears 5 Ultimate Edition will be able to play as Halo: Reach characters Emile-A239 and Kat-B320, plus have access to other Reach cosmetics!

Later, during Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live event, we got a stellar look at Gears 5’s campaign. The new trailer showed Kat, Marcus, JD and company gearing up for another action-packed excursion across Sera, set to Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like A Hole”.

We’re mere weeks away from the September 10th release of Gears 5, which launches on PC and Xbox One.

You might also like: Gears of War Games Ranked

Hideo Kojima flew to Cologne to show off Death Stranding’s peeing mechanics

What what what?

As Keighley wrapped up his Opening Night Live presentation, he brought his good buddy, Hideo Kojima, to the stage. Kojima revealed two new narrative trailers focusing on Death Stranding’s characters Mama, Deadman and Bridge Baby (B.B.). The scenes brought up more questions than answers, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Afterwards, Kojima debuted a look at Death Stranding’s gameplay and it wouldn’t be Death Stranding if things didn’t get a little weird. The trailer begins with Sam (Death Stranding’s protagonist) waking up and letting his bladder loose in an open field, spouting a large mushroom—still with us so far?

Sam goes on to explore a nearby cliffside, which he climbs using his portable ladder and uncover a storage container. It’s here we get to see a bit of the menu navigation. Afterwards, Sam interacts with a hologram under the guise of Ludens Fan. Who is Ludens Fan? Well, none other than Geoff Keighley himself. Though not voiced by Keighley, the prolific host and dear friend of Kojima’s will be featured throughout Death Stranding. The trailer ends with Sam falling off the cliff’s edge, upsetting B.B., to which Sam cradles B.B.’s pod until he is calm.

Sam from the video game Death Stranding

This week’s game releases

This Week
Game Release Date Platform Metacritic
Erica August 19, 2019 PS4 72%
RAD August 20, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One 77%
The Yakuza Remastered Collection (Yakuza 3) August 20, 2019 PS4 Link
Life is Strange 2: Episode 4 – Faith August 22, 2019 PC, PS4, Xbox One Link
Oninaki August 22, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch 69%

What’s up next week?

Next Week

Unwinding from Gamescom, we’ve got a few anticipated game releases to look forward to. On August 27th, Remedy’s Control will be releasing and a few days later, Bloober Team is bringing the Halloween scares early with Blair Witch.

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Steve's Take

Author

Gamescom delivered an outstanding amount of updates and announcements this year. Ori and the Blind Forest’s arrival on Switch felt inevitable after the reception of Cuphead. Google, while showing a few strong titles, has yet to come out with a reason for someone like me to invest in Stadia. Stadia needs to gain day-and-date support for major titles like Cyberpunk 2077 to compete in this market. Without it, I fear Stadia might become an afterthought.

Sony managed to steal the spotlight, announcing the Insomniac Games acquition as Tarsier Studios took to the stage at Opening Night Live. I felt bad as the online chatter quickly turned towards Sony, detracting from Little Nightmares 2.

Up until this week, I was worried about the state of Gears 5’s campaign. The Coalition put so much effort in placing Escape mode front and centre. What we saw in the campagin trailer looked pretty darn enticing. We manged to see varying enviornments and eye-popping set pieces. Although, the proof will be in pudding when the game launches in a couple weeks.