DailyBits News June 11th Issue

Planet Zoo gets a new trailer, release date and pre-launch beta

Frontier Developments (Planet Coaster) has announced that Planet Zoo will release on PC (Steam) on November 5th 2019, offering standard (£34.99/€44.99/$44.99 USD) and deluxe (£42.99/€54.99/$54.99 USD) editions of the game. The deluxe edition will include exclusive beta access, a set of wallpapers, three unique animals and an original soundtrack. The release announcement was accompanied by a new trailer that gives us a nice insight into the animals we can expect to see in the game, as well as the park management and building side of things.

Kalypso Media reveals Commandos 2 HD & Praetorians HD Remasters

Kalypso Media have announced that they are releasing remastered versions of Pyro Studios’ most iconic strategy games: Commandos 2 and Praetorians. These titles have been remastered with updated graphics and enhanced controls to suit each platform. Both of these games will be available on PC as well as both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 by the end of 2019. Commandos 2 will also be launching on the Nintendo Switch, Mac, Linux, iPad and Android tablets. The pricing for both of these games has yet to be revealed.

ZeniMax’s legal team shuts down Doom Remake 4

The Doom modding community was dealt a large blow by ZeniMax’s legal team yesterday when ‘vasyan777’, creator of the Doom Remake 4 mod, was sent a cease and desist letter for unauthorized use of ZeniMax Media Intellectual Property. As a result, the mod was pulled from the Internet, only to be put back up a day later. The legal issue was that the mod could be used without purchasing the original game, but this was quickly changed to avoid any problems. Doom Remake 4 attempts to recreate the original game using high-resolution textures, 3D models instead of sprites, a new HUD and mods that increase the amount of gore in the game.

Marvel’s Avengers additional content will be free and will not feature loot boxes

Marvel’s Avengers was finally unveiled at Square Enix’s E3 conference yesterday. Featuring a “completely original story.”, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal are keen to establish a universe that will keep new Marvel content coming. We’re yet to see any proper gameplay footage, however, we do know that the characters will not look like their MCU counterparts. The trailer depicts a battle taking place in San Francisco, that the Avengers are later blamed for, causing them to disband. “Five years later, with all Super Heroes outlawed and the world in peril, the only hope is to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Players take control of the five Avengers: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Iron-Man. The game can be played with up to four players cooperatively online, however, you still have the option of playing it solo alongside three AI companions. If we had to guess how the game actually plays judging by the trailer, it would appear the Captain America and Black Widow sections play like traditional action games. There’s also a flying section with Iron-Man and Thor that looks a lot like an on-rails shooter.

Hawkeye appears to be absent from the Avengers lineup. Will he arrive later as DLC?

The most surprising announcement of the night was that Marvel’s Avengers will be a live service game, featuring scheduled content updates across multiple years. The post-launch content includes new heroes to play as, all of which will be completely free. As for who we can expect to see, Hank Pym (Ant Man) was featured at the end of the conference, so that should give fans an idea of what’s to come. It would appear Sony has paid for some exclusivity rights, giving their players access to unique content. Right now, the only exclusive perk confirmed for PlayStation 4 owners is entry to a future beta phase.

Crystal Dynamics also spoke about how their game takes place in an “ever-expanding universe.”, possibly hinting at a tie in with Marvel’s Spider-Man (developed by Insomniac Games). During the conference, the developers were quick to mention that there won’t be any loot box or pay-to-win scenarios. Whether that means the game won’t feature micro-transactions at all remains to be seen, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Marvel’s Avengers will release on May 15th 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia and Windows PC. PS4 players who pre-order the game will also have the opportunity to participate in a beta.

Play as anyone in a future dystopian London – Watch Dogs: Legion officially announced

In the newest instalment in the Watch Dogs franchise, you’ll play as a member of the resistance known as DeadSec, taking on Albion – an organisation that has placed riot drones across London. Unlike the two previous games in the series, Watch Dogs: Legion ditches the idea of having a main protagonist, allowing you to play as normal citizens roaming the street.

Set in post-Brexit London, Watch Dogs: Legion enables you to play as anyone. Yes, literally anyone – every character in the game can be recruited. Each character has their own unique backstory and personality which also affects their skillset. This ‘play as anyone system’ assigns traits to characters based off their backstory, for example, IT specialists may be better at working with drones and Ex-Spies will know their way around a pistol.

Explore an open-world London and build the Resistance

One of the biggest criticisms facing Watch Dogs: Legion is the idea that things will get repetitive very quickly once you start to recruit the same characters over and over again. Fortunately, the developers have tried to limit the number of times you hear the same type of dialogue by recording twenty people, each with their own unique lines in an attempt to avoid this issue entirely.

Legion will also debut a brand-new melee combat system in which players’ approach to combat will have real consequences. Permadeath will feature in this title, meaning that if you get your character in a sticky situation, you can lose them forever. From what we can tell, surrendering and getting arrested will keep your character alive, giving you the chance to continue your mission, whereas resisting and engaging in combat will put your character in grave danger.

Watch Dogs: Legion is scheduled to launch on March 6th 2020 for PC, Xbox One, Stadia and PlayStation 4.

Final Fantasy VIII Remaster heads to modern consoles this year

Final Fantasy VIII fans will finally be getting a remastered version of the game on modern consoles, as revealed at Square Enix’s E3 conference yesterday. This remaster fills a gaping void in the selection of modern 3D Final Fantasy games available on current platforms, now joining remasters of Final Fantasy 7,9 10, 10-2 and 12. It has been rumoured that the delay for the remaster was due to the studio having lost Final Fantasy VIII’s original source code, although that has not been officially confirmed.

Originally released in 1999, Final Fantasy VIII focuses on a group of students at a military school who find themselves dragged into a conflict with a sorceress from the future who is scheming to compress time. Final Fantasy VIII was previously ported to PC and has been available on Steam for years, however, that was largely the original version of the game with a few tweaks.

It’s not a remake, but FF8’s remaster implements noticeable graphical upgrades

An exact release date has not yet been revealed but the remaster is scheduled to release in 2019. While this is only a remaster, and not a remake like Final Fantasy VII, a number of fans still seem to be quite content with the changes made. Most notably, the character’s facial textures appear to be looking much cleaner.

Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy VIII will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.

Written for the June 11th issue of DailyBits.