• Duncan Robertson

The Biggest News in Gaming (Week Beginning 27/04/20)

Updated: May 7, 2020

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Sony Reschedules Releases of The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima

Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II and Sucker Punch's Ghost of Tsushima will both release this summer, Herman Hulst has announced.

The Head of Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment published a post on the PlayStation Blog this week explaining the updated release dates for both PlayStation 4 exclusives.

"As we begin to see an ease in the global distribution environment, I am pleased to confirm that The Last of Us Part II will arrive on June 19. And Ghost of Tsushima will follow on July 17", wrote Hulst.

"Amidst some disruptions to our working styles, we wanted to provide an update to PlayStation gamers who are eager to learn when our next exclusive titles will arrive to PlayStation 4.

"I want to personally congratulate and thank both the teams at Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch Productions on their achievements, as we know it’s not an easy feat to reach the finish line under these circumstances", he concluded.

The Last of Us Part II was recently delayed indefinitely and removed from the PlayStation store while Ghost of Tsushima was originally scheduled for release on June 26th.

Ubisoft Announces Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft has revealed the next Assassin's Creed game that will release later this year. Assassin's Creed Valhalla will allow players to live out their Viking warrior fantasies.

The game will release for the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation, as well as on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Lead producer Julien Laferrière spoke to Eurogamer and said: "We want you to be playing the ultimate Viking fantasy".

Valhalla will be set in Viking era Norway and England and will allow for traversal between the two as main character Eivor tries to lead an invasion against Alfred the Great.

Valhalla has reportedly been in development for over two and a half years at Ubisoft Montreal and has been worked on by an additional 14 other studios.

Laferrière also confirmed that Norse mythology will feature heavily in the game, which can already be seen by Odin's appearance in the cinematic trailer Ubisoft dropped on Thursday.

It has also been confirmed that players will have their own Viking settlement in the game that will be upgradeable not unlike Monteriggioni in Assassin's Creed II and the Homestead in Assassin's Creed III.

Eivor will be playable as a male or a female and will have customisable tattoos, hair, war paint, and equipment.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games With Gold Free Games For May Revealed

The free games that will be playable for PlayStation Plus subscribers and Xbox Games With Gold members during the month of May have been revealed.

PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download and play Cities Skylines and Farming Simulator 19 from May the 5th until June the 1st.

Games With Gold members on Xbox One will be able to download and play V-Rally 4 for the whole month, while Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr will be available from May 16th-June 15th.

Games With Gold members on Xbox 360 will be able to play Sensible World of Soccer from May 1st-15th, and Overlord II will then be free from May 16th onward.

Geoff Keighley Launches Summer Game Fest

Video game journalist Geoff Keighley has announced an all-digital stand-in festival for the many shows and conferences that have been canceled as a result of COVID-19.

Summer Game Fest will be a four-month-long festival of digitally streamed video game news events that will run from May to August.

Keighley has coordinated with many industry titans including Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, and 2K to name a few, to deliver news and announcements in a way that is appropriate to the current worldwide health crisis.

The creator of The Game Awards who announced earlier this year that he wouldn't be hosting his long-running E3 Coliseum show this year posted a note to twitter saying "Today I'm announcing Summer Game Fest, a 4-month-long season of news events from all your favourite platforms and publishers. It's all the news you've been waiting for, but also in-game events, playable content and demos of select titles, and a bunch of fun surprises.

"Summer Game Fest isn't a singular show, but a whole season for events. The schedule hub at summergamefest.com will guide you through the next 4 months to make sure you don't miss a thing."

E3 and GDC were just two of many industry events that have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, and many, including Keighley, have been wondering how publishers and indie developers alike will be able to get across the news that helps keep their businesses afloat.

Keighley said "Since I was a kid, one of my favourite parts of the summer has been seeing all the video game companies band together to hype us up about the future of this incredible medium.

"For a while, I thought 2020 might be the first time in 25 years that we didn't have a big, magic industry-wide moment... So that's exactly what we're going to build."

More information, including details of the first event on Thursday next week, can be found here.

Games For Carers Makes Over 85,000 Games Free to NHS Workers

The UK video game industry has launched a new major initiative to allow frontline NHS staff to download and play games for free.

More than 85,000 video games across varying genres, platforms, and age ratings have been made available to them through their NHS email addresses.

The idea was originally conceptualised by journalist Chris Scullion and was brought to life through partnerships with industry companies.

The CEO of Ukie, Dr. Jo Twist published a brief statement on Ukie's website saying "The UK games industry has been proud to play its part in conveying these vital public health messages during this national emergency. Now our community has united again to say thank you to the truly extraordinary people who make up the NHS frontline team. “Games companies of all sizes and players everywhere recognise their exceptional dedication and hope this initiative goes some way to help them to understand how respected and valued they are.”

NHS workers can claim their free game or subscription here.

Image Credits: GamesPress, giveaways.keymailer.co/nhs

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