Video Games Weekly Recap #2

The one with Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Super Mario 3D World, Little Nightmares II, Ratchet & Clank, Crash 4 on Switch, Kingdom Hearts, Nier Replicant and more


After one week full of every type of news, this has been an easier one with just a few minor announcements. But don’t worry, we still have some to discuss: the consistent 2021 update of Final Fantasy XIV has been revealed, a new Mario game is ready to be played from today and many gameplay trailers are here to be watched.

Cover - Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, the end and the new dawn

Square Enix revealed the next expansion of Final Fantasy XIV. It’s called Endwalker and it will be not only the next step of the so successful MMO, but even the conclusion of the first cycle of Eorzea, started with A Realm Reborn 8 years ago. However, according to Yoshida - director and savior of FFXIV - this isn’t going to be the end of FFXIV. We don’t yet know what will happen next in the most successful MMO of the last decade, but something is about to happen. Maybe the game will be updated with a new map, a new age, or even an upgrade in Roman numbering - so FFXVII would be the new Square MMO, continuing the three in three numeration after FFXI and FFXIV. But let’s stop speculating and let’s start talking about Endwalker!

New story, new areas, new jobs

What were the Final Days that brought the mighty ancients to their knees? To uncover myriad secrets--of Hydaelyn, Zodiark, and deeper mysteries still--the Warrior of Light embarks on a journey to the moon.


So, what will Endwalker bring to us? We don't have explicit details about the story already, but as said we know that it will mean an end of the story arc narrated until now and the end of Hydaelyn and Zodiark conflict. Then there will be a new dawn.

What we know more is about new jobs and areas. First of all two new jobs will be added: a melee dps and a healer. Even if we know anything about the melee, we have been able to glance at the healer in the trailer. It’s named Sage, it will fight using floating knives and will be able to shield allies with barriers. You need level 70 to unlock Sage.

Secondly, regarding new areas we can visit Thavnair island and it’s beautiful city Radz-at-Han (concept above). We know also that we will be able to visit at least another main city and the Moon - yes, the Moon - but Square will give us more details in future.

And features

Endwalker is not just jobs and story, as usual other features is going to be added too. As common use in MMO, level cap will be increased up to 90 from 80. Then players will face off a new raid, Pandaemonium, and the yet announced Ultimate fight The Dragonsong War. We will meet the Arkasodara tribe of Matanga, inspired by the mythological Hindu white elephant, and last Anima, the beloved esper of FFX, will be added as primal.

PS5 upgrade edition too, release and more in the future

Last but not least, Square Enix has announced that an upgraded edition for PS5 will be released this year, an open beta will be launched on 13 April. 

Endwalker will be launched this Fall and we will have further details in May during the digital FFXIV Fan Fest.

You can find more details in this Polygon piece and in this Gamespot one.


Announcements

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Finally Insomniac and Sony have revealed that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the next big PS5 exclusive, hits the market on 11 June. It will be the first new Lombax voyage in years, after the 2016 reboot, and it may be the first game to take full advantage of Playstation SSD potential through the instant dimension travel of the game.

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Crash Bandicoot 4 on Next gen and Switch

Activision has announced that Crash 4 will be released both on next gen consoles and Switch on 12 March, and on PC later this year. The PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will run at 4K and 60fps, along faster load times, furthermore you will be able to upgrade at no cost. Of course we won’t be able to play it at these performances on Switch, but it will cost only $40 - instead of $60 - further Toys for Bob has adapted textures and graphics to get the most from Switch.

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Kingdom Hearts and Forza Horizon 4

What did you say? What do Kingdom Hearts and Forza have in common? Absolutely nothing, except both will land on PC in March! Kingdom Hearts will leave the consoles for the first time, and is being launched exclusively to Epic Games Store on 30 March. The porting includes the full series published until now: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Kingdom Hearts 3 e Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory.

On the other side, Forza Horizon 4 is already available on PC, but for the first time for the series it is coming to  Steam, on 9 March.

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Next up on Stadia

Stadia is trying to prove that the decision to shut down first party studios is not the end for the service itself.
In two updates has first announced three games ready-to-play: Pikunik, Crayta (free for everyone), and Little Nightmares II (launched this week and free for Pro users); then a calendar for upcoming releases“That includes Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition (Feb. 23), Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut (Feb. 23), It came from space and ate our brains (Mar. 2), FIFA 21 (Mar. 17), Kaze and the Wild Masks (Mar. 26), Judgment (Apr. 23), Killer Queen Black, Street Power Football, and Hellpoint” and “More games are coming to Stadia in 2021, including Far Cry 6, Riders Republic, Hello Engineer, and others”.
Just a sampling of more than 100 games coming in 2021, they add. Between those, might not be included Terraria: the co-creator of the game Andrew Spinks with a really upset tweet said that he lost his Google account, and since he hasn’t received support by the company, as an act of spite he declared, literally, Terraria for Stadia is canceled. My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward.”

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Games slices

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139
If you miss Nier, you will appreciate the surprise trailer published by Square Enix - yes, it was a Square Enix show this week. Nine minutes of gameplay, how much we need to be hyped until 23 April.

Black Myth: Wukong
To celebrate the Ox Year just started, Game Science has released a theme gameplay trailer for Black Myth: Wukong. We still have few news about the project, but what we can see in the trailer is astonishing.

Oddworld Soulstorm
The ‘90s cult series is ready to come back this Spring on PS5, PS4 and Epic Games Store. In a new one minute trailer, we can take a look at the new Abe adventure.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One
Is not yet the time to have a complete look at the game based on the Arthur Doyle character, but we should settle for this teaser until the full gameplay reveal comes in March.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon
The first dlc of The Outer Worlds, Peril on Gorgon, already published last year, is finally available on Switch, from now.


Releases

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

Don’t forget that this has been the week of the double Super Mario adventure! Consisting of two games, the first a remake yet published on Wii U and the second an unpublished one, the new Mario has won press over. Metacritic is a great 90 based on 70 critics reviews, they have appreciated the chance to rediscover the excellent 3D World - that suffered the poor success of Wii U - as well the new Bowser’s Fury that unlike the first one feature an open map adventure.

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Little Nightmares II

Also the second most important release of the week, the horror developed by Tarsier Studios, has been welcomed by critics. The art direction, the atmosphere, the sound design and the pure scaring scenes let Little Nightmare II score a good Metacritic between 81 and 84.It has been launched on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia and PC. Cherry on top, you can play it for free with Stadia Pro.

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We Were Here

Surprise! We just released the first game in the We Were Here series on PlayStation Store today for PS4, and it’s free to download for a limited time! The rest of the We Were Here series will also be coming to PlayStation 4 on February 23 (and of course all three games are playable on PS5 as well)! It’s a perfect opportunity to try out the game and see if you vibe with our brand of online co-op puzzle solving in a sinister castle.“
Nothing to add on my side.


Others

Cyberpunk has been Cyberhacked

I don’t think this is relevant news for gamers for now, so take it as general knowledge. CD Project has been heavily hacked this week: the source code of Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3 and Gwent have been stolen, as well personal and company data. CDPR decided to not pay the ransom, so data is now on auction.

We can’t know if this will have effective consequences for the game, the company and the employees, sure this worst year of CDPR is yet to start and it isn’t going to end soon.

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Blizzcon schedule

Blizzard has confirmed the date and time of the forthcoming Blizzcon, planned for 19 - 21 February. The first showcase is scheduled at 11pm CET, on Friday. We may expect news about Diablo IV, Diablo II Remake, WoW, Overwatch 2 and Hearthstone.


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