Stadia Connect details, lots of games playable today, more

JULY 15, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer for Wednesday, July 15th. My friends, I hope you are well, let’s catch up with the news.
Google Stadia held a digital event today highlighting some of the games heading to the service, alongside some new features. Notably, they have a number Stadia exclusives announced, if I we re to guess these are timed exclusives. The first one is a new game called Outcasters, which is a top-down multiplayer shooter where the whole concept is that you can curve your bullets however you want. It looked pretty cool, definitely worth checking out even though it’s only on Stadia. They’ve also got Orcs Must Die 3, which is a long standing tower defense franchise, which is playable today, free with Stadia Pro, or $30 without it. The 3 other exclusives are not revealed, but we know that they will be made by Harmonix, known for Rock Band, Supermassive Games, known for Until Dawn, and Uppercut Games. Besides the exclusives they have a bunch of games heading to the service, including PUBG, all three Hitman games, Serious Sam 4, NBA 2K21, Sekiro, Hello Neighbour, and Dead by Daylight. Some of those games are going to have some features that crossover with Youtube streamers, so that you can influence or join their game somehow. Anyway, fun stuff, and hopefully Stadia ends up working out.
There are just a tremendous amount of video games that are playable today, so let me tell you about them. First of all, Halo 3 is now available to be played on PC. You can pick it up for $10 alone, or pick up the whole Master Chief Collection for $40, which includes every game up to Halo 3, plus later this year they are adding ODST and 4. Obviously often considered one of if not the best Halo of all time, so definitely give that a look with its updated graphics. If you want a more arcadey shooter, feel free to take a look at Rocket Arena, which people call Quake meets Smash Bros. It’s 3 vs 3 shooting game where everybody has rocket launchers as their weapons, and is attempting to knock other people out of the arena. And interesingly that sounds like something that should be free to play, but its actually $30, with cosmetic microtransactions which is unfortunate. Also available today is Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, which is a remake of the original Harvest Moon game from 2003. This is the first Story of Seasons available on PC, and if you have played a Stardew Valley-like game before, then you know what this game is. It’s just another option if you like that kind of game. Finally, the last game I want to tell about is Neon Abyss. This is a side scrolling shoot-em up roguelike which looks a lot like Enter the Gungeon, and plays a lot like the Binding of Isaac. I got a review copy of this game and have been playing it the past couple of days, it’s absolutely tremendous, I highly recommend it, especially at its $20 price tag. I’m going to be sharing my review this coming weekend on this show, and also a lengthier review on, so make sure you subscribe there if you’d like to hear it.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds has now sold over 70 million copies of the game, which means it sold around 20 million of those in the last two years. That’s pretty much all there is to say about it, but for what its worth, the game still brings in 500k concurrent players a day on Steam alone, which just blows me away. It may feel like battle royales are waning in popularity, but that’s only because it’s not brand new anymore. So many of these games are still performing extremely well.
Summer Games Done Quick is the annual summer speedrunning event, and the schedule is now posted. Usually these events are in-person but it has moved to an online format this year, and will be happening from August 16th to 23rd. Hopefully all goes smoothly with that transition, and otherwise I highly recommend that you check out the event. It’s always a ton of fun, even if you’re not into speedrunning you always find a nugget of fascinating information, and if nothing else its just funny to see your favourites games get picked apart to be as optimized as possible.