It’s saying something when the biggest release of the week is an update to a three-year-old game. Next week isn’t looking particularly riveting either. Perhaps the dreaded summer game drought has finally struck.
For those still guessing, No Man’s Sky BEYOND is the biggest thing arriving this week. It’s certainly the biggest update the 2016 planet-hopping space shooter has seen. The free update is a culmination of 12 months work, adding VR support, a new social hub (The Nexus) supporting 32 players, mountable aliens, more complex base-building including automated factories, and a yet to be detailed cooking/crafting element. It’s No Man’s Sky 2.0, basically, and you can expect more new features than those we’ve just mentioned.
The PS4 and Xbox One also receive two belated PC conversions – Ancestors Legacy, an RTS inspired by medieval European history, and Stellaris: Utopia, the first major expansion for the complex sci-fi strategy game.
The PC version of Ancestors Legacy gained a 77% Metacritic in 2018, praised for being “a great new take” that doesn’t simply imitate other RTSs. Stellaris: Utopia, meanwhile, ended up with an 82% Metacritic in 2017 for giving the empire building and management side of things a much-needed overhaul.
Then there’s Vasara Collection, out on PS4, Xbox One and Switch. It brings together Vasara (2000) and Vasara 2 (2001), two Japanese four-player shooters set alternate timeline Feudal Japan. How alternate, you ask? Well, the protagonists are sat astride flying motorcycles. At around £8 it seems a reasonable deal.
The Switch also gets Friday the 13th: The Game – Ultimate Slasher Edition, which apparently holds up well despite being a clear downgrade. We’ve rounded up scores below.
Over on Xbox One there’s the action platformer Aritana and the Twin Masks, based around the indigenous culture of Brazil. It’s the sequel to Aritana and the Harpy’s Feather, which arrived in 2015 to not much of a buzz. The card-based roguelike Slay the Spire also hits Game Pass on Wednesday. As anybody who has played it will doubtlessly testify, it’s one of the most addictive games around. Sign us up.
New release showcase
Friday the 13th: The Game – Ultimate Slasher Edition
8/10 – Nintendo Life: With a ton of extra skins, weapons, signature kills and more this complete edition couldn’t be any more stacked with DLC. Sure, it’s still a little janky, but with servers that are seemingly holding and two years of refinements straight out of the box, this multiplayer gem still knows how to make an entrance on Switch. Mrs Voorhees will be pleased.
7/10 – Cultured Vultures: When it works, Friday the 13th is a truly exciting bout of cat-and-mouse gameplay that offers plenty of thrills and tense moments, but technical issues, clunkiness and a laborious levelling grind can add up to frustration.
5/10 – Digital Fix: Friday the 13th The Game makes an attempt at a killing but merely manages to fall on its own machete due to its clunky controls and limited gameplay options.
No Man’s Sky BEYOND
Aritana and the Twin Masks
New digital multi-format releases
- Ancestors Legacy
- Vasara Collection
- Stellaris: Utopia
- PC Building Simulator
- Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes
- Gravity Duck
New on PSN
- Roarr! Jurassic Edition
- Arcade Archives VS. GRADIUS
New on Xbox One store
- Aritana and the Twin Masks
- Slay the Spire
- Remnant: From the Ashes Pre-order Bundle
- The Bard’s Tale Trilogy
New Nintendo retail releases
- Friday the 13th: The Game – Ultimate Slasher Edition
- Instant Sports
- Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Next week: Remnant: From the Ashes, Rad, Life is Strange 2: Episode 4, Dead Cells – Action Game of the Year Edition, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution (Switch), and Smoots Summer Games.