It's somehow December, I can't work out if it's come around quickly or taken us forever to get here. Either way, the home stretch of 2020 is upon us. This week we've been playing Crash Team Racing, checking out the latest Counter Strike Operation, and enjoying plenty of articles from VICE.
One of the most notable next-generation videogames available right now is Demon's Souls, a remake of a beloved (and very difficult) game which is available for the PS5. I've always loved weird and wonderful takes on online multiplayer, and Demon's Souls has several asynchronous, emergent mechanics. VICE wrote up why one of them is causing people to unplug their internet.
I snapped up Crash Team Racing for the Nintendo Switch in a Black Friday sale and have been playing it all week. I am terrible at it. That game is hard. But the thing I love about playing games from childhood, is the memories you had no idea you’d been storing this whole time come back to life. Shortcuts and tactics all came flooding back to me. Shame they haven’t helped me in the slightest.
I came across an article explaining how a television show created a fake video game for their scenes and inline with the story of the series. The none existence game called Crowning Glory II which has been created specifically for "Room 104". Definitely worth a read!
Including the aforementioned article Mobin linked, this week has been interesting for featured articles for games culture. These pieces don't focus on features of particular games themselves rather, a commentary on the impact of those games on audiences and their behaviours
This is a fascinating trait of the world of modern video games as they become more entrenched in popular culture in ever weirder and more unexpected ways. As regular readers know, we obsess over what we refer to as "the extended experience" (considering a players entire lifecycle with a game brand beyond simply the playing of a title) so seeing games audiences, broader entertainment and lifestyles be impacted is a fascinating further extension on the concept.
We're big fans of the work VICE have been putting out lately so thoroughly recommend checking out the following articles:
A long time favourite of the Etch Play gang, Counter Strike: Global Offensive released a new Operation just yesterday, Operation Broken Fang. Operations are large updates, normally bringing some kind of new system to the game, as well as some new bespoke game modes during the time the operation runs. This time, it's a long awaited mode that the community has had substitutes for for several years, called Retakes. Players are given a random assortment of equipment and have to either attack or defend a location on a map from the other team.
As well as the new game mode, there's a new stat tracking system to help you compare your stats across game modes, maps and even weapons. A new quick chat wheel to replace the old awkward key bindings and 5 community maps have made their way into the map pool for all players to enjoy!
We've talked before about methods in which game studios and publishers can generate revenue outside of traditional game sales and in game transactions. One of these is partnerships with other brands and creating aligned products with the game IP. Throughout the build up to Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red have formed a number of partnerships to create a whole host of Cyberpunk branded items, from clothing, to energy drinks, to gaming chairs.
Taylor Lyles from The Verge has gone back through and collated a list of all the partnerships and calculated that if you wanted to be all in on the Cyberpunk life it would have cost you over $2,000! You can check out the list and prices here.
We're done for another week, but let us know on Twitter what caught your attention this week. Our live show is still running every Thursday at 4pm on our Twitch channel, where we discuss the latest videogame news, play some games and chat videogame marketing. All the episodes, plus a whole lot more can also be found on our YouTube channel.
We'll be back next week, but before you go you can check out this week's Twitch show right here 👇