Warhammer: Vermintide 2 launches for Xbox One on July 11, and the Xbox One version’s open beta is playable now. Developer Fatshark revealed the Xbox One version’s release date Wednesday, along with the following trailer.

In a reply to a tweet, Fatshark senior programmer Patrik Wennersten said the Xbox One version does not feature cross-play with the game’s PC version, which launched back in March.

Fatshark first announced in December 2017 that the Left 4 Dead-inspired co-op action game would be coming to consoles, but this is the first we’ve heard of a set release date. Fatshark says the PlayStation 4 version is still on its way, but gave no specific dates yet.

Along with the announcement, Fatshark released details for a new “Premium Edition,” which includes exclusive in-game content.

For our review of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 on PC, head here.

[Source: Fatshark, Twitter]

The Switch version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the puzzle/adventure game starring the galaxy-spanning explorer and his colleague Toadette, has a demo on the Switch eShop in all regions now.

You can go ahead and download the demo now and explore how the game plays on the Switch. Captain Toad made his introduction in Mario Galaxy as the leader of a brave though perpetually lost exploration force, then as a minigame in Super Mario 3D World. That minigame was spun off and fleshed out into Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which ended up featuring full levels from 3D World for Captain Toad to strut through.

According to a Nintendo World Report preview, however, the Switch version is losing those 3D World levels. It was revealed in its first Nintendo Direct that the game would be getting New Donk City-themed stages added to the Switch and 3DS versions, but it appears those are coming at the cost of the 3D World content. It sounds like the other stages are based on Odyssey’s kingdoms, but are still replacing 3D World’s levels with smaller puzzles.

You can find our review of the Wii U version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker right here.

Three Fields Entertainment – an independent studio headed by creators of the Burnout series – have announced not one, but two games for 2018: Danger Zone 2 (July) and new title Dangerous Driving (winter). Both are coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Danger Zone 2 (shown) transports the player from the confines of the first game’s test zone locations to the real world. The game continues the set-piece destruction over 26 single-player levels in 17 locations in the U.S., U.K., and Spain.

Fiona Sperry, founder and CEO of Three Fields Entertainment, says that Danger Zone 2 includes more driving, drifting, and boosting than the first title, among other additions.

Dangerous Driving, meanwhile, appears to take a cue from the Burnout series’ racing gameplay rather the calculated destruction of that series’ Crash mode. The winter title also features plenty collisions, but does so through races featuring boosts and takedowns on traditional closed tracks.

 

I’m definitely excited for more Danger Zone, but I’m also curious how different these games feel from each other since it appears on the surface that they take the overall Burnout concept and split them into two separate titles. Of course, that could be good news for anyone only interested in one particular flavor of that legacy.

It’s time to punch Freiza in his stupid face once again but this time, you get to do it while on the go. Dragon Ball FighterZ is finally coming to Switch and will be arriving on the platform pretty soon, actually.

You’ll be able to KA-ME-HA-ME-HA everywhere you go starting September 28. Those who preorder the game on Switch will receive early access to SSGSS Goku & Vegeta.

For more on Dragon Ball FighterZ, check out our review of the game here. You can also read all the behind the scenes cover story companion features we did for the game here.

Echo Combat, the zero-gravity VR shooter from the creators of games like Lone Echo (which exists in the same universe) and The Order 1866, is entering open beta today. All you need to take part is own the Oculus Rift hardware and download the free-for-a-limited time beta version of the game when it becomes available.

The beta begins today at 10:30 a.m. PT and will go until 10:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, June 24. Along with being able to play matches, players will also be able to explore Echo VR – a zero-g social space where you can practice moving around and set up games.

I played Echo Combat last week at E3, and was impressed. Gunplay in well-executed zero-g virtual reality is quite the experience, and I recommend downloading it and checking it out if you have an Oculus Rift. I know I plan on making time for a few matches.

NPD released its May retail sales analysis, and everything’s looking good, with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all having something to cheer about.

Overall, hardware, software, accessories, and game cards sales grew to $685 million – a 13 percent increase from a year ago (software was down slightly but the other areas made up for it), and year-to-date spending is up 15 percent. “Growth has occurred across all categories of spending,” says NPD video game analyst Mat Piscatella.

State of Decay 2 – which has already almost doubled sales of the first title – is a big win for Microsoft, and the NPD notes that the Xbox One along with the PS4, drove a 26 percent increase in hardware spending compared to a year ago.

Sony, with God of War and Detroit: Become Human, is May’s top-selling software publisher, although Ubisoft holds that spot for the calendar year. The PS4 was the month’s best-selling console and has carried the year so far.

As for Nintendo, not only do its titles pepper the top 20, but its software sales in May 2018* are the highest for the month in seven years.

The PS4, Xbox One, and Switch all garnered record sales highs for a May month.

May NPD 2018 Top 20 Ranked On Dollar Sales

1. State of Decay 2
2. God of War
3. Detroit: Become Human
4. Far Cry 5
5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze*
6. Grand Theft Auto V
7. Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition*
8. Rainbow Six: Siege
9. Mario Kart 8*
10. NBA 2K18
11. MLB 18: The Show
12. Call of Duty: WWII
13. Super Mario Odyssey*
14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
15. FIFA 18
16. Overwatch
17. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
18. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
19. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
20. Monster Hunter: World

*Nintendo titles do not include digital sales

 

Our Take: With sales for all the systems doing well, increasing 15 percent in 2018 to this point compared with last year according to the NPD, I wonder exactly when the platform manufacturers decide that this generation has peaked. Microsoft in particular is already talking about the next generation, and I believe Sony has also set the wheels in motion. Do the sales numbers indicate that the consoles are in a great state and that companies should ride the wave as long as they can, or that it’s all downhill from here?

A Return To History

After two fantasy-based jaunts into the Warhammer universe, The Creative Assembly has once again turned its eye to history with the latest Total War game. Previous games have let players wage war and live out their realpolitik fantasies in historical periods like medieval Europe, feudal Japan, and the Roman empire. With Three Kingdoms, Total War is taking on a new era, The Han dynasty, as well as a few new gameplay twists.

Now let’s be clear: You should not expect a radically different Total War game with Three Kingdoms, which is probably a good thing. The series has remained one of the strategy genre’s most popular titles for a reason, with massive battles featuring detailed environments and troops as far as the eye can see, as well as extensive diplomacy and warfare options on a metalevel. Three Kingdoms looks to expand on all those things.

While Creative Assembly wouldn’t dish out details on what new diplomatic options players would be getting, they told me it would be an expanded suite compared to previous games, and that those who loved finding a reason to justify their high-end PCs would find plenty of eye candy here. The developer also told me that those with moderate-powered PCs would have enough graphical options to make the game run well.

The biggest gameplay twist that players can expect is when it comes to the MOBA-like hero of generals (all based on historical figures like Lu Bu and Cao Cao) that carries over from Warhammer. Generals have buffs and powers that can turn the tide of battle, but the new wrinkle is that generals can also build relationships with one in another in a social-link mechanic that’s reminiscent of both Fire Emblem and even a little bit of Persona.

During battle, your generals’ relationships will change as they fight alongside one another. Sometimes they’ll become friends and give each other buffs. Other times, their personalities might grind, having negative effects on your army and maybe even culminating in one of those generals leaving your army to join your opponent’s army.  This extends to more than just battles, too. Force a general to surrender enough times without executing him, for example, and he may be so impressed by your honor that he joins your army. This system has a lot of potential for adding an engaging level of unpredictability in the campaign, and we can’t wait to see more of it in action.

Total War: Three Kingdoms is out next year on PC. You can read our review of the previous game, Warhammer II, here.

 

PUBG Corp. announced today that some new features are making their way to the mobile version of the popular battle royale game.

First off, the first-person mode from the bigger screen versions of the game is making its way to mobile. This allows players to get up close and personal with their gun. Much like the other versions, this is a separate mode that is balanced for the lack of peripheral vision in the more enclosed view.

The other big change is a MiniZone Arcade Mode, which drops the hundred players into a much smaller circle with three times the number of weapons for a faster experience.

PUBG is also introducing a battle pass on both PC and mobile. The two versions differ in that the PC battle pass is only for cosmetics, while the mobile battle pass gives subscribers loot crates and a weapon. The update for the mobile version is out now on iOS and Android.

Deandre Ayton, commonly considered the number one NBA draft pick for this year, has a pretty active Twitter account. So of course he makes for a good sponsorship opportunity for things people might be interested in, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. But that assumes that his agent communicates exactly how this sort of thing works.

The mistaken tweet was caught by a number of people, including Devolver Digital’s fictional CEO Fork Parker, screencapping the original tweet. 

It has since been deleted and fixed by Ayton.

It is important to note that neither Activision nor Ayton are trying to hide the fact that the tweet is an ad, as the #CallOfDutyPartner tag is used for promotional consideration being offered by the Call of Duty brand. Still, it’s an important lesson in giving your sponsored tweet copy directly or it might not come out the way you want, whether intentionally or not.