Bonus Round: Royally bad timing

Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to Bonus Round, a look at some of the week’s biggest gaming stories. Before we get to that though, please forgive me for celebrating a milestone: it’s our first birthday! Our editor Joe, the original Average Joe, started this site one year ago today, and Ollie and I soon attached ourselves in barnacle-like fashion.

We’ve had a great time writing about games old and new over the last year, and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. So on behalf of everyone at Average Joe Games, I’d all like to say thank you for reading what we’ve got to say and proudly making us the most popular gaming blog* on the internet!

To celebrate our anniversary, we’re giving away a free copy of Citizen Sleeper on PC. Joe gave the game the only 10 in our site’s history to date, and I adored it too. So why not try to score yourself a free copy? You can find details of how to enter on our Twitter feed.

Now, let’s get into the week’s news, shall we?

Breath of the Wild 2 dated and titled

Nintendo held a Direct event on Tuesday, live-streaming it on all of their region-specific YouTube channels. Well, all except one. In a slightly puzzling move, Nintendo UK announced that ‘as a mark of respect during this period of national mourning’, they wouldn’t be live-streaming the event, and would instead put the full video up later in the day.

Why would putting the video up later in the day be any more or less respectful than live-streaming it? Why would they even bother with this theatre when UK viewers could watch it live on any of the other Nintendo YouTube channels? These seemed like good questions at the time. Of course, it all made more sense once the event took place. Slightly more, anyway.

In an all-time bit of hilariously unfortunate/unfortunately hilarious timing, Nintendo announced that the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be subtitled Tears of the Kingdom. What’s more, it’s finally arriving soon; the game will be released on 12 May 2023, unless of course it gets delayed. Again.

The new trailer for Tears of the Kingdom didn’t reveal too much new, but that’s just fine by me. Breath of the Wild is simply one of the best games ever made, and I know I’m not alone in feeling fully onboard for the sequel. A big part of Breath of the Wild‘s magic was exploration, and discovering its secrets for yourself; the less of Tears of the Kingdom that Nintendo reveals ahead of time, the better.

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 revealed

Call of Duty: Warzone has been a huge success for Infinity Ward. The developer waded into the crowded battle royale market in March 2020, with Warzone quickly becoming one of the dominant games in the genre. Now, IW has announced many new details about Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, which will launch on 18 November.

Warzone 2.0 sports a huge new map, the region of Al Mazrah. Players can expect a wide range of environments in which to shoot each other, including deserts, mountains, towns, industrial areas, and more. All of this terrain will be traversable by land, air, and sea, with Infinity Ward placing particular emphasis on the new swimming and aquatic combat features.

On the gameplay side, 2.0 will shake up the Warzone formula with innovations like multiple endgame circles (the ever-diminishing safe zones that players are funnelled into), and a new third-person mode. We here at Average Joe have really enjoyed the other battle royale games like Fortnite, so we’ll be sure to try this out in November and let you know what we think. Remember, though, that Warzone 2.0 will be free to play, so you’ll have nothing to lose by trying it out for yourself.

PS VR2 line-up fills out

Not to be outdone by Nintendo, Sony also held a State of Play event on Tuesday. While a new God of War: Ragnarök trailer stole the show, I found myself more interested in announcements relating to the upcoming PlayStation VR2. We’re now starting to get a better idea of the software that will be available for the new headset.

We learned that Demeo, a virtual tabletop RPG, and Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge are both going to come to the new platform. Neither of these games are new; they’ve both been available on the Meta Quest 2 for a while now. Still, it’s encouraging to see third parties already announcing their support for the new hardware, which sounds like its pretty impressive.

That said, if PS VR2 is to be a success, Sony will need to provide gamers with a reason to buy it over other VR headsets. Horizon Call of the Mountain sounds great, but a single exclusive game won’t cut it, no matter how good it is. Sony has an incredible stable of IP at its disposal. Where’s the God of War VR game? Where’s the Spider-Man experience? PS VR2 isn’t going to be cheap, and potential customers will soon need some solid reasons to choose it over other options like the Quest 2.

*named Average Joe Games