Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to Bonus Round, a look at some of the week’s biggest gaming stories. Sony held a PlayStation State of Play event this week, and we got some news on the state of Call of Duty too. Let’s get into it!
Suicide Squad gameplay previewed
The centrepiece of the State of Play was an extended look at Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and reactions were… mixed. It’s now clear that Suicide Squad is a full-on ‘game as a service’, meaning that you’ll constantly be grinding to level up your characters and equipment. It also means that you’ll always need to be connected to the internet to play (even if you’re playing by yourself, and that there’ll be a paid battle pass for cosmetic items.
Rocksteady is a very talented developer; their Batman: Arkham trilogy are among the best games of the last 15 years. They’ve earned a lot of goodwill, and Suicide Squad deserves a fair shake. That being said, the more I learn about this game, the less excited I am. Rather than delivering another great single-player superhero experience, Suicide Squad appears to be an attempt to replicate the success of Destiny. And as failures like Anthem and Marvel’s Avengers have shown, making a Destiny is harder than it looks.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League releases on 26 May for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Tchia releasing on PlayStation Plus
Sony turned heads last summer when it announced that Annapurna Interactive’s futuristic cat simulator Stray would be available at no extra cost to PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium subscribers. Now, they’re repeating the experiment: colourful adventure game Tchia will be launching on the service on 21 March.
Tchia itself looks like an interesting enough game; you explore a lush island, control animals, solve puzzles and play a ukulele. That all sounds fun! But what’s more interesting is how Sony is approaching its PS Plus service in relation to Xbox Game Pass. There’s a large catalogue of games on offer, of course, but you don’t see big exclusives or third party titles come to PlayStation’s service on day 1 as they do on the Xbox side.
Clearly PlayStation hopes that smaller indies like Tchia and Stray are an added bonus that will keep people subscribed, but they’re probably not going to be the difference between someone upgrading their membership or not.
Call of Duty 2023 to continue Modern Warfare II story
How much is too much of a good thing? There has been a new Call of Duty game like clockwork every year since 2005. It has long been rumoured that the franchise would finally take a break in 2023, but now Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has revealed that reports of CoD‘s demise may have been greatly exaggerated.
Publisher Activision apparently originally only planned to release a downloadable expansion for last year’s mega hit Modern Warfare II. Now, however, it seems that plans have shifted. This year’s game will still continue the story of Modern Warfare II, as well as sharing content like multiplayer maps, but it’ll be sold as a full-price standalone game.
Modern Warfare II broke sales records for the franchise, so it’s not too surprising that Activision decided it couldn’t leave all that money on the table. Still, the idea of a year without a mainline Call of Duty game was quite exciting. I haven’t played a new game in the series in years, but I’d definitely be interested in one that took a little longer to cook and develop. Sometimes you value things more when you’re given time to miss them, but that’s not a notion that CoD fans will need to entertain just yet.