Hello and welcome back to The Weekly Knockout, returning for 2017—Ground Punch’s round-up of all the juiciest gaming news from throughout the week. If you read or listened to The Weekly Knockout in the past, you probably noticed that it wasn’t exactly The Weekly Knockout and more like The Sometimes Knockout. As such, The Weekly Knockout went into hiatus until such a time that I was confident that I could produce the article on a weekly basis. So going forward in 2017 this is what you can expect from The Weekly Knockout:-
- The Weekly Knockout will post every Saturday at 5:00 PM PT in both written and audio format.
- Any weeks where there will not be a Weekly Knockout, notification will be given in the preceding installment.
So without further ado, let’s get to 2017’s inaugural installment. This week MARVEL have announced a multi-game partnership with Square Enix, Dirt 4 and The Banner Saga 3 have been announced, and DLC’s for Battlefield 1, Dark Souls 3, and Deus Ex have been detailed.
This Week’s Main Stories
Square Enix and MARVEL have announced a multi-game partnership to deliver multiple games based on MARVEL’s iconic and beloved characters. Announced via Twitter (below) developers Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal, most recently known for Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (2016) respectively, will both contribute to the development of an Avengers game, currently titled The Avengers Project.
“The Avengers Project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise. Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. More details on The Avengers Project and other games will be announced in 2018.”
Codemasters has announced Dirt 4, the next game in their acclaimed rally series, with a release date of 9th June 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game will feature over 50 vehicles, improved damage modeling, career mode, weekly and month-long challenges, and a new track creation mode.
Developer Stoic is once again returning to Kickstarter, hoping to raise a minimum of $200,000 USD to fund development on its latest game, The Banner Saga 3. To date, the campaign has raised nearly $180,000 of the $200,000, with 38 days to go. As you might expect, there are a number of backer rewards and stretch goals will be added to the Kickstarter page soon. According to the game’s Kickstarter page, The Banner Saga 3 will be; “…the highly anticipated final game of an award-winning trilogy. It’s a role-playing game merged with turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about Vikings … aimed at people who appreciate art, story and strategy.”
Bethesda has revealed the release date of Prey. The game will release on a 5th May 2017 for PC, PlaySation 4, and Xbox One. A new trailer accompanied the announcement. Players who pre-order Prey will also receive the exclusive Cosmonaut Shotgun Pack.
Warner Bros. has re-opened studio Avalanche Software after they were closed by Disney in May last year. Then studio was responsible for developing Disney Infinity, which Disney also canceled. Avalanche’s first project will be a companion game for the upcoming Car 3 movie (set to release in June 2017). WB Interactive Entertainment President David Haddad offered the following statement on the announcement;
“The Avalanche talent and technology are a great addition to our group of outstanding developers, and we are excited for this Cars 3 game as well as all of the future games the team will create under John’s leadership.”
This Week’s Other Stories
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, previously announced as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, will now also be on Xbox One and PC. Details on the game are somewhat thin on the ground, although the game is scheduled for a 2017 release and will include some form of PlayStation VR functionality. What exactly this functionality entails and if it will come to PC versions of the game is unknown. A new trailer for the game was also released, which you can watch below.
Battlefield 1‘s first DLC, They Shall Not Pass, has been detailed. One of four DLC packs coming to the multiplayer-centric WW1 shooter. They Shall Not Pass includes four new maps, a new game mode; Frontlines, new weapons and equipment, and the French army as a new faction. In Frontlines, both teams fight for one flag at a time and when this objective is captured the action moves on to the next. Although the exact date hasn’t been announced, They Shall Not Pass will release this March.
The second and final DLC for Dark Souls 3 has been announced; The Ringed City. Set for release on 28th March 2017, The Ringed City will feature the expected additions; new weapons, armour, and spells to find, areas to explore, and bosses to conquer. The DLC will cost $14.99 and is also available as part of the game’s season pass. Additionally, a Game of the Year Edition of Dark Souls 3 will be releasing the following month on 21st April, currently confirmed for European territories only.
Announced on the game’s blog, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘s second story DLC, A Criminal Past, will release 23rd February on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Criminal Past takes place before the events of Mankind Divided, with Adam Jensen infiltrating a high-security prison for augmented felons. The DLC is part of Mankind Divided‘s season pass, or $12 standalone.
Pokémon Bank, a subscription-based application for the Nintendo 3DS that allows users to transfer and store aup to 3000 Pokémon on its cloud servers, is now compatible with Pokémon Sun and Moon. Those with active Pokémon Bank subscriptions can nab a free Mewnium Z crystal, the Z-crystal for Mew, by using the service between now and 2nd October 2017. Other compatible Pokémon games are Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby, X/Y and Red/Blue/Yellow (Virtual Console versions).
Nintendo Switch Countdown:
34 Days To Go
I Am Setsuna Will Launch Day One
After being previously announced for the Nintendo Switch, developer Tokyo RPG Factory has announced that their turned-based role-playing game will release on 3rd March, the same day as the Nintendo Switch console. The Switch version of the game will include an exclusive Temporal Battle Area which allows players to pit their heroes against one another.
LEGO Worlds Confirmed for Switch
Speaking on Twitter, Traveller’s Tale’s Head of Design, Arthur Parsons confirmed that the developer will be releasing both the upcoming LEGO Worlds and LEGO City: Undercover (originally a 2013 Wii U release) on the Nintendo Switch.
New Splatoon 2 Stage Revealed
Nintendo has revealed a new stage for Splatoon 2 called “Barnacles Sports Club”, showcasing two screen shots from the stage (click to enlarge).
This Week’s Spotlight
This Week’s Spotlight is where I shine the spotlight on my favourite article published on Ground Punch over the past week. To kick off 2017 why not check out our first review of the year—Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Reviewer Kevin talks about the shift from third to first-person, how the game redefines the series and offers an interesting perspective on what the experience is like when played using a PS VR Headset. I’ll also be recording a Fireside Review with Kevin, which is where I sit down with Ground Punch’s reviewers to talk about their reviews and offer a deeper insight into their thoughts on the games they review, available for your listening pleasure this coming Monday at 5 PM Pacific Time.