It would be unbelievable to some that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, released four years ago, would still be in high demand. But it seems that CD Projekt Red’s single-player masterpiece is still well into its prime. In fact, it is more popular on Steam now than it was at launch.
Community lead, Marcin Momot, revealed that of 29 December 2019, the most concurrent players on Steam was nearly 94,000. This broke the record set all the way back at the launch in May 2015, which was approximately 92,268.
— Marcin Momot (@Marcin360) December 29, 2019
Many attribute the surge in popularity to the release of Netflix’s The Witcher, which came out on 20 December 2019. The series stars Henry Cavill as the stoic monster hunter, Geralt and is more heavily based on the books than the game. Though, the growing numbers may be from newcomers to the series trying to get more out of the franchise.
It was also in 2019 that CD Projekt Red undertook the port of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to the Nintendo Switch. While it was thought to be an ambitious port, The Witcher 3: Complete Edition grew favor from fans and critics alike. There was a noticeable graphical downgrade from its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts, at 540p on handheld mode and 720p. Though you can still get the glory of the Continent without any performance issues.
Fans of the Witcher games can also come away with further good news as the author of the books, Andrzej Sapkowski, and CD Projekt Red had come to an amicable agreement. In a press release, the studio says “The agreement satisfies and fully clarifies the needs and expectations of both parties, past, and present, and sets out a framework for the future cooperation between the two sides.
The agreement grants CD PROJEKT new rights, as well as confirms the company’s title to “The Witcher” intellectual property in video games, graphic novels, board games, and merchandise.”
For those unaware, Sapkowski had written the books in the ’90s. Around the mid-2000s, CD Projekt Red had acquired the video game rights for the series. Sapkowski refused a profit-sharing agreement and sold it for a lump sum of $9,350. While the first two Witcher games sold decently, the Witcher 3 was a blockbuster success. Sapkowski told Eurogamer in 2017 “I was stupid enough to leave everything in their hands because I didn’t believe in their success.”
Sapkowski demanded 6% of lifetime profits for the series, which amounted to $16.11 million from The Witcher 3 alone. CD Projekt Red refused but said it wanted to resolve this dispute amicably if possible.
Now with the renewed agreement between Sapkowski and CD Projekt Red, the possibility of a Witcher sequel in highly speculated. CD Project Red also has its hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, starring Keanu Reeves, releasing on April 16.
Check These Games at PAX East 2020
PAX East 2020 is about to start, and it will bring a host of interesting indie and AAA games. These are some of the more imaginative and exciting titles you should be checking out.
It may look cute and harmless, but Fall Guys will take you through a lethal course and challenge your survival and racing skills. Dirty moves, like shoving and pushing are allowed, even encouraged, as you move towards victory in this atypical Battle Royale. As the rounds progress, the colorful herd gets thinner and thinner, until there is only one guy left standing. Will it be you?
Platforms: PS4, PC
Going under is a completely unique roguelike RPG/action game set in a wacky, cartoonish world. You play as a monster-hunter Jackie, and your goal is to clear out various goblins and other monsters that chill out in the premises of failed business ventures. Yup, you read that correctly. As the game progresses, you will incorporate various weapons like hi-tech drones, brooms, and avocado toasts, along with numerous skills. The game just brims with humor and personality, so make sure to try it out at PAX East 2020.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Next, we have a stylish turn-based horror RPG. In Othercide, you will be controlling a team of Daughters as they traverse the bleak world filled with demons. Furthermore, by defeating them, you will get their memories, which will slowly start to shape up a story. Expect an atmospheric and dark game that will test your strategic abilities.
Recompile is an action-adventure indie game from Phigames. You play as an AI that suddenly became sentient and tries to escape its own death. As you are running away from your maker, you will also be unlocking numerous skills that will help you manipulate the environment and enemies. Devs said that the gameplay will rely on your choices, which will add to the replay value.
Fans of the survival horror genre shouldn’t miss this promising title made by FOTONICA. In Saturnalia, you will be switching between numerous protagonists, all of which are only armed with matches. If you die, you will immediately move to another character in your small crew, all in an effort to escape a small ritualistic village. The devs promise a gripping atmosphere that will hardly left us even when we stop playing.
If you’ve ever wondered what hi-tech aerial combat with falcons would look like (and let’s be honest, who didn’t), you’ve come to the right place. Tomas Sala, the game creator, lets you play as a pilot of one of these magnificent birds, caught in the war between various factions. The Falconeer takes place in an open and dark futuristic world. Judging by the trailer, we are in for quite a treat.
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
There are a lot more games at PAX East to cover, so expect more news about the event. Also, did you know that PAX is only 1 of 5 indie events that will shape 2020? To find out more, click here.
Xbox Live Gold Free Games In March
Xbox Live Gold members will get to enjoy 4 great games for free in March, as a part of continuous Games with Gold package. Although some titles are exclusive for Xbox One, others will be available on Xbox 360 via backward compatibility. Let’s jump right in.
Batman: The Enemy Within
Xbox One players will be able to enjoy Batman’s episodic adventure made by Telltale Games. In it, you will be playing as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, as you navigate the dangerous streets of Gotham in an effort to stop the plans of mysterious Riddler. The choices you make throughout the game will matter, which adds a lot to the replay value. The offer includes all 5 parts of this intriguing game.
Date: Mar 1 – Mar 31
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
It’s time to drop back into the role of Dracula and help him reach his castle in order to get his old powers back and kick Satan’s ass. Lords of Shadow 2 is set in an open-world and relies on exploration. The game features multiple eye-catching boss fights and a fighting style reminiscent of God of War series, offering lots of interesting combos. It also has an intriguing story set in a modern and medieval world, which serves as a great conclusion to this popular action series.
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
Date: Mar 1 – Mar 15
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Next, we have a beautiful 2-D platformer where you will be playing as a Shantae, a charismatic genie. Your goal is to investigate a new crime wave that’s happening in Sequin Land and save its inhabitants. She will, of course, do that in style, with a variety of forms and magical abilities at her disposal. The levels are smartly designed, which adds to the gameplay, making this a great platformer.
Platforms: Xbox One
Date: Mar 16 – Apr 15
Speaking of platformers, there have rarely been ones as fun and successful as Sonic series. Sonic Generations throws your characters back in time, where your favorite hedgehog will team up with his younger self to find out who is behind this mess. The result is an incredibly fun game that brings with it all the charms of previous titles.
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360
Date: Mar 16 – Mar 31
Bonus: Call of Cthulhu
It would be simply unforgivable not to mention that one of the better survival horror/RPG games is still available on Xbox Live Gold till the middle of March. Prepare to go deep into the darkest corners of the human mind, where your sanity can easily reach its limits.
Platforms: Xbox One
Date: Feb 16 – Mar 15
If you are looking for more heart-attack-inducing games, check this article.
Resident Evil Resistance: the best multiplayer in the franchise
A few months of improvement in the development and polishing of a game can really make all the difference. And Resident Evil: Resistance fits this picture perfectly. When it was announced as Project Resistance, the asymmetric multiplayer did not have much appeal, as it did not offer a great differential for the genre, except, the weight of carrying the name of the Resident Evil series.
The most fun moment of the whole experience, certainly, was taking control of Mastermind; the great villain behind the “Mortal Games” that were happening on the stage. After all, Resistance has this plot briefly: 4 players would assume the role of Survivors, being necessary to work together and use their unique skills to solve puzzles. The ultimate goal was to reach the last stage of the labyrinth and escape, ensuring survival.
All of this while defending against the traps, monsters and snares of Mastermind. Whoever takes this role in the game has the power to control the entire environment through surveillance cameras and, of course, needs to make the life of the Survivors a hell, using their villainous deck for this.
The imbalance in gameplay and difficulty, however, gave the impression that the game could be improved, not only in these aspects, but also with more intuitive mechanics. The new demo offered new features, such as the addition of new characters on both the Survivors and Masterminds sides; of course, different maps to play cat and mouse. In addition, the difficulty seems to have been balanced.
And what does it mean? Simple: that Mastermind can now fail. The feeling in the first version of Resistance tests passed was that it would be impossible for the Survivors to win. In the new build this feeling no longer exists: everything is a little more balanced for both sides. In practice, the difference was manifested when the Mastermind deck started to take a little longer to supply monster cards, for example – at least two first perimeters of each map.
If the Survivors reach the third and last stage of the map, Mastermind is conceived of an advantage so that it can reverse the situation. An example is the special card, which activates each villain’s unique monster.
The counter has also been improved. Survivors save time when performing stage tasks, helping each other or when killing monsters. Mastermind manages to shorten the good guys’ lifespan by damaging them or eliminating them. The more obstacles the villain can distribute on the map, the greater the chances of winning. The amount of time allocated or eliminated was more honest this time.
It is also worth noting that in a closed and controlled environment, with easy contact with other Survivors players, the experience was much more fun. And by playing Resistance again in that context, it was possible to understand three things.
The first is that communication is paramount to survival. If the Survivors do not communicate, it will be practically impossible to get through the three stages of the phases, or even achieve the objectives in each of the rooms. It is necessary to help, help, open fire and search, all in due time. And these steps are decided with a good conversation between the team, precisely.
The second thing is that Capcom is still working on the game. The graphic improvements are visible, the gameplay seems even lighter and the new content (be it characters, scenarios, skills or customizable attributes) helps to expand the possibilities of fun and, mainly, time within the game.
The third lesson is that the new characters make all the difference and knowing how to use the special skills (Personal Skills and Fever Skills) of all six Survivors is essential. So stop, read and understand what each one does and how they perform these techniques. The same goes for Masterminds, as they also have unique strategies.
The asymmetric multiplayer experience has everything to work out and entertain fans after the Resident Evil 3 single player campaign. In particular, I look forward to forming groups and starting playing Resident Evil: Resistance.