The last seven days have not only been a busy time for the video game industry, but for the world as a whole. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate, and it’s affected everyone, including gamers and video game developers. Studios showed their support for Ukraine in several ways this week in an effort to make a difference, big or small.
The gaming world has also evolved in other ways, of course, with the launch of the Steam Deck and the Elden Ring, and Pokemon has given us some unexpected big news. All that and more in last week’s biggest stories.
Studios show support for Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, and as discussed above, game studios, developers, and corporations have tried to show their support for Ukraine however they can. CD Projekt Red was one of the first major studios to do so, pulling its products from sale in Russia and Belarus on Thursday. The next day, Russian PlayStation owners found they were unable to buy Gran Turismo 7 and Microsoft suspended sales of its products and services in Russia, including everything under the umbrella. from Xbox. Others, including The Pokemon Company, which donated $200,000 to the cause, have tried to help the Ukrainian people in other ways.
Everybody plays Elden Ring
Do you remember last week when everyone was playing Lost Ark? Before that it was Horizon Forbidden West. Then Dying Light 2. Basically, it was an incredibly busy start for video games in 2022. However, the year may well have culminated with the arrival of Elden Ring. FromSoftware’s latest offering has broken all sorts of records, and I’m not just talking about the multitude of 10/10s it received from reviewers. It had a better launch week than any other Souls game that came before it and even improved a number of titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Suffice to say, the first week has been good for Elden Ring,
Pokemon Presents: Scarlet & Violet
It’s been such a busy week that the Scarlet & Violet reveal probably feels like an eternity. Sunday’s Pokemon Presents were pretty packed, and the icing on the cake was the reveal of the new games and the fact that we’re getting a whole new generation of Pokemon. Plus, we’ll have Scarlet & Violet before the end of 2022 if all goes according to plan. It’s Game Freak, everything will go as planned. The presentation also included a Legends: Arceus update, a new Pokemon in Unite, and information on all the other Pokemon games you can play right now. So you know, just a quiet Sunday for Pokemon fans.
Niantic is back
Not all has been good news for Pokemon fans this week. As The Pokemon Company unveiled Scarlet & Violet, Pokemon Go players caught 750 million Pokemon as part of the Johto Tour. The next day, the Alola season started. Another good news, but it brought an unexpected and unwelcome twist. A severe degradation of the incense. An incense will now last 90 minutes instead of 60, which is great. However, unless you walk fast enough, it will only attract a Pokemon every five minutes instead of one every 60 seconds. Niantic also rolled this out to coaches with 24 hours notice despite promising it would give a month’s warning if it planned to roll back any changes caused by the pandemic.
The Steam Deck is a mixed bag
It’s been such a busy week for video games that the arrival of the Steam Deck might have gone over your head unless you received one in the mail. If you live in Seattle, your Deck might even have been hand-delivered by Valve’s Gabe Newell, something that seemed both incredibly sweet and slightly awkward. The newest addition to the handheld gaming world has received mixed reviews. Being able to play PC games on the go, good. Stick drift right off the bat, bad. On the bright side, Valve assured Deck owners suffering from drift that it was a firmware issue and an update already rolled out should have fixed it.
The GTA Trilogy looks a little better now
Rockstar might be full steam ahead as it nears the launch of GTA 5 on current-gen consoles, but it won’t be leaving behind the still somewhat shattered Remastered Trilogy. In fact, it rolled out an update that fixed a number of issues in all three games of The Trilogy and also reinstated some elements of the OG versions that had been removed. Claude knocking down NPCs, for example. They’re still not perfect, and at this point, they probably never will be. However, as someone who completed the remastered version of GTA 3 this week, I can confirm that the collection is playable, and while sometimes boring, the weirder bugs and glitches can sometimes be a lot of fun.
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