News | Hogwarts Legacy on PS4 and Xbox One postponed again

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Hogwarts Legacy have been delayed; they will now release on May 5.

That’s what Warner Bros. announced. These versions would actually be released in April, but that is no longer feasible. “The team is working hard to deliver the best possible experience across all platforms and we need more time to do that.” As far as we know, the Switch version must still be released on July 25.

Hogwarts Legacy already came out on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S last February.

News | Xbox Snap feature probably not coming back

The Snap feature previously available on Xbox One is not returning.

Eden Marie, Xbox’s engineering lead, made this known on Twitter. “We all miss Snap, but I don’t think it’s coming back.”

Snap was available on Xbox One for a while from the console’s release. The feature allowed people to continue playing a game while having another app open on the side of the screen. In this way, for example, one could turn on Twitch or a YouTube video while playing a game. You could also open the Achievement app next to a game, so that you could keep an eye on the various attainable Achievements.

The Snap feature disappeared from the Xbox One OS in 2017, when Microsoft released a revamped OS that laid the foundation for the current operating system of modern Xbox consoles. Microsoft then announced that Snap disappeared because it would make the operating system slower than desired.

News | Iron Harvest is coming to consoles by the end of this year

The real-time strategy game Iron Harvest will be released sometime later this year on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox One.

As announced by developer King Art Games . The game was released on PC in September last year. The console version has all the updates and downloadable content released for the PC version. This includes the recently released Operation Eagle expansion.

People who have backed Iron Harvest on Kickstarter can now still customize their platform of choice at no additional cost.

Iron Harvest is set in an alternate reality in 1920 after World War I. Players control and deploy different types of troops to defeat the enemy and complete missions. There are about thirty different types of troops, from infantry to giant machines. Furthermore, there are three factions within the game that each have three heroes to choose from. Each hero has his or her own qualities that offer different tactical options. The game has a single player and multiplayer mode.

News | Chernobylite is coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC in July

The survival horror game Chernobylite will be released in July on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam and GOG.

The game is already playable via Early Access on PC, but the final version should be released in July, as developer The Farm 51 and publisher All In! Games announced. Later in the year, the game should also be released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. Early Access version players will receive a free upgrade to the final version upon launch.

In Chernobylite, players explore the most accurately scanned version of the Exclusion Zone in Chernobyl, the town where the nuclear disaster of the 1980s took place. Players will not only face natural and supernatural threats, but other stalkers as well.

News | Watch Dogs Legion trailers show the story and additional content

Ubisoft has released two new trailers of the upcoming Watch Dogs Legion, which focus on the story and additional content.

Watch Dogs Legion is set in a future version of London, in which society is closely watched by the government. Players can be attacked by drones, but also deploy drones themselves, for example to spy or to fly around. Unique to the game is that players can in principle recruit all characters around the game world for their resistance group. These characters can then be controlled at any time.

Another trailer provides more information about both free and paid content coming to the game. For example, on December 3, a free online multiplayer is coming to the game. Players can roam freely through the game world with the four of them and do various cooperative missions. A PvP mode called Spiderbot Arena will also appear on that day, in which spider-like robots compete against each other in a deathmatch. New missions, new characters and a New Game Plus mode will also appear in 2021.

Paid content is also coming to Watch Dogs Legion through the Season Pass. For example, Bloodline, a new story about Aiden Pearce – the main character from the first Watch Dogs, appears. Additional DedSec missions and new characters will also be available.

Watch Dogs Legion will be released on October 29 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Epic Games Store, Uplay and Google Stadia. The game will also be available on Xbox Series X / S on November 10 and on PlayStation 5 on November 19. People who purchase the game on the current generation of consoles can upgrade it on the next-gen consoles at no cost.

News | Dogs are coming to Sea of Thieves

An upcoming update to Sea of Thieves will add dogs to the game.

The update is due for release in September and will allow players to take dogs as pets. Like previous pets such as cats, parrots and monkeys, players can give attention to dogs by, for example, petting them.

Sea of Thieves is from Rare, the makers of games like Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie and Kinect Sports and has been available for several years. In the game, players form a pirate crew together with friends or strangers. You have to work together to pilot a pirate ship, search islands for treasure and fend off other pirates and monsters.

Sea of Thieves is available on Xbox One and PC.

Column | Exclusive deals on consoles makes perfect sense

Exclusive content in multiplatform games is in serious controversy this week. The superhero Spider-Man is only coming to the PS4 and PS5 versions of Marvel's Avengers. Companies try to attract consumers with these kinds of deals, but it backfires for fanatic gamers. Well, at first glance.

In addition to the fact that players will be able to hang around with Spider-Man sometime after the release of Marvel’s Avengers only on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, there is apparently other exclusive content for the game coming to those systems. For example, exclusive challenges will come to the PlayStation versions of the game, as well as all kinds of cosmetic items. Although PC, Xbox and PlayStation gamers pay the same amount of money for the game, the latter will soon be able to get more value from their purchase.

Marvel’s Avengers is now under attack, many gamers are screaming murder and fire but of course it’s by no means the only game where this is happening. Each generation, Activision chooses a platform holder who will receive exclusive marketing rights for Call of Duty. That platform will also receive beta and downloadable content for the games much earlier. This generation draws the longest straw from Sony, the previous generation was Microsoft. Exclusive content for Warzone on PlayStation 4 was also announced this week, but there was significantly less fuss about it.

If you think that only Sony is guilty of this, then you are very wrong. Microsoft is just as involved, even though they have been carefully trying to build a reputation as a consumer-friendly company in recent years. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and The Medium, for example, are temporarily exclusively coming to Xbox Series X. You can bet that these games would also have appeared on PlayStation 5 if Microsoft hadn’t thrown a bag of buck on the table. More similar to the Spider-Man debacle is the upcoming multiplayer update for Tetris Effect, which should not be released on Sony’s consoles until next year. Microsoft does not wash its hands in innocence.

And it is not crazy either: bringing temporarily exclusive content to your platform is a proven way to make your system more attractive to the consumer. Is your favorite series Call of Duty? Chances are you played the series on the PlayStation 4 this generation. Love Marvel and Spider-Man in particular? Then you want to buy Marvel’s Avengers on a Sony console. If the PC-like shooters and horror games that initially only appear on Xbox Series X appeal to you, it will be tempting to buy Microsoft’s new system.

These exclusive deals are also a nice extra for developers of games. The gaming industry is a killer and it remains to be seen how well or badly your game sells. If a company like Microsoft or Sony already pays out part of the development costs in advance in order to arrange temporary exclusivity, the chances are that your studio will continue to exist in the coming years. That means making a new game and – more importantly – making money so you can feed your family and pay off your mortgage. It will be a shock to those developers that a small group of gamers complain about it on a forum – getting a living is more important!

As mentioned, we can scream murder and fire on the internet, but apparently we don’t mind too much. We really talk with our money. If those exclusive deals hadn’t worked, or even hurt the sale of a game, they’d long since died out. But it works, so they persist. It’s not rocket science.

Is there a solution, a way to get rid of those annoying exclusive deals? Not really. We could all agree globally to penalize publishers for this type of practice and stop buying the games where this happens. However, not only is it extremely unlikely that we will get anyone to boycott a game, we also punish many developers who have nothing to do with the closed deal and who have poured blood, sweat and tears into a game for years.

So we have to learn to live with it. If possible, you have all the platforms in house, but otherwise I hope the game you are looking forward to will appear completely on your system of your choice. In a perfect world, console farmers like Sony and Microsoft would stop making these kinds of deals on their own. They would realize that the market is big enough for both of them, that the quality of the various games, including of course their internally developed exclusive titles, is such that they no longer need exclusive deals. The company that dares to do this is the really tough one.

News | Warhammer 40k: Darktide revealed

Warhammer 40k: Darktide was revealed during the Xbox Games Showcase.

The game should be released sometime next year. Darktide is coming to Xbox consoles and PC first, which means the game will likely end up on PlayStation consoles eventually too.

The first person shooter lets players blast into the Warhammer world while scanning the area with a flashlight.

The game, like all other games featured on the Xbox Games Showcase, comes straight to Xbox Game Pass.

Review | Gears 5 is one of the best Xbox One exclusives.

After the release of Gears of War: Judgment in 2013, it seemed that the Gears series was on its way to its retirement. Judgment was a great game, but did not reach the heights of the original trilogy. After the unveiling of Gears of War 4, the question arose whether there was still room in the current shooter genre for the once influential third-person shooter. Whereas The Coalition with Gears of War 4 was especially safe in the footsteps of Epic Games, it is now taking big leaps forward with Gears 5.

Obviously, taking on a much-loved franchise and introducing new characters, stories and gameplay elements is a tough and risky task, while the old school fans still covers the bulk of the community. For example, many thought the new protagonists from Gears of War 4 could not match the old Delta Squad. Gears 5, however, shows that Kait, Del and JD are indeed worthy successors to the heroes from the original trilogy. This time, the game does not have to have a set of new weapons and enemies, but rather a story that holds us in its tight grip from start to finish.

This is mainly due to the main characters who come into their own in Gears 5 much better than in part four. The driving force behind this story is Kait, who made a shocking discovery at the end of the previous part, causing her to be confused in Gears 5. Even before we get to work with the heroine, we step into the skin of JD Fenix, who still has a respectful admiration for his dad, Marcus. JD is all too aware of the fact that his father has meant a lot to mankind and that leaves him constantly trying to prove himself on the battlefield, much to Marcus’s annoyance. This heroic attitude leads to a catastrophic event, which unfortunately results in difficulties within Delta Squad.

This event leads us to the moment when we finally get Kait under our control. That is also the moment when Gears 5 for the first time breaks with the linear gameplay we all know and places us in atmospheric open-world areas in which we can look for missions ourselves. So we no longer have static battles to be allowed to proceed to the next checkpoint, but cross beautiful environments such as the snowy area around Mount Kadar and a desert-like area in the UIR on our skiff, a kind of sled-type vehicle. These small open worlds are limited to the two middle acts. Apart from a handful of main missions and optional side missions where you earn upgrades for veteran Jack, there is not much to do in these areas, but Gears 5’s experience of traveling from mission to mission graces itself primarily due to the interaction between the different characters during these treks are deepened.

So now it is mainly in those conversations between main characters, which gives the story a certain impact more than ever before in the series. For example, Kait and Del reflect on the history that is (not) told by the COG, their friendship with JD and whether they are on the right path themselves. They also try to put recent events in perspective. One of these recent events is the increased intelligence of The Swarm. This is not only referred to as a narrative, but also during the firefights we see that The Swarm has become much more agile, looks up confrontation and makes it increasingly difficult for the player to hide behind a crumbling wall. In short, artificial intelligence has noticeably improved since part four and requires more tactical insight than before, which greatly benefits the gameplay.

You’ll get those tactical possibilities in the form of Jack, because the gunfights becomes a lot more dynamic thanks to a number of clever adjustments to our mechanical handler. For example, Jack can now scan the area to spot enemies, regularly attack enemies, pick up command weapons and ammunition, or temporarily generate an energy shield for the player to ward off bullets. It is these types of small adjustments that, for the first time in years, give a fresh feel to the franchise.

Especially in the first and the last act there are certain scenes that will blow you over in terms of intense fighting. Gears 5 starts to go full throttle early in the game and won’t let you go until the abrupt end. Without giving away too much about the story, it seemed as if defeating the final boss was just the beginning of another act. Although the single player of Gears 5 is considerably longer than that of Gears 4, it still feels like the story is ending too quickly. However, it does not mean that I still enjoyed it immensely.

The fact that the single player campaign is so impressive does not mean that the multiplayer is subordinate to this. The multiplayer is again very strong and has largely remained unchanged. The launch of the game unfortunately brought some server problems, but in the days that followed I hardly noticed anything. Versus again consists of an arcade mode in which two teams of five compete against each other in different game modes. New to this mode is the ability to earn points during game play to unlock weapons. An important difference with the ranked mode is that the Gnasher shotgun has been removed. In addition, you playfully unlock certain skills, such as the ability to run a little faster or extra health. This makes it easier for newcomers in particular to master the game before competing against each other in Ranked mode.

The latest showpiece of the multiplayer is the Escape mode, in which a team of three players has to free themselves from a base occupied by the Swarm, which is slowly filling up with poisoned gas. The feeling that you are being chased by this gas ensures that the tension during a game of Escape is good and nerve wrecking. It’s therefore important to quickly as possible make short work  with increasingly challenging waves of enemies, while ammunition is scarce. Escape excels especially at higher levels of difficulty. Because ammunition is scarce, it is important to be careful with this and stay close to your teammates. The trick in Escape is mainly to eliminate targeted enemies together before you move forward. However, it is advisable to play this mode with a solid party, since players often tend to leave the game as it gets harder.

Everything indicates that The Coalition dares to leave its permanent mark on the series. Where Gears of War 4 remained as close as possible to the essence of the series, the developer in Gears 5 implements the necessary innovations that makes Gears interesting for both fans and newcomers. The iconic gameplay has remained intact, but is now extra layered thanks to the tactical possibilities that Jack brings. In combination with the strong story, this sometimes results in memorable moments that I haven’t experienced in a Gears title since the original trilogy. Add that to the sublime multiplayer and you’ll think of Gears 5 one of the best Xbox One exclusives of recent years.



– Server problems during launch.
– Just a few side missions.
– Very abrupt ending.

+ Characters have more depth
+ Compelling story
+ Dynamic firefights that put you on the edge of your seat
+ Extensive multiplayer modes

News | Anthem now playable via EA Access

Anthem is now available via EA Access.

The subscription service on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 allows gamers to play various EA games for a fixed monthly fee without any further costs. Anthem is now a game of that, about six months after the game was launched.

When Anthem launched earlier this year, there were quite a few problems with the game. However, EA said this summer that they still have faith in the game and developer BioWare.

Next week, on September 19, Access members can also try out Fifa 20. This is a 10-hour trial version.

You can read my Anthem review here.