Week in Games: June 1-8
By Hunter Heilman
Summer is upon us, Pride Month is in full swing, and I’m ready to stay in and play some video games. In all fairness, the Pride festival in my area isn’t until September, it gets ungodly hot during June, and PlayStation is having their Days of Play sale, it’s the perfect time to be doing so. June isn’t particularly the peak season for video games, but just because there aren’t new AAA titles dropping every week doesn’t mean there aren’t some truly fabulous games that might’ve flown under your radar otherwise. Even better, maybe it’s time to catch up on that game you let slip by you that’s now on sale. The possibilities are always endless. Here is The Tech Show’s Week in Games for June 1-8.
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Easily the most intriguing concept of any game releasing this week, indie developer Clever Plays’ high-tech co-op spy game sends paired players on secret missions where one player, designated the Hacker, handles the hacking and navigation for the opposite player, designated the Agent, who is on the ground, relying on verbal communication to navigate the volatile environments being spied upon.
With its mid-2000s teen animation style that feels lifted off the air of Cartoon Network, and its light, airy atmosphere, Operation: Tango promises a fun and inspired take on the espionage genre perfected in such AAA titles like the Hitman series, albeit much less violent. Testing your communications skills with friends (or even strangers) is sure to provide players with a unique and probably incredibly frustrating (all the more fun) experience for players looking for a truly new experience.
Operation: Tango releases on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on June 1 for $19.99. PlayStation Plus members can download the game on PlayStation 5 for free for the month of June.
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For those seeking something a bit less stressful, Stonefly might be up your chill alley a bit more. Described by developer Flight School Studio as “a chill and tranquil action-adventure game about self-discovery, legacy, and belonging” as you take on the role of a mechanized scout fly venturing into the vast wilderness to collect samples of various flora and fauna, survey the wildlife, and even occasionally fight off predators seeking to end your journey prematurely.
Stonefly releases on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC on June 1 for $19.99.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom
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Based on the smash children’s book series by Max Brailler, as well as the Netflix series adaptation of said books, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom looks to immerse fans of the series into the universe as 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his friends protect their community from impending doom as the monster apocalypse descending upon their town.
I’m not sure what appeal this will have to anyone not familiar with the book and/or television series, but there’s something rather pure about a TV tie-in game that takes me back to the days of putting countless hours into various SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, and yes, even the That’s So Raven video game, respectively. For its target audience, it doesn’t even have to be objectively good from a critical standpoint, just provide enough fun and capture the essence of the franchise, and its job will have been completed successfully.
It also doesn’t help that the game itself looks super cute, and even without having read a single book or watched a single episode of this franchise, I might check it out based on charm and nostalgia alone.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on June 4 for $39.99.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced and The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood expansion
Here’s the thing with The Elder Scrolls Online…either you’re with it, or you aren’t. It’s not a secret that the steam surrounding the game’s initial release in 2014, but there is a dedicated fanbase still pulsing through the world of Tamriel, and now, players have a chance to return on the newest generation of consoles with The Elder Scrolls Online’s release on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S (dubbed The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced). This is a fabulous chance to jump back into the world, or perhaps into it for the first time to experience the grandeur of Bethesda’s massive MMO universe.
With MMO games, there is a relatively high barrier of entry though, particularly with the expansive and oftentimes pricey expansions to the universe released over the years. Luckily, with Bethesda’s “ESO Plus” subscription service, players can access all of this content for $14.99/month, with long-term subscriptions costing less. My advice, for the uninitiated, is to simply stick to the base game until you get a feel for the world and its overall vibe. Then, if you want to explore even more of what’s available, ESO Plus could be a worthwhile investment.
With this, you will also gain access to their newest expansion world, Blackwood, which is a part of their Gates of Oblivion adventure spanning the entirety of 2021. Bethesda seems to have no plans of slowing down this seemingly endless world of online gaming, and seems to be inviting more in with these new releases of new content, and wider system availability to keep up with the times. Now let’s just see how long it takes for them to port Skyrim yet again to some new consoles and sell it for full price.
The Elder Scrolls Online is available now on PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Google Stadia now for $19.99, and will be available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on June 15 for an as of yet undisclosed price. The Blackwood expansion is now available on PC and Google Stadia, and will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on June 8 for $39.99, or available with an ESO Plus subscription. It should also be worth noting that the base game is available on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on both consoles and PC for free to those with a subscription. Needless to say, you have options when it comes to your Elder Scrolls Online experience.
PlayStation Days of Play
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While not “new releases” by any means, Sony’s largest sale of the year is happening right now on the PlayStation store, and some truly prime titles are available at discounts up to 85% right now. Here are some of my favorite (and generally just most relevant) games currently on sale:
NBA 2K21 (PS4): $9.59 (MSRP: $59.99)
Watch Dogs: Legion (PS4 and PS5): $19.79 (MSRP: $59.99)
Overwatch: Legendary Edition (PS4): $19.79 (MSRP: $59.99)
Tetris Effect (PS4): $19.99 (MSRP: $39.99)
Resident Evil 3 (PS4): $19.79 (MSRP: $59.99)
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (PS4 and PS5): $26.99 (MSRP: $59.99 [$23.99 for PS Plus members])
The Last of Us: Part II (PS4): $29.99 (MSRP: $59.99)
Hitman 2: Gold Edition (PS4): $14.99 (MSRP: $99.99)
Monster Hunter World (PS4): $14.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
Ghost of Tsushima (PS4): $40.19 (MSRP: $59.99)
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (PS4): $25.99 (MSRP: $39.99)
Yakuza: Like A Dragon (PS4 and PS5): $40.19 (MSRP: $59.99)
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (PS4 and PS5): $35.99 (MSRP: $59.99)
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And my top three personal favorites of the sale
Persona 5 Royal: Deluxe Edition (PS4): $27.99 (MSRP: $59.99)
Planet Coaster: Deluxe Edition (PS4 and PS5): $40.19 (MSRP: $59.99)
Resident Evil 2 (PS4): $15.99 (MSRP: $39.99)
I am not legally liable for how much money you spend on the PlayStation store during this sale from this short list of tons of games currently on sale until June 9, because god knows I’ve already spent too much. Next week, we have some meatier games coming down the pipeline, and The Tech Show will be here to fill you in on all of that in the next Week in Games.