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I have returned from my small staycation, and my first revelation is that apparently everyone is scared of the incredibly crowded October coming this year. In rapid succession, both Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Alan Wake 2 shifted their release dates to avoid the middle of the month, where Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros Wonder and Lords of the Fallen battle for dominance. All this is to say … this has been an amazing year for games so far and I can’t believe we’re only half-done.

Microsoft also announced recently that it’s shutting down the Xbox 360 marketplace just shy of its 20th birthday. While the company appears eager to reassure everyone this won’t present a problem for game owners, I can’t help but think that something will be lost. An analysis from VGC suggests that over 200 games could be lost when the marketplace shuts down, and that peeves me to no end. But if nothing else, hopefully it won’t feel as melancholy as the 3DS eShop closure.

In the meantime, we have several new announcements this week, including the addition of an 8-strike system to Xbox. Baldur’s Gate 3 appears to be soaring high while Overwatch 2 seems to be floundering somewhat. Activision dropped a trailer for Modern Warfare 3 that has me wondering who’s going to die this time. It’s been a fun week to come back from time off — enough happened this week to keep me interested.

In personal news, I can confirm that I’m playing Starfield for review, which will hopefully be done on August 31! That’s assuming I don’t get hopelessly lost — and after playing three other RPGs in rapid succession, that’s a distinct possibility. I’ll have to wrap up my Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough in short order, or I’m really going tax what few brain cells remain functioning after so many excellent games.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
  • Madden NFL 24
  • The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood
  • Wayfinder
  • Moving Out 2
  • Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew
  • Desynced
  • Hammerwatch II
  • Book of Hours
  • Gord

New on subscription services:

  • Everspace 2 (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Firewatch (Xbox Game Pass)
  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Lost Judgment (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Two Point Hospital: Jumbo Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Source of Madness (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Cursed to Golf (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Dreams (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Spellforce III Reforced (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • Midnight Fight Express (PlayStation Plus Extra+Premium)
  • MediEvil: Resurrection (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Ape Escape: On the Loose (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Age of Wonders 4 (GeForce Now)
  • Amnesia: The Bunker (GeForce Now)
  • Darkest Dungeon II (GeForce Now)
  • F1 Manager 2023 (GeForce Now)
  • The Great War: Western Front (GeForce Now)
  • Inkbound (GeForce Now)
  • Kovaak’s FPS Trainer (GeForce Now)
  • The Outlast Trials (GeForce Now)
  • Project Highrise (GeForce Now)
  • Regiments (GeForce Now)
  • Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga (GeForce Now)
  • System Shock (GeForce Now)
  • Kingdoms: Merge & Build (Apple Arcade)

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