WEEKLY TRENDING NEWS – 16/07/2023
By Nikola Hristov
Welcome back, everybody! In this weekly roundup of all the trending news from the past seven days we have compiled everything that's important for you to stay up to date! What exactly is happening in the online space, and what can you expect from your beloved franchises in the future? Well, let's find out right now!
1. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal finally on-track again
We've got some more news about the trial this week! FTC's plead to pause the buyout of Activision was denied in court, which allows the deal to finally go through again! This is great news for gamers for several reasons – Microsoft and Xbox have been struggling in the console wars for a decade now, and this is certainly going to help them go up against Sony and Nintendo. Competition is always good – because that pushes developers to go for higher quality. And it looks like there aren't any more legal obstacles, so the acquisition is almost guaranteed. It's still not official, but things are back on track again!
2. PlayStation's Access controller price and release date
A while ago Sony announced their new accessibility controller as part of their recent quest to make gaming available for everyone, no matter their disabilities. We've seen them add accessibility settings in all their AAA first party titles, and now we're even getting this fully customizable special joystick. The official release date is December 6th, with pricing of $89.99, and starting July 21st it's available for pre-order. The more inclusive we are towards all gamers, the better – this is PlayStation's message with the Access controller. But despite it looking very promising, I would recommend for players to wait for official reviews before investing in it.
3. The Last of Us Part II – Director's Cut possibly coming?
Pretty much every fan of this franchise has heard of Gustavo Santaolalla, the series composer for Naughty Dog's hit franchise, and the genius behind the iconic theme song of the first game (which was also the opening for the TV show!). Well, in a recent interview with Blender, he teased that his cameo role in TLOU 2 will be expanded upon in some new versions of the game, but he couldn't say much more. This means one of three things – either they're developing TLOU 3 and he's in it (which I doubt as it's too soon), he has a cameo appearance in TLOU Factions (which is possible, but not really fitting for a multiplayer game about different Factions fighting each other) or the most likely one – TLOU 2's Game of the year or Director's Cut edition, featuring lots of improvements and new additions to the game. I'm willing to bet it's the third option – as it's been teased by leakers before. But as of right now, we have no official news about this.
4. PlayStation's Horizon franchise is here to stay
Fans of Aloy rejoice – Guerilla Games have confirmed they have major plans for the Horizon franchise and that it's here to stay. On top of working on a new multiplayer title with a new artstyle and cast of characters, the next adventure of Aloy's life is also coming. Zero Dawn and its sequel Forbidden West are some of the most successful PS exclusives – though often overshadowed by other games such as Breath of the Wild in 2017 and Elden Ring in 2022. We can't wait to see what these beautiful games have in store for us. On top of that there's also a Horizon TV show coming – as seems to be the trend in recent PlayStation media.
5. EA Sports FC 24 revealed – the successor to FIFA
As most people already know – FIFA is no more. After the football federation started asking for $1 billion dollars every four years for the title, EA decided to go their own way – though pretty much everyone will still call this FIFA 24. I've been a long-time critic of all sports games, because they're cash grabs for fans, especially children who ask their mothers for the new copy every Christmas. However, this is quite a big change – the addition of more female soccer starts even in Ultimate Team, the massive changes to big players like Messi and Ronaldo and the shining stars like Haaland (who is also on the game's cover), and the new technology to capture live matches and replicate scenes from them as in-game challenges. For people who haven't bought a FIFA game since 2017, this may even be worth it…but remember - at the end of the day, it's still EA.
6. Team Fortress 2 sets new concurrent player record after major summer update
For a game that is 16 years old and has so much competition in the form of Overwatch and Valorant, it's crazy that TF2 managed to become more popular than it's ever been. On top of the major summer update, which added 14 new community maps and various other changes, there was also a fake rumour on Twitter about the game shutting down later this year, which no-doubt influenced this number at least slightly. But don't worry – TF2 ain't going nowhere – and from the looks of it, Valve have started to care about it again. Great news for one of the most iconic franchises ever on Steam!
7. Assassin's Creed Mirage's official Haptic suit
Ubisoft have partnered with OWO to create a brand new haptic outfit, that players can put on while playing the new Assassin's Creed coming October. The suit will give you feedback of any physical action you do while roaming Baghdad as Basim – including parkour and combat. This sound really cool on paper, but I assume it's not going to add much to the experience and is just another way to capitalize on fans' money. This technology is probably not going to immerse players as much as Ubisoft thinks it will, but hey, we'll have to wait and see.
8. Deadpool 3's first pictures on set
Though the movie has currently paused filming because of the writers' strike, we got a bunch of behind the scenes photos earlier this week, that gave us our first looks at Ryan Reynolds' and Hugh Jackman's comic-accurate costumes. Though Deadpool seems quite similar to his other two appearances, we cannot say the same for Wolverine – as this is the first time Hugh has ever worn the iconic Yellow and Blue X-Men outfit from the comics. Fans quickly complained about the sleeves covering Jackman's biceps, but people quickly shut them down because of his susceptibility to skin cancer – which requires spots on his skin to be covered up. The suits look incredible and we cannot wait to see Wolverine back in action, alongside Deadpool's fourth wall-breaking jokes!
9. New Superman: Legacy cast revealed
We're all excited for James Gunn's instalment in the Superman franchise. He knows how to make superhero movies – as proven by his Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, and we put our full trust in him to make Clark Kent's adventure truly amazing. Alongside David Corenswet as Superman and Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, other roles have been announced – such as Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner with his iconic bowl cut, Isabella Merced as Hawkgirl and Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific. Gunn says "They fit the story I'm telling". Well, we have no idea what that story will be about yet, but we're for sure looking forward to it! Superman has been neglected in movies for far too long – he needs to shine again.
10. Kamala Khan returns as a mutant in new comics co-written by Iman Vellani
We ALL hated the new Zeb Wells Spider-Man comic run – not only did it further ruin Peter Parker and Mary Jane's already difficult relationship that they've had since 2008's One More Day, but it also decided to kill off Ms. Marvel. We ALL knew why. When someone dies in comics, they never stay dead – and we knew this was going to be the case since Kamala's death was incredibly cheap. We suspected the writers would revive her as a mutant, because that's what she is in the MCU. Lo and behold – that's exactly what's happening. And her MCU star Iman Vellani is co-writing the comic! This is an interesting turn of events, but honestly, they could have gone about it better, instead of her dying in another character's book. Especially a character like Peter, who isn't the closest with Kamala, if anything, Miles was a better fit. Guess they needed to get it done fast, and since the current Spider-Man comic run is sh*t anyway, they threw it in there for good measure! Marvel editorial never fails to disappoint me! But at least Iman understands her character well – the only hope for this reboot of Kamala.
Well, that's about everything for this week's news! Stay tuned for more gaming reviews and articles regarding all your favourite franchises right here, on One Up Gaming.
Written by: Nikola Hristov