No Man's Sky Finally Gets Multiplayer, and Everything Else in Games This Week
Welcome to Replay, our weekly roundup of all the gaming news and happenings you might've missed while you were, y'know, playing games. This week, we've got some big growth for some big titles, alongside a very late bug fix and an excellent Nintendo Switch port.
No Man's Sky Is Finally Adding Multiplayer to its Giant World
When it was released, No Man's Sky was subject to no shortage of controversy—some of it justified, a lot of it not. One that had some meat to it, though, was the issue of where everyone else was. Am I going to get to run into other players? In a giant shared world, it's a justified question. Hello Games was cagey at first, avoiding answering directly, until players experimented by setting up meeting places, only to find out the truth: you couldn't. Which was certainly disappointing, though given the scale and expense of No Man's Sky, it's not exactly something one could fault the studio for.
Except now that's gonna change. With the upcoming No Man's Sky: NEXT expansion, coming July 24, multiplayer will finally make its way to Hello Games' vast cosmos. A new trailer runs down what to expect from the new expansion, which looks like it's going to feature four-player co-op, expanded base-building mechanics, and new narrative content. Also, you can play in third person now. No more motion sickness for you!
World of Warcraft is Going Free-to-Start—Only Half a Decade Too Late
World of Warcraft, the elder statesman in the massively multiplayer ecosystem, is still going strong, with a new expansion slated for August. It's also, finally, taking a step toward modernizing its business model for a 2018 audience. While keeping its subscription model, World of Warcraft is now completely free to start, as is every expansion other than the upcoming Battle for Azeroth. There'll be a monthly fee, and that's it.
These days, paying full stickler price plus a subscription fee is a lot, and this is a smart move from Blizzard—one that puts the game on a more even playing field with its younger competitors. World of Warcraft isn't the juggernaut it once was, but it's still a big ol' game, and it's more accessible than it's ever been, just in case you had a few dozen hours on your hands you were looking to invest.
A Single Errant Typo Ruined Aliens: Colonial Marines—Kind Of
Copyediting is important—and in a game, which might have millions of lines of code, it's incredibly challenging. Mistakes happen, and sometimes they can be big. Such is the case with Aliens: Colonial Marines, which had a typo ("teather" instead of "tether") in an .ini file responsible for the enemy intelligence of the xenomorphs. The result? AI characters that just stopped politely and waited for you to shoot them. (Just like the movies!) Fixing the typo doesn't make the famously panned Colonial Marines a great game, but it certainly changes some things; Cameron Kunzelman at Kotaku has a nice rundown on the whole thing.
The typo was first discovered in 2017, but it went viral last week—so much so that developer Gearbox Software responded by posting a "job listing" for a Programming Copyeditor. The only requirement? Being able to spell "tether."
Recommendation of the Week: Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker
This week, one of the Wii U's best games is out for the Nintendo Switch. Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker is a brilliant Mario spinoff, a puzzle-centric riff on the formula that removes the player's ability to jump, forcing careful navigation across small multilayered worlds to collect everything you see and reach the goal. Captain Toad is one of the best of the small bounty of original, witty games from late in the Wii U's lifespan that very much deserve a second life on the Switch. If you like puzzles, or Mario, or fun, you could do a lot worse.