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Gaming: Stranger Things 3 gets release date, Dune board game returns, more
Netflix won’t be the only place turning upside down when Stranger Things finally returns this summer, thanks to Stranger Things 3: The Game, which is set to take us into a retro, 16-bit version of Hawkins on the very same day the show makes its hugely anticipated return.
Developed and timed to tie directly in with Season 3 of Netflix’s flagship original series, the adventure game will complement the show’s 1980s vibe with old-school 2D graphics and throwback sound effects, paired with an isometric camera that lets you explore Hawkins using a custom-picked party of familiar characters.
Like previous teases, a short new gameplay trailer shows off the team-based puzzle-solving dynamic that Eleven and Chief Hopper share. And with 12 characters to choose from the big ST cast, it looks as though we won’t be hurting for options:
Each character comes with his or her own special abilities and skills (check out Chief Hopper’s brute-force fighting moves!), and you can play in either a single-player or a local co-op mode that allows a second player to seamlessly drop in and out. The game’s AI will control your second party member whenever you’re playing solo.
Developer BonusXP pledges the game will let you explore more of Stranger Things’ world than just what's shown in Season 3, visiting both “familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets.”
One thing’s for sure: There’ll be plenty of Stranger Things to go around when the thermometer heats up this summer. Destined for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and PC, Stranger Things 3: The Game will arrive on July 4 — the same day Season 3 lands at Netflix.
Ready for another cool tie-in? The 2020 arrival of Denis Villeneuve’s talent-loaded Dune reboot can’t get here soon enough, but it’s not the only way to dive back into Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic.
The long out-of-print Dune board game is being revived by tabletop game maker Gale Force Nine, bringing back the now-coveted and extremely rare 1979 game for the first time since its final French-language run ended in the 1990s, according to Kotaku.
First revealed by There Will Be Games and later confirmed on Twitter by Peter Olotka, a member of the original development team, the game appears to share plenty of DNA with the first edition — though details are still light. Olotka teased that we’ll be soon be hearing more about the game, which he pledged is coming back “better than ever.”
A release date hasn’t been announced for the game, but it’s a safe bet it’ll be timed to ride the wave of Dune enthusiasm that'll sweep in on Nov. 20, 2020 — when the movie’s due in theaters. And if one game isn't enough, look for Funcom's open-world Dune multiplayer game, which should show up around the same time.
If the Oddworld game universe, set on a volcanically ravaged planet of blue-skinned humanoids, still sounds odd after more than two decades, it’s a testament to the franchise’s imaginative world-building and loyal fan base.
What began in the PlayStation era as a quirky platforming game has spun into an entire gaming ecosystem, and developer Oddworld Inhabitants has just offered up a glimpse at how Oddworld: Soulstorm — the upcoming all-new entry in the expanding series — will look and feel.
Shown off at this week’s Game Developers Conference, the new clip is designed to highlight the tech behind Soulstorm’s graphics, so we may or may not get to board the same runaway train in the finished game. But now that we’ve seen the Oddworld universe running on current-gen tech, at least we know we’ll look amazing if we get the chance.
Announced as a remake of the Abe’s Exoddus sequel that first appeared on the original PS1, Soulstorm has since been described by Oddworld Inhabitants as a completely new game with its own original story. There’s still no word on when the game will be ready, or which platforms it’ll land on, so keep those eyes peeled for more Oddworld updates.