It’s been an interesting year for gaming, as the current generation of consoles slowly creep towards the end of their lifecycles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are officially on the way, landing in late 2020, meaning we’re in a kind of limbo between developers releasing games for this generation and announcing plans for next-generation games – some might even crossover.
Despite being in this weird limbo, we’ve played some fantastic games this year. We’ve revisited Raccoon City, cursed FromSoftware once again, tried to catch em’ all and bothered villagers as a troublesome goose. But which games have truly stood out in 2019?
It’s been a hard task, but the TechRadar team has put their heads together and thrashed out which games were our favorites this year. These aren’t necessarily the games we think have had the most cultural or technological impact, nor are they ranked, they’re simply the team’s favorite games from this year. Let’s be honest, you may not agree with all our picks – as we all have different tastes and opinions – but it’s hard to put together a list that will please everyone.
So, without further ado, these are TechRadar’s games of the year 2019.
Best Virtual Reality Game
Blood & Truth
Blood & Truth is one of our favorite VR games ever, never mind this year. Sony London Studio truly knocked it out of the park with this Guy Ritchie style FPS that shows that VR shooters can be wondefully immersive – and downright fun.
Its storyline is super cheesy but, mechanically, Blood & Truth is a marvel, allowing you to interact with objects and weapons as you would in real life (well as much as is possible in VR) and smoothly move from cover to cover through levels.
Honorable mentions: Trover Saves the Universe and Wolfenstein: Cyber Pilot.
Best Mobile Game
Pokémon Masters was somewhat of a surprise success. We always knew it wouldn’t hold a light to Niantic’s Pokémon Go, but the free-to-play mobile game has definitely held its own in 2019.
Allowing players to battle their way through the Pokémon Masters League, Pokémon Masters emphasizes teamwork and puts the focus on trainer battles. It’s been a great year for Pokemon.
Honorable mentions: What the Golf? and Sayonara Wild Hearts.
Best Action Game
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
FromSoftware isn’t known for making easy breezy games and Sekiro is no different. But that’s exactly why we love it. Sekiro is what happens if DDR was an action game set in a gothic ancient Japan. It’s breathtaking.
However, if you can’t quite get a hang of the rhythm, then things are pretty tough going. FromSoftware’s most recent offering is more punishing than we’ve seen before, but rare moments of success are extremely rewarding – you just need the patience for it.
Honorable mentions: Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5.
Check out our full Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.
Best Action/Adventure Game
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
2019 has been a fantastic year for remasters and Link’s Awakening is one of the best. Nintendo took the original 1993 and redesigned it for the Switch, giving it a new toy-like art style that simply adds to the charm.
Link’s Awakening brings classic Zelda to a younger generation, while improving upon issues that original fans may have had. It’s a wonderful trip down memory lane for fans while also being easily accessible for newbies. We love it.
Honorable mentions: Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
Check out our full The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening review.
The Outer Worlds
When Obsidian Entertainment announced it was releasing a new RPG, there was little doubt that the Fallout: New Vegas developer would let us down. And it didn’t.
Although it’s not totally perfect, The Outer Worlds is as close to a new Fallout game as we’re going to get right now. Blending interesting characters, peculiar creatures, choices galore and a heap of satire, The Outer Worlds sees Obsidian securing its crown as the king of RPGs.
Honorable mentions: Disco Elysium and Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Best Online Multiplayer Game
Apex Legends took us all by surprise when it kicked down the battle royale door back in February, introducing some fantastic quality-of-life features like sliding and pinging that have since been lifted by its competitors.
While Apex Legends may not have quite taken the crown from Fortnite, its certainly taken 2019 by storm and we’re hoping Respawn Entertainment has some tricks up its sleeves to keep players interested in 2020.
Honorable mentions: Destiny 2: Shadowkeep and Tetris 99.
Check out our full Apex Legends review.
Best Racing/Sports Game
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Now, we know that not everyone will agree with this choice. CTR isn’t the most technical racing game but it’s a lot of fun and we love this remaster just as much as the original – if not more.
Following in the footsteps of the N.Sane Trilogy, Nitro-Fueled sees Crash and co getting a modern makeover. This remaster rolls together content from Crash team Racing, Crash Tag Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart into one madcap game that you can play solo or online.
Honorable mentions: FIFA 20 and Need for Speed: Heat.
Best Fighting Game
Mortal Kombat 11
It’s not been a great year for fighting games, so this wasn’t a particularly difficult choice. Mortal Kombat 11 sees the brutal series returning better (and bloodier) than ever before, while introducing some fresh new features, like Fatal Blows) that move the series forward.
The campaign is solid but really, MK11 does what we expect: let us beat the living heck out of eachother.
Honorable mentions: None (it’s been a poor year for fighting games).
Best Narrative Game
Disco Elysium has been the dark horse of 2019 for a lot of people, releasing at the tail end to critical acclaim. And it deserves every ounce of that recognition.
Disco Elysium is like if someone made an RPG about Hunter S. Thompson as a grizzled detective. It’s bizarre and wonderful. The best part of Disco Elysium? The writing and story. The conversation trees are unlike anything else we’ve seen this year and show that a game doesn’t need to be big budget to tug at our emotions.
Honorable mentions: Control and Outer Wilds.
Best Indie Game
Untitled Goose Game
It’s a lovely day and you’re a horrible, horrible goose. That’s right, Untitled Goose Game sees you wreaking havoc on some (probably lovely) unsuspecting villagers in House House’s indie meme machine.
But the memes aren’t the only reason we love Untitled Goose Game. It’s the exact type of (almost) wholesome content we love to see in an indie game, artistically beautiful and the synchronization between the music and slapstick humor is sheer brilliance. HONK.
Honorable mentions: Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium.
Game of the Year
Resident Evil 2 Remake
It’s the biggie and it was a tough call. But Resident Evil 2 Remake is officially TechRadar’s Game of the Year.
Resident Evil 2 shows how a remake should be done, elevating the original game into a masterful modern horror experience. The attention to detail is astounding, encouraging players to properly explore RCPD and soak in the experience. Plus, exploring is a welcome break from trying to solve Resident Evil 2’s head-scratching puzzles.
Best of all, you don’t just have to play it once, you can replay again and again. And we sure will.
Honorable mentions: Control and Death Stranding.
Check out our full Resident Evil 2 Remake review.
Most Excited About
Once again Cyberpunk 2077 is the game we’re most excited about. It won the same category last year but, now that we know more about it (like that Keanu Reeves will be in it), we’re more hyped than ever.
CD Projekt Red’s massive dystopian RPG will finally hit shelves on April 16, 2020 and we cannot wait to get our hands on what’s sure to be one of the best games of 2020 – well, if the Witcher 3 is anything to go by.
Honorable mentions: The Last of Us Part 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Flying car: Canadians bring flying car one step closer to reality – Globalnews.ca
A flying car could allow us to get from point A to B, exploring the skies while never sitting in traffic.
This technology is no longer the stuff of fantasy. Numerous companies around the world are racing to make theirs available.
Canada’s Marcus Leng leads one of them.
“I think we’ve all had dreams of complete three-dimensional freedom,” said Leng, who is the CEO of Opener, a company developing a personal aerial vehicle.
As a young boy walking to school, he would wonder if there would ever be an aircraft that you could just jump in “and be able to take off vertically and fly wherever you wanted.”
He started designing and building prototypes in his basement in the small community of Warkworth, Ont.
“I think our house became a factory,” he recalls.
“The basement was used for basically doing all the structure work … and the kitchen was basically used for manufacturing motors,” he told Global’s current affairs show, The New Reality. “We used to bake the motors in the oven. Boy, would that stink.”
It took over a year for him to fly his first proof-of-concept vehicle in his front yard.
“I found myself eventually at the end of our driveway and my friends and neighbours … were behind a barrier of cars that we had set up,” Leng said.
“And I figure, just like in skiing, I’ll do a skidding turn in front of them. All went very well, except during the skidding turn, the edge of the wing made contact with the lawn … but the propulsion systems reacted so fast that it basically created this long divot as it scraped through grass without the aircraft losing any control.”
Using eVTOL, which stands for electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing, Leng said he was able to produce a vehicle that doesn’t need a runway to get off the ground.
It’s called BlackFly. Some people often refer to it as a flying car. Leng calls it a personal aerial vehicle designed to fit one person.
Anyone up to six feet six inches and weighing 200 pounds or less can use it.
It has a joystick, can fly in -20 Celsius weather, and operate in about 32 km/h winds.
“In the United States, which is our primary market, we have very serious weight restrictions. So, the American vehicles have a 20-plus mile (32 km) range for an operator that’s 200 pounds,” Leng said.
“In Canada, we don’t have those weight constraints and also we don’t have speed constraints,” said Leng, who in 2014 relocated the majority of his operations to Palo Alto, Calif.
One of the key features about BlackFly is you don’t need a pilot’s licence to fly it.
According to Leng, a potential owner would have to complete a training course and be at least 18 years old.
“The nice thing about our vehicle is (that in) both the United States and Canada (it’s) classified as an ultralight aircraft,” he said. “In Canada, you require an ultralight licence, which is relatively easy and straightforward to obtain.”
In order to fly it, you need to take a short training course.
“I think the most unique thing is that I can be an operator, you can be an operator … in the course of about two days and a few hours of simulation how to safely fly this aircraft,” said Kristina Menton, who is the director of operations, flight testing and propulsion lead at Opener.
“That is something that is exceptionally novel and really incredible — to be able to give that type of experience of three-dimensional flight to regular people.”
She said the aircraft is almost exclusively made from carbon fibre, including the wings, fuselage and propellers. It’s electric, and therefore emissions-free.
“We have autoland features. So basically, when you get close to the ground, the aircraft will take over,” Menton said.
Canadians who help make BlackFly … fly
Menton has been working on BlackFly for years. When she first signed on with the company, she had no idea what product she’d be working on.
“I first met Marcus on a phone call the day before my last exam of university. He was looking to hire two mechanical engineers. At the time, the company was completely in stealth mode and he wasn’t able to say what the product was, who the investors were, really any of the technical details,” Menton told Global News.
“But I could get from the phone call that it was a pretty exciting and innovative opportunity and decided to take the leap to jump on board.”
She wasn’t the only one who took the leap. Eleanor Li, Menton’s classmate at the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering, did too. She joined Opener and moved to Silicon Valley without knowing the project she was hired to work on.
“Marcus basically came along and said, ‘Oh, we’re making this huge carbon epoxy part. Do you want to be part of our team?’ And I just said, ‘Yes, yes, here I am,’” said Li, who is now the plant manager at Opener.
For years, Leng had been secretly working on his invention while recruiting.
It wasn’t until 2018 that he started letting the world get a glimpse of BlackFly.
In July 2021, Li, Menton and Leng flew Blackfly at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisc. The annual event can bring in hundreds of thousands of spectators.
“The flight is incredible. You have a panoramic view of anywhere,” said Li. “I told this to a few people at Oshkosh: when you’re in the aircraft, you feel like you are the aircraft and the aircraft is you.”
The team is working hard to make the aircraft available to consumers soon.
But first adopters will only be able to fly in rural areas. BlackFly is not allowed to go over built-up areas.
Leng is keeping the price tag to himself, but he believes as the industry advances, BlackFly will become more accessible to people.
“Our objective for next year is to produce 260 vehicles. But the ultimate goal is to be producing tens of thousands of these at a price that would be in line with an SUV,” he said.
See this and other original stories about our world on The New Reality airing Saturday nights on Global TV, and online.
Poll: The Hype For Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Is High, Is It In Your Switch Plans? – Nintendo Life
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition getting official release details, along with a trailer and lots of screens, was certainly the standout and dominant news item at the end of the week. Perhaps counter to expectations the visual overhaul is a bit more than a simple upscale, with the footage looking rather familiar but undoubtedly fresh. That’s not to say it would be mistaken for footage of games developed from scratch in the 2020s, as characters in particular still have that angular look familiar from past generations.
The official information does point to key gameplay changes, such as controls more in tune with what players know from GTA V. Yet we’d suggest those control updates will need to be good; you may have fond memories of the original ‘3D’ GTA trilogy, but they’re of their time and don’t necessarily feel particularly smooth to play now. Perhaps The Trilogy will fix that, it’s certainly one of the big tests it’ll face.
Another question will be how it’ll stack up on Switch. We don’t think it’s a particularly outrageous suggestion to say we’ll be looking at it targeting 30fps on Nintendo’s system, at best, and if previous reports were accurate and Unreal Engine has been used, that makes some caution advisable. While Unreal games can certainly run on Switch, the system’s library is also full of dodgy ports where the different iterations of the engine simply don’t play nice with the hardware. Here’s hoping that the sheer volume of resources at Rockstar’s disposal – and the knowledge that the release could be a big seller on Switch – will ensure that a carefully optimised version arrives on the hybrid.
As for the release details, it’s split up between eShop and retail. The digital / eShop version isn’t far away on 11th November, while those that want the physical edition need to wait until 7th December. It’ll cost £49.99 / $59.99, though that is three games in the package of course, while the file size is 25.4GB; we’ll need to wait and see whether Rockstar will opt for a Switch cartridge big enough to hold the full package or force mandatory downloads. We’ll keep an eye out for updates.
For some this trilogy release will be revisiting old classics, and no doubt for many it’ll represent their first playthroughs of these iconic games. We’re curious where you fall in these categories, so by all means pitch in with the polls and comments below – is this a November (eShop) or December (physical) pick-up for you?
Epic Games opposes Apple's effort to pause antitrust trial orders – Reuters
Oct 22 (Reuters) – “Fortnite” creator Epic Games on Friday opposed Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) efforts to put on hold orders handed down in an antitrust trial as a potentially lengthy appeals process plays out.
U.S. district Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in September struck down some of the iPhone maker’s App Store rules, including a prohibition on developers directing their users to other payment options beside Apple’s in-app payment system, in a partial win for Epic and other app makers. read more
Apple has until Dec. 9 to comply with the injunction, but earlier this month the company said it will appeal the ruling and asked Gonzalez Rogers to put her order on hold as the appeals process, which could take more than a year, unfolds.
Epic on Friday argued in a court filing that Apple has not met the legal standard for that pause, which requires Apple show that it will be irreparably harmed by even temporarily complying with the order if the injunction is later reversed on appeal.
Epic said that Apple’s positive comments about the ruling shortly after it landed, and its delay in asking for a pause, showed that it would not be harmed by enacting the orders.
“The public interest favors denying (Apple’s request); an injunction is the only path to effective relief,” Epic wrote. “History shows … that in the absence of an injunction, Apple will not make any changes.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A hearing on Apple’s request is set for Nov. 9.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Franicsco; Editing by Himani Sarkar
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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