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Joystiq Weekly: Doom reboot, Microsoft's layoffs, Sunless Sea and more

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.
We're happy to hear that Doom is still brewing in the depths of iD Software, but if we're getting spoiled with updates to classics, we wonder if we could get anything else revived if we stir up enough demand. Remember how awesome Bubsy was? What about taking another crack at Altered Beast? What's that, you say? "No and your picks are garbage"? Well then.

Lucky for you, this edition of the Joystiq Weekly carries no news of reboots for either series. It does offer a recap of the week's biggest non-fictional stories though, from Microsoft's plans to dismiss 18,000 workers to the latest fighters to take up arms in Super Smash Bros. There are also reviews for the stealth-focused Light and a spooky, exploration-driven journey on a boat called Sunless Sea, plus a WildStar postcard that digs into the MMO's PvP modes. It's all arranged neat and orderly-like for you after the break!


  • Wolfenstein won't be the only old-school shooter to reach current-generation consoles, assuming id's next installment in the Doom series survives its rocky development cycle. A public reveal has to count for something though, right? Though photos and video weren't allowed, gameplay footage was shown at QuakeCon for the reboot's latest incarnation, branded simply as Doom. Hell's flesh-and-metal beasts will prowl hallways on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, but there's no telling when we'll all be faced with the afterlife.
  • It was a rough week for Microsoft – CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed early reports of impending layoffs, which will affect 18,000 people. While that's mostly from the Nokia Devices and Services division, the layoffs also involve Xbox's European division, which is reportedly losing 75 percent of its work force.
  • The Xbox team is leaving a trail of features in its monthly updates, and following it probably won't lead to entrapment! Early access members can get a taste of the latest batch starting next week, which will add support for 3D Blu-rays and the ability to disable notifications during videos. A low battery warning, the ability to "like" and comment on a friend's recent activity and expanded support for the Xbox One's TV OneGuide are also in, as are automatic downloads related to purchases made through SmartGlass.
  • You know what's scary? Not knowing when you'll be able to play your most anticipated game! You can spare yourself from chest-clutching adrenaline spikes if you're waiting on The Evil Within though – Shinji Mikami's fresh crack at the horror genre will spook up your life one week earlier than was previously planned, meaning you should start looking over your shoulder on October 14.
  • Speaking of scary things, how does a new Fatal Frame game that Western fans will never get to play sound? Well ... boo! Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have shared the first look at Zero: Nuregarasu no Miku, which will take up the series' ghoulishly-stressful style of photography with the Wii U GamePad in September ... in Japan.
  • We hope Super Smash Bros. fans like Fire Emblem, because Nintendo heaped a few more characters from the strategy series atop the brawler's roster this week. Lucina and Robin will both take up arms, with Robin being the default name for a player's character in Fire Emblem: Awakening.
  • If you're fond of tracking the world's love for inanimate objects, the NPD Group has released its sales report for the month of June. Although Microsoft says the Xbox One's sales doubled, it was still another victory lap for the PS4, which led hardware sales for the sixth consecutive month. Mario Kart 8 also performed admirably, but failed to sling a blue shell at Watch Dogs, which topped the NPD's game sales data.
  • Whether you prefer your giraffes in 30 or 60 frames per second, The Last of Us: Remastered will have your nature-touring needs covered. Well, as long as those needs include disturbing, fungus-infested shells of the human race. Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells said the decision to offer both framerates was in response to the "request of the purists who wanted the experience as close to the original (PS3) as possible."
  • Need an excuse to spend more time with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft? We're days away from drawing our first cards in the single-player Curse of Naxxramas mode, which is due for a shuffle on July 22. Naxxramas will come in sections called wings, with each going for 700 gold. If you can't be bothered to fool around with virtual money, you can grab all five wings for a collective $25.

  • The ocean's vastness can be daunting on its own, but when you throw in ship-sized crabs and smother everything in darkness? That can be ... a bit much. Luckily, Contributing Editor Mike Suszek's bravery knows no bounds, as he took a dip in Sunless Sea, Failbetter's oceanic adventure that's currently on Early Access. Mike was "wrapped up in the game's world" as he uncovered stories, found new islands and anticipated his demise. Failbetter estimates that Sunless Sea's world is only 38 percent complete, but when more is added to its unsettling depths, Mike knows he'll "set sail again to see what tentacled and toothed horrors await."
  • You would think creeping through a mysterious, shadowy corporation would be thrilling, but Weekend Editor Sam Prell didn't find that to be the case in Light. Levels focus on staying out of sight, stealing information and killing troublemaking guards if need be, but it's all a bit dull – Sam notes that "Light's individual elements function well, but they never function in an interesting way." A unchallenging pace and simplistic mechanics make Light "merely serviceable; nothing breaks or falls apart within its mechanically sound design, but nothing inspires the game to step out from the shadows of better games."
Featured Content
  • What better sense of validation exists in an MMO than beating down your fellow adventurers? Exactly. Literally nothing. Sam challenged WildStar players to duels this week, and he took breaks from bouts of establishing his superiority to write us a postcard. Aside from combat-focused arenas, Sam's message details Walatiki Temple and Halls of the Bloodsworn, WildStar's equivalents to capture the flag and king of the hill. There's a rundown of Warplots too, which Sam summarizes as "the PvP equivalent of raids."
  • There's plenty on the plate with this week's installment of the Super Joystiq Podcast, led by Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann, Managing Editor Susan Arendt, Senior Reporter Jess Conditt and Sam Prell. WildStar, Dragon Age: Inquisition and a slew of Nintendo games are all on the menu, as is a recap of last week's GaymerX2. There's a giveaway too, in case you're solely hovering around Joystiq for cool free stuff.
[Image: iD Software]

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