Dev Promises To Make Up For Hated Game With Free Remaster

A developer on the third-person stealth-action game Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story has come forward to comment on the game’s abysmal Steam ratings, saying the team will address the concerns and release a free remaster.

But first, a bit of context. Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story launched on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam in November 2020. An atmospheric survival game with action-adventure and stealth elements based on the works of science fiction author H.G. Wells, Grey Skies was rocked by a plethora of negative Steam reviews. Players criticized it for sloppy animations, illogical gameplay, atrocious controls, and much more, with the general consensus being that it’s a janky mess of a misbegotten game. This dragging has persisted to this day, and Steel Arts Software never responded.

That was for a reason, as developer Nathan Seedhouse confirmed in a July 15 post on Grey Skies’ Steam page that personal issues kept him preoccupied.

“After a couple of years of crippling personal issues that kept me away from development, I came back to find that Grey Skies has issues, and has been reviewed extremely poorly,” Seedhouse wrote. “I was unaware of just how bad it was until recently. I came back to it with fresh eyes after more than two years and completely understand the issues most people have taken with it.”

Seedhouse went on to say that although Grey Skies undoubtedly has problems, many of which the Steam reviews point out ad nauseam, he firmly believes the team “made a decent game” underneath it all. As such, Seedhouse has outlined some upcoming plans to rectify the mistakes.

“I am remastering the game with new technologies that have become available, and my own improved knowledge of development,” Seedhouse continued. “I will read through all the concerns carefully and address each one, paying close attention to the most common complaints, such as clunky movement and frustrating stealth elements. I really appreciate each and every one of you that took a chance on it. So the remaster will be automatically added to any library that already owns the original Grey Skies, free of charge of course.”

In an email to Kotaku, Seedhouse said the development team is just him now and that the artist he worked with “left a couple years ago.”

“There is no development team,” Seedhouse said. “[The update post] wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. I was just hoping to quietly replace Grey Skies for the people on Steam and carry on with my next game.”

It’s unclear how the studio will remaster the game and, should such an event come to pass, whether it’ll win back players who already took a chance on it. We also don’t know if the theoretical remaster would hit platforms other than Windows. Still, with confirmation that the remaster will be free for those who own Grey Skies, and that the original version of the game will be removed from sale soon, we can only hope that things go well for both Seedhouse and Steel Arts Software.

Update: We’ve added a statement from the developer to this story.


Red Dead Redemption Comes To Switch And PS4, Remaster Is MIA

After years of waiting and months of reignited rumors of a remaster, Rockstar Games has finally revealed a port for the first Red Dead Redemption. Over a decade after its release, the critically-acclaimed third-person shooter is making the jump to PlayStation 4 and Switch on August 17, but a “next-gen” upgrade for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC is seemingly not happening.

The PS4 and Switch versions will be $50, with a physical release shipping on October 13. While the ports won’t include any changes to the underlying game, they will come with Undead Nightmare, a zombie story campaign that was added to the Game of the Year edition of Red Dead Redemption over a decade ago. If you were hoping for a 4K update or 60fps mode, however, you’re out of luck. The PS4 and Switch ports won’t support multiplayer either.

The original Red Dead Redemption takes place four years after the events of Red Dead Redemption 2 and follows rancher and former outlaw John Marston as he’s tasked with capturing his former gang members. While still sprawling, it’s a more focused tale than the prequel that proceeded it, but it also suffered from a decent number of bugs and limitations, like the fact that Marston can’t swim.

Red Dead Redemption – Coming August 17th! (Nintendo Switch)

The frenzy around the potential return of the original Red Dead Redemption kicked off in June when it appeared on the South Korea game rating body’s list of submissions. The game was never ported to PC and, among relatively current consoles, could only be played on Xbox One and Series X/S via Microsoft’s backwards compatibility program. It had briefly been available to stream through PlayStation Now, but became inaccessible on PS5 after that program merged with PlayStation Plus.

Kotaku previously reported that a fullblown remaster of Red Dead Redemption had been shelved after the debacle around the 2021 Grand Theft Auto remaster trilogy, which included tons of issues, including a subpar HD transformation of the original games’ look and style. Despite a bevy of post-launch updates to address many of the bugs and performance problems, some diehard fans still remain unhappy with the overall state of the remasters.

Rockstar Games is currenlty working Grand Theft Auto VI, some of which leaked last year in an unprecedented hack that led tons of prototype footage to appear online. It co-stars a woman and will set in Miami, and while it doesn’t have an official release date yet, publisher Take-Two has strongly hinted that it expects the game to arrive sometime before April 2025, meaning it could launch as soon as next year.

Update 8/7/23 10:22 a.m. ET: Added more information about the price from Rockstar’s website.

Update 8/7/23 11:03 a.m. ET: Added info about multiplayer support. 

New Quake II Remaster Adds 8-Player Splitscreen On Xbox/PC

The classic id Software shooter Quake II is back and looking better than ever in a new remaster that’s out now on all the major platforms. And for folks playing on Xbox Series X/S and PC, you’ll be able to invite seven of your best friends over to play together on one (hopefully) big screen.

August 10 marked the start of QuakeCon—the annual Iid-sponsored, fan-focused event featuring LAN parties, games, press conferences and more. And to mark the start of this popular con, id Software, and Bethesda announced the release of the previously rumored Quake II remaster. 

Originally released in 1997, Quake II was the follow-up to the tremendously successful Quake, which was one of the first fully 3D first-person shooters ever made. The sequel changed up the narrative and setting, moving the action to space and introducing the Strogg, deadly aliens who would appear in later Quake titles, including the forgettable Quake 4. While Quake II is sometimes overshadowed by its multiplayer-focused sequel Quake III Arena, it’s still a fun game that pushed graphics forward, in particular with its robust support for some of the earlier 3D graphics cards. And now the classic game has been remastered and released across PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.

Bethesda / id Software

The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the store page for Quake II on Xbox—which is launching as part of Game Pass—was the mention that the game supports eight-player splitscreen. I know it’s not the first game to support so many players via splitscreen, but that’s still a pretty rare thing. How many games even support that many players locally, let alone via eight separately rendered boxes on one screen? Wild! And it’s always nice to see a PC game include splitscreen support, too.

Other features included in the new Quake II remaster

But there’s a lot more in this remaster. The package includes the original Quake II, the N64 version of Quake II, all of the original expansions and multiplayer maps, plus a new campaign developed by MachineGames, aka the folks behind the modern Wolfenstein games.

Quake II remastered also supports 16-player crossplay PvP, online co-op, gyro control on Switch and PS4/PS5, widescreen displays, and includes “restored” cut content including unreleased maps.

That’s a lot of Quake II! And if you don’t have Game Pass, you can buy the Quake II remaster on your platform of choice for $10 starting today. And if you want to check out the first Quake, that got a similar remaster in 2021. You can check out some great tips for that game that we wrote up back when that was released, too.

Beyond Good and Evil Remaster Spotted, Sequel Remains Uncertain

The ESRB seems to have revealed that Ubisoft is planning a Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition. News on the BG&E front has been a little quiet as of late, so fans of the classic adventure title might be in for a nice revisit. That notoriously truant sequ—err, prequel, however? Well, who knows?

On August 31, X user MACOS380 posted a screenshot of the aforementioned ESRB rating for an apparent remaster of the beloved PS2-era game. The page describes the title (which they list with an “and” instead of an ampersand) as an “action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a reporter accompanied by a pig-like companion investigating a conspiracy on the planet of Hillys,” which sure sounds the part. Platforms listed include Windows, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series. There’s no mention of the Xbox One.

Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.

Combining third-person fighting, puzzles, and wildlife photography, Beyond Good & Evil has sustained interest ever since its 2003 release on PS3, Xbox, GameCube, and PC, despite the game failing to earn enough money to warrant an immediate followup. It received a digital HD remaster in 2011 on both Xbox 360 and PS3, and is possibly expected to see an additional game at some indeterminate point in the future. Maybe. It’s complicated.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still AWOL

A followup to Beyond Good & Evil was first teased all the way back in 2008, by way of a cinematic trailer showing off spacey environments, a recognizable pig-like character, and someone very reminiscent of the first game’s protagonist, Jade. Some more footage of this project leaked out a year later, but things would go relatively quiet until 2016, when it seemed the sequel’s future was in doubt, shortly before solid confirmation from Ubisoft and a proper trailer at E3 (RIP) 2017. Series’ creator Michael Ancel said that instead of a direct sequel, the next game would in fact be a prequel and that the gameplay would be quite different from the original.

Like so much else in life, things then got more complicated.

Following a controversial announcement by a very excited Joseph Gordon Levitt at E3 2018 that the game would use crowdsourced art and music via the actor’s HitRecord platform, to create content for a game produced by a big-budget AAA game publisher, reports of toxic work environments at Ubisoft, including sexual harassment and abusive behavior broke. The fallout saw Beyond Good and Evil 2’s director leave the company. Managing director Guillaume Carmona would also leave for similar reasons as the game-in-progress broke records for being one of the longest development periods for an unreleased game.

Still, Ubisoft insisted that Beyond Good and Evil 2 was still in production as recently as January of 2023. This past July, however, saw BGE2’s creative director, Emile Morel, unexpectedly pass away.

Leaked Bethesda Road Map Shows Oblivion Remaster, Dishonored 3

Bethesda is (or was) reportedly working on remasters for Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, according to a document released as part of a massive Microsoft leak. A bevy of partially redacted/confidential emails and documents that were a part of the FTC case against the monolithic game company were posted online in the wee hours of the morning on September 19, with their contents containing info on a new Xbox Series X console, Xbox head Phil Spencer’s dreams to buy Nintendo, and a version of Bethesda’s release roadmap.

Bethesda game release plan leaks

Microsoft bought the Starfield publisher for $7.5 billion back in March 2021, spawning years of conversation and controversy, with the former facing (and eventually winning) an FTC case raised when it attempted to gobble up Activision Blizzard, too. Now, court documents related to that case have leaked, and those documents included what appears to be an older ZeniMax (Bethesda’s parent company) roadmap—it lists Starfield as releasing in 2021 when it only just dropped in September of this year. In a PDF reviewed by Kotaku, the “title release schedule” also lists Project Hibiki (which eventually became Hi-Fi Rush) as a 2021 release, but the game actually released in January 2023.

ZeniMax’s 2021 slate was also meant to include the maligned FPS Redfall (which came out this year), Fallout 76 expansion Fallout Worlds (which went live in 2021), and Ghostwire: Tokyo (which debuted in the spring of 2022). So, it appears that this entire release schedule was shifted by a year or two in either direction, with massive titles like Starfield getting pushed back.

The leaked document suggested that 2022 would include the upcoming Indiana Jones game, some Starfield DLC, and an as-yet-unannounced remaster of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Following the aforementioned logic, we could potentially see all three of those things by 2024, if Bethesda stays on course. According to the chart, 2023 was meant to include a new Doom game (called Doom Year Zero), an Elder Scrolls Online expansion, and two unnamed projects code-named Kestrel and Platinum.

The road map continues into 2024, which has the most titles listed out of all the years in the chart. It includes The Elder Scrolls VI, which we know isn’t coming until 2026 (and not at all for PlayStation); an expansion for Project Kestrel; DLC for Doom Year Zero; a “licensed IP game;” a Ghostwire: Tokyo sequel; Dishonored 3; and a remaster of Fallout 3. A Dishonored sequel is great news for fans of the Arkane series, as is news that Ghostwire: Tokyo appears to be getting a sequel, as well.

Though this document clearly lays out Bethesda’s plans for the future, game development changes all the time, so it’s unclear if all of these games are still planned or are in the works. Kotaku reached out to Bethesda for comment. At the time of writing, it appears that the original links to the Northern District Court of California documents have been removed, but PDFs are still circulating.

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