The biggest gaming news this week has been Thanos’ addition to Fortnite. Epic Games’ already popular free to play battle royal game teamed up with Marvel Studios to bring Thanos, villain of Avengers: Infinity War and the titular Maguffin, the Infinity Gauntlet, to Fortnite by means of a new mode. In this mode, a meteor crashes into the map containing the gauntlet. If a player reaches the gauntlet, they transform into Thanos, gaining new powers and abilities, until they are killed, at which point the gauntlet drops and is ready to be taken by a new player. This limited time mode launched on the 8th, and is being very positively reviewed by critics and fans alike, bolstering the Fortnite brand at a time when everyone seems to be attempting to get into the Battle Royal space.
Valve is set to add a new game mode to its popular MOBA title DOTA 2 soon. The new mode, titled The Underhollow, has numerous three-player teams spawn in a branching dungeon, where cave-ins force players closer and closer to the center of the dungeon, where they will clash head-on. The mode will ship with the game’s International 2018 Battle Pass, which will also include new matchmaking, another new mode giving random buffs every few hours (Mutation Mode), and other content. The focus, however, has been on The Underhollow, which seems to be the first MOBA attempt at recreating the Battle Royal experience. The Battlepass is currently available for purchase.
Nintendo has announced Nintendo Switch Online services, launching this September. With Nintendo Online, players will be able to back up saves to their account, allowing for play across devices. Players will also get access to a back-catalog of classic NES games to play offline by themselves or online with their friends. Announced NES titles read like a greatest hits of the console: Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 3, and more. The service will also allow players to play modern games multiplayer, such as Arms and Mario Kart 8. These modern games already allow free multiplayer, but that will soon change. The service will reportedly cost $20/year, and will have special pricing for family memberships that allow for numerous logins to the same subscription. Some fans have hoped that Nintendo Switch Online would also be the launch of a Virtual Console for the Switch, but Nintendo has said in response that there are no plans to bring Virtual Console to the Switch.
Valve announced this week that Steam will soon support streaming of games to mobile devices. In perhaps the most unexpected news concerning Steam, Steam Link, which allows gamers to stream games from their PC to set-top boxes for TVs, will soon be updated to allow the service to stream games directly to a mobile device. The device will be required to be on a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, and will be compatible with various wireless controllers. This news continues to build upon the idea of mobile as a viable platform for serious gaming. Games such as PUBG and Fortnite are already native to mobile, and with Steam Link, players will be able to use this form factor to play games via their desktop, increasing the mobility and potential for gaming at home.