There's a new slate of 19 video games coming to cloud streaming service Google Stadia, with a sizable proportion well suited to the creation of accessible, reaction-friendly content for YouTube viewerships.
When Google Stadia launched in November 2019, it was with a 22-strong roster that included "Assassin's Creed Odyssey." "Destiny 2m" "Mortal Kombat 11," "Red Dead Redemption 2" and three "Tomb Raider" games.
Eighteen of the initial 22 could be said to appeal to traditional console gamers, but Google's latest pitch, as unveiled during a July 14 Stadia Connect video, appears more cognizant of another part of its customer base on YouTube.
Not that its YouTube Gaming audience is anathema to core console and PC games -- far from it -- but YouTube has nonetheless given rise to innumerable variety gaming channels that feature engaging, novel, experimental experiences, often sourced from independent developers, and provoking strong and often surprising reactions in hosts and viewers alike.
"Outcasters," then, is quite a different prospect from the studio behind first-person shooter "Brink," the multiplayer modes for "Gears of War 4" and "Gears 5," and the PC version of "Halo: The Master Chief Collection."
Instead of a sci-fi shooter, it's a bright and vibrant multiplayer scramble, whose characters look like rascally Funko Pops and whose curved-trajectory projectiles have more swerve on them than a Lionel Messi free kick.
There's no date or price but it's exclusive to Stadia, fits well with the variety gaming sentiment and, given that other Stadia Connect titles are due by February 2021, doesn't appear too far off.
Tactical, trap-setting, tower defense game "Orcs Must Die! 3" is available now and is also hoping to benefit from an Only on Stadia designation, while three untitled projects from games studios Harmonix (music-oriented "Rock Band" and "Thumper"), Supermassive Games (horrors "Until Dawn" and "The Dark Pictures Anthology") and Uppercut Games (sunken city adventure "Submerged") are likewise Stadia exclusives.
The horror genre helped establish some of YouTube's biggest personalities -- PewDiePie, JackSepticEye, Markiplier among them -- and Stadia has secured not only Supermassive's contribution but also two YouTube-exclusive modes for group survival experience "Dead by Daylight," allowing viewers to determine a streamer's character choices or join a game in progress.
Meanwhile, the much less grisly "Hello Neighbor" and upcoming year-end sequel "Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek" are also joining the service; "Super Bomberman R Online" isn't a horror at all, rather a frantic multiplayer action game, but makes use of the same "Dead by Daylight" game-joining feature.
And while "Hitman," "Hitman 2" and January 2021's "Hitman 3" present themselves as serious assasination simulators, the series has proven fertile ground for uproarious slapstick comedy in the right pairs of risk-taking, prank-pulling hands.
Of Stadia's upcoming selection, 2019's acclaimed samurai action game "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" and the upcoming shooter "Outriders" are arguably the most open overtures to a traditional crowd of enthusiast video game fans, with "Serious Sam 4" demonstrating crossover potential thanks to its ridiculous teamsheet of bomb-headed warriors and muscle-bound alien hordes; "PGA Tour 2K21" and "NBA 2K21" expand a squad of mass-appeal sports sims and "WWE 2K Battlegrounds" represents an arcade-style twist on entertainment wrestling.