Google Stadia is Google’s new streaming video game platform and it’s out next week! Officially launched on November 19th 2019, Stadia will use cloud computing technology to stream video games directly. This means you’ll be able to access Stadia on your computer, on your Pixel phone and on Google’s Chromecast. Support for other smartphones and devices will arrive in the coming months. Google has announced more than 40 games coming to Stadia (best games list here), but the games on launch day amount to 12.
Do note that the Google Stadia available next week will only be available as a USD$129 ‘Founder’s Pack’. This bundle will include a controller, a Chromecast Ultra, Destiny 2 and three months of ‘Stadia Pro’ service. If you’re like me and waiting to see how this whole streaming thing pans out then wait until February 2020. That’s when Google plans to launch a free version of the Stadia (the free version won’t be getting 4K resolution and HDR support). They’ve got a big lineup for games in the future but let’s get to their launch day games.
Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games
Do you really need to have another copy of Red Dead Redemption 2? By now I’ve gotten it on both my console and PC and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in a Nintendo Switch version. And if you’re on the fence about whether this game is for you, I wouldn’t hesitate. Red Dead Redemption 2 brings the best of the Wild Wild West, full of shoot em ups, bar fights and horses. You’ll come looking to be a cowboy but you’ll stay for the surprisingly deep, heartfelt story that’ll stay with you long after the last bullet is fired.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by Ubisoft
Before Assassin’s Creed Odyssey my love affair for the AC franchise has cooled somewhat. It was getting predictable, the story was fairly convoluted and the gameplay was pretty repetitive. Origins was the series getting better but Odyssey has taken it to another level, without sacrificing the heart of the series. The game is fairly huge with a lot to do, we can debate how important all of it is to the actual game later. With up to 60 hours of content and multiple endings, this Assassin’s Creed has a heavier focus on its RPG elements. There are up to nine endings for you to end up with as well as a host of decision-making items that will affect the world. RIP Kausos.
Just Dance 2020 by Ubisoft
The Just Dance series has been around for a while and if you’ve ever played one version you’ve probably played them all. And I’m not saying that in a bad way, the Just Dance series is an awesome party game as well as something for you to blast out by yourself at home. Might want to close the windows before that though. On the Wii and the Switch, you use the controllers to move around but there is control support for your mobile. I’m not sure how Just Dance will work on the Google Stadia if you’re streaming it on your mobile but I guess we’ll see.
Kine by Chump Squad
Kine, short for “kinematics” as in “abstract, mechanical motion”. Which explains about half of Gwen Frey’s swish, challenging puzzler. The game is about rolling blocks around small, densely furnished grids towards an exit square. But it’s also, somehow, about jazz, blues, friendship and romance.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics
Was this the best game of the Tomb Raider series? We’ll fight this out at some other time but I think that we can all agree that Rise of the Tomb Raider was very very good. It’s Lara Croft with a touch of sci-fi hinting for an artefact of eternal life. The game has all the right kind of adventure and intrigue, its tombs are dastardly, and environments are absolutely breathtaking. This story was a lot of fun and I’d be excited to relive it again on the Stadia.
Mortal Kombat 11 by NetherRealm Studios
Mortal Kombat 11, is the best Mortal Kombat that has ever been. This is one of the most fully-featured fighting games you can buy, with both single- and multiplayer modes that will last both casual and hardcore audiences a long, long time.
Destiny 2: The Collection
The Destiny 2 Google Stadia Pro will come with all existing DLCs as well as the upcoming Shadowkeep expansion and annual pass. Google’s Justin Taylor also confirmed that players will be able to bring their existing Guardians to Google Stadia‘s Destiny 2 using the game’s upcoming cross-save feature. However, as it currently stands, cross-save will only be available on Xbox One and PC, as Google says PS4 transfers are still pending approval from Sony.
Gylt by Tequila Works
Tequila Works, developers of RiMe have launched a singleplayer puzzler called Gylt. It was announced as a Google Stadia exclusive but that statement might now be in question after the studio’s creative director Raúl Rubio Munárriz told Eurogamer that they haven’t confirmed that it was an exclusive title yet. Hmmmmm. Well back to Gylt, it’s set in a creepy and melancholic world where all your worst nightmares become reality. You play as Sally, a young schoolgirl, in search of her lost cousin in a monster-ridden town. The gameplay is a mixture of stealth, action and exploration.
Samurai Shodown by SNK, SEGA
Another Japanese fighting game, in case Mortal Kombat 11 wasn’t enough. Samurai Shodown is a weapons-based fighting game that emphasises careful movement, high damage, and the careful reading of your opponent. Along with some fountains of blood for good measure. The game is a relatively simple one to get into, there are four attack buttons, three weapon attacks and a kick. But you’ll soon find that button mashing is not rewarding, you’ll need to involve yourself in some battle strategy.
Thumper by Drool
I have a special place in my heart for rhythm games and I miss the days of Guitar Hero. Like most of its predecessors, Thumper’s gameplay consists of pressing a button in time to a beat that grows increasingly fast and complex over time. Its primary gimmick is that it’s layered with trippy visuals. But there’s so much more. Thumper is hard, challenging and basically a survival rhythm game, complete with boss battles. It’s a real standout in VR but there’s no word yet on a device for the Stadia. I think it’ll be in the works though.