Hello, and welcome to Replay, WIRED’s column devoted to bringing you the biggest gaming headlines of the week in a quick, snappy format. What news do we have for you this Friday? Well, for one, Super Nintendo games are—finally!—coming to the Switch. Also, Steam is getting some (very necessary) updates. Press Start to begin.
Super Nintendo Games Are Finally Coming to Switch Online
Earlier this year, Nintendo launched Switch Online, a paid subscription service that included, as part of its feature package, a lineup of Nintendo games that can be downloaded and played on the console. At launch, these were all NES games, but now, at long last, Nintendo is launching Super Nintendo games for the service. As of yesterday, there are 20 Super NES games now available, from staples like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to more obscure titles like Brawl Brothers.
Some of the games will have online multiplayer; some will also have a rewind feature. To complete the experience, Nintendo is even selling a SNES-style controller for the Switch.
Steam Is Getting Some Necessary User Interface Updates This Month
A Steam client makeover has been overdue for a long time now, and—finally—it’s happening. The new version of the client, with revamped, more modern-looking store pages and a much easier to use and organize version of your personal game library, is set to release in beta on September 17. According to PC Gamer, the changes to the library will be more “dynamic,” setting up a Collections organization system that lets you sort your games according to a variety of tags and settings that will automatically add the qualifying games to the select groups.
It all sounds pretty snazzy. Honestly, I’m just excited to not have Steam look like an app from 2009.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Is Turning Itself Into an Interactive History Book
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed has some of the most rigorous application of historical research ever seen in games. From geography to architecture to the population of people and events in the game world. It’s heightened, fantasy history, but it is history, even if you spend most of your time in it doing parkour and stabbing people. Perhaps to help foreground this history, Assassin’s Creed Origins included a historical mode that let you explore the world and learn about it as more of a tourist than an assassin.
Now Odyssey is doing the same thing for its version of Ancient Greece, with an expanded version of the Discovery Tour mode hitting the game next week. It will include 75 (!) “walking tours” through the game’s environments, with guides like Plato telling you about the Grecian world as you go. Also, there will be quizzes! This tool really sounds designed with educators in mind, and it’s neat. With all the engineering prowess that goes into making games like this, putting them toward educational purposes makes a lot of sense. It’s a free update to the game if you have it, or a standalone $20 purchase.
Recommendation of the Week: Fallout: New Vegas by Obsidian Entertainment, on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3
Or, as I call it, the good 3D Fallout. I’m sorry, that’s probably glib, huh? But that’s how I feel: New Vegas combines the ideas Bethesda put together in Fallout 3 with an attention to worldbuilding and roleplay that’s been unmatched in the series ever since. Obsidian understands this post-nuclear world, what makes it interesting and dangerous, and it makes the somewhat daring choice in an open-world game of giving you a specific role in it. You’re a courier nearly gunned down in the line of duty, and you have to find out why what you were delivering that was so damned important. It’s a journey that takes you on an ugly tour through a messy, complex post-apocalypse, and it’s massively engrossing the whole way through.