Expected since the announcement of the cloud gaming service, the free demos are finally arriving on Google Stadia. Open to everyone and in any medium, they will be used to promote a game as well as the platform. And Pac-Man is the first to stick to it in a rather crazy exclusive Battle Royale.
Round as a balloon and more yellow than a lemon, here is Pac-Man who suddenly appears on Google Stadia with a new title. During the first of its three days of announcements and exclusive content (October 20-22), the cloud gaming service gave out the names of the first free demos arriving. And Pac-Man is the very first to stick to it in a new game.
From this Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle is offered to users. Bandai Namco’s new game is an exclusive that Google Stadia is pulling out of its hat and coming to register, like Super Bomberman R Online by Konami, in the multiplayer games category. It can accommodate up to 64 players spread over as many interconnected mazes. It’s up to everyone to be the smartest Pac-Man to emerge victorious from this Battle Royale in which the famous guy must therefore also eat his alter ego and not just ghosts.
Think through all the controls at the same time
For its 40 years, Pac-Man is thus paying a facelift by rubbing shoulders with a new technology. ” We thought the time was right for this iconic video game character to also enter a new era of gaming. “, Explains Frandroid Pearl Lai, product manager at Bandai Namco. ” Pac-Man and the Battle Royale style, it’s not that strange. But with Stadia’s cloud technology, we can make the game even bigger and playable on even more different devices.“, We thus welcome the Japanese publisher, who would like to introduce it to new players.
At Bandai Namco, we assure you: developing a game for Stadia, therefore designed to be multiplatform, is no more complicated than on console. You just have to think differently. ” The main challenge when you know that a game is going to be played on a smartphone, PC or TV is to make sure that all the control choices will work fairly. “, Says Frank Hom, producer of the game.” In addition to the design teams, we’ve done extensive research with experts and gamers to create controls that work just as well with mouse and keyboard as they do with a traditional gamepad. At the moment, the touch controls are the only ones not activated, arguably not yet responsive enough for a nervous Battle Royale game.
A “Spectator” mode enabled by Stadia technology
But the designers of Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle were also able to take advantage of the technology offered by Google Stadia to add some new innovations compared to the traditional Pac-Man games known since the ancestral times of the Arcade terminal. If the game is massively multiplayer with interconnected labyrinths and therefore the possibility of switching from one screen to another, it also adds a “Spectator” mode which will allow eliminated players to continue to follow the game and even to influence it. .
Periodically, spectators will be able to vote between three “Power-Ups”. The winner will enter the remaining mazes. ” Spectator mode is not exclusive to eliminated players », Promises Stéphanie Fawaz, producer of the game at Heavy Iron Studios, the designer of this Pac-Man. ” We’ve also looked at other reasons to enable it: for people who want to smoothly familiarize themselves with how the game works, or to be able to watch and participate in a game their friend or online personality is playing. At Bandai Namco, we also promise other features in the future that will take advantage of the various possibilities of Stadia. But we will still have to be patient to discover them.
Players will be able to try their hand at this Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle until October 27 at 6 p.m. You will then have to wait until November 17 to see it officially appear on Google Stadia. Not all of the game will be accessible in the demo which will currently offer Elimination mode and some customizations.
Demos: both publishers and gamers benefit
Announced before the launch and one of the most promising innovations allowed thanks to cloud gaming technology, the arrival of demos, also supposed to carry the service, will be long overdue. But at Google, we remain confident about the sometimes chaotic and complicated deployment of Stadia, which continues to arouse as much hope as impatience to see the cloud gaming service really take off.
« The global pandemic has created a new problem for game creators: the lack of physical events such as the GDC (conference of video game developers, note) or E3 to present their work ”, reminds Frandroid of Jack Buser, director of games and business development at Stadia. “Demos are an important part of the pre-launch timeline for publishers. And it also allows better visibility with the players. They are given a way to try these games, on their favorite devices. It is an extremely powerful tool that Stadia offers to publishers. “
A library of titles that continue to grow
So other titles will benefit from it. Already announced Immortals Fenyx Rising will be available Thursday, October 22 with a version specific to Stadia. A first for Ubisoft’s game featuring Fenyx, a demigoddess who went to fight the Greek gods. Wednesday October 21, Humankind, a historical strategy and civilization management game from Amplitude Studios, will appeal to your tactical sense. This is also a beta version of the game.
The Stadia Connect event also announced a first salvo of titles arriving on the service as Star Wars Jedi : Fallen Order (November 24) and Hello Engineer, a Stadia exclusive that takes place in the barred universe of Hello Neighbor (also available on the service). Others will follow this Wednesday and Thursday.
How to take advantage of the Google Stadia demos?
Good news: You don’t need to have a Stadia Pro account to access demos. You just need to be registered on Google Stadia, even with free access (paid games extra).
Click on the link to go directly to the demo or access it from the Stadia Store if you have already registered. If you need to create an account, you can click the link to go to Stadia to register. And there is no need to enter your bank details to benefit from it
Finally, note that the demos are available free of charge for seven days. It will then be necessary to proceed with the purchase of the game to continue its adventure when they are released.
Tuesday October 20: Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle (link to click to directly access the game)
Wednesday October 21: Humankind (link to come)
Thursday October 22: Immortals Fenyx Rising (link to come)