The growth of Google Stadia might not have been quite as substantial as it could have been, but July 2020 has brought with it yet more glimpses of what the game-streaming platform will eventually be capable of.
About Stadia State of Play: This is our overview of all the updates, upgrades, and potential pitfalls for the month in Google’s game streaming platform over the previous month. We also decompile the latest versions of the Stadia application and dig into the code online to better understand where Stadia is headed. Expect opinion, information, and speculation on all things Google Stadia, the games, and everything in-between.
July new releases
We’re still waiting for some real “killer” Stadia exclusives, but one of the most important releases to date was the launch of Crayta in early July 2020. Think of Minecraft or Dream mixed with a video game creator and you’ve got something resembling Crayta. The title lets you create games, levels, game modes and even launched with Stadia State Share — the souped-up game invite.
The experimental One Hand Clapping is also only the second “early access” game to come to Stadia. It too is a timed exclusive in a similar manner to Orcs Must Die! 3, itself a popular tower defense-style game series. Here’s all the titles that were added to the Google Stadia library in July 2020:
- If you like the idea of making your own games, Crayta makes it easy. Use intuitive tools to bring your dreams to life, then share with other members of the Stadia community and let them play. With State Share Beta, you can simply create a link within Crayta and share it with other players, sending them instantly into your game to collaborate and play. Crayta helps game makers of all skill levels develop games and also allows players to collaborate in building games together.
- Orcs Must Die! 3
- Orcs Must Die! 3 ushers orc-slaying mayhem to a previously unimaginable scale. All new War Scenarios pit players and their friends against the largest orc armies ever assembled. Mountable War Machines give players the essential firepower to heave, stab, carbonize, and disarticulate the abominable intruders.
- F1 2020
- F1 2020 allows you to create your F1 team for the very first time and race alongside the official teams and drivers. Alternatively, challenge your friends in new split-screen with casual race options for more relaxed racing. Compete on 22 circuits, with current and classic content.
- One Hand Clapping (early access)
- Sing into your microphone to solve musical puzzles and change the world around you as you explore the unique world of One Hand Clapping.
- Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
- Explore a truly gorgeous animated 2D world. Absorb the powers of creatures and become a monster to solve puzzles, find secrets, and overcome challenges in this startlingly fresh take on classic platformers.
- West of Loathing
- Set against the backdrop of a bizarre Wild West populated with undead monsters and giant cattle, West of Loathing’s combination of wry humor and role-playing mechanics makes it an addictive addition to the Stadia Pro library.
- Lara Croft and the Temple of the Osiris
- Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and the first-ever, four-player co-op experience with Lara Croft.
- Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight, hand-crafted platformer from the creators of multiplayer classic TowerFall. Brave hundreds of challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.
Stadia Pro: Upcoming games for August
As always, being a Stadia Pro member has some pretty substantial benefits beyond just 4K streaming and access to exclusive discounts. Your selection of free games for August includes some of latest additions:
- Just Shapes & Beats
- Strange Brigade
- Metro 2033 Redux
- Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break
Remember to claim the July titles too. You can get Crayta, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, Steamworld Dig, and West of Loathing.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is also available for a limited time (until July 31) so be sure to claim before your “free” window runs out!
The entire list now stands at 23 titles that are free to all Pro subscribers (correct as of August 1, 2020):
GRID, GYLT, Destiny 2: The Collection, SteamWorld Dig 2, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, SteamWorld Dig, SteamWorld Heist, Get Packed, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, The Turing Test, Superhot, Little Nightmares, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, Panzer Dragoon: Remake, West of Loathing, Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, Crayta, Orcs Must Die! 3, Strange Brigade, Kona, Metro 2033 Redux, Just Shapes & Beats, and Rock of Ages 3: Make and Break (coming August 14).
Google Stadia: New features added in July 2020
Not bound by the regular convention of the gaming console, Stadia can evolve, add, and update features without the end user ever needing to manually update or upgrade — it’s all handled before you even pick up your gamepad. Here are all the brand new Stadia features for August 2020.
4G/5G gaming on the go
Google is now experimenting with letting you play your games using your mobile data connection. This finally gives Stadia parity with rival streaming platform xCloud — from Microsoft. We even spent a little time to work out if it’s any good at this early “experimental” stage.
It looks like that it might not be quite as stable just yet and your mileage may vary substantially depending on your data connection. You may have a better time testing on a 5G connection, but in our testing, it highlighted the inherent weaknesses of game streaming on spotty network environments.
Stadia State Share
In very basic terms, State Share on Stadia is a souped-up game invite. It’s actually a slightly more ambitious feature than that, though, as State Share effectively works like a game invite but with some notable benefits and added flexibility.
Like many of the emulators you’ve probably played for classic consoles, being able to save a “state” rather than using in-game saving means you can jump right back in where you left off. The only game to take advantage of this so far is Crayta, but expect to see more games add the option in future.
By delving into the source code of the Google Stadia Android app, we’re always finding out about upcoming and experimental features ahead of their eventual “full” release. Here are the biggest upcoming additions to Google Stadia that we found in July 2020:
Microphone support for Android
Stadia 2.26 now lists itself as having access to the Microphone permission on Android device, this is something it didn’t have in previous build versions. Further, in the app’s code, we have also found several references to the various ways that Stadia can use the microphone, which also suggests that Google Assistant support may head to Stadia for Android at some point soon.
A feature that will be hotly anticipated within households with multiple gamers, family sharing is moving even closer to launch on the platform. We have found strings within Stadia version 2.26 that have explained some of the nitty-gritty details on how sharing Stadia games will work.
To briefly summarize, you will be able to share selected games from your game library via a game share icon. You will also have the ability to make family groups with up to five other people or family members with who you can share games with.
Our latest Google Stadia reviews
Games announced for Google Stadia in July 2020
Looking to the future, while the game library does need some serious attention, there were plenty of high-profile titles confirmed as heading the platform in 2020 and beyond. Here’s the full list of games making the jump to the cloud platform with release timeframes where noted:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — November 2020
- Dead by Daylight
- El Hijo
- Far Cry 6 — February 2021
- Hello Neighbor
- Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek
- Hitman — September 2020
- Hitman 2 — September 2020
- Hitman 3 — January 2021
- Mafia 2
- Mafia 3
- NBA 2K21
- Outcasters — Fall 2020
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
- Sniper Elite 4
- Strange Brigade — August 1, 2020
- Super Bomberman R Online — Fall 2020
- SUPERHOT: Mind Control Delete
More on Google Stadia:
- Hands-on: Google Stadia on LTE is not great, but your results may vary [Video]
- Asus ROG Phone 3 launches w/ 144Hz display, 3 months of Google Stadia Pro, €799
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 reportedly pushes buyers to Microsoft xCloud instead of Google Stadia
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