Following a troubled launch last year, Google has announced that five specific new games will arrive on its cloud gaming service Stadia “in the coming months,” finally giving us some additional titles we can look forward to playing beyond the ones promised at launch.
Sure, Google already said last month that Stadia would receive more than 120 games this year, including ten exclusives, but it hadn’t named a single new game between its November 19th debut and now — right before early adopters’ three-month Stadia Pro trials are about to expire. The only games that have been released on Stadia so far were all promised before the service debuted.
Stadia’s new set of games includes Panzer Dragoon Remake and the Serious Sam Collection, as well as three games that will actually come to Stadia before they arrive elsewhere — Lost Words: Beyond the Page, a puzzle game with a heavy emphasis on a story written by Rhianna Pratchett of Mirror’s Edge and modern Tomb Raider fame; Splitlings, a wacky arcade game you can play with up to three friends, and Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks), a color 3D tower builder that reminds me a lot of Jenga.
Personally, I’m excited for Panzer Dragoon Remake to arrive on Stadia; it’s a high-definition remake of an overlooked 1995 title that debuted on the Sega Saturn and offered a creative approach to the rail shooter genre. It didn’t reach a lot of people upon its release, so Stadia could make it easier for people to experience the game.
In addition to the new games, Google also tweeted out this week that it’s started quietly rolling out 4K support for the Chrome web browser — something that was missing with Stadia at launch, and one of our problems with the service in our review.
Theoretically, Chrome could be the easiest way to get your hands on Stadia, as you can run the service directly through your computer — no need to shell out money to buy a Chromecast Ultra or a Google Pixel phone. (Other phones don’t support Stadia yet.) But we found the image quality far worse on the Chrome browser compared to other versions. That’s partly because Chrome was previously restricted to streaming at 1080p until now, and partly because we found Google’s current 1080p web streams don’t actually look like true 1080p. When we tried to stream Destiny 2 in Chrome, we swore we were looking at a grainy 720p resolution instead.
Update, 12:00 PM ET: Clarified that these are the first games announced since launch, not the first games delivered since launch. Every game on Stadia today was announced before November 19th.