ZombiU as it was known in 2012 is a first-person survival horror game, a WiiU exclusive launch title from Ubisoft Montpellier that made extensive use of the gamepad for inventory management and scanning purposes as well as a multiplayer mode, the latter of which was cut for this renamed and retooled version “Zombi”.
So what has changed? As I said the Game Pad integration is gone instead pressing back on the controller makes the character kneel and open his back pack up so you can see if you’re being (or about to be) attacked by a zombie, the map is now displayed on the bottom right hand corner of the screen, holding left bumper brings up the prepper pad which scans environments, field of view increased, general movement and control improvements and finally two new mêlée weapons, a shovel which has a longer reach and a nail bat, both of which also do more damage than the standard cricket bat.
Submerged is a third-person combat-free exploration game set in a mysterious open world flooded city, made by Australian studio Uppercut Games, whose earlier work included the Bioshock franchise for 2k and the Epoch franchise on mobile. You control a girl called Miku, who has brought her injured brother to the city with the hope of patching him up and leaving for pastures new.
You arrive in a small fishing boat which you explore the city by sailing around in, collecting rudder upgrades, hidden objects, landmarks, wildlife and for the story progression, supply drops which are around hotel roofs, collecting these will help you get your brother back to full health. (more…)
Made by developer “The Astronauts” formerly of People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter prides itself on no hand holding, tutorials or action segments instead focusing on first-person exploration with a horror vibe, super natural elements and puzzle solving on occasion.
The protagonist is detective Paul Prospero who has come to Red Creek Valley after being summoned by a kid called Ethan Carter to investigate the strange going ons in the area. Paul has super natural abilities, as he finds clues and evidence he is able to visualise what happened in the form of flashbacks.
These flashbacks are triggered by finding certain events, very early on you find a train carriage, a persons legs and soon after a body by investing the carriage you find an item is missing and a vision appears that gives you an idea of where the item is. Once you find and return the item it to where it should be and moved the train, going over to the dead body and interacting with it will spawn some memories which you have to organise in the correct chronological order, once you’ve done that the scene will play and show you what happened.
Alongside the exploration this puzzle solving is a core part of the game that’s fun and interesting, it promotes exploring and once you get going in the game and know what you’re doing it flowed well between sections. (more…)
UK Studio Size Five Games in collaboration with Curve Studios are releasing The Swindle next week on a variety of platforms! The game looks pretty interesting and I look forward to checking it out soon
“The Swindle is a steampunk cybercrime caper about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up.
All the buildings you’ll be robbing are randomly-generated, so you’ll never get the same level twice.
The Fall is a 2D sci-fi puzzle-solving action game set on what appears to be an abandoned space station of some sort, it looks like The Swapper which came to Xbox One recently although The Fall balances up the “puzzles” with more action scenes, giving you control of a weapon and its more about exploring the environments and connecting the dots between the different moments using your items to progress and not being a heavy puzzle focused title.
You play as ARID, an artificial intelligence which has been activated by your crash landing on this unknown place somewhere in space. The landing has left your suits functions impaired and you must get to a medical bay to help the injured human inside your suit.
At E3 IO Interactive announced Hitman, a sequel to 2012’s maligned Hitman Absolution, it has a nice new stylish logo and is back to the big open levels of something like Blood Money (except like much bigger) and according to Video Gamer.com is also really good!
At the Sony conference it was announced as a digital first release which was sort of glossed over and left to comments after from IO Interactive studio head Hannes Seifert (Via Videogamer.com), I’ve lifted a few choice quotes and taken the rest from a newer Q&A they did on the Hitman website:
- There will be “no DLC or micro transactions”
- “Its fully complete at launch but not finished”
- More locations, missions and timed-available targets will be added
- Amount of content to be released day 1 has not been decided yet and they are unsure on the delivery frequency of new content
- “We can promise you it will be a very big release day one”
- New content every week, an event every week and “people can engage every week”
How exactly are you releasing HITMAN? (more…)
Round 2 of my compilation of newest games rated by PEGI (EU), USK (Germany) and ESRB (US)
“Exploration, Sacrifice, and the Serenity of Desolation
Trapped in an ancient, half-submerged city and desperate for supplies, you must explore the flooded streets in your simple fishing boat, and scale the ruined buildings that hold the promise of salvation.
With gorgeous visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4 and music by BAFTA Award-Winner Jeff Van Dyck, Submerged will drag you under.”
Submerged is an interesting game with a cool premise, I hope it lives up to its potential.
- Developer/Publisher: Uppercut Games
- Rated: USK
- Visit: Website – Twitter
The Deer God (more…)
With E3 having been and gone, here are the games I’m most looking forward to from the show:
ReCore (Armature Studios/Comcept/Microsoft Studios)
Definitely the new announcement I’m most excited about, the second game shown at the Microsoft E3 conference was teased with a CGI trailer and lots of interviews after. A partnership between Keiji Infaune’s Comcept, Armature Studios (ex-Metroid Prime developers) and Microsoft its a story heavy game about a girl and a companion core that can be placed into different robots such a dog and this tells the story of one of the last humans on earth.
The game sounds good from what we’ve heard, with a dynamic world that changes when sandstorms occur it has left intriguing questions about how it plays which we should be hearing about soon given comments made in interviews, the game is playable according to Phil Spencer and with a release window of Spring 2016 (mid-March to mid-June) Gamescom certainly seems like a good time to show us more.
Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerilla Games/Sony Computer Ent) (more…)
Sony have had a good 2015 for releases so far with The Order 1886, Helldivers, Bloodborne, MLB The Show and have a few games coming out during the rest of the year not limited to Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Tearaway Unfolded, Until Dawn and Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection, but not a single one of those games got any stage time, instead relegated to a montage near the end and pre-show announcements.
Based on pure “megaton” and fan reaction I’d say it’s quite easy generally to say that this year Sony had objectively the best conference for pure content, they announced two hugely anticipated even mythical games in Final Fantasy VII Remake and Shenmue III’s kickstarter as well as finally showing off The Last Guardian for the first time in more years than I can be bothered to count.
Along side those three they showed off some big first party games too, Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games, Dreams by Media Molecule, Street Fighter V, Rigs by Guerrilla Cambridge for Project Morpheus and finally Uncharted 4, as PS4 exclusives (+ PC) for 2016 and beyond if you’re a fan of Playstation and the games Sony offer you will be happy with these games. (more…)
Bethesda’s first E3 conference to me was an interesting test for them to see what worked and what didn’t, it wasn’t full of new announcements but it was a very solid show that didn’t hide too much behind curtains, there were five pillars to the show:
- Elder Scrolls (Online/Legends)
- Dishonored (II and Definitive Edition)
- Fallout (4/Shelter)
They showed a ton of Doom like they need to, id have a lot to prove after various cancelled versions and reboots before finally coming to this idea and they made sure to let everyone know about all of it, two decent sized campaign demos, multiplayer trailer, SnapMap which looked cool then there was another trailer in the post show with Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, its due for release in Spring 2016. (more…)
From Riptide GP2 developer Vector Unit comes Beach Buggy Racing a free-to-play mobile game brought to consoles as a premium product, stripping out all the free-to-play aspects, rebalancing the game, adding more content and other features such as split-screen multiplayer for $10 on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
My only concerns were how its economy would transition to console and I’m very pleased to report that Vector Unit have done a fine job on that aspect, the economy is fair with players needing to complete levels to earn money and upgrade their buggies, you can’t really see its mobile roots at all, that is how well its been handled [I should note here there are no micro transactions here at all]. Racing, namely winning races earns decent payouts over a large career mode consisting of 9 events across different HP engines which requires you to upgrade your vehicles to keep progressing has no excessive grinding or anything else to get the best out of it. (more…)
The Swapper by Finnish developer Facepalm Games is an atmospheric puzzle game set deep in space, originally released in May 2013 on Steam, in August 2014 on Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and PSVita and now in June 2015 it finally comes to Xbox One!
As you land on a seemingly abandoned space station you soon find a mysterious device called “The Swapper” which allows the user to create clones of themselves (up to 4) and swap themselves between these clones and by using both of these different types of abilities you can fully explore the station. Game progress comes in the form of orbs, you get to certain doors and it will tell you how many orbs you need to collect to pass through.
Sparkle Unleashed by Finnish developer 10tons brings the classic match 3 orb game as seen in other titles such as Zuma and Luxor to Xbox One and Playstation 4 with a 108 level campaign mode, multiple difficulties and a survival mode too.
The campaign as I mentioned has 108 levels and the difficulty increases as you go through with the first bunch containing just regular orbs and as you progress it adds up to two layers of chains to some orbs, more colours (black/purple) and also the rock orbs which require breaking other orbs around them to destroy.
As well as the differences in orbs the levels also scale up in difficulty by increasing the speed of the orbs as they go around the track, adding in a second track which means you keep an eye on both and more twisting levels which are more difficult to fire at. There is some repetition in the levels but I thought the many ways in which the gameplay was mixed up meant that levels were rarely same even if the background itself was so its not a problem. (more…)
Ultratron by Puppy Games is a retro-futuristic inspired robot blasting twin-stick shooter with collecting money and power ups to bolster your humanoid battle droid then take him into the arena and shoot your way to higher scores. It takes after such games as Robotron 2084 and is a really fun game which is easy to get into.
It uses the standard twin-stick set-up with right thumbstick for shoot and left thumbstick for moving the robot around, if you have any smart bombs blow them up with the right trigger and right bumper is a speed boost if you’ve bought the ability. When you complete a level your multiplier increases to a maximum of 5 which is lost if you get hit, the multiplier boosts your score and the cash you can pick up, different enemies drop different amounts. There are also various power ups to collect which you get from shooting a spider droid which occasionally darts across the screen. (more…)
The PEGI and USK (Europe/Germany) ratings boards are usually a very good sign of what games are coming soon because age rating a game is usually one of the last things that come through in the development process.
I won’t bother with games already dated or released, instead just focusing on the ones that we didn’t really know would be out soon along with a small description of the game, for those interested. Sometimes you get the odd game that is strangely rated but never released for a platform but the majority of these games are announced for Xbox One and it’s just some evidence they might be appearing soon:
- Developer/Publisher: Self Made Miracle/Team17 Digital
- Rated: PEGI/USK
- Visit: Website – Steam page