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…)
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.
I really enjoyed Interstellar, I thought it was great and possibly even one of my favourite films, it was so good that I actually bought the Blu-ray with the art book which is unusual for me! Thats how much I liked it tough and I was always disappointed there wasn’t some of proper story focused planet space exploration game to go with it (anyone who mentions the iOS game will be blacklisted!).
Enter Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition, which I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced for Xbox One at E3 2014 . It really scratched that itch of exploration and discovery for me, it’s not an action game with big explosions or an RPG with a deep level of progression its an adventure platformer which allows you to experience what it would be like to seek life on another planet, before finding an abandoned Russian town on it that is.
The Wolfenstein series made a hugely triumphant return last May when Machine Games début effort was an incredibly well received and sold good numbers, it was great to see a classic franchise return in such a way that kept aspects of the “retro” design where it made sense whilst also feeling modern and relevant, it was a game I greatly enjoyed and immediately raised Machine Games to a top-tier developer status in my eyes.
A year on and they have been busy plugging away on a standalone two-part prequel The Old Blood and spoiler alert, its pretty awesome.
Dual-wielding is where its at
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt by CD Projekt Red finally comes out this week for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC, the epic RPG has been long awaited by fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.
“The world is in chaos. The air is thick with tension and the smoke of burnt villages. The fearsome Empire of Nilfgaard has struck again, ravaging the hapless Northern Kingdoms. The once mighty who tried to use Geralt for their own gain are now gone. In these uncertain times, no one can say what fortune holds in store, who will bring peace to the world and who will cause it only misery. But a force darker and deadlier emerges. The petty men and women commanding tin-plated armies fail to understand that their conflict is child’s play compared to the Wild Hunt, the otherworldly threat which now looms. These ghastly spectral riders have for ages plagued humankind, bringing misery to the world. Yet this time the Wild Hunt seeks one person in particular: the one individual Destiny itself bestowed upon Geralt, the one soul Geralt considers kin.”
Featuring a fantastic looking open-world the game looks like a true next-gen game and behemoth of a game to get stuck into. My first exposure to The Witcher franchise was when it came to Xbox 360 and I had a great time playing that, the world felt alive and great, it had a deep and interesting story with lots of different gameplay features and mechanics that I enjoyed a lot and I think this will out do its predecessor in every way. (more…)
Looking at the Xbox One line-up from Microsoft Studios for 2015 and beyond, here is my list of every game both announced and unannounced (within reason) that represent the future of what we will be playing. The first part of the list is what we know and the second part is a big analysis of first-party studios, second-party partners and anything else worth mentioning:
Released/announced 2015 titles:
- Screamride (Frontier Developments) – 03/03/15
- Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios) – 11/03/15
- State of Decay Year One Survival Edition (Undead Labs) – 28/04/15
- Halo 3 ODST (Unknown) – Spring 2015
- Unannounced game #1 -> post-Spring pre-Fall 2015
- Unannounced game #2 -> post-Spring pre-Fall 2015
- Fable Legends (Lionhead) – Holiday 2015
- Gigantic (Motiga) – Holiday 2015
- Halo 5 Guardians (343 Industries) – 27/10/15
- Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn10 Studios) – Holiday 2015
- Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics) – Holiday 2015
- Phantom Dust (Unknown) – TBC
- Scalebound (Platinum Games) – TBC
- Crackdown (Cloudgine) – TBC
- Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment) – 2016
- Gears of War (Black Tusk Studios) – TBC
Wolfenstein The Old Blood is a standalone prequel to The New Order which released last year, developed by Machine Games, I enjoyed The New Order a lot and I am very excited for The Old Blood.
“The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria…
Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves – pits BJ Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs – our hero’s search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power.” (Via Wolfenstein.com)
Undead Labs debut game comes to Xbox One via Year One Survival Edition which is a definitive edition of the original Xbox 360 and PC game including the two DLCs Breakdown and Lifeline with a host of technical and gameplay improvements to tempt new and old players into upgrading.
I reviewed the game at its original release and then Lifeline last year and the same great game I enjoyed so much comes with a few new additions so I want to focus on whats new and how the game has transitioned to a new platform. I will be following up this review with more extensive thoughts on each campaign and then the future of the franchise.
State of Decay for new comers is a single player zombie survival game set in the open-world of Trumbull Valley (and Danforth city in Lifeline), your aim is survive the zombie apocalypse; build up your community, provide enough resources (food, building material, medicine, gas and weapons) to support them, complete missions and work towards escaping with your survivors in tow. State of Decay and Lifeline are story based campaigns and Breakdown is set in Trumbull County and is an endless campaign which removes the story elements and focuses exclusively on survival as you aim for high scores and progression will increase the zombie threat to provide a bigger challenge. (more…)
We Are Doomed is a twin-stick shooter from developer Vertex Pop, it’s a high-score chasing game with a colourful and distinctive art style which really stands out as it looks great.
It’s a very simple game at its core, right stick for shooting your energy beam and left stick for moving your white little ship around the grid and your aim is to shoot the polygonal enemies which appear in many varieties. As you play blue/purple coloured squares appear on the grid and are also dropped by killed enemies, collecting these increases your multiplier and your super beam charge once you have enough you can unleash the super powered weapon on your enemies, which will help you clear the board and gain a very short amount of invisibility to help you out of a tricky spot too. (more…)
Ubisoft’s flagship franchise has taken an interesting spin-off route with the Chronicles series the first of which is set in China and two others set in Russia and India due for release later this year developed by Climax Studios.
The games are set on historical backdrops with 2.5D side scrolling gameplay focusing on stealth and verticality with multiple layers to the gameplay and as someone who feels a bit burnt out on the Assassins Creed formula this seems like something that is still quite interesting to me. (more…)
We Are Doomed by Vertex Pop is a colourful twin-stick shooter where you shoot baddies with a laser beam! Its bright and jovial in nature which some people will like, it has two modes: Waves (with 30 waves of levels) or Endless which is based on zones to ramp up difficulty.
The aim is to get high scores, beat your friends and then go and beat them again, there’s plenty of variety in the polygonal enemies you are battling against and you can collect blue square which tally up to charge your super beam which will add massive firepower to help vanquish the enemies! (more…)
Im a huge fan of dinosaurs, and to me there is a criminal lack of media featuring dinosaurs, its absolutely criminal as I think they offer a large amount of potential in the freedom of representation and variety in gameplay but particularly on PC there are a few games around.
Primal Carnage Extinction is one such game, its a class-based online first person multiplayer shooter of humans vs dinosaurs, developed by Circle Five Studios (more…)
Undead Labs first game State of Decay comes to Xbox One (and PC) with Year One Survival Edition in just a few weeks! Featuring a host of improvements on the original release, this is the ultimate version of the great game originally released in 2013.
Year One Survival Edition features: (more…)
Based in the south of England like myself Splash Damage are a studio well-known for multiplayer shooters such as Brink, Enemy Territory and soon Dirty Bomb as well as the multiplayer for Batman Arkham Origins, they’ve worked with a range of publishers including Activision, Bethesda, Warner Bros, Nexon and now seemingly Microsoft.
Whilst I was doing some searching on Linkedin recently I noticed that a Splash Damage employee Gordon Biggans listed Halo The Master Chief Collection March 2015 Content update in his profile, this was particularly interesting as Splash Damage were not one of the original studios workings on the game – Ruffian Games, Saber Interactive, Certain Affinity, United Front Games, 343 Industries and Blur Studios, so to see Microsoft had added in another studio was quite interesting and perhaps shows that they needed a studio with significant multiplayer experience to finally get the game up and running as it should do. (more…)
Matias Myllyrinne, CEO of Remedy Entertainment tweeted today to announce that the Alan Wake Franchise has sold 4.5 million units since its release on Xbox 360 in May 2010, since we’ve had two DLC episodes, a PC port which was successful and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare which released in February 2012 on XBLA (May ’12 for PC), unfortunately the initial sales weren’t enough for Microsoft to fund a sequel and instead after American Nightmare Remedy began work on Quantum Break which is currently due for release this year although may get delayed. (more…)