An annual tradition here at the Black Panel, New Horizons provides you with a sneak peak at the year ahead. Entirely bereft of sequels and spin-offs, this article is devoted to the promise of new ideas, bold and inventive.
It may sound like a self-help book authored by L. Ron Hubbard, but EL SHADDAI: ASCENSION OF THE METATRON is in fact a gorgeous 3D action game from UTV Ignition Entertainment. Inspired by Judeo-Christian legend, the game thrusts you into the role of Enoch, a man charged with rounding up a host of rebellious angels. Imagine if the cover of a 1970’s sci-fi paperback was created using traditional Japanese watercolours. That should give you some idea of just how aesthetically adventurous this game is. El Shaddai is due for release on 360 and PS3 in Q2. REVIEW
You’re always being told to take control of your life, but why stop there when you can control an entire civilisation? An ambitious revival of the god genre, FROM DUST is the brainchild of Another World creator Eric Chahi. As the deity in question, it will be your job to forge a suitable home for a small population of primitive humans. The environment will then evolve dynamically and you’ll need to work fast in order protect your flock from natural disasters such as tidal waves and volcanic eruptions. From Dust is expected to arrive on XBLA, PSN and PC in Q2. REVIEW
Role playing specialists Square Enix are about to go against type with GUN LOCO, a fast paced third person shooter set on a savage prison planet. With guns, knives and novelty headwear seemingly in plentiful supply, it’s clear that all thoughts of rehabilitation have been shelved. Described by the publisher as a “black comedy”, the game features some truly demented character designs, including a gun toting psychopath dressed as a cartoon rabbit. Gun Loco is exclusive to the 360. Look for it in Q1. CANCELLED
The studio responsible for PaRappa the Rapper is bringing its quirky sensibilities to the Kinect. NanaOn-Sha’s HAUNT will see you attempting to evict some disorderly (and most likely deceased) tenants from a mansion that also happens to be jam packed with diabolical traps. Haunt may be dark and atmospheric, but its almost comical art style suggests that it could be suitable for a younger audience. Publisher Microsoft is yet to narrow its release date further than ‘2011’.
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