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New Horizons 2013 (Part 4 of 5)

Posted by Erin Marcon On Thursday 24 January 2013ADD COMMENTS

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Welcome to the fourth annual edition of New Horizons. You can forget about sequels and spin-offs, because our massive preview special is overflowing with new and original games.

Playing a ninja is all well and good, as is playing a cop (and in some cases, a ninja cop) but it does become a little repetitive after a while. That’s why you’ll jump at the chance to play a journalist in OUTLAST. As you confront the horrors lurking within a (supposedly deserted) insane asylum, you’ll almost certainly come to regret this decision. This downloadable PC game will be the first cab off the rank for indie developer Red Barrels.

Do you want the good news or the bad? Start with the bad? Okay. All members of the Wraeclast welcoming committee are deceased. The good news? This won’t stop them from greeting you as soon as arrive on their golden shores (where they’ll probably kill you). An action RPG in the vein of Diablo, PATH OF EXILE is currently in open beta. This free-to-play PC title is the brainchild of New Zealand developer Grinding Gear Games.

What do you do when the already epic Total Annihilation still isn’t big enough for your tastes? You announce PLANETARY ANNIHILATION, that’s what. Due for release on PC in July, this star spanning RTS sees players clash on multiple fronts, the ultimate goal being absolute domination of the galaxy. Despite raising more than $2m for the project via Kickstarter, developer Uber Entertainment is yet to vacate its offices and flee the country.

If the Australian Classification Board had been around in 1812, Hansel & Gretel’s violence and cannibalism would have seen it knocked back quick smart. Though aimed at the young and impressionable, most fairy tales are as black as pitch. The trend is set to continue with PUPPETEER, a macabre modern fable in which a tyrannical king steals the souls of small children. What a guy! Sony’s marionette themed platformer is on its way to the PS3. REVIEW

We can all agree that games should be about infiltrating oil rich nations and pumping hot lead into the enemies of freedom. For some reason, though, Sony just keeps missing the memo. After bankrolling the likes of Journey and The Unfinished Swan, the platform holder is seemingly at it again with RAIN for the PS3. Here we have a beguiling mood piece in which a town’s invisible inhabitants can only be perceived during a downpour.

Is it time to dust off the old Truckasaurus yet? Day 1 Studios certainly thinks it is. After spending the past few years toiling away in the horror genre, the developer responsible for the fondly recalled MechAssault series is returning to its first love. An original free-to-play mech title for the PC, REIGN OF THUNDER will feature fast paced multiplayer action for up to 16 players, along with a host of customisation options.

One publisher’s trash can quickly become another’s treasure. The latest example of this happy phenomenon is the aptly titled REMEMBER ME, which was dropped by Sony only to be picked up by Capcom for 360, PS3 and PC. Speaking of memory lapses, the creators of this promising sci-fi drama forgot to make the protagonist a ruggedly handsome alpha male. How will the female lead grow the requisite stubble in time for the game’s May release? REVIEW

If the moon is anything like its depiction in ROUTINE, then we should just go ahead and pull the plug on the space program. The money saved will come in handy for the therapy we’ll need after playing this survival horror title for the PC. Indie developer Lunar Software is aiming to provide a deeply immersive experience. To this end, the game won’t include an aiming reticle or indeed HUD elements of any kind.

After watching zombies hog the limelight over the past year or two, it appears that vampires are again clamouring for their moment in the sun. (That may be a poor choice of words.) According to Polish developer Reality Pump, SACRILEGIUM will “slice through all the tired stereotypes” of the survival horror genre when it lands on 360, PS3 and PC later this year. While we’re yet to see the game in motion, early screenshots look suitably creepy.

Ironclad Games is about to take on the MOBA heavyweights with SINS OF A DARK AGE. Not to be confused with the developer’s own Sins of a Solar Empire (they sure do like that word, don’t they?), this free-to-play title for the PC takes place in a world of high fantasy. Ironclad will be looking to shake up the action RTS formula with ‘realm quests’, unforseen events that have a profound impact on the state of battlefield.

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