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Archive for the ‘New IP’ Category

Guitar Hero creators working on new rhythm shooter

Posted by Stephen Foote On Monday 1 September 2014ADD COMMENTS

After diving off the sinking ship that was the Guitar Hero franchise, upping the plastic instrument count in cupboards the world over with its Rock Band follow up and inspiring more awkward dancing than a Mick Jagger/Peter Garrett stage show with its Dance Central series, developer Harmonix is returning to its controller-gimmick free roots with A City Sleeps.

A genre mash-up of (deep breath) rhythm game meets dual stick bullet hell shooter, A City Sleeps is mechanically reminiscent of cult classic Rez, albeit with a heavy dose of neon visuals if they were rendered via the UbiArt engine. It tells the story of Poe, a dream exorcist tasked with cleansing the demons infesting the nightmares of the citizens of SanLo, the titular city.

Rather than using a procedural generation method based upon the dynamics of whatever music is fed to the game, Harmonix is bent on delivering a handcrafted experience which provides an unparalleled level of synergy between gameplay mechanics, level design and music.  As they themselves put it, the soundtrack will “drive player projectiles, enemy spawning, movement, and bullet patterns.”

In order to ramp up its replayability, A City Sleeps features a number of customisable options. Alongside a trio of difficulty levels, Poe is also able to equip a range of ‘relics’, as well as call on ‘ghost familiars’. By instructing her ghosts to possess objects found throughout the level, Poe will gain access to a range of defensive and offensive capabilities depending on the combination used.

It would seem that a degree of hard earned financial stability coupled with the evolution of the PC market over the past decade has allowed Harmonix to take a chance on this off-beat downloadable title.

A City Sleeps is currently available for preorder on Steam, with a scheduled release in October.

Paradox provides another option for space farers

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Thursday 28 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

If a regular earth-bound RTS just isn’t enough for you, then you may want to fire up your warp drive for Paradox Interactive and CreativeForge Games’ recently announced RTS Ancient Space.

Voiced by a cast of science fiction staples such as Dwight Schultz of Star Trek (and A-Team!) fame, Dina Meyers from Starship Troopers, and Richard Gun from Angel, Ancient Space promises a single player focused experience with a strong narrative, varying mission structure and the chance to build and develop a space fleet that will see you through “an explosive space opera”.

Space themed games do seem to be making a bit of a comeback with titles such as Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen and StarDrive Unity allowing you to go where no one has gone before (or where no one can hear you scream). If CreativeForge manages to deliver on cool features like upgradeable progression, officer and crew selection for special abilities and facing aliens, pirates, and the unknown, this may be one title to get Santa to beam into your space stocking.

Ancient Space will be coming to PC and Mac in the Aussie spring.

Wild Sheep is just wild about Wild

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Thursday 21 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

Wild Sheep Studio has announced its new PS4 exclusive sandbox game, tentatively titled Wild. Having just watched the debut footage, I am quite certain that I don’t know what it is about. It looks big. It looks beautiful. It appears to star humans, animals, giant animals and humans, and even a skeleton. Wild Sheep founder Michel Ancel has described Wild as being, “the size of Europe, with dynamic weather and seasons, and filled with interactive opportunities that feel endless.”

The scope of this title seems massive, and although it’s not exactly clear what range of activities gamers will be able to engage in while exploring Wild, it should have loads to keep gamers busy just based what’s on show in the video. Just a few of the endeavours shown in the short clip include people hunting, swimming, climbing trees to gather eggs and riding animals.

It’s still very early days, but I’m intrigued by what I’ve seen so far. I didn’t understand it (giant cavewomen emerging from tree trunks in the amber afternoon anyone?), but this will be one title worth keeping our collective eyes on.

Shadow Realms goes for that D&D feel

Posted by Peter Nickless On Tuesday 19 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

Remember to validate your ticket… and your crossbow.

Shadow Realms, the new announcement from BioWare, is a 4v1 action RPG set for release on PC in late 2015. It takes inspiration from old school pen and paper role-playing games by having one player take on the role of the Shadow Lord, placing traps and enemies around the map and four players as heroes tackling their creations.

There appears to be a strong emphasis on combat, with the hero players being able to choose from amongst six classes, each with individual skill-sets.  Action takes place in real-time from a third person perspective as players tackle multiple enemies, which must be defeated for the “Shadow Barrier” to be lifted and new map areas accessed.  BioWare will deliver the persistent worlds of Earth and Embra for players to combat in with extra content being promised in episodic form.

Players tasked as the Shadow Lord will experience their own upgradeable abilities and view the action in real time too. The Shadow Lord can also possess and control enemies or appear directly to players from time to time.  This old-school “Dungeon Master” approach is one that Shadow Realm’s creators see as a way for groups of friends to have continuing co-op adventures each time they play.

I must confess that every time BioWare announce a new game I get excited.  To my mind they have pushed storytelling in RPGs to the point of triumph and have achieved great mainstream success for doing so.  BioWare has become a brand of quality for many gamers.  Hell, I even loved Dragon Age 2.