Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Get tactical with Deadnaut

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 5 August 2014No Comments

You probably shouldn’t get too attached to these guys.

Just announced, Deadnaut is a new tactical exploration game from Australian developers Screwfly Studios. Screwfly are the talented duo behind the cult indie hit Zafehouse: Diaries and they’re taking what they have learned on that game and focusing it on Deadnaut. Gone are the zombies and in their place will be tactical battles against otherworldly opponents.

The game is procedurally generated so each battle is unique and will offer a fresh challenge on each separate attempt. Developer Logan Booker explained it in an article on Kotaku AU. “Each mystery is procedurally-generated from a series of hand-made, yet variable templates, the result being a crazy amount variety in who you fight, what you find and where you do it. So in two separate campaigns you could be sealing an accidental rift between realities, but the monsters you tackle could be flaming demons in the first and mutant zombie rats with 13 eyes in the second.”

The game indeed seems like it will play something like Jagged Alliance or even X-Com with a large amount of customisation options available and carefully planned tactical combat being the order of the day. If this sound like something that would tickle your fancy then there is some good news as Deadnaut is due for release in October and is coming to PC, Mac and Linux.

Never a dull moment at Facepunch

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 4 August 2014No Comments

The game formerly known as Riftlight.

The team responsible for one of the most popular emergent survival sims this side of Day Z has endured what can only be described as an eventful period in its development. Attempting to build on the ‘early access’ success of Rust, Facepunch Studios has announced two new games in recent days, and it’s fair to say that things haven’t gone entirely to plan.

The developer described the first game as an “arcade shooter” featuring “loot and other light-RPG stuff like character levels, abilities and talent trees.” While the game was initially dubbed Riftlight, Facepunch soon had to abandon this moniker due to its similarity to the Rift MMO from Trion Worlds, which features a free-to-play option known as Rift Lite. A single missive from the legal team at Trion Worlds was apparently enough to convince Facepunch to begin the search for a safer naming option.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the studio has also had to contend with fans adamant that it shouldn’t be working on a second game until Rust has exited ‘early access’ and been declared a full and final release. For its part, Facepunch has confirmed that it will continue work on Rust, while also beginning work on future projects. Studio founder Garry Newman (of Garry’s Mod fame) defended this approach. “Should every person in the company be working on the same thing? Should HBO make one TV show at a time? Should Warner Brothers make one movie at a time?”

It Facepunch was at all discouraged by this minor backlash, it certainly didn’t show any outward signs of it, announcing a second new game shortly thereafter. Deuce is an arcade sports title that studio has described, seemingly in all seriousness, as “tennis crossed with Street Fighter.”

Desperate measures at Crytek

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 3 August 2014No Comments

Homefront fans react to the news.

Just days after fending off rumours of impending closure by claiming receipt of a capital injection, Crytek’s leadership has been forced to take what appear to be desperate measures to ensure the financial health of the company.

First of all, Crytek is in the process of selling Homefront: The Revolution to Koch Media, along with the Nottingham team working on the recently announced FPS sequel.

The parent company of European publishing label Deep Silver, Koch Media scooped up former THQ brands Metro 2033 and Saints Row in the now defunct publisher’s January 2013 fire sale. Interestingly enough, Crytek secured the Homefront rights at the same auction, only to now pass them on to Koch.

The shake-up doesn’t end there either, with Crytek’s Austin studio being relieved of development duties pertaining to Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age and downsized to serve as an engine support crew. The game is being reassigned to Crytek’s Frankfurt operation and the terminated staff “invited to apply for new positions at Crytek in Germany”.

With assets going under the hammer and layoffs mounting, Crytek’s long-term viability will no doubt continue to be questioned in the weeks and months ahead.

The Black List 256

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 2 August 2014No Comments

Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY REVIEW Abyss Odyssey > Abyss Odyssey is a beautiful and insane action platformer that tries really hard to take advantage of some currently popular mechanics, but ultimately fails in the attempt. Its refreshingly uncommon setting harkens from Chile, and brings with it a form of mythology most players will find unfamiliar and distinct. Having said that, its failings and lack of longevity are somewhat forgivable thanks to its modest price tag. READ MORE

MONDAY PREVIEW The Forest > Coming from four-person development team Endnight Games, The Forest is a first person horror game with a heavy dose of building and survival elements. Currently available in Early Access on Steam, it follows the template set by contemporaries such as Day Z and Rust while providing a different take on the gameplay found in those titles due to a focus on solo play. While showing promise in some areas, my time with The Forest has me concerned that certain elements of its design are at odds with one another. READ MORE

TUESDAY NEWS Crytek battling on > After weeks of rumours suggesting that the company was of the verge of collapse, Crytek has issued a statement claiming to have secured new capital. The statement, printed in full by PC Gamer notes that the team most famous for its work on the Far Cry and Crysis franchises has been attempting to restructure its business. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Majestic Nights > Our informants at Sydney based Epiphany Games know something. Something about various conspiracies that have occurred in the past few decades. The first of these revelations are presented in the debut season of its RPG series Majestic Nights, “an episodic role-playing-thriller set in an alternate 1980s where all conspiracy theories, past and present, are True.” READ MORE

THURSDAY PREVIEW The Crew > E3 2013 was a great event for Ubisoft. The French publisher came out of the gate swinging with big titles like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Watch Dogs, as well as new announcements like The Division. There was one title in there that didn’t get the water coolers buzzing like the other games shown, but for me it was almost the highlight of the show. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS EA subscription service revealed > Console gamers have gotten used to receiving extra benefits for paying for their multiplayer access to games. Learning from the generous PlayStation Plus model, Microsoft has offered free games as well as weekly discounts through its Games With Gold program.  It was only a matter of time until a major third party publisher saw the benefits of the subscription model. READ MORE