Wot I Think: Sunset
House and home
House and home
Running rings around me
Simulation & wargame blather
That's Zen, not Xen...
Down Dooby Down
Now that some Shadowrun: Hong Kong [official site] screenshots have finally been released, we’re allowed a first glimpse at what life for our Runners will be like in the Far East. In short, pretty similar to what we’ve encountered so far in Seattle and Berlin, but with a more Eastern twang. Shanty street markets, dimly lit docks and rooftop hideaways all scream Shadowrun. As does the now familiar art style, which looks like Harebrained Schemes have taken an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach. And rightly so.
There’s a teaser trailer too, but it shows absolutely nothing and gives us no clearer indication of when we’ll get our hands on the game beyond “summer 2015″.
An escape-o-survive-a-horror game where not only does the world change shape every time you play, you’re not even sure which ‘orrible monster you’re facing either is an interesting idea. That’s Monstrum [official site], made by Team Junkfish, which Marsh wasn’t wholly enamoured with when he played the version on Steam Early Access. Wasn’t his cup of tea, y’ken?
But you, maybe you like scuttling around corridors, scavenging for supplies, and squeezing into lockers as horrible, horrible monsters pace outside. If you do, but only in finished games, hey: Monstrum hit version 1.0 and launched out of Early Access this week.
The headline is just one of several catchphrase suggestions for Undead Labs’ upcoming Moonrise. They could also go with “You Simply Must Capture ‘Em All” or “Cram yer pockets with pure tiny monsters, aye?”
The game, coming to Early Access on May 27th, might be the one to fill the enormous Pokemon-shaped hole in PC (and Mac) gaming. I swear there have been several attempts to Kickstart some kind of Pokemon-like but I can’t remember a single one and I’m always slightly surprised that Nintendo’s franchise hasn’t spawned a genre of imitators, as appears to be the case on tablets and cleverphones. The trailer for Moonrise is below.
Last week while I was busy snubbing Stock Car Extreme, Condor: The Competition Soaring Simulator, Deer Hunter: The 2005 Season, and countless other quality simulations, Australian developers N3V were busy outshopping Trainz: A New Era. According to their cock-a-hoop copywriter it’s ‘the best Train Simulation experience ever’! Unfortunately, the laptop that I’m toting round the West Country at present, begs to differ/dither. Flare Path’s TANE verdict will have to wait until I’m reunited with a more muscular rig. The best I can do right now is mull over what others are saying about this aspiring TS2015 toppler and recommend for a second time rapidly maturing roguelike Armoured Commander. Read the rest of this entry »
Desura is one of the lesser-known digital distributors, but for a fair while it was a fine way for small developers to sell their games without struggling through the gatekeeping of Steam or other stores. It’s behind the Indie Royale bundles too. In recent months, though, it’s been less kind for developers. Some have been waiting months for payment for sales, and many who asked what was up didn’t receive replies. Which is worrying.
Now Desura’s owners have come out saying there are “delays” and “issues” they need to correct but they really honestly will pay everyone.
‘Can we make a game like Mad Max: Fury Road before everyone forgets about it or a massive backlash starts up?’ is probably a question on a lot of developers’ lips right now. Pure momentum, minimal exposition, a whirlwind of wordless world-building: this is the stuff digital dreams are made of. Avalanche are working on an official game, but I think it’s the games which react to the finished film rather than were made contemporaneously which are more likely to evoke some of the George Miller film’s breakneck ferocity and backstory-by-implication. We’ll see. In the meantime, while we’re still thirsty for more, here’s another latter-day adaptation of the 1980s concept of the post-apocalypse. Games Workshop’s road combat boardgame Dark Future. Witness it:
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Minor Key Games went Lovecraftian with their first game, Eldritch (one of Alec’s favourite FPSs, don’t you know), and their latest goes for another theme I’m always happy to see more of: espionage and conspiracy in that dear old dystopian cyberpunk future.
Neon Struct [official site] sees a spy on the run after being framed for treason, delving into intrigue and trying to clear her name as she sneaks around. It launched this week, and has a demo with the first two missions.
In the six months since I wrote about The Curious Expedition [official site], a great deal has changed. The shiny new trailer below shows some of those changes, including dicey combat, a world map, yawning great chasms that swallow expeditions whole, and a victory screen. It’s possible that the victory screen was in the build I played last year but I certainly never saw it. I was too busy pondering the strange appeal of cannibalism and befriending a donkey.
The roulette wheel of rumours that is PC hardware news is usually pretty pointless, unless bun fights over shader specs or clock speeds are your bag. But, occasionally, something really significant for the future moves into view. This is one of those times. AMD has been talking about its upcoming PC products and technologies in the last week or two, including a completely new CPU core and some fancy memory technology that might dramatically change the way we all think about integrated graphics and gaming. Is Intel’s stranglehold about to be loosened?
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A Dead Island mod adding magic spells and whopping great swords was the initial spark for Hellraid [official site]. Developers Techland announced in 2012 that they were working on a first-person action-RPG with wizards and skellingtons and zapsticks, then codenamed Project Hell. As the years went by, the game slipped and slipped again. It was originally due in 2013, then slated to launch on Steam Early Access in autumn 2014, then… now Techland say it won’t launch this year, as it’s outright “on hold”.
I like Sunset [official site] for its sense of place, for its lighting, for its drip feed of story, for the emphasis on subtle change and human scale in an event games tend to deal with via guns and power fantasies and super tech. But when it comes to the relationship building which lies at the centre of the game Sunset can stumble. Here’s Wot I Think.