GAMES TO GET HYPED ABOUT.
Today, I’d like to put aside analysis and review for a bit and take a moment to look at the things ahead of us. I’m a firm believer in looking down the road, as it saves a lot of trouble and time in most things, and I’d like to invite you to join me in taking a peek forward in terms of the type of games we’ll soon be playing.
An upcoming multiplayer FPS from the creators of Counterstrike and the Left 4 Dead series with a twist: Mario Party teams. That’s right, I’m talking some good old All vs one rage-inducing action. The game pits four specialized hunters against one gnarly superpowered beast. The name of the game? Hunt down the big guy before they can evolve themselves into a threat that no four-person team could ever take down. The game looks exhilarating and incredibly well balanced. The dynamic of power and control shifts as the monster tries to stay on the move early game, but eventually takes the fight to the hunters when its leveled itself up enough by feasting on the local fauna (and any players careless enough to get caught out of position.) Did I mention that there are more than four playable hunters and more than one monster to choose from? You can play as a robot called “Bucket.” What more do you want? This game looks incredible, and as production goes on, Turtle Rock continues to release material that just keeps that excitement rising. The game’s unique take on multiplayer has vast replay potential and looks to be tailored for a competitive scene. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of detail in the game, from the visuals and character backstory to the voice acting and monster movement animations. It’s a big, revolutionary game of deadly hide-and-go-seek, and I can’t wait for it. Check out this awesome and informative trailer.
Evolve releases in spring 2015 on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.
BELOW – CAPY GAMES
Like dungeons? Like procedurally generated roguelikes? Like dark atmosphere and tough as nails gameplay wrapped up in a sleek aesthetic? Then you need to keep Capybara Games’ Below on your radar. In Below you play as a lone warrior arriving on an unknown island that is home to an expansive and mysterious dungeon. The game’s creators have gone on record as saying they wanted to make a “brutal game” and that most of the time the player will be a single hit away from death. This old school dungeon crawling sensibility is exactly the type of feel that makes the genre so cool. This is going to be the kind of game where you walk on tiptoe through every door, lest you awaken some monstrosity that, though you are capable and strong, will tear you limb from limb. The game looks to have a complex combat system which you’ll be making great use of in between bouts of open world exploration and bouts of trap avoidance. Swords, Bows, Spears and shields are just some of the tools that you’ll be using to fend off what lurks in the darkness. What excites me most about this game though, is it’s sparseness and the utter lack of hand-holding. If you’re looking for an easy, clear-cut experience with plenty of hints, tutorials and difficulty levels (a game style that I’m not bashing and that I think is a completely valid way to game) then you might want to pass this one by. But if you’re ready for a challenge and really want to roll up your sleeves and delve like they used to, then pick up Below on PC or Xbox One when it gets released.
SPACE SIMS GALORE
STAR CITIZEN – CLOUD IMPERIUM GAMES (LEFT IMAGE)
NO MAN’S SKY – HELLO GAMES (CENTER)
ELITE: DANGEROUS – FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS (RIGHT)
Ok, so I was excited about a lot of upcoming space simulations and I decided to combine them into one category. Basically, what we have here is the makings of a classic gaming revival. I’m talking about a flurry of next generation games with the old school styling of titles that served not simply as the progenitors for modern space trading and combat games, but as the forerunners. Both Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous are projects headed up by giants within the video game industry. Cloud Imperium games has Chris Roberts, of Wing Commander and Starlancer fame, while the team behind Elite: Dangerous is led by none other than David Braben, creator of Elite (one of the very first games to ever use 3D wire-frames.) Needless to say,these games are going to be huge. Both in the real world sense, and in the game sense. Within each of these incredibly detailed games is a combat spaceflight simulator (complete with real-world physics engine), multifaceted trading systems, completely integrated multiplayer experience, and an unprecedentedly immense galaxy to warp about in to the heart’s content. Obviously, these two games are in direct competition with each other due to the similarity. I don’t know enough about the genre or the games at this point to tell which is going to successfully become the leader in the space-sim craze, but I do know that I’m excited for the level of detail and the combat within them. Well, that and the Oculus Rift support they’ll have.
No Man’s Sky is a different bird altogether. It is undeniably a space sim, yes, and there is undeniably combat within it, but the game’s main focus looks to be on the exploration and discovery of it’s self-touted “infinite procedural universe.” If that’s not a lofty claim, then I don’t know if you’ll ever hear one. The game looks gorgeous and it does indeed look massive, but even larger than the game are the implications it has. If this game delivers, it could change the way we look at video games forever. The premise is simple; you have a spaceship. Go to whatever planet you want, get out of your ship, walk around, look at the weird flora and fauna, maybe get in a few gunfights, pop back into your spaceship and go to a completely different procedurally generated planet. It’s persistent. It’s procedural. It’s the galaxy’s biggest sandbox. The specifics of how everything works, what exactly players will be doing, and why are still mostly under lock and key since the game’s release date is currently undisclosed, but this video interview with Hello Games founder Sean Murray does a great job of breaking down and explaining how specifically the procedural generation works. Basically, get your flight suit on, pack a lunch for the hyperspace trip, and get psyched.
Elite: Dangerous is currently in beta and releases November 2014, while Star Citizen is slated for a 2015 release date.
NIGHT IN THE WOODS – INFINITE FALL
Night in the Woods is a game that I’m so excited for, I actually helped to kickstart it. That’s right, I spent money on this game when it didn’t even exist yet. The game centers around Mae, a ne-er-do-well cat who has dropped out of college and returned home to Possum Springs. However, all of her friends have grown apart and things seem to be changing at a rate that she can’t keep up with. However, things start getting strange in a supernatural way. Infinite Fall has been vague on that point, but who wants to know the whole story before you play a game anyway? Playing as Mae you’ll meander about town with her friends, ponder the strange happenings in town, break stuff with baseball bats, jump on powerlines, and generally mill about as both Mae and the world around her changes. The game is styled in a beautifully drawn aesthetic and looks to focus around exploration, adventure, and story. Heavy themes of anger and sadness permeate the game’s dialogue which looks to be incredibly witty and engaging. It looks to be a quiet little game with a big literary feel, and I can already tell that it has a whole lotta heart. It promises to be an engaging and melancholy experience, one about loss, change, aimless youth and letting go. I’m all about it. You should be too.
HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER – HEART MACHINE
HYPER. LIGHT. DRIFTER. Even that name just gives me chills. I’m fall out of my seat PUMPED for this game to come out. Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D action RPG that pays homage to Secret of Mana, The Legend of Zelda and Diablo series, and the works of legendary japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. If that list of influences doesn’t have your wallet in your hand already, don’t worry, there’s more. The game promises to be a surreal and dark adventure through a hostile world. The protagonist is a Drifter, one who delves out into the old world to collect ancient technology and obtain knowledge of a destroyed and ravaged world. The game’s goal is to take 8bit/16bit aesthetic and combine it with modern game design, making for an intense and rewarding adventure with a techno-retro style. It also is set to feature an incredible soundtrack by Disasterpiece (Rich Vreeland) who created the soundtrack for Fez. The game’s story looks to be as much a concern for Heart Machine as its gameplay or style. The drifter is dying, and as such must continue to delve deeper and deeper into the brutal old world in search of something that can save him. Combat looks simple but nuanced, as well as brutal. The player is fast and extremely dangerous, but fragile, and they are invariably outnumbered and outgunned in every encounter. It looks like a beautiful blending of gameplay, legacy, story and style. It’s much better to look at than talk about, and the game has been successfully kickstarted for a release hopefully late in 2014.
So there’s a short list of some fantastic looking games on the horizon that promise to be the next generation of awesome for players everywhere. The best part is there’s hundreds more out there that are still in production, and that potential for play is part of what makes being a gamer so great. Keep an eye out for analysis and reviews on these and other fantastic titles here at Pixel Scribe! Good Gaming to everyone out there!