Games on the Horizon

Captain! Tharrrrr be videogames off the starboard bow!

Since the only thing I know anything about is games, I thought I’d do my civic duty and notify the World of a few cool games that are on the horizon, that you may perhaps not be aware of. So here’s a list of stuff I thought you guys may find interesting.

 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

 

In this game, players take on the role of Paul Prospero, a detective with the supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes. As he investigates the kidnapping of a young boy, the journey leads him to a mountain area, where he finds “a severely mutilated body of one of the kidnappers.”

Prospero must use both his supernatural and normal investigative abilities to solve the mysteries surrounding the events in the game as well as the purpose behind the ancient force ruling the area.

If atmosphere, suspense and acute horror are your thing, this game will definitely be your bag. There isn’t too much info on it at the moment but it looks to be a psychological horror along the lines of Amnesia, a genre which is becoming increasingly popular with indie devs, who have neither the time nor the money to throw at hours of voice-acting for multiple NPCs.

Release Date: Late 2013

Beyond Good & Evil 2

 

This is the sequel to the 2003 classic that nobody played for some reason. I think to best understand why I’m so excited; I have to explain why the original ‘Beyond Good & Evil’ was so cool. In the original, you played Jade, a wildlife photographer who gets caught up in an underground rebellion whilst attempting to overthrow an occupation by a group of evil, fascist aliens. You travel the beautifully realized world, sneaking/fighting your way into government controlled areas and photographing the evil within. It was truly awesome but unfortunately, a commercial failure.

But since its release, the game has garnered a cult following and the sequel is set to be a really fun experience. I’m expecting big things from it. Also, It looks like Peyj the Pig is back! Which will be great news for any fans of the original.

Release Date:  TBA

Deep Down

 

This Playstation 4 exclusive is still in the early stages of development and thus, hasn’t given up much info regarding what it is and when it will arrive. I know that it will make its playable debut at the ‘Tokyo Game Show’ this month (September 2013.) What it appears to be is a curious combination of survival horror and pseudo-medieval fighter/dungeon-crawler. The developers, Capcom, are no strangers to horror, having been the minds behind such classics as the Resident Evil series. They have also proven their ability to create exciting sword and shield combat with ‘Dragon’s Dogma.’ There is no reason why ‘Deep Down’ shouldn’t be a great game. Keep your eyes peeled on this one as it looks to be the reason to buy a PS4.

Release Date: TBA

Godus

 

When it comes to games about being a God, Peter Molyneux has the best CV in the industry. As the creator of ‘Populous,’ ‘Dungeon Keeper’ and ‘Black & White,’ he can pretty much claim the throne when it comes to manipulating land and AI to do your bidding. ‘Godus’ is a game about sculpting a land and creating a Utopia for your people to live in. Other God’s will come and attempt to challenge you for control and you must defend them, often at the expense of your own worshipper’s lives.

As I’ve already stated, Peter Molyneux knows what he’s doing when it comes to this type of free-form strategy experience and this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Release Date: 2014 (beta available on Steam)

Quadrilateral Cowboy

 

In ‘Quadrilateral Cowboy’ the player takes the role of a computer hacker in the 1980s, armed with a “top-of-the-line hacking deck with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM.” You must break through security systems and hack your way into offices, stealing data and items for your employer, in a William Gibson inspired cyberpunk World.

What makes this game really interesting is that the player will have to learn the code used to manipulate the game world and actually use that syntax on the hacking deck in order to solve the puzzles. This game is about as indie as it gets and will probably only appeal to a small audience. But it looks both innovative and fun and any serious indie gamer ought to have it in their sights.

Release Date: 2013

Prison Architect

 

The title pretty much says it all. You build, run and maintain a prison full of angry, violent inmates. I’m in the beta for this and I must say, it is bags of fun for anyone who enjoys RTS style games. It bears the Introversion mark, the same guys who created ‘Uplink’ and ‘Defcon.’ So they really know how to make extreme micromanagement fun. The game is currently in open beta on Steam and I would highly recommend you buy it up now while it’s still cheap.

Release Date: It’s more or less out now

Watch Dogs

 

There’s something that really turns me on about dystopian societies, for some reason, I just find them to be such compelling settings for a good narrative. They breed interesting characters and exciting situations.

Watch Dogs is an open world action-adventure stealth game in which player controls a vigilante named Aiden Pearce who can hack into various electronic devices tied to the city’s central operating system, allowing various methods for the player to solve numerous objectives. Examples include hacking into people’s phones to retrieve bank data and steal funds, triggering malfunctions in equipment to distract other characters and hacking into traffic lights to cause collisions. Players can also receive information on civilians via augmented reality feeds, providing the player with information on demographics, health and potential behaviour.

As I said before, there’s something really involving and emotionally gripping about a World where big brother is always watching you. Enabling a player to access the eyes of big brother is effectively like giving him the keys to the kingdom. What more can I say really? This game just looks cool as fuck and I’m almost certain that it will be a huge hit with the wider gaming community.

Release Date: November 22nd 2013

Everquest Next

 

Everquest pretty much invented the modern MMO. If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft, Guild Wars or Final Fantasy Online then you have Everquest to thank for it. The third game in the franchise, ‘Everquest Next’, will have a focus on realistic character design and lighting effects, making it a visual feast for those PC gamers who like to test their rigs. It will also be free to play, meaning that everyone can get in on the action. But by far the coolest thing about it is the leaps and bounds the MMO will be making in World Design.

The terrain will be destructible, meaning that you can cast a fireball at a wall and blow it up, leaving it as a smashed wreck for other players to see. Furthermore, players will be able to dig into the ground in a procedurally generated underground World, Minecraft-style. Discovering artefacts from lost civilizations or perhaps dropping into caverns full of monsters. So you can be basically the bastard love-child of Gandalf and Indianna Jones. What’s not to love about that concept?

Release Date: 2014

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Humorous Game review: Shadowrun Returns

Humours Game reviews by our writer B. Burns

“Shadowrun Returns”

Shadowrun_returns_logo

I spent a good chunk of yesterday playing the new ‘Shadowrun’ game and here is my verdict, for those of you who have been sitting on the fence.

I’m attracted to the same qualities in RPGs as I am in ladies. That is to say, I am generally drawn towards something which is extremely complicated and often, slightly older than me. Thistends to be to my dismay though, as with both RPGs and girls, these qualities inevitably lead to me getting my ass kicked and I end up tearing my own hair out. I must just be a glutton for punishment. ‘Shadowrun Returns’ is so old-school that I had to give it a Worther’s Original to make it stop going on about how the bin-men didn’t come round on time last week. It also has a shit load of complex mechanics which are not explained at all. So, in short, you probably won’t enjoy this game unless you have a shelf full of old-school RPGs at home. If you do though, this will be a great ride down the highway of RPG nostalgia, with a wonderful stay at the motel of turn-based strategy combat fun!

Having said that, there are a lot of things about this game which everybody can appreciate. The environments are atmospheric and evoke a strong sense of a dystopian future in which people live in absolute squalor and half of the population are strung-out druggies. The characters are likeable and often, quite original. Overall, the writing is absolutely excellent, so if you’re looking for an engaging story, you won’t go far wrong. But if story isn’t your thing then you won’t like this game, because it absolutely takes precedent over the action, of which there is a somewhat minimal amount.

Shadow Run

The campaign is short. Very short. But the editing toolkit that comes packaged with the game is what you’re really paying for here. Within a couple of weeks I can promise you that some busy bees will have made epic campaigns that far outstretch the meagre 12-hour long affair that comes with the game at launch. This really is a game designed around the community and for those of us who are fans of the original pen & paper game, this is a great way to get creative and share our ideas with one another.

All in all, this game is easily worth £14.99 as long as you’re a hard bastard when it comes to RPGs. Stick this game on anything above ‘normal’ difficulty and you’ll find yourself with a real challenge.

B.Burns

From the office of Falchion Games: Go To Hell Dave