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Ninja Theory

Hellblade photo

Ninja Theory's facial tech for Hellblade is pretty rad

Hopefully the game will be good
Oct 23
// Chris Carter
Although I trust Ninja Theory in terms of gameplay as far as I can throw them, they know how to make a pretty piece of art, that's for sure. This new developer video explains the process a bit for Hellblade, mostly in terms ...
Hellblade video photo
Hellblade video

Watch raw Hellblade gameplay while it lasts

gamescom demo uploaded in full
Aug 10
// Steven Hansen
This is basically what I played of Hellblade at gamescom in this excellent preview and interview I posted a couple days ago. This also isn't an official account and this footage is b-roll, typically meant to be edited into v...

First hands-on with Ninja Theory's Hellblade

Aug 08 // Steven Hansen
Hellblade is the story of Senua, a Celtic warrior suffering from mental illness that manifests in her world. Her state of mind affects the world around here. The weather gets gloomy, rainy, sky full of lighting and rolling thunder. Beefy, imposing enemies come menacing in one at a time. Working with mental health experts and sufferers, the team is still learning about the "diversity we can bring in with the psychosis element," "different visualizations" based on "the range of experiences people have." But these are not mere hallucinations or effects, as is common in games as recently as Far Cry and Batman. Ninja Theory is focused on "representing this as the reality, because, to [Senua], this is reality. There's no switch to turn it off and on; everything is real to her." It's an interesting contrast to the frequent stylistic separation between real and unreal. The first Hannibal Lector film, Manhunter, uses excellent visual affects to distinguish how its villain sees the world, versus the objective film reality. The recent TV adaptation does the same with its hero. Here, though, playing as Senua, there is no objective reality to turn to, just hers. Given Ninja Theory's past, this then manifests itself more on the nose as a literal "fight your demons," because it is still a third-person action game (there was a light puzzle in the build I played, too). [embed]297247:59881:0[/embed] I enjoy the focus on one-on-one combat, which restricts the camera and brings it in tighter because you, as the player, don't have to protect ya neck worry about additional enemies coming in from all sides. In combat there is a quick evade, block (and parry), and a few strikes. Combat feels well weighted. A successful block still feels perilous, as it should with  sword just inches away from killing out bangs on your own steel with force.  It does have the draw back of making movement less key, based on the fewer than 10 encounters in this current build. Footwork is important to a fighter, be they using sword or melee, and while most action games don't make movement too important, the ping-pong between combatants give the illusion they do (I'd argue Resident Evil 4 does it better than the typical walk/roll/sprint). Ninja Theory has the right approach with Hellblade. It uses the limited third-person perspective to render Senua's problems physical; and to "tell her story," which happens to be the story of someone with mental illness, and "represent her character in a truthful way" that is unique to her experience. "What we don't want to do is reduce [mental illness] to mechanics," Matthews said, referencing things like Amnesias "Sanity meter." Hopefully Senua's story will be a good one.
gamescom preview photo
Action game for PS4 and PC
Ninja Theory has felt like a mercenary of late. Enslaved didn't sell as well as it should have (neither did Heavenly Sword), and so the last five years has been spent 1) making a mobile game for EA-owned publisher Chillingo, ...

Hellblade photo

Ninja Theory is tackling mental illness with Hellblade

Fear is the mind killer
Jun 10
// Jordan Devore
With Hellblade, a small team within Ninja Theory will attempt to tell a psychosis-infused tale about a Celtic warrior named Senua who is struggling to cope after a traumatic Viking invasion. It's still presented as a third-p...

Hellblade photo

Ninja Theory's Hellblade dev diary teases June 10 reveal

More gameplay coming
May 20
// Chris Carter
Ninja Theory has given us a new development diary for Hellblade, as well as a teaser for more gameplay on June 10, which is the week before E3. Although it's obviously edited and not a raw account of what happened, there's s...

The DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition changelog is extensive

Mar 10 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]288866:57701:0[/embed] With Hardcore Mode being the highlight of Definitive Edition, you'll want to enable that as soon as possible, especially if you're quite familiar with the game or are otherwise up for the challenge. Though if you enjoyed DmC before as it was and just want to be able experience it with a new visual fidelity, you can by all means do so. Ninja Theory's Rahni Tucker, who was the combat designer on the original title and now serves as the creative director on Definitive Edition, commented on a number of the upgrades DmC gained. "The point of HCM is to create an experience that [is] still [Ninja Theory's] DmC, but with a bit of a throwback to the classic DMCs in terms of balance," she said. "We didn't make these changes to the default game, because there are a lot of players who enjoy the current balance; and we didn't want to alienate those players. This way everyone has the option to play the game with the difficulty/balance that suits them. The hardest felt changes in this mode are those to the style system. Getting a SSS, and keeping it, is a lot more difficult in Hardcore Mode. Devil Trigger also throws-back to original DMCs with HCM active, so the player will need to stay on their toes after activating it." Here are a few examples of what's been altered for Hardcore Mode. General Toggle-able on all difficulty levels, for both Dante and Vergil. Does not affect mission unlocking Unique style pars and leaderboards for Hardcore Mode on every difficulty Style Rank Style Rank System re-balanced for HCM Style Rank decay rate on hardcore mode increased further. On hardcore mode, penalties on the Style Rank gain for repeating the same move multiple times is significantly increased. Balance No auto-parry from prop/shredder. Only the 1st strike in an attack can perform a parry. + 5% damage for all enemies. Dreamrunners can parry the Arbiter Flush projectile 3 times on DMD.  One of the biggest changes in Hardcore Mode that I'm sure many will appreciate are the infamous color enemies. With the modifier enabled, players can use whatever weapon they want against these specific enemies, however the like-element weapon is still best for the situation. Red/Blue enemies Frost/Hell Knights can be struck with any weapon. They take reduced damage, and do not react, when hit by weapons that do not match their color (unless Devil Trigger is active)  Ghost/Hell Rages can be struck with any weapon. They take reduced damage, and do not react, when hit by weapons that do not match their color (unless Devil Trigger is active). They are still partially invisible unless in the correct mode.  Hell Rages have 10% less health to accommodate use of any weapon against them. "This was always a controversial point," said Tucker. "On the one hand, DMC is all about variety and being able to creatively mix combos, and the red/blue enemies deflecting Dante's attacks went against that; however, we found during focus testing that players were confused about which weapons to use, so for clarity and feedback purposes the deflection was much better. In the end, after seeing fan feedback, we've changed it for DE so you can hit any guy with any weapon. Using the correct weapon causes hit reactions (they don't get interrupted by the wrong weapon) and still deals more damage." And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can find more info about the changelog on Capcom-Unity's blog, featuring details about parry windows, Vergil gameplay, and the finer benefits of having an increased frame rate to work with. After reading through the changes, and getting a sense of the developer's view on DMC, I have an even greater appreciation for the game. It's not often we got a detailed look like this with developer commentary, so it's definitely something I respect Ninja Theory for. Also, the launch trailer is excellent. '80s gothic rock from The Lost Boys is such a great fit for DmC.DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition - Change Log [Capcom-Unity]
DmC Devil May Cry DE photo
Sans fedora and color keys
With DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition out now, fans of the series have another title to keep them satiated till the next one is ready. As you've likely read, Chris gave his impressions of the game earlier. He was im...

DmC Devil May Cry's story still blows, but the Definitive Edition is more fun

Mar 10 // Chris Carter
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition (PlayStation 4 [tested], Xbox One)Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: CapcomRelease date: March 10, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Yep, this is the same bad story and bad characters as the original -- nothing substantial is changed on that front, except for the removal of Vergil's fedora. Ninja Theory's take on They Live was neat enough at first, but it quickly grew flat over the course of Dante's stereotypical hero's journey. I don't need my Dante to have feelings or curse every five seconds -- I just need him to be badass. Actions speak louder than words. Having said that, aesthetically the game is as gorgeous as ever in 1080p and 60 frames per second. At long last the latter figure comes into play, and DmC is all the better for it. The club scene still stands out as one of the coolest-looking action sequences in recent memory, and the constantly shifting Limbo setpieces are seamlessly integrated into the platforming (although they overstay their welcome hours in). So what's different? Capcom has made a lot of adjustments to gameplay that core fans have wanted the entire time. For starters, lock-on returns to the series, and I for one am damn happy about it. It's completely optional -- if you think that lock-on doesn't have a place in action games (you're wrong), that's cool, you can just not use the button for it. Since the original oddly had two buttons for dashing, it feels like it was always meant to be in there anyway and was cut for time. [embed]288347:57552:0[/embed] Combat in general is vastly improved thanks to the 20% faster "Turbo" option. I recommend everyone immediately go to this checkbox and click it, since it makes the game much more fun on every level. Combat feels so much more fluid, challenging, and hectic -- it's like playing a new game. Chalk another win up to the modders, who Capcom got the idea from. The "Hardcore" modifier is another must-play, as it remixes enemy movements and subtly shifts frames around, creating a different experience than you're used to in DmC. Add on top of that the "Must Style" modifier (all three can be enabled at once, mind) that requires you to use combos of S rank or higher to even do damage, and you have a great combination. I don't dabble in Must Style on a consistent basis, but I enjoyed levels more in general with Turbo and Hardcore on, especially on the higher difficulties. Speaking of difficulties, there are still eight of them, and in tandem with all the other options there's plenty of replay value to be had. This is particularly true since the Definitive Edition bundles in the Vergil's Downfall DLC storyline, which I liked better than the core game. It removes all of the bullshit character growth and terrible dialog in favor of letting Vergil kick ass and accept his inner demon. Again, I love the touch at the end where his original skin is re-dubbed "Weak Vergil." It really encapsulates what made Devil May Cry so special in the first place. Keep in mind though that Vergil's Downfall is only a scant few levels, and if you aren't keen on replaying them over and over on higher difficulties, you'll run through it in seconds flat. Vergil also now has his own Bloody Palace mode, but sadly it only supports 60 floors, not 100 like Dante's. Still, each floor has more variety than the standard Palace, so it's enjoyable -- especially with Vergil's skillset. For those of you who can never complete it in time, you can now disable the timer. A great touch for newcomers. As far as the legacy of DmC goes, no one would argue that making Devil May Cry more accessible after four rather hardcore entries is a bad thing, but Ninja Theory failed to address the fans that made the series so successful in the first place. Take the Bayonetta franchise, two of the best action games ever made (outside of Devil May Cry 3). They allowed for systems that welcomed newcomers and provided a high skill ceiling. While DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition's ceiling doesn't reach nearly as high as the current queen, it's a better effort than the original package, and does a better job of appeasing both types of fans. I'm kind of torn on the "Definitive" concept given its price point, though. In many ways much of it could have been delivered in a free update (especially if there's a PC version in the works, which hasn't been confirmed yet), but if you haven't already experienced DmC, getting this package at a discount would be the best way to do it.
DmC Devil May Cry DE photo
Vergil's DLC is the highlight again
You've heard the criticisms for Ninja Theory's take on Devil May Cry a million-trillion fucking times. So let's just dive into the Definitive Edition, shall we?

Run DmC photo
Run DmC

DmC Definitive Edition wants you to visit Vergilís Bloody Palace

Hard enough?
Feb 09
// Steven Hansen
Vergil's Bloody Palace is a 60-floor combat arena coming to the current generation remaster for Ninja Theory's DmC, which Alessandro took a long look at a couple weeks back.  Unlike Dante's, which progresses t...
Devil May Cry photo
Devil May Cry

New Devil May Cry video will melt your face

Wub wub wub wub
Feb 04
// Robert Summa
For me, it's really hard to drum up a lot of excitement for remakes or remasters. If I've already played them, then why do I need to play again? And if I didn't play the first time, then why would I want to now? I'm a discer...

DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition goes above and beyond

Jan 22 // Alessandro Fillari
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition (PlayStation 4 [previewed], Xbox One)Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: CapcomRelease date: March 10, 2015MSRP: $39.99 In this remaster of the Devil May Cry reboot, players take on the role of Dante, a young rebel who learns that the world around him is not what it seems. With demonic and angelic powers at his disposal, along with a serious talent for combat, he'll have to team up with his long-lost brother Vergil to battle hoards of demons that have invaded the real world. Along the way, he'll come to terms with his family's past, and face the demon king behind it all. Though these remasters, revisits, and enhanced releases seem all the rage nowadays (Capcom just released one this week), Definitive Edition has been making the most of the opportunity. Besides offering the complete DmC experience (all DLC packs included), uprezzed graphics and sharper visuals, and new costumes for both characters, Ninja Theory also jumped at the chance to put its action-brawler through a heavy round of retuning. We're talking Street Fighter-level rebalancing, here. The studio even flew out DmC combo video masters to its offices to offer some feedback on the new build of the game. In many ways, this is the Director's Cut. As much of a fan I was of Ninja Theory's take on Devil May Cry, I can't deny that it certainly had issues. Not only was the difficulty knocked down several pegs, which wasn't in keeping with series tradition, but many of the combat design choices, like the elemental-specific foes, added more annoyances than challenge. But Definitive Edition aims to remedy many of those problems. No more instant SSS ranks from mashing the same moves, no more easy parries, and no more infinite flights in Angel form to be had here. You wanted DmC to play by DMC's rules? You got it. But let's get this out of the way: anyone expecting a complete reworking of DmC and its gameplay system to fit exactly how the previous games felt will be disappointed. Despite what many of the more cynical fans assumed, this is not DmC: Apology Edition (Haha, so clever). DmC: Definitive Edition is still very much Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry. Capcom producer Rey Jimenez spoke with me at length about the reception DmC had, and how this remaster might even make the harshest cynics look at the game in a new light. "I think a lot of the negative reaction from the game came from the early announcement, which there were definitely problems with," Jimenez said while reflecting on the infamous debut at TGS 2010. "The end product was something that definitely appealed to a wider base -- but we really wanted to do this particular game [again] because it would really benefit from the jump [to current-gen]. There was some performance lacking that really affected the previous systems," he explained."This was something that could be revisited." According to Jimenez, "The guys at Ninja Theory always had confidence in their work, and [...] the reaction we've seen so far has been encouraging. [The developers] are very proud of the work they've done, and Capcom has been behind this product since day one." On new tech, DmC runs at a brisk 60 frames per second. Understandably, the original release on Xbox 360 and PS3 ran sluggishly, especially when put side by side with the superior PC port, which Ninja Theory used as the base for Definitive Edition. Moreover, the developers wanted to take advantage of the PS4 and Xbox One's social functions to allow players to share combo videos and other exhibitionist gameplay more easily. Jimenez called working on the port "a fairly quick process," but noted there were challenges. For starters: "Getting it to 64-bit, and adjusting the framerate and physics changes. Since Unreal 3 isn't officially supported yet on PS4 and Xbox One, we had to do a bit of modifications to the engine to make run on the new systems. On the new consoles right now with social integration as a default, anyone can make a great combo video, and since you don't need to capture footage, I think that will be phenomenal for players." In the hour I spent with the game, I was completely taken with it. DmC: DE felt sharp and on point. Though some changes are fairly subtle, such as the complete removal of Vergil's fedora (which Ninja Theory hated, by the way), many others will be instantly noticeable, particularly during combat. I constantly felt as if I was rediscovering aspects of the game I was already comfortable with, which was an awesome feeling. While the folks at Capcom were not keen on sharing the complete changelog just yet (it's apparently over six pages long), they were glad to talk about the success they had with the PC release. Did I mention how great the PC version of DmC was? Capcom and Ninja Theory thought so too. More importantly, they loved all the cool mods players created, such as Turbo Mode (increasing game speed by twenty percent) and a number of unofficial patches and tweaks like the removal of weapon-specific enemies. A number of these mods were so well received by the developers they decided to implement them for this remaster. The work put into the Definitive Edition was equal parts developer iteration and incorporation of fan feedback. Among these are the inclusion of the much-demanded lock-on targeting (complete with hold or toggle options) and a remappable button layout. For the latter, you can swap around most every action and ability. Want to recreate the layout for classic DMC? Go right ahead, and what better way to put the lock-on to use? Though initially it felt a bit jarring as the free-camera setup had to readjust itself, I quickly got my bearings. I still found myself going without it for the most part, but the addition of the lock-on became useful during encounters with elite enemies. By far the most impressive feature added to Definitive Edition is the Hardcore Mode. Intended for combat enthusiasts who clamor for classic DMC, the new gameplay system addresses a number of criticisms from the original while also incorporating modifications to the current system. Firstly, Hardcore Mode is not a standalone difficulty mode akin to Dante Must Die or the brand new Gods Must Die modes, but an optional gameplay modifier activated before mission start. If you weren't a fan of the original's design choices for combat and wish for things to be a bit more akin to the original games (such as no enemy launch on devil trigger), this mode is for you. "All of the changes and tweaks we've made, we've done them into two categories," said Jimenez. "A bunch of tweaks that are for the default game make it a better title -- and all the other changes that make it more like the classic DMC series are all placed into Hardcore Mode. We did this to allow people who loved old DmC to continue on with the same mechanics, but also have a title that has the best of old and new DMC. We definitely didn't want to have people adhere to new changes if they enjoyed the original game itself." In addition to Hardcore Mode, another challenging option is Must Style Mode. With this modifier active, players need to reach S rank and above to damage enemies. Initially, I found this to be a simple affair given the number of enemies to take on. But then things changed once I was alone with a chainsaw-wielding Ravager. Each hit takes you back several ranks, and you have to work your way back up to S level while switching up moves to keep style growth healthy. This encounter took me several minutes, and it was a real wake-up call that I had to step up my game. These modifiers add a whole new layer of depth. Without Hardcore Mode active, DmC reverts to its original combat balancing (save for a few additions and tweaks). Enabling it felt like stepping into a new game, and coupled with turbo mode, combat was bombastic and intense. DmC's Hardcore Mode brings out the best in Ninja Theory's game, and its level of refinement and polish shows great potential for combat exhibitionism. Not content with just rebalancing the combat engine, the studio also added a brand new Bloody Palace mode for Vergil. Just like the original mode for Dante, you'll have to fight through a gauntlet of enemies and bosses while dealing with varying conditions and obstacles. Interestingly, Vergil's take on BP mode only features 60 levels as opposed to the standard 100 for Dante. While this may sound disappointing, several levels have multiple phases that require you to warp to different areas and fight extra waves of enemies. While the number of stages are shorter, there is definitely a lot of variety to be found here. And yes, you can now turn the timer off in Bloody Palace. It's definitely reassuring to see the game in such solid shape, though I'm a little perplexed about the lack of a PC release being announced so far. Its absence is strange given how much of an influence the PC port of the original DmC was for Definitive Edition. While this recent trend for bringing ports to new tech has gotten somewhat of a bad rap, it certainly has its advantages. Not only does it allow newcomers to get their hands on a spruced-up version of the game on their new consoles, it also allows games to have a second chance at being something truly exceptional. As much fun I had with DmC on PS3 and PC, there were a number issues I wished were ironed out by the developers. And now with the release of Definitive Edition, it's finally coming to pass. It's an exciting time to be a Devil May Cry fan. Despite what you may feel about DmC, its developer, or what Capcom's true focus should be for the franchise, it's hard to deny that a considerable amount of attention and care went into this remaster. If you were one of the many who couldn't come around to giving the original a shot, then Definitive Edition will be your best opportunity to do so. Say what you will, but it's easily the most content-rich Devil May Cry game released in a very long time. And that's nothing to turn your nose up at. 
DmC Definitive Edition photo
Reach out and touch faith
It's been just over two years since the release of one of last gen's most polarizing titles. Back in 2010, Capcom made a bold and wildly unexpected decision to hand one of its most-loved franchises to a Western developer, and...

Devil May Cry photo
Devil May Cry

Do these DmC: Definitive Edition screenshots do anything for you?

Coming to Xbox One and PS4 on March 10, 2015
Jan 12
// Jordan Devore
While I'm far more interested in this summer's Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (Vergil's playable!), I am still curious about DmC: Definitive Edition. Never did get around to playing the origin...
Hellblade PC photo
Hellblade PC

Ninja Theory's Hellblade is coming to PC

Previously only announced for PS4, new game from Enslaved and DmC dev
Jan 08
// Steven Hansen
The new game from the makers of Enslaved and DmC will be coming to PC, possibly with 4K resolution and full mod support, according to PC Gamer. It was previously announced only as a PS4 release. Ninja Theory head&n...
Ninja Theory photo
Ninja Theory

Ninja Theory is working on another project that's not Hellblade

We'll hear more on Monday
Dec 12
// Chris Carter
Ninja Theory is hard at work on Hellblade, their latest action game for the PS4. According to a recent update development for the title is "at full pace," but they seem to have another trick up their sleeve. The developer has...
Buy this filth! photo
Buy this filth!

Enslaved is only $5 on Steam and you should play it

I'm en...slaaaavvvvved for you
Oct 06
// Steven Hansen
Enslaved is a really good game that no one bought. This led to Ninja Theory having to go mercenary and make DmC, which I liked, but a lot of people hated. Clearly the answer is this: give Ninja Theory money so 1) I get t...
Disney Infinity photo
Disney Infinity

DmC dev Ninja Theory is working on Disney Infinity 2.0

Makers of Enslaved and the upcoming Hellblade
Aug 30
// Steven Hansen
Disney's money maker Disney Infinity is getting some top action game talent. It was just announced at Giant Bomb's PAX Prime panel that developer Ninja Theory (Enslaved, DmC, Hellblade) is working with Disney I...
Hellblade photo

Ninja Theory made its Hellblade reveal trailer in eight weeks

A cool behind the scenes for the upcoming PS4 game
Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
I almost skipped over this Hellblade developer's diary. Maybe it's a default reaction to games with "hell" (or "blade?" both?) in the title. Forgot this was from Ninja Theory and that, as an enormous fan of Enslaved, I ...
Ninja Theory photo
Ninja Theory

See Ninja Theory's cancelled game Razer

Not lime green
Aug 18
// Steven Hansen
As an enormous fan of Enslaved, I am excited for Ninja Theory's newly announced Hellblade, but it's not all Ninja Theory had been cooking up. The team was working on Razer (Xbox One, PS4, PC) with a publisher, but it wa...
Hellblade photo

Ninja Theory wants to involve you in their game-making process

Reminds me of Planescape: Torment for some reason
Aug 14
// Brittany Vincent
Hellblade was announced for PS4 to be developed and published by Ninja Theory (DmC: Devil May Cry, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Heavenly Sword). Hellblade is set to focus on a Celtic-inspired twisted world, with brutal com...
Hellblade photo

Hellblade is the new game from Ninja Theory

Really, that's its name?
Aug 12
// Alasdair Duncan
Yay! A new game from Ninja Theory that's been straddled with one of the most unimaginative names I can remember. Hellblade? Sure, there's not been a game called that already? No release date so far but it will be a console exclusive on PS4. 

Ninja Theory's Unreal Engine 4 tech demo leaks

Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Jun 02
// Abel Girmay
Ninja Theory, the studio behind DMC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, seems to have had one of their tech demos leak. Entitled, The Beggars Opera, it's not known if this was ever meant to be the studio's next...
Neat photo

Ninja Theory talking unreleased games at GDC Europe

Footage of a next gen game and other pitches that never came to market
May 15
// Steven Hansen
Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved) co-founder Tameem Antoniades will be delivering a keynote at GDC Europe, which will include some details on some of the games and ideas the company has worked on over the last 14 years ...

Review: Fightback

Dec 20 // Chris Carter
Fightback (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 5])Developer: Ninja TheoryPublisher: ChillingoRelease Date: December 19, 2013MSRP: Free-to-play (the bad kind) Fightback makes no grand promises of offering up in-depth adventuring or exploration -- it's a single-player fighting game through and through, with elements of the brawling genre. You can't actually move, as everything is done on rails. By swiping or tapping at certain parts of the screen, you can throw punches or kicks, duck, and jump. The result is a game that feels arcade-like in nature, but doesn't really bring anything unique to the table. If Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the perfect example of how to do an '80s action homage right, Fightback is the antithesis of said homage. Everything from the incredibly generic hero and villain (the latter of which just looks like Mundus from DmC), to the "your sister has been kidnapped" story arc is painfully bad, and not in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. At any given point I can't tell if Ninja Theory is paying respect to brawlers like Final Fight, or ripping them off. Instead of offering up fresh takes on these tropes like the Matt Hazard series attempts to do, Fightback kind of just copies and pastes them with reckless abandon. It's depressing, because it's entirely possible to do irreverent comedy these days and pull it off. Blood Dragon did it, so did Shadow Warrior. But Fightback's dialog and setup are so lazily executed, that it actually disgraces the source material. [embed]267752:51973:0[/embed] Having said that, the touch controls actually work, despite the shallow nature of the fighting mechanics. Enemies will come at you on the left or ride side the screen, and all you have to do is tap or swipe on the correct portion to attack. Tapping throws a punch and swiping executes a kick, while tapping high or low on your character will jump or duck respectively. It's pretty cool to duck under a punch, have the game slow down a tad, and Double Dragon-knee an enemy in the jaw. The combo system is swift and fun, as you can basically just tap the screen to juggle or pummel foes into oblivion. There are also some old-school weapon mechanics as well, allowing you to pick up bats and other objects from fallen foes. The major holdup is with the automated movement, because enemies can just run out of your field of view, then come in for a sneak attack. Since Fightback is on rails, you have to sit there and watch it happen. It's not a deep system by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes for some arcade-like fun. Sadly, the shadow of "freemium" rears its ugly head -- most likely compliments of publisher Chillingo, who feels the need to monetize every single one of their games through any means necessary. As a $0.99 download or even as a fair free-to-play game, Fightback would have been a fun "why not?" impulse buy for a silly afternoon. But it's a bit tougher to justify a playthrough, because not only does the game have heavy amounts of IAP that can upgrade your character, but it has boosts, and the dreaded energy meters as well. At every turn, Fightback wants you to spend money. Before a stage, you can spend tons of in-game cash (with lots of reminders that you can buy more for real cash) for a temporary one-level boost. After a death, you can come back to life with premium currency. You can also equip and level-up your character through in-game currency, which you don't get that much of. All of that is somewhat manageable if you have some patience. But the energy mechanic that limits the amount of time you can play with a "finite" counter is the final straw. That's not even including the constant "link your Facebook!" messages with promises of extra premium currency, and the ads that run on the game's title screen. I'm fine with the tasteful monetization of certain games that deliver value on their own, but this is nothing of the sort. To see a developer like Ninja Theory shackled to an energy-based game feels wrong. Fightback is a waste of time and money. As a full premium game for a buck or two, it could have been a decent brawler to pass the time with. But as it stands, you're going to be waiting to play it more than actually playing it. At the end of the day, this is just another depressing chapter in the book of Ninja Theory.
Fightback review photo
Put down your dukes
Ninja Theory is one of the most interesting developers in the business. They have the opportunity to develop high-budget, low-grossing games more often than pretty much any other studio in existence -- then move on to another...

Ninja Theory photo
Ninja Theory

Report: Ninja Theory may shift to mobile development

Not in a million years?
Nov 21
// Chris Carter
[Update: A representative at Ninja Theory has denied these claims, stating that they are open to mobile and console development. It appears as if Tameem was mouthing off. Again. Someone really needs to implement a "no talking...
PC Port: Enslaved photo
PC Port: Enslaved

PC Port Report: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Get .ini with it
Nov 08
// Patrick Hancock
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has finally made its way to the PC after years of hanging out exclusively on home consoles. It's always been a beautiful and enjoyable game so I was excited to jump back into it on the computer. ...
Enslaved photo

Enslaved Premium Edition out now for PC and PS3

Do it for Andy Serkis
Oct 24
// Jordan Devore
The Premium Edition of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West can now be downloaded on Steam and PlayStation Network, with the former release being a first for the title. After DmC, I was hoping this earlier Ninja Theory project would...
Enslaved photo

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West re-releasing on PC and PS3

Namco Bandai confirms "premium" version
Oct 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
My favorite of Ninja Theory's games is looking like it may get a second chance to shine. Namco Bandai has confirmed reports that a new, premium version of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West will be seeing release on PlayStati...
New Ninja Theory game photo
You better buy this one!
Ninja Theory, developer of the recent, divisive DmC: Devil May Cry, has a new trailer up on its website that chronicles its work during this soon to be recent generation. Spliced in is also a more mysterious project featurin...

Fightback photo

Ninja Theory's latest game is Fightback for mobile

Not at all what I was expecting
May 24
// Jordan Devore
DmC: Devil May Cry and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West developer Ninja Theory has turned its focus to mobile gaming, at least for right now. The studio's new game, Fightback, is a free-to-play brawler destined for Google Play a...
Heavenly Sword movie photo
Heavenly Sword movie

Heavenly Sword is also getting the movie treatment

Direct to video, though
Apr 23
// Dale North
Ratchet and Clank gets all the spotlight this morning as far as game-to-movie adaptations go, but another is looking for some gamer love. According to the very end of Variety's article on the film, in addition to Ratchet and ...
GDC photo

Ninja Theory talks reboot and shows off unseen Dante art

Dreams and Madness
Mar 29
// Alessandro Fillari
Just two months ago, DmC: Devil May Cry was released and caused quite a ruckus. While this unique entry in the Devil May Cry franchise didn't exactly light up the charts, and remains a contentious title with series fans, at t...

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