Have you ever been hunted? I haven't (in a videogame or, thankfully, real life). Some games make veiled attempts to simulate the sense, but as long as you learn and know the correct order of operations, they usually don't take much to best. Alien: Isolation made me feel as if I was being hunted for the first time ever. It competently thrusts you into the role of the prey, and as a result, it is completely f*cking terrifying.
Before my 40 minute hands-on demo with Isolation, key developers from Creative Assembly gave a very short briefing on the studio's intentions with the game. First and foremost, it wanted to get back to the roots of survival horror by making a game based on the original survivor horror movie, Ridley Scott's Alien. In the developers' eyes, the best way to do this was to "re-Alien the Alien."
What they meant by this is that they wanted players to always have the Xenomorph on their minds, regardless of the situation. A "low frequency, high impact" approach to brushes with the Alien was their aim. They cited Hannibal and Jaws -- two fixtures of horror movie culture -- as examples of incredibly effective characters despite having very little screen time. However, perhaps their most effective strategy to re-Aliening the Alien is including only one Xenomorph in Isolation.
There we were. The same notion on everyone’s mind, whether they liked it or not. Members of the press conflicted in their reluctant eagerness to address, key developers dreading the topic altogether. It clouded the air, enough to make everyone slightly uncomfortable with its inevitability. It was the Xenomorph-impregnated elephant in the room.
“How did the reaction to Aliens: Colonial Marines affect your work on Alien: Isolation?”
I’ll be the first to admit – the question is wholly unfair. Creative Assembly has been working on Isolation for more than three years now. It had a very distinct vision for its game long before anyone knew how Colonial Marines would turn out. Still, it needed to be asked. Fair or not, Isolation will be directly compared to Colonial Marines by both critics and fans alike.
After months of rampant Internet speculation, Sega has finally revealed that Alien: Isolation is the new title in the Alien(s) franchise, and that it's being developed by Creative Assembly, the studio behind the Total War series. True to its non-plural namesake, Isolation will be a survival horror game in the same vein as Ridley Scott's 1979 masterpiece.
Alien: Isolation tells the story of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the movie series' protagonist, Ellen Ripley. Amanda has been plagued since childhood by the mysterious disappearance of her mother after the loss of the Nostromo. Amanda, now a Weyland-Yutani employee herself, is tipped off that a space station has recovered the audio log detailing the events of the Nostromo. She journeys with a team to the space station, only to find that a Xenomorph has gotten there first and is wreaking havoc.
If you haven’t played the eXcellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you should. However, now there is a caveat to that. You should play it, but you should probably wait until November 12 to do so because that’s when the Enemy Within eXpansion comes out
Those who own Enemy Unknown on PC or Mac will need to plunk $30 down on the expansion and start a new XCOM campaign to eXperience the content. Console owners can nab a bundle of Enemy Unknown, all its DLC, and Enemy Within for $40, which is a particularly lovely deal if you haven’t picked the game up yet.
I recently got to play a solid few hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and was able to do whatever I wanted, outside of the select core missions Ubisoft wanted to specifically show off. There was a lot to do, but I wanted to focus specifically the open ocean world and how you'll be interacting with it here.
Why? Because it was easily my favorite new feature for the Assassin's Creed series due to it being something fresh and different. Plus I liked ramming my big ship into tiny little ships because I'm the best pirate ever.
At Tokyo Game Show last month, I got an early peek at Elemental Labs' Reborn, an action RPG with a sci-fi twist that they're aiming to put on both PS3 and PS4 next year. New publisher acttil hosted an event where Elemental Labs' Franz Tissera, CEO, showed off his last year of work on Reborn and announced a Kickstarter campaign.
Reborn is an interesting mix of old and new, folklore and sci-fi. It pulls from the history of Japanese swordsman Musahi Miyamoto and works the famed tale into a bit of a futuristic retelling. They've set this story in Neo-Tokyo, a world where huge corporations rule, and body augmentation is a regular thing.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will of course bring back the ever growing multiplayer versus mode, and like always, we can expect plenty of new content. New maps and characters are a given, but the biggest surprise with this iteration is Game Lab, a feature that lets you create your own modes.
You're able to take any of the six existing game modes and make it your own. There's up to 200 parameters you can change, everything from a match's time limit, turning off stuns, enforcing melee kills only, etc. From here players can share these custom modes with others, and if a mode gains a lot of popularity then Ubisoft will add it to the public playlist for all to enjoy.
There's a ton of different things that players can alter, even going as far as making the versus mode near identical to Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer mode that fans are still playing to this day.
Here. Knock back an Estus while I tell you about my time with an early closed network beta testing build of Dark Souls II. Oh, wait. I drank them all.
Well, watch your back while you listen in then.
I happily settled in as the very first person to nab a gameplay seat in a test room at Namco Bandai's Tokyo offices yesterday. Seated and ready, I jumped into a build of Dark Souls II's closed network beta test -- an early build of one that the publisher plans to launch fully this October. And, as you can imagine, I died many times. As you know, that's just how this works.
First, you need to watch this trailer for Valiant Hearts: The Great War before reading anything about it.
This isn't your typical war game, as Valiant Hearts is going beyond the disconnected action tropes of "good versus evi...
Yeah, you read that headline right. Trust me, I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it too, but sure enough, a Japanese-style role-playing game from Ubisoft. Even stranger, Child of Light is by writer Jeffrey Yohalem and creative director Pat Plourde, two of the main people behind Far Cry 3.
Child of Light is a 2D action JRPG made on the UbiArt Framework engine, the same engine that's made that last two wonderful-looking Rayman games. The team is looking to make a love letter for JRPG fans, those that fondly remember the golden age of Squaresoft, with influences from Final Fantasy to Grandia.
That's right! The Vita darling is going all HD for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC early 2014. Development started shortly after the Vita release thanks to how the fan base reacted so positively to it after the E3 reveal...
Spencer Hayes and I got some quality time with Techland's Dying Light and we both came away pretty surprised from the experience. The game features a day and night cycle, and the day time stuff we played was pretty average. We knew what to expect, especially after playing games like Dead Island, another open world zombie game from Techland.
But then the night time stuff came up and holy crap the game gets super intense. More importantly, Dying Light becomes way more fun. The zombies transform in runner style zombies like the ones from Left 4 Dead and they become relentless in chasing you down. My heart was seriously racing as I tried to escape the horde, so they've certainly nailed down the horror aspect.
Lords of the Fallenlooked good at E3; it looks even better at PAX Prime. After another hands-off demo, the next-generation action role-playing game really seems to be coming along nicely. Admirably, it seeks to improve, or at least deviate, on the formula that a certain well-known and similar couple of titles nearly perfected.
There's no two ways about it -- Lords of the Fallen invites comparisons to Demon's/Dark Souls. The developers are painfully aware of the fact, almost immediately surrendering into an anticipated half-chuckle as the first syllables of the From Software's projects names were uttered. That's ultimately okay though, because Lords of the Fallen doesn't aim to mimic the Souls games.
Rather, Deck13 is structuring Lords of the Fallen to be a bit more of an accessible Dark Souls. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy -- spending any amount of time in front of the game makes that much wildly obvious. But, it's also not going to be punishing. Challenging and complex? Definitely. But not punishing.
As a big Fables fan, I'm pretty happy, if not relieved, that The Wolf Among Us looked great based on my hands-on time with the game. Adaptations of other mediums into games tend to be as bad as adaptations of games into movie...
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has seen some pretty bizarre events occur. From off the wall historical conspiracies, conducting time travel by way of DNA, and ancient precursors looking to destroy humanity; it's amazing to see how they manage to up the ante with each game. Even after the third numbered entry’s seemingly conclusive finale, Ubisoft have got no plans to stop their best selling franchise now.
Just prior to Gamescom, Ubisoft invited Destructoid out to their San Francisco office to play the latest build of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Along with a new setting, main character, and storyline, this new entry has some bold plans for the franchise. And judging by my hands-on time, Black Flag looks to be the series’ most open-ended and innovative title to date.
With The Walking Dead, Telltale had an advantage when it came to selling a game to a mass audience. The comic series is huge, and you have the AMC television series to back it all up. Plus, everyone knows what a zombie is....