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You probably haven’t heard, but Telltale’s The Walking Dead is kind of a big deal. It maybe won some awards or something and also made its players weep so much that their ducts now cough out specks of sand and the occasional cactus. There is, in other words, something to be said for using games to spin crushingly compelling yarns, and Telltale knows it has something very special on its hands. Season one, however, was just the beginning. The only envelope’s had its shoulder bumped. Now it’s time to give it a good, hard push. I sat down with Telltale CEO Dan Connors to discuss how he plans to go about doing that, what he’s taking away from reactions to the first season, and how his company plans to squash some of Walking Dead’s more glaring flaws – for instance, those awful game-wrecking save bugs. >
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army is quite possibly the last game that will ever be made. The title itself is the culmination of everything that has been achieved in the field of interactive entertainment. As the game is now out, I’ve honoured the occasion by making a short list of important occurrences in the launch trailer. You can find them, and it, below.
If you dig deep in any random farmer’s field or carpark in Britain, you’ll eventually find a Total War: Rome 2 trailer. They’re impressive too – shiny, dramatic and packed to the brim with tiny men of war. While I’m convinced that, at times, the game will be as attractive and grand as the videos suggest, I’m also aware that a great deal of the footage contains heavily edited historical battles rather than the kind of backwater skirmishes I usually find myself panning across from a distant vantage point that is actually tactically useful. The latest video shows the battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic tribes ambushed Romans and total warred them to death.
Do you remember when 11 Bit Studios opened pre-orders for a game before telling anyone what the game was? Today is the day of the actual announcement, so for anyone who did pre-order, can we have a drumroll please? In fact, hold the drums – let me limber up the old saliva gland and prepare my flute for action. Sit back, listen up and prepare yourself for the grand reveal. Oh, cock, I gave it away in the headline didn’t I? It’s Anomaly 2, a sequel to the tower-defence-in-reverse game that Jim enjoyed back in the day. Trailer below.
Pavilion’s beauty is best communicated through the medium of a video rather than my keyboard-rattling gasps of pleasure, so I won’t keep you long before directing you toward the trailer below. Instead of typing words to bore into your eyes, I spent the last twenty minutes trying to remember the name of another exquisitely crafted game that concerns itself with manipulation, sometimes metaphysical, rather than direct control of an avatar. That game was Gorogoa and you can play the demo now. You can’t play Pavilion yet but I reckon you just might want to.
If Uncharted were a first-person shooter, with all of its traps, tombs and mythical Nazi magnets intact, it would probably look quite a lot like Deadfall Adventures. The announcement trailer for the game, which was previously announced under a different name, doesn’t show a great deal of action, opting instead for a predictable but slightly confused voiceover, but when the shooting hits the fan in the last few seconds, the development team’s history is more apparent than the pseudo-history they are exploring. Fiery demons are the order of the day, and lots of them too. The Farm 51 is a team founded by former Painkiller developers, who returned to their original hell recently and, before that, planted some more hell in the hell of World War I with NecroVisioN. The trailer is entombed below.
While Mars: War Logs prepares to lumber into view, news reaches us today that Spiders Studio are also working on a larger project, Bound By Flame, an “action/role-playing game [that] lets you play a mercenary possessed by a flame demon in an ambitious Dark Fantasy universe”. The press release doesn’t specify whether the real-time combat can be paused but the words ‘Dark Fantasy’ followed by some wittering about sidequests, companions, romance and rivalry makes me think of Dragon Age. My brain has been sorely infected by a blight from long ago, truth be told, and the rumble of dark fantasy RPGs in the distance still sets me to thinking about copious blood-spatter and Marilyn Manson.
When you look at RPS, wherever you might be, RPS looks back at you. We’re a lot like The Void in that way. Fear not, however, for our uncanny glare should not intimidate you. Usually we simply squint through the screen and ponder what it is about our words and faces that attracts the most handsome readers of all. I can’t confirm whether or not Natural Selection 2 developers Unknown Worlds watch players of their game battling one another in the people vs aliens team-based shooter, but they are evidently pleased with their lovely playerbase because today they are releasing the Gorgeous expansion for free. “It includes Railguns, Gorge Tunnels, Descent, and quite a few fun surprises.”
“War. Face. WARFACE. War? FACE! Warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr faceceeeeeeeeeee!”. The University of Bielefeld’s articulatory phonetics department has me hooked me up to their consonant stretching apparatus. The Cawood Minnesota cheek holder made it sound rounder, while the Roser Koenig* mouth gag made me drool it out in wet clods. I said it over and over for a full hour. At one point only dogs could hear me, and they howled in derision. It’s no good. I can’t configure my mouth to make Warface sound any less ridiculous, not even with academic help. After extensive testing, we concluded that it was a silly name. So I approached my day at Crytek with swollen jawed trepidation. I was going to hear that name.
A lot. > (more…)