Videogames highlights - July 2012
Gaming machines of this generation are soon to be retired, I was saying the last time, and who is working on the “next-gen” technologies thinks about “philosophical” improvements to development besides the predictable evolutionary jump in the graphics department. Waiting to test the effects of this greater focus on design in triple-A titles, the following post is mainly about indie games in development that don’t necessarily need the Unreal Engine 4 to have their say or engage players.
Born from design by Ben Ruiz and from coding work by Matthew Wegner, Aztez is a strange hybrid between a sword-based, side-scrolling beat’em and a turn-based strategic game: the foundation of it all is Ruiz’s philological passion for fighting games, fused together with a black-and-white graphic style that reminds the bloodthirsty MadWorld. Based on the Unity 3D engine, Aztez is scheduled to be released on PC and Mac in 2013 with the promise of featuring an “incredible” amount of violence. The comic type.
No less odd than a black and white beat’em up is this Deadlight, a mix between cinematic platform and survival horror created by the Spanish Tequila Works for Microsoft Studios. The game has been released exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade at the beginning of August with a not exactly enthusiastic opinion from critics, even though many agree on highlighting the title’s undoubted artistic qualities and atmosphere. Now my hope is that Tequila Works decide to release a PC version of the game soon, a pretty plausible chance considering that the software house retains the rights for the Deadlight brand.
Made by IO Interactive for publisher Square Enix, Hitman: Absolution marks the return of the quintessential action-adventure assassin, that Agent 47 that debuted with the first Hitman 12 years ago. The latest chapter in the “professional” stealth game saga will feature a more accessible approach to the hitman job, the developers say, yet it will continue to offer the same hardcore experience to players. To be released on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on November 20, Hitman: Absolution will infect the market with an “Absolution Deluxe Professional Edition” and its attached dolly as well.
From the stealthy murders of Agent 47 let’s now move to the slaughters of Hotline Miami, an ultraviolent indie title that winks one eye to retrogaming and the other one to the lysergic atmospheres with neon graphics and a synth-pop soundtrack that seem to come out right from the Eighties. Or something like this. To be released on PC (Windows/Mac) within 2012, with a yet-to-be-specified console version already planned.
R.A.W. - Realms of Ancient War
The remarkable commercial success of Diablo III has clearly opened the doors to a new wave of hack’n slash titles with a fantasy/gothic/horror set. Also part of the post-Diablo III horde is R.A.W. - Realms of Ancient War, a game made by Wizarbox and published by Focus Home Interactive that lets the player choose between three different character classes, smash a huge number of foes on screen and play on-line (hopefully ONLY as an additional option and not as a base requirement) in co-operative mode. To be (digitally) released on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 within this month. I pass, for now: I still have to complete the Nightmare difficulty of Diablo III and return to play Diablo II.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
Another interesting action RPG for computer is the one being developed by the Neocore Games folks, makers of the previously released RTS-RPG hybrid King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing follows the footsteps of the young son of the most known vampire killer of gothic literature, who of course is a vampire killer himself and that more generally kills every sort of monster including werewolves and/or giant rats. Neocore promises action, adventure and black humour, but right now the company hasn’t pointed out an exact date for the game’s release. That should happen within 2012, anyway.
- Videogames highlights - December 2012
- Videogames highlights - October 2012
- Videogames highlights - September 2012
- Videogames highlights - June 2012
- Videogames highlights - May 2012
- Videogames highlights - April 2012
- Videogames highlights - February 2012
- Videogames highlights - January 2012
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