Insomniac Games has thrown up a quick Q and A on their website dealing with a few hot topics surrounding their upcoming FPS Fuse, answering questions regarding co-op play, different game modes, the game's shift in tone from the original Overstrike reveal, and whether or not it'll require an online pass.Click here to read more...
If you didn't pick up Trapdoor's Warp in the incredibly controversial EA Indie Bundle on point of principle, now might be a good time to do so. Origin has slashed this stealthy and susprisingly gory puzzler down to half price, which plays much like an adorable cross between Metal Gear Solid and Portal.
At a recent press event, we sat down with Insomniac's Ted Price to chat about the company's first multiplatform title - Fuse. He reveals why the game got rebranded from Overstrike, talks about some of the weapons featured in the game, and discusses some of the core gameplay features at work.
Matt Gardner (Dealspwn): You probably been asked this question a fair bit today, but it's one to which a number of our writers and readers will be eager to hear the answer: why the change from Overstrike?
Ted Price: Well, there are a number of reasons. First of all, when we developing Overstrike, we reached a point where it became really apparent that the gameplay and the story were two completely separate entities, and we didn't want that. We believed it was important, and we still believe, that the two be meshed seamlessly so that players have a more meaningful experience. So we were trying to figure out what to do; how to create a stronger identity for the game. The story really did fit with what you were doing doing in the game, so we seized upon this alien substance, which originally something of a MacGuffin, and realise that we'd had something that could start driving a lot off the gameplay: Fuse. And that's when we started calling the game Fuse. We used it to power the weapons, to form the core of the progression system, and used it as a feature to weave directly into gameplay, and everything started falling into place.
At the same time, we were dissatisfied with our weapons. Overstrike had been this rather cartoony, campy game for a while, and we were struggling with giving the weapons impact. We demonstrated one of them in our trailer back in 2011, which was more of a promise piece than anything reflective of gameplay. Izzy's glue-gun, for example, looked really cool, like something straight out of The Incredibles. It all seemed really neat and interesting, but in reality playing it wasn't that much fun. So we've had people say, “What? You could totally make that awesome!” and the fact is, we've tried! But we've been making weapons, innovative weapons in games, for a long time, and you get to a point in the creative process sometimes where you realise that a certain approach just isn't going to work, and we felt that way about almost all of the original weapons. And it was that sense of the visceral: the over-the-top satisfaction that you get from using Resistance weapons against the Chimera. So making that choice, making turning Overstrike into Fuse and making it a more grounded, mature, and visceral experience, that actually really freed us up to do some badass stuff with the weapons.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (version tested)
Developers: Insomniac Games
Publishers: EA Partners
Let's be honest; we actually rather liked the look of Overstrike - a quirky, colourful, Saturday morning cartoon of a shooter, with wildly innovative weapons, deliciously inviting and truly complimentary co-op action, and plenty of cheesy one liners. But, as Insomniac's Ted Price noted, that E3 trailer back in 2011 was more of a tantalising series of vague promises more than anything else. It was an attention-grabber, though the prospect alone would have been more than enough. Insomniac Games being given complete freedom and autonomy over their very own, completely new IP - a four-way co-operative extravaganza with unique weaponry from the people who brought you Resistance. Yes please.
But, of course, Overstrike is no more, and instead we are presented with a title that appears to have had its available colour palette dominated by greyscale, and an altogether more serious tone brought to the table. Fuse - the phoenix born from Overstrike's ashes - revolves around the same concept: four-way co-op shooter action, with plenty of outlandish weaponry upon which to feast. But it's not just a simple name change for the sake of it - which frankly we'd have disputed anyway, Overstrike is so very badass....OVERSTRIKE! - but rather a reflection of the one thing at the heart of this game. Fuse, the alien element that powers the weapons and abilities of A-Team wannabes Overstrike 9, is no longer simply a MacGuffin; it's the foundation upon which everything in this game rests.Click here to read more...
"We're very excited about Overstrike", he told CVG at E3. "It's a new IP and we want to make it the right game, so they're taking some extra time to nail the gameplay and the quality."
Carl was visibly distraught when the EA presser at E3 this year wrapped without so much of a glimpse of Insomniac's Overstrike. But EA's Frank Gibeau has explained the four-way, co-op shooter's absence from the LA show, suggesting that it needed a little more work and would be shown off this summer.
Gamescom, maybe? [CVG]
Platforms: PC | PS3 | XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Publisher: EA Partners
Shank is back in a story ripped straight out of the finest pulp Mexican flicks. With the vicious killer incentivised into yet another revenge-fuelled carnage spree by a sadistic militia who lay waste to his home town (never a good idea when Shank's involved), it's time for players to pick up their knives, rev up their chainsaws and paint the town red. Klei Entertainment's plot and premise may be delightfully hackneyed, but the action is fresh and revitalised; feeling like a brand new game rather than a quick and lazy upgrade.
Chances are that you're already familiar with the general premise. Shank 2 is a 2D brawler like its psychopathic predecessor, pulling players through linear corridors teeming with goons to kill, hazards to avoid and hulking bosses to brutalise with extreme prejudice. Your foes are quick, deadly and numerous; eager to press every advantage and reduce your health bar to zero in a in a few quick cuts, but luckily Shank has the skills, abilities and tools to survive.
In the right hands, even a raw trout can reduce a team of hired goons into greasy chunks of meat.
Click here to read more...
A tenacious NeoGaf user claims to have uncovered a mysterious site titled labelled “EAP Marketing FY13 Home Page”, created by someone called "pmarineau" [a Phil Marineau is listed as EA's director of marketing], after having discovered that Insomniac Games recently registered the title Outernauts as well as the domain names outernauts-game.com and outernauts-game.net.
The NeoGAF user claims to have stumbled upon a list of game titles on the site, some of which have already been confirmed, and some of which have not: The Secret World; Overstrike; Populous; Outernauts; Respawn. The site in question has since been cleared of all information.Click here to read more...
38 Studios have revealed the minimum recommended PC specs for their upcoming RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Nothing too taxing for the modern PC owner, but you can check the whole list after the jump.
Reckoning releases on February 7th on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.Click here to read more...
We're delighted that Shank has been green-lit for a sequel. Even though Klei Entertainment's original brawler was a self-contained narrative, most subsequent violent downloadable slaughterfests (such as Rocketbirds and BloodRayne: Betrayal) haven't managed to capture its fluid combat mechanics, attractive visual flair and OTT sense of fun. Shank 2 is set to build on its predecessor's strengths while delivering a comprehensive multiplayer mode, and I was recently able to sit down with the latest build to find out exactly what Klei are shooting for this time around.
As it turns out, we're in for more of the same: brutal, gratuitous and technical brawling with a penchant for heinous acts of bodily harm.
The singleplayer campaign portion is about as pulpy and exploitative as you'd imagine. After settling into some semblance of a normal life, Shank is brought out of retirement when a flamethrower-toting goon and paramilitary forces abduct his family, sparking yet another rip-roaring blood-soaked trail of revenge as the mental mercenary tracks down those responsible. You'd think they'd just leave him alone, to be honest. The 2D levels are packed with goons and minibosses wielding a range of weapons that require you to dart in and out of combat; identifying priority targets, debilitating others and surgically picking off the stragglers. Or just whacking them all with a shovel. Or shredding them with a minigun. The choice, as they say, is yours.Click here to read more...
Trapdoor Entertainment has released a new trailer for their upcoming downloadable puzzler Warp, which shows off the Echo and Swap abilities we discussed in yesterday's hands-on preview. It's set to be a thoroughly unique experience with some Portal overtones... and a huge amount of shocking gore. I especially enjoyed the ability to warp a barrel inside an unsuspecting human with gibby consequences - so stay tuned for that around the one minute mark.Click here for the trailer!
Warp first piqued our interest at EA's April Showcase, where this downloadable puzzler stood out against EA's more conventional lineup thanks to its innovative mechanics, eyecatching art style and buckets upon buckets of unexpected gore. Several months on, Trapdoor were proud to show us a new build featuring new abilities, challenge rooms and upgrades, and from what we can see, this unassuming little title is going to be one of the indie highlights of the year.
Players are cast as Zero: an adorable alien test subject who's been captured by the military and is forced to undergo all manner of degrading experiments and horrible vivisections. You'll spend the first few minutes of the game rolling balls through hoops and performing tricks for your sadistic captors in order to earn a meagre ration, getting used to the isometric perspective and controls as you do so. However, after being reached out to by your telepathic fellow inmate Milo (a disconcerting hovering crystal who acts as an omnipresent narrator), you'll eventually come into contact with your dissected organs... and all hell breaks loose. Zero is an incredibly powerful entity who can bend space and matter to his will, and woe betide anyone who stands in the way of his daring escape.
Click here to read more...
Shank 2 has been announced, and EA Partners will be publishing it, for release on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC in early 2012.
'We took the feedback from the community and ran with it, putting our own flavor on every change,' said Klei's Jamie Cheng. 'For Shank 2, we literally took apart the game and put it back together to push the envelope in combat mechanics, visuals, and 2D animation in games.
'Shank 2 is the best thing that Klei has done to date: we didn’t want to just “build more Shank”,' continued Cheng over at the game's new site. 'We redesigned all the underlying systems to give you twice the fidelity and far more control over our favorite stabbing man.'
One of the most interesting titles at the recent EA showcase was also one of the most undersung. EA Partners have teamed up with indie studio Trapdoor to produce an odd and anarchic experience that blurs the line between cute, cuddly characters and psychopathic, bloodsoaked violence. Since little was known about this quirky puzzler before last November, we were naturally itching to try it out for ourselves.
As it turns out, Warp is looking good even at this early stage.
Players take control of a truly adorable little lab experiment/monstrosity who has the power to teleport a short distance. Players use the twinstick formula to amble around and rotate a small reticle that indicates the destination of your warp. A quick button press later and you'll instantly appear at your target - teleporting through walls or behind enemies in the process.
Ah, yes. Enemies. As soon as you escape the first laboratory testing chamber, you'll have to contend with roving patrols of armed guards and panicky, helpless scientists (who can still raise the alarm if more powerful antagonists happen to be around). My first instinct was to use the unique teleportation mechanic to manoeuver around behind them; keeping out of sight by hiding in their blind spot and warping through walls before they reached the end of their patrol route. Stealth is incredibly important as a single enemy bullet will kill you stone dead, putting the emphasis on working out the best route through any given selection of rooms.
However, the Trapdoor rep was keen for me to try something else. When the reticle is centred on an enemy soldier or scientist, you can warp inside them, causing them to convulse in paroxysms of horrible agony as you occupied. I was instantly surprised at the sudden gritty realism of the source material and the odd juxtaposition with the cutesy character... and then, with a smile on her face, the rep told me to waggle the thumbstick. So obligingly, I did. And the hapless scientist erupted into a gory fountain of blood, bones and gibs.
It was awesome.
Click here to continue reading our Warp preview >>