I remember interviewing Ted Price at an EA showcase a couple of years back and wondering where the boundless energy of the Ted Price I had in my head had gone. The game Insomniac was showing off there was Fuse, and only a few weeks before, a new trailer had emerged that probed our deepest fears for that game -- the transformation of a colourful, mechanically-noteworthy shooter into a grey mess with a far more serious tone.
I asked him why the name had changed from Overstrike 9 and it looked like something behind his eyes just died.
But Sunset Overdrive is different. It's colourful, loaded with bonkers weaponry, and seems utterly determined to prove that post-apocalyptic games can embrace a frenzied party of irreverent fun, all the while channelling the spirit of Crackdown and Jet Set Radio and, according to Insomniac's community lead James Stevenson, The Omega Man.Click here to check out my interview with Insomniac's James Stevenson >>
At a recent Microsoft showcase, I sat down with Playground games' creative director, Ralph Fulton, to have a bit of a chat about the upcoming Forza Horizon 2. The hands-on preview is already live, and here's a little taster:
The dusty tracks of Colorado are abandoned in the sequel for the sweeping coastlines of Southern France and a Northern Italy, on a map that Playground are touting as being three times the size of the original game's. The difference is clear already, and for this European writer at least, enormously welcome. Even in the short demo I breezed through, everything seems a little more vibrant, the vineyards and rolling fields delivering more colour, peppered with quaint Mediterranean villages. The Lamborghini that adorns every shot of Horizon 2's marketing is certainly more at home here - a millionaire's paradise, and a driving fan's dream.
Forza Horizon release for Xbox One on September 30th.
Alien: Isolation made me jump so high out of my seat at one point that one of the reps in the near-pitch-black room started audibly chuckling. I had flashbacks of my time with The Evil Within a couple of weeks before, and I determined that I'm not built for horror games.
Of course, the trouble is that I can't help myself when they're really, really good. I adore Resident Evil 2 and 4, and I loved my time with Dead Space and Amnesia. And I came away from Alien: Isolation shaking like a leaf but with a grin fixed to my face. Forget the disappointment of Colonial Marines, Creative Assembly have done something rather special here. By taking inspiration from Ridley Scott's original masterpiece of oppressive tension rather than James Cameron's equally brilliant (but in a totally different way) action bonanza, Creative Assembly might be delivering us a game finally worthy of Giger's monstrous xenomorph.
It all starts with fans making the Alien game that they always wanted to play, and to find out a little bit more I sat down with creative lead Al Hope to find out exactly how he and the team are going about doing just that.Click here to watch our interview with Alien: Isolation's creative lead, Al Hope >>
Carbine have been so busy over the past couple of years detailing the reams of content that they'll be stuffing into WildStar, that not much has emerged on what'll be on offer come Level 50. But that all changed with the supreme unveiling of the Warplots content last week. As Carl detailed in his enormous fact-stuffed blowout a few days ago, Warplots will serve up a 40-v-40 carnival of PvP goodness as two beefy War Parties craft and customise their own battle fortresses before plonking them down and slugging it out for ultimate victory.
As the marvellous Mr. Phillips puts it, "it’s basically as if the original incarnation of World of Warcraft’s Alterec Valley and indie title Orcs Must Die! had a baby, and then many Chua were rained upon it for kicks – that’s pretty much Warplots in a nutshell."
That sounds pretty awesome, even to a relative MMO noob such as myself, so naturally I had to ask design producer Stephan Frost about it when I caught up with him at the end of last week.
Click here for more, cupcake >>
Psyonix and Square Enix's free-to-play, asymmetrical PvP shooter Nosgoth is in closed beta right now, and we had a chance to check out some of the new classes and muck about in the game last week.
You can check out my Nosgoth preview here, and here are a few thought I had following my hands-on:
I had a blast with Nosgoth but I want to see more. We were only playing 4-v-4 team deathmatch. I want more modes, inventive game types. I'd love to see bigger maps and more combatants. Beacham mentioned the War For Nosgoth mode, which is basically the ranked tournament mode for the game that'll become available at regular time intervals, but I'm still curious as to how Psyonix and Square are planning on keeping players hooked for the long haul. I had fun, sure, but I'll need more if I'm going to invest time, let alone money, in the long term. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you an update on that soon as we jump into the game's beta for an extended stint.
Afterwards, I sat down for a chat with Square Enix game director Bill Beacham to talk about Nosgoth, how important its been to the dev team to leverage the extensive lore that the universe and the Kain IP have to offer, the challenges faced in creating a game that has two tyeams with very different playstyles, and how Square Enix are looking to make a F2P game that is all about growing the community first and monetising second.
At this year's EGX Rezzed, there were plenty of indie titles on show that take slight spins on existing genres to create new experiences, but one title on show took matter the extra mile in that department by blending several genres together in an experience that changes at a moment's notice. That game is Concursion - an upcoming indie title from Puuba studios - and I was invited to talk to one of the key players behind the game, developer Daniel Garfield, on the show floor. We'll have a hands-on impressions piece landing later this week, but in this interview we learn about the influences Garfield had, the challenges of balancing a game that at first glance probably shouldn't work, and its notable musical direction.
You can learn more about Concursion by heading over to its Steam Greenlight page. Stay tuned for our preview later this week.
Virtual Reality has the power to immerse us in brave new worlds, to make our gaming experiences infinitely more powerful and personal. As such, a new wave of VR adventures are currently in development for Oculus Rift and other platforms, designed to take advantage of its intimate and overwhelming new perspective.
Private Eye is one such project, currently being developed by Jake Slack. This investigative thriller casts players as a wheelchair-bound detective who has to recall pivotal events from his past and scrutinise clues from a first-person perspective, exploring a gritty 1950s setting in full 360 degrees. Originally developed during a Game Jam, it's now vying for mainstream exposure on Steam Greenlight.
Having tried it out at EGX Rezzed (and being thoroughly mindblown in the process), naturally we grabbed Slack for a in-depth interview. Discover how Private Eye plans to shake up the adventure genre, what Oculus Rift can do for the genre and what real developers think about the controversial takeover in the video above. Subscribe to Dealspwn for more gaming videos.
Flushed with success from addictive Vita skateboarding game OlliOlli, Roll7 have revealed that their brand new title is a very different kettle of fish. Not A Hero blends cinematic cover-based shooting with two-dimensional platforming, casting players as a washed-up failed hero who performs increasingly bizwetworks to further his boss' political career.
His boss being a "giant purple rabbit from the future" called Bunny Lord. Because... why not.
Keen to learn more, we grabbed Roll7's John Ribbins for an interview at EGX Rezzed, during which we discussed Not A Hero's setting, gameplay, stern difficulty level and inspirations. With our site's official mascot -- Toby The Dealspwny -- overseeing the proceedings from his shoulder.
You can watch it all in the video above, or on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for our video preview at 17:00!
Vlambeer's Rami Ismail is a bit of a legend, really. When he's not producing the likes of Super Crate Box, Luftrausers and Nuclear Throne, you'll find him championing indie games and speaking out against Microsoft's restrictive policies.
So naturally we had to grab him for an interview at EGX Rezzed.
Over the course of ten minutes, the Vlambeer guru looks back at Luftrausers' success and reception, discusses some high-level tactics and plane builds, explains why Microsoft's indie parity clause is holding them back and looks forward to the upcoming release of Nuclear Throne.
Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies was one of the biggest announcements of Rezzed 2014: a standalone multiplayer expansion pack that will act as a new point of entry for the series. The US Forces and Oberkommando West will grant us completely unique gameplay experience set throughout a brand new theatre of war, which slots straight into the existing multiplayer of Relic Entertainment's impressive RTS.
Want to know more? So did we. Luckily Company Of Heroes 2 producer Greg Wilson and game director Quinn Duffy were on hand to answer our many questions about the two armies, maps and new tactical opportunities that commanders will encounter on The Western Front.
Naturally we also had time to quiz them about Homeworld, the next Warhammer game and developing during THQ's implosion. They're fantastic sports, as you'll see in the video below.Click here to read more...
Andy Ford wears a number of hats: web developer, Dealspwn regular, and now Nintendo third-party partner, he's just about to release his first game on Wii U -- a physics-based puzzler called Internal Invasion. Take the drag-aim-fire mechanics from Angry Birds, add in multiple catapult points, replace the catapults with cannons and the birds with a robot, and the setting with various cartoonish visions of a human's insides and you're most of the way there.
Players have to guide the medical nanobot Ro-Bert through a series of delightfully squelchy human organs, passages, and gauntlets of bone and tissue in a bid to prevent an invading virus from taking hold. You fire Ro-Bert from cannon to cannon across the game's ever-expanding 50 levels, aiming for the green arrow at the end of each level, and using the pills you find to give you little boosts of propulsion to help steer between the cannons. There's a time limit on each level, and your grade out of five at the end is determined by your speed as well as whether or not you picked up all of the pills.
Needless to say, it's fiendishly addictive; and I'm rubbish at it. I'll blame that on the fact that I was playing the HTML 5 version rather than the deliciously tactile, touch-based Wii U experience. Yup, that's my excuse.
Anyway, I caught up with Andy to have a little chat about Internal Invasion and what it's been like working with Nintendo as an indie developer. Internal Invasion wasn't original designed for the system, but as the game developed, it seems like making the jump to Nintendo's wii box of tricks (sorry) was the only way for Ford to make the game as he wanted it.Click here to read more...
Voice actors are becoming increasingly important in our industry, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in narrative-driven action titles such as inFamous: Second Son.
Well, in order to take a closer look at the nature of bringing virtual characters to life, we sat down with critically-acclaimed voice actor Troy Baker at a recent inFamous: Second Son event to have a chat about fleshing out the game's protagonist -- Delsin Rowe -- with voice and character and personality, as well as discussing some of Baker's most challenging roles, and the rising stock of voice actors in an industry that is truly beginning to find its feet as a narrative medium.
inFamous: Second Son has a lot riding on it. It's the first major first-party title for the PS4 since the console's launch, and excitement is clearly high for Sucker Punch's game. The bundle is already outselling the Xbox One's Titanfall package, and there's no doubt that inFamous: Second Son *looks* the part.
We'll have a much more in-depth look at the game next week when the embargo lifts and we can share our Second Son review with you.
In the meantime, we sat down for a chat with Brand Development Manager Ken Schramm at a recent event for the game, and here's a little video interview with Ken talking about how the team leveraged the power of the PS4 to try and create a more immersive experience, some of the powers and play-styles that are on offer in the game, the importance of Delsin Rowe as a character, and also about the pressure of producing the first big-name, exclusive PS4 title following the console's launch.
Last week, in a creepy, dilapidated town house somewhere in East London with bloodstained rugs (fake) and lashings of cobwebs (real) for added ambience, I had a chance to sit down for a chat with Eric Studer, the producer at Airtight Games, and discuss some of the elements underpinning the studio's upcoming adventure-mystery game -- Murdered: Soul Suspect.
Adventure games, and mystery games in particularly, have made the jump from their 2D origins to 3D in mixed fashion. But we had a blast with L.A. Noire, we got a great kick out of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, and we're looking forward to the finished version of Murdered with eager anticipation.
Here's a game that has the balls to kill your character within the first five minutes and then have you investigate your own death.
But what does that mean practically? Why doesn't Conan just float off to the afterlife? How will we interact with the physical world, if that's even possible? What's the deal with Demons? And, wait a second, did you mention powers?Click here to read more...
Eidos Montreal are no strangers to rebooting beloved IPs. They did a cracking job on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and now they've turned their attention to the master pilferer Garrett with Thief.
But stealth games are in an odd place right now. There seems to be an attitude of inclusivity that, whilst not a bad thing in and of itself, has rendered a number of games jacks of action and clandestine gameplay, but masters of neither. So it is that we've had serviceable titles such as Hitman: Absolution that have tried to walk the tightrope between two caps, but ultimately wound up disappointing both parties.
Having one's clandestine cake and stealthily eating it too has proven difficult.
Thief looks like it might change all of that. Yes, it has a glowing, sixth-sense overlay at the push of a button, but the game's apparently been balanced without it, and everything is open to customisation. Eidos' approach to solving the issue appears to have been to make the game that they wanted to make, and then let the player tweak every last aspect the want to make the game as crushingly, deliciously hardcore as they would like. You know where we stand on this: choice is always welcome.
Our review is on the way, so we'll be able to judge this for ourselves come Monday, but I recently sat down with lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt and game director Nicolas Cantin to chat about how the studio went about delivering a modern reboot of this shadowy classic series, and how the dev team hope to please fans and newcomers alike.Hit the jump to check out our recent Thief interview >>
I've been on a bit of a VR trip of late. Ever since THAT mind-blowing EVE: Valkyrie Gamescom demo, in fact. So when I had an opportunity earlier this week to check out the upcoming sci-fi adventure game Loading Human, from developers Untold Games, I absolutely jumped at the chance.
You can read my account of the 30-45 minutes hands-on session in my preview here, but here's a TL:DR brief summary anyway:
Untold Games are pointing the way forwards for adventure games with Loading Human; this is a tantalising possible future for the genre and for interactive storytelling in general. But whether or not it takes off sooner rather than later will all come down to execution. We're on the cusp of having the most immersive interactive narrative experiences any of us have ever seen; fingers crossed that the tech holds up.
Afterwards, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with Flavio Parenti and Elisa Di Lorenzo -- the creative and technical heads respectively at Untold Games for this project -- and our discussion ranged from the origins of Loading Human to how the team are pressing forward in rather pioneering fashion, to point the way forwards for the adventure genre.Click here to read more...
So, tomorrow I'll be heading to a special event for WildStar to learn about the final two classes, the Medic & the Engineer (which were revealed today). We'll be getting some hands-on time with the latest build of the game, but we'll also be chatting to Matt Mocarski, who is the Creative Director for the upcoming MMO.
So, just like with our interviews with Chad Moore and Stephan Frost, we've giving you the chance to submit some questions. Do you want to know something about WildStar that the Class Drop coverage hasn't addressed? Perhaps you want to ask about the design for the classes? Maybe you want to know how they'll all fit into the PvP side of things? Or you could use the opportunity to stir the pot for the upcoming Frost Vs Pappy developer deathmatch - it's up to you!
Go on, don't be shy - what do YOU want to know about WildStar? Post your questions below and I'll do my best to get them asked tomorrow. You can alternatively drop me a line on Twitter (@CarlPhillipsUK) over the course of Wednesday if you think of any last-minute questions.
Additionally, stay tuned to the site as later today we'll be posting part four of our WildStar Class Drop Wrap-ups, which may or may not once again demonstrate my amazing (and in no way rushed) image editing skills.
Deadfall Adventures is looking to bring a few new elements to the Indiana Jones-esque adventuring sub-genre for which Nathan Drake and Lara Croft might well be the poster children these days. For starters, the game has taken on a first-person perspective, bringing the easy immersion and immediate action of stepping directly into a player-character's shoes. But then there's also the fact that the game goes back to classic source material for its inspiration, particularly the novels of H. Rider Haggard.
We sat down with producer Martin Kreuch at a Deadfall event last week to have a bit of a chat about Allan Quatermain and his great-grandson, how to string up your chums in multiplayer with deadly traps, and why the Steam Box initiative is really exciting from a development standpoint.
We'll have a Deadfall Adventures review for you later this week.Click here to read more...
I was not kind to Ryse: Son of Rome coming out of Gamescom. Nothing I had seen of the game, nor the limited hands-on time I'd had with it, had given me much of a sense of excitement. Here was what looked like a QTE-stuffed slaughterfest with a rather basic combat system and a heavy emphasis on being cinematic -- an adjective that nearly always makes me groan.
That being said, I admitted towards the end of my rather ranty video that I'd probably end up playing it anyway because I'm a sucker for hack and slash titles, I love the setting, and the genre is so poorly represented much of the time that anything looking even remotely interesting deserves some kind of recognition.
And then I got hands-on with the singleplayer earlier in the week.
The preview is coming next week, and I won't be doing a full u-turn, but I will say this: I had fun. It's a game that I now rather want to play, in the same way that Viking: Battle For Asgard was a game that I wanted to play, and then greatly enjoyed. That doesn't mean Ryse is a good game, I can't make that assessment yet and my hands-on time answered precious few of my many questions, but it does mean that for certain fans of a certain subgenre, it's going to hold some appeal.
Of course, it helps that I had the chance to chat extensively with the design team. It's clear that the team have taken inspiration more from Rocksteady's Batman series than the God of War; the cinematography -- that is to say the manipulation of the camera to frame the action -- is simply superb; and I dig on the setting and the time period, even if the story does take a few historical liberties in terms of accuracy.
But we'll get to all of that. In the interim, here's my interview with design director Patrick Esteves, and he can tell you about the game in his own words.Click here to read more...
I've been rather underwhelmed by the exclusive offerings of both Sony and Microsoft up to this point, but Dead Rising 3 has given me a hefty hook and provided some much needed excitement. With more news each day of further game delays, and the wise choice looking like patience and prudence this Christmas, Capcom Vancouver have turned up with a game that I really, really want. I don't know how good it's going to be, I don't know just how deep all of the systems run, but I do know this: that game put the biggest smile on my face at Microsoft's Xbox One showcase yesterday, and it still hasn't come off. It's funny, it's empowering, it's expansive and ambitious, there's reams of choice and customisation. This is how you craft catharsis.
Dead Rising 3 is one of the Xbox One's flagship launch titles, carrying a hefty amount of expectation upon its shoulders. It's had a bit of a rough year in terms of reveals to the public at E3, framerate issues and Gamescom , and the stuttering, see-sawing marketing messages from Microsoft, but njow, close to launch, it looks like it's coming out of the gates hot. - Dead Rising 3 Preview
We sat down with executive producer Josh Bridge at a showcase event earlier this week to chat about how the power of the Xbox One is being used to propel the franchise forwards with this third game.Click here to read more...