[Apologies! The original source suggested that the enemy numbers were cut in half. The original article has been updated with Rhianna Pratchett clarifying that the first encounter should have an impact on the player. This post has been updated correcting the error]
“It’s very difficult to keep that good affable character when they’re having to slaughter loads of people,” Pratchett told Kill Screen in a recent interview, explaining how the Crystal Dynamics tried to maintain “Tomb Raider”’s suspension of disbelief. “But what we tried to do with Lara was at least have the first death count.”
“‘Tomb Raider’ raised a lot of comparisons to the ‘Uncharted’ series, and both games show that tension of having very life-like and ordinary human characters killing hordes of bad guys,” Pratchett continued. “This is a constant tension, and I don’t imagine that any one game developer has the magic bullet to just solve it.”
Here’s your games industry curio for the day: “Sturmwind” is an old-style shoot-’em-up that took seven years to develop and will be coming to the Sega Dreamcast at the end of April. The Dreamcast!
According to Indie Statik’s abridged history of the game, “Sturmwind” has been in development by a German indie studio named Duranik since at least 2006, when a one-level demo codenamed “Native” made its way online. “Native” was an Atari Jaguar CD game, but it was converted to the Dreamcast project now known as “Sturmwind.”
Duranik eventually struck a deal with Red Spot Games, a publisher and distributor that specializes in WiiWare, Xbox Live Indie, and Dreamcast games. After a few more mishaps -- like a disc production company going bankrupt mid-production -- “Sturmwind” will see the light of day on April 24.
Much to my dismay, I’ve never actually played “Persona 4,” even though “Persona 3” is hands-down one of my favorite Japanese-style role-playing games ever.
I love the way “Persona 3”’s story and mechanics are intertwined, the way its Social Links crept into and informed my nightly dungeon crawling. Hoping that “Persona 4” would fill the void of its predecessor, I actually bought it a few years ago, with every intention of solving the grisly murders plaguing the sleepy town of Inaba.
Unfortunately, while living in the seedier part of town, my house was broken into and all of my PlayStation 2 games -- among other things -- were stolen. Time moved on, some life happened, and I never made it back to “Persona 4.”
Well, now I really don’t much of an excuse any more: Atlus have dropped the price of “Persona 4: Golden” to $29.99, a $10 savings on the standard $40 price tag.
After what seems like years of complete radio silence, The Behemoth have been on a hype-blitz for “Battleblock Theater,” detailing its modes, its closed beta, its PAX East tournament, and its built-in level editor. As of yesterday, and thanks to this spiffy trailer, “Battleblock Theater” (finally) has a hard release date: the arena-based multiplayer action-platformer will be available on Xbox Live Arcade on April 3, for 1600 Microsoft points.
Normally, release dates aren’t a particularly big deal: a developer announces a new game, and it comes out a year later, give or take. If it’s a big game, you can expect it in October, November, or March. But “Battleblock Theater” has been in development for so long, it almost seems like an elaborate practical joke, like someone moved April Fool’s Day back two days this year.
We haven’t covered “Gone Home” here at MTV yet, but a new trailer featuring the dulcet tones of early-90’s Bratmobile seems like as good an angle as any.
“Gone Home” is an exploration game about the Greenbriar family, set in rural Oregon in 1995. Katie comes home from a trip abroad to find out that her entire family -- Mom, Dad, and sister Samantha -- have disappeared. As I understand it, the entire game takes place in the Greenbriar’s somewhat expansive home and follows Katie as she pokes through her family’s life to figure out what happened to them. Read More...
Last month, “Katamari Damacy” and “Noby Noby Boy” creator Keita Takahashi teased that his next game would be developed in conjunction with the Wild Rumpus -- a British group devoted to hosting events and tournaments for indie multiplayer games -- and debuted at GDC. Read More...
One of the most pervasive ideas in the games industry is that games with female characters don’t sell well. It’s a self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating idea: companies avoid publishing games with leading ladies, and then cite the lack of sales as a reason to keep avoiding those types of games.
When asked by Official Xbox Magazine in February if the “Gears of War” series could ever feature a woman COG in the starring role, for example, Epic Games art director Chris Perna demurred: “That's certainly interesting but I don't know," he explained. "If you look at what sells, it's tough to justify something like that."
Dontnod Entertainment faced similar opposition when shopping their upcoming cyberpunk action game “Remember Me” -- which stars Nilin, an ex-combat operative and memory hunter -- to publishers. “We had some [companies] that said, ‘Well, we don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed. You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.,’” Dontnod creative director Jean-Max Morris told the Penny Arcade Report recently.
Atlus did their best to release a new gameplay trailer for “Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers” today, leading up to the game’s impending release in April. It’s hard to gussy up a complex series of menus for an action-packed trailer, but Atlus it’s a valiant effort: “Megami Tensei” devotees already know that they’re in for a fair bit of cyberpunk dungeon-crawling, first-person turn-based combat, and complex demon fusion when they step into Amami City. Read More...
Soldiers slam into cover, carried by the momentum of their weighty armor. Bodies explode in huge, chunky bits when tagged with a frag grenade, and the sawed-off shotgun kicks mightily when fired, more like a turn-of-the-century blunderbuss than the lightweight lasers that so frequently arm the heroes of other science fiction. The way Damon Baird clean-and-jerks the Mulcher onto a piece of waist-high concrete -- giving the Gatling Gun a little heave as he spins to face whatever oncoming monstrosity has crawled from the ground -- makes me feel tired.
At one point near the end of “Gears of War: Judgment,” the normally rambunctious Augustus Cole remarks that he’s running out of energy, that he can’t take much more abuse from the Locust storm troopers. The same might be said for the series as a whole: humankind’s inexorable march to victory over the enemy Locust reached its apex in “Gears of War 3,” and there’s nothing left to do but lay down one’s burdens.
It’s no coincidence that “Judgment” feels so stripped down, then. The heavy machinery of “Gears of War” has been dismantled and reconstructed by developers People Can Fly into something lighter, sleeker, more efficient, and more principled. Read More...
Daedalic Entertainment announced today that they’re working “Memoria,” the studio’s sequel to last year’s “Chains of Satinav.”
If none of that sounds familiar, fear not! Daedalic are a German studio that specializes in point-and-click adventure games. “Chains of Satinav” and “Memoria” are based on a fantasy role-playing franchise called “The Dark Eye.” Read More...