Tag Archives: Focus Home Interactive

Vampyr review

Mixing elements of Remember Me and Life is Strange; Vampyr takes the strengths of Dontnod’s previous titles and successfully blends the two into a mighty offering.

What if you awoke to find that you had become a blood-sucking creature? That’s exactly the premise behind Vampyr and in the opening scenes, the game establishes the main character, Doctor Jonathan Reid, and sets a vague back-story. So begins a quest to save London from an epidemic, and more importantly, find out how Jonathan has become a Vampire.

To do this you must guide Jonathan through many varied conversations with the inhabitants of London, spread across four districts. ­Despite being a vampire most people are only too happy to chat and only by talking with all of the NPCs will you unravel the many mysterious stories that each of them hide. Talking not only reveals hidden secrets about the world, but side quests can also be uncovered, which potentially means more XP can be gained, which is the cleanest way to unlock your vampiric powers.

Should you decide to fully embrace the life of a vampire, revealing all hidden information about each character before you ‘embrace’ them (read bite them in the neck) will reward the maximum amount of XP for their demise. A mesmerize mechanic means you need to be at least the same level as an NPC you wish to bite, meaning you can’t wipe out someone integral to the storyline.

If you can’t resist the urge to bite someone or need a swift boost in XP then you will not only risk losing quests, but whole social circles can collapse and eventually the district these people reside in will fall to chaos. Instead of the streets being lined with vampire hunters, they fill with all manner of evil creatures – werewolves included.

It’s a wonderful system that keeps you constantly considering whether the risk is worth the reward. This is further exasperated by an XP system that is only deposited when you sleep in a safehouse, only then can you spend XP in skill trees. It’s during this moment that time moves and each district’s health changes depending on your previous actions. It’s a really neat mechanic that will make you ponder the best moment to use your banked XP – sleeping while a district is close to turmoil, a citizen is in danger or neglect to craft some medicine to heal a district’s inhabitants, and it will fall into chaos far quicker.

Districts can also fall through your own negligence. What may seem like an insignificant character can often turn out to be someone of great importance. Then there are characters that are pillars in each community – let these people fall and the whole area can be wiped out in a single night. It’s an incredible feat that DONTNOD have expertly crafted using all their experience from developing Life is Strange – but if you don’t like to talk then you may find Vampyr quite the bore.

Despite its many accomplishments with the narrative, the game’s biggest and must surprisingly downfall is the combat. I loved the combat of Remember Me, so I am a little bemused at how DONTNOD have got it so wrong with Vampyr.

In the early hours of the game the combat is brutal. One hit kills are unfair and you get ganked by groups of thugs. Invest some XP in one or two skills and craft your weapons up a few levels and soon you will have no problem with the combat. This does mean that boredom can set in pretty quickly. Each combat scenario is essentially a rinse and repeat of the last – not even boss battles can provide enough respite.

Eventually, facing the same enemy types over and over becomes a drag and towards the end of the game defeated enemies yield little XP, meaning I opted to just run through the streets of the London rather than battling through them.

The combat isn’t a complete loss. Despite a lack of finesse there is a neat system of health, stamina and blood. Health is the obvious trait to explain, as is stamina, which governs whether you can attack or dodge. Blood restricts your use of vampiric powers and only by using certain weapons or syringe buffs can you restore your blood quickly.

Another way to replenish blood is to bite an enemy by first stunning them by either sneaking up on them or by knocking their stamina down. Each enemy is also resistant to certain attacks so there is a rather edgy side to combat, but one that is ultimately lost when you reach higher XP levels. The early considerations that make the combat so damn tough are quickly left by the wayside once you invest in some skills and craft better weapons. Soon you can cut through each fight by simply bashing the attack buttons while occasionally dodging and launching the odd vampiric attack.

Vampyr creates a wonderfully neat spiderweb against a stark environment so it’s a shame the combat wasn’t more polished. If you enjoy the conversational side of games – learning about people and solving tangled mysteries – then Vampyr will be an utter joy to experience. Tracking down people and piecing together their lives became a strange addiction and before deciding to bite down on a neck, I always strived to find out all I could about them. Ultimately though, your enjoyment of Vampyr will largely be governed by how much you’ve enjoyed DONTNOD’s previous work.

Thanks to Bastion for supporting TiX

New Gameplay trailer for Space Hulk: Tactics

Space Hulk: Tactics is due for release sometime in 2018 and Cyanide Studios and Focus Home Interactive have just released a brand new trailer. Space Hulk: Tactics is a faithful adaptation of the board game, set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, bringing unique twists to the cult classic formula. The new trailer showcases the game’s battle system, team management, customization and unique card system, so you’re ready for glorious combat when Space Hulk: Tactics releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Click here to read Rich’s recent review of Space Hulk Deathwing Enhanced Edition.

First twist is the innovative new card system, giving players greater control and more options than ever before. Grizzled veterans and Space Hulk newcomers alike will find the cards add a new layer of depth, replayability and customization, as explained in the trailer. Also showcased are the two non-linear, narrative-driven campaigns, offering hours of epic single-player entertainment. One campaign sees you commanding the stalwart Blood Angels Space Marine Terminators, while the other puts you in control of the alien Genestealer forces for the first time in a Space Hulk game.

The game also provides an intuitive but powerful community tool in the form of the map maker, with dozens of varied objectives and endless possible combinations of layouts, objects and tilesets. Once completed, share your maps with others for the community to play and rate.

Finally, Space Hulk: Tactics offers a deep customisation system affecting both gameplay and the appearance of your squad. Hand-craft your forces from one of four Space Marine Chapters or four Genestealer Hive Fleets. A host of cosmetic customization options for every limb, joint, and weapon allow you to choose the exact look of the units in your roster. All multiplayer cosmetics are unlocked from the very start, along with all multiplayer cards.

Space Hulk Deathwing Enhanced Edition review (PS4)

Space Hulk has had several video game iterations over the years but many of them have been based on recreating the tabletop action – what would happen if instead of turn-based you could jump directly into the hulking ceramic armour of the most elite Space Marines, the Terminators?

Space Hulk Deathwing allows you to do just that. Playing as a Space Marine Librarian, who can attack with psychic powers, and with two battle brothers at your side, you must venture onto the massive Space Hulk. Played from the first-person perspective of the Dark Angels, the main objective is to purge the Olethros of the Xenos nightmare. As you travel deeper into the mass tangle of ships that makes up a Space Hulk, a more dangerous and curious objective reveals itself – a Dark Angels vessel from the Horus Heresy is among the ships that make up the Olethros.

Safe within the hulking mass of Terminator armour and heavily armed, Space Hulk is still wonderfully tense, especially when a swarm attacks. Chaos ensues. Gunfire bleated out. I thrashed my sword around and when all was said and done, the three of us had stood firm. It was like that scene from Aliens when the Colonial Marines first get attacked, minus the fact that I didn’t lose any of my squad.

Similar in style to Vermintide, Space Hulk Deathwing is an intense action-packed shooter. Matching the board game, spawn points are always nearby and you constantly get mauled by swarms of Genestealers, which span all the usual tropes of enemy types. They claw away at your heels, slowing you down and chip away at your health, which can be replenished from a limited number of buffs from your Apothecary teammate or by accessing a Psygate – a mobile command centre that restores health and fallen allies.

Even though using the Psygate cheats the permadeath nature of Space Hulk, it’s a welcome addition to the game – the friendly AI is infuriatingly stupid, which is a huge problem during later chapters when you face the more powerful Scythe-strain and Broodlord Genestealers. Despite a limited set of squad commands, the AI are complete boneheads – standing in front of gunfire, putting themselves in harm’s way or just idly standing around.

It’s a shame that the tactical squad-based nature of Space Hulk hasn’t translated well – even though some games have done this well. Star Wars Republic Commando was very competent at integrating a squad vibe without taking too much away from the first person action, while there are also numerous third person shooters that nail squad commands.

The world of Deathwing is wonderfully crafted. Not content with just drawing inspiration from the board game, Deathwing draws on 40k as a whole. The environment changes the deeper you go into the Space Hulk and the labyrinth design of each level is fantastic, offering choke points, vast areas for set pieces and tight environments that gives the combat a wonderful intensity where chaos ensues.

The dark dank corridors of the Space Hulk can be particularly claustrophobic and yet your team is surprisingly nimble and can easily pass one another. Light bounces off of the metallic skin of the ships, flicking past vents that could be home to potential Genestealer swarms. This very present danger is made all the more unnerving by the audio, which plays on your senses with clangs and the sound of scurrying that surrounds your ears.

The essence of the board game has been perfectly distilled, although I feel that procedurally generated maps could have really ramped up the replayability of the game, which instead is reserved for Special Missions, which put you back on the Olethros to complete randomly generated missions.

Special Missions are a lot tougher and like the multiplayer mode, Psygates are only rewarded when objectives are completed, so it’s just you and your team against the Genestealers. Random mission objectives keep you on your toes for what’s next and it’s during these missions (and in multiplayer) that you are able to choose your class and earn XP that can be invested into customisation options. Ranging from aesthetic options to perks and modifications to your weapons, this journey of customisation is also shared with multiplayer.

Unlike the solo campaign, multiplayer is far more brutal, with one of my team dying as quickly as those Colonial Marines when they first entered the colony on LV-426. More Genestealers are thrown into the mix, including several Broodlords and Scythe strains – thankfully even the worst online players are more competent than the campaign AI and once you have unlocked some modifications to your weapons, even the hardest of chapters can be beaten.

As intense as the action is – and it does get super intense when up against a large attack – the action is very samey. Stand fast. Pour everything into the horde before going in for close quarters melee combat. Heal up, reload then await the next attack. This is essentially the epitome of the board game, but being an FPS I expected a little more.

One thing that does stand out from standard shooters is limb damage. Each part of your armour can only withstand so much before essentially being rendered useless, meaning you may not be able to use your weapons to defend yourself or run for cover. Take too much damage – or get hit in a vital area – and death will be imminent.

If you have tackled the board or card game, then the sense of desperation against overwhelming odds where death is always very close will ring true. For Deathwing, the game is focused far too heavily on the aggressive power of the Terminators and while intense, I never felt too threatened by the odds stacking up – ultimately you are a wrecking ball that is smashing its way through a haunted house rollercoaster ride. It’s fun, but nothing you haven’t seen before.

If you are a fan of Space Hulk and enjoyed the combat and intensity of Vermintide – slaughtering waves of enemies that can jump on you at any time – then Deathwing’s shortcomings are easily overlooked, although shooter fans may find its repetitive gameplay and the need to grind to unlock multiplayer character customisations a chore.

Thanks to Bastion for supporting TiX

E3 trailer for A Plague Tale : Innocence unleashes the Rats!

The year is 1349. The plague ravages the Kingdom of France. Amicia and her younger brother Hugo are pursued by the Inquisition through villages devastated by the disease. On their way, they will have to join forces with other orphans and evade swarms of rats using fire and light. Aided only by the link that binds their fates together, the children will face the darkest days of history in their struggle to survive. The adventure begins on Xbox… and the time of innocence ends.

A Plague Tale : Innocence is developed by Asobo Studios, based in Bordeaux, France and published by Focus Home Interactive, and was announced at E3 2017. The game will offer an adventure supported by an original scenario, with gameplay that blends action, adventure and stealth phases.

Follow our protagonists Amicia and her little brother Hugo, both orphans and on the run from the terrifying Inquisition. Our young heroes will also need to survive against an even greater danger: supernatural swarms of rats that appeared with the great plague infecting across cities and countryside.

To follow the games development you can find them on FacebookTwitter, and the official website.

 

Insurgency:Sandstorm announced for Xbox

Hitman studio IO Interactive announce buyout from Square Enix

Seasons after Fall review

It’s not often I get the chance to review a title that doesn’t rely on just your reflexes or skill. There have been a few, however, The Turing Test, Inside & Pneuma spring to mind. Seasons after Fall is one more to add to that list.

Swing Swing Submarine’s Seasons after Fall is a puzzle-platformer based around magic and nature. You start off as a ball of light; a seed, bouncing around a dark expanse, populated by other points of light. Initially here, I must admit to being a little bit apprehensive about the game. I’d not read up on it and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I need not have been concerned though, as soon you are possessing the body of a small, nimble fox.

As Fox, you’re introduced to the Sanctuary and a mysterious disembodied voice asking you to help her. The Guardians of the Seasons are slumbering and the time of the Ritual of the Seasons is upon us. As a seed, you’re in line to be involved. The first task is to approach the Guardian of Winter, a bear, and implore him to release the first seasonal Fragment. These allow you to change the seasons and interact differently with the environment. That, in essence, is Seasons after Fall, and yet, in so many other ways, it is by no means everything.

Seasons

Your control of the Fox is pretty straightforward. You can move left or right, jump using A and Yap using X. After retrieving the Winter Fragment, you are forcibly combined with it and using the right stick, you can then change the season at will. This will then have an effect on the environment you’re in to help you solve the puzzles that are presented.

These puzzles might be as simple as, how do I get onto the platform that seems out of jumping reach, or how do I remove this thing blocking my path. They also stretch to finding parts of ancient stone altars and solving some of the Achievement grabbing extras that the game contains. The puzzles that Seasons after Fall contains are a nice mixture of intriguing, fiendish and relatively easy. It won’t challenge you so much that you’ll never figure it out, and experimentation can be the key. There are a number of factors that affect your progress and often, something you’ve learned by experimenting on a different puzzle can help you solve one later down the line.

Seasons

The solutions are limited to simply changing the environment either. Small spores and sponges that scuttle away from you can be interacted with to either reach out of the way places in Fall or to shatter obstacles in Winter with a swift but cute Yap. There are so many options and choices from the main game mechanic that it can be confusing, but I promise, by the time you’re tasked with freeing the Wind Stones, you’ll have it mastered.

Perhaps that’s the point, evolving your own playing method, just as nature would. Nature itself is fantastically represented in Seasons after Fall. Each area has a palette of colour for each of the four seasons you could possibly represent there. Hues of orange and browns for Autumn (or Fall if you’re across the pond), whites and light blues for winter, greens for Spring and yellows and light greens for Summer. Each season will affect the environment, as previously mentioned, also. So ponds and lakes will turn to ice in Winter, winds will blow in Fall, rain falls in Spring and things get a little drier in Summer. All of this helps to not only set the scene, but present you with options to solve the riddles and help achieve your tasks.

Seasons

The Fox is smoothly animated, in a pastel art-style that wouldn’t be out of place in a Ubi-Art framework game. Everything looks amazing and there’s a beautifully arranged soundtrack that accompanies you in-game. After specific tasks are completed in Seasons after Fall, the music will change to something uplifting, to reinforce that feeling of progress. The orchestration compliments each season too, adding to the immersion you should feel in-game.

The story is engaging as you progress, with you initially collecting Season Fragments to complete the Ritual, but you’ll soon find yourself abandoned by your initial companion, only to be taken under the wing (or paw) of another to release the Forest from the spell it has been put under. This leads to probably the most irritating part of Seasons after Fall, if I was being picky. You are sent to the same areas of the game in order to free the four winds and set the Forest free. I don’t mind games where you backtrack on yourself in order to complete another set of puzzles, but you end up speeding through those sections to your goal. There are some subtle differences though, as you bind the Season Spirits to the stones in the Sanctuary, yet it almost seems as if the developers remembered at some stage that the first altars you discover haven’t added their spirit as they introduce another two altars to find and repair to complete the game.

Seasons

This introduces two new areas to explore, though, which is great, but finding the access areas for those two places forces you to take paths that you’ve already taken. This can make the player slightly tired, and is a little frustrating when you realise you’ve got to re-tread a path or two. It’s like sitting on your sofa with a cuppa, only to realise you’ve left the biscuits in the kitchen. The only other gripe I have it when you need to switch seasons on a moving platform. This usually leads to you falling off that platform and having to navigate to it once more.

Seasons

In short, then, Seasons after Fall is a fantastic looking environment-manipulating platform puzzler with an engaging and interesting story. It is stunningly drawn with a beautiful and complimentary soundtrack. The voice-acting is well cast and well-executed. The puzzles are challenging enough to keep you hooked as you know the solution is tantalisingly close and it’s a game that evolves your playing style as your progress. It’s slightly let down by the backtracking you’ll have in completing a set of tasks but the feeling of satisfaction you’ll get from completing the story will more than make up for it. The bottom line; should Seasons after Fall be on your playlist? Yes. Yes it should.

Thanks to Focus Home Interactive and Xbox for supporting TiX

Official Tour de France 2017 game announced

Focus Home Interactive have announced the official Tour de France 2017 video game will release June this year on Xbox One.

With Tour de France 2017, experience all the passion of Le Tour de France and conquer the coveted yellow jersey! Play as the greatest riders on the gorgeous roads of La Grande Boucle: attack, give orders to your teammates, choose the best trajectory, manage your stamina and make the decisions that will lead your team all the way to the top!

In this exciting Tour, race through time-trial stages at Düsseldorf and Marseille, before mythical mountains climbs such as le Galibier and l’Izoard, until the great finale on the Champs-Elysées. The pace of the race, stamina management, climbs and descents have been recalibrated to provide improved realism and immersion. Take advantage of key areas such as windy sections that can generate bordures. Play a full stage in real-time or accelerated x16, play the key-areas only, or even skip the stage entirely. An enhanced AI system means the challenge is also greater now, along with the risk of being disqualified if you finish a stage outside of time limit.

Players will now be able to form clans in order to join other members of the community to organize competitions, chat and compare achievements in-game. This edition features improved realism with regards to race tempo, rider speeds, sophisticated AI, as well as the management of stamina and preparation. Players also now have the ability to set riders in a paceline at anytime during the race, to protect and prepare them ahead of key-areas. A revamped progression system has been introduced in Pro Cyclist mode – fulfil the objectives given by your manager to progress within your team and beyond!

Styx: Shards of Darkness review

It’s not often that I’ll out-and-out go for a stealth game. Firstly, and probably most unbelievably for those that know me, I don’t seem to have the patience. Secondly, I love a good digital punch-up. It’s a surprising thing to learn then, that I really enjoyed the first iteration of the Styx series, Master of Shadows. There was a good combination of stealth and action, with some humour and a little bit of sneaking around. It was an Assassin’s Creed for the fantasy lovers, only without so much of the gratuitous violence. How would Styx: Shards of Darkness measure up firstly as a sequel, and secondly, as a step on from the first title?

Styx: Shards of Darkness takes up where Master of Shadows left off. The titular green-skinned hero is living in Korrangar, the city of the Dark Elves, scrabbling a living by taking contracts for petty thefts from human criminals. The game reintroduces you to the mechanics of moving Styx around for this initial mission. You’ll learn the basics of hiding as well as climbing, jumping, rope-slides, and the abilities you’ll use that are granted by the goblin’s addiction to Amber. Amber gives you specific powers, such as Amber Vision, very much similar to Eagle Vision in Assassin’s Creed, or the uncanny and fairly gross ability to cough up a clone of Styx and control it.

After you’ve successfully completed this prologue mission, you should be equipped with pretty much all you need to blend into the background and silently move yourself around the city. This is great, as the very next mission you’ll be presented with needs you to sneak aboard one of the Ambassador’s sky-vessels. This will push your skills to the limit. You’ll need to utilise your Amber Vision, which highlights not only the useful pick-ups, platforms and ropes, but more importantly, enemies.

Styx

Styx is massively strong, his acrobatic skills are testament to this, but when faced with human confrontation, the battle is by no means a foregone conclusion. Indeed, with the humans having formed C.A.R.N.A.G.E, a militia designed to stop the Green Plague, your plight and any mission you’re on is made harder by vigilant armed men, or dwarves, patrolling the areas you need to make your way to.

The arena you’re faced with aren’t flat, thankfully. A lot of thought and care has been taken in level design and if you’re patient enough, you’ll find there’s more than one route to the destination you’re after. You’ll find handy, quiet, thatched rooftops as well as attic beams to traverse. There are trunks and barrels to hide in at strategic points if required, or ledges to dangle off in an effort to stay undetected. These offer optional kill or mercy choices during your missions. My own stance on that is that it’s easier to complete your missions when there’s less aggressive enemies around but you’ll probably have your own play-style and that’s the beauty of Styx: Shards of Darkness. You can identify traps with your Amber Vision and set them accordingly, or use some particularly gross goblin vomit to poison food or water.

Styx

Like Master of Shadows, there is a welcome return to Styx staples like a pocketful of sand. This still allows you to extinguish torches from distance, usually to draw enemies closer to finish them off. You also get breakable distractions like flasks or empty glasses. Equip and toss them liberally to get rid of the guards. There’s a whole host of other collectibles to pick up too, some almost as a side mission. You can tear down C.A.R.N.A.G.E recruitment posters or collect other items for rewards or to craft useful things, such as darts. The useful stuff can be crafted at various points around the area you’re in, or at your home, deep in the slums of Korrangar.

The city is dark. Too dark in some respects and as there is usually more than one path to your goal, the likelihood is that you’ll end up getting lost and spend a lot of time checking patrol patterns to find your optimum kill point. It can become tedious, as does the sheer amount of dying you’ll do. Yes, you’ll die a lot. This is tempered by the fact that, as opposed to Master of Shadows, you can run away from a fight and hide until the heat is off. Given Styx’s hit and miss ‘parry’ feature, this is probably the best way to go about it.

Styx

One thing that the game lacks is a map. Too many times, I focused in on an unsuspecting C.A.R.N.A.G.E member, casually looking the other way, when another enemy wanders around the corner to discover and kill me. Amber Vision only goes so far, and cannot see through walls. You can use a nod to an RPG system to extend attributes for Styx, like extending Amber Vision, the time your clones get to spend roaming around and a few other things.

This isn’t to say that Styx is the perfect game. The later stages re-use earlier environments and with this comes the familiarity that this brings. There are some extra sections accessible here, but a few new areas would’ve been great. The locations that you do get are incredibly detailed though, if a little dark. As mentioned, each place you’re asked to explore is lushly drawn and they are a veritable rabbit warren of tunnels, rooms and rooftops. A beautiful killing field of multiple levels.

Styx

The voice-acting is adequate, with your foes chatting away in the background, all except for Styx, who wise-cracks away like Bruce Willis in an action-movie. The environment produces noise, like when you accidentally knock a chair, highlighted in blue in Amber Vision. This in turn, alerts the guard, whatever form you’re facing them in, so stealth in it’s purest form is the name of the game. Pick your targets and dispatch them at the right time, but most importantly, do it quietly.

Control-wise, Styx responds well to most of your commands, with the only issue I had being the drop to ledge option. Its almost like it needs a specific set of conditions in order for it to work correctly. Other than that, Styx is very responsive and so are the guards. When it all boils down to it, there’s enough give in the gameplay overall to make these little niggles more than bearable.

Styx: Shards of Darkness is a stealth game above all else. The settings you need to creep around are beautifully crafted and conceived. Sights are not usually complete without sounds, and from water, to wind, to the occasional footstep of the imminently-doomed foes you’re about to encounter, Styx rounds the experience off nicely. The story is interesting enough to wrap all of this neatly into a stealth game that won’t hear you creeping up on it until it’s too late. Shards of Darkness is a worthy successor to critically acclaimed Master of Shadows. Go buy it.

Thanks to Cyanide Studios and Xbox for supporting TiX

Launch trailer aired for Styx: Shards of Darkness

Styx Shards

The time is nearly here. Cyanide Studios and Focus Home Interactive are on the final stretch before the release of Styx: Shards of Darkness. They’ve released a new launch trailer for the game, explaining a little more about the story you’ll face as the titular character, Styx.

This master of stealth will need all of his guile and agility as he sneaks and assassinates across an intense, dark fantasy world filled with deadly secrets and enemies. Here you’ll get a taster of Styx’s abilities, quick acrobatics and even quicker tongue.

Styx: Shards of Darkness will see the agile goblin make an unexpected deal with a mysterious human officer named Helledryn. She’s got a job for Styx, with far higher stakes than anything he’s tackled before. She will task Styx with stealing an ambassador’s sceptre, which has attracted the interest of several nefarious and as it happens, goblin-hating parties. As a reward for completing this most dangerous of tasks, he’s been promised a veritable mountain of magical Amber, the source of all Styx’s power and a substance he’s hopelessly addicted to.

Revisit and master the verticality and non-linear gameplay of Styx: Shards of Darkness. The open environments, combined with a huge array of tools and abilities offered in this new Styx game. Can’t find a way through a particularly troublesome doorway? Use Amber-vision to scout the path ahead, distract the guards with a controllable Goblin clone then emerge from temporary invisibility to poke them in the back with your dagger and if you don’t like to kill alone, let a friend join in with the drop-in co-op. It’s nearly time to get creative with your killing path once more.

Styx: Shards of Darkness will be unleashed on an Xbox One near you on the 14th of March. Just enough time to stock up on your Amber.

Team up for the kill with new Styx: Shards of Darkness trailer

Styx

What’s better than guiding a super-agile, green skinned goblin assassin around a wholly imaginary fantasy world, killing and causing mischief? How about doing all of that and more, with a friend? Developer Cyanide Studios are going to allow you to do just that as they’ve revealed a brand new co-op mode for their upcoming release, Styx: Shards of Darkness.

Announced in a new trailer, below, you and your friend can sneak your way through the game together; jumping, climbing, hiding, cracking jokes and killing happily with each other thanks to the game’s drop-in / drop-out co-op mode.

At any time during the adventure, you are able to invite a friend to join your current session, sneaking around with you for an alternative stealth experience. Two players opens up many more possibilities and opportunities for clearing a level and reaching objectives, but also doubles the risk of being spotted. Assassination partners must carefully co-ordinate their actions in order to succeed.

Working together to create elaborate distractions, unleash dastardly synchronised assassinations and to run circles around larger enemies, every level and every mission will be playable in co-op which promises to open a new array of gameplay possibilities.

Styx: Shards of Darkness is the follow up to the critically acclaimed first title in the series, Styx: Master of Shadows. This sequel has a bigger budget, bigger ideas and has been completely redesigned in Unreal Engine 4. Shards of Darkness will delve deeper into the world of the paranoid but deadly green goblin, all tied up neatly in a complex narrative.

Following the fall of Akenash Tower, an extraordinary matter has forced Styx out of hiding to infiltrate Korangar, the city of the Dark Elves. Supposedly impregnable, a diplomatic summit offers Styx a chance at slipping in unnoticed, as he learns that the event is nothing but a mere facade. Embark upon a stealthy adventure with new enemies, new environments and a plethora of new stealth and assassination mechanics aimed at refining the abilities and movement of our lovable lead character.

Styx: Shards of Darkness is creeping up on an Xbox One release, on the 14th of March.

GreedFall revealed in new trailer

Greedfall

Spiders Games, creator of RPG titles The Technomancer, Mars: War Logs and Bound By Flame, are once more, teaming up with Focus Home Interactive to bring a new Colonial RPG to Xbox One. GreedFall will be set in the 17th Century and was teased in Focus Home Interactive’s recent “le What’s Next de Focus” event.

GreedFall is looking like it will lean heavily towards magical content, inspired by the Baroque art form from 17th Century Europe, depicting grandiose scenery in muted, warm colours, but with dark undertones.

Set foot in a fresh new world, alongside many other settlers, mercenaries and treasure hunters. This remote island seeps with magic and is rumoured to be dripping with riches and contain a multitude of lost secrets. A grand journey filled with mystery follows, as you find yourself in the middle of ever-increasing tensions between the invading settlers and the locals, protected by supernatural beings. These beings are a manifestation of the island’s earthly magic and as the trailer below shows, can be very protective.

GreedFall will draw on Spiders Games’ experience in building complicated RPG worlds. Discover mysteries and weave deep character interactions offering players greater freedom to achieve quests and objectives in a multitude of different ways. Choose the combat option, or try your hand at diplomacy, deception or even stealth. The island of GreedFall is a living, ever-evolving world. Your actions, from seemingly trivial choices to the most important political decisions, will influence and affect its course as well as the relationship between the different factions established on the island.

You’re going to have to content yourself with trailers for a while yet, with GreedFall, at the minute though. The game isn’t scheduled for an Xobx console release until 2018 and we expect Focus Home Interactive and Spiders will be busy fine-tuning the storylines and creating trailers for your enjoyment, right up until the launch date.