I rewrote that headline a number of different ways, and each time I couldn't condense it, namely because it needed to grab the attention of any headline peruser with as much info as possible, because this... this is kind of a big deal.
So, Techland, developer of the critically-acclaimed Dying Light series, has teased a few details and a piece of teaser art for its unannounced, unnamed Triple-A open-world fantasy-set action-RPG, and in the process both shared some of the top-end alumni working on the game, whilst also doing a shout out for people to join the project.
As you'd almost geographically expect, some of those early names working on the project come from other Eastern European-lead titles, chief among them being The Witcher series, and CD Projekt RED in general, as well as other recent hits like Horizon Zero Dawn and Deathloop, as well as some older classics like Mad Max and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and others.
The game's narrative director, Karolina Stachyra, previously worked on The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and specifically its lauded Bloody Baron quest line.
In the wake of the global success of the Dying Light franchise and Dying Light 2 Stay Human's strong opening sales figures, independent developer Techland is assembling new strengths and powering up all of the teams within the company—including the team responsible for it unrevealed AAA open world action-RPG in a fantasy setting.
Throughout Dying Light 2 Stay Human's record-setting launch and last year's intense production, Techland continued working on its mysterious upcoming title and now prepares to significantly grow the development team.
“We're very happy with what we have accomplished with the Dying Light franchise so far. Moreover, our journey with Dying Light 2 Stay Human has only just begun as we plan to support this game for at least five years, with its scope and size matching, if not exceeding, what we have provided our community with during post-launch support for its predecessor.
At the same time, our ambition is to introduce a brand new IP that is vastly different from what we have been doing for the past several years. We want to create a fully next-gen experience. A new fantasy epic set in a sprawling open world, fueled by the skills and experience we have gained as a team over the years, infused with new ideas, passion, and creativity. While we cannot share more details about this project now, we're all truly invested in it and looking forward to showing it to gamers when the time is right." - said Paweł Marchewka, CEO at Techland.
Truly remarkable talent is already hard at work on Techland's new IP, including:
Karolina Stachyra - Narrative Director who previously worked with CD Projekt Red on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, plus its DLCs
Arkadiusz Borowik - Narrative Lead who previously worked with CD Projekt Red on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, plus its DLCs
In just the last few months, said team has been strengthened by:
Bartosz Ochman - Open-World Director who previously worked on Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
Mario Maltezos - Creative Director who previously worked with companies like Ubisoft (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), Warner Bros. (Mad Max), and Microsoft.
David McClure - Lead Game Designer previously associated with Arkane Studios (Deathloop), Deep Silver, and Playground Games
Kevin Quaid - Lead Animator with over eight years of experience at Guerrilla Games, working on titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn and its expansion, The Frozen Wilds
Marcin Surosz - Lead UI/UX Designer with amazing skill in defining players' needs, formerly with People Can Fly.
That's quote an impressive list of people so far, and speaks to the ambition Techland has for this long-gestating project.
In speaking recently with us here at AusGamers, Techland's Tymon Smektała also teased the new project saying that "the new project is really an amazing game", adding that "it tries to do a lot of things in a very unique way. I'm sure we will learn a lot as a company, as an organisation from it".
Nailing ergonomic design in the mouse market is a harder task than you might think. Everyone's mitts are different, after al. But it's something Razer focused squarely on with its DeathAdder V2 X HyperSpeed Wireless Gaming Mouse, which is wonderfully designed from a form factor and mould perspective, and therefore a perfect gaming or work option, particularly for long sessions across both.
Here's a snippet:
I gave it a solid run in a handful of games that require a bit of precision (nothing competitive), including ‘die ‘n’ retry’ shooter permadeath shooter, The Cleaner, where its precision was really on display, as well as a few other favourites like Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem and Kingdom of the Dead, to name a few. It’s the sort of mouse that performs above and beyond, but isn’t the $200-odd option some of the rest of the pros spruik, but sometimes it’s just not about that. Work with what you’ve got, and all that. Because honestly here, the baseline performance of the DeathAdder V2 X HyperSpeed is really very good, and its dual nature as a top-end work mouse (which includes in creative fields where precision use is also important), exemplified with its non-flashy design, gives it plenty of reason to be in your mouse wishlist.
WB Games Montreal has let loose a lengthy gameplay video highlighting just some of the experience to be had with its upcoming action-RPG hybrid, Gotham Knights. Set within a Gotham City facing an increase in lawlessness following the apparent deaths of both Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon, Gotham Knights allows players to play through the experience as any one of Nightwing, Red Hood, Batgirl or Robin, either in single-player or co-op.
Gotham Knights was always going to be up against it. The benchmark set by Rocksteady and the Batman: Arkham series is ludicrously high as it is for action games on the whole, but to sidle up alongside it as another DC entity set within that world (or similar) but not starring Batman or being helmed by Rocksteady (especially after the mixed affair that was Batman: Arkham Origins by the very same team handling this), has meant the word caution has been bandied about a bit.
In the video above we get a glimpse mostly at the game's Arkham-like combat, which does look tighter than what we experienced in Origins, but whoever was demoing Red Hood really needs to work on their timing. The rest doesn't give us a lot and we really need more info on just how open the world is, how dynamic it and character progression is, and just what the makeup of each character looks like in a regular playthrough.
There's a lot to like here, though: a gritty Gotham to explore, four main characters not being hand held by The Dark Knight, and each offering unique playstyles and stories. But best of all is the game follows the exploits of The Court of Owls from the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Batman run of comics -- a secretive organisation as old as Gotham itself who managed to operate under the nose of even The World's Greatest Detective for years before he stumbled across them.
The Court of Owls is perhaps the best Gotham crime 'reset' in decades and almost makes purchase of Gotham Knights mandatory for its inclusion as the game's big bad.
Still, more questions on the whole thing stand, especially as comic book nerds and Batman: Arkham experts here. But we're on the case, so stay tuned...
You know how people who don't get science or scientists or the business of science research tend to assume that all grant requests are made up of the most ludicrous research topics and angles, just so said research teams can keep the money coming in?
... the Star Citizen and Squadron 42 peeps at Cloud Imperium Games have revealed that the most recent development update for the single-player portion of the epically-forever-in-alpha mega crowdfunded game(s) has aimed to add "bedsheet deformation" and, get this, that there was R&D involved in the process.
So, you know: making a case for more development everything.
We knew early on that, to hit the fidelity we expect for Sq42, we would need to do some R&D on bedsheet deformation. This work is currently underway and, if successful, will allow the AI to deform their sheets when entering, exiting, or sleeping inside them. This is a challenging assignment and expands the complexity of the feature. For example, what happens to the sheets if the AI needs to exit the bed in an emergency?
Far be it for us to pile on this crazy development, especially because it's been covered (heh) a bit already around the traps (thanks GamesRadar), but it really is a bit of an 'out there' point of focus when so much else needs to happen to get this project out the door. And sure, the update covers off a lot more and other sites reporting this have rightly pointed to the game's next-level immersion as the driving factor, but still...
And that date is... incidental. And only for future dwellers like us and our pals over in NZ. In fact, the livestream's US date and time is 10am on Thursday the 12th (6pm for the BSTers out there), which translates to 3am here on that spooky Friday the 13th date.
Anyway, enough "I learnt how to use a Time Zone calculator" preamble. Early Friday morning for Aussies, EA and developer Motive will be livestreaming for the upcoming Dead Space remake, with this stream focusing on the game's art, which is really one of the series' strongest suits and was instrumental in endearing it to many a jaded horror, sci fi and survival horror enthusiast upon its release.
We've been champing at the bit for Trek to Yomi -- a game presented in the style of a jidaigeki samurai film, not at all unlike those of Akira Kurosawa or Teinosuke Kinugasa from yesteryear. Here, that homage plays out as an old-school-styled hand and slash, but does its representative charm outplay its play?
Here's a snippet:
You can decapitate enemies, and against a moonlit backdrop with your avatar silhouetted and their blood spraying, the scene is presented in a stunning and brutal way. But any other enemies around you that saw that don’t care, and just come at you. A fear system, even if just aesthetic, wouldn’t have gone astray (think Ghost of Tsushima), or something more tangible where you could reward a player who’d been untouchable and perfect in their offensive and defensive skills. It also would have made contextual sense, but instead you just sort of slice and dice your way through the game, with your progress never really reflected outside of story -- the world doesn’t really react to you, unless you trigger a vignette or the like, and it’s a hugely missed opportunity.
From Crash Bandicoot to (recent) God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and even The Last of Us, among others, this collection of videogames-turned-comic book covers by senior Rockstar illustrator, Mark Scicluna are nothing short of... well, incredible.
And they've been produced in a Golden and Silver Age style with the requisite age and patina such period-imperfect books would present if found in someone's attic or at the local op shop who has no idea what they have. And it's all baked into the final product, gifting us some truly amazing work.
No one can accuse publisher Devolver Digital of not being eclectic. Its stable of titles is a veritable prism of ever-branching and legacy genres, from shooters to top-down arcade classics, with everything in between. The studios it works with, then, also need a similar ethos -- enter Flying Wild Hog whose own stable of titles range from shooters to ARPGs and beyond.
We had a chance to chat with the studio about its upcoming Devolver Digital-published joint, Trek to Yomi, with game director Marcin Kryszpin.
"Not going to lie, it meant a lot of binge-watching of the so-called “chanbara eige”. You know, both the classics were directed by [Akira] Kurosawa but also Harakiri by Masaki Koboyashi and Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell," enthuses Kryszpin when we asked about the team's influences on Trek to Yomi. "On top of that, we also watched some anime classics like Ninja Scroll, Berserk, and Samurai Champloo. For those of you who haven’t seen them, do yourself a favour and watch them!"
He's not wrong, of course. Go. Go now and watch it all! And if that's the quality and depth of influence on the Trek to Yomi experience, we're in for a very fantastic treat. The rest of our interview covers off topics around making a game from cinematic experiences, how audio and camera trickery plays into that as well as the team's other sources for historical information and its uses of Japanese folkflore.