Takedown: Red Sabre was developed by Serellan Studios and published by 505 Games. It was released February 22, 2014 on Xbox Live Arcade for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
One of the unfortunate side effects of having so many triple-A, blockbusting first person shooters over the past few years has been the rapid and almost complete decline in a once popular sub-genre; that of the tactical shooter. The last, best examples of those kind of games on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console was probably Rainbow Six: Vegas and its excellent (albeit a little too similar) sequel. In answer to the subgenre’s disappearance, Serellan Studios set out to fill the void with Takedown: Red Sabre, a game that promises the same rock hard difficulty and tactical scope as past tactical shooters in the mould of the Rainbow Six and Delta Force series and the older Ghost Recon games. The question is, has this emergent studio done enough to impress the kind of die hard fans who occupy this space?
Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death was developed by Zootfly and published by 505 Games. It was released on September 20, 2013 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
With the end of the current console cycle staring many gamers in the face, some have moved their attention to either the new consoles or the handful of the triple-A titles still coming out on the 360. If that is the case, fans of the action-adventure genre are missing out on a sleeper Xbox Live Arcade title called Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death.
The developer, Zootfly, worked on Marlow Briggs for quite some time. First they had an agreement to release the game with 505 Games, but financial issues prevented that from happening. Microsoft briefly expressed interest in releasing the title but changed its focus to the Xbox One. Having secured more money, 505 Games came back into the picture and was eventually able to assist Zootfly with the release of the game. However, as of this writing, Zootfly has left the video game industry and switched its focus to casino gaming under the new name IBzoot, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Interblock. But be thankful that before Zootfly left the industry, it was able to leave gamers with Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death. It is a better than average action-adventure title that provides quite a punch for such a small price tag.
Indie developer Serellan’s methodical breach and clear shooter, Takedown: Red Sabre, has been delayed citing a last minute bug fix while submitting to Microsoft. Unfortunately, however minor it may be, this means the spiritual successor to the original Rainbow Six and SWAT series has lost its place in the Xbox Live Arcade release line. Speaking on behalf of the development team, Serellan’s public relations conduit stated that it expects to secure another release slot as soon as the developer resubmits the title to Microsoft, which should take place in the next few days.
Takedown was originally slated to launch on XBLA this coming Friday, September 20, in an effort to hit all targeted launch platforms simultaneously. Unfortunately the delay means you’ll have to wait a little longer to customize your squads and outline your tactics across the game’s many objective-based missions. We’re confident the finished product will be well worth the wait, as outlined in our hands-on E3 preview. In the meantime, you can check out the new recoil and movement preview video after the jump to get a weapon-handling head start.
The thinking-person’s tactical shooter, Takedown: Red Sabre is breaching the Xbox Live Arcade community next month, targeting September 20 at $14.99/1200 MSP. Independent developer Serellan touts Red Sabre as the spiritual successor to the original Rainbow Six and SWAT series, putting the focus back on methodical, measured gameplay that glances back to a time when shooters came in a variety of flavors, before being eclipsed by the frenzied run-and-gunner and the bombast of huge set pieces.
As private military contractors, you’ll accept varied objectives from multiple employers. You’ll map out each mission insertion, planning routes and tactics, equipping your squad(s) with the necessary tools to get the job done. Non-linear environments allow for flexibility and diversity in each engagement across the campaign, co-op and competitive multiplayer modes – there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a problem.
We sat down with Creative Director Christian Allen during our E3 preview of Takedown: Red Sabre, and were struck by the stripped-down realism Serellan has injected into their project. When there’s no radar or regenerating health, when every round fired could be the one that counts, slow and steady isn’t just recommended, it’s a requirement. You can hit the jump to see the orchestrated madness in action.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was developed by Starbreeze Studios and published by 505 Games. It was released August 7, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Known for its extensive portfolio of dark and gritty shooters, this humble offering from Starbreeze Studios is a sharp left turn into delicate territory. Framed in vibrant fantasy, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons follows two boys whose father has suddenly fallen ill. The only known cure for his elusive illness exists far away, and so they embark on a perilous journey through dungeons, caves, and forests in desperate pursuit to save his life.
At the core of Brothers is an unprecedented mechanic. You have simultaneous control of both siblings—each one delegated to a control stick and its corresponding trigger as their context-sensitive action button. As you explore the gorgeous vistas of the fairytale land, you must control both brothers cooperatively to solve puzzles, climb mountains, and occasionally outsmart the beasts to reach your mystic destination together.
505 Games has announced Rekoil, Plastic Piranha’s competitive first-person shooter, is headed to Xbox Live Arcade. Heralding Rekoil as a return to the balanced, infantry-based action of yesteryear, the title forgoes modern trends like killstreaks insisting that “a player’s skill is always at the forefront.”
What’s more interesting is the heavy emphasis Plastic Piranha has placed on the modding community. Rekoil is designed from the ground up to allow for flexible gameplay configuration. Whether that be community support with modding tools, or allowing players to set up servers based on their preferences, Rekoil‘s class-based combat should be diverse enough to accommodate any play style.
So what does this mean for Xbox Live Arcade? A closed ecosystem that doesn’t support modding, an eSports scene or the flexibility of the PC? We reached out to 505 Games for a better understanding of how these marquee features might be integrated into a closed, digital platform. We’ve yet to hear back, but if that changes, we’ll update accordingly.
For now we can only assume Rekoil will come to XBLA as a packaged first-person shooter, and pretty set in its ways. Without modding and server configuration, we’ll have to wait to see some gameplay before we have something to really get excited about. To catch a glimpse at the locales you may encounter when Rekoil lands, check out the gallery after the jump.
He knows what he wants, Christian Allen does. He’s known since the start. Even before the start, actually. Before Takedown: Red Sabre’s 2012 Kickstarter campaign successfully raised over $200,000, Allen, creative director at indie development studio Serellan, knew he wanted to go back.
He wanted to take gamers back in time. Not too far, only a few years. Back to a time when “tactical” shooters felt more, well, tactical. They had realistic combat — or as close as video games of that could come to approximating it, at least. The Tom Clancy video games from early last decade didn’t play anything at all like the myriad Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty releases that dominate today’s shooter market. Certainly there is nothing inherently wrong with the approaches those games’ developers have taken to creating an FPS. There is something wrong, though: most everyone else is trying to make the same games as them.
Not Allen and his team at Serellan. Allen knows what he wants, and it isn’t Halo or Call of Duty. Lucky for him, he seems to have a team that knows how to deliver it.
Being a team player
He estimates that the least amount of experience anyone at Serellan has is eight years. Each member of the team has shipped multiple shooters for multiple platforms. As for Allen, between 2002 and 2007 he worked for Tom Clancy factory Red Storm Entertainment on various titles in the Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises — tactical shooters. I ask if that deep and varied shooter development background meant Takedown would feature a lot of different concepts.
“I wouldn’t say it’s about concepts, because we’ve had a really clear vision from day one about what we wanted gamers to experience,” Allen responds. “The great thing about the different devs is that we’ve all shipped at least a billion dollars in revenue of games and almost exclusively shooter titles. So I know, for example, our weapons artist, our character artist, our environment artist — they know how to build shooter levels and content that works, so I can really fire and forget.”
505 Games has announced How to Survive, a new IP developed by EKO Studios and slated to hit Xbox Live Arcade this fall. Like the title suggests, How to Survive washes you up on shores of an archipelago off the coast of Columbia, where you’ll have to scavenge for food, water and scrap to form makeshift tools and weapons. The kicker? All this takes place in the wake of an “unexplained accident” introducing ravenous hordes of the undead to your new island home.
The isometric twin-stick zombie shooter boasts a hefty crafting system, unique survival guide and a stable of playable characters. In addition, players have the opportunity to band together in local and online multiplayer, or put their skills to the test in a series of challenge modes. Hit the jump to check out more screens from How to Survive.