If you’re reading this, you don’t understand. You can’t understand. I can’t either, of course. I’m not blind. Beyond Eyes‘ Rae is, and that must make life terrifying and confusing, doubly so when the game takes her outside of the familiar confines of her home.
While it’s not entirely clear if “lifetime” means “forever” or perhaps for the lifetime of the Xbox One, one thing is for sure: you won’t be seeing Cuphead or Ashen on any other consoles for a long time.
Some games are grand adventures. Others are a thinking man’s puzzlers. Others still are character-driven narratives. And then there are those games that ask you to stab the crap out of other gamers until their avatars are dead, then do it some more when they respawn. Swordy is the latter.
“We want people to look at it and say, ‘OK, that’s something Activision could make,'” Grip Games CEO and co-founder Jakub Mikyska says of The Solus Project following a hands-on session with the game at E3.
It’s a lofty goal, and I’m not entirely sure it’s one the teams at Grip Games and co-developer Teotl Studios are pulling off. But The Solus Project certainly does not appear as an indie game. So while you’re unlikely to mistake it for something with the visual fidelity of Destiny or the next Call of Duty, the Unreal Engine 4-powered game at least looks like it’s slipped into that somewhat barren in-between category. The Solus Project‘s graphics make it look like a AA game. It’s something more technically impressive than what gamers are used to getting at ID@Xbox price points, but you’re unlikely to mistake it for the next Activision blockbuster.
The demo opens with us taking control of an astronaut stranded on a grassy beach with a rocky outcrop to one side and a body of water to the other. Straight forward it is, then. Mikyska tells me that players can pick up things in the environment, so I immediately try to grab every plant I see, but most aren’t pick-ups. Eventually I do come across some plants that can be picked up along with water, health packs, a flashlight and other goodies.
Intelligently managing and holding onto items will be important, since you’ll need resources to prevent dying of exposure, thirst or starvation. Your inventory will of course be limited to prevent stocking up on too many resources to easily overcome the game’s challenges.
In video games, boss fights usually come at the end of levels, acts, chapters, etc. You work your way through a series of smaller challenges, baddies or puzzles to earn the right to face off against a boss and, should you emerge victorious, move on to the next section of the game. That was the custom established decades ago, and it’s largely stuck ever since.
Not so in Cuphead, StudioMDHR’s debut old-time cartoons-inspired shooter. Cuphead has an overworld that you can wander around in and select where to go next, but your what you’re selecting from are boss fights, not levels. Yesterday at E3 XBLA Fans went hands-on with one of those boss fights — and died. Repeatedly. But damn if doing so wasn’t fun.
After selecting what looked like a rocking little music hall on the overworld, I was thrown into a boss fight with a pair of giant frogs with another random player at my side. Hurting the frogs was easy enough: keep holding down the shooting button and take aim at the one frog or the other. The overgrown amphibians soak up tons of fire coming from your characters’ index finger and thumb as they form the shape of a gun and spew forth a barrage of pew, pew, pews.
The bosses, of course, don’t just take this abuse laying down. One shoots ice balls at differing heights, requiring you to alternate between leaping over them and going prone to duck them, while the other spits out flaming bees that you can shoot out of the air. Once you inflict enough damage during this stage of the fight, one of the frogs rolls toward you before going into a new pattern.
Today at its pre-E3 press conference, Electronic Arts showed off Unravel, a puzzle-platformer from indie developer Coldwood.
Yarny, the game’s protagonist, is a diminutive character who seems destined to forever be described as a yarn version of LittleBigPlanet‘s Sackboy. Yarny is made of a single thread of twine that, as the game’s title implies, unravels as players progress through Northern Scandinavian levels.
In the gameplay trailer below, the little guy uses his own body’s twine to swing and climb through the game world and even to catch a ride on a flying kite. Throughout Unraveled, players will have to manage the fact that Yarny is constantly unraveling when moving. That means they’ll have to think carefully about what paths they should take and how they can best use the trailing twine to solve puzzles.
Pistol-wielding, bandanna-wearing, unicorn-riding cats seem right at home for E3, particularly in Ubisoft’s often-silly pre-show media briefing hosted by comedian Aisha Tyler. So that’s exactly what the publisher used …