Uncompromising wilderness survival game, Don’t Starve is finally making its way to Xbox One this month. Players take on the role of Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who
Even when they’re right in front of your face, you can’t see words written in invisible ink without “decoding” them. It’s appropriate then that you can’t see what’s right in front of your face in Klei Entertainment’s Invisible Inc. without first performing what amounts to in-game decoding work.
The game’s PAX East demo places the player in a room of some evil corporation or another’s building. In the room is a pair of controllable secret agents who are equipped with skills and equipment to furtively navigate their way past guards and turrets and to the top of the building. We don’t get to see what’s at the top, but Klei explains that at the top of buildings will be the culmination of “multifaceted” objectives. Several floors must be accessed and information and/or keycards obtained along the way before ultimately cracking a computer core or something of the sort.
“The main objective of each floor is to get to the next floor,” says Klei’s Matthew Marteinsson, “but there will be some objectives that you can complete along the way. And there’s different things you can find, like documentation for your player. We give a bonus for exploring the whole floor. You get more credits the more you explore, you get credits for not having killed anybody. So those sort of things that you can…do if you want to do.”
Klei wants players to explore the buildings they enter as much as possible. To do that, we’ll have to get out of that room we started in. Invisible Inc. is turn-based, and each room’s floor consists of tile grids. Moving agents across tiles costs movement points, of which naturally come in limited supply per turn. Once I’ve moved the agents as far as I can towards the room’s exit door the unseen enemy takes its turn, scurrying about performing unseen actions in the surrounding blacked-out rooms. Well, not entirely unseen. The game shows dotted lines and arrows indicating where the bad guys are moving in the darkness.
“So, you guys wanna…play my game?” Mark of the Ninja Lead Designer Nels Anderson asks in a playful voice, his brow raising inquisitively and his hips swinging side to side in rhythm with the last three words of his question. It makes for a silly little dance that the XBLAFans crew gathered around him can’t help but laugh at. We’re about to play a stealth game tucked inside the walls of the Indie Megabooth here at PAX East, but Anderson, with his improv dance move, doesn’t exactly come off as sly.
No, Anderson can’t or won’t bring himself to be sneaky about Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition. His excitement over having us play his latest creation is such that he’s not going to follow in the silent footsteps of the game’s titular ninja. So he doesn’t lurk back in Klei’s personal Indie Megabooth crevice; he’s energetic, and it’s not long before he puts a controller in my hands. Now our attention turns to the screen where all of the requisite sneaking will be performed.
Whereas its contemporaries have tended to make the ninja into an action hero who’s so far over the top that he’d likely make the cast of The Expendables blush, Mark of the Ninja has always emphasized the ninja as a virtually unseen agent of death and/or stealthy sabotage. Whether approaching levels as a killer who isn’t detected until its too late or an infiltrator who isn’t detected at all, players had to stick to the shadows and remain as invisible as possible in order to achieve any kind of measure of success. It was a great system, but one that meant enemies presented but two choices: players could kill them or avoid them. Mark of the Ninja: Special Edition adds another option to the mix.
Klei Entertainment has announced a special edition DLC for Mark of the Ninja to be released during the upcoming Summer. Expect to see a new level, a new style …
It’s that time of year again — SPIKE TV’s annual Video Game Awards. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the tribute show, showcasing the big names …
[springboard type=”youtube” id=”T8uODyf-Pdk” player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
All things considered, Mark of the Ninja was a pretty great stealth action game. It was chock-full of inventive, fun (if occasionally repetitive) …
When Konami’s legendary game designer Hideo Kojima shows up to discuss what he’s been up to and then proceeds to show it to the world for the first time, it tends to expose the fact that the event he’s showing it at has become a bit of a big deal. There was no need for Kojima’s traditionally obligatory exclamation points to suddenly appear over the heads of the PAX Prime enforcers to make that much clear. The Big Stealth Game, Metal Ground Solid: Ground Zeroes, was revealed on the big stage to the delight of seemingly everyone watching.
Not all eyes were glued on Kojima, however; back on the show floor PAX’s little stealth game was leaving everyone who found their way to Klei Entertainment’s little corner in the not-so-little Indie Megabooth equally impressed. The XBLA Fans team had previously gotten our hands on Mark of the Ninja back at PAX East, but that didn’t make us any less eager to take it for another spin or to speak with its lead designer, Nels Anderson.
On Friday the game will release on XBLA. Long before getting to that point, however, the studio had to commit to setting out in a completely different direction than it did with its previous work on the Shank franchise. Doing so meant forging a mostly new path, since very few 2D stealth-oriented games had come along over the years to lay down the groundwork. I asked Anderson if that meant Klei had some unique challenges to overcome while developing the game. Laughing, he rhetorically replied, “Um, all of them?”
“All of them, in fact!” the designer exclaimed, now seemingly convinced that it was in fact all of the systems that presented challenges. “Because no one’s ever really done one, right? Like there were a couple very, very small ones, but certainly nothing to this scope or magnitude — at all. So then it’s like, we just sort of had to like really look at 3D stealth games and sort of reconstruct them design-wise. Like, ‘Why did they make the kinds of decisions they made?’ And then take that up a level and translate it back down to 2D.
“I mean, there aren’t templates or schemes to drop in in this context — at all. Which is good, it just means we had to try a whole lot of stuff that didn’t work before we got to stuff that actually did work.”
A second trailer has been released by development team at Klei Entertainment for their upcoming game Mark of the Ninja. However, much like the first trailer for the game, …