Alientrap, the two-man team behind last year’s Capsized, has just announced its next project: Apotheon. As an “an open world, action/stealth, 2D sci-fi sidescoller game,” Apotheon sports a unique art style that mimics classical Greek pottery and promises to “have both a sprawling, open-world singleplayer campaign where you climb your way to the top of Mount Olympus, gaining divine power and deadly enemies along the way, and online multiplayer battles with tactical bronze-age combat (spears and arrows!).”
Alientrap has only revealed two screenshots at this point as well as the game’s synopsis:
“Apotheon is a 2D platform action-rpg set on the rich stage of ancient Greek mythology. Hera, the queen of Olympus, has overthrown her husband Zeus, and taken his throne as ruler of the Gods. Bitter and scornful towards the race of mortals, she launches a murderous campaign to scour them from the earth. As humanity’s last champion, you must pass through the land of the dead, infiltrate Mount Olympus, and end the wrath of the Gods. With sword, spear, and shield in hand, you will sneak, conspire, loot, and battle your way through majestic palaces and chthonic depths as you climb towards godhood. Only by stripping the old gods of their powers, and taking control of the elements as your own, can humanity hope to survive the coming oblivion.”
From the Hawken blog:
“Head on over to PlayHawken.com to sign up for the Hawken beta!
“That’s not all though, we have some big news about the game. We are confirming that Hawken will launch as a free-to-play PC game. Initial release is officially scheduled for 12/12/12.”
No new videos have been released recently, but the latest previews of this mech combat game were posted earlier here.
The long-in-development indie FPS/RTS title Natural Selection 2 has reached an important milestone: The gorilla-like evolution for the alien team, the Onos, and the marines’ jetpack accessory (both of which were important facets of the original Half-Life mod that NS2 is the sequel to) are now in the game. These additions, along with a brand new map, “Mineshaft,” are just some of the over 100 new features, balances, and tweaks for this build, which is now available to all pre-order customers.
Check out the fantastic new trailer that shows just how far this project has come:
The levels in Dustforce aren’t long or particularly difficult, but my progress has been really slow. This is due in no small part to the results screen, where, if you’re like me, you’ll likely spend an inordinate amount of time checking your ranking, checking your friends’ rankings, watching replays, and formulating plans to improve your run. Case in point, I probably replayed the tutorial level a dozen times alone before I was satisfied enough to move on to the rest of the game.
I’ve seen Dustforce compared to Super Meat Boy as an “ultra-hard platformer”, but the point of both games seems different. The challenge of Dustforce isn’t so much to beat each level as it is to beat them well, achieving S ranks in both completion (debris cleared) and finesse (number of deaths), and doing it as quickly as possible. This point is driven home by the climbing and dashing mechanics that are based around speed, and the fact that enemies end combos and slow you down, but never outright kill you. You also get keys for SS ranking that will unlock more levels in the hub world.
The controls feel great (gamepads supported) and the levels are designed well around the game’s purpose and your character’s moveset. Watch the replays of the highest scorers and you’ll see some amazing precision, but even with just a little practice you TOO can feel like a ninja! The graphics, which are stylistically too close to free Flash web games for my taste, nonetheless animate extremely fluidly and support the acrobatics nicely. No complaints about Terence Lee’s soothing soundtrack, though, especially “9-bit Expedition”, the song that plays during the tutorial.
Aside from a few interface issues I ran across, I’m having a wonderful time with Dustforce. It’s a great release to ring in the new year with.
TIGdb: Entry for Dustforce
Before Warcraft and before Dune 2, there was Technosoft’s Herzog Zwei (1989), a Genesis/Mega Drive game that laid the groundwork for real-time strategy games. Whereas the majority of RTS games that followed put you above the action, Herzog Zwei had you controlling a mech directly. This commander unit could fight, issue orders, and transport units.
Cut to today: Carbon Games is working on AirMech, an RTS game that is a more direct successor to Zwei. The small team comprises the core members of the now-defunct Titan Studios that developed Fat Princess for PS3.
A number of alphas/betas I follow have had significant updates, so I thought I’d mention them together. Also, I’m updating the neglected “Dev Roll” on the sidebar to feature games that are in long-term development.
The first update is from Minecraft, which finally reached v1.0 last month, during the two-day Minecon that was held in Las Vegas. The update adds a proper ending and “hardcore mode” to the game, among other things (full changelog). After the release, Notch announced that he is relinquishing duties as lead developer to Jens Bergensten, who was originally hired to do back-end programming.
It’s worth noting that Minecraft made its public debut on TIGForums on May 17th, 2009. Check out the thread for a “Before They Were Stars”-style stroll down memory lane!
Super Smash Land is a cute Game Boy demake of the popular Super Smash Bros. series of games. It features six characters (Mario, Kirby, Link, Pikachu, and two unlockable characters), three game modes (Arcade, Endless, and Versus), and up to four human or CPU players. The control scheme has been simplified to one jump button and one action button.
Dropped into a randomly-generated maze reminiscent of the classic Pac-Man, players new to Forget-Me-Not will happily gobble “flowers” and shoot enemies for a few minutes before all manner of wacky creatures begin warping in – bombs, centipedes, replicating diamonds, etc. The enemies are not only harmful to the player, but also damage each other and the maze freely, adding to the chaotic feeling of the game. They can also rob you of the key, an important item that lets you unlock the level’s exit door and protects you from killing yourself with your own bullets as they pass from one side of the screen to the other (nothing’s worse than realizing you’re shooting yourself in the butt because some random beastie nabbed the key). Eventually, the screen goes black except for a small area around your character and a ghost chases you around until you get the heck out or die.