Not a shabby start to June.
Are DayZ clones contractually obligated to show a person cutting down a tree in their trailer? Because it feels like they are. Also, in case you missed the glorious news:
This post is part of a series where I feature the most interesting new releases on Valve’s Steam store. With my first impressions commentary to go along with each. Learn more about this series at this blog post.
Feature: Air Brawl
Now this, this is a good looker. Not just for it’s pretty decent visuals but for the air combat on display. It’s a fast paced dogfighter that actually has some promising concepts. I like that the environment is tricky to navigate and that the controls have been given a lot of polish This one feels like some time and effort went into it. They’ve got five modes that are pretty standard and only six planes but I think they’ve got a good base. $10 price tag doesn’t hurt either.
Is hard-core edutainment a genre yet? Well, if it isn’t, Zachtronics is working hard at making it a thing. I have a lot of respect for what these guys do, even if their games are brain-breaking. Well, except Ironclad Tactics which I found to be…average. Anyway. TIS-100 seems to be a title about assembly programming that doesn’t require you to know how to program. Though it probably helps to have the mindset for it. It also encourages you to print out the manual so that you understand how the game works. I think this is the first game in 10 years that has recommended printing a manual/having a physical manual to play a game. This game, if it’s anything like SpaceChem, is not for the faint of heart. Still, I like the concept of this.
The most controversial game of 2015!!!!!!………. is basically a an average indie twin-stick shooter. The first adults-only rated game to launch on Steam as well. (Which may signal a shift in attitude towards Adults Only ratings on Valve’s end?…) I’ll give these developers credit, they played their cards really well. Because Hatred really didn’t justify the amount of controversy it received. Grand Theft Auto, Shadow Warrior, Tomb Raider and many other games were far worse than Hatred. Hatred by comparison is boring. Because when you get right down to what it is: it’s a lot of exploding pixels that don’t have any humanity attached to them. That’s what separates killing people in Hatred to killing people in Tomb Raider.
Hatred features some of the corniest lines I’ve ever heard. I’ve seen the ending cutscene, it’s pretty darn great for the cheese. If this is truly the worst game to get released on Steam this year, I think gaming is just fine. It’s really quite sad how much press overreacted to this game. I hope they’ve learned a hard lesson from their mistakes.
Anti-Feature: Avenging Angel
I get that this game is in early access and that what I’ve been shown isn’t necessarily the final product. But….oh boy this looks rough.
“Opening Music Keys. Ok. Duel-wielding pistols. Hm. ‘The year is 12012 AD’. Strange how everything looks like a mix of 2020 and 1940s. Oh right, Steampunk. Hmm. That year bothers me. It’s unnecessary to put a game that far ahead in the future. Even setting it in 3015 would be practically the same effect. It just seems like it was done to make themselves ‘unique’ for uniqueness sake. *time passes with QTEs on display*. Despite it being set in 12012, we’re dealing with game mechanics from 2000. ‘The World As you Know it is gone’. Combat looks extremely rough, lacking in feedback or that sense of lethality. Wait a sec, why does this music sound so familiar? *music builds up to explosive finish*. *Credits play*. *Tim looks at first line: “iMovie an–“* iMovie?! This trailer, was made in iMovie. That’s….a first.
Side Note: Lego Worlds
Well, years after Minecraft’s explosion of popularity, we have Lego finally weighing in on the genre. It’s a match made in heaven and frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to make this game. It fits in with their philosophy and they’ll doubtless sell a lot of copies. It’s being published under WB Entertainment and developed by the same studios that have made the previous Lego games. It seems to be off to a good start so far. Will I get it? I don’t know. This genre hasn’t appealed to me that much because I can never get a consistent group of friends to run it and these games require a lot of investment to really enjoy. But Lego would be one of my top picks if I ever do. I hope WB does right by this game.
Side Note: Fleeting Ages
I haven’t been this bored by a trailer of a 3rd person survival game since….the last time I saw a trailer of a 3rd person survival game. C’mon people, vary it up a little. All the trailers are starting to blur together and I can’t tell you apart. This one looks like it’s in really early alpha and should probably be avoided for now.
Side Note: Instinct
Well, I take that back, someone did try to distinguish themselves in their trailer. It’s still a bit generic and leans heavily on a solo piano track to get your attention, but I’ll give them credit for trying. I don’t think I’ve seen a game take place “7,000” years ago (but all things considered, there’re hundreds of these titles every month so I could have forgotten). It’s still early access and the devs note that they aren’t going to leave early access until it’s “done”…which could be a very long time. So, avoid this one as well.
Side Note: Massive Chalice
Seems Double Fine has finally put their devs in gear and started actually releasing games this year. Instead of launching yet another Kickstarter on a game. (Seriously Double Fine, that was a bad idea to keep launching new Kickstarters again and again when you hadn’t even finished Broken Age). I’m not all that interested in Massive Chalice right now, for reasons I’m unable to describe. Just something about it is…lacking….
Thanks for reading!