With its Kickstarter in its final week, developer Clod Studio has released a gorgeously gloomy tech demo for Dario Argento’s Dreadful Bond which makes for an excellent look at the game’s environments as well as some impressive audio design in the form of a haunting piano tune and some appropriately unsettling sound effects. There’s no “action” here to speak of, but I’m betting some of you easily frightened types will feel more than a little creeped out by the strikingly realistic visuals and those assorted ambient sound effects that will have you stop moving your mouse around because it feels as if… well, as if something is watching your every move or worse, is lurking in the same space you are just over your shoulder.
Wait, that’s just me – I was hungry, poked around in your fridge and made myself a sandwich while I was waiting for you all to download that demo. Er, I hope you don’t mind? Anyway, I’m going to exit, stage left. Go check out that tech demo for Dreadful Bond and pledge towards its completion, I say. Also, you need a new loaf of bread and maybe some Colman’s English Mustard because that boring bright yellow stuff is kinda tame. Okay, Okay, I’m going!
Alright, it’s a given: CUTE ROBOTS SELL CONSOLES. And SUPER-cute virtual robots you can play with and/or kick around the room? When the audience goes “D’aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” more than five times a minute? Yeah, there’s Christmas in a box for Sony right there.
Okay, despite my occasional cranky side acting up from time to time, I’ll have to admit that Jimmy Fallon always gets me excited about gaming despite me having a longer history with them than he has. Granted, it’s his great enthusiasm for the medium and NOT his play style (that tends to lean towards the “Boy, do I suck at these games but I’m having FUN!” although he did beat Ice-T at that Pong variant) that’s hard to fake. And yep, game companies love him, Conan and anyone else they can get a console and controller to. Of course, none of them love ME, but that’s more my fault than theirs at the end of the day. Oh well, we’re workin’ on it… we’re workin’ on it. I’m thinking of writing a fake e-book (not really) called “How To Get The Respect You Deserve Without Being A Total Ass or Total Suck-Up” but we’ll say no more about that unless we want to be called a total ass. Or a total suck-up. Not too good at either of those, but I can swing both ways once I take some lessons. Is the Learning Annex still open here in NYC?
Most new console and PC tech demos I’ve seen are frankly speaking, boring as hell once you get past the usual showoff effects and buzzword flashiness tossed around. Ooh, look at those thousands of boxes falling! The particle effects in that explosion look so REAL! My, that’s a lot of rubber duckies in that bathtub! That water ripples so realistically that I want to lick my screen (wipe off the dust first, please – a tongue full of yuk isn’t a good thing). On the other hand, there’s Quantic Dream and their story-based demos that manage to impress the eyes as well as the sense of wonder because you get something memorable on a few more important fronts all meshing in a way that makes you see where the future is headed when a developer who can follow up with more that pretty images is at the wheel.
Also, as you can see here, BEYOND: Two Souls is looking more and more remarkable with each reveal. David Cage and his team are making AAA games that matter in this era of bloated game development and game advertising budgets that disguise too many “mee-too” sequels. BEYOND is definitely unique on a few technical as well as gameplay fronts, so I’m hoping this one’s sold to and played by those who appreciate all the hard work that’s gone into making it.
Lovely. Absolutely lovely. Well, if they can make a battle system that’s a bit more action oriented (and lose the quick time events!), I’ll be diving back into a Final Fantasy game after too long away. Still this IS a tech demo, so it’ll be up to what the programmers can do to assure any game using this engine looks as great or even better. As for MY own new-gen wants: I want NO damn “dot” shadows ever again in a 3D game, EVER, destructible/movable objects (no more furniture nailed to sets), ZERO clipping issues, voice sync that looks realistic and hell, every door opening in a game for a change. Some bathrooms would help as well, but hey, RPG characters aren’t real and don’t need to poop or pee, I guess.
OK, that said, I STILL want to see an anime game on a new console that looks and flows even more like an actual anime does. We’re getting to that point and it’s clear that the coming console cycle Can make that happen. I’ll be keeping my eyeballs peeled (eww), so get on it, guys….
Granted, we probably won’t see Kara starring in an actual game anytime soon, but Quantic Dream has definitely laid the groundwork for a future game project that’s going to blow you away. I’m still not sure if that project will be a PS3, Vita or PS-whatever game, but no matter what Sony platform it appears on, it’s going to get people talking. Personally, I’m hoping for something totally new or that Omikron remake/sequel I mentioned previously, but I’m not picky…
Sure, it’s just a tech demo (and a beautiful one at that) running on the PS3 hardware and not an actual game project, but wow. I’m actually hoping we see this show up as either a new PS3 game OR we’ll see parts of this in a new project for the Vita or whatever new console Sony has planned down the road. Hmmm… perhaps there’s an Omikron remake or sequel on the way? That would be fun to see, especially if it’s got a decent and lengthy single player portion plus co-op and online play for those who want to adventure together… We shall see, i suppose.
So, Ranmantaru Games (that would be Alexey Volynskov) is working on something really cool called Arcane Worlds. It’s going to be an homage to the classic 1994 PC game from Bullfrog, Magic Carpet. The actual “game” is a ways off, but the tech demo is available to play around with. Once you download it (it’s a mere 1.4MB file) and get to fooling around, you’ll find yourself forgetting to do other important stuff like working on articles you should be working on and maybe getting an extra two hours of sleep. I “created” the images above with a few keyboard presses and mouse clicks (instant wallpaper!), but I had to stop at only two before I ended up staying awake all night making worlds, eroding terrain and dropping water all over everything before changing the sun’s position (which changes the world from day to night). I’m not sure when Alexey will be finished with his game, but I say keep an eye on it. I’d keep both eyes on it, but I need to finish all that writing I’ve started…
Also, the LEVEL UP! demo is priceless (well, the demo is free, but definitely pay the five bucks for the Alpha version!). It’s super early, but pure fun to blast through those voxel walls and the idea is brilliant stuff. Enjoy!