Tag Archives: Xbox One

AER: Memories of Old is a game that has a level of freedom not seen much today.

05WM.png
Inline image from Forgottenkey.se/Cover image from pushsquare.com

 

Now, what I mean by that, is AER: Memories of Old allows an open world of exploration to be navigated by transforming into a bird. The animation is very smooth and allows you to fly around the skies and through the clouds. Flying in the clouds even has it’s own unique visuals to really give you that feeling.

You can transform at will (in the overworld) from person to bird and back, meaning you can transform mid-flight and free fall, to transform again. When landing you turn into human by default. You can also plummet into the ground at terminal velocity and be fine, by the way.

AER takes place on floating islands in the sky. You are of The Sky People, descended from ancient humans. You are on a pilgrimage to learn about your history and help restore the balance of your world.

The gameplay is really smooth, although I experienced some frame rate drops inside one of the temples for a solid 30 seconds.

Visuals are gorgeous. Think Grow Home mixed with finely crafted, hand-chiseled wooden dolls.

Controls are fluid and solid.

Sound design is amazing. My favorite part of it, so far, is when you are a human, you get some nice synth-classical style music. Just nice and relaxing. When you transform, it adds in some indie-style guitar and light drums. When you transform back, the music goes back to just the synth-classical style. It’s very fluid and makes sense.

It reminds me very much of the likes of Journey, ABZU and RiME.

Unlike Journey and ABZU, you have the freedom to explore any of the islands at any time. So far, it’s a non-linear exploration game with an interesting story, freeing gameplay, amazing visuals, great sound design and solid controls.

If you enjoy games like Journey, ABZU and RiME with the freedom of flight, pick up AER. It’s only $15 and, according to reviews, has about 4 hours of gameplay.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under First Impressions, Uncategorized

Lifeless Moon – A Kickstarter Sequel

LifelessMoon-SummitLake1

Lifeless Moon is the Sequel to Lifeless Planet, which was fully funded on Kickstarter on October 24, 2011.

In Lifeless Planet, we see ourselves stranded on an alien world, alone. Our crew is missing and we wake up with a ruptured suit. We then start to explore the desolate wasteland. Suddenly, we come across a road and power lines. When we follow it, we discover a soviet-era town. It’s long-abandoned and we begin to question if we’re on another world or if this is some sort of test. We find out real quick it’s an alien world.

Lifeless Planet is an interesting explorative story with lots of questions that get answered, has a heavy mysterious/ominous air lingering over the entire game and has a strong narrative. It’s definitely worth your time and is available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Windows.

Now, Lifeless Moon is also on Kickstarter. So what’s the story this go around?

During an expedition to the Moon, two astronauts find themselves in a familiar town back on Earth. They soon discover the town is the beginning of a strange and mysterious journey…

Lifeless Moon is a spiritual successor to our previous title Lifeless Planet (PC/Mac/Linux/XB1/PS4). Featuring support for VR (but playable without!), Lifeless Moon takes players on a fantastic journey through the eyes of Apollo-era astronauts. There will be light platforming and a deeper focus on puzzles than in Lifeless Planet. The core game-play experience is one of exploration and discovery, complementing the mysterious and psychological themes of the story.

You can head over to the Kickstarter page linked above for more information on the gameplay.

No doubt you have more questions, well they have some answers!

Q: What platforms will the game be available on?

A: We’re confirmed for Xbox One and PC/Mac/Linux. Other platforms are yet to be announced, but we’re hoping for PS4 and Switch as well. NOTE: The betas will be on PC/Mac only at this time.

Q: Steam or DRM-free?

A: Let’s do both! We offered Lifeless Planet through Humble which provided a Steam key and a DRM-free download. Worked great, so we’re planning for that again.

Q: Is the game single player? Will there be other characters in the story?

A: Yes, the game is a single player action-adventure. There will be other characters in the game, most notably your fellow astronaut crew mate. He will be a guide as you explore the mysterious places you encounter in Lifeless Moon. However, due to a strange Event, you are separated from your crew mate in time. You may catch a glimpse of him or hear him over comms, but it becomes clear the two of you are living in separate time dimensions. Your crew mate is thus a few minutes ahead of you at all times and can sometimes give you clues to what lies ahead. Like Aelita in Lifeless Planet, your fellow astronaut will provide direction and information about the places… and things… you will encounter.

In regards to other characters, we do not want to spoil the story, but we’ll just say “Lifeless” is in part an ironic title (it also speaks to the psychological themes of the story)… Yes the Moon is a place of “magnificent desolation,” but who knows what places or characters live beyond the Event?

Q: Will the game support 4K? What about HDR?

A: Yes, the game will support 4k and HDR on Xbox One X and in Windows.

Q: What will the system requirements be for PC/Mac/Linux?

A: We’re still early in development so haven’t fixed system requirements. Expect a bit more than with Lifeless Planet to get high resolution graphics, but we’ll work hard to make it playable with lower quality settings on slower PCs. (For reference, Lifeless Planet’s system reqs via Steam will be listed at the end of this post.)

Q: What engine are you using?

A: Lifeless Moon is built in Unity. With support for high dynamic range (HDR) and physically based rendering (PBR), Unity is truly capable of leading-edge game visuals. In addition, it provides wide support for all major platforms including virtual reality hardware. Of course, while the tools are important, the vision and skill of the artists are what really counts. Lifeless Moon is an indie game under development by a very small team, but we’re excited about what we’re creating for you!

At the time of this writing, Lifeless Moon has 8 days left to go and is 56% funded. We can make this happen! If you enjoyed Lifeless Planet, or love indie games with great stories and atmosphere, head over to the Kickstarter page for Lifeless Moon and help it come alive!

LifelessMoon-Surface1

NOTE: I have no financial stake in this post or this game other than my personal backing amount, which does not get collected by Kickstarter until the project is fully funded. I was not paid for this post or for promoting this project or its prequel.

As promised, here are the system reqs for Lifeless Planet:

Sorry for the formatting below, for some reason it isn’t staying how I set it.

 

Windows:
Minimum:
                           OS: Windows XP
Processor: Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
                           Memory: 1500 MB RAM
                           Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 or ATI equivalent
                           DirectX: Version 9.0c
                           Storage: 900 MB available space
                           Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible

Recommended:
O
S: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core i3 or faster
Memory: 3000 MB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 640 or faster
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 900 MB available space
Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible

 

Mac OS X:
Minimum:
OS: 10.7 (Lion) or newer
Processor: Core 2 Duo or Better (2ghz or faster)
Memory: 1500 MB RAM
Graphics: NVidia/ATI Dedicated Graphics (Integrated Intel Graphics not supported)
Storage: 900 MB available space

 

SteamOS + Linux:
Minimum:
OS: Ubuntu 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 or faster
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 640 or faster
Storage: 900 MB available space

Leave a comment

Filed under Kickstarter, Uncategorized

Refunct – A Review

Image result for refunct
Refunct is a nifty little interactive experience by Dominique Grieshofer. The style and controls call to mind the Pure Time Trials DLC from the original Mirror’s Edge.

This is a game that very short but can be very thought provoking. It’s a very relaxing and soothing atmosphere with some nice music you can just kinda chill to.

The premise? You run around and hit buttons and collect cubes while all the platforms you step on get colored. Sounds dumb, I know. However, it’s presented in a way that isn’t overly challenging and it just… Is. It never promises to be anything more or less than what it is.

The controls are very responsive, the music is great and visuals are very pleasing. Replay allows you to beat your previous run times and paint the ground with a new color each time.

In the end, this is a game that can last 3-60 minutes each run. You’re painting a picture. Of what, I will not say. That’s part of the experience. In fact, you might say it’s the entire experience, as you are painting your own experience with each platform.

This game is only $3 and is available on Steam (Win, Mac and Linux) and Xbox One. Currently, it’s on sale on the X1 for $1.50 for another 8 days. It’s also worth noting that on Steam it’s overall and current ratings are “Overwhelmingly Positive” with a total of 4,730 reviews and on the X1 it’s rated 4.5/5 stars.

Refunct allows you to take a look into yourself in a way most others don’t. It allows you to Refunct Your Heart.

Leave a comment

Filed under First Impressions, Wrap-Up

ABZÛ – First Impressions & Wrap-Up!

This post will contain spoilers near the end. I will mark them so readers who want to experience this journey for themselves can stop reading.

abzu_review_screen2_0

ABZÛ comes to us from the art director of the renown games, Flower and Journey. For those that aren’t familiar with those titles, Flower made use of the Six-axis on the PS3, as you played as a flower petal, moving along the wind to bring life to the world. A gorgeous and relaxing title with an amazing score. Journey saw us in a multiplayer setting, in which we are in a desert, and making a journey to a fallen star on a mountain top.

ps4-game-7821-lower-marq
A scene in Flower depicting the movement on the breeze.

journey-screen-one
A scene in Journey depicting one of the many “sand-surfing” segments with your final destination in the background.

ABZÛ means “Ocean of Wisdom” and plays off its meaning very well. You begin as a lone diver, apparently stranded in the water. The opening scene of James Cameron’s Sanctum comes to mind. You awake and begin to explore the ocean. You can breach the surface, hold on to larger fish, find meditation statues, secret pools of fish, hidden seashells, and just generally enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean.

The controls took a bit of getting used to, but once you learn the little hidden things you can do, such as boosting, you can move around quicker and just have a lot of fun swimming around.

This game is short, but I would recommend picking it up for fans of Flower and/or Journey, or fans of scuba diving or the oceans. Normally it’s $19.99 USD, but right now it’s on sale for the Xbox One for $16.99 USD.

 

 

~~HEAVY SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT! IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, PLEASE STOP READING!~~

 

 

Alright, so while playing ABZÛ, I was so confused. I knew there were going to be ruins of an ancient city. What I didn’t expect was the utilization of underwater rivers in a technological standing to open doors. I started thinking, I must be in Atlantis. This was further pushed into my mind by giant mechanical doors.

That’s when I started to notice something in the murals. People looking just like the diver teaching people who looked slightly different. I started to think, alien race. Now, modern tech is modeled after them.

The further I pushed, the more my suspicions were confirmed. You find a destroyed upside-down mechanical pyramid. You watch as it creates machinations. That’s when you discover that you might be a robot. That gets confirmed shortly thereafter. Eventually you go to destroy the machinations and return life to the ocean.

Finishing ABZÛ, I have a lot of theories. The primary being that you were a mechanized race, come to show people technology and how to utilize the soul of the ocean. Something went wrong. Either they rebelled, or a catastrophe happened. I think it WAS Atlantis based on technologies and buildings you see, especially an entire city (looking like Jules Verne’s Atlantis from Journey to the Center of the Earth).

I also think that, seeing what happened to the ocean, you make amends by giving parts of your own technologically advanced soul, to bring life back to the area. To repair what your race damaged.

If you’ve played it, what are your thoughts? Theories?

Leave a comment

Filed under First Impressions, Wrap-Up

Coming Soon: ABZÛ – First Impressions!

abzu-752x430That’s right! ABZÛ is a game brought to us by the former Art Director of Thatgamecompany, the guys who brought us Flow, Flower and Journey. He formed his own company after finishing his work on Journey, Giant Squid Studios, in order to create a game that was more “full of life” in comparison to Journey’s very desolate and alone feel. Published by the ever-famous 505 Games, ABZÛ promises to be an adventure just like Journey or Flower.

Matt Nava decided to use his love of Scuba diving as his inspiration for what we will come to know as the Ocean of Wisdom.

Stay tuned for my First Impressions, followed by a Wrap-Up in the very near future!

2 Comments

Filed under Coming Soon

Lara Vs. Croft Manor – A 20 Year Celebration.

tomb-raider-20-year-celebration-640x322

The Rise of the Tomb Raider’s 20th anniversary has gone live! It’s available in multiple forms. You can buy the 20th Anniversary edition, you can be a Season Pass holder, or you can buy it individually. Not only does it include skins from previous Tomb Raider titles, but it includes new Co-op modes, a new “Lara’s Nightmare” mode, as well as a single-player story that takes place after the events of the primary game.

The single player story takes place in Croft Manor, and instead of combat, it’s focus is on Lara re-discovering her family home and trying to save it from falling into the hands of her uncle. Lara will rediscover her childhood, remember her father and mother, and even learn of secrets hidden away in the bowels of the manor.

Lara’s Nightmare takes place in the manor as well, and is similar to the Cold Darkness Awakened game mode, in which Lara fights infected in her nightmare inside the manor.

On top of all of this, if you play any version of Rise of the Tomb Raider by the 18th of October, you’ll be able to go to the in-game marketplace, head over to “Gifts” and get 100,000 in-game credits, just for playing during the 20th Anniversary Celebration week!

So dust off your copies, grab a friend and take on Rise of the Tomb Raider’s game modes together!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Keep Your Eyes On That Horizon – A Firewatch Review

maxresdefaultFirewatch is a story-driven game by developer Campo Santo. People call it a walking simulator, and, while that’s true, it’s more about the personal development of your character, Henry, and his relationship with his boss, Delilah. The writing and dialogue in Firewatch tops the list for Walking Simulators for me.

Firewatch released on PC and PS4 in February, and just released on the 21st of September for Xbox One in NA and will release on the 30th of September for Xbox One in EU.

Firewatch starts us with simple text on a screen. Through this text we explore the background of Henry and a woman named Julia. I won’t spoil anything about the back-story here, but it reminds me a lot of the beginning to the movie ‘Up’. The text sequences are broken up by Henry going to his first day on the job, which includes him getting into his truck, starting on the trail, walking the trail and getting to his post. These are nice sequences that give you a feel for your environment and where you’ll be during the course of the game.

It’s the summer of 1989 in the Shoshone National Forest. Henry is here for the whole summer as a Firewatchman. His first few days are pretty eventful as he learns the ropes, chats with Delilah and has other events occur that will begin to shape his summer. What you say to Delilah will begin to shape the tone of the relationship they have.

You progress through a few consecutive days, before finally getting a peaceful summer, at which point, the day count jumps up by a month. You play through sporadic days as events begin to occur, including a large forest fire (which you get the honor of naming), missing persons, and even a mystery that revolves around Henry and Delilah.

The conversations in Firewatch feel more real and genuine than most games in recent memory. Personality, feeling and emotion are put into the dialogue, which truly makes you feel like you are experiencing life through the eyes of a man named Henry.

This story allows you to be comedic, serious, scared, comforting, accusatory, questioning, and various other things, all through what you choose to say to Delilah. There’s no action in this game, so don’t expect to fight wildlife, however it offers a gorgeous location in the Shoshone National Forest, a wonderfully written story with real characters, choice, exploration and an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience with a realistic ending for Henry and Delilah based on their backstories and lives.

Firewatch is $19.99 and worth every penny, even if a once-through will only be about 4 hours, I’ve already gotten 8 hours worth of enjoyment, and plan on many more to come.

A good way to look at this, is if you paid $6/hour for every game (standard movie tickets are about this much depending on length and your location), this game would cost $24 for a once-through. $19.99 is a great price, but never fear, as sales are sure to be ahead with Black Friday and Christmas around the corner!

2 Comments

Filed under First Impressions, Wrap-Up