This Week In Gaming – April 8th to 14th
So what has been announced this week in gaming? Let’s take a look…
The next game in the Batman: Arkham series has been confirmed – this time as a prequel to the earlier games, titled Batman: Arkham Origins. However, while the two previous games have been developed by Rocksteady Studios, this one is being worked on by Warner Bros Monteal studio – but in being a prequel leaves room for Rocksteady to develop further sequels. Batman: Arkham Origins is scheduled for release October 25th on PC, 360, PS3 and Wii U.
“Riiiiidge – Racerrrrrrrrrr!” the game cried out like a boxing referee, and despite being a driving game with only a single track (with tweaked routes) it still wowed players on release in 1993… largely because it was texture-mapped 3D. Two decades with numerous sequels and spin-offs later a new game has been announced, Ridge Racer: Driftopia, due for release on PC and PS3. As a first for the series, the game will be free-to-play but supported by micro-transactions, presumably for additional vehicles.
Little Big Planet’s developers Media Molecule have given details of their next title, Tearaway, a PS Vita title letting you explore a world formed entirely out of papercrafts. A video of the game includes several augmented reality touches – tipping the Vita to make elements on screen slide, and the player’s fingers affecting the environment via camera. Seemingly hoping to appeal by offering something different to the norm, the game is due out in October – the 22nd in North America and 25th in the UK.
Jeff Minter – legendary game developer and llama fan – has announced that his company Llamasoft will be working on a new game in the Tempest series. With Tempest 2000 being remembered as one of the best games on Atari’s ill-fated Jaguar console, Minter described the proposed title as based on “the essence of the original T2K”. Planned for release on the PS Vita, the new title – referred to as TxK – currently has no proposed release date.
Another old classic due to return is Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion – an early title for the Megadrive/Genesis, which which will be making a re-appearance on the 360, PS3, Wii U and PS Vita. Quite what form the new title will take is unknown, as the only information so far has been in the form of a (slightly creepy) teaser trailer. However, whether it be a straight port, new game with the old title, or anything similar, we’ll see this summer when it is released.
After a PC release that could be charitably described as “shaky”, and probably requiring far stronger language for accuracy, Sim City is now heading for Mac. Available as a digital release only, the game will essentially become dual-format – owning the PC version will grant access to the Mac version, and vice versa, as well as the always-online, everything-stored-on-the-server approach means that saved cities can be played through either version… why you would swap between them often enough for this to be a perk isn’t elaborated upon. The Mac version will be available for download from Jun 11th.
The scenario for Grimlands is perhaps a metaphor for the game itself – striving for existence after what was seen to be the end of everything. As a post-apocalyptic MMOFPS, the game has apparently been in development for several years but was cancelled when previous publisher gamigo decided to change to being solely a distributor, leaving developers DRAGO Entertainment deciding to continue alone. DRAGO claim the title is almost finished and should be out December this year with both f2p and subscription servers – though are looking for $650k in the meantime.
Footballer of the Year was a CBM64 title from 1986 where the goal was, perhaps rather obviously, to win the award of the title, influencing the in- and out-of-game decisions of a single player. Flaming Pumpkin and White Room Games have started a Kickstarter campaign seeking funds for a modern remake of the game. This may be a hard one to sell – the original title having become slightly obscure over the years, and the intended final game planned to be free-to-play.
Not a Kickstarter, but using a similar (but different) payment model is Spellirium which starter accepting donations last week. On face value Spellirium is a point-and-click adventure in the style of the old Lucasarts titles – but puzzles and combat in the game are handled by spelling words on a 7×7 tile grid. The game is promised to be finished regardless of money raised – indeed, there is an alpha version already for contributors to play – but funding will help complete some key sections of the game, including the third act and the entire currently-mute game’s sound.