Slender Man Arriving on PSN and XBL
Watch your back, folks. Something awful is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360. Did you see what I did there? Something awf— Nevermind. I only just Googled it myself.
Sequel to the indie horror sensation, Slender: The Eight Pages, Blue Isle Studios’ Slender: The Arrival is being ported to PSN and XBL. No mere copy and paste here, though; the console edition is being packaged with two brand new chapters, pitting players as previous victims of The Slender Man (spoiler: they fucking die).
The port is being published by Midnight City, an experimental branch of Majesco Games that allows indie developers to keep their independent label while Midnight handles public relations, marketing, community management, and a whole host of other duties that cramp a micro-dev’s style.
Oh, and PC People. Rest assured that The Arrival's extra content ain't console exclusive — the additional chapters will be made available for the PC version once the console edition is released later this year. So everybody gets to brown their pants in unison.
Alien: Isolation Officially Revealed
I’ve been following every space scrap of news on this project for a while now — Alien and its film progeny, Jimmy Cameron’s opus in particular, being my favorite series in the history of the silver screen — but it’s refreshing to have the loading bay doors officially blown off of Alien: Isolation.
Though the game is set in the first-person, don’t expect Isolation to be yet another Hoo-rah-tastic corridor shooter as hollow as the sound of pulse rifle fire. Creative Assembly is seeking to create the Alien game no other developer has tried before: a methodically paced, suffocatingly atmospheric love letter to the bump-in-the-dark horror Ridley Scott famously put to film back in 1979.
Fifteen years after the Nostromo vanished from the star map, Amanda Ripley finds herself aboard the Sevastopol Station, the floating husk of a former trading port. The Company says she may find an answer to her mother’s disappearance there. What she does find is one ruthless, near unstoppable killing machine of an extraterrestrial that will stalk her, find her, and end her unpleasantly unless she uses her wits and what little supplies she can scrounge up to survive. Like mother, like daughter.
As much as I’d love for a team of perfect fans to crack Aliens' formula and deliver a riveting action game instead of a derivative train wreck, I'm glad we're not gagging on another space marine shooter. The films are, and always have been, firmly rooted in horror. It's time video games stopped treating xenomorphs as canon fodder, having you blast apart hordes of them. It's time to be afraid of them again.
Alien: Isolation, expected for late this year, is releasing for PC, PS3, 360, PS4, and Xbox One.
Fan Project Resurrects Resident Evil: Outbreak's Dead Online
Sometimes I have to marvel at fans’ tenacity.
Though marching toward a full decade since its release two whole console generations ago on the PS2 — the Former Champion of the World, as you may well remember — fans of the highly experimental and hopelessly ahead of its time spin-off, Resident Evil: Outbreak, are not content to let the dead lie.
If you don’t recall this obscurity, Outbreak File #1 and its “sequel”/expansion File #2 took the traditional, fixed-perspective scares of the pre-Resi 4 titles and created a scenario-based, cooperatively online game — Resident Evil's first foray into the online space.
Outbreak featured a bunch of cool ideas that you know Capcom’s teams have been wanting to toss into the games for years. Pitting you and a handful of other survivors in the ongoing ruination of Raccoon City, the game was a meaner, more survivalist focused experience that forced item management, combat tactics, and even environmental defense onto your group lest you all faced the business end of a horrible, T-Virus induced death. Fight alone and you die alone.
The series did not persist. A number of staggering design flaws made sure Outbreak would begin and end at cult status (without the PS2’s HDD the game didn’t just have loading times, it had goddamn loading eras). This wasn’t helped by Sony’s admirable but lackluster first try at console-only online.
The servers, of course, have long been shut down. But one group of survival horror activists said, “To fuck with that noise.” Enter the Outbreak Server Recreation Project. Through the magic of the project’s custom servers, you’re able to actually play online with both File #1 and File #2… if you own the Japanese versions of the games, that is (emulators also work, but aren’t condoned by the group, mind you).
If you’re like me, Operation Raccoon City didn’t scratch that Outbreak itch (personally, it just bruised the area around the itch, then pissed on it… to heal the bruising?). Perhaps this attention, albeit small, may plant the notion in a Capcom exec’s head to kick around the Outbreak IP once more. Imagine what today’s tech could do with this concept. With the popularity of similarly themed games like DayZ and State of Decay, a modern day restart of Outbreak starts to click.
Ah, wishful thinking. We may have to settle for our nostalgia. But at least you can take that nostalgia online again.
This year’s bulb is almost out, folks. And what a goddamn year it was! If it wasn’t enough that a high profile title hit market just about every other week, 2013 also saw fit to usher in a new generation of home consoles, bringing with it a wave of innovative, game-changing releases— Nah, I’m kidding. They just ported over some shooters and racing games.
See, despite the starter pistol having gone off for the next-gen race, 2013 belonged to the current-gen. Through years of strife and growth and learning, developers were able to forge some of the best games we’ve seen in a while, leaving gamers with a slew of graceful sendoffs to a generation in its twilight. Here are my favorite games of 2013 (that I got around to playing… really important to remember that).
Merry Khristmas From The Red Herb!