Category Archives: Developer Coverage

Xuan Yuan Sword 7 Out Now for PS4 and Xbox One

We are thrilled to announce that Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is out now digitally on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The first game in the 30-year-old legendary series to come to the West, this entry offers a standalone story following hero Taishi Zhao, making it the perfect entry point for newcomers.

To commemorate Xuan Yuan Sword 7‘s launch, we’ve just released a special commentary video exploring the game’s story, setting and mechanics. Witness the game’s fantastical beasts, cryptic environmental puzzles, ancient board games, and a deep combat system that includes summon monsters!

This collaborative effort from eastasiasoft, SOFTSTAR and DOMO is a celebration of ancient China’s landscape, civilization and culture. With a story deeply rooted in ancient Chinese history and mythology, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 reimagines both as one fantastical and chaotic realm under the governance of a new Xin Dynasty. Witness the final destiny of the Mohists who believed in an ancient philosophy of logic, rational thought, and science that was once as popular as Confucianism in China 2200 years ago.

Physical editions will be produced in partnership with Maximum Games, available on October 12th at all major retailers in North America, Europe and Australia or directly from store.maximumgames.com/products/xuan-yuan-sword-7.

For more details on Xuan Yuan Sword 7, please visit: http://www.swd7.tw/main/index/en

Ashley Tisdale Discusses Her Experience as Part of the Cast of The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

Ashley Tisdale, who plays Rachel King in House of Ashes, explains what her experience was like on set shooting a video game for the very first time in the first of this exclusive interview.

The first part of the interview is available now:

This two-part interview series will offer a glimpse of motion capture sessions with behind-the-scenes footage as well as Ashley Tisdale’s feeling towards the horror genre.

House of Ashes will release on October 22, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC and is available for pre-order now.

The Dark Pictures Anthology is a series of stand-alone, branching cinematic horror games, designed to present a new terrifying experience on a regular basis. Each game is unconnected and will feature a brand-new story, setting and new cast of characters. Experience moments of tension and terror alone in single player mode, with your friends through 2 player online shared story or with up to 5 players in the couch-friendly movie night mode.

House of Ashes is the third game in the The Dark Pictures Anthology series – standalone, cinematic branching horror games where the decisions you make in the game determine the story you receive. For more information about The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes and other titles from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, please visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter.

Annapurna Interactive’s The Artful Escape Now Available on Steam, Xbox

The Artful Escape, published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur, is now available on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam for $19.99.

The Artful Escape is a musical narrative adventure about a teenage guitar prodigy who sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona. Through light platforming, intergalactic guitar jam sessions and snazzy character customization, players step into the shoes of Francis Vendetti as he faces the shadow of his late uncle, a deceased folk legend, on the eve of Francis’s first show. The game features voice performances by Michael Johnston, Caroline Kinley, Lena Headey, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Strong and Carl Weathers.

In addition, the official The Artful Escape soundtrack is now available through Steam, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, and Pandora.

For all the latest updates on the game, follow Annapurna Interactive and The Artful Escape.

Penitence never ends! Blasphemous sequel announced for 2023

Team17 and The Game Kitchen have announced the development of a Blasphemous sequel, which is scheduled to arrive in 2023. Currently in the early stages of production, the game will be a direct follow-up to the multi-award-winning 2019 action-platformer. The announcement came alongside the reveal of Wounds of Eventide, a brand-new and free content update for the original Blasphemous that concludes The Penitent One’s first journey and unlocks the game’s true ending.

Coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™, and PC on 9th December, Wounds of Eventide introduces new bosses, areas, and items, and underlines the stark truth that penitence never ends… it only changes.

The Game Kitchen, said:

“We’re so excited to finally announce that we’ve started work on a Blasphemous sequel, the community have shown so much love for the first game and we can’t wait to share more when we can! New beginnings also mean new endings, and Wounds of Eventide is exactly that, it’s the final instalment for the original Blasphemous and we hope people love playing the new content as much as we loved creating it.”

“Finally, we wanted to share some behind the scenes from the production of the trailer you’ve just watched, it was important to us to stay true to the game’s roots, so we included a live orchestral track recorded by a selection of traditional and authentic procession musicians, with some of the orchestra having performed during the Holy Week in Seville, Spain. We want to extend our thanks to everyone involved in the process, especially the incredible musicians who bought our vision to life so vividly.”  

Blasphemous is currently available for €24.99/$24.99/£19.99. To keep up to date with all the information on Blasphemous please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join us on Discord.

SCORING  MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY : ORIGINAL ROCK, AN EPIC ORCHESTRA, AND ‘80s CLASSICS

Today Eidos-Montréal has released a new developer insight video that reveals further information on the inspiration and talent behind Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. It also details how ‘80s pop and rock masterpieces are expertly melded with gameplay to create an innovative in-game mechanic, the Huddle.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy brings together three distinct musical styles in its soundtrack: an epic orchestral score, an all-star mixtape of licensed ‘80s tracks, and an original rock album created just for the game. Behind-the-scenes commentary from Steve Szczepkowski, Senior Audio Director at Eidos-Montréal, describes how he and his team fused these elements to create a unique musical experience and influence a gameplay mechanic.

Steve Szczepkowski says: “Music is intrinsic to the Guardians’ franchise, and we wanted to make it focal to the gameplay experience. The soundtrack is infused in the DNA of the game, and our use of it goes far beyond usual expectations. Whether it’s powering up combat in the Huddle or bringing Star-Lord’s favorite band to life, every element was carefully woven into the lore to enhance the story of this rock and roll band of misfits.”

Steve reveals how the sweeping orchestral score, written by BAFTA-nominated composer Richard Jacques, brings an epic, cinematic quality to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Recorded at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios, the score features close to six hours of original music to carry players through their heroic and often emotional journey across the galaxy. Great care has been taken to blend the score with other genres of music featured in the game to ensure the transition from blockbuster orchestral moment to licensed hit is seamless during gameplay.

In selecting licensed music to compliment Eidos-Montréal’s vision of the Guardians, Steve explains that fun was the most important factor. Designed to transport players back to the ‘80s, an impressive selection of pop and rock hits from the decade feature throughout the game at carefully chosen points. Tracks include music from Iron Maiden, KISS, New Kids On The Block, Rick Astley, Hot Chocolate and more, with plenty still to be revealed.

The unique Huddle feature takes the licensed soundtrack further by utilizing select songs during combat. Players can hit play on Star-Lord’s Cassette Player to cue up a specially chosen ‘80s hit to inspire the Guardians and spur them on while fighting. Steve explains that some of these songs might seem unexpected in such a setting, but the juxtaposition brings an additional element of fun to the combat sequences.

Finally, Steve reveals how he unexpectedly brought a brand-new rock band into this original Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy world. After he was informed that in the game’s narrative, Peter Quill takes the name Star-Lord from his favorite band of the same name, Steve got to work creating Star-Lord the band. An entire album was recorded for the game, featuring original tracks that celebrate the rock and roll, dysfunctional nature of the Guardians family.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will be available on PlayStation®5 console, PlayStation®4 console, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, and PC digital, and streaming via GeForce NOW on October 26, 2021. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version for Nintendo Switch also coming to select regions October 26.

DESIGNING THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – A FRESH TAKE ON ICONIC MARVEL CHARACTERS

Today Eidos-Montréal has released a new dev insight video revealing the inspiration behind character design in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Following on from the global reveal last June at E3, the deep dive explores the designs of each of the core members of the unlikely team of misfits: Star-Lord (a.k.a Peter Quill), Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot. 

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy allows players to experience a fresh take on the iconic Guardians, and behind-the-scenes commentary from Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc, Art Director at Eidos-Montréal, reveals the care taken to ensure the design of each character balanced inspiration from the wider Marvel universe with the original narrative of the game.

Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc says: “When designing the Guardians, it was important they remained true to the narrative we had built while still being instantly recognizable as the Guardians of the Galaxy fans know and love. We combined inspiration from Marvel comic lore with our own character backstories to craft new visuals for this fun and dysfunctional family, infusing each Guardian with specific design aspects that also tie into gameplay.

Bruno reveals the rock-and-roll space pirate persona of the self-proclaimed leader of the Guardians inspired Star-Lord’s bold appearance. His outfit is peppered with Easter eggs from his ‘80s childhood, including tributes to his namesake and favorite musicians, rock band Star-Lord.

Drax the Destroyer’s appearance tells of his extensive combat history, with each katathian scarification on his body representing a victory. Bruno explains his individual character design also links to the environment of his home planet of Katath, where architecture mirrors the circular nature of Drax’s battle tributes.
The character design team created a strong, powerful look for Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy, drawing on comic inspiration for her striking black and white suit and adding some deadly embellishments to make her battle-ready at any given moment.

Finally, Bruno explains how the relationships between characters influenced certain visual choices. The designs of Rocket and Groot are connected to represent their friendship, with Rocket wearing a bead of Groot in his goatee. These interwoven designs also allow them to work in unison during combat, with a harness on Groot’s back enabling Rocket to use him as a turret.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will be available on PlayStation®5 console, PlayStation®4 console, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, PC, and streaming via GeForce NOW on October 26, 2021. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version for Nintendo Switch is also coming to select regions October 26.

Tactical Roguelike ‘Mech Armada’ Stomps Into Early Access

2021 – Mech Armada has officially entered Early Access and brings with it a brand new gameplay trailer.

Inspired by the likes of Darkest Dungeon and Slay the Spire, Mech Armada combines elements from multiple genres to create an ever-changing turn-based tactics game, and gives players a heavy dose of deckbuilding, resource management, fast tactical tiled-based combat and perma-death.

Set against a campaign of skirmishes to defeat the Swarm, you’ll need to customize your mech loadouts, utilise terrain, and play to your strengths in procedurally generated encounters that continually increase in difficulty.

“There is an opportunity to combine the depth of tactics games with the replayability of deckbuilding roguelikes to create a new experience that players can enjoy over and over,” says Lioncode founder, Sergio Garces.

Now available Steam via Early Access for $14.99, Mech Armada’s story sees you take on the Swarm, a strange race hellbent on destroying the world. It’s down to the player to utilise “replicator technology” – a way to quickly bring powerful mechs to life – to destroy the creatures and save humanity.

Mech Armada can be wishlisted now, and for more information head to the official website.

Key Features

  • Deep strategic combat: There are no perfect solutions. Create your own strategy by cleverly making the most out of your resources and the situation.
  • Design your own mech: With 70+ available Mech parts, you can create thousands of unique combinations. Each part has its own strengths and weaknesses, giving you an enormous range of possibilities.
  • Turn-Based combat: You can move into position and attack with each of your mechs, in any order. Then it’s the Swarm’s turn…
  • Procedurally generated: All the gameplay elements (monsters, maps, resources and rewards) are randomly combined and balanced ensuring no two battles are the same.
  • Roguelike campaign: Death means game over. Try again with an entirely new run, with new random parts and encounters. You’ll have to make do with what you get!
  • Auto-save: Never worry about saving again. Leave your game at any point and return exactly where you left off.
  • Environment variety: From the outskirts of destroyed cities, to desert wastelands, the  Swarm spreads and the battle for survival rages on.
  • Epic bosses: They’re massive, ugly and ridiculously tough. Are you up to the task?

New Aragami 2 Vid Dives Into Stealth and the Addition of Strategic Combat

Lince Works has given you brief glimpses at the gameplay but, now, the team is excited to take gamers deeper into the evolution of this stealth-action franchise. The new developer walkthrough showcases the completely new combat system built from the ground up for Aragami 2 and enhancements to the stealth gameplay established in the original title. Gamers will get a chance to experience this for themselves when the stealth-action adventure launches September 17, 2021, on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

Aragami 2 will take the community and critically acclaimed experience of the first title to new levels. Stealth is the foundation of the Aragami experience and, now, players have increased mobility so that they can maneuver more quickly from shadow to shadow.

Also, when attempts to be stealthy fail, players are no longer helpless. Inspired by some of the best action games around, Aragami 2 employs skill-based combat where players must strategically engage their assailants. Aragami are brilliant assassins who are as powerful as gods when stalking from the shadows but, when face to face with enemies, they are vulnerable. Knowing when to strike, defend, or dodge will be key and this developer walkthrough gives gamers a look at all of this in action.

The original Aragami hooked fans with a stealth-focused game inspired by classic ninja experiences like Tenchu and rooted in the lore of a beautifully crafted world. The addition of the all-new strategic combat system takes what Tenchu made popular and elevates it to loftier heights. Even better, Aragami 2’s gripping narrative can be experienced in full completely solo or with friends as a co-op stealth-action adventure. The Aragami clan, known as Kurotsuba, must utilize their power as they attempt to fight back against the invading Akatsuchi Empire.

Aragami 2 Features:

  • A full campaign that can be completed solo or with up to 3 players in co-op
  • Weapon and armor customization
  • A wide variety of abilities, shadow powers, and special equipment
  • Much more will be revealed very soon…

With over 700,000 copies sold, the original Aragami was a remarkable accomplishment for the emerging studio Lince Works. Aragami 2 serves as an opportunity to see more of the team’s ideas realized and establish a new face in the stealth-action genre.

Aragami 2 will launch digitally on September 17, 2021. Pre-orders for Aragami 2 are open now on Steam ($34.99 / €34.99 / £29.99) and players can take advantage of a 15% off discount. PlayStation Store ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99), and Xbox Store ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99) pre-orders will open soon.

Retail partner, Merge Games, will launch physical versions of Aragami 2. PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Xbox One/Series X ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99) will be released in Europe on September 17, 2021 and September 21, 2021 in North America.

New Trailers for Hot Wheels Unleashed Showcase Official Track Builder

Mattel and Milestone today released a series of videos providing a deep dive into the dedicated Hot Wheels Unleashed™ Track Builder. Players can build, design, and share their custom made Hot Wheels Unleashed courses once the title launches on September 30, 2021.

The Track Builder is the same tool that Milestone’s designers used to the create the official tracks found in Hot Wheels Unleashed. The same tools, items, tracks, and layouts will be available to everyone; all that’s required of the player is imagination and a love of Hot Wheels.

Players will learn how to design with the iconic orange tracks, the backbone of all Hot Wheels racing. Twisting, bending, stretching, and finally placing every available track, item, obstacle, and more, is now part of the pure racing fun experience.

For a deep dive into how the Track Builder works, Hot Wheels Unleashed’s Lead Game Designer Federico Cardini takes viewers through the basics and provides their first course in track design by showcasing tracks made in the game, along with fun new creations using the exact same editor that will be available in-game at launch.

After more than two years of development, the final result allows players to create crazy tracks in an extremely easy way, starting with choosing one of the environments available in the game, including the Track Room – a special stage designed specifically to showcase the freedom of the Track Builder.

Any element of the environments could potentially be part of the course. This means that players can mix  track modules with different objects and obstacles from any environment in order to create dynamic and unpredictable races. Players will also have the chance to bring their tracks to the next level, thanks to the special Track Builder Modules. More than 20 amazing modules are available, such as T-Rex Escape, Spider Ambush, and Hungry Cobra to make the tracks even more unique, insane, and challenging.

The Track Builder also features the chance to share creations with the world or enjoy the crazy tracks made by other players. Being part of the community means having the chance to become an extraordinary designer or simply a racer always looking for new adrenaline and unpredictable challenges.

Lastly, today’s videos unveiled seven new vehicles out of the 60+ available on Day One. They are: 24 Ours™, Off-Duty™, Supercharged™, RocketFire™, Street Creeper™, Surf ‘N Turf™, and Tricera-Truck.

Hot Wheels Unleashed offers players the opportunity to drive the cars as if they were playing with the die-cast toys. The gameplay includes adrenaline-filled races, an extended choice of Hot Wheels vehicles with different attributes and rarity levels that players can customize with different skins, and jaw-dropping tracks set in everyday-life locations with special track modules and interactive items. The game also features a revolutionary Track Builder enabling players to customize tracks in any game environment and share them with the game’s community.

For more information and where to pre-order, visit hotwheelsunleashed.com. Drivers can also join the #HotWheelsUnleashed conversation online at Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.