Category Archives: Developer Coverage

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.

UBISOFT REVEALS SNOWDROP TECH SHOWCASE VIDEO FOR AVATAR: FRONTIERS OF PANDORA

Check out the new Snowdrop Tech Showcase video and see how Ubisoft is bringing the alluring world of Pandora to life on the new generation of hardware.

About Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora™

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora™ is a first person, action-adventure game developed by Massive Entertainment – a Ubisoft studio, in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney.

Built using the latest iteration of the Snowdrop engine, and developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PC, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora brings to life the alluring world of Pandora with all of its beauty and danger in an immersive, open world experience.

In this new, standalone story, play as a Na’vi and embark on a journey across the Western Frontier, a never-before-seen part of Pandora. Explore a living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters, and push back the formidable RDA forces that threaten it.

HAUNTING PUZZLE PLATFORMER TANDEM: A TALE OF SHADOWS CASTS NEW LIGHT ON ITS DAUNTLESS DUAL PROTAGONISTS

Developer Monochrome and Publisher Hatinh Interactive have unveiled a new character trailer for upcoming mystifying puzzle platformer Tandem: A Tale of Shadows, slated for release on PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year. The game follows an intelligent, strong-willed girl named Emma and an eccentric, anthropomorphized teddy bear named Fenton as they investigate the disappearance of Thomas Kane, the only son of a famous family of illusionists, and survive the illusory dangers that await them.

A free demo comprising Tandem’s first universe and initial seven levels is now available until June 22 as part of Steam Next Fest.

A livestream hosted by the game’s development team will take place tomorrow, June 17, at 9.00AM PST | 12.00AM EST |  6.00PM CEST. Follow this link to view the stream.

Play Tandem’s first demo on Steam:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1630300/Out_of_Line/

While Emma may seem coddled at a glance, she’s fiercely independent. Despite her young age, the girl can maintain composure when faced with uncertainty and knows how to learn from her mistakes. Fenton may appear indolent when measured against Emma’s determination, but acts as a great complement to the indomitable woman, comforting her when hope fades away.

From the top of his wall, Fenton observes Emma and is ready to leap in to help her progress in her dimension! There’s no need to talk to each other: the switch between the two characters is immediate. Fenton will be able to jump to the next door as soon as Emma creates the solid shadow on which he can move. But before that, Emma must identify what she is using to create the shadow each time she enters a new room in the mansion. This is the only way to give Fenton an accessible platform!

Emma and Fenton work as a duo: Emma, in her dimension, creates shadows and Fenton unlocks the levels that will allow them both to progress. Emma must also face enemies and bosses. But she can count on Fenton’s help to repel or attract them!

“Dark Souls meets Tetris” isle-shifting action roguelike Loot River revealed all new footage this weekend

Over the last few days straka.studio revealed a host of new footage for its upcoming island-shifting action-roguelike Loot River. Published by straka.studio with the help of SUPERHOT PRESENTS and the Slovak Arts Council, Loot River is a dungeon-crawling action-roguelike that combines the tense, real-time combat and dark fantasy stylings of Dark Souls with the spatial block-shifting puzzles of Tetris.

Here’s a four minute video showcasing how Loot River plays, with lead developer Miro Straka explaining how it works:

This three minute developer walkthrough shows off a condensed montage of Loot River’s isle-shifting:

Armed with the power of the Relic, players can shift the ground beneath them, sliding floating ruins together in a series of tile puzzles. As players venture through these endless catacombs, they’ll encounter beasts, lost travelers, and bosses. These cosmic grottos offer a wealth of new weapons and gear to discover, as well as unholy knowledge to unearth for permanent upgrades.

Drawn to shards of an unholy relic, wandering nomads have found themselves in a perpetual cycle of life and death, losing their sanity as they journey through endless parallel realities, devouring each other to absorb the knowledge of their fellow travelers. No two journeys are ever the same as countless lost souls float through the Loot River.

Visit the Loot River website: https://lootriver.com/

Raw and unedited Biomutant gameplay footage on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Today, Experiment 101 and THQ Nordic released unedited gameplay footage for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

PlayStation 5 runs at native 1080p @ 60 FPS, upscaled to 4k @ 60 FPS with Dynamic Resolution

Xbox Series X runs native 4k @ 60 FPS with Dynamic Resolution

BIOMUTANT® is an open-world, post-apocalyptic Kung-Fu fable RPG, with unique martial art styled combat system allowing you to mix melee, shooting, and mutant ability action.

  • A NEW TAKE ON 3rd PERSON COMBAT

The martial arts style combat system allows you maximum freedom of movement and agility while mixing shooting, melee, and powers from your mutations. Learning new Wung-Fu combat forms through progression and learning from masters you’ll meet, will constantly add to your choices and make sure combat never gets old.

  •  EVOLVE YOUR GAME-PLAY

You’ll be able to re-code your genetic structure to change the way you look and play. This will of course affect your attributes and in addition to this, exposure to bio-contamination in the world will lead to mutations like the Turtleform and Mucus Bubble, while exposure to radioactivity found in bunkers from the old world will affect your mind and unlock psi-mutations like telekinesis, levitation and more.

  •  NEXT LEVEL OF CRAFTING

You are totally free when crafting weapons. Mix and match parts to create your own unique 1H or 2H slash and crush weapons. Revolvers, rifles and shotguns and add modifications like cork-screws and battery-powered chainsaw modules to bio-contaminated sludge vials adding to your combat arsenal. There are even characters you’ll meet that’ll craft cool stuff for you, like bionic wings, a jump-pack and even let you modify your Automaton – the scrap-toy sidekick!

  •  GEAR UP FOR ADVENTURE

You are totally free when equipping your character. Not only when it comes to choosing weapons you created, but what type of gear you wear. Equip a gas-mask and an oxygen tank for exploring the Dead Zones, thermos-resistant clothes for venturing into cryonic areas or protective gear for taking on bio-contaminated creatures, the choice is up to you.

  •  SURVIVE IN A VIBRANT OPEN WORLD

You are free to explore the world and what lies beneath its surface, by foot, mech, jet-ski, air-balloon or area unique mounts. Explore the dying wildland, the tunnels and bunker networks of the underworld, and find your way up the mountains or out in the archipelago. There are lots of discoveries to be made, mysteries to unravel, creatures to confront, and weird characters to meet in this vibrant and colorful world.

  •  AN UNUSUAL STORY WITH AN UNUSUAL END

Your actions play a major part in the unfolding of a story where End is coming to the New World. A plague is ruining the land and the Tree-of-Life is bleeding death from its roots. The Tribes stand divided, in need of someone strong enough to unite them or bring them all down… You are guided through the world by a Storyteller that narrates every step of your journey, but it’s your actions and choices that’ll decide how your story of survival ends.

Biomutant is coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 25th, 2021.