Focus Entertainment teams up with THE PARASIGHT studio to publish the enchanting BLACKTAIL

Focus Entertainment announces today that it will be the publisher of BLACKTAIL, developed by the talented Polish studio THE PARASIGHT. Composed of passionate industry veterans, THE PARASIGHT aims to offer games that uncompromisingly combine original gameplay and rich narrative experiences.

Lovers of myths, legends and fairy tales, THE PARASIGHT team develops enchanting universes where realism rubs shoulders with the supernatural, the classic complements the modern, and where the narrative experience is supported by magical art direction. This description perfectly matches BLACKTAIL, which will be published by Focus Entertainment for Consoles and PC.

“Bringing worlds and stories to life, offering the possibility of shaping them and altering their outcomes: it is this blend of strong narrative direction and player freedom that immediately convinced us to work with THE PARASIGHT team,” explains Yves Le Yaouanq, Chief Content Officer of Focus Entertainment. “Sad tale or tragic fable, it is the player’s actions, through their moral choices, that will determine the fate of the protagonist. They will shape how she evolves in the world: healer or hunter, loving sister or avenger. THE PARASIGHT team accompanies players to the edge of Blacktail, where they will live an adventure that swings between eerie and wondrous, exciting and thrilling: an experience that resonates perfectly with our ambitions at Focus.”

“Making creative use of ageless narratives such as legends or fairy-tales and forging them into fantastic realms to tell unique, original stories is our studio’s foundation,” says Bartosz Kaproń, THE PARASIGHT CEO & Creative Director. “We recognize video games as a full-fledged medium, capable of delivering memorable adventures, crowned with timeless messages. From the outset, BLACKTAIL mirrors that ambitious approach. I firmly believe our top-rated development talents, now combined with the international publishing prowess of Focus Entertainment, will broaden THE PARASIGHT’s vision for pushing the envelope of interactive storytelling.”

Take A Closer Look At The Depth Of Features In Sniper Elite 5

Rebellion, one of the world’s most successful video games developers and publishers, has today released a new trailer for Sniper Elite 5 which showcases the game’s features and game modes, including the first glimpse of multiplayer and Invasion Mode. With all footage captured in-game, the new Features Trailer is available to view now:

The award-winning series returns on May 26 as Sniper Elite 5 releases simultaneously on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 4 & 5, Epic, Steam and the Windows Store.

The game’s expansive campaign is set in France in 1944 and centers around the events of D-Day. Elite marksman Karl Fairburne uncovers a Nazi plot called Operation Kraken that could turn the tide of the war back in their favor. Working in the shadows behind enemy lines, Karl has to use all the skills at his disposal to destroy Operation Kraken and the mastermind behind it Abelard Möller. The full Campaign is playable in two-player online co-op, allowing players to team up as they fight the Axis force and track down Möller.

However, human players can also try to thwart Karl’s progress as the new Invasion Mode allows an opposing player to join your game as an Axis Sniper tasked with hunting Karl down and taking him out. The invading player can make use of AI Axis soldiers to help them find Karl’s location, creating a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Meanwhile, Karl can utilize phones placed within the level to gather intel on the invader and their location. Invasion Mode can be toggled on/off in the game menu.

Multiplayer is not restricted to the campaign as a suite of tense multiplayer combat modes are also available. Complete with all format crossplay, Sniper Elite 5’s multiplayer features four core game modes each with a host of customization options, allowing players to create their own matches.

The Sniper Elite franchise has always been recognized for its advanced gun physics and this has been elevated even further for Sniper Elite 5. With weaponry painstaking recreated from real-world references to ensure maximum authenticity, the guns in Sniper Elite 5 contain a meticulous level of detail and all have their own unique feel and characteristics to the player.

The series defining Kill Cam has also been elevated. Clinical kills with pistols and SMG will now trigger the Kill Cam in addition to rifle and takedown kills. Bullets will ricochet off bone, causing increased devastation which is shown to the player in even more gory detail than ever before.

Weapon customization has also been greatly enhanced with players now able to change a weapon’s stock, magazines, receiver, barrel, scopes and iron sights as well as its materials. This allows every player to create a suite of weapons that perfectly suit their individual playstyle as well as the mission that they are undertaking. Customization options are unlocked in the game by discovering workbenches that are hidden within the maps. At these benches, players can then customize their loadout meaning that they can adapt their playstyle and approach on the fly without having to restart a mission.

New traversal mechanics have unlocked even more playstyle options. The routes you take can define if you are stealthy and stay in the shadows or go loud and take the fight to the enemies head-on. The ability to climb vines, for example, allows Karl to reach new areas of the map giving him sneaky routes, great vantage points and access to secret locations further adding to each mission’s replayability.

Sniper Elite 5 will launch globally on Thursday, May 26, 2022, on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 4 & 5, Epic, Steam and the Windows Store. Players who pre-order Sniper Elite 5 will also receive the latest mission of the much-heralded ‘Target Führer’ campaign entitled “Wolf Mountain.” A Deluxe Edition is also available which will also include, Target Führer, Season Pass One and a P.1938 Suppressed Pistol for those who pre-order.

The Season Pass comes fully loaded with:

  • 2 Campaign Missions
  • 2 Weapon skin packs
  • 2 Character Packs
  • 6 Weapon Packs

To keep up to date with all the latest Sniper Elite 5 news please visit

Anti-Gravity Racer Redout 2 Blasts onto PC & Consoles on May 26

Saber Interactive and 34BigThings have revealed a scorching new trailer for Redout 2, announcing that the next entry in the acclaimed anti-gravity racing series will launch on May 26, 2022, for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Redout 2 is the biggest and fastest entry in the series yet, with more tracks than ever before. Strafe, tilt and boost your customizable hovership through dozens of mind-bending, jaw-dropping courses in a variety of game modes, including an expansive single-player campaign plus competitive online multiplayer for up to 12 players on PC, PlayStation and Xbox, and up to six players on Nintendo Switch.

Key Features:

  • Speed & Control: With blazing-fast speeds of over 1,000 km/h and an intuitive driving system, Redout 2 is a blast to pick up and play, but truly rewarding for any who can master its super-high skill ceiling.
  • Extensive Career Mode: Fly through hundreds of events across 36 unique racetracks – all of which are reversible! From Arena Races and Time Attacks to Last Man Standing and intense Boss Races, dart past the competition and dominate the finish line.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: Take on rivals in intense online multiplayer. Dive into fresh challenges with regularly added custom content and seasons featuring bonus rewards.
  • Comprehensive Customization: Choose from 12 distinct chassis and fully customize your hovership with an incredible selection of propulsors, stabilizers, rudders, intercoolers, flaps, magnets, wings, spoilers, rocket engines, paints and more!
  • Experience a futuristic soundtrack from leading electronic artists like the legendary Giorgio Moroder and acclaimed talents such as Zardonic and Dance with the Dead, with music seamlessly and dynamically mixed based on real-time race data.
  • Create and share your best high-speed moments with Redout 2’s Photo Mode.

Redout 2 is available to wishlist now on Steam. For more information, visit the official Redout 2 website, and keep up with the latest updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Discord.

The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game Review – PC VR

The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game is the latest VR escape room title to get added to the pile of similarly designed games in the genre.  It is one of those games that doesn’t necessarily require VR to exist; in fact, I think it might have done better if released as a non-VR title with better graphics and access to a much larger audience.    The VR implementation comes off as more of a gimmick and even a hindrance at times due to some unwieldy controls that affect both movement and interaction with the environment.

The one thing Atlas Mystery has going for it is presentation and atmosphere with its 40’s era architecture and art deco design elements that do a reasonable job of transporting you back to 1951 where you have just been hired as the manager of the Atlas Theater.  Your first day on the job not only requires you to find a way out of your locked office; you’ll also need to solve a murder mystery while exploring every square inch of the theater for clues, combinations, codes, and all sorts of items to solve a myriad of puzzles that stand between you and the truth.

The theater is sectioned off into a few main areas including the initial office that serves as a tutorial area before moving on to the concession stand, lobby, projection booth, and finally the main auditorium.  Each area is loaded with puzzles that require thorough examination of the area for instructions and hints at what to do followed by interesting interactions with those environments to complete the required tasks.  The first area, the snack bar, gave me flashbacks to that VR Job Simulator game where you worked in fast food, only here I had to prepare a specific combo deal, figure out the price, and ring up the sale.

Moving into the lobby has you looking for three dials to a safe along with other items; many of which are unlocked by solving combination clues that sync up with actors, dates, and movie posters.  Later you move to the projection room upstairs where you splice filmstrips to complete a movie that unlocks your path to the main auditorium with even more cryptic puzzles.  Puzzles vary in difficulty, and if you are a fan of these 3D adventure games or even real-world escape rooms and know how they work then you should have no trouble with most.  The game limits your interactions to only useful items, many of which can be stored in your backpack for later use, and the occasional note, news clipping, or sheet of paper with instructions or something that adds to the story.

The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game can be finished in 2-3 hours; perhaps even less if you are good at puzzles since a secondary playthrough only takes 45 minutes when you know what you are doing.  There is no replay value to this at all.  I played the game on both the Vive and the Rift S and found no major differences aside from the usual claims that Rift S looks better, and Oculus Touch feels and controls better.  The darker nature of this game only enhances the visual flaws that are part of the aging Vive tech.  You have smooth forward movement and the option for smooth turning.  The smooth walking speed is painfully slow, but thankfully you can use the right stick to teleport forward to increase your speed and possibly avoid any VR sickness.  The game allows for seated or standing play, but the seated height seems too low and crouching felt like laying on the floor.  Setting the game to standing mode while playing seated seemed to work okay.

You can see the game in action in my blind playthrough of the first hour that includes some major struggles in the concession stand and a quick tour of the lobby.  I found the game rather exhausting due to quirky controls where you can’t accurately interact with objects.  Pushing buttons and moving combination dials requires you to brush against them with your virtual hand which seems imprecise.  Objects have no weight or physics applied to them and things just get knocked around; another reason this game would have been much better in non-VR.

In the end The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game is a short and simple escape room packed with puzzles that will carry you through a surprisingly weak narrative that leads to a disappointing ending.  Seriously, what is up with that ending?  The game might be worth a look if it ever goes on sale, but I honestly don’t think this trip to the theater is worth the $15 ticket price.

Sifu’s PS5 and PS4 retail editions are now available

Studio Sloclap and publisher Microids are pleased to announce that Sifu’s retail versions for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 (Vengeance Edition) as well as PC (Deluxe Edition) are now available. Following their multiplayer hit Absolver released in 2017, Sloclap’s second game Sifu is an artful and true-to-combat Kung Fu game exploring themes of revenge and redemption!

The Vengeance Edition includes:

  • An exclusive SteelBook® case
  • Sifu’s standard edition for PlayStation®5 or PlayStation®4
  • ‘The Art of Sifu’ artbook
  • The original game score (digital)
  • 3 lithographs

>PC players can also purchase the retail Deluxe Edition*. It includes 3 lithographs, as well as a download code that gives access to the game’s PC (Epic Games Store) version, ‘The Art of Sifu’ digital artbook and the digital soundtrack.

*Retail PC Deluxe Edition available at select retailers. Check your local retailers for availability in your territory.

About Sifu

Featuring the gripping intensity of classic Kung Fu films with realistic and raw combat, Sifu tells the story of a young Kung Fu student who has spent their life training for a day of reckoning after the brutal murder of their entire family by a mysterious assassination squad.

Sifu’s unique gameplay sits in the crossroads of two established and popular genres, mashing the intensity and timeless thrill of beat’em up with the gripping design of 3D action games. Set against a detailed backdrop of a fictional Chinese city, you will uncover an ancient mystery via a series of difficult confrontations that will test your skills to their limit! To overcome the odds that are heavily stacked against you, you’ll need to rely on your mastery of Kung Fu and on a magical pendant that will revive you after death. The cost of magic is dear, however, and you will age significantly every time you come back to life. Time is the price you will pay for your revenge.

The game’s exquisitely hand-drawn art style pays tribute to Kung Fu film classics where themes of revenge and redemption are timeless tales, all perfectly blending with Sloclap’s martial arts gameplay expertise.  Sifu offers a unique approach to martial arts and its themes, making this game a true initiatory journey.

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Review – PlayStation 5

Coming up on its 9th anniversary, The Stanley Parable is perhaps one of the best examples of a “walking simulator” ever conceived.  The premise is simple; you snap out of your daily work coma to find the entire office building has been deserted.  Where did everyone go, and more importantly, how do you get out?  Those are just two questions that kept gamers glued to their PC’s back in 2013 and beyond, and with the release of The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe remaster/sequel/follow-up, it’s time once again to lose ourselves in that twisty maze of office cubicles, hallways, and warehouses; now with nearly triple the content and just as much fresh humor.

As the title hints, you’ll be playing Stanley, exploring a deserted office building filled with secrets and mysteries.  Along for the ride is the narrator (voiced by Kevan Brighting), a voice in your head that will try to guide you along your adventure with real-time narration that not only calls out your immediate actions but also hints at what you are supposed to be doing.  Obviously, this is where the potential for great humor and conflict comes into the mix, as you are not obligated to follow the narrator’s suggestions.  In fact, much of the humor and extended gameplay derives from explicitly ignoring and disobeying your verbal guide.  So when presented with two doors, right and left or red and blue, and the narrator tells you to go through one your first reaction is to do the exact opposite.  This contrary behavior pretty much carries over to ever decision you can make in the game.  When a sign warns of a $5000 fine for jumping off a cargo lift you are naturally going to jump off it.

The story is constantly evolving due to these nearly non-stop decision points and seemingly endless branches in the narrative that will lead to just as many end-game moments and subsequent restarts, as per design.  There is no penalty for failure other than being sent back to your office to start your Groundhog Day nightmare over and over, but even then new events occur and fresh narration awaits, all influenced by the events from previous trips through the office.  While there is one proper ending to the game that you can easily reach in less than 10-15 minutes by simply following instructions, there is countless hours of content exploration beyond that simple ending, and just when you think there is nothing left to experience you will stumble on something new.

This new Ultra Deluxe edition asks you straight up if you have played the previous version and saying yes will grant you access to the new content a bit sooner.  Eventually a door will unlock with a big neon sign pointing toward the new content, which is just as hilarious, charming, and entertaining as everything you have experienced up to that point.  The game gets extremely meta as the narrator becomes self-aware and the whole concept of reality starts to fold in on itself.  No spoilers here, but you can watch my videos for both the original game and the new content if you want to see Stanley in action.  There will be spoilers.

The Stanley Parable is one of the best narrated adventures of all time; perhaps only matched by Bastion, which achieved more mainstream fame and acclaim due to its presence on consoles.  This new Ultra Deluxe version of The Stanley Parable is also now on consoles and for my review I was playing on the PS5.  The game has been entirely remastered in the Unity engine and looks fantastic considering the limitations of the simplistic art style.  But nobody is here for graphics; this is all about story, presentation, and discovery.    To that end expect some fiendishly clever trophies that will keep non-cheating gamers from getting a platinum trophy until 2032.  Another trophy requires you to play (or at least have the game running) for 24 hours on a Tuesday.  It’s absurd content like this that makes The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe just as fresh and entertaining as it was nearly a decade ago.

I never got around to reviewing the original game back in 2013, so I was very happy to get to review this latest version, and now that you can play The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe on consoles as well as PC the potential audience for this game has grown exponentially.  I really can’t recommend this game highly enough.  If you are looking to chill, laugh, and explore endless possibilities in a leisurely fashion while under the constant guidance of a narrator that will make you feel like you are trapped in a Monty Python skit then you’ve found your game.

‘Slaycation Paradise’ Reveals Physical Retail Version

Merge Games and developer Affordable Acquisition are pleased to reveal that upcoming inter-dimensional twin-stick shooter, Slaycation Paradise, will be available in a physical retail version for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

Time for a getaway? Our expert team of travel agents nestled deep in the heart of the galaxy are ready and waiting to warp you away to the alternate Earth action scenario of a lifetime. Explore beautiful and chaotic holiday destinations with an all inclusive arsenal of bizarre and brutal weapons for that fully loaded firepower feeling! Kick back and slay all your worries away with Slaycation Paradise!

FEATURES:

  • Twinstick shooting & Tower Defense! – Taking the best of each genre to create an engaging and addictive gameplay loop where hordes of bloodthirsty enemies are waiting to welcome you to the party!
  • Apocalypse a-plenty! – Discover alternate Earths all going through crazy End-of-Days type scenarios perfectly designed for the best in family vacation entertainment.
  • Weird & Wonderful Weapons! – Enjoy an apocalypse-proof weapon selection from the classic pump shotgun and flamethrower, to the weird and wonderful cat-launcher, magic wands and many more.
  • Tailor your very own Tower Defense set-up – Free to all visitors is the simply swell Construction Assembly Turret (C.A.T. kit), providing custom defense structures anywhere you like. Perfect for all your defensive needs against those pesky zombie hordes! Your C.A.T. kit will provide you and your loved ones with a heightened level of security and ensure you enjoy every moment of your stay at the end of days.
  • Earn Slaycation Club Member’s Rewards – We like to give back to our members here at Slaycation Paradise. While touring with us, you’ll earn Slaycation Club Rewards, allowing you to unlock crazy new weapons and wonderful upgrade perks. Only the best will do for our valued customers!

Survival action-RPG Decision: Red Daze releases on Steam on May 19th!

You’ve survived the Red Daze, the mutants, the infested. You ventured into the Red Bowl and lived to tell the tale. But that’s just the beginning for you — survival is a never-ending struggle, and if there is hope of ever finding a cure, it will take all your wits, bravery and leadership to help your people live to see it…

Indie developer FlyAnvil and publisher Nordcurrent Labs announced today that its’ thrilling post-apocalyptic action RPG Decision: Red Daze will be released on Steam and GOG on May 19th. The game offers players a unique blend of genres: deep and engaging survival and crafting mechanics systems that will force players to think and compromise in order to survive; nerve-wracking tower defense sections that will keep you on the edge of your seat; humor, atmosphere, and story elements already familiar to fans of both Wasteland and Fallout franchises alike.

Decision: Red Daze is an isometric action RPG with a unique mix of survival and tower defense mechanics. As the Red Daze engulfs the continent, leaving destruction and horribly mutated monsters in its wake, survivors are the only glimmer of hope the human race has. Protect and lead a group of survivors in the infamous Dust Bowl, where the Red Daze is most prevalent; resist the onslaught of the infected while looking for other survivors to expand your base and trying to find a way to escape the pandemic – and, hopefully, find a cure for it. Feel the adrenaline rush fighting back hordes of horrible zombies, mutants, and other deadly creatures that will try to kill you at sight, explore the world in search of new allies, find and upgrade deadly weapons, craft increasingly powerful defense mechanisms to keep your settlements safe. Don’t low your guard, danger is never far away.

If you want to take a further look at the world of Decision: Red Daze, Nordcurrent Labs has been publishing a series of dev diaries on Decision: Red Daze’s Steam page offering an exclusive look at many of the game’s mechanics. The first entry of the series went into the combat mechanics of the game, its mix between action RPG and tower defense, and how they evolved from their origin in the first games of this cult franchise. The varied enemies you’ll face in the Dust Bowl, as well as the different bosses, were the protagonists of two entries of the dev diary. The third entry dove deeper into the story and lore of the game, a key aspect of any RPG. In the fourth post, you can read how survival and tower defense mechanics meet in the building of your settlements. And finally, the more action-oriented side of the game is discussed in two entries devoted to the design of its many different weapons, from regular stuff like shotguns and miniguns to more powerful tools of destruction, such as machine guns and flamethrowers.

KEY FEATURES

  • Experience a unique blend of action roleplay, survival, and tower defense mechanics that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
  • Explore a huge map in search of new allies and valuable resources: anyone you find out there is a potential hero!
  • Adapt to an alive, dangerous world with a day-and-night cycle that affects the gameplay experience profoundly
  • Capture new settlements and upgrade them to host more survivors.
  • Build defenses to keep your settlements safe from the endless waves of enemies.
  • Find potential heroes with their own specialized classes and talents to recruit, so they can join you every time you go outside to explore.
  • Try a wide selection of brutal weapons to mow down your enemies.
  • Craft new equipment and gear to better equip your survivors.

TAPE: Unveil the Memories Review – PlayStation 4

There has been quite an influx in indie games coming out of Spain lately as part of the PlayStation Talents initiative.   As with most indie games, you have to look at them with a different eye than you would with a marquee release given the budgetary and staffing limitations.  We often find ourselves giving a little more weight toward the developers’ overall intentions of the game, while maybe giving them a little leeway on the overall execution.

That being said, Madrid-based BlackChiliGoat Studio, put a lot of heart into Tape: Unveil the Memories, delivering a fairly well-written story with solid presentation and innovative concepts, only to be weighed down with less-than-optimal gameplay mechanics that leave things a bit frustrating.

Tape: Unveil the Memories tells the story of a young girl named Iria who lives with her mother in the town of Antumbria in the 1990’s.  One night when Iria’s mother is working late, the girl discovers a mysterious VCR tape with instructions for her to play it.   On the TV she sees a grainy imager of her father – a famous horror movie director who has been missing for some time – pleading for her help.  This begins a twisted nightmarish journey in Iria’s mind where things aren’t always what they seem to be.

There’s no question that BlackChiliGoat are fans of classic horror films given the eerie B-movie style FMV scenes, and the plethora of vintage slasher VCR tapes and Fangoria-like magazines to be found amongst the scenery of the abandoned hospital in which most of Iris’ story takes place.  Tape: Unveil the Memories is an undeniable homage to the golden age of 70’s and 80’s slasher film culture, and it really provided me with feeling of nostalgia for something and sometimes I didn’t realize I was even nostalgic for.

Most of the gameplay consists of exploration – looking for clues that might lead Iria to her father.  These clues are hidden amongst the notes, photos, and items that Iria uncovers as she wanders the empty hallways and rooms in the large hospital.  Each area has a series of puzzles to be solved to move to the next area, many of which require the use of Iria’s father’s Super8-style camera that has the ability to manipulate time in three ways – pause, fast forward, or reverse.

The camera is generally used to move certain objects that for some reason or another have been deemed movable by manipulating time – which is indeed kind of confusing as to why some objects are movable and not others, but that’s exactly what we have here.  Thankfully the game highlights any objects that can be manipulated within the camera’s viewfinder. The camera can also briefly pause movement – keeping automatic doors open or freezing the game’s one and only enemy: The Monster.

The monster is this massive laser cyclops-like creature that lumbers around certain rooms on the hunt for our heroine.  Sensitive to sound and movement, and pretty much indestructible to any attack, Iria must be completely still and silent whenever the monster slunks into in the room.  If spotted, Iria’s only defense is to run like hell and try to put as much distance as possible between her and the monster, hoping to have him lose interest (which he will).  It’s a tense situation for sure, that is made only more tense by the stiff and wonky control mechanics that make maneuvering Iria a real pain under pressure.

Tape: Unveil the Memories plays from a first-person viewpoint, and the controls just don’t seem like they were polished for play using a controller.  You ever had a nightmare where you’re being chased and you can’t run, or you can’t pick up a weapon or open a door?  Well, welcome to Tape: Unveil the Memories.  Movement just feels too stiff and plodding, and simple tasks like grabbing door handles and picking up objects requires precise character alignment that the game’s controls often make difficult to achieve.  And even when you do line up correctly, the animations for grabbing objects are painfully slow.  All of this only seems to get worse when the monster is hot on your tail.   Thankfully this doesn’t happen all that often and most of the time the controls aren’t that critical.

Like I mentioned earlier, we tend to give a little leeway to indie game developers because their projects are generally infinitely more personal to them than the big-budget blockbusters are to their army of developers.  It is more than apparent that BlackChiliGoat put a lot of heart and effort into Tape: Unveil the Memories, and the result is a solid survival horror game that delivers a good narrative despite the wonky controls.

Of all the PlayStation Talents games that have come across my desk in the past few months, Tape: Unveil the Memories definitely sits toward the top of the list.

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