News | Concept art from upcoming Blade game shared

The first concept art of the newly announced game based on Marvel's Blade has been shared online.

Art director Sebastien Mitton shared the artwork. It shows a slightly futuristic Paris. The third-person action game is set in a part of Paris that is under quarantine during a supernatural emergency. Vampires have arrived on the scene and it’s up to Blade to keep the citizens of Paris safe.

It recently emerged that Blade has been in development for a few years. There are not many more details about the game yet. It is even unclear on which systems the game will appear. The game is being developed by Arkane Lyon, which is part of Microsoft studio Bethesda, which significantly increases the chance that the game will be console exclusive for Xbox.


News | Hideo Kojima and Xbox Game Studios announce horror game OD

During The Game Awards, Hideo Kojima announced the horror game OD with his studio Kojima Productions and Microsoft.

There have been rumors about the horror game for quite some time and images have even been leaked before. In addition, Kojima announced last year that he would be making a game together with Xbox Game Studios. Previously the game was known as Overdose.

There aren’t many details about the game yet, but Kojima said the following during the reveal: “I like to challenge myself with new things. This game is made using Xbox Game Studios and their cloud gaming technology. It’s a game , but at the same time a film and a new form of media.

Film director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us, Nope) also appeared on stage to announce his collaboration on the project, calling Kojima an “icon”. “He is an inspiration to me, and the opportunity to work together is incredible.”


News | Monolith's Wonder Woman game may include live-service elements

The Wonder Woman game from Warner Bros. announced in 2021. and Monolith Productions could well include live-service elements.

This is evident from a vacancy on Monolith’s website for a head software engineer. The job posting states that the person being hired will help deliver “a superhero experience as epic as Wonder Woman herself.” It is noted that candidates who have experience with “maintaining a live software product or game” have an advantage.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the Wonder Woman game may contain live-service elements. Another upcoming game from Warner Bros., Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, also has that – which has already earned the game some criticism from fans. New information about the game shows that there is a free and paid battle pass in the game.

In addition, David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, announced last week that it wants to turn the company’s biggest franchises into live-service games. According to him, the company eventually wants to transform franchises such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, DC (particularly Batman) and Mortal Kombat into live-service games. “Ultimately, we want to drive engagement and revenue at higher levels for longer periods of time.”

Monolith Productions is the developer of the Wonder Woman game announced in 2021. The only clear thing is that it is a single-player action game that takes place in an open game world. The game contains the Nemesis system, just like the Middle-earth games. It is not yet known on which platforms or when the game will be released. The announcement trailer can be seen again below.


News | Elle Fanning has role in new Hideo Kojima game

Elle Fanning has a role in a new game from Hideo Kojima and his studio Kojima Productions.

That was revealed last night during PAX Australia 2022. During Tokyo Game Show last month, Kojima Productions showed a mysterious poster of a silhouette of a woman asking “Who am I?”. The poster was not only shown on the internet, but also in a short VR demo. Fans speculated about the identity of the actress on the poster, some suspected Margaret Qualley, others suspected Elle Fanning.

So it turns out to be that last actress. Earlier this week, Kojima hinted that the actress’s identity would soon be revealed, which has now happened. Scanning a QR code on the project’s poster at PAX Australia reveals a new illustration that makes it clear that it’s about Elle Fanning. The text on the poster also makes it clear that it is a game.

Elle Fanning is a 24-year-old actress. She is known for roles in Maleficent, Super 8, Teen Spirit and The Neon Demon. She is the sister of actress Dakota Fanning.

There are no further details about the game at this time. It is not clear whether this is the already announced game that Kojima is making using Microsoft’s cloud technology. There have also been rumors of a Margaret Qualley horror game called Overdose for some time, as well as a Death Stranding sequel.


News | Virtual board game Gloomhaven is coming to consoles

Gloomhaven, a game based on the board game of the same name, is also coming to consoles.

The game already appeared on Steam Early Access two years ago, the final version came out at the end of last year. Developer Flaming Fowl Studios has now announced that a console version is in the works and that Saber Interactive is helping with this console version. Both studios are part of parent company Embracer Group.

Gloomhaven is a four-player tactical turn-based dungeon crawler in which players explore a campaign spanning over a hundred hours in a fantasy world. In addition, there is a Guildmaster mode, where exactly the same experience as the board game is maintained, as well as a Campaign mode.

It is not yet known when Gloomhaven will come to consoles  although it is expected to happen sometime in 2023.


News | CD Projekt Red renews deal with writer for more The Witcher games.

Developer CD Projekt Red has renewed the deal with writer Andrzej Sapkowski to continue to make games based on The Witcher books.

The developer and the writer already had a deal, from which the previous The Witcher games originated. Sapkowski, however, asked little money for the license, because he expected little success for the games. When it turned out that the games were successful, he wanted to earn more money from it. The writer and the developer eventually came together, and now a new deal has also been concluded for future games.

Adam Kiciński, CEO of CD project Red, reports on the developer’s website: “We have always admired Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work, he is a great inspiration for the team here. Today we are ushering in a new era of our ongoing collaboration.”

The deal means that the studio has the exclusive right to make games, graphic novels, board games and merchandise based on the franchise.


Review | Days Gone

Days Gone is a safe game and a beautiful freak show in an unsafe game world.

Tough and Badass looking biker Deacon is facing a crossroads: during a zombie outbreak – this time they are called “freakers” – he can go with a helicopter that is about to leave for a safe camp. However, there is only room for two people, and Deacon is just now on the road with his injured wife Sarah and his mate Boozer. He decides to put his wife on the helicopter – after all, she can use the aid best – and to accompany Boozer to increase his chances of survival.

Days Gone then gives you control over Deacon a few years after the incident. The helicopter with Sarah on board crashed shortly after departure and Deacon never fully processed the loss. Meanwhile, he and Boozer, and with them all remaining people, have built a new life in a United States flooded with freakers.

The close friends spend the night safely in a tower surrounded by fencing and in the meantime do some jobs and maintenance around the various camps with survivors erected around them. Boozer and Deacon begin to play on their free biker existence, but there is no room for departure: due to some unfortunate situations, they desperately need the help of the people in the camps.

In Days Gone you solve all kinds of tasks for prominent figures from in and around the various camps. You do all this in the state of Oregon, an open game world that has been designed with a lot of variation and detail. You really have the feeling that you’re walking or driving through a corrupt part of America, where the test of time makes the various buildings crumble and nature has taken over large areas. The story guides you through the various camps and lets you explore the different areas step by step, from forests and swampy marshes to sandy plains. It is a true  pleasure to explore the game world with your motorcycle, your trusty Steel steed on and off road.

Or, well, pleasure, the tension can be clingy regularly, since the world is flooded with freakers. You can easily handle one such human-eating monster with a careful sneak attack or by hacking into it. They respond to sight and sound, so sneaking around is advisable, but they are not really smart. However, a large group of freakers can hide behind every corner. These so-called “hordes” sometimes consist of hundreds of zombies and can arise at any time, including during missions. It is impossible to eliminate these hurdles on your own and the strategy that you had to complete a mission must be heavily adjusted at that time. It often pays to just choose to get away safely, to return at a different time.

A highlight of Days Gone is the aforementioned motorcycle. The bike will quickly feel like your child. It can be broken and must then be made, or soon runs out of fuel. Then it is important to refuel on time at an abandoned gas station or in a camp, or to spot an abandoned jerry can along the way. This is really important: if your motorcycle stops running, it is damned hard to flee from large groups of freakers or aggressive gangs and wild animals, and the game world is far too large to cross on foot. Your motorcycle always stays where you left it, so make sure you find it easily when you wander off.

The survival element is also slightly extended throughout the rest of the game. Ammunition, especially at the start of the game, is scarce and the game motivates you to make melee weapons, Molotov cocktails and medkits with all sorts of things that you find along the way. Days Gone does not put as much emphasis on realism as other survival games but finds a fine balance between realism and play-friendliness in this. The scarcity of items and ammunition and the preciousness of your bike, combined with the hostile game world, ensure that you will never really feel at ease outside of a safe camp. Exactly as it should be!

Apart from some annoying random events, like after being snipped off of your bike by a sniper ten times or once again being captured by a group of bandits, the main part of the game consists of the narrative missions. These missions are dressed up with hours of cut-scenes full of excellent acting. The different camps are filled with colorful characters that often appear cool and selfish, a requirement for survival in this world. But every now and then a trickle of humanity trickles through, giving these emotional moments all the more impact.
The way in which Deacon slowly but surely learns more about the behavior of large groups of freakers knows how to fascinate. His friendship with Boozer and the mourning of his wife make the main character feel like a man of flesh and blood. The emotional highlights of a The Last of Us are not reached, but some scenes are cautiously approaching.

However, the story cannot hide the monotony of the missions themselves. After a few hours you will notice that you are doing the same things in Days Gone. Drive from A to B, destroy the freaker nests in an area, rescue an abducted camp resident, or follow a government research team in old-fashioned mandatory stealth sections. The story covers tens of hours and it would have benefited the game if the quantity had been reduced and more focus had been placed on the quality of the individual missions.

Also the perfect finish that we are used to from the big PlayStation 4 exclusives is missing here. In spite of excellent graphics and controls, bugs pop up every now and then. I had to restart some missions because the game made it impossible to move forward. The engine also got stuck a few times in the area and the frame rate dived down through specific areas for short moments. Bend Studio has since released a patch and is working on a second one, but it was not available during the lion’s share of our playing experience. It remains to be seen whether the patches do this

Score:

8,0

– Gameplay during missions is repetitive.
– Some annoying bugs, causing you to restart the game or missions.

+ Survival on your motorcycle works.
+ Voice acting and story are top quality.
+ Fascinating and beautifull open world.