Scanned by corsair, via the Hardcore Gaming 101 forums
The original BloodRayne hasn't aged that well. I’ve jumped into it off and on, trying really hard to like it. Problem is, for a game about a sexy vampire taking down Nazis and demons, while drinking their blood loudly with orgasmic moans, this game takes itself a bit too seriously. For example, the opening act has you down in Louisiana, fighting zombies and saving civilians, along-side some fellow ridiculously sexed-up vampires, while trying to act all serious as the boob physics continue to spaz out inappropriately; it helped convince me further that I’m just not into vampires, or the sub-culture.
Ninja Theory to explore psychosis in new game - Hellblade
Ninja Theory, a Cambridge, UK based independent games developer, announced today that mental health and psychosis are the key themes explored in Hellblade. Inspired by historical events, Hellblade tells the story of Senua, a Celtic warrior who is left traumatised by a Viking invasion. This third person action game, being developed for PlayStation 4 and PC, will follow Senua’s journey into a vision of hell that is the manifestation of her own mental illness.
In order to ensure a sensitive and accurate portrayal of the subject, Ninja Theory has been working closely with Psychiatrist and Professor of Health and Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, Paul Fletcher, as well as arranging to consult with people who have experience of mental health difficulties.
Paul Fletcher said: “True understanding of mental health is not simply about books, lectures or verbal descriptions but from deeper engagement on all levels. Working with Ninja Theory has shown me the potential that gaming has for sharing in a character’s experiences and engendering empathy in ways that go well beyond those offered by simple academic descriptions. Maybe this approach will contribute powerful new ways of challenging stigma.”
Hellblade is being developed by a small team of 15 people under a development model Ninja Theory call Independent AAA. This approach sees the game being created with all the creative freedom of ‘indie’ development, but with the production values of AAA blockbuster games.
Tameem Antoniades, Chief Creative Director at Ninja Theory, said: “In Hellblade we are pursuing creative independence in order to explore a compelling subject matter and gaming experience that would not be possible under the current retail model. In movie terms, this would be a quality independent film, not a Hollywood blockbuster. Digital self-publishing means that we can offer a smaller, but high quality game at around half the price of retail games.”
The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation which aims to build a greater public understanding of science, and in particular health.
Iain Dodgeon, Creative Partnerships Manager at the Wellcome Trust, added: “More and more, games have an exciting and innovative role to play in giving us new perspectives on health and mental health challenges. Rather than being a didactic game teaching us about psychosis, Hellblade allows us to explore it through the creation of a compelling and complex character, and the world that she inhabits.
A 2009 Princeton University-based study led by psychologist Susan Fiske revealed how commonplace objectifying women — especially those who reveal their bodies in any way — truly is.
The study found that when men were shown images of “scantily clad” women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lit up. Some men included in the study even had zero brain activity in the area of the brain used to gauge another person’s thoughts, feelings or intentions, according to National Geographic’s coverage of the study.
Fiske and her team also found that men largely associated bikinis with “I” action verbs (like “I grab”) and images of modestly dressed women with third person action verbs (“she grabs”), suggesting that men largely see women as sentient humans rather than objects only when not distracted by their bodies.
Let me just get this out of the way, The Order 1886 is not for everyone. That and it isn’t 5 hours long. The average experience time for The Order is about 7 to 8 hours give or take a bit. But this post isn’t a discussion on the whole time vs value proposition that seems to have plagued this game since launch. You’ll find plenty of discussion just about anywhere else on that, I’m here to talk about the actual product.
The Order 1886 is very much a mix of an adventure title like Heavy Rain or any of the TellTale Games (minus any story decisions) mixed with some brutal third person shooting action like Gears of War. It’s an odd combination that I sure as hell would never have thought of putting together but developer Ready at Dawn did.
It’s also and no bullshit, one of the prettiest pieces of software around. This game is polished to a level that is just embarrassing for other studios. The attention to detail on uniforms, buildings and characters is mind blowing stuff. Ready at Dawn’s goals were to make an interactive experience with some of the most beautiful and polished production values capable on todays current gen platforms. Mission accomplished on that front.
What the title isn’t, is a balls to the wall non-stop thrill ride like Gears of War or Uncharted, which is what I believe many were expecting. This is NOT that game. The best way to describe The Order is - an interactive movie with third person shooting gaming elements, wrapped in the most stunning visuals this console can create. It wasn’t really advertised as that very well, but more as Gears of War set in Victorian London with monsters. That’s very much the game I wanted, but The Order 1886 only gives us glimpses on the title many wanted it to be. I understand that Ready at Dawn very much wants to make this universe cinematic but upon reflection as I drawn close to the end of The Order I have some thoughts for the developers.
Make more gameplay moments. Learn to better pace your story and you can have your gorgeous looking cutscenes, but have them wrapped around a solid hour or two of gameplay. You may even want to try to incorporate some of them into the gameplay itself without taking control away from players.
The gameplay that is here is fun and thrilling. Leagues above anything in an adventure game.
It’s not perfect but a damn solid foundation for a sequel. Guns are heavy and exciting and combat is meaty. Just give us more of it. Expand your combat bowls as well. Open up combat areas for more unique encounters. Lycans and other… things… make some for incredible enemies, don’t waste that potential with hardly there AI routines that don’t challenge me. Lycans are powerful and bloodthirsty beasts, make the combat with them equally as bloodthirsty as their designs.
Add some puzzles and collectibles that mean something. Audio logs found should be able to be listened to in-game (they can only be listened to in the archives area of the menu). You’ve made a beautiful world, let me explore it. There is mystery in every corner of this dark and eerie universe but it’s wasted.
The universe of The Order has amazing potential, full of characters and a history I want to hear more of; let me discover it at my own pace. Let me piece together the mystery you’ve woven, instead of directing me towards it in a cinematic. You’ve done a great job of putting small bits of it littered throughout but most of it leads no where (perhaps for a sequel). I want to learn more about this mystical Black Water and how it affects Knights that have been using it for centuries. We hear hints of Knights so old they fought beside King Arthur himself, That sounds bloody amazing! Give us more of that.
If they can fix these problems, keep this amazing graphics engine, and put in the work for a horde mode where we fight monsters with friends - Damn - The Order could be amazing. As it stands it’s a beautiful but flawed experiment in smashing cinematic storytelling with gaming. BioShock Infinite, while not as fully fleshed as I’d have liked, tied up loose ends in the story it had to tell, but left me with an eye towards what else could be possible in that fictional world. Video games are an amazing interactive media where players can be engaged much deeper than film ever could, remember that while we love a story and the artistic beauty of these worlds you conjure, it has to let us deeply play with it first.
For those on the fence if this is worth your hard earned money, it comes down to setting your expectations accordingly.
If you appreciate a beautiful world, shimmering with artistic love from every corner, blended with an interesting tale and some fun but short lived third person gameplay this is for you. If you’re looking for a blockbuster summer movie with non-stop explosions and gunplay, The Order will leave you severely wanting.
Ready at Dawn’s The Order 1886 is an intriguing and flawed, slowburn adventure, filled with moments of bombastic action and genuine emotion that are too short lived but ultimately thrilling all said and done. It’s a universe that I want more of, and that’s not something I often say of new IPs. It’s a title I’d recommend to any PS4 owner to experience at some point in the future. Whether that’s when it hits the bargain bin (or a rental) is up to you.
Square Enix announces new title in the NieR Series
Square Enix today revealed NieR New Project (temporary name), a new third-person action role-playing game (RPG) and follow-up to the 2010 cult hit NieR. Offering a fresh blend of action and RPG gameplay styles, NieR New Project is currently being developed in collaboration with PlatinumGames exclusively for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system.
The game’s all-star development team consists of producer Yosuke Saito (Dragon Quest X / NieR), director Yoko Taro (Drakengard / NieR), character designer Akihiko Yoshida from CyDesignation, Inc. (Final Fantasy XIV XIV / Bravely Default), game designer Takahisa Taura from Platinum Games (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance), and composer Keiichi Okabe from Monaca (Tekken / Drakengard / NieR). PlatinumGames Inc. will be amplifying the action-oriented combat and building a beautifully diverse visual experience that will fully harness the graphical power of the PlayStation 4 system.
A new trailer unveiled today at the Square Enix E3 press conference showcases the new visual direction of NieR New Project.
More information regarding the game will be unveiled this Fall.