Umbra: Kickstarter Campaign

Well this sure looks interesting, a brand new action RPG built in Cryengine with some very ambitious goals. Umbra is currently just a Kickstarter campaign, but what has already been built looks pretty fantastic.

It looks a lot like Diablo but with some very high end graphics. The developers promise some very ambitious features, but if they can pull off what they have planned then this promises to be a great game. Check out the features below:

  • Open World : Discover the world and enjoy it at your own convenience
  • Exploration and experimentation is rewarded with new powers, attributed according to your play style!
  • Free character development – No class limitation. You have three resources: Rage, Stamina and Mana, and they all interact with each other in order to balance gameplay.
  • Apocalyptic Form: According to your play style, you will develop special powers for your character, changing their abilities and look. Fierce melee warriors may gain a third arm to equip with a new weapon; a fire caster will have their skin turn into lava and heal from fire. Even wings and horns might appear on your character depending on your actions!
  • Tons of Loot: Weapons, Armor, Potions and randomly generated magic effects for more gameplay diversity!
  • Semi procedural Weaponry: Blades, pommel and guard details can be randomized for more unique gear in the game!
  • Advanced Crafting mini-game: Build your own weapons and armors thanks to a complex and challenging module in Umbra
  • Tons of Destructible environments: From small walls to complete parts of an area. We hope you enjoy it!
  • Housing: Create your own house and proudly showcase your special gear!
  • Mature story full of secrets to discover exploring the world
  • Kythera AI system: The automatic real time navigation adaptation of Kythera adapts to any change in the physics of the world, allowing us to create exciting scenes including large portion of levels collapsing or moving and fighting on the back of giant creature, creating never seen before gameplay situations!
  • Dungeon challenge (Stretch goal): Transform a special part of your house into a dungeon and challenge other players to survive the onslaught!
  • Multiplayer mode (stretch goal): Multiplayer is an ambitious goal we would love to achieve, but it must be done correctly.
  • We plan to have different interesting stretch goals for you that will allow us to build the foundation of the multiplayer. In the best case scenario, we would like to have the following mods: Dungeon Challenge (see above), Co-Op mode, and Competitive Plaver vs Player vs AI.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign page here and their promotional video below.

A Dinosaur Survival Game

So, how many survival games does the games industry need? Well apparently more is the answer!

ARK: Survival Evolved is a survival game which leaves the player stranded on an island occupied by dinosaurs and other creatures. Now that sounds a little more tempting than the usual stuff we’ve been seeing from survival games recently.

Players have to craft tools, research technology, grow crops, and hunt for food. They have to do all of this while hunting or taming the beasts. Taming, you read that right! Apparently players can tame the dinosaurs and ride them. Ok, they have my interest.

So check out the video below for a better look!

Elder Scrolls Online Infographic

Check out Bethesda’s infographic for The Elder Scrolls Online. Some very random bits of information on this!

I promise that the first born offer wasn’t made by me! Honestly, my wife would lock me into a cage that no amount of lock picks or members of the Thieves Guild would break me out of.

The-Elder-Scrolls-Online

Amazon TV Fire

The new Amazon TV Fire is an intriguing bit of kit. It’s a set top box, but a pretty powerful one, one that represents Amazons first step into gaming.

Alongside the TV Fire, Amazon also announced a controller to go along side their device, and also a new in house games development studio. They’ve had some top talent from within the gaming industry joining their team and this could spell the start of something very interesting.

For me it’s not the media capabilities that interest me, but the fact that a large brand such as Amazon has put their money behind a product that will act as a mini Android gaming console. The media stuff has been done before, and in fairness so has the gaming, but with the resources Amazon have available this could be the beginning of something very interesting.

Facebook buys Oculus VR

So Facebook has just purchased Oculus VR. I know I should remain impartial, I should not cast judgement… but… NOOOOOOOOO!!!! What cruel fate is this!?! NOOOOOOO! This is the one bit of tech I was really looking forward to and now it shall be polluted and perverted with silly free to play social game. Facebook… I am not amused!


4K VS AR

So with 4K becoming more readily available and some of the major players announcing their augmented reality projects, which one is going to be the next big thing in gaming? It reminds me of the choice I had to make when I built my gaming rig a couple of years ago, do I go with an ultra high resolution monitor or to I go with a 3D ready monitor? In the end I went with high resolution, brushing 3D aside, feeling it was a bit of a gimmick.

So is augmented reality just another gimmick? I guess it depends how well it is pulled off. From reports and reviews of devices currently being tested things are looking fantastic. What we really need however is for developers to support it in a big way. I don’t want to strap a device to my face only to have it used as an extension of what’s going on in the game, I want to feel as though that’s really what I’m seeing, that I’m really immersed in this world.

The easy option is 4K, boosting graphics and giving us some fantastic looking games. It’s easy just to sit in front of a 4K device and start gaming, no need to strap anything to your face or indulge in new control systems. It makes sense, it’s easy, but it’s boring.

Augmented reality is the first bit of technology in quite some time that has me genuinely excited. I can’t wait to see the results, and with major players entering the market competition is going to hot up in a big way and hopefully with that additional accessories will flood the market, making controls more realistic and immersive.

So what’s everyones thoughts? Which will end up taking off and which will flop? Or maybe both will flop, maybe both will succeed? Who will win in this 4K VS AR war?



Assassins Creed Unity

So Ubisoft just announced their next instalment of the Assassins Creed franchise, Assassins Creed Unity, for the next gen systems launching at the end of this year. The trailer, which you can see below, really looks fantastic, a huge step up in the graphics department. What will really be interesting to see is how the latest game plays and what Ubisoft has done to take the gameplay to the next level.

So what does everyone think? I’ve been absent from the Assassin Creed games for quite some time but I must admit this looks interesting. I’ve heard good and bad things about some of the latest games, but above all I’ve heard how much Ubisoft have pushed the boundaries of their games. This fills me with faith that they may just deliver a fantastic title on the next gen systems.

 

Project Morpheus

Sony have just unveiled their take on virtual reality with their new Project Morpheus. It should be interesting to see how his turns out and will also offer virtual reality for consoles, something that the Oculus Rift wasn’t going to deliver.

The device will run at full 1080p resolution and offer and work with existing Playstation accessories. When paired up with the Playstation Camera things get a little more in depth, offering another level of head tracking.

So the future of virtual reality is looking healthier, with a first party hardware and software manufacture joining in on the action. It will be interesting to see how the Oculus Rift team respond to this, but I’m sure they’re not worried, battling in the PC arena rather than console.