RE:BIND

Browsing posts from: Emily Rose

ULTRAKILL (Demo)by Hakita & New Blood Interactive

It is almost certain at this point that New Blood Interactive’s creative output is going to quickly dwarf our capacity for keeping up, expanding inevitably until the entire universe is wholly subsumed by New Blood Interactive games and domain names. The newest entry in this growing existential threat to our reality is Hakita’s brilliant ‘Devil May Quake’ action romp, ULTRAKILL, a wonderful FPS that feels like a distinct throwback to the less-than-tasteful BULLETSTORM with its elaborate combo mechanics and incentive to stylishly gore enemies in the most imaginative ways possible.

Where ULTRAKILL truly succeeds is in the way it incentivizes the high octane violence on display. Rushing through the bloody showers of monstrous destruction is the only way you regain health- there’s no medkits or edible wheels of cheese here, only your determination to keep it as close & personal as possible with your foes and foe accessories. Waging cosmic warfare has never been so satisfying as it is in ULTRAKILL, and the straightforward gunplay gives way to a staggering depth of technique and modular fire modes to increase its depths outside of its literal blood opera acrobatics. Oh, did I mention, there’s wall jumping, sliding, dashes, ground pounds and double-jumps, giving the player an incredible degree of movement expression that will leave enemies’ heads spinning for days, were they to ever live that long, then again their heads will just as likely spin without them.

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Gloomwood (Demo) – by Dillon Rogers, David Szymanski, and New Blood Interactive

What do you get when you throw plague doctors into a blender with turn of the century penny dreadful pulp-novels? A lot of noise that attracts all the guards, seriously, might as well use the shotgun at that point.

New Blood Interactive‘s Gloomwood is a love letter to the first person sneak’em’up genre, demonstrating the team’s impeccable ability to zero in what makes beloved cult-classics tick and incorporate those creative influences into something wholly new. It’s hard to decide if the works they produce are remixes, spiritual successors, or homages to the titles they have reverence for, but I do know one thing: they’re incredibly fun and polished to an incredibly high degree.

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For a very special episode we’re joined by some of the narrative design team on Bloodlines II, Cara Ellison & Brian Mitsoda to talk about the game’s tabletop inspirations, how Ellison got involved, the art of narrative design, improving representation & diversity in narrative. We also discuss how the game’s humor has revamped, a look back at Troika’s legacy and what it was like to be inside the company, and Bloodlines lore.

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HROT (Demo) by Spytihněv

When iD Software decided to publish future Quake titles with Activision, GT Interactive was in a real bind having now lost one of the most famous intellectual properties in video games. The eventual answer to Quake for GT was signing a publishing deal with Ukranian-based developer Action Forms, who at the time was developing Chasm: The Rift, though largely better known for their most recent release, Cryostasis.

Chasm was a joy, a more technically competent Quake Clone that demonstrated unique features like limb removal and in-game cutscenes with facial animations for each character. As forward thinking as the 1997 game was, it would find a lukewarm reception in the west and ultimately become forgotten in the gaming zeitgeist. Fast-forward to today, solo developer Spytihněv’s HROT picks up right where Action Forms left off, presenting a curious relic fallen out of a mirror universe where Eastern Europe was a hotbed for mainstream first person shooter developers.

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Survival Town 2020 (Pavlov VR Mod) – by HydroCakes

I was standing in a breezy field of grass when I first caught sight of movement on the horizon. People began to pour out of the farmhouse on the ridge and began advancing towards my position. I tensed up in anticipation and threw my hands in the air as a show of good faith. My anxiety spiked, there was no way to know their intent. Were they going to make a lead-weighted snap decision to neutralize any potential risk, or take the time to identify me?

With no press credentials or way to set myself apart from any other camo clad operator in the countryside, I was entirely at the mercy of their capricious whims. There were no signs of fighting nearby, all I could do was hope to catch the squad approaching me at a good time and make my proposal. Moments later I had guns pointed at me, two inscrutable faces glaring from behind their sights. A calm but stern voice followed, “State your name! State your name! And your [business]”. A compelling request, although not as compelling as their shouldered rifles. I quickly blurted out my name and that I was here as a journalist to document the conflict by embedding within a local fighting group. After a short pause, the fighter to my left nodded and shrugged to his right, towards the farm house. “Come with us.” I let out a deep sigh of relief.

I had just successfully embedded within a militia in the middle of a small war-torn village, but it was no ordinary village, instead it was a full-immersion virtual locale rather than some geographical breakaway republic: Welcome to Survival Town 2020, population 35, give or take, located in the heartland of Pavlov VR.

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