Daedalic gets turn-based and gritty with Blackguards

blackguard_logoDaedalic is probably best know for their adventure game Deponia (a genre we’ve already established that I suck at) so I haven’t been paying them much heed, but today a press release came over the transom that got my attention.

They’ve announced a new turn-based fantasy game, Blackguards. You put turn-based and fantasy in the same sentence and I start to slobber, so this is an easy sell for me. Want to get me even more amped? Tell me it’s about a band of anti-heroes; your character is a convicted murderer, for starters. Any other fans of Glen Cook’s The Black Company novels? Then you know how awesome it can be to play bad guys trying to do good.

Blackguards is scheduled for a 2013 release but for now all we have is a blurb and a few concept art pieces so I’ll cut this one short. Just noting it so I can remember to keep track of it.

Here’re a few snippets from the press release I was sent:

TakateFramed in a significantly darker story than you usually find in Daedalic games, the player will walk in the boots of a convicted murderer as he travels through Aventuria’s wild south. On this journey the protagonist is accompanied by companions of varying loyalty: scoundrels and thieves like the half-elf Niam (and her latent drug addiction) or the lecherous wizard Zurbaran.

Blackguards features hordes of lethal creatures and other enemies waiting to be taken care of on more than 170 unique battlemaps. A number of major and minor quests ensure exciting and diverse gameplay through the campaign.

As can be expected in all Daedalic titles, Blackguards focuses on strong storytelling, now combined with action-packed gameplay and tactical, turn-based combat. Blackguards delivers more than 40 hours of adventure in Aventuria.

About the Game

What happens when the only hope of a threatened world lies not with heroes in shining armor but in the hands of a band of misfits and criminals? Blackguards – the new turn-based RPG by Daedalic Entertainment – explores this very question. The player takes on the role of a convicted murderer, who with the help of a team of more-than-questionable characters, must save the world from a dark menace. During the wild chase throughout the South of Aventuria, the world of The Dark Eye, there is more to fight than vicious creatures – Naurimchapter by chapter, a story full of intrigue and surprising twists unfolds. But when life and death are in the player’s hands, how far will they go to reach their goals?

The first turn-based RPG by Daedalic Entertainment unites the studio’s high standard of a suspenseful storytelling and unique characters with gripping battles in elaborately crafted 3D-environments. In taxing campaigns the player takes part in a dark story full of doubt, betrayal and loss.

Whether the player chooses to go into battle as a mighty warrior, a clever wizard or a skillful hunter, the first battle isn’t far away. Over 170 individually crafted battle maps full of interactive objects and strategically complex situations lead the player to exotic locations and put them through deadly trials.

Concept_Achaz

Game name of the year? Secret Ponchos

secretsonchos_outlaws_web
I just decided: the world needs more video games based on spaghetti westerns.

Secret Ponchos is a new console game from Switchblade Monkeys coming later this year. If you’re going to PAX East, they’ll be in Booth 1031.

If, like me, the universe has conspired to prevent you from being at PAX, you’ll have to content yourself with this trailer and the press release that follows.

Here’s the press release:

killer_wanted_sidebarThe Debut Game from Switchblade Monkeys – an Independent Team Comprised of Former Senior-Level Staff from Blizzard, Hasbro, Radical and More – Features Intense Gun-Slinging Action, Devastating Special Moves, Larger-Than-Life Characters and Loads of Style

Switchblade Monkeys is proud to announce Secret Ponchos, which blurs the line between gameplay genres and conventions and creates its own original feel for multiplayer combat that pits players against each other in intense Wild West battle. Scheduled for release on consoles later this year, a pre-alpha preview of Secret Ponchos will be playable in booth 1031 at PAX East in Boston, March 22 to 24.

Check out the debut trailer on YouTube.

Engage in one-on-one duels or all-out gunfights as one of several unique and customizable outlaws – each with his or her own strengths, weapon types, special moves and play styles – in a game that rewards tactical awareness, precision timing and player skill. Add in melee attacks, an original line-of-sight mechanic, cover fire, destructible cover objects and more, and Secret Ponchos is a game with exceptional depth.

When the team at Switchblade Monkeys began development of the game, they left behind the overtly corporate, money-driven world of commercial game development and set out to create something of a passion project between a group of friends. They studied elements from their favorite games, including team shooters, fighting games and isometric action-RPGs, as well as the style and flair of graphic novels and classic spaghetti westerns, to create a game they could call their own.

“Secret Ponchos was created by a new development philosophy,” said Yousuf Mapara, president and creative director at Switchblade Monkeys. “Instead of following a business-oriented studio model, we just set out make the game the way a group of friends gets together to form a rock band, and to see how far we can take it. If we make something we love, put our all into it every day and enjoy the creative process, hopefully we will make something others like, too.”

For more information, visit http://secretponchos.com.

Warhammer pre-orders through the roof

FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mythic Entertainment, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) studio, today announced that the highly-anticipated MMORPG, Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ (WAR), will ship tomorrow to retail stores across North America, Europe, and Oceania in preparation for launch on September 18th. WAR set a company record for the most retail pre-orders placed by consumers for a PC title in EA’s 26 year history. Overall, the company has sold 1.5 million units of WAR to retailers.

[source & complete press release]

Read it carefully, it doesn’t say 1.5 million pre-orders, it says “most pre-orders place by consumers” and then it says “sold 1.5 million units of WAR to retailers.” A bit of marketing number twisting, granted, but still its safe to say that a helluvalotta copies of WAR are going to be going home with angry Destructionites and pompous Orderers this week.

Waaaghhh!!