Calum Petrie gets hands on with Green Man Gaming’s upcoming titles at EGX 2016…
During EGX 2016 I had the pleasure of visiting the Green Man Gaming booth and getting to chat with some of the minds behind the games on show. The stand was located in the Indie section in the first hall of the show which could have been a show within itself, showcasing some of the most original and creative games I have seen in a long time. Green Man Gaming had a few very enticing titles on show and I was lucky enough to get my hands on them.
This title is a hard one to categorise; set in the not so distant future players build a space station with the aim of building a self-sustaining space station. Stable Orbit feels more like Sim City than any other title I could compare it to; players have to generate money and keep an eye on their resources and residents. The game does not boast the world’s greatest graphics, though I found myself engrossed in the simple yet addictive mechanics.
Like games such as Sim City there is no clear ending to Stable Orbit and you are more than likely going to get as much joy out the game as you put in. Players also have the ability to rewind the timeline if you make some decisions that end up killing some of your crew or you make a large error of judgement and cause harm to your station.
A “time sink” is possibly the best way to describe this game; if you enjoy resource management and building cool looking space stations then this is a must have. The game is not yet out on Steam, with no word of any possible console release. I don’t want this game rushed as there is a development team of just a single person, with the initial concept to coding completed by one man.
The Bunker is a live action psychological thriller set within an English secret nuclear bunker. The player takes control of this game straight after John loses his mother and becomes the sole occupant of the bunker. John must follow a strict routine to keep himself safe and sane in the underground shelter.
The game has no pre-rendered CGI animations; rather everything was shot on location in a bunker in Essex. The player uses point and click commands to navigate areas and uncover hidden collectables within the confines of the bunker.
With a run time of 2 – 2.5 hours players will find this more as an interactive viewing experience than just watching a film. While playing the game I got a chance to speak to a member of the development team (Simon Sparks) who talked me through their filming process; it was a brilliant story that I wish would be released as a developer diary online. The team set out to make something different, and after getting my hands on with this title I can see FMV games being a big thing in the future if done properly. I will say The Bunker is an atmospheric and well thought out adventure, which is out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One now.
The Black Death
The Black Death is a MMO title which focuses less on the dungeons and raids of conventional MMO titles and has more of a focus on survival. The game starts you out with a basic class and then send you out into the big bad world. Players are urged to party up and have strength in numbers approach to gameplay rather than a lone wolf style.
The game is set in the Middle Ages in a Britain-like setting, and players will have a number of starting professions to choose from such as militia, merchant, peasant, smith, monk, hunter and beggar. Each will determine your initial start to the game and make you decide quickly who you should party up with to balance out your group.
The game on show was version 0.08 which give us an indication that the game is still in an extremely early stage of its infancy. What I played lacked the tutorials and players aid system in which I would have liked, though I did find the world to be a vast and interesting to explore.
The developers were nice to be on hand and talk me through the game so far. The like to work in partnership with the players in the game already (it is currently out on Steam) and use the players to actually report bugs and give feedback as the game is being played. Friday nights in game are fight nights in which players meet in the city hub and head to an arena where players fight it out like Gladiators.
This is a community focus RPG title that seems rather refreshing and exciting to play rather than the endless grind-fest found in many a modern MMORPG title.
Of Kings and Men
This game is certainly more focused on the large open battlefields of warfare and less about the top down view of RTS titles, in favour of controlling the individual on the battlefield. It’s another game set within the medieval era but very different to the likes of The Black Death, as it puts you in the position of the foot soldier on a battlefield and gives you your choice of weapon load out.
Of Kings and Men was created by a modding community who thought they would try their hand at creating the game they would like to see out there for everyone to play. I was informed that half the development team were actors in recreation battles; these are people who have been trained in the ways in which a weapon can and should be wielded.
This adds a level to authenticity to the game which you will not find in a number of other large scale battle games. Players are in huge fights (I played 35 versus 35) and each player on the battlefield was another real life human controlling a computer avatar. This allows players on the same team to enable voice chat and allow for strategic warfare on the battlefield.
This was possibly the most interesting title I played at the Green Man Gaming stall; it allowed the tide of battle to be changed with a simple strategy change. The game felt refreshing and more like a project of passion from people who have been modding other games for free for such a long time. I would certainly be keeping an eye out for this if you are interesting in skirmish battles and medieval capture the flag.
Find out more about Green Man Gaming check out their website here.
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