Bloober Team, a Polish game developer, has been around for 12 years and put out several games in a variety of genres, but it wasn’t until they switched to horror that they really found their groove. Layers of Fear was a creepy delight, followed up by strong releases in Observer – read that review here – then Layers of Fear 2, and finally their interpretation of Blair Witch.
The team is currently working on The Medium, planned to launch with the Xbox Series line of consoles but now delayed into early 2021, so they tapped Anshar Studios to remaster Observer for next-gen consoles as Observer: System Redux. Anshar provided art remastering and gameplay improvements, along with some new content for the port to PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, along with a PC version.
The timing on this release seems almost too on point, as the plot features a KPD detective – voiced by the late Rutger Hauer – who is in the opening stages of investigating his son’s call for help when the building is locked down by a plague called Nanophage. The remaster offers up new side cases that flesh out the plot a bit, helping show a bit more of the backstory of the world and what it’s like to be one of Poland’s ‘Class C’ citizens.
While the original nailed the aesthetic of a cyberpunk future’s ghetto, the next-gen version also offers raytracing, animation improvements, and some tweaks to the somewhat underwhelming stealth sections that really help make them more playable and fun.
What I Loved:
A strong visual upgrade on an already great looking game
Top-notch voice acting
Great audio overall
Great world building and lore background
What I Liked:
Some great tension builds towards the ‘scare’ moments
New animations and side story content!
What I Disliked:
A little too reliant on jump scares for my taste
What I Hated:
Observer: System Redux is available now on PS5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC. Reviewed on Xbox Series X using code provided by the publisher.
There are probably people out there who have had worse times on Mars than Shane Newehart –Schwarzenegger in Total Recall or Matt Damon in The Martian for example – but by the end of Moons of Madness you’ll have to admit his experience ranks right up there.
Newehart is an engineer for Orochi, a space exploration company that needed his expertise on their Mars research outpost. What the poor sap doesn’t know going into this trip is that the outpost is a front for a program to find the source of a message coming from the planet.
At the outset, Newehart’s job eases players into both the game’s controls and the outpost’s layout as he goes about his day to day work. Replacing batteries and doing on the spot repairs isn’t glamorous or even necessarily fun, but it does a great job of introducing the player to the world and cementing the atmosphere.
And, of course, it soon goes downhill – way downhill.
The game’s environment is, as you’d expect from a research outpost, clinical and sterile at first but soon gives way to a truly Lovecraftian mess of tentacles and weird ooze, and it’s at this point that your early busywork pays dividends. Even though the environment is much more hostile, knowing the layout really helps when you’re – for example – fleeing from danger, should that sort of thing happen…
Don’t get the wrong idea here though, this is not a combat-heavy game and it owes more to walking sims than it does something like Doom Eternal. There are moments here and there where you’ll be tested, but most of the game is exploring, puzzling your way through obstacles, and trying to piece together the underlying story.
Moons of Madness is a bit short, running around six hours to complete, but if you love exploring you can run it up a bit more than that just playing around with the wealth of interactive objects. A personal favourite – the coffee machine that allows you to fill and drink as many cups as you’d like. This isn’t a truly scary game as the atmosphere is intense, but the enemies aren’t threatening enough, though there are some terror-filled chases that help keep the adrenaline flowing.
Trailers are tricky things to get right, but the reveal trailer for Othercide, a gothic tactical RPG due out this summer, absolutely nails it.
That is slick and creepy, with the game’s use of limited colour really helping drive the presentation. I’m interested in seeing what the combat is like, with dynamic turn system that plays host to attacks, counters, and interrupts.
Need higher stakes? There’s permadeath…
Here’s the press release:
Focus Home Interactive & Lightbulb Crew’s Othercide Coming This Summer
Fight, fall and rise again in this horror-inspired tactical RPG for PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC
PARIS – Feb. 21, 2020 – Focus Home Interactive and Lightbulb Crew have revealed that the gothic tactical RPG Othercide will come to PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC this summer. Othercide marries the dark art design and world-building of the horror genre with the deep systems and challenges of a strategy game for a truly gripping experience.
Combat in Othercide is a spectacular dance of actions and counters built around a dynamic turn system. Command an army of Daughters, haunting echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, in deadly battles against horrific dread creatures and bosses birthed from the worst of humanity’s crimes. Interrupt enemy attacks while planning and setting up your own chain of actions later in the timeline to perform devastating assaults on your foes. Othercide’s visually stunning universe is ruthless: you’ll face deadly missions, roguelite features like limited resources and permadeath, and the difficult decision to sacrifice one Daughter to make another stronger. Your prowess in combat will decide the fate of your Daughters, shaping their stats, abilities and personalities for better or worse, evolving over time into a reflection of your actions. Othercide will be showcased at PAX East at the Focus Home Interactive booth (#29017) from February 27 to March 1. For more information on the game, check out https://www.othercidegame.com.
The timing is a bit late but the intent is good as Rock Pocket Games, developers of Moons of Madness, have announced a delay to the PS4 and Xbox One release from January 21st to March 24th in order to optimize the game for consoles.
The game hit PC on October 22nd, to mixed reviews, but the atmospheric setting and strong narrative has my interest piqued. If they can use the delay to iron out some of the issues reviews noted, all the better.
Here’s the press release:
The Moons of Madness Console Launch is Moving to March 24th, 2020
Rock Pocket Games to add final polish to the console edition of Moons of Madness
OSLO, Norway – January 14th, 2020 – The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release of Moons of Madness, originally scheduled for January 21st, has been postponed till March 24th. The delay will give the developers more time to optimize the game for console. Moons of Madness is a first-person cosmic horror game mixing Mars exploration with Lovecraft. It was released on PC on October 22nd, 2019.
About Rock Pocket Games
Rock Pocket Games is an independent game development studio situated in Tønsberg, Norway. Rock Pocket started up developing mobile games back in 2008, and have since then grown to an award winning studio behind both mobile, PC and console titles. Rock Pocket hold quality, communication, passion and fun in high regards and strongly believe that this is their strength when creating great products everyone involved can be proud of.
If you haven’t given asymmetrical multiplayer (1 player vs a team of 4 players) horror game Dead by Daylight a chance yet now’s the perfect time thanks to the Nightmare Edition, which bundles the game, three DLC chapters: Stranger Things, Curtain Call, and Shattered Bloodline, a cosmetic pack, and a slew of add-on DLC as well.
I’m a huge fan of the game, which is incredibly creepy when you’re playing as a survivor and a mix of strategy and action when you’re the monster. When you get a read on how the survivor team plays and figure out their next move before they make it…sublime.
Here’s the press release:
“DEAD BY DAYLIGHT NIGHTMARE EDITION” OFFERS BIGGER SCREAMS AND KILLER SAVINGS FOR PLAYERS ON PS4 AND XBOX ONE
“Stranger Things”, “Curtain Call” and “Shattered Bloodline” Chapters Headline Delightfully Terrifying Retail Bundle from 505 Games and Behaviour Interactive
CALABASAS, Calif. – Oct. 29, 2019 – Global publisher 505 Games, in partnership with developer Behaviour Interactive, have unveiled plans to release an exclusive physical retail edition of the popular asymmetrical horror multiplayer game Dead by Daylight for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Dead by Daylight Nightmare Edition, available at retailers in North America on Tuesday, Dec. 10, features tons of blood-curdling new content at the killer slashed price of $39.99.
Dead by Daylight Nightmare Edition features the original award-winning game and three hair-raising chapters, including the circus-themed “Curtain Call” chapter, the haunted spirit “Shattered Bloodline” chapter and the new horrifying chapter “Stranger Things,” based on the wildly popular Netflix Original Series. In addition to three spine-tingling chapters, Dead by Daylight Nightmare Edition will come spattered with additional fan-favorite features including the Headcase Cosmetic Pack, offering players a variety of trendy hairstyles and accessories to style their favorite survivor, packed together with extra content from the original game release.
Complete Feature Highlights of Dead by Daylight Nightmare Edition Include:
Award-winning Dead by Daylight original game, “Curtain Call” chapter, “Shattered Bloodline” chapter and “Stranger Things” chapter, which includes Steve, Nancy and the terrifying Demogorgon!
The Headcase Cosmetic Pack
Four Terrifying Add-Ons: The 80s Suitcase, The Bloodstained Sack, Of Flesh and Mud and The Spark of Madness add-on
Dead by Daylight is the hottest modern-day horror franchise with a global player base. In Dead by Daylight, players find themselves in a mind-bending hunt between a brutal killer and four survivors. Experience a deadly game of cat and mouse with two styles of gameplay—as a survivor, from a third-person perspective; or the killer, in first-person perspective. Survivors can work together or act alone using their situational awareness, while killers are on the hunt, focused on their prey.
For more information about Dead by Daylight and the content included in Dead by DaylightNightmare Edition, please visit www.deadbydaylight.com. For more information about 505 Games and its products, visit www.505games.com.
About 505 Games
505 Games, a subsidiary of the Italian entertainment company Digital Bros., is a global video game publisher focused on offering a broad selection of titles for players of all ages and skill levels. The company publishes and distributes premium and free-to-play games on leading console, PC (Steam and GoG) and handheld platforms as well as for mobile devices and social networks.
Publishing highlights in premium games include Remedy Entertainment’s critically-acclaimed Control, Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Indivisible, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons,Last Day of June, PAYDAY 2, Terraria, Portal Knights, ABZÛ, Virginia and How to Survive. Free-to-play publishing highlights include Battle Islands, Gems of War and Hawken. Distribution highlights include No Man’s Sky, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Dead by Daylight and Inside/Limbo. Upcoming titles include Typhoon Studios’ comedic action-exploration game Journey to the Savage Planet and dance-fitness game Zumba® Burn it Up! for Nintendo Switch.
About Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game in which one crazed killer hunts four friends through a terrifying nightmare. Players take on the role of both killer and survivors in a deadly game of cat and mouse. It’s a mature gamer take on the thrills of hide and seek. Dead by Daylight is available on PC and consoles.
About Behaviour Interactive
Founded in 1992, Montreal-based Behaviour Interactive is one of North America’s largest independent game developers with close to 600 employees and over 70 million games sold on every platform. To date, the company’s mobile games have reached more than 200 million players worldwide. In 2019, its most successful IP, the award-winning Dead by Daylight, celebrated 12 million players. Behaviour counts amongst its partners some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Sony, Disney, Netflix, Activision, Warner Bros, Ubisoft, Xbox Game Studios, Google, Bombardier, Wargaming, HBO, NetEase, Gaea, La Capitale, and many more. For more information: bhvr.com.
Amnesia: Collection gives Switch gamers all three Amnesia games for a super low price, bringing a trio of horror titles – an area the Switch is currently underserved in – to Nintendo’s console TODAY.
I’m not a super big horror gamer, but I love the atmosphere of these titles. If you’re into horror games at all, be sure to check these out.
Here’s the press release:
Helsingborg, Sweden – September 12, 2019 — As sudden as a monster appearing behind you –Amnesia: Collection is now out on Nintendo Switch! The Gatherers, Suitors and Manpigs now fit in your pocket, so you can bring the horror with you wherever you go. The Collection includes Amnesia: The Dark Descent, its expansion Amnesia: Justine, as well as Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs developed by The Chinese Room. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a horror icon that revolutionized the genre and helped kick-start the Let’s Play phenomenon. The story takes you deep into a decaying castle, plagued by unimaginable horrors – as well as your own memories you would rather forget. Justine tells an unforgiving story of altruism and egoism, deciding between life and death. You can save everyone, but be careful: one wrong move, and it’s your life that’s on the line. A Machine for Pigs takes you to the last hours of 1899 – last hours before the century of war, technology and revolution. Under the streets of London a hellish machine is waking up: a machine for pigs, the creation of madness and grief, set to change the world as it is. Amnesia: Collection is fully optimized to play on Nintendo Switch, in both handheld and TV mode. The game is available starting September 12th, priced at 29.99 USD.
I have to admit I’m not super familiar with the Remothered series, having seen a bit about Tormented Fathers but never actually played it. That said, Broken Porcelain looks like something I should check out. It’s got a really creepy vibe to it, and I’m a sucker for a decent horror game.
Maybe it’s time to add Tormented Fathers to the backlog before this arrives for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
Check out the announcement trailer HERE.
Here’s the press release:
Introducing Remothered: Broken Porcelain
The award-winning survival horror series Remothered returns in the highly anticipated Remothered: Broken Porcelain. Serving as a continuation of Remothered: Tormented Fathers, relive events from the characters’ painful past during intense flashbacks and endure new unspeakable horrors in the present day that await them in the Ashmann Inn – a mysterious and decaying tomb for its many dangers.
Roam among the shadows of locations that hide grave secrets of a terrifying past and use everything at your disposal to distract enemies for a resourceful escape. Challenging puzzles, expanded lore, and a haunting soundtrack by composer Luca Balboni (Remothered: Tormented Fathers, Mine, Watch Them Fall) transforms the dark and gloomy atmosphere into a terrifying experience that will haunt players well after the game is over. Broken Porcelain brings you captivating real-time cinematics that will give you thrills like never before!
Broken Porcelain brings an abundance of welcome changes to the series, introducing new gameplay and storytelling elements that breathe new life into the characters and create an unprecedented level of immersion in this haunting adventure – perfect for both new and returning fans to the series. Wishlist now!
Broken Porcelain will be available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC! Be sure to check out our website for more details.