Looks like action-rpg fans will have to wait a bit longer to fight alongside Thuban. The Xbox One Exclusive title from PlatinumGames has been delayed until next year, the studio confirmed this morning. In a new blog post, the team states that the game’s development is “going well” and cites wanting it to “live up to expectations” as the reason behind its delay.
“Development on the game is going well and we’re really happy with how it’s coming together. Scalebound is one of the biggest games PlatinumGames has ever created: an epic adventure filled with exploration and fantasy gameplay, inventive multiplayer, and action-packed battles on an unbelievable scale – all set in a beautiful and evolving world. It’s the game our team has always dreamed of making.
In order to deliver on our ambitious vision and ensure that Scalebound lives up to expectations, we will be launching the game in 2017. This will give us the time needed to bring to life all the innovative features and thrilling gameplay experiences that we have planned.”
For those who don’t know, Elder Scrolls Online from Zenimax Online Studios and Bethesda Softworks will be completely free to play when it releases for the Xbox ONE and PlayStation 4 systems on June 9, 2015 although you’ll still have to buy the game itself to gain access. The MMORPG title currently available for Windows PC and Mac OS X computer platforms has received mixed reviews and feedback from the gaming community / press with some claiming it’s everything they ever wanted in an Elder Scrolls multiplayer adaption despite leaving some things to be desired in the opinions of others who are less impressed. This summer, for the first time, console-only gamers will get to find out what they feel about the MMORPG version for one of the industry’s favorite Western Action RPG franchises. Take a look at the latest trailer below which launched yesterday showcasing the game’s world, dungeons, daily challenges, customization systems, animations, many content updates, and more.
The Bright Lord DLC Trailer of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Genre(s): Action role-playing game Platform(s): Windows PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Developer(s): Monolith Productions Release Date (NA): September 30th, 2014 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) November 18th, 2014 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
An incredible new game paying homage to yester-year has been created by Matt Kap, who is responsible for a great deal of the artwork in Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (among other titles). Castle In The Darkness is the definition of pristine in terms of polish for a Retro-Inspired Indie Platformer / Action RPG. The Kingdom of Alexandria’s fate rests on your tiny 8-ish-bit shoulders after your King has grown ill with a mysterious horde of monsters slaying every last guard in town… except you.
In addition to Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the developer has also worked on 1001 Spikes for the same publishing house and this game strikes me as a bit similar at times but in all the right ways. Skills will be put to the test, or if they don’t exist, they will be forged in blood. The controls emphasize precision timing and maintaining a steady flow of motion while allowing for rapid speed at the same time. The result is a very satisfying platformer experience, but it doesn’t stop there. Castle In The Darkness features a great value offering with heart and soul exuding from each and every scene.
As armor and weapons are purchased by collecting gold coins throughout the journey, specialty abilities are acquired such as double jumping, the ability to destroy half-crumbled walls, elemental magic attacks and other spells, fireballs, axes, spears, a boomerang, and more. Experimenting with equipment can lead to unique results, so players won’t just abandon their gear once something new is obtained (yet another well thought out and refreshing mechanic). Levels are progressively more interesting as you go, but the developer has found a masterful formula of balancing aggravation, frustration, fun, and triumph into a package of feelings that is extremely addictive.
Attacks do very little damage to most enemies players will encounter, but can be performed rapidly. Conversely, players can barely handle a few hits from even the weakest of enemies. This causes a situation where dying is so commonplace the game actually counts your deaths in an ascending fashion rather than limiting you to just a few lives. You will literally die more times than succeed no matter how good of a gamer you are.
Precise hand eye coordination is needed to win this game, and it had me on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole time. The only thing we can say that’s slightly negative about the game depending on your taste is that playing on a keyboard and mouse seems highly impractical. Xbox ONE Controller support is solid, and buttons can be completely re-mapped, so we didn’t find too much issue with this. However, if all you had were a keyboard and mouse, the difficulty of this game will be artificially increased ten fold.
Right off the bat, the soundtrack to this game will have you bopping to the beat. If you’ve ever hummed the tunes to a Nintendo NES track then you’ll feel right at home with the atmospheric sounds of Castle In The Darkness. Graphically, the title is perfection for a retro art style that is only growing in popularity in the modern gaming world. Animation quality is a huge part of this game, and without the consistency provided would’ve been disastrous.
The boss battles often hit randomly, and while save spots are well placed they are also not hand-holding. Players will get a bit of the Ninja Gaiden feel when re-spawning over and over again since they need to memorize their plan of attack even before they reach a boss. Exploring around will lead to bosses and areas players might have otherwise missed, and Castle In The Darkness very quickly reveals itself as an adequately sized game world with plenty to explore.
Nicalis has been criticized at times for taking too long to get games published, but I’m going to instead applaud them for excellence in the quality assurance department. Slow and steady wins the race, and I’m pretty sure this game was worth the wait. I have yet to encounter a bug in the game.
Fun factor has been solidified with a perfect balance of predictability and random happenings in the game overall. There are many secret areas (some of which require the collection of keys to access) and nods to the classic games we grew up with such as pipes that lead to spikes of death, tiles that can be bypassed, mid-air double jumps to get specific items, and of course a bit of back-tracking once abilities are gained that can make way to paths previously inaccessible.
With content updates promised and a full, complete package currently on offer for retro gamers and newcomers alike, Castle In The Darkness is one of the most fun filled indie titles of the year. Easily more entertaining than some of last year’s top picks in the genre, this exploratory twitch-paced Action RPG meets Platformer never fails to satisfy. Players are able to pick up and resume where they left off without any stress since the game proceeds in the most logical of manners. In this day and age, there’s something to be said about a game that gets gameplay right, provides charming aura / atmosphere, and knows where its roots are.