Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Deep Silver Press Event Impressions

Deep Silver dropped into New York City for a day with playable versions of five upcoming games that included an innovative horror adventure for the Wii, an open-world RPG set on a gorgeous yet deadly island, a PSP strategy game mech fans will love and two Nintendo DS games that should appeal to brainy players of all stripes. I'll be writing up longer hands-on previews for the two home console and PSP titles over the coming days, but in the meantime, here's a super quick rundown on what was shown:

Cursed Mountain (8/25/2009) - The star of the show and one of the most innovative Mature-rated games on the Wii to date, Deep Silver Vienna's disturbing ghost story blends well-researched Buddhist elements into a survival horror setting that's simultaneously beautiful and bleak in equal measures. Players will hop into the boots of Eric Simmons as he searches a huge haunted hill for his missing brother, Frank. The game's stunning vistas, unsettling enemy design, chilling score and "prayer" based combat should absolutely make this a go-to game for genre fans or anyone else wondering "Where's the beef" in terms of core games on the console. Just about everything clicks here, from the overall atmosphere to the unique battles that take place in the Bardo, the mystical space between earthly life and Nirvana where restless spirits prowl, intent on munching your bones to powder.

Risen (10/2/2009) - Piranha Bytes (creators of the fan favorite Gothic series) is set to make waves with their upcoming PC and Xbox 360 open world action/RPG. Both versions look identically amazing and feature a lovingly detailed game world, creatively designed monsters, tons of items to collect and a much, much more. Despite the single island setting, the game never feels small thanks to loads of little details. Intuitive combat and a main character with a unique skills growth system should draw in fans of games such as Oblivion or Fallout 3 and with over 100 quests and sub-quests to complete plus different factions to join, the game should appeal to any players looking for more than just a simple chase 'n chop experience.

Mytran Wars (9/15/09) - If you're all about turn-based strategy and love mechs, this one's for you. The lengthy cool live-action/CG intro pulls you right into the game and the fun comic book cut scenes will keep you playing from mission to mission. Four campaigns with two factions spread over 30+ hours should keep you busy and the three multiplayer modes are good for getting a friend hooked. Expect a load of secrets as well, as every single player mission has a hidden objective that's often insanely tough to figure out or harder to achieve. The slick 3D engine makes for some great looking mechs and with 250 different accessories to research, you'll be whipping together quite the team of bad-ass bolt-busting brutes. fans of games such as Field Commander, Advance Wars and Front Mission should line up for this one (or at least march on down to their favorite game emporium to put in a pre-order).

The Humans (7/28/09) - I had to laugh when I saw this one at the event. Not because I'm an overly snarky S.O.B. whose eyes glaze over at anything with bright colors on the DS, but because the Sega Genesis version of the game practically ate up my life back in the day. This update features 8 stages, 80 levels and brain-melting puzzles galore as you try and get you cave dudes to make it from one stage to the next using different skills. It's sort of like Lemmings with more platforming required, so if that's your thing... go for it with gusto. Hell, I'd suggest this one to those "hardcore" gamers with beefy square chins looking for a REAL challenge. This one will break you faster than the hardest mode on any shooter, that's for damn sure...

Fritz Chess (7/13/09) - Talk about deep: a database of 2000 historical chess matches, the ability to edit your own games, four game modes, hot-seat matches... what else does a chess fan need? Simple visuals and adjustable gameplay keeps things perfect for newbies or timer-happy veterans looking for a portable version of their passion. The ease of use and intuitive controls should appeal to anyone with a DS interested in this brainy "sports game." If you don't think Chess is a sport - try watching a speed match sometime...

Overall, what was shown was very impressive for such a small lineup. Deep Silver may not be a household name in the US just yet, but with games like these coming, those gamers that pick up what's here will surely take note of what else the company has planned for in the future. More coverage on these games is coming up shortly - stay tuned...

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