It’s a cold Monday morning in February and I find myself slap bang in the middle of London at 9am. I’ve had no coffee, the tube is packed and I need something to cheer me up. Luckily I’m on my way to play some games which are being shown off as part of the Wired Productions 2020 Showcase. And across the course of a few hours I got to experience three exciting new games from the Wired Productions stable – Those Who Remain, The Falconeer and Deliver Us The Moon – along with having the chance to sit down and chat with the creative minds behind them.
Let’s start with the first on the list, shall we?
Those Who Remain
I had the pleasure of meeting up with the charming writer/developer Ricardo from studio Camel 101 who was happy to talk me through some of the levels of his latest title – the up-close psychological horror of Those Who Remain.
Coming to Xbox One, PS4, PC and eventually Nintendo Switch, the game is set in the sleepy town of Dormont. The star of the piece – who we get to see in the opening scene, drinking and desperate – is Edward, a man who had the perfect life, but like all others was lured into the darkness. Attempting to break off his affair and put his family back on track, Edward drives into the night, unaware of the darkness that is brewing below Dormont and becoming the cause of recent disappearances.
From what I’ve seen of Those Who Remain, this is going to be a hugely intriguing experience, particularly as it does a couple of clever things. Played in the first person, you explore the world as you would with any other normal action-adventure thriller, enjoying puzzles to solve and – much like a good detective novel – searching out clues to find. But what makes this so different is that in the darkness stand shadowy figures; staring and waiting. If you go towards them… death. And so it is up to you to work out how to use light to your advantage, clearing the path through. This could be along the lines of something as simple as turning a switch on a light or finding several items to power up some Christmas lights. Or it could be a bit trickier.
The other big standout feature of Those Who Remain comes from the fact that you can walk through a door of light to end up in a different reality. Think of The Upside Down from Stranger Things and you’re getting close – in fact, it’s The Stranger Things and the likes of Twin Peaks that have inspired this world. It’s a strange land where the rules are different and here you are left to move items or interact with objects in one reality, with those affecting the pathway in the real world. It’s a nice and clever device and looks like it’ll be something that works very well indeed.
Those Who Remain is looking at being released around the spring window on major consoles and PC. This one brief look at it during the Wired Showcase has left me hungry for more.
If you wish to hear more about what Ricardo had to say in regards to Those Who Remain, check out our exclusive interview with him in TheXboxHub Official Podcast Episode 18.
Deliver Us The Moon
Following on from Those Who Remain and Wired had a hands-on experience with one of the opening levels for the sci-fi action-adventure game Deliver Us The Moon.
Originally designed by two brothers who wanted to be astronauts in real life, the story for this takes us into an apocalyptic near future where Earth’s natural resources are depleted. In order to help matters, the powers that be created the World Space Agency and secured a promising new source of energy on the moon.
As you may expect to hear, things soon went wrong and it is here where you are found taking on the role of Earth’s last astronaut, sent off on a daredevil mission to investigate what happened and save the world.
The playthrough I spent some time with had an exciting mix of puzzling – trying to launch into space – and exploration adventure. From the initial playthough Deliver Us The Moon showed a nicely animated and designed launch centre. I was impressed with exactly how much detail has gone into the extra background material. For example there are complicated scientific designs on a whiteboard and brilliant posters celebrating iconic moon missions. And further on in you’ll discover some super solid voiceover and a great soundtrack – so much so that at the end of a mission as the rocket takes off, the full effect of the sound with the shaking of the spaceship is the next best thing to actually being there.
Gameplay wise it plays very well too – and on a personal level I particularly liked the sequence of events needed in order to initiate the launch. In fact, Deliver Us The Moon will ensure you feel like a real spaceman, and it enticed me into its world from the very start.
Deliver Us The Moon looks to release away from PC (Steam) promising a spring 2020 console drop. Our full interview with Wired’s Product Marketing Manager, Al Hibberd, concerning all things space will be thrust towards your ears in a future episode of our podcast.
And then last but by no means least, I managed to get some hands-on time with The Falconeer alongside a brief chat with the lead developer, Tomas Sala. This is a game that is quite obviously the heart and soul of Tomas’s imagination and hard work, but what is it?
Well, it’s certainly very original. Yet from the first viewing it can only be described as an ocean-world styled fantasy aerial combat RPG. It’s something that you will recognise immediately as at the core of the gameplay comes a dynamic of dogfighting and combat in the skies.
But The Falconeer looks to develop from there, playing out over a completely original beautiful world, all combined with a unique story and character development to create something very exciting.
“Building worlds is my passion, creating epic landscapes and hidden stories within… just waiting to be found. I want future Falconeers to fight for the Ursee world I’m creating, to risk everything in breathtaking battles to understand its secrets,” said Tomas Sala.
The Falconeer looks like it’s going to be something rather epic. With loads of potential and the promise of being an ‘Xbox First’ title, I’m hugely excited for how this plays out. Tomas is confident for a 2020 release date on Xbox One and PC however needs to finalise some more cutscenes, work on the voiceover and prepare a number of other things in order to make the game ready. Once again though, this is one to look forward to later this year.
And our full audio interview with Tomas will be up and included in our very next podcast – Episode 19 of TheXboxHub Official Podcast.
So what started life as a cold, damp miserable Monday morning turned into a day of great gaming prospects from Wired Productions. Even though 2020 has been the year for big games to be shunted and delayed, the indie scene is looking more than decent with the Wired Productions 2020 Showcase proving that there are some hot prospects upcoming – we should have plenty of hours of gaming to enjoy in the year ahead.