BRB @ gamescom: Seasons after Fall and The Surge

During gamescom, Big Red Barrel was invited to get an early look two games from developer Focus Home Interactive. We were presented some gameplay from the puzzle-platformer Seasons after Fall by French developer Swing Swing Submarine as well as look at The Surge, the new project of the German developer Deck 13. To start off I am going to talk about Seasons after Fall.

Seasons after Fall Feature

• Developer: Swing Swing Submarine
• Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
• Reviewed on: PC
• Also Available On: Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
• Release Date: 2016

[youtube id=”xnOECI2Yk94″]

Some games think that taking a long time to beat it equals to you having loads of fun with it. But there are games that won’t take you the better part of a month to beat, but nonetheless stick with you. A good example for this is the first Portal. It takes only a few hours to beat the game but through its inventive gameplay and great story it’s still remembered by a lot of its players. The point to this whole paragraph is that Seasons after Fall is a game intended to be short and relatively easy but still being enjoyable and a fun experience.

But was is Seasons after Fall? Well it’s a puzzle-platformer that puts you in the body of a fox, with the goal of finding out why you are a fox and what’s going on in the world. In order to explore the world, the player has to solve different puzzles. To do that the fox can jump, bark, and change the seasons at will. The player won’t be able to die in the game, only be stuck during the puzzles.

Seasons after Fall BRB #1

In order to solve most puzzles, at least the ones we were presented, you had to use the fox’s bark and change the seasons. One of the challenge was to get to a higher level in the forest. The way however was blocked by a geyser. In order to use that to your advantage you have to employ the help of a round, blobby monster. We were shown that they interact with the bark differently, depending on the season. For this puzzle we had two unlocked: winter and summer. So, during the summer you would bark at the monster so that it would run towards the geyser, as soon as it was trapped in the water you would change to winter, where it turned into an icy pillar. Then you just had to bark at the monster again, which would make it explode and form a nice platform, for the fox to jump on. If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. The game introduces you to the different mechanics quite well.

A big part of Seasons after Fall are the visuals. The whole game is hand-drawn and stunning. During our demo some of the visuals were still unfinished, but you could see how gorgeous this game will be on release. The finished game will have different and distinct visuals for each different season. If the soundtrack fits with the theme of the game, then it will be worth it just for the atmosphere of the visuals and the music.

Seasons after Fall BRB #2

The earlier parts of the game will be quite linear. Once you progress a bit more you will be able to explore the world. The developers even think about a “Journey Mode”, where the whole focus is exploration. The story of the game was described as “spiritual”, as you have to find out what is broken in the world and why you are a fox.

I am really looking forward to Seasons after Fall. The visuals are amazing and the gameplay seems to be right up my alley. If the puzzles are fun, then I can see this game become one of my favourites.

Official Game Site

The Surge Feature

• Developer: Deck 13
• Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
• Also Available On:  TBA
• Release Date: TBA

The Surge BRB #1

The other game I saw at Focus Home Interactive was The Surge, an action-RPG for hardcore players, as the developers put it. The game is developed by Deck 13, a German studio, who’s previous game was Lords of the Fallen. We did not see much of the game, as there wasn’t much game to speak of. The developer is still in an early phase of development. The only pieces of media we saw of the game were two pieces of concept art.

The game’s main focus are the melee battles, it will not feature ranged combat. This factors in to one of their features for the game. Each enemy will have hit zones. This means you will be able to destroy parts of the armour and cut off the limbs of enemies. Generally the gameplay will mostly likely be similar to Lords of the Fallen but the developer talked about having Metroidvania-lite elements in the game. It will be set in a near future setting where the protagonist is a worker. This will also affect his weapons of choice, re-purposed tools.

I really can’t talk much about this game.  We only saw two pieces of concept art and a developer talked a bit about the game. It even sounded like they weren’t sure about features in the game. Hopefully we can talk more about the game at next year’s gamescom.

The Surge BRB #2

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