Gamescom 2013 round-up: Part 2

Gamescom 2012
Gamescom 2012

See Part 1 of our Gamescom round-up for the show's first day events.

Agatha Christie, Syberia 3, Dream Chamber, 9 Elephants – Anuman Interactive

On Thursday, Alain Milly of Anuman Interactive revealed that along with the announced plans for new Agatha Christie games, the French publisher also had a couple of other surprises in store. There will be several Agatha Christie games developed, but none are in production just yet. These games will tie in with other new adaptations of her work planned for film and television, and more information – such as which titles we can expect – will be announced in October. The games will be developed for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, with a possibility of porting them to consoles as well.

Concept sketch for Syberia 3

Many adventure fans will be delighted to learn that Syberia 3 is at last in production. Benoît Sokal is working on the game and the story is done for the first major setting, while the design for the second is almost finished as well. This will be a long-term production though, with the game probably not out before 2015. The developers hope to be able to reveal more at the end of this year, but in the meantime, there's good news for console owners as the first two games will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 “soon”.

When Anuman bought Microïds, they had three goals: making their existing games compatible with new versions of Windows, porting those games to mobile platforms, and finally publishing new games, of which Dracula 5 and The Inquisitor are good examples. Dracula 5 is the concluding chapter to the disappointingly abbreviated previous installment. The Inquisitor is an ongoing franchise, as the books on which the series is based are still being written. The third book will be out in France in September.

Dream Chamber

Two years ago, AG colleagues Mark Jones, Harald Bastiaanse and I ran into Italian publishers Reply Forge, who were eager but unable to tell us much about the game Dream Chamber. But now Anuman Interactive has picked up the publishing rights to this title, giving us a long-awaited look into the noir-styled game set in the thirties. Its graphics seem to have changed from the naïve art style it had when we first saw it; still hand-drawn cartoons, but now looking more polished than before.

The protagonist is a wealthy man named Charlie Chamber, who likes to solve crimes. Charlie has a special ability that allows him to revisit scenes he has been to before in his dreams and examine them in more detail. One example is Charlie visiting a police station to learn some facts about a crime that happened at a ball, but when he revisits the police station in his dreams, he suddenly notices a list of guests he had completely overlooked before. Switching between waking and dreaming can be done at will. Travelling between locations is done through a map, and when you click on your destination you switch to a car with a driver. You can chat with this driver about contemporary subjects such as how Constantinople has been renamed to Istanbul, and occasionally he will have information about the job at hand.

9 Elephants

Finally, the tentatively-titled 9 Elephants is a Professor Layton-esque puzzle adventure with jazzy music and math puzzles created by French studio Infernal Brothers after winning a competition. In the game, the protagonist is a little girl that tries to find her father who disappeared.


Contrast – Compulsion Games

Canadian developers Compulsion Games showed me some scenes from Contrast, which they describe as a puzzle-platformer. It is situated in the '20s and heavily influenced by film noir. Didi is a little girl growing up under less than ideal circumstances. Her father left, and her mother is a performer in seedy nightclubs. Didi copes with her environment through an imaginary friend, Dawn, who is a sexy looking girl that can change herself into a shadow. The player takes control of Dawn as Didi tries to find her father, exploring an adult world as seen through the eyes of a child. 

The game plays with the concept of dimensions a lot, as Dawn can walk onto any shadow when she is one herself. By paying attention to where lights are, relative to objects, you can reach balconies or other high platforms. Since Dawn is only an imaginary friend, if you fail a jump she just lands on the floor unharmed and you can try again indefinitely. Most of the platforming is optional anyway, as this is largely an open world with optional sidequests and collectibles to encourage exploration.

The first act, of three in total, is located in the Red District and features the nightclub Didi's mother works in. Your task is to get Didi inside so she can watch her mother perform. The story is told mostly through lengthy cutscenes that serve as rewards for solving puzzles like fixing and aiming some spotlights. The second act finds Didi in the fairgrounds of a circus, where her dad is about to lose a substantial sum of money and maybe even his life to some bad guys. She of course wants to fix this and has to find a way to stop them.

While in many games child characters are noticeably voiced by adults, Contrast uses an actual nine-year-old with some professional experience, and from what I could hear she did an excellent job, especially acting petulant. Contrast will be out around the time of the PlayStation 4 launch date on Windows, PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360, and it will cost about $15 for the digital version or $20 for a collector's edition with some as-yet-undisclosed extras. Some markets will also get a retail version.


Goodbye Deponia – Daedalic Entertainment

I sat down with Jan (Poki) Müller-Michaelis for a demonstration of the last part in his Deponia trilogy. The first two games were just an elaborate setup for this finale, and so much will be going on, wrapping up all the loose ends, that this third part will feel like another two games. As we already learned at E3, Goodbye Deponia picks up the action right where we left it in Chaos on Deponia, with Rufus and Goal separated once more. As is usual for Rufus, his creative solutions lead to even more problems and when he decides to clone himself too, the chaos is complete.

The three clones of Rufus are not different from each other, as was the case with Goal, but they will be in different locations and can interact with the others. An example of how this works involved a drain through which one Rufus could send objects to another Rufus located in some sewers somewhere below him, leading to the kinds of puzzles that are common to this series: convoluted comic brain-teasers. Poki described one of the scenes as a Benny Hill-esque chase. The graphics remain in the same deliberately absurd cartoon style, and for those who can't get enough of Poki's musical interludes between the chapters, you'll be happy to know there will be even more than before.

Continued on the next page...

content continues below

gray pierce gray pierce
Sep 11, 2013

Contrast sounds really interesting. Another game I’ll have to play this year. Dang! My gaming schedule is becoming a bit too full lately. Murdered - Soul Suspect on the other hand just sounds plain silly. I thought it was an interesting premise back when it was about you having to solve your own murder but now that there are demons you have to eliminate. No thanks!

Sep 12, 2013

Where were these adventure games showcased? I was on the Gamescom and wondered myself why there were so little adventure games on display.

Sep 12, 2013

Randal’s Monday was playable in Hall 10 (although when I saw the booth it was empty apart from a computer - but no mouse or keyboard). Murdered: Soul Suspect wasn’t playable but there was an hourly presentation at the Deep Silver/Square Enix booth in Hall 9. The other games were shown in the Business Halls only (Randal’s Monday had another booth there). Contrast may have had a demo pod at the Sony booth but I’m not entirely sure.

CoyoteAG CoyoteAG
Sep 12, 2013

I am very excited about Murdered - Soul Suspect!

Ninjabynight Ninjabynight
Sep 13, 2013

I thought Soul Suspect looked really interesting! I kept thinking L.A. Noire throughout the trailer. Also, the presentation of Contrast was very striking; if we get to be treated to more musical accompaniment like the night club singer in the trailer, that alone might be worth the price of admission.

Dag Dag
Sep 13, 2013

I have to agree with gray pierce. I thought Soul Suspect looked very interesting after the first trailer, but the interest diminished considerably when I read about the demons and how you need to fight them… Who knows, they could be fun, though I’m pretty sure dealing with them is gonna be tedious and repetative. These “commercialized” adventure games tends to cram action sequences into them, with little to no variation, just for the sake of having action sequences.

Randal’s Monday looks like something I’d try, but does anyone know if the game will have voice acting? Contrast looks interesting aswell.

Looking very much forward to the conclusion of Deponia!

Caliburn Caliburn
Sep 13, 2013

The demon interactions in Murdered: Soul Suspect sound more like a basic stealth system than like action to me, if by action we mean fast-paced stuff like running or fighting. Of course, stealth may not appeal to all players either, of course, and that’s OK.

gray pierce gray pierce
Sep 14, 2013

I don’t actually mind that there is action in “Murdered” I mind that there are demons in it. I mean it’s almost like in every commercial game there have to be supernaturals (preferably Zombies) you have to kill. And often I just find them very misplaced. “Murdered” worked just fine as a supernatural thriller about a ghost having to solve his own murder. Those demons have no real value to the story. They’re just gameplay filler.

Post a comment

You need to be logged in to post comments. Not a member? Register now!