Adventure News
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July 2017

19

Jul


Clear your calendars, Telltale fans, because there's a LOT of narrative-style adventuring coming your way this year and next. Thanks to today's summer video update, we now know not one, not two, but the next three series coming down the pike, including more Batman, The Walking Dead, and The Wolf Among Us.

First up will be a new adventure for Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego Batman (or perhaps more accurately, the other way around). Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series will see both Bruce and Batman "forced into precarious new roles." The Riddler is back and ready to "terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an even greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce Wayne undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Which of Batman's new allies will you choose to trust? And how deep into the darkness will you let Bruce descend?" Reprising his dual roles as the title character is Troy Baker, along with other familiar voices like Anthony Ingruber as 'John Doe' (aka The Joker). Player choices from the first season will carry over into the new one, but Telltale claims it won't be necessary to have played the original to fully enjoy the new story.

That a new Batman is in the works comes as very little surprise. What is a surprise is that the new season is nearly upon us already, with a launch date for the first episode, The Enigma, scheduled for August 8th on Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with iOS and Android releases to arrive later this year.


Also no surprise is more Walking Dead, as a fourth season was heavily teased at the end of A New Frontier. While few story details have yet been revealed, the fourth series based on Robert Kirkman's graphic novel series will also be Telltale's last. Appropriately given the working title of The Final Season for now, the new five-part season will once again follow Clementine, now an independent and very resourceful young woman, in her pursuit of baby AJ. 

Back in the surprise column is a new season of The Wolf Among Us. Prompted by intense fan interest in a sequel ever since the original launched in 2014, the new season promises a "fresh story arc" but continues to follow the exploits of Bigby Wolf (voiced by Adam Harrington once again), Snow White (Erin Yvette), and the rest of the cast of Bill Willingham's Fables comic book series about a group of exiled fairy tale characters living in a hidden community in New York City. 

While no firm release dates for the new seasons of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us have been announced, both series will be launched sometime in 2018, The Wolf Among Us in the "latter half" of the year.



16

Jul


We tend to think of games as vehicles for "fun" but their interactive nature can make them powerful tools for exploring deeper subjects. One such game is the upcoming Indygo, a single-room adventure that tackles the reality of clinical depression.

Players control a famous painter who, "as a result of mood disorders began to isolate himself from the outside world." Then one day, he locked himself in his workshop for good. Attempting to help him work through his ordeals is his girlfriend Anna, but now, more than three months later, the situation is no longer tenable and "the time has come to look for solution." Controlling the painter, players will make important choices that dictate how the story plays out. 


Set entirely in a single room, Indygo features a hand-drawn, monochromatic slideshow presentation. Described as an "atmospheric narrative game with adventure and point’n’click elements," there will be puzzles to solve, conversations to engage in, and even trivial decisions will have consequences, as "the room changes according to the mental state of the character" with multiple endings possible. Developer Pigmentum Game Studio has consulted mental health specialists and those who suffer from depression in order to respectfully "give the players a deeper insight into the thoughts and actions of those who are suffering from this mood disorder."

In keeping with its subject matter, Indygo is due to arrive on PC on October 10th, the World Mental Health Day. 



14

Jul


The truth may set you free, but Telling Lies promises to be a rousing good time when indie developer Sam Barlow releases his upcoming "spiritual follow-up" to Her Story.

Barlow took the gaming world completely by surprise in 2015, blending keyword-based investigation with hours of compelling live-action video interviews. While plot details of the new game are still scarce at this time, Telling Lies will be an "all-new narrative game that will expand upon the unique format of Her Story by delving into multiple characters, exploring the extent to which we can ever truly know those we love." 

According to an article in Variety, the game will be in "the vein of a political thriller" that features the same general interactive movie approach as its predecessor, but with an original story, new characters and settings. Barlow compares it to Steve McQueen’s Shame combined with Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. With additional resources provided by publisher Annapurna Interactive this time around, Barlow can "raise production values" from the distinctly indie presentation of Her Story. Filming is set to begin late this year or early in 2018, with the publisher directly responsible for "all production tasks for the live-action video component."

There is currently no release target for Telling Lies, and as yet it's unknown what platforms it will be available on, but we'll be keeping a close eye on the game in the coming months. (Honest.)



14

Jul


When will scientists learn not to tamper with people's minds? Hopefully never, at least in game form, because it's fertile ground for experiments run amok. This will be true once again later this year in The Long Reach, a side-scrolling horror adventure from Ukrainian developer Painted Black Games.

The Long Reach is set in the fictional American town of Baervox, where a revolutionary method of accelerated knowledge transference has been developed in the local scientific institute. What could go wrong? Well, as is often the case, just about everything. A malfunction causes patients to manifest their nightmares while awake through horrific hallucinations. If untreated in time, they inevitably go insane. As Steward, junior researcher, it will be up to you to "untangle the story, save the world and survive."


Presented entirely in pixel art (and sometimes gory pixel art at that), The Long Reach is largely a traditional adventure, with more than fifty locations to explore and twenty-odd characters to interact with, plus many items to collect and combine along the way. However, the keyboard controls and side-scolling design promise to include a little "haunting element" to keep you on your toes. The craziest of victims may attack you, and your only recourse is to run and hide to stay alive. These adrenaline-fueled moments are intended simply as complementary elements, as the main focus is on the lives and stories of the people you encounter.

With a target release for PC and consoles later this summer, you can get a little taste of what's to expect in the downloadable demo while you wait, and drop by the official website to learn more. 



12

Jul


Stonewall Penitentiary has certainly done its time. Originally announced way back in 2005, then under the title Awaken, the game was locked away for a very long time before being revisited by indie developer Chris Brendel and Unimatrix Productions. Now the game is finally nearing completion, and a demo has been released for an early glimpse of the first-person prison thriller.

Players control William Thane, a down-on-his luck middle-aged man whose luck has just gotten a whole lot worse. The last thing you remember is being at home, but upon waking you find yourself in a dank cell, stripped naked with your hands tied, feeling drugged with no clue how you got there. You quickly discover that you, "along with several others, are trapped in an abandoned prison, held captive by a sociopath obsessed with justice." If you're to escape, you must expolore Stonewall and "uncover its dark secrets" while making important choices, interacting with a variety of fully-voiced characters and solving "a multitude of challenging puzzles" along the way to one of three different endings in a ten-plus hour story.

Although part of Unimatrix's Storycentric Worlds universe, unlike Brendel's recent text-based remakes Stonewall Penitentiary blends "all the standard adventure game mechanics – exploration, player inventory, puzzle solving, and character interaction – and presents it in a unique format reminiscent of visual novels." These elements are all on display in the playable PC demo that is available now for download.

While there is no firm release date for the finished version of Stonewall Penitentiary just yet, it is currently on track for launch sometime before the end of the year for PC, iOS and Android devices. 



12

Jul


We tend to think of initiation rituals as harmless pranking fun, but the stakes are much higher for the newest recruit of The Initiate, a new horror-tinged mystery puzzler coming next month from Deceptive Games.

Players control the eponymous character, a man named Nathan Rockford who has "lost his memory and has awakened in a house full of traps and puzzles." The room is modern, though part of it is "surrounded by strange shapes and other mysterious objects." While "vague memories flash in your mind as you stand [on] the cold wooden floor," the room is quiet until a mysterious voice announces over the intercom that your mission, along with 84 others trapped elsewhere, is to use your wits to escape. If you succeed, you'll have the opportunity to join a powerful secret organization, but first you'll need to survive your trial.


The Initiate's first screenshots and trailer display some of the challenge-filled 3D environments you'll explore, but if you want a first-hand taste of what to expect, a playable demo is available for download. According to game's indie Welsh developers, this is intended to "highlight the key aspects of the game mechanics, and will give everyone an understanding of how the story will progress of this mystery puzzle adventure, without giving away too much of the main game.”

If you like what you see, there's not much time to wait for the full and final version, as The Initiate is due to launch on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux on August 1st. 



11

Jul


The studio behind last year’s mystery thriller Dead Secret has been hard at work crafting a follow-up game, titled Dead Secret Circle, which is due to arrive before the end of the year.

The sequel once again sees players take on the role of investigator Patricia Gable. Five years after solving the Woodcutter case from the previous game, she is hot on the trail of a brutal killer in 1971 Chicago. In a connection to the plot of its predecessor, Circle sees Patricia diving into her own subconscious to solve the case, as the killer preys on the citizens of Chicago even as he stalks Patricia nightly in her dreams.


As before, players are tasked with exploring their surroundings, collecting clues, and solving puzzles. However, where the last game operated in a point-and-click style, this newest entry offers players free range of movement within the three-dimensional environments. The first teaser trailer shows off the type of gameplay and atmosphere players can expect.

While no definite details about the game’s release have been made public as of yet, Dead Secret Circle is being designed for both VR and traditional platforms with a 2017 launch target in mind. The official website will provide further information in the coming months.



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