>Adr1ft: A Deeply Personal Game About Being Stranded in Deep Space
In a way, you could say >Adr1ft is a disaster game borne from a real life disaster — albeit a personal one.
Before last April, you probably didn’t know the name Adam Orth, then a Microsoft Studios creative director. One Tweet later and Orth became a household name and, thanks to one tasteless hashtag — the now immortal #dealwithit — unwittingly assumed the role of the internet’s pincushion; supplying a face to the contemptible “Always-Online” debate.
The effects on Adam’s professional life were devastating, forcing him to resign from his position at Microsoft. More scathing were the repercussions on his personal life, as well, with some vitriol escalating to as high as death threats made against him and his family. Adam receded from the hate wave of the internet, and seemingly from the world too.
Now, Orth is trying to come to terms with his self-inflicted turmoil through creative expression. >Adr1ft is his way of dealing with it.
The game is being developed by Three One Zero, a Southern Cali studio started by Orth and a handful of trusted colleagues. While the team members were forged in the fires of big budget, AAA development, they wish to distance themselves far, far away from the games they used to create — multi-million dollar shooting galleries the likes of Medal of Honor and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
>Adr1ft demonstrates this wish almost immediately. You control an astronaut that awakens to a damaged and deserted space station. Your crew is missing, likely dead. You haven’t the faintest idea what the hell has happened. You’re alone and your oxygen is depleting.
A core gameplay conceit is finding more breathable air. The lower your current tank is, the more labored and panicky your breathing is. Your vision may even begin blur without enough air. Anxiety settles in not just for your character, but the player.
The game is set in the first-person perspective but bares no resemblance to the first-person shooters dominating the market. There’s nothing to kill and nothing is chasing you. Your biggest enemy is the environment. And, for being the bad guy, it’s rather beautiful. Serene even.
The game is equal parts tension and relaxation. Orth likes to describe it as a mixed salad featuring the exploration of Journey, the immersion of Half-Life, and the caught-in-space disaster scenario found in Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. It’s a gorgeous, ambitious project steeped in intimacy — namely, the alienation Orth has been unable to exorcise from his life since last April.
The game, while massively impressive at this stage, is still in prototyping. Three One Zero is looking for a backer, but given the response to its demo at Vegas’ DICE Summit (bolstered by the use of the Oculus Rift to immerse participants), it shouldn’t be long before a publisher takes the bait. >Adr1ft will probably be seeing a PC release first, but Orth has expressed interest in seeing the game grace next-gen consoles.
Bright and shiny terminals on the Normandy
New Godzilla Photos and Viral Videos Emerge, Featuring Bryan Cranston
Just in time for the holidays, Legendary Pictures have unleashed a handful of tantalizing new stills and short clips to the public, hoping to whet the appetites of kaiju fans the world over.
The newest photos showcase both Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson suited up for some kind of impending doom. Additional photos reveal brief glimpses of the titular monster himself, though the images themselves are rather dark, leaving some of the much-desired details difficult to make out. What we can interpret, however, is Godzilla’s considerable size, and that, for now, will have to be enough.
The viral clips, on the other hand, lend credence to the idea that this film is much more than just some summer monster flick. Dubbed MUTO VIDEO's, these clips allow fans to dip their toes into the film's universe, catching brief glimpses of isolated events in the movie that both tease and delight.
Personally, I always enjoy a good bout of viral marketing, especially if it allows me to peek at the upcoming movie like a child who found out where her mom hides the Channukah presents. Take a look at the brief videos here, and cross your fingers that we’ll receive some more before 2013 draws to an end.
Oh! And keep your eyes peeled on December 10th, when Legendary Pictures releases the newest full-length trailer for the film. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to see it on the big screen, the trailer will attached to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which hits theaters this weekend.
The Night of the Doctor Takes Fans Back in Time
The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who is almost upon us and, as the 23rd of November draws near, fans are chomping at the bit for any information regarding The Day of the Doctor, which sees David Tennant and Matt Smith teaming up to defend all of time and space from Zygons and Daleks alike.
Enter: The Night of the Doctor. Steven Moffat, lead writer for the series, penned a short segment that acts as a prelude for the upcoming special. The minisode features two very special guests, including the return of the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, and the resurgence of John Hurt as The War Doctor. McGann’s appearance acts as a monumental bridge between the Big Finish stories and the current series, making it officially apart of canon. What does this have to do with the upcoming special, you may ask? Well, no one knows just yet.
What I can tell you, however, is that McGann’s performance is utterly stunning, and a harrowing return to the morals of a Doctor at the edge of war. After his failed attempt to rescue the reluctant pilot of a crashing ship, Eight comes face to face with the Sisterhood of Karn, and we see him willingly regenerate into his ninth incarnation for a human who resented his mere existence. This is a Doctor that I would love to see more of, but it seems that his appearance in this prelude marks the tragic end of his saga, much to our collective dismay.
For as little as we learned about the upcoming feature, this minisode gave us a telling glimpse into the dangerous waters that Ten and Eleven will explore in the anniversary special. We’ll just have to wait with as much patience as we can muster until the mystery reveals itself to us at the end of the month. And as for what roles our heroes will play in the unfolding fate of a universe on the brink of destruction? Only time will tell.
Sega’s Next Alien Game to Star Ripley’s Daughter?
We’ve been aware of an Alien project being kicked around Creative Assembly’s offices for a decent while now.
The Sega owned studio is most renown for its long-standing RTS franchise Total War, but they have, on occasion, stepped outside their genre comfort zone on certain titles. If Kotaku’s report checks out, they’re leaping way outside of that zone. Enter the very recently trademarked Alien: Isolation, a first-person horror title for both current and next-gen that’s massively informed by games the likes of Bioshock and Dishonored.
Creative Assembly’s take on the mythos draws inspiration from Ridley Scott’s original Alien, placing a greater emphasis on stealth over direct combat. In fact, one studio insider says, besides a multitude of “clones and soldiers” to tackle, the majority of the game has you tangling with a single xenomorph.
Isolation is said to isolate your ass aboard a space station and, interestingly, has you assume the role of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley — the heroine at the forefront of every Alien film that doesn’t include a Predator or a Fassbender. Before you call shenanigans, yes, Amanda is a canonical character; though she’s only briefly mentioned in a scene found in the extended version of Aliens (the company file didn’t list off run-in’s with galactic space monsters, however)… Okay, fine, I’ll nerd out all over you: That means Isolation is set in the fifty-seven years between the events of Alien and Aliens, with Ellen Ripley still drifting through space in cryo-sleep.
Apparently, Isolation was intended for a public unveiling at E3, but Sega wished to give the team an extension for quality assurance. As in, they want to be assured the quality of the game is nowhere as cavernously low as Aliens: Colonial Marines (aka The Most Disappointed I’ve Ever Been in My Adult Life).
Aliens is my favorite film of all time. Video games is my favorite hobby. Why the two can’t get along is anyone’s guess. I’m loving CA’s direction for the game. Sprinkle on all the atmosphere you want, but mowing down a hundred aliens doesn’t quite land near “horror.” Yet… Colonial Marines left acid burns on my expectations. I want to love you, Isolation. I do. For now, let’s just keep it all business.