CryTek May Go Bankrupt

Poor sales of the Xbox One Exclusive, Ryse, creates financial woes for CryTek.

In depth review of the Phillips Citiscape Downtown Denims

These stylish headphones cut no corners, and offer great sound at a reasonable price.

Valve's Steam Controller

A look at why the steam controller is unique, and why it has potential.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Kickstarter Project: InSomnia

Mono Studio has recently relaunched their kickstarter campaign for their third person, grim, dieselpunk RPG, InSomnia.

After searching for 400 years for a safe haven for humanity, the colossal spaceship lands on a distant planet. The player awakes from cryogenic sleep to find the ship 'semi-abandoned', in a state of disuse, and must piece together what has happened, as well as figure out how to survive.

Atmosphere is integral to the game, with dark ambient music playing as you explore the labyrinthine ship and the planet, creating a tense and suspenseful aesthetic.

The visuals add to the grim and moody atmosphere, with interesting and unique designs for characters, enemies, and the world itself. While the raw graphical fidelity of the game isn't jaw dropping, it's more than adequate.

The combat appeared simplistic and slow from the footage shown. Corridors are littered with conveniently chest high debris that you take cover behind and shoot from. However, it is important to note that this is still very early into development, and can be improved.

InSomnia also features sandbox elements; randomly generated missions and events. This may pad out the longevity of the title, but ultimately, I'd rather have missions designed by a person rather than an algorithm. Having said that, maybe they have figured out a way to make it work.

Another nice addition is the focus on cooperative gameplay.

The narrative is said to focus on humanity's mistakes, making vague references to current day events and people. After all, why would humanity leave on an exodus if all was well?

Mono studio appears to be a new developer, so there is a risk they could be biting off more than they can chew with InSomnia. They previously launched a kickstarter campaign late last year, but had to cancel due to a lack of focus and clarity. At the time of writing they have raised around $30,000 out of their goal of $70,000, with 22 days to go.

All in all, InSomnia is rather appealing from what they've shown so far. I like the art direction, and the focus on atmosphere and narrative. I just hope they polish the combat a lot more, and make use of the RPG elements.

Kickstarter Link.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Partially Working Prototype of Project Ara Shown Off at Google I/O

Tons of news has come out of Google I/O, but details of Project Ara, the modular smartphone, had seemed to be absent. However, in a smaller session Google's ATAP group gave a quick update about the state of the project, as well as a live demo.

The project is very clearly nowhere near ready for consumer release, but despite that, things are looking promising. The live demo failed, with the device having a graphical error displaying on the screen; a section of the Android lockscreen showing behind a section of the boot screen.

While it might not seem like much, it does suggest that the underlying technology is working fairly well, and all the parts are communicating.

A video of the demo can be seen below.