Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
I Saw the Black Clouds launching this month
Back in late January, I wrote in a catch-up about I Saw the Black Clouds. The interactive psychological thriller is the first video game by Ghost Dog Films, who has only released films to date. Honestly, interactive FMV games verge on being films anyway, so the jump makes sense as it still utilises the same medium. It’s been announced that the title will be released this month, on March 30. It will initially launch for PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions can be played on current-gen consoles via backwards compatibility, but dedicated versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox Series will be released at a later date. Here’s the reveal trailer from January:
The story is one I’ve become very familiar with, at least to start with. A woman (Kristina, played by Nicole O’Neill) returns to her hometown after a friend’s death, seeking answers about what happened. This unleashes a flurry of dark secrets. There’s suspense. There’s ghostly beings. And most importantly: there are choices to be made.
There are branching storylines, dependent on the player’s choices and connection with other characters. Sometimes, a decision will only change one scene. Other times, the entire path of the story could veer off to something entirely new. In addition to decisions, there are two other factors tracked: relationship status and personality trait. Relationship status is pretty obvious, specific to each person, while personality traits (honesty, strength, morality, tact and introspection) depend on broader decisions.
We finally know more about Fantasian
Hironobu Sakaguchi is, in my opinion, a genius. If you don’t know his name, I’ll bet you know of his creation: Fighting Fantasy, renamed to Final Fantasy. His next game, a JRPG named Fantasian, is being released for Apple Arcade sometime this year. His influence (and the resemblance to Final Fantasy) is all over it, from the characters’ appearance to the battles against monsters. It’s developed by Sakaguchi’s company, Mistwalker, that has made titles including Lost Odyssey, The Last Story, and Blue Dragon. It’s not the first time one of the developer’s game has come to a mobile platform, and hopefully not the last. Take a look at the story trailer:
In a multi-dimensional universe, the realm is governed by machines. Balancing chaos and order is key. Our hero, Leo, wakes following an explosion only to realise he doesn’t know where he is and that he only has a single memory left. He will set out to reclaim his memories, which also leads to discovering the mysterious of the machines. The Memory system has players collecting memories (journal entires, notes, etc.) that are presented as miniature in-game novels. The story is by Sakaguchi himself, and he again collaborates with composer Nobuo Uematsu for music that suits the narrative perfectly.
The setting is quite fantastical – or should I say settings? The game’s backdrop is actually over 150 handmade miniature dioramas. Like, literally made by peoples’ hands into a physical object. It feels like you’re shrunk down to fit into a place that would fill an average shoebox, which is kind of impressive when you think about it. There’s an odd sense of scale that I find quite aesthetically pleasing. As for gameplay in Fantasian, we also know quite a bit. There is a recently-released features trailer released on YouTube that shows off some of the game’s mechanics. Battles are turn-based. Random battles can be played on the spot or prevented by putting the monsters into another dimension, where multiple can be battled at once.
Black Legend’s release date announced
I’ve been keeping one eye on Black Legend for awhile now. I’m not going to lie, I started paying attention because there is an Alchemist named Mephisto and I want to see if he resembles the Marvel character of the same name, although magician versus demon doesn’t sound like there will be many familiarities. Anyway, I stayed interested because the game is dark and kind of Fable-esque in vibe, with turn-based strategic battles. Take a look at the new trailer:
It’s the 17th century, in the fictional city of Grant. A group of mercenaries help a resistance against a cult of fanatics. The fog that blankets the city is creating madness; the aforementioned Mephisto has created said fog. The setting and beasts are heavily influenced by 17th century Northwestern Europe and its regional folklore. Aside from the main story, there are side quests to complete, treasures to find, and characters to join your party. There are 15 playable classes, which can mastered and combined with other class abilities. The battles use an alchemy system based on the concept of Humorism, an ancient system of medicine that lost popularity come the 19th century. (Random sidenote, Humourism is a big factor in the hilarious Astrologaster, available now on mobile devices and Nintendo Switch. I was playing it yesterday. Odd timing.) One of the best features of the game is the difficulty option, varying from gentle to greatly punishing.
Black Legend will be released on March 25 for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series, and Xbox One.
A remake of The Light is on the horizon
I don’t know how I missed The Light when it first launched eight years ago. It’s right up my alley: first-person exploration and puzzle-solving in a creepy old place while scary things happen all around you. Luckily developer Sergey Noskov remade the game, releasing it on Steam last year as The Light Remake. The title is now coming to consoles thanks to publisher Sometimes You, with the updated title of In Rays of the Light. Here’s a trailer:
You’re alone in the abandoned remains of what was once there. The world is empty, yes, but also quite beautiful. The developer describes it as a “first-person meditative quest,” and a “metaphorical philosophical story revealed in the study of details and surroundings.” Basically, it’s contemplative and cerebral rather than trigger-happy. Study messages and solve logic puzzles while finding truth in your surroundings.
In Rays of the Light will be released on March 17 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. As I mentioned, it is currently available for PC via Steam as “The Light Remake.”