Last fall I was introduced to Outland, a side-scrolling PSN action game that casts you as an urban nobody turned spiritual warrior. The dreamlike visuals, acrobatic platforming and sharp swordplay showed plenty of promise. Since then, developer Housemarque (creators of Dead Nation and Super Stardust HD) has fleshed out the game with a more fluid feel and gameplay depth that will make fans of the classic 2D side-scroller Castlevania: Symphony of the Night beam with delight.
A gorgeous introductory cinematic introduces you to the protagonist’s plight. As a nameless, faceless modern-day city dweller, you’re haunted by visions of a vast wheel endlessly turning. Maddened by the hallucinations, you seek out a shaman who guides you on a path of spiritual awakening and an uncomfortable truth: You’ve been chosen to fight in a timeless, cyclical battle with a pair of god-like Sisters who created the world and now seek to destroy it. Lucky you!
“They call me the creative director, but most of the time I just surf the internet and watch Kevin Butler videos.” Eitan Glinert is a lively character with a quick tongue and a big smile, and the self-proclaimed “Fire Chief” of Cambridge-based developer Fire Hose Games. As we speak, Glinert’s team is days from releasing its first game, the PlayStation Network exclusive building-and-brawling party game Slam Bolt Scrappers, available now on the PlayStation Store. The excitement level is high – three celebratory stuffed pizzas are on the way.
In speaking with Glinert, we quickly learn that Slam Bolt Scrappers’ chaotic building-and-brawling gameplay didn’t develop in a vacuum. And, for that matter, neither did Glinert. He was the first graduate student of MIT’s GAMBIT Game Lab, where he researched video game user interfaces and ways to make games as accessible to as many people as possible.