The Austin Chronicle

Two Local Video Games Announced

By James Renovitch, June 10, 2014, 8:00am, Picture in Picture

Two rookie studios with veteran talent made announcements about upcoming debut games recently. BattleCry Studios and Crytek USA both released trailers (a popular move to build buzz as the E3 noise blocks out all other sound). Hope you're ready for blood.

When you name a game after your studio, better hope it turns out well. BattleCry from BattleCry Studios touts 32-player battles in their free-to-play online game set for public beta in early 2015. It will be showing at E3 if you're in the neighborhood. The trailer is embedded below if you want a better look.

The studio is led by Rich Vogel who left BioWare's Austin office back in 2012 soon after an announcement that its flagship title, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, lost 400,000 subscribers and was turning to a free-to-play business model. Vogel described this new game as capturing “visceral combat” which explains the much ballyhooed lack of gunpowder (too impersonal maybe?) and a focus on oversized metal fists and swords larger than most people. The trailer’s copious blood spatter nails the point home. It's like Game of Thrones meets professional wrestling. Bloody with a side of balletic battle.

Viktor Antonov was named as BattleCry's designer. He’s coming off the successful release of Dishonored, so we have high hopes for his leadership. The steampunk infused battle gear resembles Antonov's previous work with Dishonored's studio, Arkane.

Crytek USA is the only American studio in the Crytek family and last week released a teaser trailer for HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age. They will also be at E3 in the hopes their debut title gets attention. The trailer (also below) doesn’t show any gameplay but hints to four-player co-op monster slaying. Press materials say the game is set in the late 1800s but The Age of Innocence this is not. Judging by the teaser trailer, the game is less Edith Wharton and more Van Helsing with battles against all manner of beasts from myth and folklore. With four players battling the undead it's hard to evade comparisons to Left 4 Dead despite the perspective change (HUNT has a third-person control scheme) and temporal reassignment. Then again, why would you want to shake such comparisons? The game is set for closed beta later this year.

You might recognize some names from the Crytek USA team since they hired a large portion of former Austin studio Vigil after they shut their doors. That's assuming you commit the names in video game credits to memory. Is that just us?

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