GameTech: Back to the future as cult gaming hero Agent York returns

GameTech: Back to the future as cult gaming hero Agent York returns
Agent York receives guidance in upcoming Nintendo Switch game Deadly Premonition 2.

Wait, wait! It’s coming to us now, in a vision. In your future, we see a strange man. He is … a detective. He has a deep love of cinematic history and modern culture. When he forgets to shave or wash, flies accumulate around his head. He talks to a disembodied voice that may be a symptom of his Disassociative Identity Disorder.

No, don’t leave! Really, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise isn’t as weird as that premonition sounds — it’s much, much weirder.

The detective in question is Francis York Morgan, and he returns to our screens on July 10, only on Nintendo Switch.

His original outing is considered the greatest cult game of all time, an extremely strange but entertaining Twin Peaks riff, in which most of the enjoyment comes from listening to York’s internal monologues, and getting to know the town’s quirky characters.

Deadly Premonition was written off by the vast majority of reviewers and gamers upon initial release. The gameplay and production values seemed unacceptably bad. Early dialogue scenes were stiff, animations even stiffer, and the terrible combat and enemies made the experience seem painful. A few hours into the game, however, it becomes clear that the ‘jank’ was all part of the charm, a design choice by the developer to create a weird, hilarious and often unsettling story.

Such is the cult status of Agent York that, ten years later, a sequel is releasing on Nintendo Switch. Set a decade before the original, it will take place across two timeless, with York exploring the New Orleans town of Le Carre, and his FBI counterparts Davis and Jones reopening a connected case in the future.

We’ve seen 17 minutes of gameplay and the good news is that A Blessing in Disguise looks just as ‘bad’ as the first game. York still talks to his imaginary friend Zach, discussing every move with him. The town’s inhabitants are weird and overly eccentric. The framerate when exploring Le Carre drops to near unacceptable levels — a crime in most games, but confirmation of the charm in Deadly Premonition.

Now, the only thing left to do is to finish our prediction. We can’t say for sure that Deadly Premonition 2 will be good — but it’s definitely in our future.

Can Hyper Scape match the hype?

Another easy prediction to make is that Battle Royale games aren’t going anywhere.

Not only is Fortnite still ruling the world, but most major publishers are pushing their own version of the genre too. Call of Duty: Warzone is one of the more interesting competitors, especially after the latest update, which allows for a whopping 200 players to compete at the same time. This is double the standard 100 players for Battle Royale and makes Warzone a strong alternative to the more cartoonish Fortnite.

However, if your preference is for something more stylish, strong rumours indicate that Ubisoft is about to announce a brand new free-to-play Battle Royale, called Hyper Scape. Set in a future where people can jump between dimensions, Hyper Scape is said to be a fast-paced version of the genre, with ‘deep integration’ to Twitch that goes beyond what we’ve come to expect of games to date.

The Twitch focus is especially clever, if it proves to be true, as most big online games need key influencers for support and momentum. We’ll have to wait and see if Hyper Scape can match the hype in its name.

Square Enix’s new titles

Finally, although we can’t predict the future, we have a strong feeling that Square Enix will announce several new games this month and next. Our source? Well, an interview done in Japan.

“We would normally announce new games at E3,” Square said in the interview. “

We had planned to do press conferences as a replacement event, but we weren’t able to do so as the press assets weren’t complete. So we will announce titles individually as the timing permits.

Several will debut around July to August.” One game we know is coming is Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, a rhythm-action spin-off of the main series, after the logo was leaked to the public. Our dream announcement would be a full remake of Chrono Trigger, but as that’s a game about time travel, it’s probably already happened.

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