Lauded Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for his work on movies such as Birdman and The Revenant, last year nabbed a "special" Oscar award for his VR exhibition Carne y Arena. The virtual reality project, dubbed Flesh and Sand in English, takes viewers into a world where they can experience what it's like to be an immigrant trying to cross a border. As much as visuals were important to tell this story, one of Iñárritu's focus was to also to create the most immersive sounds -- which can be complicated when going from traditional film to a completely new medium like VR.
A year ago, Nintendo followed the launch of the Switch with a bold proclamation: The console would get a new indie game every week. This signaled a new era and approach to welcome third-party games, which previous Nintendo systems had failed to court well. Today, it seems like indie titles are lining up to jump on the Switch -- and the company announced a dozen new and remastered games will be headed to the console this year.
Now that Android's ARCore platform is a practical reality, augmented reality apps are coming out of the woodwork. Google has announced that over 60 ARCore-capable apps are launching on the Play Store this week, many of them games arriving in sync with the Game Developers Conference. Some have them have already arrived, including virtual pet game My Tamagotchi Forever launched on March 15th. It's also using the timing to highlight practical apps like Pottery Barn's 3D Room View and eBay's Which Box (which tells you how large a box you need to ship an item). One of the new apps even comes from Google itself -- it's launching an experiment.
A Way Out from Hazelight games is a dinosaur of a game and I mean that as a compliment. Set in the 1970s, A Way Out follows a pair of convicts -- Vincent, who is serving time for embezzlement and Leo, a hardened jewel thief -- as they escape from a fictional California prison, go on the lamb and attempt to rebuild their lives. But the disco era isn't the game's only throwback, the gameplay itself demands a decidedly old-school method of play: in-person co-op.
Normally, a race requires a finish line. In a game like Forza Motorsport or Need for Speed, you're tasked with hurtling between two points or completing a certain number of laps before your opponents. Not so with Onrush, the next title by racing specialist Codemasters. Instead, you're fighting for points in a range of bombastic modes centered around a chaotic swarm of drivers. Outrageous crashes occur every second alongside ridiculous speed boosts and a death-defying medley of jumps, flips and barrel rolls. It's like the peloton in cycling's brutal Tour de France mixed with Mad Max and a monster truck rally.
First-person shooter games are dime a dozen, but every now and then there's one that stands out from the pack. That's exactly the case with Gunhead, an open world title from Alientrap, the same indie developer that brought you the gorgeous 2D platformer Apotheon. The game, which quietly debuted at SXSW 2018 last week and is here at GDC 2018, features visuals reminiscent of films like A Scanner Darkly, the animated sci-fi thriller from 2006. Gunhead's artwork feels cartoonish, yet polished, with dark, vibrant colors that pop as you travel between spaceships in your role as a pirate mech with a gun for a head.