Paradox Interactive is becoming quite the powerhouse publisher. Numerous, high-quality indie developers have turned to Paradox to help get their games out on platforms like Steam and PSN. Recently, I went hands on with two of these titles, Hollowpoint and Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part 1.
Hollowpoint is a 2.5D shooter. It blends 2D side-scrolling action with 3D targeting into the depths of the scene. You play as guns for hire across procedurally-generated levels that can be played solo, or with up to four players in co-op.
I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time acclimating to this style of gameplay. The control scheme was intuitive enough (Left Mouse Button to shoot, Right Mouse Button to aim into the scene, and S to duck behind cover), but it did take some time for me to get used to this type of shooter. It’s rare to see this type of game on PC and PS4. The controls were slick and I had no problem aiming and shooting getting used to them.
Developer Ruffian Games has designed Hollowpoint to be extremely replayable. In addition to procedurally-generated levels and dynamic contracts and objectives, Hollowpoint features one of the deepest upgrade systems seen since Battlefield 4. There are tons of different weapons, gadgets and equipment to unlock, enough to keep you busy for a long time.
If there is one downside to Hollowpoint, it’s the visuals. The game doesn’t look bad by any means, but it does use a generic color pallet and settings. All the levels I played in looked like industrial warehouses and army bases, which could hamper the replaybility. Of course, this was a short demo so there could be more types of levels in the final game.
Hollowpoint looks to be good fun with a ton of replayability. I just hope that there are more diverse settings in the full game. Hollowpoint will launch on PC via Steam and PS4 via PSN.
Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part 1 is the first expansion pack for Obsidian Entertainment’s beloved RPG. Like a good expansion pack, The White March adds a ton of new content for players to enjoy. The icing on the cake is the new snow-covered world, inspired by Icewind Dale, to explore. There’s going to be new monster-infested dungeons to explore, fortresses to raid and plenty of loot to collect.
Obsidian Entertainment has listened to their fans when designing features for The White March. Players will now have the ability to set their Party AI. This will allow you to focus on controlling the characters you like to play as, and not have to worry about the AI doing something dumb. Obsidian has also introduced a new type of weapon: Soulbound. These mighty weapons grow stronger over time and gain different powers and attributes for each class that use them.
The White March – Part 1 does include many of the upgrades one would expect from expansion pack. The level cap has been increased from level 12 to level 14, and each class gets new spells, abilities, and talents. Two new companions have been added to the game, and can be used throughout all your adventures. Multi-class talents have been added to the game, allowing classes to take on some abilities of the other classes.
Don’t expect many graphical improvements as this is just an expansion pack. The White March’s visuals look just like those of the original game. Still, the snow-covered world looks distinct and contrasts nicely with the world of the base game.
Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part 1 is out sometime in 2015 on PC, Mac, and Linux. We asked the developers if they would consider bringing the game to PS4 and Xbox One, but that idea was vehemently shot down. Obsidian Entertainment built this game specifically for the PC fans, so don’t expect otherwise any time soon.