Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, out today on Xbox One, is what developer Press Play is referring to as a “Cinematic Puzzle Platformer,” meaning that it is a puzzle game first and foremost, with platforming, exploration and a focus on storytelling. In this title, Max, equipped only with a powerful Magic Marker and his wits, attempts to make it across a hostile fantasy world in order to rescue his kidnapped brother.
Earlier this week, I spoke with Press Play Studio Director Mikkel Thorsted about what to expect when you play.
Jeff Rubenstein, Xbox: Xbox gamers might not be familiar with your previous title, Max and the Magic Marker. How is it related to and how is it different from Max: The Curse of Brotherhood?
Mikkel Thorsted, Press Play: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a re-imagining of the original idea behind the previous title, rather than an actual sequel. Basically, we wanted another go at it, only much, much more ambitious. When we made the last game, we were fewer people, less skilled, and did not have access to the kind of budget we do now. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is by far the biggest game we’ve made to date and we are very proud of the final result. The new game is bigger in every way – more story, more puzzles, more powers, and more worlds.
Xbox: What new elements does Max bring to the platforming genre?
Press Play: There are a lot of puzzle platformers out there these days, so it is hard to stand out as totally unique. But we believe our Magic Marker is rather special – we have spent a lot of time and effort on making it feel and play really well with a controller, and I like to think that shows. On top of that, our ambition was to make a “proper” world in our game, so there is a lot of depth to our world compared to a lot of other 2.5 platformers. You are never going to see platforms floating in mid-air or the world being presented in cut-sections. If something is in the world, it is there in a way that makes sense.
Xbox: What types of abilities does Max’s marker present to players?
Press Play: Throughout the game, Max and the Marker unlock new ways to interact with the environment. Scattered around the world are glowing nodes – basically tears in the fabric of reality where Max is able to tap into the raw magic of the world – and depending on the kind of node, Max can create trees to climb, pillars of earth to lift giant boulders, make geysers of water shoot him dozens of feet into the air or fire great balls of fire at his enemies – just to name a few examples.
Xbox: Talk about your approach to gameplay prompts – Kotaku praised the fact that the game lets you figure it out instead of hand-holding. Was that a conscious decision?
Press Play: Very much a conscious decision, and we’re extremely pleased at the way people react to it. There seems to be a trend in many games at the moment where the level of handholding goes to absolutely absurd levels, and we really wanted to avoid that. As far as we’re concerned, that level of handholding is not respecting your players, that’s demeaning them. We want to appeal to players that don’t need to be told how to jump, and who can derive a level of satisfaction from figuring things out on their own simply through intuition and (hopefully) clever level design. As far as we’re concerned, that aspect of discovery simply heightens immersion to the benefit of all.
Xbox: What does working on the Xbox One allow Press Play to accomplish?
Press Play: Well, it’s a whole other ballgame in terms of sheer power, obviously. We can lather on the polygons, shaders and advanced lighting and not have the machine die on us. But perhaps more importantly, it is a lot closer to a regular PC in terms of game development, which means more time spent on making games and less on figuring out the arcane rituals needed to make it do what you want.
Celebrate the Countdown to 2014 with of deals on games, add-ons, avatars and more from the Xbox Game Store. Sign in to the Xbox LIVE or stop back here every day to see what new deals we have for you – but remember these special discounts won’t last more than a day. There will be a new deal every day between now and 2014. To kick things off, we’ve got the following Borderlands 2 content on sale starting tomorrow ONLY.
Click the links below to see local pricing and add items to your Xbox 360 download queue:
where I’ll be posting the latest deal for each day so you won’t miss a thing.In addition to the daily deals,
we’ve also got the following special offers that will also go on sale andbe available at the below discount until December 23, 2013.
You may have already sailed the Jackdaw over every inch of the Caribbean, but that doesn’t mean you’ve seen everything that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has to offer. AC IV’s first story-based DLC hits next week, so we invited Ubisoft Community Developer Gabe Graziani over to tell us what to expect.
Your adventures in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag continue in our newest downloadable episode Freedom Cry! Playing as Edward’s first mate, Adéwalé, fifteen years after the events of Black Flag, you’ll journey beyond the original story and discover what the future holds for this brutal Assassin.
It’s been decades since Adéwalé earned his freedom from slavery through raw violence, but his hopes of escaping the foul business of human trafficking are dashed when he finds himself embroiled in conflict. Faced with a situation in Port Au Prince, Haiti that he can neither abide nor ignore, Adéwalé must confront his past and fight to liberate the slaves confined there and in Saint-Domingue, Jamaica and Cuba.
Driven by righteous rage, Adéwalé rates among the most brutal Assassins ever. With the strength of Connor and the finesse of Ezio, Adéwalé uses a ruthless set of weapons, including an iconic machete, a booming blunderbuss, a veritable hand cannon, and a prescient of modern shotguns that can deliver a lethal blast in a broad cone capable of neutralizing multiple enemies.
Brand new mechanics govern Adéwalé’s system of upgrades and equipment, rewarding you for freeing slaves throughout the West Indies and surrounding open ocean. Not only will you gain access to more lethal weapons and tools, but also new upgrades for Adéwalé’s ship: the Experto Crede! Hunt down and destroy ships escorting massive slave galleons to rescue hundreds of slaves and paralyze the slave economy.
They will rise up and for years to come, the world will remember the cry for freedom!
Best begin soon, there is much to do Assassins!
Freedom Cry is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 on December 17th.
We’ve got so a lot of stuff on sale for the US Thanksgiving Holiday so we thought we’d start today. We’ll also have more deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday that you’ll see further down this post. Since Xbox Live has moved to local currency for Xbox Live Game store purchases, I’ve just included the percent off for each offer. Check your local version of Xbox.com or your Dashboard for pricing in local currency. More on Xbox.com.
Immerse yourself in the chaos of all-out war. This weekend, Battlefield 4 multiplayer is open to everyone (Xbox Live Gold & Silver members) on Xbox 360. Test your skills this Saturday, Nov 16th beginning at 3PM PST by playing against DICE LA, creators of the upcoming Battlefield 4 Second Assault, available first on Xbox One.
Ready to get started? Here is how to play:
1. Send a friend request or invite to the listed gamertags.
2. Be ready to play at least 30 minutes before the event starts. Don’t forget your headset, so you can ask those burning questions about the game.
3. If you receive a game invite, get ready to Game with Developers!
Please join me in welcoming Jeff Rubenstein to my team. Jeff has been in the industry for a quite some time, but many of you may know him from the great work he did while at Sony. While you’ll see Jeff at various community events, and posting occasionally here on my blog, he’s also working on additional community driven programs that we’re not ready to announce yet. In the meantime, I asked Jeff to write a short blurb to (re?) introduce himself to the Xbox Community so he can jump right in and get started:
I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the Xbox team at such an exciting time for the industry. During the interview process, I was taken with how passionate and positive everyone is about gaming, and in how highly they value customer opinion. Especially important to my decision to join the team is the way Microsoft has demonstrated a willingness to listen to the community – and act on what it hears – quite clearly as of late.
I’m also hoping they’ll let me play Titanfall.
Little known fact: I’ve actually known Larry since he helped me on a story I wrote for the Orlando Sentinel back in 2007. We’ve stayed in contact ever since, and his vision on using social media to interact with gamers has been a key influence on my career. Joining Major Nelson’s team is an awesome opportunity, and I look forward to working closely with you all. See you soon!
Content:Battlefield 4 Beta Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region Dash Text: The Beta features all-out war in the multiplayer map Siege of Shanghai. Battlefield 4 is the genre-defining action blockbuster made of moments that blur the line between game and glory. Fueled by the next-generation power and fidelity of Frostbite™ 3, Battlefield 4 provides a visceral, dramatic experience unlike any other. Only in Battlefield will you blow the foundations of a dam or reduce an entire skyscraper to rubble. Only in Battlefield will you lead a naval assault from the back of a gun boat. Battlefield grants you the freedom to do more and be more while playing to your strengths and carving your own path to victory. This is an online only multiplayer Beta. Please note that the Beta is still undergoing testing before its official release and does not reflect the quality of the final product.