Let’s talk about … – Skara, multiplayer hack ‘em up, going F2P

Skara: The Blade Remains is a multiplayer hack ‘em up currently in Early Access on Steam. Released back in October 2014, the title was received to ‘Mixed’ reviews, and is now preparing to move to a completely F2P model.

skara_screeny_1

Sales of Early Access on Steam will close by September 30th, moving Skara to a new, invite-only model until early 2016 when it moves completely to a F2P model. 8-Bit, the studio behind the title, have assured players that have bought into Early Access that they will continue to be able to play the game. This also extends to people who supported the game on Kickstarter and Greenlight.

“Of course, anyone who already owns Skara will get to keep playing it!” commented Pablo Rodriguez, Skara’s Creative Director. “We wanted to make sure ‘limited edition’ actually means something: Exclusive access to the game’s development while we finish testing, the rewards we detailed in the packages, and eventually their money back in virtual currency upon the game’s full F2P release.”

skara_screeny_2

8-Bit keep pushing with content updates as it nears it’s new, free model, and have this week released a new build featuring a tutorial, new combat features, refined UI and a player ranking system. A list of full features in the 0.5.4 version is as follows:

  • A new playable tutorial (including a new environment: The Khilma dungeons).
  • Power up items in the arenas (specifically health power ups and damage buffs).
  • Try all three characters without leveling up! This is something a lot of our users requested and we were very happy to change.
  • Class skills are now attached to different buttons (Q&E on the keyboard, X and Y on Xbox controller)
  • The Melee combat is faster now, the Hit stun is reduced. Also the free target mode has been modified to allow characters to dodge without losing focus on the target.
  • Rankings! Who will be the best? Find it in the War Log in the UI.
  • We also changed the Duel Game conditions to make it feel more like a Versus fighting game.
  • We’ve worked on the animations for all characters to make them more realistic and more spectacular. Characters should blend to sprint mode now and a lot of other features: Check them out!
  • New in-game HUD: Now you can check your enemy’s shield meter as well as the skills they’ve equipped. There’s also a new effort meter when sprinting.
  • Bug and crash fixing to make the game more stable. Please as usual send us feedback if something isn’t working by either writing in the forums, sending us an email, or filling out a bug report.

skara_screeny_3

If you’re interested in playing Skara you can sign up for an invite to the new build here. Either that, or wait until it releases as F2P early next year! If you just can’t wait, the Early Access build of Skara is still available on Steam.

Here’s the trailer for the latest version!

Let’s talk about … – Dirty Bomb enters open beta June 2nd

If you’ve not heard of Dirty Bomb yet let me introduce you. Dirty Bomb is a free-to-play team-based shooter from Splash Damage, the team that brought us the likes of Brink and more recently Batman: Arkham Origins. It’s been in closed beta for a while, and starting June 2nd it transitions to open beta so everyone can now get in on the action.

DBScreenshot-Bridge_01

The action-packed objective-based FPS sees you controlling a mercenary, fighting in a whole range of battles in the post-apocalyptic city of London. With the moto “What’s a little radiation sickness when there’s money to be made?” the player fights through a variety of environments to complete objectives and gain experience and credits. These credits can be used to purchase “Cases” containing a random class load out with the potential reward rarity ranging from lead to gold.

Combat is fast is relentless; if you turn it down a notch you’ll have your ass handed to you before you know what’s hit you. With the focus on team objectives, you can’t hold off. You’re either on the front lines, fighting toe-to-toe with your team and the enemy, or you’re going to lose. Simple as that. We’ve had lots of fun with the title so far, and are pretty confident you will too if you’re a fan of the genre.

ss_90e291af938f16bd051bbd5d1134379836b16207.1920x1080

Although still in Beta the polish of Dirt Bomb is awesome. When you first load the game there is a very well presented, and funny, introduction to game, followed by an optional tutorial. Once complete, or skipped, you’re ready to jump into the multiple game-modes and maps that are included in the beta. If you’re a fan of shooters, especially objective based ones, Dirty Bomb should be at the top of your ‘To Play’ list. When the game launches into full open beta next week we’ll be back with a full review, but for now we’ll leave you with a video the takes a close look at the title. Make sure to check the Steam page from June 2nd to get in on the open beta.