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    [Critique] The Old Guard : Charlize Théron déterre la hache de guerre sur Netflix

    news.movim.eu / JournalDuGeek · 2 days ago - 06:30 · 4 minutes

Comme le dit le dicton : « On n’est jamais mieux servi que par soi-même ». Netflix l’a très bien compris et diversifie toujours davantage ses productions pour plaire au plus grand nombre. Et si la plate-forme n’est jamais avare quand il s’agit de faire parler la poudre – on peut citer par exemple 6 Underground ou le récent Balle Perdue -, il lui manquait encore l’installation d’une franchise d’action capable de concurrencer John Wick et ses copains du grand écran. Telle est l’ambition de The Old Guard, long-métrage inspiré des comics de Greg Rucka dont il signe lui-même le scénario. En figure de proue, Charlize Theron continue de se construire une sérieuse carrière de casseuse de mâchoires après avoir fait ses preuves dans Aeon Flux, Mad Max : Fury Road ou encore Atomic Blonde .

Elle y incarne Andromaque la Scythe, alias Andy, chef d’une bande de guerriers mercenaires luttant pour la justice à travers le monde… et les âges grâce à leur particularité : leur immortalité. On y retrouve Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), le « petit jeune » mort pour la première fois lors des Guerres Napoléoniennes, et Joe et Nicky (Marwan Kenzari et Luca Marinelli) adversaires lors des croisades avant de devenir amants. Leur vie clandestine va être mise en danger lorsqu’une entreprise pharmaceutique cherche à les transformer en cobayes et que Nile (Kiki Layne), une marine américaine se découvre dotée du même don.

Histoire d’arracher tout de suite le pansement, on peut dire que Netflix a mis la charrue avant les bœufs en ne cachant pas ses ambitions de licence pour The Old Guard. Dans le traitement de ses personnages jusqu’à sa dernière scène, le film ne cesse de préparer le terrain pour une suite. Dès lors, il perd son temps (une durée de 2h, ce n’est pas rien) à nous installer des éléments purement utilitaires pour un intérêt futur, choisissant ainsi de sacrifier la narration de cet « épisode ». À titre d’exemple, on peut citer ce pauvre Chiwetel Ejiofor, mono-expressif au demeurant, dont chaque scène crie « attends la suite ». De même, Joe et Nicky bénéficient d’une attention très limitée de la part d’un scénario qui préfère se les réserver pour plus tard.

Une faute pardonnable si l’ensemble donnait effectivement l’envie d’y retourner. Mais The Old Guard porte bien son nom et ne dépasse jamais le cadre d’une bonne série B qu’on a déjà vu cent fois par le passé. Le récit est convenu, remplissant son cahier des charges pour plaire à sa cible avec de nombreux passages obligés et certaines séquences manquent clairement de budget. Les flashbacks d’Andy en guerrière amazone ressemblent davantage à des extraits de la série Xena. On pourrait en rire si le film ne se prenait pas beaucoup trop au sérieux pour ce qu’il raconte.

C’est dans les vieux pots qu’on fait le meilleur The Old Guard

Alors série B certes, mais série B efficace ! Bien que The Old Guard manque de fraîcheur, il ne manque pas de tripes et comporte de nombreuses séquences qui raviront les amateurs du genre. À la croisée des chemins entre Highlander et Expendables, on peut même dire que le film assume ses imperfections pour mieux faire ressortir ses qualités à la tête desquelles on retrouve Charlize Theron. L’actrice au look très années 90 pour l’occasion fait parler son physique et flingue ou tranche tout ce qui croise sa route avec envie. À ses côtés, Kiki Layne fait ses premiers pas dans le genre en offrant une prestation solide.

Il faut d’ailleurs saluer le travail de Gina Prince-Bythewood, réalisatrice inconnue par chez nous, qui laisse les chorégraphies martiales s’exprimer et être au service du scénario. Cela se ressent particulièrement lors des combats groupés où l’on ne peut qu’apprécier la coordination spectaculaire de guerriers luttant ensemble depuis des centaines d’années. Pour le coup, chaque scène d’action de The Old Guard raconte quelque chose sur ses personnages et c’est assez rare pour être apprécié à sa juste valeur.

Enfin, on ne peut passer outre les moments d’émotions d’un récit qui, lorsqu’il pense à autre chose qu’à sa suite, parvient à toucher juste. Il suffit d’une scène à Matthias Schoenaerts pour transformer l’immortalité en malédiction ou à Marwan Kenzari pour transcender l’amour face à l’homophobie. Dans un genre où tout semble avoir déjà été fait, The Old Guard ne révolutionne rien, mais apporte sa pierre à l’édifice. À voir si elle sera assez solide pour, à l’image de ses héros, résister au temps…

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    Primal Light is out now with some great pixel-art platforming action

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · 3 days ago - 11:53 · 2 minutes

With artwork I instantly fell in love with, the pixel-art action-platformer Primal Light is out now. Made with Godot Engine , developer Fat Gem worked for around three years to come up with their first game.

"Inhabit Krog, a mysterious blue creature in a red loincloth, as he traverses a labyrinth of ladders, levers, traps, and monsters. Explore the nooks and crannies of a bizarre and evocative world as you hack and slash your way to victory, leaving a graveyard of grotesque bosses in your wake."

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I honestly can't get over how fantastic the artwork is for their first release, it certainly makes an impression. For me, it's quite the nostalgia trip. I grew up playing games on the likes of the Amiga and the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis and Primal Light would fit right in there easily. Not too surprising though as they mentioned Shadow of the Beast, a true Amiga classic, as being one of the games that inspired them.

We started it for fun, but then it grew into a real passion project of ours. Primal Light is a game my old friend and I worked on little by little in our free time as we continued working our day jobs.

We chose to make it on a zero dollar budget, just the two of us, and see what we could accomplish with persistent hard work and a lot of restless nights. We figured that if we kept at it no matter how small the progress on some days, eventually it would become a finished thing that we could look back on and feel proud of.

Fat Gem Games

Feature Highlight:

  • Explore a bizarre and evocative world filled with ladders, levers, traps, and monsters, arranged linearly across 10 levels.
  • Face 10 challenging bosses in arcade-style combat reminiscent of the 16-bit era.
  • Master new acrobatic abilities as you progress, allowing you to overcome obstacles and enemies.
  • Dive into challenging side paths to uncover hidden collectibles, unlocking upgrades and passive abilities.
  • Experience jaw-dropping pixel art and a hypnotic soundtrack.

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Not just retro in style though it can also be just as difficult as some of the classics, with tight platforming that needs good timing on jumping, attacking and rolling away. You have a limited set of lives (although you can find more) and each time you die you get reset to a checkpoint. Once your lives are up, you need to do it all over again. I'm nowhere near good enough for it, with my timing completely off and I found it somewhat punishing due to that but still enjoyable, as with each run I've been learning the timings to get it right. Still, a slightly less punishing mode would be welcome. Overall though, an enjoyable throwback that's worth taking a look at.

You can find Primal Light on Steam and itch.io .

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    Starship action RPG 'Drox Operative 2' arrives on GOG

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · 6 days ago - 11:50 · 1 minute

The currently in development space action RPG Drox Operative 2 can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG. If you enjoy 2D space exploration, plenty of combat, dealing with warring races and a bunch of RPG-styled progression mechanics then Drox Operative 2 might be a good pick for you.

Soldak Entertainment were kind enough to provide us with an Early Access key, so we will be taking a look when it gets a bit further along. So far though, it does seem like a promising step up from the original with graphical improvements, smoother combat and more enhancements that currently feels like a remaster of the first rather than a huge sequel.

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If you've played other Soldak titles, you will be familiar with plenty of the mechanics they bring over from one game to another. In this case though, it's going to need more time before it feels like an actual sequel rather than a revamping. If you've not played the original, going for this one would be the obvious choice. It will be interesting to see how they expand it over the next year or so.

Current Features:

  • Explore a dynamic and evolving galaxy
  • Explore a unique sector of the galaxy in every game, with different "monsters", ship components, quests, and even races
  • Fight in the galactic war between the various alien races
  • Battle hundreds of different enemy starships
  • Build the coolest and deadliest starship in the galaxy
  • Outfit your ship with thousands of components and crew
  • Adventure with your friends with co-op multiplayer
  • Essentially play an action RPG inside a universe of alien races playing a 4X game

You can now pick up Drox Operative 2 on GOG.com in addition to Steam .

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    Arcade shooter with a massive skill tree 'BYTEPATH' goes open source

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · 6 days ago - 10:51 · 1 minute

A few years after release, adnzzzzZ has released the source code for their crazy skill-tree arcade shooter BYTEPATH.

"Expect BYTEPATH to be a mix of Bit Blaster XL and Path of Exile, created with the intention of expanding Bit Blaster XL's relaxing and addictive gameplay with Path of Exile's build depth, build diversity and RPG elements."

Now available under the MIT license, it's another good look into how indie games get made and a good starting point for those looking to see a properly finished game. Not only that, it can now live on with community fixes and continue working far into the future.

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Game features:

  • 900+ nodes passive skill tree, allowing for a huge amount of varied play styles and builds
  • 40+ classes, each giving stat boosts and modifiers which further enhance your build
  • 10+ ships, each providing unique stats and modifiers (both positive and negative) that dramatically change the way you play
  • 15+ enemy types which are spawned with increasing frequency as the run gets harder

What's interesting is how the developer previously released a tutorial ( starts here ), on how to make a game with Lua and LÖVE. Looking over their "blog" on GitHub , they've been publishing articles about development from 2014 right through into this year. That's some serious dedication. You can also see our quick run-down of how it sold after this first year in our previous article .

You can buy BYTEPATH on Steam to support the developer and find the full source on GitHub .

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    Top-down tactical shooter RUNNING WITH RIFLES to get a German DLC

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 3 July - 13:25 · 1 minute

RUNNING WITH RIFLES, a popular tactical shooter from Osumia Games is set to get a second expansion this August focused on the Germans.

The expansion, RUNNING WITH RIFLES: EDELWEISS heads to the European theatre of World War II, first parachuting into Sicily before moving on to the invasion of Normandy, Belgium, and more. Focussing mostly on an 'Allied Paratrooper' narrative, Edelweiss charts the progress of the Allies attacks across Europe. They're saying it should release on August 27 unless there's major issues. See the teaser below:

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What's planned for the DLC:

  • 2 full campaigns (one Axis, one Allied) spanning several major battles of the Western Front
  • 7 unique maps based on historical locations and battles
  • unique set of historical vehicles, from assault guns to halftracks to heavy tanks
  • historical arsenal of weapons that evolves as the war progresses
  • new factions and variations - the United States Airborne forces, the British Army and Airborne, the regular German Wehrmacht, the elite "Panzergrenadiere", and more
  • 40+ multiplayer support, dedicated servers, coop, PvP, PvPvE

RUNNING WITH RIFLES is a huge amount of fun if you're willing to get over an initial short learning curve. Thankfully though, it's been updated a lot over the years and the help system is pretty good at showing you some initial tips to get you going.

10015714641593782505gol1.jpg Pictured: the helpful tips system.

I have some pretty fond memories of the hilarious action that you can have, thanks to it being truly quite tactical. With various weapon types, vehicles and the game mechanics that all give it great feel as a whole. It's possibly the most tactical top-down shooter I've ever played.

You can buy RWR from Humble Store and Steam . The EDELWEISS expansion is tentatively dated for August 27.

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    Action-adventure 'Sparklite' adds Linux support in a big update

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 2 July - 20:04 · 1 minute

MergeGames, together with developers Red Blue Games have now released their action-adventure Sparklite on Linux along with a fresh content update.

Originally released towards the end of 2019, Sparklite is an action-adventure set in the whimsical and ever-changing land of Geodia. With gorgeous pixel art and a top-down perspective, you battle foes using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear. If you played and enjoyed Moonlighter, you would probably feel right at home with Sparklite too.

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Starting off on your airship, you encounter a terrible storm that causes you to abandon ship and crash land into the strange world of Geodia. A land tied together by this Sparklite, the life force of the planet that the inhabitants have learned how to harness. As you would expect though, there's evil afoot, with the self-titled "Baron" out to mine the very core of the planet which has caused all sorts of terrible issues.

There's some definite Steampunk vibes from it, especially with the big floating city you need to help rebuild and your main weapon is even an upgradable wrench which you slot upgrades into. It's also a dungeon-crawler, with each area and each attempt having special caves and vaults to run through and other secrets.

What I especially like is how the exploration being randomized is part of the story, with the world rebuilding and shifting as a defence mechanism against the Baron and anyone else out to try and mine away the core. Lots of clever little touches across the game like that.

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Along with the Linux version support, the 1.6 update is also live with improved gamepad support, several new rooms for the forest area, widgets will now quick-equip, revised tooltips and a bunch of bug fixes too.

Thoroughly charming all the way through from the style to the music and the characters you meet. You can buy Sparklite from Humble Store and Steam .

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    Dark sci-fi action RPG 'Hellpoint' launches July 30

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 2 July - 12:42 · 1 minute

Hellpoint from Cradle Games and tinyBuild is now set to officially release with Linux support on July 30. Originally funded on Kickstarter back in 2017, with 1,351 backers pledging around $63,553 Canadian Dollars we're keen to see the full release.

Set in the aftermath of a massive quantum cataclysm called the Merge. You wake up on board the Irid Novo space station, a beacon of galactic cooperation and scientific exploration where everything has gone horribly wrong. What happens next will be solely determined by your choices.

Check out the new co-op trailer:

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Feature Highlight:

  • Souls-like gameplay in a unique setting: Explore the derelict space station of Irid Novo and face bizarre enemies with a tight and unforgiving combat system.
  • Occult space story: Blending science and fantasy, the intensely atmospheric dark sci-fi setting will keep you searching for answers.
  • Dynamic World: The Quantic System acts as a dungeon master, slightly transforming the game world every time you die and triggering events as the station revolves around the black hole.
  • Jump-in co-op and PvP multiplayer: Ask a friend to press Start to join a couch co-op session or call for assistance online. Hellpoint offers a full, uninterrupted co-op story with shared loot drops.

We see the 'souls-like' term used so often now but what does it actually mean? If you've not played the Souls series, it likely won't mean much to you. Frankly, it's become quite a meaningless label with no clear definition that generally boils down to damn difficult combat. Not to take away from Hellpoint though because it honestly looks genuinely good!

I do hope they've learned a few lessons from the free standalone Hellpoint: The Thespian Feast though because it's had a clearly Mixed reception overall.

They've confirmed at release Hellpoint will be available on GOG and Steam on July 30.

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    A chat with the developer of the action-packed roguelike Burning Knight

    news.movim.eu / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 2 July - 11:37 · 5 minutes

Burning Knight is a recently released action-packed roguelike, featuring slick pixel-art and fantastic lighting along with plenty of over the top action and a little sprinkle of comedy.

As part of our ongoing series of speaking to game developers, we sat down and had a chat with the developer about it and how the release went.

Can you introduce yourself and your game?

Hi, my name is Egor, I’m 17. I’ve been developing small games for the past 5 years and Burning Knight was my first big project. It’s a roguelike about hard choices & jokes.

Editor Note: before going further, check out the trailer so you get an idea of Burning Knight.

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Back to the interview…

How did you get into game development?

I used to make websites before I got into gamedev, so I wasn’t too new to programming. I started my journey by making a SDL2 space shooter (that sadly I don’t have any source code of right now), then I’ve worked on a bunch of text roguelikes, and eventually finished my first game as the result of participating in a game jam, Ludum Dare 37. Since then I’ve met PICO-8, pumped out quite a few jam games, but I always wanted to make something bigger.

On the Steam store page for Burning Knight, it mentions how it’s “Developed with <3 on a 4 GB-RAM linux laptop” - can you tell us a little about your workflow?

I’m quite surprised 4GB ended up being enough for everything, to be honest. The laptop that I’ve developed the whole game on, is a cheap HP machine and I’ve ended up just replacing the HDD with an SSD.

For the development I use Jetbrains Rider (C# IDE) for coding, Aseprite for my pixelart, GIMP for more HD-assets editing and Git for version control. I had no issues with using C# on a Linux machine besides the absence of hotswap, but well, you can get used to that.

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When developing on Linux, what would you say is the biggest problem right now? How could it be made better?

I’m as happy as it gets with my Linux development setup right now. Same tools run x3 times slower on my Windows partition (I do dual boot for testing Windows builds). Never really had issues with any of the apps not working properly/not supporting linux. I want to say huge thanks to everyone who provides Linux support in their apps these days!

Why did you settle with MonoGame instead of a game engine like Unity, Unreal, Godot and so on?

  • Unreal: making games in C++ is something that I tried and I feel like you spend more time figuring out how to make something work, rather than designing the actual game.
  • Unity: my laptop couldn’t really handle it well, plus the linux build is still unstable, it crashes every 10 minutes or so. As well as that, I’m not a fan of “visual gamedev”, where you edit stuff in a huge complex editor, I’m more of a “write code and make it work” sort of guy.
  • Godot: the engine is still pretty new, also visual based.

What has been the most challenging part of Burning Knight’s journey to release?

Motivation and overscope. 99% of the time I had no motivation to work on the game whatsoever, and I’m really surprised that I’ve managed to finish this beast. A huge part of that is constant bugs that pop up faster than you can fix them. The game was heavily playtested during its development, and after each playtest I’d come back home with a huge list of things to fix & tweak. And even after that, 3 weeks after release, I’m still stuck fixing bugs.

Another huge issue for me was overscoping. It’s a gamedev term for features “that the game can live without but they are just so cool lets add them quickly”, and then you spend days implementing them.

Burning Knight has been on Steam for a good few weeks now (released: 5 Jun, 2020), how did the launch go? Is there anything you would do differently next time?

To be honest, I’m extremely sad about the sales. I knew that it would be a hit or miss, and it’s more than a miss, but I still can’t get over it. 2 years of work almost wasted, you can say. Right now I don’t think I will ever make another game ever again.

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How has the split been across the different platforms (Linux, macOS, Windows).

It’s been around 80% Windows, 17% Linux and 3% MacOS.

What are your thoughts as to why the sales have been low?

Well, first of all, I think the big part of this is that this is my first experience with steam as a platform, it’s huge and easy to get lost on. I tried my best with the marketing, but I’m a programmer, not a marketer, so.

Also the timing of the release could’ve been better, I feel like after so many months of self-isolation a lot of people lost interest/ability to buy games, plus we had some political stuff going on. The itch.io bundle is an amazing thing, but it makes me think, if you own 1.6k games just from that bundle, will you ever need to buy new games?

Any advice for developers getting into making and releasing their first game?

Do not overscope, better make the game small and then grow it. Playtest constantly. Take all the feedback with a pinch of salt. Use version control! (seriously, saved me so many times).


A big thank you to Egor for having taking the time to have a chat with GOL. Such a shame to hear that a really fun game hasn't been able to cut through the noise. Unless you're really savvy with marketing, being a small indie developer on Steam is a ridiculously tough market.

Want to pick up a copy of Burning Knight? You can buy Burning Knight on itch.io and Steam . You can also grab the soundtrack on Bandcamp .

See more interviews with our dedicated Interview tag .

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