A new Kickstarter run by a team of self-described “Blizzard Entertainment veterans” seeks to bring gamers a unique episodic action-adventure horror title called Broken.
The new studio, made up largely of ex-Blizzard developers and called Kollide Entertainment, said in their Kickstarter description that their intent is to develop a narrative-driven, action adventure horror game. If that description sounds a little familiar, that’s because Kollide cite Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us as one of the inspirations that drive Broken, joining the team behind Final Fantasy 15 as yet another group publicly praising the way The Last of Us has challenged game development. Kollide describes Broken as:
“Broken is an episodic third-person action adventure game series set in the year 2021…this is an original story that follows the personal adventure of Logan Kyle, a Navy Seal, and his family as they experience the end of the world on the front lines.”
The gaming world has seen its fair share of apocalyptic narratives recently, and Kollide is well aware that there are some very successful games that the developer will need to compete with in order to succeed. The development team also brought up Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead series as a title they are looking to draw from, stating that they admire the way the game presents the choices players must make alongside the character building done in between all the action. However, while Kollide hopes there will be favorable comparisons to be made between Broken and games like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead, it is also confident that its new title will set itself apart:
“Broken‘s focus is 100% story driven; all aspects of the game will support that goal. We will be doing away with some of the time draining staples of the current action-adventure scene such as repetitive puzzle-based level design, arbitrary collection artifacts, obscenely difficult enemy spawn encounters, and superfluous achievements.”
It’s interesting to note that Broken is actively trying to resist the inclusion of repetitive puzzles, a decision that has helped Jonathan Blow’s The Witness sell over 100,000 copies in its first week available. Kollide go on to say that the team’s goal is to “offer unique immersive story experiences and to streamline gameplay such that returning to [Broken] in between gameplay sessions is as seamless as possible”. Apparently, one of the main goals behind Broken‘s development will be for players to be able to take extended breaks between playing the game and still come back fully aware of what’s happening in the narrative.
While that goal is appealing, however, the fact is it doesn’t happen often in games that are driven so strongly by their narrative. If the storyline is a linear narrative, for instance, even BioShock creator Ken Levine believes such a set up restricts developer decisions and strongly impacts a game’s replayability. Of course, the fact that Broken is a game that will be broken down into episodic content might help Kollide circumvent these restrictions and create a story that is contained enough within each episode that it is difficult to lose track of even after an extended period of time.
As it stands now, the Kickstarter project will need $275,000 by the end of the month to bring Broken to computer gamers, with the potential for future releases on Xbox One, PS4, and mobile devices depending on the game’s success. While it remains to be seen if the game will be funded, when a game is being developed by ex-Blizzard employees and cites games like The Last of Us, The Walking Dead, and even the masterpiece that is the Half-Life series, it’s definitely worth a look.
Broken is currently in its Kickstarter phase, and if it receives funding it will release for the PC and OS X.