Betrayer

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Hide your purse, Steam is having a stealth-game sale

Eldritch 99p! Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon 3! Monaco 1.86!

I wonder: do you end up saving money in sales or spending more because things are on sale? Regardless, Steam is having a sale, a stealth-game sale, which lasts until Friday, 16th October, 6pm BST.

Betrayer review

Betrayer review

New world disorder.

You begin Betrayer washed up on the shore of the New World, a country rendered in stark monochrome. A linear path leads you inland, acting as a tutorial along the way, but it's once you reach the abandoned Fort Henry that you really begin to grasp what awaits you.

Or rather, you don't. Betrayer is the sort of game that delights in keeping you on the edge, never entirely sure what's happened to rid the land of human life or what you're supposed to do about it. It's a game with no missions, no quest markers, no breadcrumb trails. There are inventory screens that document every clue and every note that you find - but these only illuminate where you've been, not where you're going.

Blackpowder Games, largely made up of former Monolith developers, has dipped into some obvious influences for this stark and striking horror adventure. The Elder Scrolls is one, with an open map through which you navigate by icons on the compass. You'll also sense strong echoes of Far Cry 3. Corrupted, animalistic Conquistadors patrol the wilderness, and since your only defences are crude bows, old-fashioned muskets and a throwing tomahawk, you'll spend a lot of time skulking through long grass, masking your movements in time with gusts of wind and thinning their numbers as stealthily as possible.

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Ex-Monolith dev details its upcoming FPS Betrayer

Ex-Monolith dev details its upcoming FPS Betrayer

Available today on Steam Early Access.

Perhaps my favourite combat in any first-person shooter would be the tense cat-and-mouse skirmishes of Monolith's 2005 cult classic F.E.A.R. The cunning enemy AI, glorious slow motion and exaggerated particle effects that turned the most banal office into a warzone alongside my favourite video game shotgun ever combined to make this otherwise bog standard action game into a near classic. Now, a six-person studio headed by ex-Monolith devs is creating a new first-person shooter IP in Betrayer, which, for better or worse, sounds nothing like F.E.A.R.

Where F.E.A.R. was all about feeling completely badass (which probably explains why it wasn't scary at all), Betrayer is going to make you feel weak and vulnerable as you navigate its stark black & white rendition of 1604 Virginia. Speaking with Blackpowder Games' creative director Craig Hubbard, I'm told it will be more along the lines of Metro 2033 than Monolith's 2005 love-letter to John Woo.

Much of this is due to the haunted setting, where you must rely on early 17th century weaponry. Hubbard says he was inspired by the action scenes in The Last of the Mohicans. "It's just so fluid and so brutal," he explains. "Just the way they'll fire a shot, then they'll drop the musket and pick up another one. You don't actually drop a musket in the middle of combat [in Betrayer], but you can carry multiple weapons, so you can be flipping between loaded muskets and then switching to your bow and then throwing an axe and meleeing."

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Ex-Monolith devs announce 17th century horror FPS Betrayer

Ex-Monolith devs announce 17th century horror FPS Betrayer

Coming to Steam Early Access next week.

Ex-staffers from Monolith - the studio behind F.E.A.R. and No One Lives Forever - have formed the six-person indie outfit Blackpowder Games, and revealed its debut title as the black-and-white-white-with-red-all-over first-person horror adventure Betrayer.

Set in 1604 Virginia, players assume the role of a would-be coloniser arriving in the new world only to find it littered with ghosts and ravenous, bloodthirsty conquistadors. Players will have to use rustic 17th century technology like muskets, crossbows and throwing axes to survive this nightmarish wilderness.

While only just announced today, Betrayer is already coming to Steam Early Access next week on 14th August. That was quick! Get a look at its stark infusion of eastern horror and the American frontier in Betrayer's debut trailer below.

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