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Dead Space Developer Visceral Games Closes as Star Wars Project is ‘Reimagined’

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Visceral Games Star Wars

EA has announced the closure of Dead Space and Battlefield: Hardline developer Visceral Games resulting from significant changes to the team’s unnamed Star Wars project.

Until now, the game has been billed as a linear, story-focused third-person action game, in keeping with the previous projects of creative director Amy Hennig (Uncharted), but focus testing and market forces have inspired EA to “pivot the design.” While specific details on the revisions have  not yet been available, the company’s phrasing of “a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency” strongly suggests an open-world structure.

Alongside the new design, EA has decided to move lead development duties to EA Vancouver with assistance from other worldwide studios. Visceral Games, meanwhile, is being shuttered, with many of its staff members being shifted to “other projects and teams at EA.”

Furthermore, although a release date for the project was never officially announced, the latest developments have forced a delay beyond the internally-estimated late 2019 window.

Visceral’s Star Wars project was first announced in 2013,  with a brief first look becoming available at E3 2016 and reported story and setting details leaking earlier this year. Whether any of that earlier work will be retained during the course of this redesign remains to be seen.

Although one project is struggling, Star Wars: Battlefront II remains scheduled for release next month.

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Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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Layers of Fear 2 Launching Late Next Month

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Layers of Fear 2

Layers of Fear 2 has been talked about for a while now and is finally coming late next month.

Announced today by publisher Gun Media, the sequel to the psychological romp through artistic ego Layers of Fear is set to launch May 28 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Gameplay-wise, the sequel looks to cover similar ground as its predecessor. As a first-person psychological horror with “an emphasis on exploration and story,” players meander through heavily-scripted set-pieces while solving puzzles and being scared a whole lot.

Layers of Fear 2, though, will be swapping the paintbrush for the dizzying heights of Hollywood. According to the game’s Steam synopsis, players “control a Hollywood actor who heeds the call of an enigmatic director to take on the lead role in a film shot aboard an ocean liner.”

Stifled by their own acting ambitions, the protagonist finds themselves alone and marooned on an increasingly nightmarish boat. The game’s unnamed protagonist must navigate their own past and the challenges the director sets them to unlock the secret to not just the film they are starring in, but their own motivations.

The original Layers of Fear was a captivating take on modern, story-driven horror, so the sequel’s inventive premise and greater scope are welcomed. While the sequel is embarking to a radically different setting, the title looks likely to recapture the original’s claustrophobic, atmospheric level design.

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