Monday, March 11, 2013


Arcen’s Shattered Haven bills itself as “an environmental puzzle game about family, grit, and survival”, and I’m very grateful for that first comma because family grit is something I generally steer well clear of. Following hot on the heels of A Valley Without Wind 2, Shattered Haven is a zombie survival game, sorta, and from the available evidence it appears to be a very slightly tower defencey one, in that you lay traps to defeat the zombie menace. The game’s currently in beta – a beta only a week long because the full game is launching March 18th. Blimey, Arcen work fast.
Here’s the setup: “Grays roam the land, largely in the absence of human interference. These aren’t your typical Zed — theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse. Animals spontaneously transform into twisted, violent beings. The earth decays, collapsing into a network of abysses. The wilderness thickens.” I love a nice thick wilderness, me.
The short beta is down the game’s levels being handcrafted, in contrast to Arcen’s typically procedurally generated approach. Shattered Haven’s story revolves around the Williams family; in each level you’re trying to keep one or more of them alive, while tactically eliminating the assorted zombies (sorry, ‘Grays’) by using tools, dropping traps and so on. If 100 stages, local co-op and a branching narrative isn’t enough for you, there’s also a level editor, so you can subject the poor Williamses to even more turmoil. What did they ever do to deserve this?
Shattered Haven is due out next Monday, but you can get it slightly cheaper if you buy into the beta now, without knowing if it’s any good or not first. The following video illustrates how the game’s top-down puzzley action works.
Grays aren’t your typical zombies — they have a lore all their own, and theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse than Zed’s.
Environmental puzzles make up most of the gameplay.  Figure out how to use the tools, traps, and weapons in each level to clear all the Grays.
Follow the story of Darrell and Mary as they try to save their family from a new and unexpected threat.  Both in-game storytelling and painted-style cutscenes.
Multiple endings! Depending on your actions, the story may end very poorly, happily, or somewhere in between.
Over 100 hand-crafted levels. Two very experienced adventure level designers are designing the adventure from end to end.
Included level editor! The same editor used to make the main adventure will let you make your own levels, cutscenes, or even entire adventures.
Local 2-player co-op. Using two gamepads, two players on the keyboard, or any combination of the above.

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