Square Enix Montréal™, the award-winning studio behind Hitman Sniper®, and the GO® series, today released its newest mobile title, Hitman Sniper: The Shadows.
The mobile sniper game is an action, role-playing game set in a wholly original Hitman story. As a member of The Shadows, players must embark on globe-trotting assignments, take down targets with stealth, engage in fierce competition, and build their reputation as the International Contract Agency (ICA) agents.
Hitman Sniper: The Shadows focuses on events following the disappearance of Agent 47 and follows the story of a group of assassins called The Shadows within the hidden world of assassination where a new criminal network threatens global stability.
“From the onset, our ambition was to deliver a high production value Hitman Sniper experience on mobile in terms of quality graphics, and gameplay,” said Simon Doongoor, Senior Producer for Hitman Sniper: The Shadows at Square Enix Montréal.
“We wanted this game to be the start of something new rather than a sequel. This vision freed us to move in a different direction, such as introducing The Shadows, and allowed us to create a deeper game experience for players.”
Unique Playable Characters At launch, Hitman Sniper: The Shadows features six sniper assassins, each with their own backstories, play styles, personalities, and abilities. This diversity provides players with more freedom and flexibility in how they approach the game and each contract. Each assassin is early enough in their careers to allow for a lot of room to grow, giving players the chance to evolve them into ICA agents.
New Locations The game features new locations, each with different vantage points and time of day, giving players more choices and opportunities to eliminate targets. Each location has unique targets and becomes an exploratory environment, a distinct storytelling space with distinct challenges.
“We’re all fans of the franchise, so we wanted to ensure that the hidden world of assassination translated into an experience that fulfills both the fantasy and provides a great player experience, said Audran Guerad, Lead Artist for Hitman Sniper: The Shadows at Square Enix Montréal. “The cinematographic art direction and the high level of details of our maps offer players the most immersive experience possible. We want to be a reference in the sniper market for visually compelling games.”
Multiple Modes Players are encouraged to manipulate enemies and leverage the environment around them for the perfect shot and are rewarded for their creative kills.
Players can play in campaign mode to learn about and eliminate targets while mastering their skills.
The game also features a PvP mode where players compete against other players to build their reputation. Precision and creativity are key to winning contracts in this mode.
“We wanted to give players the familiar adrenaline rush they’d experience watching a big screen spy or action movie where multiple assassins are competing for the same contract,” stated Simon Doongoor.
For Players, by Players, and With Players Fans are invited to contribute to the game’s evolution through a direct line to the dev team and other Hitman Sniper players on Discord, making Hitman Sniper: The Shadows a game that welcomes feedback and that is created for players, by players, and most importantly, with players.
“We have been working closely with the community since the start of the project,” concluded Simon Doongoor. “Their feedback has been instrumental in the making of Hitman Sniper: The Shadows and we can’t wait to see where they will take It next.”
SQUARE ENIX®, Crystal Dynamics®, and Eidos-Montréal™ celebrated the 25th anniversary of the TOMB RAIDER® franchise yesterday by making several announcements about new experiences and offers available now and coming soon for fans of the iconic videogame series.
Launched in October 1996, the Tomb Raider series of videogames has sold over 85 million copies worldwide across more than 20 titles and won dozens of industry awards. Its protagonist Lara Croft® is one of the most recognizable videogame characters in the world and has become an icon beloved by tens of millions of fans around the globe. The Tomb Raider franchise is also a pop-culture mega-hit, with three movies, several comic book series, a variety of successful merchandise, and soon a new animated television series.
Below are just a few of the upcoming 25th Anniversary initiatives Tomb Raider fans can expect in the coming months.
Tomb Raider Videogames
As part of the celebration of Tomb Raider’s 25th anniversary, many Tomb Raider games and add-ons on Steam, Humble Bundle, Green Man Gaming, GOG.com, the Square Enix Store, the Xbox Games Store, and PlayStation Store are on sale, with discounts of up to 89%. Interested gamers need only visit the online store of their choice and search for “Tomb Raider” to see what deals are available on their platform.
In addition, from November 1 through November 14, Crystal Dynamics and Prime Gaming are giving away Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC for free for all Prime members. To claim the free game, Prime members should go to https://gaming.amazon.com/, select “Games with Prime” and choose the Rise of the Tomb Raider offer between November 1 and November 14.
Also announced today is a collaboration between Crystal Dynamics and Feral Interactive to bring Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris to Nintendo Switch in 2022, the debut of the Tomb Raider franchise on the console. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris are arcade-inspired action-adventure games that combine the hallmarks of Tomb Raider, including exploration and discovery, platforming, and puzzle solving, with co-operative multiplayer, character progression and fun fast-paced combat. For further updates about these titles, follow Feral Interactive on Facebook or Twitter.
Square Enix London Mobile today revealed that the three original English-language Lara Croft voice actors will join Keeley Hawes in Tomb Raider Reloaded when the mobile game launches next year. For a limited time, players will be able to embrace their nostalgia by choosing which which Classic voice they’d like for iconic adventurer Lara Croft: Shelley Blond (Tomb Raider), Judith Gibbins (Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft), Jonell Elliott (Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Tomb Raider: Chronicles, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness), or Keeley Hawes (Tomb Raider: Legend, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris). More information about Tomb Raider Reloaded can be found at https://www.square-enix-london-mobile.com/.
Tomb Raider Anime Series on Netflix
Netflix and Legendary Television are hard at work on a new Tomb Raider anime series with Powerhouse Animation, the studio behind such hits as Castlevania, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Blood of Zeus. Last month it was announced that Hayley Atwell (Captain America, Mission: Impossible 7) will be the voice of iconic adventurer Lara Croft, and today the companies also announced that Allen Maldonado (Heels, The Wonder Years) has joined the cast as the voice of tech expert and colleague Zip, and Earl Baylon will reprise his role from the video game as the voice of one of Lara’s most-trusted friends and voice of reason, Jonah Maiava.
Picking up after the events of the highly successful Tomb Raider videogame Survivor trilogy as told in 2013’s Tomb Raider, 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the animated series will chart the globetrotting heroine’s next chapter as she takes on the role of the iconic tomb raider that she is destined to become. Twenty-five years after her first game appeared, Lara continues to explore new territory.
Tomb Raider in the Real World
In 2022 Tomb Raider fans will have two new ways to experience the game in the real world.
Crystal Dynamics is working with Little Lion Entertainment to create Tomb Raider: The LIVE Experience in London. Little Lion is an award-winning attractions company with a pedigree in creating five-star immersive theatrical experiences. Tomb Raider: The LIVE Experience will give fans the chance to dive into the world of Tomb Raider. For the first time ever, teams of visitors will work together while fully immersed in a genuine Tomb Raider adventure, forging their own destiny alongside recognizable characters from the blockbuster franchise. This groundbreaking immersive adventure drops visitors into a race against time as they help Lara Croft solve a mystery that will save the world.
Also making its debut in 2022 will be The World of Lara Croft – 25 Years of Tomb Raider, an exhibition curated by the Storyworld museum in Groningen, the Netherlands. Storyworld is a museum dedicated to the art of storytelling in comics, animation, and games, with a focus on the creativity involved in bringing stories to life.
The World of Lara Croft details the history of Tomb Raider games and media, the art and design of the iconic game franchise, and the popular appeal of both the game and its lead character. The exhibit includes content from the game’s origins in 1996 through the most recent Survivor trilogy, which began in 2013 with the rebooted Tomb Raider game. Visitors will learn about design details, developer insights, and elements of Tomb Raider in the real world, including samples of the franchise’s merchandise over the years and appearances of Lara Croft in movies and comics.
Crystal Dynamics believes strongly in giving back to the community and has several charity initiatives underway for the 25th anniversary celebration.
In honor of the many talented women, including writers, voice talent, actors, models, artists, and game developers, who have brought Lara Croft to life over the years, the company has donated $25,000 to the International Rescue Committee.
An additional donation of $20,000 was made in the name of Camilla Luddington to Women for Women International as a special thank-you for the passion and phenomenal performance she brought to Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Her award-winning performances laid the groundwork for the future of the franchise.
In addition, on November 6 Crystal Dynamics will participate in a 24-hour charity drive for Extra Life which will raise funds for local San Francisco Bay Area UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. The company has set aside a $25,000 donation to celebrate 25 years of Tomb Raider and hopes to raise another $25,000. Starting today, over a dozen rare items from Tomb Raider history have been listed on the eBay for Charity platform to get a head start. Buying one of these items is a great way for fans to own a part of video game history while also donating to a great cause.
Finally, throughout 2021 Crystal Dynamics has been commissioning talented artists from around the world to reimagine Tomb Raider box art throughout time. At the end of the year, the company will host a charity initiative through the Square Enix Store to purchase a full set of 15 physical prints of the reimagined box art with all proceeds going to Girls Make Games. The current set of prints can be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tombraiderofficialflickr/albums/72157718242566762.
25 Years of Tomb Raider and Counting!
These are just a few of the new initiatives that fans can look forward to in the coming months, and they come at the tail end of an entire year celebrating Lara Croft and Tomb Raider’s 25 years of adventures. Throughout 2021 Crystal Dynamics has been highlighting the franchise’s amazing history at https://tombraider.com/25.
More announcements about the future of Tomb Raider will be coming soon as Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix lay the groundwork for the next 25 years of this iconic franchise.
ReedPop is excited to announce a round-up of some of the event highlights that visitors can look forward to at EGX 2021. From familiar franchises to indie adventures and undiscovered gems, this four-day fan favourite – taking place at London’s ExCel between 7th-10th October – is a welcome return to the UK’s events calendar.
Virgin Media, the sponsor of EGX, has teamed up with Mediatonic’s Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout to exclusively host the game on the Virgin Media stand. Players can compete with friends in Fall Guys’ ‘Squads’ mode against other online teams from around the world, and the most skilled squads at EGX will be presented with exclusive Fall Guys IRL crowns and a chance of winning a PS5.
To further challenge players, Virgin Media is recreating ‘Fall Mountain’ with a giant inflatable Gladiators’ inspired travelator experience. Those daring enough to take on this challenge will be in with a chance to win an exclusive goodie bag to take home. Visitors can also take an exclusive look at upcoming collectible Fall Guys plush and figurines.
In addition to a whole host of Consoles and PCs to play, visitors will have a chance to enjoy Esports Tournaments, Tabletop, Retro Game Zones, Cosplay, Careers advice and a huge collection of Indie Games.
Still can’t get ahold of the hugely in-demand PS5 console? Try it out at EGX, alongside the Xbox Series X/S, in our hands-on Console Corner & Over 18’s Area, where you will be able to play Deathloop on PlayStation5 and Aliens: Fireteam Elite, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania and more on Xbox Series X.
For the most up-to-date announcements, please keep an eye on the EGX Twitter feed.
Recently announced games include…
From the creators of Left 4 Dead, thrilling frenetic co-op shooter, Back 4 Blood, will be playable at EGX ahead of its 12th October launch
Take out your rival assassin on repeat in newly released multiplayer shooter, Deathloop
IKEA & Republic of Gamers are heading to EGX, where you will be able to experience the new IKEA gaming range as well as loads of other activities across the four days of the show. Visit the EGX website for more information.
Gather your party, and return to the Forgotten Realms in Baldur’s Gate 3
Get exclusive global first hands-on play with Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View, the story-driven observational thriller from the creators of The Occupation and Ether One
Step inside the iconic Alien universe in Aliens: Fireteam Elite, the cooperative third-person survival shooter set 23 years after the original Alien movie trilogy
Reminisce and revisit the epic Crysis gaming series with the forthcoming Crysis Remastered Trilogy
Shoot down nightmarish monsters in Hunt: Showdown, the thrilling, high-stakes PvPvE
Take a deep dive into the underwater abyss in Silt
Explore an endless cavern of creatures, relics and resources in the mining sandbox adventure, Core Keeper
Have a quack at KeyWe, the cute, co-operative postal puzzler starring Jeff and Debra, two small kiwi birds
A sizeable chunk of the event will be devoted to EGX Rezzed, with a dedicated ‘Rezzed Zone’ for indie gaming. Independent development has always been a huge part of the EGX community. Forget the big names, this zone is all about discovering the extraordinary and shedding some well-deserved limelight on the best homegrown projects.
For the first time at EGX, the popular career fair will be rebranded to be the GamesIndustry.biz Academy and offer invaluable advice that will bring visitors close to the UK’s top studios, offering advice and networking opportunities. To check out the schedule head here.
Meanwhile, the EGX Theater will feature presentations from industry names in a purpose-built theatre. On a more intimate scale, Rezzed Sessions will bring attendees the latest news on some of the world’s most exciting pre-release games and deep dive insights into the game development process. People can start to plan their trip by looking at the schedule here.
Fans will also be able to stop by an EGX merchandise area to browse through the biggest selection of EGX and gaming merchandise the event has ever had!
SQUARE ENIX® and Applibot, Inc. today announced that pre-registration for the North American, European and Korean version of NieR Re[in]carnation, the first mobile title in the NieR series, is now live in select regions*.
Bringing together an all-star team including creative director YOKO TARO, composer Keiichi Okabe from MONACA and producer Yosuke Saito, the Action Command RPG NieR Re[in]carnation tells the story of a girl who awakens in a mysterious place known as The Cage. Guided by a creature who calls herself Mama, the girl sets off on a journey through The Cage to reclaim what she has lost and to atone for her sins.
Additionally, by reaching 300,000 pre-registrants, all players will receive 3,000 gems upon the game’s release, allowing them to complete one 10x Summon for free.
Fans of the NieR series can also jump into NieR Replicant™ ver.1.22474487139…, the re-telling of NieR Replicant for modern consoles, which is now available on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X, and PC (Steam®). NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is rated M (Mature). Complete details on all editions of the game are available at: http://www.niergame.com.
NieR Re[in]carnation will be available as a free download with in-app purchases on iOS and Android devices. Text will be supported in English and Korean. For more information, please visit: https://nierreincarnation.com.
The total raised for GameBlast21, the UK’s largest charity gaming weekend, has been confirmed at £228,300 ($317,800).
It’s more than double the original fundraising target for the event, and one of the biggest totals in its eight-year history.
Gamers across the UK and beyond took on gaming marathons and game-themed events over the weekend of 26-28 February to raise money for the charity, who help people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.
As well as the hundreds of individual gamers and communities who took part, many major names in the games industry supported the event, including Twitch, EA DICE, Mediatonic, SEGA Europe, Unit 2 Games, Fanatical, Insert Coin Clothing and Turn 10 Studios, alongside a host of esports teams and popular streamers.
In addition, several other companies including HyperX, Noblechairs, Fierce PC and Big Potato Games, showed their support for by creating some awesome limited-edition products and running giveaways to reward people for taking part.
“We’d hoped to raise £100,000 this year,” said Becky Frost, the GameBlast Event Coordinator, “so we’re amazed and humbled by the final figure. To have the support of so many gamers is a huge boost for the charity, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of everyone involved. As result of their generosity, many hundreds of people will be able to enjoy the magic of video games for many years to come. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part.”
The dates for GameBlast22 have been announced as 25-27 February 2022.
SQUARE ENIX® today announced the debut of a new video program called SQUARE ENIX PRESENTS, a series of shows in which the company will reveal new games, updates and news directly to the global gaming community throughout the year.
The first show, debuting on March 18 at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT on Square Enix’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.
These shows will run approximately 40-minutes and include the world premiere of the next game in the critically acclaimed and award-winning Life is Strange™ series, featuring an all-new protagonist wielding an exciting new power.
The show will also feature trailers, gameplay videos and announcements for the following:
Outriders™, the high-intensity RPG-shooter set in an original dark and desperate sci-fi universe, coming out on April 1
Balan Wonderworld™, which arrives on March 26
The ongoing celebration for the 25th anniversary of TOMB RAIDER®
Marvel’s Avengers, the story-driven, third-person action-adventure game from Crystal Dynamics
Upcoming action shooter Just Cause® Mobile
New mobile game announcements from the award-winning Square Enix Montréal studio
A look at a few of the whimsical games from Square Enix sister company TAITO
To receive event updates and other Square Enix news, sign up to become a Square Enix Member; and be sure to subscribe to Square Enix’s official Twitch and YouTube channels ahead of the showcase on March 18.
Video game playing rose to a new level, with UK consumers’ time playing up 4 percent over last year.
The desire to stay connected and entertained while stuck at home during the pandemic has driven online gaming popularity – more than a third of UK gamers (37 percent) have made new friends through online gaming in the last year. In fact, gamers in the UK are now playing video games an average of seven hours 10 minutes each week according to the “State of Online Gaming 2021,” a report commissioned by Limelight Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), on global gaming preferences and habits.
New data shows that the increases in gaming over the last year are driven by gamers’ desire for social connections. Over a third of UK gamers (37 percent) say they’ve made new friends through online games in the past year and 15 percent say the ability to interact with other players is extremely important. Opportunities for interactivity and social engagement are likely drivers for video game adoption with the majority (51 percent) of UK gamers saying they started playing online video games in the past year.
Additional findings from the report include:
Performance drives demand for next-generation consoles. Three quarters (74 percent) of global gamers are interested in purchasing a new console, due to updated technology (32 percent) and faster game play (31 percent). Gamers in China are most likely to consider upgrading their console (92 percent).
Gamers demand fast gaming experiences. Fast performance is extremely important to 35 percent of UK gamers, the lowest response among all countries surveyed. In addition, 87 percent of UK gamers say the process of downloading games is frustrating.
Binge-gaming reached an all-time high. The average global gamer has played video games consecutively for five hours and six minutes, which is a eight percent increase from last year. Sessions in the UK were 4 percent higher than the global average, at five hours and 18 minutes per week. Young gamers ages 18 to 25 have binge-gamed for the longest at an average of nearly six hours.
Video games have become a spectator sport. Over half (56 percent) of global gamers say they’ve started to watch others play video games in the past year. The proportion of UK gamers watching others play video games online on a weekly basis reached a tipping point in the past year, increasing from 49 percent to 53 percent.
Playing video games is the top entertainment choice for many. Nearly half of UK gamers (44 percent) say they prefer to play video games versus watching a movie or TV show.
“Video gaming has evolved into a social platform. Gamers want interactive, high performance, disruption-free experiences that allow them to connect with others and play longer,” said Nigel Burmeister, Vice President at Limelight Networks. “This evolution is putting pressure on gaming companies to match this demand and requires technology investments like edge computing to deliver high-quality gaming environments to users across the globe.”
The “State of Online Gaming 2021” report is based on responses from 4,000 consumers in China, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam, ages 18 and older who play video games. This included 500 respondents in the UK.
Leading online retailer Ebuyer has joined forces with Make-A-Wish® UK as their official tech gaming partner.
Every day, the lives of 10 families in the UK are changed forever when a child is diagnosed with a serious illness. From that moment, childhood takes a backseat to medical appointments and worry.
When children with serious illness or life-limiting condition are referred to Make-A-Wish, they really do make a wish, and the charity does everything it can to make it come true. The charity, established in 1986, works with partners around the world to help fulfil those wishes.
Ebuyer E-Commerce Director Andy Roberts said, “We’re really excited about being the official tech partner of Make-A-Wish. They do such an incredible job creating life-changing wishes. Ebuyer is playing a small part by providing the tech that the children and young people wish for, yet this small gesture can make a huge difference to them and their families.”
The East Yorkshire based online retailer has over 6 million registered customers and supplies tech to consumers, businesses and educational establishments throughout the UK.
Make-A-Wish Corporate Partnerships Manager Gina Fuoco said: “Ebuyer has been helping us grant our gaming and tech wishes since August 2020. Their support came at a vital time – making 54 wishes a reality when so many had to be cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic.
“That included 21 wishes for PS5s which were like gold dust to obtain! Gaming enables young people to interact, improve their motor skills and have fun. It often creates a level playing field online that contrasts with a seriously ill child’s real life experience so these wishes have a long-term impact.
“Ebuyer’s support has also included gifts-in-kind worth £22,636 which is incredible. We are hugely grateful to Ebuyer and excited to grow our partnership to grant even more wishes together this year.”
Over the weekend, during a Pokémon Presents video presentation, Tsunekazu Ishihara—president and CEO of The Pokémon Company—announced Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus—new video games coming to the blockbuster series that spans 25 years.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl will launch in late 2021, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus will launch in early 2022. All three games will be available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch™ system.
In 2006, Trainers were introduced to the Sinnoh region with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl on the Nintendo DS system. Players can once again visit the Sinnoh region in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, which are faithful remakes of two iconic Pokémon games. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will introduce fans to the Sinnoh region of old—before the existence of Pokémon Trainers and Pokémon Leagues. It’s in this long-gone era that players will embark on an entirely new adventure to create the region’s first Pokédex.
“Trainers caught their first Pokémon in 1996 and began an adventure that has lasted 25 years. Through eight regions, many different platforms, and countless Pokémon encounters, they have strived to be the very best,” said Mr. Ishihara. “We hope that fans of all ages will enjoy creating new memories while exploring the Sinnoh region in these new games.”
More details about the highly anticipated New Pokémon Snap game were also shared in the video presentation, in addition to information about special in-game events taking place in celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary.
For more information about the Pokémon 25th anniversary celebration, please visit Pokemon.uk/25.
It’s time again to suit up and hit the frontlines of Geonosis with Delta Squad in the fight for the Republic of the Clone Wars!
Aspyr today announced the return of a Star Wars classic – Star Wars Republic Commando, the fan-favorite, first-person tactical shooter where players lead a team of clone commandos as they battle through increasingly difficult missions that take place throughout the legendary Clone Wars.
The game, brought back as a single player experience with modernized controls, arrives for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on April 6 for $14.99.
“Since its original launch in 2005, Republic Commando continues to be a fan-favorite Star Wars game. We’re honored to be able work with Lucasfilm Games to bring back this beloved moment in franchise history.” said Ted Staloch, Aspyr Co-founder.
Star Wars Republic Commando
Chaos has erupted throughout the galaxy. As leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately, annihilate the enemy. Boss, Fixer, Scorch, and Sev, better known as Delta Squad, are back! Your squad will follow your orders and your lead, working together as a team – instinctively, intelligently, instantly. Relive the legendary campaign.
Welcome to the Clone Wars: Chaos has erupted throughout the galaxy. As leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately annihilate the enemy.
Battle Relentless Enemies: Battle a variety of highly intelligent and deadly enemies—from brutal Trandoshan mercenaries to the flying insectoid warriors of Geonosis.
The Squad is Your Weapon: Your squad will follow your orders, performing complex commands and strategic maneuvers. You are their leader. They are your weapon.
Pre-orders start today for Nintendo Switch on the eShop LINK.
Star Wars Republic Commando launches April 6 on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4