‘The Dark Crystal’, ‘Starship Troopers’ target 2020 videogame adaptations


  • Video games
  • Friday, 06 Dec 2019

'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics' recasts Netflix show characters within a turn-based tactical adventure. — AFP Relaxnews

The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics and Starship Troopers – Terran Command are both in line for 2020 releases, the former building on a Netflix revival and the latter potentially tied to a movie franchise reboot.

The studio behind Stranger Things 3: The Game is working on a turn-based tactical adventure based on Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance.

Called The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics, the February 2020 release will have players lead characters from the show through more than 50 turn-based battles, recruiting new allies, upgrading and customising them, and undertaking a journey through five different territories from the show.

Initially projected for a 2019 release, publisher En Masse Entertainment has now settled on a Feb 4 date across Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Mac and PC.

Its developer, BonusXP, already has experience with Netflix properties, having made 2017's Stranger Things: The Game for iOS and then July 2019's slightly less well received Stranger Things 3: The Game for Switch, PS4, XBO, PC and iOS.

Acting as a prequel for beloved 1982 Jim Henson puppet movie The Dark Crystal, a second season of Netflix's revival has not yet been confirmed, though its showrunners have indicated preparedness for another round.

Early material regarding The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Tactics suggests a connection in terms of gameplay to Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and current-day torchbearers like XCOM 2, Into The Breach and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.

Its announcement occurs just as Phoenix Point, a new game from the creator of the overall X-COM franchise, launches on PS4, XBO, Mac, and PC.

The release date rejig also comes shortly after Starship Troopers: Terran Command surfaced.

It's a 2020 real-time strategy in development at The Aristocrats, a studio previously known for World War II-themed Order Of Battle.

Claiming as its inspiration the 1997 action movie satire based on Robert A. Heinlein's controversial 1959 novel Starship Troopers, its name recalls foundational franchise Command & Conquer.

Meanwhile, publisher Slitherine identifies a modern trend for genre titles that are "fast-paced [and] successfully blend unit management, survival and captivating storytelling" – perhaps a reference to the legacy of StarCraft and StarCraft II, often noted for its similarities to the original Starship Troopers novel.

The first Starship Troopers film spawned four more over a two-decade span, with the writers of the recent Baywatch, Friday The 13th and Freddy vs. Jason movies attached to a proposed reboot since 2016. – AFP Relaxnews

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