GameInsight's X-Mercs: Invasion and The Running Shadow are both coming along rather nicely. They're still a ways off, but it was nice to get some hands-on time with the two titles yesterday and I came away mostly impressed.
It's difficult not to draw comparisons between X-Mercs and a certain other strategy game that involves aliens, and after messing around with the game a bit it's actually more difficult to avoid it. The game wears its inspiration on its sleeve, there's no doubt about that. However it does show promise.
Players act as a neutral party in the middle of a war between opposing factions. They'll be taking on missions for both sides, as well as unlocking more missions and more regions to fight in as they level-up their profile. Multiple soldier classes are available (Sniper, Scout, and Heavy Trooper), tech trees can be researches, all sorts of weapons and armors can be manufactured, and alongside the 200+ missions it will also be possible (and encouraged) to raid other player's bases.
Of course a few things are different, aside from the color palette. The initial squad of three can be upgraded to four or five, for a price. Wounded soldiers heal in real-time, with cooldown timers and everything. However the most interesting twist is how it's possible to turn deceased soldiers into cyborgs - complete with a special skill tree and everything. If nothing else, it might lessen the pain of loss.
We'll be sure to have a full review of X-Mercs: Invasion once it's available later this summer.
The Running Shadow
The Running Shadow is a very different beast. Rather than being a strategy game, it's actually a runner (not endless) with some RPG elements and character customization.
What truly struck me about it was the use of special parkour tricks and stealth kills (yes, stealth kills in a runner). Occasionally the main character will encounter special "pads" on the ground that will trigger a timed swiping QTE, which will see him nimbly leap over obstacles and run along walls if performed correctly. And if he manages to get close enough to an enemy that doesn't see him coming, a similar mini-game will trigger. If nothing else, it's nice to see a runner doing something a little different.
We'll also have a full review of The Running Shadow when it releases this summer.