Indie Dvelopment: what’s coming to PlayStation

You look back on some of the original PlayStation’s harsh, blocky graphics and you wonder how we ever thought those games looked good. Polygons can be beautiful, though, and AER is a game that proves it. Its stylised triangular edges coalesce to create a bright, vivid world, composed of lush floating islands, suspended in the sky. You explore these disparate islands as Auk, a pilgrim girl with a unique gift she can turn into a bird, allowing her to explore her homeland in flight and find remote locations. A large part of AER is about exploration then, about the wonderful freedom of soaring through the air as you discover new areas in this vibrant landscape. What exactly it is that you’re looking for, we don’t yet know.


What we do know is that there are some dangerous forces at work and creatures that will be trying to harm you. Does that mean there will be combat? Developer Forgotten Key hasn’t made that clear, but we’re betting AER will be more about evasion than confrontation. Regardless, we look forward to getting our hands on AER when it comes to PS4 to find out, because the game looks delightful. The only downside is that we’ll have to wait until 2016 to play it.

A game that we won’t have to wait too long for is the intriguing REFLECTIONS, coming to PS4 in the next few months. We’re used to games telling us that they are all about choice and consequence, but Reflections looks to be a game that will show the likes of The Walking Dead up when it comes to giving control of a game’s narrative to the player. Broken Window Studios says that the game’s engine responds to every action you take, even if its something as insignificant as using an item, and adapts the narrative accordingly. Time will pass as you play too, meaning that how you spend it matters. The idea is that this story about moving away from home and starting your life as an adult is shaped by your actions, rather than being defined by options that you pick from a menu. The concept is a fascinating one the kind of innovative approach that makes us love indie games and if it plays out with the level of flexibility that the developer is suggesting it will, it’s going to be an incredibly interesting adventure game.

As much as we love narrative focused experimental indie games like Reflections, we also like games that are about running around really fast, blowing stuff up and carrying out the orders of an anthropomorphic rabbit from the future named Bunnylord. We are talking about the incredible looking NOT A HERO. Developed by Roll7, the studio behind OlliOlli, the game is a 2D shooter with a breakneck pace that makes it look a bit like Hotline Miami on a horizontal plane. There are nine different characters in the game, each with their own weapons and gameplay style, which should provide a nice bit of variety. If sliding and rolling between cover while popping off shots in Not A Hero is as exhilarating as it looks, then we are going to be in for a real treat when the game hits PS4 and Vita this year.
“SOUL AXIOM MAY NOT HAVE A RABBIT NAMED BUNNYLORD, BUT IT’S SURREAL IN ITS OWN WAY”
SOUL AXIOM may not have a rabbit named Bunnylord, but it’s surreal in its own way. Early in the game, you find yourself exploring environments that look like dreamscapes ripped from an android’s mind with no explanation as to why you’re there. Soul Axiom gradually sets up an intriguing mystery, skillfully teasing you with tidbits of information and opaque symbolism. Unraveling the story of who you are and how you ended up where you are involves you solving puzzles using a variety of environmental manipulation abilities that are unlocked as you progress. You are able to bring certain pieces of matter into and out of being, or animate in the environment, to give a couple of examples. In the latter stages of our hands-on time with the game, we became concerned that it lacks a bit of signposting, but we have been playing an early access version, so there’s plenty of time for changes before the game comes to PS4. We’re optimistic, because with a couple of tweaks here and there, Soul Axiom could be a great puzzle adventure game.

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