If you're a fan of indie games or even if you're just someone willing to give them the time of day, PlayStation 4 has an upcoming collection that's so deliciously impressive, it should probably come with a dietary warning. Don't believe me? Here are just a few of them.
I didn't believe in love at first sight until I stumbled over Pavilion on the TIGSource forums. Described as a "fourth person exploratory experience about guidance, influence and subliminal control", Pavilion is a labyrinth of ornate hedge mazes and stained glass art, a thing of beauty that looks more interactive oil painting than game. I could just be projecting. Pavilion, for all of its puzzles and environmental challenges, makes me want to do nothing but painstakingly explore its every nuance which, judging by early impressions of the game, seems perfectly in line with what the developers have envisioned for Pavilion.
A desolate, enchanting island that bleeds "scenic" from every pebble. A distant mountain. An enigmatic young boy trussed up in a red cloak. Tequila Works' Rime looks like it was inspired by just about everything that is good in this world : Princess Mononoke, Salvador Dali, Spirited Away. Journey. ICO. According to an interview with Analog Addiction, this "open-world adventure" is a story with no words, a game that pivots on an environmental narrative. Which, honestly, is totally okay by me.
Honeyslug's Hohokum shares a few coincidental similarities with Doki-Doki Universe. Both are powered by a child-like joy. Both feature unusual denizens. Both will make an appearance on the PS4. Unlike Doki-Doki Universe, however, Hohokum will not put you in command of an endearing little robot. Instead, it will have you operating a flying rainbow-colored snake-slash-transportation-service. Little in the way of concrete details have been released as of yet, an understandable turn of events given that much of Hohokum will hinge on personal exploration and discovery. If the devs gave all the secrets away, what would you do? (Besides miss out on a piece of magic, that is.)
Unless you're particularly Zen-like or completely indifferent to the notion of the sun spontaneously imploding in random celebration of Murphy's Law, chances are you've wondered about what it might be like if the world were to simply end. The Chinese Room's Everybody's Gone to Rapture will explore the repercussions of precisely such an event. It has a scientist in its heart, a promise to be powerful, deep and laser-focused on your emotional journey. A tall order for some developers, perhaps, but standard operating procedure (They made Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs) for the likes of The Chinese Room. Everybody's Gone to Rapture will also apparently feature something really cool but we're not going to be told what just yet. Consider yourself pre-hyped.
Heart Machine's staggeringly pretty Hyper Light Drifter, a 2D Action RPG with funky colors and fabulous aesthetics, might not be attending Playstation 4's launch but it will certainly make an entrance when it finally gets there. To give you an indication of things (and to provide the legitimacy of peer pressure), Hyper Light Drifter once requested a modest $27, 000 on Kickstarter. The public responded by chucking over $600, 000 at them. Set within the Lands of Buried Time, a world populated by kick-ass historians, Hyper Light Drifter has a protagonist ravaged by an insatiable illness and the burning desire to be rid of it. It's supposed to play like the best of A Link to the Past and Diablo and, well, at this point, everything else is just window dressing, damnit.
Tired of all that sweetness, light and storybook beauty? Check out Frictional Games' SOMA. This upcoming science fictional survival horror game is the latest in the Swedish company's stable of PTSD-inducing terrors. Based on what has been revealed so far, it looks like SOMA, which is set in a remote search facility where no one can hear you scream, draws some amount of inspiration from the SCP Foundation, a fictional(?) repository of weird, supernatural objects and entities. There are supposed to be machines capable of imitating human behavior and all that such suspicious conduct implies. I'm not going to say more. Just .. just watch the gameplay teaser. Brrr.
Starbound, guys. Starbound.Where do I even begin with Chucklefish's Starbound? How do I describe the way it has dug hooks into my very soul? The developers call it an "extraterrestrial sandbox adventure game", an appropriate description given the kind of shennanigans it will allow. As a refugee from some distant planet, it is very much your right to explore the universe and do whatever the heck you please. Hundreds of procedurally generated creatures, items and worlds are apparently just waiting for you to make first contact. There will be quest lines and NPCs to boss you around, lands you can cultivate for agricultural purposes, weapons to forge, settlements to either enslave or visit and even a goddamned space ship, people. A space ship. If that doesn't make you at least a little giddy, we cannot be friends.
The first Hotline Miami was a top-down 2D madhouse of liquid neon colors and unapologetic violence, a psychadelic dream you will either love or experience great trepidation in the company of. Or both. Both was totally possible. Given the amazing response the original received, it should probably be no surprise that the sequel subscribes to a similar formula. That said, Hotline Miami 2 wouldn't be very good if it was just the same game twice. According to an interview with RockPaperShotgun, the sequel's going to be more narrative-driven, with a vigilante group that worships the character from the first and events that won't just evoke awed horror.More information here.