For its last Direct-style indie games showcase of 2019, Nintendo had a big surprise in store for metroidvania fans. Developer Tom Happ closed out the stream with an announcement for Axiom Verge 2, a follow-up to his critically acclaimed original from 2015. It's currently slated for a fall 2020 release on the Nintendo Switch, with other platforms to be announced at a later date.
You may think you already know the world of Axiom Verge. Think again.— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) December 10, 2019
Discover the origins of the @AxiomVerge universe in #AxiomVerge2 coming to #NintendoSwitch in 2020! #IndieWorld pic.twitter.com/XZqvgcEwKn
The reveal trailer shows off gorgeous pixel art and some familiar looking Axiom Verge powers and mechanics, but it doesn't give away too much about the story. Thankfully, Happ has also launched Axiom Verge 2's official website, which gives clues as to where it fits into the universe's timeline. Nintendo's announcement seems to indicate it's a prequel, but Happ says the games can be played in either order:
Axiom Verge 2 is part of the same story as Axiom Verge 1 but is a completely new game: new characters, new powers, new enemies, and a new world. You can play it before or after the original.
Meet Indra, the mysterious billionaire behind the worldwide Globe 3 conglomerate. What is this world she's found? Who are the voices that seem to be calling to her?
Indra is Axiom Verge 2's new playable character. Wherever and whenever she's landed, she has hacking abilities and a remote drone at her disposal, similar to those of Axiom Verge's main character Trace. Indra also has new tools such as a power-up locating compass and a boomerang at her disposal, and it looks like her climbing skills will be an integral part of the platforming.
As with the original, Happ has been developing Axiom Verge 2 by himself for the past four years. In the about section on Axiom Verge 2's site, Happ says the story explored in the new game actually predates the completion of the original:
In the beginning—I mean around 2010 or so when I started thinking about what I wanted to make—I began outlining a story that went back thousands of years with multiple characters, each of which was meant to be the protagonist of their own life. Trace's part, awakening bewildered in a strange world, was designed as the introductory act. For the sequel, wanted to pick a more central character and time period that covered the most essential events providing the impetus for the overall story. Thus, Indra.
Originally released for the PS4, the first Axiom Verge can now be played on the Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux. For more, check out USG's Axiom Verge review.