The big moments at E3 may be reserved for hardware reveals and blockbuster exclusives, but the indie sector is undeniably becoming increasingly important for platform holder Sony. The Japanese giant has made a huge push in this area over the past few years, and as its press conference evidenced earlier in the week, it’s not planning to stop with the PlayStation 4. As part of the manufacturer’s big showcase in Los Angeles, the company revealed eight new indie games that will make their console debut on the next generation system. But what are the titles in question, and why should you care?
Pitched as a survival game set in the wilderness, Klei Entertainment’s forthcoming outdoor opus sees you assume the role of a German scientist who has been transported to a bleak outland. Using little more than your wits and the environment around you, you must use the resources and tools at your disposal to brave your way through the rough rural world, carefully attempting to avoid the hand drawn creatures and traps that aim to obscure your way home.
The thinking man’s shooter, Galak-Z aims to take the complex combat encounters from modern action games and transpose them into a retro two-dimensional world. Set in a massive Metroidvania-inspired environment – and boasting a comprehensive physics system that promises to take full advantage of the PS4’s horsepower – the throwback hopes to replace the mindless bullet hell of most modern spaceship shooters with something a little more tactical and mentally taxing.
The real benefit of indie games is that it allows creative developers to explore extremely unique ideas, and that often culminates in some fresh storylines and gameplay mechanics. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case, and titles such as Mercenary Kings are eager to prove that point. The co-operative run ‘n’ gun shooter from Tribute Games sees you completing missions in colourful two-dimensional environments, using a unique arsenal of weapons to guide your way. The big twist is that the title allows you to mix and match multiple firearm parts, enabling you to concoct some brutal combinations.
By far the most baffling game featured as part of PS4’s indie push, Octodad: Dadliest Catch sees you assume the role of an octopus everyman. However, there’s a catch – your wife and kids are oblivious to the fact that you’re a cephalopod in disguise. As such, the so-called “slapstick fatherhood simulator” has you attempting to deceive your suspicious relatives, a task that isn’t as easy as it initially seems due to your gelatinous nature. It’s essentially Noby Noby Boy on opium – and that’s by no means a bad thing.
A remake of the PSone classic, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ‘n’ Tasty is set to further the franchise’s return to the spotlight. Produced on the Unity 3D engine, the remake removes the flip-screen presentation from the original PlayStation release, introducing a scrolling system with adapted artificial intelligence and redesigned puzzles to make the most of this liberating tweak.
In an industry dominated by supposed horror games that amount to little more than shooters set in dark environments, Outlast hopes to represent the last crack of light in the deserted genre. A stealth survival experience set in an abandoned asylum, the game sees you assume the role of a journalist with zero weapons and combat prowess. Your only means of escape is to hide from the copious threats that you encounter, and hope that you aren’t spotted.
A stylised Spaghetti Western from Switchblade Monkeys, Secret Ponchos adopts an isometric perspective to offer an arena combat experience inspired by fighting games. The release’s big hook – in addition to its frantic deathmatches – is its bounty system, which sees your notoriety rise as you win matches. Success makes your scalp ripe for the taking, leading to a headhunting dynamic that means that even the best bandits won’t have time to relax at the local saloon.
After the phenomenal success of Bastion on various other platforms, Supergiant Games has earned its status as part of the elite of the indie development community. As such, the addition of Transistor to the PS4’s library is a real coup for Sony, and it looks like it’s going to build on the pedigree of its predecessor. Set in a colourful art deco landscape, you play as Red, a young singer who has happened upon the mysterious Transistor, a giant talking sword. As the youthful vocalist, you must use a combination of free-roaming action and turn-based strategy to fight your way through the vibrant isometric world.
Are you excited by Sony’s ongoing indie push? Which of these titles has got you most excited? Let us know in the comments section below.
Which of the following indie hits are you most looking forward to? (48 votes)
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ‘n’ Tasty
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