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This year’s E3 had a staggering focus on indie games. Microsoft lead the charge with such announcements as ID @ Xbox, while Sony was quick to follow with the publisher Devolver Digital releasing amazing upcoming indie games to the Sony consoles and portable. Both displayed a wide array of indie games, such as Bro Force and The Talos Principle, but may be thought as or treated as armaments in the PS4 vs. Xbox One ongoing skirmish. However, certain games stood out as simply beacons within the indie community. The following are five such gems which can influence decision between the two next-gen factions. Or, for the most part, you can stick with PC and be a happier indie gamer.
No Man’s Sky dazzled and delighted gamers with pretty visuals and powerful potential. With upcoming films Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars episode VII, No Man’s Sky has exemplary timing. What better way to have fun and experience similar stories found in films emphasizing space exploration than to play a game focused on space exploration? NMS promises much and, as such, has much credibility to lose. Planet-sized planets, discovering flora, fauna, and other planets as you leave your mark, interstellar combat, and more will be featured in this game.
Whether this indie game, possibly instant classic, is aiming too high or not is a moot point as our collected hopes and desires are soaring to the stars in a procedurally generated universe. As it stands No Man’s Sky has only be shown for, what is assumed during its Sony showcase, the PS4 with no set release or other official announcement to other platforms.
Ori and the Blind Forest has less credibility to lose and offers accomplishment and feelings. While Valiant Hearts seemed to steal hearts with tear jerking story telling and triumph over adversity, Ori appears to build your love and connection to the characters as well as the setting through organic means. Albeit the story veers into a dark side with the introduction to an antagonist in the form of an owl-like behemoth. Even as a Metroidvania at its core, Ori will appear simple and a gorgeous stroll through an enchanted park. This simplicity is an illusion to those thinking the game to be easy.
In more ways than one Ori and the Blind Forest will have you second your actions and tensing up as the game progresses. Most likely this will be a must have for most gamers. Ori and the Blind Forest, from Moon Studios, will release on Xbox One and PC later Fall 2014.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is not a surprise but was nonetheless surprising when seen in action. The sequel to a critically acclaimed baseball smash hit to the face showcased a few new features and mechanics. The level designer is a more than welcome addition to the series. Gauntlets will be thrown as you create near impossible to defeat scenarios for yourself, friends, and online strangers alike. The grand finale to a challenging yet increasingly fun series offers new playable characters, weapons, and animations.
With new characters comes new abilities: dual wielding guns, a dodge/roll maneuver, and more. Currently dated for Q3 2014, Hotline Miami 2 will give PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Mac, and PC gamers days of visceral combat, unique 2D designs, and custom made content for players by players.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is highly unique yet still follows this E3’s mindset of being co-op focused. As the pluralized word states, the game is oriented towards two gamers playing in the same room, as it appears to not have any online co-op mode. For you whom are best classified as “Forever Alone”, worry not as space-man’s best friend can replace your non-existant Player 2. This Rogue-like with blast from the past graphics pushes the player(s) to the limit. There will rarely exist a dull moment as you dash from one station to another in your two person ship. Weapons, engines, and more are linked to individual locations inside your ship, and if no one is using that station then you are left without engines, or whichever function is connected to said station. Communication, quick reflexes, and strategy are integral for survival, so work well with your partner or face imminent death.
With procedurally generated star systems and the ability to customize each of your ship’s stations Lovers is perfect for quickie sessions of co-op gaming fun as well as hours of intense, heart pounding action. Asteroid Base has yet to give an official release date but you can expect to play this game “When it’s done,” on Xbox One, PC, and Mac.
Galak-Z is the fifth and final choice, and is also another Rogue-like but with strong differences in which to stand out. With the endless dungeon appeal to grab most fans of the Rogue-like style, the Newtonian physics will stick you to your seat. Unlike most physics piloted games of a two dimensional space nature, Galak-Z allows players to pull off lunch re-tasting moves.
If you like an infinite supply of baddies to blast, spine snapping speed, and an ever present sense of danger then you will love Galak-Z. With the nostalgic anime appeal from the 1970’s/80’s and ship upgrades added to the mix you have a game that will be an instant addition to either your PS4, PS Vita, or PC library this Q2/Q3.