There are some top indie games coming in 2015
With 2015 homing into view on the horizon, the hype for next year’s blockbuster Triple A releases is already gathering apace. The news broke recently that the next Assassin’s Creed will be set in Victorian London and Sony has just shown off several of next year’s early releases in last week’s London showcase. However, with all the noise carrying it’s easy to forget that some of next year’s most exciting releases are coming from indie studios. Here’s a list of the ones we’re most looking forward to.
No Man’s Sky
Hello Games’s open world game is one of 2015’s most enticing prospects. A travelogue of epic proportions, players are given a vast uncharted universe to explore in which every planet boasts a unique layout, flora and fauna. It’s not all about anthropology though; players will engage in dogfights in space, battle predatory creatures and have to buy equipment to survive the most hostile planets.
What makes the whole thing mind-boggling is the fact that, according to the developers, the universe in No Man’s Sky is procedurally developed. This means that the planets, creatures and encounters don’t really exist until the player comes across them. Their avatar sits at the centre of an algorithm that generates the environments on the fly. How all this works, we have no idea, but we’re looking forward to finding out.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
If you never picked up a copy of Devolver’s top-down pastel shaded killing machine, we urge you to do so before the sequel hits. By all accounts it may render the first instalment redundant as not much has changed in terms of the gameplay; it’s still horribly gory, you still kill to a thumping rhythm.
But then, one of the draws of Hotline Miami isn’t just its spring-loaded deathtrap set-up, it’s also its sick, twisted lore. Set before the events of the first Hotline Miami, Wrong Number throws the events of the first game into disarray. The story this time is also told through an array of different characters, informed by myriad world views – who knows what’s real. It’s like David Lynch meets GTA meets Takashi Miike. You want blood? You got it.
Originally a browser game developed for 2013 7 Day FPS Challenge, SuperHot has gone into full development after being successfully funded through KickStarter. It’s easy to see why; SUPERHOT Team’s stark crystalline FPS is as much a strategy game as it is a shooter.
Players take on corridors filled with enemies firing streams of bullets at them with the one catch that the moment they stop moving all the flying lead stops and hovers in mid-air. Furthermore, for PCs, SUPERHOT Team has added the Oculus Rift VR headset to mix, making the whole experience far more immediate. Here’s hoping that when the game sees release on PS4, they’ll do the same for Project Morpheus.
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Mike Bithell’s last game, Thomas Was Alone, was a charming platformer with superb voice work from Danny Wallace, which ensured players would never look at oblongs the same way again. For his second major outing, Bithell says that he’s mashing up Metal Gear Solid with the myth of Robin Hood.
The result is Volume, a game in which players are vulnerable at every turn. The objective is to move through every level without being seen – while CCTV, enemies and other adversaries prowl the environment. Players can’t kill any enemies, but they are given tools to help them along their way. Imagine MGS designed as a series of killboxes and you’re starting to get the idea.
When it was unveiled at the PS4 announcement event two years ago, very few people knew what to make of The Witness. We knew it was Jonathan Blow’s follow up to Braid and, given his practice of placing layered narratives into seemingly simple games, it was a safe bet there was more going on than what we saw in the trailer – which basically looked like Myst with iPads.
Having had a hands-on with The Witness since then, we can report there’s more going on in it. As players explore the game’s island environment they’ll learn more not just about the space they’re in but also the backstory of the protagonist. Blow says the obstacles in his new game are lines of communication. We look forward to peeling back The Witness’s promised layers.
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South African studio Free Live Games’s title BroForce is like an amalgamation of every action film and video game from the 80s tossed into a blender, shocked into a life and then given a steroid jolt of note.
Players blaze through levels turning enemies into paint with oversized firearms and then liberate them by hoisting an American flag. It’s fun, violent and utterly addictive. Best of all, it means we never need another Duke Nukem game ever again!
Set in a forest fire look-out station somewhere in the American countryside, Firewatch promises that the impending danger of nature’s flames aren’t the player’s worst problem. Simply watch the trailer below and tell us if you don’t think more than simple official communication is going on between the game’s protagonists.
There’s an underlying atmosphere of dread to Firewatch that we have to admit is drawing us in like butterflies to a flame. Here’s hoping that the gameplay – which we’ve seen precious little of – compliments the rather compelling setup.
Tequila Works’ last game was the zombie apocalypse side scroller Deadlight. Its latest game, Rime, couldn’t be further away from that rubric. Trailers released this year showed gameplay that looked like the minimalist style of Journey crossed with the beautiful animation of the best of Team Ico’s titles.
Not much is known about Rime apart from the fact that it’s an open world adventure set on a mysterious island and it involves quite a bit of puzzle solving. But from a visual standpoint it’s a sumptuous feast and the air of mystery surrounding the game makes us want to delve all the more deeper into it.
The developers behind XBLA’s breakout hit Limbo continue down their own grim path. Another young cherub is forced to navigate a grim, horrible world filled to the gills with an atmosphere of choking dread. This time it seems that hell itself has been swapped out for the undead apocalypse.
Playdead’s pedigree is well established. The Copenhagen developer provided one of the best and most grisly platformers of recent memory with Limbo. Inside seems to up the ante; players will have to oscillate desperate dashes between the ranks of the undead with mimicking their movements to survive. It’s like Shaun Of The Dead, minus the comedy.
See also: Upcoming PS4 games 2015
Take the animation style of Felix The Cat, toss in a dark twist and lay it out at as a side-scrolling adventure. That’s what the trailers of Cuphead promise. If this game lives up to its promise, it’ll be like navigating a Tex Avery cartoon scripted by David Lynch.
Tell us you don’t want to play it…
Read more: Best Xbox One games 2015