The rise of the big-budget indie title

Given the ridiculous backlog of games I have yet to touch, yet alone complete, I have decided to be quite selective throughout 2016 with my purchases, lest I become forced to live in a fridge box under a bridge, albeit a fridge with a large collection of videogames. 

As such, I plan to only pick up the more interesting new titles, first amongst them The Last Guardian, after years of hardware difficulties and unfortunate staff departures from the developers Team Ico. The basic premise is you control a young boy who interacts with a giant avian-canine-cat-monstrosity. You interact with said creature to make your way through the game world, scaling cliffs and defeating enemies by luring it with food, for example. I am a huge fan of their previous titles Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus, and if The Last Guardian bears even the faintest of resemblances to those entries, then we’re in for a real treat. While my hopes have been raised impossibly high by the long incubation period and endless release date changes, I have every faith that I will not be disappointed.

My inner fangirl quakes in her weeaboots for the release of Atlus’ long-rumoured Persona 5.

Secondly, upcoming sci-fi adventure No Man’s Sky from indie studio Hello games has piqued my interest. Given the ambition of the project I’ve been following its development closely, and the core concept is stunning. Almost everything about the game is generated using pseudorandom number engines, from the locations and types of planets you’ll encounter during interstellar travel, to the minutiae of the flora, fauna and terrain that occupy them. Decades of research into physics, geology and biology all come together to enhance this: a video game, of all things. Even the music is comprised of a vast library of complementary loops that be combined and contrasted to produce a range of ambient tones.

And of course to conclude, my inner fangirl quakes in her weeaboots for the release of Atlus’ long-rumoured Persona 5. The new addition to the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff series looks to promise a darker turn, certainly when compared to the more upbeat themes of P4. The shadows look to be removed entirely so far, with the return of the ‘demons’ from Shin Megami Tensei. The protagonist, rather than being out with any ‘good-guy’ notion of saving the world, is instead a slick thief. Additionally the series’ use of mask devices will apparently feature overtly in the plot, so there’s something to watch out for.

Hopefully I will succeed in my goal to remain fiscally conscious. Rather more likely is that I will be mercilessly pummelled by Humble Bundle week after week, but a man can dream. Dream of a wallet more full of money and less overflowing with broken promises and receipts for video games that I don’t need.

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