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E3 2014 | ID@Xbox Brings Out the Indie

by on June 16, 2014
 

Microsoft had piles of indie games on display and it would be impossible to run down them all. Rather than that, here are some of the ones I was either shown or got to play myself.

Get Even

What was most interesting to me about this game was the scanning technology they have developed that lets them capture the entirety of a room and take it into the digital world. This results in all the walls of a room having unique and highly detailed textures. It might not sound interesting but the room they showed as an example was amazingly detailed. It was night and day to what a normal shooter would have. This wall had cracks and graffiti the way a wall would in the real world.

The game itself sounds interesting as well although the plot remained unclear to me. What I did learn was that there will be two campaigns that intersect with each other. The goal being to make them intersect with another player who is playing the other campaign in a manner similar to or Journey. Not much gameplay was shown besides some basic crime scene investigation but there were a lot of interesting and promising ideas. Get Even should be a game to keep on your radar.

Grave

This game is still early in development but it is doing something a little bit different. It was described to me as ‘surrealist horror’ and it also features a game world that changes as you explore. You might start the game and there’s an old log cabin off in the desert but after you die and start over, there will be a ruined skyscraper in the distance as well. The mismatch is intentional and has story implications later on.

Your goal is to explore the area and find enough tools to survive the night, when horrible monster come out and try to kill you. There were two different types of enemies shown and they could either be killed via light or fire only.

Right now things are a bit rough but it could be on the right track to be a unique horror experience.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

This game has such a great art style it is ridiculous. The goal of the game is to travel through space saving little bunnies. The game play is somewhat like Asteroids in that you’re guiding the ship around and shooting space rocks and other enemies. The game is meant to be played coop but in single player there is a cat that you can control that helps out. The ship itself has several different cannons and a shield mounted on it. However each component can only be controlled from a certain part of the ship. So in order to fire the gun ahead of the ship you need to go over to the controls for it. This leads to a lot of frantic running around. It’s a lot of fun and looks to be a great couch coop game.

Nero

Nero is a puzzle adventure game in the vein of Myst. The first thing I noticed was the interesting art style that neon highlighted trees and bushes among more traditional medieval stonework. This was just one of four of the large levels that make up that game and each has its own art style.

Their goal for the game is a ‘next gen visual novel’ but also that they want the player to be more involved than in a traditional visual novel. This is through the use of puzzles. There are required ones and optional ones but they are scattered all around the game world. Completing a puzzle unlocks more of the tale and they promise a deep and rewarding narrative but that is hard to show off in a 15 minute demonstration.

The puzzles looked interesting and the story sounded promising so we’ll just have to see what happens as it develops but it is something to keep an eye on.

Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter Is an arcadey action game that has you fighting waves of enemies. It is a fast combination of dodging, melee, ranged, and special attacks. The action picks up quickly as different types of enemies start to surround you. It quickly becomes frantic as enemies are charging in while others are shooting; the chaos is what makes this compelling.

It was fun and the art style was great but I’m really hoping there is more to it than just this survival mode. A full game with this combat would be extremely enticing but if it is just this mode… not so much. I did enjoy my time with it and the coop possibilities make it sound even better.