Ones To Watch 2015: Indie Games Part Two

Indie games have seen a surge in popularity this year. With both Sony and Microsoft pushing to get indie games on their platforms, these often smaller, innovative games have become a prominent part of new-generation gaming. On the PC, new indie games continue to arise to prominence thanks to Steam’s Early Access and Greenlight processes.

OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood, the successor to OlliOlli, brings with it a significant overhaul to its presentation. Ditching the pixelated art style, OlliOlli 2 will have a more dynamic cartoony look to it. OlliOlli was a great success for Roll7, so without changing the core mechanics, they’ve introduced a number of new gameplay features.

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As the name, “Welcome To Olliwood”, suggests, the streets of OlliOlli have now been switched for the sets of action blockbusters. This will bring ramps and jumps to the game, allowing for split level routes. Additions to the gameplay will include reverts and manuals allowing you to extend your combos further to score big points. Split screen multiplayer for up to 4 players is an attractive new mode too – this is what I’m most looking forward to.

While there is no exact release date for OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood it will be out for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita next year.

Also coming next year from Roll7 is Not A Hero. In Not A Hero you are quite literally not a hero. The game’s city is a mess with gangs and thieves running rampant. As Roll7 put it themselves; Gotham without a Batman. Instead it’s up to you, Steve, a hired gunman for election candidate Bunnylord, to clean up the streets and restore prosperity to the City.

Although at its core a 2D shooter side-scroller, Not A Hero features 3D elements – the most notable being cover. If you don’t use cover in the game you’re simply going to die, and this is something you don’t see in 2D shooters very often. The game features different stages with varying environments and after you complete each stage Bunnylord’s ratings in the poll will go up, so there are story elements and character development as well. From early footage Not A Hero looks extremely fast-paced and addictive. It’s planned to release early 2015 on PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.

From the creators of SteamWorld Dig comes SteamWorld Heist. Although Image and Form Games have stated it’s not a sequel, the game does take place in the same universe as SteamWorld Dig, albeit quite some time after its events. Think of it as an entirely new game though.

An apocalyptic event has occurred forcing the world’s population to take to the skies in steam spaceships. Robot crews now take siege to each other’s spaceships in order to strip them of their resources that are desperately needed for survival. The main protagonist, Captain Piper, is the commander of her crew, and you take control of her as you fight against enemy steambots in futuristic space ship environments.

Similarly to SteamWorld Dig, the game will primarily be an action side-scroller but the combat has now been replaced with a turn-based system, which we don’t know a lot about as of yet. The teaser certainly gives the game that Fallout feel too. SteamWorld Heist is expected to release next Spring, with platforms yet to be announced.

Helldivers is a top-down futuristic shooter. Set in a dystopian future, “Super Earth” is under threat from invading alien species. As part of the elite military group called Helldivers you are humanity’s last hope. You must work together to protect “Super Earth” and hold back the enemies of mankind. There are three invading species to fight against within a host of different environments, as well as an arsenal of overpowered weapons to utilise.

Arrowhead Game Studios have made co-op a major attraction of Helldivers. Communication is key to success in the game, with teamwork being the most effective way to battle though hordes of alien species. Up to 4 players, local or online, can take part in intergalactic warfare. What’s more, the game will feature cross play and cross save between PlayStation systems.

Initially planned for release this summer, Helldivers has suffered a few setbacks. Arrowhead Game Studios only recently reassured gamers that the development of Helldivers is still going well, with a release date planned for next year.

I don’t want to be biased here but Apotheon is the indie game that has me most excited from this collection. It is a Greek Mythology inspired hack em’ up coming from Alien Trap Games. In Apotheon you will have to fight your way up Mount Olympus in order to end the wrath of the Gods.

The Gods have abandoned Earth for Mount Olympus, leaving it a very crowded mountain indeed. In order to make it to the top you will have to defeat a number of Gods along the way and absorb their powers. Those that have played God Of War will no doubt be familiar with the Gods and most of the mythology, so this will be right up your street. There are a handful of Gods to defeat including Hades, Poseidon, Ares and Artemis so you can expect variation to the combat and level design.

It’s Apotheon’s art style that stands out most for me. The whole game is played on a Greek tapestry, and looks like something you would be reading in a history book. The game features full voice acting too and even classic literature consultants have been brought in to make sure the voice acting is on point. Thankfully we don’t have to wait long for Apotheon, the game arrives on PlayStation 4 in January.

Curve Digital has already released more than a handful of Indies on the PlayStation 4. We’ve had the wonderful The Swapper, Titan Attacks, Proteus and Stealth Inc. Their next project, White Space, is a little different; it’s a procedurally generated sci-fi action game.

Now you might think this sounds a little similar to No Mans Sky, but in White Space you will be a bounty hunter hopping between planets carrying out various rogue activities. The planets of White Space have varying terrain colour, fog detail and weather characteristics, meaning each planet is completely different to the last.

We haven’t heard a lot about White Space as of yet, apart from a very early developer diary. Expect it to be some time before the procedural bounty hunter releases.


We’ll be back tomorrow with another batch of cross platform games to watch out for in 2015

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11 Comments

  1. Cue comments about Pixelated games….

    Is The Swapper any good? Curve are a good studio-trustworthy. Steamworld Heist looks good.

    • I really enjoyed it. The puzzles are challenging, and there’s quite an interesting backstory, but the whole game really is too short.

    • I believe The Swapper is coming to plus in the next month or so.

    • Yep, The Swapper is coming to PS Plus in January. I should point out that while Curve are a good studio and do develop their own internal games like Stealth Inc. and White Space, a lot of the projects they work on are porting games from one platform to another. The Swapper is just such a game, first coming to PC last year, and then being ported across in collaboration with the original devs (whose name escapes me) during the summer.

  2. White Space sounds intriguing, will check the video once i escape this gimped workplace internet.

  3. Great selection of games here, I am particularly excited for Helldivers, I’ve played it, it’s brilliant fun in local co-op.

  4. Helldivers, Apotheon and (more about) White Space, please. :-) Top article.

  5. I’ll be getting Steamworld Heist, even if it is a totally different style game

  6. A surge in popularity? Gotta disagree there. That said, I’m interested in Apotheon. Like the Vita, people didn’t buy a PS4 for indie games.

  7. I had no idea that SteamWorld Heist existed. The art style looks the same as in SteamWorld Dig and I loved that. The rest of the games are nice too, but I already knew about their existence. Nice surprise.

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