Ones To Watch 2015: Indie Games Part Three

Sony and Microsoft have doubled down on Indies over the last year or so, with both companies bringing plenty of great, smaller titles to their platforms. While it’s great to see these corporate giants interact with smaller developers right at the source, sometimes that isn’t possible and so Sony, in particular, has also been looking towards the wealth of great PC titles that have arrived or been announced over the last 12 months with a view to bringing to them to PS4 and Vita.

That’s the main focus of what we’re looking at today and we have a weird and wonderful selection to get through.

1TW-Broforce

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Broforce is one of those titles that is very easy to fall in love with, especially if you like 80’s and 90’s action movies. It is a pixel art, side scrolling, shoot ‘em up in which you play one of a number of movie characters. While the characters are instantly recognizable from their attire, each of them is given a ‘Bro’ variation of their real name. Rambro, Brobocop and even Ellen Ripbro make an appearance and some of the fun is trying to name the numerous actions stars that feature.

The game itself sees you making your way through levels that feature destructible environments, ‘liberating’ levels by killing all the enemies and then hoisting the American flag. The levels end with a boss battle and are punctuated with lots of large explosions, violent deaths and gunfire! Broforce is scheduled for release on PS4 and Vita in early 2015 and will support up to 4 players in online cooperative play.

1TW-EthanCarter
The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter is an adventure game but unlike a lot of other, more linear, experiences this one is set in an open world environment that you can explore to discover clues and piece together the story. Ethan Carter is a young boy with a supernatural gift that reaches out to a paranormal detective for help. You play as the detective in question Paul Prospero, who after reading the letter heads to the town of Red Creek Valley to investigate.

By the time you get there Ethan is missing and you are tasked with solving the mystery of his disappearance and the sinister secrets behind Red Valley itself. Viewed from a first person perspective, the game reminded me a little bit of Murdered: Soul Suspect in that you need to find the clues and investigating them shows you a glimpse into past events. The game was released on PC in September to a raft of good reviews and is scheduled to hit the PS4 as a ‘first to console’ exclusive in 2015.

1TW-HatofulBoyfriend

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to become romantically involved with a pigeon? If so, Hatoful Boyfriend might be the game for you! In this eccentric visual novel title you play the only human female at St. Pigeonation’s Institute, with the remainder of students being birds. The game is set in an alternate universe where by the year 2188 most of the world’s human population have been replaced with sapient birds.

As well as dating you’ll be tasked with choosing which classes to attend to boost your stats, it’s kind of like a mix of Persona 4 Golden and Virtue’s Last Reward… only with pigeons instead of other humans. There are numerous birds to romance and each relationship will lead to a different branching storyline and ending, which should add to the replayability of the game. For more info check out Sam’s diary piece on the game. It’s due out on PS4 and Vita in the 2nd quarter of 2015.

1TW-DreamfallChapters

Dreamfall Chapters is an episodic adventure game set in the year 2220 in which you take control of Zoe Castillo, a young woman whose mind is trapped in a dreamlike world while her body is in a coma. Waking with little memory the game sees you trying to piece together the events since the incident that left you unconscious. Doing so requires exploration and discussion with other NPC’s, much in the style of other adventure games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead. As you approach areas, objects or people you can interact with will be highlighted and you can choose accordingly.

While the overall story is linear there are several choices to make that can affect your playthrough of the game. Dreamfall Chapters is the third title in the series and while we won’t be getting the other two games, there is a recap of the previous title’s events so you can catch up on the story. The first episode was released on PC in October 2014 and the developers had said it would be on PS4 ‘soon’ back in August, so early 2015 might be a good bet.

1TW-SOMA

SOMA is a sci-fi survival horror title from the makers of the chilling Amnesia game series. I say ‘chilling’ but I’m having to take other people’s word for that as I’m a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to jump scares! SOMA is played from a first person perspective and takes place on an underwater research facility called PATHOS-2. You play as Simon, someone in the facility who has no idea how he got there. Having watched the trailers it reminded me a little of Fallout and Dead Space, which isn’t a bad combination at all.

During the trailers we’ve mainly seen footage of the abandoned station but with audio from radio communications over the top. The developers have also released a few promo videos showing live action footage of crew members interacting with technology, one in which a robot thinks it’s a human member of the crew and the other in which a machine seemingly injures a member of the team. It’s shaping up to be an interesting project for sure and the game is due for release on PS4, as well as PC, in early 2015.

1TW-HeatSig

Heat Signature is the new game from Gunpoint creator Tom Francis in which you take control of a small spaceship, flying through the galaxy and taking on jobs. It’s still early stages for the development of this one so currently the jobs are very simple things like ‘assassinate this person’ or ‘steal this cargo’. Once you get a job you’ll need to fly to one of the bigger ships where the target is, evade their heat sensors (hence the title of the game) and board the ship.

From there the game switches to an overhead view of your character, a little bit like Hotline Miami, and you’ll be tasked with getting the job done. It’s up to you how you proceed, whether it’s stealth or all out warfare. In one of the demo videos it was revealed that if you can get to the ship’s control room you’ll then have access to functions like door control, which could allow you to trap enemies rather than kill them, before making your escape. It’s certainly a bold idea and I think this game looks really interesting. Heat Signature is only confirmed for PC at this stage, with no indication of a release date.

1TW-HenkaTwistCaper

Henka Twist Caper is a Move based game in which 6 players team up in two groups of three. The idea of the game is to find the correct position assigned randomly by the game for your Move controller. So you’ll need to move around the game area until your controller vibrates and the orb lights up. Once each of you find the position you all just need to stay still long enough to fill up (an invisible) bar to win.

Simple right? Well it would be if the other team weren’t also attempting the same thing while trying to prevent you from filling your meter. A gentle shove or movement of your opponent’s arm might be enough to do the trick… possibly while maintaining whatever pose you need to fill your own meter. There is also a different type of team mode where two people’s position is the same and you’ll need to work together to figure out where it is. Looks like this could be a great game for parties and, if your friends are all happy drunks with no violent tendencies, one for after the pub on a Friday night. Henka Twist Caper is set for release in 2015, with no date confirmed yet.

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3 Comments

  1. Broforce is pretty fun, well, the free Expendabros version they released to tie in with the Expendables 2 was.
    i haven’t played the full version but it looks like it plays the same.

    i just checked, it’s still free on Steam.

    • Thank for the tip, Expandabros is everything I expected :))))

  2. Broforce looks like epic fun, count me in!

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