What’s it about? A woman known only as Red who finds an intelligent sword called the Transistor, which looks like part of a motherboard. A malevolent organisation called ‘The Program’ are looking for her; Red must fight, action-RPG style, to save herself
Why should I care? Five words: “From the creators of Bastion”. Supergiant Games created one of the most interesting action-RPGs of 2011 from an independent background.
The aesthetic design is brilliant, Darren Korb’s soundtrack is breathtaking and the plot had Braid-level substance with a kickass left turn at the end.
As Bastion was on all platforms, Transistor will hopefully bring some needed style directly to iDevice/Android gaming, something unfortunately rare in the kingdom of Freemium games and carbon copy RPGs aimed at only aged 7 and under.
What’s it about? Thief is set in a dark fantasy world inspired by Victorian and steampunk aesthetics. Garrett, a master thief who has been away from his hometown for a long time, returns to ‘The City’, and finds it ruled over by a tyrant called ‘The Baron’. While The City is infested by a plague, the rich continue to live in good fortune, and Garrett intends to exploit the situation to his favour.
Why should I care? Stealth. If Dishonoured is, right now, the king of the stealth genre, then Thief is the Arthurian legend that inspired it to seek the throne. The original game, Thief: The Dark Project was met with critical praise for breaking free from all the games about guns.
With Dead Space 3 and the disappointing continuation of the Resident Evil franchise sapping quite a lot of the stealth out of the survival-horror genre, leaving the player with the boring task of just shooting anything that isn’t human-shaped, Thief will definitely set a change of pace – unless they give him a gun. In which case I’ll need to find a hat to eat.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
What’s it about? We have absolutely no idea. The Stick of Truth’s release date has been pushed further back than a Back to the Future/Doctor Who crossover special featuring Futurama. From the box art, the game seems to be an RPG based on the South Park episode “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers”.
The costumes and class names also appear in the three-episode story arc formed by “Black Friday”, “A Song of Ass and Fire”, and “Titties and Dragons”, a trilogy based on parodying the Console Wars between PlayStation and Xbox and George R.R. Martin’s book series Game of Thrones.
Why should I care? Because it could set a trend. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have the sense of humour that could make this sort of crude satire work in a way that the recent Deadpool game tried really hard to, but just missed the mark. Funny games are few and far between, but if Stick of Truth makes money (and it will) we may see more of them.
Secondly, it’ll mean that good games can be made from television/film spinoffs to a generation that never played Goldeneye, setting a standard that might – if you’re a bright-eyed idealist like me – stop the slurry of mediocre video game tie-ins to every children’s film since 1994. And if not, at least it will be kewl.
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