PlayStation 4 Incoming – Indie Games at Launch and Beyond

PlayStation 4 and Indie Games – Lasting Love Affair or Lip Service?

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This Friday, PlayStation 4 enters the marketplace, arguably starting the next generation of console hardware. This particular console generation has our interest piqued; from as early as the console’s announcement, Sony has been promising a far more welcoming environment for indie game developers and the games we love so dearly. Even within the launch titles, some indie gems have already emerged.

PlayStation 4 and Indie Games

So far, indicators are strong that indie games will be storming consoles in this generation. With that in mind, we’ve been keeping an eye on some of the titles we most want to get our hands on. Some are available at launch, while some are a few months out yet.

Transistor

If you need to know about SuperGiant Games, start with this: Bastion. With a team that started as only a few devs, SuperGiant crafted the action RPG that would become our 2011 Game of the Year.

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As the powerful voices of a futuristic civilization are silenced, it becomes clear that you are next on the list. Boasting a combat system that improves on the one in Bastion, Transistor has us imagining a bright future for great indie games.

The Witness

Jonathan Blow’s latest game presents a gigantic open environment in which a non-linear puzzle game exists. Should you find yourself unable to solve a puzzle in one part of the island, you are free to try puzzles on other parts of the island.

Jonathan Blow - The Witness screenshot

As you start to solve the problems around the island, a puzzle language begins to emerge, offering up ideas on how to tackle more perplexing puzzles deeper into the island. While there is a definite end game, how you ultimately arrive there is up to you.

Check out IGR’s interview with Jonathan Blow at IndieCade 2011 about developing The Witness:

Contrast

This 2D/3D puzzler platformer takes place against a backdrop set in 1920’s Paris. As the imaginary friend of a little girl, you must traverse the worlds of light and shadow to peel back the layers of a mystery surrounding your charge’s parents.

contrast indie game screenshot

The smarmy charm of the seedier aspects of Paris’ shaded underbelly makes for a solid artisitc presentation, with larger than life carousel colors blaring out over muted off whites and greys. The mechanic of switching between the 2 dimensional and three dimensional realms is sure to induce some head-scratching moments.

Pinball Arcade

If you want to get into retro gaming, nothing captures the magic of the bygone days of noise-polluted game centers and pool halls like Pinball Arcade. While it certainly isn’t a new title (in fact, you could even call it a pinball engine), I can’t wait to see how my favorite tables of yesteryear look when they’re powered by PS4’s new hardware.

Some standout tables include The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Terminator 2. They even re-create pinball rarities such as Goin’ Nuts: This table never entered production for wide release, and only 10 cabinets were ever made.

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The Twilight Zone: One of dozens of classic tables available on Pinball Arcade

Each one is painstaking recreated in digital form, and features the most minute visual and audio details from the source material (including hidden modes). There are dozens of tables to keep you busy, and the folks at Farsight Studios are constantly working on their next tribute to a legendary machine. Who knows? Now that Pinball Arcade has found a home on Steam and PlayStation 4, there might be enough support to finally justify making The Addams Family table? (Hint frickin’ hint, guys!)

Don’t Starve

I could start talking about this obsession game, but I’d likely yammer on and on until I forgot to make a sandwich and died of hunger. If you’re a console gamer, and you’re only hearing of Don’t Starve now, let me suggest stocking up on some snack foods: “Don’t Starve” is as much a warning to the player as it is a primary game objective.

This game has been a game changer for IGR since we laid eyes on it at PAX 2012, and it has only become more flabbergasting-ly good since then. Klei Entertainment takes suggestions from the fan base to heart, and implements them in frequent updates, all of which cost owners of the game nothing.

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Screenshot: Keeping up with the Joneses in the mysterious and treacherous world of Don’t Starve

The PlayStation 4 version comes complete with all current updates, and -as one would hope- features full controller support.

Resogun

One of the first PlayStation Network games I ever downloaded was Super Stardust HD, also made by Housemarque, and it remains one that I still frequently pick up for a quick fix. I played the hell out of that title; flying around the global asteroid defense net, switching up weapons to destroy hundreds of chunks of floating rock, and trying to deftly dispatch swarms of foes simultaneously. It’s still one of my favorite bullet-hell titles.

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Resogun – image courtesy of Housemarque

Resogun is an impressive neo-retro successor to SSHD. The action takes place along a cylindrical area, allowing you to move back and forth while never fully losing sight of what is around the bend. One significant difference is that you can only fire horizontally. To line up your shot, you’ll have to place your ship accordingly. Bosses belching out hundreds of projectiles promise to keep you firmly situated on the edge of your seat. Keep up a constant stream of destruction to increase your chain multiplier. Resogun is poised to gobble up the time of those who crave top billing on the online leaderboards.

Let the Battle for the Living Room Commence

Sony’s opening salvo is strong, with a good mix of new, current, and exclusive indie games. This is but a few of the many on tap, and we’ll be covering as many as we can once the hardware hits store shelves.

See more PlayStation 4 games at the PlayStation Store

(Link to US Gateway)

What PS4 indie games do you have on your list? Hit up the comment section below!

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