STORE COMMUNITY ABOUT SUPPORT
Login Store Community Support
View desktop website
© Valve Corporation. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners in the US and other countries.
Transistor is a phenomenal thing in places. Just tremendous. Sometimes overwhelming in its cleverness and subtlety. It had me on the verge of tears from both laughter and a creeping, ever-constricting stranglehold on my heart, and a talking sword (given life by the sultry tones of Bastion narrator Logan Cunningham) was responsible for most of it. This is a very different story from Bastion, arguably a much more personal one. It is, however, also a more natural progression from the latter’s painterly walk on sunshine than its dusky cyberpunk setting might suggest.
All that said, Transistor is a strong tale and a very good game. But it could’ve been much better. Here’s wot I think.
Transistor, Supergiant’s second game and follow-up to the chatty Cathy that was Bastion, is almost upon us. I don’t mean that in a stalkery murderous way, but in a release datey way. The strategic sci-fi RPG has already tickled Nathan to the point of hyperventilation, and the rest of us can join in the wheezing and gasping on May 20th. Can someone get Nathan a paper bag?
As a semi-longtime games journo (and hobbyist coal miner), I’ve seen my fair share of diamonds in the rough. Some eventually go the distance and gleam like a million smiling suns, while others… well, they don’t fare so well. And yet, even after losing countless hopefuls (and also canaries), I’m not ready to give up hope on promising upstarts like Lemma. The rune-encrusted run-leaper has evolved significantly since Adam first highlighted it, combining the path-producing footfall’s of something like Bastion with Mirror’s Edge‘s feather-like grace and, er, color scheme. It still looks a little janky, but I’m ready to place two of my crossed fingers before its altar. New trailer below.
Oh goodness gracious me oh my oh tickle me red and green and black and gold and all the colors of the cyberpunk noir rainbow, Bastion developer Supergiant’s Transistor is looking magnificent. Sure, at first glance it doesn’t seem to have fallen far from the narration-prone, hack-’n'-slash-heavy tree, but there’s no denying that this place> feels just as uniquely alluring as Bastion’s pastel paradise. Plus, other bright spots – for instance, the entire combat system – crackle with intrigue, making this one to watch by any measure. And watch it you can, right this very moment. 18 whole minutes, in fact, just after the break.
Bastion was absolutely marvelous, and Transistor – aka, Bastion 2: Cyberpunk Boogaloo – very much looks to be following in its pathway summoning footsteps. But while surface-level similarities (a Logan-Cunningham-voiced narrator-type, bleak yet beautiful environments, a silent main character, isometric perspective, etc) might suggest a familiar experience, Supergiant definitely isn’t sticking to Bastion’s straight-and-narrow. Case in point: Transistor isn’t entirely> a solo affair. As part of a gigantic interview/preview session (the full results of which you’ll see very soon), creative director Greg Kasavin explained to RPS that the action/turn-based tactics RPG hybrid will include a fairly novel form of multiplayer functionality.
When I say “Supergiant,” what do you think of? No, no, after an image of a particularly muscular giant wearing a cape. OK, no, but before the word loses all meaning and deconstructs into “Superg Iant,” which… what? Yes, correct, you think of Bastion. And that’s perfectly fair. After all, it is, so far, the only game that’s found the magically materializing path out of the little colossus that could’s lair. So naturally, SG’s “the Bastion company” in the eyes of most. It does twangy Western-flavored tales and narrators with voices made of gravel-bedazzled silk. But, while there are certainly far worse ways to be pigeonholed, co-founder Amir Rao isn’t interested in confining his company to a nigh-inescapable box.
There’s a new Humble Bundle, wouldn’t you believe it. And blimey, it’s a good-un. I’m not in charge of deciding what’s best, but this looks to me like one of the best bundles I’ve ever seen. Just look at this list: Amnesia, Limbo, Sword & Sworcery, Bastion, and Psychonauts. Seriously. And it has an absolutely brilliant video to promote it.
The headline doesn’t refer to an extravagant orchestral rendition that you’d have to pay money to see, but rather a short video containing two of Bastion’s most glorious audio treats. I’ll never find these songs as powerful as I did when they first drifted in, just as the structure of the world and the melancholy of the situation slotted into place around my gun-toting kid, but I still get shivers up my spine when that vocal starts. An intimate performance by audio director Darren Korb and vocalist Ashley Barrett, this is a lovely way to start a Friday, or any other day. Pretty good way to end one too. Listen down yonder.
Edit: We’re reading below that lots of regions outside the UK are being charged a really very much larger sum. Which sucks. Valve will always insist prices are decided by publishers, so yell at Warner. There’s also confusion over the inclusion of Arkham City and War In The North – to be absolutely clear, the Warner Complete Pack definitely> currently includes those games, whether by design or mistake. It also seems that some regions can’t see the deal at all. The solution: move to the UK.
I’m never quite sure whether posting about the Steam sale is doing mindless promotion for the company, or alerting our readers to amazing prices for games. I’m going with the latter in this instance, because bloody hell, this one took me by surprise. Not boasted of on the front page of Steam’s decidedly confusing sales page (not including the names of the games on sale is perhaps an odd choice) is the Warner Complete Pack. Clearly one of many extraordinarily reduced bundles (19 THQ games for £50, 80 Sega games for £70 for instance), the Warner bundle brings 18 games for £40, and one of them is Batman: Arkham City>. So that’s basically “buy Arkham City, get every other Warner game on Steam free.” And one of those is Bastion. And another is the brand new Lord Of The Rings: War In The North. And of course yet another is Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Supergiant are apparently fully aware that when talking about Bastion over the summer, they say they designed the original game to be complete, and therefore not really requiring of DLC. Needless to say, that stance has changed a little, as they explain: “HOWEVER! In the weeks following the release of the game, we decided to put a little something together for the holidays as a show of thanks to our fans. So, on December 14, we’ll be pleased to bring you the Stranger’s Dream DLC for Bastion, which should give you some good reasons to come back to the game while preserving the core experience just as we intended.” The Stranger’s Dream will be “a new fully narrated Who Knows Where sequence, bigger and more challenging than the others”, and there are two other new game modes, too.
The Stranger’s Dream is out Dec 14th. It’ll be free, too.