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Supergiant Games, the folks behind Bastion and Transistor, today announced their third game – Pyre [official site]. They call it a “party-based RPG”, telling a story about a group of exiles trying to complete tasks that might just let them be absolved and return home. Pyre is due in 2017 and SuperGiant don’t have too much to say about it right now, but have a gander at this here pretty announcement trailer:
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.