A Few of My Favourite Indie Games
If you follow me on twitter chances are you’re more than familiar with my random #PS4Share posts. I was born in the era where we blew air into NES cartridges that won’t boot up — Where early reviews were the small descriptions found on the back of the packaging. And when not having a memory card meant that systems would remain on all day to prevent losing progress. Needless to say,I’ve been a gamer for a smoking hot minute — And despite the always hilarious “no real man still plays video games” stereotype i don’t see that changing anytime soon.
While i do own my fair share of Triple A titles,the indie games will always have a special place in my console’s library. Indie Games (Independent Video Games) are games that are created by generally small self funded teams — They usually never have the beautiful face scans found in an NBA 2K — or have commercials air during major sporting events like Call of Duty. However,despite lacking the financial backing — indie titles usually deliver the one major factor that even triple a’s fail to sometimes.
The all important FUN factor. I mean don’t get me wrong — i’m all for the smooth 60 frames per second,dynamic weather effects and explosions that triple A titles give us. But at the end of the day it’s still a video game and not a Michael Bay movie. To be fair, a video game with Michael Bay movie elements sounds pretty bad-ass assuming it’s actually fun to play.
However that’s where a lot of developers in my opinion have gone astray. Especially in this current era of console gaming (PS4 & XBox One). Your game-play should should be just as fun and immersive as your visuals are stunning — But sadly that dream doesn’t always come to fruition. Unless of course you’re any of the games listed below.
As cliche as it sounds Helldivers truly lives up to it’s name. It’s a top down shooter where (dun dun dunnnnn!!!) things go to hell quickly. Game-play consists of you and 3 of your friends (or randoms) fighting alongside one another to complete various objectives on randomly generated worlds. In Helldivers your ally is just as much a threat as the enemies you face due to the fact that friendly fire is always on. That friendly fire element creates some of the most genuinely funny moments I’ve ever experienced in a game.
Imagine being suddenly swarmed by a large group of enemies. Caught off guard by the sudden chaos you forget you can injure your teammates. And so you fire blindly into the oncoming mob. Not even realizing you just emptied half of your weapon’s magazine into the back of your unaware teammate. Believe me when i tell you that this was only one example of the many ways you can die in Helldivers.
GALAK-Z The Dimensional
Not your usual twin stick shooter (see linked review). Galak-Z sees you take control of Atak the last surviving pilot of an ambush on his fleet. Galak-Z’s presentation is one of the more unique one’s you’ll find in any game. It pays homage to your favourite Japanese Anime Cartoons in it’s player design. And to old school Cartoon watching / VHS owners in it’s menus.
The game-play can be described as a 2-d shooter with rogue-like elements. The story is told through 4 seasons with each level being presented as an episode within it’s respective season.
Oh did i forget to mention your ship is also a fucking transformer?…
Take a wild guess what it is exactly you’re NOT trying to do in this game. Don’t starve can be described as a survival game with rogue elements. You’re Wilson a scientist who wakes up in this strange world,and must survive for as long as you can. All the while trying to figure out just how and why you ended up here.
A large portion of Don’t Starve is spent scavenging for resources. An in game day / night cycle adds quite the twist on doing just that. Daytime exploration is relatively stress free.However venturing out into the pitch blackness of the night time is a death wish as you’re constantly being stalked by a mysterious ghostly presence in the shadows. True to it’s rogue-like elements death is permanent and should it happen forces you to start from scratch with none of your precious gathered resources carrying over into your next play-through.
One of my favourite gameplay styles ever is the turn based strategy style. And Invisible Inc is quite simply one of the deepest one’s available now.
“In the game, the player acts as the remote operator for an espionage agency that has come under attack from multinational corporations, and directs agents in covert missions, acquiring resources and support in order to enable relocation of the agency’s computer system to a safe haven within a limited amount of time.”
Of all the games mentioned so far this is the one i’m currently giving the most burn.
Hyper Light Drifter
Remember when games used to be hard? Like legitimately hard to beat? Hyper Light Drifter is hard and then some. This game’s story is difficult to describe because’s there’s no form of in game dialogue whatsoever — All story points are depicted through animated cut-scenes or still pics leaving much of story open to individual interpretation. Despite the fact that i have no idea what’s going on — Hyper Light Drifter’s selling point for me (and probably anyone who plays it) is it’s surprisingly deep and challenging combat.
“The Drifter is equipped with an energy sword, but can gain access to other modules that expand his weapon and ability arsenal. These often require power from rare batteries scattered around the world. Weaponry includes traditional console role-playing game archetypes, including long-range guns and area attacks. The player faces increasingly difficult monsters, both in number and ability, requiring the player to hone their tactics to succeed in the game.”
Resogun was one of the first games i owned on the PS4 — I managed to scoop this gem up for free courtesy of the PlayStation Plus free monthly games promotion and haven’t deleted it since.
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 got off to slow starts in terms of having triple A games available at launch — So Resogun was one of first few games available from the jump that truly felt “next gen”. Vibrant neon lasers emanate from your ships blasters splashing into your enemies creating colorful explosions that pop off the screen. The in-game voice cues being projected through the PlayStation 4’s dual shock controller speaker also gives you that immersive feeling of piloting a ship.
In Resogun, the player battles enemies and rescues trapped humans in a cylindrical, voxel-based world.
Originally published at www.the-solid.com on April 27, 2016.