The joy of indie games is that they are often much less inhibited than your multi-million pound mainstream title. This means of course, that they need not conform to widely held conventions (pushed on them by the publishers) and this freedom of movement can ultimately lead to the popular indie games becoming the source of gaming features that can, occasionally, be groundbreaking.
However, it’s rare for an indie game to build pre-launch hype. Due to their nature, they are generally under-ground, unknown titles that only become well known through their success after release, yet recently I’ve been getting worryingly excited about a new title launching soon: Bastion. It is due out on Xbox Live Arcade in the summer (which may never arrive if this rain is anything to go by) and there will be a PC release later in the year.
But even when you take a look at the trailer (below) you can see how the fresh elements that are key to this title’s character could be adopted by a number of other titles that are within the same genre, perhaps even titles outside of the genre. Essentially, I think Bastion could be groundbreaking, and I can see it altering future titles due to its popularity.
The ongoing narration sounds great. It makes me wonder how this style would fare in sports titles or first person shooters as well as your more traditional RPG. Also, the artwork is beautiful, especially as it all looks as though it could be hand drawn. When I was a kid, I used to spend hours drawing pictures from computer game magazines, so I love to see games with that slightly hand drawn (yet crisp) style. Even the way in which the Bastion world falls into place as you move around is well done and contributes to the overall atmosphere, definitely something that I’d like to see more of.
I hope Bastion and other indie titles continue to get noticed by gamers and reap the rewards they deserve for their originality and depth of gameplay. Too often these days games rely on visuals and a
tried and tested tired and tested formula that is rehashed over and over again. Bastion is, hopefully, showing us that their are other options out there.