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27 Features

The A to Z of next generation indie games

By Iain Wilson on Friday 21st Jun 2013 at 2:26 PM UTC

We've already seen a raft of monster-budgeted mega-titles announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, each built by hundreds of people with multi-million dollar budgets.

But there have also been a lot of indie games confirmed for next-gen consoles, covering a wide range of styles and genres, many of which have been put together by small teams operating on a shoestring.

Both Microsoft and Sony have stated their support for indie developers, but as only Sony are allowing them to self-publish their creations the PlayStation 4 currently seems to be the preferred platform.

This, then, is the 26 indie games currently confirmed for next gen release in a handy A-to-Z. (Note: some of them will also be coming out on current-gen systems too.)


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BASEMENT CRAWL (PS4)

Polish studio Bloober Team, who previously worked on PS Vita title A-Men and PlayStation mini Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder, have announced they are developing Basement Crawl as a PS4 exclusive digital title aimed at the console's launch window. Unfortunately that's literally the only information they've released about the game so far, other than a piece of deeply disturbing concept art depicting what looks like a demon clown baby riding a unicycle while playing with a joystick. Yeah, that old favourite.


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BELOW (XO)

From Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP creators Capy Games, this new adventure shares a lot in common with older roguelikes, such as randomly generated levels, a high degree of difficulty and the constant risk of permadeath. Exploring the remote island setting is given a sense of huge scale as the player's character is tiny on screen, and this is emphasised further using techniques from tilt-shift photography. The combat has been described as tough but fair, and as with games like Dark Souls it sounds like learning the right approach and knowing your limitations will be the key to survival.


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BLACKLIGHT: RETRIBUTION (PS4)

With over two million players since its launch on PC, Zombie Studios' online FPS Blacklight: Retribution will be one of the first free-to-play games to arrive on PS4. Set in a sci-fi vision of the near future, it offers players a huge array of character and weapon customisations with millions of possible combinations. It also distinguishes itself from other shooters by replacing the mini-map with a Hyper Reality Visor mode, which allows you to briefly view the entire battlefield to locate enemies and weapon depots at the expense of being able to shoot.


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CARMAGEDDON: REINCARNATION (PS4)

After buying back the rights to the vehicle combat series, original Carmageddon developers Stainless Games launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of this sequel, raising $625,000 in total. More recently, Bullfrog founder Les Edgar invested an additional $3.5 million in the project so the game could be developed for next gen consoles. Although planned for both PS4 and XO releases, neither platform holder has confirmed this title yet, but as Stainless appeared on the list of developers Sony displayed during the PlayStation 4 reveal it's a safe bet Reincarnated will be on their new system.


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CONTRAST (PS4)

In a 1920s film noir setting of burlesque and illusion, a little girl named Didi needs help to explore the world around her and investigate the secrets hidden by her troubled family. You play as Dawn, a young lady who is her imaginary friend and possesses a very special ability - whenever your shadow is cast on a wall, you can shift your presence from the 3D world to the 2D shadowscape. By rearranging objects to alter their shadows - then using this power to jump between the two realms - you'll solve complex puzzles while progressing through theatres and fairgrounds. Odd. Intriguing.


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CRIMSON DRAGON (XO)

Originally revealed in 2011 as an XBLA Kinect game, this has recently been confirmed as Xbox One exclusive Crimson Dragon. It is considered to be a spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series, and a number of staff have returned including original director Yukio Futatsugi and composer Saori Kobayashi. The rail shooter now uses dual analogue controls, although unspecified Kinect functionally has been retained, and the final game will include six types of dragons to level up and customise along with three player online co-op.

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