27 Features

The A to Z of next generation indie games

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

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MERCENARY KINGS (PS4)

From the team that made Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this 2D run and gun shooter features a distinctive art style and plenty of ker-razy characters. The emphasis is on the deep crafting system, which uses loot gained from downed enemies and completed objectives to create new gun parts. Each boomstick is made up of five different pieces, and with over 300 parts in the game already you can construct weapons fit for every situation. Four-player split screen co-op will also be available, allowing team mates to split up and explore before locating the boss and converging to take them down together.


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MINECRAFT: XBOX ONE EDITION (XO)

In addition to the upcoming retail release of Minecraft on Xbox 360, Microsoft have confirmed that Mojang's sandbox behemoth will also be coming to Xbox One. Although details are light at present, an enhanced experience is promised, harnessing the power of the new console to create larger maps for bigger adventures, as well as expanding the multiplayer features. Originally dismissed as incompatible, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer has now said they are looking into the possibility of save transfers from the 360 version, so don't tear up the deeds to your existing blocky worlds just yet.


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OCTODAD: DADLIEST CATCH (PS4)

The central character in this humorous oddball adventure is described as a loving father and caring husband, but there's a twist in this otherwise blissful portrait of family life - he's also secretly an octopus masquerading as a human! Thankfully, as the catchy theme tune suggests, nobody suspects a thing and it's up to you to keep it that way. This is tricky as performing even the most mundane of tasks with your hulking tentacles becomes an awkward balancing act, so you need to master the innovative control system and rein in your wayward limbs. In the final game you'll live through a full day in Octodad's life, but you must be careful not to fill up the suspicion meter or your cover will be blown and your nautical nature exposed.


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ODDWORLD: NEW 'N' TASTY (PS4)

Abe is back in this modern recreation of the first Oddworld game, which seasoned gamers will remember from the demo discs that came with their PS1 consoles. Rather than remastering that title the entire game has been rebuilt from scratch, to present a lush 2.5D world full of character and detail. One major difference is that a scrolling system has replaced the flip-screen presentation of the original, so some of the levels and puzzles have had to be adapted to suit this new style, but you can still expect the same mix of puzzling and funnies Abe is renowned for.


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OUTLAST (PS4)

In this survival-horror game players control journalist Miles Upshur, who follows a tip-off and breaks into a long-abandoned mental asylum in the Colorado mountains to investigate the secret operations being run by a shady corporation. As you're armed only with a night-vision camera it's impossible to fight the horrors that lurk within, so any encounters with them lead to desperate sprints through claustrophobic corridors as you look for a place to hide. Combine this with the whispers and screams you hear as you try to sneak around unnoticed and Outlast provides an experience that is genuinely terrifying.


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THE PINBALL ARCADE (PS4)

The Pinball Arcade is already well established on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, featuring digital recreations of many big name tables licensed by Williams, Gottlieb, Bally and Stern. With the extra processing power available on PS4, FarSight Studios are adding "rendering tech for per pixel ray casting, area lights/shadows, point lights and screen space ambient occlusion", all of which basically means this will be the best looking version yet. Despite these visual improvements and updated physics, the developers are confident that they can still maintain a solid 60fps to eliminate any input lag.


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PRIMAL CARNAGE: GENESIS (PS4)

Serving as a prequel to their online multiplayer game Primal Carnage, Lukewarm Media's Genesis will be delivered in episodic story-driven chunks to explain how dinosaurs were brought back to life on the remote island setting before breaking free to run riot. Although classed as a first person shooter the emphasis will be on stealth, puzzle solving and exploration as you try to avoid contact with the giant beasts. Instead of cutscenes players interact with other characters to learn new information and progress the story, with the game's ultimate objectives gradually being revealed episodically.


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RAY'S THE DEAD (PS4)

Taking control of newly resurrected zombie Raymond La Morte, players set out on a quest to discover how he died, who killed him and most importantly, why he now has a lightbulb sticking out of his head. Starting off alone, you'll soon be raising and leading an army of the undead, with each type of zombie having their own unique skills to help you along the way. Taking place in an '80s setting with a suitable soundtrack and a hefty splash of neon, you'll experience Ray's time as a zombie as well as playing out flashbacks of his former life.

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