Unsurprisingly, the most talked about reveals from The Game Awards are big-name releases from well-known developers like The Legend of Zelda and Metal Gear Solid 5 — but there some intriguing titles unveiled at the event that might have flown under the radar a little.
Last year, No Man’s Sky came from nowhere to build some buzz at VGX — and now it’s among the most anticipated releases set for 2015. The following three games might not have the name recognition as some of their more mainstream competition, but don’t be surprised if they’re carrying some considerable hype with them once their release date draws near.
The space-based Adrift looks to take some cues from the hit movie Gravity, with a trailer that presents a first-person look at surviving in zero gravity. As an astronaut floats through a ruined space vessel, a computerized voice stresses the need for a missing oxygen pack — you can imagine this one being very tense if the finished product supports virtual reality tech.
Human Element is a name that’s been bandied around for quite some time, but The Game Awards hosted the best glimpse we’ve had thus far of the title in action. First announced back in 2012, the free-to-play zombie killer is the first project from former Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling since he left the company amidst frustrations regarding the way the Call of Duty franchise was being handled.
The trailer seems to suggest that Human Element will be a frenetic shooter in something of the same vein as Sunset Overdrive or Rage, but given that the clip doesn’t show any gameplay it’s difficult to get much of an idea of how it’ll play. There’s certainly potential for a game like this — but the fact that there wasn’t any in-game footage after two years of development is a little worrying.
Finally, there’s Before, the new game from Garry’s Mod and Rust developers Facepunch Studios. Players in Before will be faced with the task of helping their tribal society survive and flourish in the harsh wilderness, building a camp and fending off wild animals while developing their own tribal culture.
Its low-poly art style might put some off, but if the studio can pull off the sort of sandbox experience that’s hinted at by this trailer, Before has indie darling written all over it. There is a lot of potential here — it’s certainly one to watch as development continues.
Mainstream ‘AAA’ titles are, for better or for worse, the backbone of the video game industry — but it’s often smaller games like these three that provide the most engaging experiences. In a landscape of endless sequels, it’s good to see developers pursuing new ideas; we’ll keep you posted on how Adrift, Human Element and Before progress in the coming months.