Last year we gave you a glimpse at a very intriguing game when we revealed that a developer by the name of Fuelcell Games was working on creating Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (ITSP) for release through Xbox Live Arcade. Since then things have been all too quiet with regards to the game, but all that's changed with this year's showing at PAX East.
The game's development cycle has been rather long, having been originally announced in 2007 by Michel Gagne. ITSP entered full scale development in March of last year after announcing that the title was going to be published by Microsoft.
The teaser trailer doesn't give us a whole lot to go on, but does reveal the presence of an ice zone in the game, something which hasn't been revealed until now. The teaser also gives us a glimpse at an item the gameplay trailer does not, an electrical beam which it seems can also be used to power objects, shown in the teaser as being used to open a door. It appears to be proximity based, so you need to be close to an object for its effect to trigger.
Take a look at the PAX East teaser trailer, and the gorgeous world of ITSP:
There is also a gameplay trailer that offers a much deeper look at Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. It shows the back-story for the game and a number of the gameplay elements at work. The back-story reveals that the game takes place on what appears to be a sun that was infected by some kind of evil spore that split off from a much larger evil entity. It's likely that the game takes place on just the one planet, originally the sun in the solar system of our alien protagonist, with this origin keeping the mythos open for potential sequels if the game does well.
The gameplay looks to be based heavily on using the right tool for the job, with some tools being capable of completing the same job in different ways. The first two tools we see in the trailer are the scanner and the hook. The scanner, as its name might suggest, scans things. Scanning objects or enemies reveals information about what's required to get past or defeat them. The hook acts as sort of an all purpose tool which can pick up rocks, items, and even certain enemies.
The next item revealed in the trailer is the blaster, which shoots balls of energy at enemies. A ranged weapon, it appears to be most useful when attacking enemies while escaping them is crucial. It appears that this weapon, along with your shields, can be upgraded as you explore the world. This might mean that all weapons will have upgrades available to increase their power or effectiveness. The final tool shown is a saw blade, which cuts through rocks and enemies alike with relative ease.
Players will further be tasked with finding the parts of videos within the game's levels, but their function in the game, whether side quest or part of the main storyline, is not clear from the gameplay trailer.
As if all this new media wasn't enough, the ITSP website has also been updated with a few screenshots which showcase some of the locales present in the teaser trailer:
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Joe Olsen, CEO of Fuelcell Games, is very proud of ITSP and the development team that made its existence possible. He commented on the production saying:
"The team behind Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is the most talented, dedicated, creative, and hard working group I've ever had the pleasure to work with in my 14 years in the industry. The development team at Fuelcell Games combined with Michel’s experience in traditional animation and design has brought a lot to the table and has been a great learning experience for all involved. I'm extremely proud and truly blessed to be a part of such a unique and amazing project. When it is unleashed on the world I strongly believe it's going to stand out amongst the Xbox LIVE Arcade offerings."
Michel Gagne, the artist behind the creatively beautiful visuals that give the game its look and feel, also felt like sharing his thoughts on the game that he's been a part of for half a decade:
“After working on this project for the past five years, it will be incredibly exciting to finally be able to share it with an audience. I’m confident that the dedication and love that went into making Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will result in a visually charged experience coupled with a true sense of wonder”
While no release date has been announced for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, we remain hopeful that this is the year it will finally come into our homes and give us the, "epic journey full of surprises, danger and wonder," that it's been promising for so long.
Are you as excited as we are for ITSP, or will you be waiting to see if it's going live up to the hype?
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will be released exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade.