We’ve been waiting for the next game from Bastion developer Supergiant Games since we finished their freshman outing, and at long last, the wait is over. Today the indie developer announced their upcoming ‘science-fiction-themed action RPG,’ Transistor, with a launch trailer and screenshots to tide fans over.
It’s not much to go on, but fans of Bastion will be happy to see that the stunning art style, atmosphere and music that shaped the studio’s first game is alive and well in their follow-up. We don’t know how ‘Red’ will stack up against ‘The Kid,’ but her weaponry is just as impressive.
Clearly sticking to their (mostly?) isometric, hack-and-slash gameplay (hiding a deep system of customization and strategy), the first footage of Transistor shows both familiar and new elements. While Supergiant’s resident artist Jen Zee was singlehandedly responsible for the hand-painted watercolors of Bastion‘s fantasy realm, the visuals are clearing evolving beyond pastels to more strongly realize the sci-fi setting of Cloudbank, and its less-than-human enemies.
The same sharp contrast found in Bastion‘s animation is visible in Transistor‘s look and feel, but the similarities don’t end there. Still an RPG masquerading as a frenzied brawler, Transistor won’t be worrying anyone who felt that the budding studio found their niche and would hopefully stick to it. But Bastion was as memorable for its story as its style, and that looks to be the same mindset being taken with the studio’s follow-up.
According to the studio, Transistor (the eponymous sword seen in the artwork) will keep players guessing, even while they’re dispatching endless hordes of opponents:
“Transistor invites players to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as they explore a stunning futuristic city. We’re designing our next game to seamlessly integrate thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, complete with our studio’s signature melding of responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling.
“In Transistor, players assume the role of a young woman who gains control of a powerful weapon after a mysterious group of assailants nearly kills her with it. Now she must fight from street to street against forces that will stop at nothing to recover the weapon. During the course of the adventure, players will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as they pursue its former owners.”
Female protagonist? Massive weaponry? A cryptic mystery? If there were any fears that Bastion‘s indie success would cause the developers to abandon their desire to tell story that was elusive, layered, and dense, they can now be put aside. We’re always in favor of more powerful women in video games, and Supergiant Games has already surprised and impressed us once, so the pairing is one that has our interest piqued.
The released screenshots may be less haunting without the accompanying audio of the announcement trailer, but are still worth checking out for fans and newcomers alike:
Supergiant isn’t revealing more just yet, but with a planned release for 2014, expect discussion to build in the near future. Since Bastion earned a perfect score from us, it goes without saying that our hopes are high for Transistor. But even if it’s not as flawless as its predecessor, we’ll be happy if it’s just as memorable. If announcement trailers and inspired style are anything to go by, then Supergiant looks poised to silence those who may thought the team might be a one-trick pony.
What’s your take on the game’s prospects? Did you miss the boat on Bastion, or have you been waiting to see if the young studio could catch lightning in a bottle twice in a row?
Transistor is currently scheduled for a 2014 launch, on unannounced platforms.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Supergiant Games