Sony’s Gamescom press conference unleashed a calvacade of indie games onto the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita (and sometimes all three, thanks to the Cross-Buy system). We covered a lot of them earlier today, but even more news is trickling out of Cologne: “Everbody’s Gone to the Rapture,” “Resogun,” and “Helldivers” are all coming to Sony platforms as well.
We first covered “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture” when The Chinese Room — the English devs behind “Dear Esther” and “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs” — started staffing up for a next-gen console game with “a major publisher.” That publisher is Sony Santa Monica, apparently.
In “Rapture,” you’ll play as a scientist exploring an first-person, open-world environment that’s just been hit by the apocalypse. Like “Dear Esther,” “Rapture” will put a heavy focus on exploration, environmental storytelling, and strong narrative pacing. As the trailer puts it, “this story begins with the end of the world.”
The Chinese Room actually approached Sony Santa Monica about the time “Journey” and “Unfinished Swan” were being finalized. “We thought we’d have a lot in common in terms of ideas about story, gameplay, player experience,” write studio co-directors. “We also knew that Sony were committed to pushing really interesting indie experimental work.”
There’s no hard release date yet, but The Chinese Room expects “Rapture” to be ready by mid-2015 for the PlayStation 4.
“Resogun” is a new co-op shoot-’em-up (henceforth: “shmup”) by Housemarque, a Finnish studio that made a name for itself with the “Super Stardust” series and “Outland.” Housemarque describes the new PlayStation 4 exclusive as “a spiritual successor” to “Stardust” while also naming games like “Defender,” “Data Storm,” “DoDonPachi” and “Death Smiles” as influences.
While “Stardust”’s environments were spherical, “Resogun”’s are cylindrical. “Resogun” also features a gravity mechanic, which paved the way for including ground enemies. In addition to blowing every glossy, futuristic enemy into bits, “Resogun” players will also need to rescue trapped civilians, which should release interesting new power ups.
Lastly, Housemarque points out that “Resogun” isn’t a twin-stick shooter like “Geometry Wars.” The horizontal-only firing pattern makes “Resogun” a slightly more traditional shmup, a decision that Housemarque says “created a better gameplay experience.”
“Super Stardust HD” was one of my favorite games from the PlayStation 3’s early months, so here’s hoping another crop of college students get the chance to wile away their potentially fruitful hours blowing stuff up with their friends.
Like “Magicka,” “Helldivers” depends on co-operative multiplayer (with friendly fire always turned on) to reach its full potential. The gameplay shown in the trailer above seems pretty straightforward — point, shoot — but Arrowhead are also touting some sort of worldwide, community-based campaign.
“It’s a co-op game that relies on the global efforts of the entire Helldivers community,” writes game director Johan Pilestedt. “You’ll fight with the community to save humanity and all of your combined efforts, mistakes and heroic deeds will affect the larger campaign; a campaign where every battle counts and victories unlock cool content for all.”
Other details: each deployment zone will be procedurally generated, and “Helldivers” will feature Cross-Play across the PS4, PS3, and Vita.
“Helldivers” will be out next year.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter