E3 Indie Games: Recap of Horizon

Colette Nakase ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
While E3 was in the midst of its last day, over at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art, another sort of press conference was happening. Indie developers, feeling like the world could use some more indie game loving and hype, banded together and formed their own E3 alternative, Horizon. Here’s an overview of some of the games shown:
Massive Chalice– Double Fine, responsible for the likes of cult-classic Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, was first up to bat, showing off their latest title, Massive Chalice.  The game was announced two weeks ago on Kickstarter where it hoped to see the same successful funding as Double Fine’s Kickstarter project last year. The project, which developed into the upcoming adventure game Broken Age, had almost $3 million dollars pledged over the goal, breaking the record for highest funded project. To no one’s surprise, Massive Chalice has been fully funded, and is currently making its way to the million dollar mark. Described by the developer as “a tactical strategy PC game on an epic fantasy timeline,” the game has you playing the role of an immortal monarch that must rally his troops, similar to the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics and X-Com, against a demonic invasion that is prophesized to last centuries. However, combat is not the only part that you need to worry about. The game takes place over generations, and it’s up to you to strategically nurture blood-lines to produce the warriors needed to battle. Do you send an experienced warrior out to another battle and risk his death (which is permanent), or retire him so that he can settle down and ensure that his progeny is available for another generation of warriors? Double Fine promises that the group of warriors given to you at the start of the game will be randomized, so every play-though is promised to be unique and present different challenges. If you’re interested on finding out more, check out Massive Chalice’s Kickstarter page where you can become a backer to pre-order the game or look at hours of extra content.
Tearaway– From the creators of the Playstation owner favorite, Little Big Planet, comes another platformer with adorable paper craft visuals; this time for the PSVita. Tearaway utilizes the PSVita’s touch-pad, screen, and camera to have players directly interact with the world that is completely made of colorful paper. Developer Micro Molecule showed off some of these mechanics during Horizon with a finger bursting through the environment to push around objects and a developer’s face becoming the sun in the sky. The cute graphics and platforming and puzzle elements are obviously influenced by Little Big Planet, but knowing the success of the game, it doesn’t seem like it will be an issue.
Below– Capybara Games, known for Sword & Sorcery previewed their latest project, Below, which could possibly be one of the most intriguing games at Horizon, if not the darkest and creepiest. The developers promised that Below would have “no text, no dialogue, no hints, and no handholding.” Exploration in this gorgeous but dangerous, desolate world is the key to survival and exploring the game’s themes. The Horizon trailer showed the protagonist running up a moody landscape, trying to avoid shadowy tentacles, and it dares the player to seek what lies below. The visual style is reminiscent to a 2D and much less colorful Journey,and the gameplay is promised to be similar to Dark Souls. Unfortunately, this is an Xbox One exclusive, so Microsoft gamers, keep your eye out for the title.
Fez II– Last but certainly not least, Fez II is in the works, and that’s all about we know. Horizon saw a shiny teaser of music and a reveal of the title, but to fans of the original, that’s more than enough to get pumped about.
A bunch of other games were also shown such as the “swamp soap opera” Mutazione, the hilarious sort of dueling game Johan Sebastian Joust, a reworked version of Pole Riders, and games from Katamari Damancy’s creator, Honeyslug and Little Flag. Horizon hasn’t been the only show of indie games at E3, Sony’s press conference included titles such as Transistor from the creator of Bastion, Odd World and Outlast.

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