Supergiant Games, the developer responsible for beloved indie release Bastion has announced its next game, Transistor.
This morning Supergiant Games issued the vignette you'll find embedded at right. It serves as an official reveal for Transistor, the developer's next title, and a game that seemingly shares many welcome similarities with Supergiant's fan-favorite Bastion.
Now, granted, I'm basing that purely on this trailer. No one at The Escapist has yet played Transistor, and in fact the first opportunity anyone will have to experience this title first-hand will come at the imminent PAX East conference where Supergiant claims Transistor will be available for anyone to play. That said, based on the above clip, the similarities to Bastion are undeniable.
Both games feature a relatively blank slate for a protagonist. Both protagonists have short, non-descript names that will likely prove more important to the overall plot than we might first suspect. Both are played from a 3/4 overhead viewpoint, and both appear to feature real-time combat with fantastic creatures. Finally, each title seems to be immediately, superficially defined by a gorgeous, inspired art style.
However, where Bastion was set in a pseudo-modern fantasy world, Transistor is apparently more futuristic. It almost appears to harken back to the settings seen in Square Enix titles like Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, insomuch as oversized swords are a popular weapon despite the existence of technology like motorcycles and autonomous robots. Actually, comparisons to mid- to late-90s era Final Fantasy games seem increasingly apropos as the trailer rolls along. That scene where Red is speeding along on his motorbike in particular. Red's aesthetic largely relies on that furry-collared bomber jacket, and his sword is designed in such a way that it would be utterly unwieldy were it subject to the physical rules of the real world. Despite this, he wields it with ease. Had the familiar Final Fantasy victory theme started playing after Red cut down a few of those robots, I doubt many would have batted an eyelash, instead preferring excitement over what could very easily be mistaken for a modern Final Fantasy redux.
Whether these comparisons will still prove apt after PAX East is anyone's guess, but expect a deluge of information on the title to emerge from that conference (which is scheduled to take place in Boston, Massachusetts from March 22 through March 24). Given the collective affection gamers have for Supergiant's debut title, it would be unsurprising to see Transistor generate a massive amount of pre-release anticipation. Now we just need to find out which platforms Transistor might appear on and when we can expect its retail debut. As of now the best info we have points to a nebulous "2014" release window, but with any luck Supergiant Games will be a bit more specific during PAX East.