5 indie video games: Somerville, Floodland, 171, The Great War: Western Front, and Beware - Vile Monarch Petroglpyh Betagames Group Jumpship Ondrej Svadlena

Here at The Escapist, we love indie games. We get to share that love regularly with our Hidden Gems streams, 3 Minute Reviews, and at a much larger scale with our Indie Showcases, among other places. But it feels like several times every week that we come across a new indie game that’s plump with charm or intrigue, and we’d like to make sure they get some time in the sun. So, without any further ado, let’s embark on a new adventure into the indie realm. This week, five indie games we’re keeping an eye on include Somerville, Floodland, 171, The Great War: Western Front, and Beware.

Indie Games Coming Soon

Somerville

PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S – November 15, 2022

Eat your heart out, Playdead. Jumpship is the new kid on the block (albeit co-founded by the former Playdead CEO), and its debut game Somerville is taking everything we loved about Limbo and Inside and adding a unique, more grown-up spin. Somerville is set in the rural countryside and explores the onset of an alien invasion.

You take the role of a man trying to reconnect with his family in the midst of the chaos. Beyond that, the team has been extremely secretive about Somerville, though lead developer Chris Olsen cited War of the Worlds and Another World as key influences in his interview with The Escapist’s Michael Cripe. What we do know is that it’s a sci-fi narrative puzzler with a big focus on vibes. And honestly, that may just be enough for it to win hearts and minds on its release next week.

Floodland

PC – November 15, 2022

In another exciting debut, the team at Vile Monarch is gearing up to launch post-climate-collapse civilization builder Floodland. Several of the leads at Vile Monarch come from 11 bit studios, and they’ve clearly brought with them the curiosity about the human condition that formed such a core part of This War of Mine and Frostpunk.

In Floodland, you step into the role of a leader seeking to rebuild society from the remnants of what’s left. At the most basic level, that means scavenging for resources and rediscovering the technology of the past, though it also means setting humanity on a path to the future. As the budding civilization grows, you will be tasked with threading the needle of competing factions, as well as building towards a society that can survive the long term.

With portions of the populace always ready to protest whatever laws or customs the leader aims to implement, tension is bound to simmer under the surface. Combined with the limited resources and randomization in effect with each civilization, Floodland is almost guaranteed to be a challenging entry in a genre that is well known for provoking deep consideration about who we are as a human collective.

171

PC – November 17, 2022 (Early Access)

This one goes out to the Portuguese speakers in the audience because, unfortunately, English will apparently not be supported for the early access launch. That’s a damn shame because 171 may well be the first genuine competitor to Grand Theft Auto since Sleeping Dogs (R.I.P.).

Inspired by the locales of Brazil and developed by residents of the country, 171 is an open-world game that (at least in the alpha state it’s launching in) is all about agency and dynamism. To that end, the world is populated with gangs, police, side activities, things to buy, and customization opportunities. It looks a lot like a throwback to the more cartoony and chaotic PlayStation 2-era Grand Theft Auto games, which is sure to tickle the fancy of long-time fans.

Unfortunately, what’s missing at the moment appears to be anything in the way of a central narrative campaign. The game’s (long inactive) Patreon page teases a story mode about two brothers caught up in a situation much bigger than themselves, but the story doesn’t seem to have been mentioned elsewhere. Still, if you’re looking for a new game that lets you either be a good member of society or cause untold chaos, 171 may just be worth checking out.

Indie Games Coming Later

The Great War: Western Front

PC – 2023

Petroglyph Games is a name that modern RTS fans should be familiar with. The team created Conan Unconquered and, more recently, the well-received Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. (Petroglyph was founded by former Westwood employees.) Now, it’s looking to build a new IP that it’s calling “the definitive WW1 strategy game” with The Great War: Western Front.

As in XCOM and similar games, you’ll be operating at two levels. The first is that of a Field Commander, where you’ll be in charge of overseeing battles in granular detail, deciding tactics on the fly in response to evolving situations. But you’ll also be the Theater Commander, responsible for research and resource management at a macro scale. You’ll be able to deploy these different skills in a campaign that lets you rewrite history or against other players.

But one of the most intriguing features of The Great War: Western Front is its persistent world. As the fortunes of war ebb and flow, you’ll find yourself revisiting battlefields, which will already be scarred and pockmarked by your previous conflicts. That, in concert with what seems like a season-based weather system, will require you to adapt your strategies in response to a whole range of external stimuli. It’s exciting stuff, and RTS fans will surely be pleased to have a juicy new project to sink their teeth into when it releases next year.

Beware

PC – No Release Date

In case you haven’t stumbled across Beware before, it’s what might emerge from an unholy alliance between Forza Horizon and Silent Hill. The setting is a fog-shrouded landscape populated by strange beings that will chase you relentlessly. So far, so survival horror, but the big twist is that the entire game takes place from behind the steering wheel of a jalopy. While the story is yet to be fully detailed, your task in Beware appears to be to switch on the electricity across several different regions of the map and make your way to the (assumed) safety of the big city.

With 144km2 of space to explore (both on- and off-road), there’s a lot to find in the game. That’s on top of what’s promising to be a killer atmosphere and some truly innovative thinking about the limitations and possibilities of horror games. Enticingly, the game is also being created with VR in mind.

Beware has been in development for several years, with a demo version earlier this year finally bringing the entire map together for the first time. It’s a major milestone for the project, but it still seems like there’s quite a way left to go. You can keep up with the latest updates from developer Ondrej Svadlena on Patreon or Twitter.

 

Let us know what you think of the selection of indie games this week and what you’re most interested in among Somerville, Floodland, 171, The Great War: Western Front, and Beware.

You may also like