We have seen a huge increase in indie games across the board in the first 18 month of the new generation with many more are on the way.
Lack of AAA
Since launch the number of new gen only titles has been sorely lacking, cross platform and last gen remasters have been the norm. Only now are we beginning to see new gen only titles hitting the shelves. Amply filling the gap though have been some truly innovative and fun indie titles.
Indie Games a go go
One of the most inspiring moments of Sony’s triumphant 2013 E3 was when a load of indie games were being played on stage all at the same time. Don’t Starve, Mercenary Kings, Octodad, Secret Ponchos, Ray’s the Dead, Outlast, Abe New and Tasty, Galak Z were all there. Click here for the footage. Of these only Ray’s the Dead and Galak Z have yet to see the light of day. Sony put it’s stake in the ground for indie games and hasn’t disappointed.
The Beauty of Indie Games
Innovation is sorely lacking in AAA titles, they literally can’t afford to move away from tried and tested formula for fear of alienating their core audience. Indie games don’t suffer from this restriction, innovation is what they do. Whether that is innovation for art style, such as Transistor and Stick it to the Man or gameplay in games like Doki Doki Universe or Hohokum. Indies challenge the norm and although not always successful, bring new ideas and challenge how we think of games.
AAA Indie Games
Some large developers have embraced this and have developed Indie style games themselves. UbiSoft brought us Child of Light, a beautiful RPG and Valiant Hearts, my game of the year for 2014. They are relatively short side scrolling games with stylised graphics and compelling gameplay. Also the most recent entries into the Assassin’s Creed canon are 3 side scrolling adventures. The big boys are beginning to see the benefits of this style of game; hopefully it will lead to them using this innovation approach to bring something special to the next wave of AAA.
I perfectly understand that with new tech to get used to and with the old generation still holding up that PS4 only titles have been few and far between. However there are now 23 million PS4s out in the world so it’s time for AAA. Indie games are very welcome additions to my PS4 portfolio but not the reason I spent £350 of my hard earned cash. Let’s take all this fantastic innovation demonstrated by Indies and bring truly new gen experiences on my piano black slab of gaming goodness.
Mike Checks Out… Check out this playlist of Indie Games.