By Joe Sigadel / April 1st, 2017
During PAX East, I had the opportunity to visit Polish publisher IMGN.PRO’s booth, where I got to try out three indie titles that caught my attention.
First off is Inner Chains, from Telepath’s Tree. Inner Chains is a dark, gothic atmospheric FPS where danger lurks around every corner. Unlike most FPS games, Inner Chains is rather slow paced by design, which forces the player to pay attention to their surroundings. By looking out for environmental hazards like deadly plants that attack you on proximity, you can avoid harm and even lure enemies into them and finish them off. Inner Chains also uses a unique ammo system. Once your regular ammo is depleted, your gun will draw from your life, since it’s connected to your flesh and blood. The general idea is to devise a strategy with each encounter to dispatch all your enemies and come out alive on the other side, without using too much ammo. Looking at the environments, and your own biomechanical equipment, I got the sense that there was something both natural, and at the same time unnatural about it. Elements that fit, but should not be. To use some examples, there are ‘stations’ scattered around which serve as checkpoints, refill points and a plant that emits colored gas to show you the way. Inner Chains is a title that challenges you to mind your surroundings, and try different things, which I think works very well with the slow and steady pace of the game.
Next up is Seven: The Days Long Gone from Fool’s Theory. Seven is an isometric action RPG that takes place in a post apocalyptic technocratic future environment. Taking up the role of a thief, you will be able to climb and zip around places to get around quickly. By the way, you’re also possessed by an ancient daemon who helps you out by giving advice and showing you points of interest. The developers really emphasize exploration and to find secrets in this game, especially for gathering Nectar, a resource that grants you ability points when consumed to further enhance your skills. Being a thief doesn’t limit your combat or problem solving options, either. Of course you could go with the traditional stealthy route, but you can also take enemies head on if you wish using different weapons, such as a spear to take on multiple foes at once. If a door’s in your way, you have multiple choices to get it open, or even bypass it entirely. If you need to kill someone, or something, you can get help if you wish, or try to do it on your own. Each results in different outcomes, some of which are far reaching, but most have an immediate effect on that particular scenario. Seven is definitely a title I think fans of old-school RPGs should be paying attention to for these reasons.
Last, but not least, we have Bruce, from developer Logic Artists. Bruce is a 2.5D action platformer with a cover mechanic, placing you in the role of a private investigator who must shoot his way through enemies to save your old lover, who has been badly injured after a virus was unleashed by a major robotics company. The virus causes the city to go haywire and robots to go berserk. There’s clear inspiration here from film noir movies and well-known cyberpunk media like Blade Runner, and it’s all rendered in a cool “art deco” comic book style. Even your trenchcoat has nanomachines in it, allowing you to enhance your powers to even the odds and get the job done more efficiently.
The release dates for Inner Chains and Seven have yet to be announced, but Bruce is slated to come out sometime later in 2017.
bruceFool's TheoryIMGN.PROinner chainsLogic Artistsseven: the days long goneTelepath's Tree