Annapurna Interactive said Solar Ash is coming to the PlayStation consoles and the Epic Games Store on October 26. This action-platformer is from Heart Machine, the creators of the award winning 2016 game Hyper Light Drifter. It made the announcement today during the first Annapurna Interactive Showcase.
In this 3D third-person action platformer, players navigate dreamscape worlds filled with sunken cities, water shelves, and dangerous lava zones. You play a Voidrunner named Rei, who traverses through the dangerous biomes on a surreal journey while dealing with enemies from the Ultravoid. Rei’s mission is to save the planet from the ever-hungry Ultravoid.
Solar Ash has fluid acrobatics and fast-moving scenes. You fight off mobs of grotesque creatures. The art style has lots of splashes of neon colors. Alx Preston of Heart Machine said in an interview that the game has a mix of inspirations from The Shadow of the Colossus, Super Mario Galaxy, and Jet Set Radio.
“It’s about people struggling through kind of vicious cycles,” Preston said. “It’s about knowing somehow knowing when to let go, but still pushing on brazenly, and maybe recklessly without fully understanding the situation.”
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There are elements of denial and trauma that propel the hero forward.
“You have to try to reconcile those things, as a person and on a personal level, even in a very grandiose and fantastical space,” Preston said.
As for going with Annapurna as the publisher, Preston said it offered a good deal and he liked working with the team.
“They let us be autonomous and make the decisions we needed to make,” Preston said. “We learn from them, and they have given us a lot of creative freedom to just do what we need to do.”
Hyper Light Drifter was a very successful game that enabled the company to try a larger-scale project, Preston said. The team has 25 people, and the game has been in the works for around four years.
“We had to hire up and make sure we had the right folks to do something in 3D rather than 2D,” Preston said. “A chunk of the time was spent in experimentation and team building.”
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