To say that the Epic Games Store has gone to war with Steam is an understatement. The new online games marketplace is only a few months old and already it’s locked down big name games as exclusives, offered up some free games to consumers, and as an incentive to developers takes a significantly smaller revenue cut than Steam.
These may have been the key factors that led to Heart Machine’s (the developers of Hyper Light Drifter) newest game being the latest exclusive for the Epic Games Store. It’s called Solar Ash Kingdom, and the trailer just dropped today.
Right now there’s not a lot of information about Solar Ash Kingdom besides what can be discerned from the trailer. It looks like it will contain a lot of the same kind of graphical style and art design that Drifter had.
This time however it seems like the combat may be more of a 3D action adventure game rather the 2D plane that Hyper Light had. The game also looks to have shifted away from a pixelated art style, although the coloring scheme is similar to Drifter with the trailer footage showing a lot of pastel pinks and aqua blues.
The footage also shows a long haired, masked character effortlessly gliding down what looks like a giant cloud towards a massive spider-like, eyeball monster. If this trailer is indicative of the main game, then Solar Ash Kingdom may be a game focused on fast movement and combat with giant bosses.
In an interview with IGN, Heart Machine’s Alx Preston didn’t have too much to say about Solar Ash Kingdom. He did make sure to mention how the new game differs from Hyper Light Drifter, saying that the games uses “a whole new set of incredible tech and key innovations.” As for the narrative, Preston gave Heart Machine’s mission statement on their games’ plot: “we strive to tell a beautiful story through our world, the atmosphere, our characters and even our gameplay.”
Hyper Light Drifter was a unique gaming experience with a bizarre pixelated world, a story told through pictures and the game world rather than dialogue, and some difficult but rewarding gameplay. It was a pretty big hit with critics and gamers alike. Even if they’re using new tech, it looks like Heart Machine’s method of environmental story telling will continue with Solar Ash Kingdom.
There’s no release date set for Solar Ash Kingdom, but considering the trailer ends with a big Epic Games Store logo, it’s safe to assume that it will an Epic exclusive for quite some time. So if you were looking forward to playing Heart Machine’s next adventure, it looks like the Epic Games Store will be your one stop shop.