Solar Ash

Solar Ash
Credit: Heart Machine

Solar Ash is the much-anticipated sequel to Heart Machine’s award-winning Hyper Light Drifter. Although acting as a sequel, the only relation to the first game is the Universe they share.

Gone are the rigid pixel edges that call back to our retro gaming days, giving us smoother aesthetics in a 3D world. Make no mistakes! Heart Machine’s spirited visuals for the new game are exactly what I would expect. Humanoids flow so smoothly in their movement and evoke something ethereal from their appearance alone.

Surprisingly, we’re shown there will be dialogue in Heart Machine’s second outing. I wonder how much will be in the game, though, as Hyper Light Drifter’s characters never spoke. Are we going to get a narrative like most single-player campaigns, or will there be another unique story-telling element? I’m excited to find out!

Here’s what Alx Preston, the founder of Heart Machine, had to say about this upcoming game via the Playstation Blog:

“In Solar Ash, the player journeys through the Ultravoid,
a ravenous rift in space swallowing worlds.
It’s a place of incredible danger and surreal spaces – a dream none can escape.
Familiar though alien, lush but grotesque,
peaceful at times and supremely violent in others.
Our characters must find solace in each other to make it through
the spiral of despair they find themselves trapped in.”

– Alx Preston

Check out the PS5 Introduction Trailer below and read on after for a little bit about Hyper Light Drifter!

Solar Ash Trailer

Heart Machine

If there is one thing I like about indie companies, it’s that they’re known for their particular flair. Heart Machine is no different.

Alx Preston founded Heart Machine, and it’s his vision that pushed the crowdfunded game forward. The name was drawn from medical conditions that Preston suffered concerning congenital heart disease. The condition actually inspired some of the game itself. The Drifter appears to suffer from a chronic illness; Periodically, he will lurch over and vomit blood, making for a very different hero.

What is Hyper Light Drifter?

Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D adventure game with clear inspiration from Zelda: A Link to the Past. However, most similarities stop at the isometric gameplay. As Heart Machine’s debut game, they carved their way into the video game industry with a highly stylized art direction and absurd, lightning-fast gameplay. Every move you made had a consequence because of the fast-paced combat. Of course, this meant I couldn’t blame my defeat on a gimmick.

Refreshingly enough, you aren’t told where to go, what you’re doing, or why you’re doing it. You’re given instructions on how to heal, and as standard as that is, that’s so important because of a limited health pool. Running through the game with five HP meant dying repeatedly. Indeed, you may find a piece of gear that offers a couple more hit points, but that takes little away from the difficulty. My controller would have been in danger if it wasn’t so expensive.

Heart Machine and the ill Drifter

The Drifter
The Drifter – Credit: Heart Machine

Hyper Light Drifter’s titular hero – the Drifter – never spoke a word. In fact, every other NPC shared his silence, but they communicated through visuals. As the line between cinema and games fades, we’ve grown used to tales that take us from point A to point B. Nonetheless, the narrative decision to leave it to visuals left the world and the protagonist’s inspiration up to interpretation.

Every piece of ‘lore’ you came across acted as part of a puzzle left for you to decipher. Accordingly, this led to many Reddit posts from players collaborating to discover the ‘true’ lore. Talk about creating immersion outside of the video game experience. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Solar Ash brings the community together again.

Solar Ash will be released in 2021 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5!

Is this your first time hearing about the game? Either way, what do you think of the trailer?

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By Published On: November 6th, 2020Categories: eSports

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