As a gamer and a streamer, indie games can often be the long sought, diamond in the rough of the gaming world.
Titles like Hotline Miami and FTL: Faster Than Light have gone on to become two of my favorite games ever created, without the backing of a triple-A budget, team or company.
And the wonderful bit about indie gaming is that there's always something new — someone pushing the boundaries of what can be done in a video game.
I recently got a chance to take a look at two new indie games, MetaTron, an open-world survival game in which you play as a mutant, and Blackwake, a PvP pirate game similar to games such as Guns Of Icarus. So, to celebrate #IndieSpirit, let's get started shall we?
What is MetaTron?
"You're TRON! One of many, but maybe one day the Chosen one. Learn, mutate and become what could be the new crown of creation. In MetaTron, you play one of 6 clones bred on distant planets. Your whole existence to become the perfect organic weapon! Learn new skills and adjust them to your style of play. Build huts, or whole palaces! Be the guardian at night and protect your rare resources with your Team! Or be the lone ranger, which roams through the Woods and Plains and relies only on himself."
MetaTron is an open-world survival game, similar to games such as Rust or Ark: Survival Evolved, and while I received a copy of the game entirely free thanks to one of the developers themselves, I'm seriously considering sending them my money anyway.
Despite the game being in very early access, the foundations for a fantastic game are there. Aside from the open world, modular vehicle construction, airdrops and base building, the key selling point of the game is the mutations.
Each character comes with a different set of mutations that you can access at any point in the game — switching between human and mutant freely. Mutant mode might give you more speed, damage, health regen, jump height — the list goes on, and it all depends on how you spend your levels, and which character you chose to be.
I actually managed to speak to one of the developers live on stream and they seem genuinely committed to providing what the players want, and to create a brilliant game at the same time. You can check out the game here, and I highly recommend you do so.
What is Blackwake?
Ah, Blackwake. This is a game I've wanted since I first saw it on Kickstarter a few years ago. It's a simple premise, really.
There are two teams, Pirates and Her Majesty's Royal Navy. Each team has a certain number of ships, and each ship is crewed byseven people (16 if you're on a galleon). You hoist the sails, load the cannons and sink the enemy ships. Easy Peasy. That is, until you get broadsided for the first time.
Suddenly the ship is full of holes, the captain's dead and the sails are damaged. You're bleeding heavily, but fortunately Rum heals all wounds, and after a few swigs you're back on your feet and ready to tear the enemy a new poop deck. But first, there's the small matter of fixing the ship.
In Blackwake, the crew does everything — loading and firing the cannons, pumping out the water and fixing each and every hole. Somehow, you manage to fix the holes, man the pumps and repair the ship. A small mutiny occurred, and your new captain has ordered you to load the grapples — you're going to board the enemy Schooner. You pick a cannon, spend what seems like four years loading it, and wait for the order. Then you get shot in the head with a musket, and your screen goes black informing you of just that.
Blackwake is exactly what I look for in a team-based game. It's a slow burn when the game first starts — you're making sure each and every cannon is packed and loaded — but once the first broadside hits it never lets up until your ship is either victorious, or in the hands of Davy Jones.
With a development team of just two, Blackwake is an ambitious and impressive attempt to bring you the glory of the high seas, right up until your mate decides that ramming a galleon is good course of action. Hold that thought, I think we're being boarded... where's my blunderbuss?