From Hollow Knight to Ori 2, there is no shortage of excellent indie Metroidvanias for fans to sink their teeth into. However, the follow-up to one of the best examples of the genre–Axiom Verge–has been delayed beyond 2020 due to development proceeding slower than expected.
As developer Thomas Happ reveals in a recent blog post, Axiom Verge 2 is a much more complex game than its predecessor, in terms of everything from enemy AI to the structure of the world itself. Happ also says that the continuing fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has affected his productivity, especially when it comes to caring for his young child. Happ predicts that the game will release in the first half of 2021, though he says he hopes that it’s sooner rather than later.
Even for the genre, Axiom Verge takes many cues from the Metroid series, even down to the appearance of its life bar and its focus on block-by-block exploration. The game’s most notable feature was its Address Disruptor tool, also known as its “glitch ray,” which allowed you to corrupt enemies and manipulate the environment in the manner of video game bugs. The game is also notable for the depth of its secrets, which is comparable to other enigmatic indie hits like Fez and The Witness.
In GameSpot’s 8/10 Axiom Verge review, our critic Peter Brown called the game “easy to fall in love with.”
“It takes the Metroidvania model and adds layers of ingenuity that are in a league all of their own, the most notable being the Address Disruptor,” they wrote. “Yes, it’s occasionally drab looking, and some enemies may not fit in with the rest of the world, but when a game is this good, these blemishes quickly fade into the back of your mind. The chilling sci-fi setting, mysterious plot, and a seemingly endless number of abilities keep your mind busy, and your curiosity at fever pitch. It’s not a stretch to say that Axiom Verge is better than the games that inspired it, because it’s so inventive and thoughtfully crafted. There’s no excuse to hold onto the past when the present is this amazing.”
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