Nex Machina, the newest game from Super Stardust and Resogun developers, Housemarque, was announced at Sony’s PlayStation Experience last weekend.
The debut footage released alongside the announcement (embedded below) suggests that the title will draw from the studio’s previous titles, fusing its earlier gameplay styles into an isometric bullet-hell shoot-’em-up. The viewpoint derives from Dead Nation and Alienation, while the core gameplay is reminiscent of that found in Resogun, with its focus on fast-paced shooting and evasion.
As might be expected from this curious blend of genres, Nex Machina looks both unique and frighteningly difficult, with the player’s avatar little more than a speck when compared to the enemy waves and projectiles that fill the screen in a firework kaleidoscope.
The gameplay footage is preceded by a series of brief, animated scenes depicting robots apparently turning against humans for unintentional slights, which indicates the backdrop against which the action takes place. Housemarque’s official website describes this setting in greater depth, stating that machines have attained consciousness and, to assert their superiority, have begun to exterminate humanity.
For the game’s design, Housemarque has drafted the assistance of Eugene Jarvis, an industry veteran perhaps best known as a designer and programmer on the seminal 1981 shooter, Defender. Although a pioneer in the early days of the video game industry, and currently holding the position of Game Designer in Residence at DePaul University, Jarvis’s star has waned in recent years as his development studio has primarily produced arcade games.
Despite appearing as a single player game, the game’s arcade heritage means that it is being created with competition in mind. The developers have not yet provided any indication that a multiplayer mode will be included, however, the game will feature leaderboards, monthly tournaments, and a spectator mode.
If the studio’s previous efforts are any indication, Nex Machina’s PlayStation 4 release in 2017 should deliver a slick, finely honed shooter well worth your attention. OnlySP will provide more details on the game as they emerge.