PC, PS4, Vita
The best boss fights, says Acid Nerve’s Mark Foster, are the ones where you barely survive. “When you’re on one heart in Zelda, say. Link is flashing. Noises are going off in the background. When you know you’re about to die and somehow you just about manage to [land] that final hit… That kind of tension, that really fine line between life and death, really pumps you full of adrenaline. It’s such a good feeling when you actually pull off the kill.”
Titan Souls is that moment over and over again. You’re only ever a single hit away from death, and while you’re equipped with a run button and a brisk roll that allows you to dodge the attacks of the game’s guardians – often squeaking through by mere pixels – you will die repeatedly. Yet your opponents suffer from a similar condition: while you’ll have to expose the weak spot on some, and cajole others into leaving their Achilles’ heels unprotected, a single well-aimed arrow is enough to slay them. The game’s power comes from this single-minded approach. It feels confident, focused and, on a momentto-moment basis, stomach-knottingly tense. Titan Souls began life as a demake of Shadow Of The Colossus, written in Flash for the 48-hour Ludum Dare jam. Foster had been working on a personal project, an exploration-based puzzle game called Chroma, in his spare time for two years, and needed a break – seeking out a chance to enjoy the almost instant gratification of completing a game within three days. With musician and sound director David Fenn on board, the pair wrote down one idea for each of the 20 possible themes outlined ahead of the jam. The final theme – You Only Get One –
Acid Nerve Format PC, PS4, Vita
Origin Various Release Q1 2015
ABOVE CENTRE This frozen guardian highlights the exceptional audio design, capturing the weight of a huge chunk of ice as it slides across – and pounds against – the granite surfaces.
ABOVE As soon as you deliver the killing blow, the screen greys out, before rumbling violently as the protagonist seemingly absorbs the lifeforce of the defeated boss, reflecting beams of light and turning the screen a brilliant white.
LEFT You can climb those tangled vines, although in the demo there’s no real advantage to doing so