To go boldly
Given that big-budget sequels are where the serious money lies, it’s especially heartening to see a Hype section stuffed so full of bold ideas this close to Christmas. Even the big-name sequel among this month’s lineup,
Resident Evil 7 (p56), has chosen to veer away from its roots by switching to a firstperson perspective. It’s a long-overdue refresh that’s as daring as it is welcome – even if many of Resi’s more familiar elements remain.
Tarsier Studios’ striking Little Nightmares (p42) is also steeped in familiarity – thematic comparisons to Limbo and Inside are unavoidable – but its blend of LittleBigPlanet- style platforming tactility and nightmare-fuelled stealth gameplay feels both fresh and pleasantly mutable. Prey (p50) reimagines an already unusual game as a freeform firstperson shooter in which you gain alien powers by injecting Neuromods into your eyeball – one of which allows you to transform into a coffee cup and toss yourself into an office. You don’t get that in Battlefield now, do you?
Bossa Studios’ Worlds Adrift (p42), meanwhile, continues to astonish with its sheer ambition. But while the game’s sprawling, persistent world is a groundbreaking technical marvel, its focus on physics and creative construction, together with a refreshing absence of grinding, threaten to upend our notion of what constitutes challenge in a modern MMOG. Not every innovation is so appealing, of course. Metal
Gear Survive represents the first post-Kojima entry in the fiction, and despite this still manages to somehow be the most bizarre yet. A fourplayer co-op survival game set in an alternate universe populated by shambling, crystalised enemies, Survive appears to abandon everything, bar unchecked whimsy, upon which the series is built. We’ve only had the briefest of glimpses, but it’s clear Survive is not exactly the game Metal Gear fans had in mind. You’d expect Konami to want a clean break with Kojima gone, but maybe a change isn’t always as good as a rest.