Over Labor Day weekend, some of the Pxlbyte staff had the opportunity to attend PAX Prime in Seattle. While we got to see a lot of great games, the one that really sticks out is Supergiant Games‘ latest project, Transistor.
I somehow lucked out over most of the weekend by not having to stand in many lines to see games. I walked right in to the XCOM: Enemy Within preview with no wait, and I spent no more than ten minutes in line to test Rome: Total War 2. Transistor was the only game I waited a long amount of time for (ninety minutes), but the game was worth every minute of it.
I was excited to give the game a test. I fell in love with everything about Supergiant’s previous game, Bastion, from the art style to the music, and from the gameplay to the storytelling. During my wait in line, I was daydreaming about what I would get to see and experience during my turn playing Transistor – and it didn’t disappoint.
Transistor is a top-down, hack-and-slash platformer, set in a lush but dark science-fiction world. During the demo, I played as a character simply referred to as Red. Red does not have a voice, but the giant sword that she wields – which is called the Transistor – talks to her during gameplay. At first I was a little worried that the narrative from the sword would repeat the storytelling approach of Bastion, but Transistor doesn’t go that far with it (if you’ve never played Bastion, I’d recommend looking up a Let’s Play video on YouTube to see what I’m referring to).
The sword provides hints as to what’s happening in the city, as well as some back story to Red – who she was and what she did prior to the starting point of the game. Of course, being a demo, it didn’t tell us the whole story. It’s evident that Transistor‘s storyline will continue to reveal itself as gameplay continues. The ambient, electronic soundtrack is also fantastic, and adds a tremendous amount of atmosphere to the world.
Another way Transistor stands out is that while you only have the one weapon, you can acquire various styles of attack that can be used against your enemies. As Red reaches new levels, those attacks can be leveled up and made more powerful. During the demo, Red could only earn enough XP to level up once, allowing you to make a decision of which attack you’d like to enhance. Attack styles work in an interesting way; rather than running up to an enemy and wailing on him with your sword, there is a method of attacking that allows you to step out of real-time and queue up multiple moves at the same time.
Transistor won’t released until early 2014, and the game will be available on both PlayStation 4 and PC. Although the PAX demo was on a PC, I played it using a PS4 controller. I enjoyed using the controller – the gameplay felt really fun, but not too easy. I still want to see how well it plays using PC controls without a connected controller, however.
Overall, Transistor is definitely one of the most visually striking and downright fun games coming out soon. Having played it at PAX, it’s already one of my most anticipated games of next year, and I can’t wait to play more.
Are you excited for Transistor? Did you get a chance to play it at PAX, and if so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @BrianneMD.