Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Watchlist: Somerville

Title: Somerville
Developer: Chris Olsen
Platforms: N/A
Still in early development
An episodic sci-fi adventure...a cinematic platformer with responsive shooter mechanics
Alien invasions are nothing new in video games. We've faced extraterrestrials foes in wartime Europe, in the jungles of Ling Shan, in the streets of City 17. Somerville takes a different approach; we've already won the war and a teacher is reading to her elementary class the story of the great war hero John E. Somerville. This narrative framework is the foundation for an atmospheric cinematic platformer, as Somerville becomes a revered figure in humanity's fight against a devastating alien incursion.
Somerville promises to combine the classic mainstays of the genre with more modern mechanics, such as refined shooting and advanced physics. The core of the shooting gameplay as well as avoiding many of the game's hazards revolves around color; match your shield and weapon with the color of an enemy or incoming energy burst and you'll be unharmed. Learning color cycles and shifting hues on the fly will play a key role in Somerville's challenges, as you acquire poweful gear, avoid sentry drones, engage in shootouts, and more. The visuals bring this world to life through smooth animations and an atmospheric aesthetic reminiscent of Kentucky Route Zero.
Somerville is still relatively early in development; the developer is currently working on the game's prologue area. You can follow Somerville's progress through its TIGSource Devlog and on Tumblr.

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