The recently debuted trailer for Laika Believes, a metroidvania style 2D platformer from Minicore Studios, finally gives us a sniff at some actual gameplay. The game revolves around Laika …
How long does it take to conjure a cybernetic combat whale complete with side-mounted weaponry and a nose cannon? If you’re Minicore Studios’ talented concept artist Devin Lawson — about five minutes. That’s the run time of a newly released video, first spotted by Joystiq, showcasing the speed-drawing conceptualization of the battle-ready giant for the upcoming Laika Believes. You can check out the video after the jump, which is set to a plucky chiptune arrangement pulled straight from the game’s soundtrack.
The action platformer takes place in an alternate history where the Soviet superpower has enveloped the known world in it’s robotic iron grip. Unlike the depressing fate of the real Laikia (the first animal launched into orbit), Laika Believes sees the titular canine return, cybernetic, super-intelligent and ready to save the day. We know very little about the forthcoming title, other than it’s certainly headed for steam while an Xbox Live Arcade offering is still being investigated as separate episodes.
Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLAFans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Developer: Moon Spider Studio
Harold is a platforming/racing game, but not as you would expect. Far from charismatic or capable, the protagonist Harold is an embarrassment with legs. Luckily he has you, his guardian angel, to manipulate the track against his rivals and occasionally kick him in the pants with lightning. Harold twists side-scrolling racing with urgent puzzle-solving into its environment.
Minicore Studios’ Laika Believes will be released episodically in three chunks, the developer has revealed. Staring a space-traveling dog and set in a Soviet-dominated world, the game was always planned to be a Metroidvania-style platformer, and the team feels that releasing it over the course of three episodes will allow it to dedicate more time to crafting levels of an appropriate scope for such a game while also getting content to gamers earlier than originally planned. Minicore is currently targeting spring 2013 for the game’s debut episode, with the other two set to hit the market place “within the following year.”
The studio’s latest blog post states that the focus of development will rightly be placed on “massive, nonlinear levels, choice-rich skill trees, and game mechanics.” All are elements that the team supposedly was looking to work into Laika Believes from the start; however, there were concerns internally that the enormity of those undertakings would end up being too much for the small studio to successfully juggle under a more traditional release strategy.
Supposedly the game already contains “natural break points,” allowing the devs to easily transition into the episodic format. Improved pacing and the ability for players to discover new sections of Laika Believes at their own pace are also components of the experience that Minicore thinks it can more deftly integrate into its title without the pressure of having to deliver the full experience in one release.
Believe it or not my favorite part about video games isn’t the games themselves but the way they bring people together. Arguably no show demonstrates this bond better than PAX. Thousands of likeminded individuals flooded Boston this past Easter weekend. It didn’t matter where you worked or what you did or what you had to do when you hit the ground again on Monday; for one glorious weekend everyone was an equal: a gamer. It didn’t matter if your weapon was a die, a mouse, a controller or one’s own body. Everyone at this show had a passion for games.
A few of us from XBLA Fans made the trip and had the honor of mingling and checking out some of the upcoming XBLA titles for 2012 and beyond. We were able to hear developers in their element talking to fans about their projects. It was an amazing experience. Our own Andrew Crews has already elaborated on this issue, but in the end you remember the little things. That being said, there were some amazing games. Check out our full breakdown below!
Austin-based game developers, Minicore Studios have revealed at this year’s GDC in San Francisco that they’re currently working on a new PC/XBLA game named Laika Believes. The game tells the tail of Laika, the first dog to orbit the earth, however in this alternative reality Laika makes it back home as a half robot-half dog with advanced intelligence. She returns to a world where the Soviets have discovered highly advanced tech and stand as supreme rulers of the globe, while America and Great Britain are little more than smoking ash heaps. Against all odds, Laika believes that she can protect the countless lives crushed by the Soviets. The game is said to be a classic Metroidvania platformer, featuring:
- Massive, nonlinear levels that model the layouts of real locations in a way as of yet unseen in other platformers
- Large, choice-rich skill trees that let players approach the game how they want to
- A novel defensive mechanic that lets players turn the firepower of Laika’s enemies against them
- Smoothly flowing, fast-paced shooting action
- A story of struggle and hope, full of twists and revelations
- Rich, evocative art depicting a world overgrown by a technologically ascendant Soviet empire
- Secrets and rewards hidden in every corner for the determined player
Minicore Studios are aiming for a late 2012 or early 2013 release so it’s a while away yet but we’ve got some interesting concept art for you to check out after the cosmic jump.