Solar Ash, the preview of an amazing 3D platformer

Solar Ash, the preview of an amazing 3D platformer

Solar Ash

It is curious how, with only one title to the credit, the aesthetics of the works of Heart Machine are already immediately recognizable, yet the studio led by Alex Preston has managed in a very short time to become iconic for indie lovers. The cold but extremely saturated colors of their works outline cruel places always halfway between life and death, in whose visual richness you can glimpse important details and clues of a world far more complex than it appears. This was the case in Hyper Light Drifter - a clearly Zeldian-like title, of remarkable quality - and so is also in Solar Ash, their latest work.

Recently reappeared during the Annapurna Showcase, Heart's platformer Machine finally has a release date, and with it coming to us on October 26th, we thought we'd collect what we know in our Solar Ash preview here. Not much has been seen yet, but what has been shown has considerable potential and could be a further demonstration of the team's great talent.

A not-so-black hole

Let's start with that little which was made known about the narrative: Solar Ash takes place inside a gigantic black hole known as the Ultra Void, which is consuming countless worlds. It is precisely to save one of these unfortunate planets that Rey, a void runner, decides to enter the anomaly to try to stop it. There, however, she finds not only emptiness and darkness waiting for her, but a world full of creatures and entities of rare power.

Others do not know about the story, yet at first glance it seems to be more verbose and crystalline than what is seen in Hyper Light Drifter. The heart of the game is in any case undoubtedly the gameplay, and to be exact the movement, since Solar Ash is not a normal platformer, but a game where the protagonist can move at extreme speed (practically the click allows her to skate on any surface) and leap from obstacle to obstacle with great agility.

Solar Ash: to be a black hole the variety of environments is not lacking In some ways the mechanics related to mobility seem an evolution of what we saw in The Pathless : fluid and constant movement with precise and adjustable leaps in the air, and the possibility of using a sort of energetic grappling hook to reach certain clearly indicated platforms faster. Most of the levels therefore seem to be built around this flow, almost closer to an evolution of a Sonic 3D than to more classic platformers.

Combat also seems to follow this path, and Rey is therefore unable to execute who knows what complex attacks, but it only unleashes series of guided blows that do not interrupt its movement if not executed in the air. The battles are, in short, a matter of timing and reaction rather than of the moves performed, with the most minute monsters representing little more than temporary obstacles, and the giants that instead are real paths in motion with various weak points to hit.

Inspirations galore

Solar Ash: a huge, apparently peaceful entity We have not called the most massive monstrosities "colossi" by chance, however, because here one smells a completely different inspiration how casual at Fumito Ueda's work. In the gameplay shown you can see blows of grace to say the least scenic on the obvious weak points present on the body of some of these monsters, and it is clear how many of them are environmental puzzles, whose body must be covered with care and intelligence to reach the key areas.

It is not said, however, that the bosses of the game are all enormous creatures to be eliminated in this way: the gameplay in fact gives the impression of being rather varied, and to pass without too much difficulty from multiple phases action and frantic sessions to more contemplative and calm exploration sessions. It is clear how the locations have been designed with great care and complexity, and it would not surprise us if there were chapters in the game that are structurally very different from what is described above.

Solar Ash: the maps are complex and full of paths The doubts, at the moment, reside in the fusion between the parts: it is difficult to say how perfectly everything fits together without having directly tried the game and, even if the charm does not missing, the visual impact may not necessarily be supported by an equally well thought-out universe. As noted earlier, however, talent on the team is clearly not lacking, Annapurna as a publisher tends to be a guarantee, and the likelihood of finding a rare quality indie gem is high. We'll find out shortly.

Artistically splendid and mechanically very interesting, Solar Ash seems to be a title capable of representing a breath of fresh air in the platform landscape despite its many influences. At the moment it is difficult to say if it will succeed in full, but the talent of its developers is not lacking, and what we have seen is very convincing. In October we will find out what awaits us.


Aesthetically beautiful Gameplay Fluid, fast and interesting DOUBTS Many influences, but will they be perfectly fused? Have you noticed any errors?

Powered by Blogger.