The solo indie developer that goes by bcubedlabs has returned. After an impressive showing with The Onus Helm's Kickstarter demo early last year failed to gain crowdfunding traction, bcubedlabs hit the drawing board. They have finally returned with their next project, an action-oriented boss rush game titled Far Blade.
Unlike The Onus Helm, Far Blade has launched on itch.io for $5.99, allowing players to support the developer while the project finishes and reaches full retail readiness. Admittedly, bcubedlabs makes it clear that a considerable amount of work still needs to be done, like completing the design of all seven hand-crafted boss encounters. The current build possesses finalized mechanics and camera control, so while much of it remains to be completed, the basics are all in place. It seems like the intent with Far Blade is to see it through to the end without relying on crowdfunding; meaning that the finished project will actually see the light of day.
Far Blade tells the story of a lone adventurer who must fight seven huge creatures while exploring an unknown corner of the world. The story has been left deliberately vague to serve as the central mystery of the title. As players explore and conquer their foes, bits of the story will come together to form a larger whole. It seems like this might take a bit of conjecture, but many people have excelled at parsing that sort of storytelling in recent years. It should be easy to recognize several different influences at work in the basic mechanics and ideas behind Far Blade like The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, and more modern pixel action-adventure games like Hyper Light Drifter.
While the boss design and environments undergo polishing, the striking aesthetic has been drawing many eyes to Far Blade. Bcubedlabs has been working on the project alone and developed a new technique that creates 3D models in a pixelated style, making camera movement possible without remaking the art for all the different angles shown. It manages to somehow look a bit like a beautiful version of an N64 game, straddling the line between two very different retro aesthetics in a way that few titles can. At the moment, Far Blade makes use of royalty free music, but depending on how well the game does in these early development days, bcubedlabs intends to hire a composer for a personalized soundtrack.
So far only PC platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux) have been confirmed for the final version of the game. However, Far Blade includes built-in support for Xbox controllers, meaning that a console port could very well be a possibility in the future.
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