This past December at PSX 2016, Housemarque and Sony revealed the new IP Nex Machina. This top-down voxel shooter is a colorful and explosive new take on the entertaining experiences that have made Housemarque the studio they are. Nex Machina is heading to PS4 sometime during the second quarter of this year.
Gamers will try their hand at “The Zone,” which will test a player’s stamina and might. Nex Machina wants to empower players to game as they will, and the experience will embrace many playstyles. Challenges and ruthless combat will come your way in what Housemarque believes is the game arcade titles deserve to be like in the 21st century.
“The Zone” is where gamers can make their mark. The feature sounds like it’ll have a natural evolution to as you progress. Mikael Haveri, who is the head of publishing for Housemarque, spoke with We Write Things about Nex Machina. Gamers will step into this new world and experience what they are calling “The Zone.”
“‘The Zone’ is a focused zen-like state of mind that you enter when you are playing a game that requires constant attention. Some games allow you to check your phone, but some don’t even allow for a quick glimpse outside the screen. Sometimes ‘The Zone’ can continue for long times and Zone masters of the arcade era have been able to stay in it for hours. A gamer named ‘Bridy’ very recently played Super Stardust HD for 6h 15mins making the new world record. I would call that an extended Zone,” Haveri said.
“The Zone” sounds like it’ll place great importance on a player’s stamina and endurance. With varying pace as well as an environment that evolves as you play, gamers will need to keep their eye on the ball.
For a mode that sounds like it could last for any length of time, pace will surely be crucial. Housemarque is aware of the role pace will play in Nex Machina. The developers at Housemarque are creating an experience that exudes a fair, but challenging pace.
“Pacing is very important in games where tight focus is a must. We of course are making a layered experience where the player can choose to go beyond the necessary. For example, humans are back to be saved, so picking them up will add a layer of complexity that requires a bit more focus. Similarly the end of the game will get gradually harder, and there will be other layers on top of these too,” Haveri said.
“Save The Last Humans” is a phrase you might remember if you played the PS4 launch title Resogun. Housemarque is the studio behind that experience. They are bringing some elements from that experience and others into Nex Machina. Haveri explained some of the features you might recognize from previous Housemarque games.
“Humans will be a clear familiarity there. Also tight confined spaces to maneuver through. In the end Nex Machina is made to be a successor to Robotron with some elements thrown in from Smash TV. Those two will have the biggest impact, a bit less so with Resogun for obvious reasons,” Haveri said.
How humans will fit into the actual gameplay mechanics of Nex Machina is still unknown. As this year goes on, Housemarque will gradually show off gameplay and reveal the features that make this IP unique. Haveri detailed the aspect that will allow gamers to create their own playstyle in Nex Machina.
“Well that is the beauty of simplistic design. When a player is only given two buttons and two stick controls, they really need to be able to create everything else. Let’s see what they come up with,” Haveri said.
Giving gamers a blank canvas and a variety of tools to express themselves produces great results. It is the ultimate example of freedom in gameplay. Housemarque’s Nex Machina will be a PS4 exclusive and that means developers can work on PS4 Pro. Haveri spoke about the new system and how it doesn’t really change their development process.
“Well actually when you create a game that has two different platforms we always use the weaker one as the base. So in essence we are still creating games very much on the basis of them being base PS4 games,” Haveri said.
Developers can scale up a game fairly easily, particularly when they have more power console at their disposal. When playing Nex Machina on PS4 Pro, it’s fair to expect to see a higher resolution and premiere frame rate. Haveri finished up by talking about what he thinks players will be surprised by in Nex Machina.
“Hopefully how easy it is to pick-up and play. Secondly, how that is clearly not going to be enough, but that you do need to be able to create your own playstyle to really get the most out of it. Other than that, most likely the explosions and techy visuals will be a focal point,” Haveri said.
Nex Machina is going to release sometime during the second quarter of this year. The game will be a PS4 exclusive. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Nex Machina.