Assassin’s Creed, Saints Row, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze: these are just a few of the games on my to-play list, and with E3 coming up next week, that list isn’t going to get shorter any time soon. Despite my lack of time and funds, I’ve been seeing games everywhere that I’d love to play. However, out of fear of turning into one of those Steam users who have hundreds of games that never get played—who am I kidding? I’m already there—I’ve been severely stunting my purchases. This game may break my self-imposed embargo.
This newest game from Supergiant Games, which previously released the highly acclaimed game Bastion in 2011 (coincidentally, also on my to-play list), caught my eye during last year’s E3. And while other games from last year’s convention have seemingly fallen short of expectations, Transistor has managed to live up to the hype in addition to creating more. I can’t tell you how much having the magnificent soundtrack plastered on my Tumblr dash helped diminish my dwindling self-restraint.
Since I haven’t actually bought Transistor yet and I’m avoiding spoilers like the plague, I think I’ll leave it up to Wikipedia to sum up the plot.
Red, a famous singer in a city called Cloudbank, is attacked by the Process, a robotic force commanded by a group called the Camerata. During the clash, she is transported all the way across Cloudbank and comes into possession of the mysterious Transistor—the greatsword-like weapon she was to be assassinated with. The Transistor is buried into the chest of an as-of-yet unnamed man (who seems to be close with Red), now slumped over and dead; though his consciousness and voice seems to have been absorbed into the Transistor itself, along with Red’s voice. The Camerata continues to track Red and the Transistor down with the Process, wanting the weapon for some yet-unknown cause.
I am so, so excited to see such a dynamic story with a female protagonist. And I love even more that she’s a singer, but that’s just a personal druthers. Transistor’s battle system advertises itself as real-time combat with a planning mode. What interests me about this planning mode is that instead of it being a glorified pause screen to assign a single action—like in Dragon Age—it instead allows the actions made during this mode to be used at super speed. Wow. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like it’s going to be an incredibly satisfying game mechanic, even if it might be a little difficult to get the hang of at first.
As of now, I haven’t heard a single bad thing about this game. Not one, which I think speaks volumes about Supergiant Games. In addition to tight mechanics, a very interesting story, and a beautiful soundtrack, the graphics have maintained the same gorgeous aesthetic that was present in Bastion.
I hope, with the success of games like Transistor and Child of Light, more companies will be willing to expand the demographics of their main character past “straight rugged white dude”. It might be too late for this year’s E3—unless I’m pleasantly surprised, it’s way too late for this year’s E3—but maybe 2015’s gaming expo will feature more games interested in women’s stories. Gaming is far away from being inclusive, but if baby steps are made and keep being re-enforced, it’s entirely possible that we can get there in the future.
Transistor is available now on PC and PS4. Support it and Supergiant Games if you can!