Live the story of an unlikely hero amidst an alien invasion in ‘Somerville’Filed inside: Games
As humans, we’re equally curious and terrified of the possibility of alien life somewhere deep within the cosmos. To some, it presents the opportunity to explore new worlds and gain powerful technologies. To others, aliens can be nothing other than a malevolent force bent on controlling or destroying human civilization. Somerville focuses on the latter, spinning a tale of alien invasion and human triumph in the face of galactic danger. But Somerville isn’t your average delve into the world of humans versus aliens, like we see in large-budget movies and highly funded video games. What makes this upcoming indie release unique is the manner in which the story is told.
The legend of Somerville isn’t a storyline that you live and breathe in real time, it is instead a narrative of events that have already transpired. The game begins with a teacher, enlightening their class about a time when humanity faced great peril, and when an alien uprising seemed almost imminent. They story hones in on one man, John Somerville, who became an unlikely hero against an alien menace. You’ll control John through a series of episodic events that craft a unique and interesting journey about John’s rise from everyday human to storied hero.
The gameplay for Somerville is very similar to releases like Pinstripe and Limbo, but features some unique elements that help to set it apart from the rest of the pack. You’ll find yourself in a series of cinematic platforming sections, surrounded by monolithic ships, deadly alien drones, and other technologically advanced hazards. Somerville is one part side-scrolling shooter, and one part rhythmic timing game. You’ll need to incapacitate enemies with your weapon, while simultaneously blocking incoming projectiles and attacks. This is done through a unique colored-shield system. By activating the correct color at the correct time, you’ll successfully push back enemy efforts and keep yourself safe. Failure to activate the correct color while making sure to match timing results in a series of well-animated death sequences, a lot of which include decapitation by drone.
Not much else is known at the moment in terms of Somerville‘s gameplay, but what we’ve seen so far looks incredibly interesting. This is all made much better by gorgeous graphics that mesh together smoothly, and by aesthetically pleasing elements with a subtle polygon-like architecture in some places. The lighting for this release is incredibly well done, giving everything a dark shadow and grim overtones, while maintaining enough light source to create a smooth gameplay experience. Among the pleasing visuals and dark tones appear intensely bright particle effects and sprite animations that light up the environment and create a beautiful focal point. These skills add a layer of gameplay mechanic to the release while simultaneously creating a better visual experience overall.
It will be very interesting to see where Somerville heads in the future, because it looks artistically amazing in its current stages, and boasts some intelligent game design. The developer is working tirelessly to see their vision come to life, and it’s this kind of passion that often leads to the best indie releases.
If you’re interested in getting more information regarding Somerville, be sure to follow the development log on TGI Source. You can also follow Chris Olsen on Twitter and Tumblr for any news and progress regarding this future alien war story.