The lights are on
We uncover details on the fascinating fictional backdrop,
characters, and organizations at play in Supergiant Games' upcoming action/RPG.
Supergiant Games brought a demo of Transistor with them to
E3, but its content is very similar to what the team has shown at
previous shows, except the game is now running with a PS4 controller in hand. The
game plays beautifully, but given the opportunity, Supergiant Games' Greg
Kasavin was able to share a wealth of info about the fiction of Transistor.
The game is set in the city of Cloudbank, a romanticized
city of soaring towers and high culture, but there's something amiss in the
metropolis. An organization called the Camerata is behind a series of
mysterious disappearances and deaths, and their latest target is a famous singing star
known only as Red - the female protagonist of the game.
During the assassination attempt, Red's companion (an as yet
unnamed character) is killed by a powerful artifact called the Transistor, and
in the ensuing chaos, Red and the strange sword-like object are teleported to
the far outskirts of the city of Cloudbank.
Red awakens, shivering, confused, and absent her voice, and
finds the body of her friend nearby. The Transistor weapon is still impaled
through his body, and we learn the first odd quality of the item. Your male
friend begins to speak through the sword - his consciousness is still intact
inside the Transistor, even though his body has died.
Red sets out with the Transistor dragging behind her, and
before long mysterious entities called the Process have found her, and they attack.
These seemingly robotic creatures are intent on recovering the Transistor,
desperate to reclaim what was originally theirs. The battles that ensue combine
fast real-time combat with occasional opportunities to pause and set up a series
of attacks as if it was a turn-based game. The Transistor turns out to be an
incredibly potent weapon, which is in line with the goals Supergiant Games has
for the project. The team wants players to start out with the ultimate weapon,
rather than have to wait until the end of the game to acquire it.
Between battles, Red begins to find strange glowing objects
floating in the world called Traces -- the remnants of individual dead souls killed in the
area. Just like it absorbed Red's friend, the Transistor can gather these
Traces and acquire new abilities, that automatically map to the face buttons.
Though we play with only four of these Trace-acquired combat moves during the
demo, we're assured that many more lie across the breadth of the game, and that
they're a big part of how you customize your play experience.
Partway through the demo, Red finds a strange gateway that
takes her into the otherworldly home of the Process, and it's not clear
whether it's an entirely real place or a virtual one. Deep mysteries surround
the nature of the Process, their connection to the Transistor, and why the
Camerata are involved in the attacks around the city of Cloudbank. It's an
unusual and original concept for a game world, and a great backdrop for the
combination of action and RPG gameplay that Supergiant Games seems to be
As the demo ends, Red finds a motorcycle, and accelerates
along the highway back into the city of Cloudbank, intent on resolving the
mysteries that have arisen. I'm eager to follow her into the sprawling urban
landscape, and find out what Red learns about the Transistor.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
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