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Axiom Verge hits PS4 on 1st April; new power-ups detailed

Red-hot platforming adventure is just a few weeks away

Hey everyone – this is Tom Happ, the sole developer of Axiom Verge. About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to come to PlayStation Blog and describe the dedicated Speed Run mode feature of Axiom Verge. I was absolutely thrilled with everyone’s response.

If you aren’t familiar with Axiom Verge, please check out my initial PS Blog post about the game. The tl;dr version is that you play as Trace, a scientist who wakes up after a lab accident in a hostile, alien world. You need to uncover the mystery of how that world came to the state it’s in and your role in it all. Similar to classic games like Super Metroid, Contra, Blaster Master and others, the gameplay incorporates a mix of exploration, hidden powerups, strange creatures to fight, and epic boss battles.

Let’s talk power-ups!

Power-ups are the lifeblood of an exploration-based game. New abilities give you access to areas you couldn’t reach before and open up entire new sections of the game. They also open up lots of room for puzzles that can keep players challenged and thinking the entire way. It’s risky to talk too much about power-ups, though, since it’s definitely possible to spoil some of the surprises along the way. So for now, I’m just going to focus on the first few power-ups that you’ll find to give you a feel for the game.

The first one you’ll get is a new weapon called Nova. Unlike the first basic weapon you start out with, the Nova can be shot in two different ways. The basic way is just to shoot it like a normal weapon. It has a larger size, so you’re more likely to hit your target. But it’s slow. The second way is to detonate it while it’s in mid-air, making it split into six pieces. You can use this effectively to shoot at targets where you don’t have a direct line of sight.


Second is the drill. When you first get the drill (after defeating the first boss), you’re in a room where there are rocks blocking your path. This is to show players how and when to use the drill. Later on, though, I made sure to teach players that it’s not only rocks that you can drill through. Some other materials can also be drilled through. The more diligently you explore the world, the more likely you will be to find health upgrades and new weapons.


Later on, you’ll discover the address disruptor. I came up with this idea from the days of my youth playing with things like Game Genie or just finding glitches that weren’t originally intended to be in the game. I found it fascinating to uncover areas that I was never intended to see and corrupt different elements of the game to see how they would behave.

I wanted to replicate this feeling of discovery by creating a sort of glitch ray that would corrupt the reality around you. Every enemy can be glitched, and they all respond in different ways. This opens up a lot of new puzzle ideas for people to explore by glitching every enemy to see what it does.



Some of this has been seen before in some of the sneak previews I gave out to press over the last few months, so I’ll give you a sneak peek at one power-up that I don’t think I’ve shown to anyone yet. Without any further explanation…


I’m so tempted to talk about more of the power-ups, but I really want everyone to discover them on their own!

And now for the biggest news of all: the PS4 version of Axiom Verge is ready!

It’s done! It’s through certification, has all of its age rating stuff done, has been localised into six languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese), and poked and prodded by multiple playtesters. Technically, you could play Axiom Verge today.

As we speak, review codes are being prepped to be sent out to media outlets and journalists so they will have plenty of time to write up thorough reviews. I feel this is an extremely important part of the process. There’s a lot of content in Axiom Verge and I want to make sure reviewers have plenty of time to play through the entire game and savour the full experience. I’m personally really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish as a solo dev, so my emotions run the gamut between excitement about letting the rest of the world check it out, and anxiety over letting my baby take its first steps in the wild.

Although the PS4 version is ready, I’m still working on the PS Vita version as there are some tools that are still under development that I’m waiting on. However, when Sony asked me when I wanted to release Axiom Verge, I had a tough decision to make. Should I hold the PS4 version so I can launch it simultaneously with the PS Vita version? Or should I just launch the PS4 version now?

After hearing from so many people who are eagerly looking forward to playing it, I decided just to launch the PS4 version first. But people who are mostly interested in the PS Vita version should not worry. It’s definitely coming, and it’s definitely going to be cross-buy, so if you buy it on PS4, it will be ready for download on your Vita as soon as it launches there.

So with that caveat out of the way, I am a little freaked out to announce that Axiom Verge will be available for download on PS4 on 1st April for €17.99!

It’s been the greatest experience of my professional life creating this game. I really hope you enjoy it even half us much as I enjoyed making it. Thank you for your support.

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Comments

49 Comments 2 Author replies
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anton-kudin 23 February, 2015 @ 4:16 pm   1

Can’t hardly wait, great job Tom. You’re an inspiration.

Maybe some day I’ll have my own game highlighted here. One can hope.

 
TrueMurton 23 February, 2015 @ 4:18 pm   2

This looks good but what I just learned fun this post is that the store is going to update on 1st April. Given the things the store team do for a joke on a regular day can you imagine what we’re going to see on April fools day?

Another missing game or DLC?
Another costume pack costing near £80?

I’m sure the team will think if something amusing that will cause someone a major inconvenience.

    smile_taisou 23 February, 2015 @ 4:44 pm    

    I think the price of Axiom Verge is pretty amusing and I can’t help but to treat it as an April’s Fools’ Day joke.

 
johnnycide 23 February, 2015 @ 4:21 pm   3

This honestly looks great, and I can’t wait to play it. However, if €17.99 is the price on ps4 then I’m a little disappointed. That’s very expensive for a digital title. Surely a price of €9.99 would have been more reasonable?
Either way I’ll certainly be playing it, and I’m sure that there were a great many factors surrounding the price, but when the likes of Wolfenstein or Alien: Isolation are the same price, there’s a great many people who will overlook Axiom Verge. Which is a huge shame!

     
    Porcupeth00 23 February, 2015 @ 5:01 pm    

    9.99 is too low. 14.99€ would have been fine. I’m paying 18 anyway, looks good enough for that.

     
    johnnycide 23 February, 2015 @ 5:46 pm    

    thanks for the reply. I’m a huge fan of the genre, and like to support smaller devs wherever possible, so I’ll be picking this up regardless. The issue is that the cost may prove prohibitive for some.
    Obviously this is now set in stone, and as I said there are many factors behind it, but in an ideal world this would be priced a lot lower and sell a huge amount. Either way, I wish you all the best of luck with the launch and any future projects.

     

    @Yao

    I never understood that need to compare the value of a indie game with a AAA title. Why not compare it with other indie games?
    See, the problem here is the mentality that nowaday players have is “why should i pay 17€/20$ for this title when:

    a) Durr durr pixelated game durr durrr (never understood this complain);
    b) Doesn’t seem to have the same content/longevity of, let’s say, terraria;
    c) I paid less money for great titles like Hotline Miami or Don’t Starve;
    d) It will be half the price in a few months;
    e) It will probably end on PS+;
    etc”

    I’m not saying that the price is right or wrong, i’m saying that due to the increase of indie titles available and with the devalue of them (indie bundles on the pc, sales, ps+, etc) the developers/publishers will find it hard to sell their games at higher value than normal (10 ~ 15$/€).
    But hey, i could be wrong and Axiom Verge will sell like hot cakes at that price (and i hope that it does, i’ve been following the game since it was announced back then for xbox 360).

    Hi Johnnycide – This is Dan Adelman. I’m helping Tom Happ out with the business and marketing side of Axiom Verge. I definitely realize that price can be a sensitive issue. The price is $19.99 in the US market, and €17.99 is roughly equivalent. Mercenary Kings, Outlast, The Swapper, Terraria and others are priced similarly. Different people will assign different values to those experiences.

    I’m definitely biased, but when I compare Axiom Verge to retail games that are 3x the price, I think Axiom Verge is a steal. 🙂 That said, we can’t just ask you to trust us on this. The onus is on us to convince players of that. This is why we are going to go to great effort to provide review codes super early to different sites so that they have ample time to write up their impressions in time for consumers to make an informed decision. I know I’ve been burnt by day 1 purchases that haven’t lived up to the hype, so we want to make sure that we put ourselves to whatever test people feel they need. I’m pretty confident that if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll wonder why you even gave the price a second thought. 🙂

     
    TrueMurton 23 February, 2015 @ 9:52 pm    

    Given how evasive most indie devs are being regarding pricing at the moment I think it’s commendable that you’re willing to reveal the price so far ahead of the release, it’s also good to see that the exchange rate is being observed. Except you’ve only included Euro pricing, what about the UK? Will you be observing the actual exchange rate for us? If so why not post our price as well? By omitting the UK price you make it look like you’re hiding something, like a price hike for example.

    I’m sure the game is great and likely worth the $20 the Americans will be charged, yet I suspect we will likely be asked to pay more than this, I’m pegging maybe £16, which begs the question, if you think the game is worth $23, why are you only charging $20 for it?

    So there you go, a simple choice, follow the exchange rate, or give a good and reasonable explanation for your price difference. Your move.

     
    bluemoon1987 23 February, 2015 @ 11:18 pm    

    fair play for bothering to offer a response to the price queries. Utmost respect from me for doing something like that when all too often things like this just get ignored or swept under the carpet with a generic blanket response.

     

    @Dan Adelman,

    You have my utmost respect for actually pricing based on relevant market rates. Too many times have we asked for further information about not only price setting, but also accurate conversions, only to be either fully ignored, or promised a full explanation later down the line to then receive nothing.

    Personally, the 8-bit look does nothing for me, so it is likely I wont purchase this. Unfortunately, from my past experiences playing similar games (Rogue Legacy, Mercenary Kings), I just don’t get it. But, that’s not to say I don’t want this to do well. Obviously, there is a market for these and hopefully this will help to propel you guys further forward.

 
X_Blood_Curse_X 23 February, 2015 @ 4:40 pm   4

Been interested in this title for a while but at that price it’s not something I can support on release.

 
Porcupeth00 23 February, 2015 @ 5:01 pm   5

I hope the control scheme adapts well to remote play cause that’s how I’m gonna be playing this.

     
    StevenJamesHyde 24 February, 2015 @ 8:41 am    

    Why would you play by remote play when there’s a native Vita version available?

     

    @StevenJamesHyde It says in the article that the Vita version isn’t quite ready yet so the PS4 version will release first @Porcupeth00 how could the controls possibly not adapt well for this type of game? they’ll be fine

umariqbal78 23 February, 2015 @ 5:22 pm   6

I think it will be a Plus free game as the release date is same as the Plus IGC update.

     
    johnnycide 23 February, 2015 @ 5:27 pm    

    False. The IGC updates on the first Tuesday of the month in North America. This means Europe will have to wait another week so we don’t get the update a week before the Americans.

     

    either way, we get it only a day after America, slightly annoying but really no biggie @umariqbal78 so basically the IGC update is always on the wednesday after the first tuesday of the month 🙂

 
my_son_roo 23 February, 2015 @ 5:24 pm   7

This is not a criticism of Axiom Verge per se but I didn’t buy a PS4 for retro looking games. There’s definitely a place for those (Thomas Was Alone is in my top 5). But enough!!!!!! I want graphics that push the system, gameplay that challenges, story that intrigues me & sound design that draws me in. Oh hello Naughty Dog off there in the distance :0)

    Greek-God88 23 February, 2015 @ 5:53 pm    

    dude Axiom Verge was made by 1 guy alone..
    and there a lot of games coming this year which push the grafics.
    The Order 1886 just got released. In 1 Month Bloodborne after that Witcher 3,MGSV,Batman AK,Uncharted 4 ect.

     
    Harrisown 23 February, 2015 @ 7:20 pm    

    Development takes years and tens of millions of what ever currency you choose.
    I know it’s taking it’s sweet time but for so many years now all the big publishers have been doing is releasing safe bets on yearly franchises.
    The Orders release (got the platinum and enjoyed the game) reaction wouldn’t exactly encourage anyone to even bother making a new big budget IP.
    All anyone does is moan while people shed blood sweat and tears to make something so complicated none of us will ever imagine.

     
    MrSabuhudo 23 February, 2015 @ 7:32 pm    

    Also, developers don’t make smaller scale titles INSTEAD of AAA titles. They make both those types of games ALONGSIDE each other. Which basically means: You can overlook amazing and mind-blowing things like Axiom Verge and still get your mostly mediocre, rushed-out AAA games from Ubisoft and EA, with the occasional Naughty Dog or Bethesda game.

 
Weekings33 23 February, 2015 @ 5:28 pm   8

I’m just waiting the Vita version.

 
zalwelgoedgaan 23 February, 2015 @ 5:40 pm   9

“Axiom Verge will be available for download on PS4 on 1st April for €17.99!”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-HA

You definitely have a sense of humor, I gave the article a Like to support you.

     
    MrSabuhudo 23 February, 2015 @ 7:35 pm    

    The price is about a third of regular AAA releases, which more often than not give you a few hours of gameplay with no replay value. This game looks like I’m going to be playing it over and over again!

    Also, review forecast: Around 9/10 if not higher on Metacritic, IGN, Gamespot, you name it.

 
CitizenEldar 23 February, 2015 @ 5:52 pm   10

Day one purchase right here! But then I’ll have to wait for Vita version 🙁

 
Witcher70 23 February, 2015 @ 6:53 pm   11

I think the price will be higher once sony tack’s on their fee. either way too pricey, i will wait for a sale.

     

    @Witcher70 “Axiom Verge will be available for download on PS4 on 1st April for €17.99!” <This means it is officially now the confirmed price which means it wont change now, Sony's fee will be already included in that

 
killercake 23 February, 2015 @ 7:16 pm   12

As there are so many crappy looking games like this on the PS4 i am not sure if this is a joke which is worrying in itself as it just highlights how bad things have got in the world of gaming.

Joke or not i think Sony are laughing AT you. When Sony advertise the PS4 with the slogan “This is for the players” they must be wetting themselves with laughter.

Don’t know about you but my iPad Games Console is looking better by the day 🙂

 

I’m surprised at myself, but I find it ok paying 17.99 euro for this. I’ve been anticipating Axiom Verge ever since I heard of it. Looks like a brilliant game.

 

Ahh cross buy, nice. Then I’ll perhaps buy it now. Since I’m mostly playing my games on Vita anyway and I prefer it that way 🙂
Good for those who prefer big screen though 🙂

 

I am buying this the day it’s out on the Vita, have been waiting since I watched the first trailer. I understand it doesn’t have the looks of a game one would showcase his PS4 with, but I have been pleasantly surprised so many times with indie titles that I am more than willing to give it a try. I’ve spent much more time playing the likes of Fez, Hotline Miami, Limbo, Sound Shapes, Mutant Blobs Attack, Life of Pixel, Pixeljunk Monsters & Shooter and Thomas Was Alone, and enjoying them, than I ever did with Killzone Mercenary or Assassin’s Creed Liberation.. So, thanks for bringing this on the Vita! It’s not just about the looks people.. As for the price, I am happy to invest in this the same amount of money you’d spend for a pint of Guinness and a burger in a London pub. Those who cannot afford it can just wait a bit for a sale. It’s about half the price of a triple A title on release day, and could well be twice the value..

 
MrSabuhudo 23 February, 2015 @ 7:41 pm   16

I was planning to play this on my Vita, but I’ll probably finish it on PS4 anyway, since the art style looks so incredible. (1080p ftw) This is the kind of stuff I’ll happily pay for day one!

Big congrats to you, Tom, for the amazing work! You’re an inspiration for everyone who has dreamed of making his own game like me and I’m pretty sure this is going to be high on my own GOTY list for 2015!

 

It’s about time indie devs got paid properly for their work, this perception that “indie or retro = £10 or less” has to end. It’s stupid and insulting, and you should feel ashamed of yourself if you think it.

18 euros is not a lot of money, in fact it’s about the price of a decent dialled pizza. Are you seriously suggesting that all the effort poured into this title (and others like it) is worth less to you than a pizza?

I know an indie dev who released a moderately successful XBLA game last generation, it was soul crushing to hear how much money that actually translated into – it’s like a token “thanks I guess” letter in return for months of work. He didn’t bother making a sequel.

Stone_Henge_ 23 February, 2015 @ 8:46 pm   18

It’s sad to see a indie dev sharing their game on the Blog and all people are doing is complaining

 

why not ps3? too old hardware?

    I’d love to do a PS3 version, but it’s not technically possible as I rely on Mono (and Monogame), which hasn’t been ported to PS3 … that’s really up to the folks who make it (Xamarin) and not within my or Sony’s control, sadly.

    You’re using Mono and were able to port AV on Vita??? What the hell, I thought it wasn’t available on the system? A few months ago Discord Games, the guys making Chasm, said they couldn’t port the game to Vita because Mono didn’t support it.

     

    thank you for your answer.I cannot hide my disappointment about that.Good luck with your product,sorry for not being able to contribute and buy the game (as I dont have neither ps4 nor vita) . I would gladly shout to sony to do something but I wont, never listening …

I think it’s incredible that one guy made this by himself.

But with respect I can’t pay that price for it, and that’s not a judgment call on the game, it’s just a very competitive market place.

 
anunnakid 24 February, 2015 @ 8:57 am   21

Yeah, will wait for the vita version and I know most will so hurry up with the vita version. This game feels more at home on vita.

 

I would’ve bought this even it was €59,99. It’s a new Metroidvania! It’s a full game! And one that looks frickin’ awesome to start with. Pretty much a no-brainer regardless of price. I mean, just look at the GIFs. LOOK AT ‘EM!

Can’t frickin’ wait! 😀 Hats off to you, Tom!

 
howboutthisthen 24 February, 2015 @ 10:06 am   23

Day one on Vita for me.

 
killercake 24 February, 2015 @ 11:36 pm   24

@ RTLF

“ill-informed muppet”? Wow, such strong feelings and with a :/ at the end too!! My you are an angry little boy?…girl? Whatever.

I am not even going to ask for an explanation for your comment because i doubt you could manage one.
Anyway, i’ll end it here, just to keep it simple….like you 🙂 ….oops, i meant :/

 
dieselakita 25 February, 2015 @ 2:09 am   25

its got to be april fool that price thats just greed for a cheap game

 

thank you for your answer.I cannot hide my disappointment about that.Good luck with your product,sorry for not being able to contribute and buy the game. I would gladly shout to sony but I wont, never listening …

 
BlindingPhil 28 February, 2015 @ 10:34 am   27

I will never even look at 8-bit style games on a platform as advanced as the PS3 let alone the PS4! Plus, side scrolling shooters are among the oldest style of game, and have to come up with some real innovations to make me look. I’d rather play Mister Fancy Pants online for free than play this, I’m sorry to say.
It’s great that there are people who really love and value this, but I wouldn’t even let it take up valuable hard drive real estate. It’s lazy development, in my opinion. At least take advantage of high def in your artwork!

 

You say the PS4 version is ready. I say you make games that look like they belong on an Spectrum 4K, and say they are ready for the current market on the current hardware. If I wanted a game like this I’d get a Spectrum 4K not a PS4. How about giving us 3D support or something new to this genre.
Very Terrania