We’re really starting to pick up pace now, and one of the biggest games of the year is technically an indie game, so you know we’re including it here.
This week we’ve also got one Early Access title that looks incredibly promising, and an indie game homage to one of the all-time greats too. It’s a mixed bag as always, and that’s what makes indie games so damn exciting.
This week’s also an excellent example of the wide array of styles you can find in indie gaming as well. Not to mention the number of people behind the games themselves. So then, let’s jump on into this week’s picks and talk about what makes them worth paying attention too.
Now look, the previous two instalments weren’t indie games, but this one is technically self-published which means it’s an indie game. That means it can be here, and we will not be taking questions or comments stating otherwise at this time or any other, thank you.
Now then, Hitman III is the lovingly told story of one bald man’s journey to try and regrow his hair through the power of magical homing briefcases. Now, that’s probably not true, but you’d be surprised about the fact that the briefcase thing was legit for a bit. The actual story of Hitman III is largely secondary to the fact that it’s likely going to be one of the best sandbox games around.
It introduces six new maps to the series alongside a plethora of new contracts to mess around with. That means a probably uncountable number of new ways to take out your targets, loads of new outfits to find, and new tools to use to get the job done. What makes Hitman III really cool is that if you own the first two games, you’ll get to use the old levels as well. It’s going to be pure fun distilled and sent straight into your brain.
NME’s very own Jordan Oloman gave the game a solid four-star rating, calling it “a confident package of killer content, a buffet of brilliant gameplay opportunities for you to gorge on over many months”. Read the full review here.
‘Hitman III’ is now available on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S and PC.
Ender Lilies: Quietus Of The Knights
A good Metroidvania game is the kind of thing that’s both soul-crushingly difficult and also intensely rewarding. Ender Lilies is a dark fantasy Metroidvania that casts you as a girl named Lily. You’ve woken up in a world cursed by a phenomenon called Deathly Rain that’s either killing people or turning them into monsters.
You’ve been awoken by a strange knight who seems to want to help you on your quest to save this cursed world. On your journey, you can also call upon the souls of the creatures you take down to aid you. Lily’s is the age-old story of good vs evil – of remaining strong in the face of evil forces that want to extinguish her.
Ender Lilies is only just entering Early Access, but it looks pretty polished already. Whether you want to jump in now or wait for the full release is entirely up to you, but it is definitely a game to keep an eye on, thanks to its great visual design and frenetic-looking combat. Plus, the music sounds incredible – and that’s always a good reason to play a game.
‘Ender Lilies: Quietus Of The Knights’ will be available January 21 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S.
Now, Ocean’s Heart very clearly pulls from some of the classic RPG games of old, and to be honest, we are very much here for it because it looks absolutely stunning. It does, of course, bring with it some very modern trimmings on top of the beautiful classic art style. It’s the kind of mix that really exemplifies indie gaming, and we’re hyped to play this one.
Ocean’s Heart has you playing as a woman called Tilia who takes on contracts to explore dungeons, beat up monsters and generally explore the world around her. You’ll find new weapons and tools as you go, and you’ll be able to make yourself more powerful as you uncover the darkest secrets of this gorgeous archipelago.
The mix of old and new here makes Ocean’s Heart really interesting, and it’s probably the one we’re most excited about this week, and not just because we’re old enough to have played the games it’s clearly drawing from.
‘Ocean’s Heart’ will be available January 21 for PC.