GameSided Staff Writer Fraser G. recently attended EGX 2015 in the UK, gaining access to hands-on previews of some of the hottest upcoming AAA titles and indie games. Our EGX roundup series has now concluded, but you can find links to all of our features below.
#1 Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Hands-On Preview
#2 Soul Axiom Interview
#3 Star Wars Battlefront Hands-On Preview
#4 Aaero Interview
#5 Rise Of The Tomb Raider Hands-On Preview
#6 Indie Showcase – Fire Fu
#7 Just Cause 3 Hands-On Preview
#8 Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Hands-On Preview
#9 Indie Showcase – Just Shapes and Beats
#10 HTC Vive Hands-On Preview
As I was strolling through the EGX indie section on the first day of the show, I spotted an empty space at the Aaero booth. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, aside from a small snippet of info that I’d heard prior to the event about a music-related game.
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As I sat down and played the game for the first time, I realized that I had stumbled upon something special. As heavy Dubstep music filled my headset and the game sprung into action at an alarming speed, a smile beamed across my face. Aaero is a tough game to describe, so I’ll make a statement instead – this is Rez for the modern generation.
Aaero shares many comparisons with the excellent PS2 and Dreamcast game that was popular in the early 2000’s, while bringing its own concoction of new and exciting mechanics with an extra helping of attitude. The left analogue stick controls your ship’s movement, while following a certain path will score points and keep different elements of the music going. The right stick is used to target enemies which appear on screen (there’s boss levels, too) and they can be eliminated with the right trigger on an Xbox One controller. In combining these elements with the game’s breakneck speed, Mad Fellows Games have created an incredibly fun and addictive experience.
There’s a lot I could say about my time with Aaero, but I’ll keep it short and simple. After leaving the Aaero booth on the first day of the expo, I wanted to go back; which I did, multiple times before the long weekend was over. It was one of my highlights of the entire show.
The team kindly provided us with an interview, too. I spoke to Dan Horbury – Technical Director at Mad Fellows Games.
GameSided: After trying to look up some information about this game, I couldn’t find any, and that’s because this appears to be the first time you have ever shown it off?
Dan Horbury: Yeah, this is the public debut.
GS: How long have you been working on it?
DH: We’ve been working on this for just over six months now.
GS: OK, and how did you come up with the idea?
DH: It’s loosely based on a previous game. Myself and Paul (Paul Norris – Creative Director) used to work for Freestyle Games and Codemasters, so we’ve got a musical background. The previous game we released was on iPad’s and iPhone’s and it was called Sinewave, which was similar to the tunnel sections (in Aaero). It was (centered around) very constrained flicking and tapping, but it meant that we had to use Dubstep a lot to get a heavy beat to play with the music, whereas for the next game we decided to go onto console because it gives us a broader scope.
It’s more familiar territory for us, so we needed a mechanism to widen the scope of the music so it wasn’t all the same genre, so that’s where this ribbon following came from, and that means that you can create an analogue play mechanism so it’s not all about tapping to the beat – there’s a certain amount of flow and following which means you can have more chilled out music.
GS: You’ve got some well-known artists in the game – how many artists/tracks are you looking to add?
DH: For release, we’re looking at about 18-20 tracks. We’re working very closely with Noisia and Flux Pavillion – you’ve probably heard them on the radio. Record labels like Never Say Die and Vision are working with us, so we’ve got a good selection of tracks going.
GS: And I’m presuming that those songs will span over multiple levels?
DH: Yeah, there’s a mixture of different environments for songs.
For release we’re looking at about 18-20 tracks. We’re working very closely with Noisia and Flux Pavillion
GameSided: OK, and is it all going to be single player based?
DH: No, there is a multiplayer element which we didn’t have a chance to get working properly for the demo so we’ve had to leave it out for now, but yeah there is a multiplayer element to it.
GS: The game reminds me a lot of Rez….
DH: Yeah, there’s a lot of inspirational titles that have inspired us, and there are elements that you’ll recognize from different games in there, with Rez being one of them.
GS: Excellent. What platforms are you looking to release for?
DH: For launch, it’s hopefully going to be on PC (Steam), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.
GS: Brilliant, and when are you aiming to launch?
DH: Hopefully, it’ll be out in March of next year (2016).
I want to thank Dan and the team at Mad Fellows Games for taking the time to chat to me at EGX, and if you want to learn more about Aaero, keep your eyes peeled to their website (www.madfellowsgames.com).