I was inspired to write this article after a lengthy conversation with a few work friends, all are self-confessed ‘gamers’ and have a deeper knowledge of gaming than me (or so I thought). For the site, I’m currently playing Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine and honestly, I have been totally blown away by it. The graphical style is stunning and the gameplay matches the look, I won’t go into too much detail about the game now as you’ll have to wait for my review!
I’ve been enjoying Hyper Light Drifter so much that it makes me want to talk to people about it. Friends on twitter were interested to see if the game was as good as they had heard, so it gave me great pleasure in confirming it was and the reasons why. Anyway, I was talking to my friends at work who are all currently playing Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest, most promoted, blockbusters of the year and I’m really interested in getting it but personally, I’ll pick it up at a later date because I’m just a bit too busy at the moment. In turn, they asked me what I was playing, I began telling them about Hyper Light Drifter and how great a game it is. I was really surprised that they’d never heard of it, in fact, their reaction was kind of like – oh it’s another indie game.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging anyone for what they play, you can play what you like! What I do care about is good games, good developers and publishers – it can be AAA or indie, whatever, I just like talking about them. As the conversation went on I was asking if they’d played titles such as – Steamworld Dig, Celeste, A Hat in Time, Cuphead, and anything by Atooi – just to name a few fantastic games. Unfortunately, they hadn’t heard of any, which is a sad state of affairs! All they talk about is Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Pokémon, Smash, etc, etc. Big name developers EA, Ubisoft, Rockstar, I could go on! I guess thinking about it though, a couple of years back I would probably have said the same as COD, Zelda, Mario and GTA were probably the only sort of games I would regularly play.
Of course, I’m exposed to a lot of indie titles, what with writing and reviewing for the site but hats off to the Switch, it has unlocked a whole new world for me. Nintendo has really taken the whole indie scene under their wing helping to showcase all types of talents and games, this even stretches back to the ill-fated Wii U. Some may find this strange from a traditional, normally closed off company like Nintendo but what it does show is that they simply love gaming and love people having access to the best variety of games. After all, it was the legendary Satoru Iwata who said: “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer”
I feel to dismiss indie games is doing yourself a disservice, there’s a massive library out there with some truly innovative and creative pieces of work. The best games I’ve played this year have probably all been classed indie titles, even the so-called AAA developers started somewhere…