Apparently it’s the first day of summer today, which makes it rather appropriate that we might be writing about the Summer of Arcade on Xbox 360. Oh what a lovely coincidence that we’re being made doubly sweaty then – firstly by the weather being too hot already, and secondly by the encroaching release of not one but two promising indie games taking part in this promotion. Those would be 5th Cell’s parkour-induced online shooter Hybrid and Humble Hearts’ animated brawler jaw dropper Dust: An Elysian Tail.
The announcement came from Major Nelson in which it was stated that the two indie titles would be last to be released under the Summer of Arcade promotion – clearly leaving the best to last. As such, Hybrid will be release on Xbox LIVE Arcade on August 8th with Dust: An Elysian Tail following a week later on August 15th. Both are priced at 1200 MSP which translates to about $15, however, if you buy three of the games as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion then you can get 400 MSP back into your account.
Hybrid is a futuristic third person online shooter built with the Source engine by the folks behind Scribblenauts, but somewhat unfortunately they haven’t broken the trend by sticking with the typically dark palette of modern shooters. Bringing some of that colorful charm into a shooter that they’re most famous for would have been great, but alas, they’ve decided to leave any mention of innovation to the game’s mechanics. It is said that the game will feature an interesting cover mechanic and elements of parkour, though it basically means that you’ll be watching your character move around the screen for you. Yeah, might need some convincing on that one.
Combat is conducted 3v3 style in the air and on the ground, but like we say, you won’t be doing so much of the controlling, rather it’s a cover-to-cover shooter with almost on rail parts while travelling between bits of cover. Hybrid will carry 10 different maps and game modes and hints are that there will be an upgrade system with many weapons and abilities to unlock.
Then you have Dust: An Elysian Tail which won the Dream.Build.Play competition in 2009 and rightfully so. We’ve never seen animation as gorgeous and as smooth in a game ever before. On top of that, it’s frenetic too, the game being a fairly fast-paced action-RPG with a fast and technical combat system plus a fully fleshed out story which is also being realized as a film. Players can expect a lot of combos to master and with stunning results as a reward, for those who many not be so into their button mashing there’s the plush visuals set in the beautiful land of Falana.