Not many developers could announce a game two days before PAX East and become arguably the most talked about title, but that’s just happened with Supergiant Games’ Transistor. After their success with their first title it’s not It’s not surprising that the developer of Bastion would garner such attention after their. After their announcement of Transistor the accompanying trailer showed off the uniquely Supergiant Games art-style and amazing music that made Bastion so popular.
The Transistor booth at PAX East 2013 first on the agenda for many attendees, often completely circling their booth within minutes of the doors being opened. It’s not hard to see why, as not only was Transistor announced, but there was the chance to be one of the first ever to experience the playable demo.
The playable demo introduced Red, the main character as she apparently survived an attack on her life. Her friend however did not seem so luck, but he now resides within the titular Transistor – Red’s sword. While the art style is reminiscent of, and has the identifiably “bastion look” to it, there is a new art-deco palette that lends a futuristic appearance to everything. Fans of Bastion will be happy to know that the same art team, music and even Logan Cunningham returns to lend his voice as narrator again.
The most standout feature of Transistor is the new fighting mechanic. While Red collects new that have unique properties like area-of-effect or a piercing directional attack, it’s the ability to freeze time that really separates Transistor from Bastion. While time is paused a grid overlays the area that allows the player to expend a bar to setup their attacks. After choosing their attacks, each one costing sections of the bar, the player can resume time in which Red will quickly execute her attacks at an accelerated rate. This allows her to attack otherwise impossible enemies and can be used strategically to cause the maximum amount of damage in a blink of an eye.
This new time mechanic also allows for a new first for Supergiant Games: puzzles. There was only one basic puzzle in the demo, but the potential for more complex and intricate puzzles is an exciting concept. Overall, the demo for Transistor proved the evolution from Bastion to something more while maintaining a familiar yet unique new world.
We had the chance to interview Greg Kasavin, Creative Director of Supergiant Games and writer of Bastion, about Transistor at PAX East 2013. We even feature player-feedback after their hands-on demo..