Oh, The (Lack Of) Humanity: Primordia Out Next Month

By Nathan Grayson on November 14th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

So this screenshot is really, really depressing. I think it might be the saddest-looking one I've seen all year. I don't know, though. Can you think of any others that give it a run for its Misery Bucks?

If Primordia – a new adventure with involvement from folks who worked on Resonance and Bastion, among others – is to be believed, we had it all wrong for so, so many years: adventure games never died. We did. In Primordia’s dust-and-rust-stained universe, humans have been extinct for so long that the world’s not-so-new robot overlords deem them the stuff of myth and legend. Admittedly, “Humanity’s extinct now. Discuss” isn’t an entirely original setup, but that certainly doesn’t preclude it from being interesting. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I just want to explore the gorgeously grungy world Wormwood and Wadjet have managed to dream up. I mean, just look at it.

Primordia will grace the hard drives of the race of real-life machines that’s – in all likelihood – actively plotting our demise on December 5th. There’ll be both digital and boxed flavors, although the box is a limited edition pre-order dealy.

It’s about a ‘bot named Horatio Nullbuilt who likes reading, studying, being alone, and pretty much everything else that’s the opposite of adventure. Fortunately, instead of creating the worst adventure game of all time, Wormwood opted to cure Horatio’s case of automisanthropy by cannon-balling his life with a plot device. After his and companion Crispin’s energy source is stolen, the two end up in the “dazzling city of Metropol,” which conveniently contains answers to the mystery of the human race. If only someone had just decided to look there before! If only.

It really does look like it could be quite the thing, though. Plus, I can’t resist a giant, overarching mystery. Where did all the humans go? Space? Disney World? Their mother’s house for the weekend to, you know, just clear their heads and let off some steam? I need to know! I need to know for reasons.

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39 Comments »

  1. Pryde says:

    SO MUCH WANT THAT ONE!!!11

  2. Muzman says:

    The video is weirdly low res. I wonder if the video was recorded that way, the game was made that way or the hi-def versions just haven’t encoded yet.

    (I hope it’s not the middle option. Would seem like a waste of very nice art)

    • dee says:

      Resonance and Gemini Rue worked like that: locked at a pretty low resolution stretched out. I think it’s an AGS thing. Still, they both looked awesome.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Yeah I don’t believe Gemini Rue would have looked as good in true HD resolution. This primordia looks perfect, honestly. Don’t HD it up, please. I want Beneath A Steel Sky style graphics, not Saturday morning cartoons.

    • Xzi says:

      You’ve really never played a SNES game with great art? I know we’re all PC gamers here now, but I feel compelled to say GTFO.

      J/k j/k

      As to the article, you had me at “Bastion.” Primordia looks really good. So good that I wish it was an RPG rather than an adventure game, because that hasn’t been one of my favorite genres in a long, long time. I’ll still be pre-purchasing this one. Perhaps the boxed version, even. Either way, I’m certainly stealing Horatio’s image for a few avatars.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Bear in mind that Primordia will not come in as awesome a box as Resonance. According to the mail I got from Dave Gilbert the other night the cost of the box for Resonance were prohibitive and they haven’t been able to sort a cheaper alternative.

        That means that the box version of Primordia will “just” be a dvd case like The Blackwell Deception. That’s a great shame as my box copy of Resonance now counts as one of my most prized things.

        • Prokroustis says:

          This is so sad. Was ready to hit that buy button.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            I agree. I might still do it, but I just don’t know. Might just get the cheaper 10$ digital version.

            If I end up getting the physical copy it’ll be because Dave Gilbert has been absolutely stellar in all his dealing with me so for when I’ve had problems or questions. I kinda want to support that.

    • Tunips says:

      I love the distinctly Geigerish look of the world, but the deliberately retro look of the engine, and its associated art resolution/animation has no real place in a contemporary adventure game. It’s not 1996 any more. We can do more pixels than that.
      I can’t imagine it would be that much artist work to take something that obviously started as a painting, and not make it as blocky.

      • Xzi says:

        I disagree. I think artists always have a certain vision in mind before they begin working on a project, and if they feel their vision fits better with retro-style graphics, then who are we to argue?

        I feel that telling people that they can only strive for higher-resolution works in the arena of video games is almost equally as ignorant as telling someone that they are only allowed to only strive for more yellow in their paintings.

        Probably just a little silly to declare that there’s “no place” for this type of thing before it’s even released for widespread reviews or sales numbers, eh?

        • TomxJ says:

          Its not just he artists vision. This aesthetic is common vernacular for this type of game. Wajets games just wouldn’t communicate the same message if they were crisper.

          Tom j

      • Hodge says:

        The decision to go with lo-res art is almost certainly down to animating the characters. The backgrounds can be easily scanned in at any resolution, but hand-drawing all of the frames for every person in the game? That’s significantly harder at 1080p, especially for a small team.

        Like most people I’d love to see more graphic adventures done in modern(-ish) resolutions, but the low-res stuff doesn’t bother me that much.

        • Muzman says:

          The thing is they really don’t look like pixel art. They look like normal art that has been down res-ed to make it pixelated So I suspect the pain has already been suffered.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        No place in a contemporary adventure game?!
        Have you played contemporary adventure games? This is so overdone it’s a fad. I like the graphics though, so I welcome visible “pixels” in my point and clickies.

  3. Vorrin says:

    looks nice.
    On a side note ‘something you cannot afford to miss’ wtf indiegames.com what is that supposed to mean, worst ad line ever, sort of -_-

  4. Hunchback says:

    Voted on Greenlight

  5. TomxJ says:

    *burst!*

    Its just so pretty!

  6. Shazbut says:

    It looks beautiful, but I don’t really know what I’m looking at. What are those buildings and rooms supposed to be? I’m worried it might be like The Dig, which I enjoyed but which ultimately alienated me by being very solitary and too…well…alien.

  7. Carbonated Dan says:

    I am not an adventure gamer; a few years back I got through BASS with a walkthrough, but stale frustration characterised my experience.

    Last year, Machinarium and Gemini Rue made me go back and try Grim Fandango again and now the teasers for Primordia inspire a reinstall of Gemini but, being an adventure illiterate, I won’t complete a single one.

    How might I grasp the logic of adventures? Is it even something worth pushing at, or are cheatsheets part of the experience?

    • tobecooper says:

      You need experience, good sir. Play, play, play, use cheatsheets when needed, and soon your brain will begin to adapt and the logic of adventure games will be in your grasp! BASS was a good choice for a start because it’s quite simple, Gemini and Machinarium are good follow ups, but I would wait with Grim Fandango for later. In the meantime you may try some other free games for ScummVM (Amazon Queen and Dreamweb) or wait for a promo on some Broken Swords or Gabriel Knights.

    • The First Door says:

      It’s worth getting through Gemini Rue, too… it is quite a satisfying game to finish. Although I would say avoid Gabriel Knights if you are frustrated by traditional adventure games. Also, if you do play Broken Sword, when you get to the goat just look up the damned answer.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      I too was in your position a few months ago. I recommend Broken Sword: The Director’s Cut. It’s a light version of the original Broken Sword, that I’m playing now. You should ask in the forums, there is no notification for comments.

  8. lordfrikk says:

    Feel free to vote for Primordia on Greenlight since even though all of Wadjet Eye’s games are on Steam they still need to jump through the hoops like everyone else for some reason.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Also tweet it, email it, reddit it, shout it, threaten with the murder of relatives,… anything that conveys the idea it’s a tragic thing to see an Wadget Eye game going through Greenlight.

  9. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Steam Greenlight could be my wife. Such a beautiful idea blemished by a bitch attitude towards some of the things I love the most.

  10. D3xter says:

    I’ve played through all the “Wadjet Eye” Adventure games over the past few weeks and suffice to say that most of them were pretty good.

    Gemini Rue was (imo) their best and reminds me of Beneath a Steel Sky and the Blade Runner Adventure.
    Resonance was something entirely new with a lot of new mechanics and ways to do things, that didn’t always work, but it was a good game even though it kind of drops off a cliff near the end.
    Emerald City Confidential was the biggest surprise of the bunch, since I thought it would suck, but it does indeed actually not and reminded me of a Mix of Discworld and Discworld Noir set in the world of “Oz”.
    And the Blackwell Series (Part 1-4) were fine enough I guess, but nothing special, I enjoyed the third the most out of the bunch.

    Since all of those were on Steam already, including Steam Achievement integration and the likes it is really mystifying why they have to go through the Greenlight process now.
    I guess it’s another sign that Steam hates Adventure games for some reason…

  11. pupsikaso says:

    Looks really dark and all brown. Not what I expect from point and click adventures…

  12. Randomer says:

    I don’t really understand the RPS mentality. There seems to be a general disdain for JRPGs, and a great passion for adventure games. But it seems to me that adventure games are basically JRPGs (emphasis on telling a story) without the combat. So why is one genre reviled and the other loved?

    • Ich Will says:

      I’d say disdain is too strong, perhaps just a lack of understanding/interest.

    • x1501 says:

      One of the reasons:

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I can obviously not speak for anyone but myself, but what disdain I have for JRPGs is not rooted in them telling a story. It’s rooted in the stories they tell, the mopey teenage androgynous characters, the art direction, combat systems, and humour (or lack thereof).

      I base it on the following sample size: Final Fantasy 7,8,10,13. They’re just not interesting to me in any way.

      So, really, the only thing I do like about them is that they’re telling a story.

    • Geen says:

      Yeah, it’s the generic crystal-y magical heavenly chosen one stuff, the main characters who choose to have emo breakdowns at the WORST DAMN TIMES, and THOSE FUCKING RANDOM ENCOUNTERS OH GOD WHY WOULD ANYONE MAKE SUCH A HORRIBLE THING?!
      *drinks whiskey and sobs*

    • orient says:

      To say that adventure games are “basically JRPGs without the combat” is wrong, but to your point about stories:

      The quality of the story matters. Obviously not all adventure games tell a great story and not all JRPG stories are crap, but adventure games are definitely more diverse in their storytelling. If you’re not into teenagers saving the world then it’s pretty slim pickings as far as JRPGs go. Adventure games with interesting stories definitely come around more frequently.

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