Almost exactly three years after launching Hyper Light Drifter, Heart Machine are ready to announce their next game – Solar Ash Kingdom. Right now there’s not much to go on beyond a pair of screenshots, a short teaser trailer and a brief chat between developer Alx Preston and IGN here, but it’s an unsurprisingly striking-looking game. While it’s not a sequel, it does share a palette with Hyper Light Drifter, bringing us another strange world painted in deep purples and cyans, and another caped protagonist, this time surfing through clouds in the third dimension. Take a look for yourself below.
The teaser trailer gives us little more than a peek at some (admittedly gorgeous) sci-fi landscapes. A ruined, overgrown city that gravity has only a tenuous grasp on in one shot, followed by a lush alien beach village in another. In the sky hangs a massive, shattered structure – a space station or colony from a past age? Another shot shows us a blasted wasteland full of industrial smoke-stacks, with a giant creature floating through the air, and a crashed spacecraft in the foreground. The teaser ends with a caped figure surfing down from the clouds, before leaping to attack an enormous walking eyeball monster, as you do.
One thing that did get my attention was mention on Twitter that Zoë Quinn has been working on Solar Ash Kingdom as a narrative designer for the past couple years. The Depression Quest developer has been busy recently, juggling multiple projects including writing new DC comics series Goddess Mode. While I’ve not had a chance to read it yet, I’ve heard some good things, so nice to have a dedicated wordsmith involved. It also makes me curious to see how Solar Ash Kingdom will be telling its story, considering that Hyper Light Drifter had no traditional dialogue.
There’s no release date for Solar Ash Kingdom yet, but the trailer does let us know that it’s headed to the Epic Store, but it has no store page there yet.