2024 seems impossibly far away given the state of the world right now, but with today's announcement of Lucid, a new Metroid-y Celeste-like from The Matte Black Studio and Apogee Entertainment, at least we'll have a cool new video game to look forward to when it eventually rolls round. I got a sneaky early peek at Lucid behind closed doors at PAX East earlier this year, and let me tell you, its gorgeous pixel art and emphasis on air dashing through crystalline barriers with a honking great axe looks rad as hell. Let's admire its gleaming reveal trailer below.
Yep, those sure are some big Celeste vibes I'm getting from that trailer, all right. Lucid isn't going to be a straightforward platformer, however. Its corrupted world of Aedyn is a bit more open-ended than Celeste's mountaintop, with multiple locations to visit, puzzle-y dungeons to tackle, big bosses to fight and lots of collectibles to tempt you off the beaten path, according to developer The Matte Black Studio. It's more of a Metroidvania, in other words, or, dare I say it, a 'Celestroid' perhaps?
Whatever your portmanteau of preference is, you'll be playing as Oenn, one of the last remaining sentinels tasked with maintaining the world's balance. Unfortunately, said world is now riddled with crystals, which you'll need to destroy with your five unique crystal arts to get things back to normal. These crystal arts are hidden away in tough-looking dungeons, but eventually you'll be switching between your melee crystal sword, long-range crystal pulse gun, giant crystal axe (which lets you do a mean overhead ground slam) and pogo-esque crystal spear one after the other on the fly. It's all in aid of seeking out shattered pieces of the titular Lucid Giant, which lead dev Eric Manahan says you'll be using to confront the evil deity that's threatening your homeland.
When I first saw Lucid at PAX East, the thing that had me most excited about it was the way it asked players to chain together its various crystal arts to traverse its yawning chasms and tight corridors, creating an appealing sense of flow that looks like it will be lovely and tactile under the thumbs. Whacking those red crystals to charge up Oenn's pulse ability also reminded me a lot of Ori's superb Bash attack from Ori And The Blind Forest, which everyone knows is the best thing to happen to modern platformers in recent memory. Any game that channels that along with Celeste's precision-based air dashes gets a big thumbs up from me, and I'm excited to see more of it in the run-up to its release.
Alas, Lucid isn't due to arrive on PC (and other "platforms of note") until 2024, but if you want to stay up to date on its development, you can find out more over on its Steam page.