E3 isn’t always about big-budget, triple-A releases and first-party platform exclusives. Indies have gained traction in recent years due to players’ budding interest in diversity in gaming that wouldn’t normally be seen. And why not? As Microsoft pointed out, players love the art and craft of diversity in gaming-  and so here are the top 5 indie titles we’re stoked about.

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A Way Out

A Way Out is a split-screen, co-op adventure game due out in early 2018. Published by EA, the game is the first project from Hazelight Studios and centers around two very different inmates, Leo and Vincent, as they share the same goal — attempting to break out of prison. While their individual stories progress, players will have to build a relationship based on trust as they break both men out of prison. The game can only be played co-op in the split screen format, either locally or online. A Way Out looks as if it presents a unique experience in gaming, in needing to form a tighter relationship with not only the person you’re playing with but the character you play as.

Developer: Hazelight Studios
Platform: PS4, Xbox One and PC
Release Date: Early 2018

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Life is Strange is described often as “teenage angst, the game”, but put aside all the teenage drama, the game is really an intimate look at life in those formative and emotional years, with an added sci-fi element. A prequel to the renowned game was leaked online prior to E3, with fans of the original having wavering feelings on the game’s existence. Regardless of that, what made Life is Strange so amazing, was the relationships you got to explore and the choices you made. In Before the Storm, we get to play as Chloe as we explore the relationship with Rachel Amber, and hopefully get a more detailed idea of who Rachel was before, well, the storm. One important takeaway is that voice actor Ashley Burch, who voiced Chloe in the original Life is Strange, is not reprising her role due to negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and video game publishers. Burch however, still has a big part in the development (which you can read about in this Polygon article),so the actor’s absence shouldn’t deter players.

Developer: Deck Nine
Platform: PS4, Xbox One and PC
Release Date: August 31st, 2017

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Microsoft announced the sequel to the beautiful game Ori and the Blind Forest in their press conference, unleashing a hauntingly alluring trailer. Ori and the Blind Forest was possibly one of the best Xbox One games made to date, captivating players with the game’s gorgeous painted aesthetic and ominous soundtrack. There’s currently not a lot of information about the sequel in addition to the non-existent gameplay footage, but what the trailer does show is enough to excite players, or rather make them cry because of how damn emotional it is. Is someone cutting onions in here?

Developer: Moon Studios
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: TBA

The Artful Escape

The Artful Escape tells the story of a teenage boy who is trying to escape living in the shadow of his Bob Dylan-like folk singer uncle and goes on a cosmic journey throughout multiple dimensions in order to find himself and inspire his stage persona. In a short Polygon interview, developer Johnny Galvatron talks about the protagonist’s journey as something close to David Bowie or Andy Warhol. “Something that interests me a lot is the peripheries of art. Which is, like, not David Bowie’s music, but the world he created, and the story he created to inform and elevate his music. Or Andy Warhol — not his art, but the scene that he created around his factories.” The Artful Escape looks pretty fucking cool and sounds very high concept, and nothing compliments fucking cool and high concept more than rock music.

Developer: Beethoven & Dinosaur
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: TBA

Tacoma

Tacoma comes from developers Fullbright, who were the creators behind the critically acclaimed Gone Home. Tacoma, however, looks entirely different, being set in 2088 on a space station of the same name. Tacoma has so far been described as an immersive theatrical experience and like a video game rendition of Sleep No More. Only, in Tacoma, an augmented reality system has captured every move of six crew members, with the core idea of something bad took place, and the player must piece the story together. What Tacoma is so far being recognized for is the game’s human element in a sterile environment, and the way in which it combines that with genuine horror.

Developer: Fullbright
Platform: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017

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E3 2017 has graced audiences with a plethora of memorable announcements and gameplay reveals.  If a game you wanted to see included on this list didn’t make the cut, be sure to check out our other articles on the most anticipated Sony, Nintendo and XBox games as well.  Check back here at Goomba Stomp for more E3 coverage throughout the week.

 

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Katrina Lind is a writer and Editor for the Indie Section of Goomba Stomp. She has an affinity for everything Indie Gaming and loves the idea of comparing the world of gaming to the world of art, theater, and literature. Katrina resides in the Pacific Northwest where she swears she grew up in a town closely resembling Gravity Falls and Twin Peaks.
  • Just curious. Is ORI an indie game?

    • Katrina Lind

      Actually yes! I looked it up before writing about Ori. It states on their website that “Moon Studios is an independent video game development studio”. They just happen to be a first party developer for Microsoft.

      • ex fact0r

        Moon Studios is a privately held business, and they themselves are infact indie devs, but they signed a development project with Microsoft for the Ori series. The Ori games are funded by Microsoft and they have sway over the games creation, thus by most people’s standards it is not an independent game series.

      • John Cal McCormick

        You can’t be independent and a first party developer. They’re mutually exclusive terms.

        They’re what you could call a second party developer – they’re independent and they could work with other console manufacturers if they wanted to, but they’re taking exclusive contracts with a specific one. Think Quantic Dream for Sony, who many people confuse for being a first party dev, but in fact are not.