Axiom Verge is one of the best Metroid-inspired indies (a surprisingly crowded category) in recent memory. This sci-fi adventure received critical acclaim, captivated players, and left us with a big cliffhanger. Tom Happ, the game’s sole developer, announced Axiom Verge 2 late last year with a targeted 2020 release. Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned this year. Happ just published a blog post announcing that the sequel has been delayed to 2021.
Axiom Verge 2 delayed
The hotly anticipated sequel is now planned to launch in the first half of 2021. Happ hopes it will be “sooner in that window than later,” but he’s understandably avoiding a concrete date. Like everyone else, Happ’s schedule has been impacted by COVID-19 and the lifestyle changes it has brought about. That said, development is also taking longer than expected because the sequel is more complex than the original game.
Happ went on to highlight some of the new features in Axiom Verge 2 that have been so time-consuming.
First, the enemies in Axiom Verge 2 are much more sophisticated than those in the original Axiom Verge. Whereas in the original all of the enemies followed a set path, in Axiom Verge 2 some enemies scan the environment for you, and if they detect you, they’ll give chase.
Next, those of you who played the original Axiom Verge will recall one of its most distinctive features, the Address Disruptor tool. That’s the tool that lets you glitch enemies and the environment. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Axiom Verge 2 has something that serves a similar function but in a way that gives the player more control over the outcome.
Third, the art style for Axiom Verge 2 is far more complex than that of Axiom Verge. You’ll notice in these side-by-side views that in the first game, each tile was distinct. This created an intentionally blocky, alien world as befit the storyline. Axiom Verge 2 on the other hand, takes place on a more earth-like planet with natural inclines and dips. In order to capture that difference, it was critical to formulate seamless tiles that can blend into one another. This may seem like a subtle change, but it has far reaching implications for the design, art, and ultimately feel of the game.
Happ concluded his update by thanking fans for their support and pledging to do his best to make it worth the wait.