Developer Heart Machine has unveiled Solar Ash Kingdom, the long-awaited follow-up to its superb exploratory action-RPG Hyper Light Drifter.
You might want to contain your excitement, however, as today's unveiling is more of a tease than a full reveal; specifics regarding Solar Ash Kingdom are extremely slim to the point of non-existent - and Heart Machine isn't even saying which genre bracket its latest title might sit within right now. There is a scene-setting trailer to accompany the announcement though, and it's absolutely beautiful.
The world it depicts foregoes the meticulous pixel art of Hyper Light Drifter, instead favouring a minimalist (if not quite low-poly) aesthetic that's no less striking, despite the shift to full-3D. Granted, there's no guarantee that any of those environments are pulled directly from - or are even indicative of - the final game, but that's the impression given.
Then, of course, the quiet tranquility of the trailer's opening sequence is disturbed by the arrival of a strikingly designed new hero, skating down through the clouds - an energetic shift that doesn't feel jarring, thanks to Heart Machine's clearly still masterful sense of mood.
That, though, is your lot for now. There's no word on when Solar Ash Kingdom might eventually appear, and the only platform hinted at so far is PC, with Epic having managed to get its store logo slapped onto the end of the trailer. Whether that means yet more time-limited exclusivity shenanigans for PC players to navigate is currently unclear, although publisher Annapurna Interactive previously went Epic-only with its gloomy action-RPG Ashen.
According to Heart Machine's Alx Preston (thanks IGN), the developer plans to "start opening up about the game and the process behind it on our†devlog" soon.