Axiom Verge is getting a free randomiser mode - nearly six years after the Metroidvania came out.
In a post on the Axiom Verge blog, developer Thomas Happ said the update owes its existence to Axiom Verge's speedrunning community as well as the original mod developer, Pozzum. Together, they came up with an unofficial version that required a legal copy of the game to use, and since worked with Happ to incorporate it officially into the game.
"They spent years working on this and refused any compensation I offered. It was a labour of love, and I'm hugely grateful to all of them," Happ said.
Currently, the randomiser mode is only available on Steam and the Epic Games Store. But it will eventually be made available for free on consoles, too. To access the mode you need to play the beta version of Axiom Verge, which should appear in your library as a separate game.
The randomiser mode randomises the items you get as you progress, as you'd expect, but "in a very sophisticated way", Happ said. "The randomiser is smart enough to know that in certain areas you need weapons with certain characteristics to progress."
The randomiser mode was built for those who have already beaten the game, "ideally multiple times, and have explored the map very thoroughly." Thus, the different categories of progression logic you can choose for the system to use from the randomiser mode menu assume different things of the player.
Beginner mode, for example, assumes you will be playing through the game in much the same way anyone would progress through it. Advanced mode assumes you'll play through the game the way a speedrunner familiar with exploiting certain glitches may go through it. And Masochist mode is similar to Advanced mode, except it assumes you'll be doing a low per cent speedrun.
Happ said there are just four people in the world able to play Masochist mode. "If you don't know that you're one of them, you're probably not. This progression mode is included primarily because the aforementioned people who developed this mode include those masochists in question."
New features planned for the future include a Saved State mode, which means the game can remember your exact state and let you practice running the same section over and over, and support for Crowd Control, which would let Twitch players interact with their fans (viewers can give or take away items, or transport the player to a different room).
Happ is still working on Axiom Verge 2, which is due out during the first half of 2021. If randomiser mode for the first game goes down well, expect to see something similar for the sequel - and it won't take six years, Happ said.