Transistor, Supergiant's sci-fi spiritual sequel to Bastion, is a truly revolutionary game in more ways than one. Not only does it provide a completely new take on action genre gameplay, it is also taking on the publishing world in new and interesting ways as well.

The game was demoed at PAX East 2013 where congoers were allowed to run through the opening segment of the game. It was here that we got to see how the game controlled and how Red, Transistor’s protagonist, handled the sentient sci-fi Transistor sword. At the bottom of the screen are several icons all showing what abilities Red can use. By simply pressing the button an ability is assigned to, Red will activate it, causing it to be greyed out for a certain period of recharge time. In this way, Red can essentially fight like an action game hero, button mashing her way to victory.

However, Red also has the peculiar ability to stop time and asses her circumstances. By pressing the right trigger (or whatever button you’ll eventually bind the action to), the environment will change into a sci-fi grid overlay. You can then program in a series of abilities without any recharge time, which will execute as soon as you press the trigger again. It’s a lot like Fallout’s VATS system with a focus on board positioning.

Supergiant isn’t entirely sure they are going to seek an external publisher for Transistor. Instead, they might give self-publishing a shot. Bastion was received incredibly well and the studio believes it might have enough momentum to break free from the traditional publisher model. Doing so gives the studio far more freedom in their game development, allowing them to write characters and stories that other publishers might be wary of. “We just want to make the best game we possibly can” a Supergiant booth rep said. “We don’t want anything to get in the way of that.”

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