Gone without a Trace.
In the comparatively dark days of the Wii U, we often had to focus more on indie games to get us through the worst of the months-long droughts between major first-party releases. Fortunately, various smaller studios stepped up and one such gem was Axiom Verge, an absolutely incredible Metroidvania that was produced in its entirety by just one remarkably talented man. Axiom Verge would’ve been just fine as a standalone release, but evidently Thomas Happ had enough ideas leftover that he felt the need to produce a full-fledged follow up with Axiom Verge 2, a game which feels distinct from its predecessor in some key ways while the core gameplay feels just as polished as it’s ever been, making for an impressively high-quality experience from stem to stern.
Unlike the first game, which saw you playing as a scientist named Trace, the narrative of Axiom Verge 2 follows Indra Chaudhari, a billionaire CEO of a major international conglomerate. There are some real At the Mountains of Madness vibes as Indra finds herself taking a chopper to a remote Antarctic research station owned by her company after receiving a mysterious message that hints that her missing daughter might be there. Unfortunately, all the staff at the base seem to have vanished without a trace, and things are made even worse when Indra accidentally falls into a cave and… drowns. When she comes to, Indra finds that she’s been transported to a different dimension and given a ‘new body’ by a mysterious artificial being.
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