Sony’s newest State of Play presentation gave us a first look at the gameplay of action-platformer Solar Ash from developer Heart Machine, showing off the game’s world, the protagonist’s movement abilities, and a brief look at some enemies. But first, some narrative details. The game’s story centers around Ray, a girl who journeys into a black hole known as the “Ultravoid” that threatens life on her planet to save her people. Players will traverse the inside of this black hole, and all of its varied environments, on the journey to find the keys to save Ray’s homeworld.
Traversal in Solar Ash is built around Ray’s skating-like movement, enabling her to cover ground quickly and with great agility. Some extra platforming features were also shown off, including a grappling hook ability, as well as some rapid mid-air directional shifts.
On her quest, Ray will also have to face off against numerous enemies, the largest of these being the sentinels: huge beasts that guard the keys that you’ll need to continue. In the gameplay trailer, we saw Ray facing off against a huge, floating snake-like beast. In terms of taking these down, creative director Alx Preston noted that creatures “require speed, and precise timing, to defeat.”
Beyond this, we didn’t see much outside of some environments, including the inside of a spaceship, what looks like broken buildings, and some interesting natural environments, all featuring colours (purples and pinks) that feel closely linked to Heart Machine through its previous game, Hyper Light Drifter. With Solar Ash, we’ll get to see what this studio can pull off in a fully 3D environment.