- Retro-futuristic sci-fi platformer Replaced launches with Xbox Game Pass in 2023
- Blending cinema and action, see how free-flow combat gels with a deep dystopian story.
- Meet new faces in Phoenix-City – Friends and Foes; listen to the sounds of “Rust,” composed by Igor Gritsay
Replaced returned in a big way at The Game Awards with a brand-new trailer, a closer look at Phoenix-City, the further possibilities of free-flow combat and another spine-tingling piece of music. Is it 2023 yet?
Earlier this year, Coatsink and Thunderful made the very difficult decision to postpone Replaced. Since the announcement, Sad Cat Studios have been able to regroup and resume work on the game. Now the team is ready to share a glimpse of what they’ve been up to.
Over the past year Sad Cat has completely transitioned to a custom rendering solution. This pushes the fidelity of Replaced’s hybrid pixel-art style even further, making it easier to achieve visual and performance goals. For example, the team can now achieve more dynamic weather effects, more natural lighting, and ultimately more convincing materials.
Beyond visuals, Sad Cat has been perfecting the combat and platforming to make for an exceptionally smooth gameplay experience. Hundreds of animations have been added to the game so the developers can ensure the characters always feel alive on your journey through alternate ‘80s America.
All these complex assets come together like a pixel-art movie, achieved using handcrafted camera direction present throughout the whole game.
When Coatsink and Thunderful revealed Replaced at Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2021, a piece of music called “Void” was introduced. Due to the incredible response it received, Igor Gritsay at Sad Cat Studios decided to release a new track, “Rust,” to accompany the action in this second trailer.
This time around, Igor didn’t want to lean too much on modern synthwave and has instead opted for more grit to give the track a sense of hopelessness and anger, a grimmer tone that echoes the game’s atmosphere.
The music of Replaced is embedded in the game’s lore, and this is inspired, in part, by the amazing Hades soundtrack by Darren Korb. To give you some idea of what to expect, both “Void” and “Rust” play a significant role in the story of one character you’ll meet in Phoenix-City, Veronica Dame.
As for what inspires the music, Igor doesn’t feel restricted by the ‘80s setting due to the in-game history of Replaced being alternative. While working on the game and composing “Rust,” Igor had the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Gunship, some of Mick Gordon’s Prey soundtrack, and even Linkin Park on repeat.
This new trailer dives deeper into the game’s lore, offering fresh insight into the story of Phoenix Corp. Formerly a volunteer initiative fighting the consequences of an atomic catastrophe, now this powerful organization sees humans as a disposable material to fuel its A.I.-driven business. You will explore some of the desolated environments left behind in their wake, full of death and danger, kept behind the supposed safe walls of Phoenix-City.
The bright lights of Phoenix-City also await you, with neon-rich streets hinting at a life of comfort and prosperity. But bubbling underneath the surface, you’ll soon realize the price of maintaining this illusion may simply be too high for anyone to uphold.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. During the game, you will also meet the Disposals, people used and abandoned by Phoenix Corp. Some of them are even willing to help, like the Disposals’ leader, Tempest, his loyal dog, Excalibur, and an enigmatic technician known as Yo-Yo.
Players can expect high speed stakes, bone-crunching combat, and unexpected modes of transport as they learn what it is to be human, in a world where they’re valued as a donation with a price someone is always willing to pay.
We’ll leave you to reflect on this and contemplate the possibilities to come. For now, make sure to follow the Replaced, Coatsink and Thunderful social channels for all the latest updates and prepare for the future when Replaced comes to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass in 2023.