From developer PixelOpus, the kaleidoscopic action-platformer Concrete Genie was announced at Paris Games Week two years ago, and finally has a release date: October 9, 2019.
Set in Denska, an abandoned town inspired by tiny fishing villages in China combined with the industrial scenes of Bristol, Ash is a young artist exploring its nooks and crannies. He grew up here, before the disaster that levelled it, and paints art on its walls and frames while staying out of the way of bullies who also prowl his haunts. Alone and depressed, Ash realises his art comes alive and keeps the ‘darkness’ from swallowing Denska whole.
The art style is simultaneously sumptuous and toony, a distinctive design to suit its so far under-utilised subject matter. Speaking to Eurogamer, creative director Dominic Robillard explained their choice: ‘There's some really alarming statistics about kids that get bullied turning into bullies themselves, it's very cyclical. One of the main messages we hope people take away from the game is that if you can break that cycle with some tolerance, empathy and understanding. There's a way to close that gap between kids that are bullying and being bullied.’
Concrete Genie offers Photo Mode, like most Sony first-party games, but takes advantage of the creatively therapeutic gameplay mechanics to liven up players’ photos. ‘Once you've lined up your shot, you can press a button and it will replay, like a timelapse, all of your painted elements,’ Robilliard told IGN, adding, ‘It's something we just can't stop playing with, it's so much fun.’ If you’re playing in VR, doubtlessly these artworks will pop out even more with colourful energy and sparkle.
Concrete Genie will be out on October 9 for PlayStation 4. Watch the story trailer below.