PS4’s Bound, an effervescent and ambiguous platformer


The interesting procedurally generated design of Bounds’s platforming. (Courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment)

SOME screen shots and a trailer have been released for Plastic Studios and Santa Monica Studios’ new and… confusing project, Bound.

Centring around a dancing protagonist, it is promising a pioneering narrative and story-telling method.

Games that focus on the method through which they are delivering their story e.g. Journey are often outstanding. Yet they must not forget to keep their intentions in sight.

Baggage is one of the major  components that can hurt an indie project.

A phrase that is steadily becoming more common in game descriptions has also been tagged to Bound; procedurally generated.

Through this now popular method, the game will generate platforming levels. How these are traversed and to what end has yet to be revealed.

Along with Plastic, Santa Monica Studios are also working on Bound. These are the people that brought Okami to the HD generation and also lent their talents to beautiful titles such as Hohokum, Flower and PixelJunk Monsters.

There is also the promise of 60fps 1080p with some dedicated optimisation. So at the very least, it’s going to be pretty.

Here’s what Michael Staniszewski, game director at Plastic had to say about their new project.

“In the past we brought you Linger In Shadows and Datura on PS3. We haven’t got rid of our experimenting habits, and this time we are going to deliver something to you that is quite unique in visual style, narrative storytelling, and also mechanics.

“Bound is a 3D platformer designed for people with the desire to concentrate on the narrative side of games and experience a mature story. On the other side of the spectrum, Bound is also being prepared for hardcore gamers looking for the challenge of one big puzzle that can be only solved by a community of players working together.

“The result: we are going to deliver a “notgame” to you, which is also a game. It’s up to you to decide how you would like to play.

“Looking at the art side, we were searching for a style that is not deeply explored in video games, but still has a major influence on how our world looks today. We have concentrated on Modern Art in full flavor. If you are interested in art movements such as Suprematism, Concretism, Neoplasticism, or what Bauhaus has delivered, then you are going to love the world that we have created.

“It would be a sin not to write a couple of words about the game’s main character. We were looking for a rich personality, one that could bring beauty to moves and exploration, a dancer or to be more precise — a ballerina. Thanks to our dancer Maria Udod and her choreographer Michał Adam Góral, we were able to capture some true expressive and emotional moments and put it into our game.

“The accompanying soundtrack will be a perfect blend of ballet and electroacoustic music performed by Oleg “Heinali” Shpudeiko. He is the author of this beautiful contemporary piece.

“Last but not least, and very important to me personally. You are going to experience our procedural 3D platforming world in a classic way. This means ultra-sharp anti-aliased 60 Hz in 1080p resolution. We have spent more than a year on optimizations, just to deliver you a game that will squeeze the most of your PS4.”


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