Sony and Team Ico’s The Last Guardian may still be competing with Half-Life 3 for the king of vaporware title, but at least some of the Sony game’s former artists are eager to have their creations out in the world. A team of developers with a background in AAA titles such as Killzone, Battlefield 3, and of course, The Last Guardian, has formed a new studio called Friend & Foe, and their first project is an open world adventure and exploration game called Vane.
The Tokyo-based group joins the growing ranks of indie studios formed by former AAA developers that are sick of working for huge companies and want to make games that excite them. Titanfall studio Respawn Entertainment, created by former Call of Duty developers, is one of the first such outfits to make a splash in the last few years. That team’s immense success at shaking up one of the most iterated genres in mainstream gaming has emboldened other developers to take a similar leap.
Details on Vane are sparse but tantalizing. This single-player adventure game focuses on mystery, exploration, and puzzle-solving. You play a child “with an odd ability,” attempting to uncover the secrets of the strange land in which you are stuck. The world is a dangerous, ruins-filled desert, immediately bringing to mind Journey. The developers are otherwise tight-lipped about the story because uncovering its mysteries will be such a core component of the gameplay, but expect a steady trickle of details from the devlog.
Vane is in development for PC first, with other platforms to be announced, and its release date is cheekily listed as “when it’s done.” The studio’s site also lists a second, arcade-style game called Dangerous Men, described as a “city-wide explosionfest” based on 80’s buddy cop movies, so keep your eyes peeled for that project as well.