The brilliant French artist Jean “Moebius” Giraud had one of the most recognisable art styles around, and while his works have inspired video games for decades — including the ones he worked on directly — few have been able to truly look like one of his illustrations come to life.
We got one last year though, with the excellent Sable, and now we’re getting another one called XTAL (You could also count Pixeljunk Raiders if you’re feeling generous). With a name that might have you thinking of a classic Aphex Twin track, XTAL is billed by its developers as “a stylish mix of action and exploration with a fast combat system that combines TPS, Hack ‘n’ Slash and Bullet Hell elements with a vibrant art style inspired by French Comics”.
(Yes, I know Moebius isn’t the only artist with a “French comics” style, as that’s glossing over the hugely-influential work of folks like Jean-Claude Mézières, but this is clearly steering straight towards Moebius’ own unique look).
Apologies to anyone who has read this far and is still reading that as “Morbius”, but it’s not my fault the internet has fried your brain.
Here’s the game’s trailer, with a plot summed up as: “A distant past echoes through planet Syro, while its ruined landscapes are being corrupted by a mysterious force. You, as the Seeker, will make use of a lost technology to engage in combat and explore a vast, evocative world.”
Looks cool! The game is being developed by True Colours, an indie studio based in Turin, Italy. Note that while that trailer looks impressive, the game is still very early in development. To tide everyone over, though, they’ve been sharing a ton of progress work on their Twitter account, including my favourite kind of pre-release content: concept art.
XTAL is coming to Steam…eventually, though given what I’ve just said above, it’s no surprise that there isn’t even a tentative release date to accompany its new Steam page.