Axiom Verge reveals first free update six years after release, adding Randomizer Mode
Much of the discussion surrounding the Axiom Verge series has focused on the game’s upcoming sequel. But six years after its initial launch, creator Thomas Happ is planning Axiom Verge 1’s first ever free content update with a Randomizer Mode.
Here are all of the notable details (minor spoilers):
Essentially, the Randomizer Mode randomizes (thus the name) the items you get as you progress through the game, but in a very sophisticated way. The Randomizer is smart enough to know that in certain areas you need weapons with certain characteristics to progress. For example, the first item you get in the game really only needs to be able to shoot. Without that, you wouldn’t be able to get through the barrier on the right:
So the Randomizer knows not to give you, say, a health node.
Later, here is the scene where you get the Kilver weapon, which emits a short burst of electricity and can go through barriers:
If the Randomizer just gave you any old weapon, you might be blocked from progressing any further. So it needs to know to give you a weapon that can handle that function. It doesn’t necessarily need to give you the Kilver per se. There are other weapons in the game that can go through barriers. And it doesn’t even necessarily need to give you the weapon in that same location. There are many places between the beginning of the game and this point where items can be picked up. You might get lucky and get the Kilver as your first weapon (it meets the requirement of being able to shoot, after all), or you may have to explore some of the nooks and crannies of the areas before this point that you might normally only explore later.
There are different categories of progression logic that you can choose for the system to use from the Randomizer Mode menu.
“Beginner” progression mode is really a bit of a misnomer. The Randomizer itself is for people who have beaten the game, ideally multiple times, and have explored the map very thoroughly. Beginner mode assumes that you will be playing through the game in much the same way that anyone would progress through it. For what it’s worth, this is the mode I play.
“Advanced” mode assumes that you’ll play through the game the way a speedrunner familiar with exploiting certain glitches may go through it. There are ways to skip the entire grapple hook area, for example, if you know how. Because the system knows what you expect to be able to get at which areas, it can make sure to accommodate this route.
“Masochist” mode is similar to Advanced mode, except that it assumes you’ll be doing a low % speedrun. As of right now, there are exactly 4 people in the world able to play this mode. If you don’t know that you’re one of them, you’re probably not. This progression mode is included primarily because the aforementioned people who developed this mode include those masochists in question.
But that’s not all! The team has a bunch of ideas for new features in the works including a Saved State mode where you can have the game remember your exact state (health level, different items, location, etc.) and let you practice running the same section over and over until you perfect your approach. In addition, we’re looking at including support for Crowd Control, which would enable Twitch players to interact with their fans. Viewers can give—or take away—items, or transport the player to a different room. I’m really looking forward to seeing how streamers will take advantage of this. More on these features hopefully at a later date.
Randomizer Mode is currently in testing on PC. When it’s all ready to go, it’ll be released on consoles. Switch should be included, though it’s unclear if the update will be pushed to Wii U as well.