The video game delay beast has claimed yet another victim in 2021. Solar Ash from Hyperlight Drifter developer Heart Machine has unfortunately been delayed from its former late October release date.
Heart Machine released a statement via Twitter that it is delaying its upcoming title, Solar Ash. It’s not a drastic delay, as it will still come out before the end of the year, but another game delay nonetheless. The developer said they needed more time to “polish and address bug fixes.” The team also cites the pandemic for being responsible for further delays. Fans expressed disappointment, but also understanding with the impact of the pandemic on game development. Heart Machine is a PlayStation Indie studio, in the same tier as Ember Lab, the studio behind fellow PlayStation exclusive Kena: Bridge of Spirits.
The PlayStation platform exclusive will now release on December 2nd, 2021, and is described as a “3D third-person action platformer.” Previews have shown a unique art style and vibrant environments. The main character, Rei, must save her home from being devoured by a supermassive black hole using her speed and traversal abilities to scale massive monsters that stand in her way.
The game looks like it will reward chaining movement abilities together to get the most out of Rei’s powers. Alx Preston, Creative and Design Director at Heart Machine has gone on record to challenge speedrunners to break the game. Such a pointed dare may have influenced the team to delay the game so as to make sure speedrunners are using legitimate game mechanics rather than a technical oversight to complete world record runs.
The most damage this delay can likely do is hurt its chances at nominations for The Game Awards and other accolades, given how late it will come out. With the backing of Annapurna Interactive, and coming off its last game Hyper Light Drifter, though, fans will likely only be more than thrilled just to have another game and will remain patient for when the game is finally ready.