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Tom Happ doesn’t want you to think of Axiom Verge 2 as a sequel. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. Instead, you should consider the solo developer’s upcoming metroidvania as a companion piece to his original 2015 indie hit; distinct enough to stand apart as its own thing, yet intricately bound by delicate threads of connective tissue to its predecessor. As Happ himself says during a gameplay presentation in last week’s Future Games Show – Spring Showcase, Axiom Verge 2 is a “complementary piece of the overall Axiom Verge puzzle”.
“It is set in the same universe, and the storylines interconnect, but beyond that, I didn’t want to restrict myself into thinking that if people really liked Axiom Verge 1, I really should give them more Axiom Verge, only bigger and better,” he tells GamesRadar+ in an exclusive follow-up interview.
“There are of course similarities, since they’re made by the same person, but I just tried to focus on making Axiom Verge 2 into the game it needed to be on its own, rather than focusing too much on how it needed to be similar or different from the first game.”
On the verge
(Image credit: Thomas Happ Games LLC)
“When I started working on the first Axiom Verge about 10 years ago, I wasn’t sure if it would just be a hobby project that only my friends and family would play, or if it would grow into something larger,” Happ continues. “Just in case it turned out to be the latter, I decided to come up with a full picture of the entire Axiom Verge universe, taking place over thousands of years and featuring dozens of characters.”
“Once I had created that big picture view of how everything interrelated to everything else, I decided on about six to eight substories that would each tell an important facet of the larger metastory. I decided the story about Trace and Athetos was a good place to start, although it takes place closer to the end of the metastory. I figured that if it didn’t do well, and no one cared about this universe, it would be an interesting story in and of itself. Fortunately, the response was far greater than I had ever hoped for, so as soon as the first Axiom Verge released, I started sketching out the details for Axiom Verge 2.”