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It’s been a long, long road for Golem, the upcoming PSVR exclusive title that’s been in development since even before Sony’s VR headset launched in 2016. After several major delays, Golem is finally due to launch this Fall.
Golem started developed way back in 2015 by Highwire Games, a newly formed indie studio consisting of former Bungie veterans Marty O’Donnell and Jaime Griesemer, alongside a handful of other experienced game makers.
The intriguing title promises to let players explore a unique fantasy world at vastly different scales by possessing avatars from mouse-sized dolls all the way to giant stone golems. The game had an initial release date of March 13th, 2018, which was then delayed to March 16th just before the launch. That three day delay eventually spiralled into an indefinite postponement of the title which has drifted on for nearly one and a half years.
After mostly silence from the studio in the preceding months, Highwire Games today announced that Golem will launch this Fall, though a specific release date has not been set.
Perp Games will release physical copy of the game in Europe and North America. The physical release will include a downloadable version of the album ‘Echoes of the First Dream’, the musical prequel to the game by Highwire’s Marty O’Donnell, the famed composer of the Halo and Destiny soundtracks.
In today’s release date announcement, the studio offered a brief summary of what players can expect from Golem:
In Golem you take on the role of Twine, an adventurous kid who has been left critically injured by a serious accident. While you can’t leave your bed, you develop an extraordinary ability to create and control large stone golems and see the world through their eyes.
You can use your golems to explore an enormous abandoned city, collecting treasure and artefacts, while unravelling a deeper mystery and discovering the connection between the city and your family. Designed from the ground up for VR, the game also has an innovative free movement control scheme and intense one-to-one melee combat that sees you feint, block, and counter-attack your enemies.
In the release date announcement, Highwire didn’t speak much about the delays beyond saying that the studio has “spent time refining and polishing the experience to the highest possible standard.”
“It’s so gratifying to see our original vision for Golem come together into a full experience. We’ve really had to push ourselves and the technology, but I think the game is beautiful and I can’t wait for everyone to be able to play it,” said Jaime Griesemer, Creative Director at Highwire. “And we’re pretty old school, so it won’t feel ‘finished’ for us until we see it on store shelves.”
When we spoke with the studio about the delays last August, Highwire said that the game was mostly complete, and that the remaining work was “almost entirely optimization,” though given how the delay has lingered other roadblocks may have arisen.
Characterizing the game’s environment design, a spokesperson at the time told us that Golem is “closest to [something like] Dark Souls in terms of structure. Not wide open terrain or totally free navigation, but a single large interconnected environment to explore.” That structure, the spokesperson said, led to challenges with level streaming—seamlessly loading parts of the game’s large environments without interruption—something ostensibly made more complicated with the high performance requirements of VR.
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