Iconoclasts (video game)

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Iconoclasts
Iconoclasts Cover.jpg
The game's cover art
Developer(s) Konjak
Publisher(s) Bifrost Entertainment
Designer(s) Joakim Sandberg
Composer(s) Joakim Sandberg
Platform(s) PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Release PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
  • WW: January 23, 2018
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: August 2, 2018
Genre(s) Action, platformer
Mode(s) Single-player

Iconoclasts is an action platformer video game by the developer Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg and published by Bifrost Entertainment. The game was released on January 23, 2018 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, and August 2nd, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.

Gameplay[edit]

Iconoclasts is a 2D platformer with metroidvania elements. Gameplay involves a mixture of exploring, fighting enemies, and solving environmental puzzles using Robin's tools. The game has a plot that plays out as the player completes levels. The game places a lot of emphasis on boss battles, and there are well over twenty different bosses in the game. [1]

Robin gains several tools over the course of the game, each with both combat and puzzle-solving functions. The wrench is a melee weapon that is also used to turn bolts, grapple, and, later, electrify Robin or other tools and objects. The stun-gun can fire single shots and charge shots, and can destroy some obstacles. The roller bomb shot fires projectile timed explosives or charged missile shots, can destroy some obstacles, and can be electrified. The usurper shot fires piercing beams and a charge shot that causes Robin to exchange places with certain objects and enemies it hits.

The characters Mina, Royal, and Elro join Robin's party at certain times throughout the game; they may assist in boss fights or become controllable by the player.

By finding materials in treasure chests, Robin can craft Tweaks, which provide small gameplay bonuses such as increased melee damage, faster running speed, or unique abilities. Tweaks can only be equipped at save points; one Tweak becomes broken whenever Robin takes damage, and each Tweak must be repaired by refilling a gauge before becoming active again.

Plot[edit]

Setting[edit]

The main character is Robin, a naive and helpful mechanic. She lives in a world where the sinister religious authority the One Concern, ruled by a being known as "Mother",[2] has taken over the government, and allows only licensed mechanics to handle the power source called "Ivory" that drives its machines.[1][3] Due to her attempts to help people in need despite being a self-taught mechanic, the soldiers of the One Concern track down Robin and attempt to kill her, which forces her to escape along with her allies and fight back against the One Concern.[1]

Ivory, a white liquid said to exist in all matter on the planet, is venerated by the One Concern as a holy substance. In addition to powering machines, it can grant supernatural abilities to select few humans through fusion with their blood. Those who survive but become mutilated in the process become Agents, legal enforcers possessing extraordinary strength, long lifespans, and a range of superpowers; those who flawlessly survive the process are extolled as Mediums, destined leaders of the human race, possessing telekinetic power over all matter containing Ivory.

A conflicting religion is practiced by the Isi, a people who live underwater thanks to excavated technology, powered by harvesting Ivory from the ocean floor. The One Concern engages in armed conflict against the Isi, labeling them "pirates."

During the course of the game, it is revealed that Ivory supplies are dwindling due to exploitation by both the One Concern and the Isi; not only has research into replacement power sources failed, but the planet's structure has also destabilized due to deprivation of Ivory, causing intermittent earthquakes believed to indicate the death of the planet.

Synopsis[edit]

After Robin and Elro's father, an unregistered mechanic, is executed by the One Concern, Robin nevertheless carries on in her father's stead. Elro works for the One Concern as a chemist while carrying out subversive research. Agents Black and White catch Robin in the act of repairing Elro's house, arresting Robin and condemning Elro's family to death. Robin and Mina, an Isi, together escape from One Concern imprisonment.

Robin rescues Royal, a young but arrogant Medium designated as Mother's successor. Royal befriends Robin and helps her escape capture from Black and General Chrome, the evangelical commander of One Concern's military forces. Mina leads the group to Isilugar, the Isi's underwater settlement.

Black and White lead a Concern force to attack Isilugar. Mina attacks White using seeds that grow explosively in Ivory, unexpectedly killing him. Horrified, Black takes Mina's partner Samba hostage to escape.

Elro, having survived the execution of his family, joins Robin and Mina's search for Samba in the hope of convincing Robin to return home. They track Black to a hidden One Concern tower compound; in a chaotic confrontation, Robin is thrown from the tower, Mina and Samba escape, and Black mutilates Elro as revenge for killing Grey, Black's unrequited paramour.

Robin and Royal reunite in an abandoned One Concern lab, which has been infested by blue slime-like parasitic creatures. They encounter and destroy a machine, controlled by a massive blue parasite, that can control the terrain around it; the blue parasite sends a signal into the sky. Royal enters a One Concern base intending to secure Robin's safety, but never returns.

Mina and Robin infiltrate the base in search of Elro. They discover that Royal has been renounced because his destruction of the machine has signaled the Starworm, a space-faring creature worshipped by the One Concern, to return. Believing that the Starworm will destroy the planet, the Concern accelerates the schedule of a rocket launch to evacuate select citizens to one of the moons, originally intended as a contingency plan due to depletion of the Ivory supply. Chrome stages an insurrection against Mother's authority, taking advantage of the sentiment of those doomed to stay behind.

Robin incapacitates Black and rescues Elro, who is now in a catatonic state. Under Royal's suggestion, the group seeks travels to City One, the Concern capital, to seek Mother's audience and ask to help Elro.

Meeting Mother, the group enters into heated dialogue that provokes her into attacking. Mina uses her seeds once more, killing Mother just as Chrome arrives and declares his own ascendency as the human race's savior; civil war erupts between Chrome and Mother's loyalists. Chrome prepares to kill Robin in order to ensure the new world will have no leaders or idols for people to blindly follow, but Elro kills him first.

Royal proposes hijacking the evacuation rocket and traveling to the moon to appeal to the Starworm to spare the planet. Black tenaciously battles Robin to defend the rocket, becoming possessed by blue parasites and transforming into a monstrous creature. Robin destroys the creature and takes off in the rocket with Royal.

At the Concern moon base, Midway, Royal contacts the Starworm, which is revealed to be a shell filled with masses of the blue parasite. Frustrated by the Starworm's unfathomable nature, Royal provokes it into breaching the base hull. As they escape the base, malfunctions force Robin to leave Royal behind to die. Robin returns to her home via an escape pod.

With the attempt to communicate with the Starworm a failure, everybody prepares for the end of the world. Elro stays at Robin's home to recover, while Mina either returns to her own home to see Samba, or accompanies Robin to the Starworm depending on dialogue choices. Robin proceeds to where the Starworm landed and battles it, eventually finding out that the Starworm is in fact a vehicle being piloted by a large, birdlike alien creature. Robin defeats the alien and the Starworm explodes, with the ivory used to fuel it rejuvenating the planet. Having saved the world, Robin returns home and takes a well deserved nap.

Development[edit]

Iconoclasts has been in development since 2010, totalling 8 years of development before its 2018 release.[1] It was initially called Ivory Springs, then The Iconoclasts. The existence of the game was revealed in 2011. In 2015, it was announced that it would be released for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita with the assistance of Bifrost Entertainment.[4] In 2017, the game's release date was announced as January 23, 2018.[3] The game uses Construct Classic as its engine. [5]

A demo has been released on the game's official website.[2]

The soundtrack composed by Joakim Sandberg was released February 1, 2018.[6]

Reception[edit]

Graham Smith of Rock, Paper, Shotgun called the action in the game's demo "spectacular and tactical".[1] Andy Chalk of PC Gamer called the previews of the game "impressive".[7] Upon release, Iconoclasts received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic with a score of 86 on PC and 83 on PlayStation 4.[8] Rob Kershaw gave the game 8/10 on Jump Dash Roll, citing the boss fights, character development and puzzles as highlights, but criticizing the clarity of the overall story line.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, Graham (2015-07-30). "The Iconoclasts Still A Stunning Action Platformer". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  2. ^ a b "Iconoclasts". www.bifrostent.com. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  3. ^ a b "Ambitious 2D action platformer Iconoclasts finally hits PS4 & PS Vita early next year". PlayStation.Blog.Europe. 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  4. ^ "Action-platformer Iconoclasts Coming to PS4, PS Vita". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  5. ^ @konjak (20 February 2017). "well, "custom" within Construct Classic, if that makes sense. I make my own engines within such software" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "Iconoclasts Soundtrack - Birdsong, by Joakim Sandberg". konjak. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  7. ^ "Konjak's Iconoclasts is on Steam Greenlight". Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  8. ^ "Iconoclasts for PlayStation 4". Metacritic.
  9. ^ Kershaw, Rob. "Iconoclasts Review". Jump Dash Roll.

External links[edit]