There are a few bonafide ways to get our attention, but perhaps the easiest is to hearken back to the Sega Saturn era of games.
Despite its relative failure in the west compared to other Sega consoles, the Saturn boasted some genuine classics that still get us waxing poetic all these years later, so we're always happy to see folks drawing on those influences today. With that in mind, it's safe to say we were over the moon when we discovered Cyber Lancer, a new free PC game that aims to emulate Saturn mech-shooters like Bulk Slash and Virtual-On.
Cyber Lancer is the work of primarily three developers: Modus Interactive, Warkus, and Ian Williams. It was a submission for Mech-Jam 3, a game jam about developing short-and-sweet projects based around mech or mecha. According to Williams, all three developers are huge fans of the PS1 and Sega Saturn, so when it came time to think of a project, they wanted to emulate games of that era.
As Williams states:
"Virtual On and Bulk Slash are the two most direct inspirations, but we also love Saturn Shoot 'Em Ups like RayForce and Thunder Force V. We wanted to recreate some of the signature Saturn graphic effects like dithered transparency and infinite 3D planes. Blue skies and saturated colors are also another key Saturn aesthetic we worked hard to replicate."
Cyber Lancer puts players in control of a large mech atop a naval base out at sea. It's up to you to fight off waves upon waves of enemies, using your chain gun and other upgradeable weapons. If you want to try out Cyber Lancer for yourself, you can do so over at itch.io or wait for the Steam release, which is apparently coming later this year. You can also check out a video of it in action below.