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Developing an Indie Game: MARS 2120 Documentary Episode 1

First episode of Journey to MARS, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the independent Brazilian metroidvania MARS 2120, released.

With a teaser released in April this year, Brazilian studio QUByte Interactive revealed the production of a documentary about the creative and development process of its most ambitious project after 15 years in the independent games industry.

Episode 1, The Creation of MARS 2120, shows the previous and initial steps that led to the desire to develop a game almost four times greater in complexity, time, cost and effort than the largest project developed so far by the small independent studio.

It took five years of work, with a core team of just six people, from the very first idea to the game finally being certified for all the platforms on which it will be released in 2024.

With a tradition of working with more retro games, both with its own titles and with the publication of titles from other independent studios and notable franchises from the past, such as Top Gear from the 1992 Super Nintendo, the studio wanted to work for the first time on a title with more complex and non-linear gameplay. The natural choice, apart from the developers’ passion for the genre, was a sci-fi themed metroidvania.

The project also involved the dream of taking a bolder step where the studio set itself the technical challenge of migrating from the Unity engine to Unreal.

MARS 2120‘s sci-fi theme is the direct result of the developers’ personal influences and tastes in the form of great sci-fi authors, landmark films in the genre, such as Alien and Total Recall, and also, of course, console sci-fi classics such as Metroid itself, one of the project’s major references. No wonder MARS 2120 has been called “the Brazilian Metroid Dread”.

The Journey to Mars documentary will have four episodes in total that will be released gradually until the game’s release. Episode 2, available soon, will show the creation of the game’s art and game design process.

MARS 2120 will be released in the second half of 2024 for PC (Steam and Epic Store), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.


About MARS 2120

In MARS 2120, humanity has successfully colonized various planets in our solar system, allowing people to escape an increasingly grim situation on Earth. After the UN receives a worrying distress call from Mars, it’s up to Sergeant Anna “Thirteen” Charlotte and an elite team of space marines to answer the call and rescue the first colony.

To get to them, you’ll have to traverse a harsh landscape. fighting unusual and mysterious foes using a unique mix of ranged and melee attacks alongside very useful special elemental skills. How you dispatch your enemies is up to you, with the game offering players a non-linear approach to combat as well as exploration.

Inspired by pioneers of the genre such as Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, MARS 2120 is an action packed metroidvania that offers an intense combat experience alongside cinematic flair.

MARS 2120 has a strong sci-fi setting, addressing current themes such as space exploration, genetic modification, and artificial intelligence. Developed using Unreal Engine, the game aims to deliver an immersive experience, with modern visuals and gameplay mechanics that stand out from other titles in the genre. The game has several accessibility options (visual, audio, gameplay) so players can customize the experience to their needs.

Unleash your power through a combination of melee and ranged attacks in real time. Acquire and upgrade your combat skills and techniques as you progress through the game. Do you want to experiment with different melee combos or eliminate enemies from a distance? The choice is yours! Explore different ways of defeating your enemies, discover their weaknesses, and survive!

MARS 2120 – Release Date Reveal Trailer | Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One/Series S|X and Steam

Game features

  • 2.5D side-scrolling action-adventure.
  • Rewarding combat and character progression.
  • Unique mix of ranged and melee combat.
  • Non-Linear Exploration.
  • Cinematic / Immersive experience.
  • High Replayability.
  • Campaign duration 8-10 hours.
  • Wide range of accessibility options.
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