Revealing Ultros, a psychedelic sci-fi side-scroller coming to PS5 and PS4 in 2024

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Revealing Ultros, a psychedelic sci-fi side-scroller coming to PS5 and PS4 in 2024

Delve into the mysteries of the cosmic side-scrolling exploration-adventure title.

Greetings everyone! I’m Mårten, game design director at Hadoque, which is a brand-new studio based in Sweden. We’ve been busy working away on our first game which we are excited to give you a first look at today.

We revealed Ultros during today’s PlayStation Showcase. It’s a exploration-adventure style game grounded in sci-fi, layered in mystery, with deep lore and meta themes. Players will want to explore every nook and cranny of the game to understand and share information of what the truth really is…

Revealing Ultros, a psychedelic sci-fi side-scroller coming to PS5 and PS4 in 2024

The opening of the game exemplifies mystery – our protagonist, Ouji wakes up after seemingly crashing her ship on a giant cosmic sarcophagus, carrying an ancient evil entity known as Ultros (we’ve all been there, right?). Caught in the eternal loop of a black hole, anyone unlucky enough to be trapped in the sarcophagus will have their psyche undergo scrutinizing attacks. Ouji feels the need to venture across the time-loops and break this eternal cycle.

This loop-based gameplay mechanic means that across multiple runs you’ll uncover secrets at every turn all whilst unlocking different abilities on a branching skill-tree. This means you can cater to your preferred playstyle and impact the environment across different loops.

One of the first things that’ll hit you when you see Ultros is the vivid neon color palette and eccentric art style we’ve created; this stems from the enigmatic mind of renowned artist El Huervo, known for their work as an artist on the Hotline Miami series. We’ve created a unique blend of hand-drawn art with big juicy sprites, topped off with dynamic zooming, creating a hypnotic effect. The goal has been to create a look that feels like one big canvas, where every frame is like an isolated piece of psychedelic art.

Similarly, the music of Ultros is intentionally orchestrated with a beautiful, emotional, symphonic soundscape, breaking traditions of sci-fi’s mostly using classic synthesizers, as we instead draw inspiration from, and record, analog instruments, including the cello, viola, violin, ands pump organs. We travelled to Peru and the Amazons to record sounds of nature, classical instruments, and other sound-making tools from Peru’s rich history.

Being an explorative platformer at heart, Ultros features an intimate close-combat system. Inside the Sarcophagus, Ouji goes toe-to-toe with the bug-like, cosmic lifeforms, and every battle is as beautiful as it is deadly. You’ll experiment to develop your own fighting style using a multitude of different combos and evasive manoeuvres, forming a sort of “dance of death”.

On the reverse side of this, a more peaceful part of game revolves around tending to ecosystem and planting seeds in The Sarcophagus. You will grow a variety of plants, each with their own characteristics and effects; from unlocking skills and levelling-up abilities, to solving puzzles, to even subduing enemies. This changes the environments and, over multiple loops, adds personal touches to players’ journeys and makes the game world feel alive.

We’re honored to feature our work on the show and are thrilled to reveal more soon – there’s a lot to discover.

Ultros launches in 2024 as a console exclusive on PS5 and PS4.

PlayStation Showcase 2023

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