Axis is an upcoming third-person action/adventure game developed and published by Ubisoft and Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Officially announced on September 29th, 2011, the game is scheduled for a 2013 release.
Gameplay in Axis will be, according to Amy Hennig, "a mixture of Uncharted, Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed". The game will feature many decision-based elements that will ultimately forge the story and how the game ends. Naughty Dog Game Director Justin Richmond stated that the game's combat will be "very visceral and intense" and confirmed that there will be open exploration that will be similar to Mass Effect's exploration and will be vital to the progression of the game's storyline.
The game takes place in 2217 and revolves around an interstellar group of military operatives who must try to stop an alien parasite that has re-surfaced after a 2,000-year period.
Characters and Setting
The game takes place in the Local Group (the Milky Way, Andromeda and Triangulum Galaxies) in 2217 after The Blight, an alien parasite of unknown origin, re-surfaces after a 2,000-year period and threatens to eradicate the Human race as well as many other races. The game follows NFE Operative Bradley Crawford and his team of interstellar miltiary agents who must stop The Blight before it spreads throughout the universe.
The player controls Bradley, who can wield a wide variety of weapons and abilities.
- Aaron Staton as Bradley Crawford: The main protagonist who leads the 7th Legion.
- C. Thomas Howell as Landon Page: The best friend and partner of Bradley Crawford.
- Steven Blum as Jacob Langley: A rebel that Bradley befriends during a mission.
- Vincent D'Onofrio as The Blight: The main antagonist and an alien parasite that spreads through living beings, turning them into beligerent monsters that forcefully serve a hivemind.
- David Tennant as Eddie Williamson: Another friend of Bradley who serves with him in the 7th Legion.
- Josh Hamilton as Aaron Hopkins - The current Director of the NFE.
- Scottie Ray as Thege Rekolo: A Martian Warrior who befriends Bradley during a mission on Mars.
- Jennfier Lawrence as Zoey Freeman: Bradley's girlfriend.
- Eric Balfour as Zanek Zaraiah: The secondary antagonist and a rogue Andromedan who advances The Blight's regime.
- Michelle Williams as Marquessa Hiroshe: A Sirian who joins Bradley's team during an underwater mission.
- Andrew Lincoln as Elos Bereni Uzada: A Tall White who joins Bradley's team.
- Jeremy Sisto as Gabril Korlenius: A Reptilian who joins Bradley's team.
Combat in Axis is reported to be "very visceral and intense". The player is capable of wielding many different types of weapons such as assault rifles, shotguns and pistols.
Justin Richmond released a summary of the game on October 5th, 2011:
"Axis is a third-person action/adventure that takes place in 2217 and revolves around Bradley Crawford, a miltiary operative working for the NFE, who must solve the greatest mystery the galaxy has ever witnessed. After the Omicron Space Station goes silent while orbiting the planet Vegas-6 in the Andromeda Galaxy, Crawford and his elite team of military specialists investigate the station only to find the occupants missing. As the mystery begins to unfold, Crawford soon discovers that something more sinister then they thought was afoot. Something so sinister that every single being in the universe could be in great danger. During the course of the game, players must make decisions that will affect the universe for the greater good...or for the bad. In Axis, every decision you make has consequences."
*Text in bold defines a decision that has consequences.
The game begins inside a city that has been desolated by some sort of explosion. Bradley is shown sitting against a wall looking at a picture of his girlfriend before kissing it and putting the picture in a sleeve on his vest. Bradley then clutches his leg, which has been pierced by a sharp, metal rod. Breathing heavily, Bradley slowly pulls the rod out of his leg, which causes him to scream in agonizing pain. After throwing away the rod, Bradley wraps a bandage around the wound on his leg and grabs a pistol laying nearby before venturing into the city's ruins. While walking, Bradley begins to suspect that someone or something is watching him. Bradley turns around to see a monstrous creature preparing to attack him. Bradley pulls out his pistol and unloads the entire clip on the monster before it dies. He walks over next to the dead body and scans it, whispering to himself that "they have evolved" as the scene cuts to black and the Axis title is shown.
Three months earlier, the Omicron Space Station which is orbiting the planet of Vegas-Six mysteriously goes silent. Receiving word of the strange occurence, Bradley and his team of elite operatives investigate the station only to find that the occupants of the station are missing. The team then returns to Earth to validate what they found on the station. Afterwards, NFE Director Aaron Hopkins states that the disappearance of the scientists could be the work of the Vomosh, who might be preparing to attack another station; this time on the outer rim of the Andromeda Galaxy. Bradley and his team are then dispatched to the Gule Space Station, which is currently in orbit around a gas giant. After arriving at the station, Bradley and his team encounter strange monstrous creatures that seem to attack on sight. After reaching the main control room, they find that the disappearances of the Omicron scientists were not the work of the Vomosh, but in fact the work of a strange alien parasite. After regaining control of the station, NFE officials arrive to collect evidence while Hopkins contacts Bradley and says that the creatures that he and his team encountered were most likely The Blight, a race of alien spores that appear every 2,000 years in the universe somewhere at sometime to replenish their energy. Bradley asks if this could be a danger to every civilization in the universe, and Hopkins confirms this.
The team later leaves the station and returns to Earth, where Hopkins assigns them to a military unit aboard an NFE Frigate known as the Prominence with the sole objective of eliminating The Blight. After touring the frigate, Bradley receives a distress message from the Sirian homeworld of Mandaleia, which says that the planet is being invaded by species unknown. Bradley then uses the Galographical Mapping Module to get a visual of Mandaleia, and soon sees dozens of giant ships closing in on the planet while pods are being shot out of the ships. Bradley and his team gear up and head for Mandaleia, where they discover that The Blight are the ones responsible for the attack. After fighting through hundreds of Blight soldiers and Loyalists, Bradley and his team reach the Royal Temple to rescue the Sirian councilors, only to find that most of them have been killed or taken by The Blight. Bradley then notices a Sirian-native woman trying to aid a councilor that had only been wounded in the arm. The woman thanks Bradley and his team for their bravery, but states that it will take a while to rebuild due to the amount of damage done. The woman says her name is Marquessa Hiroshe and asks for help in the transportation of the injured royals and councilors to a medical station. Bradley agrees and helps Marquessa carry the injured officials to the Prominence, where Bradley asks Marquessa if she wants to come with him, and she agrees, adding that there is nothing left for her on the planet.
Later, in the frigate's infirmary, it is revealed that one of the injured councilors is Marquessa's father as Bradley and Doctor York walk in to check on them. Marquessa confesses that she did not want to stay on Mandaleia because of the new political system, and that she was mad at her father for agreeing with the system, which was about to be put into place before The Blight. Bradley apologizes and says that she doesn't have to go back, and Marquessa agrees, stating that she wants to be a part of the frigate, and asks where she is staying. Bradley calls in Landon, who shows her a tour of the frigate while Doctor York beckons Bradley over to one of the injured royals. Bradley notices a strange lifeform on the royal's wound and pulls it off while Doctor York gets a nearby jar to put it in. The two then examine the entity as Bradley asks what it is, and Doctor York says that certain Blight spores are capable of growing on their own by entering living beings and feasting on their blood, organs and energy. Doctor York states that the lifeforms are called "infiltrators" because they invade living bodies without detection. These infiltrators then start to grow until they are large enough to begin spreading. Bradley asks if the royal will survive, and York confirms, adding that although the spore was inside the royal for a while, he will make it.
As Bradley exits the infirmary, he plots a course to Earth. When he arrives, he meets with the councilors and recalls his entire story, while also adding York's infiltrator discovery. The councilors become very concerned and ask if Earth could be in jeopardy, and Bradley simply states that he doesn't know, which puts the councilors on edge even more. Later on, Earth's atmospheric shields are activated and a Level Four emergency preparedness notification is advertised on the planet as Bradley returns to the Prominence. On board, Bradley visits Marquessa, who has made use of the ship's megaquarium. Bradley asks if there are any problems with the ship, and Marquessa disagrees; stating that the ship's members are kind and that the weapons and safety measures are all impressive. Bradley then asks how The Blight could have located Mandaleia, and Marquessa simply states that she doesn't know, but that she did remember seeing an Andromedan man attacking the royal guards and guiding The Blight to the councilors. Marquessa then goes on to speculate that this Andromedan might have lead The Blight to Mandaleia, and Bradley leaves, saying he'll be back. The screen then goes to white and flashes forward three months into the future again and begins where the last flashback ended. Bradley stands back up after examining the dead Blight creature and ventures further into the ruined city while encountering more Blight infected individuals before reaching a collapsed building that has a view of the entire half of the city ahead of him. Bradley climbs the building and sees a desolate vista with smoke rising out of buildings and indistinct roars coming from Blight infected. Bradley then hears a gunshot and turns to see a Blight infected drop to his feet. Bradley then looks up and becomes dismayed as he says "no, it can't be...you're dead!" as the screen fades to white again and flashes back three months beforehand.
Bradley sits in his room, staring at a picture of his girlfriend while drinking liquor. Eddie then buzzes in on Bradley's intercom saying that Aaron is on the line. Aaron then comes over the intercom, asking how Bradley is feeling. Bradley states that he has felt better and asks Aaron why he called. Aaron states that the planet Decimus in the Triangulum Galaxy has been invaded by forces that resemble the attackers of the Mandaleia. Bradley immediately takes a swig of his liquor before calling the team to the hangar where they take off.
After arriving in the proximity of Decimus, the team notices that a large battle is taking place above the planet's orbit. While it is possible to reach Decimus's surface, there will need to be some covering fire due to cruisers that are preparing to fire on the ship. Landon proposes that he and Bradley go to Decimus while the others stay and cause a distraction. Marquessa objects to this however, stating that she, Eddie and Bradley are the only ones who can go, with a conflict at hand, Bradley is forced to choose who to take with him on the journey to Decimus. After choosing his partners, Bradley and the two are flown through a barrage of lasers and cannon slugs as the team just barely makes it to the planet's surface.
It is reported that the game will feature a multiplayer mode. There have been five modes revealed so far:
- Capture The Flag
The game's multiplayer will reportedly feature an XP System that will lead to the player unlocking more weapons and skills as well as customizable options.
Fourteen trophies have been announced so far:
- Axis Completionist - Earn all the trophies in Axis.
- Discovery - Navigate through the ruined city.
- Into Thin Air - Investigate the Omicron Space Station.
- Close Encounter - Uncover a sinister truth.
- Fortification - Defend Mandaleia from The Blight.
- Helping Hand - Choose to help Marquessa save the councilors.
- Ditched - Choose to leave the councilors behind.
- Pessimist - Choose to tell the truth during the council meeting.
- Optimist - Choose to lie to the councilors.
- Wiped Out - Complete your first match of Eradication.
- Best Defense Is a Good Offense - Complete your first match of Escort.
- Widespread - Complete your first match of Pandemic.
- I'd Cap That - Complete your first match of Capture The Flag.
- Landlord - Complete your first match of Conquest.
- There will be multiple endings to the game based on the player's actions and decisions.
- Bradley will gain unique powers such as the ability to absorb energy and can use his powers against enemies.
- Weapons will be customizable and will have 500 total weapon mods and add-ons.
- Other than The Blight, enemies known as "Loyalists", other races who have accepted The Blight's plans in fear for their freedom and lives, will be encountered. They do not have super-powers of any kind since they are not posessed by The Blight and have various weapons such as rifles or shotguns.
- The player will be able to visit Earth, Mars, Callisto, Pluto, a base located on one of Saturn's A-rings, the Syrian homeworld Mandaleia and Venus.
The music of Axis is reported to be composed by legendary music-composers James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. Sixteen titles of the soundtrack have been revealed so far:
- The Ruins (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Omicron Space Station (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
- Gule (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
- Details (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Mandaleia (Composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard)
- Mandaleia Battle Theme (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
- Marquessa (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Infiltrators (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- The Council (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Marquessa's New Home (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Armageddon On The Horizon (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
- Liquor and News (Composed by James Newton Howard)
- Arrival at Decimus (Composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard)
- Decimus Battle Theme (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
- Zanek Zaraiah (Composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard)
- The Escape (Composed by Hans Zimmer)
The game will also feature songs from bands in either commercials or trailers.
- Rage Against The Machine - "Bulls On Parade" (Multiplayer Trailer)
- Racer X - "Technical Difficulties" (Landon Page Trailer)
- Black Tide - "Shockwave" (Thege Rekolo Trailer)