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Dyad Preview (PSN)

June 9, 2012 Written by Dan Oravasaari

Most games making a buzz in the PlayStation community are being developed by massive studios like Naughty Dog or Guerrilla Games, not any singular person. But in the case of Dyad, it’s brainchild of just one man, Shawn McGrath. Being developed by a single man (with a little help from his friends), Dyad is not meant to take on companies with hundreds of employees, but is instead a true testament that you do not need to have millions of dollars in bankroll to create an amazing, memorable experience.

Dyad is a “tunnel racing puzzle shooting” PSN game that uses a number of new concepts to build upon a classic genre. The basic premise of the game revolves around momentum, by using the action button you are able to pull yourself from one enemy to the next as they file down the screen. This concept grows in complexity throughout its 26 levels from using combos to fill up a special meter, to being forced to rely on sound to differentiate icons on the screen.

(yes, this is a screen shot of one of the last levels)

Such complex utilization of color and sound seems almost impractical, as the main theme behind Dyad is the strict reliance on keeping things in pairs. Dyad being a term that means pair, as such things like colors, directions, and buttons are all limited to being paired. As only 2 colors are being used for onscreen objects, your movement is restricted to left and right, and the game only utilizes 2 buttons. Yet, even though Dyad seems to limit itself, it still reaches beyond practicality for its end-game. Which, oddly enough, becomes one of its strongest features; as it is one of the few games that understands that simple tasks can become challenging, without overwhelming the player in convoluted control schemes.

Dyad, at heart is a racing game that forgoes simple genre-defining mainstays and replaces them with unique fundamentals that give the player a truly unique experience. On top of the 26 levels plus one final level, Dyad, will feature a trophy mode and a remix mode. Trophy mode allows the player to go through all the standard levels trying complete specific challenges for trophies. While the Remix mode, is a feature that once unlocked will allow the player full control over music, graphics, and game settings. Even without these features, Dyad is an experience that exists solely on its base mechanics, having these options on top just serve as a way to extend replay value.

With the final build shown at E3 2012, Dyad will have plenty of time to polish any issues that arise before its summer release date. Stay tuned to PSLS, as we will bring you a full review of the game as summer gets closer.