If we did a news post for every game that was announced in the run-up to and midst of next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, we’d not have time to write anything else. But when an announcement involves both Tetsuya Miziguchi (creator of the amazing Lumines and Rez Infinite) and the inescapable appeal of Tetris (quite possibly one of the most important video games of all time), our attention immediately perks up.
Thus we direct your attention to The Tetris Effect, which was revealed via an extremely trippy trailer launched on a PlayStation livestream this morning. The game is named after the well-known (and lightly studied) phenomenon where people report “seeing” Tetris blocks falling through their vision hours after a play session.
“The idea behind Tetris Effect, the game, is to amplify and enhance that same magical feeling where you just can’t get it out of your head, and not just the falling shapes, but all the visuals, the sounds, the music — everything!” Miziguchi writes on the PlayStation blog. That means that “background elements, audio, special effects—everything, down to the Tetris pieces themselves, pulse, dance, shimmer, make music, explode, etc. in perfect sync with how you’re playing.”
That’s sure to be an exciting concept for anyone who has seen the similar music-synced pulsing visuals in Lumines and Rez Infinite. The Tetris Effect trailer shows evocative imagery ranging from fireworks and abstract triangular pyramid patterns to mechanical windmills, colliding planetoids, and translucent, floating squid-like beings, which will run across 30 different themed stages. It reminds us a bit of the creepy, unrelated circus-themed background images in 1991’s Super Tetris, only not creepy or circus-themed, and also 3D animated in time with synth-heavy music. OK, maybe it’s not so similar after all…
Gameplay details are still a little light at the moment, but a brief portion of the trailer shows Tetris pieces moving into place and slamming down onto the playing field in mesmerizing time with the beat (see the timestamp at 2:10 in the trailer). Miziguchi also writes about a new “Zone” mechanic that will let players stop time or clear up to 12 lines in a single move, apparently.
And press materials promise “a player grading and leveling system as well as variable difficulty to encourage and reward replayability.” That brings to mind the grading system and high-level challenges found in the Tetris: The Grand Master series—and if you haven’t seen those games played at an expert level, do yourself a favor and check it out.
We’ve been promised hands-on time with The Tetris Effect at E3 next week, ahead of a fall launch for PS4 and PlayStation VR (no other platforms are mentioned in press materials, but neither is the Enhance Games-published title being called a “PlayStation exclusive”). PS4 Pro owners are also promised 4K, 60fps visuals, which were also shown off to great effect in Miziguchi’s Rez Infinite.
Suffice it to say, this one has risen to the top of our list of games to watch out for at E3.