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How Bounty Star Combines Harvest Moon, Armored Core, and Devil May Cry for Something New – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

How Bounty Star Combines Harvest Moon, Armored Core, and Devil May Cry for Something New



Annapurna Interactive unveiled a slew of exciting new projects at its annual digital showcase, shedding light on the mech combat-meets-farming and base-building simulation game known as Bounty Star. This upcoming indie title not only offers thrilling gameplay but also delves into the profound tale of personal redemption and becoming a force for good in a chaotic world. As players assume the role of Clem, a skilled fighter and seasoned veteran in a lawless future American Southwest, they embark on a journey as bounty hunters. Game Rant recently had the opportunity to speak with Ben Ruiz, the founder of Dinogod, the developer behind Bounty Star. Ruiz shared insights into the game’s influences, drawing from classical Western narratives and themes of growth and hope that lie at the core of the experience.

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Bounty Star combines the adrenaline-fueled mech combat seen in games like Armored Core and Mech Assault with the charming farming simulation reminiscent of Harvest Moon. Ruiz openly acknowledges these influences but also hinted at a surprising element that could challenge gamers’ preconceived notions. He stated, “I would say the main influences are Harvest Moon, classic Armored Core, and Devil May Cry. But truth be told, everything I do, even the most mundane activities like eating, speaking, and cleaning my house, is inspired by Devil May Cry—haha!”

If the fusion of Harvest Moon and Armored Core wasn’t intriguing enough, the game draws inspiration from the stylish character action series, Devil May Cry. While Ruiz remained tight-lipped about how these influences would manifest, his genuine affection for the series suggests that they will be skillfully woven into the fabric of Bounty Star. When it comes to the design of the mechs, Ruiz revealed that he aimed to create weapons that are versatile and effective in any situation. This means that players who enjoy specific weapon configurations can fully enjoy themselves without worrying about optimization or min-maxing.

Set in a future world recovering from apocalyptic events, the protagonist of Bounty Star, Clementine McKinney, is an ex-soldier seeking solace and a fresh start. Taking over a pre-apocalyptic gas station, she gradually rebuilds it while confronting her haunted past. Healing and recovery amidst this wild west backdrop serve as major themes in Bounty Star. Ruiz affirmed, “Absolutely. The classic western narrative revolves around the struggle between those who wield their guns for good and those who do not. Clem’s journey of healing is directly tied to how she uses her gun to impact the world.”

Not all forms of healing are peaceful, and overcoming a dark past can be a traumatic process. These seemingly contradictory truths are central themes in classic Western films, TV shows, books, and games, where former soldiers attempting to embrace a peaceful life are haunted by their past. Red Dead Redemption’s John Marston embarks on a path of bloody vengeance against his former comrades as part of his path to redemption. Bounty Star aims to tackle this paradox head-on, drawing inspiration from these narrative patterns. Dinogod’s keen understanding of these themes inspires confidence that players will experience an action-packed and emotionally cathartic story.

While Rockstar’s Red Dead franchise often concludes with soul-crushing endings, Bounty Star aims to offer a more optimistic outlook. Although the subtitle “The Morose Tale of Graveyard Clem” suggests a tragic narrative, Ruiz believes that the game as a whole is not a tragedy. Instead, it strikes a balance between Clem’s tragic backstory and an overall tone that leans towards progress. Players seeking a blend of character growth, explosive mech combat reminiscent of Armored Core, and the serene homesteading found in Harvest Moon should keep an eye out for Bounty Star when it launches in early 2024 on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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Annapurna Interactive pulled back the curtain on a number of exciting new projects at its annual digital showcase, including the mech combat-meets-farming and base-building sim, Bounty Star. The forthcoming indie title also has a serious story to tell about reconciling with one’s past and growing as a force of good in the world. Players inhabit the role of Clem, a capable fighter and veteran soldier who becomes a bounty hunter in the lawless far future of the American Southwest.



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Game Rant recently spoke to Ben Ruiz, the founder of developer Dinogod. Ruiz discussed his various influences, classical Western narratives, and the themes of growth and hope at the core of Bounty Star.

RELATED: Everything Revealed at Annapurna Interactive’s Digital Showcase 2023



Mechs and Farming a la Devil May Cry

From the trailer, it is apparent that fans of mech combat games like Armored Core and Mech Assault will be well-taken care of with Bounty Star’s fast and brutal mech combat. And mech fans who also have a soft spot for Harvest Moon-like farming sims will also find a lot to love. Ruiz wears these influences on his sleeves, but he also mentioned a third secret spice that could turn gamers’ expectations on their heads:

“I would say the main influences are Harvest Moonclassic Armored Coreand Devil May Cry. But in all fairness, everything I ever do, including mundane things like eat, and speak, and clean my house is inspired by Devil May Cryhaha!”

If Harvest Moon by way of Armored Core wasn’t intriguing enough, the game is also informed by the ever-stylish character action series, Devil May Cry. Ruiz was coy about how these influences might manifest, but given his professed love for the series, they are likely to ring through and through. When it came to specific mech builds, Ruiz revealed that he designed weapons “to be solid in a vacuum,” so players who love specific weapon configurations will be able to enjoy themselves without fearing the need to optimize or min-maxing their load-out.

Future Setting, Classic Narrative

Bounty Star Homestead copy

The protagonist of Bounty StarClementine McKinney, is an old soldier with a new lease on life. She has taken over a pre-apocalyptic gas station, which she steadily rehabilitates as she works through the demons of her past, amid a world that is also recuperating from apocalyptic events. Healing and recovery amid this sort of wild west is a major theme in Bounty Star:

“Absolutely it is. The classic western narrative is about the struggle between those who use their guns for good and those that do not. Clem’s healing has everything to do with how she uses her gun to affect the world.”

Not all forms of healing are peaceful, and recovering from a dark past can be traumatic. Both of these seemingly paradoxical truths are major themes in classic Western films, television, books, and games, where former soldiers who try to take up a life of peace are pursued by living ghosts from their former lives. John Marston’s atonement in the original Red Dead Redemption begins by setting him on a path of bloody vengeance against his former compatriots, and this is but one of many examples that approach this paradox that Bounty Startoo, aims to tackle.

Ruiz’s sense of these narrative patterns inspires confidence in Dinogod’s ability to give players a story that is not only action-packed but meaningfully cathartic. While Rockstar’s Red Dead franchise often leads to soul-crushing conclusions, Bounty Star has its sights set on brighter tomorrows.

Tragic, But Not A Tragedy

Bounty Star Combat copy

Even though Bounty Star‘s subtitle is “The Morose Tale of Graveyard Clem,” Ruiz doesn’t believe the game itself is a tragedy. While there are tragic elements to Clem’s character, the general tone of the game is bent toward progress. Just as the title’s frenetic mech vs. mech combat is accented by relaxed elements of farming and base building, Clem’s tragic backstory may serve as a counterweight to the game’s otherwise optimistic tone.

Players looking for a mix of cathartic character growth, explosive mech combat informed by Armored Coreand the relaxing homesteading of Harvest Moon will want to keep an eye out for Bounty Star when it arrives next year.

Bounty Star is expected to launch in early 2024, for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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