It’s no secret that Malaysians are very enthusiastic when it comes to seeing their country appearing or even being mentioned in some way or form in the media. Be it positive or negative, you’re sure to find Malaysians sounding off on social media about shows or games that namedrop the land of the Jalur Gemilang on social media. Malaysia is not unknown by any means, but when you’re situated between the tourist paradise that is Thailand, and the pinnacle of modern Asia that is Singapore, it’s hard not to go a little unseen.
So, whenever Malaysia is involved in something, you bet there’ll be hype surrounding it. And when Malaysia produces something of top quality? Talk of the town.
With that said, there’s a certain growing form of media that’s been booming in the country in the last few years… video games! It was reported that Malaysian gamers have spent over US$673 million on video games alone in 2019, which illustrates the hold this industry has on Malaysia and its people.
And what’s more exciting is the wave of new, locally produced games that have gone to show that the Harimau Malaya might level nicely amongst international games.
Read on to find out more about these upcoming/newly released games and embrace the spirit of Malaysia Day while you’re at it!
No Straight Roads
An action adventure game that allows for local co-op with cool character designs wrapped up in unique and catchy original music? Say it ain’t so! No Straight Roads was developed by independent studio Metronomik over the course of three years and was released worldwide on August 25, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. On top of the features mentioned though, the game is steeped in so many aspects of Malaysian culture! From the generous use of Bahasa Rojak to the involvement of Malaysian voice actors, there will be so many familiar things for you to bask in when playing No Straight Roads!
Short Creepy Tales: 7PM
It’s amazing how Cellar Vault Games can make a Paper Mario-esque design work so well with a cool and dark horror story! Short Creepy Tales was released for the PC on Steam on September 2, 2020, as the first official installment of a horror anthology. It’s a point-and-click adventure that follows three schoolchildren and the nightmares that ensue when a new neighbour moves into their apartment complex. Instead of taking away from it, the papercraft style adds a unique touch to the game that ties it all together. So, if this is only the first game, then there’s more to enjoy soon!
After winning four out of the ten awards at last year’s SEA Game Awards, Gigabash is definitely making it big. And quite literally, too! It’s a four-player arena monster brawler that features a diverse choice of giant monsters to fight your friends with. Developed by Passion Republic Games, each monster has its unique fighting styles and the surrounding battle arena is always a fun, ever-destroyable environment that bends to the will of your fight. Gigabash is planned to be released in 2021 with confirmed PlayStation 4 and PC versions at the moment, so look forward to that!
Reaching way past their initial Kickstarter goal and getting a deal with 505 Games for distribution was definitely the right step for this game! Re:Legend is a creature-raising focused JRPG with multiplayer features and more abilities like farming, fishing, crafting, and village building. It’s being developed by Magnus Games as we speak and with what’s been promised, it’ll definitely be worth the wait. Despite not having a set release date, it will be released on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch when it does. However, the game is available in its early access form through Steam (just expect it to be buggy for the moment)!
Of course, the local video game industry doesn’t just end with Malaysians making games.
In the new battle royale Sci-Fi game Hyper Scape, one of the playable characters is 100% Malaysian. In her character profile, it’s stated that Noor Casulink (real name Noor Azimah binti Yusof) is from Pekan, Pahang. Local industry leaders even think her presence in the Ubisoft game is a win for diversity!
Malaysian studios also help produce triple-A games, which can be said has been the stronghold for game development in the country. A prime example is that of Lemon Sky Studios and Passion Republic, who helped produce assets for Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us 2, and Uncharted 4, respectively.