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As you can see in the trailer, the game unabashedly gets its main inspiration from the Metroid series. The game's creator is Tom Happ, whose day job is an engineer at Petroglyph Games in Las Vegas. Other than Metroid, he mentions the game also takes inspiration from other old school 8-bit titles such as Blaster Master, Contra, Bionic Commando, Rygar, and Cave Story.
You play as a character named Trace (no relation to the Hunter) who wakes up in a strange, ancient but high-tech world without any knowledge of why or how he got there. Sounds like a good enough backstory to me! The game promises "about 8 hours of play time (depending on exploration), over 60 items and powerups, over 20 upgradeable weapons, classic 2D graphics, gripping sci-fi storyline, and a pulsing sci-fi soundtrack." Check out this awesome trailer!
Axiom Verge is due to be released on both the PC and XBLA platforms, with no current release date in sight other than 2013. Being the sole developer and producer, Tom makes it clear that he's doing this in his spare time without any time restrictions.
For screenshots, devblog and more, visit the Axiom Verge official website.
Tom is also known for creating Orn, a freeware, Metroid 1 clone (based on Brinstar) that works with a GameBoy Advance emulator.