The creators of Shady Part of Me return with MIO: Memories in Orbit, a hypnotic and captivating metroidvania

Douze Dixièmes and Focus Entertainment are back with a new video game, MIO: Memories in Orbit, currently in development and slated for release in 2025.

MIO: Memories in Orbit

MIO: Memories in Orbit made its first appearance in June 2024 during the Nintendo Direct presentation and on July 3rd it also appeared on social media, such as X.

With Shady Part of Me, Douze Dixièmes’ first title, we were struck by love at first sight and immediately fell madly in love. Shady Part of Me is an original video game, impeccably crafted, with stunning visuals and music, but above all, a deep, at times melancholic, and challenging story, filled with light and shadows, both metaphorically and literally.

When we interviewed Sarah Hourcade, co-founder and executive producer of Douze Dixièmes, it was September 2023, and the conversation ended with these words:

“We are currently working on our next title. It will be very different from Shady Part of Me. I hope you will like it too!”

The French studio founded in 2017 by seven partners who had known each other for a long time had never worked in the video game industry before, but they were determined to create something meaningful, and they succeeded perfectly. With these premises, MIO: Memories in Orbit is sure to be another excellent and significant product.

So, let’s delve into this new adventure and evaluate together how this new title presents itself and whether these differences from Shady Part of Me are already evident from the first information we have.

A World in Ruin

The premise seems very similar to the title I recently covered, Helix: Descent N Ascent, where the story is set in a lost and dystopian world, requiring us to explore the past. It also reminds me of Life of Delta, where the setting and protagonist are very similar.

However, Douze Dixièmes has amply demonstrated how original and unconventional they can be, even when dealing with familiar themes, thanks to their unique and deeply artistic way of presenting a story. Nicolas Gueguen‘s stunning, evocative music, full of personality, enhances this, along with the excellent work of the graphic team, including 3D animator Nicolas Systermans. We don’t yet know if Gueguen will create the music, but from the trailer alone, we can already observe a high level of quality and composition.. The graphic style, reminiscent of Shady Part of Me, with its 2.5D elements, hand-drawn designs, and watercolor-painted scenes, appears even more refined and defined, original but perfect for a metroidvania.

MIO: Memories in Orbit is teeming with mysteries and artistic curiosities drawn from comics, paintings, and anime, accompanied by a soundtrack born from the intertwining of “lo-fi” rhythms and choral melodies.

But let’s get back to MIO: Memories in Orbit and its story.

We take on the role of MIO, a robot with incredible abilities. Agile, elegant, and rather original in appearance, MIO awakens aboard the Vessel, a spaceship drifting aimlessly through space.

The Vessel is a massive technological ark, whose original purpose is unknown, now lying in ruins, overrun by vegetation and hostile machines. This dereliction arose following the malfunction of the Pearls, the AI caretakers of the Vessel. No one knows why they stopped functioning, but the spaceship, forgotten by all, is about to come to a halt.

MIO must venture into the bowels of the Vessel to relive the memories stored within and uncover the truth about its past and destiny. To reveal the past and the dark secrets of the ark, MIO must interact with the environment, find hidden passages, and repair damaged robots, obtaining valuable bonuses.

A Gameplay Very Different from Shady Part of Me

If Shady Part of Me was a simple adventure puzzle game, with a fairly original and fun gameplay consisting of alternating 2D and 3D parts, MIO: Memories in Orbit presents us with a metroidvania, rich in elements, with a much more complex and abundant gameplay.

It seems structured like a classic metroidvania, where we will have to explore and gradually unlock the passages of the Vessel, which, besides being an enormous maze, is a true living organism, with various ecosystems, bestiaries, and architectures.

Like a classic metroidvania, we will need to unlock MIO’s various abilities, such as the Hook, Glide and Climb power, to progress. Additionally, we will need to enhance these abilities, which we can also customize by recovering various components. Using Modifiers, we will refine our combat skills, and thanks to the customization in MIO’s transformation, we will have the chance to adapt it to our play style. For example, we can use the Hook as a deadly lasso or to dodge enemy attacks, and we can sacrifice the shield to increase damage.

We will face over 30 enemy units, with 15 boss guardians, such as the relentless Mosquito or the menacing Scarecrow, each characterized by distinct strategies and combat styles.

The powers at our disposal will help us adapt to each challenge. We can use the Hook to dodge attacks, hurl orbs at high speed, and create decoy clones to catch enemies off guard.

Conclusions

Once again, a dystopian world, once again a robot as the protagonist, and once again the theme of memory. The gaming world, as well as the audiovisual world, seems to be particularly focusing on these themes and settings, which the audience, including myself, highly appreciates.

They contain all the allure of the mystery of a difficult future, where survival will bring new perspectives, teaching us the value of the past, nostalgia, and the importance of preserving memories and recollections, all made possible by the existence of increasingly advanced artificial intelligences.

As already mentioned, Douze Dixièmes and Focus Entertainment will release MIO: Memories in Orbit in 2025, making it available for PC and consoles (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch).

It seems like a very ambitious project, but we have no doubts about the quality of the final result, which is already perfectly evident, and we can’t wait to experience it firsthand.

If you want to put on wishlist MIO: Memories in Orbit on Steam.

I'm an Italian artist who came late to the gaming world but fell in love with it right away. I'm not the best gamer, and I choose titles that appeal to my personal preferences, but I can appreciate the graphics content and artistic solutions above all, even as I learn about all the fascinating game development features.