Flashback 2, the took-your-time-getting-here sequel to the classic '90s platformer Flashback, has a sweet new trailer and, finally, a proper release date: Publisher Microids announced today that after more than 30 years of waiting, fans will finally get their follow-up on November 16.
Flashback is a sidescrolling platformer that tells the tale of Conrad B. Hart, an agent of some unknown intelligence agency who discovers that human society is being infiltrated by shapeshifting aliens known as Morphs. He's captured by the Morphs, who wipe his memory, but manages to escape and discover a message he left to himself that sends him to the city of New Washington. Much running around and violence ensues, and Conrad eventually finds himself on the aliens' homeworld, which, as a good and dutiful human, he blows up.
One of the more unusual things about Flashback is its connection to the groundbreaking platformer Another World (released in North America as Out of This World), which came out the year prior. There actually was no connection between them, aside from the fact that they came from the same studio (Delphine) and shared some superficial visual similarities, but there was a sort of implied sequel-prequel relationship between them back in the day, and that hazy, vague link between them has persisted. Publisher Microids capitalized on that relationship a few years ago by releasing them together in a console-exclusive bundle a few years ago.
Despite the title and its billing as a sequel, Flashback 2 really looks to me like more of a reboot or re-imagining of the original game. Once again, it follows Hart as he goes in search of his old friend Ian, who has gone missing in the city of New Washington amidst an invasion by the shapeshifting Morphs. Further confusing the issue is that Flashback already had a sequel, the 1995 3D action game Fade to Black, which sees Conrad resuming his battle against the Morphs, this time on Earth. Fortunately, his victory only results in the destruction of Easter Island, rather than the whole damn world.
It sounds like old-time fans eager for a whole new adventure may be disappointed, but in spite of the obvious similarities between the two games, a Microids representative told PC Gamer that Flashback 2 is "the proper sequel to the game Flashback."
"It’s like Fade to Black never existed (or happens after actually)," the rep said. "Flashback 2 has its own story."
Flashback 2 has obviously come a long way technologically—New Washington looks a lot more three-dimensional than it did back in the day— and we'll find out how closely it hews to the original soon enough. Flashback 2 is available for wishlisting now on Steam and the Epic Games Store.