In: Articles by Nick "Alsop Live" Dinicola30 Apr 2012
It’s a two-player, mano-a-mano, fight to the death with a variety of weapons. Characters jump and run like action heroes, holding the guns forward while they run, diving when they jump, and these moves give combat a wonderful visual flair.
The 2.5D environment feels much bigger than it really is thanks to the great level design. The levels themselves are just an amalgamation of rooms that make for good action fights: Long hallways, elevators, a kitchen, a bar, a subway — stuff that doesn’t make sense when together except in the context of an action movie. There are two central buildings with multiple stories and an open space between them. The map is just as tall as it is wide. Despite all this room, you’ll rarely go more than a minute without meeting your opponent because the level draws you towards certain choke points. You can only go up stories at certain points: The elevators and one area with a glass ceiling. This means you’ll naturally run across your opponent while just moving about.
The weapons are incredibly varied. You start with a handgun, shotgun, and a rifle, but scattered around are a rocket launcher, a heavy machine gun, many other machine guns, and also items like pots, pans, whiskey bottles, knives, fire extinguishers, pool cues, and the like. In the final game you’ll be able to customize the weapons on each level, so those small items aren’t just there as a joke. But your weapon of choice doesn’t guarantee victory. It’s very easy to die, so if a guy with a pistol gets the jump on a guy with a rocket launcher, it’s a no-contest win for the former.
Matches restart almost instantly, Super Meat Boy–style, so it’s easy to just keep playing. Over and over again. In fact, Edie and I only stopped because we were kicked off so others could get a chance to play.
While the demo is just two players, the final game will support a total of eight at once. But the best upcoming feature is a “cheesy one liner” mechanic, that rewards you for saying a cheesy one liner (yes, there will be a button for that) before killing a guy.
I had no idea this game existed before coming to PAX. And if it’s this good this early, it’ll be a must-buy when it comes out.