Last week, Rezzed happened. I was there. There were of course, plenty of games on show, but I’ve just picked out a few that interested me to tell you folks about. So without further ado….
Beatbuddy places you in the role of a blue blobby little cartoon fellow that you must guide through the game’s aquatic vistas. In that sense, the game is reminiscent of the underwater levels in Rayman Origins. The twist with Beatbuddy, however, is the vital connection between gameplay and music.
Playing through the demo, it quickly becomes apparent that Beatbuddy’s music is physically reflected in the level. At times, you must alter the environment, and by proxy the music, in order to progress, while at others, the game takes on a rhythm action element, forcing you to move in time with the music to overcome obstacles.
Beatbuddy undoubtedly has some interesting ideas, and the little I got to play at Rezzed hinted that these ideas will be implemented well in the coming release. Given that the game depends so heavily on the relationship to its music, Beatbuddy will need a killer soundtrack. Thankfully, the team have Austin Wintroy of Journey fame on board, so that gives me high hopes.
Hotline Miami 2
Looks the same, sounds the same, plays the same. For many other games, that would be a criticism, but in the case of Hotline Miami 2, that can only be a good thing. Sitting down to play through a few of the levels on show at Rezzed felt instantly familiar – a pulsating electronic soundtrack, fast paced brutal chaos and lots of quick restarts were all in evidence.
Where Hotline Miami 2 seems to differ to its predecessor is in its narrative. In the demo on show, you control fans of the original Hotline Miami who are making a film about the events of the first game. The extent to which the action which takes place on screen is real or not isn’t entirely clear, and I’m sure that will be played to effect in what is likely to be a twisted meta-commentary on the first game and its success.
Slightly problematic was the inclusion of a rape scene in the game (although it must be said that this is a simulated rape within the context of the game’s characters making a film) which was not really appropriate on a show floor with children present. Indeed, as Martin over at Oh No! Videogames! has pointed out, one can’t help but question whether the developers may have deliberately included the scene simply as a means to garner attention for the game through shock value, which would be disappointing to say the least. However, we are yet to see how the scene is contextualised in the full game, so I’ll hold off on judgement until I get my hands on the game proper.
Ether One is a game I’ve had my eye on for a while. It’s a first-person puzzle exploration game in which you play the role of a character sent in to the minds of mentally ill patients in order to reconstruct their memories. We know little more about the narrative and the demo at Rezzed did little to help that. Nevertheless, it’s certainly an interesting conceit and the game has a sense of mystery which is instantly appealing.
Playing through Ether One, it’s clear that the game is a calm and contemplative affair. Progress is made through completing puzzles, the solution to which the player must work out by exploring the game’s environments and gleaming bits of information from the objects to be found there.
This game is looking intelligent, atmospheric and intriguing. Don’t forget it, or I will have to come into your mind and reconstruct you memory like in the game, and you don’t want me doing that because I’m very clumsy.
Revenge of the Sunfish 2
I don’t know if I’ll like this game when it’s released. In fact, I’m not sure I know what it is, and I definitely don’t know how to describe it. Fellow Citizen Gamer Joe Barron descried the games lo-fi visuals as looking as if they’ve been drawn in MS Paint and that’s a good a starting point as any.
Revenge of the Sunfish 2 presents the player with a seemingly endless cycle of surreal mini-games. Success isn’t necessarily a criteria for moving to the next game, although, in all honesty, often I wasn’t sure what success was when playing this game.
Look, just have a gander at the mental geocities lookalike webpage for the game. That’ll give you a sense of the tone.
I’m a little sceptical about how much fun this game will be in the long run, but I enjoyed being confused by it and I enjoyed watching other people being confused by it. If you want to be confused, you might like it.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted
I didn’t actually get to go hands on with this one, partly because this was the most popular game at the show, and that in itself tells you all you need to know.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted places the player on a procedurally generated island where they will be hunted by a gradually growing minagarie of tweed clad robot as they stealthily make their way around the island scrounging for ammo, food and other supplies.
In case you’ve not already noticed, the game aims for a humorous English tone. I wouldn’t let that levity lead you into a false sense of security though. This game is meant to be a hardcore experience that will challenge the player and the procedurally generated the game means that you will be able to subject yourself to this challenge over and over again.
Game, you are being hunted… You know, for my collection…because you look quite good.