Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PAX East 2014: Hack 'n' Slash (Double Fine)

Spring has arrived, and with that, another PAX East has sprung up, inviting gamers and game developers from all over the world to Boston, all to show upcoming games and revel in what the industry has in store.  We at Third Rate Minion were there, and we got to try out a sampling of what was there on the showfloor!




Just outside of the Indie Megabooth, both Capy and Double Fine shared a booth dedicated to upcoming games from each company.  One of those games was a Zelda-like adventure title with a programming twist: Hack 'n' Slash.  We have some gameplay footage for you all, and we also have some brief impressions on the experience.

Hack 'n' Slash is one of a number of projects created by Double Fine during a round of Amnesia Fortnight, a two-week period during which multiple teams work together to create new projects for development in the future.  While Hack 'n' Slash was not the top selected game from its respective Amnesia Fortnight, the game is still a fun and unique take on the typical overhead action adventure title, and so the team is bringing it out in full-force via Early Access.

In Hack 'n' Slash, players assume the role of a young hero who, after stumbling upon a broken sword, finds the ability to hack into particular objects, changing the fabric of the world.  For example, by stabbing a doorway, traits for the door appear, and the player can modify the locked status from TRUE to FALSE, allowing for easy opening.  What could not be immediately destroyed by the hacking blade could likely be modified by it.  Other items that could be changed included bushes (changing their contents and whether they were on fire) and rocks (how many pushes can be made as well as how big the pushes are).  These changes are necessary to solve particular puzzles in the world.

Unfortunately, I am not that great at programming nor Zelda puzzles and was not able to progress very far from the early demo. Either way, I did find it to be a neat idea with a fun artstyle.  The game has a look which seems comparable to old Saturday morning cartoons, fitting of the humor displayed in each of the game's conversations.  Meanwhile, the demo itself is exceptionally early, so it was fairly rough in its presentation and character movement.  Honestly, it will take further development to find out whether the game will be great or merely decent, but at the very least, it has great potential!  I can't wait to see what crazy puzzles the team at Double Fine concoct for this game later on!

You can try an Early Access version of the game now, so check it out here.

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