Clawing weird creatures to death with my purple hands in Exodemon...
'Whoooaaaaoooowwww' was my immediate reaction upon booting up Kuupu's Exodemon for the first time; the crusty depths of my soul giggled with delight at how similar it was visually to an old favourite of mine, Bungie's Marathon series. The same blocky graphics, bizzarre alien monsters and sci-fi surroundings transported me back to a simpler time of FPS gaming.
Thankfully, this time I wasn't watching my dad play while I fearfully peeked over his shoulder.
Exodemon puts you in the role of a scientist who's been somehow infected by demonic forces, resulting in the subsequent possession of two purple clawed hands instead, well, the regular ones (is it wrong of me to assume this scientist had 'normal' hands to begin with - can't purple alien scientists also become possessed by aggravated demonic forces? Stop me if I'm over-analysing this.). Really, the game doesn't need any more explanation than this as you rampage around with your purple hands, but I'd be interested to see if Kuupu adds any more backstory.
Visually, Exodemon delights with its old school approach to graphics and, indeed, level design. Much like early shooters such as Quake, beautiful sprites appear to be 2D in a 3D first person environment, which makes me feel like I'm playing in the 90s again. Enemies are colourful enough to easily stand out from the muted tones of crates and walls as they beam into existence. The surrounding environs feel enchantingly old fashioned - there are even moving platforms to jump across, and panels to open doors you've already gone past! [Inner child: heeeheeeeheee!]
|Eat energy bolts, weird alien scum!|
For those who're thinking I've just been suckered in by rampant nostalgia, Exodemon is actually rather nice to play as a shooter regardless. Gameplay feels balanced, as the player constantly chooses whether to get in close with a one-hit-kill claw swipe or, as the need arises, shoot blazing energy bolts from the right hand to take out troublesome sharpshooters. The foe might not be clever, but the various enemy types make it a challenge to stay on top, and I died on several occasions by not paying enough attention.
|Yeah these get annoying to deal with very quickly...|
Perhaps one of the most intuitive things Kuupu has done is to place the health bar and ammo counters actually on the hands themselves - which constantly curl and uncurl in a sinister manner, by the way - which does wonders for the level of immersion. By modernising UI in this manner, instead of having annoying top of screen health bars, Kuupu have made sure Exodemon isn't just another old school wannabe.
I don't think there's any point in deliberately trying to find fault with this game for the sake of a 'review', especially as it's in such an early stage; I certainly couldn't find anything particularly displeasing.
|Oooo so pretty!|
I really hope Exodemon continues to be a proud descendant of the great FPS titans, and I can't wait to play more of it.
Not whilst hiding behind anything, I might add. Well, maybe just a little bit.