First Looks// Gang Beasts

Posted 9 Apr 2014 09:58 by
'Nerd Fight'. This is the name I bestowed onto Gang Beasts when I came upon it at EGX-Rezzed 2014. It's a four-player beat-em-up that features large people made out of plasticine who aren't the most dexterous of creatures. They waddle around and flail about ineffectively while trying to down their opponents who are just as inept. It is the very personification of a fight between two individuals who lack any kind of combat ability. Hence the nick-name 'Nerd Fight'.

The aim of the game is to be the last ner... I mean plasticine person standing. The actions available to the player are punch, pull, and jump. There is also some movement available but, as stated previously, it's more of a shuffle or waddle than a walk.

There is also lightness to every action with significant delay between each one, making for some very amusing clashes between players as they desperately punch and push each other into various hazardous sections of the arena they are fighting in.

In a similar way to Power Stone, the arenas in Gang Beasts are littered with potentially life-threatening devices that can be used by players to dispatch their foes. One of the most popular arenas featured a pit of fire into which cardboard boxes were being thrown via a conveyor belt. The presence of both the pit and conveyor belt afforded players the chance to drag their opponents onto it and watch them tumble into the fire, much to their amusement.

The key to Gang Beasts is social play. It's a local-only four-player game that is as amusing to players as it is to those watching the ner... dammit, melee take place. Chanting and yelling for people to be thrown into the pit, or ground up by the ever rotating and exposed gear wheels, are common place.

There is even a button for a player to celebrate victory, which consists of the plasticine man waving his arms above his head while waddling about in the arena.

The combat is an absolute free-for-all, which can lead to more merriment as the four wobbly creatures flail about indiscriminately against one another when the bout starts. What typically happens is after a short while people break off into pairs as they try to take on each other and use the chaos of the other two fighters to their advantage. Many was the time I thought I had the edge, only to be waylaid by another foe as they collided into me during their own clash.

I had a terrific time playing Gang Beasts as I ineptly collided with my fellow combatants. I particularly found it satisfying to pick them up and hurl them into some pit of death, only to hear the crowd watching bay for his plasticine blood. Gang Beasts is certainly no threat to the likes of Street Fighter IV. But that doesn't make it any less fun.

Gang Beasts is due to appear sometime in 2014 for PC and Mac.
Games: Gang Beasts


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