Previews// Dispatches from EGX: Beyond Flesh and Blood and Black and White Bushido

Posted 13 Oct 2015 16:22 by
Chris O'Regan, host of The Sausage Factory (the inside baseball of the videogames world), has been out and about once again, keeping his nose to the ground at EGX to sniff out the best upcoming games you might not have heard about. Here's what he found...

Beyond Flesh and Blood
Developer: Pixelbomb Games
Format(s): Windows PC, Linux, Xbox One and PS4

Things are looking somewhat bleak for the human race when it comes to its continued occupation of the planet Earth. That is according to the back story behind Beyond Flesh and Blood, which has the player controlling a series of robots that infiltrate a 23rd century Manchester that has been overrun by an unknown hostile force.

Beyond Flesh and Blood is a third-person action adventure that uses a slow-down mechanic in a similar fashion to Max Payne, with the major difference being the player is controlling a robot and not a drug-addled ex-cop. The weapons are shoulder-mounted and Beyond Flesh and Blood is also designed for VR controls, which does mean it finds itself compromising the traditional view a little, thanks to the favoured analogue method of controlling the view.

Nevertheless, from what I did play of Beyond Flesh and Blood it appears to be a very well put-together arcade action shooter with a well thought-out story. If anything, that is the key aspect of Beyond Flesh and Blood that kept me playing, as clearly not all as it seems in future Manchester and hints of this were provided in the short demo that I played during EGX 2015.

Beyond Flesh and Blood has a very clean look to it, with blue glowing objects signifying elements that are aligned to the player while targeting enemies outlined in red to highlight their presence. Damage indicators are directional, so that does aid the player as to the source of attacks and there are also automated turrets and friendly reinforcements that also lend their aid against the rampaging hoards that occupy future Manchester.

Beyond Flesh and Blood came across as a fun and engrossing game from the short time I had with it. The release date is projected for sometime towards the end of 2015 and it will appear on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Black and White Bushido
Developer: Pixelbomb Games
Format(s): Windows PC, Mac and Linux

I'm a big fan of local multiplayer combat games. Ever since I first played Tower Fall I immediately saw the appeal and became drawn to similar titles, such as Paper Cut and now the newly-discovered and soon to be released Black and White Bushido.

Up to four players in two teams can compete against one another by collecting points via the acquisition of flags. These flags appear randomly in Black and White Bushido's 2D environment that has shades of white through to black, with some grey elements sprinkled throughout it.

Each team member is either completely black or white and becomes invisible depending on where they are in the environment. This leads to some confusion with those hiding in similarly-toned sections having to find themselves by causing an icon to appear above their heads. As they do so all of the other players can see them. Thus the challenge of remaining hidden while knowing where you are in the first place is a perennial problem in Black and White Bushido. But it gets worse.

For the areas around which the shading is either black or white changes depending on how successful one team is becoming. If the black team captures more flags then the environment becomes even more black, making stealth play on the part of the white team rather difficult. It also means the black team can't see where they are either for most of the time, making navigation somewhat difficult.

Combat is swift as it is brutal. There are a variety of characters to choose from, all have their unique weapons and abilities that lend themselves to player styles. The core to Black and White Bushido is the local player mode that had many at EGX 2015 enthralled by the fast-paced action on screen, even if it was monochromatic.

I really enjoyed playing Black and White Bushido and can see it really taking off when it eventually arrives later this year. I could expand into the nuances of how long it takes to capture a flag, to the many power ups that litter the playing field that can turn the tide of a match. But I'll leave all that for you to discover when Black and White Bushido arrives on Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

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