Beyond Flesh and Blood Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Beyond Flesh and Blood Preview



While at EGX I spent some time with the guys from Pixel Bomb, playing their upcoming title Beyond Flesh And Blood. I am very interested in this title for a number of reasons, one of which is the setting, Manchester.Beyond Flesh And Blood is set over 200 years into the future, where most of mankind is living on a station, called The Tree Of Life, orbiting the planet. You play as a young engineer who takes control of a Tactical Combat Frame (T.F.C), remotely from the orbiting station. The demo build I was able to play on the day was of the games Horde Mode, which I was told unlocks after completion of the campaign. The reason this mode was shown is that Pixel Bomb don’t want to show any spoilers to their story driven game. Beyond Flesh And Blood will be a solo experience, with the campaign being the main focus for the development team, who assured me is going to be an epic journey through Manchester as you try to regain control of strategic points. Firstly, I would like to say how attentive the developers were to everyone that played their game at EGX, they spent time with all of us, explaining the game and answering their questions. It was good to see a developer that was not hiding from the public behind a flurry of PR.

Now back to the game, in the pre-alpha build I was able to play you are protecting signal towers in a compound from the invading forces, that included alien creatures and rebel forces. The first tactical combat frame I controlled was a large robot that you could liken to a transformer, but had these little arms protruding from the front. This was quite unique as they enable you to automatically pick up an enemies weapon and use it, along with the laser that is already built into the frame itself. The frame moved as you would expect a heavy piece of machinery to walk, until the addition of some booster rockets that propelled it from tortoise to hare, allowing you to quickly maneuver around the map. The developers were clear about the direction they are wanting to take with Beyond Flesh And Blood, moving away from the more conventional cover based shooters into an experience that forces you to use quick movement and deadly attacks to overcome your enemies. When I say deadly attacks, I want you to imagine a 20 ton robot picking you up by the skull and crushing it in it’s hydraulic fingers, or ripping your body to pieces with a swift pull, to splatter your entrails across the environment, because that is exactly what I mean.

Beyond Flesh And Blood has quite a few unique mechanics to the gameplay that I found interesting. As you are controlling your robot from space remotely his movement is determined by the signal towers. The more signal towers you control the more of the map you can explore and discover, but with the enemies always fighting you for control of these towers,inevitably you will lose some. When this happens you will start to lose signal with your robot and will need to get within range of another tower, or reclaim the one you just lost. The developer explained to me that this enabled them to use the towers as the invisible walls in the game, thus giving the world a completely open feel but at the same time restricted to within the towers reach. I found having to control these towers, especially in a mode such as the one I played, was simply a brilliant idea, one that is also going to feature in the campaign.  Also dotted around the map were things like turrets, which you can hack in the same way you do the towers and either control them yourself or set them onto automatic, and they will just shoot anything that comes into the line of fire.

The environment was extremely detailed and was populated with all manner of items, items I might add that you can pick up and use against the enemy, exploding barrels and large containers were quite useful to throw on occasion, creating havoc for those that were within striking distance. There is so much to Beyond Flesh And Blood’s mechanics that it is simply not easy to explain, the game is complex and fun, even a bit unconventional to the shooters that we are all used to playing in an extremely good way. Pixel Bomb are creating something fresh in a genre that has, well let’s face it, become somewhat tired and rinsed of all it’s originality. They understand that taking on ideas from their community will only strengthen their game, for instance they are adding in shops and businesses to the future Manchester environment that are existing there today, so players can actually play this game and wage war on a street that they recognise. I am looking forward to Beyond Flesh And Blood for many reasons now more so than before, and that is mainly due to the passion and drive these guys have to deliver a game that is worth playing, and not just another generic shooter in a different setting. Pixel Bomb are hoping to be in early access sometime in November, when we can really give you an updated preview, as sadly I wanted more time to get to grips with all this game had to offer, that is just not possible in an environment like EGX. If this game is not already on your radar, put it there! You can find out more about Beyond Flesh And Blood here.