RAD Preview: Double Fines Post-Apocalyptic Roguelike Is A Mutant Marvel (Pic: Double Fine)
You might not have heard of Lee Petty, but you must be familiar with his games. Petty was project lead on the devilishly clever Babushka puzzler Stacking, and would later craft the Brutalist Metroidvania Headlander. His incredible art direction also influenced both Brutal Legend and Broken Age.
His artistic range is undeniable, as is his skill for creating atmospheric game worlds with interesting mechanics. With RAD, nothing has changed.
Announced during the latest Nindies stream, RAD is a collaboration between Double Fine and Bandai Namco, who are on publishing duty. This is Lee Pettys third project as lead, and its a 3D action roguelike framed around a dual apocalypse, one in the 80s and another in the 90s. I learn this thanks to Greg Rice, Vice President of business at Double Fine who sat down next to me to talk me through the demo and answer any questions I had.
First up, I pick out my teenage protagonist and get accustomed to my trusty club, which I can use to wallop toxic mutants. Neon and synths start assaulting my senses as I trudge through the dystopian sludge. Suddenly, I stop in my tracks and my character starts teeming with energy.
(Pic: Double Fine)
Before I know it, Ive got a new power that lets me walk through radiated pools and leave a trail behind me for enemies to run into. As I turn foes into mince I notice that the world is also changing around me. My actions are reclaiming the broken wasteland and ushering in a new future. The procedurally generated map is a mix of old and new, as I stumble into underground caves full of advanced technology, then surface to see decrepit NPCs making a living out of the garbage. Theyre often trying to sell you something or will help guide you through a side quest.
There are a lot of powers in the game, from exploding turret companions to swapping your head with a snakes. Currency comes in the form of tapes and floppy disks, and you can swap your ancient tech for power-ups and statistical upgrades to curate a quirky build. Most of my first run had me wandering around finding totem poles to unlock a boss door, which would give me the items necessary to advance to the next wacky wasteland.
I eventually figured out the dodge roll, which even has a little tinge of momentum, meaning I had to time it quite carefully to avoid enemy fire. One of my favourite foes was a mutant that masqueraded as a palm tree. When you walk past, theyd shoot out of the floor and start attacking you, forcing a fight or flight response. RAD is actually quite the difficult game when you get down to it, and I think Id have a much better time figuring it out at home rather than in a convention hall.
(Pic: Double Fine)
Later on, Id get to grips with the more intricate moves in the game, like using a jump kick to push enemies way and charging my bat with the attack button to unleash a gnarly spin move. Theres also a ground pound ability you can use to stomp out bottom feeders if thats your prerogative. You can combine these moves with your basic attacks and pull off killer combos with fluid animations.
Rice tells me that youre always “trying to deal with these imperfect tools” to survive in the wasteland, and thats naturally where a lot of the difficulty rears its head. I didnt get to see this, but Rice also made note of a hub town that appears between levels where you can bank currency and get caught up in the narrative of RAD.
Alongside people you can talk to there are persistent items and new weapons to pick up. The levels are set up like World 1-1 – 1-2, where the more difficult enemies from the previous biome become standard and you have to be far more careful with your approach. Theres also a day/night and weather system in the game to keep thiRead More – Source