DrinkBox Studios, best known for last year's Guacamelee!, are making their mobile debut in 2015 with Severed, a first-person exploration and combat game with a killer art style and a soundtrack to match.
Severed is the story of a warrior who mysteriously wakes up with one fewer arm than she went to sleep with. To compensate, she simply hacks off an enemy's arm and uses that one instead. Here's an eye-catching debut trailer:
The game uses gesture controls to swipe through the environment—reminiscent of, say, Year Walk [$3.99]—and engage in combat. In a conversation with Destructoid, DrinkBox compared the combat mechanics to games like Infinity Blade [$6.99] or Punch-Out!: each enemy will have certain patterns or tells, and players will need to react quickly and accurately to slice and dice in return. Cutting games have been pretty well explored since the early days of Fruit Ninja [$1.99 / $1.99 (HD)], but those kinds of controls have a certain resonance with Severed's secondary gameplay: the ability to take hacked-off body parts and use them yourself like some kind of hyena-scavenger zombie Frankenstein.
Different body parts come with unique abilities or give access to different parts of the dreamlike world. Players will need to use the game's various branching paths to find the right upgrades before tackling the game's hardest enemies. "You can go down one path ... and if it's not really working you can go down a different path and try that [one], get the new piece of armor or whatever it is from that path, and then try that first path again [as] you'll be more upgraded," lead designer Greg Lesky explained to Destructoid.
What he doesn't mention is that this hypothetical "new piece of armor or whatever" is the limbless torso of some freshly-butchered demon-monkey.
That's gruesome stuff, but it seems like Severed's super-colorful visuals might play it down to acceptable levels. I can't quite put my finger on that art style, but it seems in keeping with the vaguely Mesoamerican, Día de Muertos bent DrinkBox explored in their previous game. Either way, it cuts a good trailer.
For now, DrinkBox hasn't specified which platforms Severed is being developed for, noting only that it's a mobile game for devices with touch screens. That list may expand to anything that supports gesture-based controls however: handhelds like the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and WiiU tablet are a possibility, as well as motion-sensing and virtual reality gear like the Kinect or Project Morpheus.
Hopefully, we'll know more before the game's planned release next year.
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