Gang Beasts – Early Access Preview

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Have you ever found yourself craving something to play with your friends who are looking for something a little crazy? Gang Beasts has you covered in spades, with what is equal parts a wrestling game and a drunken fighting simulator and offers something different to anything out on the market today.

If you have ever felt your friends need to be taught a lesson, thrown into a grinder or knocked out and delivered into an incinerator on a conveyor belt? Then Gang Beasts will be the first game you pick up, once you gather up to 7 friends and pit these Morph lookalikes against each other in a deathmatch arena of your choosing. With very simple controls, Gang Beasts is one of the easiest games to pick up and get moving with – simply use shoulder buttons as arm control (Mashing punches while holding grapples) and then lifting your opponent in the air and deliver them to whatever mayhem the arena has awaiting them. Easy, right? Not so much. Your friend will wriggle, fight and punch while screaming at you to let them go and more than likely try to grab you to take you with them rather than simply let you destroy them.

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And, of course, the arena where you choose to face off with your friends will have just as much of a say in who wins as your ability to control your character. Perhaps you’d like to take the fight directly to a wrestling ring with a Royal Rumble style Ring-Out system? Or atop two trucks speeding down a motorway – avoiding the oncoming road signs while trying to ensure your friends are taken out adds a whole extra level of complexity to the challenge and this is key to each arena – every single one has its own unique quirk – like a running train or a tiny window cleaning platform for you to simply fall from if you’re not careful.

Gang Beasts does something every wrestling game has struggled with – it doesn’t focus on complicated systems or deep move-sets. Gang Beasts opens up the gameplay for everyone, to simply jump in and be extremely successful from the very offset without sitting down, learning a character’s moves and the tricks with the complicated control system. This leads to it becoming something the wrestling genre has struggled with for years: simplicity and addictive fun.

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The one thing you may think is missing from Gang Beasts is the addition of an online component to the multiplayer. I think it would be easier to gather people online than in person, I can’t help but think that Gang Beasts may lose some of its inherent charm if you aren’t all sat in the same room. Some of the best times I had with the game were trying to keep my controller away from a friend as he tried to bat it from my hand as I lifted him up and threw him into the huge, spinning fan to his doom. While I’d say Online Multiplayer is probably a must at some point, I would insist the best way for people to experience the game is to try and gather friends together to play in a room together.

Developer Boneloaf has done something incredible in creating Gang Beasts and with the recent backing of Double Fine I’m certain that great things are in store for this game even though, right now, it’s more than worth the £11.99 you’ll pay for Steam Early Access. With a promised single player campaign that is still in development and the constant updates that keep dropping I’d say we have a lot more to see from Gang Beasts and it’s an incredible journey I can’t wait to see unfold.