Being one with a slight lack of non-online local friends to play with or even online friends with their own copies of the same stuff, it makes things difficult at times when it comes to covering games that are mainly designed to be a co-op experience (as we’ve seen before with Overcooked). But I still can’t resist the allure of certain games meant to be played as a duo or more, especially when it’s something as over-the-top and action-packed as God’s Trigger, the upcoming top-down action game from Techland and developers One More Level. It’s a crazed blast of heaven and hell that’s worth grabbing a friend for, even if it means buying an extra copy or kidnapping someone to play with.
The experience shown in the current demo was a quick one (a bit unsurprising, given the typical speed of games such as these), but one that nicely showed off a good chunk of the game’s potential. Playing as she-devil Judy while one of the developers took the role of Harry the angel, we were thrust into a seedy bar full of possessed bikers that we would have to defeat before advancing in our journey to stop the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from wrecking Earth. Notably, the visuals seem to aim for a sort of grindhouse/pulp comic book vibe, perfectly fitting the crazed action and story, giving a little hint of a tongue-in-cheek attitude that is appreciated.
As you can easily guess from any footage of the game or even just the screenshots, comparisons have already been made to a co-op Hotline Miami, and yes, that would be one of the best ways to explain how God’s Trigger plays out. It’s quite frantic and the action is impressive, so it definitely has the right elements in common, though. What is different this time around is an emphasis on teamwork. Aside from the players being able to revive each other in case you fall (which is harder than it sounds with the multitudes of bullets being flung around you), the key towards racking up high amounts of experience points and clearing out enemies efficiently is to time each of your attacks perfectly, leading to bonuses for multiple kills, being able to kill enemies at the same time, killing them with blows from both characters, et cetera. It’s a unique approach that adds a bit of strategy and extra multiplayer enjoyment to things.
Aside from the co-op emphasis, the gameplay in God’s Trigger nicely fits into the category of “simple to learn, tricky to master.” The twin stick controls work perfectly, and should be second nature to anyone familiar with other arcade-style titles. As expected, though, enemies come at you fast, and you have to watch out for both you and your partner as well. So you have to make good use of any cover, which the excellent level design provides with some nice layouts, make sure to launch the special attacks you build up at just the right time, and take advantage of moments such as those where time slows down for a moment, turning a rush of enemies into a shooting gallery you have to excel at, lest you get overwhelmed.
God’s Trigger is another one of those game that feel like a playable action film and that is meant in the best way possible. It’s fresh, frenzied, visceral and just damn fun, especially since you get to experience all of the mayhem with a friend as you blast your way through otherworldly forces. The worlds of demons and angels have collided together, and the result could easily be one of the best possible upcoming co-op games, as we’ll see when the game comes out for PC, XB1, and PS4 in 2018.