Ever tried running backwards in real life? It’s not easy and you end up feeling dorky and graceless while hoping there’s nothing waiting to catch a heel and put you on your butt. The realm of videogames is where fantasy comes to life, but even there running backwards isn’t an optimal method of movement no matter how useful it may be to survival. One of the throwaway gag-lines in the original Serious Sam was “I hate running backwards!” and, while that doesn’t seem like enough to hang an entire game from, as it turns out you can make a pretty clever reverse-vertical shooter with it.
I Hate Running Backwards sees Serious Sam and a load of Devolver guest stars hanging out at the top of the screen while enemies rush them from the bottom, running backwards the entire time while laying waste to the voxelized environment with ridiculously overpowered weaponry. Classic enemies like the skeletal kleer, unstoppable werebulls, and iconic headless kamikazes charge up the screen trying to overwhelm Sam and friends by sheer numbers, but it’s hard to be too effective against chain guns, spread guns, shotguns, grenades, rockets, beam weapons, and other assorted special power ups. Then again, no individual enemy needs to be all that strong when there’s so many of them.
Sam doesn’t have to go it alone, though, and a big part of the fun is teaming up with or playing as a selection of guest-stars to take on the horde. Crystal from Nuclear Throne, Chicken-headed dude from Hotline Miami, Bullet from Enter the Gungeon, Lo Wang from Shadow Warior, and even Rambro from Broforce make an appearance, plus a few more hiding in the roster. Each character has their own special, whether that be offense, defense, or some weird one-off ability, but everyone is designed to lay waste to all in their path even if some are easier to use than others. It’s a mega-crossover of Devolver-published characters leaving voxelized mayhem… behind? Ahead? One of those two. Running backwards is tricky.
I Hate Running Backwards has been brewing for a while but as of today it’s finally got a release date of May 22. Take a look at the trailer below to see the action in all its chunky glory.