double kick heroes kickin butt at pax south 2017
The music rhythm genre has been a relatively less explored genre in the world of video games. While Rock Band and Guitar Hero have dominated the spotlight, it hasn’t quite been visited in other ways. There are exceptions, such as music rhythm shooter Loud On Planet X, but there are no focuses on jazz, orchestra, or even metal music. However, the four-man gaming studio, the Headbang club, is set to change all that with their upcoming title, Double Kick Heroes.
In the year 2817, the world has fallen apart, and a heavy metal band sets off into the wasteland in their ride. Across their way, there will be monsters, zombies, mutants, and fiendish vehicles forged in the radioactive fires of hell itself. Players will need to hold off loads of zombies heading their way with an array of weapons. However, as a rhythm shooter, the key is to listen to the bass beats and hit the right button to discharge fire.
I happened to find some time to play the game at Pax South in San Antonio Texas, where the booth was garnering quite a lot of attention. I sat down in a bean bag and talked to the developers while playing.
Double Kick heroes came from a GameJam session in Europe, where developers are challenged to make a fully functioning video game in 48 hours. From that prototype came the basis of Double Kick Heroes. The team recruited graphic artists to create the colors, setting, and visuals, as well as an in-house composer, to accompany the game experience.
My time with Double Kick Heroes, while brief, was incredibly exciting. The first few tracks eased me into the game play, and it was quite fascinating to see the mutants fall before the might of my music and rifle fire. I discovered that if players could hit consecutive bass beats in a row, the weapons can be upgraded from a rifle to a shotgun to a cannon.
The bass beats and rhythms came at the bottom of the screen. Of course, as traditional for these type of games, where you hit the bass beat will affect the rating. However, another element soon appeared and that is the overheating of your weapons. It is possible to overheat your firepower and leave you exposed to the mutant hordes. Fortunately, you can hit another button to properly discharge and balance firepower.
I went through multiple levels, from a toxic beach side to an irradiated desert. Seeing the zombies, mutant sharks and monsters dogs run across the level was neat, but seeing them eviscerated by the power of metal music was even better. However, I was no match for the boss, a massive band bus that took life and form. It was the merging of a bull and a bus.
This particular level allowed players to actually move their vehicles up and down, as the bus would charge, then ram the player’s band. The music was intense, and I did try to take this bus down. I got better with each consecutive try, and towards the end, Double Kick Heroes really started opening up into something special. An intense metal song, a crazy boss, an irradiated dark wasteland, Double Kick Heroes got CRAZY! Unfortunately, after four attempts, I never did destroy the bus. However, it was a hell of a good time.
In the future, the developers hope to add more tracks and more levels. Additionally, there will be a level editor, as well as a music importer, for players to really experiment with the game to their own unique tastes. There promises to be insane metal music, lots of enemies to kill, and all without having to sacrifice kittens.
Duble Kick Heroes was recently Greenlit on Steam. The game will make its way to Steam, and hopefully, will make its way to consoles. Follow them on Twitter and check them out on Steam.