PAX East 2023: Extremely Powerful Capybaras
The most powerful being on Earth is the Capybara. Its power is unfathomable and grand. It is neither the nuclear weapon, the sun, nor the greatness of the universe that is more powerful than the capybara. The capybara is the largest rodent on the planet. They are powerful swimmers, form social groups, and even eat their own droppings as a sort of probiotic for the gut. In Extremely Powerful Capybaras, their power is unleashed in an auto-battler that can be played solo or with up to three additional players.
There were many games at PAX East 2023, but Extremely Powerful Capybaras was unmistakably the most popular game at the event. Appointments were being made and filled. A line wrapped around the PM Studios booth. Fortunately for me, and thanks to some wonderful friends from the City Of Brotherly Love, I had a chance to play. Extremely Powerful Capybaras is shaping to be one of the very best co-op experiences of the year.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras is an auto-battler, very much so in the vein of Vampire Survivors. Attacking is automatic. There is a cool-down period in mere seconds that repeats the attack over and over. Everything else is not automatic. Moving, dashing, and selecting which perk at level up is entirely up to you. While attacking may be automatic, Extremely Powerful Capybaras is far from an easy day at the park.
I was joined by Paul, Jacquie, and Tom for the demo. The goal was to survive 15 minutes and level up to make it to the boss. Extremely Powerful Capybaras has each player play as a class of capybara. My choice was the bard, while my friends chose a mage, a shaman, and a rogue. Each class has its own attack ability, stats, and assortment do buffs and debuffs. Before the round, we rested in the watering hole, as capybaras do. Then, we stepped into the portal and into battle.
The Power is in your hands
Extremely Powerful Capybaras is delightful chaos. Enemies start out small and then quickly ramp up in number and difficulty. Like Vampire Survivors, there are collectibles on the map, but with the constant barrage of enemies, it's a tale of risk versus reward. Gathering XP leads to level-ups and the ability to choose different perks.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras presents a multitude of perks to choose from. I chose a lantern, which fires a laser beam from time to time. Others chose defensive perks or firing more projectiles like ninja stars. These perks can be chosen by anyone. Extremely Powerful Capybaras encourages leveling up these parks and the chosen class.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras celebrates the joys of simple couch co-op. The four of us were shouting commands and orienting ourselves. The strategy was to stick together as much as possible, but even that tactic was a challenge. Enemies are bundled in large and almost impenetrable groups. Each moment feels like a grand battle out of an epic movie. Enemies are felled at every moment, and many more enemies gather on-screen. It’s a real Battle of Thermopylae, but there is no Gerard Butler, and there are no Spartans. Only Capybara.
The calamity unfolds like a Saturday morning cartoon. It’s a cacophony of explosions, shots, monsters' screams, and laser fire. It’s easy to get lost in the fray. On multiple occasions, I lost my bearing and got separated from the group. In Extremely Powerful Capybaras, getting separated is a risky endeavor. If a player is down, there is a way to bring them back, though it is not easy. A sacrificial circle appears around the fallen, along with a number. The number represents the number of enemies that need to be defeated within that circle to revive a fallen teammate. Lasers, shurikens, fire, and spike balls of death fill the screen in an explosion of color. My friends and I were yelling directions and commands to stay alive. The clock clicks down to the boss, and every moment toward a level-up is essential. It's a tremendous amount of fun, especially with friends.
Ride Together, Die Together
While my team and I didn’t get a chance to see the boss, another team made it. The boss is a tremendous and diabolical monster, which is quite the contrast to the more colorful presentation of the game. Red, carnivorous, and shrouded in darkness, it made quick work of the other team, despite their most valiant efforts.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras is shaping to be an amazing co-op experience in this newly discover auto-battler genre. The combination of powers, classes, stats, buffs, and debuffs all make for an engaging action experience that is easy to learn but hard to master. There is still plenty more left to see before Extremely Powerful Capybaras release. What more power-ups, enemies, and bosses are in store for players remains to be seen. Based on my time with Extremely Powerful Capybaras, we are in for a grand good time.
Extremely Powerful Capybaras is slated for release in 2023 on PC. A Demo is available now on Steam. Consoles are unconfirmed at this time.