Last Manchester Standing: Beyond – Flesh And Blood

It begins as few Wednesday afternoons do – Alice is sounding the news klaxon and I haven’t even managed to chip through the flinty film that shudders like a tenebrous membrane atop the canteen gruel. This is usually a quiet time, the hivemind sighing into synchronised sleep, but something has excited the nerve centre of the whole operation. A message cylinder shoots out of the pneumatic tube system that webs the building like veins (and can be heard to pulse warmly during storms) and clatters onto the table. “You’re going to want to see this STOP Beyond: Flesh And Blood STOP Mechs riding inside other mechs STOP Set in the ruins of future Manchester STOP.” Alice was right. If Manchester was under attack, I needed to see the damage for myself.

If I squint just the right way (and look out of the window), I suppose I can recognise bits and pieces as being a bit Mancunian. It’s all so overgrown and lined with skyscraping architecture that it’s hard to pick out the specific iconic parts that the Manchester-based development team have included. But then there’s this;

Albert Square is home to the town hall, which is a lovely slice of Neo-gothic. In fact, it’s a building plucked straight from The Metal Age, with medieval trappings hiding all the technological trappings of the Victorian age in which it was constructed. We’re talking advanced fireproofing construction methods, gas pipes disguised as banister rails and hollows within spiral staircases for ventilation and transfer of heated air around the building. I bet it has secret chambers and I bet they’re awesome.

Now I want a Thief mod set in Manchester but I’m left with all of these mechs and monstrosities instead. Here’s what we can expect:

PLUNGE into an urban war zone, rip through enemies in an high-impact shooter on your mission to regain strategic control of the city.

RESTORE the signal uplink to the Tree of Life and work with the U.G.R. to deploy and repair additional towers.

FIGHT any forces that stand in your way; upgrading your mech with high-spec weapon systems.

USE your Tactical Combat Frame (T.C.F.) to gain intel by hacking into security systems and solving strategic puzzles.

UNLOCK diverse locations, advance your abilities, and fight grand scale battles beyond anything you’ve ever encountered before. From the moment you start playing, this becomes your world.

A demo is due next month and in the meantime Beyond: Flesh and Blood is seeking Greenlight votes. I’m hoping it’s something like a smaller scale Earth Defense Force. I would definitely sign up for the EDF Salford Division.

Quite why future Manchester isn’t simply City 17, constructed around our very own Citadel, I don’t rightly know.


  1. RedViv says:

    Hmm. Still not quite Hellgate: Stoke-on-Trent.

    • Shockeh says:

      Speaking as a Mancunian: That’s because Hellgate: Stoke-on-Trent would be just ‘Stoke-on-Trent’. There’s no way to tell the difference.

      • apocraphyn says:

        Hah! Well said.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        I live in Stoke-on-Trent.

        Send help.

      • RedViv says:

        Well, if we drop one L from the title, it probably is. Hell seems too interesting.

        • The Random One says:

          So you want Helgate: Stoke-on-Trent? A game about a mysterious portal that opens on Stoke-on-Trent and leads to the small Polish city of Hel?

  2. Cinek says:

    Hacking is now going to be a mandatory feature in every shooter?

  3. Shockeh says:

    I’d love to see an AC/Watch_Dogs/Sleeping Dogs/Thief-esque game in Manchester, because it’s actually the right size, and full of little nooks and crannies you could do stuff with. Hell, the hard bit wouldn’t be ‘coming up with enough content’ it’d be ‘making sure you’d gotten enough in’.

    Actually, in this version of the Manchester, has another RPS Social taken place, or was that lost to the war?

    • Harlander says:

      A near-future cyberpunk-themed open-world game? Set it in Middlesbrough, it’s already got the gratuitous neon piping on everything and the flame-belching refinery towers on the edge of town.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Sounds great.

        Big Robot, get on this!

        • Harlander says:

          Tangentially, does describing things as being “on the edge of town” give an instant feeling of atmospheric moody noirishness to anyone else?

          Doesn’t really work here though, mainly because the edge of the town is, in fact, the sea

  4. brulleks says:

    If it lets you get kebabs from Caspians on Wilmslow Road I’ll buy it. Ever since I left Manchester University 18 years ago and came back to Cambridge I’ve been stuck with woeful pitta bread kebabs.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:


      • BenA says:

        Cheesy Chips from the pub in the precinct next to the CS department. Damn, what was that pub called?

    • BenA says:

      Wow, are you me? I was at Manchester University (CS dept) 94-97. And now I’m in Cambridge. And it wasn’t Caspians, it was either Camel One or Abduls (before they had more than one shop) in Rusholme for _proper_ kebabs like momma used to make.

  5. Orix says:

    QFE on the “toothbrush” Citadel. Anywhere I am in the county (and often beyond) I can basically use the Hilton as a means of judging where I am in relation to “town”.

    Went there for a major birthday recently, only to the bar halfway up, was kinda funny how you could see the whole set of Corrie mere streets away.

    Just hope no MIT scientists visit the penthouse suite and blow it up.

    On topic: Game looks alright… but, as you say, needs more familiar sites, would be funny if they show how dwarfed the Hilton was compared to the futuristic skyscrapers. I wonder if Urbis will feature as a football themed level? Or if the length of Oxford Road will star as a gauntlet of academic mech wits?

  6. Asurmen says:

    In this an apocalyptic future, where Salford had had enough of being classed as being in Manchester, and rose up against them?

    The current and previous state of Victoria station would fit right in.

    • Chorltonwheelie says:

      Manchester and Salford are brothers and sisters. They come together and kiss at the Cathedral.

      Away with your divisive nonsense.

      • Asurmen says:

        Lies, all lies. Two neighbours who argue over the top of the garden fence that is the river Irwell.

  7. mpk says:

    Two things:

    1) Mechs kicking people inna face is something I will always find funny.

    b) Motion blur is a horrific crime against my eyes and just please can people stop it right now thanks?

  8. Grey Ganado says:

    Is this a sequel to Beyond: Two Souls?

    • DanMan says:

      If you work hard and praise the lord, everything is possible.

  9. Swordfishtrombone says:

    The DNA helix in the trailer is twisted in the wrong direction. WILL NOT BUY ON PRINCIPLE.

  10. buzzmong says:

    It’s not Manchester if it doesn’t have crazy mustelids.

  11. A Boot Stomping a Human Face says:

    Hey, it’s what I thought World War Machine would be. Sadly without Aaron Beck’s fantastic designs, but better than any ol’ isometric MOBA co-op.

  12. seanmason says:

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks of the Citadel whenever I see the Hilton.

  13. malkav11 says:

    I assume this is the sequel to Beyond: Two Souls. Because why not.